Thursday was somewhat busy. I got my nails done and went back to work that evening. It was hectic at the club as well, two of our girls were out sick and so we had to fill the gap. I had planned to call Shane during the evening but then when I finally had a moment it was already after eleven and it was too late then. Shane had not called me either. I was in my office and Nadine came in for a little bit. We hadn’t had a chance to talk much during the night and now she asked me about Shane and I gave her the run down on my days with him in Morgan City. I also touched on the subject of his old home but I didn’t tell her too many details. I still wasn’t all the way sure if it had been a good idea to do this.
Nadine wasn‘t feeling well and was worried she was getting sick. She did look tired and pale and I told her to go home and that I would have it under control with Ray. She insisted in staying. We made it through the night and at three in the morning I was on my way out to Metairie. I had my window down and my radio was blasting. The night was hot and muggy, but the breeze into the car felt good. At home I checked my answer machine in the hopes that Shane had called my home phone but there were no messages. My cell phone had been quiet all night as well. Even though I felt a little sad about Shane not having called I told myself that it was okay. We didn’t need to talk every day. My heart told me something different though.
Friday I decided to call him before I left for work.
“Webber’s construction, this is Cody, how can I help you?”
I told Cody who I was and shortly after I had Shane on the line.
“Hey Anna.”“Hi baby, is it a good time right now or are you busy?”
“No, it’s all right. How are you?”
“How is your work day going?”
He told me quickly and in short sentences, he still seemed distant and not very talkative.
“I miss you Shane.”
“I miss you too.”
He didn’t say anything else and I asked, “Shane, are you all right?”
“Yeah, just getting kind of busy right now.”
“Well, I can call you at home later.”
“I probably won’t be home until later tonight. I may be going out with Cody.”
“Oh, okay, maybe tomorrow then.”
Even though Shane had every right to go out and I tried to be neutral about it, it bothered me just a little bit and I wanted to ask him where they were going and who all was going.I stopped myself from being too nosy, “Well, I’ll let you go then. I don’t want to keep you from working.”
The short answer stirred me up a bit, “Shane, what’s going on?”
“Nothing, just busy.”
I gave up and tried to not let my emotions about this call overcome me.
“Well, I guess we’ll talk later then or tomorrow. I’m sorry I bothered you at work. Just missed you and wanted to tell you that I love you.”
“I love you too.”
He didn’t say anything else and I just finished the conversation then, “Bye Shane, have a good rest of your day.”
It didn’t take a second and he had hung up and I fell back on my pillow, sighing and swallowing my tears.I didn’t know what was going on with him and why he was so cool and distant. I knew he was not being himself. Thinking about it some more I pondered if he was possibly turning back into the way he used to be. Maybe I had pushed him too far with going out to the old house.
The call left me sad and doubtful and stayed on my mind all day. I didn’t feel too happy about going to work that night. At least I was distracted at work. We were busy on this Friday night and Nadine still didn’t feel good and disappeared into their office for most of the night. I basically ran the club with Ray and I didn’t leave until almost four in the morning. I fell into my bed exhausted and tired.
I slept in on Saturday and as soon as I woke up my thoughts were with Shane and I debated if I should call him or not. I decided against it. The phone call from the day before pushed itself into my memory and just a little I was angry and decided if Shane wanted to talk to me he would just have to call me. Unfortunately the call never came. All day I was tempted to call him and even if he wouldn’t be there I could talk to Jenny and ask her where Shane had gone the night before. I stopped myself from checking up on him. I had been the one who had wanted some distance and I even had told Shane exactly that. Maybe this was his way of living up to that. I felt depressed all day.
I worked that night in a daze, not really focused all the way. Nadine wasn’t there, she had stayed home with a cold after all. We weren’t as busy and I checked my cell phone several times. Shane was on my mind all night. I was worried about him. There was no way for me to take off on Sunday now with Nadine home sick. I wouldn’t be able to go to Morgan City before Monday.
Sunday I woke up to pouring rain and thunderstorm. Right away my thoughts were with Shane again and I didn’t want to wait any longer for his call. After showering, when eventually I sat at my table eating, I dialed Jordan’s and Jenny’s house.Jenny answered, “Hello?”
“Jenny, it’s Anna.”
“Hey girl. How are you?”
“I’m all right. I haven’t heard from Shane so I figured I call and see what’s up.”
“Oh really…yeah, he’s outside with Jordan. I can go get him.”
I was relieved that he was at least at home, “Thanks Jenny.”
“It’ll be a just a few moments. You know it’ll take him a few minutes to get into the house.”
“Do you want me to call your cell or Jordan’s cell and you can take the phone out to him?”
“Oh sure, call Jordan’s cell. He’s got it out there with him. I don’t know what they’re doing out there but just give him a ring.”
I had Jordan’s cell number and called him.It didn’t take long and Jordan answered, “Hello?”
“Jordan, it’s Anna.”
We talked for a moment and eventually I had Shane on the phone.
“Shane, baby…hey. How are you?”
His voice was low, “All right, and you?”
“I was waiting for your call yesterday and today.”
He still sounded low, “I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Shane, you’ve been on my mind all weekend. I miss you a lot and then I didn’t hear from you anymore. Are you all right?”
“I’m all right.”
He sounded somewhat annoyed and he didn’t say that he missed me.I asked insecurely, “Shane, what’s going on with you? Are you mad at me or something?”
He didn’t answer and I asked, “Shane, are you there?”
He finally replied lowly, “Listen, what do you want me to say Anna? I’m here, you’re there, and you’re in control of our situation. You decide when I can see you or when you’ll see me. I’m trying to bother you as little as possible. I know you’re working and are busy. I’m just here, you know where to find me.”
“Shane, what are you talking about? You know our situation, eventually we’ll figure something out but right now we’ll just have to deal with this and make it work.”
I felt my voice tremble and there was another small pause, then Shane continued and he sounded angry, “Well, guess what…I’m having a fucking hard time with our situation, being stuck here. I can’t drive, I ain’t got money. I can’t even get wasted because my legs would get even more fucked up. But you bring me here, drop me off and tell me to get my fucked up life back together. All the sudden you have that crazy idea to take me out to this god damned house, confront my demons or some shit like that, then you just take off again because you need to go back to work now. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, hell…I can’t walk and you expect me to be all content with this really shitty situation. Well, I’m not, I’m trying but I really can’t do it.”
I was shocked at his words but also felt irritated, “Shane…”
I stopped and took a deep breath, then continued, “You know the deal. You know how I feel about you, you’re everything to me and if you can’t do this, we can just forget about all of it. You need to pull yourself together, come out of your self-pity hole, you’re not the only person with a fucked up life, Shane. Count me in with the people of fucked up lives. If I would’ve been like you, drowning in self-pity and anger I’d be a hooker standing in a dark alley night after night, blaming everyone else for my mess.”
I was crying now, “If you can’t make it through this right now, I’m sorry. I’m not going to pull you through for the rest of my life. Don’t you think I miss you, don’t you think I worry about you. I think about you all day and all night, Shane. I can’t wait to see you again but I’ll be strong until we can see each other. I have no choice and I can’t wait for the day when we can be together all the time, live together maybe. You have people there who love you, people who are willing to take care of you for now until things get better, your brothers are there for you 100 %, things don’t just happen overnight. I can only do so much, you have to do your part, but no instead you’re just angry and frustrated about how fucked up your life is but you’re not going to take me down with you. I want to live my life on the surface with you, not in the hole you dug for yourself. I’m not going down with you, so you have to decide, pull yourself up or keep falling.”
My voice broke under my tears, my hands were shaking holding the phone. My heart was beating into my neck.
Shane replied lowly, “Maybe I can’t be as strong as you want me to be. I thought you knew and I thought you can actually help me. I’m done. I’m tired. I’ve been through too much shit. I’m just exhausted. You came into my life like a ray of light at the top of the fucking hole you’re referring to. Then I try to grab it and hold on to pull myself up but I can’t have it yet, I have to wait, wait for the one and only person who ever cared about me more than anyone else, and the one and only person I ever loved more than my own life. I can’t wait anymore Anna. I’ve waited all my life.”
His voice trembled and I started sobbing.
Shane added, “I’m sorry I can’t be as strong as you are and as you need me to be. I thought I could do it but I can’t…I’m trying…I’m trying so fucking hard Anna, but I’m tired.”
I heard Jordan’s voice in the background, “Shane, what’s going on?”
I heard a rustle and suddenly Jordan back on the phone, “Anna?”
“Yes.” I tried to swallow my tears.
“What’s going on with you guys?”
I told Jordan quickly what’s going on, my tears were streaming and I ended with, “I don’t know what’s going to happen with us, Jordan.”
“Hey, let me talk to him. He walked off, he seems upset right now. I’ll call you back in a little while, okay?”
We hung up. I rolled up on my couch and I cried. Shane was tired and exhausted. I had come to realize he had barely any mental strength left and being out there proved to be very hard on him. I cried for a while and didn’t even want to think about going to work again. I laid on the couch the whole time waiting for Jordan to call me back. I was actually exhausted myself.
It was over two hours later when I got a phone call.I quickly answered, “Hello?”
It was Jenny on the other line, “Anna, hey hon.”
I was worried right away that it wasn’t Jordan or Shane who called me back.
“Anna, Jordan asked me to call you.”
“Yes, what’s going on? Is Shane okay?”
Jenny replied lowly, “Actually not…I guess you guys had a fight earlier?”
My hands were shaking as I held the phone, ”Yes…well, we argued…I guess. Where’s Shane?”
“I’m so sorry Anna, but he had some kind of break down and we had to call an ambulance.”
“Jenny, oh my God, why, what happened?”
I sat up from my couch
“I’m not all the way sure but I guess he freaked out and went off on Jordan. Jordan apparently was going after him after you guys were done on the phone. Jordan said Shane was distraught and angry. He tried to talk to him but Shane didn’t listen. He screamed at Jordan, went off on him and said stuff about wanting to kill himself. He was trying to get Jordan to give him a gun. Of course Jordan wouldn’t let Shane come near his guns. Shane went off on him…I’m so sorry Anna. When they came to talk to him he still was at it and even tried to attack the EMT’s. They had to hold him down to give him something to calm down and they took him to the hospital.”
I was speechless and tears were building up. My thoughts were running around having to call out from work.
Jenny asked, “Anna, did you break up with him or something?”
“God no, of course not. I need to call my boss and come down there.”
“What was your fight about?”
“Oh Jenny, just us…and our situation. I know Shane is having a hard time not being able to be here with me and all but that’s just how it is right now.”
“I’m going to call my boss and I can be down there in about two hours.”
“Okay, hey drive careful. Don’t worry about him right now. They’re taking care of him. Jordan is with him. I’ve to stay here for now with the kids. I’ll try to get to the hospital this evening. I’ll probably see you there unless you want to come here first.”
“No, I’ll go straight to the hospital. Can you give me the name and address?”
Jenny gave me all the information and we finished up.
I called Nadine and when I told her about Shane she was very worried too. She was still sick but said it was okay for me to go see Shane and not to worry about coming to work. They would manage.“Anna, please be careful driving. I hope he’s going to be okay. I’m sorry, love.”
“Thanks Nadine. I’ll call you later.”
I packed my bag with some items and it didn’t take me long and I was on the way out of town heading for the Interstate. I probably drove faster than I should have but my mind was racing around Shane and what I would find once I got to the hospital.
It was raining and I had to slow down because the roads were getting slick. I tried to remember what all I had said to him and our conversation on the phone. I felt like it was my fault that Shane had had a breakdown.
I passed the city limits of Morgan City accompanied by thunder and in town I followed the directions Jenny had given me to the hospital.
When I found the hospital I parked, grabbed my purse and I ran across the parking lot in the rain. It was pouring and it was stormy. I walked through the main entrance of Morgan City’s Teche Regional Medical Center. A younger woman was sitting behind the counter at the reception and greeted me friendly.
“Hi, I’m here to see Shane Lenalier.”
“Okay, let me see where he is.”
She typed a few things into her computer, asked me to spell Shane’s last name once more and eventually said, “Okay, so Mr. Lenalier is in the Observation department of the Emergency Room.”
She pointed me into the right direction and I walked away with a Thank you.
My hands were shaking, my knees were weak and I hurried through the hospital to the Emergency Room. I found the department and at the registration there I asked again for Shane.“Are you family?”
I was worried right away and didn’t know if I should answer the question honestly or lie.
I stuttered, “I’m his…his girlfriend.”
The receptionist looked at me and said lowly, “So, I have to actually talk to Mr. Lenalier and get his permission. I think his brother is in there with him.”
“Yes, his brother Jordan knows who I am as well.”
I was panicking a little and the woman told me to take a seat and that she would be right back. I watched her walk away through an automatic door.
I waited nervously and a few minutes later I saw Jordan come through the same door and the woman showed him to where I was sitting. Jordan hurried over to me and I jumped up and fell into his arms.
I looked at Jordan, “How is he?”
“He’s resting right now. I’m so sorry Anna.”
I just nodded and Jordan asked, “How are you?”
“I’m so worried about him and I feel guilty that I may have caused him to break down.”
Jordan gestured me to sit down and we sat down together, “It’s not your fault Anna. I know things have been rough for him and I know it’s hard for him to deal with everything right now. After we had hung up on the phone, he walked off and I followed him. When I asked him what was going on he blew up on me, screaming at me to leave him alone, that he never wanted to come back to Morgan City in the first place. He said he was going to kill himself and when I went up to him he started fighting me. He screamed if I wanted to help him I should let him have one of my guns. He just went crazy Anna and I literally had to hold him down. Jenny heard us outside and came running out. I told her to call 911. Shane just went on and on and tried to fight with me. Maybe we shouldn’t have called an ambulance.”
I touched Jordan’s hand, “No Jordan, you did the right thing.”
Jordan looked down, “I was worried and I want him to be okay.”
“We all want that.”
“When the medics came he was trying to fight them, screaming and cursing. Of course he couldn’t really do much…with his braces and all that crap. They strapped him down on the stretcher and they gave him a shot with some medication to calm him down. He was still fighting when they drove off with him. It was all so messed up. I really thought he was okay being back with us and I tried to make him feel all right. I know he has had it rough and the accident just screwed him all up but I really wanted to help him.”
“I know that Jordan.”
I wiped over my face and at that moment Scott appeared next to us, “Hey you all.”
Jordan got up and hugged Scott and I stood up and Scott hugged me, “Anna, hey, are you all right?”
“I am, I just want to see him.”
Jordan nodded, “Yeah, let me take you to the room. He’s in a closed unit.”
We followed Jordan to the reception, we confirmed that I was okay to go in and Scott being Shane’s brother was allowed as well.
We got to a door and had to ring. A nurse opened and greeted Jordan friendly, “Hi Jordan, you’re back.”“Yes, this is my brother Scott and this is Shane’s girlfriend Anna.”
The nurse greeted us and said, “He’s still drowsy and resting.”
We followed her to a door. There were other rooms in this hallway with the doors closed and just a little window in them. It was obviously a unit separate from the common Emergency Department.
In Shane’s room, Jordan and Scott stayed behind as I walked into the room. It was an empty room, just a bed in the middle and all that was there were Shane’s crutches leaning on the wall and an IV bag on a pole dripping into his arm. The light was dim and I walked up to the bed. Shane was still in his jeans and braces, but his chest was bare and his wrists were strapped down to the side of the bed. He had his eyes closed and his face looked moist, and his hair was stringy. Tears were slowly running down my face when I softly stroked over his arm. I leaned down over his face and kissed his cheek.
“Hey baby, I’m so sorry.”
He actually blinked his eyes now and slowly opened them. His dark eyes were shiny and he tried to focus on me.
Very lowly he said my name.
I leaned down to him more, “Yes, I’m here.”
I touched my hand to his cheek, “You’re doing good. I’m here now. I won’t go anywhere.”
Shane didn’t say anything else, instead his eyes closed again.
I turned to Jordan and Scott who were leaning on the wall by the door.
Jordan walked over and said lowly, “Shane, bro…can you hear us?”
Shane didn’t budge.
We stayed in the room until a doctor entered, “Hello everyone.”
We all turned to him and he introduced himself, “I’m Dr. Salas. Are you family of Shane?”
Jordan took the word and introduced us.
Dr. Salas explained, “Well, Shane is resting right now. We have him on a slight sedative. I want to keep him here for observation tonight and tomorrow we’ll see how things are going.”
I asked nervously, “Is he going to be okay?”
Dr. Salas smiled, “I think so. I’d like to talk to him tomorrow when he feels better and go from there.”
“He’s is not going to get in trouble, is he?”
“No, of course not. We just need to keep an eye on him tonight, let him calm down and get some rest and tomorrow we’ll tackle the issues. I was just wondering if you had any information on Shane’s medical back ground, like who is his regular provider and which clinic does he use. I have some questions about his disability.”
Jordan replied, “He was in a car accident over a year ago. He’s paraplegic.”
Dr. Salas asked, “Do you know what level his injury is?”
Jordan looked at me and Scott and I actually answered, “He’s a T-11 through L-1 incomplete paraplegic. He can still walk with the braces and crutches but not without them. Or at least not very far without braces.”
Dr. Salas nodded, “Okay.”
I added, “He had all his medical care at Charity hospital in New Orleans. He has his records from there.”
The doctor nodded, “Okay, I will call them and have them send me the information.”
I asked the doctor, “Is there any way I can stay here with Shane tonight?”
“I’d rather have him rest tonight and you can come back tomorrow and we can talk about all further plans.”
I was disappointed but tried to be understanding.
Dr. Salas nodded at us, “Okay, well, I have to tend to another patient right now and I’ll see you again in the morning then?
All three of us nodded and mumbled in agreement.
Dr. Salas walked out, “Thanks for coming by. Don’t worry about him. He’ll be all right.”
When Dr. Salas was out of the room Scott took the word, “We should just go home for tonight and let Shane sleep it off.”I walked over to Shane once more and looked at him for a moment.
I turned to Jordan and Scott, “Maybe we should take his braces off?”
Jordan shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. I guess you may know best how he feels about being in them or not.”
I thought for a moment, “Well, it’s kind of hard to say. He hates the braces but he also knows he needs them so it depends. I guess it’s okay to keep them on. He’s sleeping after all.”
Jordan remarked, “Maybe we can just leave it alone for now. The nurses know how to do that stuff if they need to I assume?”
I nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure.”
I kissed Shane on his cheek and whispered, “I love you.”
He didn’t move and with a quick stroke over his arm I walked away. Jordan put his arm around me and we left the hospital.
When we got to Jordan’s house Jenny was standing on the porch waiting for us. She held her arms out to me and I fell into them.Jenny asked, “How is he?”
I looked at her, “He’s sleeping and the doc said it would be best for us to go home.”
“I’m sure he’s in good hands. Come on in the house.”
Jenny told me to sit down and she brought a bottle of wine with two glasses and sat next to me, “I hope you like red wine.”
I smiled and nodded. She poured our glasses and handed me mine. We toasted and took a sip.
Jordan and Scott had grabbed beer from the refrigerator and sat down in the living room. Scott called his wife on his cell phone and I talked with Jenny and Jordan.
I felt guilty in a way of possibly having brought on this situation and they kept assuring me that none of this was my fault.
Jordan explained, “There’s a lot of stuff bottled up inside of him you know. I tried to talk to him about things but he blocks me. I don’t even need to start about counseling. He gets defensive and angry and I don’t want to argue with him. The only one that probably could have reached him in that way would’ve been Nick.”
Jenny added, “It’s no one’s fault what’s going on with Shane. He’s been through a lot for a long time and I think it has just been building up until now. Coming back here probably triggered a lot of emotions in him. I really believe he’s just exhausted somehow. He’s still dealing with demons from his childhood, then the time he was locked up, the accident and Nick’s death, himself badly hurt and now having to try to start life all over again. It’s been a lot, it’s really no wonder he lost it. It was probably just a matter of time for him to blow.”
We sat there quiet for a moment.Jordan said lowly, “We’re trying to help him get back on his feet.”
Jenny looked at her husband, “Yes, babe…and I’m sure he knows that.
I nodded, “He does know and he does appreciate but it’s still hard for him to adjust.”
I looked down into my glass and with a trembling voice I added, “I would’ve never thought that he would have such an impact on my life. I love him so much but it’s not all the way easy to love him.”Jenny put her arm around me and I felt tears come up in my eyes.
She said warmly, “And you’ve been through a lot too lately. Yes, meeting our Shane was probably not so much in the plan for you Anna. You’ve established a good life in New Orleans and you just lost your brother and of course it’s all but easy to deal with Shane who’s still adjusting to life right now. But in a way he’s not your responsibility. He has to be in charge of his own life. We can all be there for him when it gets tough and when he’s having a hard time but we can’t take responsibility away from him. It’s on him to make something of himself now.”
The phone rang and it was Jared calling from Baton Rouge and checking in to see how Shane was doing. Jenny assured him that everything was okay and there was no need for him to come down to Morgan City at this time. There was nothing we could for Shane at the moment.
I was exhausted, tired, and worried and eventually told everyone Good Night and went to Shane’s bedroom. Scott also left shortly after.I heard them say Good Bye to him and that they would see him in the morning.
In Shane’s room I sat down on the bed and just took a deep breath. What had I gotten myself into with this boy?