Lindsey spends time with Holly. Gerard is once more confused by his wife's actions.
Now thinking back he knew the truth. He and Holly had grown closer and closer during those last months he’d been with Eliza. But he hadn’t wanted to deal with the guilt of being unfaithful even though he had never loved Eliza. So he’d pretended he only cared about Holly as a friend, that of course had been a lie. He’d spent ever moment he could with her. She was always there for him and he’d loved every moment they spent together. He hadn’t been physically unfaithful but mentally, well that was another story.
“Gee, what are you doing up so early?” Lindsey asked slowly walking into the living room.
“Question is what are you doing up so early? You didn’t get in until almost two this morning.” He knew that because he’d been awake when she’d crawled into bed.
“Got a lot to do today.” She answered ignoring his comment about the time she’d gotten home. She just didn’t want to argue with him this early in the morning.
“What?” He asked.
She yawned, “Meeting up with Alex at the studio. Then I’m having lunch with some art critic who wants to write a piece about me.”
“And Bandit? Who’s taking care of her today? I got a shitload of stuff to do myself.”
“Ann is watching her.” Lindsey said moving towards the kitchen. She could smell the aroma of coffee brewing.
“So what time will you be home?” Gerard asked following her into the kitchen.
Lindsey poured a cup of coffee and took a sip before answering, “I’m not really sure.”
He tried to smile; “I thought we’d put up our Christmas tree tonight. Remember how we talked about having Mikey, Alicia, Holly and M over to help?”
She nodded, “Yeah, but tonight’s not good for me.”
“So just when would be a good time?” He asked trying not to allow his temper to flare, “When can you fit some family time into your busy schedule?”
“Don’t start.” She said turning away from him.
Gerard stared at her back a minute. “Why is this happening again?” He asked softly.
She turned to face him. “Because no matter how hard we try it keeps happening.” She rushed past him to get dressed.
Holly worked most of the morning out in the garage. Her hand felt so much better today and she knew she needed to get some work done.
Molly was beside her coloring Christmas tree ornaments that Mikey had cut out of construction paper.
“Lookie mommy.” She said holding one up.
“That’s very pretty, Baby.” Holly smiled. “Are you gonna hang that one on the tree?”
“Nots here.” Molly answered.
Holly gave her a confused look, “Not here? You don’t want to put that one on the tree too?” Mikey has already hung several of her ‘art works” on their tree.
“Oh.” Holly answered while wondering why Molly thought Gerard’s tree was in need of her ornaments. “But Baby maybe they decorate their tree differently.”
Mikey walked out of the house and overheard her comment. “Actually I told her that Gee said when they put up their tree he wants us all to help. I’m sure he’ll love M’s ornaments too.”
Holly smiled, “I see.”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah anyway I’m talking off. We got a couple of interviews today. Alicia is gonna go with me. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay before we leave.”
“We’re fine.” Holly smiled.
Mikey nodded, “Okay then.” He ruffled Molly’s hair. “Be good kid. When I get home I’ll cut you out some more ornaments if you want.” He saw that she still had a stack of blank ones waiting for her artistic touch.
“Otay Uncle Mikey.” Molly smiled.
He smiled at the little girl suddenly thinking to himself that one day he and Alicia would have kids of their own. Suddenly that idea didn’t scare him anymore.
In the car on the way to the radio station Mikey admitted to Alicia that he’d been afraid this morning Holly was going to tell him they were going home.
“Shit, she can’t.” Alicia said, “She needs our help.”
“I know.” Mikey nodded. “It’s just weird I guess. Holly needing our help. I just always thought she was so together.”
“Cause that’s what she wanted us to believe.” Alicia sighed. “And it was easier to let her help us and not think about helping her.”
Mikey sighed, “Yeah, that’s fuckin’ true but now we have a chance to make up for that. Holly needs our help and we’re not gonna let her down.”
By late afternoon Holly had the wind chime that would end up as Lindsey’s gift finally completed. She sat back looking at it with a critical eye. It was no doubt the largest and most intricate one she’d done. She hoped it would please Lindsey.
She had just taken it down and packaged it carefully in a box when she heard the doorbell.
“Hey.” She smiled opening the door to find Lindsey standing there. “Come in.”
“How you doin’ Holly? How’s your hand?”
Holly realized she must have heard about yesterday’s trip to the Emergency Quick Care. “Oh, much better today.” She answered as she shut the door.
“Look, I really want Gee and I to pay for your medical bill.” Lindsey said pulling off her sunglasses. “It’s only right.”
Holly shook her head, “No, don’t be silly. I’m the one who smashed your glass. If anything I should pay for that repair.”
Lindsey sighed, “You did it while helping my husband.”
“I really didn’t help him much.” Holly sighed as they walked towards the living room.
“Yeah, well you tried.” Lindsey took a seat on the sofa. “Thank you for that.”
Holly looked at the other woman closely. “Are you okay?”
Lindsey sighed again, “No, not really but there ain’t a fuckin’ thing anyone can do about that.” She looked around, “Where’s Molly?”
“Taking a nap.” Holly answered sitting down across from her. “She spent all morning making Christmas ornaments.”
Lindsey laughed, “Really?”
“Well.” Holly grinned, “She’s been coloring paper ornaments that Mikey cut out for her. But she’s very proud of them.”
“That’s sweet. But make sure she signs them. Gotta teach her early to be an artist.”
Holly laughed, “She can make an M so I guess that would work.”
Lindsey nodded then fell silent.
“Is there something you want to talk about?” Holly asked kindly.
“You know the funny thing is the answer really is no. Have you ever been in a situation where you know the answer, the right answer, but you don’t want to face it so you don’t want to talk about it?”
“Yes.” Holly answered honestly, “I understand that completely. I know what that’s like but I think that, at least for me, during those times I just wanted to be around people. Like if I was alone I’d drown in my problems.”
Lindsey gave her a surprised look, “That’s exactly how I feel.”
Holly nodded, “Okay then wanna come out to the garage and talk about nothing while I work?”
“I’d really like that.” Lindsey smiled, “Thank you.”
“So Gee when we gonna put up your tree?” Mikey asked as they waited to begin another interview. “M’s been working hard making ornaments and I know some of them are for your tree.”
Gerard was surprised, “Molly’s making ornaments?”
Mikey smiled, “I cut out shapes and she’s coloring them. It’s so damn cute watching her. She actually sits back and studies each one trying to decide which color crayon to use.”
Gerard tried to picture that in his mine. “She’s such a sweet kid.”
“That she is.” Mikey nodded. “So when we doing your tree?”
The sadness Gerard had felt since talking with Lindsey this morning was closing in. “Hell how about tonight?’ He planned on calling Lindsey and if necessary begging her to come home tonight for the event.
“Sounds good to me.” Mikey smiled.
“Great, about seven?”
“Sure thing. We’ll be there.” Mikey answered happily.
Gerard hoped with all his heart that his wife would be there too.
“Do you ever get the feeling that the art you make is like baring part of your soul?” Lindsey asked watching Holly carefully cut out a shape from a broken piece of stained glass. They had been chatting together for the past hour.
Holly sat back, removed her protective glass, and thought a moment before answering. “You know I’ve never thought about it that way, but yeah, I guess it is. I look at these pieces of glass, all broken and cracked but in them I see the beauty they once held and I want to restore that. I want to give them a second chance.”
Lindsey nodded, “Yeah, I can totally see that in your work.” She paused then added softly, “You do that in every aspect of your life, you’re always trying to fix the broken.”
Holly wasn’t quite sure what she was getting at. “I don’t know about that.”
Lindsey’s eyes took on a far away look, “I’m right, I know it.” Suddenly she slid off her stool. “I better get going. I’m supposed to meet someone in twenty minutes.”
“Oh, okay.” Holly said surprised by Lindsey’s sudden announcement. She walked her to the door. “I’m glad you stopped by.”
Lindsey pulled open the door blinking rapidly at the suddenly brightness. “I am too, Holly. Talk to you soon.”
Holly watched her drive away feeling confused and saddened by the visit.
Gerard crawled into his car then gave a sigh of relief. He was glad they were done for the day. It had been hard to pretend everything was so prefect, he was tired of pretending. Pulling out his phone he pushed call and waited.
“Hey.” She answered on the third ring.
“Linds I wanna put up the tree tonight.” He said quickly. “I think it’s important.”
“Gee, I told you this morning it wasn’t a good night for me.” She answered while watching the traffic.
He’d been afraid she’d respond this way. “Look I already told Mikey we’re doing it tonight. They’re gonna come over at seven.”
A while convertible cut Lindsey off in traffic making her curse. “Damn it Gee.” She said a moment later. “Why did you do that?”
“Because we need to do it.” He said not able to explain how he felt any better than that.
“Fine then put up the fuckin’ tree tonight.” She said angrily.
“But I want you there.” He whispered. “Please.”
Tears filled her eyes. “Sorry, Gee. I can’t.” She disconnected then threw her phone down on the passenger seat.
Gerard did the same with his phone.
When Mikey and Alicia arrived home it was almost five. Holly was just completing another wind chine. This one was simple yet almost elegant. Mikey commented on its unique design.
“Thanks.” Holly smiled. “For some reason when I started this one I just felt that’s how it should be. Just pretty but not showy.” She sat back, “Uh, sorry I didn’t start dinner but I wasn’t sure what time you guys would get back.”
Mikey smiled down at Molly who was busy coloring an ornament. “Hey that’s okay. I was thinking we could just grab a bite to eat out before we go to Gee’s.”
Holly gave him a surprised look. “You’re going to Gee’s tonight?”
“We are going to Gee’s tonight.” Mikey responded. “They’re gonna put up their Christmas tee and we’re gonna help.” He smiled at Molly, “I told Gee you were making some ornaments for his tree and he’s really happy.”
Molly grinned, “Dood.”
“Uh, Mikey when did this all get decided?”
He looked over at Holly, “Gee told me about it today, why?”
Holly was feeling completely uncertain about this whole idea. While she had decided to stay until after Christmas she’d made the decision to stay away from Gerard as much as possible. She just felt it would be better for both of them. Secondly Lindsey had not said anything about getting together tonight. That part she explained to Mikey.
“Lindsey was here?” He asked sounding surprised. “Gee said she had a full day at her art studio and there was meeting someone for an interview.”
“She was here for about an hour and a half but she never mentioned getting together to put up the tree. Maybe you should call Gee and make sure.”
“Yeah, okay.” Mikey turned and went back into the house. He sat down in the living room and called his brother.
“Gee are we still on for tonight?”
Gerard had just been seeing the babysitter out. He sighed feeling hurt and angry with Lindsey over the situation. “Fuck, yeah.” He said letting the anger take over. “We’re gonna get the tree up tonight.” If Lindsey didn’t want to be a part of it that was her decision.
Mikey was confused by his tone. “Are you sure?”
“Why wouldn’t I be sure?” Gerard asked smiling down at Bandit who was watching a children’s show on TV.
“Well I just talked to Holly and she said Lindsey never mentioned getting together tonight.”
“What?” Gerard was becoming confused by the conversation, “How would Holly know Linds didn’t say anything about tonight?”
“Because Lindsey stopped by here today. Holly said she stayed and the talked for over an hour.”
Now Gerard was completely confused. Why had Lindsey gone to see Holly? She’d said she had a full day yet she had time to chat? He needed time to think. “Hey Mikey I’ll call you back in a minute.”
Mikey disconnected looking confused also.
“What’s up?” Alicia said as she sat down across from him.
“I’m not sure.” Mikey explained to her what was going on the best he could.
Alicia smiled, “Lindsey seems to like Holly, doesn’t she?”
“Well yeah.” Mikey nodded.
“I’m glad.” Alicia nodded. It was important to her that everyone in her ‘family’ got along.
Molly ran into the room. “Uncle Mikey mes got dis one.” She held up a yellow, green and red ornament.
“Nice one M.” He said. “Wanna put it on the tree?”
She nodded happily.
They walked over to the tree. “Okay where does it go?” Mikey asked looking down a the little girl who was clutching the ornament by the string Holly had attached.
Molly studied the tree a moment then pointed to a very high spot.
“Good choice.” Mikey took the ornament from her just as his phone rang. “Hold on a sec, Gee.” He said. “I’m putting one of M’s ornaments on the tree.” He hung it then stood back. “How’s that look?”
Molly giggled. “Dood.”
Gerard closed his eyes as he listened to the exchange. He could just imagine how happy his brother and Molly looked standing in front of the tree. He wanted to feel that happiness too. He’d called Mikey to tell him the plans had changed but suddenly he changed his mind.
“Okay Gee.” Mikey said watching Molly run back out to the garage.
“Uh just called to tell you I’ll expect you guys at seven.” He disconnect than sat back. He needed to feel that happiness.
By six o’clock Gerard had pulled the artificial tree down from the rafters of the garage and brought in all the boxes of ornaments. He’d feed Bandit her dinner and already changed her into her PJ’s.
Bandit was looking at the boxes with an intense curiosity.
“B were gonna put up our Christmas tree.” He explained sitting down on the floor. “It’s gonna be fun. Uncle Mikey, Aunt Alicia, Holly and M are gonna help us.”
Gerard pulled over one of the ornament boxed to show her what was inside. His heart caught when he realized the box he’d opened was the one that had some of the ornaments he’s mom had given him and Lindsey for their first Christmas together. His eyes scanned the box until he found the one he was looking for. It was a handmade ornament in the shape of Yoda. For a brief moment he could remember the look on Holly’s face, the smile in her eyes when she’d given it to him. She’d explained that she’d made it so The Force could be with him for Christmas.
He carefully put the ornament back in the box. Seeing it had only made him sadder. That Christmas, even though he was struggling with his relationship with Eliza, was one of the happiest in his life. Holly had made it that way.