Jamia and Alicia are invited to Donna's. Liv has a visitor.
"Jamia, how are you? I was just sitting here thinking about you and Alicia. We need to get together."
"Agreed. How's today look for you?"
Monica frowned then had a thought. "Hey, let me call you back in just a sec, okay". Jamia agreed. Monica called Donna.
"I know this isn't really proper but could I invite Jamia and Alicia to your house today, too?"
Donna laughed, "Why would you even think you have to ask? Of course you can. I've been wanting to see the little mama. I haven't seen her since Kara's shower. She's in her last trimester and I bet getting bigger by the day."
"Yeah. Hey, thanks Donna. I'm gonna give them a call now."
"Monica, you’re my daughter so inviting someone to your mothers house doesn't need an okay." Donna told her warmly.
"Thanks. I love you Donna. See you soon."
Now to call Jamia back. "Hey, we're all going over to Donna's today and we want you two to come too."
"Oh, are you sure?"
"Of course. Think Alicia will agree?"
Jamia frowned, "She's not up yet. I was just kind of looking for something to do today to cheer her up." Lowering her voice she added, 'She's not been feeling good lately."
"What's wrong?" Monica asked with concern in her voice.
"She's been to the doctor but they ran some tests and don't know anything yet. Hey, she really doesn't want this info out but I know she won't mind me telling you. We are the Sisterhood of Secrets, aren't we?"
"Yeah, we are. How sick is she really?"
"Not sleeping, her back hurts. She thinks it might be a recurring kidney problem. I think it is all made worse by the fact that she won't tell Mikey."
"Because he'll worry too much."
"Yeah, you know how he can get. Funny thing is though I really think if something serious came up he would handle it. He'd handle it cause he loves her so much."
"I agree. But I also understand where her thoughts are coming from. The Way Men have deep emotions. Like Alicia I'm always trying to keep Gerard from getting upset."
Alicia laughed, "Men, can't live with them. Can't shoot them."
"Ain't that the truth. "So do you think she'll want to go to Donna's?"
Jamia pulled herself off the couch. A slow process. "I'm gonna go wake her up now. She's slept for over eight hours. Unless I call you we'll be there."
"Okay, I really hope she agrees. I miss you guys."
"Hey, we miss you too. Talk to you later."
Monica closed her phone and frowned. She was worried about Alicia. The idea of Alicia who was so vibrant and full of life being sick seemed so wrong. She shook her head and stood. Things would be fine. It wasn't until she was almost to the kitchen door that she remembered Kelly's restlessness last night. She felt something bad was going to happen but hadn't known to whom. Lord, she silently prayed, not Alicia.
"Please stop this." Liv said without turning to acknowledge him. "Just leave me alone."
He didn't turn towards her. He just followed her line of sight and saw Elle playing on the slide with the other children. The park has full of families this morning all enjoying the mild weather. The sound of their laughter filled his ears. He had come here as a last ditch effort to talk to her.
"How did you know we would be here?" She asked softly.
"Nice day, plus little girl equals park." He took out a cigarette and watched the dancing flame of his lighter a moment before touching it to the rolled tobacco. "Just a fucking lucky guess." He added honestly.
She still sat watching Elle enjoying the sunshine and her new friends. Friends she had just made minutes ago. That's the beauty of childhood. Instant friends to play with for an hour or two and then they're gone. She sighed, "Why are you here?"
"Because you need me." He said without turning. "And because I know that you won't admit it but I still have to try."
Liv watched as Elle and a little blond girl wandered over to the slide. Elle stopped a moment, waved at her Mom, then skipped after her friend.” There is nothing you can do for me. Nothing. I'm sorry things can't be different."
He dropped his cigarette and angrily extinguished it with the toe of his boot. "Nothing changes does it? I'm sure HE is the only one who can help you right? Well here's the thing. He isn't the one who's helping you. Monica is. His lover, the woman he's gonna marry is the one who's helping you. Why is that better than accepting help from me? Do you really hate me that much?"
She turned to him slowly, "I've never hated you."
"And you've never loved me."
She remained silent. He spoke the truth. She had never loved him.
"Don't try to screw up his relationship with Monica. The woman has been through hell and deserves the happiness she has with Gee."
Liv's anger ran unchecked. "She's been through hell? Fuck, I wouldn't know anything about that. My life's been all rainbows and unicorns."
"Your life was fucked up by your own actions. Monica's was caused by the actions of someone else." He spat back. "Look if you think using your little girl to get to him is gonna work, it won't."
Liv stood, "You don't know me. You don't know what's in my mind or heart. You never did." She crossed the park to where Elle stood waiting her turn on another slide.
Sadly he shook his head. "No, Liv. I never did know what was in your mind or heart. You wouldn't let me." He whispered. "But I wanted to know."
"Sweetie why don't you go lay down?" Donna said looking over at Kelly who had just finished washing the last glass. She had insisted on helping Donna after dinner with the dishes.
"I'm okay." She smiled.
"And very tired. You've yawned four times in the last ten minutes." Donna unplugged the sink and watched the water slowly drain. "Gotta get Don in here to take care of that." She smiled.
"I'm glad you and he are back together and getting married." Kelly said as she placed the glass in the cabinet and shut the door.
"Married?" Donna said with surprise in her tone.
Kelly nodded, "Well yeah." She realized she had said something that maybe she shouldn't have. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay." Donna said. "You're right. It's just we haven't really wanted to tell anyone yet. You and your gift."
"Not such a great gift all the time" Kelly said with a frown, "Sometimes it's a curse."
Donna reached out and hugged her, "Think of it as a gift. As you grown older I believe you will learn how to use it."
"Me too." Kelly said. "Promise I won't tell anyone."
Donna nodded, "We're gonna wait until after your Mom and Gerard get married before we retie the knot."
"Oh" Kelly said looking down.
"Are you sure you don't want to lie down and take a nap?" Donna was worried about he young girl. At dinner the situation with Mike has been discussed. Donna was afraid the stress of all that was happening was taking a toll on Kelly.
"Yeah, I think I will. Is it okay if I go downstairs?"
"To your old room?" Donna teased.
"Yeah, my old room, Dad's old room." She giggled slightly.
Donna led her to the steps with her arm around her waist. "Get some rest. Later today you can help me make some cookies. The church is having a sale and I volunteered to bake 10 dozen sugar cookies."
"Can do." Kelly said leaning over and kissing her cheek. "Thanks Grams."
Donna smiled as she watched Kelly descend the stairs. She liked being called Grams.
"Hey Ray, I'm gonna borrow your girlfriend." Mikey said grabbing Christa's hand.
Ray looked up from the guitar he as playing. "What?"
"Don't worry. I'll bring her back in one piece." Mikey said as he led Christa out of the back stage area.
Christa laughed, "Uh, Mikey. Where are we going?"
Mikey dropped her hand and gave her a small smile. "I need to talk to you. There's a coffee shop across the road." He searched her eyes, "Okay?"
"Sure. What are we gonna talk about?"
They started walking again. "My wife."
Neither spoke again until they were seated at a small table towards the back of the shop.
"Okay Mikey. What's going on?"
He took a drink of the strong brew he had chosen before beginning. "I think something is wrong."
Christa frowned, "Wrong how?"
"When I talk to her on the phone she's happy. But something tells me it's forced."
"Have you come straight out and asked her?"
'Yeah, a bunch of times. She's says everything is fine."
"But you don't believe her?"
He shook his head, 'No"
Christa took a drink of her espresso, "How can I help?"
"Talk to her. Maybe she'll tell you something."
"Mikey, Alicia and I aren't all that close. I haven’t known everyone for all that long. I mean I'd be happy to talk to her but I don't think she'll tell me anything."
He sighed, "Then I don't know what to do?"
"Look if she's saying nothing is wrong maybe that's cause nothing’s wrong."
It was clear he didn't believe that for one minute. They sat in silence for several minutes. "She's my life, you know." He said looking down.
Christa reached out and touched his hand, 'Yeah, I know. Look, I’ll give her a call later. Just chat a bit and see if anything comes of it, okay?"
Mikey smiled, "Yeah, thanks." He picked up his napkin and unfolded it. As Christa watched he refolded it.
"Mikey, what else."
"Do you believe that dreams can foretell the future?"
Christa thought a moment before answering. "Maybe. Sometimes. For the most part though I don't think they mean anything. Just silly mixed up thoughts. Why?"
"In my dream Alicia was in a hospital bed." He whispered.
Christa didn't know what to say. She finally found words, "Sometimes I think we dream about things that are on our minds. Good things and bad things. I'm sure seeing Alicia in a hospital bed would be a bad thought somewhere in your mind. It just found it's way into a dream."
"Yeah, probably." he said forcing himself to smile. "Hey don't tell anyone, okay?"
"This conversation was just between you and me."
"Cause the last thing I need is the guys thinking I'm losing it." He snorted, "Man, they always think I'm gonna flip out. If anyone flips out it'll be my brother."
Christa was surprised, 'Gerard?"
"Yeah, Gerard. He keeps a lot of his emotions inside. Convinces himself things are great. Then something happens and all of that shit inside comes out."
"Well other than the trouble with Kelly and Kara things are good for him aren't they?"
Mikey thought about Liv. "I guess,” he said slowly. It wasn't a truthful answer.