Two visitors stop by causing more tension.
“Calm down? How the fuck do you expect me to calm down? What the fuck happened today? Why can’t I remember anything?”
“Gerard, I don’t know. Think hard. Did you hear any voice?”
He shook his head. “I don’t remember anything. Nothing at all. I watched you leaving then…” He paused. “Nothing until I heard you come in.”
Ayasha sat silently not knowing what to say.
“It’s you.” He said his eyes narrowing. “When you’re here, I’m here. But when you leave…”
“I don’t understand this any more than you do.” She tired to assure him.
He leaned back against the cushions and closed his eyes. “What the hell is happening?” Suddenly his eyes flew open. “Did you find out anything today?”
She understood what he was asking. “I checked a lot to sites. The only thing I could find out is that you’re still listed in grave condition.”
“Still in a coma?”
He looked into her eyes. “You ain’t telling me something.”
The fact he seemed to know when she was holding back information was unnerving. “I told you what I read.”
He stared at her. “You told me some of what you read.”
Wanting to get his mind off of this for the moment she tried to change the subject. “Look, we need to talk about something. My friend is going to be stopping by soon.”
He gave her a surprised look. “What?”
“She’s going to stop by to return a book. I figure this will be a good chance for us to find out if it’s true that only I can see you.”
“Oh.” He gave that a moment of thought. “Yeah, okay. But what fuckin’ difference does any of this make?” He asked as his anger took over again. “Obviously I’m trapped here while you are here.”
His words, while she understood them, stung. “I think it’s important for us to understand everything that’s going on.” She said looking down.
He regretted his words. “Hey, I didn’t mean it to sound like that. But I’m fuckin’ scared. Shit, I just found out I lost a whole day.”
“I know.” She whispered.
The sound of the doorbell caused them both to stand.
“Okay, here goes.” Ayasha said softly. She went over to the door but when she opened it her eyes grew wide in surprise.
“Hey.” Kyle smiled. “Stopped by to finish our discussion.”
Ayasha couldn’t deal with him right now. Quickly she explained that Tina would be stopping by any minute.
He frowned. “So we’ll talk after she leaves.”
Ayasha began to panic. She did not want Gerard to hear what Kyle would say. Before he realized what she was doing she joined him on the porch slamming the door closed behind her.
Immediately Gerard crossed the room to lean his ear on the door hoping to hear the conversation outside on the porch.
Ayasha wrapped her arms around her body tightly. “There is nothing for us to discuss. What you said today was vile.”
He smirked, “What I said was the truth.”
While she might have a previous criminal record, she knew he did as well. Only difference was his father had bought his sons way out of trouble. “I want you off my property. If you refuse I’ll call the police.”
“Oh, really?” He laughed, “I’m so scared.”
“I don’t give a shit how you feel. I want you to stay away from me. I’ve made that very clear.”
Kyle, who was used to getting everything he wanted, shook his head. “I’ll give it time, you’ll realize soon enough what I’m offering you ain’t gonna come around again. Fuck Ayasha, look at this little shit hole you’re living in. This really how you want to spend the rest of your life? Think about the house dad bought us. You marry me, you won’t have to work.”
Fearful that Gerard may be able to hear their voices she needed to end this conversation. “I will never marry you. Now get off my property.”
He shrugged, “Think about what I said.” He started down the steps but stopped. “If Tom fires you it won’t be long before you have to go back to your old job.” He laughed, “But then maybe that wouldn’t bother you. You know, like mother, like daughter.”
Ayasha opened the door so quickly Gerard didn’t have time to move away.
“Shit.” He cried out as he jumped back. By that time she had slammed the door shut but he could see her body was shaking.
“Ayasha.” He said softly. “What the hell is that fucker holding over your head?”
“How much did you hear?” Her voice was shaky.
“Your door is too fuckin’ thick. I could only make out a few words here and there.”
She stared into his eyes. “Are you lying?”
“No. I really couldn’t hear the whole conversation but from what I did and the way you’re acting the fucker is threatening you, ain’t he?”
“I can’t talk about his now.” She said moving towards the hallway. “Tina should be here any minute.”
Gerard watched as she walked into the bathroom then slammed the door shut. He’d heard more of the conversation then he was willing to admit to her but seeing how upset she was he’d continue to stick to his story. As he walked over to the sofa he was once more shocked to realize that right now he was more concerned about Ayasha and her situation than his own.
“Come in.” Ayasha had luckily calmed down before Tina arrived. She watched the other woman closely as she entered her home. Never once did Tina’s eyes go to the man standing near them.
“Here.” Tina said handing her the book. “Thanks for loaning it to me, I loved it.”
“Can you stay a minute?” Ayasha asked not wanting to seem rude.
“Sure, for a few minutes.” She walked right past Gerard as she moved towards the sofa.
Ayasha locked eyes with Gerard only a moment then followed her friend taking a seat on the sofa next to her.
“So.” Tina said sitting back to get comfortable. “Kyle told me how upset you are about Gerard Way.”
From the corner of her eyes Ayasha saw Gerard moving towards the chair. “Yes, it’s a very sad situation.”
Tina nodded, “Yeah, it sucks. I know how much you like that group.”
This was a very awkward discussion to be having. Ayasha searched her mind for something to discuss other than Gerard.
“I always liked MCR too.” Tina said sadly. “I hate to think they’ll never record again.”
Ayasha tried to keep her eyes off Gerard who had leaned forward in the chair.
“No one knows that will happen. I’m hoping Gerard makes a full recovery.”
“Yeah, me too. But I don’t know…” She paused thinking, “Even if he does I sorta think the group was doomed to break up. I know a lot of fans were pretty fed up with the way Gerard was acting.”
“Perhaps there were reasons for his behavior.” She could almost feel Gerard’s eyes on her.
“Maybe.” Tina shrugged, “So anyway, I talked to Kyle today.”
Ayasha cringed inwardly. From one bad conversation to another.
Tina didn’t seem to notice Ayasha’s frown. “You know he’s really so hurt about the break up.”
When Gerard snorted Ayasha couldn’t stop herself from glancing over at him. The action didn’t go unnoticed by Tina. “What’s wrong?”
“Thought I heard some one outside.” Ayasha lied. “Guess not.”
“Oh,” Tina shrugged, “Anyway about Kyle…”
Ayasha cut her off, “I don’t want to discuss it.” As soon as she realized her tone had been curt she added, “It’s too personal.”
Tina nodded, “I understand but I just wish you’d talk to me about it. Ayasha, I really want to be a good friend but you’re so…” She struggled for the right word.
“You are my friend.” Ayasha said softly. “But there are some things I just can’t talk about.”
“So, it’s really over?”
Ayasha nodded, “Yes, it’s definitely over. I just wish he’d move on and leave me alone.”
This obviously surprised Tina. “Has he been bothering you?”
“He can’t seem to get it through his head that I’m never going to marry him.” Ayasha admitted.
“Oh, I didn’t realize.” Tina said softly. “I’m sorry. It’s just you haven’t really said much about the break up and he made it sound like it was only temporary.”
“It’s permanent.” There was no mistaking the conviction in Ayasha’s voice.
Tina glanced at her watch. “Well, I should be going. I told Jeff I’d meet him at eight.”
As she and Ayasha stood, so did Gerard.
“Anyway, thanks for the book loan.” Tina said as she neared the door.
“You’re welcome.” Ayasha suddenly sucked in her breath as she saw Gerard walk over to Tina then poke her arm. She released the breath when it became obvious Tina hadn’t felt a thing.
“Son of a bitch.” Gerard muttered as he tried to poke Tina’s arm harder.
Ayasha pulled open the door. “Tell Jeff I said hello.”
“Will do.” Tina walked out onto the porch. “Ayasha if you ever need to talk to anyone…”
“Thanks.” Ayasha smiled, “But I’m fine. See you tomorrow.”
Tina laughed, “Don’t be late.” With that she stepped off the porch making her way to the street where she’d parked her car.
Ayasha closed the door then turned to Gerard. “Thank God you didn’t do anything but try to poke her.”
“I meant to talk to you about his before she got here. Look, I know you can pick up things, you know, like my books?”
“Well if you’d picked up something while she was here…”
“Oh.” He said finally understanding what she was saying. “That would have been weird.’
“Yeah, well, it’s just I don’t want anyone to think I have a ghost.”
“Maybe you do.” He sighed. “Maybe that’s what I am.”
“We’ve been over this. You’re not dead, so you’re not a ghost. Now, I’ve got to eat something.” She said making her way towards the kitchen while hoping he wasn’t going to bring up anything he’d heard being discussed. “Would you like anything?”
He sighed, “I don’t feel hunger or thirst.”
Ayasha hated the sadness she heard in his voice.
Gerard sat down at the small table and watched as she pulled out a frozen dinner then placed it in the microwave. He was surprised when she pulled open a cabinet and removed a whiskey bottle.
Ayasha poured herself a drink then turned towards the table with it in her hand. She was confused by the look on his face. “What?”
“It’s weird to see whiskey and not want any.” He admitted. “Yeah, I’m definitely not myself.”
She’d been so upset about Kyle’s visit she’d poured the whiskey hoping to calm her nerves without even stopping to think Gerard was an alcoholic. “Sorry.” She intended to pour the drink down the drain when he spoke.
“Hey, go ahead and drink it. I know you’re trying to calm yourself down.”
She frowned, “I’m calm.”
Gerard actually laughed, “Yeah, right. You’re wound so tight...” He was pretty sure he was going to upset her but he couldn’t stop. “I don’t know why the hell that friend of yours couldn’t see how upset you are.”
“Tina and I aren’t exactly close friends.” Ayasha answered while walking back over to check the progress of her mean in the microwave.
“Do you have any close friends?”
The question did upset her. “No, and I don’t want any.”
“Why?” He asked point blank.
She continued to stare through the microwave window. “Don’t want or need them. I’m a loner.”
“But you were gonna get married. Obviously you let that douche into your life.” He saw her fold her arms protectively around her body.
“I already told you that was a huge mistake on my part. I was an idiot and now I’m paying for it.”
Gerard shook his head sadly, “Ayasha letting people into your life is important. Yeah, you made a bad choice where that guy is concerned but you can’t let yourself believe everyone is bad.”
“I didn’t say everyone is bad. I simply said I prefer to live my life alone.”
“Because you don’t want to trust people.” He knew he’d struck a nerve when she opened the microwave, took out her dinner, then slammed the door shut with a lot more force than necessary.
“I learned my lesson where trust is concerned.” She said as she grabbed a fork then joined him at the table. “Now, enough about me.” She seemed to think that ended the conversation.
“I’m sorry you’ve been hurt by those you trusted.” He said softly.
His words caused her hands that were removing the plastic from the dinner to still. “Talk about something else.” She whispered.
He knew he’d pushed her but he wanted desperately to understand this woman. “Tina seemed nice.”
Ayasha blew on a bit of her piping hot dinner then took a bite. Gerard waited for her to speak. When she continued eating he decided to try again.
“Uh, so how long have you known her?”
“I asked you to change the subject.” She said refusing to look at him across the table.
“Hey, I was just asking a simple question.”
“No, you’re still harping on this friend thing. Why can’t you just accept the fact I’m happy with the way I’ve chosen to live my life? I have a few friends just not close friends.”
“Because you don’t want to trust anyone enough to let them really know you.”
She angrily stabbed a green bean. “Believe me they really wouldn’t want to know me.”
“How can you be so sure?”
She went back to eating her dinner obviously not intending to answer his last question.
Gerard sighed, “It’s important to have people you can talk to.”
He couldn’t. “Look, I just don’t get it. You’re a beautiful, smart woman. Why would you want to be alone?”
Ayasha threw her fork down. “Why do you want to be alone?”
“What?” He frowned, “I never said I wanted to be alone.”
“No, you didn’t have to say it. Your actions were making that quite clear. You’ve been pushing people away, and I don’t just mean fans.”
He didn’t like that she’d turned this on him. “We ain’t talking about me.”
“Well, why not? You think the way I chose to live my life is bad. Well, I think what you’d done to yours is worse. You have so many people who love you.”
He snorted. “You talking about people who don’t really know me?”
“What an idiot.” She said, her eyes narrowing. “You’d been given such a gift. Yeah, people who never met you care about you. But you act like that’s a horrible thing. They care because in some way you’ve touched their lives. But forget about fans for a minute. How about your family? Pushing them away? And for what? So you could drown in your sadness alone?”
“You don’t know shit about my family or friends.” He ground out.
Ayasha pushed back from the table and stood. She picked up the rest of her dinner then threw it into the trash can. Gerard watched, his face sill contorted in anger. She walked over to the computer. When she found the site she was looking for she enlarged the photo. “You need to realize how your actions hurt others.”
He was still glaring at her. “Yeah, well we always hurt the ones we love.” He sneered sarcastically.
Ayasha’s eyes flashed. “You said you were a fuckin’ tool, you want people to believe that. I just can’t understand why someone who is so loved doesn’t cherish that gift. Maybe you’re spoiled.”
“Yeah, spoiled. Imagine knowing that no one in this fucking world loves you. That the only person left on this earth that did, died when you were fifteen.” Her body was shaking at this point. “Imagine knowing that no one really cares if you live or die.”
He stood. “Ayasha, that’s not true.”
“Of course it is. My grandmother was the only person on this earth that loved me and I lost her when I was fifteen. Kyle never loved me, he wants me. I became some sick challenge to him. He always got what he wanted and for some reason he decided he’d add me to his possessions. The fact that I resisted at first made the game so much more challenging for him. Stupidly I didn’t realize that until it was almost too late. So don’t stand there and think you understand anything about me. But what I said about you is true and you know it.” She glanced at the computer screen, “Yeah, you were right about one thing, hurting those you love.” With that she walked away.
Gerard heard her slam her bedroom door. Slowly he got up and over to the computer. There on the screen was the photo of Mikey and Alicia leaving the hospital. “Oh God.” He whispered seeing the haggard face of his brother.
Ayasha pulled off her jeans leaving on only her tee. She needed a shower but leaving this room would mean confronting Gerard again and right now she was so upset she couldn’t face that. Crawling onto the bed she curled up then closed her eyes.
Hours later Gerard was still sitting in front of the computer screen. When it had gone dark he still hadn’t moved. The pain he’d felt looking at his brother’s photo was still fresh in his mind.
Slowly he got up, stood a moment, then moved down the hallway. Her bedroom door was shut tight but as he turned the handle it made no sound. Pushing it open he saw her on the bed curled into the fetal position. Moving slowly he crossed the room and as gently as he could he pulled the covers over her. Then he slid to the floor leaning against the nightstand all the while keeping his eyes on her.
Ayasha’s eyes slowly opened. In the shadows she saw him sitting on the floor beside the bed. Slowly her arm extended and she placed her hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry.” She whispered.
He could see her hand on his shoulder but God, he wished he could feel her touch. “I’m sorry too. Go back to sleep.” He said softly.
She closed her eyes and when her hand began to slip he lifted it to place it back on the bed, under the covers. “Sleep tight.” He whispered.
As he’d done the night before he slipped from her room just as the early morning light began to peek over the horizon.
AUTHORS NOTE- HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE AND THANKS FOR THE REVIEWS!