Emmy. What in the world was she doing here?
I stared at her in disbelief and she smiled happily, “Are you going to invite me in?” she asked eventually, slight amusement creeping into her voice.
My brain seemed to be working slowly, “Oh!” I jumped realizing she had in fact ask me a question and that I was being rude, “Of course” I said standing aside, I allowed her inside.
Closing the door behind her, I followed her into the hotel room.
“Ah, how’s your family?” I asked, feeling somewhat awkward.
“Oh their good. Well, as good as can be expected” she said turning around to face me, a brilliant smile lighting up her face, “It’s good to see you”
I smiled back, but my smile was forced.
I didn’t recognize the women in front of me. She was still the same women. She was still Emmy, but my feelings about her had changed.
No longer did my heart skip a beat when she smiled. I no longer felt any excitement at hearing her voice nor did I feel any desire as I let my eyes drift to her body. Compared to Lucy, as it was involuntarily reaction I had, she seemed so bland.
“We weren’t expecting you back until after the Christmas break” I stated. Or more, I hadn’t been expecting her back until the New Year.
“Oh I had to” she said flippantly, “Someone leaked the rehearsal videos and are sending in petitions to say that Lucy should play Christine instead of me” she scoffed.
My heart jumped in excitement. To play The Phantom to Lucy’s Christine would be a dream come true.
“It’ll never happen” she said firmly, obviously mistaking my excitement for shock.
Every moment that passed, I began to wonder what I had ever seen in Emmy. She had once seemed so young and fresh. Now she just seemed like a petulant child trying to sound more mature than she was.
“I came here to talk to you” she said suddenly, “about us” her voice took on such a formal tone I was almost as if she was talking about a business proposition and not an intimate and personal matter.
“I saw the videos Gerard” she said in an almost accusing tone.
I ducked my head. Feeling ashamed. I knew why she was reproving.
In the videos, where I had been rehearsing with Lucy, it was impossible to keep the way I felt about her under-wraps. When she sung, it was so disarming that I couldn’t help but be lost in her voice. And Emmy, seeing the tapes, must have noticed this.
“I saw that look on your face” she said in the same accusing tone before her voice softened, “You looked like you were in love. Enchanted almost” she said, “And I knew you weren’t looking at her”
Frowning I looked up at her in confusion, what was she talking about?
A small smile tugged at her lips as her brown eyes met mine, “you were looking at me” she spoke with such conviction; there was no doubt in her mind.
“When I saw them I knew that you really loved me” she said with a soft smile.
Ah. Now I understood. She thought all the love and adoration I had been portraying in the tapes had been for her, not Lucy. She thought I was still in love with her.
How wrong she was. “Emmy listen-” I began, intent on explaining what had happened in her absence, that I had fallen in love with another, but she cut me off.
“No Gerard, its ok” she said, stepping towards me she placed her hand on my chest, but I again felt nothing, “I don’t have any doubts now” she said as her hand slid up my chest and cupped the side of my face, “I want to be with you” she said softly.
Something akin to guilt riddled through me. I had to tell her. Whatever delusions she had about the two of us would never come to be. I was in love with another. Who I now believed surpassed her in every way.
“Emmy-” I began but he once again cut me off by pressing her lips to mine.
There was no sparks, no feeling of joy or excitement. Nothing. And even though I didn’t respond in anyway, she pulled my closer, almost desperately, in an attempt to deepen the lifeless kiss.
“So what are you plans for the new year?” asked Patrick as we stepped into the elevator.
“I don’t know” I answered honestly, “Andrew wants me to join this new production of Phantom he’s putting on as Christine” I rolled my eyes as I pressed the button, “But I don’t think I will”
“Not wanting to leave Gerard?” he asked a snideness creeping into his voice.
I turned to look at him, “Stage fright” I said firmly. Though I would be lying if I said that wasn’t a factor.
Andrew had insisted that I spend Christmas with his family again, but I wanted to go back to Australia and visit Ben, Anna, my home and other friends. But the thought of spending all that time away from Gerard did not appeal to me.
“Well I think you’d be a fabulous Christine and I’m not the only one that thinks so” Patrick smiled.
I rolled my eyes again, “You, Andrew and Gerard hardly count”
He laughed as the elevator dinged and the doors open, we stepped out into the hallway.
I wondered if Gerard would be up to meeting my family. Or at least, those who I considered my family. He’d already met Ben, they seemed to get along. But what about Anna? Sharon? Maria? Simon? Paul? Dean? Emma? Sarah?
It seemed we were getting to that stage now. Where things were serious enough to do that. But more, that I trusted him to meet my family.
I was so pleased at how things had turned out.
Patrick and I were able to be friends. And Gerard and I showed no signs of strain in our relationship. I trusted him so completely to do right by me and not betray me. And because of that, I had given more of myself to him than I ever thought possible. He knew my story, not all of it but most, enough that he understood to an extent.
My music still remained a mystery to him, but at least he accepted that. I knew he couldn’t understand all of me at once, but I hoped that would come in time.
I loved him and he loved me. And I believed, in time, Andrew would come around to accepting Gerard. What could possibly go wrong now?
I was so happy.
“What movie are we watching?” asked Patrick as I stopped to open Gerard hotel room with the key-card he had given me.
“We usually just choose out of what’s playing” I said as I slid the key through the door, “Would you like to pick?” I asked as I pushed it open.
“Oh?” he asked as we stepped inside, “First I interrupt a date and now I get to choose the movie?” he joked.
I laughed as we rounded the corner into the main part of the hotel room, as I came around the corner I was still smiling, deliriously happy! But then I realised what I was seeing.
Gerard was standing there, with Emmy. Her arms wrapped around him. The two of them in a passionate embrace.
Disbelief clouded my senses for a moment. Then I saw red.
How many times had I worried about his feelings for Emmy? How many times had he told me my worry was for nothing? Why had I believed him? Why had I trusted him?
Gerard had betrayed me.
I had given him my trust. My love. Neither of which I gave quickly.
Had it all been a lie? Was he just using me until something better, Emmy, came along?
Hot anger flushed through me as I realized that I had not only been betrayed, but used and lied to.
Finally Gerard pulled away from her and turned to look at me. Horror filled his face.
Had he not wanted me to find out? Had he wanted to keep me on the side if he ever got bored of Emmy?
I wasn’t having that. In that moment, I hated him. I knew the sadness would come later, but right now, I was furious. And that clouded my judgement. Sending my thoughts into a jumbled mess.
I don’t know why I did it, but as I whirled around to leave, I saw Patrick and when I did I gripped his shirt tightly and pulled him down to me and kissed him.
If Gerard, someone who supposedly loved me, could kiss others, why couldn’t I? But it felt wrong. And Patrick didn’t deserve to be used that way.
Releasing him, I ignored the bewildered look on his face, before I continued out of the room. Reefing the door open I let the handle slam against the wall as I marched out into the hallway.
“Lucy!” called a voice. I knew that voice and I didn’t want to answer it as I made my way to the elevator.
“Lucy!” he called again, a little closer this time, I guessed he was out in the hallway now; I picked up my speed slightly to get to the elevator.
“Lucy, stop!” he said, this time his hand wrapped around my arm and pulled me to a stop, spinning me around in the process to face him.
He gripped both of my forearms to keep me in place as I stared at the floor, unable to look at him.
Those green eyes that I had once adored now made me feel sick. Had it all been a lie? Had it all been a game to him?
“Listen to me-” he began, but I couldn’t, the tears were beginning to sting at my eyes as grief took hold.
“No!” I all but screamed as I pushed him away, staring up at him in teary outrage, “I trusted you!” I screamed.
Oh how I had trusted him!
The loss of love didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would, it was the betrayal that acted like a sucker punch to my stomach.
I stared at him with the upmost contempt. How could he do this to me?
“Lucy, just let me explain” he said, reaching out he gripped my forearms again, leaning down to keep my gaze, but I shook my head.
He would lie. And it would be a beautiful lie. But I couldn’t believe him. How could I believe anything he had ever said.
“No” I said shaking my head as my knees seemed to buckle. Gerard wrapped his arms around me to keep me upright.
“Lucy please” he pleaded, his lips by my ear held so much pleading that I almost believed him.
“Let me go” I couldn’t stand him touching me. I couldn’t stand him.
“Let me go!” I said loudly, the elevator doors dinged open, I had to leave. My tears were going to spill at any moment and I didn’t want him to see me cry.
Pushing at his arms to break their hold, I took off running to the elevator, slipping through the doors just as they closed.
As soon as they closed my tears fell. I felt as if my heart had been pulled out of my chest, placed in a mincer, and was currently being ground up.
Betrayal. Hurt. Pain.
It may have been a lie, a game to him. But it had all been real for me. Far too real.
But deep down, I wondered how I hadn’t seen this coming? Things like this didn’t happen to me! I had always thought what Gerard and I had was too good be true! Now I knew, it was.
The doors opened and I slowly made my way down the hallway, unable to walk in a straight line to the room I wanted, I didn’t remember hitting a button, but I knew who’s floor I was on.
Going to the door, I knocked before I placed a hand on the door frame, no longer able to stand upright.
There was movement inside before the door opened and Andrew appeared, “Lucy” he smiled, he then seemed to realized something was wrong, “What’s happened?” he demanded.
As I looked up at him, my lip trembled. He had been right. He had said Gerard would hurt me. He had said we weren’t right together.
He was right.
A sob racked through my chest, sending a fresh wave of tears down my face, before my legs buckled again and fell forward.
Andrew caught me in an awkward hug as my tears fell onto his shirt. Slowly he slid us to the floor, pushing the door closed.
“Lucy, what happened?” he asked as I clung to his shirt and cried.
“You were right” I cried, while it normally would have hurt to admit that I was wrong, I was in so much pain already, “You were right about everything”
And with that I continued to sob loudly and relentlessly against his chest
For now, Andrew didn’t need an explanation, though I’m sure one would be asked of me later. For now, he gave me what I needed. A Fatherly comfort.
He didn’t say I told you so. He didn’t lord his knowledge over me. He didn’t do any of that. But he held me tightly and let me cry.
As it turned out, the only man a girl could trust was her Father. And Andrew was my Father in the ways that counted and he would be the only person I would ever trust again.
Because after what had happened, I wasn’t sure I could ever trust, or even love, ever again.