Gerard leaves for the tour without seeing Holly.
Now, as he neared his brother’s house, his mood became even more depressed. He was here to spend time with his other daughter. However while in Bandit’s case he knew he would see her again, with Molly he wasn’t sure what would happen. Would Holly leave for Chicago and never return? As much as he wanted to play a part in Molly’s life he understood that it might not happen.
“Hey, Gee.” Alicia greeted him as she held the door open for him to enter. “Molly’s out back with Mikey.”
“I see dad’s here too." Gerard nodded to his other vehicle in the driveway that Don had been using.
“He’s over at Hal’s right now.” Alicia explained while closing the door behind him. “You gonna stay for dinner?”
Gerard shrugged, “Sure if it’s not a problem.”
Alicia smiled while giving him a quick hug. “You know you’re always welcome here.” She stepped back. “Uh, so how’s Lindsey?”
“She’s good.” Gerard answered with a sigh.
“I’m glad she’s back.”
“Gee.” Molly’s voice captured their attention as she ran to him. “Me’s missed youse.”
Gerard scooped the little girl up into his arms. “I’ve missed you too. What have you and Mikey been doing?” He asked seeing his brother walk through the patio door.
“Wese been pawing.”
Mikey laughed, “Uh, we’ve been playing tea party. But I’m all ‘teaed’ out. I’m sure Molly would love to serve you some though.”
Molly nodded. “Gee wants tea?”
“Sure I do.” He smiled as he put her back down. “Let’s go.”
“You all ready for tomorrow?" Mikey asked his brother as he was being led by Molly towards the patio door.
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, pretty much.”
Mikey understood that Gerard wanted to spend time with Molly so he simply nodded. Later he’d try to get inside his brother’s head and find out why he looked so upset.
“I need to ask a favor.”
Bob glanced away from the TV towards Holly. For the last hour they’d been watching a game show. He’d simply been happy to spend time with her even though she wasn’t really talking much. “What?”
“My rents due on my trailer space." Holly said slowly. “I have enough money to cover a few more months but…” Her voice trailed off.
“Hey, don’t worry about that.” Bob said quickly. “I’ll take care of it.”
Holly sighed, “That’s not what I’m asking. Mr. Allen, the man who owns the trailer park, will know how to find someone to buy the trailer.”
“You wanna sell it?” Bob asked in a surprised tone.
She glanced away. “I’m not sure how long I’ll be at The Cedars or what is gonna happen but regardless I can’t afford to keep the trailer. The money I’ll get for it will help with my bills.”
“Would you stop worrying about that?” Bob said softly. “I’ve told you things will work out.”
“Please.” Holly said softly. “All I want you to do is help me get the trailer sold.”
He sighed, “Okay, fine. Besides once you get out of the hospital you and Molly will move in with me.”
She still refused to meet his gaze. “I’ll figure something out.”
Knowing Holly like he did he understood this meant she was against the idea of moving in with him. “Hey, you know I’ve got a huge place. I’d love to have you and Molly stay with me.”
Holly leaned back against the pillows and closed her eyes.
After dinner Gerard pulled his dad aside. “Uh, I was wondering if you’d mind staying here tonight.”
Don was surprised by the request but looking into his son’s eyes he understood. “You want to spend some time alone.”
“Kinda feel like I need to.” Gerard struggled to explain. “I mean I’m leaving tomorrow and well, since it’s my new home I want to get a feel of the place by myself.”
“I understand.” Don said placing his hand on Gerard’s shoulder. “If that’s how you feel I’ll stay here tonight. It will give me a lit more time to spend with Molly.” He glanced over towards the kitchen where the little girl was helping Alicia with the dinner dishes. “I’ll make sure to close up the house after you leave.”
Gerard was surprised, “I thought you were going to stay out here in LA a few more weeks? I mean you know I’m happy to have you stay at my place.”
Don nodded, “I know but I think it’s time I head home. I’ll be leaving tomorrow night. But don’t worry I’ll make sure the house is in good order before I leave.”
“Yeah, okay.” Gerard said softly. “So I’ll see you in the morning. I’m gonna leave my car here.”
“Mikey told me.” Don nodded. “Alicia is driving you guys to the airport.”
“Yeah” The conversation halted as Bob walked in. Gerard nodded to him. “Hey, how’s it going?”
Bob looked and sounded tired. “Not bad.”
“You just getting back from the hospital?” Gerard asked. He’d assumed Bob had spent most of the day at Holly’s side.
“Yeah.” Bob answered. “I stayed until Holly ate her dinner.”
“How’s she doing?” Don asked.
Bob sighed, “Physically she’d doing much better.”
“Hey, let’s go out to the patio.” Gerard said quickly wanting to ask more questions about Holly but not wanting to chance Molly overhearing the conversation.
Don understood his son wanted to question Bob in more detail. “I’m heading across the street to Hal’s.” He said. “Catch you later.” He said looking at Bob.
Gerard and Bob walked through the living room then out onto the patio. Gerard closed the sliding door behind them. Once they were seated at the umbrella sheltered table he spoke. “So how is she really?”
Bob frowned, “Her emotional state ain’t good. She’s not talking much and that worried me.” He looked over at Gerard, “Uh, you gonna go see her? I mean I know you’re leaving early in the morning.”
Gerard looked away unable to meet Bob’s gaze. “No.”
Bob wasn’t sure how he felt about that. “She won’t be here when you return.”
“I know. And I’m glad she’s agreed to go to The Cedars. Sounds like it will be the best thing for her.”
Bob wasn’t in the mood to dance around the subject. He flatly asked, “So, does this mean you’re washing your hands of all of this?”
Immediately Gerard’s anger took over. “What?”
“Well, you don’t want to see her before you leave..”
Gerard cut him off, “Didn’t say I don’t want to see her.”
Bob sighed, “Oh, you don’t think you should?”
“I don’t want to upset her anymore than she already is. And let’s be honest that’s all that seeing me has done.”
Both men grew quiet lost in thought. Finally Bob spoke.
“She asked me to sell her trailer for her.”
Bob nodded, “She wants me to handle it. To be honest I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know she’s worried about money but in a way it almost seems like she’s giving up on having a future. That stupid trailer means a lot to her. I was with her when she bought it.”
This surprised Gerard, “You were?”
“Yeah, after Molly was born she said she stayed almost a year in Colorado but one day when I called she told me she was ready to move on. She wanted a fresh start for her and the baby. I tried to get her to move to Chicago, offered to let them move in with me but she wouldn’t. Then she told me about an old Streamline Trailer she’d seen that was for sale.” Bob paused smiling as he remembered. “There was something in her voice when she told me about it that got to me. I could tell to her that trailer had a deeper meaning. She’d never owned her own home and that’s what she wanted the trailer to be, her home. So I drove to Colorado and checked it out. Shit, she was so happy when she took me to see it. Gotta say though I was pretty shocked when she told me she wanted to move it to Arizona to live.”
“Why’d she choose there?”
Bob shrugged, “I’ve honestly got no idea. I really think she just wanted to get away from anyplace that held bad memories. She’d loved Colorado but that’s where she was when Sonja died. I think in her mind she needed a new place she’d never been for a fresh start.”
“So what happened?” Gerard asked talking out his cigarettes and offering one to Bob who accepted.
Bob lit it then spoke again. “Well I checked out the trailer and it was in great condition. But I was leery, I mean the guy selling it could have gotten a lot more. But once I started talking to him I understood. He was an older guy who’s wife had died about ten years earlier. The trailer wasn’t something he used anymore. And when I heard him talking to Holly I got it. She’s told him how she wanted to make her home for her and her baby. It was obvious he had fond memories of the trailer and wanted someone to get it that would really take care of it.”
“So he let her buy it?”
“Yeah, at a fraction of it’s value. Holly was so excited about the whole thing. It was the first time since Sonja’s death that she seemed to be thinking about a future for her and Molly. Anyway she bought it then we loaded it up and took off for Arizona.”
“You spent so much time with her.” Gerard whispered.
Bob understood how Gerard felt. “Yeah, I did. I was doing what I wanted, trying to help her.”
“So then what?”
“Well luckily she found a small trailer park that was really nice. It’s mostly full of retirees who welcomed Holly and the baby. I felt like it was a good, safe place for her.”
“How long did you stay?” Gerard asked.
“A few weeks until they were settled in.”
Gerard took a deep drag off his cigarette. “And now she wants you to sell the trailer?”
“She says it’s because she needs the money. I told her not to worry but you know Holly.”
Gerard was silent a few minutes then said softly. “That trailer is the only home Molly has ever known.”
“True." Bob nodded.
“Fuck, I wish I wasn’t leaving tomorrow.” Gerard muttered.
Bob looked at him closely. “Why?”
“Because I just wish I could do something about this. I don’t think she should sell the trailer and what about her stuff?”
“She wants me to put the personal stuff in storage.” He could see the wheeling in Gerard’s mind turning. “What do you want me to do?”
The question surprised Gerard. “What?”
“It’s obvious you have some sort of plan. What is it?”
Gerard started thinking out loud. “I think we should let her think that’s it’s been sold.”
“But not really sell it?”
“Yeah, figure out what a fair market price is for the thing. I’ve got a huge garage at my place. That trailer will actually fit in it.”
“So you want to buy the trailer?”
“Not really I want to keep it for her until she’s recovered. Right now I don’t think she should be making decisions about shit she might regret later. But if she thinks it’s been sold…”
“What about the money?”
The plan was starting to become clearer. “Let me know what it’s worth. I’ll have the money transferred to you and you can give it to her.”
“You sure you want to do this?” Bob asked.
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure. When she recovers then she can really decide what she wants to do.”
Bob understood that in doing this it Gerard was making sure he still had a tie to Holly but he kept that thought to himself. “Okay, if that’s what you want I’ll handle it.”
Gerard smiled, “Thanks, man. Like I said I’d do this if I wasn’t leaving tomorrow.”
“No problem.” Bob said slowly. “To be honest I think it’s a good idea. Holly does love that trailer and you’re right I think a lot of it is because it is the only real home she and Molly have had.”
“My place is in a gated community." Gerard said going over details in his mind. “I’ll make sure and tell them that a trailer is going to be delivered while I’m gone.”
“Actually I’ll be delivering it.”
“You’re going to go to Arizona?”
“Told Holly I would.” Bob nodded. “Of course she thinks it’s because I’m going to pick up her personal items to store and sell the trailer.”
“Yeah, right." Gerard nodded. He fished into his pocket. “Here is a key to my house. I’ll leave the key to the garage on the table for you.”
Bob was surprised, “You’re giving me a key to your house?”
Gerard laughed, “Bryar I do trust you.” Suddenly his smile slipped. “A lot of shit has gone down between us and for that I’m sorry.”
Bob sighed, “All in the past. Now Holly has given us a reason to get past that and work together again, so to speak.”
“That’s true.” Gerard said softly. “I really appreciate you giving me this chance to help her even if she doesn’t know it.”
“You sure you don’t want to see her before you go?” Bob asked again.
Gerard sighed, “What I want to do is whatever is best for Holly. Right now I just feel that keeping my distance, giving her time to get better is what’s best.”
Bob really wasn’t sure what was best but he was happy that Gerard was trying his hardest to set aside his own wants for what was best for Holly.
“For now let’s just keep this trailer thing between us.” Gerard said as he snuffed out his cigarette.
Bob agreed, “Yeah, okay. I’ll give you a call in a few days when I get to Arizona and figure out what it’s worth.”
“Yeah and then I’ll get the money to you.”
“You’re sure about this?” Bob didn’t want him changing his mind but had to ask.
“I’m sure.” He looked out across the yard. “It just makes me feel a little better thinking that in some small way I’m doing something for her.”
Bob nodded, “Yeah, I understand.”
Gerard stood, “Well I’m heading home now. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Unless I’m still asleep.” Bob laughed, “But if I am you have a safe trip and good luck on the tour.”
Looking at his former drummer Gerard wished things were different. “Thanks.” He whispered before turning to leave.
As Gerard pushed open the door to his new home he smiled. What he’d prayed would happen, had happened. A wonderful feeling of peacefulness settled over his mind. He smiled as he gaze fell towards the fireplace and the bookshelves that stood on each side. He could see Molly in his mind carefully placing books as she’d helped him unpack his things.
“This is my home now.” He whispered, his voice echoing through the room. Feeling the need to hold tight to this feeling he took out his phone and snapped some photos. In the months ahead while he would be far away he wanted to remember this place and this feeling.
It wasn’t until hours later that the feeling started to slowly fade. Now fear started to settle into his mind. It was the fear of uncertainly that was consuming him. He realized he now faced a future without Lindsey at his side. Being alone had always scared him. He hated that fact but he accepted it about himself.
“You can face this.” He whispered to himself as he walked towards his study. “Crap and now I’m talking to myself.”
Those words made a memory from long ago surface, the night he’d walked into Holly’s house and had heard her talking to herself. Suddenly he could hear the words she’s spoken thinking she was alone….she had been telling herself the same thing he was now telling himself. “Stop this, it will be okay.” Now more than ever he realized that in a lot of ways he and Holly were alike.
“So what if I talk to myself." His voice asked the empty room.
Walking to his desk he pulled out a sheet of paper and soon all his feeling he’d kept locked inside were released. Page after page he poured out his heart feeling a deep sense of release. This letter was written to Holly but he wouldn’t give it to her. These things he needed to say but she didn’t need to see.
By the time he was done his eyes were watery. He quickly wiped them and pulled out another sheet of paper. This would be the letter he’d leave for her with Alicia. However when he started to write it he paused.
Deciding he needed a break he grabbed the paper and pen then started downstairs. However the funky vibe of the room didn’t seem right. Then it came to him.
As he walked out the door into the cool night air his steps took him towards the large garage. He smiled slightly knowing that when he returned Holly’s trailer would be filling half of the space. But it was the other half of the garage that captured his attention. He knew without a doubt what he planned to do with the space. So lowering himself to the cement floor he stared at the area letting his mind imagine how someday it would look. That finally inspired him to write the letter. Nothing he was imagining in his mind would be put down on the paper but it gave him the strength to write.
An hour later Gerard returned to the house, the letter clutched tightly in his hand. He placed it by his car keys then took one final look around the room.
“It will all be alright, it has to be.” He whispered once more calling on the words he’d heard Holly say so long ago.
It wasn’t until he was in bed as the darkness closed in around him he allowed himself to let his tears fall.
Alicia drove to the hospital after seeing the guys off at the airport. Holly had just finished her breakfast.
“Hey.” She smiled at her friend.
“Hi.” Holly answered softly. “You’re here early.”
“Just took the guys to the airport.” Alicia answered watching Holly’s face closely. She had been upset by Gerard’s decision not to see Holly before they left.
Holly nodded but her face remained blank.
A nurse walked into the room to explain that she’d be back in a few minutes to take Holly down to run a few tests. Alicia nodded. “I’ve got to get home anyway. Don’s watching Molly right now.”
Standing Alicia reached into her bag. “Uh, Gerard wanted me to give this to you.”
Holly’s eyes grew wide but she made no attempt to take the sealed letter from Alicia’s hand.
Alicia sighed, “I’ll just leave it here.” She said placing it on the nightstand. “Uh, later this afternoon Don is going to come by to see you.”
“He doesn’t need to do that.” Holly whispered.
“Holly, he wants to see you.” Alicia said softly. “He’s leaving for home tonight.”
“I’ll be back later with Molly.” Alicia said as she started for the door. Suddenly she turned back. Quickly she leaned down to give Holly a hug then without saying another word left.
As soon as she was gone Holly’s eyes moved towards the letter. Slowly she reached for it. Several minutes passed as she simply held it in her hand. Her fingers shook when she finally tore the envelope open.
As she read the words she blinked several time. It wasn’t until she read the last line that a tear rolled down her cheek to splatter on the paper.