What really happened that night.
Beside him Willow cringed. Mikey saw and glared at his brother. "Stop it. You're hurting her."
Alicia sat foreword clearly confused, "What the fuck is going on?"
So many angry and upset thoughts so close were making it difficult for Willow to think, let alone stay focused. She stood and took several steps away from the group.
Gerard sat back and closed his eyes. He took several deep breaths. "Sorry" he muttered.
"Mikey?" Alicia said softly to her husband, "What just happened?"
Mikey did his best to explain. "When Gee gets upset his thoughts are really loud and it hurts Willow cause she can hear them."
"Shit." Alicia said sitting back again. "That's gotta suck. Is it everyone’s angry thoughts or just his?" She pointed to Gerard.
Willow slowly walked back over. "Let's just say I hope to never find myself in the middle of an angry mob." She sat back down, "But Gerard's thoughts are louder than most."
"How come?" Alicia asked trying to understand the situation.
"Cause I used to be a fuckin' addict" Gerard answered quickly.
Willow, without thinking, leaned over and placed her hand on his, "Calm down." She whispered. A minute later she realized she was touching him and felt that same sensation from last night. She quickly removed her hand but not before noticing Gerard was staring at her. Luckily he didn't mention what had happened and Willow was grateful. She didn't want to try to explain to Mikey and Alicia that touching Gerard had become an interesting experience.
"Okay, I don't want to upset Gerard again but I'm confused." Alicia said softly.
Willow looked over at her, "For some reason people who have been addicts are much easier for me to hear. I'm not sure why but that's just how it is."
"So that's why when he gets upset he's loud?"
"Yep." Willow answered, "When he gets upset like he just did it's like his thoughts shout in my head."
Gerard sighed, "Maybe I should just go catch up with the guys. I’ll talk to you about this later, Mikey."
Willow felt bad for him. She understood that what happened at the Paramour had really left scars. "It's okay, now." She said softly. "I'm fine. I think you should stay and listen."
Gerard stared into her eyes a moment then nodded.
Willow looked back to Mikey. "Okay, start at the beginning."
Mikey grabbed Alicia's hand for support. She smiled at him and he began. "Okay, I told you about the woman I saw."
"What woman?" Alicia interrupted.
Mikey quickly told her the story about seeing the same woman twice. Alicia listened silently.
"Anyway like I said I tried to talk to her but she didn't answer. I didn't know what to do she just kept standing there staring at me. Then Bob walked in and said hello to me. I looked over at him and when I looked back she was gone. She's just disappeared."
"And Bob hadn't seen her, had he?" Willow was sure what his answer would be.
"No, I mean she was standing right there but I knew he didn't see her. He would have said something if he had seen her just disappear."
"Oh Baby, I wish you would have told me this." Alicia moved closer so he could put his arm around her.
"I didn't want you to know I thought I was losing my mind." Mikey said softly.
Willow understood. "I truly can't imagine what it must be like to suddenly have the gift. I can understand why you thought you were losing your mind."
"Fuck, yeah." Mikey agreed. "I mean one day you're okay and the next you are seeing people who aren't there. Shit, I started drinking a lot after that. I didn't know what else to do."
"You could have told me, man. I was there with you and you had to know the place was fucking will all of us." Gerard said quietly.
"Yeah, but the rest of you weren't seeing people who weren’t there." Mikey said sadly. "You guys were just hearing doors slam and shit like that."
"Willow was the woman dead? Was Mikey really seeing a dead person?" Alicia asked.
"That’s what I believe." Willow said. "The fact that he saw his grandma makes me think that is what is happening." She looked at Mikey, "What else happened?"
"After that I was scared to be alone. The bedroom I was staying in was freakin' creepy. It was painted this dark purple color and so it was always dark in there. Gerard's room was night next to mine and one night I head something happening in his room. It sounded weird. There were no voices, just sounds. I got up and ran in there cause I just had this horrible feeling that something was really wrong." He stopped and took a drink of coffee. His hands were noticeably shaking.
"What did you see?" Willow asked after a moment.
Mikey tried to explain without letting the fear he'd been living with take over. Thinking back to what had happened in the Paramour always freaked him out. "Uh, I don't know if I should say."
"Why?' Gerard asked. It was obvious he was very confused.
"It might upset you." Mikey said looking away.
"Mikey man, just say what you saw, it's okay." Gerard said softly.
"Okay, but don't freak out okay?"
Willow glanced over at Gerard to gage his reaction. He looked calm but his thoughts were not. She tried to close her mind to him and return her attention to Mikey.
Mikey cleared his throat, "Uh, when I walked in your room there was a nude woman on top of you."
Willow braced herself for Gerard's thoughts to start shouting. Surprisingly he was doing a very good job at remaining calm. "Mikey, I didn't have a woman with me there. You know that."
"I know that." Mikey said, "But I did she her and uh..I could tell that you were having a good time."
"This is insane." Gerard stood and began to pace. "You're telling me I had sex with some woman at the Paramour? I'm telling you that didn't happen. What happened is to me it felt like someone was chocking me. Not fucking me."
"Don't get upset, Bro." Mikey said glancing nervously at Willow.
Gerard signed, "I'm not. I'm just trying to understand. You really thought you saw that?"
Mikey swallowed hard then nodded, "Yeah, I did see that. Then all of a sudden right when you uh..you know came she started to choke you. It fuckin' freaked me out. You were struggling and I didn't know what to do. I just fuckin' stood there a minute then I ran over to help you but when I got close to the bed she just disappeared."
Gerard became lost in the memory. "I remember it feeling like someone was chocking me and then I remember you shaking me and I woke up."
"I didn't shake you." Mikey said softly, "I was just standing by the bed."
"Oh fuck. This is scary." Alicia said breaking the silence that had befallen the room.
Willow thought a moment. "Gerard at that time where you having problems with a relationship?"
He walked back over and sat down. "Yeah, a relationship I'd been in for six years was ending."
"That's not the only problem you had." Mikey added softly.
Willow knew from some of the things she's read about Gerard he'd started another relationship around the same time. Try as she might she couldn't block out his thoughts. He felt a lot of guilt.
"You pickin’ this all up?" He asked turning quickly to glare at her. "Yeah, I fuckin' cheated and felt bad."
Willow honestly didn't know what to say.
"It's not her fault." Mikey said trying to protect Willow. "Don't get mad at her about it."
"I'm not judging you." Willow said returning Gerard's glare. "I'm just trying to figure out what happened. You're guilt probably had a lot to do with it."
"So are you saying I was having sex with someone I made up? And then I felt bad about it so I closed my eyes and tried to choke myself?"
"And I don't feel bad about it. So close you're eyes, kiss me goodbye and sleep." Willow said the line softly.
Gerard's glare turned to a look of shock. "I wrote those lyrics the next morning."
"Wait. I'm confused." Alicia said, "Did Mikey really see a woman?"
Willow took a moment to gather her thoughts, "I believe he did. There are ghosts who are drawn to sexual energy. She was drawn to Gerard because of what was going on in his life." She turned back to Gerard, "Okay don't get mad but I need to ask you something."
"Okay." He said slowly taking a deep breath. "Go ahead."
"At that time you were having troubles in your relationship."
"And you had been with someone else and felt a lot of guilty about it."
Again he nodded.
"But you didn’t have anyone uh, you know a woman with you?"
"No, no woman." He confirmed.
Willow tried to word the question in the nicest way she could, "Uh, so you were missing the uh, physical uh.."
"I was fuckin horny as hell." Gerard said, "That's where you're going with this, right?"
"Well, yeah." Willow said trying to block out his thoughts, which had turned sexual. "I think what happened is this ghost came to you to uh, relieve your problem but then your guilt kicked in and she tried to help you with that. She tried to choke you as punishment because your guilt made you believe you should be punished.”
Gerard just stared at her.
"Shit." Alicia whispered. "That's fucked up."
"Yeah, it is." Gerard said slowly, "You're saying that I had sex with a ghost. That's not possible."
Willow tried to soften the realization for him. "And someone hearing your thoughts and seeing dead people isn't possible either but here I am."
"Fuck, I need a cigarette." Gerard muttered pulling the pack out of his pocket.
No one spoke for several minutes. Gerard sat back and took several deep drags.
Finally Mikey continued his story, "So after that night I would sneak into Gerard's room and sleep on the floor. I was afraid she's come back and hurt him."
"Fuck, I wish you would have told me." Gerard said looking over at his brother. "Here all this time I though you were in there so I could protect you and you were there trying to protect me."
"I didn't know what else to do." Mikey said sadly, "And when I finally couldn't take that place anymore and left I was so fuckin' afraid I'd never see you again."
“Oh shit, Mikey.” In a flash Gerard stood and moved towards his brother. Mikey got up and they hugged.
Alicia looked over at Willow. “Thank you.” She said softly. “They’ve needed to talk about what happened at that place. I knew Mikey was keeping it all inside and it was tearing him apart.”
After a moment the brothers broke away and sat back down.
“Still say that it isn’t a cursed place?” Gerard asked Willow.
Willow sighed, “I never said it wasn’t haunted. I said it wasn’t cursed. There is a difference.”
Gerard shook his head, “I don’t care what you call it the place is evil.”
Mikey’s voice shook when he spoke to Willow. “But I have to go back there, don’t I?”
“Are you fuckin’ insane?” Gerard yelled. As soon as the words left his mouth he regretted them.
Willow began to rub her head. “Shit, I wish your brain had a volume control.” She said softly.
Gerard ignored her. “Mikey, you know what I mean, man. You can’t go back there. None of us can.”
Mikey looked to Willow for help. “Please tell him I have to.”
Willow allowed herself to hear his thoughts. He was scared but determined. After listening a moment she nodded, “He has to.”
Gerard did not take the news well. “Why? Why the fuck would he need to go back there?”
Willow paused a moment to see if Mikey would speak. He finally did so.
“Because now that I know what has been going on I have to. That woman who appeared to me was trying to reach me. I realize now that she wasn’t trying to hurt me but I know in my heart that she needs help. She was reaching out to me. I need to go back.”
Gerard stared at his brother. “Are you sure about this Mikey? Really sure?”
“I need to do this for her and for myself. Willow has told me that I need to learn to live with this and I don’t want to run anymore.”
It was impossible for Willow not to hear Gerard’s angry thoughts aimed at her. She tried not to take them personally because she understood it was his deep love for her brother that was the source of the anger. He was afraid not only for his brother’s mental health he was afraid for his physical well being too.
“After tonight we have three more concerts before the break. I’ll talk to Brian and see if he can set something up for us at the Paramour. Maybe we can get the place for a few days.” Gerard said slowly. “But what about the rest of the guys?”
“I don’t want to keep this from them.” Mikey answered. “I want them to know what’s going on but if they don’t want to go back I understand.”
“I want to be there too.” Alicia said squeezing Mikey’s hand.
He smiled then leaned over to gently kiss her lips.
“Well guess your gig just got longer.” Gerard said looking at Willow while trying not to glare.
Willow wasn’t sure what he meant.
“Yeah, you have to go with us.” Mikey said hurriedly. “We need you there.”
“But I was only supposed to be gone a few days.” Willow sputtered. “I mean I have to get home.”
Gerard raised his brow, “To your job?”
The way he said it angered Willow. “Look to you it may just be a minimum wage thing but it’s the only job I could get. I have bills to pay.”
“You have a room mate who can take care of the place while you’re gone and you know we’re paying you to be here.”
Alicia had seen this side of her brother-in-law before. He was acting like a jackass and she wouldn’t allow it. “Willow, please. We do need you to go and I really want you to stay with us.”
“Me too.” Mikey added.
“But I didn’t pack that many clothes.” Willow said trying to go over in her mind if it was possible for her to stay longer than a few days.
“You and I are the same size.” Alicia said happily. “I’ve got plenty of things to share.”
This all seemed to be happening so quickly. “Okay, I guess.” Willow said slowly.
“Good, that’s settled.” Gerard said standing. “I’ll go talk to Brain.”
Once he was gone Mikey lowered his voice. “I really think it’s what I need to do but I was worried about how Gee would take it.”
Willow tried to calm him. “It will be okay.”
“I’m more worried for him than me.” Mikey admitted. “He was pretty fuckin’ messed up at the Paramour. What if something happens to him when we go back? It will be my fault.”
“Nothing will happen to him.” Willow answered. “I’ll protect him.” As she said the words she realized they sounded terribly personal and it embarrassed her. Mikey and Alicia however didn’t seem to think she’d said anything unusual. Suddenly Willow realized that Gerard had walked back in and she knew he’s heard her remark. Her eyes met his and she was shocked to see the look on his face. It was one of surprise but something more. She wanted to understand what they look meant. It was wrong but she wanted to hear what he was thinking. She tried to hear his thoughts but all she heard was a song. The damn man was singing a song in his head over and over to mask his thoughts.
“Sorry, Sugar.” Gerard said with a smirk. “But I don’t want you in my head.”
Suddenly the song in his head stopped and Willow heard the words he added loud and clear. “But maybe I want you in my bed.”
Willow’s eyes narrowed and she answered him. “Dream on, Gerard.”
Mikey and Alicia both looked at each other and shrugged. Whatever was going on between Gerard and Willow was a mystery to them.