Gerard struggles with his feelings over meeting Anna.
“She’s great, isn’t she?” A voice just to his right asked.
Gerard glanced over at the young man. “Yeah, she is.” He agreed hoping the man would move on. Talking to strangers had become difficult for him. The reality he refused to admit was that talking to anyone had become painful.
The stranger smiled, “She’s the only author who’s books I’ve read over and over again.” He pushed up his glasses and laughed, “And to think I almost didn’t read her fist book. My girlfriend bought it for me. She told me I just had to read it. I’m glad she did.” He didn’t notice Gerard looked slightly uncomfortable and went on. “What was the first book of hers you read?”
“The Last Leap” Gerard answered taking that very book off the shelf. “My brother recommended it.”
“Her writing is…” the man searched for the word a moment, “I guess to me it’s haunting. She can make you feel so much from the simplest words. Sometimes I wonder if something in her life gave her that ability.” He mused.
Gerard had to admit he’d wondered the same thing. “Yeah.” He grabbed another of her titles and added to his growing pile.
“I wrote her a letter once.” The young man admitted looking slightly embarrassed. “I mean I just wanted her to know how much I loved her writing.”
“Did you get a reply?” Gerard asked turning to him.
He shook his head, “No, but I knew I wouldn’t. I’ve read that she never answers stuff like that. Hell she never gives interviews. She’s kinda an enigma.”
Gerard’s mind went back to the chance meeting with Annabelle. He smiled slightly realizing that even if this kid did see Annabelle chances were he wouldn’t recognize her. He looked down at the book on the top of his stack. It showed the back of the book with the photo of the author. This dark haired woman, while beautiful, was nowhere as stunning as the Annabelle he’d just met.
“You ready to go?” A young girl asked rounding the corner. She stopped in her tracks when she saw Gerard.
He smiled “Yeah, sure.” Then noticed she was staring and the man who’d been discussing the works of Annabelle Lewis.
Gerard hated this. He hated to be recognized but more than that he hated the fact that it bothered him. For years he’d been so pleased when fans had acknowledged him. Now he felt only resentment. Grabbing one more book off the shelf he muttered a “nice talking to you’ then hurried towards the check out.
“You know who that was, right?’ The young girl whispered. When her boyfriend shook his head she rolled her eyes. “That was Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance.”
He shrugged clearly unimpressed, “I thought that group broke up.”
“No, I don’t think so.” She said turning to watch Gerard as he paid for his purchase. “But they haven’t put out any new music for a long time.”
“Well he’s a fan of Annabelle Lewis.” He told her.
“Cool.” As Gerard walked out onto the sidewalk she added softly, “Did you notice he didn’t look very good?”
Her boyfriend laughed, “Oh was the fan girl’s dreams shattered by seeing the guy in real life?”
She shook her head slowly, “That’s not what I mean. He’s a good-looking guy but he looked so sad. Like there was no life in his eyes.”
Annabelle leaned back against the carved mahogany headboard then reached for her cell phone. “Clare, I saw you called earlier.”
“I did and with news. My Chem’s manager called and the group has agreed.” Annabelle’s secretary reported.
“Excellent.” Annabelle answered smiling slightly and she sank down into the soft mattress.
“You really had no doubt.” Clare responded. She’s been with Annabelle for many years and spoke freely. “I still do not understand why you have gone to so much trouble. You know meeting him could have been accomplished easily.”
Annabelle sighed, “Yes, of course. But there is a fine line I must walk.”
“No, not ‘must’.” Clare said softly, “Annabelle for you there is no ‘must’ the word is ‘choose’. You have chosen this line you walk. You have chosen this path.”
“I have.” Annabelle admitted, “But this path is true and honest. I have made a choice that will allow him to make a choice.”
Clare sighed, “You give all of them what they do not deserve.”
Annabelle’s friendship with Clare was being put to the test. She took a minute to let the anger she felt subside before speaking. “We are not so different. Yes, now at this moment in time it is true but it was not always this way. I will give him a choice. That I decided long ago.”
As much as Clare loved Annabelle it was still hard for her to understand. “He is just a man. A man who almost destroyed this chance you are giving him so many times. Do not forget Annabelle I was there that night he brought tears to your eyes.”
The memory trigged by Clare’s words was not one Annabelle welcomed. “I must go.” She said abruptly. “Please make sure all the preparations are made for the tour.” With that she disconnected then closed her eyes.
It was impossible to block out the memory. The pain it caused would always remain fresh….
The pavement of the parking lot still simmered with remnants of the hot summer day. It was close to the midnight hour yet the temperature still hovered in the mid 90’s. Annabelle slipped off her sandals and stood letting the heat burn the soles of her feet. She welcomed the feeling. Lifting her arms she twisted her long hair into a knot then secured it with a rubber band she’d found abandoned on the ground. As she did this her eyes never left the figure of the man across the lot. He swayed and almost lost his footing righting himself just before falling.
Around him the others who had been his companions drifted off in various directions. Their loud voices and laughter died away. Annabelle fought to control the anger she felt towards them. They had witnessed the drugs he’d consumed. They knew he’d poisoned his body to a dangerous level yet they’d done nothing to stop him. His downward spiral had worn many of his friends thin. Now he stood alone trying to remain upright but failing. As she watched he sank to his knees cradling his head.
Slowly she walked across the pavement towards him. He’d begun retching and now the contents of his stomach emptied splattering his clothing. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he continued to vomit. He wanted it to end. All of it.
She’d promised herself not to interact with him. This path of self-destruction he’d chosen was nearing its end. And yet….
He wiped his mouth smearing vomit, sweat and tears across his face. His head was still bowed as he plunged his hand into the pocket of his jacket. Deep down he knew it was ridiculous to be wearing a jacket in this heat but he didn’t care. He cared about nothing. The packet felt warm to his touch and his fingers shook.
If he chose the darkness, if he took any more drugs it would be over. He knew this and so did she. Moving soundlessly she circled the kneeling figure and stood behind him, waiting.
Gerard felt fresh tears fill his eyes. He wanted it to be over and yet a part of his brain still functioned enough to show him the faces of those who loved him. The pain he would cause them, made him pause. And yet it was all too much. Despair overcame him.
His eyes flew open as a soft cool breeze caressed his ear. The haze surrounding his brain lifted for just a moment. His fingers shook as he pulled out his cell phone.
She had moved back into the shadow of the trees, still watching. His voice carried across to her ears as he poured out his heart. All the fears, anger, self-loathing he’d carried for so long spilled out. In the darkness she stood watching until he’d struggled to his feet in search of his tour manager. He would be safe now, he was on the path that would led him to redemption. When he disappeared from sight she was shocked by the wetness on her cheeks. Wiping the tears away she turned and saw her longtime companion watching in confusion. She could not explain her actions so she simply walked silently into the night....
Gerard closed the book then set it down on the nightstand. He’d returned to his hotel room, taken a quick shower then crawled into bed clutching “The End of Me.” Now it was four in the morning and his eyes had started to drift closed making him realized it was time to sleep. Yet even after he snapped off the light and settled down into the king-sized bed sleep did not come. His mind continued to return to the chance meeting with Annabelle. Something in the back of his mind kept nagging at him. She had seemed so familiar and yet he was sure he’d never met the woman before. He smiled in the darkness reminding himself that had he ever seen her he was sure it was a memory he wouldn’t have forgotten. Her long almost white hair was unforgettable. Yet more than that her eyes were not something any man could forget. They were so light blue yet them seemed to shine from within.
“Shit.” He muttered out loud. What the hell was he thinking? He sounded as if he’d been star struck by her. And yet he realized he had been. He burrowed down into the covers and tried to recall her voice. Then it hit him. It was her voice; he’d heard it before, but when? No, it wasn’t possible. He’d never met the woman before so how could he have heard her voice?
As sleep finally fell upon him he was suddenly jarred awake by another thought. Tonight, for the first time in such a long time he hadn’t wanted a drink. The thought hadn’t crossed his mind. Nor had the paralyzing emptiness that always hit him each night. He did not understand why nor did he try to understand it. He was afraid to acknowledge these facts for fear if he did things would return to how they’d been before. A slight smile touched his lips as he fell to sleep. In the back of his mind hope, an emotion he thought long dead, awakened. Hope that he might wake up tomorrow and not want it to be his last day on earth.
AUTHORS NOTE:Just want to thank all of you for the comments. I'm really excited to be starting a new story even though it's a crazy time for me right now. Oh and add I woke up this morning to a snowstorm. Yeah sure this was the first day of Spring. I'll be out of town this coming weekend (it's my birthday and I'm going to a comic show) so I was thinking of posting another chapter maybe on Thursday because my next Sunday chapter may be late in the day. Hope you all continue to enjoy the story.