Thanks for the reviews! I loved them. Could've lived without the trainwreck. But I'm not complaining.
Chapter 21: Lyn-Z
On the outside it may have looked like a normal, happy family reunion. Gerard sat on the floor, holding and tickling his two year old daughter who howled and laughed like she was being eaten, and Lindsey watched them with a soft smile on her face. After being away from Bandit, Gerard took his time to give her a proper greeting. She had given him a stack of drawings she made for him, and he gave her a load of new toys which she immediately claimed as her own.
Yes, to an outsider, this was perfect. But apart from Bandit, who was still young enough to be blissfully unaware of any problems, they all knew that there were still cracks and scars to fix.
“Okay, I think it’s time for a nap,” Lindsey said and received a look of complete and utter shock from her husband and daughter.
“No!” Bandit announced with surprising determination.
“Oh come on Linds, you two just got here,” Gerard argued as Bandit wrapped her tiny arms around his leg in protest.
“It’s been three hours. And it really is her nap time. You’ll play later.”
“We better do as she says, Bandit,” Gerard sighed. “We don’t want to make mommy mad, do we?”
“We do!” Bandit screeched. She screamed in agony the whole way to her bedroom, and didn’t settle down until she was told that her big sister will probably play with her once she wakes up. That got her to nap.
When Gerard returned downstairs, he found his wife in the kitchen, making coffee.
“I got her to sleep,” he announced and sat down. He knew what was coming. A talk. The serious kind.
“We need to talk,” Lindsey said. Yeah, that’s what he figured. “Now, tell me about Gia.”
Gerard sighed, looking down at his fingers which were playing with the ring around his left ring finger. “She came home this morning. With Blake.”
Lindsey furrowed her brows, surprised to hear that name. In the beginning of their relationship, Gerard had mentioned Blake to her, but never in much detail. But the memory was vivid in her mind, not really because of what he’d done for Gerard, but what he’d done to Gia. “Blake? As in...”
“Yeah, that Blake. But they both assured me that she didn’t do drugs.”
“Do you believe them?”
Gerard shrugged. “I don’t know. I want to. But given her other questionable choices, I can’t help but think that she’d do it. Anyway, we talked. I told her she’s staying here and I’m going to fix things.”
“How are you going to do that?” Lindsey asked.
“I don’t know. I honestly have no idea.”
“I do,” she said. “Look, I realize that it’s difficult for you two to communicate. So, you need someone to help you do that. I’ve already scheduled everything. Every Tuesday from now on, at 4 PM, you two are going to have a meeting with a therapist.”
“A shrink?” he asked in dislike. He wanted to fix this, sure, but was a shrink really necessary? Surely they could talk by themselves.
“A therapist,” she corrected. “And there’s no way for you to weasel out of this, Gerard. You’re doing this, no matter what. What happens between you and Gia doesn’t only affect you two. It also affects this whole family. So, you two will see this therapist and he will help.”
Gerard knew it was no use to try to argue. His wife was horribly stubborn, a trait which he both adored and feared, the latter mostly because he could never win an argument with her.
“Fine,” he agreed hesitantly. He feared that if he didn’t do as she told him to, she’d finally snap and leave him. Besides, he really did want to get along with his daughter, and he was prepared to do anything it takes to get there, even pay a professional hundreds of dollars to listen to him whine.
“So where is she now?” Lindsey asked, satisfied that she had won the argument. Well, not like it was even a real argument, as he wasn’t stupid enough to say no to her when she’s this agitated.
“I think she’s upstairs. I’ll go check,” he answered and got up.
“And Gerard,” Lindsey said before he left the room. “I think this would be a good moment to spend some time with her. You know, to talk.”
He frowned, but promised to have a chat with his daughter. Oh, Gerard knew all too well what he was supposed to talk about with her, and he was not looking forward to it. That’s why his journey to his daughter’s room was as slow as possible.
But on his way up the stairs, he realized something. He hadn’t seen her for a few hours, not since she went upstairs to get a shower after coming home with that good for nothing drug dealer guy. When it occurred to him that perhaps she wasn’t in her room and she could’ve easily left while he wasn’t paying attention, he panicked. She had agreed to no drinking, but that girl was hardheaded and unpredictable. He could easily admit that he did not trust her at all.
Thankfully, he did find her in her room. Gia was sitting cross-legged on her bed, reading a magazine absentmindedly. She was still in her purple bathrobe, which indicated that she had been sitting there since she got out of the shower. Her long blonde hair was up in a dry, messy bun, and now Gerard noticed that even though she looked peaceful, there were clear signs of stress on her face. The dark shadows under her eyes told him more than he needed to know about the lifestyle she’d been living for the past two years. Perhaps he should’ve noticed this the first time he saw her when he went to visit her in Connecticut, but most likely he was too oblivious to pay attention to it.
“Hey,” he said, knocking once on the open door. She looked up and nodded to acknowledge him, but only briefly before going back to her magazine.
“What are you reading?”
Gia raised an eyebrow, wondering what the true purpose of this little chat was. “Cosmo,” she replied, and couldn’t help but be slightly amused by the cringe he involuntarily had. She understood that perhaps Cosmopolitan, which often contained something to do with sex, wasn’t the type of magazine a father would want their 17 year old daughter reading. But compared to the other things she could be doing, he let the magazine thing go.
“Right. So, I was wondering. Do you want to go out and get coffee?” he suggested.
“That depends. Are you going to lecture me again?” Gia asked, and immediately he shook his head.
“No, I just want to spend some quality time with my daughter, is that so horrible? Come on, I’ll buy.”
“Yeah, you kind of have to buy,” Gia laughed as she got off of her bed. “I don’t have any money.”
“That’s what happens when you spend it all on alcohol,” he stated, realizing that he may have sounded like a complete jerk, and when he saw the look on her face, he regretted his words.
The smile faded from her face upon hearing his words, and she frowned. “See, that’s the type of lecturing we don’t need.”
“Need and want are very different things.”
“Shut up. Just let me get dressed, I’ll be down in a minute,” she said and he left the room to give her privacy. As she got ready, she tried to think of what the true purpose of this coffee date was. Other than the lecture she would surely receive despite his promises, she couldn’t see anything bad in what was to come. After all, she was just grabbing a cup of coffee with her father. Right?