Gerard expected it... Mikey didn't.
I guess I should've seen it coming.
It was Saturday night. I'd given Bandit her dinner and was in the process of wiping most of it off her face when Lindsey entered the kitchen. She picked Bandit up an whirled her round so she squealed happily. "Hey, princess," She said. "Daddy's sleeping the guest room tonight - do you want to come in the big bed with Mommy?"
"Yeah," Bandit cheered. I felt tears of confusion in my eyes but blinked them away. It wasn't that Lindsey didn't want to share a bed with me - I was kinda expecting that. It was the fact that Bandit didn't see the fact that Lindsey and I weren't sleeping in the same bed as anything but normal. Obviously, Lindsey had said something to her. After all, apart from when either of us were on tour, all she'd ever known was for Mommy and Daddy to sleep in the same bed.
Lindsey came back into the living room, without Bandit, after giving her a bath. "Bandit's bear," She said, shortly. "Have you seen it?"
"Er... yeah," I picked up the small teddy bear on the couch and handed it to my wife. "Babe, can we talk?"
"Not now, Gee, I'm going to bed," She sighed and turned away from me.
"Well, don't I at least get a goodnight kiss?" I asked, smiling. She sighed and kept walking. My smile faded into a frown. "I love you, Linds." I called out as she walked up the stairs.
She didn't even bother replying.
I called Gee in the morning, when I knew he'd be awake - he was needed for a recording.
Lindsey answered the phone. "Hello?"
"Hey, Lindsey, it's Mikey. Is Gerard home?" I asked, trying to sound bright. Any fool with eyes could see that Gee and Lindsey hadn't been getting on great recently. I just hoped that I hadn't called in the middle of one of their arguments.
"Er... no," She replied, sounding slightly wary.
"Oh. Does he have his cell with him?"
"No, it's here, charging," She replied. Great - that was helpful.
"Well... did he say anything about coming to record?" I needed to know.
"No. Sorry, Mikey. I told him about it, but he just kind of ignored me," She sighed sadly. I'd passed the message through her when Gee failed to answer his phone.
"Fucking great," I mumbled. Then I sighed. "Well, do you know where I might find him?"
"No," She made a little sound - a sob.
"Hey, are you okay?" I asked, concerned for my sister-in-law and friend.
"Not really," She admitted. "Oh, Mikey... I wasn't going to tell anyone but he's just getting worse..."
"Getting worse?" I repeated, confused. "At what?"
"Every night since you guys got back off your tour, he's gone out drinking," She told me. "He comes home with lipstick on his face and neck and smelling of other women's perfume. I ask him about it and he just gets so mad..." She sobbed, took a deep breath, then carried on. "He yells at me - that'd be fine, if he didn't do it in front of Bandit. She gets frightened. It's gotten up to the point where she's scared of her own Daddy. She cries and I ask him to stop yelling and he just looses it..."
"Gerard's been hitting you?" I said, seething with rage. I was already mad when she said he'd started drinking again. But scaring Bandit and hitting Lindsey? That was my snapping point.
"Don't say anything to him!" She begged. "He'll just get angrier."
"Don't worry - I won't," I told her.