A stunning announcement
“Monica, you gotta know I love you to be up on a Sunday at this hour.” Alicia said taking a sip of her coffee. “Mikey had to drag me out of bed.”
“I’m glad Mikey and Ray are helping him. This project has become so important to Gee.” Monica answered walking over to the kitchen table and joining Alicia and Christa.
“Ray’s actually enjoying this.” Christa said with a yawn. “Last night he asked me if I thought we should look for a house together when we get back.”
“Get back?” Alicia said waking up a bit more.
Christa smiled, “Yeah, I’m going with the guys to Canada.”
“I’m so jealous” Alicia said. She thought a moment, “Monica are you gonna go?”
Monica shook her head, “No, I’m staying here with the girls. So why don’t you go?”
Alicia shook her head, “Cause I’ve already promised Jamia I would stay with her. The doctor says she’s doing great by the way, I talked to her yesterday.”
“She could stay here with us.” Monica offered
“You did your Jamia time” Alicia said with a laugh, “Besides you have a house to take care of.”
Monica smiled, “Yeah there’s still a lot I want to do. I’m gonna paint the guest room as soon as I know what color Elle likes.”
Alicia shot her a look and Christa noticed. “I feel left out.”
“Sorry.” Monica said. “It’s just that Gee and I want Elle to visit but Liv has gone missing again but she left a message with Mikey that she’ll call me soon.”
“You can’t call her?” Christa asked.
“No she gave me a fake number.” Monica took a sip of coffee; “Gee wants to get to know his daughter so he’s been upset about it.” She looked over at Alicia. “He and I talked about Elle. He really does want to spend time with her.”
Alicia didn’t say anything. She looked down at her coffee cup. Christa noticed the tension. “Why wouldn’t he want to spend time with her?” she asked. When no one answered she spoke again, “Sorry I’m being nosy.”
Monica looked at her, “Christa you’re not being nosy. It’s just that Alicia mentioned that she thought maybe the only reason Gee wanted to spend time with Elle was to please me.”
Christa was still confused, “Oh.”
“Monica, that wasn’t the only thing I said.” Alicia said softly looking up.
Monica met her gaze, “I know but I just wanted you to know that he and I talked about the situation. I’m not pushing him on this.”
Alicia looked like she wanted to say more but at that moment Mikey walked in. “Monica I need a Band-Aid.”
All three women looked at him but spotted no blood. “Did you get hurt?” Monica asked getting up from the table.
“No, it’s for Ray. He smacked his thumb.”
“How the hell is he gonna play guitar?” Christa asked.
Mikey smiled, “Torosaurus will be able to play. He’d play with broken fingers if he had to.”
Monica returned to the kitchen and handed the Band-Aid to Mikey. “I’m gonna have to buy more of these.”
“Oh, I’m supposed to tell you Gee just got a call from Bob. He and Kara are gonna take a shuttle from the airport so you guys don’t have to pick them up.”
“Okay” Monica said. “Did he say what time they’d be here?”
“Yeah, around six.” He answered as he walked towards the door.
“Be careful” Alicia said as he walked out.
“So is Bob staying here?” Christa asked.
Monica shrugged, “Haven’t really given it any thought. I suppose he could. We don’t have the guest room set up but he could sleep on the sofa.”
Alicia giggled and Monica knew what she was thinking. “Yeah, I know you’re thinking why doesn’t he just stay in Kara’s room.”
“Well yeah, I mean they have spent the week together.” Alicia answered.
Monica nodded, “Yeah, I know it might seem silly but I really think Gee would be against the idea more than me.”
“Really?” Christa said.
Monica laughed, “He’s gotten very protective of the girls. He paid a ridiculous amount of money yesterday to get Kara’s bedroom set up for her homecoming. She didn’t mention just what the room looked like. That was better left unsaid. He checks on Kelly every night before going to bed. Being a father to the girls is so important to him. He even mentioned he thought Kara was too young to get married.”
“They aren’t getting married until she’s out of school, right?” Christa asked.
“That’s right and Gee has known that for months but now he’s rethinking things I guess.”
“Shit, that won’t please Bob.” Alicia said getting into the conversation.
Monica nodded, “I know. I’m sure Gee will mellow out about everything sooner or later. He’s just hung up on this image of the perfect family right now.”
They continued to drink coffee and talk until Ray walked in. “Uh, I think Gee might need stitches.”
“Honey, don’t you think maybe you should just hire someone to finish the gazebo?’ Monica asked as they drove home from the emergency quick care. Gerard had indeed needed stitches on his hand.
“No, this ain’t bad?” he said holding up his hand. “It’s only three stitches for fucks sake. I can still work with this.”
Monica smiled, “Maybe when we get back the guys will have finished it.” She teased.
Gerard laughed, “Not fucking likely. I gotta admit this is taking a bit longer than I thought but I’ll get it done.” He said with determination.
They were almost home when Gee asked Monica about something that was bothering him. “Mikey said that Alicia told him you guys had an argument.”
Monica sighed, “Not an argument. She just told me she and Mikey thought I was pushing you to spend time with Elle. They are both worried about you having to deal with Liv.”
“Oh” he said softly.
Monica glanced over at him. “I’m not, right? You told me you really do want to get to know your daughter.”
He nodded, “Yep, I do and no you’re not pushing me. Mikey worries too much.” He thought a moment then added, “But I do sorta worry about you dealing with Liv. You just don’t know her Monica.”
Something that had been nagging at her reappeared, “Gee do you remember when you told me about Eliza and what she said about getting rid of me?”
He frowned, “Hell yeah.”
“So she also said something about Liv. Eliza said that I would be easier to get rid of then Liv. What did she mean? Did she do something to break you and Liv up?”
This question shocked him. “I don’t see how. Liv fucking just up and left me.”
They were both quiet lost in thought for several minutes. Finally Monica asked. “What if she left you cause of something Eliza did or said?”
Gerard sank down in the seat. “Fuck, I don’t know. I mean I never even considered the possibility that anyone else had anything to do with her leaving. I just always figured she left me cause she couldn’t fucking stand to be with me anymore.”
The pain in his voice made Monica want to cry. “Gee, I’m sorry I brought it up.”
He reached over and touched her cheek, “It’s okay honey. It’s ancient history.”
Monica nodded but in her heart she knew the hurt he had felt when Liv left him was still just as fresh as it had ever been.
The guys were talking a break from working on the gazebo, admiring their handiwork.
The girls were all in the kitchen helping with dinner. Kelly was still avoiding the crowd hiding out in her room.
Monica’s phone rang. She looked at the caller ID. “That’s strange. It’s Kara. I hope nothing went wrong with the flight.” She answered it.
“Well, this is some greeting. Is anyone going to come say hello?” Kara said before hanging up.
Monica went to the back door and called out to Gerard. “Gee, they’re here. Come on.”
Gerard leaped to his feet and sprinted thru the house beating Monica to the door. Kelly came downstairs happily anticipating Kara’s reaction to her new room. It was worth every ounce of trouble she was now in.
Bob was tipping the van driver as Gerard and crew came out the front door.
Gerard, with a smile on his face, ran up to Kara. “Welcome home.” He said giving her a huge hug. As he stepped back and turned to greet Bob, Kara looked over at Monica confusion clearly on her face.
Monica whispered in Kara’s ear as she embraced her, “He’s just happy to see ya, Hun.”
Gerard called out, “Kara, we have a surprise for you. Kelly and I did your whole room for you. We picked out everything. I can’t wait for you to see it.” Kelly was hanging back watching the proceedings with a thoughtful look. Kara spotted her and glared.
Kara picked up her overnight bag and started into the house. As she passed Kelly, she hissed, “I don’t want to hear one word out of you Psychic Girl. Not one.” Then she turned back to Monica her smiled back on her face. “Is dinner ready? I’m absolutely starving. Can we look at the bedroom after dinner?”
Anxious to avoid the inevitable Monica quickly agreed, “Gerard just put the bags in here for now. Dinner’s just about ready anyway.” Seeing Gerard’s pout, she added, “Why don’t you take Bob outside and show him to gazebo while it’s still light? Give us a chance to set the table and all.”
The guys dutifully returned to the scene of the crime.
Bob truly didn’t know what to say. Personally, he couldn’t see how that pile of rubble was ever going to become a gazebo but Gerard seemed to be really into it so he made the appropriate noises.
“Hey, check out my new toys” Gerard had picked up the nail gun and was waving it under Bob’s nose. He also had a saw, and a drill and who knew what else? Who the hell had let that man have power tools? Fuck, this could really get bad.
Christa called the guys in to dinner.
Soon they were all sitting around the new dinning room table digging into the spaghetti and garlic bread. Everyone was laughing and talking at once.
“So Kara I heard you had a little trouble with dinner the other night. What happened?” Mikey asked.
Kara gave a Cliff Notes version of the events of Monday night, somewhat glossing over the facts.
“So what did you two do the rest of the week?” Alicia asked, “As if we didn’t know.” She added elbowing Mikey and winking.
“Yeah Kara. Tell us what you’ve been up to.” Kelly chimed in.
“Well we spent a couple of days getting everything for the new kitchen. You should see it. Cherry cabinets, green granite, leaded glass doors. It’s really beautiful.”
“Any you’re not allowed in it” Bob added.
Kara sighed and laughed, “And I’m not allowed in it.” She agreed.
“But Friday was the best.” She continued her story. “Bob surprised me with a stay at the Hilton on the Miracle Mile and took me shopping at the Water Tower Place. Then we had dinner in the Hancock building and finally we went to the top floor and looked out over the whole city at night. It was wonderful.”
Bob had started to fidget while Kara described the day.
“That sounds really romantic.” Christa said.
Kara continued, ‘Yeah, it was. Bob wanted to make our honeymoon really special and it was.” She was gazing lovingly at a very uncomfortable Bob.
“You’re what?” Monica couldn’t believe what she thought she had heard.
Kara answered matter-of- factly. “Our honeymoon. We got married Friday morning.” Without taking her eyes off Bob she held out her left hand so that all could admire her wedding ring.
The room was suddenly silent except for the sound of Gerard choking on his pasta and Kelly pounding his back.