Gerard needs answers.
“Gee.” Anna said seeing the disbelief covering his face. “I am telling you the truth.”
Gerard stood up so quickly for a moment the room swayed and he lost his balance. In a flash Anna was standing beside him to steady his body. He allowed her to help him sit back down. “What the fuck is going on?” His voice shook.
As many times as she’d gone over this in her head Anna suddenly did not know where to begin. She knew she the first thing she had to do was make him change the appointment. “I will explain everything to you.” Anna said still holding on to his arm. “I promise I will tell you everything but you need to change the appointment.”
“Anna I don’t understand. How could you possibly know I have a brain tumor? That’s just fuckin’ crazy.”
“I am sure it seems that way.” She fought to keep her own emotions in check. “But I assure you what I am telling you is the truth. Deep down I believe there is a part of you that knows.”
He grabbed his cigarettes out of his pocket. His fingers were shaking so badly it took him three times to get the cigarette lit. Inhaling deeply he tried to make sense of what was happening. “You can’t know.”
“Please Gee.” She begged. “Just call and change the appointment for tomorrow.”
Now he felt anger. The woman he loved was not supposed to be crazy, this wasn’t right. “What difference would that make? You think it’s better they tell me tomorrow that I have a brain tumor?”
“Tomorrow you may not have the tumor.” Anna said slowly, “If that is your choice.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard exploded. “You’re fuckin’ crazy.”
Anna removed her hand from his arm and sat back.
“Shit.” He leaned over and snubbed out the cigarette. As confused as he was he didn’t want to hurt her. “I’m sorry.” He started to say more but Anna stood.
“I knew it would be difficult for you to accept.” She crossed the room and moved into the kitchen. Gerard jumped to his feel and thankfully this time was not dizzy. He reached the kitchen just as she removed a knife from the block.
“Anna what the fuck?” He ran towards her unable to grab the knife before she plunged it into her stomach.
The jar of salsa crashed to the ground splattering at Claire’s feet. Bob heard the sound and turned to see her leaning on the shopping basket.
“Claire.” Mindless of the glass he reached for her. “Are you okay?”
Claire took a deep breath. “I am so sorry.” Tears filled her eyes as she looked down at the mess. “It slipped from my fingers.”
Bob gave a sigh of relief. When he’d fist turned he’d thought she was in pain. “Oh shit. Don’t worry about it.”
She knew she had to remain strong. “I feel like an idiot.” She said trying to smile.
“I’ve done my share of dropping shit.” Bob said taking her arm and carefully helping her move out of the tomato mess. A store employee suddenly appeared to handle the situation.
“Is there a restroom I could use?” Claire asked him looking down at her now red shoes.
“Sure thing.” The employee pointed towards the back of the store.
“I will be back in a moment.” Claire said turning to Bob. “I will try to wash some of this off.”
“Okay.” Bob nodded holding up their shopping list. “I’ll get the rest of our stuff.”
As soon as Claire reached the restroom she ran into the nearest stall and locked the door. “Oh Anna.” She whispered filled with fear. “What is happening?”
Anna fell to the floor with Gerard’s arms still tightly holding her.
“Oh Anna, Baby.” Gerard cried. “Baby, no.” Suddenly his brain began to clear. He had to call 911. He let go and tried to stand. Anna grabbed his shoulders and held him in place.
“Anna I’m gonna get help.” He tried again to move but was shocked that she was overpowering him.
“Gee, stop.” She let go of his shoulders and pushed him back. He landed on his butt still facing her.
Gerard watched in a fascinated horror as she pulled the knife from her stomach. There was a gush of blood but only for a moment. The knife clanked to the floor and Anna closed her eyes. Once again he struggled to get to his feet. He had to reach his phone.
“Gee.” Her voice was stronger this time. “Please stop.” Slowly she lifted her shirt and he gasped when he saw the ugly red wound. He put out his hand to push himself up off the floor when it happened. As he watched in stunned silence the wound suddenly began to close. After a few minutes it was completely gone as if it had never existed.
“What the fuck?” Fear made him scoot back until his back painfully made contact with the counter behind him. “Oh what the fuck?”
Anna took a deep breath. “I knew you would not believe my words. You needed to see for yourself.”
He shook his head in denial, “It’s not possible.”
She lowered her shirt. “It is possible. I am completely healed.” She wanted to go to him but saw the fear in his eyes. “Just as it is possible for you to be healed.”
“I don’t understand.” He whispered.
“I know at this moment you are unable to say the words to me. But I love you Gee. If you believe nothing else please believe that.”
“Anna.” Tears filled his eyes. “I’m so confused.”
“Please just call and cancel the appointment then I will explain everything to you. If you ever loved me give me this chance.”
Minutes passed as Gerard sat dumbfounded.
Claire washed her shoes the best she could then wiped her eyes. The only thing she could concentrate on at this moment was she knew Anna was no longer in physical pain. She pasted a smile on her face and went back out into the store. Bob was pushing the basket towards her.
“I got everything.”
“Good.” She had to appear as if nothing was amiss. “I have the salsa.” She said lifting up her right foot.
Bob laughed. “Uh I got another jar in case we need more.” As they started for the check out he asked, “Do we need to stop and get you another pair of shoes?”
Claire looked down at her feet and frowned, “They are the only pair I brought with me.”
“No problem. We’ll stop at the mall on the way home.”
He paid for their groceries and they headed for the parking lot.
“Wanna pick up a movie for tonight?” he asked as he opened the trunk and began to load in the bags.
“Yes.” Claire answered grabbing a bag to help.
“Uh, Mom wants us to stop by tomorrow so she can meet you.” He closed the trunk and looked at her. “That okay with you?”
Claire was trying desperately to stay in control of her emotions. She ached for news about Anna but knew she must appear normal. “Of course.”
Bob laughed, “Oh man. If you could see your face. I promise meeting my mom won’t be like facing a firing squad.”
“I did not mean for it to appear that way.” Claire sputtered.
He gave her a quick kiss as he opened her door. “It’s okay I get that you’re nervous.”
“Think I should call him?” Mikey asked as soon as they reached their room at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.
Alicia glanced at her watch. “He hasn’t even been to the doctor yet.” They both had heard from Brian about Gerard’s appointment.
His face fell, “Oh yeah, right.”
She moved in and hugged him tightly. “Try not to worry.”
“I can’t help it.” Mikey murmured against her hair. “He’s my brother and I love him.”
“I know.” She whispered. “Have you talked to your mom?”
Mikey moved back and shook his head, “Gee didn’t want me to say anything to her. She still thinks we’re on tour.” He paused then asked, “Do you think I should call her?”
“No I think you should wait and see how Gee’s appointment goes. I mean I’m sure he doesn’t want to worry her.”
“She’ll be pissed if she finds out.” Mikey said walking towards the balcony. He pulled open the drapes and looked out. “I’m sorry I’m not being much fun.”
Alicia walked over and also took in the view. “Hey, I understand. I love your brother too and I’m just as worried. But we just gotta keep a positive attitude. It’s probably nothing.”
“Yeah.” He said trying to take comfort in her words. “It’s probably nothing.”
Anna sat on the sofa as Gerard made the call. He explained that something unavoidable had come up and he’d have to reschedule the appointment. After several minutes the receptionist had given him a ten o’clock appointment for tomorrow morning. He disconnected the phone then slowly turned to face Anna.
“Fuck I want a drink.” He whispered his true feelings like a guilty child.
“I know you do.” Anna answered. “I understand that the idea of taking a drink to block this all out is very strong.” She smiled sadly, “I am sorry you must feel that way.”
Gerard slowly walked over and took a seat in the chair. He hated that he couldn’t make himself sit down next to her, not now.
“I am not sure where to begin.” Anna said sadly as she realized he did not want to be near her.
He lit a cigarette and tried to gather the few remaining sane thoughts still in his brain. “How about at the fucking beginning?”
Anna nodded “Yes, I believe you are right. The beginning.” She stood “But first I must do something.” She walked over to her bag and unzipped it. She could feel Gerard’s eyes on her as she pulled out the black bag.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“A necessary evil.” Anna said sadly looking down.
Gerard stood feeling an anger wrought from confusion, “No, really. What the fuck is that?”
She understood his anger. “Something I need.” She started for the bathroom but his voice stopped her.
“Where are you going?”
“I need privacy.” She answered hoping he would not press the issue.
“No” He was on his feet in an instant. “I’m not letting you out of my sight until I get some answers.”
Anna could feel the hunger growing and knew she could not ignore the hold it had on her. She opened the bag and took out the vial and syringe. She heard Gerard gasp.
Anna ignored him and quickly made the preparations. She closed her eyes as the needle pierced her skin. As the liquid burned through her veins she opened her eyes.
“Oh fuck.” Gerard took a step back, “I wasn’t imagining it. Your eyes.”
Anna closed them again and a moment later when she reopened them they were normal. She replaced the items in the bag and moved back to the sofa. She sat down then looked at Gerard. “Please sit down.”
For a moment she thought he would ignore her request but slowly he walked back over to the chair. “What are you?” This time there was no anger in his voice.
Anna smiled sadly, “To you I am now a “what”. I am no longer a person.”
He was struggling with his emotions. Part of him wanted to move over to the sofa and take her in his arms. He wanted to believe this was still the woman he’d fallen in love with so much yet fear kept him anchored. “Anna, I need to understand what is going on.”
“Yes.” She looked down, “I know you do. As you said before I should start at the beginning.” She closed her eyes and let her mind travel back in time. “The beginning we share started over 25 years ago.”
“Twenty five years?” Gerard repeated. “You’re saying we knew each other as kids?”
Anna looked into his eyes, “Gerard think of what you have just seen. I know by now you realize I am not what I appear to be. For us the beginning was the day I looked into the eyes of a little boy and knew instantly he would one day grow to be the man I would love. I knew I was looking into the eyes of my soul mate.”
Gerard sat stunned.
“I handed him back the sand pail he’d lost and for a brief moment our eyes met.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard’s voice shook, “You are the angel woman.”