Alyssa is keeping a secret from Gerard, one that could cost him his life. Bob sees an attorney.
I got into a fight with my parents one night, and we ran into this guy, his name was Tommy, we never knew is last name, he introduced us to smack. He tried to get us to shoot up but Gerard’s fear needles prevented that. So we tried it orally at first, shortly graduating to snorting, which wasn’t bad. By the time that night rolled around we were “chasing the dragon” (inhaling cooked heroin vapors), which gave us an immediate high. By the time I was on the streets on New York, I learned to inject myself and became a fully strung out junkie, a lot of times my johns just wanted someone to get high with and I more than obliged. I got my high, still got paid and never had to perform a sexual act because a lot of them just couldn’t get it up. At the end I started doing “speedballs” (combination of cocaine and heroin), sharing needle and having unprotected sex. What did I care I couldn’t get pregnant, I should have. I’m not ready to have sex with Gerard for one reason and one reason only, I’m HIV positive. I found this out when Katherine took me off the streets. I’m not on any medications as of yet because luckily I still have a high T cell count but it is something that I will eventually have to do. How do you tell the man you love that expressing that love may kill him? I know the chances of me infecting him is a hell of a lot lower then the other way around, but it can still happen and it’s a chance I don’t want to take.
I looked at Gerard and smiled and he smiled back, then he mouthed “I love you.”
“I love you too,” I said unable to look into his eyes.
He walked over to me and leaned down and kissed me. I wonder if he’ll feel the same way after he learns the truth. Our kiss started to deepen when the door opened. We both looked at Ray as he plopped down on the sofa. I was afraid to ask what happened.
“What happened?” asked Gerard.
“Well he wasn’t happy about it, and when I left he was thinking about it, but I just got a text, saying he’ll do it.”
Gerard and I looked at each other overjoyed at the prospect of getting my child back.
“Don’t go celebrating yet. He has conditions.”
“What are they?” I asked nervously.
“First is that neither one of you can fall off the wagon during the process if you do he’ll make sure you’ll never get Emily. He’ll have sole custody of her. Secondly, if either of you slip while having custody, he’ll have the orders for your side of the custody revoked. Third, he remains a part of her life, even if it’s only for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, first day of school and so on. He said he’ll pay for all legal costs and asks only for honesty in return from both of you. What should I tell him?”
Only two words popped in my head, “Thank you.”
I felt Gerard’s arms wrap around me as my tears flowed. “From the both of us,” he said softly.
Ray picked up his phone and dialed, after a few seconds “Hey they said yes and thank you.”
I hung up with Ray and started for the phone book. I’m gonna need a good lawyer, probably the best. I looked through the directory and found nothing. I decided to check the internet after a lot of searching I find my choice was either a Family lawyer or an Adoption lawyer. I decided to try to make appointments with a few of them. I did notice one thing while searching the internet my chances of getting custody was almost slim to none. I have two things going for me. I never signed my rights as a parent away, and the fact that the kid is being abused, or might be. I believe Alyssa if she is saying that, she wouldn’t lie would she?
The next morning I started placing calls and got appointments for six different attorneys for over the next two days.
My first appointment was at ten, I showered, dressed in a suit and made my way into the city. The first attorney I met was a woman by the name of Joanna Brahms. After keeping me waiting for twenty minutes she finally decided to sit and talk with me. I explained the situation then she smiled very nicely and told me she wasn’t interested. She only took cases that she could win.
Over the next two days I met lawyer after lawyer all of them willing to take my case all of them guaranteeing that I would have custody of Emily, but it would take a while maybe even years. I could almost see their eyes lighting up as they thought of all the legal fees they would be collecting.
I knew it was going to be expensive could cost me everything I own, but it was worth it all to make Alyssa happy and keeping another kid from being abused.
My mind kept going back to that first lawyer, Brahms. So I made another appointment. She was going to be in court for the next week so we made an appointment for then.
The week was agony for me the only good thing Alyssa called me everyday to make sure I was okay with this. She would call everyday the same time. My days revolved around that phone call. It was the day of my appointment Alyssa called to wish me luck. I walked into the small office and waited by the chairs that seemed to be on their last legs. The seats were repaired with duct tape where there had been rips. The magazines on the 1970’s table were months old. What the hell am I doing here? I should be in one of those plush offices with lots of lawyers running around looking at my case, but I turned them all away. All they wanted was my money, no matter how many sympathetic looks I got.
I finally walked into her office, about an hour after I arrived. She motioned me to sit down and then spoke, “I thought I told you I wasn’t interested over a week ago.”
“I want to know why?”
“Does it matter?” She got up and leaned into me, “You.have.no.case.”
I looked at her with venom in my eyes, “I do have a case, I didn’t know I fathered a kid back then, plus the asshole is abusing my daughter. I need to get her away from him. I’ll do fucking anything to get her away from him.”
“Good cause you might have to.”
She took out a file that had my name on it. The bitch knew I would be back she was fucking testing me the whole time.
“So Mr. Bryar after looking at your file I found some problems straight off, your job, where you live and your personal life.”
“I’m no fuck up, I work fucking hard and I make decent money.”
“Language Mr. Bryar, I can’t see any court giving you a child with that mouth.”
“The money isn’t an issue here, it’s the job itself. You’re a sound engineer and tour manager of bands. Let’s see sex drugs and rock and roll right?”
“I don’t do drugs, if that’s what you’re implying.” She looked at me skeptically “I’ll take a drug test whenever you want. I don’t do illegal drugs. I do smoke and drink on occasion.”
“There’s another problem with your job.”
“How often were you home last year?” she asked as she twirled a pencil between her fingers.
“Thirty maybe forty days.”
“And this is how you’re planning on raising a child, being home one month out of twelve.”
“I’ll do studio work right here in New York.” I loved being on the road but it was only going to be for a few months until Alyssa and Way get the kid, then I’ll be back where I belong.
“Fine, what about day care?”
“I’ll hire a nanny.”
“So you want the courts to take this little girl from a loving home where she is cared for day and night and put with you and a nanny?”
“What the fu.., what else can I do?”
“Which brings me to your personal life, Mr. Bryar. Are you seeing someone?”
“What does that have anything to do with it?”
“Because the courts will need to see that the child is going from one stable home to another. Your chances are better if you are in a loving relationship. Are you Mr. Bryar?”
I was thinking hard, fucking Candy from the strip club doesn’t really constitute a relationship. The only woman I ever wanted that from was Alyssa, but she’s Way's.
“Mr. Bryar your chances will increase greatly if you are in a committed relationship.”
“Any number greater than zero is a great improvement wouldn’t you say? So are you in a committed relationship?”
The thoughts of Emily being abused kept racing through my mind what the fuck did the monster do to break her arm, and will he do it again. I need to get her out of there before it gets worse, and I know it can get so much worse.
“Yes I am.”
“Can I ask her name?”
“Alyssa Johnson, Emily’s mother.”