Willow meets Donna and another visit from Elena. A visit that rocks Willow's world.
Gerard nodded, “Sure.” Truth was he was ready to get some fresh air and smoke a cigarette. He had to admit to himself that since arriving with Willow about twenty minutes ago, he was uncomfortable with how much his mom seemed to take to her. Not that he wanted his mom not to like her but he just knew what this meant. Soon Donna was gonna to slip into matchmaking mode and he didn’t want to have to deal with that shit.
Donna stood. “Ready for the tour?” She smiled at Willow and extended her hand.
Willow reached up and accepted the slight pull to help her off the sofa. “Sure. I’d love to see the rest of the house.”
“Well start up here and then I’ll show you the downstairs.” Donna said happily.
Willow could tell by the sound of her voice how much she loved the house. “Have you lived here long?” She asked as Donna led the way into the dining room.
“Actually the boys grew up here but a few years ago I put the house on the market. I thought it was too big for just me. I moved into an apartment in New York but just wasn’t happy there. Then one day someone made an offer on the house and everyone was sure I’d take it. I really gave it some thought but I realized that I still loved the house so I turned it down and moved back in.” She laughed. “Gerard especially thought I was crazy.”
Willow looked around at the furnishings and could see the pride Donna took in her home. “It’s lovely.” She said softly. “And Elena’s memories are still very strong here.”
Donna stopped and turned to her. So far they had just made small talk but she had been hoping for a way to bring up this conversation. “Mikey of course told me about what happened. That night you saved him?” She seemed at a loss for words. “He also told me how it was my mom who helped you find him.”
Willow nodded, “Yes, she did.”
Donna was glad to get this chance to speak to Willow without Gerard around. “I think you have an incredible gift and I can see why my mom chose you.”
Willow gave her a surprised look. “I just assumed it was because I was in the area.”
“No, I don’t think that was the reason.” Donna said lowering her voice. “Mama had a great respect for the unknown. She believed in all sorts of things like spirits. I’m sure she chose to bring you into both of my son’s lives.”
Willow didn’t know what to say. Finally she chose the truth. “I’m sure I can help Mikey but Gerard is another matter.”
Donna sighed, “Because he’s closed off his heart. He doesn’t understand that a broken heart can be mended. He truly believes he will spend the rest of his life single and alone.”
“He’s made that clear.” Willow said sadly. However, the alone part wasn’t quite true. Gerard had made it clear he was never at a loss for willing companions.
“Come on. Let’s keep moving.” Donna said, hoping Gerard didn’t show up anytime soon. She led Willow out of the dining room and into a hallway. “There are three bedrooms up here.” She took her time, showing each to Willow.
“This house is much larger inside than at first glance.”
Donna nodded, “Oh yes, it is large, really too large for just one person but I’m just not ready to let it go.”
Willow gently touched her arm. “I understand.”
“Yes” Donna answered looking into her eyes. “I believe you do.” She paused a moment wanting to say more but decided against it for the time being. She led Willow out into another hallway then into the kitchen.
“I recognize his from the video.” Willow said glancing around the room.
“Yeah, everyone says that.” Donna laughed. She continued walking through the kitchen and back into the living room where they’d started the tour. “I forgot to show you the office.” Donna explained as she showed Willow the small area just off the living room. “I like to spend time in here on the Internet keeping up with things.” She grinned, “I like to watch videos of my sons but don’t tell them that.”
Willow grinned and nodded as they traveled back through the kitchen and out into the recreation room. She immediately saw Gerard through the sliding glass doors that led to the patio. He was standing by a large brick grill and she could see that he was working on lighting the fire. Donna smiled and laughed slightly. “I suppose a gas grill would be easier but I’ve always loved that grill.”
Willow agreed, “I think grilling over a true flame is always better.”
“Tell that to Mr. Cranky out there. He hates to start the fire.” She turned, “Okay now the ground floor.”
Willow followed her down a flight of stairs. “Oh my, this is huge.” She said as they reached the bottom.
Donna nodded, “Yeah. Mama lived down here. This was her kitchenette.” She said walking through it slowly “and here is her dining room.”
Willow was surprised to see that it was still furnished. Donna followed her thoughts. “I made the movers but everything back just like it was before I moved.” Donna laughed, “Now see why they think I’m crazy?”
Reverently Willow ran her hand over the cherry dining table. “This is just how I pictured Elena’s things.”
Donna was watching her closely, “Mama loved that table. It was a wedding gift.”
Willow closed her eyes a moment. “So many happy dinners were served at this table.”
“Yes, they were. When Mama moved in here she insisted on bringing the table with her even though it’s too big for the room. Thanksgiving dinner was always served around this table, also Christmas Eve dinner. Sometimes when I close my eyes and can see Gerard and Mikey as little boys throwing dinner rolls across the table when they thought I wasn’t looking.”
Willow grinned, “I can imagine the two of them could be a handful.”
Donna rolled her eyes, “Honey, you have no idea.” She began moving again, “Now, through here is the first bedroom.” She led the way down the hall. Willow peeked her head in quickly trying to keep up with Donna who was on the move again, “And this was Gerard’s room.”
Willow stopped in the doorway. It was obvious many things had been removed from the room but it was still undeniably Gerard’s space. There were several pieces of his artwork lying about.
“Mom.” Gerard’s voice drifted down from the kitchen.
Donna sighed, “No doubt he’s having trouble with the grill. I’ll be back in a minute. If you’d like to look through it that’s one of his first sketchbooks.” She pointed to the dresser, “I’ll be right back.”
Willow stood alone in the room feeling strangely comfortable. She slowly walked over to the dresser and began flipping through the sketchbook. Gerard’s talented drawings filled the pages. She had just turned another page when she realized she wasn’t alone. Elena stood in the doorway smiling. Willow blinked several times trying to understand what she was seeing. The shape beside Elena was almost transparent. What did it mean? After a few moments she decided to simply try to clear her mind hoping Elena would explain.
Suddenly images filled Willow’s mind that shocked her. She struggled to comprehend but they were coming too fast. “What?” Willow whispered. “I don’t understand.”
The only sound in the room was Willow’s soft breathing. Suddenly her heart began to race as understanding began to seep into her brain. “No.” Willow whispered in shock. “That can’t be.”
Still more images bombarded her brain and Willow began to feel lightheaded. This was impossible, what Elena was showing her was overwhelming.
Elena smiled, and then something happened that rocked Willow to the core. She actually heard Elena speak. While it was only two words, “Have faith.” they were filled with love.
Willow felt her legs begin to shake. No, this was too much. She understood now but her but her mind was trying to deny the truth. Fear made her close her eyes tightly and a moment later when she opened them again she was once more alone. Willow tried to take a calming breath but there was no slowing her racing heart. The room felt as if it was closing in on her. With her legs still shaking she started back towards the staircase when she heard Gerard’s voice and stopped in her tracks.
“Mom. Just stop. Yeah, she’s a great woman but don’t try to push this. I’m not interested in her that way.”
Willow felt her heart sink as she listened. Donna was telling him he needed to open his heart and live again.
Gerard’s angry voice caused Willow to flinch. “My heart is dead. I’m never gonna love again. I’ve had myself dragged through the shit and it ain’t gonna ever happen again. So just stop thinking Willow is gonna change anything. She and I both want the same things in life. Neither of us wants fucking love and commitment. So just drop it.” The sound of the patio door being slammed shut made Willow realize he’s gone back outside. She moved back down the hall not wanting Donna to know she’d overheard the conversation. Willow was back in Gerard’s old room looking at the sketchbook when Donna found her.
“He is having trouble with the grill.” Donna explained trying to hide her true feelings of disappointment with her son’s attitude. “So let me show you the rest of the rooms down here and we’ll go up. Hopefully he’ll get the fire going by then.”
Luckily Donna had started out of the room before Willow turned. Quickly she wiped a stray tear from her eye then followed Gerard’s mother.
In the car driving back to his apartment Gerard wondered why Willow was so quiet. He thought they’d had a nice dinner with his mom but he could tell something was wrong. He decided to ask her if she was feeling okay.
Willow had been lost in her thoughts when he spoke. She couldn’t stop thinking about Elena’s revelation. She also couldn’t forget the conversation she’d overheard between Gerard and his mother.
“Willow.” Gerard said her name louder this time.
“What?” Willow looked over at him.
“What’s going on? I asked if you’re okay and you didn’t even hear me.”
She tried to smile, “Sorry I was just thinking.”
Willow shook her head, “Oh nothing. And I’m fine, thank you.”
Gerard waited until the traffic was a bit lighter before he glanced over at her again. “You sure nothing’s wrong?” He took his right hand off the steering wheel and placed it over hers. The sensation from touching her skin was a strong as ever. He wondered once again if he would ever understand it.
Willow looked down at their hands and tried not think about anything but the sensation that was coursing through her body. She looked up to see him smiling at her.
Gerard’s smile faded. She had to know the thoughts in his head because he was sending them out loud and clear.
Willow stared at him a moment then realized what he was doing. “I told you I’m not gonna listen to what’s going on in your head.” She reminded him.
His fingertips gently stroked the palm of her hand. It was as if a current of electricity flowed through her body. She tried not to laugh but it was impossible. “Gerard I don’t have to listen to your thoughts to know what you’re thinking.”
“Really?” He frowned slightly.
“Yeah, really.” She dropped her gaze so he could see she was looking at his crotch. Gerard shifted uncomfortably.
“Okay so maybe it’s a bit obvious.”
Willow gently pulled her hand from his and moved it across the seat to brush her fingertips across his growing budge. “Yeah, it’s obvious.”
Gerard tried to stifle a groan. Fuck, he needed to get them home quickly or he would wreck the car. “Okay, enough of that until we get to the apartment.” He said roughly.
Willow removed her hand and glanced away.
In his mind Gerard went over just how he wanted the evening to end. He could picture Willow’s hair spread out on his pillow. He could see the look on her face when he caressed her breasts. Shit, this was torture. Mindless of speed limits he pushed down on the gas petal and the car shot forward.
Beside him Willow stared out into the darkness. Her body ached for Gerard yet her mind was in turmoil. The words echoed in her head again, “Have faith”.