“Bert! You better open this door right now, or I’ll bust it down!” It was a woman’s voice. A voice that sounded vaguely familiar.
She continued to beat on the door, but Bert made no sign of moving. He was still sitting as close to me as possible, our foreheads pressed together. Neither of us wanted to move. We were both content to just sit in each others arms.
It sounded crazy, but I actually felt safe. This was the first time since he brought me here that I didn’t feel on guard. It was nice.
There was a loud bang as the front door flew open and hit the wall. Bert moved away from me immediately, and faced the intruder. I sat on the couch, staring at her. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her.
“Emily! What are you doing?” Bert sounded angry, and maybe even a little worried.
Emily. I’d heard that name before. It was a common name, though. It probably meant nothing.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I could ask you the same thing.” Her gaze flickered toward me before resting on Bert.
He shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. What the hell is going on.”
“We have made progress!” As she smiled, her whole face lit up. There was something strange about her smile, however. It almost looked like the smile Bert had given me the day he raped me.
In fact, it looked exactly the same. I looked at Emily a little closer. The resemblance was uncanny. Bert and Emily had to be related, brother and sister probably. They didn’t just have the same smile, but their eyes were the same too. Even the structure of their faces were the same. The only difference was the hair. Bert had brown hair, while her’s was blonde.
Bert lowered his voice, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, Gerard is falling in love with me. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but just like you said, it worked. With his husband gone, he’s more than ready to jump ship. Soon, he’ll be right back here with you. Just as hurt and miserable as he left you.” She punched his shoulder playfully. “We did it, Bert! You are a genius!”
My jaw hit the floor. What were they talking about? Gerard would never...
And then it clicked. Her name sounding familiar, her voice. I remembered Gerard mentioning getting an assistant awhile ago. An assistant named Emily. It was about then that Gerard started working later.
That didn’t necessarily mean he was cheating on me, did it? After hearing Bert’s story, I wasn’t so sure anymore. I had no idea what to believe at this point. Everything was just so crazy.
Bert turned around to face me, his face horrified.
I spoke before he could say anything. “Was Gerard--”
Emily smiled, looking between the both of us. “Cheating on you? Oh baby, you have no idea. He’s been fucking me for quite some time now.”
If I hadn’t already been sitting down, I would have fallen on the floor. This couldn’t be real. I loved Gerard and he loved me. He would never cheat on me, especially with some girl like her. Just as I was starting to believe Bert wholeheartedly, he turned everything around. He’d been playing me the whole time. Everything he was saying was all part of his sick little plan to make me hate Gerard.
Well, that was enough. I knew from the beginning that Bert wasn’t to be trusted, yet I still let myself believe him. Of course Gerard never did any of those things. Gerard would never get someone hooked on drugs, or cheat on someone. He said so himself. Everything Bert ever said sounded crazy because it was. I just can’t believe he went through the trouble of getting this person involved.
I stood up, rushing over to him. Before I said anything, I slapped him as hard as I could. He didn’t even react. He just stared at me, stunned. “I can’t believe I believed you. I should have known this was all a lie just to get Gerard back.” I shook my head. I could feel tears beginning to form, but I held them back. This wasn’t a time for either of them to see me cry. “I know my Gerard, and he would never cheat on me.”
“Frank, I’m not lying. I wish I was--” He stepped toward me.
I backed away from him. “No. I’ve heard enough of your lies. Gerard hasn’t done any of the things you said he did. I’m not stupid. I know him better than that.” I paused, taking a deep breath. No matter how hard I tried to hold them back, I still felt tears sliding down my cheeks as I met Bert’s eyes. “If you really want me out of the picture so you can have Gerard, you’ll have to kill me.”
Bert’s eyes flooded with tears, but I didn’t care. I knew it was all part of some charade to make me feel bad. I refused to believe anything he said. Gerard was a good man. He would never do anything to hurt anyone, especially me.
Without another word, I turned around and headed back into the small bedroom Bert had been keeping me in.
Sitting in the dark room, I kept telling myself over and over than Bert had been lying the whole time. The more I said it, the more I didn’t believe it. Either Bert was a great liar, or I was just plain stupid.
Most of what Bert had said made sense. And he always seemed so emotional when he talked about Gerard. Then there was the kiss. That kiss wasn’t part of some master plan of his. He had really meant it.
Gerard may never had cheated on me, like they said, but I could believe some of the other things. Nothing was making sense. I should hate Bert more than anything right now, but I just couldn’t.