Gerard learns more about Celeste and her past.
By the time Gerard got home from work Friday night, he'd decided he needed to bluntly ask Celeste what was going on. Something was weird with her, and he wanted to know what it was. So he called her as soon as he walked in the door.
"Hey, Celeste. You said you wanted to do last Saturday over?" Gerard asked, biting his lip. Why am I so nervous now? Asking her what's wrong shouldn't be bad...
"Yeah, I do. Actually, if you're able to, do you wanna meet tonight?" Celeste sounded hesitant.
"Yeah, that's fine. Where?"
"Um, how about outside my building? I'm sorry I always make you come down here to see me but I don't know the city that well and you do and-"
Gerard laughed. "Celeste, chill, it's fine. Should I come over now?"
"Um, yeah. Actually..." Celeste trailed off. The line was silent for a moment before she continued. "Actually, I want to...talk to you. About the whole shit with Bryan and why I came here. Is that okay?" she asked in a rush.
"Yeah, don't worry. I'll be over soon. Bye," Gerard said, setting his bag down and making sure the bottle of Xanax was still in his pocket. If I get to learn the truth tonight, I'm gonna need these pills.
"Thank you. Bye."
Gerard hung up the phone, grabbed his keys, and headed back out the door. Since it was nice out, despite the weather forecast saying it was supposed to rain some more, a taxi was easy to find. I wonder what's happened with her and her ex. I can guess, but I almost don't want to find out... he thought as the cabbie drove him to Celeste's apartment building.
When they stopped, Celeste was waiting on the front steps. Gerard took a few dollar bills out and handed them to the cabbie. "Thanks, man."
"You know that girl?" the cabbie asked, his voice thick with an accent Gerard could not place.
"Yeah," Gerard answered cautiously.
"You be nice, now. She's a good girl." The cabbie nodded and then stared straight ahead. Confused, Gerard got out of the car and shuddered as the taxi sped off.
"Hey, Gerard." Celeste stood up. "I was thinking we'd just walk around and talk. We won't have to deal with other people then. Maybe stop at a park if you know of one."
Gerard nodded. "That sounds good. I actually know of one about half an hour from here if you wanna walk that far."
"I don't mind." The two began to walk in silence.
After a short time, Gerard was beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable. He stuck his hand in his pocket and grabbed the Xanax bottle. Even though he wasn't going to take any yet, he was comforted by the mere presence of it. "Um, Celeste...you wanted to talk?"
"Yeah. I'm just getting my thoughts together...this is gonna be difficult for me." She suddenly let out a bitter laugh. "Hell, I don't even know why I'm gonna tell you this. I've seen you three times, counting today. I don't really know anything about you, and I'm gonna tell you something even my best friend back home didn't know. This is so unnatural for me."
"Listen, if you don't wanna tell me, that's fine," Gerard said calmly, trying to wrap his head around her words.
Celeste shook her head and crossed her arms. "No, I have to. Someone needs to know, and you're the only one who's nice to me. No one at my job says anything to me. It's like high school for some people but worse."
"Somehow I doubt it..." Gerard muttered, thinking back to his high school days.
"What'd you say?" Celeste asked, looking up at him. She was about a head shorter than he was.
"Nothing. I just didn't like high school, is all." He shook his head, trying to ignore the memories that were beginning to seep back in. "So what'd you want to talk about?"
Celeste stopped suddenly and grabbed Gerard's wrists, turning him to face her. "Listen to me. You cannot tell anyone what I say to you, okay? I'm finally on my own with no ties to my childhood. This is my secret and, somehow, I trust you enough to share it with you. Can you promise you won't share this with anyone?" Her green eyes were steely and hard with fear.
"I promise. Now, please, just talk."
"Okay." She closed her eyes for a moment and dropped Gerard's hands. When she opened them again, she began to walk forward. "I told you that me and Bryan started dating when I was 16. I was a sophomore and he was a junior. Everything was perfect for the first year. He'd take me out to dinner and pay for me, like a real gentleman. We watched movies all the time and besides that first date nothing happened besides making out in his basement. And even that was fairly tame. My girlfriends were all jealous of me. Then, around the middle of his senior year, he started getting mean." Celeste grabbed her arms, like she was holding herself together. She opened her mouth as if to speak, but no sound came out.
"Celeste? You okay?" Gerard asked, concerned. She nodded, but her lower lip began to tremble. "Listen, it's all okay now," he said, putting his arm around her shoulders and pulling her close. He noticed a few people glancing over with concern, but it's New York City. No one pays attention to the crazies wandering the street.
Celeste sniffled and wiped at her eyes. "I'm okay now. Sorry." She looked up at Gerard and there was black running down her face. However, she didn't pull away. "When he started getting mean, I mean that he would get mad at me if I tried to hang out anyone besides him. He'd yell at me and then when I tried to go home he'd grab my arm and squeeze it until it hurt and tell me how much he loved me."
"Was that it?" Gerard asked. "Or...?"
Celeste sighed. "It got worse when he graduated. He went to college half an hour away, but he got an apartment. We weren't able to see each other as much. He kept freaking out and asking me if I were seeing anyone else behind his back. On the weekends, he made me stay with him wherever. Then, one weekend, he made me go to his apartment with him. Okay, just so you know, by now, we'd had sex. A lot." She smiled tiredly, then frowned. "But this weekend it was mean. I didn't like it. And when I wanted to leave Saturday to go see my girlfriends...he hit me. Hard. It left a big bruise on my stomach."
"Celeste..." Gerard muttered, pulling her even closer. "Why'd you stay with him?"
"Because when he wasn't worried I was gonna leave him, he was really sweet. And I still thought he cared about me. Hell, maybe he did. But he kept trying to keep me from seeing my girlfriends. And if I said anything, he'd hit me more. I learned to keep the bruises covered. He never hit my face. This was how the past year of my life or so went. But then...one night..." Celeste started crying again. By now, the sun was almost fully set and they'd nearly reached the park. He didn't want to make her walk anymore, so he led them over to a nearby bench and sat down.
"Listen, if you don't want to talk anymore, you don't have to." Gerard pulled her small frame close to him, rubbing her arm.
"No, I have to. I didn't tell anyone before I left and I need to get this out." She took a deep breath and bit her lip. "Bryan...he...raped me. I think it was rape, at least. This was a month ago. He kept asking and pushing up my shirt, and eventually I just said, 'I don't care.' But then..." She sighed, but didn't start to cry again. "Right before I left, I took a test. Two, actually. That was why I needed to leave when I did. I got tickets and found an apartment within three days. Gerard...Bryan raped me, and now I'm pregnant with his kid."
You like? The idea for this chapter popped into my head for almost no reason the other day. If anyone cares, even I don't know how this story is gonna end. But oh well! Please rate and review, lovies! :)