He's not doing so well, and the events that night change the course of their lives.
I heard the bedroom door open, and I shut my eyes tightly. Listening closely to his footsteps crossing the bedroom, I prayed that he would leave me alone. I had been lucky all week, but tonight, he climbed into bed beside me and started kissing my neck. At first, I pretended to be sleeping, but when he slipped his hand up the front of my shirt, it became too hard to feign.
"Ronnie," I said sharply. "I'm trying to sleep." Instead of answering, he successfully managed to pull my pants off. He sat on my legs, and I could hear him taking off his pants. I wriggled to get out from under him, but his hands pinned my shoulders to the bed.
"Get off!" I tried to push him away, but to no avail. He forced my legs apart, and just as I could feel him start to push himself into me, I bit into one of his hand, immediately tasting blood.
"Fuck!" he cried. "You stupid whore!" He rolled off me, but continued yelling. "I know you fucked Gerard. Bet you didn't think I'd find out, did you? Everyone knows now!" I heard his hand cut through the air before it made contact with the side of my face. Everything went quiet. Neither one of us moved, or even breathed.
Silently, tears streamed down my face, but I couldn't find the strength to move. Finally, I felt Ronnie get off the bed, and it was if someone unpaused a movie; I got up, throwing my clothes on, crying, while he put his clothes on and muttered to himself. He turned the light on, and came over to me. I backed away, the back of my knees hitting the bed, and I fell back onto it.
"I-" he started, but then burst out into tears. "What have I done?" He inspected my red cheek, and shook his head.
"I need help," he sobbed, falling down beside me and screaming into the pillow. I knew I should have been angry with him, hated him even. But I knew the Ronnie I had married would never hurt me.
"It's okay," I whispered.
"No! No! I would never do that to you!"
"I know. I believe you!" I kissed the back of his neck. "But I should be apologizing too, about Gerard."
"It's my fault!" he cried. "If I hadn't been like this, then everything would be fine. I hate who I've become, I don't even recognize myself anymore."
"We can get you help," I insisted. "Everything will turn out okay." We sat in bed all night, and every so often, he would mutter something like, "I'm so sorry,'' or, "You don't deserve to be hurt." Somehow, I managed to fall asleep with my arms securely around Ronnie.
The week following the incident, so many things changed. Ronnie had gotten kicked out of the band, both his manager and I were fighting hard to find him the best place to go to rehab, and Ronnie and I had decided that once he entered rehab, I would go back home for awhile. I needed to get away from everything. I couldn’t remember the last time I had taken a break, and my mother was more than ecstatic that I would be returning home.
Gerard and I hadn't talked since the incident either, but that was my choice. I figured that everything would work out for the better if he didn't know what Ronnie and I had decided to do. We all just needed time to straighten things out, but a few days after Ronnie had entered rehab, I received news that threatened everything, and I mean my relationship with Ronnie, and Gerard.
Ronnie was not supposed to have any visitors, that was another thing we agreed to, but I managed to convince the staff at the center that I really needed to tell him something. When we sat in the visiting room, I felt as if I was going to throw up.
"When are you leaving?" he asked solemnly. He sat across from me, wearing a white button up shirt.
I ignored the questions and took a deep breath. I didn't know how he'd react, because I hadn't been informed of how he was behaving, but as he sat staring at me, he looked calmer than usual.
"You know that Gerard is coming here this week," I said, and he nodded. "Well, uhm, it turns out that they're all coming here to shoot a music video, and they want me in it." I took another deep breath, because that wasn't even the part I was worried about. "And there's a scene that I have to do with Gerard, and we have to uhm, well, both of us are nude."
"Do you have to do it?" he asked, his hands neatly folded in his lap seemed to tighten a little.
"No, but my agent is begging that I do. I just wanted to check with you first, to see if it would be okay. I don't want this to tear us apart."
Ronnie showed no signs of anger, in fact, he gave me a small smile. He got up and knelt in front of me. "Nothing is going to tear us apart. I promise."
It surprised me at how easy it was for him to tell me it was okay for me to do it, and part of me wished he said no. I didn't want to risk anything else happening between Gerard and I. It was bad enough that I had cheated on Ronnie, but I didn't want the temptation to be there again, and there were definite repercussions from this time too, one that would last a life time, and I was scared shitless.
"I trust you," he said reassuringly, "Just not him." It meant the world to me to know he still did, but the truth was I didn't trust myself around Gerard. And with Ronnie in rehab, then there would be no one to make sure that I kept my distance from him, but in a way, it was way too late for that.
The next day, I was sitting on my couch after I got home from work, when my phone rang. I picked it up without thinking, and I was met with a loud CLUNK, and then a "Shit!"
"Sara! Sorry, I dropped the phone. But it's nice to hear that you actually answered your phone."
"Yeah. Where have you been?"
"I've just been sorting some things out with Ronnie."
"Oh, that's right, I heard about the band. How are you guys doing?"
"I don't really want to talk about it right now." Both of us paused, and I knew what he was thinking, but I didn't want to bring it up. Instead, he asked me if I had decided to take the offer about the video.
"I know it may be awkward, but I just thought that maybe it would be good for us."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, never mind. But did you take it?"
For a second, I thought about changing my mind. Perhaps it was better if I didn't, but then I heard my agent in my head, yelling at me, telling me that if I didn't take the job, my career wouldn't go much further then it already had, but I knew that it wasn't true. I had heard from another model at the agency that the reason she was pushing my so much was that if I didn't make them money, then she would get fired. As much as I didn't like her, I didn't want to go and ruin it for her.
There was a loud knock at the door that startled me.
"Gee, can you hold on a sec?"
I put the phone on the table and walked over to the door. I pulled it open, to find Gerard standing on the other side, a bouquet of flowers in one hand, his cell in the other. I smiled and motioned for him to come in. The second we were standing inside, he pushed me up against the wall and had his lips on my neck. I couldn't bring myself to push him away, so instead I wrapped my arms around his strong frame.
"Oh god I love you," he whispered, and I made a big mistake; I whispered it back.