Sequel to Fly Away, Dance on the Milky Way. Over a year has passed, and Gerard is reunited with his daughter Gia. She has a lot to hide, and Gerard finds that she has grown up and changed.
Gerard had been offered the chance to be with his daughter as she was having the operation done, but due to Gia’s wish, he had declined. He understood that she didn’t want him there, not when things between them were, well, not very exactly good.
The coffee in front of him had cooled down as he hadn’t even touched it. He was in the waiting room of the hospital, waiting. His eyes were gazing into distance, as he imagined what he would’ve done if she actually did have a baby.
He would’ve been angry, for sure. But could he have gotten over the anger? Would it have escalated into something worse and eventually wedged between them? Would he have rather thrown her out of his life than faced his own failure? He wanted to believe that he was strong enough to stand by her, but the past suggested that he was nowhere near that strong. After all, the main reason he had allowed her to leave was because he knew that even though he loved her, things just weren’t okay. It was easier to not deal with her.
As time passed, Gerard became increasingly certain that he was the worst parent in the world. His own fear had driven his daughter away, and he had done nothing to stop it.
He was awoken from his thoughts as a hand was placed gently on his shoulder and a soft voice said his name.
He didn’t reply, so Lindsey sat down next to him. He had called her to let her know that he won’t be home for a while, and she had immediately informed him that he shouldn’t be alone. And now, there she was. Gerard wasn’t sure if he was happy to see her, because she reminded him of Bandit. Having failed miserably with raising Gia, how could he possibly do a better job with Bandit?
“How are you feeling?” she asked. He looked like crap, which only increased her worry.
“I don’t know. Kind of homicidal I guess…” he replied.
“Where is Gia? Is she okay?”
He took a while to answer. When he finally did, he snapped at her: “She’s having a fetus vacuumed out of her body, would you be okay?”
When Lindsey removed her hand from his shoulder and edged away from him, he realized that he was simply taking his anger out on her. She didn’t deserve that.
“I’m sorry,” he sighed.
“It’s fine,” she answered. “How long has she been in there?”
“They did some tests and preparations before the operation, she just went in. The doctor said it won’t take longer than ten to fifteen minutes and she’s not conscious so she won’t feel a thing.”
“And… when will she be able to come home?”
“Tonight. They told me it’s not too big of a procedure so she’ll be able to go home the same day. They made it sound like she’s just having a tooth pulled out.”
She saw that he was clearly upset. She knew this was his worst nightmare. “What are you going to do?”
Gerard shrugged. “I don’t know. What I want to do is leave right now and get wasted… What I feel like I should do is stay here and wait and spend the rest of my life wondering what would’ve happened if she hadn’t miscarried… Do you know what the worst part is?”
“I’m glad Thomas hit her. I know it sounds unbelievable and it makes me a horrible person but I actually feel like somehow it saved her. I hate that I feel like that, I don’t like her being in pain but I don’t want her life to get ruined either.”
“I think you’re focusing too much on the ruined part. What if she did have a baby? That doesn’t mean her life is over. There are plenty of 17 year old moms who are doing fine.”
“You’ve been watching too much MTV.”
“It doesn’t matter, Gerard. It’s over, she miscarried, sure she might carry the emotional scars for the rest of her life but other than that, she’s fine. Don’t focus on the negative.”
“This could’ve been avoided,” Gerard said, as if not having heard a thing she said. He was far too deep in his own thoughts to consider her suggestion to stop worrying. “I keep thinking about it. What if she hadn’t gone to live with her mom? If I hadn’t let her go… She wouldn’t have met Sean and I could’ve kept an eye on her. If her mom hadn’t tried to kill herself, she would’ve been in Gia’s life. She would’ve had a mother figure instead of just a drugged up dad who ignored her for most of her life.”
“She loves you, and that’s not the reason she left. You’re not that person anymore.”
“But I am! Only without the alcohol and the drugs. Even after I quit, I still didn’t pay enough attention to her.”
Lindsey was pretty sure he was losing his mind. “What are you talking about?”
“Almost right after I sober up and promise her all of these awesome things, I go on tour and we’re apart for months. Then I get married and hardly even include her in it, I have another kid and once again she has no idea what’s going on.”
“So you’re blaming me and Bandit?” Lindsey asked, her tone of voice suddenly harsh.
Oblivious to her being obviously dissatisfied with his implications, Gerard kept on talking. “I mean, it had to have something to do with her leaving that she saw you and Bandit and started missing the same connection, right? And it didn’t help that she never really saw you as a stepmom.”
Lindsey stood up, crossing her arms and looking down at her husband. “So you do blame me? I’m just a roommate for her, right? I tried to talk to her and be a part of her life, but she didn’t want me! It’s not my fault! It was never easy for me either, you know. You had a daughter, and when we got married, I felt like an outsider for a long time! I knew she resented me and you never even noticed, did you? I really care about her, and I’m sorry about what happened to her and what she’s going through, but I just… I need to know if you believe even the slightest that I am the reason she’s here right now.”
Gerard opened his mouth in shock and closed it again, not knowing what to say. He didn’t know where this was coming from and he hadn’t realized she had felt this way. “I… I don’t know,” he stuttered, and immediately regretted it.
“You don’t know?” Lindsey scoffed. “Well when you do know, I’ll be at my mom’s with Bandit. Say hi to Gia for me.”
Lindsey stormed out, leaving a dark cloud behind her. Gerard felt like his whole world was crushed. Even when he had considered his life to be pretty perfect at one point, when he had his family surrounding him, he was sober and working again, there were still problems that he wasn’t even aware of. The fact that Lindsey and Gia had this invisible wall of ice between them that he knew nothing about, it shook him.
With nothing left to do, Gerard stood, his goal to get a new paper cup of terrible coffee to stare at as it cooled, and dwell in the swirling dark vortex of misery that is his life.