One last evening of good-byes
Ray wouldn't be going with his band mates but his thoughts were with them Sunday night, he couldn't help it. He knew Josh, the guitarist the band had hired to fill in for him would do a great job. Still, he couldn't help but feel a bit jealous of the guy. He would be on stage hearing the roar of the crowd; he would be the one feeling the adrenaline rush that should be his. He tried to clear his mind and concentrate on the movie that Christa had put in the DVD player.
"Ok Ray, what's going on?" Christa hit pause and looked at him. "Your mind isn't on this movie. It's a million miles away."
"Just thinking about the guys leaving tomorrow." He admitted.
Christa smiled, "Yeah, I thought so. I'm sure you'll be able to rejoin the tour as soon as they get back." She nestled even closer to him. "I'm sorry you can't go."
Ray ran his hand through her hair; he loved the way it felt in between his fingers. "Christa I'm so glad you moved in. Being with you makes staying behind a good thing."
She smiled, "Don't think for a minute that I don't know you'd be outta here is the doctor thought it would be all right." He started to say something but she put her finger to his lips, "And it would be OK, Ray. When you got back I would be here waiting."
"I love you," he told her softly. "Knowing that you will be waiting for me when I go makes my life complete."
Frank put his hand on Jamia's stomach and smiled, "They're active tonight. Think they're upset I'm leaving in the morning?"
"I don't know about them but I am." She rolled over on her side and Frank scooted in tightly behind her. They fit together like spoons.
"Are you really upset I'm leaving?" Concern filled his words. Jamia had been with him since the start. She had always seemed to be OK with him leaving for a tour.
She squeezed her eyes together tightly so that the tears she wanted to shed couldn't escape. "It's just the pregnancy talking Frankie. You'll be back before I have time to miss you." She lied.
Frank smiled then kissed the back of her neck. "Well I can tell you I'm gonna miss all of you." Once more his hand found her stomach. "I'll miss feeling them kicking against my hands but mostly I'll miss your smile."
Jamia flinched as a pain passed through her abdomen. "You OK?" Frank asked
"Just a kick, like you said they are active tonight." Jamia placed her hand over his, "Just a baby kick" she repeated praying that was all the pain really was.
"Monica, are you awake?" Gerard whispered.
She lifted her head off his chest and smiled in the dark, her body still reeling from their lovemaking. "Yeah, I can't sleep." She and Gerard had decided to spend the night at their house in their bed. "It was sweet of Kelly to pack you goodie bag for the plane wasn't it?"
He had just been thinking about that. Before they left Kelly had kissed him goodbye, told him to have a safe trip then handed him a small messenger bag full of snacks and things to do. She had done it because earlier in the day he had complained about the long plane trip they would endure in the morning. "She's such a good kid. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. She really does like me doesn't she?"
"She loves you, Gee." Monica said softly.
He closed his eyes wanting to imprint this moment in his mind; Monica in his arms in their own home and two wonderful daughters. "Monica I have never been happier in my life than I am right now."
"Me either" she agreed. "I'm gonna miss you like mad, you know"
"I'm gonna miss you and the girls like mad" he answered. "But it's just two weeks and you know I'll call everyday. The sound of your voice will keep me going."
"And the roar of the crowd will give you heartache to sing." She whispered.
"Yeah, it will" he said gently touching her face, "it will." Monica closed her eyes and prayed the decision not to tell Gee about the little girl in the park was the right one. Without any actual proof that the child was his daughter it seemed wrong to her to tell him her thoughts. She just couldn't add to his stress level right now. A tour without Ray and his brother was enough for him to deal with.
Monica had already conceded to letting Kara spend the night with Bob. She just hoped she could keep her 'fully grown' daughter in school long enough to graduate. It would be a little easier in the next few weeks while he was gone. Kara could go to school and be big woman on campus. She loved that, showing off the engagement ring and regaling her friends with future plans (which mostly consisted of going on tour with the boys).
Bob took Kara out for pizza. The local joint had the best pizza in town. Still, it couldn't compare to Uno's in Chicago. Nothing could beat a deep dish Chicago-style pizza. He and Kara spent several hours and mucho dinero in the games room. This wasn't exactly how Bob wanted to spend his last night in town, but Kara was happy and that was all that mattered. He guessed that there would be plenty of time later for more soul searching and deep conversations. He sometimes wondered if maybe Kara wasn't a little too young for all of this. She usually made him feel younger, but sometimes he watched her and just felt old. And he'd really rather not have another scene like this morning when he had picked up Kara for the day. Kara was right. Her mom freaked about the tattoo, to put it mildly. Gerard just turned green when Kara went into great detail about the whole process. Everyone else had an opinion to share, but Kara sat in the middle of the storm, oblivious to it all.
They finally went back to the apartment just after midnight. They came in the door laughing, shushing each other. Bunny tumbled off the couch and demanded a midnight snack.
Unfortunately, neither Bob nor Kara spoke cat and the demand was ignored. The giggling couple instead went into Bob's bedroom shutting the door right on poor BunBun's nose. Oh, the indignities a cat must suffer.
Mikey waited until it was almost three in the morning to slip out of bed. He and Alicia had made love with an intensity that was shocking. Earlier in the evening he had waited until Monica had called to talk to her to slip a few of her things in the bottom of this suitcase. Anything else she needed they would buy on their honeymoon. He smiled in the dark imaging the smiled that would light up her face in the morning. He couldn't believe he had almost forgotten to pack one of the most important items. Crossing to the closet he slowly opened the door and located it. His suitcase was already by the door so he quietly crept from the room. Once the item was inside his suitcase he felt better. Now all he had to do was wait until the morning. He got back in bed and in her sleep she snuggled up to him. "I love you baby," he whispered to her. "More than life."