Gerard's behavior is causing concern.
Claire looked around the generic motel room. “It is fine. As long as I can take a shower it is more than fine.”
Bob frowned, “Hey it’s pretty late and I know you’re exhausted, why not wait and take a shower in the morning.”
She was tried that was true. Still… “Uh, well I just thought…” She glanced away feeling embarrassed.
Much to her chagrin Bob started laughing, “When are you gonna stop being embarrassed around me?”
“Who said I am embarrassed?” She asked softly knowing it was the truth.
Bob walked over and pulled her into his arms. “Look, let’s just be honest. Both of us need showers but it’s fuckin’ late and we’re both tired. I get that you were thinking that if we were gonna make love you wanted to shower first.” He tilted her face up to meet his. “Claire, don’t be embarrassed about anything with me, okay?”
She nodded feeling lost in his blue eyes.
“So since we’re being honest I’ll tell you that as much as I want to make love to you I’m just too fuckin’ tired. Pretty sure I couldn’t get it up if I tried.”
Claire realized she loved his honestly. “So can we still snuggle?”
“Oh fuck yeah, Honey. And in the morning we’ll shower together.”
“Mikey you awake?”
“Yeah, you need something?” He sat up in the reclining chair the hospital had provided for him.
“What time is it?” Alicia asked hating how groggy she still felt.
Mikey glanced down at his watch, “Almost 3:30 in the morning. You were asleep most of the day. Are you in pain? The nurse said to call her if you woke up and needed some pain medicine.”
She shook her head, “No, the pain ain’t bad. I’m sorry I woke you.”
He got out of the chair and stretched. “I’m glad you did. I was sleeping at a weird angle.” He sat down in the chair beside her bed and took her hand, “Besides I always wanna talk to my girl.”
Alicia smiled at him, “I love you.”
“I love you too but you gotta promise not to scare me like that again. Shit, it killed me to see you in so much pain.”
“You know it’s weird but I don’t remember a lot of what happened.” She closed her eyes trying to recall the events. “I remember being sick on the bus and I remember you and Anna talking to me while I was laying on the sofa.”
“Do you remember me carrying you to Anna’s RV?”
“Yeah, shit I felt so bad. Hey, Christa was there too, wasn’t she?”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah, she was with us. She woke up and heard how sick you were so she came to the RV and decided to ride with us.”
Alicia felt a twinge of pain but tried to ignore it. She wanted to talk to Mikey and she knew that if they gave her something for the pain she’d fall back asleep. “Fuck, I can’t ever remember feeling that bad. I was so scared, you know? I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I knew it was something bad.”
“I’m just glad we stopped when we did and Anna suggested taking you to the RV. I feel like a fuckin’ idiot that I thought you just had the flu.”
She squeezed his hand, “Hey that’s what I thought it was at first too.”
“Yeah thank God Anna realized it was serious. Christa told me she that Anna was pretty sure it was your appendix and she was the one who said we should take you to the hospital.”
“So she and Gerard, okay?” Alicia asked remembering that before she got sick everyone was pretty sure the couple had had a fight.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure she was pissed at Gee for saying she was his fiancée at the Meet and Greet.”
Alicia frowned, “How come?”
“Don’t think he’s asked her to marry him.” Mikey laughed, “But you know how Gee is.”
“He’s kinda strange.” Alicia smiled. “But I think he and Anna are right for each other.”
“Yeah, me too.” Mikey admitted. “I just don’t want him to rush into anything. Ray and I talked about it and now that he’s finally come out of his fuckin’ depression he needs to take time to decide what he really wants.”
“I think he really wants Anna.” Alicia said with a yawn.
Mikey wasn’t as sure but he didn’t want to disagree with her. “So you don’t remember getting’ to the hospital?” He asked returning to the original conversation.
Alicia frowned. “I’ve got bits and pieces of memories. I do remember laying there is so much pain but I think just Anna and Christa were with me.”
“Yeah, I was talkin’ to Gee at the time. He said Anna knows some techniques for pain management and wanted me to let her try to help you.”
Alicia looked at him blankly, “I don’t remember anything like that.” She searched her memory, “The next thing I can remember is you carrying me into the hospital and the pain wasn’t as bad.”
“You were in so much pain.” He said softly, “It’s not surprising you can’t remember anything else.”
“Yeah.” She nodded yawning again. “But I gotta remember to thank Anna and Christa for being there for me.”
Anna lay in the big four-poster bed listening to Gerard as he cleaned up the water from the titled bathroom floor. She smiled thinking how he’d helped her from the tub then gently wrapped her in a huge towel. She’d giggled when he’s lifted her in his arms and carried her to the bed. She wondered if he realized he was humming as he worked.
“What was that tune?” Anna asked when he appeared a few minutes later.
He gave her a blank look, “What tune?”
“You were humming a tune in the bathroom.” She said with a smile. “It was not familiar at all.”
“I was?” He laughed as he slid naked into bed next to her. “I didn’t even realize I was humming.”
It went like this…” She gently hummed the part she could remember.
“Wow.” He said listening to her closely, “I know what that is. It’s a tune I worked on years ago but could never get right.” He leaned up on his elbow so he could look down into her face, “Hum it again.”
Anna repeated it.
“God I haven’t thought of that song in years.” He said softly, “It was one I was working on around the time Grandma died. Back then I really thought it was gonna be a great song.”
“Do you remember the lyrics?”
He leaned back lost in thought for a few moments then began to sing the lyrics. Anna listened to the haunting words that were so beautiful and smiled. When he finished she spoke, “That is beautiful. Why did you not record it?”
Gerard frowned, “Shit, that was about the time I really started drinking heavily. I was taking shit for depression too. I guess I just sorta put it out of my mind.”
“Now that your mind is clear you remember it. You will find you will start to remember many of the things that were masked by the alcohol. Memories that were lost will be found. Sadly this will also clear memories you may wish would stay blurred.”
“Yeah, I’m sure I don’t want to remember all the shit from back then. I said and did some pretty fuckin stupid shit.” He sighed, “I’m sorry you had to watch it.”
Anna moved over and laid her head on his chest. “I will admit there were times when it broke my heart.”
“What was the worst thing for you to see?” A morbid curiosity caused him to ask.
“The night you made me cry.” Anna answered without hesitation. “I rarely cried since my transformation but that night I shed tears. I can still remember the shocked look on Claire’s face.”
“When was that?”
“The night in Kansas when you were truly considering ending your life.” She whispered becoming lost in thought, “The others had left you alone in the parking lot and I watched you fall to your knees. I could feel your inner turmoil. You just wanted it all to end.”
He searched his brain for that memory. “I was so fucked up.” He whispered with guilt. “I thought my head was gonna explode the pain was so bad. Fuck, so many drugs. I do remember falling to my knees and being sick and I remember just wanting it all to end. I just knew that if I did that last bit I’d die.”
Anna remained silent.
He gently stroked her hair, “You helped me didn’t you?”
“I merely whispered a suggestion.”
“Oh my God. I think I remember that now. I remember thinking I was just done. I just wanted it all to stop and then there was this gentle voice in my head that stopped me.”
“I had to intervene. As much as I wanted to let you live your own life on your own terms I could feel the depth of despair that held you. I could not let that happen.”
He hugged her body to his, “Thank God you didn’t. Anna, thank you for being with me. I wish I had known you were there. I wish I could go back and change so many things.”
“Your drug and alcohol addiction?"
“That for sure but other things as well.”
Anna tilted her head to look up at him, “What else?”
“That day at PR when I really saw you. I can’t help but wonder how different things would have turned out if I hadn’t turned to look at her. If I had just really seen you.”
“When that happened I felt as if we would never be together. I resigned myself to the belief that our paths would never meet. I thought it was over.” She whispered.
“Oh fuck.” He gently lifted her up and over his body, “You were so wrong. We were fated to be together.” His fingers entwined in her hair gently moving her head down to his. “Soul mates.’ He whispered before pressing his lips to hers.
“Frankie what are you doing?” Jamia squinted from the bright light then rubbed her eyes unable to get a clear view of the screen of Frank’s laptop.
“Shit, sorry.” He closed the lid of the computer then leaned over to set it on the nightstand. “I just woke up and was surfing the net.”
She rolled over on her side to face him. “You just woke up? You never wake up this early, what’s up?”
He scooted back down under the covers, “Nothings wrong.”
Jamia didn’t believe that for a minute. “Come on tell me. What’s bothering you? Are you still concerned about Gee?” They had talked earlier about Frank’s concern over Gerard’s recent behavior.
“You know I was trying to find out more about Anna but fuck, it’s like that woman doesn’t have a past.”
Jamia sat up and looked down at him, “I don’t get it. You said you liked Anna but now all of a sudden just because Gee calls her his fiancée you don’t like her.”
He shook his head, “It’s not that I don’t like her cause I do.”
“So why are you creeping the Net trying to find out stuff about her?”
“Not creeping.” Frank corrected, “I was just curious. Besides who says I’m just worried about Gee rushing into something and getting hurt? I wouldn’t want to see Anna get hurt either.”
Jamia frowned, “You don’t think Gee’s in love with her? He just called her his fiancée.”
“Have you noticed he’s kinda doing a lot of unusual things lately?”
This caused Jamia to laugh, “Gee is always doing weird shit.”
“All I know is first he said he’d never get involved in a serious relationship again after his marriage broke up. Then he meets Anna and it was like he instantly fell in love with her. He said he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.”
Jamia realized there was something Frank wasn’t telling her. “You think he’s lying? Why would he lie about that?”
Frank sighed, “I’m not sure he’s lying about it. Maybe he does love Anna.”
“Frank, what aren’t you telling me?” She demanded.
“Look just forget I said anything.” Frank closed his eyes.
Jamia shook him, “Oh no you don’t. Tell me.”
He opened his eyes, “Okay maybe it’s nothing but I saw Gee flirting with a merch girl.”
“He was really flirting with her.”
“Gee was flirting with some girl.” She repeated slowly. “When?”
Frank told her the details.
“And he wasn’t just being nice?”
“He wasn’t acting like himself at all. Shit, Gee don’t flirt. I couldn’t believe it. That girl was all over him and he was loving every second of it.”
“Shit.” Jamia muttered. “The only time I ever saw Gee flirt was when he was…” She covered her mouth, “Oh shit, he isn’t drinking again, is he?”
“If he is he’s being really good at hiding it but then we don’t see him all that much now that he spends all his time with Anna.” Frank closed his eyes again hoping with his whole heart his friend hadn’t fallen again.