When I walk in the smell of coffee fills my nose, making my mouth water craving some. Not even looking for Gerard I walk up to the counter and order some along with a sandwich. The young girl behind the counter smiles politely and hands me my order. I thank her and turn around looking for Gerard. I don’t see him so I sit down at a table in the corner and begin to eat my meal while sipping on my coffee. Maybe he wont show up, and then I wont see him again. Just as I am about to take my third bite of my sandwich, someone sits in front of me. I look up and see it is Gerard.
His hair is jet black and longer, and he is wearing a leather jacket and an Iron Maiden t-shirt. The shirt looks familiar, and as I stare at it for a second or so longer I realize that is the shirt I would always wear, whether it be for sleeping or just for wearing it . I blush remembering, but then turn my focus back up to Gerard. His hazel eyes stare back at me, the light is back in them and he seems happy.
“Sorry I’m late, got caught up with some stuff” he says taking a sip of his own coffee. I just nod and take another bite of my sandwich.
“How’s work?” He asks plainly. I get a little agitated that he is trying to make small talk, when all I want to do is get out of here.
“ Why don’t we just talk about what we came her to talk about” I harshly say. Gerard just shrugs it off and says
“Sorry for trying to be nice. But yes why don’t we” He adjusts his sitting position in the chair.
“So why did you leave me?” –Gerard. I finish chewing and then answer him.
“Because I wanted to be happy” I honestly say. Gerard raises an eyebrow then stares at me.
“You weren’t happy? You looked pretty damn happy to me” he says in a sarcastic tone. I start to get agitated.
“Yes, I may have looked that way because I was so drunk and high” I say back. Gerard looks taken back and then furrows in eyebrows.
“Even when you weren’t high Johanna, I thought you were pretty damn happy with me. I was just so…taken back when I got that note…” He trails off. “I just don’t understand why you left me, I was willing to give everything up to be with you” I sigh and put down my sandwich and look at him.
“I didn’t want you to do that for me. I wanted you to live out your dream, while I lived out mine, yeah it hurt, maybe I shouldn’t have done it the way I did but I had too. I wasn’t who I wanted to be in that time” I break our gaze and look down into my cup of coffee. I hear Gerard let out a sigh.
“I…I Guess I can understand that, I wasn’t who I wanted to be in those moments either. I mean I try and think back to all the times we spent together, but some of them are so blurry so faded in and out because I was so high or drunk, I don’t remember. But the point is, I remember when I was sober, that there was something there between us.” I look up at him and his eyes look lost. The chemistry is back between us.
He is right, there was something deep and powerful between us. From the first time we met to even now. I can feel it burning between us, but I can’t let myself get hurt with him again. Our life styles just don’t mix. I have to let this go.
“Gerard….that was then, this is now. We’ve grown. I’m sorry for how I did things, it wasn’t right, but letting go of you…saying it in person I was afraid I’d turn back on everything. I am fine with who I am now, happy even. It was hard at first but I’ve moved on so should you” I lie. I avert his gaze by looking down and grabbing my coffee mug and taking a sip. I see a smile come across his lips. He could always tell when I was lying.
“How do I put this. I’ve spent almost 4 years looking for you, to get an answer, and here I am with one and I am still not satisfied. I don’t believe you’ve moved on, I don’t believe that you’re happy. I think you’re putting on a show to make me think you are so I’ll leave you alone. But let me just tell you one thing Jo, I am not going to leave you alone.” He leans back in his chair with his arms crossed and a smug smile on his face. Damn it!
“Gerard I am not going to be with you, drop it” I say with a stern tone. His eyes look hurt and he frowns. I think he was expecting me to break down and go crawling back to him. Well I’m not. I’m not going to let him win!
“Just please, go. Go back on tour and make your dream come true” I say pointing to the door.
“One: my dream has already happened. Two: I’m not due to go on tour or even start making an other album for another six months. I’ve got all that time to bug you” He leans forward and looks me dead in the eye. I feel my chest get tight and my hearts starts beating faster. I have to think of something quick.
“Gerard please, just….leave me alone. I don’t have feelings for you anymore, just forget about me” I lie again. Gerard has a pained expression on his face.
“You think I can just forget about you? Everyday I wake up I have to look in the mirror and see that tattoo on my chest. More than half of the songs I wrote were inspired by YOU. I can’t just forget Johanna” He is playing with his hands nervously again. I sigh. I can’t believe I am doing this.
“Gerard….I can’t be with you. I can’t love you the way I did before, I can’t be your girlfriend or even your wife, but what I can be if your friend.” The moments the words come out of my mouth, I regret them. No! What am I doing letting him back into my life?!?!
Gerard smiles and shakes his head. He grabs his coffee and sips at it then looks at me and says
“I can handle friends” he takes another sip and grins at me making chills go up my spine. I shake them away and look down at my watch. It is almost 1:00.
“Well anyway I better get back to work” I say standing up and grabbing my purse. Gerard is right next to me. I smell him again. Damn he smells good! I walk out the door with Gerard right behind me and to my car.
“Dang nice car!” he says placing a hand on the hood. I just nod and put my keys in the door sit down in my car. Gerard stands next to the door watching me get inside. I look up at him again and I get an instant numbing feeling. God why did I do this?!
“See you around friend” he closes my door, gives me a mischievous smile and walks away. I get the tight feeling in my chest. What have I just done?
The rest of the day at work it is hard to concentrate. I keep thinking of Gerard, and what I said, what he said, why I even said I what I said. Needless to say my head is spinning. I decide to take a break and I sit in my office and stare at my computer screen, when my office phone starts ringing. I jump and answer.
“Dr. Retorio speaking how can I help you?”
“Hey Jo it’s Ken!”- Kens voice booms from the other end.
“Hey!” I say cheerfully back.
“I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner tonight…say 7 ish?” he asks. Even though he can’t see me I am nodding and smiling.
“Yes, of course!” I say excitedly. Anything to get my mind off of today and Gerard in general!
“Alright I’ll see you then! Wear something nice!” and with that he hangs up. I bite my bottom lip and start to smile. Ken gives me butterflies, and makes me smile a lot. But not the body numbing, nervousness, chemistry feeling that Gerard does. I try to get rid of the thought of him, but just can’t seem to do it.
I arrive home, relieved that this day is almost over and I haven’t seen or heard from Gerard yet. Maybe he will leave me alone, but then I remember how persistent and thick headed he is. I step out of my car and onto the sidewalk, as I do I look across the street and see a moving van across the street. That house has been vacant ever since the old man that lived there died two years ago. I examine more closely and see what looks like Ray’s car. It can’t be Ray’s car, I try and ignore the fact that it does, when I see a man with an afro step out of the car. It is Ray! Ray look across the street too and sees me and waves. I wave back. He looks both ways and crosses the street and comes up to me and gives me a hug.
“Johanna!” he says happily.
“You bought the house across the street from me?!” I say excitedly. Ray’s smile fades and he looks down.
“Not exactly” I raise an eyebrow and cross my arms and glare at him, and just as I am about to speak I see Gerard pop up behind him.
“Hey neighbor!” Gerard says happily.