Love And Other Drugs
A Cure For The Holiday Blues
The flight from LA to Ohio had been long. Actually it had been a pretty short flight, but Andy could tell that for Luxe it had been unbearable. It was obvious that the small girl was terrified to fly as she was shaking while they sat at the gate. The morning had been wonderful-waking up was strange but as soon as Andy remembered who it was sleeping beside him, he only smiled and curled up against Luxe's back. Her hair smelled like apples, her skin was soft and she murmured happily in her sleep as the two of them stayed like that until Andy's alarm went off.
The two of them rushed around, trying to get everything ready to hit the road and then there had been the issue of showering. Both of them needed to, but Andy only had the one bathroom and for a moment there was the thought of showering together. Then Luxe, in her completely sober state, realized that she could go back to her place, shower, change and that would solve their problems.
Andy then waited outside in the hallway, their bags at his feet with his arms crossed over his chest while Luxe got herself ready. She then appeared in a dark grey sweater, a pair of dark wash skinny jeans and some brown boots. Her blonde hair was straight but unteased and her makeup was subtle.
She looked so different, but wonderful all the same.
"So are you ready to meet my parents?" Andy asked as they walked through the Ohio airport, hand in hand to keep up appearances. Usually when Andy went home he was left alone-no photographers and minimal fan interaction, but still Alex would kill them if they dropped their act in public.
"Ready as I'll ever be. I'm just worried that they won't like me..." Luxe sounded so scared and Andy only smiled as he squeezed her hand softly. They were walking towards the car rental counter-they still had a two hour drive to his parents house in Cincinnati.
"They'll love you! Dad was just telling me the other day that he was hoping they would get the chance to meet you before we went off to Europe. Mom is a big fan of your music-she loves when girls can rock out." His smile was easy and it made her smile. The two of them stood at the counter silently while Andy got the keys and then they began to walk off in the direction the counter attendant sent them.
"Do they...do they know about us?" Luxe asked as they continued to walk until suddenly Andy stopped right beside a white SUV. This was their ride and without answering Luxe, Andy took her bag from her hands and moved to place it in the backseat.
"They know I care about you, but they also know that Alex has made our relationship and friendship out to be something much more than it really is." He said with a smirk. Luxe sighed as she got in to the SUV-this was going to be so confusing.
"So that means..."
"We're friends who are spending a Holiday together at my parent's house." Andy said as he got in beside her, smiling while he started the vehicle.
The two of them lapsed in to a silence that was normal-it wasn't uncomfortable and there was nothing hidden inside of the silence other than contemplation. It was strange for Luxe to have a normal holiday-she'd never celebrated Thanksgiving before, not even as a kid. There had been one year where her parents had tried to do a dinner for the holiday, but then her mother had spent all of their food money on two days worth of heroin.
After that Luxe made herself scarce on the holiday, usually she would spend it downtown in the park, sitting on the vacant swing set as other families walked around her, trying to get to their destinations.
She had never known what it was like to have a normal family-Luxe didn't come from a normal family and so to think that she would be having her first Thanksgiving with Andy and his was making her nervous. She needed her Valium-she needed to calm down, but after last night she knew she had to be careful.
She was treading on thin ice, tempting a part of her that could easily get out of control and that scared Luxe to death. Her mother had been a dope fiend, her father an alcoholic and Luxe knew those same traits ran through her blood. Sighing she let her head come to rest against the back of the seat and she glanced out her window.
The naked trees waved to her in the soft cold wind as she passed and Luxe smiled-she had never seen the leaves change before. Trees in Bufford didn't change because it was always warm and so other than when they were touring the East Coast, Luxe hadn't seen much of the changing foliage.
Andy had told her that it got pretty cold in Ohio in the late fall and Luxe was thankful for her thick sweater and new boots. It wasn't the look Alex wanted for her-even though both her sweater and jeans were dark-but Luxe wanted to make a good impression on Andy's parents. She had never met them and even though she and Andy were only friends, Luxe still wanted them to like her.
Her own parents hated her and so Luxe was desperate for someone to like her...maybe even love her. Sighing heavily, Luxe looked over at Andy and noticed that his brows were furrowed as he drove and his left leg was wiggling up and down quickly. He seemed agitated-the complete opposite of what he should be while going home for the holidays. She wanted to ask him if he was okay, but Luxe was worried about saying the wrong thing-she was a bundle of nerves at the moment.
"Hey-you okay?" She said, taking the plunge. Andy sighed before looking at her and Luxe could see in his bright blue eyes that he was thinking about something.
"Yeah, yeah I'll be okay. I just don't come back here often...bad memories and all." Andy admitted and Luxe only looked at him. She had thought that Andy came home often-his relationship with his parents seemed so healthy...normal.
"Oh...oh I didn't realize. You seem so close with your parents I thought you came back home a lot." Luxe said and Andy only smirked at her as he kept his blue eyes on the road.
"Yeah well-this town didn't do much for me when I was a kid and so I hate coming back here. Usually mom and dad fly out to LA and stay at my place." He explained and Luxe only nodded.
They had entered a residential area and Luxe hadn't even realized that they had been in the car for over two hours. Getting lost in your own thoughts sure made the time fly and now they were curving around streets that were lined with pretty nice houses. All of them two or three stories, with manicured lawns that probably looked really nice in the spring and summer time, but right now the grass was brown, dead and covered in patches of an early snow fall that was still melting.
Luxe hadn't ever lived in a neighborhood like this-she had lived in a trailer and walked past places like this on her way to school in her dirty clothes and worn shoes.
Finally they came to a stop outside of a nice looking three story house that had light blue shingles and a tall roof that looked like it had just been redone. They were sitting at the end of the driveway, behind a small white car and there was another larger SUV sitting beside that. The garage had an orange and black banner spread across it, proclaiming this Bengals Country.
Luxe noticed that Andy was shaking slightly as they sat there and she wasn't sure what she should do. Silently Luxe reached over, grabbing for Andy's hand and squeezing it. He looked at her, giving her a small smile until finally he reached out and opened his door.
The two of them got out of the car and Luxe stood by as Andy moved around, getting their bags out of the back. The street was silent-peaceful-until suddenly there was a gasp and then a skinny pair of arms wrapped around her neck. She was being hugged-something that Luxe was not used to, but she instinctively wrapped her arms around the person in front of her and hugged back.
The woman pulled away and immediately Luxe could see where Andy got his gorgeous blue eyes from. The woman, obviously Andy's mom, was now looking at her with a wide smile on her face and her blue eyes filled with tears. A man, with a smirk filled smile was hugging Andy and it was obvious by his height that this was Andy's father.
"Mom, Dad-this is my friend Lucinda. Lucinda-this is my mother, Amy and my father, Chris." Andy said as the two adults and their son faced the girl who was standing at the end of the driveway. Luxe smiled at Amy and the older woman hugged her son around his middle before walking over to the newcomer.
"It's really nice to meet you Lucinda. Andy's told us all about you." Amy was saying with a smile on her lips and Lucinda only nodded. This was so strange-seeing a mother and father loving on their son instead of screaming at him and calling him worthless.
"It's really nice to meet you as well." She said with a smile and the small little family began to walk towards the front of the house.
As Luxe got closer to the front door, she could smell a wonderful scent that made her stomach grumble. It smelled like cinnamon, butter and pumpkin-a smell that Luxe instantly recognized from her time working at the diner as the scent of baking pumpkin pie. The inside of the Biersack's home was lovely-nicely decorated for the holiday with a ceramic turkey sitting on the fireplace mantle and there were small photos of Andy sitting all around the front living room.
Luxe let her hand trail across a high shelf as she walked past, seeing smiling school photos of Andy and then she was being led in to another living room.
This room was more relaxed-with a long leather couch against one wall and two brown leather armchairs were sitting facing the television. A football game was playing and as Luxe looked around she noticed that Andy's platinum records from his first two albums were lovingly hung on one wall, along with a few BVB posters on another. One of the armchairs swiveled around and an older gentleman was sitting there, his glasses sitting low on his nose and he was smiling at her.
Andy smirked as he walked towards the older man-Luxe hadn't even realized that he was standing beside her-and she watched as the two of them embraced. Then Andy turned towards her, smiling as he motioned for her to come closer.
"Luce-this is my grandfather." He said and Luxe only nodded as she approached the older man. The way he sat there, smiling at her and then looking up at his grandson, Luxe could tell that this little family was incredibly close.
"It's really nice to meet you." Luxe said as she shook the gnarled hand in front of her and smiled at the old man.
"Very nice to meet you dear. Andrew has told me a lot about you...he's says you're very talented." She blushed at this and then took a seat on the couch and turned towards the television. The football game was playing and Luxe noticed that Chris kept looking around the corner, his eyes keeping track of where the ball was as he helped his wife in the kitchen.
"You okay Luce?" Andy asked as he took a seat beside her and grabbed for her hand. It was strange sitting in someone's family home, smelling the delicious food his mother was cooking and knowing that this family loved on another like a family should.
"Fine...this is really great Andy...thanks for bringing me." She smiled at him, leaning in to kiss his cheek as they both lapsed back into silence.
Soon enough they would all come together at the dining room table and have a Thanksgiving meal that would forever mean something to Luxe. This would always be the perfect Thanksgiving for her.