A week later and Craig called him.


"Hi. How are you?"

"Fine. How are you? How's Ang?"

It was no answer, his fine. It was small talk. But Joey was okay with that. It was just a way to communicate. So he told him about the new house and Ang's new school and the like.

"Have you talked to anyone else?" Joey said.

"Like who?"

"Like Ellie, Marco, Ashley?" He realized he only knew the high school friends that Craig hadn't seen for nearly a year before this gig in Toronto. Who was it he was hanging out with in Vancouver?

"No," Terse, forbidding. Sore spot. He supposed Craig had burned some bridges.

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"How is he?" Caitlin, the long distance as nothing with the clear connection.

"I don't know. Not too good," She laughed, surprising him.

"Joey, he's in rehab, how good do you expect him to be?"

"I guess you're right,"


Up late nights, drinking too much coffee or tea or wine, wishing for some nice little addiction of his own to take his mind off of things. No such luck. He couldn't get around the thoughts of his own culpability. Craig had done the coke of his own free will. It wasn't his fault.

Maybe he should have got him counseling when he first moved in with him, certainly when his father had died. Maybe Craig had all these undealt with issues and he, as the adult, should have foreseen that. Jesus, his father had beaten him, for years! He was just supposed to forget it? Both his parents died by the time he was 14...and he had him and Angela, a step-father and half-sister, but it didn't make up for the trauma. What an emotional wreck Craig was, and he'd just let him go like nothing was wrong. Even the bipolar, Ashley got him to go to Ellie's group, which obviously hadn't been enough.

The guilt made it hard to breath. He hadn't dealt with any of it, hadn't helped Craig through the landmine of his emotions. And once they fast tracked him through rehab, which he was more convinced wouldn't be any sort of permanent solution, what would he do then?

Dark night, dark thoughts. He knew what would happen. Craig would go back to the rock star life and back to drugs, and he could OD and die and all his chances would be gone.


30 days and it was done. The 30 day mark was nearing. Joey visited Craig in the room set aside for that purpose, and he could see Craig had gained weight, wasn't quite so gaunt. He reminded him of how he had looked in high school, more and more.

"So, you're almost out of here," Joey said, and tried on a smile that didn't quite fit.


He wanted to order Craig to stay with him, to not get sucked up into that fast lane life right away. But Craig was 19, free to do as he chose. He'd have to word it in a less threatening way.

"When you get out, would you like to stay with Ang and me for awhile? We've missed you," It was true. The pause, the beat of silence. Please, Julia, let him stay. Let me have another chance.