A call from Bert brightens the day
"Morning" she greeted her mom.
"Hey, Honey. Can you get out the syrup?" Monica asked as she removed the pancakes from the skillet and set them on the kitchen table.
Kelly took the syrup from the fridge and warmed it in the microwave before setting it on the table. Kara wandered in looking sleepy. "Morning" she mumbled while grabbing a cup of coffee and heading for the table. Kelly got her glass of juice and took her seat.
Monica looked over at Kara, "Late night phone call with Bob?"
"No, that damn room is giving me nightmares. I swear I wake up thinking I'm drowning in a vat of Pepto Bismal or that I'm being chased by a whole army of Barbies. It's creepy." She proceeded to grab a stack of pancakes and slather them with butter and syrup. She took a bite and washed it down with coffee, sighing contentedly. She took another big bite. Before swallowing, she continued. "Hey, Bob did say something about the interview they did yesterday. Said the guy called him something. Gilligan? No, Robinson Crusoe." She took another bite. "I need to find the interview on YouTube and see what the heck they were talking about. Wonder what brought that on. Usually everyone ignores Bob."
"So what are you girls doing tonight? Anyone want to see a movie?" Monica asked settling down at the table with her cup of coffee.
Kara spoke first, "Alicia and I are gonna go check out a new band we've been hearing about. I'll probably just crash over at Jamia's after that."
Monica nodded, "Just so you call and let me know if you're staying or not."
Kara grimaced. Like she was still 12 or something. Whatever. Must suck to be a lonely old parent and nobody wants to play with you.
Kelly looked up from her pancakes, "I'm going out with Mike, remember?"
Monica did remember Kelly mentioning something about Mike and Friday night. "Oh, yeah. Just remember you have to be home by midnight."
"I know Mom" Kelly answered in a typical teen tone.
They finished up breakfast with minimal talk. Kelly sat thinking about her date with Mike. She felt bad her Mom had asked her to go to a movie tonight. She knew Mom was lonely with Dad gone. Maybe she would ask her to go to a movie tomorrow night. She frowned. Maybe she should just cancel with Mike and go tonight. No, he'd be upset. He had been looking forward to this party all week. She took her plate to the sink then turned to her Mom who had stood up from the table.
"Bye Mom. Love you." She gave Monica a quick kiss and a huge hug.
Monica was surprised, "Love you too, Honey. Have a good day."
Kelly nodded. Today wasn't the problem. It was tonight she wasn’t so sure about.
"Hey" Frank said when Jamia picked up, "How's my kids this morning?"
Jamia stretched and yawned, “They were sleeping Daddy Iero. Now you’ve woken them and my bladder knows there’s hell to pay. She slipped out of bed and slowly moved towards the bathroom.
Frank laughed, “Sorry, I figured if I’m up you're up. We’ve got a photo shoot this morning and then an interview. Tell me who the fuck thinks a photo shoot early in the morning is a good idea cause I wanna tell that person a few things.”
“Poor Frankie, gotta look all cute early in the morning. What’s ya wearing?’
“Tee-shirt of course. It ain’t one of those dressy deals like the one we did for “Interview” magazine. Man, that one was weird but I have to admit I kinda liked the Marc Jacobs jacket I wore. Still think they should have let me keep it.” He whined.
Jamia giggled, “I just remember that Casa Nostra jacket Gee wore.”
Frank rolled his eyes, “Oh man he liked that jacket. I was glad they didn’t let him keep it.”
“So you have a full day.” Jamia said softly, “Gonna have anytime in there to miss me?”
“I miss you every minute of the day. Can’t wait to get home. I really wanna see the nursery. Sure you can’t even give me a hit on the theme?’
“Not even a small hint but you’re gonna love it.” She had reached the bathroom, “Love you bunches Frankie but I gotta let you go.”
Frank laughed, “You’re at the bathroom door aren’t you?”
Frank closed his eyes a moment and pictured her there. God, he missed home. “Love you Jamia.”
“Love you too Frankie.”
Christa awoke with a start. Something was crawling up her leg. She sat up abruptly and knocked heads with Ray.
“Ouch” she cried, “Raymond what are you doing?”
Ray who was holding his head laughed, “Well I was trying to wake you up.”
“Wake me up? How?”
“I was lightly running my fingers up your leg. Sorry I spooked you.”
Christa fell back on the pillows and laughed, “Quite the wake up. What time is it?”
“Time for you to show me how sorry you are you knocked into my head and gave me a concussion.”
“What? You smacked into my head. Well, okay maybe I ran into you but it’s all your fault. I thought something was crawling up my leg.”
Ray laughed devilishly, “You mean like this?” This time his fingers ran up the inside of her leg. As they moved higher Christa closed her eyes and sighed.
“Yeah, just like that. Except I think a bit higher.”
Ray moved his fingers up her leg until they reached the trim of her panties. “You know maybe I better check and make sure nothing crawled up any further.” His fingers moved up her stomach to her breasts.
“Oh hell Ray. You better not tell me you only have a few minutes before you gotta go.” Christa said her heartbeat racing. Her skin was on fire from his touch.
“Just so happens I got a bit of time.” He leaned down to whisper in her ear.
Christa reached up and pulled his head to hers so their lips could meet.
When Ray reached the lobby the others were already in the van and waiting. Fuck, Ray thought, now I’ll have to deal with Gerard being pissy again.
“Shit” Monica swore as she raced to reach her ringing phone. She had been starting a load of clothes in the washer and hadn’t heard the phone at first. “Hello?” she answered breathlessly.
“Hey, Monica.” Bert said “Catch you at a bad time?”
Monica sat down at the kitchen table, “No I just had to run to catch the phone. What’s up?’
“Not a lot. We’re just settling on some details for the tour. We’ve been practicing. You know just normal shit. How have you been?”
“Good. Been missing Gee but other than that things are good.’
“So how is he?”
Monica was slightly surprised by the question, “Haven’t you talked to him lately?’
“Not really. Last time I talked to him he got mad at me.”
Bert didn’t answer. His silence told Monica the answer.
“Something about Liv, right?”
“Hey, it’s nothing.” Bert said quickly.
“So you get that he doesn’t want you with her, right?”
Her question shocked him, “Monica, I don’t think that would make a fucking bit of difference to Gee. It’s not like he cares for her anymore.”
Monica absently picked up the saltshaker and looked at it. He mind was on Gee. “He may not love her anymore but that doesn’t mean he wants you to have her.”
“Monica” Bert said, “Don’t start thinking that way. You and the G-Man are happy together. Shit, you’re gonna be getting married.” He stopped and laughed, “By the way whose side do I sit on? The bride's or the groom's?”
“Sit on my side. I hardly have anyone.” Monica told him truthfully.
“Will do. How about little Elle? She gonna be there?”
Monica confided in him. “Actually I want her in the wedding. I want her to be our flower girl.”
“That would be sweet.” Bert said, “Got a wedding dress yet?”
Monica laughed, “Not yet. I truly hate the idea of buying a wedding dress. Actually I’ve never even had one on.”
“But you’ve been married before.” Bert said confused.
Monica closed her eyes just for a moment. Her marriage to Kyle was something she hated to remember. “We got married by a Justice of the Peace. I just wore jeans and a tee-shirt.”
“Okay, hear me out before you say no. Quinn used to date this girl who owned this great vintage wedding gown boutique. She always has some fucking awesome dresses. I could take you there and you get find a wedding dress.”
Monica had to laugh at the enthusiasm in his voice. “Bert, you want to help me pick out my wedding dress?”
“Never mind, stupid idea,” He said quickly. Monica knew she had hurt his feelings.
“Bert, I would love to have to go with me to find a wedding dress. The boutique sounds great.”
“Oh, it’s okay. I’m sure you want to go with your daughters. I was just being a dumb ass.”
“Tell you the truth Kelly will probably want to go with us but I’m sure Kara won’t.”
Bert was surprised, “Why wouldn’t Kara want to go?”
Monica sighed, “She’s not too happy with Gee. She doesn’t say it but I can tell.”
“Cause of all that shit with Eliza?” Bert asked.
“Yeah. Anyway when are you gonna have time to do this?”
“You really serious?”
Monica laughed, “Yeah, so what about next Friday? Are you gonna be in New York that long?”
“Yeah I don’t leave until the next day. I’ll call Cleo and tell her we're coming? Hey, but what about Kelly. Doesn’t she have school that day?”
“Nope they have the day off. Call me and will figure out a time, okay?”
Bert spoke honestly, “Hey, Monica thanks. Not a lot of women would go shopping with me. Let alone let me help them pick out a wedding dress.”
“Bert you are one of a kind. I knew it the first time I decked you.”
“Man, you sure as fuck don’t hit like a girl."
"Hey, I'm from Kansas. I've tipped cows."
Bert laughed. "Talk to ya later.”
Monica sat back and smiled. Bert always seemed to make her smile.