As Holly fights for her life Gerard reflects on the past.
“They took Holly back into surgery.” Mikey said looking over Alicia’s head. “Her blood pressured suddenly dropped. They think she’s still bleeding internally.”
Gerard stood motionless for several minutes. By this time Bob had entered the waiting room so Mikey quickly explained to him what was happening.
Bob sat down heavily while Gerard continued to stand.
“Mikey tell me she’s gonna be okay.” Alicia whispered through her tears.
Mikey hugged her tightly. “Holly’s a fighter.”
Alicia looked up, her eye makeup smeared by her tears. “I promised to call Christa.”
“I’ll call her.” Gerard said needing to feel there was something, anything he could do. He walked back out of the waiting room to find a place to make the call.
Mikey looked over at Bob. “What's going on?”
Bob was torn not knowing how much Mikey truly knew about the situation. “I think he’s still in shock finding out about Molly.” He said softly.
“Yeah, well so am I.” Mikey was having trouble dealing with his own emotions. “I can’t believe Holly lied to all of us.”
Bob knew this was difficult for Mikey. “She did what she did to protect your brother. Everything she’s done since meeting Gerard has been for him.”
Alicia too was struggling to understand. “She couldn’t admit Molly was his because she was afraid it would damage his marriage. When I first found her I told her that Gee and Lindsey were having problems.” She shook her head. “God, how could we all have been so stupid? I mean, think about it. She told us Sonja met Jimmy, got married and then had Molly. But that couldn’t have been right. Because of Molly’s age Sonja would have had to be pregnant much soon than that.” A tear rolled down her cheek. “Holly was pregnant before she left Jersey.”
Bob nodded. “Yes but none of you realized that because no one would have ever thought Holly would lie.”
Alicia swiped at her eyes. “And how could I not have seen how much she loved him?”
“How could you not have seen how much he loved her?” Bob asked softly.
Alicia and Mikey both looked shocked. It was finally Alicia who spoke. “I’m not sure. I guess in my head I just thought that they were such good friends. I mean I’d always assumed that was all they were.” She paused. “God, was I stupid. I should have seen it.”
Bob smiled sadly. “You saw what Holly wanted you to see. She never believed she was right for Gerard. She never believed she should be more to him than a friend.”
“But why?” Mikey asked struggling to understand. “Why did they tell us back then that they’d become more than just friends?”
“Think about what was going on at that time. Gee had just broken up with Eliza and Holly was dealing with Sonja’s illness and trying to keep it a secret.” Bob said sadly.
Alicia nodded slowly. “I’m sure she was afraid that she’d be hurt.”
Mikey was confused. “Why? I don’t get it.”
“Because Gee had just broken up with Eliza.” She tried to make her husband understand. “Gee broke up with Kat then went directly to Eliza. He broke up with Eliza then went straight to Holly. Knowing that had to scare Holly. Her life up to then had consisted of a bastard of an ex-husband and a very sick child. It had to be scary suddenly meeting someone like Gee and being thrust into his lifestyle. Think back to what Holly was like then, Mikey. I know I thought of her almost like a second mom. She was older, she had a teenage daughter, she wasn’t at all like any of his past girlfriends.” She paused then added sadly. “We didn’t see how messed up her life really was. We didn’t see how much she was struggling because we didn’t know the truth.”
Bob nodded. “She was afraid to love him but she did.” He knew in his heart it was important for Alicia to understand since she and Holly were close. “But she had always put Sonja first in her life and to her it had to seem that loving Gee had to come second.”
Alicia blinked back fresh tears. “You said Sonja and Holly fought over the fact that she wouldn’t tell him about the baby, didn’t you?”
“And that Holly blamed herself for driving Sonja away.”
Again Bob nodded.
“So she blames herself for Sonja’s death, doesn’t she?”
“Yeah, she does. Holly wanted her and Jimmy to come to live with her in Colorado. He was out of work but Sonja knew how much Holly was struggling just to make ends meet. She wanted Holly to go to Gee for help but Holly wouldn’t.”
A tear rolled down Alicia’s face. “In a way she has to believe Gee gave her a daughter but he caused her to lose a daughter.”
“But that’s not right.” Mikey said shaking his head. “It’s not his fault.” He said defending his brother.
“Of course it’s not really.” Alicia said softly. “But you have to understand why she would feel that way. Holly spent her whole life doing nothing but caring for Sonja. Then she met Gee and that started to change.”
“This is all so fucked up.” Mikey whispered. “I mean what’s gonna happen now? Gee’s married.”
“Not for much longer.” No one had heard Gerard walk in. He sighted, “Ray and Christa are on their way.”
“What do you mean not for much longer?” Mikey asked staring at his brother.
“Linds wants a divorce.” He answered sitting down in an uncomfortable chair. “She told me when I went home.”
“That’s were you went?” Mikey asked slowly. “You went home and told her about Molly?”
“Didn’t have to.” Gerard already wanted another cigarette. “She’d figured it out. But that’s not why were getting a divorce. Our marriage has been over for a long time. I just didn’t wanna face that fact.”
Mikey didn’t know what to think. Suddenly he was angry out of fear for his brother’s mental well being. “Fuck, all of this can’t have helped it. Maybe you two can work it out.”
“Mikey, don’t blame Holly for my marriage ending. She ain’t got nothing to do with it. It was over before she came back into my life. Lindsey thinks the same way. She’s gonna take B and go to her mom’s as soon as Ma gets here to help care for Molly.”
“You’re just gonna let her go?” Mikey asked.
“It’s over.” Gerard answered tiredly. “Nothing can change that.”
Mikey’s feelings were in turmoil. He was scared about how his brother would deal with everything that was happening. “So what are you gonna do?”
Gerard looked at him. “What do you mean?”
Alicia understood Mikey’s concern. “He’s just worried about how you are gonna handle everything, Gee.” She said softly.
Gerard understood. “He’s worried I’m gonna really start drinking now.” He glared at his brother. “Why not just say it? It’s what you’re thinking, ain’t it?”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah, it’s what I’m thinking because I love you.”
“But you know how fucked up I am.” Gerard stood and began to pace. “What the fuck is going on? Why don’t they come back and tell us something?” Right now the only think he wanted to focus on was Holly.
“I’m sure they will tell us something as soon as they can.” Alicia answered.
Mikey’s phone vibrated. He glanced down at the screen. “It’s Frank.” He looked over at his brother. “Ma said she was gonna call him and tell him what had happened.”
“Do I tell him?” Mikey asked feeling overwhelmed.
Alicia took the phone from his hand. “I’ll talk to him.” She looked over at Gee. “He and Jamia both care a lot about Holly.”
Gerard sighed, “You can tell him about Molly. There ain’t no sense in keeping it a secret from Frank.”
Alicia nodded then walked out of the room.
“Gee, sit down.” Mikey said nervously. Watching his brother pace was upsetting.
“I just want to know what the fuck is going on.” Gerard answered angrily.
Mikey looked over at Bob remembering what he’d said. “You still love her, don’t you?” He asked Gerard turning to look at him.
Gerard slowed down then turned to answer. “You think that’s wrong? Yeah it is wrong, ain’t it?”
“I don’t know what to think anymore.” Mikey said looking down.
Ray and Christa arrived just before the doctor joined them in the waiting room.
“How is she?” Gerard’s voice trembled.
The doctor signed. “She had started bleeding internally again. The weakened condition of her body is a factor. We’ve started another blood transfusion and we’re hoping this time the internal bleeding has stopped for good. There isn’t anything else we can do for her at this time.”
“What are her chances?” Gerard asked the question then held his breath.
“That’s a question I can’t really answer. If the internal bleeding has stopped then her chances improve but if it starts again I’m not sure she can survive another surgery.” He paused, “I’m sorry.” He suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “I know this is a difficult time for all of you but this question is important. Does Holly have a living will?”
Gerard’s eyes grew wide. “They already asked that and we don’t know. Why is it important?”
Christa looked down with tears in her eyes already knowing the answer.
“If we do have to take her into surgery again and…” He hated this part of his profession so much. “Well we need to know if she would want to be put on life support.”
Gerard’s heart lurched.
“We just don’t know.” Alicia whispered knowing the doctor was still waiting for an answer.
“And she has no close family?” He asked.
“No.” Gerard answered finally. “But she and I have a child together.”
The doctor looked surprised. “I see. Then do you feel you should be the one to make any decisions regarding her care? Was it something you and she had discussed before now?”
The world seemed to be closing in on him. His gut ached for the numbing effect of alcohol. “I can’t.” He whispered falling into the chair behind him.
The doctor’s eyes were full of compassion. “I know how difficult this must be for you. I’m on duty until midnight and I’ll keep you all posted on her condition.” With that he left the room.
“I need a smoke.” Gerard said suddenly jumping to his feet.
“Gee.” Mikey said his name but then feel silent. He didn’t know what to say.
It was Bob who spoke the truth when Gerard left the room. “He wants a drink.”
Mikey exploded. “Shut up.”
Ray tried to intervene. “Mikey you know that’s the truth. We all know it. Shit, this is tearing him up inside.”
Outside the hospital Gerard found a deserted area and ignoring the No Smoking signs lit a cigarette. He inhaled deeply then leaned back against the brick wall.
“Holly please don’t die.” He whispered. “Please.”
As the words left his mouth the memory he’d been trying to bury sprang to life….
July 24 2007
“Hey.” Gerard said as he walked into Holly’s kitchen.
She turned and smiled, “Hey.” When she saw his face her smile faded. They had parted on bad terms yesterday and he hadn’t called her last night. She could see now he was still angry.
“We need to talk.” He said coming straight to the point. “I’m leaving tomorrow. Our first show is tomorrow night.”
Holly dried her hands on a dish cloth. “I know.”
Gerard pulled out one of the kitchen chairs and sat down. “Sonja here?”
“No.” Holly answered as she sat down across from him.
“Good.” Gerard took a deep breath trying to remember everything he’d planned on saying. “I’m sorry for walking out of that restaurant like I did.”
Holly looked down at the table in front of her. “I understand you were angry with me but you’re wrong.” She looked up. “I do love you.”
He felt some of the dread that had been feeling in his heart fade, “I love you too, Sugar. I really do but I don’t think you believe that.”
Holly smiled sadly but her answer didn’t address what he’d said. “But I still can’t go with you.” When she saw his face fall she added quickly, “But maybe in a few weeks I can get away for a day or two.”
This wasn’t what he wanted to hear. “Look I know Sonja only has one more week of summer school. I asked her.”
Holly frowned, “You asked her?”
“Yeah.” There was anger in his voice. “And she said her grades are pretty good.” There was a definite challenge in his tone. “So saying you gotta stay because of her school really ain’t the truth.”
His attitude angered Holly. “It is the truth. She needs to go to that last week of school.”
“You need to stop using Sonja as an excuse not to go with me.” His voice was full of anger. “If you don’t wanna be with me then just say it.”
Holly wanted so badly to tell him the truth but in her mind she could see Sonja’s face and she could hear her voice when she’d asked if Gerard knew about her illness. It had been heartbreaking and she couldn’t break her promise to Sonja. “Gee, please.” Holly’s nails dug into the palms of her hands as she tried to control her emotions. “It’s not that I don’t want to be with you.” She tried to make him understand. “I just can’t go with you right now. I have responsibilities.”
He shook his head. “And I suppose you think I’m just being unreasonable wanting the woman I love at my side?”
Holly stared at him knowing nothing she could say would help.
“I want to take care of you.” He said, his whole attitude suddenly changing. “You don’t need that crappy job. You don’t need to worry about Sonja all on your own. I want to be part of your life.”
“You are part of my life.” Holly whispered.
He shook his head sadly, “A small part. A hidden part.”
Holly glanced at the clock knowing Sonja would be home soon. “Gee, I don’t want us to fight.”
He was about to give an angry retort but when he looked at her he could see she was holding back tears. “I don’t want that either.” He whispered. “But I don’t want this kind of relationship either.”
Holly felt her world crumbling. “I don’t understand.”
“I love you but that’s not enough for you. You don’t believe in our love. You don’t wanna be with me because you don’t trust me. You think I’ll hurt you.” He’s head dropped, “Maybe you’re right.” With those words he left the kitchen without a backwards glance.
Gerard lit another cigarette. “I just didn’t understand.” He whispered. If he’d known the truth about Sonja’s illness he would have understood but he also realized now that Holly couldn’t tell him without betraying her daughter. He wished with all his heart he’d been more patient. He wished with all his heart things could have been different.