The kindness of Donna Way
Gerard must have been concerned and questioned his mother. She just shook her head "Hon, don't worry. I have to let you go but I'll see you soon. Love you" Donna flipped the phone closed and bent down for the cheese too.
Monica knew she should stop standing there like a statue and say something but damned if her brain had once again shut off. She blinked and tried to think of what to say. What was there to say? A complete stranger had just told her drop-dead sexy son that she would be staying in his old bedroom. Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe when she walked up to the burnt out shell of a house this morning a beam had droped on her head. Maybe...."
Donna intrupted her rambling thoughts. "Now Monica.....?"
"Knight" Monica realized she was waiting for her last name.
"Knight" as in the neice of Carol Knight?"
"She was my aunt" Monica confirmed.
"Well I should have relized that when you where talking about the burnt house" Donna replied with a frown. "I had heard Carol had left the house to a relative and I had heard about the fire. You had no idea what had happened to the house?"
Monica sighed "None. My girls and I sold pretty much everything we had to move here. We just wanted to start fresh after Kyle's death"
"Kyle?" Donna questioned
"My husband" Monica replied.
Just then Donna's cell rang again. She looked at the number and frowned. "He really worries too much"
"Yes?" she answered. The caller spoke for a few minutes before Donna answered "She is a very nice widow with two children"
Monica knew they were talking about her and she was uneasy. She shifted from one foot to the other and glanced out the window to her car. The girls were still sleeping.
"Stop worring, you worry too much" Donna said into the phone. "I will talk to you latter" She closed the phone and pocketed it.
"Well Monica lets get going. You pay for your chips and cheese, I will grab the milk I need and you can follow me home" She spoke with authority just like Monica's mother used to do. Another catch in her heart thinking of her dead mother.
"But Mrs Way..." she began trying to talk while following the woman down the isle toward the checkout.
"Honey my name is Donna. Please call me Donna not Mrs Way." She grabed a quart of milk without breaking stride. "Besides you can't live in this store now can you?"
"But Donna" Monica tried to reason with her. "You don't know me..." she sputtered "I could be a mass murderer"
Donna actually laughed loud enough for several shoppers to glance over at them. "Now you sound like my son"
Monica realizing "her son" was Gerard Way stopped in her tracks. This was really all too much. Donna grabbed her arm and lead her foreward.
"How old are your daughters?" she asked.
Trying to keep up with this woman was sort of hard, she had a quick step. "Kelly is 14 and Kara is 17"
This bit of news seemed to suprise Donna "You don't look old enough to have kids that age" She looked at Monica waiting for an answer.
"I was just 18 when Kara was born" God that seemed like a lifetime ago. Memories began to surface that she wanted to bury.
Donna seemed to understand. "Well then you are 35 right?" She didn't wait for an answer. "Teenagers can drive you crazy. I know this from experience. However there is light at the end of the tunnel. They do finally realize you aren't the enemy or an idiot when they get older" Her phone sounded again. She looked at the number read out and sighed "but they still bother you sometimes".
Had to be Gerard again. Monica watched Donna pocket the phone without answering. "Uh you aren't going to answer that?"
Out came the phone and she tried to hand it to Monica. "You want to talk to Gerard? He is driving me crazy today"
Monica backed away from the phone. The idea of talking to Gerard was just too much right now. Hell, today was just too much. She simply shook her head. They had arrived at the check out lane and both paid for their items. As they walked outside Monica noticed that both of her daughters were awake and staring at their mother who was being followed by a stranger. As they reached Monica's car Kelly opened her door and stepped out.
"Mom? I didn't know you knew anyone here." Her tone was concerned. She always was concerned and Monica worried about that.
"This is Donna. She is going to help us out" That was the only explantion offered. Donna smiled at both girls "My car is just over there" she pointed and called back "The house isn't far just follow me"
Once inside the car the girls started asking questions "Mom who is she?" Kelly wanted to know "how do we know we can trust her?"
Monica's head began to pound. Yes she was basically accepting help from a comlete stranger but what else could she do? They had no other living relatives to turn to, limited funds and no place to stay. "She is a nice woman who offered us help" Monica tried to smile through the pain. Her head was really throbing now. She decided not to mention who the kind womans sons were for the time being.
She followed Donna's car for several miles and the girls were thankfully quiet. They were unhappy and confused. Well so was Monica. After a few more minutes the car in front of her pulled into a drive way while Monica parked on the street. Donna waved and motioned for them to come to the house. The girls piled out of the car and started towards the one-story home. It was unassuming yet had a nice homey look. At the door Donna waited for them to come in.
"Welcome to my home" she smiled "Go on into the familyroom and turn on the T.V. I'll get you girls something to drink. Soda or juice?"
Both girls asked for a soda. Donna moved towards the kitchen and Monica followed. "Have a seat and I'll make us a freah pot of coffee" she said while grabbing two sodas from the fridge and taking them to the girls. Monica sat at the kitchen table and looked around. It was nice but it reminded her of her mother's kitchen. Sadness was creeping up again.
Donna returned from delivering the drinks and started a pot of coffee before sitting down. "So Monica tell me your story but only the parts that won't make you cry". Her sweet tone made it hard for Monica not to tear up.
"OK I will try but I warn you the waterworks are always threatening lately" she tried to smile but it was hard. "My husband died nine months ago". She tried to keep the bitterness she had felt towards him out of her voice. She always tried to hide her true feelings. "The girls and I have no other family. My mother died shortly after Kyle. When I heard that Aunt Carols house had been left to me I thought this was the fresh start we all needed. The girls have had an especially hard time dealing with things. At first they hated the idea of picking up and leaving everything we know but eventially they decided it was for the best." Donna sat a cup of coffee in front of her while she continued "so we packed up what we wanted to keep and sold everything else and well here we are."
The kitchen was quiet for a few moments. Finally Donna spoke "It will be nice having people around here. You and the girls will stay for as long as you want."
Monica couldn't believe the kindness of this woman. "That is so nice of you but really if you can just help me find a motel"
Donna waved the thought away. "I won't hear of it. You are welcome here" She took a sip of coffee then spoke "So tell me how long have you been a fan of My Chemical Romance?"
Thinking a moment Monica decided to tell the truth. "Not long after Kyle died I was looking at the TiVo the girls had recorded. One of the shows was all videos by My Chemical Romance. I had been pretty depressed that day and as I was watching I realized I was suddenly crying. The video was "Helena".
Donna nodded "The boys were so close to their grandma".
"Yes, it is a beautiful tribute" She paused a moment "The music touched me. It made me realize I had given up on life and was hurting my daughters and myself. It made me want to live again."
Neither woman said anything for a few moments. Donna broke the silence "It is so important to my boys that their music makes a difference to people. Things will get better for you I promise. " She smiled. "Now let me show you to the basement bedroom you and the girls can use. I have cots for the girls for right now and you can have the bed."
They walked downstairs and into the bedroom. Monica had seen this room before in an early video the group had made. She looked over at the bed. In the video Gerard had been laying in that bed. Damn if her heart didn't skip a beat.