Donna's visit is painful for both women. Christa hopes her news will help snap Holly out of her depression.
“It’s good Ma is going to see her.” Gerard said adjusting his sun glasses.
Mikey glanced away from traffic a moment. “Gee, what did you and Ma talk about last night?”
“We talked a lot about her marriage to dad." Gerard said softly remembering his mother’s tears. “I understand a lot more now."
Mikey sighed, “I never knew Dad was in love with someone else.”
“Me either.” Gerard admitted, “But I should have picked up on that fact when Dad told me he understood how I could love two women at the same time."
“Mom tell you who the other woman was?”
Gerard shook his head, “No and I didn’t ask. It was painful for her to talk about. But she said she always knew dad loved her. She said in the early years their marriage was very happy.”
“I remember that.” Mikey smiled.
“Me too. But I remember when it started to fall apart.” Gerard said sadly.
Mikey nodded, ‘That was brutal.”
“Fuckin’ brutal.” Gerard agreed. “It makes me glad Bandit is still so young.”
“Because she doesn’t really understand what’s happening?”
Gerard nodded, “Linds and I were at the point where all we did was fight. We tried not to in front of Bandit but if we’d stayed together the older Bandit got I know it would affect her. I wouldn’t want that to ever happen.”
“So you’re sure Holly won’t be upset by Ma visiting her?” Mikey had worried about this thought all night.
“I hope not but right now I’m not sure what Holly is thinking. I mean I get that’s she’s scared but I can tell she’s also very angry.”
“I guess that’s not unusual for someone who’s been attacked like she was.” Mikey said slowly. “Alicia and I were talking about that and she said one of the nurses told her that a lot of times that’s how a victim responds.”
Gerard sighed, “And Holly’s been a victim most of her life.”
Mikey considered his brother’s words. “In a way that’s true. I get the feeling she was trapped in a loveless marriage.”
“She was.” Gerard admitted. “She told me that she stayed married to him knowing he had affairs because of Sonja.”
“Shit, I didn’t know that.”
“Me either until recently.” Gerard said sadly. “She said at first when Sonja was young she needed her husbands help caring for her at night when Holly would go to work.”
“So why did they finally get divorced?” Mikey asked.
“Her ex wanted the divorce. He found a younger woman he wanted to marry.” Gerard said angrily. “A woman much younger than Holly.” He shook his head remembering how Holly had said her ex had ‘traded up’.
“So how in the hell did she end up in Jersey?”
Sadly Gerard did not know that answer to that question. There was just so many things about Holly he still didn’t know. “Got no idea.” He admitted. “I remember I asked Ma once when I first met Holly but she didn’t know either.”
Mikey concentrated on driving a moment then said. “I’m still sorta shocked Bob kept in touch with all this time.”
“I’m fuckin’ glad he did.” Gerard said softly. “Bryar understood what a special woman she is. He was the kind of friend she always needed.”
“Gee, what do you think is gonna happen?” Mikey asked slowly.
Gerard turned to look at him. “You mean with Holly?”
“I pray she makes a full recovery.”
“But what then?” Mikey pushed.
Gerard understood the question. “I’ve got no fuckin’ idea. I’d like to think that there could be something between us but I’m afraid too much has happened. I lover her, Mikey. I’ve loved her for a long time. But I’ve hurt her so fuckin’ much.”
“Gee, you didn’t know about Molly.”
“It’s not just Molly. I wasn’t there for her when she needed me. If I’d only really paid attention and listened. I think back now and I just wonder how I could have been so stupid. Holly was afraid. Why didn’t I see that in her eyes?”
Mikey knew the answer. “Because she didn’t want you to see it. Holly was trying very hard to survive on her own. She wanted to take care of Sonja on her own. I think for the first time in her life she was really trying to stand on her own two feet and face the world head on.”
“And then she fuckin’ met me.” Gerard whispered. “And I fucked it all up for her.”
Donna stood in the doorway of Holly’s hospital room. She could see Holly sitting up in the bed staring at the muted TV. She took a deep breath the stepped into the room. Immediately Holly turned to her.
Holly’s face remained blank. “Hello Donna.”
“Is it okay if I visit with you for a few minutes?”
Holly’s face was still emotionless. She shrugged.
Donna walked over to sit in the chair beside the bed. “How are you feeling today?”
Again Holly simply shrugged.
Donna nervously gazed down at her nails. “Do you remember my last visit?”
This question seemed to finally get Holly’s attention. “This is only the second time you’ve been to the hospital, right?”
“Well, yes.” Donna answered slightly surprised by the question.
Holly looked away, “I ask because I’m having trouble remembering.”
“Oh. Yes, I visited you once before when you were still in ICU.”
Slowly Holly nodded. “I do remember that.”
Donna wished with all her heart that the visit was one of the things Holly had forgotten. She lowered her head, “I’m sorry." She whispered.
Holly turned to her. “Why?”
Donna’s eyes teared, “Because I said things I should never have said.”
There was definite anger in Holly’s voice. “You said what you meant.”
“No.” Donna shook her head, “That’s not true. I was upset.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Holly said once more turning away.
“Yes it does matter. It matters a lot.”
Holly cut her off, “You knew about Molly, didn’t you?”
“When I said those stupid things? Yes, I knew.”
“And that’s why you said them.” Holly retorted. “You knew about Molly so you decided that his marriage ending was my fault.”
Donna had not been prepared for Holly’s anger. “I was wrong. What I said was stupid.”
“What you said was heartless.” Holly said softly. “You knew Molly was your son’s child yet you wished he and I had never met.”
As a mother Donna could understand this anger. Holly was not mad at Donna for anything she had said about her, she was livid at the implications her words had meant concerning Molly. “Holly I understand you are angry but please listen. When I first arrived in LA I was already upset because of your attack. Before I could even deal with that Gerard was telling me his marriage was over and that he was Molly’s father. I stupidly connected the two. It was wrong and I am so sorry. I didn’t mean it. I love Molly.”
Holly glared at her. “Because you’re now a good grandma? Because you have to love Gerard’s child now that you know her mother isn’t some whore who broke up his marriage?”
A tear rolled down Donna’s cheek. “I could never think that about you.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Holly said looking away. “None of this matters.”
“It matters to me.” Donna whispered. “I came because I’m going back home and I wanted to see you before I left.” She stood slowly. “I hope some day you’ll forgive me.”
It wasn’t until the door shut that Holly burst into tears.
Gerard angrily pulled out his phone. The radio interview had just ended and now he’d learned another across town had been set up. He didn’t want to do another interview. Scrolling down the list of numbers he quickly found the one he was looking for.
“Hey, Gee.” Alicia answered on the third ring.
“Has Ma gotten back from the hospital yet?” He asked quickly knowing he didn’t have a lot of time to talk.
Alicia sighed, “She was here but she’s already left for the airport about twenty minutes ago.”
“So how did her visit with Holly go?” Gerard asked nodding to Mikey who was walking towards him.
“Donna was really upset when she got back. I asked her but she wouldn’t talk about it. She had already called a cab and it arrived almost as soon as she got here. I tried to talk to her but she just grabbed her stuff and took off.”
“Fuck.” Gerard closed his eyes wearily. “I’ll try to call her. Thanks.” He quickly disconnected.
“What’s wrong?” Mikey asked seeing the look on his brother’s face.
“That was Alicia. I tried to find out how Ma’s visit with Holly went but Alicia said ma was upset when she returned from the hospital.”
Mikey frowned, “Well what did she say?”
“She wouldn’t tell Alicia anything.” He saw the other band members walking down the hallway and knew they had to get to going. “Come on, let’s go. I’ll try to call Ma.”
Once he and Mikey were on their way Gerard called his mother’s cell phone. It immediately went to voice mail. “Shit.”
“Not answering?” Mikey guessed.
“Phone’s turned off.” Gerard said angrily. “What the fuck is going on now?”
Mikey tried to calm his brother. “Maybe nothing is wrong. Ma’s phone is probably just turned off because she’s at the airport.”
Gerard shook his head, “No, her phone’s turned off because she doesn’t want to talk to anyone. I was really hoping she’d talk to Holly and get things straightened out.” He looked out at the passing traffic. “Shit, why do we have to do another interview now?”
“Gee, you know this is important.” Mikey answered.
Leaning back against the headrest Gerard closed his eyes. “Yeah, I know. I just wish it wasn’t. I’ve got so much shit to do before we leave, you know?”
Mikey nodded, “Yeah, so how much more stuff do you have to move to your new place?”
Gerard sighed, “Not much really. I’m waiting for Linds to get back to decide about most of the rest of the stuff.”
“What time are they getting back tomorrow?”
The question caused Gerard to grow angry. “How the fuck would I know? I haven’t talked to Linds I just know they are coming back tomorrow because Ma told me.”
“You could call her?” Mikey suggested kindly.
Nervously Gerard pulled out his pack of cigarettes. “Yeah, I know.”
Mikey glanced over at him. “I get it’s hard to talk to Lindsey right now.”
“It is.” Gerard said then lit a cigarette. “It’s fuckin’ depressing.”
“You miss her.” Mikey said softly.
“Yeah I miss her and Bandit." Gerard admitted sadly. “I wish things were different. I fuckin’ hate all of this.”
Mikey knew he had to try to keep Gerard’s spirits up. “I’ll all be okay, Gee. I know it’s hard but just try to put everything out of your mind right now.”
“I ain’t gonna let the band down.” Gerard answered “I’ll go to this interview and put on my fuckin’ happy face.” He retorted angrily.
“That’s not what I meant.”
Gerard pulled out his phone again. When his father answered he spoke quickly. “Hey, Dad. We have another interview so I won’t be back for a few more hours.”
“I’ve got the rest of the stuff you wanted packed." Don said sitting down at the kitchen table. “I think I’ll stop by and see Hal then I’ll make a quick stop by a grocery store on the way to your house.”
“Yeah, okay.” Gerard said feeling grateful his father was here to help him. “Tell Hal I said hello.”
“I will. I called him a few minutes ago and he was asking about Holly. Have you talked to your mother?” Gerard had told him Donna was going to the hospital.
“No.” Gerard sighed, “But I have a feeling the visit didn’t go well.” He quickly explained.
Don shook his head sadly while he listened. “I’ll try to call Donna later. See if I can find out what happened.”
“Try not to worry, son.” Don said. “And I’ll see you tonight. I’ll cook you up a nice dinner for your first night in your new place.”
Realizing tonight he and his father would be staying at his new place only filled him with sadness. “Yeah, okay.” Gerard whispered then disconnected.
Mikey glanced over at him. “How’s the old man?”
“He’s finishing up moving my shit today.” Gerard answered. “We’ll be staying at my new place tonight.”
Mikey nodded, “I’d like to see it before we leave town.”
“Sure.” Gerard tried to sound upbeat. “It’s been great having dad here. He’s even gonna make me dinner tonight.”
“That’s good. He told me he really likes your new place.”
Gerard tired to picture his new home in his mind. Right now he needed something that gave him hope. “Yeah, me too.” He said softly. “Anyway he’s gonna move the rest of my stuff today after he stops by and visits Hal."
Mikey smiled, “Hal and dad have really become good friends. I still feel like shit that Alicia and me used to dislike Hal so much.”
Gerard took a deep drag before speaking. “And that’s all thanks to Holly.”
“Yeah.” Mikey sighed, “It is. She could see beyond his crusty attitude. She got he’s just a lonely old man.”
Sadness filled Gerard. “Holly’s a good woman.” He whispered.
Mikey reached over to give his brother’s arm a quick squeeze. “Yeah, she is.”
The rest of the drive took place in silence both brothers lost in thought.
Christa had just gotten off the elevator when she spotted Bob walking towards her.
“Hey." He nodded seeing her.
She could tell something was wrong. “I came to see Holly. Is it a bad time?”
Bob nodded, “The physical therapist is in there and some other doctor I’ve never seen.”
“Have you been here long?” Christa asked as she and Bob walked towards the waiting room.
He sighed, “Got here about an hour ago.”
“And how is Holly?” She could tell there was something he wasn’t telling her.
They both sat in the hard plastic chairs before he answered. “I don’t know what the fuck happened. When I first got to her room she was sobbing.”
He shook his head, “I don’t know. I tried to get her to talk to me but as soon as she saw me she just stopped crying and wouldn’t talk.” The concern in his voice was clear. “Look, I know how much you like Holly.”
Christa nodded, “I love Holly.” She said honestly.
He nodded, “What happened earlier really has me worried. When I said she stopped crying when she saw me I literally mean she stopped. It was fuckin’ weird. She was sobbing one minute then it was like she just turned it off. I tried to get her to tell me what’s wrong but she just stared at me. I’m so fucking worried about her.”
Christa sighed, “Holly is good at keeping her emotions inside.”
He nodded, “Yeah, she is but that ain’t good it ain’t healthy. I just wish she’d tell me what’s going on.”
“Maybe she can’t.” Christa said sadly. “Maybe she can’t make herself.”
“Because she’s got so good at hiding her true feelings?”
Christa nodded, “Yeah, I think so. It seems like for most of her life Holly’s been hiding her feelings. I know she hid them because of Sonja because she always wanted to appear strong for her.”
“That’s true." Bob sighed, “She tried to always remain positive for Sonja.”
‘That’s what a good mom does.” Christa said softly.
Bob nodded, “Yeah, and Holly is a good mom and I get that’s why she’s so upset about what’s happened. She’s afraid she won’t be able to care for Molly.” He paused. “And with the truth being out there now about Gee being Molly’s dad I think in her mind part of her is thinking that maybe is she can’t care for her Gerard will try to take over.”
Christa looked shocked, “You really believe that?”
“That she thinks that or that Gerard would try to take Molly?” Bob asked unsure about her question.
“Well both, I guess."
Bob sighed, “I think Holly is worried about that happening. And a big part of that worry is because of what she’s seen since she’s been here.”
“Oh." Christa understood. “Because of his drinking.”
“Yeah, I’m sure part of why she came here when Alicia asked was because she wanted to help Gerard get his shit together. While I’m guessing she wouldn’t admit it to herself it was because she always knew if something happened to her the truth would come out and Gerard would have gotten custody of Molly. She wanted to make sure he’d be able to care for their daughter.”
Christa looked surprised, “You think the truth would have come out?”
“She listed Gerard as the father on Molly’s birth certificate.”
“Oh.” Christa digested this information.
Bob angrily shook his head, “But Mikey told me about some of the shit that’s been going on since Holly’s been here. I guess the night before Holly’s attack he and Gerard both got snot slinging drunk.” He decided to tell her the truth. “Molly saw Gerard that way.”
“Oh.” Christa said in shock.
Bob nodded, “Yeah, and I’m sure that was a big part of the reason Holly decided to leave here early. I just wish to fuck she’s been able to.”
Christa touched his arm understanding his words. “Then none of this would have happened.”
“Yeah, Holly wouldn’t be laying in that fuckin’ hospital bed. She and Molly would have left here and she could have put all of this behind her.”
Christa smiled sadly, “I don’t think that’s totally true. Holly and Gerard have a past that needed to be dealt with.”
Bob didn’t agree. “I think she would have been better off if she’d never come here.”
She didn’t want to upset him but he needed to realize the truth. “You said yourself Holly’s eating disorder had gotten out of control. That you had tried to make her face it but she wouldn’t. Bob, you have to realize so much of Holly’s problems were because she’s been hiding from the truth about a lot of things. I just pray that now everything is out in the open she’ll deal with her problems. Now she can get the help she needs.”
“Well she ain’t dealing with anything right now." Bob said angrily. “What I saw her do this morning proves that. No one should be able to turn their emotions on and off like she does.”
“I’d like to see her.” Christa said softly. “Maybe I can get her to open up.”
Bob shook his head. “Sorry but I don’t think you can.”
Christa smiled sadly, “Maybe not but I have to try. I love Holly and I’m going to try my best to help her.” She paused. “And I have to thank her again for protecting me.” Tears appeared in her eyes, “And my unborn child.”
Bob gave her a shocked look, “What?”
“Yeah.” Christa nodded, “Ray and I just found out a few days before the attack. I’m pregnant.”
Bob forced himself to smile, “That’s great.”
Christa wiped her eyes, “We’re thrilled. But if Holly hadn’t stepped in, if the guy had come after me…”
This time Bob touched her arm. “Hey don’t think like that.”
“But it’s true. Holly not only protected me she protected my baby. I’m gonna tell her that.”
Bob hoped with all his heart that bit of information would somehow snap Holly out of some of her depression.