“You’re boring a hole in the back of my head.” She said, her face falling, nervousness apparent.
“What’s wrong?” Gerard asked. Bennie shrugged. “Bennie, obviously something is wrong. You can tell me what’s bothering you.” Bennie stared at Gerard for a minute, deciding whether or not she should tell him, her eyes filling with tears, closer to falling with each passing second.
“I’m probably going to get divorced, and I don’t want to be here. I just went to wish my husband good luck and his band’s security wouldn’t let me into their dressing room.” Bennie blurted out as she began to sob.
“Why wouldn’t he let you in?” Gerard asked, mentally debating whether or not he should hug Bennie.
“I don’t know! I’m obviously allowed back here, I’m performing for fucks sake.” Bennie replied before sitting down and resting her head in her hands. “I’m trying so hard to keep my marriage together, and I feel like the tighter I hold on, the quicker the seams unravel.” She whispered.
“How long have things been like this?” Gerard asked. Bennie shrugged.
“He moved into a guest room two years ago. But I guess it’s always been like this. At first I thought it was because he was stressed because the first year we were married he toured for most of it, but the second year he was home for almost six months, and last year he didn’t tour at all. I thought that the time he‘d be home for would be a perfect time to fix things, but they didn’t get any better. They got worse, actually. We don’t even fight, in fact, I can’t remember us ever having fought. Not even once. He just ignores me. If he’s not in the studio fucking around with his bass on a conference call with the guys in his band, he’s locked up in his room. I mean, he plays with the kids, they love him, and he loves them, but if I’m around, he’ll make some stupid excuse and he’ll go upstairs. And then last week, he made everyone breakfast, and when I was taking Jared out of his highchair after he was finished eating, Georg told me he’s packing up all his stuff and the day before they leave for tour, he’s moving into an apartment. Why am I telling you this?”
“Because you knew I’d listen?” Gerard suggested. Bennie shrugged.
“No, I didn’t know you would listen. I… Just… Pretend I never said any of that. Nobody knows about the crumbling state of my marriage. And nobody needs to.”
“Okay, erased from my memory. But on a related note, you deserve better than to feel like this, Bennie.”
“MTV Wants us to do this stupid red carpet thing before the show so they can interview all the celebrities they invited, and I can’t walk out there like this.” Bennie quickly changed the subject as she walked over to her mirror and grabbed a bag of baby wipes out of her purse, wiping away the mascara and eyeliner she had running down her face.
“Mama, why you crying?” Jared asked as he came bouncing in from the small room that was attached to the dressing room where he and Samantha had been playing.
“I’m not crying, I got eyelash glue in my eye, and my eyes watered to get it out. I’m fine.” Jared stared up at his mother in disbelief.
“Do you promise, Mama?” He asked. Bennie laughed.
“I promise, baby. Ask Daddy.” Jared stared at Gerard.
“Why is Mama crying?” He asked. Gerard shook his head.
“She wasn’t. She got eyelash glue in her eye.” Gerard replied. Jared smiled.
“Good! Mama, so I get to walk on the stupid red carpet?”
“Stupid is a mean word, Jared!” Bennie chastised her son. “And yes, you and Sam will walk down on the red carpet with Daddy while I walk with Uncle Georg.”
“But Mama, we want to walk with you and Daddy.” Jared whined. Bennie looked down and thought for a minute.
“That’s fine. We can do that.” She said after a minute. Jared’s face lit up.
“Thank you! I have to tell Sam!” Jared screamed as he ran back into the room where Samantha was still playing. Gerard smiled after his small son and Bennie went back to wiping her mascara off her face. Gerard noted the still present sour look on her face and frowned.
“Seeing him that happy doesn’t make you smile at all?” Gerard asked. Bennie shrugged.
“I thought I did smile.” She simply stated as she began to replace the foundation she had wiped off her face. After a moment, Bennie began to sob again. "What's wrong with me?" she asked as she sat down and buried her face in her hands.
"Nothing. Why would you-" Gerard began.
“Gerard, I haven’t smiled in years. Look at how happy Jared just was and that didn’t even make me happy. Not at all. I should have been happier than him because I was the one to make him so happy! And I couldn’t even pretend to smile. I’m a terrible mother.” Bennie wailed. Gerard stared at Bennie a bit uncomfortable for a minute before sitting next to her and wrapping his arms around her.
“Shh! You are a wonderful mother. You love Sam and Jared more than anything, and they know that. Everything is going to be fine, Bennie. They’re not going to love you any less because you don’t smile. Maybe they’ll love you a little more so that one day they can make you smile.” Gerard said as he gently rocked Bennie back and forth and smoothed her hair down. “And I am so sorry I ruined you like this.” Gerard whispered as a tear ran down his cheek.