Liv leaves a message for Gerard
She stood by the door looking as if she might bolt any moment. He was shocked to see her. She looked different somehow, not smug like before. She looked almost timid, almost afraid. He sat up straighter and reminded himself just what hell this woman had put his friend through. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
Liv blinked as if struck by the hatred in his voice. "I need you to tell Gerard something." She spoke so softly he had to strain to hear her.
"What, are you gonna threaten to tell some bullshit story again? Why can't you just leave him alone? He's happy now, let it go. He's got someone who really loves him and they're gonna get married. He's found real love, Liv. Not the ugly, false feeling he had with you. Don't try to fuck it up for him."
She stared at him, her body slightly shaking. After a moment she shook her head, "I don't want to fuck anything up for him."
"Then why are you here?" Ray tried to keep the hatred out of his voice but it was impossible. "Is it about your child? Is she really Gee's or does she belong to someone else you fucked?"
Liv looked down at the floor unable to meet his gaze. She couldn't stand to see the hated in his eyes. "Listen Ray I just need for you to tell him something. I just want him to know."
Ray's anger grew worse, why was she acting like this? "What Liv? What the fuck do you need me to tell Gerard for you?"
Liv looked up at him and he was shocked to see tears in her eyes, "Just tell him." She paused.
"What Liv? Tell him what?" Rays tone was harsh.
"That I loved him. Just tell him that I loved him and that I'm sorry." She turned and fled the room.
Ray wondered what the hell had just happened. The woman who had just been standing in his room was Liv, yet it wasn't. Liv would never have let him talk to her like he had just done. She would have laughed at his anger then cursed right back at him. Was she playing another mind game? He leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Did she really believe he would give Gerard her message? His friend had just gone through hell. He had almost lost the woman he loved. He didn't need to hear that Liv had loved him. Ray snorted: Liv had loved him? That was a joke. He tried to put the encounter out of his mind yet he couldn't seem to forget the look on her face, nor her words. Why did she think Gerard needed to hear her message? Why, he wondered, was he feeling almost sorry for Liv?
Donna made Christa feel so welcome that by dinnertime she felt that she had know Gerard's mother for years. When Donna left the kitchen to answer a phone call Christa looked over a Monica and remarked, "Is she always so nice?"
Monica, who was sitting at the kitchen table, smiled, "Did Ray ever tell you how I met Donna?"
Christa took a seat across from her at the table, "Yeah, he told me about how you met her in the grocery store."
"Yep, she saw me and knew I needed a friend. She took me into her home and made us family. I love Donna." Monica took a sip of her ice water and tried to get up the nerve to ask Christa the question that was on her mind.
"You can ask me anything you want, you know" Christa said.
Monica laughed, "I'm that obvious?"
"Sort of, yeah. What is it you want to know? Do you want to know about Ray and me?"
"Well, yeah. I mean Ray is very special to me and I want to think that you and he can have the happiness I have with Gee."
Christa smiled, "When Ray tried to send me away I told him the only way I would leave was if he got out of the bed and threw me out."
Monica giggled, "Can't imagine him doing that."
"I also told him his other option was to get out of the bed and marry me." She watched Monica's face to catch her reaction.
"What did he say?" Monica asked.
"He just stared at me for the longest time, and I stared back." She frowned, "So I'm not really sure but he did say that he had something important to do when he got out of the hospital. Sometimes he drives me crazy how he keeps his emotions so bottled up."
"He loves you" Monica told her.
Christa smiled, "Oh I know that. He's actually told me he loves me. I think I freaked him with the marriage thing but I was serious. We are meant to be together. I put up with him keeping our relationship from everyone 'cause I was giving him time to get over his last relationship that ended so badly. But it's time for him to let it go and move on."
Both women sat in silence until Gerard walked in, "Hey is dinner almost ready?"
He sat down by Monica and draped his arm around the back of the chair.
"Donna said as soon as your dad gets here we could eat." Monica told him with a smile. "They have been seeing a lot of each other."
He grinned, "Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about that. They still love each other I just hope they can get back to together and make it work. Mikey thinks they will."
"I didn't even realize they were divorced when I saw them together at the hospital" Christa said. "They seem so in love."
Gerard nodded, "Yep, they are." He stood, "I'm gonna go see what how Mikey and Kelly are doing."
"Where are they?" Monica asked.
"Downstairs, Mikey and Alicia are teaching Kelly how to play the bass. Alicia has convinced Kelly that she should learn to play cause she should join a band."
"Join a band" Monica repeated
"Yeah, Alicia thinks more girls should be in rock bands. She's got a point and Kelly is pretty talented. So they are both teaching her the bass. I wouldn't be surprised if she picks it up pretty quickly."
Monica was surprised; she had never known that Kelly had any musical ambitions. She and Gerard kissed briefly before he headed downstairs.
The dinner was perfect. Donna made the best fried chicken any of them had ever tasted. Christa found herself enjoying the company of these people as much as she enjoyed the food. They all told stories about themselves so that Christa could learn more about them and the life of the band. Don made Christa feel right at home: he reminded her of her father who had passed away two years ago. As much as she wanted to get back to Ray, she was sorry when she had to say goodbye to all of them.
Kara and Bob dropped her off in front of the hospital. "Christa, give me a call about Saturday." Kara reminded her.
Christa nodded, "I will, and thanks again. All of you made me feel so welcome." She got out of the car and leaned down to the window.
"Well, you are part of the family" Bob told her. "Tell Ray I'll be by tomorrow to see him."
"Will do" She turned and walked into the hospital. She was smiling to herself as she walked into Ray's room. He was sitting up in his bed watching TV.
"Hey, how was dinner?" he asked turning off the television.
Christa walked over to the bed and handed him the small plastic dish of macaroni salad she had gotten from Donna. "It was wonderful. Mikey and Alicia were there, too. So was Gerard's dad."
He nodded, "I'm sure you charmed them all." He dug into the dish with the plastic spoon she handed him.
Christa took a seat by his bed, "So are you gonna tell me what's wrong or do I have to guess?"