Gerard leaned back against the pillows, taking another puff from his cigarette. I’d told him a million times to not smoke in the house, but he never listened. His smoking didn’t bother me, I just didn’t want it in the house. “Lasagna, huh?”
I laughed, laying on my side and facing him. “Yeah, I don’t know if it’s any good. I didn’t eat anything.”
He kissed my forehead, “I’m sure it’ll be delicious. Just like everything else you’ve ever made.”
We fell into silence. Gerard stared up at the ceiling, smoking. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Still, I had no idea how I had gotten so lucky. For a while I was absolutely sure we weren’t going to make it. But somehow, we did. Everything turned out alright. I couldn’t be happier.
Eventually, he turned to face me, a smile playing at his lips. “What?”
I shook my head, scooting closer to him.
He pressed his forehead against mine, “Didn’t your mother tell you it’s not polite to stare.” He kissed me. I could taste the cigarettes on his breath.
“I was just thinking.” He met my eyes, waiting for me to continue. I’d been thinking about this for a long time, since we first moved in together, actually. Maybe now that we were married it was time to finally say it. What’s the worst that could happen? “I want to have a baby with you.”
His eyes widened as he stared into my eyes. After a long moment of silence, he put his cigarette out, “Frankie, that’s not physically possible. Sorry to break it to you, but we’re both male.” I could tell he was trying to smile, make it a joke. But I was serious.
I frowned, and he sighed. “I don’t know, Frank. Don’t you think it’s too soon?”
I sat up, “Gerard.”
“We’ve got a good thing here, just the two of us. Having a baby would change everything.” He paused, meeting my eyes. “I don’t want to share you with anyone.” He grabbed my waist and pulled me down on top of him. “I’m not saying we’ll never had kids. I just don’t think right now is the best time.”
“And when will it be the right time?” He had already decided. I could tell by the way he was acting. The conversation was over before it even started. At least he wasn’t completely against having kids.
He sighed, kissing my nose. “When the time is right.”
I shook my head, standing up. “That’s not an answer.” Frustrated, I walked out of our bedroom and headed into the kitchen. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch, and I was starving.
It wasn’t until I was sitting at the dining table alone, eating warmed up lasagna, when I realized Gerard hadn’t followed me. I knew he’d been working a lot of hours lately, training a bunch of new employees and such, but I was his husband. Whenever I was upset, he made sure I was happy when I went to bed.
My lasagna was almost gone by the time I realized I was crying. I don’t know why I was getting so emotional over something like this. It’s not like he said kids was out of the question forever. He just needed some time. I could respect that, but for some reason it really bothered me. I just always assumed that when I finally brought it up, that he would be okay with it.
I took a deep breath, trying to put everything out of my mind. We could talk about it later. Staring down at my lasagna, I sighed. It really wasn’t as good as it could have been. It was probably better we didn’t sit down and eat it.
As I was putting the rest of my food away, I heard a noise in the living room. I dropped the plate in the sink, causing it to shatter. The last time I heard strange noises in my house was the night my dad came back and almost killed my mom and I. It had been a long time since then, but I was still nervous.
I knew it couldn’t be my dad. He was going to spend the next twenty to forty years of his life in prison for attempted murder. But that didn’t mean someone wasn’t breaking in. I could still get hurt, Gerard could still get hurt.
I stood at the sink, listening. It could have just been my imagination. But after a minute or two, I heard another noise from the living room. It sounded like someone ran into the couch. Slowly, I walked toward the living room. As I got closer I could hear voices. It sounded like a man talking. But there was something about the voice. It sounded familiar, I just couldn’t place it.
I felt along the wall, searching for the light switch as quietly as I could. As soon as I felt the switch, I flipped the light on. Standing a few feet away from me, smiling like the devil he was, was the last person I ever expected to see again. Bert.
Seeing him standing there brought back all those horrible memories of what he did to me. It was something I still hadn’t gotten over completely. I pressed my back against the wall, trying to get as far away from him as possible.
He started walking towards me, and I realized I had nowhere to go. I was against the wall, and he was blocking my only escape. He was here to kill me, I just knew it. He was laughing, “Just the person I wanted to see.”
He was standing directly in front of me, his palms pressed against the wall on either side of my head. His closeness brought back terrible images that I would never be able to erase from my mind. “It took me forever to find you here. You and Gerard did a great job of hiding.”
We hadn’t been hiding. The only reason we moved so far away was so we could get married legally. It had nothing to do with Bert. We both thought we were done with him forever. Looks like we had been wrong. I didn’t say anything.
He smiled, “I’m really glad you’re keeping quiet. We don’t want to let Gerard know anything wrong is happening, now do we?” He pressed his body against mine. “If you scream, or try anything...” He laughed suddenly, “Let’s just say it won’t be pleasant. At least, not for you.”
I had a good idea of what he was planning on doing to me. Just like last time, I decided to just stay quiet and go along with it. As long as Gerard was safe, I could get through anything.
After slipping a pair of handcuffs on my wrists, he grabbed my neck and started leading me out of the house. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew it could be a lot worse. He could kill me.
We walked like that for a few blocks until I saw it. His car. Just the sight of it, and remembering everything was enough to make me sick. Just as he opened the passenger side door, I threw up all over someone’s front yard. It was too much. I felt exposed and vulnerable. I just wanted to go home and be with Gerard again.
This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Soon, I would wake up and be home in Gerard’s arms, none of this having happened. But I knew full well, that I was wide awake, and this was real. Just like all the other horrible things that happened in the past.
Without a word, Bert shoved me into the front seat, slamming the door shut as he raced around to the drivers side. He slid in and face me, smiling. “That wasn’t so bad was it?” And just like that, he started the car and drove away, leaving me wondering if I would ever see Gerard again.