Lindsey and Bandit return to LA
“Uh, so are you going to the hospital?”
Gerard sighed, “No, not today.”
Mikey nodded, “You’re gonna wait until tomorrow?”
“I’m not sure.” Gerard said lighting a cigarette. “I’m gonna call Linds and see what time she and Bandit are arriving.”
Mikey was surprised. Until today Gerard had spent a lot of time at the hospital. “But you are gonna see Holly before we leave for the tour, right?”
Gerard took a deep drag before answering. “Holly don’t want to see me. I get that."
Mikey wasn’t sure what to think. “But we’ll be leaving.”
Immediately Gerard cut him off, “Yeah, I know. But why go if I know I’m running the risk of upsetting her? She won’t really talk to me. She’d like to forget she ever met me.”
“Gee, that’s not true. Holly’s just in a really bad place right now, mentally and of course physically.” He wanted to help his brother keep a positive attitude, “But it sounds like this Cedars place is gonna help her.”
“I hope so.” Gerard said softly. “I hope that more than anything else.” He shifted in his seat. “But I do want to spend some time with Molly before we leave.” His voice grew sad, “Cause I’m not sure when I’ll see her again.”
“Gee, she’s your daughter.”
“Yeah Mikey, but right now everything is so fucked up. I wish Molly knew I was her father but I know that’s not something Holly would want. I’m just hoping that someday I’ll be able to have a relationship with Molly. I hope she doesn’t find out later on in life that I’m her dad and fuckin’ hate me.”
“Why would she hate you?” Mikey frowned.
“Who knows what Holly will tell her about me? Fuck for that matter who knows if Holly will ever tell her.” Gerard said with an underlying anger in his tone.
“Gee, people know she’s your daughter. It’s been on the Net and we both know what that means. Molly will find out. Maybe not now but she’ll hear. I think Holly will understand that and believe it’s best to tell Molly before she hears from someone else.”
“Yeah but what’s Holly gonna say?” Gerard couldn’t contain his frustration any longer. “Yeah, your dad knocked me up then ran off and married someone else.”
“It wasn’t like that.” Mikey said trying to choose words to calm his brother. “You didn’t know Holly was pregnant.”
“Don’t matter.” Gerard answered shaking his head. “Cause that’s how it looks.”
Mikey sighed, “Gee, I just can’t imagine Holly ever deliberately making you look bad to Molly. That’s not who Holly is.”
“I don’t know Holly anymore.” Gerard said sadly feeling his anger fade. “In a way I never really did know her. But damn it, she knew me. I was just too fuckin’ stupid to return the favor.”
“I really think you should talk to her before we leave.” Mikey said slowing the car down to take an exit ramp.
“I’m afraid to.” Gerard whispered. “Afraid that if I do she’ll tell me she’s leaving and never coming back. That she never wants to see me again.”
Mikey tried to be the voice of reason. “Gee, right now you’re so confused. I’m sitting here listening to you and you’re not making any sense. One minute you say you’re afraid Holly will poison Molly’s mind towards you. Then the next you’re afraid you’ll never see Holly again. You say you don’t know Holly but she knows you. You really need to figure out where you mind is about all of this.”
“I fuckin’ can’t.” Gerard shouted. “I don’t know what to think. All I do know is I…” His voice trailed off.
Gerard took several moments before answering. “All I do know is that when Holly came back into my life it was like my best friend was back. The woman understands me better than I understand myself most of the time. But now that’s all gone.” He sighed, “I talked to Hal and then I called Christa before going back to your house. I knew she’d seen Holly today and I wanted to know how Holly was feeling. She admitted to me that Holly told her that she believes I lied to her, that I never loved her.” There was deep pain in his voice. “That ain’t true.”
“I know.” Mikey said softly. “I know that’s not true but you have to understand why Holly would believe that. She was really hurt but until now I don’t think she’s dealt with that hurt.”
“But how can I ever make her believe that I loved her?” Gerard asked in desperation. “How can I ever make her forgive me for what I did?”
Mikey glanced over at him. “Part of the problem is even though Holly was hurt you still can’t say you regret totally what happened. If it hadn’t, you wouldn’t have hooked up with Lindsey and you wouldn’t have Bandit.”
Gerard leaned his head back then closed his eyes. “How fucked up it that? Holly had to be hurt for me to be happy?”
“That’s just how it played out.” Mikey said sadly. “But that’s all in the past. Both you and Holly have to find a way to get past that.”
“I don’t know if either one of us ever can.” Gerard whispered.
Gerard walked back in after seeing Mikey to his car. His younger brother toured the house, talked to their dad for several minutes but needed to get home. Alicia had called and she and Molly were making dinner. Mikey had invited both his dad and Gerard for dinner but Gerard had declined. He needed some time to himself. Don, wanting to be there for his oldest son, had also declined.
“Long day?” Don asked seeing the exhaustion on Gerard’s face.
“Yeah.” Gerard looked around. “Thanks for bringing the rest of my stuff.”
Don smiled, “No problem.” He rose from his seat by the fireplace. “I’m gonna start dinner. Why don’t you just kick back and relax? This is your first night in your new home.”
It was hard for Gerard to smile, “Yeah, it is.” He wanted so badly to feel the hope that until now this house had given him.
“I talked to Lindsey earlier.” Don said softly.
Gerard gave him a surprised look, "What?”
“She called me. She said she’d tried to get you earlier but your phone must have been shut off.”
“Shit.” Gerard pulled out his phone and noticed that he did have a missed call. “I had it off during the interviews. I need to call her back.”
“No need.” Don said quickly. ‘She just wanted you to know that she and Bandit will be back tomorrow. She said to tell you if you’re not busy they will be back at the house around noon and that you could stop by.”
Gerard sat down in the overstuffed chair. “Yeah, okay. I really wanna see my Baby B.”
“You want to see Lindsey too." Don said softly.
Gerard sighed, “Yeah, I do. There is so much we need to discuss. It just seems like there is so much between us that is unsettled.”
Don nodded, “I think that’s true.” He decided to postpone starting dinner a few minutes so he sat back down. “She wanted me to tell you that she misses you but that she knows this divorce is the right thing for both of you and for Bandit. She hopes you feel the same way.”
Gerard felt like his world was once more coming apart at the seams. “She just wants me to go along so there’s not problem with the divorce. Just sigh my name, give her half my shit and move on.”
Don sighed, “You know that’s not true. You’re letting hurt and anger speak.”
“Fuck yeah, I am.” Gerard said angrily, “I got plenty of both.”
“And both of those emotions are trying to cloud your judgment.” Don said looking closely at his son. “But you’re stronger than that, son. You won’t give in.”
Gerard understood what his father was saying. “You know how much I want a drink.”
“Of course I do.” Don answered sadly. “I can see it in your eyes, I can hear it in your voice. You think the alcohol will dull the pain, make the anger fade, but we both know that’s a lie.”
“Does it really matter anymore?” Gerard whispered. “I’m just so fuckin’ tried.”
Don’s voice was sharp. “Yes, it matters. You have two daughters you should put before yourself. You need to be the best father you can be for them.”
“I can for Bandit but what about Molly?” Gerard asked his voice laced with pain.
“Someday and I hope it is soon she will know the truth.” Don answered.
Gerard’s brain was so confused he couldn’t think. “I’m gonna lay down for a while.”
Don nodded, “Okay, son. We’ll have dinner when you get up.” Sadly he understood that right now Gerard was shutting down.
“I’m just so tired.” Gerard said slowly standing up.
“Take a short nap.” Don suggested. “When you get up are you planning on going to the hospital?”
Gerard ran his hand through his hair nervously. “No, not tonight. I can’t deal with this."
While Don understood where his son was coming from he still believed he should make his opinion known. “You need to see Holly before you leave on tour especially since she’ll be gone when you return.”
“Dad I don’t know if I can. Seeing me upsets her. I don’t want that. I don’t want to hurt her anymore.”
His father sighed, “I can’t make the decision for you but I think you really need to give this some thought. You’re right, she is upset. But I believe this place in Chicago that Alicia told me about is the best thing for Holly. But I guess what I’m trying to get across to you is this…when Holly goes she will need to focus all her energy on getting better.”
“You are saying that I need to leave her alone once she leaves LA." Gerard whispered. “I need to let her go.”
“You need to let her go so she can recover physically and mentally. Once that happens then you two will both need to deal with the fact that you have a daughter. But now isn’t the time and deep down I know you understand that.”
“So why go see her before I leave?’ Gerard asked feeling so overwhelmed and confused.
“She needs to know you want her to get better and that you support her decision to go. That you want her to finally deal with all the demons from her past so she can make a fresh start.” Don said softly.
“I’m afraid that fresh start will be a life that doesn’t have a place for me." Gerard whispered letting his true fears be heard. “And that thought tears me apart."
Don hated pushing his son but he had to know his true feelings. “Do you truly care deeply enough for Holly that if a life in which you had no place was best for her you could let her go?”
Gerard looked stricken. “You really think that’s how it’s gonna go down?”
“I don’t know.” Don answered honestly, “I honestly don’t know. But tell me how you really feel? Could you let her go if it was best for her?”
Gerard lowered his head, “Yeah, Dad. If Holly was happy then yeah. Her happiness means more to me than what I want.”
Don smiled sadly, “That’s true love, Son.” He walked over and gave Gerard a quick hug. “Now go lay down. I’ll wake you in about an hour. Then we’ll have a nice dinner and relax in your new home.”
Gerard awoke the next morning feeling sick. He knew this feeling deep in the pit of his stomach was stress and with today being the last day in LA before leaving on tour it was only going to get worse.
Laying in bed he looked around his new bedroom. He wanted to feel the good vibes the house had first brought him but he couldn’t. Now all he felt when he looked around was loneliness. It was all he could do to make himself get out of bed to dress.
Walking down the hall he smelled the coffee brewing. As he passed the other bedroom he saw the door was still closed and knew his father was still sleeping. However Don must have set the coffee maker last night to begin brewing at seven. While it was a nice thought and he did appreciate it the aroma of coffee was only serving to darken his mood. Once upon a time Lindsey used to the same thing for him. She would program the coffeemaker so that he could have a cup as soon as he rose in the morning.
Trying to push that memory aside he moved to the kitchen and took out one of the mugs he’d taken from his former home. It too reminded him of the past. Once he poured a steaming cup of brew he left the kitchen to walk towards the huge windows at the back of the house. This is where his dark mood started to dissipate. The view this morning was breathtaking. The sunlight on the woods behind the house gave the leaves, still wet with morning dew, a sparkling appearance. Slowly his soul became calm, as did his thoughts. Things will work out, he told himself. Things will get better.
“They will.” He whispered to himself before taking a sip of coffee. “I just gotta believe.”
By eleven Gerard had packed and taken care of all the details necessary before leaving on tour. However the calm he’d felt earlier was fading. It was time to drive to his old home and see Lindsey. He tried to simply focus on the fact that he was excited to see Bandit however he was nervous about facing Lindsey.
Two hours later he pulled into his former driveway then took a deep breath. For several minutes he sat looking at the house trying to gather his thoughts. When he saw the front door open he forced himself to get out of the car.
Halfway to the door Bandit suddenly bolted out the door and ran towards him.
“Baby B.” He ran towards her to scoop her up into his arms. Covering her face with kisses he smiled, “I missed you.”
Bandit hugged him. “Daddy.”
Gerard carried her towards the door where Lindsey was waiting.
“Hey, Gee.” She said softly. “Good to see you.”
He was surprised to see she’d cut her hair. “You look good.”
Lindsey smiled, “Thanks. I needed a change.” There was a lot of meaning behind her words.
Gerard noticed Rachel, a young girl who had babysat Bandit in the past, was standing a short distance away.
“Rachel is moving in.” Lindsey explained. “She’s going to be my full time nanny for Bandit.”
“Oh.” Gerard smiled at the young girl. “How are you?”
“I’m good. Nice to see you again." She answered with a smile.
Lindsey got directly to the point. “She’s gonna watch Baby B out back so we can talk.”
Gerard frowned. “Yeah, okay.” He’d hoped to spend time with Bandit and Lindsey alone but obviously Lindsey had planned how the visit would go. Slowly he sat Bandit down on her feet.
“Come on B.” Rachel said holding out her hand. “Lets go finish our pictures. I know you want to give yours to your daddy before he leaves.”
Bandit nodded then took her hand. Unlike the adults in the room she did not feel the tension.
Lindsey watched Bandit and Rachel move down the hall before turning to Gerard. “Let’s sit. You want anything to drink?”
He shook his head as he followed her into the living room. “No, thanks.”
Gerard sat on the sofa and Lindsey took the seat across from him.
“So..” Lindsey’s voice trailed off. Now that Gerard was here she was finding it difficult to say what she’d planned in her head.
Gerard tried to get the conversation going, “How was your flight?”
“Good.’ She nodded. “Luckily B slept most of the way.” She looked at Gerard closely, “You look tired.”
“I am.” He tried to smiled, “You know how it is trying to get everything ready before a tour. So much shit to do.” He looked away, “Add to that moving and..”
“Yeah, I understand.” Lindsey said softly. “Uh, I know you’ve taken a lot of stuff but I’m surprised you didn’t take any furniture. You can, you know.”
The last thing he wanted to talk about was inanimate objects. “Don’t need any. My place was already furnished enough for me.”
“Still.” Lindsey said softly, “If there is anything you want, like your desk, you should take it.”
Suddenly this conversation and it’s lack of importance got to him. “Linds, I don’t care about the desk. I don’t care about any of this shit. I want to talk about us.”
Lindsey sat back with a sigh, “Gee, there is really nothing to talk about. This is settled.”
“How can you say that?”
“Because it’s true. We’re getting a divorce. We both just need to move on. We need to do make this as easy for Bandit as we can.”
Gerard lowered his head, “What have you told her?”
“Right now she just knows you are going away on tour.”
He looked into her eyes. “Did she wonder where I was when you got home?”
Lindsey sighed, “Not really. Gee, she’s used to you being gone a lot.”
“I never wanted it to be that way." He whispered.
“But that’s how it was. Baby B knows you love her.” Lindsey smiled sadly. “That won’t change.”
“Won’t it?” He asked, his voice full of emotion.
“No, it won’t.” Lindsey folded her arms. “We’ll both make sure of that.”
Suddenly he couldn’t contain his emotions anymore. “Linds how did it come to this? Why?”
“Gee you know the answer to that, you just don’t like the answer. We grew apart. It’s no ones fault that’s just how it is. For us to ignore that fact would be wrong. Wrong not only for us but for Bandit.”
“I fuckin’ hate this.” He whispered.
“Me too. But we have to deal.” Lindsey tried to remember all the things she wanted to say. “Gee, about custody...”
He forced himself to deal with this. “I want to care for Bandit as much as I can.”
Lindsey nodded “I agree. I’m not sure how our schedules are gonna work out but we’ll deal. You’re gonna be gone a lot I know.”
“Yeah, I got a feeling more shit is going to be added to our schedule.”
“You will probably be gone most of the time until the end of summer.” Lindsey said a bit sadly. “And when I go on tour I’ll take B and Rachel with me.”
He gave her a surprised look, “What? You’re going out on tour? When did this happen?”
“We’ve been talking about it for a while." Lindsey admitted. “Right now we’re just trying to finalize the plans."
Gerard sat back trying to ease the knot of tension in his back. “You never told me.”
It was hard for him not to be angry. “Maybe if you’d talked to me more.”
She cut him off, “Gee, don’t start that. Be honest, you know we haven’t really been talking to each other for a long time now.”
He shook his head sadly. “Ain’t right.”
“It is what it is.” She said refusing to get into this again. “Anyway, I just want you to know that I’ll always try to work around your schedule so you can spend time with B.”
“I want to spend time with her. I thought I’d get to spend some time with her today.” There was hurt and anger in his voice.
“You will.” Lindsey sighed, “But I just thought we should talk alone first.”
He ran his hand over his face. “Yeah, right.”
“Gee, it’s really gonna be okay. We’ll get through this.”
“Whatever." He answered feeling defeated.
“So, how is Holly?” Lindsey asked changing the subject.
Immediately his eyes narrowed. “I don’t want to talk about her. We’re supposed to be talking about us.”
“There is no us anymore.” Lindsey stressed.
“That’s not true.” He said angrily. “We have a child, there will always be an ‘us’.”
“Yeah, in that way but you know what I mean.” She tried again, “I just want to know how Holly is doing.”
“Why?” he asked. “She ain’t got nothing to do with this.”
Lindsey shook her head sadly, “I didn’t say she did. But I’ve told you before, I like her. I’m worried about her. I honestly don’t have one single negative thought towards her. I know she has nothing to do with what happened to our marriage.” She paused a minute then decided to tell him the truth, “Just so you know…my lawyer suggested that I name Holly in our divorce papers.”
“Think about it. I found out you had a child with another woman before I started the divorce proceedings.”
Lindsey held up her hand to silence him. “I said he suggested it. If I did that could definitely sway the judge towards my side, especially since you’d been spending so much time with her when she first got to LA."
He jumped off the sofa and began to pace. “Because she’s a friend, nothing more.”
“But once she was more.” Lindsey said softly. “That truth I didn’t know before. But it doesn’t matter. I told my lawyer in no uncertain terms I do not want Holly brought into his. I wouldn’t do that to her. It wouldn’t be right.”
He stopped pacing and turned to her. “Thank you.”
“You don’t need to thank me. I mean it, I like Holly. I know in my heart our divorce wasn’t caused by her. If things between us had been good, her showing up would have changed nothing. But it wasn’t.”
“It still didn’t change anything.” Gerard said tiredly returning to his seat.
“In a way it did and you know it. You found out the truth about what happened between you two.”
He was getting confused, “Yeah, but that’s all.”
“Not really. Now that you know the truth it changes things a lot. You and Holly are gonna have to eventually deal with the past.”
“Don’t know if that will ever happen.” Gerard said sadly. “Right now she’s so fucked up.”
Lindsey got up and crossed to the sofa. Taking a seat next to him she reached for his arm. “Tell me, what’s been going on.” She urged.
He resisted, “Don’t seem right to talk to you about this.”
“Gee, I still care very deeply for you, I always will. I can see you’re very upset and I want you to talk to me.”
Slowly he told her about how he’d sprang it on Holly that he knew Molly was his. He told her how Holly had reacted. Finally he explained about Holly’s plans to go to The Cedars.
Lindsey listened closely hearing his pain. “She’s in such a bad place right now.” She said sadly. “But I think The Cedars sounds like it will be a place for her to heal and she needs that. She has to finally deal with the past and stop letting it eat away at her.”
Gerard nodded looking down.
“Make sure that they know I will give the wind chime she made to be auctioned.”
He looked up. “You don’t need to do that.”
She smiled, “I’m not gonna lie, I love it. But it’s only right. Arthur’s idea of the auction is a good one. Holly needs to believe that she’s not relying on charily. Right now she still has to feel she is strong even though that’s not really true. One day I hope she will realize that she is a wonderful, kind woman who people want to help and that she’ll be able to accept that help because she believes that about herself.”
“But she don’t believe that." Gerard whispered.
“No, she doesn’t.” Lindsey agreed, “Truth be told she hates herself. That’s obvious by her actions. Her guilt about the past, about Sonja mostly, I think, makes her that way.”
“But most of that guilt was caused by her relationship with me.”
Lindsey squeezed his arm, “Yeah, in a way. But it ain’t right. Holly needs to understand that loving you wasn’t wrong. She had a right to a life that would make her happy but she wouldn’t give herself that right. For too many years you put everyone else’s needs before her own. Loving you was the first thing she ever did for herself.”
“And look how that turned out.” His voice shook.
“In the end it turned out that you two have a beautiful daughter” Lindsey reminded him. “That’s something both of you need to remember.”
He looked into her eyes, “Just like you and I need to remember.”
Lindsey smiled, “Yes, exactly.”
Gerard couldn’t stop himself. He pulled her into a tight hug.
“It will be okay.” Lindsey whispered returning his hug, “All of us will get through this.”
Her words were what he needed to hear.