Burn Us Down

37: If That’s What She Wants

Setting his phone down onto the coffee table, Gerard reclined into the couch, his ears ringing with the unnerving silence which filled the house. He hadn’t been expecting the phone to ring. Even after the picture he had sent to Olivia, showing off the bruise that her father had left him with, he hadn’t really expected a response, but it still the quiet got at him. It hadn’t been quiet in a long time. Olivia, whenever she was home, seemed to generate noise which Gerard loved, and without her around, the house seemed too empty, a feeling he doubted he would ever get used to.

He knew that it was his fault. If he had just been up front with Olivia, and admitted that, for the briefest of moments, he had thought about ending their relationship and that that had been on his mind when he and Lana had been together, then he knew that things might not have been so bad as they were in that moment, but he couldn’t take it back. He hadn’t wanted to make things worse. The sight of him and Lana kissing had done enough damage, it had hurt Olivia and as stupid as it was, he had wanted to keep the blow as soft as he could, but he knew that it had backfired. Instead of just being honest and getting all of the hurt out in the open, he’d allowed it to fester and it explode, ruining every little piece of progress that he and Olivia had made in the months since the pictures had first appeared.

Throwing an arm over his eyes, he shifted in his seat, trying to ignore how much he hated how quiet it was, before he heard the front door open and close, something which caused his heart to leap up into his throat. Moving too quickly, he stumbled over the coffee table before he straightened up, the tiny shred of hope flickering out as his eyes settled on his mother who stood in the doorway. “Mama” he breathed softly.

Montserrat looked between the key in her hand and her son before she sighed, offering him a slightly apologetic smile. “Sorry” she murmured “You probably thought…”

“It’s fine” Gerard cut her off, a weak smile briefly passing over his features “Though, I wasn’t expecting you” he added.

Montserrat stepped deeper into the room, her hand instantly tipping his chin back so that she could study the bruise on his face. “Gerard…”

“Mama” Gerard interrupted, ducking out of her grip “It is fine” he added.

Montserrat’s forehead creased in concern, but she didn’t push the issue. “Have you heard from Olivia?” she asked, filling the silence which had settled between them.

Gerard, who’d busied himself with fiddling with his watch, flinched at the mention of Olivia’s name before he slowly shook his head, reluctantly forcing his stare back over towards his mother. “I haven’t” he murmured “But I didn’t expect to. She went to Alicante for space and she’s not exactly going to get that if she’s on the phone with me. I’ve sent her texts, mostly to remind her that I am here, but I am not expecting a reply” he added as he turned on his heel, padding back towards the couch.

Montserrat followed after him, sitting on the edge of the couch, before she turned to look at him. Letting the silence linger, she searched his face before she reached her hand out, gripping his softly. “What did you do, Gerard?” she asked softly.

Gerard exhaled deeply, taking a moment to think over the question, before he shook his head. “I…I had doubts for a split second” he admitted quietly “I’d proposed to Livy when things weren’t…they weren’t bad, but they weren’t as good as they had been before and it was all a little overwhelming. She wanted to start making plans right away, and she did, and I…I should have told asked her to hold off for a little while. We were getting into silly little fights, nothing too big at first, but adding the stress of wedding planning to that was always going to be…I got scared, and I panicked and I thought maybe I’d made a mistake, but I thought that for the briefest of moments. One night, one stupid fight, one stupid kiss, but I realised that I didn’t really mean it. I love her, mama, no matter what everyone else thinks. I love Olivia more than anything” he insisted, his expression soft and vulnerable.

He knew that people didn’t believe it like they used to. Before the kiss with Lana, no one could have denied how he felt about Olivia, and he needed to see that someone, anyone, still believed it when he said it. He did love her, even if he had been awful at showing it, he loved her as much as he had ever done, and he needed to know that someone believed him. He knew a lot of people wouldn’t.

Montserrat nodded, offering him a small smile in place of saying anything.

Gerard turned back down towards their hands, exhaling another soft sigh. “I was selfish” he said “I didn’t tell her about the kiss. I didn’t tell her that I’d had doubts and she found out about them both from other people and I am pretty sure that that is what’s going to end us, mama. The kiss itself was nothing, but the motivation, the hiding it…I can’t take that back and I…I don’t think she’s going to forgive me this time. I know I wouldn’t if I were her” he added, his glassy blue eyes peeking back at his mother.

Montserrat wanted to reach out and smooth his hair back, to comfort him, but she stopped herself, something Gerard acknowledged with a stiff nod. “You wouldn’t either” he said.

“I didn’t say that” Montserrat replied “I just think you have to realise what you’ve done. Yes, seeing you kiss the other woman would have hurt her, but hearing that you had doubts about the two of you, from someone that isn’t you, is going to have shaken everything for her, Gerard. She loves you, there’s no denying that, but right now, I don’t know that she knows that you feel the same way. You didn’t tell her that you had doubts, you picked a fight and you went out and did something stupid, and then you didn’t tell her. Do you understand how badly you’ve hurt her? You’re supposed to be someone that she can rely on for honesty, someone who she knows can come to her when you need her, and you…you didn’t” she added, trying to her keep her voice as soft as she could.

Gerard closed his eyes. He didn’t know what he could say to that.

“She’s never been anything but good for you, Gerard” Montserrat continued “And so what if she got a little bit ahead of herself when you proposed? That just shows how excited she was to be with you. I understand that maybe you got a little overwhelmed, but why didn’t you just tell her? An awkward conversation could have saved you both a lot of hurt” she added.

Gerard rubbed a hand over his face, grimacing as he inadvertently caught his bruise. “I can’t lose her” he breathed softly.

“You might have already” Montserrat said as gently as she could.

Gerard squeezed his eyes closed, grimacing at the thought.

Montserrat gathered him to her, hugging him gently. “I won’t tell you that she’ll come home” she whispered “But it’s not over yet, sweetheart. It might be hanging on by a thread, but it’s still a thread, it’s not nothing. But you have to let her guide this, Gerard. You’ve made the mistakes, you’ve hurt her, and now you have to let her come to you if that’s what she wants to do. If you try and persuade her, you’ll just keep pushing her further away. I know you love her, but this is up to her, OK?” she asked.

Gerard stayed in her hug, nodding against her shoulder. “I know” he mumbled.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)