Ayasha reveals part of her past.
“I’m so fuckin’ confused.” He admitted, “And scared.”
“I understand.” She nodded, “I’m pretty confused myself.”
It was then he looked down and saw the ugly red marks on her arm. “Oh shit.”
Ayasha followed his gaze. “Oh.” She tried to smile, “It’s okay. Doesn’t hurt.” That was a lie.
“Shit, I’m sorry.” He reached over to lift her arm. “I’m sorry I hurt you.” Suddenly his face fell.
“I’m holding your arm but I can’t feel it.” He rubbed his thumb over the red marks causing her to flinch. “Shit, sorry.” He dropped her arm.
“It’s okay. When you grabbed my arm earlier you couldn’t feel how tightly you were holding it.”
“But you said I was hurting you.” He whispered.
Ayasha sighed, “Gerard, it’s okay. I can’t begin to imagine how you feel but I know it has to be overwhelming. I’m fine so don’t worry about my arm.”
“But how is it I can touch you? I can touch things if I’m not really here? How can I hurt myself and it effects my body in LA?”
“Wish I knew.” She said slowly. “But honestly I don’t understand any of this.”
He leaned back against the dark brown cushions. “I just keep thinking this is all a nightmare either that or…”
“Or?” She asked.
“Maybe this is all of my making.” He spoke so softy she almost didn’t hear him.
“I don’t understand.”
He looked down in shame. “I’ve always been afraid I’d lose my fuckin’ grasp on reality. Maybe that’s what’s happened. Maybe I’ve just created this whole world and none of its real.”
She couldn’t let him sink into depression like this. “Hey, I’m real and I can tell you I’m not a figment of anyone’s imagination. But I do understand. When I first saw your face I hate to admit for a moment I thought I’d lost it.”
He knew deep in his soul that if this was real she had to be the key as to why he was here. “And then you got angry.” He said slowly hoping she’d admit why.
“I thought it was a sick joke.” She glanced across the room not wanting to look into his eyes.
“Please explain why.” When she continued to stare off into the distance he said, “That guy at the door. You called him Kyle. You also said you thought Kyle had sent me here. I really need to understand.”
“Kyle is a jackass.” She muttered.
He was trying to make sense of what had happened. “So you thought he’d sent someone here who looked like me?”
Ayasha realized there was no way around this. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. See Kyle walked into the store this morning right after I’d just read on Twitter what had happened to you. I was upset and he thought that was funny.”
“He thought it was funny I’d overdosed?”
She turned back to face him but then lowered her head to look at her hands which were clasped tightly in her lap. “Kyle never understood, no scratch that, that’s too nice. Kyle hates you and your band.”
Gerard frowned. “Why?”
“Because…” She sighed. “Maybe I should explain this better. You see I used to be engaged to him. I was such a fucking idiot.”
Gerard was shocked by the anger he heard in her voice so he remained silent waiting for her to continue.
Still not looking up she continued. “When I first got here...”
He hated to interrupt but he couldn’t stop himself. “Got here.” He repeated. “Where’s here?”
Her head snapped up. “Oh. Uh, here is Old Colorado City.”
“So we’re in Colorado?”
She nodded, “Yes, Old Colorado City is in Colorado. It’s actually like a suburb of Colorado Springs.”
He nodded. “Sorry, for interrupting.”
A slight smile tugged at her lips. “It’s okay, I understand. Anyway, when I first got here I was lucky enough to get a job in an antique store downtown.” She paused trying to give herself enough time to tell the story while leaving out parts she didn’t want to discuss. “Kyle’s father is one of the stores best clients. He spends a lot of money there. That’s how I first met Kyle, he came in with his father.”
Gerard nodded, “And you fell for him.”
“No, not a first.” She was trying desperately to keep the anger out of her voice. “At first I was smart enough to remember…” Again she paused. “Doesn’t matter. Point is that’s how I met him. I didn’t start dating him for almost a year.”
Gerard found himself wondering if she realized he knew she was editing herself. It was obvious by the way she spoke, they way she kept pausing, she was only telling him what she wanted him to hear. “How long did you date before you became engaged?”
Ayasha nervously began to drum her fingers on the sofa cushion. “Not long enough. Not long enough to see the true man he is, because believe me that guy ain’t nice.”
“He’s a jackass.” Gerard said softly repeating what she’d called Kyle.
At first she almost let her anger snap but when she looked up she saw Gerard was almost smiling. “Yeah, he is.” She said softly. “I should have realized it sooner but he’d been so good at hiding it before we were engaged.”
“But once you were he changed.”
She nodded, “Hell yes. All of a sudden he was trying to control me.” She shook her head, “No, not control so much as change. He didn’t like the way I dressed. He didn’t like the music I listened to, the books I read, the hours I spent painting. He wanted to change everything about me.”
She started speaking so quickly and with such anger in his voice Gerard was trying to decide how to respond.
Ayasha didn’t give him time. “The breaking point came when he came over one day while I was at work and “cleaned” my house for me. He told me he was doing it for me, to help me. He threw out my painting supplies, most of my clothes, my CD’s. I was livid when I came home. Shit, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe he’d done it. But he just kept standing there smiling saying that he’d done it to get rid of my past because he was my future. His father had bought us a house for our wedding present and there was no way he was going to let me move my old stuff into our new home.”
“Jackass ain’t a strong enough word.” Gerard muttered.
“Yeah, well then you need to come up with a word to describe me because I didn’t break off the engagement.” She said looking down again. “I tried to forgive him. Not because I loved him but because I was weak. I wanted to security being married to him would have brought me.”
Gerard didn’t know what to say.
She forced herself to continue. “So I tried to conform. I stopped dressing like this and dressed in what he considered appropriate attire.” Sarcasm dripped from her words. “I tried to be what he wanted, what he expected.”
“Hey, I like the way you’re dressed.” Gerard said softly as his eyes scanned her long skirt, denim blouse and silver and turquoise Native American jewelry.
She was still having trouble letting go of her anger. “Yeah, well Kyle didn’t want me looking like an Indian.”
The hurt in her voice made him say, “Hey, you’re called Native American.”
She actually smiled knowing he was trying to lighten the mood. “Yeah, that’s right. But believe me Kyle calls Native Americans, Indians. And Indians are beneath him.”
Gerard shook his head, “So when did you finally break up with the fucker?”
Her head dropped, “When I heard him telling his friend that I was fuckin’ lucky to have him. That I should be grateful he was gonna marry me even though I was a half breed.”
“Are you fuckin’ serious?”
“Yep.” Suddenly she looked up. “That explanation was way too detailed. Point is, he hated the music I liked and since MCR is part of that music he hates it.”
Gerard still didn’t quite understand. “So this morning because you were upset about me, he thought it was funny?”
Again she nervously began to drum her fingers. “Look, I’ll admit I’m a fan.” She paused, “And this morning when I found out you’d overdosed it hit me hard. When Kyle walked in I was crying, a fact he found hilarious.”
Gerard was stunned. It was hard to imagine this beautiful woman shedding tears for him.
Ayasha took his silence in a totally different way. “So, I suppose you can be creeped out now.”
“Why would I be creeped out?”
She lifted her legs up onto the sofa then crossed her arms. “Because I’m a fan girl.”
“And you believe I’d think that’s bad?”
For a moment she didn’t speak wondering just how complete his memory was. “Uh, you’ve made it pretty clear how you feel about your fans.”
A wave of guilt crashed over him. “Oh.”
Ayasha tilted her head while studying his face. “You do remember, right?”
Nervously he got up and began to pace. “You’re asking if I remember how I’ve been treating people for the last couple of months.”
“It’s been more than a couple of months.” She said softly.
He turned to face her. “I suppose you saw the video where I lost it and yelled at that girl?”
She nodded, “Yeah, I saw it. It hit all the sites and was even on TV.”
This was a memory Gerard wished he had lost. “I fuckin’ yelled at a fourteen year old girl for asking me if she could have my autograph.” He ground out in disgust. “Cursed at her and made her cry.”
“Gerard, why?” Ayasha asked softly.
“Because I’m a fuckin’ tool.” He said coming to a stand still.
She shook her head, “I watched the video. Yeah, what you did was cruel but what I saw was a man who looked ready to crack. It looked like you were honestly forcing yourself to act that way.”
“Yeah, you knew the words would hurt her and inside I think it hurt you to do it but you wanted to feel that pain.”
Gerard was shocked into silence. She was right, in a sick way, hurting that young girl made him feel like shit and he wanted that feeling.
“Why have you been pushing everyone away?”
He hated this woman understood what he didn’t want to understand himself. “Told you cause I’m a fuckin’ tool.”
She shook her head sadly, “No, not buying it.”
“Look, you don’t know me. You don’t know what goes on in my head. People, fans, think they know but they don’t. In their minds they build me up to be this super great guy, well, that ain’t the truth. I’m just a stupid fucker, and I’m trying of pretending that’s not what I am.” His anger grew, “So, fan girl, get the stupid idea that I’m some nice guy out of your head. Cause it ain’t true.” He saw the look of hurt on her face.
Ayasha was hurt but only for a moment. What she saw in his eyes was pain, “If you say so.” She said softly.
He hadn’t expected that response. “If I say so?”
She shrugged, “Yes, you’re a fuckin’ tool who hates his fans. There, I said it cause it’s what you want to hear, right?”
“It’s the fuckin’ truth.” He said roughly. When she didn’t answer he grew more agitated. “I’m sure you know that girl wasn’t the only fan I’ve hurt.”
“Oh, I know. You’ve been hurting fans right and left. Chipping away at your fan base. You’ve been saying some really hurtful things. Doing things like taking the stage wasted trying to end your career.”
“I ain’t been trying to end my career.” He said shaking his head in denial.
Ayasha sighed, “Yeah, you might not admit the truth to yourself but it’s what you’ve been doing for the last six months. You said yourself you’ve been pushing people away.” She paused, “Was it so when you were gone you think it won’t be as hard for them to take?”
His head whipped around. “When I was gone? What are you saying?”
She remained silent, staring at him.
“You think I’ve been pushing people away because I’d planned to off myself?” He took several steps towards her, his eyes narrowed. “Is that what you’re saying?”
She didn’t answer which only fueled his anger.
“Fuck you. You don’t know me. You don’t know shit.” He spat.
Deep in her heart she felt she was right but he wasn’t going to admit that fact. “So.” She said ignoring his anger. “When I saw you, I thought Kyle had found someone who looked like Gerard Way, to fuck with me.”
The way she suddenly had returned to the original conversation shocked him.
Ayasha sighed, “At the time it was the only answer I could wrap my brain around. Figured Kyle had made a copy of my house key before he gave them back. That would explain how you’d gotten in here. You know, sick as it is, that is something Kyle would do. Me, crying over you, really pissed him off this morning.” Her voice fell a few notches. “He’d never seen me cry before.”
All the anger drained from his body. Moving slowly he returned to his seat on the sofa. “Wasting tears over me was stupid.”
Even though she understood he wouldn’t feel her touch she reached across and laid her hand on his. “They are my tears to use as I see fit. I don’t shed them often but when I do…” Again she paused but forced herself to continue. “Grandmother said my tears come not from my eyes but from my soul.”
He looked down at her hand covering his. “I fuckin’ wish I could feel.”
Ayasha understood, he wanted to feel something. “When you return to your body, when your spirit goes home, you will.”
He looked into her eyes. “If that happens.” He whispered.
The extent of the brain damage
Ayasha saw him flinch. “More voices?”
“Talking about brain damage but I couldn’t hear it all.” Fear made him add, “Oh, shit.”
She tried to calm him. “I’m sure they are running tests because you’re in a coma.”
“Fuckin’ brain damage.” He whispered.
“You said you didn’t hear all of what was being said. Did you recognize the voice?”
He shook his head, “No, I don’t think so.”
“I know it’s hard but try not to panic.”
He ran his hand through his black hair, “Are you fuckin’ serious? Try not to panic? I have no fuckin’ idea what’s going on. This is insane.”
Slowly she unfolded her legs, lowering her feet to the floor. “I’m going to get a glass of water.” She paused “Uh, would you like one?”
“Not trusty, not hungry, shit I ain’t even craving a cigarette.”
“Probably because those things are what your body requires.” She said as she moved towards the kitchen. When she returned holding a glass she saw his head was bowed. “More voices?”
Slowly he looked up. “Nope, I was trying to listen but nothing.”
She sat back down not knowing what to say.
The only thing his mind could accept was he was here, with this woman. Everything else seemed too unbelievable. If this was real, if his body really was in LA then she had to be the key. “You said your grandmother is the one who told you about this shit, right?” When she nodded he went on. “So maybe you can ask her if she understands what the hell is going on.”
“She died fifteen years ago.” Ayasha said sadly.
“Shit, sorry. Okay how about your mom?”
“My mother died when I was only four. My grandmother is the one who raised me.”
He continued this line of thought. “Okay, well how about someone else? Some other family member?”
She shook her head, “It was just me and grandmother. No other family.”
“Well who took care of you when she died? I mean fifteen years ago you couldn’t have been old enough to take care of yourself.”
“I was and I did.” She said shortly. “I was fifteen when grandmother died. The day she was buried I left the reservation and never looked back.”
He saw her eyes flash with what he believed was anger. “A reservation?” He asked slowly hoping this wasn’t anther topic she would try to avoid.
“The Quallya Boundry in North Carolina.”
He had thought he’d detected a slight accent. “Oh, well aren’t there people there who might know?”
“I told you, no family. I also told you I left and never looked back. Did that sound to you like a place I would contact someone for information?”
He knew she was angry but damn, it so was he. “There ain’t anyone? Come on, you had to have known other...uh people.”
Her eyes flashed, “Other people, you mean other Indians.”
“Other people from your tribe.” He corrected.
She sat her glass down on the coffee table with a thunk. “You have no idea what it was like, what I put up with. See, it’s not just whites who call someone like me a half breed. I was the daughter of a drunken whore who disgraced her mother by having me.”
“That’s a fucked up way of thinking.” He said truly feeling sorry for her.
“Well it is what it is. My grandmother was very revered; she was a Medicine Woman just as her mother, and her mother’s mother. Her blood was pure. She didn’t marry until later in life and he too was pure Cherokee.” She paused, “I never knew my grandfather, he died before I was born. They had only one child, my mother. But my mother left as soon as she was old enough and people always said that broke grandmother’s heart. But she returned to the reservation several years later with me in tow. Unmarried with a half breed child. Again they said that broke grandmother’s heart. When my mother died several years later few tears where shed. They said she drank herself to death leaving me for grandmother to care for.”
“I’m sorry.” Gerard said softly.
Ayasha tried to push the memories away. “Grandmother loved me, she cared for me no matter what anyone thought. But when she died I knew I had to get away. I saw the looks when I’d walk by. They believed I was just like my mother and in a way they were right.”
He wasn’t sure what she meant.
“I don’t want to talk about this.” She said suddenly removing her hand from his. “But I am sorry I can’t help you by speaking to anyone from my past.”
“Can you at least tell me what she said about people getting trapped between the worlds?”
She sighed, “All I do remember is she said that it could happen. A spirit could leave its body without death.” She frowned as she tried to recall her grandmother’s words. “That the spirit became lost, that it didn’t want to return to the body but at the same time did not want to move on.”
“Move on? You mean to the afterworld?”
She nodded slightly. “Yes.”
“So if that’s true then I’m here because I refuse to return to my body.”
“You refuse to return to life or choose death.” Ayasha said softly.
He fell back against the cushions trying to make sense of things. “Well I sure a fuck don’t wanna die but I don’t wanna be in a coma either.”
“Do you fear death?”
The question unnerved him. “I didn’t say I did.”
“No but you also didn’t say you don’t.”
“Fuck, I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore.”
For several moments silence filled the room. Finally Ayasha spoke. “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me. I am proud of my Cherokee blood, proud of my heritage.”
“You sure as fuck wasn’t treated very well.”
“Because my grandmother was a Medicine Woman and so loved the fact that my mother’s actions hurt her caused people to hate my mother. Had she not been the daughter of the Medicine Woman the fact she had a half breed child wouldn’t have been a big deal. But she had been expected to marry a full blooded Cherokee as the woman of her family always had. She had been expected to carry on the tradition of becoming a Medicine Woman. When she returned with me…”
He hoped what he was about to say wouldn’t offend her. “I gotta say, looking at you, you look Cherokee to me.” He was having trouble understanding how they’d known her father hadn’t been Native American.
Her whole body tensed. “Do I?’
He nodded looking at her closely. “Well, yeah.”
“Looks can be deceiving.” She said then stood up. “Okay, I’m going to start on the Internet.”
Her abrupt dismissal of the conversation surprised him. “What?”
“I will search sites to see if I can learn more about the stories Grandmother told me. And...” She spoke while making her way towards the hall. “I have several books about the Cherokee’s and their legends. You can look through those.”
When she returned she handed him several books.
Gerard took then, “Uh, thanks.”
She nodded then turned but his voice stopped her.
“I really mean it, thanks for trying to help me.”
Ayasha’s heart went out to him, he looked so lost. “Hey, no problem. Besides it’s not like I can throw you out of my house.” She teased hoping to see him smile.
“Obviously you can’t.” He answered still looking into her dark eyes. “But if you could, would you?”
She stared at him and for a moment and he believed she wouldn’t answer.
“No, Gerard. I would not. I will not give up on you.”