I sat there at what used to be known as the Park Diner with Ray, Gerard, Frank, his girlfriend Jamia, Mikey, his girlfriend Alicia, Matt and his girlfriend Amy. We started talking about all the good times we had while in school together, every once in a while I could see Gerard laughing until he turned to me, then he looked down. It was about three in the morning when Mikey, Alicia, Frank, Jamia, Matt and Amy decided to leave. This only left me, Ray and Gerard. Throughout the night I noticed the waitress eyeing Ray which I thought was really cute.
“Go get her number,” I finally said to Ray.
“She’s probably just checking out my hair.”
“Nah, I think she wants more than your hair.”
“Drop it Lys.”
I got out from where I was sitting next to Ray and approached the woman who’s name tag said Christa. “Hi I couldn’t help noticing you were checking my friend out there.”
“I’m so sorry is he your boyfriend?” She asked seemingly taken aback.
“No, I think he would like to get to know you too, it’s just he’s shy.”
“I can tell,” she smiled peering again at Ray.
“He just has the most incredible…”
“I know hair.”
“Well the hair is okay, but it’s his eyes. They’re warm and friendly.”
“So you wouldn’t mind if he called you some time?”
“Not at all,” she said with a huge grin on her face.
She took her pencil out and wrote a number on the pad of paper she held.
“What’s his name,by the way?”
“That’s a nice name.”
“He’s a nice guy.”
I walked back to the table, all smug and placed the piece of paper in front of Ray.
“It was the hair wasn’t it?”
“Nope. Your eyes she said they were warm and friendly. The hair she said she could get used to,” I said to him teasingly.
I watched as Ray looked at her and smiled, mouthing ‘I’ll call you tomorrow’. We paid the bill and Ray of course gave her a very large tip and a piece of paper with his number on it.
The three of us got outside and Gerard was still moping. “So where you staying Lyss?”
“My parents, though the thought of going there now and setting up doesn’t appeal to me.”
“You can stay with me and Gerard tonight and I’ll you open up your parents house tomorrow.”
“Thanks Ray. Is it alright with you Gerard?”
“You can stay with me in my room.”
“Yeah and you fuck Ray while you’re at it and have his baby too. I’m sure Ray always wanted to fuck you.”
“Gerard, shut the fuck up. You know I never felt that way with Alyssa.”
The ride home was quite with Ray having his arm around me. He’ll never know how much of a comfort he is to me. I missed him severely.
We got to the house he was sharing with Gerard, and Gerard stormed upstairs to what I imagine was his room.
“Forget about him,” Ray said to me. “Let me find you a t-shirt and a pair of shorts.”
While I stood there in the living room looking around Ray went upstairs. It was nothing extrordinary, A couch, loveseat and chair in a velveteen dark brown. I guess better to hide any stains. Before I knew it he came down with an oversized Metallica tee shirt and a pair of black gym shorts that tied in the front. He had on a pair of black sweats and an Iron Maiden tee shirt. “Bathroom is down the hall, second door on the right.”
“Thanks Ray, for everything.”
I came a few minutes later and he smiled at me. I followed him up to his bedroom and we got under the covers. I laid my head on his chest and he wrapped his strong arms around me.
“So what happened since I last talked to you.”
“I’m not proud of the life I’ve led.”
“I’m your best friend I’ll never walk away.”
“Thanks. Well after I found Gerard in bed with Cynthia I went back with my aunt in Connecticut. It’s the suburbs you think drug use would be less, it wasn’t. Not only that you had more of a selection because everyone had money. I would come home drunk and high trying to forget what I saw with Gerard. Trying to forget what I had done to Bob. Trying to forget about the baby I lost. Trying to forget about everything.”
“It didn’t work did it?”
“You were so right that night. I was stupid for what I did to him.”
“And now, you’re doing it all over again. You’re using him.”
“Ray you don’t understand how much I need my daughter back.
“Help me to understand, Lyss, because right now you look like a fuckin bitch,” he said it without malice. I know he needed to know why, so now I have to delve in to the lowest point of my life.
“I got kicked out of aunt’s house and packed my bags and stayed with a friend in New York, he just wanted a fuck, and after a while he got bored of me. So here I was out on the streets on New York.”
“Why didn’t you just come home? I would have taken care of you. You should have called me.”
“I was too ashamed Ray, and too doped up. I was on the streets when a man named Carlo found me. He offered me, food, shelter, drugs and all I had to do was sell myself. At first I said no. But when no one would give me anything I changed my mind. I hooked.
Ray just held me tighter and kissed my forehead. “I wished you called me.”
“I wished I called you too. One night I was to doped up to walk the streets. Carlo had a temper and hated when we didn’t work, so he barged into my room and took me.”
“He raped you?”
“He wouldn’t say that. He called it my punishment and next time it would be worse. I few weeks later I started not feeling well. I was pregnant again. Carlo couldn’t have that so he took me to a former doctor who had lost his license for an abortion. He fucked it up royally. I was rushed to the hospital and had surgery. I can’t have any more children Ray.” I started to cry because it hurt so much. “After I left the hospital I didn’t go to Carlo I decided to work for myself. I got enough money to my drugs and little else. I didn’t care if I lived or died. That’s when Katherine found me. I was sleeping in an alley amongst the rats and trash.”
“My guardian angel. She found me gave me food, a hot shower, some new clothes and then took me to rehab. She paid for the whole thing.”
“Because I was here fifteen years ago and someone did the same for her.”
“Sort of like that movie with the kid from “The Sixth Sense.”
“After I got clean an sober I went to secraterial school and got a job at an elementry school.”
“That’s cool, you like it?”
“Yeah, the pay isn’t that great, but the people are pretty nice.”
“Try looking for another job?”
Ray looked at me quizzically.
“It was the first day of school and there she was all dressed up in a pretty plaid dress. She had brown curls like I used to have, and Bob’s eyes. I knew right away she was ours. Her name is Emily. She’s a loner, she reminds me so much of Bob. There’s this sadness behind her eyes and I just want to hug her and make it all better. I want her back Ray.”
“And taking advantage of Bob’s feelings is the way to go.”
“I’m desperate Ray. She’s not a happy child. That’s why I gave her up so she could have a better life than I could give her. You have no idea what it was like when they took her away. I barely even held her, just long enough to tell her I loved her. I still love her Ray, all this hard work staying sober, getting the courage to come out here tonight all of it is so I can get her back. I hate that I have to use Bob for this, but I have no other way. I know what I did was shitty, why do you think I couldn’t look him? And I don’t know if I would change it. On one hand I would have never gotten pregnant and Gerard and I might have lived happily ever after, who knows. On the other hand I have a beautiful daughter who’s just so amazing. It’s hard becaue it’s the beginning of summer and I haven't really seen her for a couple of weeks. I drive by the house and it seems she has such a loving family, they play games and have cook outs with the whole neighborhood. She should be happier Ray. Something’s going on with my baby and I need to find out. So I’m sorry if I have to once again take advantage of Bob’s feelings for me, but I need to get her back at any cost.”
We turned our heads to the door as it squeaked open and someone walk in then Gerard sat next to me on the bed. He looked at me with those amazing yet sorrowful eyes and spoke “How can I help?”