The guys finally arrive home. Monica has a nightmare that seems to sum up her feelings about her life with Gerard.
“Sorry.” He muttered.
“Holy shit, Bert. You scared me.” Monica took a step back. “What are you doing here?”
“Came here to see Gerard. I know he’s supposed to be home today.”
Monica wondered if he knew what had happened between herself and Gee. She looked away. “Yeah, he’s not back yet.”
Bert answered her unasked question. “I know about you two.” He said softly.
Monica couldn’t deny the hurt she suddenly felt. If he knew what had happened why hadn’t he called her? She would have thought he’d have offered her support but by the fact that he was here to see Gerard she assumed he had chosen to side with him. “Well he’s not here.” She moved to leave.
“Monica.” He reached out and grabbed her arm. “I know that Liv told him.”
Monica stopped dead in her tracks. “You know? Gerard told you?”
He sighed. “I heard it from Liv the night she died.” His voice trembled.
“Oh.” Monica didn’t know what to say. Her mind was so confused and the pain of everything that had happened blinded her. “Well, I’ve got to go.” She pulled away from him and started for her car.
“Monica, can’t we talk?” Bert asked.
She stopped at the bottom stair and turned back to face him. “No, I don’t want to talk. Have you told him you know?”
“Then I’m sure he told you why he got pissed at me.” Her anger exploded, “Yeah, he got pissed cause I didn’t tell him. Cause I tried to protect him from the pain.”
Bert understood her anger. He could feel her pain. “He understands that now.”
“Does he?” Monica shouted. “Well that’s fucking nice.” She shook with anger. “I’m sure your friend will be home soon.” With that she ran to the car.
Bert watched her drive away. How had things gotten so fucked up, he wondered. He stood a moment trying to decide what to do. He finally took out his phone and tried once again to call Gerard but his call went unanswered.
Monica got home and immediately decided to take a long hot bath. The tension in her body combined with the stress her mind was suffering was making her feel physically sick. She hoped that Donna and Don wouldn’t bring the girls back for a while. She needed some time to herself.
“Baby, where are you?” Alicia asked as soon as she connected.
“Fucking stupid delays.” Mikey sighed, “I won’t be home until after midnight.”
Alicia was just glad he was okay. She had been worried for the past few hours when she hadn’t heard from him. “So why haven’t you called before now?”
“We ended up on a flight that had some engine trouble.”
Alicia gasped. “Engine trouble?”
He tried to keep the fear he’d felt out of his voice, “Yeah, we were forced to land in Paris. Now we’re waiting for another flight.”
“Oh shit, Mikey. Just get home. I need you.” She didn’t notice her hands were trembling.
“I’m trying.” He said tiredly.
“Engine trouble?” Christa sat down heavily in the nearest chair. “Oh shit, Ray.”
“I’m okay, Babe.” He said softly, “Don’t stress. I just wanted to let you know I won’t be home until pretty late.”
Christa sighed, “So where are you now?”
“Paris.” Ray answered. He ran a hand over his face. “Seems like this whole tour has been a fucking nightmare.”
Christa tried to lighten the mood. “Cause I wasn’t with you.” She teased.
“So true.” He laughed slightly. “I wish you had been.”
“Me too. But someone had to get out house in order. I can’t wait for you to see what I’ve done.”
“As much as I want that too, honestly all I want is to see you.”
“I love you, Ray.” Christa said from the heart.
“Love you too, Babe.” He answered. “And our unexpected guest.”
“Are you really happy about the baby?” She couldn’t stop herself from asking again.
“With all my heart.” He answered without a second thought. He saw Gerard walking towards him “Gotta go. See you as soon as I can.”
Monica was curled up on the sofa asleep when the girls arrived home. The warm bath had calmed her only slightly.
Don and Donna both came in too. Kelly took Elle’s hand and announced she was going to give her a bath. Elle looked exhausted. She’d gone without a nap and it was obvious bedtime for her would be early.
Monica invited the Ways to have a seat and asked if they’d like anything to drink. They both sat down but declined the offer for refreshments.
“Gerard called when we were driving over here.” Donna said looking at Monica. “They had engine trouble on their original flight and are in Paris right now.”
Monica tried to sound unconcerned. “Engine trouble?”
Don sat back watching Monica closely. He could see the fear in her eyes for his son’s welfare. He spoke, “They made an emergency landing but it went well.”
Monica took a calming breath. “That’s good.”
“Honey, is it okay if I give him your number when he gets home?” Donna asked softly.
“You don’t need to.” Monica answered. “I went by his house and left a note with my number.”
“Oh.” Donna was surprised but pleased. “That’s good. So then it’s okay if we tell him where you’re living now?”
Monica sighed, “Can’t see how it would matter one way or another.” Her voice sounded defeated.
“Honey, of course it matters. He’ll wanna see you.” Donna said.
“He’ll wanna see Elle.” Monica replied shortly.
Donna understood Monica’s pain. “Monica, he’ll wanna see you and Kelly too.”
Monica didn’t want to discuss this. Her nerves were pulled taunt. “You don’t really know what he wants.” She answered. “I don’t think he knows what he really wants. I don’t think he ever has.”
Don shook his head. He had tried to stay out of this but he couldn’t any longer. “Monica, my son loves you. He’s done some stupid things but I know him. I know he loves you.”
Monica looked over at him. “Then you know him much better than me. I believed once I knew him. I believed I understood him but not any more.” She stood. “I’m sorry but I’m not feeling well.” It was a dismissal and they understood.
At the door Don turned as Donna made her way towards the car. “You do still know him.” He whispered to Monica. “Don’t fool yourself into believing otherwise.” He didn’t give her a chance to answer he simply turned and walked away.
It was 3:23 in the morning when Alicia awoke from her spot on the couch to hear a key in the lock. She sat up quickly and let her eyes adjust to the darkness. Her heart beat wildly as he walked in and she recognized his silhouette. “Mikey.”
He flipped on the lights, “What are you doing still up? You should be sleeping.” He threw down his duffle bag and caught her in his arms as she ran to him.
“I couldn’t go to bed until you were home.” She said before raining kissed on his tired face.
“God, it’s good to be home.” He hugged her tightly. “So fucking good.”
“Babe, come on. Let’s get you in bed.” Ray whispered.
Christa’s eyes opened slowly. “Ray, you’re home.”
“Yeah, I’m home finally.” He stood back up and held out his hand to help her off the sofa.
“What time is it?”
He sighed tiredly, “Almost 3:30.”
Christa held out her hand and he pulled her up. She threw her arms around him and hugged tightly. “I’ve missed you.”
“Miss you too. Let’s get into bed and snuggle. As much as I want to see the house and what you’ve done I’m wiped out.”
“That sounds wonderful.” Christa said before his lips crashed down on hers.
Monica tossed and turned. The nightmare haunting her sleep was brutal. In it she stood in her former home watching as another family sat at the dining room table enjoying a meal. She kept asking them what they were doing there. It wasn’t their home. The woman seated at the table just laughed at her. In the dream Monica kept walking through the rooms of the house but everything was different. All of the things she and Gerard had filled the house with were gone.
She made her way to the deck and started to cry. Out in the yard a bulldozer was heading straight for the gazebo. Monica screamed for it to stop but it continued on and plowed into the structure.
She woke with the scream still on her lips.