Gerard sees Holly then learns about his mothers visit.
“How is she?”
“Well, she has slept most of the day. However earlier at dinner time we got her to sit up. She needs to slowly start eating again.”
“And did she?” Gerard asked.
The nurse frowned, “She barley touched the food on her plate. Granted what she was served was soft foods and liquids and probably not all that appealing.”
“But she needs to eat.” Gerard said sadly.
“Yes. Even though she is being given nutrients intravenously she will need to start eating again.”
“How was her mood?”
The nurse sighed, “She’s very depressed and with that comes anger. This isn’t unusual in a case where the patient suffered an attack. Often they are left feeling very vulnerable and that causes the anger.”
“I know she doesn’t want visitors but can I just see her a minute?” Gerard asked trying not to beg.
The nurse gave him an understanding smile. “She’s sleeping. But if you promise not to wake her I will look the other way.”
He quietly walked into Holly’s space. When he neared the bed her soft even breathing told him she truly was asleep. Sitting down he watched her. Just being here even though she was unaware gave him a strange feeling of peace. She might not know it but he was here for her.
About ten minutes later he started to stand.
“I told you not to come back.”
Her voice startled him. “Sorry, did I wake you?”
Her eyes still closed she shook her head.
“How did you know it was me?” He asked.
A wave of anger washed over Holly as the truth of how she knew came to her. She didn’t want to admit the truth that she had just instinctively known it was him so she remained silent.
Gerard tried to kid her, “Let me guess, sense of smell?”
“Go home, Gerard.”
He refused to take her anger personally, “Oh, now you want to get rid of me.”
“I never had you.” She retorted before she could stop herself.
“Holly….” He said gently.
She opened her eyes and he could see the anger. “Just go.”
Slowly he stood, “Okay I’m going…for now. But I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“Don’t bother.” Holly said quickly, “There is no reason for you to come.”
He looked deeply into her eyes, “You’re very wrong about that.” He turned before she could respond and walked away.
Before he pulled out of the hospital parking lot he called his dad and learned he was still at Mikey’s. Once he also learned that Molly was still awake he changed his mind about going and headed towards his brothers.
Molly ran to him as he entered the house.
“Gee, mes went to the zoo.”
Gerard scooped her up in his arms. “I know. Did you have fun?”
Bob who was seated in the living room laughed, “The kid wore me out. What I wouldn’t give to have her energy.”
Molly looked into Gerard’s eyes. “Did youse see mommy?”
“I did.” He smiled, “And she loved your picture of the trailer.”
“Dood.” Molly smiled, “Dids it makes her feel better?”
He forced himself to remain upbeat. “Sure it did.”
Walking into the living room he sat Molly down on her feet then took a seat on the sofa. “Where is everyone else?”
“Your mom and dad are out back. Mikey and Alicia are in the kitchen cleaning up.” Bob answered.
“Mes wants to elp.” Molly said as she crawled up on the sofa next to Gerard, “Buts theys says for mes to watch TV with Uncle Bob.”
Gerard ruffled her hair. “Hey kid getting out of cleaning up after dinner is a good thing.”
Alicia appeared in the doorway. “Hey Gee. Want me to warm up a plate for you?”
Gerard realized he hadn’t eaten all day. “Yeah, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“No problem.” She realized Gerard probably wanted to talk to Bob alone. She knew Bob definitely wanted to talk to him about Holly. “Hey M, wanna help me get Gee’s plate ready?”
“Otay.” Molly jumped off the sofa.
Once she was out of ear shot Bob asked, “So did you get to see Holly?” He’d been told Holly had requested no more visitors but he also knew Gerard would go to the hospital anyway.
“Just for a few minutes.” Gerard said lowering his voice. “But she wasn’t happy to see me.”
Bob sighed, “I wouldn’t take it personal if I we’re you. She doesn’t want to see anyone.”
Gerard ran his hand through his hair, “I guess I just never even considered how depressed she’d be.”
“I did.” Bob said sadly, “As soon as I learned she’d told you about Molly I knew all hell would break loose for her.”
“But we don’t even know if she remembers telling me.”
Bob glanced towards the kitchen to make sure they were not overheard, “I truly believe Holly remembers telling you. But I don’t think her mind will let her face that truth.”
Gerard’s brain felt like it was shutting down from exhaustion. Wanting to steer the conversation to something less serious he asked, “So how was Molly today?”
Bob smiled, “She’s a great kid. She takes after her mother.”
“Nice slam.” Gerard said slowly.
“Didn’t mean to slam you.” Bob said quickly. “In some ways I can see some of your traits in her too. But she’s so caring…” He paused. “I mean the kid ain’t even three yet and she was honestly worried about me today. I wore these stupid shoes.” He lifted one foot. “And they started to hurt. Molly asked me what was wrong. When I told her she said that it was okay if I wanted to leave the zoo because she didn’t want me feet to hurt.”
Gerard smiled, “She cares for others like her mom.”
“That she does.”
“I wanted to ask, how much longer are you planning on staying?”
Bob looked surprised by the question. So Gerard quickly explained, “I don’t want you to leave. Actually I was sorta hoping you’d be here a while. You know we’re leaving on tour soon and I think Holly really needs you.”
“Oh.” Bob said pleased by Gerard’s words. “Well I’m signed to do sound for a short tour but it don’t start for several months so I can stay here. But I’ll have to find a place. Not gonna impose on Mikey that long.”
Just then Mikey walked in. “Actually it won’t be imposing. Since I’ll be leaving I wouldn’t mind at all if you stayed here. That way I won’t worry as much about leaving M and Alicia alone.”
As much as he hated to admit it because of events from the past Bob was pleased to be accepted as a friend. “Uh, how long is your mom gonna stay?”
Mikey glanced out the patio doors to where his mother and father sat talking at the patio table. He could tell by their body language they were both angry. “Don’t know. Kinda hoping she goes home soon.”
Gerard turned to follow his gaze. “Yeah, it might be best.” He was hoping his father was discussing with Donna what had happened at the hospital today.
Just then Donna threw open the patio door and stormed in. “Stupid man.” She muttered. She spotted Gerard. “What are you doing here?”
“Nice to see you too, Ma.” Gerard said trying to control his anger.
Donna glared at him.
“Here we go.” Alicia said setting Gerard’s plate down in front of him on the coffee table.
Carefully Molly sat down his glass of water.
“Thanks.” He said with a smile. He tried to ignore the fact that his mother was still glaring. Thinking quickly he stood, “Think I’ll go eat this outside.”
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, good idea.” The last thing she wanted was for Gerard and Donna to get into an argument in front of Molly.
“Wanna come with me?” Gerard asked Molly.
“Yep.” She grinned, “Mes opens the door.”
Donna watched as they walked out onto the patio.
“What’s wrong, Ma?” Mikey asked.
“What difference does it make?” Donna said throwing up her hands in defeat. “No one cares what I think.” With that she headed down the hallway towards the bedroom.
Don was pleased when he saw Gerard walk out onto the patio.
“Hey, Dad.” Gerard said as he carefully placed his plate on the table.
“Glad you came to get something to eat.” Don said with a nod.
Gerard pulled out a chair for Molly and helped her climb up. Once she was settled safely in the chair he sat down.
Since they couldn’t discuss Holly because of the little girl, Don asked, “So tell me about the house you’re buying?”
Molly piped up. “Youse gettin’ another house?”
Gerard tried to explain the situation in a way she’d understand. “Lindsey and Bandit are going to stay in the house they have. I’m going to get a house for myself.”
Don gave his son a sad look understanding this was a very hard subject.
“Well sometimes people love each other but they can’t stay married.” He said slowly.
Molly frowned, “Why?”
“Sometimes that just happens.” Gerard said no knowing how to explain it any better than that. “But Lindsey and I still care for each other and we love Bandit. So we want her to be happy.”
“Wendey and B is don.”
Gerard nodded, “Yes but they’re coming back soon. They are going to live in the same house and I’m going to get a different house.”
“So youse wonts wiv with B?”
Suddenly sadness washed over him. “Well sometimes B will live with Lindsey and sometimes she’ll live with me. See both of us love her so we both want her to stay with us.”
Molly seemed to think this over. “Mes only has mommy who wants mes. Mes gots no daddy.”
Don and Gerard’s eyes met. As much as Gerard wished Molly knew the truth he couldn’t tell her.
“Honey you have people you want you all the time.” Gerard said with emotion.
Molly smiled, “Can mes sees youse house?”
Gerard nodded, “Well sure.” He thought a minute. “How about tomorrow you and me take a load of my stuff there?”
“You’re already moving in tomorrow?” Don asked.
Gerard took a bit of his now cold tuna casserole. “Yep, got the keys today. Actually I’ll be considered a renter until the sale goes through but that’s okay. The place is gonna be mine.”
“And youse takes mes?” Molly asked excitedly.
Now that he had already said he would he started to rethink the situation. Would Holly be upset he was spending time with their daughter?
“Sure he will.” Don answered for his son. He smiled at Gerard.
“But only if you promise to help me carry heavy boxes.” Gerard teased.
“Otay.” Molly nodded.
Gerard took a few more bites of food then set down his fork.
“I’m gonna head on out.” Don said standing. “See you soon.”
“Yeah okay.” Gerard was anxious to talk to his dad about Holly. “I won’t be long.”
Suddenly Molly’s face crumbled, “Youse weaving too?”
Gerard was surprised when her eyes filled with tears. “Well I’ve got to start packing up some stuff so we can move it tomorrow.” He said hoping that answer would make her feel better.
A tear ran down her cheek.
“Hey, what if Alicia gives you a quick bath then I’ll read you a bedtime story?”
This made Molly smile. “Youse promise?”
He couldn’t stop himself from lifting her from the chair into his arms. “I promise little M.” He gave her a hug then carried her inside with his dad following closely behind.
When Alicia led Molly down the hallway for her bath Gerard turned to his father.
“You talk to Mom about her visit with Holly?”
Don nodded, “Yeah, we’ll talk about it when you get to the house.”
Mikey walked Don out to the car. Gerard was about to sit when Bob stood.
“I’m gonna turn in. Molly wore me out today. Guess I see you at the hospital tomorrow?”
Gerard realized Bob hadn’t heard he’d be moving tomorrow. “I’m going by the hospital early then I’m gonna take Molly with me to start moving some of my stuff.”
“Oh.’ Bob said slowly. “Okay.”
Gerard stared at him, “You think it’s wrong I take Molly with me?”
Bob shrugged, “No I don’t suppose it is. Talk to ya later.”
Gerard watched him leave the room then sat down. He and Mikey were talking when Alicia and Molly joined them.
“Mes all queen.”
Gerard laughed, “All clean?” He lifted her up on to his lap. “Even behind your ears?”
Molly nodded. “Yep, Weshia washed em.”
“Okay.” Gerard grinned. “So what story do you want me to read to you?”
Sitting up so she could look into his face Molly asked, “Mes wants youse to sing. Mommy says when youse sing it made her appy.”
Gerard’s breath caught. “Your mommy told you it made her happy?”
Molly nodded, “Yep. Mes too.”
He quickly tried to blink back the tears in his eyes. “Okay.” He was suddenly racking brain trying to think of what to sing for her. “Uh, do you have a song you want me to sing?”
Molly laid her hair on his chest. “Youse pick Gee.”
Gerard looked over to see both Mikey and Alicia smiling but he noticed the tears in Alicia’s eyes.
“Uh.” It was like his brain had shut off.
Molly lifted her head to look into his eyes again. “Youse can sing fors mes what youse sing for B.”
Gerard’s heart was so full of love for both his daughters he could only hug Molly. Finally as she settled down against his chest he started to sing a song that Bandit always wanted to hear. While he sang the words his mind was a million miles away. It was thinking about a future he prayed would happen. A future were someday he’d be able to sing both of his daughters to sleep in his new home.
It was almost midnight as Gerard placed a strip of strong tape across the box of books he’d just packed. “Shit, I never realized I had so many books.”
Don looked up from the box he was packing. “Are you gonna have room for all these?”
“Yep. The house has several floor to ceiling bookshelves and that’s not counting all the room on the lower floor.”
“Sounds like a great place.” Don said happy to hear the enthusiasm in his son’s voice. Gerard had showed him the pictures he’d taken when he’d first arrived home. Don paused a minute to look over at Gerard. “Son, how long before you ask me about your mother?”
Gerard sighed, “Okay I’ve been avoiding that.” He admitted taking a seat on the floor. “I guess I just wanted to come and start packing and not have my mood ruined but since you brought it up.”
Don too sat down but in the chair behind the deck. “Your mother claims she didn’t upset Holly.”
“You believe her?”
“I believe she believes she didn’t say anything that upset her.”
Gerard’s eyes narrowed. “What’s that mean? What did Ma say?”
Don leaned back in the chair trying to ease the pain in his back. “Well I asked her to repeat exactly what she said to Holly.” He paused, “That of course pissed her off. She thinks we are ganging up on her.”
“She started it.” As soon as he said it he realized how ridiculous that sounded. “You know what I mean.”
“I do.” Don smiled, “And I tried to explain to your mother that we were just worried about Holly.”
“So did she tell you what they talked about?”
“Okay this is almost word for word what your mother told me. She said that she first told Holly how scared she had been when she heard about the attack. She told her that she’d come to LA because Holly is almost like a daughter to her.”
Gerard interrupted, “She said that?”
Don nodded, “Yeah, and I do believe she means that. Your mom always had a soft spot for Holly.”
“Okay.” Gerard said scooting on the floor over to another bookshelf where he started to pull of books. “What else?”
“She told Holly that the only thing she needed to worry about was getting better. That she was helping Alicia and Mikey take care of Molly.”
Gerard placed a stack of books in the empty box beside him. “No mention of me?”
Don heard the hurt in his voice. “Well Molly is staying at Mikeys.”
“Yeah.” Gerard nodded then went back to work.
“Anyway your mom also said she told Holly about how everyone has been spending time at the hospital because of their concern for her.”
Gerard glanced over at him. “Did I get mentioned in that?”
Don nodded, “Yeah, she told Holly several nights you even stayed the whole night.”
Gerard knew he was holding back. “And?”
“Donna said that concerned Holly. That Holly thought you should be home with your family.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard said slowly, “And what did Ma say to that?”
Don sighed, “She told Holly that Lindsey and Bandit had left town.”
Gerard exploded, “Oh that’s fuckin’ great. I’m sure she made it sound like that was Holly’s fault.”
Don stared at him.
Getting to his feet Gerard started to pace. “Fuck now I’m sure Holly has even more guilt to deal with. Damn it.”
“Gee you did tell me that Lindsey told Holly the morning of the attack that she was going to ask you for a divorce.”
“Yeah, and Holly was upset when she heard. Shit, I bet Ma made it sound like I was spending all that time at the hospital and that’s why Linds left.”
Don didn’t know what to say.
“Holly needs to know that Linds leaving had nothing to do with her.”
“I agree.” Don said softly.
“I have to talk to her in the morning.” Gerard said shaking his head.
“Hopefully you will.” Don said rising to his feet. “Now let’s get a few more boxes done before turning in.”
They worked for several minutes before Gerard said, “Uh, you know I’m taking Molly with me tomorrow out to the new house.”
“I know.” Don said not looking up from his work.
“You think that’s a good idea?”
His father surprised him by smiling. “What I think is you need to decide for yourself if it’s a good idea. Not worry about what anyone else thinks.”
“Well she is my daughter.” Gerard said defending his decision.
“But I don’t think I should tell Holly.”
“That’s up to you, son.”
Moving back to the bookcase Gerard lifted another stack of books. “Yeah it is. I’m not gonna tell her because if she does remember telling me I’m Molly’s dad she might think I’m just doing it because of that.” He paused, “And that’s not true. I would love Molly even if she wasn’t mine.”
“Because she’s Holly’s?” Don asked pointedly.
Gerard was about to answer when his eyes fell on a framed photo of him and Lindsey. Slowly he picked it up. “Fuck we were so happy in the beginning.” He whispered.
“And you still feel guilty about that, don’t you?”
Gerard was glad his father understood. “It just seems so wrong I never stopped loving Holly but I loved Linds so much.”
Don smiled sadly, “But one love survived while the other faded.”
Gerard quickly wiped at tear from his eye. “Yeah, that’s true.” He whispered wondering if the love that had survived would ever be strong enough to overcome all that had happened.