Bob explains more about Holly's past.
Gerard sat down heavily in the chair next to his brother then lowered his head.
“She’s gonna be okay.” Mikey said reaching out to touch his brother’s arm.
Unable to speak at the moment Gerard simply nodded needing to believe his brother’s words.
“Mom called.” Mikey said softly. “She and dad are both gonna be here in the morning.”
This caused Gerard to look up. “Dad’s coming?”
“Mom called him and he insisted.”
As much as he wanted his father near Gerard was concerned the added stress of all of this would harm Don. “Fuck Mikey.” Gerard whispered brokenly. “What am I gonna do?”
Mikey didn’t understand. “Gee I’m sure once Lindsey understands that you didn’t know about Molly she won’t be angry. I mean you and Holly were together before you two hooked up.”
Suddenly it seemed the world was collapsing around him. He couldn’t make himself tell Mikey the truth that his marriage was ending. “I gotta get some air.”
Bob looked up as Gerard was leaving the room. “I’ll go with you.”
For a moment Gerard’s anger flared. He simply wanted to be alone to try to deal with all the thoughts and emotions that were flooding his brain but when he saw Bob’s face he paused. “Yeah, sure.”
Neither man spoke until they had left the hospital.
“Let’s sit in the car.” Gerard said.
Bob nodded pulling out the keys to his rental. Once inside Gerard lit a cigarette then sat back exhaling a long stream of smoke. It was Bob who finally spoke.
“You’ve already told Lindsey?” While he made it sound like a question he was sure of the answer.
“Yeah.” Gerard answered leaning back his head and closing his eyes. “But she already knew.”
Bob was shocked, “She knew?”
Gerard took another deep drag off his cigarette then slowly explained. “When I got home she was holding Molly. She’d just fallen back asleep after waking up crying for Holly." His voice shook. “She said looking down at Molly’s face suddenly things started to make since.” He couldn’t make himself go on.
“Lindsey finally realized why you acted like you did when you two first met?”
Anger tore through Gerard. “What the fuck does that mean?”
Bob ignored that anger. “Why you acted like you did when you first hooked up with Lindsay. Fuck Gerard. Come on. If you hadn’t been reeling from the hurt of what you thought you wouldn’t have acted like you did. You thought you and Holly were over. You grabbed on to Lindsey like a man drowning in fear.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Gerard shouted. “You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about."
“Don’t I?” Bob challenged refusing to back down. “You know it’s true. I get it now. You thought you and Holly were through.”
“I fell in love with Lindsey." Gerard spat. “Don’t you ever think of a minute I didn’t.”
Bob saw the pain in his eyes which quelled some of his anger. “I know." He said softly. “I didn’t mean to imply you don’t love your wife.”
Gerard sat blinking back tears. When he spoke his voice was raw with emotion. “I did fall in love with Linds. But…” He paused lowering his head. “It’s over between us. Has been for a long time.”
Bob sighed. “I’m sorry, Man. I really am.”
“I just don’t know what I’m gonna do." Gerard whispered brokenly.
“Look there is something you need to know.” Bob said softly.
Gerard wasn’t sure how much more he could take. “What else is there to know? I fucked up Holly’s life. My own life is fucked up.”
It was hard for Bob not to let his anger erupt. “Yeah that’s true. I guess that’s all you need to know.” He reached for the door handle up Gerard reached over and grabbed his arm.
“No, stop. What aren’t you telling me?”
“Just forget it.” Bob shook his head. “I wanna get back in there.”
The pleading in Gerard’s voice made Bob’s movement halt. He sat back slowly trying to choose his words carefully. “When Christa said I love Holly she was right. I’ve loved her for a long time.” He paused, “But I’ve know all along you are the only man she’s ever really loved. I just can’t stand the thought of you hurting her anymore.”
Gerard tossed out his cigarette then quickly lit another. “You think that’s that I’ll do?”
“I think that’s a good possibility.” He closed his eyes. “If she makes it.”
“Fuck.” Gerard exploded, “Don’t say that. She’ll make it.” He couldn’t comprehend the thought of any other outcome.
“I heard what that doctor told you guys. Her body is weak because of what she’s done to herself. If only I could have stopped her.”
Gerard was confused. “I don’t understand.”
Bob gave up trying to fight the urge just to remain silent. Reaching over he grabbed the pack of cigarettes from the dash. It has been years since he’d smoked but he needed one. He inhaled deeply then spoke. “For so long I’ve tried to figure Holly out. I mean I knew about you two and about Molly.” He paused. “But it wasn’t until after Sonja’s funeral that I truly got a first glimpse at what was really going on in her head.”
Gerard’s stomach was churning as he sat waiting for Bob to go on.
“Her eating disorder didn’t start until after Sonja died. I remember the first time I saw her after the funeral was several months later. We were touring at the time so I couldn’t see her before then. Fuck, she’d lost so much weight I remember thinking she must be sick.”
“When did Sonja die?” Gerard whispered trying to figure out the timeline of Holly’s life.
“She died a month after Molly was born.”
Gerard sighed brokenly. “Oh"
“Yeah, remember when I took off for a few weeks during that tour we were doing in early 2008?” He saw Gerard nod slightly. “That was for Sonja’s funeral.”
“I wanted to be with her when Molly was born but she begged me not to. I wanted to be there for her but…”
“So how long after the funeral was it before you saw her again?”
“Because we were on tour I couldn’t get away until after our last show at Madison Square Garden. Right after that show I flew to Colorado to see her and the baby.”
Gerard knew that was in May. It pained him to realize the daughter he didn’t know existed would have been just a few months old. “And how was she?” He whispered.
“She’s already lost enough weight that I noticed it right away. She told me she’d just lost the weight she’d gained while pregnant but deep down I knew that wasn’t true. I stayed with her for several days and I noticed right away she wasn’t eating enough.” He took another deep drag then continued. “It was almost six months later that I saw her again. I wanted to go visit her before that but she kept putting me off and idiot that I was instead of realizing something was wrong I just got hurt about it. I thought she just didn’t want me around.”
For the first time Gerard put aside his own feelings and heard the pain in Bob’s voice. “I’m sure that’s not why she didn’t want you there.”
Bob smiled sadly, “I’m sure part of why she didn’t want me around was because I reminded her of the past. But when I saw her again I knew at that moment there was something very wrong. In the months since Molly had been born she’d lost way too much weight. Shit, she looked like a shell of her former self.” He let his mind travel back to that visit. “What I have to tell you ain’t easy.”
Gerard mentally tired to brace himself. “But I need to hear this, don’t I?”
“I think so." Bob answered tiredly. “One night while I was there she broke down. When I told you I’d never seen Holly cry that was a lie. I couldn’t tell you the truth because you didn’t know Molly was yours but now…”
“Go on.” Gerard’s voice had lost all emotion.
“Maybe I was wrong to push her but I just thought if I could understand what was going on in her head I could help her.” He took another drag then continued. “I bought us a bottle of wine. I figured it might help lower her defenses, lower that wall she’d built up around her emotions. At first she refused to drink any because of the baby. I told her that was silly to worry about that because I was there and I promised if she’d have a few drinks I’d take care of Molly."
Once more Gerard felt his heart breaking hearing that Bob had been caring for his baby daughter. “So what happened?”
“Because she wasn’t eating much the alcohol went straight to her head but that upset her. I told her it was okay to let go once in a while but that…” The memory was painful. “That seemed to push her over the edge. She said that her whole life she’d tried so hard to always be in control and do what she knew in her heart was right.” He looked over at Gerard sadly, “She said she knew what happened when she chose the wrong path.”
“Loving me was the wrong path.” Gerard whispered.
Bob shook his head. “Gee, she didn’t mean it like that. I don’t think Holly could ever regret loving you. But you need to understand something. Holly is carrying around so much guilt. That night when she broke down she told me about one of the last conversation she had with Sonja. Things were said that will always haunt Holly.”
The ache deep in his gut for a drink was tearing at Gerard. “What things?”
“Sonja called Holly and told her that Jimmy had lost his job.”
“Wait." Gerard wanted to understand everything. “So Sonja really was married?”
Bob nodded. “Yeah, and her old man really did throw her out. Fuckin’ piece of work that guy. He didn’t think Sonja should get married so he disowned her. That is the truth. It’s also the truth the fucker didn’t go to his own daughter’s funeral.”
Gerard shook his head sadly. “Okay, go on.”
“Jimmy worked for a company that went out of business and because Sonja’s illness had gotten worse, she couldn’t work. By this time Holly was working again. It was the off-season and business was pretty slow so her boss let her take the baby to work with her. Anyway Holly told Sonja that she and Jimmy should come to Colorado. That somehow they would all figure out a way to make things work. Her apartment was small but she offered to share it with them.”
Gerard had a sinking feeling he understood where this was going. “But that’s not what Sonja wanted to hear?”
“She knew her mom was barely getting by. The conversation got tense when Sonja once again brought up the fact that she thought her mom should go to you for help. Holly refused.” Bob tossed out his cigarette butt. “Sonja told Holly that she was being stupid not going to you for help. She threatened to tell you herself. Holly got angry and they said some things neither really meant. In the end Sonja told Holly that she understood she only really cared about Molly. That she loved her more because she was your child.”
“Fuck.” Gerard’s head fell and his eyes closed.
Bob sighed, “Gee, I wanted you to know this for a reason. The guilt Holly has been carrying around has been slowly destroying her. I know she loves Molly but she can’t seem to stop hurting herself and the sad thing is I’m sure she can’t even see what she’s been doing to herself. Deep down she wants to hurt herself, I get that. She’s punishing herself for what she believes is failing Sonja. Now this has happened and I’m praying it will be a wake up call for her. I’m praying this will make her realize what she’s been doing but for that to happen she has to truly admit the truth to herself. It’s gonna be painful, it’s gonna be brutal. She has to come to terms with Sonja’s death and realize it wasn’t her fault. But I think I know why more than anything else she doesn’t want to face all of that.”
Sadly Gerard understood. “Because she’s afraid that if she faces everything the anger she feels towards me will come out and she’ll hate me.”
Bob wanted to make sure he understood. “Gee she has a right to be angry with you. Not because of Molly. You didn’t know Holly was pregnant that’s not your fault but what happened between you two when you left for PR. The fact that you hooked up with Lindsey without making a clean break with Holly. That she does have a right to be angry about. If only you’d told her it was over and that you’d found someone else. If only you’d called her but I know for a fact the last time you called Holly you’d asked her to join you on the tour. You told her you still loved her.”
“I did still love her.” Gerard whispered. “That’s why I couldn’t make myself call her. I thought she didn’t love me so I just wanted to try to forget her.” His eyes misted over. “But I couldn’t. No matter how much I loved Lindsey I couldn’t forget Holly. I couldn’t forget the way she made me feel.”
“And you still feel that way.” Bob said softly.
Gerard nodded unable to trust his voice.
“And that’s what really worries me.” Bob admitted.
Gerard looked over at him. “Because you’re sure I’ll hurt her again.”
Bob tried to temper his words with compassion,. “Look at yourself, Gee. Your life is so fucked up right now. Holly is a wounded soul. All she’s ever done is try to fix your problems but she’s got too many of her own. She can’t fix you, Gee. She has to find a way to fix herself.”
“God I want a drink.” Gerard whispered hating the truth but unable to hold it in.
Bob nodded, “Yeah, I can see that. But that’s what I’m trying to tell you. If you can’t get your life in order, if you can’t stop the drinking then you’ll only hurt her more. The daughter you and Holly share means the world to her. As much as she loves you she won’t let you be a part of Molly’s world if you can’t get your life back together. I’m sure Lindsey feels the same way. You have two beautiful daughters you need to put first.”
Gerard was about to pull out another cigarette when his cell phone alerted him to a text. He grabbed it out of his pocket. “Fuck.”
“What is is?”
“It’s from Mikey.” Gerard said pulling the car door open. “All it says is to come back now.”
“Holly.” Bob whispered but Gerard had already exited the car and was running back across the parking lot towards the hospital entrance.