Lianna gets the last of her things in the children’s hospital before stepping outside, she had gotten a lot of strange looks from the people around. Mostly the parents, along with some cheeky smiles from kids, some of them were even kind enough to ask to pet him, which she said they could. She checked around to see if she had everything, including her badge to get into the building and to tell others that she was an intern or student at the place.
Walking out to the car she looks at the license plates, trying to find hers in the sea of cars that were going in and out of the hospital, many children with masks, casts, some even in wheelchairs looking as if they had been pronounced dead moments ago. Something that tugged at the heartstrings of the girl knowing that her brother’s wife had a miscarriage years ago.
She remembers how happy her whole family was when Darla had announced that she was pregnant, that is all the family could talk about for months after they had gotten married at nineten a year prior. Of course that on its own was a slightly bad decision since Max had wanted to go to Oxford to study zoology and become something that dealt with animals. Lianna couldn’t remember off the top of her head.
Then tragedy struck around eight months when the newly wed went in for her weekly check-up, knowing that the baby wasn’t doing so good but she had hope they would get better, of course they had already chosen a name for the child, Louise, a mixed gender name in Darla’s opinion while Max was so burnt out from school and work he just went along with it. But when she went in, and they had checked both her health and the child’s, they found out that he no longer had a heartbeat.
Lianna didn’t want to think of the rest that happened because that’s mostly the last of what she could remember before being admitted into the mental hospital for the first time, not being able to contact her family. The girl also hadn’t heard anything since ending her second to last year of college, hopefully she could get them to go to her graduation in the spring since that would be the greatest and would mean so much to her.
Marce would definitely go, so would Jacky since she was already working in a law firm and was making bank as she had told the psych major in her last few conversations over the span of August. It kind of sucked that she isn’t able to see nor speak to the other as much as she used to back in the old days when they attended the same college up in freshman year. Jacky had left because it had gotten too expensive and they didn’t have the best classes at the college.
Who knows in all honest opinion, it wouldn’t be for another while until her graduation. And she had to pass all of her classes first anyways, so it would make sense as to why she randomly thought about it.
When she spots the familiar license plate she unlocks the car with her keys, opening the back door and unhooking Juneau’s leash from her belt loop, telling him to get into the car before sliding her bag off and putting it next to the dog.
“So how was it?”
“Decent, had to get some paperwork done here and there. But I do have my badge now so I can go there for the second week of classes.”
“Then why did you need to get it before classes started?”
“Niomi had requested it, she wanted me to go there in my free time if I had the chance to get everything set beforehand.”
“That’s understandable. So it’s currently 1:15, is there anywhere you’d like to go for lunch?”
“Not necessarily, I could always eat at work, they serve some pretty good stuff.”
“Alright, so do you want to go home and change?”
“Nah, Kyle already knows that I had my meeting with Niomi so I asked him beforehand if he could get my work outfit from the apartment and take it to work for me. I owe him dinner apparently for it.” The girl pulls out of the parking spot. “So I can just go and clock in early, gives me time to talk to Charlie if he’s there.”
“But… I want you to hang out with me some more.” Sorrow hides itself in the boy’s voice as he looks back out at the scenery of the highway.
“I know it’s just, I have a whole bunch of things to do. And it sucks but--”
“It’s okay, I’d just like it if you make time for me.”
“I can try but I have a lot to do once school starts up again, working both in the college and the hospitals.”
“Do you get any days off?”
“Friday’s are usually my days off unless Kyle calls off to go see his sister at the general hospital.”
“Have you… had contact with your family at all?”
“Not since a long time ago.” She inhales, taking a turn so they would go towards the apartment rather than to the hospital.
“Why are we going home?”
“Just need to drop a few things off, grab a few things.”
“Just, stop asking questions alright? I’m fucking stressed at it is, so shut up.” The boy closes his mouth, crossing his arms and looks out the window with furrowed brows like he’s having yet another toddler tantrum. Lianna focuses back on the road, the adrenaline still high in her system as she turns up the stereo only to turn it back down once they are parked in the parking lot by the house. “We’re here, get out.”
Tobias gets out of the car, slamming the car door shut which makes both the girl and dog jump. He hasn’t said a word to the girl in fifteen minutes and she doesn’t know if it was a right or wrong move to pull. Sure she was fed up with the questions since he really didn’t need to know about Kyle or her relationship with her family at the current moment. Lianna grabs her phone, dialing a number while refilling her water bottle and letting Juneau outside to do his business while she grabbed the last of her things needed to go to her job.
“Hey, you wanna come pick me up?”
“Sure, I’ll be over in a bit. Did… something happen?”
“Possibly, I just… I need to get out of this place pronto.”
“Alright, we can stop and get a bite to eat before work, I’m pretty sure Olivia won’t mind.”
“I don’t think she will, how long until you can stop by?”
“Ight, I’ll be out on the front steps.” She hears the slam of another door which almost makes her drop her phone.
“Lia? You alright?”
“Come here now.”
“Okay, okay, give me a few. Bye Lianna.”
“Bye.” The girl hangs up the phone, trying to suppress the urge to go up to the boy’s room and yell at him but she’s pretty sure neither he or she is in the mood to deal with this sort of thing. He’s just being a little toddler once again, mad that he couldn’t get his way.
Outside she sits on the steps, wanting so badly to have one of Kyle’s cigarettes just to see if that would calm her down from this absolute madness. Juneau lays on her lap, getting soothing head scratches from the girl as he knew she wasn’t in the best of moods. A car pulls up within the next minute, right as she lets out a long sigh.
“Lia! Come on, let’s go.” The bright smile of Kyle leads to a slight smile from herself, she stands up and walks over to the car that was parked right next to hers.
“Kai can we just stay here a bit? Maybe have a bit of a smoke break?”
“Do you want one this badly?”
“Yeah, I’d also like to tell you about why I wanted out.”
“Alright, lets go to the park.” Lianna grins, opening the back car door and putting her things plus the animal in the back before shutting the door and sliding in the front seat, buckling herself in.
Once the two get out of the complex and down the road some more they park on the street, walking over to the path that leads them to the park.
“It’s been awhile since you last asked for one.”
“One what?” He passes over a cigarette as she lets Juneau off his leash for a little bit to run around but not too far. “Oh, yeah it has. I guess a lot has just happened so I need something to--”
“Clear your thoughts? Understandable if you ask me, this year is going to be our hardest yet, and only for the wonderful piece of legal paper that will tell us that we can be therapists and can be in the business.”
“And after those eight terrible years too.”
“Pfft, we’re only still in our twenties.”
“Yeah, kinda impressive if you ask me.”
“It is.” He takes a puff from his cigarette, letting all the smoke out of his already messed up lungs.
“How long until you kick it from those?”
“No clue, my grandma smoked for over half a century, she lived until 98. So probably not for a while.”
“And she didn’t have lung cancer?”
“Nope, wonderful women I’ll tell ya, raised me after both my parents died in a suicide pact.” The girl swallows hard at hearing that statement. She could think of multiple people in her life that have done the same thing, or well, have offed themselves due to a multitude of reasons.
“Well, at least you’re still alive.” Kyle chuckles, grinding the now cigarette butt into the metal bench that they sat on.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I like having you as a friend, coworker, and classmate. I don’t think anything is going to change from that.” She looks at the cigarette some more, inspecting everything that made it an addicting thing to many different people. “Say, Kyle?”
“What made you start smoking? And why did you pick actual cigarettes instead of vaping?”
“Oh, it was after a pretty bad breakup back in senior year of high school. Sarah her name was, kinda like one of those girls from Mean Girls if you think about it. She was popular and I was too, mostly for being known as “That kid who will give you homework”. It was stupid and she used me but it was alright.” The girl hums, sticking out her hand for the lighter that he clutched in his palm.
“That seems rough.”
“It was. Now tell me, why did you want to get out of there?”
“Tobias and his stupid drama queen attitude.” She said harshly, lighting the cigarette before taking a puff of it, coughing and choking a little on the smoke afterwards.
“Slow down L, don’t overdo it. What did he do to make you so… pissed off?”
“I was already stressed from carrying out paperwork and errands for Niomi since I saw her earlier today as I told you last night.” He hums in agreement, looking out at the forest in front of them where they used to play a lot in their younger years of college. “And he kept asking me questions when we were going home and I told him to… well to shut up because I didn’t need his questioning bullshit at the time. And well, he blew up and acted like a toddler.”
“Yeah, I’m just annoyed.”
“That’s understandable, I don’t like people questioning me either, especially with my past.”
“Yeah. How’s your sister by the way?”
“She’s good, the hospital’s taking good care of her.”
“Are you still in disbelief from… what she did?”
“Nope, I’ve accepted it. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.” Lianna flashes the boy a small smile, taking in some of the smoke before letting it out into the air.
“That’s good, she’s a good kid, I still don’t know her motive.”
“Neither do I, she hasn’t told anyone why she did it.” She hums, looking at her watch before putting the cigarette out.
“We should probably get going, I don’t want to get in trouble again.”
“Lia you literally had a panic attack last time, you didn’t get in trouble.”
“That’s probably because I didn’t take my meds.”
“Did you take them today?”
“Yeah, Tobi told me to.” He sighs, putting his hand out to the girl as Juneau starts to run back to the two since Lianna had whistled for him.
“Give me your phone?”
“I’m going to put a reminder on your phone every morning to take your pills.”
“Alright. Thanks for the cigarette by the way.”
“No problem.” She hands over her phone, trusting him enough to just do as he says and not snoop around like he has in the past. A few minutes pass before her phone is given back to her and the two start to leave.