A day in the park
Gerard smiled, "Yeah, when I got up this morning and walked outside I thought about all the times mom and dad brought Mikey and me here. You don't advantage of it." In truth he had tons of things he should be dong to get ready to leave for the tour but somehow none of them seemed as important as spending time with Monica. He looked over at Mikey and Alicia and hoped they both were feeling better. It had been rough on Mikey telling the rest of the guys and Brian about his decision. Gerard had supported him completely. Alicia needed him and it was right that he stayed with her.
"What are you thinking about?" Monica asked she couldn't see his eyes behind his sunglasses so it was hard to read his emotions.
"Just thinking about how happy I am right now."
Monica knew he had been watching his brother, "I think they are both doing better" she said knowing he had them on his mind.
"Yeah, I think so too." He had honored Mikey's wishes and not told Monica about Mikey's plan. She would find out soon enough. "Monica are you sure you are all right about me leaving this soon after the accident?"
She was surprised by the question, "Of course I am. I'm fine. You know that. Why would you even ask?"
He couldn't tell her the real reason. He felt guilty he was leaving Monica while his brother had chosen to stay behind. "Cause you know that it you needed me I wouldn't go, right?"
"Gee, what's going on?"
He shook his head, "Nothing, I just want to make sure you know you are the most important person in the world to me."
Monica scooted closer to him and linked her arm through his. "Mikey isn't gonna go, is he?"
Gerard turned to her shocked, "He doesn't want her to know yet. How did you know?"
Monica laughed, "Gee, stop feeling guilty about leaving me while your brother is staying behind. Alicia needs him right now."
He leaned over and kissed her softly, "And you don't need me?"
"What I need is for my man to get back to what he loves to do. I'm fine." She saw Mikey dive for the Frisbee and end up on the ground. His laughter confirmed that he was OK.
Monica glanced over at the sandbox, which was full of small children. The swing set near by was also teaming with rug rats. "Are there always so many people here?"
"Not during the week but on weekends, yeah" He followed her gaze to the small children. "Looks like they are having fun. I used to bury Mikey's shoes in the sand. Mom really got pissed cause more than once we couldn't find them."
"I was looking at your mom's photo album yesterday. You and Mikey were such cute little kids. You both looked so angelic."
He laughed, "Looks can be deceiving. We were both troublemakers Mom really had to keep an eye on me cause I liked fire. Once when I was about three I found a pack of matches and ended up lighting one of her rose bushes on fire."
"You lit a rose bush on fire?" Monica couldn't imagine.
"Yeah, it was the hottest part of the summer and everything outside was really dry. I was lighting the matches and throwing them off the back porch. One of them caught the mulch she had around the bottom of the bush. Next thing I knew the whole fucking thing was burning."
"What did you do?"
He laughed, "Went inside and asked for a drink of water. Mom gave me one and I ran back outside and threw it on the fire. It was still burning so I went back in and asked for another drink. She kind of looked at me weird but gave it to me. I ran back out and threw it on the blaze. When I went in for a third time Mom asked me what I was doing. I told her she might as well beat me now cause I burned up her roses. By the time Mom got outside the fire was pretty fucking close to the house."
"So you're a fire bug and to think I thought I knew all about you." Monica stretched then lay back on the blanket. The sun felt warm and comforting on her skin.
Gerard reached over for his sketchbook and started to draw. He felt at peace as his pencil flew over the page. Suddenly a shadow fell over the drawing and looking up he saw an adorable little girl looking at his work. "Oh hello" he said with a smile.
She pushed her dark hair out of her eyes and smiled back.
"Do you like my picture?" he asked her.
She answered with a beautiful smile. He shrugged slightly and went back to work on the picture of a character he was incorporating into another comic he planned to write. The little girl appeared to be fascinated watching him.
"Who's this?" Alicia asked as she and Mikey came back to the blanket and sat down.
Gerard looked up, "Not sure, she was playing in the sandbox but I guess she wanted to see what I was drawing." He looked over at her and noticed she had sat down beside him.
"She's so pretty" Alicia said. "What's your name?" she asked her softly.
The girl looked over at her but only smiled.
Monica who had dozed off sat up when she heard their voices, "Wow your fans are getting younger all the time."
Gerard laughed, "Yeah, I guess so."
"Where's Kelly?" Monica asked noticing her daughter was nowhere in sight.
"She went back to the car to get her iPod." Mikey answered.
Kelly was walking from the car back to the park when a woman stopped her. "Can I ask you a favor?" She wore dark glasses and was wearing a hoodie that seemed overly warm for the weather.
"Sure" Kelly answered. The park was full of people so she wasn't uncomfortable talking to a stranger.
"The people over there on the blanket, you're with them, right?" She pointed towards Gerard, her mom, Alicia and Mikey. From where they stood there were several trees blocking a clear view but Kelly knew she meant them.
"Yeah" She began to wonder what this was all about.
"My daughter has wondered over there and is bothering them. I hurt my foot or I would go get her myself. Could you tell her that her mommy is waiting for her? She and I need to get home."
Kelly glanced over and noticed the little dark headed girl who was sitting by Gerard. "Oh sure, no problem." Kelly started to walk away. "What's her name?"
The woman smiled, "Her name is Elle"
Kelly nodded and walked towards her family. Gerard looked up at her. "Got your iPod?"
"Yep" she answered, "Hey, Elle?" she said.
The little girl looked up at her.
"Your mommy says it's time for you to go home."
"Where's her mom?" Monica asked looking around.
"Just over by the parking lot. She asked me to get her daughter cause she hurt her foot and didn't want to walk over here."
Monica glanced over and saw a woman with dark glasses standing by a tree. She looked at the little girl, "Honey, is that your mommy?'
The girl looked over and smiled "Mommy" she said happily.
Gerard looked up from drawing. "What's up?'
Monica smiled, "Just the mom in me being careful. This is such a beautiful little girl. Kelly why don't you walk her over to her mom?"
Kelly nodded, "Sure, hey Elle. Come on, you gotta go home." She put out her hand.
Gerard smiled at his little fan, "Here" he handed her a drawing of a ladybug he has just completed for her. It was a little caricature of her face with a bug body. "You're very own bug, little bug."
The girl took it from his outstretched hand; her beautiful hazel eyes met his. "Bye bye" she said in a sweet voice. She took Kelly's hand and they walked across the park. Monica watched them until trees blocked her view.
"Thank you so much" The woman said as Elle ran to her and jumped into her arms. She held out the picture Gerard had drawn to show her mom.
The woman gasped but quickly recovered "That's a very nice bug." She told her daughter, "He's a wonderful artist." She looked at Kelly once more, "Thanks again."
Kelly smiled, "You're welcome." The woman put the little girl down, took her hand and they walked away. She didn't seem to be limping at all for a woman who had hurt her foot. Kelly couldn't explain the feeling she suddenly had, it was strange. It was happiness and sadness all in one. As she started back across the park she was met by Mikey who was returning to the car for his sunglasses.
"Mikey can I ask you something?"
"Was Gerard ever married before?"
Mikey was taken back by the question, 'No, why would you think that?"
Kelly sighed, "I just wondered." She took off before he could question her any further.
When she reached the others she sat down. Monica noticed she had a strange look on her face. "What's up Kelly?'
Kelly looked at Gerard strangely then turned to her mom, "Oh, nothing." She looked down at the iPod in her hands.
Monica watched her wondering why the sudden change in her behavior. Something was troubling her but what? Suddenly it hit her without warning. She stood, "Kelly, walk me over to the car, I want to grab my sunscreen."
Kelly stood as Gerard spoke. "I can get it for you."
Monica smiled at him, "I need to stretch my legs. We'll be right back." When they were out of earshot she spoke, "Kelly, tell me what's wrong."
Kelly looked at her mom wondering if she should tell her. Finally she spoke, "Mom, it was that little girl"
Monica felt a flutter in the pit of her stomach, she knew. "What about her?"
"Well" Kelly looked away for a moment then spoke in a whisper, "It's just a feeling, but mom, somehow she's connected to Gerard." Kelly had other feelings but she decided to keep them to herself for now.