Gerard's mood is bad after the taping and a phone call makes it worse.
“Hey.” Mikey said catching up to his brother as they walked down the hallway. “Hold on.”
Gerard slowed his steps.
“Uh, dude where are you going now?”
“Back to my hotel.” Gerard answered. “I got to call Linds.”
“I think mom is expecting us.” Mikey said frowning.
Gerard’s eyes narrowed in anger. “I’m going back to the hotel. I’m gonna make my phone call, take a shower then sleep. I just wanna forget this fuckin’ day ever happened.”
“Gee, what’s wrong?” Mikey asked softly.
By this time Frank had caught up to the brothers and thought it only right to stop and speak to them. “Hey, you guys wanna come over for dinner tonight?”
Mikey looked at Gerard waiting for him to answer.
“Thanks but I’ve got some stuff I need to do.” Gerard lied. He glared at Mikey almost daring him to contradict that statement.
Mikey sighed. “Me too. But thanks for the offer.” He was going to hang around the hotel if that was what Gerard was going to do.
“Okay we’ll catch you guys later.” Frank said about to leave when he spotted Ray walking down the hall. “You ready?” Ray had accepted his offer for dinner.
Once they had continued down the hall Gerard started walking again with Mikey at his side. They shared a cab ride back to the hotel but as much as Mikey tried Gerard wasn’t in a talking mood. Most of his answers were one word and soon Mikey gave up.
“What are you going to do about dinner?” Mikey asked as they made their way through the lobby.
“Not hungry.” Gerard answered. “Why don’t you just go over to Franks? You guys can all lie to each other and talk about how great the taping went.”
Mikey reached out to grab his brother’s arm. “Is that what’s wrong? You upset about the taping?”
Gerard pulled his arm away angrily. “I don’t give a fuck about the taping.” Truthfully there ain’t a lot I care about right now.”
Mikey’s heart sank. “Gee let’s talk.”
“I don’t want to talk. I told you what I’m gonna do now. I’m gonna call my wife so she can bitch me out some more. Then I’m gonna take a shower and sleep. I’ll see you in the morning. Fuck, I just wish we could have gotten an earlier flight.”
“Yeah, tomorrow is pretty much screwed. But hey, don’t forget about James’s party tomorrow night. That should be rad.” He was hoping that thinking about the party might lift Gerard’s mood.
“Yeah, whatever." Gerard shrugged. “So you and Alicia are going for sure?” He was fishing for information. He knew that Alicia was going to ask Holly if she wanted to go too.
Mikey nodded. “For sure.”
Gerard tried to make his question sound nonchalant. “What about Holly? She going?”
Mikey shook his head. “We asked her but she didn’t seem very keen on the idea so she offered to stay home and watch Bandit for you guys.”
“She’s babysitting for Bandit tomorrow night?”
Mikey nodded. “That’s what Alicia told me. I guess Holly talked to Lindsey and they decided that.”
“What about the chicken pox?”
“I asked the same thing.” Mikey smiled. “Alicia said that Lindsey decided that it’s probably best that if Bandit is gonna get them she comes down with them now while she’s young. Don’t you remember Mom doing the same thing with us? She let us play with the kids down the street that got them. Supposedly if you’re gonna get them you will and it’s best while you’re young.”
Gerard frowned. “I don’t think exposing Bandit to the disease on purpose is a good idea.”
“Well she played with Molly right before she got them and so far hasn’t so maybe she just won’t get them. Some people don’t.”
This conversation was just serving to make him angrier. Didn’t his wife think he should be consulted about this? “Whatever.” He said angrily wanting to call Lindsey now more than before. “I’ll catch you later.” With that he removed his card key then let himself into his room.
Mikey watched him sadly not understanding all the anger he saw in his brother. He walked down the hall to his own room deciding to call Alicia.
Lindsey had just put Bandit down for a nap and was considering talking one herself when her cell rang. Seeing it was Gerard calling she sighed, sat down on the sofa, then answered.
Gerard tried to keep the anger from his voice. “Hey, how’s it going?”
“Fine. Just put Bandit down for a nap. She never even napped on the plane.”
“So how’s the family?” Gerard asked.
“Everyone is fine but it was hectic. I’m glad to be home.”
There was a moment of silence that tore at Gerard’s heart. Once upon a time he and Lindsey would never have suffered through this. They had been able to talk, to open their hearts to each other so easily.
“So how did the taping go?” Lindsey asked softly.
Gerard sighed, “It went okay. I just got back to the hotel. Sorry you didn’t know I wouldn’t be picking you up at the airport.”
“You could have told me.” Lindsey said sounding annoyed.
“Well you could have called me.” Gerard retorted.
“And you could have called me to tell be about the change in plans.” Now her voice was angry.
“Didn’t think you’d care if I was there when you got back.” He said letting go of some of his pent up anger. “Really, tell the truth. You didn’t, did you?”
“This is stupid. Did you call just to fight with me?” Lindsey shot back.
“No, I didn’t. I called to make sure Bandit was okay."
“Of course she’s okay. I would have told you if she wasn’t.”
Gerard closed his eyes a moment trying to get his anger under control but it was impossible. “Would you? I’m not sure about anything anymore. You seem to be making all the decisions where she’s concerned.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well for one I heard you’ve decided to let Holly watch her tomorrow night. Really think that’s a good idea?”
“You mean because Molly has chicken pox? Gerard if you’d stop and think about it a minute you’d remember that Bandit got inoculated. Yeah, she might still get it but only a light case. I don’t know why you are making a big deal out of this. I didn’t think you’d have a problem with us leaving Baby B with Holly. She loves to play with Molly.” She paused “And I know how great you think Holly is.”
Gerard gripped his phone. “What?”
“You heard me.” Lindsey answered.
“What the fuck are you getting at?”
Lindsey sighed, “I’m not getting at anything. Hell, I really like Holly too.”
Gerard suddenly wanted this conversation to be over. “Whatever. I’ll be home tomorrow sometime around four. I’ll just take a cab.”
“Fine.” Lindsey said.
Gerard was about to say more but realized she’d disconnected.
For several minutes he simply sat staring at nothing. Lindsey’s remark about Holly was bothering him. Deep down he realized why. He was feeling guilty about what had happened between himself and Holly. “Fuck." He whispered as he fell back on the bed. His anger made him want to blame Holly but in his heart he couldn’t do that. Sadly he realized he’d blamed her for so many things that had been his own fault.
July 20th 2007
“Dinner is served.” Gerard said as soon as Holly walked into the kitchen. He had been smiling but as soon as he saw her face that smile faded. “What’s wrong?”
Holly tried to smile but it was difficult. She’d just worked a very long shift at the dinner and was exhausted but that wasn’t the problem. This morning she and Sonja had argued and that had set the tone for her whole day. “Nothing, just tired.”
Gerard titled his head studying her face. “I think there’s more.” He said softly.
Holly walked over to the kitchen table and took a seat. “How long have you been here?”
The question surprised him. "Uh, about an hour.”
“Was Sonja here when you arrived?”
He moved away from the counter towards the table. “Nope. Why?”
“Just wondering.” Holly said softly.
Gerard pulled out a chair forgetting about the dinner for a minute. “I don’t understand. Would it have been bad if she was?”
Holly realized she’d confused him with her question. “No, of course not. I was just wondering because she and I had a fight this morning. I was wondering if she’d come home after her classes, that’s all.”
“Oh.” He said nodding. “What did you fight about?”
Holly wished she could explain the argument to him but her promise to Sonja prevented that. They had argued about Sonja’s health. Holly was worried and wanted Sonja to see a doctor but her daughter had refused. She’d told her mother that there was nothing wrong and to stop worrying. While Holly understood that Sonja was tired of her health always being an issue she also understood that Sonja couldn’t just ignore the symptoms she’d been having lately.
“Well?” Gerard asked again.
“She thinks I worry too much.” Holly sighed wishing she could admit more but Sonja had made her promise not to tell anyone about her disease and had stressed that included Gerard.
Gerard was still confused. “Worry too much about what?”
“Everything, I guess.” Holly sighed.
“Well that’s a mom’s job.” Gerard smiled. “You can’t help it.”
Holly nodded, “Yep that’s my job. Has been for seventeen years.”
“I think tacos will help.” He said standing up.
Just having him here with her made Holly feel better. “Yeah, I’m sure they will. Need any help?”
He shook his head, “Nope, got this covered. You just sit there and relax. “
Holly watched him as he popped the shells in the oven to warm. Then he started placing all the taco makings on the table.
“You spoil me.” She smiled.
“I like to spoil you.” He laughed. “I’m just bummed I won’t be able to when the tour starts.”
Again Holly’s spirits dropped. “Yeah, I’ll miss this.” When she saw he was looking at her she added, “I’ll miss you.”
He decided now was as good of time as any to bring up something they needed to talk about. “You know you don’t have to miss me.”
He set a bowl of diced tomatoes on the table. “Nope. You could just go with me on the tour.”
Holly stared at him.
He smiled. “That way we wouldn’t have to miss each other.”
She tried to choose her words carefully. “Gee, I would love to go with you but I can’t just forget about all my responsibilities.”
He had been expecting this. “No one said for you to forget about your responsibilities. But it’s only for six weeks. You could use a vacation.”
Holly shook her head. “I can’t take off from the diner for six weeks. I can’t leave Sonja for six weeks.”
Gerard pulled the taco shells out of the oven. “Holly’s she’s not a baby anymore. Mom left me alone when I was that age. Besides she could always just stay with my mom.”
Holly knew Sonja would never agree to that. She was so proud that no one suspected anything about her illness but staying with Donna would change that. “I can’t pawn my daughter off on your mom.”
“Sure you could. Mom loves Sonja. It wouldn’t be a problem. And the diner isn’t a problem either. You don’t need that job.”
Holly was suddenly feeling overwhelmed. What he was asking was something she knew she couldn’t do for him and that hurt. “Gee, you know there is more to all of this.”
He placed the last of the bowls on the table then sighed, “Yeah, the fact that people still don’t know we’re together. Well that needs to change.”
The sound of the front door opening halted the conversation.
“Sonja?” Holly called out.
A minute later her daughter appeared in the kitchen. “Hey.”
Holly knew by looking at her she wasn’t feeling well. “We’re just about to have dinner.”
“And there’s plenty.” Gerard stood to grab her a plate.
“Not hungry.” Sonja said quickly. “I just came home to change. I’m going out with some friends and they’re gonna be picking me up soon.”
“Where are you going?” Holly asked.
“Just out.” Sonja answered vaguely. “I’ll be home by midnight.”
“Sure you don’t want a taco?" Gerard asked.
Sonja smiled at him then looked around the kitchen. “So you made dinner?”
His eyes followed her gaze. “Yeah, you can tell by the mess. But don’t worry I’m gonna clean it up.”
“You’d better.” Sonja teased. “I’m not gonna come home and clean it up.” She turned and walked from the room.
Holly looked over at Gerard. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
He nodded, “Sure.” Knowing she wanted to speak to her daughter in private.
“Sonja.” Holly said softly catching up with her at the bottom of the steps.
“Honey, are you okay?” She asked lowering her voice.
“I’m fine, Mom.” Sonja sighed. “I’m doing great in my classes.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about.” Holly said looking into her eyes.
“I know but not now, okay? Just go back in the kitchen and enjoy your dinner Gerard made.”
“This is more important.” Holly began but Sonja spoke up.
“Mom, just stop. I’m fine. And besides.” She added hoping to get her mother’s mind off her. “It’s sweet he made dinner for you.”
Holly’s eyes narrowed. “It was nice.”
Sonja laughed, “Oh Mom, really. Do you think I don’t know something is going on between you and Gerard? Believe me if Mikey and Alicia were around as much as they used to be they’d know it too. You guys trying to keep it secret is kinda funny.”
Now Holly was the one who didn’t want to discuss something. “He and I are really close.” She said.
“Yeah, close.” Sonja smiled. “I know.” She was about to say more when a twinge of pain stopped her.
Holly saw it. “Honey?”
“Mom, I’m fine.” Her eyes pleaded with her. “Really, please stop worrying. This has been my whole life and I’m tried of dealing with it. I have to live with this but I refuse to let it rule my life. I want to have fun, I want to go out with my friends. Don’t you understand?”
Holly did understand and it tore at her heart. “I know, Baby. Be careful tonight, okay?”
Sonja hugged her tightly. "I love you Mom.”
Gerard wondered now why he hadn’t realized then that there was so much more to Holly not wanting to leave Sonja. No, she hadn’t told him about Sonja’s disease yet he should have realized something was very wrong. “I didn’t want to realize it.” He whispered to himself sadly. And deep down he knew that was the truth. He’d wanted Holly to go with him so badly he’d ignored anything that stood in the way.
“Want me to reheat the shells?” He asked as she walked back in and sat down.
Holly smiled, “No, it’s okay.” She started to assemble a taco.
“Only one?” He teased.
Her mind was still on Sonja. “For now.”
They were silent a minute then Gerard asked. “So find out where she’s going tonight?”
Holly realized he thought that was why she’d followed Sonja. “No, not really.”
“Well I never told mom where I was going when I was that age either.” He smiled hoping to lighten her mood. “But Sonja is a smart girl. Don’t worry about her.”
“Can’t help it.” Holly answered with a sigh.
“So anyway about what we were discussing.” Gerard said trying to get back to the previous conversation.
Holly looked up. “Can we just enjoy dinner and not discuss anything?”
At first he was hurt but looking into her eyes he could see she was upset. “Sure, no problem. Then after dinner you take your shower and I’ll clean up the kitchen. Can’t have Sonja mad at me.” He teased.
“I’ll help.” Holly said looking at the counters. For the life of her she couldn’t understand how he’d made such a mess.
“Nope, you won’t, woman.” He shook his head. “I told you how this is gonna go. Then we’ll snuggle up on the sofa and watch a movie. I might even massage your feet.” He grinned. “If you’re nice to me.”
Holly wanted so badly to let go of all her worry. “Really?”
“Yeah, really.” He nodded. “But you gotta be nice to me.”
She smiled, “Oh and what does that entail?”
Gerard smiled seeing her smile. “Oh, I’m sure I’ll think of something.”
His cell phone brought him back to the present.
“Hey.” He answered cautiously.
“Hey Gee.” Bob responded. “Catch you at a bad time?”
“Nope, just got back to the hotel. What’s up?” He was surprised to hear from Bob again so soon.
“I know you won’t be getting back to LA until tomorrow but I wanted you to know I talked to Holly.
“Oh, you called her?”
“No actually she called me. I’d asked her to tell me when she was going to head home.”
Gerard frowned, “So she called to tell you she’s planning on leaving LA soon?”
“Yeah, she’s gonna leave Saturday morning.”
“What?’ Gerard’s tone made it apparent he was shocked. “Why would she decide to drive home on New Years Eve? That’s stupid and besides Molly’s still sick.”
Bob sighed, “I agree with you and I asked her why. She said something about it being time for her to leave. I gotta tell you I’m worried about her. She didn’t sound right.”
Gerard closed his eyes feeling in his heart this was his fault. Holly was taking off because of him and what he’d done.
“Uh, you have any idea why she’s decided to go home? I mean before she’d told me she was gonna wait until after New Years. And with Molly being sick this seems sorta wrong.”
“It is wrong.” Gerard said softly. “She shouldn’t drive to Arizona while Molly’s sick.”
“Well she won’t listen to me.” Bob said. “She said nothing could change her mind. So I’m gonna fly out to LA on Friday.”
“You’re flying to LA?”
“Yeah, I told her I’m gonna drive to Arizona with her then fly home from there. She was upset but I finally convinced her to let me so I wouldn’t worry. I don’t want her driving alone with Molly being sick and all.”
“She should just postpone leaving.” Gerard said thinking out loud.
“I agree but she won’t. You know Holly and when she gets something in her head there’s no changing it.”
“That’s true.” Gerard agreed sadly.
“So anyway I just thought you should know but to be honest I don’t think she’s even told Alicia yet.”
Gerard knew this information would no doubt upset Mikey.
“So don’t tell anyone, okay? I mean if you do she’ll get mad at me.”
“Yeah, I understand.” Gerard said. He talked a few more minutes then disconnected. Knowing Holly was leaving was weighing heavy on his mind. She was leaving LA, leaving her friends and it was all his fault.