Author: Eleanor aka breespearls
Author's Notes: Thank you, dear readers, for following this fic. I heartily appreciate the time you take to read something I've written. :)
The chapter title is a lyric taken from the James Blunt song Goodbye My Lover. Though when I was writing it, I was listening to Damien Rice's song 9 Crimes. Wow, I don't think I've ever cried so hard while writing, but in writing the last three paragraphs of this story, I was almost destroyed.
“Good morning, Mrs. Van De Kamp. How are you feeling?”
Bree’s eyes fluttered open and bit by bit, her blurry eyesight focused just enough that she could see a woman standing to her right. She most certainly realized that she couldn’t possibly be in her own bed at home as the mattress was rather uncomfortable and unsupportive of her back, but she couldn’t pinpoint exactly where she was. And those lumpy, hard pillows weren’t doing anything for her splitting headache.
“I feel fine,” she mumbled as the sleep retreated from her semi-awakened mind.
“That’s good. I’m just going to take your temperature and get your blood pressure. You don’t have to move at all; you’re fine where you lay.”
Why this lady needed her blood pressure and temperature was beyond Bree. Dutifully, she lifted her arm slightly so the woman could slip the cuff around it. The headache she had was unbelievably painful, like someone had taken an anvil and dropped it on the back of her head. She felt rather strange, like she should remember something, something important.
“Your blood pressure is perfect, Mrs. Van De Kamp. Now I’m just going to put this in your ear to take your temperature and then we’ll be finished.”
It had just occurred to Bree that it might be a good idea to ask this person just who she was and why she needed her stats. Any why exactly wasn’t she home in her own bed!
Mildly more alert to the point that she was able to collect her wits about her and start applying logic to her situation, she inquired of the woman, “I don’t think I’ve met you before. Who are you?”
The lady was smiling when she replied, “My name is Liv and I’m your a.m. nurse.”
Naturally, the worst scenarios popped into her mind. Panicked, she shot up in her bed, though she would instantly regret it as her aching head began pounding and the room around her spun at such a rate that the only consolation was to close her eyes. It helped somewhat, but it didn’t prevent her from feeling like her eyes were rolling around uncontrollably behind their lids.
“Where am I??” she implored distressed and concerned as to why she wasn’t at home.
“Relax, Mrs. Van De Kamp. The doctor will be in here in just a few minutes and she’ll be able to answer any questions you might have. Just sit back and relax.” When she finished writing up Bree’s chart, Liv told her that she’d be back at a later time to see how she was doing.
A quite impatient Bree fastidiously watched the hand of the clock that hung on the wall of her room move precisely fifty-one minutes before she was graced with the presence of a young female doctor. Irked that a few minutes had turned into fifty-one, she wanted answers and now!
“Hello, Mrs. Van De Kamp. I’m Dr. Cohen. Do you remember anything about last night? About how you got here?”
“No,” she started hesitantly. Had something terrible happened? Had she done something?
Dr. Cohen scanned Bree’s chart and informed her, “Well, it seems your daughter found you unconscious in your bed and so she had someone bring you here given your history.”
“What history?” Her heartbeat sped up as anxiety settled in. What had these people been told about her?? Still, she wasn’t understanding what was going on. For God’s sakes, why couldn’t the doctor get to the damn point!
“It looks here that you voluntarily checked yourself into our facility about a month ago. Also, the check-in attendant was told that you had a history of alcoholism.”
“I most certainly do not. I couldn’t imagine who would tell such lies!” Bree gasped incredulously as it dawned on her that she was once again at Fairview Psychiatric Hospital.
The doctor once again glanced at the chart. “Hmmm, well there’s no name on here as to who said what. It just says that a female who identified herself as your daughter and a male accompanied you here. They gave the attendant as much information about you as they knew.”
Instantly, she knew who the “unidentified male” was. Rex. If she’d had a mirror, she swore she would’ve seen smoke coming from her ears. What on earth was he up to?
“For your information, I’m not an alcoholic,” she responded in a crisp tone.
“Bree, I don’t believe in labels. If you’re not an alcoholic, I believe you. But you’re here for a reason and I’d like to help you find out why. I’d like to meet you in about two hours so we can talk and introduce ourselves. Go ahead and get ready, take a shower, brush your teeth, do whatever it is you need to do and I’ll have your nurse escort you to my office. It seems that whomever checked you in last night had packed a bag for you. You’ll find it in the closet.”
Before Bree could say anything else, the doctor was gone, leaving her with more questions than answers. So, Rex was trying to lock her away. The extremes he would go just to punish Bree was ridiculous. As she showered, bits and pieces of the previous night began popping into her mind. She could recall talking to Orson and then Rex coming home and catching them in the kitchen. Then in her mind’s eye, she saw herself running after her husband, begging him not to leave her.
“I’m sorry! I don’t know what else to say. Please don’t leave, Rex! I don’t know what I’ll do without you! I can’t stand losing you again!”
“I’m sure you’ll find something to do, such as finish off the liquor you have hidden in your car...”
The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed in her head and she saw herself retrieving the bottle of wine from her car and drinking it as she looked at old photo albums chock full of pictures of Rex and Andrew and Danielle–her family, her loved ones. There wasn’t much she could remember after that. It wasn’t clear at what point she’d fallen asleep, but she wished to God that Danielle hadn’t found her. Her baby must’ve been so scared when she couldn’t rouse her mother. At any rate, at least her father was there for her and she didn’t have to accompany her mother to the hospital alone. She would be lucky not to find Danielle missing when she returned home. When she thought of the enormous burden she’d inflicted on her little girl, she was filled with tremendous guilt.
But surely drinking a little too much wasn’t incentive enough to lock someone away in a psychiatric hospital! Sure, she’d been a little careless last night when it came to the wine and maybe she shouldn’t have had that much to drink, but it wasn’t illegal to do so! And it was her husband who left her in such an overwrought state! Rex was a doctor, when he found her in the bed, he should’ve known that she was ok and left her alone. It was a sure thing that she would be released as soon as she met with the doctor. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her.
The meeting with the doctor started off with a handshake and a friendly enough greeting. The doctor told her about herself then asked Bree to do the same. As prim as ever, Bree answered each question cheerfully–that is until the doctor ventured into a touchy subject.
“Tell me, Bree, what do you think makes an alcoholic?”
Taken aback, she sniffed indignantly, “Well, certainly not me! I don’t even know why I’m here. Just because my husband calls me an alcoholic, suddenly I’m locked away in here??”
“That’s not exactly what I asked. Let me rephrase the question: what qualities do you possess that would differentiate you from an alcoholic?”
Still miffed, she answered, but a little less pleasantly. “I don’t lay around all day, everyday drunk. I don’t steal from other people to buy alcohol I can’t afford.”
All the while that Bree talked, the doctor scratched her pen rapidly in her yellow notepad. “So, tell me about last night.”
“I wasn’t feeling well. I couldn’t sleep so I had a couple of drinks to help me fall asleep. I don’t do it every night.”
“Why weren’t you feeling well?”
With her lips drawn in a taut line, she responded airily, “I haven’t the slightest idea. Why don’t most people feel well??”
“Had you spoken with or seen anyone prior to feeling ill?”
“Yes, but that had nothing to do with it,” she blatantly lied. Her business was nobody else’s business. She didn’t share her problems with the rest of the world. They were private, for her alone to deal with. However, the doctor noticed that Bree was very quick to justify her actions. In her attempt to seem like a perfectly fine, healthy human being who was wrongly admitted to a psychiatric hospital, she was failing to convince her doctor.
“Tell me about your family.”
Bree sat up a little straighter and readjusted her poise. “My daughter’s name is Danielle. She turned seventeen a couple of months back and I’m dreading her going off to college and leaving me,” she laughed lightly. “She gets such good grades in school, I doubt she’ll have trouble getting in any college she applies to.
“I also have a son, Andrew.”
“Tell me about Andrew,” Dr. Cohen prodded curiously.
“He was on the swim team in high school and he’s my eldest child. When he was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. I was so scared. I thought I’d lose him. However, everything turned out to be fine.”
“Are you married?” Bree bristled, though she hoped the doctor hadn’t noticed. After all the deplorable, despicable things he’d said to her last night, for all she cared her dear husband could rot in hell while maggots ate his flesh.
“What’s his name?”
“Rex is...” What was there to tell really? She really didn’t want to discuss Rex, but if she didn’t discuss him, the doctor would know something was wrong. If she lied through her teeth, which is what she was adept at doing having done it all these years, she’d have to force herself to say nice, affable things about a man that deserved her outright scorn. “Rex is a devoted, caring father.” Behind the smile plastered on her face, she inwardly cringed.
“He’s a good husband, too.” She knew her answers were clipped, but unlike before when she could make up things to make a murderer seem like angel, it seemed harder to lie now.
“What makes him a good husband?”
“He’s always worked hard to see that his family was provided for. He gave me two wonderful children and twenty blessed years of marriage.”
“Have you had any marital problems recently?”
Inwardly, Bree scoffed and rolled her eyes, outwardly, she was all smiles and sweeter than one of her homemade chocolate chip cookies. “Heavens no! I mean, we have our little disagreements, but nothing major.
“Dr. Cohen, I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t belong here. I don’t know why I was brought here because I’m clearly not an alcoholic and I don’t really see the need for this interrogation.”
The doctor stopped writing on her yellow pad of paper and looked Bree in the eye. “I like to get to know all my patients, that’s why we’re here right now. If I may ask, what would make someone say that you’re an alcoholic if you’re clearly not one?”
“I don’t know. Someone made it up...”
“Such as... ?” Dr. Cohen waited patiently for a response.
“I don’t know! I don’t know why anyone would say such an awful thing about me!”
“Is it such an awful thing for someone to be an alcoholic?”
“Yes. Alcoholism is merely a lack of self-control.”
“Do you think you showed a lot of self-control last night?”
“I told you, I just had a couple of drinks to bring on sleep. I’ve been a light sleeper as of late...”
“So, then it should’ve been easy for your daughter to wake you up. But it wasn’t. She said she physically tried to wake you several times but that you were unresponsive.”
Biting her lip, she refrained from showing any reaction at the mention of her daughter. She cast her eyes downward. It was only when the subject of her children crept up in conversations did Bree feel vulnerable emotionally. Andrew and Danielle were, literally, her life. It was her body that they’d called home for nine months, that nurtured them. It was she that borne them into the world, fed them milk from her own breasts and attended to their every need. She felt a special bond with them that she’d never felt with anyone else, not even Rex. He’d made a remark once that just because Andrew had spent a few months in her womb didn’t mean she loved him more than he did. Maybe, maybe not, but her children occupied a special place in her heart that was reserved for only them and Bree felt she was the only person in the world who understood them completely. So, the thought of her inflicting them with unnecessary anguish made her nauseous. She was suppose to be protecting them, not contributing to their suffering.
“Bree?” Dr. Cohen called her attention back to the issue at hand. They had been in the middle of questioning when Bree’s mind began to wander.
Clearing her throat, she answered the doctor, “Yes?”
“What were you thinking about just then?”
“Oh, the rain. It’s sounds so peaceful, don’t you think?” she sighed as she gazed outside thought the office’s window.
“Are you afraid your children are going to leave you?”
“What??” Bree exclaimed, thoroughly shocked by the nature of the question, or rather by the insinuation. “Nonsense. Why do you ask such a thing?”
“When I asked about your children, you said that Danielle would be going off to college and that you’re dreading it and that you were afraid of losing your son at birth because he had a cord wrapped around his neck.”
“I’m sure every parent has the same fears that I do.”
“Does your husband?”
“I–I don’t know,” she faltered. The question had caught her off guard and she didn’t have time to fabricate an answer.
“Why do you worry about your children abandoning you?”
“I don’t worry about them abandoning me...”
“How do you think your daughter will react when you return home?”
Shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders, Bree didn’t know how to answer the that. She really wasn’t sure what Danielle would do or say. There was a chance, though, that she had at last irrevocably damaged her fragile relationship with her daughter. It was already hard enough trying to assert her parental authority over her strong-willed child and it would be difficult to try and act like a parent when it was Danielle who had to care for her mother during one of her “episodes”. Would she run away again? Would she use the incident to justify misbehavior, saying if she was adult enough to look after her mother and get her to a hospital the she was adult enough to do as she wished?
“I’m not sure how Danielle will react. That’s what scares me,” she admitted.
“What are some of her past reactions? Does she tend to keep her feelings inside or does she act out?”
When it came down to it, Bree would do anything for her children, even if it meant revealing secrets that could destroy the perception that she had a happy family and perfect life–a facade that she’d tried in vain to maintain all these years. In all truthfulness, Bree didn’t think that Danielle would stand for her mother coming home and attempt to act the responsible parent. She would have to prove to Danielle that she was capable of being the same mother who went to the Jennings’ house and restored order and prevented her daughter from being raped. Not only did she have something to prove to her daughter, but to her son, as well.
A lump formed in her throat at the thought of Andrew. It was the longest she’d ever been away from him. There was a sorrowful longing inside her that had formed the day she dropped him off. A day hadn’t gone by that she’d hadn’t thought about what he was doing or where he was at and if he was ok. If she’d had any inkling as to his whereabouts, she would’ve dropped what she was doing and set out to fetch him. If he ever decided to come back home, how could she expect him to show her respect and love her when she’d so easily shoved him off in the world to fend for himself? How could she have done such a thing?!
“Bree, what are those tears for?” Dr. Cohen grabbed a couple of tissues and walked over to sit down beside Bree. Bree took the tissues and gingerly dabbed her eyes with them. It took her a while to speak as despair consumed her. Her chest felt tight and her stomach was weak, exacerbated by the fact that she had just come to terms with the fact that she’d lost her husband, too. For a second time, even. It seemed that all her life, no matter how hard she endeavored, those closest to her deserted her, starting with her mother who, through no fault of her own, left her child to clean her blood from the street. But there was hope for her children, wasn’t there? There was still a chance that she could regain their confidence. It might take a while and a lot of work, but she could do it. The only consolation in losing Rex was that she wouldn’t, and couldn’t, lose Danielle or Andrew.
“Ok, Dr. Cohen, I’ve changed my mind. I’m going to stay here, for a few days anyway, because there are some things that I need to work out and I could use your expertise.”
Shocked at the sudden change in her patient’s demeanor, she was a bit delayed in answering, “That’s good, that’s very good. The first step to getting help is to admitting that you need help. You’ve made a good choice today.”
“I need to do this for my children. I’ve already lost my husband and on some level, I’ve lost them, too, but I’m praying it’s not too late for Andrew and Danielle and that me being their mother means something to them.”
Hurrying back behind her desk, the doctor grabbed her pen and paper and prepared to write a plethora of notes.
“I’m curious, what is causing you to fear losing your children?”
“Because I’ve already lost my son and my daughter ran away from home a couple of months ago.”
“Is that why you checked yourself into the hospital?”
“Partially. It’s also the reason why I left.”
“What are some other reasons?”
“Rex left me all the sudden in May of last year. Then right before I entered the hospital, Andrew... well, Andrew–actually, I abandoned him.”
Dr. Cohen nodded in comprehension; pieces of the puzzle were finally beginning to come together. “So, it sounds like you’ve had to deal with a lot of abandonment issues in your immediate family. When was the first time you felt abandoned?”
Against the backdrop of the soft rain falling unassumingly outside and the dimly lit office of Dr. Cohen, Bree took herself back to that horrible day that she swore she’d never think about again. There, in the street of her childhood home, a little girl with the same flaming red hair scrubbed at the concrete in earnest, struggling to remove the blood that had dried there. It had only been a few hours since her mother had been picked up off the street, her life swiftly taken by a hit and run driver. That was her first memory of being truly alone. For years she’d carried the guilt of hating her mother for leaving her with a father who was soon to be whisked away by a cold, undemonstrative woman who would become her step-mother.
At this point, Bree carefully avoided the eyes of Dr. Cohen, preferring to concentrate on the rain. Absentmindedly, she added, “Rex wanted to give Danielle my mother’s name, but I wouldn’t let him. It would’ve been too painful.”
“Tell me, what made Rex leave last year?”
Bree thoughtfully contemplated her reply and delayed responding for several minutes. It would be hard to bare the things she’d kept hidden for so long, that have been so ingrained in who she had become, that it would be nothing less than painful to purge it in order to become the person she needed to be. For her kids, though, she would go to hell and back. And at one time, she would’ve done it for Rex, too. Uncomfortably, she eventually freed a decade-old deeply buried truth which marked the true beginning of her recovery.
“He left because I became someone he didn’t know. I’m not the person he married. That person burned toast and washed the reds with the whites. I deserted him first. Do you know what it feels like to be consumed with so much love for someone and devote your whole life to him but at the same time be afraid to wake up one day and find that he’s gone, like so many others in your life?? Purposely, I suppose I diverted my attention from him and onto other things like housework and crafts and baking--things that were constant, things that I could fall back on when Rex left. Gradually, I withdrew from him, but it was only to save myself. So, really, it was I that drove him away.
“Now, since you’ve got the story out of me, I would like to go back to my room. I’m rather tired.”
Dr. Cohen nodded, but Bree didn’t see it as she was already out the door and on her way to her room.
At Fairview Psychiatric Hospital, patients weren’t allowed to have visitors the first forty-eight hours upon being admitted. Bree didn’t want any visitors whatsoever and specifically instructed her nurses to turn away anyone who came to the hospital wanting to see her. Her current state of mind wasn’t quite up for receiving visitors who would come bearing unspoken questions and accusations. Her demons were her own and it hurt her to think that she was a burden to her family and friends. Her step-mother had taught her to keep up appearances and to maintain a stiff upper lip for propriety’s sake. Those who spoke of their problems were weak. It was difficult enough for Bree to admit that she was a failure to herself without letting everyone else know about her shortcomings. Obstinately, she secluded herself in her room and kept herself busy with solitary activities. If she stayed productive and active, then perhaps it would take her mind off the fact that she was confined to a psychiatric facility. Sometimes she genuinely appreciated being removed from her problems and welcomed the peace the hospital afforded her. Though the doctor has suggested that she receive a few visitors, Bree flatly refused. She didn’t want anyone to see her this way. There was one person, though, whose volition was more stubborn than that of Bree’s.
“Mrs. Van De Kamp?” a nurse entered Bree’s room one afternoon as she was knitting in a chair in the corner by her window.
Bree was startled by the unexpected interruption. Her days were normally quiet and private. “Yes?”
The young female nurse hesitated, “I know you told the staff that you didn’t want any visitors, but there’s someone who wants–or should I say ‘demands’–to see you.”
“Just tell them to go away.”
“We tried Mrs. Van De Kamp, but she’s determined that she won’t leave until she sees you.”
“I told you that under no circumstance do I want to see anyone–”
“I know, I know, but this is an exception. If you don’t see this person, we’ll have to call the police and we would rather you try to talk sense into your guest rather than have the cops forcibly remove them from the property.”
In her mind, she ran through a list of the people who could possibly know she was here and want to visit her. Still, she couldn’t begin to guess who was waiting to see her.
Sighing, she relented, “Ok, show whoever it is in here.”
Because Bree wasn’t on suicide watch and wasn’t considered a threat, she was given privileges which included guests in her room. Laying her knitting needles on the bedside table, she nervously awaited the pending visitor. All that she asked was that it not be Rex or Danielle because at the moment she was still severely angry with her husband and she couldn’t face her daughter.
God must’ve been listening to Bree that day because the person who popped through her door was none other than Lynette Scavo.
“Hi honey!” Lynette greeted her friend brightly. She bounced over to Bree and enveloped her in a warm hug which a stunned Bree didn’t immediately return.
“Lynette, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m really not up to seeing anyone right now.”
Lynette sat down in the other chair opposite the one Bree had vacated just a couple of minutes ago and dug around in her purse. “Don’t worry, they only gave me an hour. Bring that coffee table over here and sit it between us. Up for a game of Blackjack?”
“Not really,” said Bree as she moved the table to Lynette’s designation.
When Bree sat down, Lynette began dealing the cards, ignoring Bree’s subtle pleas to be left alone. Casually, she struck up a conversation as though they had been sitting on her front porch rather than a psychiatric hospital. “I saw Susan yesterday. Mike’s still doing the same, no changes. She so desperately wants to find who hit him and make them pay. I’d probably want to do the same if I were in the same situation. Actually, I think I’d rather be the one in the coma. I’ll tell you, having five kids running around the house all day long is draining. I could use the break,” she laughed.
“Did I tell you her house is going to be rebuilt? She’s going to be meeting with a contractor next Tuesday and they’re going to go over some plans. She’s excited to be getting out of that RV.
“Gaby and Carlos aren’t doing much better. He moved into an apartment across town, but he went over to Gaby’s the other night to get something and I don’t know what happened, but he was running out the front door with Gaby behind him screaming and threatening to kill him. Everyone in the neighborhood heard them! I think Mrs. McClusky called the police because they pulled up not more than five or ten minutes after the fight moved out into the street. One of the cops had to physically pick Gaby up and separate her and Carlos.
“And, of course, Nora has struck again. Everywhere I go, there she is. Tom and I can’t do anything with the kids without her tagging along. She actually followed us to the park the other day and we couldn’t play with the kids because she was taking Tom’s attention away from them by bending over in her short skirt or joining in the games. You know, for the first time in my life I really wished I could get physically violent with someone else, but surprisingly it wasn’t at Nora, but Tom! You’d think he’d step up and be a man and tell her that we want to be a family with Kayla and not with her! I wouldn’t mind if Nora joined us every once in a while if it relates to Kayla, but it’s like she’s trying to be the sixth child and let me tell you, I wasn’t even expecting to have four and five is pushing it. Six is unnegotiable!”
Touched, Bree wordlessly got up and went over to Lynette and threw her arms around her friend.
“I know what you’re doing,” explained Bree in simple gratitude. “Thank you.”
Lynette grinned coyly, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Bree. Get back in that chair and play Blackjack like a woman.”
The uncertainty with which Lynette had visited her friend evaporated as soon as she had extracted a smile from Bree’s hollow face. She didn’t know how Bree would react because Lynette knew she wouldn’t have wanted any visitors. All she wanted to do was let Bree know that she had a friend who would wait for her and support her no matter what happened.
As Bree picked a card up from the pile that lay in the middle of the table, she inquired of Lynette, “So, how exactly did you convince the powers-that-be to see me? I told them that didn’t want to see anyone.”
“I know. You’re a hard person to get in touch with, but Lynette Scavo has her devious ways. After all, I have three boys and Nora at home to learn from.”
“And they just let you in here?”
“Well, I did tell them I’d kill myself if I didn’t get to see you. I figured since they work in a psychiatric setting they know better than to take that kind of threat lightly.”
“Lynette, you didn’t! They–they might think you’re crazy or... or...”
“Or a distraught girlfriend...” Lynette offered with a wink. The two women then dissolved into a fit of giggles. Bree held her stomach she was laughing so hard. She couldn’t believe Lynette would say something like that!
Once the ruckus faded, Bree asked her friend in a more serious tone, “How did you know I was here?”
“Are you sure you want to talk about it?” Lynette countered, concerned that perhaps Bree should think about something else for the time being since she probably reflected on her current situation every minute of every day she was there.
“Yes, I’m sure,” pressed Bree.
“The night you were brought here, Danielle stayed with Julie at Karl’s house. Susan learned of it when she picked up the girls to take them home. Susan swore to me, Bree, that she didn’t tell anyone else because she was certain you wouldn’t want anyone to know.”
Bree nodded. “Is Danielle with Rex?”
“Yeah. He hurried back from wherever he was the morning after you were admitted to be with Danielle–“
“Wait,” she interrupted in bewilderment, “Rex wasn’t with me when I was taken to the hospital?”
“Because my doctor told me that Danielle was there along with a male who gave them my information. I just assumed it was Rex.”
“Really? That’s odd. Danielle didn’t mention to Susan that anyone else had been there with her.”
Gleefully, Lynette laid her cards on the table in victory. “Bree, you’re going to have to sharpen your skills if you want to play this game with me. I’m already kicking your ass.”
During Bree’s stint in the hospital, Lynette visited every day, always staying for an hour and always bringing Bree the latest news and gossip from Wisteria Lane and occasionally a chocolate chip cookie that hadn’t been devoured by one of the Scavo kids. They’d play a card game or talk or occasionally they’d do both. Not only did she enjoy Lynette’s company, but it allowed Lynette an hour away from her brood. It was to Lynette’s astonishment when the usually tightlipped housewife began to open up to her, telling her of the problems she’d experienced with her kids and Rex. She didn’t go into detail and she didn’t spill all of her secrets, just the troubles that were badgering her mind. There were instances in which Bree’s doctor session was scheduled prior to visiting hours, and happy sessions were few and far in between, so it was up to Lynette to comfort and cheer her friend, which she did without a word of complaint.
Bree had the arduous task of seeing Dr. Cohen for an hour every day. Despite the fact that at the beginning of each session she initially resisted opening up and exposing her soul to be analyzed and brutally picked apart, she knew she had to surrender her psyche or else be doomed to spend the rest of her life in the hospital or worse, lose the respect and affection of her children. Against her wishes, she’d also started attending AA meetings, though she declined to share her own story. She was vehement in her belief that she wasn’t an alcoholic, but Dr. Cohen convinced her that sitting in on the meeting couldn’t do her any harm. With the doctor’s help, she uncovered deep-seeded problems and fears that had made her want to drink and through therapy, learned how to cope with the issues that were causing hurdles in her life. Before long, she began to feel that a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Her thinking was clearer now, the sadness was for the most part gone and even though she still had a proclivity to ignore issues that caused her extreme discomfort and become dependent upon household chores rather than seeking emotional support, she knew how to recognize the signs of dependency and deal with them on the spot instead of allowing them to build up inside her.
Three weeks to the day after Bree had entered the hospital she was released. Ecstatic, she only wanted to go home and find Danielle and apologize for causing her so much trouble. She recalled the last time she apologized to her and promised things would change and instantly became apprehensive. If Danielle didn’t forgive her, she’d be crushed, as she didn’t just spend three weeks in the hospital for herself, but for her daughter, too. Perhaps if she talked to Danielle and told her some of the things she’d told the doctor, then maybe she could find forgiveness for her mother one more time. First, however, there was somewhere she had to be.
Although Bree left the hospital feeling differently than she did before she went in, she still hadn’t forgiven Rex for the insensitive things he’d flung at her the night he packed and left. In her heart, she knew her marriage had become a catastrophe that she couldn’t save. Even Rex had told her that it had ended before he’d left the first time and maybe that was true. Over the last three weeks there had been many a night she’d laid in bed and thought that perhaps she hadn’t clung to Rex so much because she loved him, but because she was dependent upon him. It really wasn’t fair to hold him back and it wasn’t fair to herself, either. The both of them deserved some peace and happiness and so did their children. They’d tried to put their marriage back together, but the fighting callously devoured all the effort they’d managed to put forth. It simply wasn’t worth trying anymore. Revenge hadn’t entered her mind nor did she want to hurt Rex, but she hoped that by ending such a poisonous partnership, she could put the whole disaster out of her mind and in the past. That’s why Bree’s first trip out of the hospital was to a divorce lawyer.
It took a few days, but once the papers were drawn up and Rex and his lawyer had been notified, they all met to divide the assets. Unlike the first time the Van De Kamps had attempted divorce, this time around Bree hadn’t been so eager for this meeting to take place. She’d wanted all of this to be over so she could start putting it behind her. Without saying a word, they sat perfectly still and listened to their lawyers explain the process and what would happen and how it worked. Every now and then, Bree would sneak a glance at Rex only to see that his thoughts had taken him somewhere far away from the table and the discussion they were suppose to be having with their lawyers.
When it was time to split the possessions, neither husband nor wife said a thing at first. Only when gently prodded by his lawyer to make a claim did Rex say anything at all.
“Take everything, Bree,” Rex offered quietly and in a voice that ever so slightly cracked and quavered. “I won’t be needing anything.” He couldn’t quite look at his soon-to-be ex-wife in the face. He appeared beaten down and sleep-deprived, yet disquieted, as though any minute he’d get up and run out of the room.
“No, Rex, you’re entitled to half the assets. Please, just take whatever you want,” she said just as shakily, wanting him to get mad and say something heinous so that she’d have a justifiable reason to be angry or spiteful... to feel anything other than what she felt at that moment.
Slowly, Rex arose from the table. Bree meticulously noted each of his subconsciously articulated movements and the doleful expression he wore as he tread across the room like a defeated man knowing the end had come but powerless to do anything about it. For the first and last time that day, his eyes met hers and he spoke, masking none of the emotions which unmistakably tormented him. “No. What I want, I can’t have.” He then walked out the door and was gone. Bree sat motionless and stared at the door. Such an uncomplicated act, walking through a door, yet it was so meaningful.
She tried telling herself that what she was doing was in the best interest of all involved, however three months later when the divorce was finalized, she still hadn’t found the closure she so desperately sought. It was now up to time to heal the hurt and pain she carried within her.