This is the second chapter I'm posting since the meltdown. Please find "Hello Agian, Little Bug" Aug 16 IT posted in the wrong place but is important to the story.
As she bent to pick up the glass, Ray burst into the kitchen, not waiting for Christa's reply. "Christa, the guys are back!" Ray excitedly repeated.
Christa dumped the glass back into the soapy water.” I think I heard that somewhere." Christa said with a hint of sarcasm. Washing dishes was not one of her favorite activities and now she had to re-wash that stupid glass again. She was really tempted to break it one of these days and pretend that she didn't know how it happened. Too bad they didn't have a cat. Oh, well, Ray loved the ugly thing. She's put up with it.
"Come on, grab your coat. They're on the way to Frank's."
"All of them? What do you mean they're on their way to Frank's? Don't you think they'd want time alone with the girls first?" She was really confused. Sometimes the guys acted a little too close.
"There's plenty of time for that later. Let's go." She'd never seen Ray quite so antsy. "Ray, don't you think it would be better to see them tomorrow? A lot has gone on. I'm sure they have a lot to talk about with the girls."
"Christa, everyone is going to be there. Come on, they're waiting."
'I give up' thought Christa. It's like talking to a 4 year old who is only focused on playing with his favorite toy. She was pretty sure Ray was rushing in where he really wasn't wanted, at least by the women folk, but what could she do? Maybe if she let him go over and reassure himself that they were alive and well and hadn't killed each one another, she could hustle him out before he did much damage. Frankly she was surprised that he hadn't snuck out to the airport to meet them.
"Christa, I've got your coat, come on." Ray was waiting impatiently at the front door.
Oh, well, at least she didn't have to finish the dishes.
Elle smiled at Gee, “Helwoo. Me’s Elle.”
He forced his voice not to shake, “I know.”
Monica touched Elle’s arm. “Honey, do you remember Gee? He drew you a picture.”
Elle began to bob her head. “Buggie pitchure. Mommy put it in a fwame. It’s by my bed.”
Gerard stood trying to take all of this in at once. Monica was holding his and Liv’s child. He had met his daughter before but hadn’t known it was her. Liv had framed the picture he had drawn for Elle. What the fuck was going on?
Monica looked into Gerard’s face and saw so many emotions it frightened her. She didn’t know what to say or do. Elle scooted off her lap. “Lookie” she twirled around. “Me’s prutty.”
Gerard forced a smile, “You are very pretty.”
Elle giggled, “Mommyca got it for me.” She ran her little hands over her dress lovingly.
Gerard took a step back and sat down. Holy shit, odds were this was the dress Monica had bought. He took a deep breath, “Did she buy you a coat too?”
Elle stopped spinning. “Yep”
Gerard’s eyes met Monica’s. They seemed to be pleading. “Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked softly.
Monica looked back at Elle who was twirling again. “Elle, honey don’t make yourself sick. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll start the movie again?”
Elle stopped twirling and swayed. “Me’s dizzie”
“I’m sure you are. Come on” Monica patted the sofa. “Park it.”
Elle giggled and climbed up on the sofa. “Me’s pawked.”
Monica used the remote to start the movie. Slowly she turned to Gerard. “Liv needed me to watch Elle. She called as I was on the way to the airport.” She looked over to make sure Elle was watching the movie. “She sounded almost frantic and it worried me.”
Gerard was shaking his head clearly confused. “I don’t understand. Did Liv come to you and ask you to watch her?”
Monica didn’t want to go into the specifics right now. “Sort of. I’ve watched Elle a couple of time while you’ve been gone.”
“But you didn’t tell me.” He said it as a statement but it was really a question.
“Look Gee. There was so much going on. You had to leave without your brother and Ray. I didn’t think it was right to tell you about Elle long distance. I’m sorry if you don’t understand my decision.” There was a firm resolve to her voice.
“I’m just trying to understand.” He didn’t want to anger her any more. He looked over at Elle who was giggling at the antics of a fish. “That day in the park.” He took a deep breath before asking, “Did you know?”
Monica answered honestly, “Not at first and then when I sort of knew I wasn’t sure.” She picked up a toss pillow and hugged it to her. “I really didn’t think anything until Kelly came back from taking her to her mom. She had the strangest look on her face and it was like I suddenly had an epiphany. If you remember, I got up and walked over to the car with Kelly. I asked her what was going on and she said that she felt the little girl belonged with your family. Like she was part of you.”
Gerard sat back in the chair and tried to think. This was all too much at once. He had been on tour fucking around and Monica had been here dealing with Jamia, Liv and his daughter. He looked over at her again. She was a beautiful child. He could see Liv in her features.
It was as if Monica was reading his mind. “She looks like the little Way boys. I looked at picture of you and Mikey when you guys were little. The resemblance is definitely there.”
He tore his gaze away from Elle. “Monica, we need to talk,” he sounded desperate.
“Yes, we do” she answered softly.
The doorbell rang before either of them could say more.
Gerard got up and answered the door. He had waited a few minutes to see if Frank or Jamia would emerge from the bedroom but neither had. He was surprised to see his mom and Kelly standing outside in the hall.
Donna engulfed him in a mom hug. “I missed you” she said softly.
He returned the hug, “I miss you too, Ma.” He stepped back and turned to Kelly. She stood smiling and he threw his arms around her. “Kell, how’s my girl?’
She smiled “I’m fine but I missed you.”
Across the room Monica was watching with a sad smile. If she and Gee couldn’t work out their relationship Kelly would be terribly affected. Gerard put his arm around Kelly and led her into the room. He looked over to see his mom staring at Elle.
“Uh, Mom. This is Elle” Man, he thought, this is an awkward situation.
Donna nodded, “I’ve met Elle before.” She walked over to the sofa where Elle sat next to Monica. “How are you today?” She asked the little girl.
Elle smiled “Me’s okey dokey.”
Kelly walked over to Monica. She leaned down and hugged her. “How’s it going?” She whispered in her ear.
Monica shrugged slightly. She and Gee hadn’t had time to talk, so things were pretty much still the same. “Donna and me are gonna take Elle to lunch.” Kelly announced. Elle started jumping up and down. Obviously the lunch idea was a hit with her.
It was decided that Donna and Kelly would take Elle to McDonalds. Once again this idea was a hit with Elle. Once she was bundled into her coat they took off. As the door closed Gerard turned to Monica. “Honey, I know we need to talk but please…” He didn’t know what to say he simply walked over to her. Monica looked up at him. She didn’t know what to say either, there was so much that needed to be said.
“Monica I don’t know what to say. I’m so sorry ….” The doorbell interrupted his words. “Fuck” he couldn’t help but say.
Mikey and Alicia stood at the door not speaking. “I’m telling you, this is a bad idea. Monica and Gee need to talk…ALONE” Alicia said repeating what she had said in the car ten times. Mikey had come home, told her to get in the car and here they stood.
“So you’ve told me” Mikey said rolling his eyes “but I told you Ray and Christa are on their way over, too.” Mikey had talked to Ray after dropping Gee off.
The door opened and an unhappy Gerard greeted them. “Hey guys. Come on in” he said trying to smile.
Alicia pushed past both men and walked over to Monica. She threw herself down on the sofa next to her. “Sorry about this.”
Gerard was closing the door when Ray pushed it back open. “Hey man, welcome back.” He engulfed Gerard in a hug.
Christa followed him in and spotted Monica and Alicia. She sat down on Monica’s other side. “Sorry, I couldn’t keep him from coming.”
Monica smiled at her friends. “It’s okay. Gee and I can talk later.” She said as she watched the three men walk towards the kitchen to talk shop. She noticed that Gerard looked back at her but was quickly pulled into the kitchen by Ray who was asking about some aspect of the tour.