Memories of the past, fears for the future, fill New Years Eve.
“Shit.” He whispered.
No, sleep wouldn’t come but memories of the past did. There seemed no way he could stop them.
Aug 3 2007
Projekt Rev had landed the band in Texas. The day was hot and Gerard was tried. Too much partying last night had left him feeling drained.
In the welcome air-conditioning of the tour bus Gerard sat down with a cup of coffee staring out the window at the other tour buses. He was trying to remember last night but a lot of the memories were blurred. Deep down a voice inside his head was reminding him he’d been down this path before and how badly the trip had ended. But he quieted that voice. He was having fun and that seemed more important. The last tour had taken its toll on him mentally and physically. So he was convincing himself that partying a little was okay. Besides it helped him forget the pain he was feeling, the pain that he felt because of Holly.
“Hey Gee.” Frank said as he grabbed a cup of coffee. “Man, what did you finally crash last night?”
Gerard glanced over at him then shrugged, “Pretty fuckin’ late.”
“You look like shit.” Frank commented.
“Thanks.” Gerard wasn’t in the mood to be questioned about his actions by anyone so he smiled and played off the comment. “What are you up to today?”
“Jamia will be here today.” Frank answered leaning against the counter. “She’s gonna help me finalize my ideas for the new tat.”
“Oh yeah.” Gerard knew his friend would be flying to LA on their next day off to get yet another tattoo.
“Yeah, I’m stoked about it.” Frank was about to say more but his cell went off. He glanced down at the screen then answered. Wanting some privacy he wandered off the buss leaving Gerard alone once again.
Taking a sip of coffee Gerard felt a growing anger. That anger worsened as he looked out and saw Mikey and Alicia walk by the bus. Yeah, it seemed to him everyone had someone at their side but him. Holly should be here, he should have to be alone.
Taking out his cell he punched in her number. He’d been gone just over a week and had only talked to her a few times, each time had been strained. But God help him he needed to hear her voice.
“Hey.” He said softly when she answered.
“Not bothering you am I?” He wasn’t sure but it sounded like she was outside.
“Just on my way to the car.” Holly answered juggling her phone while pulling out the car keys. “I’m heading to St. Tim's. So how was the concert last night?”
“It was great.” He answered “You should have seen it.” He couldn’t stop himself from adding.
Holly sighed, “Wish I could have."
He drummed his fingers on the table beside him trying to quell his anger. “Well you could have.”
“Gee, please don’t start this.” Holly said softly. Each time they’d spoken since he’d left their conversations always ended up like this. He was angry she wasn’t with him and he let that be known often.
“Start what, Holly? Start saying that I want you here? Is that something you don’t want to hear?”
“Gee, I wish I could be with you.” Holly said sadly. “I really do.”
“Then why the fuck don’t you fly out here?” He challenged.
“I can’t.” Holly said softly. “Sonja…”
“Don’t use your teenage daughter as an excuse.” Gerard cut her off rapidly. “That’s ridiculous. And don’t use that fuckin’ crappy job of yours as an excuse either.”
There was silence at the other end of the phone.
Gerard rubbed his eyes tiredly, “Look I don’t want to fight with you.” He said slowly. “But I miss you Holly.”
“I miss you too, Gee.” She whispered. “Maybe in a few weeks..”
Again he cut her off. “You don’t really mean that.”
But what he didn’t know was she had meant it. After taking Sonja to the specialist who had adjusted her meds she was doing much better.
“Gee, I don’t want us to fight.” Holly said softly.
“But you just don’t want to be with me.” Gerard said looking out the window again. “I get that.”
“That’s not true.”
He didn’t believe her. And that fact, while he refused to admit it to himself, almost relived him. If she was here she’d see how hard he was partying and he knew she’d be upset. Maybe, just maybe, the fact she didn’t want to be with him was good.
“Yeah, whatever.” He said quickly.
“Gee, are you okay?”
“Of course I’m okay, I’m having a fuckin’ great time.” He answered quickly. “This tour is awesome. I’ve missed this shit. It’s great catching up with so many old friends.”
“That’s good.” Holly said slowly. There was something in his voice that seemed off.
“Yeah, I’m having the fuckin’ time of my life.” Gerard said just as Ray entered the bus. He couldn’t say more now. “Later.” He disconnected before Holly ever said goodbye.
That was the last conversation they’d had while he was on the tour. What he didn’t know was a few days later Sonja and Holly had talked about the situation. Holly had admitted how much she missed Gee and it was Sonja who had urged her mom to go see him. Her illness was under control so she saw no reason her mom couldn’t go. She’d seen how much her mom loved and missed him and it was because of that she’d finally decided Holly could tell Gerard about her illness.
So Holly had, with great excitement, scrapped together her meager savings and bought an airline ticket. She hadn’t heard from Gerard in a few days but that didn’t worry her. They loved each other. For Holly this was the first spontaneous thing she’d ever done in her life and it felt right. She’d go to Gerard and surprise him. She’d finally tell him the truth about why she hadn’t been able to go with him. The future looked brighter to her than ever before. That was of course until she walked onto the tour bus and saw him and Lindsey together…..
Gerard still couldn’t sleep. That last conversation with Holly was playing in is mind. He remembered what had happened afterwards…
August 3, 2007
Still hurt from his conversation with Holly Gerard didn’t want to talk to Ray so he’d left the bus. What he really wanted was a drink. Ignoring the voice in his head that reminded him he had a show tonight he rounded the bus intent on finding someone to party with. That wouldn’t be hard.
He turned to face the woman whose voice had stopped him. “Hey, Lindsey.” He smiled. So far on the tour they’d only exchanged a few words.
“How the fuck have you been?” She surprised him by throwing her arms around him to give him a kiss.
Gerard laughed returning that kiss. “I’ve been good.” Suddenly he realized that while that wasn’t the truth he wanted it to be. Keeping his arm around Lindsey he grinned. “We need to catch up, don’t you think?”
She smiled, “I’d like that.”
Together they made their way towards her trailer. That was the beginning for them and he’d never looked back. He’d refused to let himself look back.
Gerard rolled out of bed. There was no point laying there thinking about the past. He walked into the living room where his dad sat watching the TV.
As soon as Don saw him he used the remote to flip off the set. “Can’t sleep?”
“No.” Gerard collapsed onto the sofa. Suddenly he had to talk about it. “What the fuck is wrong with me?”
Don understood the question was from deep within his son’s soul. “Thinking about the past?”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, I can’t stop thinking about it. How the fuck could I love Holly but do what I did?”
“You mean fall in love with Lindsey?”
Sighing Gerard nodded.
“It’s not hard to love two women at once.” Don answered slowly. “Especially when you’re not sure one of them loves you.”
“But she did love me. Holly did love me but I couldn’t see it. If I’d just waited.”
Don smiled sadly, “If you had then you’d never have married Lindsey, you wouldn’t have Bandit.”
“Yeah, I know.” Gerard said miserably. “And I wouldn’t want to change that for the world but look what it did to Holly.”
“The other woman that you loved and still do love.” Don said with a sigh. “I really do get it son. You feel guilt that you aren’t sure you should. This is a sad situation for sure.”
“And now Linds and I have grown apart.” Gerard whispered. “And Holly…fuck I don’t know what’s gonna happen to her.”
Don felt it was time to say what needed to be said. “No you don’t. None of us really do but I truly believe she will recover. I feel it in my heart. But what worries me is I’m not sure what you believe."
“What I believe?”
“Gee, have you given any thought to what will happen when she recovers? When she’s able to care for Molly again?”
“Dad we don’t even know if she’s gonna be able to fuckin’ walk.” Gerard said with emotion.
“She’ll walk again.” Don said with conviction. “But even if she can’t and is confined to a wheelchair Holly will still find it deep within herself to care for Molly.”
Again Gerard felt like whatever his dad was getting at was something he didn’t want to face. “Well yeah, I’m sure she will.”
Don could see the look in his son’s eyes. He was trying to avoid what he didn’t want to face. “Gee, you and Holly may never have any kind of future together.”
Anger and fear made Gerard answer quickly, “I never said I wanted any kind of future with Holly. But we do share a child.”
“You can’t use the child to keep Holly bound to you. That wouldn’t be right, son.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Gerard shot back.
“Holly has been through hell, she’s still going through it right now. I’m just saying there is a chance she might want to put all of this behind her once and for all. Now that the truth is out about Molly I’m not sure how Holly will deal with this. But I do know one thing for certain. She has to finally face the past and deal with it.”
“And you think because of me that past is too painful, that she might want to just completely and once and for all leave it behind?”
Don tried to soften his words. “I know she still loves you. I could see it in her eyes. But you need to understand that to Holly if you turn to her it could just be the past repeating itself.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You turned to her the first time because of your breakup with Eliza.”
Gerard stopped him, “That’s not true. I was attracted to Holly before that.”
“I’m trying to make you see how it could look to her. You left Eliza and went to Holly. Then when you thought it was over you turned to Lindsey.”
The truth was painful to admit but he did. “Because I can never fuckin’ be alone, right?”
“It does seem that way. And now that you and Lindsey have parted…”
“Holly would think that I’m with her because of that” Gerard said softly realizing what he father was saying.
“She could.” Don nodded.
“Fuck that’s what Lindsey told her."
Don was shocked, “What?”
Gerard explained to him what Lindsey had told him about her meeting with Holly.
Don sat back for several minutes lost in thought. Finally he spoke, “Son, none of us knows for sure what will happen. But I can tell you this, you need to give Holly some time to sort everything out. If you really love her you have to give her time.”
“Something I’m not good at.” Gerard whispered.
Don smiled slightly, “Maybe now is that point in your life when you realize that not only Holly will need time but you need it too.”
“So that I don’t hurt her again.” Gerard said to himself.
Don hurt for his son. “And so that you don’t get hurt again.”
Again the room grew silent. After a few minutes Gerard stood. “I’m gonna head back over to the hospital.”
“You comin’ home tonight?”
Gerard sighed, “It’s New Years eve. I know it’s stupid because she’s in a coma but I want to be there with her for the New Year.”
“That’s not stupid, son.” Don said standing. “Not stupid at all. Don’t worry about me. After you leave I’m going to go over and visit Hal.”
“Oh shit.” Gerard said. “I forgot about him. I don’t even know if he’s heard about Holly.”
“I was going to talk to him when I was at Mikey’s but once Molly saw that damn news report I forgot.” Don admitted.
“You should have just stayed there."
Don smiled, “No, I wanted the chance to talk to you alone. I’ll just borrow one of your cars and drive over there.”
“Yeah, sure.” Gerard told him where the keys were located.
Gerard was at the front door about to leave when he suddenly turned, “Dad could you get rid of the booze in the house while I’m gone?"
Don smiled, happy by the decision his son had made without prompting, “Sure.” He walked to the door with Gerard, “Give Holly a kiss for me. Whisper to her that we all love her and are waiting for her to get better."
“She’s in a coma dad.”
Don put his hand on Gerard’s shoulder. “I know but I still think it’s important it be said.”
Blinking back tears Gerard nodded, “Yeah, it is important.”
The day dragged on for Gerard. He spent his time in the waiting room leaving occasionally for quick trips out to his car to sneak a cigarette. Now as evening fell he found himself sitting looking up at the waiting room TV. On the screen was Times Square filled with people happily waiting for the New Year to arrive. Here in LA that would be several hours yet.
Bob followed his gaze. “You know I still have the scarf Holly knitted for me.” He said softly.
It took Gerard a moment to realize Bob was thinking back to that New Year’s eve they’d all spent together when the band had performed in Times Square. “Oh, shit. Man, I’m sorry I forgot it’s your birthday.”
Bob smiled, “No big deal. We’ve all had other things on our mind.”
Gerard nodded, “For sure.”
“That was a great birthday though.” Bob lamented. “Would have been perfect if that bitch hadn’t been giving Holly a hard time.”
Gerard sighed, “Yeah, I remember.” He’d always remember how Eliza had treated Holly that night.
Bob saw the look in his eyes and was sorry he’d brought up that memory. “Hey, Holly still had a good time.”
Gerard nodded sadly.
“Honey, it’s almost midnight in New York.” Mikey whispered to his wife who had fallen asleep leaning against his shoulder.
“What?” She saw up sleepily then saw the TV, “Oh.”
Gerard glanced over at his sister-in-law. “Hey why don’t you take this one? Go sit with Holly then have Mikey take you home. You’re exhausted.”
“But it’s not even late." Alicia answered frowning.
Gerard smiled sadly, “Hey, it’s been a rough day. It’s okay. I’m gonna stay here tonight and if there is any change in Holly’s condition you know I’ll call you. Besides mom might need your help getting Molly to sleep.”
Mikey agreed, “He’s right. We should go home. Go on in and sit with Holly and when you get back we’ll head that way.”
Alicia stood then stretched, “Yeah, okay.” She relented.
Once she left the waiting room to head down the hall Mikey spoke, “You really gonna stay here all night again?”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah.”
Mikey looked over at Bob, “You gonna head home with us?”
Bob sighed “I think I’ll stay a while longer.” He looked over at Gerard, “Unless you want to be alone.”
The fact was he did want to be alone but looking into Bob’s eyes he understood how much Bob cared for Holly. “No, we’ll grab some coffee and watch the next New Year ring in for the central time zone.”
Bob smiled slight, “Yeah, okay.”
When Alicia got back she asked, “I haven’t missed your performance have I?”
Gerard shook his head, “Nope, they’re obviously not gonna play the tape until later.” A fact that hurt but he refused to think about that.
“Okay then," Mikey stood. “We’ll see you in the morning.”
Gerard decided to walk them to the elevators. “I’ll grab us some coffee on the way back.” He said to Bob.
Once they reached elevator Gerard spoke. “Give Molly a kiss for me, okay?”
Alicia hugged him impulsively, “We will.”
“Take care, dude.” Mikey said to his brother giving him a hug as the doors slid open.
Gerard turned away then made his way towards the room where he knew he’d find coffee. Grabbing two cups he made his way back to the waiting room. “Here.” He said handing one of the Styrofoam cups to Bob.
“Thanks.” Bob carefully took the cup.
Gerard sat down just as his cell rang. “Hey.” He answered as he carefully sat down his coffee cup.
“Hey, Gee.” Lindsey’s voice sounded tired. “Happy New Year.”
Gerard laughed softly, ‘Well for you but not for me yet.”
“Yeah, I know.” Lindsey answered, “But I’m tired and Baby B crashed hours ago. I’m heading to bed.”
There was an awkward silence.
“So how’s Holly?” Lindsey asked finally.
Gerard told her the latest information they’d gotten from the doctors.
“Shit.” Lindsey said softly when he told her about the chances Holly would be paralyzed.
“We just have to hope for the best.” Gerard whispered.
“So you’re at the hospital now?”
He saw no point in lying, “Yeah.”
“I’m really pulling for her, you know.” Lindsey said softly.
“She’s a good person, one of the best I’ve ever met.” Lindsey said honestly. Suddenly she spoke from her heart, “Gee, I hope you don’t think I just deserted you.”
He was surprised by the comment, “Linds I understand why you left.”
“I hope so.”
He shifted the phone, “I really do. Now go to bed but remember to give Bandit a kiss for me, okay?”
With tears in her eyes she answered, “I will. Night Gee, take care of yourself.”
Bob had kept his eyes on the TV during the call but now he turned to Gerard, “How’s she doing?”
“It was nice she asked about Holly.”
Gerard sighed, “Lindsey is a good woman. She cares about Holly, she really does.”
Bob nodded, “You’re lucky, Way. You’ve had two really good women in your life.”
Gerard stared down at the floor, “Yeah, I have. But I’ve fucked it up with both of them.”
Not knowing how to answer that Bob returned his gaze to the TV.
An hour later Bob went in to sit with Holly. When he returned Gerard had nodded off in his seat.
“Man, who don’t you head home?” Bob asked kindly.
Gerard blinked several times. “I might later.”
“Okay, well I’ll see you in the morning.”
Once Bob left Gerard forced himself to walk around the waiting room several minutes to wake up. Then he sneaked outside for a smoke break in his car. As the smoke filled the car he sat back and closed his eyes. He was exhausted but it was important to him to be here at least until he got to sit with Holly one more time. That would be at midnight, that would be their New Year.
He stayed in his car until it was almost time for Holly’s next visit. When he returned to the waiting room he saw a nurse waiting for him. His heart began to race.
“Is something wrong?”
The older nurse smiled, “Nothing is wrong. I figured you’d be here so I was gonna let you sneak in a little early to sit with Holly.”
Gerard took a deep calming breath, “Thanks.”
As they walked towards Holly’s cubical in the ER the nurse smiled, “Her temp is down a bit.”
“That’s good.” Gerard said feeling relief.
The nurse nodded, “It is. Now you go on in there and I’ll come back for you later.”
“Thanks.” Gerard smiled. That smile faded however when his eyes fell on Holly. Each time he saw her it shocked him. She looked so frail, so fragile surrounded by all the machines.
Taking a seat near the bed he reached over and took her hand in his. “Hey, Holly.” He said softly. “It’s almost New Years.” Suddenly the tears he’d held back all day fell. “I’m so fuckin sorry you’re spending it here. So fuckin’ sorry this happened.”
The only sound was that of the machines.
“But I promise this year will be better than the last. We’re gonna get you fixed up better than new.” He gently caressed her hand with with thumb,. “But …” He gulped, “Things are gonna be different, I promise.”
Outside in the hallway he could hear several nurses wishing each other a Happy New Year.
“This is it, Holly.” He said softly. “New Year.” He got up and gently pressed a kiss on her forehead. Then he whispered the words he’d promised his father he’d say. As he sat back down he gently wiped her cheek where one of his tears had fallen.