Memories of the past haunt Gerard and Holly.
June 27th 2007
“Gee” Holly gasped as she pulled open the door. “What are you doing here?”
He saw the keys in her hand. “I’m sorry. I should have called first, you’re going somewhere.”
“Just to the grocery store.” Holly explained. She noticed the duffel bag at his feet. “Did you just get back?”
“Yeah.” He suddenly felt stupid. Why hadn’t he just gone to his moms? “I’ll catch you later.” He started to bend down to lift his bag but Holly spoke up.
“What’s going on?”
He straightened back up. “I…” He released the words he’d been holding inside for days. “It’s over. I broke up with Eliza.” There was so much more he wanted to say.
“I heard.” Holly said softly seeing the pain in his eyes. “Come in.”
“Hey you’re heading out, it’s okay.”
Holly smiled, “Gerard Way get yourself in this house.” Before he could stop her she leaned over and grabbed his bag.
Gerard followed her in slowly.
Closing the door she set the bag down. “I’ve missed you.”
Those simple words meant more to him than anything she could have said.
Holly looked into his eyes. “When’s the last time you slept?"
He was surprised by the question. “Uh, day before yesterday I think. I tried sleeping on the plane but fuck there was so much turbulence.”
“Is your mom expecting you?”
He frowned, “No but I should go there.”
Holly understood him more than he understood himself. “You came here because you need some time to yourself.”
“I just want to fuckin hide from the word.” He whispered.
“Yeah, I understand.” She reached down and picked up his bag again.
“What are you doing?”
“Follow me.” Holly said moving towards the stairs.
“Holly where are you going?" She was half way up the staircase.
“Come on, Gee." She said without stopping.
He followed her feeling confused. When he saw her again she was standing in her bedroom.
“Bossy is gonna take over.” She said placing his bag on the floor. “You need some sleep. Then you need a good meal. Comfort food for sure.” She unzipped his bag. “You got your Star Wars PJ’s in here.” She asked.
Gerard’s tried mind was having trouble keeping up with her. “What?”
Suddenly she turned, “Good Lord Gee this stuff reeks.”
“I didn’t have time to wash anything.” He admitted. “What I got on is the last of my clean clothes.”
“Well, we’ll deal with that later.” Holly said. “Now strip down to your shorts and get in bed.”
Gerard stared at her.
“Gee.” Holly said softly. “You’re exhausted. You need to get some sleep. While you’re crashed I’ll go to the grocery store. Tonight we’ll have a nice meal and then we’ll talk.”
“How do you know I want to talk?” He asked feeling his temper flare. “Maybe I just want to pretend none of this shit ever happened.”
She understood he was exhausted mentally and physically so she didn’t take offense. “Clothes off, Gee.”
He glared at her a moment then suddenly felt all his anger fade. “Sorry.” He whispered.
Holly smiled, “It’s okay, I understand.”
Suddenly he smiled, “You gonna watch me undress?”
She giggled as she turned her back. A few moments later when she heard the mattress springs creak she knew he’d crawled into bed. Turning back around she walked over to the bed and pulled the blanket up a bit higher on his chest. “Go to sleep, Gee.”
He smiled, “Thanks Holly.”
“Where’s your cell?”
“Uh, in my hoodie pocket but it’s turned off.”
She nodded, “Good. Now close your eyes and sleep.”
“That I am.” Holly smiled. Leaning down he places a kiss on his forehead. “It’ll be okay, Gee.”
Suddenly he realized as he lay in Holly’s bed he believed her. For the first time in days he started to believe everything would get better.
As she walked towards the door she picked up his clothes and his bag. He was asleep before she closed the door.
He slept for ten straight hours. When he awoke the first thing he saw was his clothes neatly folded on the chair by the door. Slowly slipping from the bed he first made his way to the adjoining bathroom then dressed.
Holly was downstairs in the kitchen we he found her.
“Hey.” He said walking in. “Sorry I slept all day.”
“You need that.” Holly said as she lifted the lid off the pot warming on the stove. “That’s why I made comfort food that would be ready anytime you woke up.”
“God, that smells good.” He said moving towards her. “What is it?”
“Chili Roni.” She answered. “One of the best comfort foods known to man.”
“Don’t think I’ve ever had it before.” He said as he peered over her shoulder into the pot.
Holly pretended to be shocked, “What? Never had Chili Roni?”
He smiled, “I don’t think so but it looks and smells great.”
Holly placed the lid back on the pot then glanced over at the clock. “Okay, here’s the deal. We can sit at the table and eat or we can dish it up and take it into the living room. In ten minutes a movie I know you like will be starting.”
“Original Planet of the Apes. I’ve never seen it but I’ve heard it’s one of your favorites.”
“What? Never watched Planet of the Apes?” He teased.
She smiled, “Nope. So what’s your call?”
He frowned trying to decide. There was so much he wanted to talk to her about but he wasn’t sure if he was ready.
“Gee, give yourself some time.” She said softly understanding his feeling. “You know I’ll be ready to listen when you’re ready.”
He was amazed how well this woman truly knew him. “Movie.”
“Good call." She nodded.
As she dipped up two bowls Gerard asked, “So where’s Sonja?”
Holly sighed, “Well my daughter had some problems with school and didn’t pass one of her classes. She’s gonna have to make it up by taking a class starting on Monday but being the push over that I am I let her go to the lake for a week with her friend’s family. She won’t get back until Sunday night.”
Secretly he was relieved Sonja was gone. He wanted time alone with Holly. “Oh, well bet you thought you’d have some time to yourself and now I’ve descended on you.”
She glanced up from the package of shredded cheese she was opening. “Actually I was already starting to feel lonely. So I’m glad you descended.”
He smiled. “Me too.”
Holly placed a small amount of cheese on top of the chili roni. “Okay, done. What do you want to drink?”
“Grab two cans out of the fridge.” She directed. “I’ll get our bread.”
“I’d think you’d eat crackers with it.” He said pulling open the refrigerator door. “I mean it looks like chili.”
“Well you could but I like bread with mine. I made a fresh loaf a few hours ago.”
He snagged two cans of Coke the closed the door. “You made bread?”
Holly laughed, “Gee, bread is a comfort food. I made two loaves.”
“I love fresh bread.” He said eyeing the loaf she was slicing.
“Me too. Now run those drinks in the living room and turn on the TV. I’ll be there in a minute.”
The movie was just starting when she walked in carrying a tray with their bowls and two slices of bread. She sat the tray down on the coffee table then took a seat on the sofa next to him. Gerard picked up his slice of bread and took a bite.
“Man, this is good. It’s still warm.”
Holly lifted her bowl then settled back on the sofa. Soon they were eating and watching the movie. Halfway through Gerard was shocked to realize he’d forgotten about everything else. Holly glanced over at him. “What’s wrong?”
He shook his head, “I just feel…” He struggled for words to explain. “I dunno for the first time since it happened I feel like I can breathe again.”
Holly smiled then returned her attention back to the TV.
As it turned out the next movie was “Beneath The Planet of the Apes.” Followed by “Escape from the Planet of the Apes." They watched them all.
As the ending credits to the last movie rolled Gerard laughed, “Man, I wish they were showing the last two movies.”
“Matter of fact they are tomorrow night.” Holly grinned. “We gonna watch them?”
There was noting he wanted to do more. “Sure you’re not gonna kick me out by then?”
“Nope.” Holly laughed, “I’m hoping my house guest stays as long as he wants. I’m just a bit worried about Donna. She’s not going all frantic because you’ve disappeared is she?”
He shook his head, “I called her before we left Europe and told her I was gonna disappear off the radar for a while.”
Holly giggled, “You disappeared off the radar across the street and three houses down.”
Gerard looked into her eyes. “I disappeared to the place I knew I’d feel the most comfortable.”
Holly smiled. “I’m glad. But unfortunately I’ve got to work in the morning. You gonna be all right hanging here alone?”
“Sure.” He nodded. “I’ll just watch TV and veg if that’s okay.”
“Oh course it is.” She stood. “Would you like me to make up Sonja’s bed for you?”
“The sofa is fine. It’s funny but even after I slept all day I’m tried.”
“Because you are mentally exhausted.” Holly said softly. “Lay down and I’ll cover you up.”
He grinned then leaned back glad he’d donned sweatpants and a tee. He could sleep comfortable in what he was wearing and he liked the idea of Holly tucking him in.
Holly threw the knit throw over him. “Need anything else?"
“Nope." He gazed up at her. “I’m fine.”
She started to move away. “What? I don’t get another kiss on the forehead?” He teased.
Holly laughed then bent down a placed a kiss on the top of his nose. “There.” She walked over to the doorway. “Nite, Gee.”
“Night Holly.” He answered but before she could make it to the steps his voice stopped her. “Holly?”
She turned, “Yeah?”
“Uh” He was hit by a wave of emotions he couldn’t understand. “You want to sleep on the sofa with me?”
She smiled. “I’ll go change and be right back.”
He didn’t even question his emotions. All he knew was he wanted Holly near him. When she returned she moved towards the other end of the sofa.
“Uh here." He rolled over on his side and patted the spot next to him. “I think this will be more comfortable.”
Holly looked surprised but nodded. She switched off the light leaving only the small one in the hallway still burning then lowered herself to lay beside him. Gerard placed his arm around her.
“Nite Holly.” He whispered. “And thanks.”
“Nite, Gee.” She whispered back then closed her eyes. For the first time in her life she felt truly safe.
Holly tossed and turned but sleep refused to come. She knew the choices she’d made in her life had led her to this place in time and that’s what was haunting her. If only things had been different years ago. If only….
June 28th 2007
“Gee?” Holly called out as soon as she closed the front door.
“In the kitchen" He called back.
She walked through the house following a heavenly aroma. “You made dinner?” She asked as she walked into the kitchen. Her eyes first took in all the pot, pans and dirty dishes but none of that mattered. The look on Gerard’s face when he turned to face her was beautiful.
“Sorry about the mess. I’ll clean it up.” He said glancing at the counter.
“What did you make?”
He sighed, “Well I wanted to make something nice for you so I found a recipe on the Net for Chicken Parmesan. You had all the ingredients except for the olives. I was gonna go to the store for them but I was afraid someone would see me.”
“That’s okay I’m sure that will be fine.” Holly said.
“Oh and we need more bay leaves." He said, “I used the last two.”
It touched her deeply that he said “we”.
“What can I do to help?’ She asked.
“Just sit down and relax, I got this.” He turned back to the counter and Holly pulled out a chair. “So how was work?"
Holly smiled, “The same as always. Had some nice customers, had some mean ones.”
“I can’t imagine anyone being mean to you." Gerard said shaking his head.
Holly rolled her eyes. “Why?”
“Because you’re so nice." He answered. Suddenly he turned to look into her eyes, “I’m sorry I never did more about the way she treated you.”
Holly noticed how he didn’t say Eliza’s name. “It’s okay, Gee.”
“No, it’s really not. I saw how she treated you when I was around I can only imagine how much of a bitch she was when I wasn’t there.”
“That doesn’t matter now.” Holly answered. “Just let it go.”
“I’m trying but I’ve got so much fuckin’ anger.” He said picking up a hot pad before turning to the stove and opening the door.
“I’m sure you do and I understand that.” Holly said softly. “But if you let it anger will start to eat you up inside.”
He pulled out the Chicken Parmesan and carefully placed it on the top of the stove. “Do you know why we suddenly started making plans to marry so soon?” He asked without turning around.
“Yes. Donna told me.”
“What a fuckin fool I was.” He ground out. “She told me she was pregnant and I believed her.”
“Gee, you were engaged to her, of course you’d believe her. That’s only natural. You wouldn’t have expected someone you loved to lie to you about that.”
He turned around to face Holly. “Yeah, but the truth is I don’t think I ever really loved her. I mean I wanted to…” His voice trailed off.
“You wanted to be in love.”
He nodded, “Yeah but that was stupid.”
Holly smiled, “No, it’s not. Being in love can be a wonderful thing.”
Suddenly he frowned, “Hey I don’t want to talk about this. I just want us to have a nice dinner.”
“Well if it tastes as good as it smells we will.” Holly answered. She started to stand but he shook his head.
“Sit, I told you I got this.”
As Holly watched he pulled out plates and a few minutes later they were enjoying a wonderful meal together. They talked about the movies they’d watched last night and the ones they were going to watch tonight.
After dinner Gerard had insisted Holly go upstairs and shower. He wanted to clean the kitchen himself.
"Are you sure?” Holly asked. “I mean I think it’s only fair I help out.”
“Nope.” He smiled. “Go shower. We have 30 minutes before the movie starts.”
Holly stood. “Okay.” She started to leave but turned in the doorway. “Thanks for making me dinner. I’ve never had a man make me dinner before.”
He titled his head in surprise. “Never?”
“Nope. It was nice.”
“Well get going, woman. Don’t want the movie to start without us.”
Holly rolled over again and sighed. Why was she doing this to herself? These memories belonged in the past but somehow she couldn’t stop them.
June 28th 2007
Gerard glanced away from the screen when he heard Holly coming. A moment later she walked in wearing sweatpants and a huge sweatshirt. Her hair was still damp.
“I got everything cleaned up except the baking dish. It’s soaking.” He told her as she sat down. “Oh and come over here.”
She got up and moved towards the sofa.
“Sit.” He said pointing to a spot on the far end of the sofa.
Holly laughed. “Don’t want me too close?”
She understood his motives as soon as he leaned down and lifted her legs so that her feet were his lap. “I know you were on your feet all day.” He said as he started to massage her left heel.
“Oh.” Holly giggled. “That feels heavenly.”
He was about to answer but the movie started. For the next twenty minutes while they watched he massaged her feet.
When he finally stopped Holly spoke. “Thank you they feel much better.”
He grinned but kept his attention on the movie.
Holly gently lifted her feet off his lap and placed them on the floor.
When the next commercial came on he stood. “Want anything?”
“I’m gonna grab a soda.” When he came back in he sat down closer to Holly.
Before the start of the next movie he went in and made microwave popcorn for them.
Holly smiled. “You’re spoiling me.”
He turned and looked into her eyes. “You deserve to be spoiled.” Grabbing a piece of popcorn out of the bowl he lifted it to her lips. Their eyes locked as she opened her mouth.
Holly was finding it hard to breathe. His nearness was filling her senses.
“Holly, I’m gonna kiss you.’ He whispered.
The question popped out of her mouth before she could stop it. “Why?”
Gerard blinked. “Uh, I don’t think I’ve ever had a woman ask me that question.”
Holly blushed. “Sorry.” She looked down.
Using his fingertip he lifted her chin. “I’m gonna kiss you because I want to very badly.” He looked deeply into her eyes, “Unless you don’t want me to.”
She tried to make her mind work. “It’s not that I don’t want you to.” She was trying to hard to make him understand how she felt. “But you just broke up with your fiancée.”
“And you don’t wanna get involved with a guy you think is on the rebound.” He said sadly.
“Yes.” She frowned, “No.”
Gerard smiled, “Holly it can’t be both.”
“But it is. I mean that’s part of the reason but it’s more. I can’t understand why you’d want to get involved with a woman like me.”
He frowned, “A woman like you?”
She nodded, “Gee, I’m older than you. I’ve got a teen age daughter and..” Her voice trailed off and she looked down again.
“And I’m just not girlfriend material.” There she’d said it. Much to her dismay he laughed.
“Girlfriend material? What’s that mean?”
She shook head embarrassed she’d even said that. Good Lord just because he’d said he wanted to kiss her didn’t mean he was thinking of it being anything more.
He sat the bowl of popcorn down on the coffee table then turned back to face her. “Holly the truth is this. When I’m with you I feel like I can be myself, I feel comfortable. You make me feel that way. When I said I want to kiss you it’s because it just seems like doing so would be so right.”
She looked up and their eyes locked again. “But I’m afraid.” She whispered.
“Because you’re my best friend. You make me feel the same way, comfortable and very happy and I don’t want to lose that ever.”
“Why would we lose that?” He asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe we wouldn’t, I just don’t know.”
For several moments they simply stared into each other’s eyes. Finally Gerard spoke. “Okay how about if we take this slow. Just a kiss and see how that feels?”
She smiled, “I’d imagine it will feel pretty damn good.”
He smiled back. “Yeah, that would be my guess too. So what do you say? Can I kiss you?”
Holly pushed all her fear aside. “Yes, please.”
Slowly he leaned foreword. Holly’s breath was coming faster between her softly parted lips. The first touch was light and sweet, it promised so much more. Holly closed her eyes letting the feeling wash over her. The kiss was gentle but over too quickly.
Gerard forced himself to sit back. “Well?”
Holly’s eyes popped open. For a minute she was confused but then she smiled, “I was right, damn nice.” Her voice was slightly shaky.
He nodded, “Yep that was my take on it. Should we try again? I mean just to make sure?”
Holly smiled, “Maybe in a little while.” She needed time to think. What was happening was something she could never have imagined.
“Fair enough.” He placed his arm around her shoulder and they both turned their attention back to the movie. Soon Holly’s head was leaning on his shoulder as he tightened his arm around her.
“Gee?” Her voice was low and soft.
“This is damn nice too.”
He understood exactly what she meant. “Yeah, it sure is.”
When the ending credits started to roll Holly felt her heart begin to race. Gerard shifted his body slightly and she lifted her head and looked into his eyes.
“Uh, I know you gotta work tomorrow and I know you’re tired so I’m gonna be a good guy and tell you to go to bed.” It wasn’t easy but he understood she was unsure and he didn’t want to push her. In his heart he never wanted to do anything that would hurt her.
Holly nodded slowly. “It was a lovely night. Thanks for making me dinner.”
“You’re very welcome.” He smiled. “I’ll take care of tomorrow night’s dinner too.”
She started to stand but his hand reached out to stop her. “So you think a goodnight kiss would be okay?”
Holly smiled, “Like the one’s I’ve been giving you?”
He shook his head, “Nice as they were I was thinking maybe a bit different.”
Again her heart started to race. “How different?”
This time when he leaned for her both of his arms pulled her close. The kiss started out gentle and sweet but soon that changed. His tongue darted out, teasing her lips, begging them to open for him. Holly was lost in the feeling, his tongue, his hands caressing her back, his nearness it was suddenly too much. She pulled away.
“Sorry." Gerard muttered. “I’m rushing you.”
Holly tried to make her mind work. “It’s okay. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying that because believe me I was it’s just….”
“It’s just too much, too quickly.’ He finished for her.
“Yeah.” She whispered. “I’m sorry.”
He smiled, “Nothing to be sorry about. Now get to bed. You’ve got to work in the morning.”
She stood. “Night Gee.” She walked towards the doorway.
He stretched out on the sofa. “Night Holly.” He’d just closed his eyes when he sensed she’d returned. Opening his eyes he looked into her face then rolled over on his side. Holly lowered her body to the sofa and he placed his arm around her. For now she was confused but the desire to be near him was too great.
Gerard sighed contently. Having Holly at his side seemed so right.