Lindsey gets to know Holly a bit better.
An hour later Alicia wandered out. “Hey girlfriend.”
“Hey.” Holly said smiling, “It’s still early what are you doing up?”
Alicia pulled up a stool by the workbench. “How long have you been up?”
“Couple of hours.” She grinned, “And look, I finished one and making great process on this.” She held up a uniquely shaped piece of glass.”
“That’s pretty.’ Alicia said looking at it closely. “How did you decide on that shape?”
Holly shrugged, “I just look at the pieces of glass I have and let them tell me what they want to be.”
Alicia laughed, “Oh Holly, you’re telling me that glass is talking to you.”
“Yep, it does.” Holly smiled, “But I’m gonna have to scout out some more pieces. Mr Ravenell wants at least two maybe three wind chimes and I have to make Christa and Jamia each one."
“I’m sure there are some antique architectural places we can find.”
Holly nodded, “Those are good but so are junk stores. I’ve found lots of great items in those.” She pointed to the wind chime hanging over their heads, “See those little glass beads?”
“Those came off an old lamp shade. The fabric was wrecked but the beads were so pretty.”
“You can see beauty is so many things.” Alicia said reaching out to gently touch one of the crystal beads.”
Holly went back to carefully sanding down the sharp edges of the glass shape.
“So how about some breakfast?’ Alicia yawned. “What sounds good?”
Holly didn’t answer that question but instead asked, “I hope it’s okay I made a pot of coffee?”
“Of course it is.” Alicia frowned, “Good Lord woman why would you even ask?”
“I guess cause I feel sorta weird poking around in someone else’s cabinets.”
“Holly you drive me crazy sometimes.” Alicia said shaking her head, “I’ve told you already I want you to feel like you’re at home.”
Holly looked back down at the glass. “Thanks.”
Alicia watched her for a few minutes then said, “You know Mikey was really happy when I told him that Gee and Lindsey were gonna spend some time alone last night. He took it as a good sigh especially after what happened Thanksgiving night.”
“They probably just need some time alone.” Holly said softly, “It’s obvious they love each other very much.”
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, they do.” She thought a minute then asked, “So since that was the first time you met Lindsay what did you think?”
Holly looked over at her, “I like her. She seems like the prefect match for Gerard. They are both artistic, both musical…” She paused, “A good match.”
Alicia didn’t want to bring up what Gerard had told her Lindsey said to Holly about her looks, “So you liked her?”
Holly carefully placed the piece of glass down on the work bench. “Okay, what’s up?”
“Did you think I wasn’t gonna like her?” Holly asked.
“No, that’s not it. Like I said it was the first time you met her. I was just wondering about your first impressions is all.”
“Gerard talks to damn much.” Holly muttered.
Alicia pretended not to understand. “What?”
“I figured he’d heard Lindsey and I talking. God, he makes such a big deal out of things.”
It was time to fess up. “Okay he told me what Lindsey said. But he only told me because he was afraid your feeling got hurt.”
“Why would someone telling me the truth hurt my feelings?’ Holly asked folding her arms.
“Because the way she said it sounded bad.” Alicia answered.
“The way she said it was honest.” Holly sighed, “I have no doubt that the mental picture she had of me came from what she heard.”
Alicia shook her head, “No one ever said that.”
Holly’s eyes narrowed, “I’m sure the fact that I’m older was mentioned and I’m sure my weight was mentioned too.”
“Not by me. I never thought you were heavy. I never said that.”
Holly smiled sadly, “No I didn’t think you did but I’m sure Gerard did.”
Now Alicia was confused, “Why do you think Gee would have said that?”
“Doesn’t matter.” Holly said standing, “Now I’m in need of more coffee.” She left the garage before Alicia could say anything else.
Gerard woke early but Lindsey had already left the house. She’d come home about 2 am the previous night and had crawled into bed. Gerard had been awake but sadness and anger had kept him silent. He’d hoped they could talk in the morning but that wasn’t going to happen.
“I’ll get it.” Mikey said hearing the front door bell. Everyone else was seating around the kitchen table enjoying the breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast.
“Morning.” Lindsey said walking in with Mikey trailing behind her.
“Lindsey." Alicia said sounding puzzled to see her sister in law this early in the morning. “What are you doing here?”
“Came to get my baby.” She said walking over to a smiling Bandit.
“You didn’t need to come so early.” Donna said before taking a sip of her coffee.
Lindsey grinned, “But I miss my Baby B.” She leaned down and kissed the little girls head.
“So how was your dinner last night?’ Donna asked, “Did my son make you a nice meal?”
Holly saw the look in Lindsey’s eyes and realized she didn’t answer Donna’s question when she smiled and said, “Thanks for taking care of B for us.” She picked up a napkin and wiped Bandit’s face. “Ready to go?”
“Would you like some breakfast?” Alicia asked.
“Thanks but I already ate.” Lindsey said as she lifted B out of the high chair Mikey and Alicia kept at their house. She turned to her mother in law, “So anything special you’d like for dinner tonight?”
Donna shook her head, “Whatever you guys make is fine. I’ll have Mikey drive me over after I help clean up breakfast.”
“I’ll help Alicia.” Holly offered.
“Okay, well see you this afternoon.” Lindsey said backing away from the table. “I’m gonna take B over to Jessie’s house for a play date then we’ll be home.” She reached the doorway then turned, “Uh Holly would you and M like to join us? Jessie’s daughter is just a little older than B so I’m sure they’d have a fun time together.”
Holly was about to decline the offer when she saw something in Lindsey’s eyes. “Well if I can beg out of the dishes.”
Donna laughed, “You and Molly go ahead. I’ll help Alicia.”
Holly smiled, “Should we go with B and her mama?” She asked Molly.
“Yep.” Molly answered happily. “Mes wanna go.”
It wasn’t until the girls were strapped in their seats and the car hit the highway that Lindsey sighed, “Don’t really have a play date.”
“Didn’t think so.” Holly answered softly so that the babbling little girls in the back couldn’t hear.
“Just wanted to get out of there before Donna started asking questions about last night.”
Holly wasn’t sure what to say. Finally she just asked, “It didn’t go well?”
“It didn’t go at all. I worked in my studio until way after midnight. When I got home I saw that Gee had set the table….” Her voice cracked, “Had candles and everything.”
“Didn’t you know that’s what he’d planned?”
Lindsey grabbed her dark sunglasses and put them on to hide her eyes. “Yeah, I knew. I just didn’t wanna deal with it all last night.”
This was a difficult situation for Holly. She wasn’t sure if she should admit she already knew the couple was having problems or wait and see if Lindsey would confide in her.
Lindsey glanced over at her, “I guess you think that’s bad?”
“I can understand not wanting to deal with things.” Holly answered.
“You already know Gee and I are having problems, don’t you?”
Holly sighed, “Yeah, I got that impression.”
“So he told you.” Lindsey said sadly. “Kinda thought that.”
“He hasn’t gone into details.” Holly wanted her to know.
Lindsey’s voice rose, “Hey girls wanna stop at the park?” The suggestion was met with smiles.
“We can let them play there.” Lindsey said to Holly.
“Okay. Sounds good.” She and Lindsey didn’t speak again until they reached the park.
Mikey was looking for his car keys so he could drive Donna back to Gerard’s when his brother walked in.
“What are you doing here?”
Gerard shrugged, “Thought I’d come get Ma and B.”
“Lindsey came and got B already.” Mikey said in confusion, “Didn’t you know that?”
“Where’s ma?” Gerard asked looking around.
“Out back with Alicia, why?”
“What did Lindsey say? How did she act?" Gerard asked.
Mikey shrugged, “She seemed okay, why?” He stopped, “Shit, did you two have another fight at dinner last night?”
“There was no fuckin’ dinner.” Gerard growled, “She didn’t come home till way after midnight.”
Mikey’s face fell, “Shit, I’m sorry.” He’d really hoped Gerard and Lindsey had ironed out some of their problems.
Gerard sighed, “Oh well, who cares. Don’t matter to me.” He lied. “I’ll take ma home.”
“Uh, Lindsey did act like everything was okay. She told you’re mom that she and Bandit will be home later. Even asked what ma wanted for dinner.”
“Yeah, me and Linds are good at pretending.” He shook his head in disgust. “So I’m sure she’ll come home and act like nothings wrong until ma leaves tomorrow.” He moved so that he could see Alicia and his mom out on the patio. “So where’s Holly?”
“Uh well.” Mikey wasn’t sure how Gerard was gonna take the news. “They went with Lindsey and B.”
Gerard’s head snapped back to look at his brother, “What?”
“Lindsey asked them if they wanted to go on some play date B had with Jessie, I think.”
“Yeah, pretty sure that’s the name she said.”
“What the fuck is she up to?” Gerard muttered.
Mikey took a step closer to this brother, “What do you mean?”
“Jessie is her friend who has a kid Bandit’s age but I know for a fact they are out of town.”
“Oh.” Mikey said slowly.
Gerard pulled out his phone and tried calling his wife. The call went directly to voice mail. “Shit’ He said disconnecting. For a brief moment he considered calling Holly’s cell but decided it wasn’t a good idea. Leaning against the door frame he closed his eyes a moment trying to think. Why would Lindsey ask Holly to go with her, and for that matter where were they?
It was such a beautiful day that the park was crowded with children and adults all out enjoying the sunshine. The girls immediately wanted to run to the swing sets. Lindsey walked slowly as they headed in that direction but Bandit was pulling on her hand trying to hurry her mother.
“B slow down.” Lindsey said tiredly. She was afraid if she let go of her daughter’s hand she’d fall.
Holly smiled, “Hey why don’t you go grab a set over there.” She pointed to a nearby bench, “And I’ll push the girls on the swings for a while.” She could tell by Lindsey’s body language the woman was physically and mentally exhausted.
“Sure you don’t mind?” Lindsey asked.
“Not at all.” Holly said as she scooped up Bandit. “Come on B lets get you in that swing.”
Molly sat in the empty swing next to the one Holly was placing Bandit in. “Mes is big gurl swing.” She said happily taking pride in the fact she didn’t have to swing in the baby seat kind that Bandit was using.
“Yeah, yeah.” Holly laughed, “But you gotta hold on tight.”
“Mes will.” Molly promised.
“Okay Baby B here we go.” Holly stood back and gave each girl a small push. She was rewarded with happy laughter from them.
As she pushed the swings she glanced over and saw that Lindsey was sitting on the bench looking down at her phone.
Several minutes later Lindsey joined them. Holly moved over so that she could push Bandit’s swing.
“Wanna swide.” Molly said turning her head slightly so she could see Holly.
“Okay.” Holly laughed as she slowed down the swing. Once it stopped Molly jumped off. “B wanna swide?”
Lindsey smiled, “She’s sorta afraid of the big slide.” Her smile faded as she remembered how last time they’d been here Gerard had gone down that slide holding Bandit on his lap.
“You okay?" Holly whispered noticing that Lindsey was frowning.
“Oh yeah, sure. You and Molly go ahead. Me and Bandit will stay here and swing.”
Forty minutes later it was Lindsey who suggested it was time to go. Both girls resisted the idea but it was Bandit who broke into tears.
“B come on now.” Lindsey said picking her up. “It’s time.” As they made their way back to the car Lindsey said softly, “Thanks for coming with us.”
“It was fun.” Holly answered. “And now that I know where this park is I’ll be able to bring Molly back here.”
“You aren’t familiar with LA at all are you?”
“Never been here before.” Holly answered.
Once they were all in the car Lindsey suggested ice cream. Holly thought it was a bit soon after breakfast but she went along with the idea. It seemed to her that Lindsey was deliberately putting off taking them back to Mikey’s.
They chose to stop at a McDonalds so the girls could have the ice cream then enjoy the PlayPlace.
Once the girls had seen the plastic tubes and slides all thoughts of eating went out of their heads. Holly and Lindsey ordered themselves coffee than sat down at a nearby table so they could watch the girls to play.
When Lindsey sat down and took off her sunglasses Holly could see in her eyes she was upset so she sat quietly sipping her hot brew. She was surprised when Lindsay said suddenly, “So Holly tell me about yourself.”
“What do you want to know?” Holly asked looking puzzled.
Lindsey smiled, “Well I really don’t know much about you and I feel sorta out of the loop.”
“Well” Holly began slowly, “I’m 39 and divorced.”
“How long have you been divorced?” Lindsey asked.
Holly had to stop and think a moment, “Uh we divorced almost six years ago.”
“Was it something you wanted?” When Holly looked down Lindsey quickly added, “Sorry that’s a bad question.”
“No, it’s okay. At the time it wasn’t. My daughter, Sonja was ill most of her life and I guess I just didn’t feel strong enough to handle it on my own.”
“Gee told me about Sonja's death, I’m sorry.” Lindsey said softly, “I can’t begin to imagine that kind of pain.” She glanced over at her daughter happily crawling into a big plastic tube. “Not at all.”
Holly forced her emotions in check, “It’s a pain that I know I will never get over.” She whispered. “Not a day goes by I don’t think about her.”
“Molly is beautiful.” Lindsey said hoping it was the right thing to say.
“Yes.” Holly nodded, “If it hadn’t been for her I’m not sure I could have gone on.”
Lindsey took another sip of her coffee. “Okay we’ll both start blubbering if we don’t change the subject. So I guess you live in Arizona?”
“Yeah we have an old Air Stream in a trailer part out in the desert not far from Flagstaff. For now it’s a good place for us, it’s all we need.”
“And you’re an artist.” Lindsey smiled, “That wind chime Alicia has is just beautiful.”
“Thanks.” Holly smiled. “I wouldn’t exactly call myself an artist but I do love that making them has given me the opportunity to stay with Molly and not hold down another job. Our trailer is paid for and we’re doing okay.”
“You are an artist.” Lindsey said passionately. “What you create is art.”
“I saw several of your drawings.” Holly said. “To me your work is what an artist is.”
“You saw some of my drawings?"
Holly nodded, “Yeah, in an art book that was sold at PR.” She hadn’t meant to bring that up but now there seemed no other way. She was sure there had been some of Lindsey’s work at her home but hadn’t noticed them. Fear that if she’d said she saw something there Lindsey would want to discuss it made her answer honestly.
“The PR book? God that seems so long ago.” Lindsey’s eyes took on a sad look, “So damn long ago. That summer…” Her voice trailed off. “Well, it was magical.”
Holly looked down at her coffee, “Because that’s when you and Gee got together.”
“Yeah.” Lindsey nodded, “It was so crazy, so exciting.” Again she looked down sadly.
Holly was at a loss for words. That period of time had been one of the worst in her life. What could she say?
“So.” Lindsey forced herself to smile, “While you’re here you gotta come by my studio. I’d love to show you some of the pieces I’m working on.”
“I’d love that.” Holly answered honestly.
Lindsey looked down at her watch. “Guess B and I should be heading home.”
Holly laughed, “Now all we gotta go is get the girls out of the tubes. Not gonna be easy.”
Lindsey laughed, “You’re right.”
Both women stood but before calling out to the girls Lindsey said, ‘Thanks for coming with us. I needed some time to try and get my head straight before going home.”
“And have you?” Holly asked before she could stop herself. She really couldn’t see how anything they’d talked about could have helped.
“I still don’t have anything figured out in my head or heart but it was nice just to talk.”
“Anytime.” Holly said meaning it from her heart.