Chapter 15

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I opened the car's door and give Jimmy a kiss.

"Hi baby, I missed you," he says, "How was the dinner?"

"Like you predicted. Boring."

He laughs.

***

My mom was sitting in her room watching TV when we enter.

"Hi mom," I say

"My baby girl!" she gives me a hug. "Oh, you bring the boyfriend..." she smiles when she sees Jimmy. "Hello, I'm the mother."

"Hello, Mrs. Pollak. It's great to finally meet you."

"Oh call me Edith, please. I don't use that last name anymore, Jimmy," she chuckles. "I am so happy to finally meet you two. I am a big fan of your show! As a matter of fact, there are a big pool of people who watch your show every night. I told them I know you, but they wouldn't believe. Would you mind going with me to meet them all? That'll teach them a lesson."

"Mom!" I say

Jimmy laughs, "It's fine. I would love to meet them, Edith."

"Oh thank you," she gets off the bed and tries to put her slippers on. Jimmy immediately bows down, takes her slippers and place it on her feet.

"Oh..." mom looks at me, "Aren't you just adorable. Thank you."

"No problem, Edith..." he smiles

"Now if you can just follow me..." she walks toward the door, "Oh you would not believe the competition in here. It's like high school, I'm telling you! Someone would brag that her son is the CEO of whatever, or married to a CEO... Gosh, I cannot wait until they see you!" Mom keeps jabbering all the way we walk.

"But I'm sure you're the most popular girl here, Edith. So you don't have hard time. All the boys are fighting to get your attention?" Jimmy smiles.

Mom laughs, "Oh, I'm trying Jimmy. I'm trying."

I look at Jimmy, "Dude. Quit trying too hard."

He chuckles.

***

Jimmy greets everyone in the entire common room. He talks and shakes everybody's hand, while my mom introduces him as 'my daughter's boyfriend'. Jimmy spends time talking to each and everyone of them, and try to make them laugh.

Since this would take long, I presume, I told them I was going to take care of the administrative things.

"Hello, Pamela, how are you?" the Head Counselor says when I walk into her office.

"Good, thank you. How are you?"

"Oh you know, busy..." she smiles. "So you're ready to hear about your mom's progress? It's a good news."

"That's good."

"She is recovering very nicely and she has been sober all this time. I am confident that we don't have to keep her here for 2 years. A year would be enough."

"But the court recommended..."

"I know. But I'm the doctor," she smiles, "Your mom is doing so well, I can even let her go now! But it's a common perception among addicts that relapse possibility is still high in their first year, so I do recommend she stays. But other than that Pam, I think you have nothing to worry about."

"That's great, doc."

"Now, I spoke to your mom's PA about the payment and she asked me to speak to you first."

"Yes, I have the authority to my mom's account."

"Is that so? Alright then, so you will be the one to sign?"

"Yes."

"But Pam..." she pauses, "You know later on, when she's about to be released, I'm gonna need your father's signature, right? We spoke about this."

"My mom's divorce case is ongoing. If we can have it settled within a year, there will be no need."

"Yes, that's true."

I nod, "Alright then. So where should I sign?"

***

After I checked and signed every paper they hand me, I walk back to the common room. Mom and Jimmy are no longer there. One of the nurses told me they went over to the lake.

I find them laying on the green grass facing the pond. Mom is telling Jimmy a story, which makes Jimmy laugh. It strikes me as the most beautiful view to look at: two people I love the most.

"Hey," Jimmy says when I approach them, "Did you get all sorted out?"

"Yes," I sit next to them and say to my mom, "Mom, they told me you are recovering very well, and if you continue this progress, you will be let out in less than a year."

"Really?" she cries in excitement, "Oh that is wonderful. I mean, I love it here but it gets boring sometimes."

"I know," I rub her knee, "We're gonna live together again, okay. I will find a bigger apartment for us to move in."

"Oh you're not gonna send me into a home? I thought you would do that."

"Mom I would never send you into a home. You're way too young and pretty to stay there."

She smiles, "Oh thank you darling. That is a good news, really."

"Yeah but will you promise me though, you will keep up with the progress and you won't relapse?"

"I promise. Why would I throw away my 3 years of sobriety down the drain? I have had it hard."

"It happens mom, you know that very well."

"I won't honey, I promise. I'm a new person now."

"Alright then," I smile

"Now if we live together, can I bring a friend home? I mean, I was talking to Stella the other day, you know Stella right, hun? That nice lady in room 408... She agrees I should go out and date again. It will help me in my new path."

Jimmy chuckles.

***

Jimmy insists we stay longer to have dinner with my mom and her friends. So we did.
We end up leaving the place at about 8 pm. We walk hand-in-hand to the car.

"So how do you think I did?" he asked

"You were sooo charming I think everyone at that dinner table are falling madly in love with you."

"I only cared about what your mom thinks."

"Dude, you killed it," I say, "She loves you."

He stops walking and looks at me. He takes my chin in his hand and says, "Well, I love you, Pamela."

"I love you too," I say before our lips find each other.

And that night, we finally make love.

***

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