A family dinner with Gee, Monica and Kelly. Bob and Kara have dinner were true feelings are not quite revealed.
“I’ve never eaten in a Portuguese steak house before.”
Gerard smiled, “It’s good food, trust me.”
The waiter appeared introduced himself and handed them each a menu. They gave him their drink orders and began to peruse the menu.
“Wow, I can’t pronounce these.” Kelly said reading the dinner choices.
Monica smiled, “Gerard will help you.” She was already leaning towards the red snapper.
“Kell, do you want beef, chicken, sea food or pork?” Gerard asked looking over his own menu.
“I think chicken.” She said “Yeah, chicken.”
“The Peito de Framgo Ao Alho is good. That’s chicken in garlic sauce.”
Kelly nodded happily. “That sounds good. I’ll have that.”
Gerard smiled at the way she made up her mind so quickly. “What are you having?” he asked Monica.
“Pargo Grelhado” she answered. She saw Kelly look questioningly. “That’s grilled red snapper.”
“I still want chicken,” Kelly said smiling. She was having such a wonderful time. Other kids talked about going out to eat with their moms and dads like it was something terrible. She was loving it. She looked around and noticed that several people were looking over at their table. They must know who Gerard was. Sometimes she wished he wasn’t the lead singer of a famous band.
The waiter reappeared and asked if they were ready to order. “How about a Cocktail de Camerao?” he asked Kelly.
She gave him a blank look.
“Shrimp cocktail.” He said with a wink.
“Oh, yeah.” She answered. Her attention was caught by the hanging copper pans across the room. Someday she would have a kitchen with pans like those. She was still looking around when Gerard placed her order and Monica’s.
“And for you, sir?” the waiter asked.
“I’ll have the Costeleta de Vica medium rare.” The waiter wrote down the rest of the order then hurried off.
“What did you order?” Kelly asked leaning across the table.
“Fancy name for Prime Rib.” Gerard answered. Kelly laughed.
Gerard got Kelly talking about school while they waited. She admitted she was thinking about breaking up with Mike. He had changed and she didn’t feel like he really liked her anymore.
“So is there anyone new you like?” Monica asked.
Kelly frowned, “It’s kinda hard to know who really likes me and who just wants to hang with me cause of MCR.”
Gerard set his water glass down thoughtfully. “I’m sure people like you for who you are Kell.”
She smiled at him, “Get real Dad. You gotta know that having you as a Dad makes things kinda strange.” She noticed him frowning, “but not in a bad way. It’s just you gotta really know who your friends are. I’m pretty much friends with the people I started to hang with when we first moved here. They didn’t know I even knew you then.”
Their appetizer arrived stopping the conversation. Still Gerard was worried about Kelly. He had never even given her problem with friends a second thought. Now he felt like he had been so self-absorbed in his own life he hadn’t bothered to think of her problems.
Kelly smiled as she took another bite. This is so wonderful she thought to herself. I just wish it would always be this way. She stopped chewing as the thought she had just had sunk in. Why wouldn’t it always be this way?
“Don’t you like your food?” Gerard asked noticing that Kelly had suddenly stopped smiling and chatting.
“Oh yeah, it’s great.” She said looking down.
“Kell? If you don’t like it we can get you something else. Of you can have mine if you want. I’ll trade you.”
The concern in his voice just made her feel worse. She stood up. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom.” She threw down her napkin and hurried away from the table.
Gerard and Monica both looked shocked. “I’ll go see if she’s okay.” Monica said getting up and following the same path Kelly had taken.
She found her leaning against the sink in the restroom. She was crying. “Kelly what’s wrong?”
Kelly wiped her eyes, “I’m sorry Mom. This whole dinner has been so nice and now I’m ruining it.”
Monica hugged her. “Tell me honey. Why are you crying?”
“I just don’t want Dad to leave. I’m afraid he won’t come back.” She whispered.
Monica tried not to let her own fear show. “Kelly, of course he’ll come back. He’s not gonna be gone all that long.”
Kelly nodded, “I know he’s not supposed to be but I just have this feeling. I can’t explain it. Something is gonna happen and he won’t come back to us.”
Now Monica was scared. “Kelly, can’t you try to explain this feeling to me?”
“I can’t. I’ve got a Dad I love who loves me and I’m just afraid he’s gonna go away.” She hugged her mom tightly.
Monica closed her eyes and tried to answer in words that would reassure her. She understood that Kelly had finally obtained a sense of security and now because she was so happy she was afraid of losing it. “You know Gerard loves you. He won’t go away and stop loving you. Look honey, sometimes when people are really happy it scares them. It makes you fear losing what you have.”
Kelly nodded, “I am afraid. I just want you two to get married.” She smiled, “I just want a happily ever after ending I guess.”
Her words stuck a chord in Monica. Happily ever after, that’s what Gee had promised her. Isn’t that what they had right now?”
The girls took a few minutes to compose themselves before returning to the table. Gerard stood as they came back.
"Are you all right? You had me worried."
Monica spoke for both of them. "It's okay. Just a female thing. Don't worry about it."
Gerard sat back down making a face.
"Gerard. Stop that."
He ignored her and continued to scowl.
Monica turned to find Kara and Bob standing behind Kelly.
"Hi Honey. Are you two eating here too?"
Bob spoke up. "Gerard recommended it."
Gerard muttered to himself. "I should have known. The..." The sharp pain in his shin stopped his muttering.
"Hey, why don't you guys join us?" Monica said. "We'd have asked you but we didn't know what your plans were for tonight. We didn't see you after school."
"We went to the library to study" Kara laughed. "We were studying anatomy. There's a pop quiz coming up."
"So join us." Monica scooted her chair closer to Gerard.
Gerard opened his mouth, but quickly closed it when Monica again connected with his shin under the table. She gave him the 'say the wrong thing and guess what you won't be getting tonight' look.
"No, that's all right." Kara said.
"We thought you'd be home grilling." Bob added as Kara pulled him from the table. The waiter was returning with the entrees.
"No, seriously. Join us." Monica tried again.
"We've already had our appetizer." Crack! Monica grimaced as she connected with the chair leg instead of Gerard. He gave her a self-satisfied grin.
"No, really. Your food is getting cold." Bob said backing from the table and joining Kara.
Gerard smiled to himself as he took a bite of prime rib, but stopped chewing as he caught sight of Monica's face. Uh-oh.
Bob and Kara gave their drink orders before settling in to look over the menu.
"Did you have to mention the library?"
Kara merely shrugged, not looking up from her menu. She softly hummed to herself.
The waiter returned shortly with their drinks and took their dinner orders. They decided to skip the appetizers and go straight for the entrees.
The conversation stayed light, stopping all together when the meal arrived. Kara was feeding Bob some of her chicken when Monica and Kelly came to the table to say goodbye. Gerard had gone ahead to get the car. This did not go unnoticed by either Bob or Kara.
“Are we going to see you guys later?” Monica asked.
“I don’t think so. We’ll be out late.” Kara quickly answered.
“Okay. We’ll see you in the morning.” Monica sounded a little sad, but bent down and gave Kara a quick hug and kiss. As she straightened, she caught sight of Bob. She crossed over to his seat and surprised him with a peck on the cheek before turning and leaving.
Kelly giggled at Bob’s uncomfortable smile. “See ya later, guys.” She waved and followed Monica out the door.
“Since when is your mom so touchy- feely?”
Kara shrugged. “I don’t know. That’s new. She must be missing someone already.”
They both returned to eating.
“So what is it with you and Gerard?
“I know why he and I are having problems at the moment, but I thought you all were past what happened in Europe. Don’t you like him?”
“Said with such conviction.”
Kara looked down at her plate, playing with her food, making tracks in her mashed potatoes.
“All right. If you really want to know, I hate him. He plays games with people’s lives. I hate that he didn’t even try to meet his own daughter and yet now he suddenly wants her to be part of his ‘family’. I hate how he’s treating you and you’re supposed to be his friend. Because things didn’t go according to his plan, he’s barely speaking to you. He doesn’t care if he hurts you or not. Why can’t he just be happy that you’re happy? I hate that everything’s great as long as it goes his way, but if it doesn’t, he acts like a petulant child. I hate that everyone treats him like some valuable fragile porcelain figure. I hate that while everyone is so worried about his reactions, he does what he wants without thinking of anyone else. I hate how he treats Mom. I hate that she cries all the time, but pretends that nothings wrong. It’s as bad as it ever was with Dad, except that the damage Gerard does doesn’t leave bruises. It’s all mental. I hate that while he’s here I have to go home and act like I like him because I know that’s what Mom wants. I just want to scream when I’m near him. I know with every fiber of my being that something really horrible will happen and it will be his fault. But mostly I hate that I don’t have enough guts to tell you any of this.”
Kara looked up at Bob and simply said, “You’re imagining things. What’s not to love about Gerard?”