Willow meets Alicia. Mikey has some disturbing memories.
“They are a hell of a distraction.” She whispered.
“Did you say something?”
The voice speaking to her caused Willow to gasp. She pulled back the curtain to see Alicia holding two cups of coffee.
“Oh, hi.” Willow said feeling a bit embarrassed. She hadn’t realized she’d spoken out loud.
“I was just coming to wake you.” Alicia explained. “Hello by the way, I’m Alicia.”
Willow slid out of the bunk and took the cup of coffee Alicia offered her. “Yeah, I know. I’m Willow but I’m sure you know that.” She looked around. “What time is it?”
“Just after ten.” Alicia answered. “The guys told me to let you sleep but I’m so anxious to talk to you I was going to wake you.”
They both walked to the front of the bus and sat down. Willow took a sip of the brew before speaking.
“So where is everyone?”
“They had a radio interview this morning. It wasn’t scheduled but shit like that happens all the time.” She looked closely at Willow. “Mikey told me we’ve met before.”
Willow nodded, “It was brief. I’m sure you don’t remember.”
“I meet a lot of people.” Alicia said still staring.
Willow understood what was going on. Alicia was curious about her and she didn’t blame her one bit. “I’m gonna get dressed and then we’ll talk, okay?”
Alicia nodded and watched as Willow got up and headed back down the hall. She took a sip of coffee and waited.
A few minutes later Willow reappeared, dressed and carrying a brush. She sat down again and finished putting her hair into a ponytail.
“I was just thinking how pretty you are and wishing you weren’t” Alicia said softly.
Willow gave her a surprised look.
“Of course, you knew that didn’t you?”
It took Willow a moment to understand her comment. “Let me explain something. I don’t hear every thought. You can’t just sit there and talk to me without opening your mouth.”
“But they told me you could hear what people are thinking.” Alicia said with a frown.
“I always hear but I guess it’s best described as a murmur. If I tried and concentrated very hard I could probably hear your thoughts but believe me I don’t do that to people. However I can guess why you said what you did. Believe me, I have no designs on your husband.”
Alicia broke into a smile. “I like you. You don’t pretend you don’t understand what people are thinking. Yeah, I’ll admit I was jealous when Mikey called me last night. He kept going on and on about this wonderful woman he’d met.” She looked down and added, “My boy and I have had some problems lately and so I guess it sorta upset me.”
Willow nodded, “I understand.”
When she looked up Alicia had tears in her eyes. “He told me what happened and how you saved him. Thank you.”
“What exactly has he told you about what happened?” Willow asked.
Alicia blinked away the tears and smiled, “Well, here’s the thing. Mikey told me to ask you about it.”
“Crap.” Willow said softly. “He didn’t say anything about what happened?”
Alicia laughed, “All he said was that he was drunk and walking along a ravine. He said that you pulled him to safety right as he was getting ready to fall.”
Oh boy, Willow thought. She wondered what Alicia was going to think hearing about Elena’s part of the story. “First I guess I should ask you what exactly he’s told you about me.”
Alicia took a sip of coffee and sat back carefully so none spilled from her cup. “He said you have a special gift. That you can hear people’s thoughts.”
“That’s all he said?” Willow now understood a bit more about Alicia’s initial mistrust of her. What wife wouldn’t be a bit upset hearing that a woman with a “special gift’ had helped their husband?
“Yeah but I totally got that there is more to you than that. Mikey and Gerard picked me up at the airport this morning and on the way here I was asking Mikey questions about what happened. He didn’t want to say much but Gerard was very chatty.”
“Oh shit. What did he say about me?” Willow could just imagine.
Instead of answering the question, Alicia had some questions of her own. “You’re not married, right?”
“And no boyfriend?”
Willow shook her head.
Alicia thought a moment. “That’s good.”
Now Willow was very tempted. She really wanted to hear what Alicia was thinking but kept herself from listening in. Whatever was in Alicia’s head belonged to her. Willow just hoped she would share those thoughts.
“Uh, what did Gerard say?” Willow asked again.
“It’s not so much what he said it’s how he said it.” Alicia explained. “I dunno there was just something in his voice. I don’t know how much you know about Gee’s situation.”
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, the brutal divorce. He really fell apart When it first happened we were all worried he’d turn to drugs again.”
“But he hasn’t.” Willow said softly.
“No, but he did turn bitter. Very bitter. He’s been going through a long line of woman since it happened but it’s like he’s just using them.”
“Because he was so hurt and he doesn’t want to be hurt again. So he’s making sure there is no real connection.” Willow guessed.
“Exactly.” Alicia agreed, “But this morning when he talked about you there was something in his voice that sounded different. Almost angry.”
“Angry? Well I’m not surprised. He doesn’t trust me.” Willow took another sop of coffee and frowned.
“Maybe that’s part of it but I think the other part is he’s afraid that you and he might get close.”
“But we just met.” Willow sputtered.
Alicia laughed, “Oh come on. Don’t tell me you don’t believe people can feel an instant connection to someone the meet. Mikey and I did. I knew from the moment I met him that we would end up together.”
“That’s not what will happen with Gerard and me.” Willow said quickly. “I’m just here for a short time so I can try to help Mikey.” She tried not to remember Elena’s visit. Helping Gerard was something she wasn’t sure she could do.
“Still” Alicia said but then shook her head. “Okay, forget my brother-in-law for the moment. I want to know what happened last night. What really happened.”
And so Willow told her. The whole story. Starting with Elena appearing in her car up until the point where she got Mikey to the bus. Willow was pleasantly surprised when Alicia didn’t get a look of total disbelief on her face. When she was done she sat back and waited for Alicia to speak.
“Holy shit. You really see dead people?”
Willow nodded, “Yeah.”
“How fuckin’ cool is that?”
Suddenly Willow felt ridiculously happy because of Alicia’s attitude. “Really?”
“Fuck, yeah.” Alicia said excitedly. “And the fact that Mikey’s grandma helped you is beyond fuckin’ cool.”
“I’m glad that’s how you feel.” Willow admitted. “Cause most people don’t have that reaction. Mostly they look at me like I’m crazy.”
“Hey, I’ve always believed in ghosts.” Alicia said, “I believe in all kinds of shit like that. So you told Mikey that she helped you?”
Willow nodded, “Yeah, but there is more. Mikey saw her too.”
This seemed to shock Alicia. “He did?”
“Yeah, he did.”
Alicia glanced away as she digested the information. “That’s what’s wrong with him, isn’t it? He’s seen other dead people.”
Willow was impressed with how quickly Alicia had figured that out. “Yeah, he has but he didn’t understand and it scared him.”
“Holy crap, why didn’t he tell me?”
Willow understood Alicia’s hurt. “He was afraid you wouldn’t understand. He was afraid he was crazy.”
Alicia looked ready to cry. “Damn it. How could he think that?”
“It’s easy. Trust me I know.”
“People have thought that of you.” Alicia had heard the hurt in Willow’s voice.
“Oh yeah.” Willow confirmed. “My parents were the first.”
Alicia surprised Willow by sitting up, leaning over and giving her a quick hug. “I’m sorry about that.”
Willow was shocked. No one had ever accepted her gift this quickly. “Thanks” she muttered softly.
Just then the bus doors opened and the guys all poured in laughing and talking about the interview. Mikey walked over to Alicia and she stood so he could hug her tightly.
Willow watched them and couldn’t help feeling a bit jealous of the love they shared. She knew she would never have that with anyone and the realization made her sad. Her thoughts were interrupted when Gerard walked over and took a set beside her.
“How are you this morning?” He asked. “Shoulder still hurt?”
“It’s okay.” Willow said trying to scoot slightly further away from him.
He leaned over and whispered, “Scared of me?”
Willow shot him an angry glare, “No.”
“Maybe you should be.” He whispered with a grin.
Mikey interrupted them. “Hey lets talk now.” Willow saw he was looking at her excitedly.
“Sure.” She answered.
The rest of the band left the bus again to head over to the venue leaving only Willow, Alicia, Mikey and Gerard. Willow glanced over at him wondering if he planned on staying.
Mikey walked over, poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down by his wife. He looked over at his brother but said nothing.
“Should I leave?” Gerard asked returning his gaze.
“I don’t care.” Mikey shrugged.
Gerard nodded then turned to Willow. “Do you care if I stay?”
Before she could think Willow blurted out. “Are you gonna behave?”
Mikey and Alicia both looked shocked but Gerard laughed, “Really want me to?”
Willow glared at him. “Yeah.”
Gerard nodded, “I’ll just sit here quietly and listen.” He sat back, crossed his leg and smiled. “For now.” He added so quietly Willow was sure she was the only one who heard him.
Sitting next to Gerard was distracting for Willow but she made herself concentrate on the task at hand. “Okay, Mikey. Tell me about the Paramour.”
Everyone saw Mikey shudder. In a soft voice he said, “I didn’t just see that woman, I saw others.” He took a sip of his coffee and added, “That night I saw who choked Gerard.”