Gerard wants to see Anna again but something just isn't quite right.
“Think you can shove anything else in there?” She teased.
He answered without looking up. “Nope, I think it’s full.”
Alicia laughed, “Yeah, pretty sure it is. You know I’ve been wondering about Anna.”
Mikey finally got the latch secured. He sat up and looked over at his wife. “What about her?”
Alicia took a seat on the bed before answering, “Don’t get me wrong I like her but there is something about her that seems, I don’t know, different.”
Alicia thought a minute before asking, “How old is she?”
“Uh, let me think.” Mikey tried to recall the author bio on her last book, “I think she’s 25.”
“She seems older.” Alicia said with a frown. “Maybe it’s just that she seems so intelligent. Did you notice that no matter what topic she seems to know all about it. Like your mom’s flowers.”
Mikey frowned, “I thought you said you liked her?”
“I do. Don’t get me wrong. I’m looking forward to getting to know her better on this tour.”
“So what’s the problem?” He asked struggling to understand.
“There is no problem, Mikey Way.” She laughed. “There is just something about her that seems off.”
Mikey sighed. Sometimes his wife confused him.
Alicia got off the bed and moved towards her own bag. She still had last minute packing to do too. As she folded one of her tee shirts she mused out loud. “Gerard seemed attracted to her.”
Mikey had noticed that same thing. “Yeah, you know I watched the way they talked to each other. It’s the first time it really seemed like he was honest about what he was saying in a long time.”
“Since the divorce.” Alicia said knowing what he meant.
“Yeah, since the divorce. I’ve been worried about him. For the past year it just seems like he’s been going through the motions of living but that he’s not been truly living.”
Alicia heard the love in his voice for his brother. “Well then maybe Anna being along will be a very good thing.”
“I hope so.” Mikey said softly. “I really do.”
Gerard sat back and looked with a critical eye at the drawing he’d just completed. The woman in the picture seemed to leap from the page with her long white hair flowing behind her. “Holy fuck, I’ve made Anna into a superhero.” He muttered with a grin.
He threw down the pencil and let the memories from last night fill his head once again. What would have happened if he hadn’t run into her on his way back from the liquor store? Would he have taken a drink? More than that thought he couldn’t help but wonder how he had been so lucky that she had been there. He closed his eyes and tried to remember what had happened. He remembered leaving the liquor store clutching the bag tightly in his hand. His heart had been racing, his tongue begging for the burn of the liquor. He’d only walked a short distance before the snow had begun to fall. The cold flakes had fallen on his face making him stop to look up. And then he had seen them dancing and heard her voice.
“Shit.” He sat up and tired to clear his head. Fear made him try to discount what had happened. It had just been a lucky break she ran into him, nothing more.
Still he wished he had her number. He was sure that if he did he could think of some lame excuse to call her. He ached to hear her sweet voice. Maybe he should call Brian and get the number. Then he realized he could call Mikey. He had her private secretary’s number. His fingers shook slightly as he waited for his brother to pick up.
“Yo, dude.” Mikey greeted his call.
“Hey, give me that number for Anna’s secretary.” He said getting right to the point.
Mikey grinned over at Alicia. “Uh sure hold on.” He checked his phone log. “Okay here it is” He recited the number.
“Thanks” Gerard disconnected before Mikey could question his motive for wanting the number.
Gerard took a deep breath then called. After several rings a soft voice answered. “This is Claire Monroe.”
“Uh, this is Gerard Way. I’d like to speak to Anna.”
“Anna? Oh of course you mean Annabelle. I’m sorry Mr. Way but she is unavailable at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?”
“Yes, please. Could you please give her my number and ask her to call me?”
“Of course.” Claire answered. She wrote down the number. “I’ll give this to her as soon as possible.”
“Thanks” Gerard said softly before disconnecting. He sat down the phone then rubbed his forehead. The last thing he wanted right now was another fuckin’ headache.
Several hours later Anna walked into the main living room of her suite. She saw that Claire had arrived and had tidied up the area.
“Hello.” Claire greeted her.
“Hello.” Anna answered with a smile. “I see you have already cleaned up my mess.”
Claire sighed, “Yes, I clean up the messes I can.”
Anna knew exactly what the comment meant. “Please, you just arrived. Do not start this already.”
“I am not starting anything.” Claire answered walking over and picking up a piece of paper off the desk. “You had a call earlier this afternoon.”
Anna took it from her hand. “And this number belongs to who?”
Claire gave a long-suffering sigh, “To him, of course. He wishes to speak to you.”
“Oh.” Anna said softly, “What did he say?”
This time Claire rolled her eyes, “Oh my. This is just like in one of those teen movies you make me watch. What did he say, how did he sound.” She mimicked a young girls voice.
Anna held her temper but it wasn’t easy. However Claire knew by the look in her eyes it was best to stop. “He simply said he wanted to speak to you. I explained you were unavailable. He left his number so you could return his call.”
“Thank you.” Anna said walking over to the phone.
“So shall I leave the room while you make the call?”
Anna frowned, “That will not be necessary.”
“As you wish, Annabelle.” Claire responded once more returning to the correspondence she’s been working on before Anna appeared.
Anna, who had been reaching for the phone, withdrew her hand and sighed. “Claire we need to discuss something.”
Anna walked over and took a seat on the push sofa. “It is about the tour. We will be traveling with the band, as you know.”
Claire interrupted her, “Of course I know, Annabelle. I set this up.”
Anna glared at her. “First off, please call me Anna.”
Holding her temper was again an issue. “Because it is what I wish you to call me.”
Claire nodded but remained silent.
“I have explained to Gerard that you are more than my private secretary.”
“What exactly did you say?” Claire questioned.
“I explained to him that we have been together a very long time and that you are my friend.”
“So you lied to him.” Claire said softly.
Anna was shocked by her words. “It was not a lie. You are my friend, Claire.”
“We both know it is more complicated than that.” Claire said but seeing the look on Anna’s face she added, “But thank you for saying that.”
“I do mean it.” Anna said softly. “And I do understand you do not agree with what I am doing.”
“It is not my place to agree or disagree.” Claire answered.
Anna sighed, “Perhaps not but I have given you the freedom to make your opinions known to me.” She stood and moved towards the phone. “Just remember from now on I am Anna.”
“As you wish.” Claire said looking down at the papers spread out on the desk.
Anna dialed the number and waited until she heard his voice. “Hello, Gee.”
Gerard sat down on his bed with a smile on his face. “Hey, Anna. I was beginning to think you weren’t going to call back.”
“I only just got in.” Anna lied.
“Oh, well no problem.” Gerard said. “I was wondering if you’d like to see an early movie. I know we gotta take off early in the morning so you probably won’t want to make a late night of it.”
Anna smiled, “That sounds wonderful. What movie did you have in mind?”
“Uh, I’m not sure. I guess we could get together and decide if that’s okay with you?”
“Of course.” Anna glanced at the clock. “I could be ready in an hour.”
“Great.” Gerard said. “Where do you want to meet?’
Anna glanced over at Clair and saw she was frowning again. “I will met you at your hotel.”
“Okay.” Gerard answered realizing he felt better now than he had all day. “See you in an hour.”
Once she hung up the phone Anna turned to Claire. “Stop that.”
The hint of a smile appeared on Claire’s face. “I am not scowling.”
Claire shook her head.
Anna was feeling very good about her upcoming date. “If that is not a scowl then what is it?’
“Permission to speak my mind?”
“Claire.” Anna said with a sigh, “Do not ask for what I have already given you. You know you may speak your mind.”
“Fine.” Claire turned to face her. “I am trying not to laugh.”
Anna felt hurt. “Laugh?”
“Yes, laugh but not in a bad way. It is really quite amusing to watch you act like a schoolgirl. Do you realize how long it’s been since you have had a date?”
“A very long time.” Anna said looking down.
“Yes, a very long time.” She wanted to take the sorrow from Anna’s eyes. “So what are you going to wear?”
Anna was shocked, “What?”
“Well that is the correct response one’s girlfriend would make. I am supposed to ask you what you are going to wear and where he is taking you.”
This time Anna laughed, “Yes, it is. Well done, Claire. Come help me chose something to wear to the movies.”
Gerard sat chain smoking while watching the clock. She should be here any minute and his nerves were starting to get the best of him. Why am I nervous he wondered again and again. It’s not like I haven’t been on a fuckin’ date before. Then he realized that was precisely why he was nervous. He hadn’t been on a date in a long time, certainly not since his divorce. He snuffed out his cigarette and stood to begin pacing the room. His stomach began to churn and his head was pounding.
Anna took a moment to get her emotions under control then raised her hand to knock on the door. It was pulled open a moment later.
“Hey.” Gerard smiled.
“Hello.” Anna answered softly.
He stood back to allow her to enter. “Uh, come on in. I thought we could look on the Net together and decide on a movie.”
Anna nodded as she walked in. She felt Gerard’s eyes as they roamed over the tight fitting dress that was revealed as she slipped out of her coat. She noted to herself that he looked very nice in his tight black jeans and dark red sweater but his eyes looked troubled.
He placed her coat on the chair by the door then walked over to the computer. He already had the movie listings pulled up. “Here” He pointed to the screen, “Tell me what looks good.”
“You” The words left her mouth before she could stop them shocking her.
Gerard was surprised by the words but shocked by the look on her face he took as embarrassment. “Anna, there is nothing wrong with saying the first thing that comes to mind.”
“I never speak without thinking.” She said still horrified by her out of character comment.
Gerard tilted his head and gave her a puzzled look. “Everyone at one time or another had said something without thinking first. Sometimes things just pop out. Besides I am flattered by your answer. To tell you the truth if you had asked me the same question I would have given the same answer. You look beautiful.”
Stepping away from the desk Anna looked away giving herself a moment to gather her thoughts. He couldn’t understand that what had just happened was very significant. Losing her control of any situation was something that was not acceptable.
“Look, lets start over.” Gerard said softly not understanding why this was such a big deal to her but realizing it was for some reason. He moved closer to her and smiled. “Anna what movie would you like to see tonight?”
“Actually I am sorry but I am not feeling well.” She looked slightly over his shoulder not meeting his eyes.
Disappointment washed over him. He didn’t understand what had just happened but he didn’t want her to leave. “If you like we could just stay here. We can rent a movie on the TV and I can have room service bring us something up.” He knew he was sounding pathetic and stopped himself. “But if you don’t feel good I understand.”
Anna was torn. She realized how hard it had become for him to open up to anyone and yet she was worried that for a moment she had lost control. When she looked back at him she saw he looked hurt. “I would prefer that.”
He nodded feeling relieved. While he had been waiting for her to arrive his anxiety level had started to rise. As much as he wanted to see her the idea of going out in public had begun to bother him. He smiled, “Good. To tell the truth I’m not feeling all the great myself. A nice quiet evening sounds better to me.”
Anna gave him a concerned look. “You are not feeling well?”
He shrugged, “Just a slight headache. No big deal.”
They settled down on the sofa and Gerard flipped on the large flat screen TV. Soon they were both enjoying the movie. About an hour into the film she glanced over to see a frown mar his face.
“Gee?” She asked softly.
He took a deep breath. “Sorry, it’s just this stupid headache.”
She had sensed something was wrong. “If you will allow me I can help ease the pain.” She said sitting up and facing him.
Gerard gave her a puzzled look. “You can?”
She nodded. “It is a technique my grandmother taught me.” She placed her hands gently on his temples and applied slight pressure. Gerard was at first startled.
“Your hands are so cold.” He whispered looking into her eyes.
Anna nodded, “Yes, feel the coldness from my hands moving inside to numb the pain.” Her voice was hypnotic.
He gazed into here icy blue eyes and suddenly he felt the coldness seem to penetrate his skull easing the pain. Their eyes stayed locked as she continued to gently rub several more minutes until his eyes fell shut.
“Gee, open your eyes.” She whispered.
Slowly his eyelids fluttered open. “It worked.” He said in awe. “My head stopped hurting.”
Anna nodded. She started to move away when his hand reached out to stop her. “I’ve never met anyone like you.”
Her smile was slightly sad and he wondered why. “That is true.” She nodded.
“It scares me.”
“I would never hurt you Gerard.” She said in a husky whisper.
Somewhere in his mind a voice was telling him it was crazy but he believed her.
Breaking the spell she stood. “I need to leave now.” She offered no other explanation.
“I want you to stay.”
Anna realized he was speaking without thought. He was speaking from emotion only. If it had not been that way then perhaps she would have agreed. Still for once she allowed herself to speak the same way, with no thought just pure emotion. “I would like that but I must go.”
Gerard watched as she crossed the room and donned her coat. She turned as she reached the door. “Tomorrow you will remember we enjoyed the movie together.”
“Goodnight Gee.” She forced herself to leave knowing it would be wrong to rush what had taken years to achieve.