Monica and Gerard talk about their broken relationship.
“I hope it’s okay I stopped by. I needed to speak to Kelly.”
Monica nodded slowly, hiding the sudden rush of disappointment and anger. “Of course and I’m sure you wanted to see Elle.”
Gerard turned slightly and looked down at the little girl now pouring more pretend tea in another cup. “Yeah, I wanted to see Elle.”
Elle smiled up at him lovingly. She stood and carefully carried the cup to Monica. “Mommyca’s tea.” She handed the cup to Monica.
Monica took it from her hoping that Gerard didn’t notice her hands were shaking. “Thank you, Baby.” She said softly. Elle smiled and went back over to the table. Monica could feel Gerard’s eyes on her. She forced herself to look into his.
“I’ll let you visit with Elle then.” She started to turn to leave the room. She was so overwhelmed with feelings she just wanted to run.
“Please.” His voice stopped her, “Don’t leave.” He whispered.
Kelly appeared in the doorway. “Bug, Luke and I are gonna take you to the park.”
“Mes wants to stay with Dadgee.” Elle said with a frown.
Kelly walked over to her and spoke softly. “We need to let Mom and Dad talk now.”
Monica was shocked by Kelly’s words. She’d called Gerard Dad. She also didn’t miss the look of gratitude on his face when Kelly had spoken the word.
“Mes stay with Dadgee.” Elle repeated again when Kelly took her hand.
Gerard squatted down to Elle’s level and spoke to her, “I need to talk to Momica. It’s really important. Please go with Luke and Kelly to the park. We can have more tea later, okay?”
“Dadgee stays hewe?” Elle asked him
“I’m not going to leave you, Bug.” His voice was full of emotion. “I love you.”
Elle smiled, “Otay.”
Gerard stood and looked at Kelly, “I love you too.”
Kelly nodded, “I know.” She hugged him quickly then led Elle from the room. Monica stood feeling like she was in a dream. None of this seemed real. When she heard the front door close she realized she was alone in the apartment with Gerard. Suddenly all the hurt and anger that had been filling her soul pushed to the surface. “I guess you spoke to Kelly?”
Gerard nodded, “We had a long talk while Luke took Elle down the street to the corner market.”
“Do you have any idea how much you hurt her?” Monica asked
“Yeah, I do. I fucked up.” He took a step towards Monica but she shook her head.
“I can’t deal with this. I thought I wanted you to come back and that we could talk but I just can’t.” She lowered her eyes, “I can’t.”
“Monica, please.” Gerard wanted so badly to go to her but he knew what he had to say would never be said if he touched her. “Just listen to me.”
She stood looking down, waiting.
“We need to talk. There are so many thing I have to say.”
“Yeah, we’ve needed to talk for quite a while now.” Monica said angrily. “I was such a fool. I thought we’d talk as soon as you got back.”
“I went to Chicago first. I wanted to apologize to Kara face to face.”
Monica looked up in shock, “You talked to Kara?”
He nodded, “Yeah, she and I talked.”
“She didn’t tell me you were there.” Monica said.
Gerard sighed, “I asked her not to. I was trying to get my fucking life back in order and I needed time.”
“Your life back in order?” Monica repeated incredulous, “Yeah, I know a thing or two about trying to get a life back in order. Mine has been destroyed, so yeah, I guess I know about that.”
“I’m sorry.” Was all Gerard could say.
Monica shook her head, “Whatever. Look I guess you’re here to discuss Elle.” She blinked back tears her emotions threatening to get the best of her. “Are you planning on caring for her yourself?”
Gerard had expected her anger yet it was still hard to handle. He knew her anger was justified and he hated himself for that. “I know that Liv wanted you to be Elle’s mother. I won’t take her from you.”
A huge feeling of relief filled Monica. She had been so afraid he’d take Elle away. Still the situation would be difficult. “Thank you.” Monica said softly. “I know you have every right to take her from me but at least for now I think she should stay with Kelly and me. Especially when she learns about Liv.”
Gerard closed his eyes briefly at the mention of Liv’s death. “We need to tell her together.”
Monica needed to know, “Have you accepted her as your daughter?”
“She is my daughter.” Gerard said with conviction.
Monica smiled sadly, “Yeah, she is. I promise to love her and care for her. But I will always know that if at some point in the future you are ready to care for her I will understand.”
This was not how Gerard had wanted the conversation to go. He tried to change the direction; “I said I would never take her from you.”
Monica sighed, “Someday you might marry and want to have her with you.” She said softly.
He was shocked by her words. “Elle is your daughter.” Gerard answered. “Yours and mine.”
Monica felt so drained. “We should tell her about Liv soon. She’s been asking questions”
He nodded, “We also need to tell her I’m her father.”
“Yes.” Monica agreed, “She should know.”
“I went to Liv’s grave.” Gerard said, his voice low and full of emotion, “I told Liv I was sorry for so many things. I told her that I would always love and care for Elle and that I knew she had wanted you to be Elle’s mother.”
Monica didn’t know how to respond. “I promised her I would raise Elle. That I would always love her.” She finally said.
“A promise I know you’ll keep.” Gerard took another step towards Monica and this time she didn’t move. “I will help you.”
His words hurt her. She thought he was offering to help her with Elle only monetarily. “I don’t need money from you. I have a job. It’s only temporary but I’ll get another.”
He realized she had misunderstood. “Monica, I know you’ve started to build a life without me.”
Monica’s anger was unleashed, “Yeah, I have. What the fuck else could I do? You tossed me along with my daughters aside.”
“I didn’t mean to.” He started to say more but she continued.
“Didn’t mean to? What, did someone hold a gun to your head and tell you to break up with me in that fucking interview?”
“I was angry.” He tried to explain. “I wasn’t thinking straight.
Monica scoffed, “Yeah, you were angry because I refused a paternity test. You were angry because I hadn’t told you about your brother and Liv. You were angry so you just threw our life away.” Tears rolled down her cheeks. “How could you do that?” She cried.
It took every ounce of willpower not to go to her but he couldn’t. He needed to make her understand. “I don’t know how I could have done that. When the words left my mouth I felt like I had stuck a fuckin’ knife in my own heart. But I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t take them back.”
Monica stood shaking, “You couldn’t take them back because you meant them.”
“In a way I did.” He said softly.
It felt as if her world had just ended. It was truly over. Monica stood feeling empty.
“I wanted to hurt. I wanted the pain. I was so angry that I didn’t care about anything. Finding out about Mikey and Liv killed something inside me. I felt dead.”
“I didn’t want that to happen.” Monica whispered, “That’s why I didn’t tell you.”
Gerard took another small step towards her, “I know that, Honey.”
“Please don’t call me that.” Monica said through her tears. “Don’t try to make me believe you still feel something for me.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard whispered. She really believed he didn’t love her. All this time he was sure she didn’t love him anymore. “Monica, God, how can you for one minute not know how I feel about you?’
“How can I not know? Gerard how can I know? You broke up with me. You tore our lives apart.”
“Because I’m a fucking idiot.” He repeated. “Not because I don’t love you.”
This was all too much for Monica to take. Was he honestly saying he still loved her? Did he want to be with her? She stood silently as the tears continued to flow.
Gerard took a deep breath knowing what he had to say, “I saw you with the doctor last night coming out of the office. I saw how he was looking at you. I know that being with me has fucked up your life. I know how much I’ve hurt you. It kills me to say this but if you feel anything for him I will understand. The life I lead would be hard for you. I’m gone too fucking often. He could offer you a more stable life.”
He was letting her go. She felt her world shatter.
Gerard continued, “Monica, I love you with every beat of my heart. I always will. We have been through hell together but I want you to be happy. I love you so much that if it means letting you go I will.” He looked into her eyes praying she believe him.
Monica replayed his words in her head. He loved her. He always would. Could she believe him?
Her silence was killing him. He took another step towards her. “I know this is a lot for you to think about. I’m staying at the house now but I want you to have it. It’s home to the girls.”
“It was our home.” Monica whispered.
He nodded, “Yeah, it was our home. But not now. I have no home. I realized that my way home is through you. Without you…” He couldn’t continue. “Please call me when you decide.” He had to get out before he broke down and begged her to stay with him. The temptation to beg her was overwhelming. Still Monica stood silent. Gerard slowly walked past her to the doorway.
“Decide what?” Monica asked. Had she missed something? Suddenly she thought she understood what he was asking.
Her voice stopped him. “Gerard, I won’t be calling you.” She said turning slowly.
He felt his heart stop beating. He had known all along that she couldn’t forgive him. Slowly he turned around.
Monica was facing him. “I won’t be calling you because I already have made my decision. I know now what I want.”
Gerard held his breath waiting for her to continue.
Her voice was strong and clear, “I want you to take us home.”