Gerard tells his parents the truth about Molly.
“How is she this morning?” Alicia asked as her brother-in-law neared.
“They are sure the internal bleeding has stopped.” He answered.
“That’s good.” Mikey needed to hear that bit of hope.
“Yeah.” Gerard nodded, “It is, and her vital signs have stabilized. So why are you guys here? I thought you were gonna pick up mom and dad at the airport?”
“That’s where I’m headed but their flight got delayed so I brought Alicia and Bob by here first.”
Alicia touched Gerard’s arm sympathetically. “You don’t look like you’ve slept at all.”
He sighed, “I caught a few winks between the times I could sit with Holly.”
“I talked to Lindsey." Alicia explained. “Mikey is gonna pick up Molly on his way home from the airport. She’ll be staying with us.”
Gerard nodded lowering his head.
“Gee, why don’t you go with me? We can pick up mom and dad then swing by and get Molly. You’re gonna have to tell her something.” Mikey suggested. He really wanted the time alone to speak to his brother.
Gerard looked torn. “I hate to leave.”
“But you need to help us deal with Molly.” Alicia said kindly trying to remind him he’d said he wanted the one to tell her.
“Yeah, right.” Gerard agreed sadly. “And you guys will be here for Holly.”
“Of course we will.” Alicia hugged him impulsively. “It’ll be okay.” She whispered in his ear before releasing him.
It wasn’t until they were on the way to the airport that Mikey spoke. “Uh, Gee. I haven’t told mom and dad about Molly.”
Gerard leaned his head back against the seat then closed his eyes. “I figured that.”
Mikey tried to concentrate on the traffic but it was difficult. He had so many questions that needed answers. “You really didn’t have any idea that Molly was your daughter?"
“No.” Gerard answered without opening his eyes. “I was really that fuckin’ stupid.”
“I didn’t mean it that way.” Mikey said quickly.
“But it seems like it, doesn’t it?’ Gerard challenged sitting up in his seat.
“Look, I just am having trouble understanding all of this. I mean I had no idea about you and Holly and that sorta pisses me off. Why didn’t you tell me?” He and Gerard had always been so close he was hurt his brother hadn’t told him about the relationship.
“Mikey, you were going through a lot of shit back then. I didn’t want to add to it. Holly and I were together such a sort time before it all went to hell. I couldn’t see telling you.”
“But I knew something was wrong.” Mikey said softly thinking back to that place in time. “I know something was hurting you but I just thought it was because of all of Eliza’s shit.”
Gerard shook his head sadly, “Well now you know. I fell in love with Holly but it all got fucked up and it’s my fault.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s all your fault.” Mikey made a turn then added, “Holly should have told you the truth about what was going on in her life.”
“But she couldn’t without betraying her daughters trust.” Gerard said automatically defending her. “I get that now. I just didn’t know then. I couldn’t see past my own hurt to see how badly she was hurting.”
“Seems Holly has spent most of her life hiding her hurt.” Mikey said softly.
“Yeah, that’s true. But it’s gotta stop. She needs help dealing with her emotions and somehow I’m gonna get her that help.” He paused then added, “I’m just really worried about how she’s gonna deal with her telling me the truth. I realize now she did think she was dying when she told me about Molly.”
Mikey shook his head, “You really think so?”
“I’m sure of it. But now the truth is out there. I’m afraid of how she’s gonna react to that.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Holly takes the blame on herself for almost everything in her life. Her ex was a bastard yet she couldn’t make herself hate him. It was like she somehow thought he had the right to act that way. Same with Sonja’s death. According to Bob she blames herself for that too. And I’m sure it was killing her inside to lie about Molly. I’m sure she’s carrying a lot of guilt about that too. I get now why she was always trying to help everyone else, it was because she couldn’t seem to fix her own problems. She tried to ignore everything in her life that was wrong.”
“I feel like a failed her as a friend so hard.” Mikey whispered.
“Then try to imagine how I feel.” Gerard said softly.
Back at the hospital Bob went in to sit with Holly while Alicia stayed in the waiting room. She was surprised to look up and see not just Ray and Christa enter the room but Arthur Ravenell.
“Alicia.” He said taking her hand. “How is our Holly today?”
Christa could see that Alicia was surprised by the art gallery owner’s appearance. “We ran into Arthur when we got off the elevator.” She explained.
He offered more explanation. “I heard about the attack this morning. The press has realized Holly is one of my artists so the attack is getting a lot of attention.” He frowned, “Sadly a lot of bad press is being given to Safe Harbor.”
Christa sighed, “I’m sorry to hear that. That’s not the kind of thing Holly would want to happen.”
Arthur nodded, “Yes, she and I have spoken several times about the shelters she’s worked for and I know the work they do means a lot to her.” He turned back to Alicia, “So what is her condition today?’ He asked getting back to his original question.
“All I know is that they think the internal bleeding has stopped and that her vital signs are stable.”
“The reports say she was stabbed numerous times.”
This time Christa spoke, “I was with her when it happened.”
Arthur was clearly shocked, “You were the unidentified woman with her?”
“Yes.” Christa took a calming breath. “It all happened so fast. One of the men came towards me with a knife and Holly pushed me out of the way.” Tears filled her eyes. “The man flew into a rage and started stabbing her.”
Ray put his arm around her. “Hun, try not to think about it.”
“I can’t stop. It keeps replaying over and over in my mind.” She leaned against her husband needing his strength. “Holly was protecting me and look what happened.”
Arthur smiled sadly, “In the short time I’ve known Holly I can’t imagine her doing anything differently. Protecting others is her nature. What about her daughter? Who is caring for her?”
“She’ll be staying with me and Mikey.” Alicia answered. Suddenly she was curious. “I know Molly was at Holly’s show but had you ever met her before?”
Arthur nodded, “Oh yes but of course the child wouldn’t have remembered that. Molly is a lovely child. The first time I met Holly, in Colorado, the baby was with her in the shop. Can’t believe how quickly she’s grown.”
They all realized that Arthur knew the truth about Molly. He had never believed she was Sonja’s child. That had been only a lie told to them.
“Let’s sit.” Arthur said nodding to the chairs. Once they were seated he spoke, “Tell me is there anything I can do to help monetarily? I know for a fact Holly has no health insurance.”
“How do you know that?" Alicia asked.
“When we first met she was thrilled when I wanted to purchase that first wind chime. She told me it would help her finish off paying the hospital bill for Molly’s delivery. Since that time I know the pieces she’s sold has helped her pay her bills. The fact that she donated those two pieces from the last show to the shelters only shows her caring nature. The money they raised could have helped her but she chose to give to others.”
“Right now we just don’t know what is going to happen.” Alicia said softly. “I’m sure the bills are going to be piling up and she may need physical therapy. The doctor said that they think one of the stab wounds hit her spine.”
“Oh” Arthur sat back. “So she may be paralyzed?”
Alicia sighed, “We don’t know. The first thing they had to concentrate on was stopping her internal bleeding. We just don’t know how much more damage was done.”
“Whatever Holly needs I will do my best to help her.” Arthur said with conviction. “I have many clients who are in love with her work. I’m sure something can be done.”
The conversation was halted when Bob walked back into the waiting room.
Gerard was nervously taking deep drags off his cigarette while Mikey pulled back into traffic. So far he and his parents had only briefly talked while they gathered their bags then returned to the car.
Donna was watching her son in the front seat closely. “Gee, you look terrible. Did you spend all night at the hospital?”
He nodded, “Yeah.”
“So tell us what is going on?” Donna had a foreboding feeling since seeing both of her sons at the airport.
“Holly’s vital signs are stable and the doctors think the internal bleeding has stopped.” Mikey answered for his brother.
“I’d like to see her.” Donna said.
“Right now she’s in a medically induced coma.” Gerard answered. “Every fifteen minutes someone can go in and sit with her but she don’t know it.”
“How long are they going to keep her that way?”
Gerard finished his cigarette, tossed it out the window then quickly lit another. “Don’t know. Last night they had to take her back into surgery. The bleeding had started again.”
“Oh.” Donna hadn’t known. “But this morning she’s doing better?”
“We hope so.” Mikey answered.
Donna glanced over at her ex-husband who was staring out the window. Then she turned her attention back to her sons. “So is Molly with Alicia?”
“Bob Bryar is in town and he and Alicia are at the hospital. We’re on our way to pick up Molly at Gee’s house. Then we’re gonna take her to my house so you can watch her.”
Donna frowned in confusion. “So Lindsey is watching her?”
Gerard closed his eyes briefly. “Yeah, she kept her last night but she and Bandit are leaving town soon.”
Gerard gut ached for a drink. “Yeah, they are going to her mom’s.”
“But all of you were just there for Christmas.” Donna answered trying to make sense of things.
He didn’t even bother to explain he hadn’t gone with them. “Ma, Lindsey and I are getting a divorce.” His words hung in the air.
“A divorce? Oh son, no. I know you and Lindsey have been having some problems but surly you can work them out.”
“Lindsey and I have been having problems for a long time now.” He took another drag off his cigarette trying to calm his nerves. “We both knew it but didn’t want to face it. But I knew deep down she was gonna ask me for a divorce. I knew it was coming. We aren’t in love anymore.”
“But you have a child.” Donna sputtered.
Don reached over and touched her arm gently. “That doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t in love anymore. Nothing can change that.”
Donna looked into his eyes knowing he was calling on her to remember their situation.
“I still love Lindsey.” Gerard said slightly turning in his seat to look at his mom. “I always will but we’ve been hurting each other by not admitting we aren’t in love like we once were. She knows it and so do I.”
Donna sat back feeling sadness wash over her.
“There’s something else I have to tell you.” Gerard started slowly. He took a deep breath, “I’m Molly’s father.”
Donna sat up in shock. “What?”
“How did you find out?” Don asked.
Gerard looked over at his father. “You knew?”
“I had my suspicions.”
Donna was still reeling from the news. “I don’t understand. You and …..”
Gerard cut her off knowing what she was thinking. “Ma, Sonja wasn’t Molly’s mom.”
“Oh good Lord.” Donna said as realization struck her. “Holly is her mother.”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, and I’m her father.”
“But.” Donna was at a loss for words.
“Holly and I were together after I broke it off with Eliza.”
Donna shook her head, “But…”
Don interrupted her, “Son, when did you find out?”
Gerard looked into his fathers eyes. “Right before the ambulance arrived. Holly kept telling me how sorry she was for lying and I didn’t understand.” He gulped back the emotions chocking him. “Then she asked me to look after Molly, the best gift I ever gave her.” He turned around in his seat so they couldn’t see the tears in his eyes, “She thought she was dying.”
Donna sat back and closed her eyes.
Suddenly Gerard felt Don’s hand on his shoulder. “It’ll be okay, son.”
Mikey pulled into Gerard’s driveway then cut the engine. The occupants in the car sat silently for several minutes. Finally Don spoke.
“Son, does Lindsey know about Molly?”
Gerard turned completely in his seat to face his father. “Linds realized it before I told her. She told me she was holding Molly, looking into her face and it suddenly all became clear.”
Don nodded thoughtfully. “I suppose since Lindsey never knew Holly from before it was easier for her to see the truth.” He paused a moment then added, “Now the truth is out there, think about it. It’s not hard to see Molly and Baby B are half sisters.”
“I want to see Bandit.” Donna said softly still having trouble coming to terms with everything she’d just learned.
“Sure, Ma." Gerard opened his door then moved towards the house knowing they were all following him. He mentally tried to brace himself before opening the door.
“Gee.” Lindsey smiled as he walked in. She spotted the others. “Don, Donna, good to see you both.”
Donna immediately hugged her.
“Uh, I told them you’re gonna be going to your moms.” Gerard said softly so that his wife would understand the situation.
Lindsey hugged Donna back then pulled away. “Yeah, I made or reservations. We’re flying out this afternoon.”
“I’m so sorry.” Donna whispered.
Lindsey stood taller. “Gee and I both agree this is the right thing.” She looked over at him. “We both understand that.”
He nodded looking deeply into her eyes.
“The girls are in the kitchen finishing breakfast.” Lindsey said taking a step back. “Gee, have you thought about what you’re gonna tell Molly?” She could tell by the look of despair on his face he hadn’t. “Would you like me to help you?”
He nodded unable to speak his thanks.
Lindsey smiled, “Go have a seat in the living room and I’ll get the girls.”
A minute later when she walked in Bandit happily ran to Donna. Molly stood looking a bit confused.
“Hey, M.” Mikey said speaking for the first time since entering the house.
“Hey Uncle Mikey.” She smiled walking over to him. “Hi Gee.” She grinned looking over to see Gerard standing nearby.
Gerard swallowed hard then nodded.
Molly climbed up in Mikey’s lap. “Where’s mommy?”
Lindsey sat down next to them. “Molly your mama’s in the hospital.”
Immediately Molly’s face clouded over. “Mommy’s sick?”
“There was an accident.” Lindsey said deciding that was the best way to explain it. “And now she’s in the hospital so they can make her all better.”
“Mes wants mommy.” Molly said her eyes filling with tears.
“You can’t see her right now.” Lindsey said softly. “Cause the doctors are making her better.”
Molly stared at her.
“But Donna and Don are here and they’re gonna stay with you while your mommy gets better.”
Molly looked up into Mikey’s face. “Youse not gonna stay wiff me?”
“Oh couse I am, silly.” Mikey forced himself to smile, “And Alicia too. We’re all gonna stay with you.”
Molly was clearly confused and upset.
Slowly Gerard walked over. When Molly saw him move closer she looked into his eyes. “Youse stay wiff me when mes was sick. Youse gonna stay with mommy?”
Gerard used all his strength to smile, “We’re all gonna stick together until your mommy comes home.”
Molly still had tears. “Mommy’s not gonna die?”
The adults in the room all looked shocked.
“Mr Boots gots sick and died.” Molly tried to explain. “Hes wents to heaven.”
“Mr Boots?” Mikey asked.
Molly nodded. “Mes kitty. Hes gots sick and never came home.”
“Oh.” Mikey whispered.
Gerard couldn’t stop himself. He leaned over and held out his arms. Molly slid off Mikey’s lap and went to him.
“Your mommy is gonna come home.” He told her praying it wasn’t a lie. “We just got to give her time to get better.”
Molly placed her little arms around his neck. “Otay, Gee.” She hugged him tightly but when she spoke again it broke his heart. “Ifs youse promise.”
Gerard stayed back as the others took Molly to the car. “Thanks for watching her.” He said to Lindsey who stood at the door holding Bandit.
Lindsey smiled slightly. “Gee, I honestly care about Holly.” She sighed, “And it’s impossible not to love Molly. Just as it was impossible for Holly not to love B. I get that, I really do. I hope she makes a full recovery. But B and I have to go. I hope you understand.”
Gerard’s heart was heavy. “Yeah, I do.”
“In a few days my lawyer will contact yours. I think it’s for the best if we get this handled as soon as possible.”
“This.” Gerard repeated sadly. “A marriage.”
“A marriage that was wonderful at first.” Lindsey said softly. “But one that is over.” She shifted Bandit to her other hip. “I know there are things that have to be decided but I’d like it if I could keep the house. This is Bandit’s home.”
Gerard felt like a huge weight was holding him down. “Yeah, sure.” He looked at his daughter. “And we’ll share custody.”
Lindsey’s smile faded however right now she would not debate that with him.
Gerard didn’t miss her look. “Lindsey you wouldn’t try to cut me out of her life.” His voice shook.
“I wouldn’t want that to happen.” She said softly. “But I have to do what’s best for her.”
“You think I’m not stable enough?” He challenged.
“We can talk about this later.” Lindsey said nodding to Bandit. “But I’m sure you can understand my concerns.”
Gerard tried to keep his anger from erupting. She was leaving with Bandit this afternoon and he didn’t want to part this way. “I’m going to handle everything I need to handle.” He said trying to remain calm.
“I hope so, I really do.” Lindsey answered looking down she added, “I’ll send you a text when we arrive at mom’s if you want.”
“Of course I want that.” He moved several steps closer then reached out to touch Bandit’s face. “I love you, Baby B.”
Bandit giggled completely unaware of the tension.
Gerard leaned down, kissed her rosy cheek then stood. “Take care.” He whispered to Lindsey before leaving.