“That´s it, you either give it up or give me up! I´m outta here if you don´t stop it” April said.
Bruno could not hear her because of the Wifi signal that buzzed in his head and scrambled his thoughts. At least he thought it did. A long with many other things that were going through his mind that indeed were not true, at least not in this dimension. In fact, there was nothing for him to give up. He was having what his doctors called episodes of psychotic behavior and he was blaming his actions on heroin use. The truth was, Bruno doesn´t even drink coffee, let alone do drugs.
Bruno was in a semi-lucid state for the moment. He had to think of a way out of this. He loved April and didn´t want to lose her. On the other hand, due to past experience, he knew that this could go on for at least another few weeks and up to a few months. He didn´t want her to know about this side of him, yet. He had an idea.
“April, I choose you. I´ll go to rehab” he said.
Tears welled up in April´s eyes, “Oh, I love you. You´ll get through this. I´ll be there for you” she said.
Bruno had no money. During this last episode, he lost his job and spent every last dime of he had in Atlantic City. When he is in this state he is more likely to engage in high risk behaviors. April was not that bright, so it was easy to get her to believe things.
“Give me 70 bucks so I can get a bus ticket” Bruno asked in a commanding tone.
“For what?” she asked.
“For bus fare to get to rehab” he answered.
“Oh yeah, of course. Here´s $200. I made good tips last night” she said and handing him a crumpled up wad of bills with pride that swirled in her stomach. “When are you going to go?” she asked.
“I think I should go immediately before temptation makes me change my mind” he said. What he really meant was, before he loses his feeble, finger tip only, current grip on reality.
“But if you go tonight, I cannot see you off. Make it tomorrow” she whined.
“No, it´s gotta be tonight” he said.
“Ok. Where are you going?” she asked.
Bruno looked around for an idea. Eureka. A bag of gold fish crackers. “Pepperidge Farms” he said looking at April crooked to see if she bought it, he nervously added “it´s a government run thing, free even” he said, now convinced she believed him.
After a long embrace, April said to Bruno, “Get better”
“I will” he answered.
On his way to the bus terminal, where he intended to buy a ticket to Akron, Ohio and wait out this episode with an aunt, the city started to turn into a jungle. “Oh shit” he whispered to himself as he felt reality become rather slippery.
As the cab pulled up to the terminal, Bruno was already planning how he would enter without getting attacked by the jaguar he saw following them for the past three traffic lights.
He skillfully made it through the front door of the terminal and as he wheezed deeply to catch his breath he said to the cashier, “One ticket to Atlantic City, please”