Gerard and Anna learn more about each other.
ANNA: No I am not sleeping.
Gerard read it and frowned. It was direct and to the point. Maybe she was angry but he suddenly realized that her text would probably have the same reserved tone as her speech. He took a deep breath and replied.
GERARD: Sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to you tonight.
He realized he was actually holding his breath waiting for her response.
ANNA: I understand before a concert is a busy time.
Gerard felt guilty. She had to have seen that he really hadn’t been all that busy. He had talked to lots of people backstage, just not her. He searched his mind trying to decide what to say next.
GERARD: Did you enjoy the concert?
As soon as he sent the text he groaned. What a lame thing to ask.
ANNA: Very much.
“God getting her to talk is like pulling teeth” He muttered to himself. He was thinking how stupid the whole idea of texting her had been when he received another text.
ANNA: Have I done something to upset you?
“Shit” he muttered rolling over on his side. He’d been right she was upset.
GERARD: Of course not. Why would you think so?” He rubbed his eyes trying to ignore the voice in his head telling him he was being a douche.
ANNA: You seemed distant.
Gerard read the text and frowned. He should have realized she would be direct and to the point. He took a deep breath and replied.
GERARD: Sorry. I just have a lot on my mind.
Her reply was swift.
ANNA: And you do not wish to further complicate your life.
Gerard read the text twice There is was again – that feeling that she knew what he was thinking. He stared up at the top of his bunk trying to decide how to answer.
ANNA: I am sorry.
“Of fuck.” Gerard said so loudly he was afraid one of the other might have heard him. His fingers replied before his mind had a chance to stop them.
GERARD: Please don’t be sorry. I am the one who should be sorry. I’m the fucked up one not you.
ANNA: You do not know if that is true. You do not know me.
Her answer shocked him. Anyone with half a brain could see how perfect she was. Forgetting everything he’d told himself before he answered simply…
GERARD: It’s crazy but I feel like I do know you.
Several minutes passed as he continued to hold the phone tightly waiting for her to reply.
ANNA: You do not know me
Her next text came before he finished reading the previous.
ANNA: No one really knows me
Gerard stared down at the screen. Did she really feel that way? Had she gone through her life up to this point feeling that distanced from the people in her life? Suddenly he had so many questions about this woman he didn’t know where to begin.
GERARD: Hello. I’m Gerard. I sing in a band. What do you do?
He prayed she would understand the underlining meaning to what he was doing.
ANNA: Hello. My name is Anna. I am a writer.
Relief flooded through him.
GERARD: Nice to meet you. Where do you live?
ANNA: I have a home in Vermont and you?
GERARD: I have an apartment in LA. Do you enjoy writing?
ANNA: Very much. Do you enjoy singing?
Before he could ask another question he received her text.
ANNA: As much as before?
Gerard’s breath caught. Her simple question brought unwanted tears to his eyes.
Five minutes passed and she still hadn’t answered.
GERARD: Before what?
Still no reply.
GERARD: Anna please answer. Before what?
A single tear rolled down his cheek when he read her response.
ANNA: Before you lost yourself.
He closed his eyes absently swiping at the tears. How could she know that was how he felt? How could she know he felt like he was only a former shell of the person he once was. He tried so hard to hide that from everyone.
ANNA: Deep down you are still there. Please do not stop looking.
At that moment he wished more than anything that she was with him so he could tell her the truth. He wanted to tell her how he’d given up. How he just wanted it all to be over. How some days he felt like he couldn’t go on. He wanted to tell her how scared and alone he felt no matter where he was. Even the stage felt different now. He was so tired of pretending.
ANNA: Gerard I understand.
His fingers shook as he typed.
GERARD: I know you do and it scares me.
ANNA: I am scared too.
Anna sat clutching her phone wondering if he’d respond. Had she said too much or too little? She could feel his emotions; she could feel the inner turmoil that was haunting him. Tears welled up in her eyes as she waited.
GERARD: Please don’t be angry but I can’t do this right now. I can’t open up to you.
Anna felt a tear roll down her cheek.
GERARD: Tomorrow after the concert. Can I travel with you to the next venue?
Anna closed her eyes and felt a wave of relief wash over her.
ANNA: I would like that very much
GERARD: Goodnight Anna. It was nice to meet you.
Happiness made her laugh out loud.
ANNA: Goodnight Gerard. I too enjoyed meeting you.
GERARD: Until tomorrow
ANNA: Sweet dreams
Gerard closed his phone and sighed. He hoped with all his heart that if he did dream they would be good. His eyes fluttered shut and soon a sleep claimed him.
Anna leaned back and closed her eyes. She would not sleep for hours but for now she simply wanted to replay the conversation in her mind. He was opening up to her slowly but it was an important first step. Unexpectedly images filled her mind. He was dreaming once again and she could see the dream.
Gerard smiled in his sleep as the dream started with a happy memory. It was summertime and the band had just left the stage. Being one of the headlines of Warped had made him feel invincible. The crowed had been huge and their reaction to the band phenomenal. He walked backstage intent on calling home. She’d be waiting for him to call. But suddenly he was surrounded by people and he got caught up in all the excitement. Suddenly the dream shifted and he was on a tour bus. It wasn’t the My Chem bus but that didn’t matter. All around people laughing, smoking and drinking. Bottle after bottle was shared and soon he was laying on a bunk with some chick unzipping his pants.
Anna’s eyes shot open. This was something she didn’t want to see yet morbid curiosity got the better of her. Once more she closed her eyes and allowed his dream to fill her mind.
In his bunk Gerard tossed over on his back as the dream continued. Soft hands reached into his boxers and pulled out his hardening dick. Soon those hands were replaced by a warm, wet mouth. Fuck her tongue was swirling around his base then lazily making its way to the tip. For a brief moment he felt a pang of guilt for the one waiting back home for his call but he pushed that thought from his mind. Nothing mattered right now but the feeling that was washing over him. In the dream he opened his eyes and he tried to focus on the woman pumping his dick in and out of her mouth. He reached out to grab her head wanting to force her mouth, wanting her to take him deep. His fingers intertwined in her long white hair….
Anna sat up abruptly and gasped. He was dreaming about her. He was dreaming about something that had never happened. A blush came to her cheeks and her breathing accelerated.
Still sleeping Gerard rolled back over and his hand reached down to his throbbing dick. He was so close. Then she stopped. He tried to push her head down again but she resisted. Pulling himself up in anger he was shocked to find himself staring into icy blue eyes. “Anna” he whispered.
Anna could take no more. She stood up feeling dazed. Was it simply a random dream he was having or a memory from long ago? And if so why had she suddenly become the woman in the dream? Anna gasped as her cell went off. She picked it up noticing her hands were shaking.
GERARD: I know it’s late but I just woke up and need to talk
ANNA: Are you all right?
GERARD: Yes No I don’t know.
She had to know.
ANNA: Did you have a bad dream?
She waited wondering if he would even acknowledge he’d had a dream.
GERARD: Not a bad dream but confusing
ANNA: Do you want to talk about it?
GERARD: Uh not really.
ANNA: What shall we talk about?
Gerard tried to get comfortable in his bunk but it was difficult. His dick was still throbbing but he tried to ignore it. He also tried to ignore the gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach that wanted a drink. Suddenly he didn’t want to pretend anymore.
GERARD: I want a drink.
As soon as he sent the text he wished he could call it back. This was crazy. She was writing a book about the group and he was telling her something that had to stay a secret.
ANNA: Recall what alcohol once did to your life.
Gerard read the text then closed his eyes. She was right. It had almost destroyed his life.
GERARD: I don’t know if I’m strong enough anymore.
Her reply was swift.
ANNA: I know you are.
GERARD: You can’t know that.
ANNA: Yes I can. I know
Gerard ran a shaky hand over his face. If only he could make himself believe her. Suddenly he felt so tired, so defeated. He didn’t want to think about this anymore.
GERARD: Want to talk about something else. Tell me where you grew up.
Anna understood he was feeling too vulnerable. She understood tonight he’d opened himself up more than he had in a long time. She began the text with the background story she’d created for herself when she suddenly stopped and erased what she’d written. Tonight he’d told her things he’d wanted to keep buried deep inside so she would do the same.
ANNA: I grew up in Colorado on a small farm outside Cripple Creek.
GERARD: Colorado? Wow. A farm?
ANNA: Yes a farm!
GERARD: Do your parents still live there?
Anna smiled sadly knowing she had to be mindful of how she answered his questions.
ANNA: My parents are dead.
GERARD: Shit I’m sorry. Any brothers or sisters?
ANNA: Not living
“Shit” Gerard whispered as he read the text. Sliding out of his bunk he moved to the kitchen area for a glass of water.
“Hey I thought you were sleeping” Mikey said looking away from the TV.
“Couldn’t sleep.” Gerard answered absently. He got his drink of water then leaned against the counter and sent his text.
GERARD: I’m sorry. How long have they been gone?
Mikey gave him a puzzled look, “Who ya texting?”
Gerard was about to answer no one but suddenly that seemed wrong to him somehow. “Anna” He answered looking over and seeing Mikey but Alicia, Ray and Christa. Before anyone else could ask him any more questions he headed back to his bunk.
“Humm, interesting.” Alicia said with a giggle.
Christa nodded, “They really seem to have made a connection.”
“Good.” Ray added to the conversation, “Gee needs somebody in his life.”
Gerard crawled back in his bunk and read her text.
ANNA: It seems like forever. My mother, father and sister all died when I was 16.
GERARD: Is this too painful for you?
ANNA: It is always painful but the pain is overshadowed by the good memories.
GERARD: How did they die?
Anna sat back and sighed. She was revealing to him things that even Claire did not know.
ANNA: It was an epidemic
Gerard frowned wondering what kind of epidemic had wiped out her family but he didn’t want to pry into that painful past any further. Instead he wrote..
GERARD: Was your sister older or younger than you?
ANNA: Clarissa was younger than me by two years. She was beautiful.
GERARD: As are you. Where did you go after they died?
Now she had to slightly alter the truth. Trying to keep as much honestly as she could she typed in her response.
ANNA: I went to live with my uncle Jacob
As she typed that it was impossible not to smile. She could just imagine the look on Jacob’s face being referred to as an uncle.
GERARD: Were you happy?
Anna felt a wave of sadness wash over her. Happiness was not something she could associate with her life. At least not with her life until now. She thought a moment trying to decide how to answer.
Gerard once again wished they were speaking in person. An overwhelming desire to take her into his arms swept over him.
GERARD: I’m sorry.
ANNA: Share with me a happy moment from your childhood.
GERARD: Going to see Star Wars with my dad.
ANNA: Tell me one you have never told anyone else.
Gerard laughed softly. She obviously had read a lot of his previous interviews. He closed his eyes a moment and tried to recall a memory he had never shared with anyone. Soon he began typing. It wasn’t anything special yet the memory always stayed with him.
GERARD: I was eleven. I had spent the afternoon alone in the yard. I remember the warm fresh air of spring and being rained upon by helicopters. I collected them all and climbed my favorite tree as high as I could and re-released them to the ground. I wanted them to have a second flight a second chance.
Anna read the words and suddenly in her mind she could see that day too. She could feel the slight twinge of fear as he climbed up and up into the tree. She could once more see the gentle flight as the helicopters fluttered to the ground.
Gerard wondered why she wasn’t responding.
GERARD: Uh you know the seeds of the Maple tree? Me and Mikey called them helicopters.
ANNA: Yes I understand and that is a lovely memory. A second chance….
Gerard smiled feeling the warmth of the memory fill his heart.
GERARD: Yes a second chance
ANNA: Thank you for sharing that memory with me.
GERARD: It is late and I think I can go back to sleep now. Thank you.
ANNA: Goodnight Gee
He pulled the light blanket over his body and settled in before answering.
GERARD: Goodnight Anna Until tomorrow.