Gerard talks to Claire about Anna and someone new appears on the scene.
Bob shrugged, “No problem. Anna okay?” He was still wondering what had happened last night.
“Yeah, she’s still sleeping.” Gerard answered trying not to worry. The fact that Anna was truly sleeping and had been for hours was starting to concern him. Since they’d been together he’d rarely slept for more than a few hours at a time.
Bob’s next question broke into his thoughts, “So I guess she had a wicked nightmare?”
“Yeah.” Gerard answered as he fixed himself a cup of the strong brew. He looked over at Bob and told him the truth, “Something happened to her when she was young. Something brutal. She still has nightmares about it.”
Bob took a sip of his coffee. “That’s rough, I’m sorry.”
They stood in the cool morning air sipping coffee and looking across the lot at the buses. Finally Gerard spoke.
“Hey, you need to get some sleep. We don’t have anything planned today until the Meet and Greet. Go to the bus and grab a couple of hours.”
Bob thought a moment. “Yeah, I need to. It’s just I want to be around when Claire wakes up. She had a bad night too.”
“Really?” Gerard said, “What happened?”
Bob sighed, “I got no fuckin’ idea. She was fine when we stopped last night but when I came back she was upset.”
“You mean when I brought Anna back to the RV?”
“Yeah.” He looked down at his cup. “I think she’s upset because of you and Anna. She thinks Anna doesn’t need her anymore.”
“Oh.” Gerard replayed the scene from last night in his head. While he understood the relationship between Anna and Claire he realized Bob did not. He racked his brain trying to come up with a reason that would explain Claire’s attitude.
Bob, who had been giving it a lot of thought, was the one who spoke. “I guess since they’ve been together so long she’s just worried about how things will change once the tour is over.”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah I think you’re right. How do you want things to play out?”
Bob looked over at him. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I mean I know we still have a couple more months and things could change but right now….” He paused then blurted out, “Shit, I’m in love with her. I’ve never felt like this about any woman before and it fuckin’ scares me sometimes. I mean I know I haven’t even known her that long but it feels like I’ve known he my whole life. And what scares me is I can’t imagine my life without her in it.”
Gerard smiled, “Dude I understand. I feel the same way about Anna.”
“Fuck who would have thought at the beginning of this tour this would have happened?” Bob muttered.
Gerard laughed to himself thinking if Bob only knew how much his life had changed since the beginning of the tour. “Hey, we got a lot to be thankful for.” He said. “We both found great women.”
“Yeah but mine confuses the shit out of me.” Bob said sadly, “I just want to make her happy but sometimes I don’t think I can.”
“I think you’re wrong.” Gerard said honestly, “You make her very happy.”
“She sure makes me fuckin’ happy.” Bob said softly.
They both looked up to see Ray and Christa walking towards them.
“Good morning.” Christa greeted them.
“What’s the plan for the day?” Ray asked.
“I got nothing.” Gerard said with a shrug.
“I gotta get some sleep.” Bob said looking down at his empty coffee cup and wondering why he’d just drank it if he was planning on getting some shut eye.
“Christa and I are gonna head out and look around the city. We just wondered if you guys wanted to come along.” Ray said grabbing himself a cup of coffee after handing Christa one.
“Not me.” Bob yawned.
Gerard shook his head, “I think I’ll just hang here until Anna wakes up.”
“Man, she had a vicious nightmare.” Ray said remembering the scene from last night on the bus.
“Yeah.” Gerard nodded. “She did.”
“Tell her I’ll see her when I get back, okay?’ Christa said looking Gerard straight in the eyes.
He nodded then smiled feeling a closeness to Christa he’d never felt before. She’d helped him last night with Anna and for that he owed her a debt of gratitude.
Once they turned to walk away Bob looked over Gerard, “Hey are you gonna go back to the RV?”
“Yeah, I’m gonna do some drawing until Anna wakes up.”
“Well when Claire wakes up can you tell her where I am? Tell her to come over and wake me up.”
“Sure.” Gerard nodded. “I’ll tell her.” The truth was he really hoped Claire would wake up soon because he needed to talk to her about Anna. Last night had left him very shaken.
Claire slowly opened her eyes as she heard the door of the RV open.
“Hey.” Gerard said noticing she was awake. “Here.” He handed her the fresh cup of coffee he’d grabbed before heading back.
She sat up and carefully took the cup from his outstretched hand. “Thank you.”
Gerard moved to the table and took a seat.
“Where’s Bob?’ Claire asked after taking a small sip.
“He’s over at the bus getting a few hours of sleep. I feel like shit that I didn’t help him with the driving last night.”
“So do I.” Claire whispered as memories of the previous night filled her head. “I should not have drank like I did.”
Gerard hadn’t realized she’s been drinking but shrugged. “He wanted me to tell you as soon as you got up to go over there but you might want to wait a bit because he just laid down.”
Claire nodded and took another sip of the strong coffee hoping it would help clear her mind.
“Uh I’d like to talk to you about Anna.” Gerard said lowering his voice.
“She is still asleep?” Claire asked in a surprised tone.
“Let me change and we can go for a walk.” She said realizing by his tone he didn’t want Anna to overhear their conversation.
“Thanks.’ He smiled reaching over and taking the coffee from her so she could stand without fear of spilling.
As Claire was in the bathroom changing Gerard opened his sketchbook and began to draw. He was so involved in his work he didn’t hear Claire come back out.
“That is beautiful.” She said looking over his shoulder at the drawing of Anna.
Gerard smiled, “Thanks. You ready?”
They quietly left the RV and began walking across the lot.
“Okay first off I gotta tell you I’m kinda worried about Anna sleeping. She fell asleep not long after we got to the RV last night and since I’ve known her she’s never slept this long.” He paused a moment then said softly, “And it still freaks me out to watch her sleep.”
Claire understood, “Because she is not breathing?”
He nodded, “Yeah, she looks dead.”
“She is.” Claire reminded him gently.
Gerard sighed, “I don’t like to think of it that way.”
“Let me grab another cup of coffee.” Claire said moving towards the kiosk.
Gerard stood by her side until she had a fresh cup of brew then they started walking again.
“So should I be worried?” he asked.
“About her sleeping this long? Not really. I am guessing that Anna told you she does not require much sleep?”
Claire sighed, “That is not the truth. While it is true that most them do not require as much sleep as humans Anna pushes it to the limit. I have given it much thought and I believe part of the reason is because she is afraid to sleep. She is afraid of the nightmares.”
“Shit I never thought of that.” He said frowning. “But you said part of it. What else?”
“Several reasons.” Claire took a sip of the coffee then continued. “Before she met you I believe Anna felt she needed to be always ready should something happen and you needed her.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard muttered, “You mean because she was watching over me? "
Claire nodded. “Once you two were together I believe she stopped sleeping more than a few hours at a time because….well you just noted the reason.”
He thought a moment, “Because she doesn’t breath when she sleeps?”
“She does not want to appear that way in front of you. Gerard you have to realize by now that Anna hates what she is.”
He stopped in his tracks, “She said that last night.”
Claire looked down, sadness covering her face. “You are just now beginning to know the real Anna. She is so fragile yet she struggles so hard not to let it be seen.”
“She told me why.” Gerard whispered lost in thought. “Good God she told me that they could make Jacob destroy her.”
“He would never do such a thing.” Claire said looking up. “And Anna knows this truth. He would end his own life before he would do such a thing and knowing that weighs heavily on her mind.”
Gerard thought a moment. “Claire you grew up with her, right?”
“Yes. Anna saved me when I was a child. She was more a mother to me than my true mother ever was. Over time our relationship changed. It had to so it could be explained to the world. I became her secretary but it was not until you and she were together that she became my friend.”
He gave her a surprised look, “I don’t understand.”
“Anna tried so very hard not to get close to me emotionally. She knew that one day we would part. I believe she was trying to protect herself from the hurt. But once you two were truly together she has began to chance. She is allowing herself to feel emotions and it frightens her.”
“But she said she hates that she can’t feel emotions for those she’s not bound to. I don’t get it. Why hate that you can’t feel emotions when you won’t let yourself feel for those you can?”
“You must put yourself in her place to understand.” Claire said sadly. “I know Anna loves me just as I know she loves you. But we are humans. We will die.” She felt tears spring to her eyes. “Anna will go on when we are gone. She knows she will live with the feeling of lost love forever.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard muttered as the realization of the situation hit him full force.
“When she speaks of me leaving her it is just not that I will find a new life, one without her, it is of my death. Someday we will both leave Anna and the thought breaks her heart.”
Gerard stood there feeling a crippling sorrow for the woman he loved. “What can I do to help her?”
“She needs your love and understanding. You must accept what she is because it can not ever be changed.”
“But I do accept it.” Gerard said quickly, “And I fuckin’ love her with all my heart.”
“Then help her accept what she is and help her live by their laws. This is something she must do. Help her to be strong.”
“Yeah that means I can’t fuck up again.”
“Your weakness reflects on her.” Claire said softly. “It must appear that she is in control of you. Does that present a problem for you?”
“Fuck no. I don’t care about that.”
Claire nodded. “Good. I know many moral men would have a problem with that.”
“Not me.” He answered honestly. “Anna is more important to me than caring about what someone else thinks.”
Gerard had so much more he wanted to discuss but he looked up and saw that Anna was walking across the lot towards them.
“Hey, Sugar.” He moved toward she and pulled her in for a tight hug. “Feeling better?”
Anna hugged him in return while wondering what he and Claire had been discussing. “I am fine.’ She said softly.
“I am going back and catch up on some of your e-mails, Anna.” Claire said. “I believe I saw one from Mikey.”
Anna nodded, ‘If he is ready please send him more chapters.”
Gerard frowned, “What chapters?”
“I am sending him the chapters of my book.” Anna explained. “I did promise he could read it before it was published.”
“Hey.” Gerard laughed, “You’re letting my brother read it before me?”
Anna smiled, “You may read it too if you would like.”
“Damn right I would like.” Gerard kissed her lips.
Suddenly a soft rain began to fall.
Claire said good-bye and hurried towards the RV.
“Sugar, wanna go for a walk?”
“In the rain?” Anna asked.
He nodded. “It’s just drizzle unless you don’t wanna.”
Anna snuggled up to him. “I love walking in this weather.”
“Great” he said as he put his arm around her shoulder. “And when we get back I wanna read that book.”
“Holy fuck you won’t believe who’s here.” Frank said excitedly. It was twenty minutes before the show and everyone was gathered backstage.
“Who?” Ray asked looking up.
“What?” Bob said removing his arm from around Claire so he could sit up. “Are you shitting me?”
“Eddie just told me.” Frank explained. “He just arrived and he asked permission to come backstage.
Gerard looked over at Anna who seemed nonplussed by the announcement that one of the biggest names in entertainment wanted to meet the band. “You know who he is don’t you?”
Anna nodded, “Yes he is a singer.”
“Shit that’s an understatement. He’s a singer, songwriter, and artist. I love his work. Fuck the guy is a legend.”
Christa who was sitting across from them nodded, “He is incredible. I got to go to one of his concerts a year ago. It was sold out but Ray got us tickets. The show was unbelievable.”
“I can’t believe he’s here.” Bob said standing up excitedly.
“Me either.” Ray said. “Shit, I can’t believe we’re gonna meet him.”
Jamia smiled over at Claire. “I don’t know about you but the guy’s voice sends chills down my spine.”
Frank rolled his eyes, “Yeah, she has a thing for him.”
Jamia laughed, “Yeah me and millions of other women. I was heartbroken when he played the Garden and it sold out in ten minutes. I really wanted to see the show.”
Suddenly there was a commotion outside in the hallway. A moment later three muscle bound security guards walked in followed by the world famous Hudson as he was known to his fans. Simply Hudson.
Anna watched in silent amusement, as the others seemed suddenly star struck
“Hey, thanks for having me backstage.” Hudson said seeing Ray first.
“Oh sure man.” Ray said finding his voice. “Uh I’m Ray.”
Hudson laughed revealing his perfect smile. “I know who all of you are. I’m a big fan of your music. Your new album blew me away.”
Christa leaned over and whispered to Anna. “Oh shit that man is gorgeous. Have you ever seen eyes that green? Man, is Alicia gonna be pissed she missed this.”
By this time Frank, followed by Jamia, had moved over to Ray’s side. Hudson smiled at Jamia. “While I know the guys I’m afraid I don’t know their ladies. He extended his hand, “And you are?”
Jamia smiled and introduced herself.
“An unusual name. I like it.” Hudson declared. “It’s almost musical.”
Anna glanced away when she saw Jamia blush.
Christa stood and went to Ray’s side. He introduced her and her cheeks too took on a pinkish hue when Hudson lavished her with attention.
Bob was watching but suddenly realized Claire had moved behind him. He was wondering what she was doing when Gerard stood to approach Hudson.
“Man, it’s an honor to met you.”
“Gerard.” Hudson greeted him warmly. “I gotta tell you I’m not only a fan of your vocals I’m really into your artwork. Shame you don’t have the time to do more of it for your comics.”
“Thanks.” Gerard said feeling a special pride knowing a fellow artist enjoyed his work. He glanced over at Anna who was still sitting on the sofa. “Uh, I’d like you to meet my fiancée.”
Hudson turned, “Annabelle, there you are. I heard you were engaged to this guy. Gotta say darlin’ you broke my heart.”