The guys are back but someone is missing.
Monica looked up from the stack of files she was working on and forced a smile. “Yeah, fine.”
He looked at her closely. She had dark circles under her eyes and looked very tired. “Did you talk to him last night?” He asked.
Monica snapped, “Is that any of your business?”
Paul shook his head, “Not really. Sorry.” He started to move away.
“Paul.” Monica whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” She looked down suddenly afraid that if she said anymore she’d break down in tears. It was impossible to deny the hurt she had felt this morning when there had been no message on her phone from Gerard. She’d tried to reason with herself that he’d gotten back very late and that was why he hadn’t called but a part of her brain kept mocking her. Maybe he wasn’t going to call. He had broken up with her, hadn’t he?
“Monica, it’s okay.” Paul leaned against her desk. “I understand this is a difficult time for you and my question was out of line.”
“No, it really wasn’t.” Monica said sadly, “I know it was a question asked by a friend.”
“It really was.” He agreed. “Looks, let’s plan on lunch together, okay. We can talk more then.”
Monica really wasn’t in the mood to talk about the situation but she had already hurt him once today. “Sure, sounds good.”
“Morning, Ma.” Mikey said answering Donna’s call.
“Honey, where is your brother?” She asked.
Mikey sat up in bed and smiled to Alicia who had just opened her eyes. He turned his attention back to the call. “Gerard?”
Donna laughed, “Well unless you have another brother, yes.”
He rubbed his eyes, “He’s not at home?”
“No, Don just got back from driving over there. He’s not at the house and he’s not answering his phone.”
Mikey frowned. “I left the airport before anyone else. I just assumed that he would go home.”
“Well he’s not there now and as far as your dad can tell he’s not been there. He went inside using Monica’s old key she left here and there’s no sign that he’s been home at all.”
“Shit.” Mikey muttered. “I don’t know. Have you called Monica? Maybe he went to see her.”
“He doesn’t know where she’s living now.” Donna told him.
“What’s wrong?” Alicia asked seeing the concerned look on Mikey’s face.
Mikey quickly caught her up to speed on the conversation.
“Mikey did he say anything before you left the airport that would give us a clue as to where he might be?” Donna asked.
He thought back to last night, “No, Ma. Nothing. We talked about how glad we all were that we were finally home. He gave me a hug and told me to give Alicia a kiss for him. That’s the last thing he said.” Now Mikey was beginning to feel worry creep into his soul.
“Let me know if you hear from him.” Donna said with a sigh.
“I will.” he promised. He disconnected then looked over at Alicia who had sat up next to him. “Where would he go?” he asked her.
Alicia shook her head. “I don’t know. Maybe you should talk to Ray. Was he still with Gee when you left the airport?”
“Yeah.” Mikey quickly put in a call to Ray.
Monica jumped when her cell rang. She quickly looked at the number and saw that it was Kelly calling. She tried to convince herself she wasn’t disappointed that it wasn’t Gerard.
“Hey, Honey.” She answered.
“Mom, I just wanted to tell you that Elle and I are gonna head over to the park. Luke is gonna meet us there.”
“Okay, you guys be careful.”
Kelly laughed, “Okay, Mom.” Monica thought they were finished speaking when Kelly asked, “Has Gerard called you? He’s home now, right?”
“I’m sure he is but he hasn’t called.” Monica told her.
“Oh.” Kelly’s voice held sadness. “See you tonight.” She disconnected.
Monica sat her phone back down and tried to concentrate on her work. She was surprised when her phone rang again. This time it was Donna.
“Monica, have you talked to Gerard?”
That’s the question of the day, Monica thought to herself with a sigh.
Ray disconnected and looked over at Christa who has just walked back into the bedroom carrying a tray. “That was Mikey. Gerard’s gone missing.”
“What?” She asked as she carefully sat down the tray on the bed.
“He’s gone missing. No one knows where he went last night after leaving the airport. He’s not been to his house and he’s not answering his phone.”
“Where would he go?” She sat down carefully on the bed making sure onto to upset the tray.
“I have no fucking clue.” Ray said. “Mikey said he just talked to Donna and she called Monica. She hasn’t heard from him either.”
Christa lifted her cup of coffee from the tray and took a sip. “That’s weird. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t have gone to his house.”
“I thought that was what he was going to do.” Ray admitted. “Where the fuck would he go?”
Gerard opened his eyes slowly and for a moment thought he was still on tour. This hotel room reminded him of so many others. It’s neutral walls and functional furniture looked so familiar. Slowly he sat up and glanced over at the clock. He hadn’t meant to sleep so late. There were so many things he needed to do. He slipped out of bed and took a quick shower.
Wearing only a towel he came out of the bathroom and dressed quickly. He knew he could have just gone home last night but his heart wouldn’t let him. The thought of being in that house without Monica and the girls being there was too upsetting. So he had chosen this hotel not far from the airport to spend the night. He had deliberately turned off his cell phone. He needed this time alone. He needed once and for all to get his thoughts in order and get things taken care of. He sat at the foot of the bed a moment and tried to decide on a plan of action. After a few minutes he stood, made a call to the front deck then started gathering up this things.
“The Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches are excellent here.” Paul said looking over his menu at Monica.
“I’m not really very hungry.” Monica answered not looking up from her menu.
“You have to eat something. You need to keep your strength up.”
Monica lowered her menu and stared at him.
Paul smiled, “Yeah, I’m speaking as a doctor. I know your stress level is very high and you need to take care of yourself.”
She smiled, “Thank you doctor.”
“So, Cheese Steak sandwich?” Paul prodded.
“Yes, please. That sounds good.”
The waitress arrived and they placed their orders. Paul sat back in his chair and looked at Monica closely. “You don’t look like you got much sleep last night.”
“I didn’t. I had a bad nightmare.” She admitted.
“Want to talk about it?” He asked softly.
Monica thought a moment. “It was really nothing I can’t figure out. I know what my mind was thinking. It was about the house Gerard and I bought together. In the nightmare I was in the house but another family was living there. It ended with me watching them destroy the gazebo out in the backyard.”
“Okay, I can understand about someone else living in the house. That’s you feeling bad about the home not being yours anymore. The gazebo part confuses me.”
Monica took a sip of her water before explaining. “Gerard built the gazebo. It was very special to him.” Her voice was laced with sadness, “It was where we had planned to be married.”
“Oh.” Paul said suddenly understanding. “I see.”
Monica picked up her napkin and fiddled with it absentmindedly. “Yeah.”
“You know as much as I hate to admit it, I have to say that things might still work out. You haven’t sat down and talked yet. I might be wrong but it seems like this break up came out of the blue. Maybe it’s just a big misunderstanding that can be rectified.”
“There was no misunderstanding.” Monica clarified. “He broke up with me out of anger.”
Paul didn’t know how much he could ask without prying too deeply. “I can tell how much you still care for him. I can’t imagine you doing anything to deliberately hurt him.”
Monica shook her head, “I would never do anything to hurt him.” She lowered her eyes.
“Monica.” Paul said her voice in a hushed tone. “I wish there was something I could do to help you through this.” He reached over and touched her hand, which was laying on the table. “Just know that if things get really bad you can count on me to try to help you through this.”
Monica looked up at him. The kindness she saw in his eyes touched her. “Thank you.” She whispered.