A truth about the past is revealed.
Unfortunately that didn’t work out. Just as she’d settled in at the workbench Gerard arrived.
“Hey, Gee.” She said puzzled to see him. “Uh, Mikey's gone. He and Alicia took your mom back to your house.”
“Yeah, I know.” Gerard said folding his arms then leaning against the wall. “I was here earlier. Mikey told me that you’d gone off with my wife.”
His whole attitude confused Holly, “We took the girls to a park then to McDonalds.”
Gerard’s eyes narrowed, “Did you have a good time?”
“The girls loved it.” She answered.
“What about you? You and Linds have a nice time talking about me?”
Holly was shocked, “You think we were talking about you?” Now her shock turned to anger, “Like that’s the only thing we’d have to talk about?”
“Well did you?” He’d been on edge since Mikey had told him they’d gone off together.
“Gee what the hell is this about?” She paused as a thought occurred to her, “Oh good Lord. You’re worried I’d say something to Lindsey about us?”
Anger made him answer without thinking, “Why the fuck would I be worried about that? Shit, not much to tell is there? We hooked up for a few months before I met her, big deal.”
His words hurt. “That’s right, big deal.” Holly answered refusing to let him see she was hurt. “So why didn’t you ever tell her?”
“How do you know I haven’t told her?” He asked pulling out a cigarette.
Holly shook her head, “You wouldn’t be worried I’d said something if you had.”
“Just didn’t think it was important.” Gerard answered. “I mean come on, no one knew. That’s how you wanted it.”
Holly tied to calm her emotions by taking a deep breath. It didn’t work. “I tried to explain to you why I didn’t want anyone to know but you never got it.”
He took a deep drag, “Oh I got it.”
“Really? So tell me why? Tell me what you believe.” She challenged.
His anger lashed out, “Because you figured it wasn’t gonna last. I wasn’t the kind of guy you saw as long term. But hey, the sex as pretty good. Nothing like sneaking around all our friends for quick fucks.”
Holly’s anger erupted, “You stupid jackass. Is that shit really what you’ve made yourself believe?”
“Well what should I believe?” He asked taking a step towards her.
“I tried so fuckin’ hard to make you understand.” Holly said, “Didn’t you ever listen to anything I said? Damn it Gee, think about what was going on at that time. You’d just broken it off with Eliza.”
He interrupted her angrily, "Hey you were happy I broke up with her. You didn’t like her.”
Holly shook her head, “I never said anything against the woman. No, you’re right I didn’t like her but I didn’t try to talk you into breaking up with her. You let yourself be pushed into an engagement. You didn’t love her.”
“How the fuck would you know that?” He spat.
“Easy, remember how you pressed me about her when I first met you. You kept asking me what I thought of her. Gee, if you really love someone you don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.”
He knew that she was saying was true but his anger fueled him. “So what does that have to do with us anyway?”
Holly had to make him understand. “Gee back then The Black Parade had just come out and was doing so well, you were at the top of the world. Your face was plastered on magazines, you were doing TV shows. It was your moment. And there I was. Someone so not right for you.” She let all her penned up hurt and anger flow, “Don’t you think I knew what people would say if they knew we were together? God, Gee, we were Beauty and the Beast and I didn’t wanna be the Beast.” Tears rolled down her cheeks, “People would have laughed and wondered why the hell you were with someone like me. I couldn’t deal with that. My whole world was crumbling around me. I was having trouble with Sonja, she and I were butting heads every damn day. My life was spiraling out of control and there you were, the world was at your feet. I wasn’t what you needed, I knew that. Shit, you never understood. I was a broken person who was struggling. You never saw, you just thought of me as someone who was there for you.”
Gerard’s face fell. “Holly, no. I wouldn’t have given a fuck what anyone said or thought.”
Holly shook her head, “Gee that’s not true. Someone knew about us and you know what he thought.”
“Worm? You mean him?”
Holly couldn’t stop the memories from returning, “Yeah, that night he walked in and saw us together. I heard what he said when I left the room.”
All of his anger faded.
She had to make him understand, “Gee I heard him laugh. I heard him say that he got you were hard up because you’d broken up with Eliza but fucking a fat old woman?” She swiped at her tears, “Yeah, Gee I heard everything he said.” She looked down, “And I heard you say, “Hey, keep this to yourself. That’s all you said to him.”
He tried to defend his actions even though guilt filled him, “You’d said you didn’t want anyone to know.”
“Yeah, and that’s why. I knew you were ashamed of me. You didn’t tell him you cared about me all you did was to tell him to keep it a secret. I knew that’s all I’d ever be.” She looked at him sadly; “I’d become the new Eliza except she was a secret for so long because of Kat. I was a secret because I was an embarrassment to you.”
Gerard lowered his head feeling overwhelmed by what she’d just said. For so long he’d been angry at her never truly understanding her feelings.
“What happened between us never should have been. We were friends; it was my fault what happened. I guess I just wanted to believe somehow, someway it could work for us but deep down I knew it wouldn’t. I always knew how much you care what other’s think and say.” She lowered her head, “I knew you’d break my heart. But I couldn’t stop myself, I wanted to be with you so much. I let what happened between us go on for months because I just couldn’t make myself let go.”
“And I’ve never changed.” Gerard whispered. “Have I? I still let what others think control me.”
Holly sighed, “Look, none of this matters now. You left, met Lindsey and found what you wanted.”
“But I wanted you to go with me. Holly, when we were getting ready to leave for PR I wanted you to go. I hated the thought of not being with you.”
“And because I refused, because I couldn’t just leave my teen-age daughter and job to follow you on that tour you got pissed. Gee, I couldn’t have left Sonja at that time. She had fallen in with the wrong crowd, she was my first priority.”
The truth hit him hard. “Yeah, as she should have been. Not some dumbfuck who only thought about his own wants and needs.”
“Nothing can change the past.” Holly whispered. The sound of Molly calling out to her came through the baby monitor.
Gerard kept his head bowed as she walked by him. When Holly returned to the garage he was gone.
As he drove home Holly’s words echoed in his brain. God, how had he been so blind? She had been a broken soul who was dealing with so much and yet he’d never even considered her feelings. He’d known how self-conscious she’d been about her looks but he’d missed just how deep those emotions ran. Guilt filled him as he now realized he’d never given any thought to her problems with Sonja either. Yeah, Holly had mentioned Sonja was having problems in school but he’d never talked about it with her. He’d never done anything but take and take giving her nothing in return.
“Fuck” He muttered again as this thought went back to that night Worm had found them together. Holly was right he hadn’t said anything to defend her from Worm’s words. Guilt tore at his soul as he remembered he’d actually smiled as though he’d agreed with Worm’s assessment of Holly. She was right she had embarrassed him. She was nothing that he believed he wanted yet in his soul he knew she was everything he’d needed.
Nothing could change the past. He’d failed Holly and he’d never be able to make that right. He’d broken her heart.
“Hey guys.’ Alicia said walking in an hour later. “Me and Mikey got a surprise.”
Molly looked up from the book that Holly had been reading to her. “Supwise?”
“Yep, come here.” Alicia motioned.
Molly jumped off Holly’s lap and ran to the door.
“Uh you too, Holly.” Alicia said wondering why her friend looked so sad.
As soon as they walked outside Molly started jumping up and down with excitement. “Twee. Oh lookie mommy Uncle Mikey has a Cwismas Twee on the top of his car.”
Alicia stood next to Holly watching as the little girl ran towards the driveway. “Figured we’d put up our tree tonight. I was pretty sure Molly would like to help us decorate it.”
Holly forced herself to smile, “I’m sure she will.” She had planned on telling Alicia that she and Molly would be leaving in the morning but for now she remained silent. Sadness filled her as she realized Christmas morning she and Molly would be alone in their trailer but they had to leave. Coming here had opened a wound in her heart she’d mistakenly believed had healed.
“Hey." Gee said walking into his kitchen. Bandit was happily banging on her high chair and his mom was seated at the table.
“Where have you been?” Lindsey asked turning from the pot she was stirring on the stove.
“Had to run some stuff over to the office.” He lied. He’d spent the last hour driving aimlessly thinking about the past.
“Dinner is almost ready.” Lindsey said. “Chili”
“Smells great.” He said forcing himself to appear as if nothing was wrong. He sat down across from his mom. “So what time is your flight tomorrow?”
Donna grinned, “So ready to get rid of me?” She teased.
“No ma.” He answered. “Just wondering what time we’ll have to leave here.”
“My flight leaves at two.” Donna said.
Gerard nodded while he calculated what time that meant they’d have to leave the house.
Lindsey sat a bowl of chili down in front of Donna then Gerard.
“Thanks." Gerard smiled up at her. She smiled back but he could see in her eyes it was forced.
Donna took a bite, “This is so good.”
“Thanks.’ Lindsey answered as she sat a bowl of applesauce in front of Bandit. The little girl dug in.
“Wow someone is hungry.’ Gerard laughed as he watched his daughter.
“She refused to nap today.” Lindsey told him tiredly. “And she played hard. Pretty sure she’ll fall asleep early.”
“Lindsey and Holly took the girls out today.” Donna said to her son not realizing her already knew that fact.
Gerard kept his eyes down on his bowl, “Yeah, I stopped by Mikey’s and heard.”
Lindsey joined them at the table. “It was fun. We ended up talking them to the park then McDonalds.” She sighed, “You know I really like Holly but there is such a sadness in her eyes.” She paused, “I can’t imagine the pain she’s gone through.”
Donna nodded, “That’s true. Her daughter was a beautiful girl, so full of life. I’m sure had she lived she would have grown to be just like Holly.”
Gerard’s stomach was churning. Just thinking about the pain he’d caused Holly was sickening.
“I’m gonna show her my studio while she’s here.” Lindsey said not noticing her husband’s silence. “She admitted the only work of mines she’s seen is the stuff I did for the PR book.”
Gerard frowned. Why would Holly have seen that? The booklet was only sold at the shows. Suddenly a dark thought wormed it’s way into his brain. Had Holly actually gone to one of the shows?
“That’s nice.” Donna said to her daughter in law. “You and Holly have a lot in common, kids and art.”
Gerard’s hands began to twitch. God, he wanted a drink.
“Yeah." Lindsey smiled. “Actually we do. You know I was thinking I would talk to Alicia about having a Christmas party. Maybe we could get a Santa for the kids.” She glanced over at Gerard, “What do you think?”
He forced himself to look up. “Yeah, that sounds good.”
God, he wanted a drink.