The past is never really done with you.
Monica wiped her eyes, “I can’t talk right now. Kelly is coming out of the school. Oh Gee, this just makes me sick.”
“It’s gonna be okay, Honey. Take Kelly home and talk to her. Call me as soon as you can, okay? I’ve got an interview later but that’s it until the Meet & Greet.”
“I’m so sorry to drop this on you right now. I should have waited until tonight after the concert.”
“No, you shouldn’t have waited. I would have been hurt if you hadn’t called me right away.” He had more to say but she broke in.
“I just don’t want to upset you.”
This time he interrupted her, “Monica, don’t worry about me. Both of us need to worry about Kell.”
“I know” She was trying so hard not to break down. This was one of her worst nightmares. “I’ll call you soon.” She disconnected.
Gerard closed his phone, “Fuck”
Bob waited for him to speak.
“That son of a bitch has been physically abusing her.” He let forth with another stream of obscenities. He stopped and looked up at Bob, “You already know. Kara told you, didn’t she?”
“Man, I couldn’t tell you. Kara made me promise cause Kelly swore her to secrecy. That’s why Kara punched the son of a bitch. It was all coming to a head.”
Gerard was overwhelmed with emotions. “How could he do that to her?”
“He’s fucked up. I feel especially bad cause I spent time around him and never noticed anything. He seemed like a good kid.” Bob said “The day Kara and I took them bowling I talked to him a lot. Shit, I would never have guessed anything like this.”
“I think I should call Brian. It would probably be good to alert Stacy about Kara punching him.” Gerard was trying to think of things he could take care of from his present location. He wasn’t home but he wanted, no needed to help.
Bob agreed, “I thought about that. Shit, you don’t really think the kids parents would try to sue Kara do you? Fuck, think what their kid did to Kelly.”
“Yeah, but I’m sure they don’t know that.” The initial shock was wearing off and anger was setting in. “Fuck, I’d like to get my hands on that little prick. Let him feel some pain.”
“Gee, calm down. Think how fucking hard this is gonna be for Monica. She’s suffered abuse first hand.”
Gerard lit a cigarette “Fuck, don’t you think I realize that?” He shook his head sadly. “I need to be at her side. I need to be home.”
Bob nodded, “That was my first thought when Kara called me.”
Both men sat silently for a moment then Gerard punched Brian’s number.
Monica, after parking the car in the driveway, sat for a few minutes before going in the house. She tried to sort out everything that had happened in the last few days. She was totally overwhelmed. How had this happened right under her nose? How had she missed it? Why had Kelly let it happen? So many questions and no answers. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and then slowly let it out again and exited the car. As she entered the door, she saw Elle coming down the stairs.
"Mommyca. We have a tea potty." Elle was carefully taking the steps one at a time, planting both feet on each step before moving down to the next. She was holding the rail with one hand, in the other was Kara's beloved Pookie. Poor Pookie's head was bouncing off each step on the descent. Following a few steps behind was Kara.
"That's nice, Honey."
"You comin', Mommyca?"
"Of course. Where is it?"
Monica briefly looked over Elle's head at her eldest daughter.
"Elle, did you invite Kelly?"
Elle shook her head.
"I think she's in her room. Why don't you invite her to come? I'll find some cookies for us, okay?" Monica again looked at Kara. "Kara can help me."
"Otay" Elle turned on the stair, switching Pookie to her other hand and made her way back upstairs, passing Kara.
Monica waited as Elle reached the top, running down the hallway, calling for Kelly. "Come on Kara." Monica turned and walked toward the kitchen. Kara followed.
As Kara entered, Monica was already digging in a cabinet for a package of cookies. She found a box, seemingly ignoring Kara standing in the doorway. She opened another cabinet and found a small platter, putting it on the counter with more force than was necessary. She tried to open the cookies but her hands were shaking too much. She slammed them down also.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Monica didn't turn to face Kara but instead stared out the window.
"Kelly asked me not to."
"How long have you known?"
"She told me Friday after the party."
Monica looked down at the still empty plate. "Don't you think you should have told me anyway?"
Monica whipped around in disbelief.
Kara faced her mother, her arms crossed, defiant, not answering.
Monica tried again. "Why wouldn't you tell me? I'm her mother. Don't you think I needed to know?"
"What could you have done?"
Monica was getting more frustrated by the minute. "I'm her mother. I needed to know."
"What did the police say?"
"They just gave Kelly a ticket for driving without a license."
Kara clinched her jaw. "Not about that. What did they say about Mike attacking her?"
"The school didn't call the police about that."
"The school? The school?" Kara uncrossed her arms and walked toward Monica. "Why would the fucking school have to call the police? You mean to say that you didn't file a police report yourself? It didn't even occur to you, did it? Did it? Just like the good old days. Sweep it under the rug. Ignore it. It'll go away." Kara turned away, muttering to herself.
"Kara" Monica yelled after her but Kara didn't stop. Instead she slammed thru the swinging door and headed back up to her room.
Alone in the kitchen Monica stood with Kara’s words echoing in her head. “Just like the old days.” She sank to her knees suddenly unable to stand. She had failed her daughters.