Looking for help
I’m Gerard Way. My brother’s been accused of some dreadful murders, but I know he didn’t do it. And, no, before you ask, it’s not wishful thinking. I know him; I know he couldn’t do that. He’s been put in a mental institution pending trial. He thinks he’s been there for three years, so the staff tell me. In reality, it’s only been three months. I say only, but it’s felt like a lifetime to me. His doctor, he got a new doctor about six months ago, he’s been a rock – he’s stayed with him as his physician all the time he’s been there; on call at the drop of a hat. Mikey can barely move and he’s there. I can’t fault him. Except, well except Mikey’s getting no better. I just don’t understand it; he was never like this, never! Don’t get me wrong, I know he suffers from anxiety, but delusional spells? No! And murder? No way! Literally, no Way! I have to clear his name and get him out of there, but he won’t even talk to me. They tell me that he thinks I’ll kill him if he speaks. How can you break that? Something’s not right, everything’s not right! You might ask why I’ve waited so long; it’s a fair question. I really thought Mikey would snap out of whatever it was that made him start to act so strangely, but if anything, he’s got worse and withdraws into himself a little more each passing day. The trial date’s approaching fast and I have to clear his name before he goes to court or they’ll destroy what’s left of him. Of course, I have to do my own investigation, the police are certain they’ve got their man, so I’m getting no help out of them. But first, I have to convince the guys that there is just no way he could have done this. I’ve asked Frank over. I’m going for a double-pronged attack of food and reason.
“Since when did you cook?” Frank asked.
“I can cook,” I replied, my pride a little dented. “I just don’t, often.”
Frank raised an eyebrow.
“So it’s just for special occasions, then?”
“Yeah, if you like.”
“Gee,” Frank leaned across the table with a solemn expression, “it’ll never work.”
“Us,” he shrugged, “I’m sorry, man, but I’m just too good for you.”
I stared back; Frank was on form.
“You can drop the weird gay act, Frank! You don’t even have an audience!”
He dropped his chin onto the fingers of his left hand and batted his eyelashes at me.
“You’re certain it’s an act, Gerard?”
He ended with a kiss blown in my direction, at least I thought he’d finished.
“I’m not the one making a candle lit dinner for two.”
“It’s not candle lit and I’m serious Frank, would you rather I ordered take out?”
“Sorry, Gee,” Frank picked up on the tension in my voice. “I… I’m sorry, what do want to talk about?”
“Give me a second, I just gotta get the pasta out of the oven.”
“Want any help?”
“Yeah, could you take some soda and whatever you want to the table, please?” I glanced around. “Oh, yeah and the bread and I’ll bring the salad.”
Frank twitched slightly as I took the pasta out of the oven.
“Yes Frank, it’s vegan cheese.”
He beamed at me. Okay, I at least had him in a good mood. Though, he knew something was up when he found a couple of bottles of beer in my fridge.
“They’re for you, if you want them. If you don’t, ditch them.”
“This is serious, isn’t it?”
I set the table and brought the last of the food and serving utensils through in silence. All my hard work to get Frank relaxed and willing to hear me out had gone for nothing now that the tension in me was building. As it turned out Frank knows me better than I thought and he’s a nicer guy than I was giving him credit for. But that’s me all over. I always manage to convince myself that I’m alone in things, especially since Mikey isn’t here. These guys are my best friends, and I really needed their help right now.
“So,” Frank began helping himself to an impossibly large helping of pasta, “you want to talk about Mikey?”
I nearly choked on my food. Almost draining my glass to stop the coughing, I glanced up to see him tucking into the bowlful in front of him.
“This is good pasta!” he grinned, swallowing another mouthful. “You can cook more often.”
“How did you know?” I gasped.
“Well,” he looked down at his plate, “it looks like pasta.”
I closed my eyes and spoke with my jaw clenched. “I didn’t mean, how did you know it was pasta.”
Frank patted my arm to make me look at him.
“I know,” he nodded with a smile. “But you’re kinda tense, I thought it might help.”
“How did you…?”
“How did I know you wanted to talk about Mikey?” Frank cut in. “Because you’ve been wanting to for three months. Hell, we’ve been wanting to for three months, but you weren’t ready.”
“I wasn’t ready?”
Frank put his fork down; this was serious.
“No, Gee, every time we mentioned him, you changed the subject or brushed us away with, ‘he’ll be okay soon’ or ‘he’ll talk to me today, I know it’ or, I don’t know Gee, maybe we’ll wake up and it’s all been a bad dream?”
I was really taken aback. Had I really been like that? Had I pushed everyone away?
“Frank, I… I wanted to talk to you…” I sighed. Why was this so hard?
“Okay,” Frank took over the conversation, “perhaps I should start by saying that I believe Mikey’s innocent?”
“You do?” I’m fairly certain my eyes lit up at the words.
“Yeah, I do, and I’m not the only one.”
“You mean, the guys?”
Frank chewed his lower lip, sucking his lip ring into his mouth.
“That’s no then?” I asked despondently.
“It’s not no, but it’s not yes… well…”
“Frank!” I couldn’t help it, I hated the confusion of what he was saying, or not saying to me. “Do they think he’s guilty?”
“No!” Frank said emphatically. “But, well, Bob wants to try to prove his innocence but he’s concerned that the proof isn’t out there.”
“That’s like saying he’s guilty.”
“No, it’s like saying he’s innocent, but we can’t prove it.”
I shook my head at the technicality. “And Ray?”
Frank sighed deeply. “Gee, what you’ve gotta remember is it was Ray who read the notes that Mikey wrote. Hand written confessions with all the grisly details. He wants to believe it wasn’t him, he really does, but he can’t get those images out of his head.”
I nodded, I understood, I really did, it was hard for all of us.
“I’m going to do a little digging of my own,” I announced.
“Well about time too!”
I smiled. “Will you help me?”
“I already have.”
Frank rose from the table and headed to the hallway from which he brought a messenger bag, so full he couldn’t close the flap.
“What’s that?” I asked, with curiosity.
He pulled out a large file.
“I have a friend who managed to get me copies of the police file, I have all the information on,” he paused, “there’re actually three girls’ murders they’re trying to pin on him, but the first one is a little different to the others. I think if we start there, we might either get some clues or rule her out altogether.”
I was up and out of my chair in less than the blink of an eye. I hugged Frank like I was afraid of ever letting go.
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I cried with tears rolling down my cheeks.
“Come on, Gee, the food’s getting cold and you’re tearing up my favourite shirt.”
I pulled back, wiping the tears from my cheeks.
“You’re a very, very special friend, Frank! You know that?”
“Yeah,” he grinned, “I told you I was too good for you! Now, come on, it’s getting cold!”