Finally, after she finished, she bounded back to the tv and resumed her spot on the couch to finish her cartoon.
"Sara, can I talk to you?"
She kissed Emily on the head, and told her she could watch tv for a little while longer, and then she followed me intothe bedroom. I shut the door, and she took a seat on the far side of the bed, her back towards me.
"Where were you last night?" she asked quietly.
"I went to stay at a friends. I wanted to give you some time to yourself." I walked around the bed and sat next to her. She inched ever so slightly away from me, and when I put a hand on her shoulder, she recoiled from my touch. "Sara, baby, you have every right to be angry with me. What I did was terrible-"
"Terrible?" she hissed, taking me aback. "For five years I thought that he hated me. I was going to handle it my way, Ronnie. I told him that we couldn't see each other, but that was when we were fixing our marriage. He was my best friend, despite everything, I still would have wanted him in my life some how. What you did wasn't 'terrible', it was outright despicable. And I am not angry with you, I am at the point where I'm not sure if I even want to be married to you anymore."
"What!? Don't be so dramatic! You can't let this little thing ruin our whole relationship."
"I didn't let it, you did."
"Are you sure that's the real reason you're so mad?" I said, it suddenly dawning on me. "Not because he was your best friend, but because you loved him, and you always wanted him close? If I hadn't done what I did, do you think we'd still be together today? Honestly?"
For the first time in our marriage, Sara stood up and slapped me across the face.
"How dare you! You don't know how I feel, so don't you dare try to make me out to be the bad person in this situation."
"That's not what I was doing!"
"I don't want to be around you right now. I need to decide if my daughter and I are even going to go back to LA with you." She slammed the door and I sat down on the bed. I know I didn't do the wrong thing, because Gerard would have eventually told her, but maybe it was the wrong time.
I sat on the bed for another few minutes, contemplating my actions, when I heard Emily scream. I darted out of the room and into the living room area, where I saw Emily rolling on the floor clutching her stomach. My whole body felt paralyzed with panic, but I managed to kneel down beside her.
"What's wrong?" My voice was shaky.
She sat up, still clutching her stomach, but she was laughing. My whole body sighed with relief and I grabbed her tightly.
"You scared me Ems."
"I'm sorry daddy," she said, getting up off the floor and sitting back down the couch. "Mommy went out with some man." My heart froze, as she continued on. "He was here last night too. I think he hurt mommy. I was gunna say goodnight to her, but they were naked together and she was making these weird sounds. I think she's okay maybe. She was happy this morning."
"Ems, what did this man look like?"
"He had black hair like me, and he was tall. He was wearing a bloody shirt yesterday." She went back to her cartoons, as everything inside me seemed to deflate. It was my fault; my actions had driven her to him. But I wasn't going to let myself lose her, so in that moment, I decided that I was going to follow through with my threat, but it wouldn't be someone he loved getting hurt.
Gerard was trying to be as incognito was possible with his black hoodie and dark sunglasses, but he ended up just looking silly as the sun was shining feebly and besides, who were we kidding. We were on a busy street in New York in the middle of the afternoon, there was bound to be people that recognized one of us. Surely enough, several times I was asked for an autograph or a picture but Gerard only once, I guess his "disguise" worked.
We didn't have a destination for our walk, we were just headed to where we felt like it, and I was glad to be away from Ronnie.
"So we didn't exactly get to talk last night," he mumbled, his cheeks flushed red. "Do you hate me?"
"For taking the money? Not at all. I would have done the same thing in your situation. I was just so relieved to find out that you hadn't actually left me alone. I missed you, and I wanted to make sure that your life was going okay. Speaking of which, how is it going?"
Gerard stopped me and lowered his lips to mine. It was such a quick kiss, I wasn't even sure if it had happened.
"My life only makes sense when you're in it. You're the only thing I want in this life. Even after all the shit you've put me through, I don't want anyone but you. And believe me when I tell you that Ronnie will never love you as much as I do."
We continued walking, but I was at a loss for words. Nothing I could have said could even come close to describing how I felt, so I settled for, "I think I've always loved you."
That seemed to satisfy him, but he didn't say anything. Instead, he pulled me into a quiet café and ordered himself a tea. We sat at a small table away from the window, and once he had his drink, he began speaking like he was high.
"Let's run away together, today. You can bring Emily, we can be a family, like we're supposed to be."
"Are you fucking crazy? Have you forgotten who we are? We can't just run away, because wherever we go, the media will find us."
"Not if we try hard enough. Just think about it, it will be perfect. We have a child this time, we can start new."
"Emily is Ronnies child. Even if you are her birth father, she's not going to see you that way. It's too late of a stage in her life to introduce you as her father, because in her eyes, her dad is Ronnie."
He looked down at his cup, and started swirling the tea bag around with his pinky. Suddenly, for no reason at all, I saw a thirteen year old Gerard sitting infront of me. His eyes looked sad, just like the first time the first girl he had ever asked out rejected him in a mean letter. I wish that I could have said yes to him, but the truth was that I really did want to stay with Ronnie. I had threatened to leave him, but that was just to show him how infuriated I was with him.
Sleeping with Gerard the previous night was a momentary lapse in judgement on my part, and I knew that I would never let it happen again. It was just because I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. But in the wake of the new events, I felt ashamed. Gerard would always be the one my heart rightfully belonged to, but Ronnie was the one who had it, for the rest of my life, and I was happy with that. Especially since we had a child of our own on the way in less than 6 months.
"So what are we going to be then Sara? For once and for all, let's clear it up. I don't want to be the one you run to when your marriage falls apart. If I'm going to be that person, then you can can't me out of your life right now."
I knew what I had to do, and made a mental note to thank Ronnie for what he had done, because in the end, it was the right thing to do all along.
"I'm going to do what I should have done when I was with Tim, Gerard. I'm letting you go. Remember that you'll always have a place in my heart, but I can't keep doing this to you. I don't want you to feel like there's hope for us, when deep down, we know there's not. These past six years have been the best of my life, and I wish that somehow I could have shared them with you, but it's best that I didn't. So go on with your life and live the great things I know you'll do. Start your own family and think of me occasionaly, but let me go. We never really were meant to be together forever." I smiled at Gerard, surprisingly myself. I was not feeling sad at all, rather, I was feeling relieved.
"Well then what were we," he asked just above a whisper. Hid hands were trembling as he held his tea on the table.
"The love of each others lives, and there were great times, but we just weren't built to last."
Gerards hands were still trembling a minute later, but he hadn't said a word, he wouldn't even look at me. It was hard to see a 31 year old man actually cry, but when tears began to pour over Gerards cheek, it was almost gut wrenching.
"One day you'll thank me for this." I gathered my things and was about to leave when Gerards phone rang. Quickly, he wiped his face and answered shakily.
"Hello?" Pause. "Yeah, why?" He sat listening to whoever was on the other end, and his face began to look worried. "Okay, okay, stay, we're coming right now." He hung up the phone and stood up. "We've got to go, Franks in trouble and he wants our help."
title from "Last thing on your mind" by LIGHTS (from old navy commercial)