Almost a week after Gerard talks to Celeste, she calls him late at night. Something's wrong.
It was Thursday before Gerard spoke to Celeste again. He'd debated calling her every day since he'd spoken to his friends, but never got up the courage. I hope she doesn't hate me, was the constant thought in the back of his mind.
Gerard had been sitting in his apartment, trying to decide whether or not to drug himself up again and possibly draw some more of the dark art when his phone rang.
"I'm sorry," came Celeste's voice from the other end. The words were said in a rush, like she'd been holding her breath. Perhaps she had. "I shouldn't have run out on you like that, and I should have called you before now, and I shouldn't have even asked you that question in the first place, and-"
"Celeste," Gerard interrupted. "It's okay. Chill out. And I should have tried to call you."
There was a sigh from Celeste, a pause, and then a slight whimper. "Gerard...can you meet me somewhere? I know it's horrible of me to ask you at nine on a work night, but I've got no one else I really know. If you don't want to, it's okay. You don't have to."
Gerard glanced at the bottle of Xanax on the table across from him. Should I? After what happened last time? "It's no trouble. Where do you wanna meet?"
Celeste gave him an address. "It's a little pizza place."
"Yeah, I know. I've been there." Gerard stood up and began looking around the room for his leather jacket. "I'll be there soon. Depends how hard it is to find a taxi."
"Thank you," Celeste whispered, then hung up.
Gerard quickly found his jacket and rushed out the door. It wasn't until he was outside and scanning the streets for a taxi that he realized he hadn't taken any Xanax since his lunch break at noon. He'd been so caught up with his work that he forgot about the bottle of pills in his pocket, and now he didn't have time to go back to his apartment and get them. For some reason, he felt like he needed to find Celeste as soon as possible.
After walking towards the pizza place for about 10 minutes, he found a taxi that would take him the rest of the way to Greenwich Village. He lived more uptown, somehow able to afford a tiny apartment near Broadway.
I hope she's okay, was all he could think on the entire way there.
By the time Gerard got to the pizzeria, it had started to drizzle slightly. Somehow, he found this weather fitting. He paid the cabbie and hurried into the restaurant, scanning the tables for Celeste. Despite the fact that there weren't many people, the place was dimly lit and nearly everyone had their heads lowered.
A head shot up in the back corner. She waved him over. "Gerard, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called you this late. You'll probably be exhausted tomorrow. I just couldn't think of anyone I could talk to. My brother didn't answer his phone, and I don't really have any friends from high school I want to speak to. You can go home if you want."
Gerard shook his head and sat down across from her. "Listen, I'm always here to talk to. I may not know you all that well, but I know what it's like to feel alone. You're just a kid. You shouldn't be alone." He tried to smile, but all that happened was a slight twitch in the corners of his mouth.
"Thank you," she said quietly.
Gerard suddenly noticed that her eyes were puffy and red. It hadn't been noticeable at first in the twilight of the restaurant. "What's wrong? Were you crying?"
Celeste shook her head but wiped her eyes on her sleeve. A small black streak was left on the light grey of her sweatshirt. "It was Bryan."
A sudden wave of heat passed through Gerard's body. He glared at the table, but grabbed Celeste's hand. "What'd he do?"
"Nothing, nothing. It's just, he called me, and..." She looked up at Gerard, biting her lip.
"And what?" he pressed.
"He was just mad. He was saying that I had no right to break up with him and move out here, that I was stupid for doing it..." Celeste pulled her hand away. "That I was a whore and was going to regret this."
She'd whispered the last part. It was obviously not meant for Gerard to hear, but in the silence of the pizzeria, he had. "Listen, if there's anything you want me to do, just tell me." I shouldn't let her know I heard that part. I wasn't supposed to. What exactly did this guy do to her? She's only 19...
"Nothing, nothing. There's nothing for you to do anyway. It's not like he can come out here anyway. I didn't tell anyone my new address, not even my brother. He must've gotten my number from one of my old girlfriends. Besides, he hasn't got the money." Celeste frowned and crossed her arms. "Thanks for coming out here. You must be exhausted after work. Go home and get some sleep."
"Oh, no. I'm not about to let you go home now. Clearly that phone call was nasty. I'll walk you home." Gerard smiled slightly. Even though it was obviously difficult, Celeste managed to smile back.
"You don't have to do that. It's not that far from here." She stood up, putting her hands in her pockets.
By now, Gerard was starting to get slightly frustrated. Celeste had asked him to come out here, but then wouldn't tell him everything and was trying to get him to act like nothing had happened. "No, I'm walking you home. It's not the best idea for a girl to be walking home alone at night anyway."
"Okay," she muttered, heading towards the door. The pair walked in silence for a while before either of them even looked at each other.
The rain had gotten steadily heavier as they neared Celeste's apartment, and eventually Gerard noticed how badly she was shivering. Wordlessly, he took off his jacket and put it on her shoulders. "Why'd you only wear a sweatshirt?" he asked when she didn't shy away.
Celeste shrugged. "I didn't think it'd be raining." Suddenly, she looked up at the building they were passing and stopped. "This is it. Here." She handed the jacket back to Gerard. "You really didn't have to walk me home. It wasn't far, and now you still have to get home."
He shrugged. "I wanted to." Celeste gave him a small smile, then turned and walked up the stairs to the door. "Hey."
"What?" she asked, turning around.
Gerard bounded up the stairs and noticed that her lower lip was trembling. Frowning, he pulled her into a tight hug. "Hey, it's okay. It'll all be fine. Don't cry." He held her for a few minutes, trying to stay under the tiny awning enough to stay dry.
"Sorry," she whispered, pulling away. Celeste's eyes were redder than they had been before, and there were black streaks running down her cheeks. "Go home, I'll be fine. Um, by the way..." she started as Gerard slowly backed down the steps. "Do you wanna get coffee again this weekend? Do this past Saturday over."
Gerard nodded. "Yeah, I'll call you tomorrow night. You sure you're okay?" Celeste smiled. "Then I'll see you this weekend. Take care and get some sleep."
As he walked towards his apartment, keeping a lookout for any taxi, Gerard's thoughts were completely filled with concern for Celeste. He'd only known her a week, and had only seen her twice before tonight, but something about the brief meetings with her made him wonder if she had some deep secret.
Whatever's eating away at her, she doesn't deserve it. I haven't seen anything about her that would make her deserve shit. Gerard frowned as a taxi finally stopped. He gave the cabbie his address. As they drove in the rain to his apartment, Gerard tried to come up with a way to help Celeste before month's end.
Did you enjoy it? I hope so XD In my mind at least, this seems to be the chapter that's shaping how the rest of the story is gonna go. Rate and review, please! I'll love you forever ;)