Gerard gets some of his memory back - he thinks
Across the street I saw a bar. I didn’t want a drink particularly, I’d probably just have a soda, but I did need the bathroom. Heading across the street, I pushed open the door. It was quiet and dark and I felt at ease. It’s funny how doing things on auto-pilot stresses all the things that you would normally do. Anyway, suffice to say, I felt relaxed here.
I headed straight for the men’s room and got my first glimpse of myself in the mirror. It struck me as odd, even at the time, that I still didn’t recognise myself. But, I was comfortable with the idea of waiting until something truly meaningful jogged my memory.
Returning to the bar, I ordered a diet soda and looked up at the television hanging above a display of their selection of bottled beers. The next few minutes brought everything – I thought – flooding back to me.
There was a photo of me on the screen. One or two men in the bar turned towards me with curious expressions etched across their faces.
“Could you put the sound up please?” I asked politely, trying not to draw any additional attention.
The barman frowned at me. Not in an unpleasant way, more curious than anything, but still did as I asked.
“… but the search continues for Gerard Way. Meanwhile,” the photo changed, “in related news, Mikey Way, Gerard’s younger brother, currently residing in an unnamed psychiatric hospital, is expected in court in four days time to face charges for the recent murders of three young women.”
Now all eyes in the bar turned towards me, but I ignored them; it was much more important to me that I tried to figure this out. So! My name was Gerard. I was an accomplice to murder, that much I remembered, and my brother Mikey was a psychopathic serial murderer? Great! Welcome to real life, Gerard!
Wait a minute! Mikey? That name? Wasn’t there something I had to do? I was beyond frustration and cursed quietly to myself; why couldn’t I remember?
All I knew was that the news report said that people were still looking for me, but for what, I could only guess. Judging by the way people were staring at me in the bar, I thought it reasonable that it could be murder. Perhaps I had escaped from somewhere? My brother was about to stand trial as a serial killer; perhaps we both were and I had escaped? Yet somehow the report didn’t seem right somehow. Neither report, about me or Mikey, but, of course, I couldn’t say why.
“That was you wasn’t it?”
Damn! I’d been so wrapped up in trying to work this out, I’d been oblivious to what was happening around me. Suddenly, I became aware of three men crowding around me. Turning on the stool, I was surprised to realise that they stood so close to me that I couldn’t even stand without pushing them away.
“Well?” repeated the centre man.
“No,” I replied unconvincingly.
“There’s a reward for information on where to find you,” another added.
My eyes widened at the idea that I had just been confronted by three guys who had chosen to play at being bounty hunters for the evening.
“It’s not me,” I stammered trying to get down from the stool. “I just look a little bit like him.”
“Your brother’s a murderer.”
It was a statement, not a question.
“So what did you do?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I insisted. It was actually true, I really didn’t. By now, I couldn’t even have told you my surname. If the report had mentioned it, I’d already forgotten.
“Did you freak out and disappear?”
“What?” My personal space was severely invaded and I was getting quite agitated.
“They said you just vanished.”
I’d had enough. I tried to push them away and squeeze through the middle, but two of them grabbed my arms.
“Get off me!” I yelled, trying at the same time to pull away. I was still really tired and sore and I simply wasn’t strong enough.
“Look,” the first man nodded, “I get it, you don’t want to be found, but you know that reward is too big to ignore.”
“Five thousand dollars.”
“I’ll give you double that if you let me go!” It was out before I even realised what I was saying. I didn’t have that kind of money, but it was the best I could manage.
“You got that on you?” he smirked.
“I…” I was grasping at straws now. I didn’t know what to say or do. “I’m not a murderer.”
He turned a puzzled expression to me.
“It’s your brother who’s the murderer,” he clarified, “not you. Remember him? Mikey Way.”
He stared at my blank expression, but then it was as if a light had come on. Mikey! I pulled the note from my pocket again and re-read it. ‘M 409, Sinah Heath’. I knew what it meant and what I had to do.
With renewed strength, I pulled away from the two men holding me and barrelled through them with surprising ease. Heading quickly for the door I made it to the rain sodden streets and kept running until I felt safe once more. As I caught my breath, I looked around trying to see anywhere even remotely familiar; I had to get to the hospital and fast.