He’s searching for something.
I hear him creep up the stairs, each wooden step groaning under his weight.
I want to move, as his shadow follows him across the landing, but I’m paralysed to the bed.
He steals past the bedroom door. His silhouette pauses as he presses momentarily as he presses his ear against the pine wood. I hold my breath and watch the silver door handle expectantly, waiting for it to slowly turn. For a fleeting moment I think I see it rotate, but when I hear him move from his position I let out a shaky breath.
The carpeted floorboards heave as he walks gently to the bathroom. Quickly, he scours the contents of the medicine cabinet, letting jars and packets drop to the floor.
I hear no movement follow.
I hold my breath again and strain my ears, but nothing can be heard over the blood pounding through my head.
My heart skips a beat as the floorboard outside the room creaks and the door swings suddenly open, casting a stream of yellow light onto the beige carpet.
I pull the covers protectively around my body, as if to help me as he quickly steps inside.
He pushes the door closed with his foot. Walking slowly towards the bed, he kneels by my head. Softly, he runs a hand down my cheek and, using his free hand, withdraws a packet of matches that rattle gently with the movement.
“Hey, Pretty Boy.” He whispers in my ear.
A small orange glow from the match he strikes dances under his face, contrasting with the pitch black background and illuminating his features, a sunken eye hidden by the raven fringe. “Hey, Pretty Boy.”
And drops the match.
Gerard sat bolt upright in suddenly, drenched in sweat and breathing hard.
He looked quickly to the door.
Mikey slept on his stomach beside him, snoring gently into his pillow. Gerard swallowed hard and lay back down, kicking the covers off his damp body.
Nothing to be scared of, he told himself.
Expect, perhaps, of Frank Iero.
The bed groaned gently under Mikey’s weight as he rolled onto his side to face Gerard, exhaling heavily. He watched him sleep, his cheek tinged an ivory colour from a thin line of moonlight that fell on it, peaking in from between the curtains.
He looked so peaceful, like a fragile porcelain doll; a large porcelain doll.
Gerard sidled closer to Mikey. Feeling the heat emitting from his body calmed Gerard, who had the urge to take Mikey’s hand in his.
I rolled onto my back, groaning at the stiffened muscles in my neck from the awkward position I’d slept in the night before, my neck stuck my chest.
The unfamiliar surrounding surroundings disorientated my groggy mind as I lifted myself onto my elbow, taking in the strange settings.
The mattress titled slightly, weight shifting next to me. I jumped with a start, suddenly wide awake.
I was in Mikey’s bed.
All of yesterday’s events came flooding back to me, as if a dam had burst.
Frank Iero. Mikey. The dream. Pretty Boy. Mikey.
Last night’s mind-play replayed itself in my head, not letting me forget it.
I exhaled deeply and threw my feet off the side of the bed, my knees bent over the side of the mattress.
It was a just a dream.
Rubbing my eyes with the base of my palm, I got off the bed and stumbled to where my jeans lay in a heap on the floor, sleep still clouding my brain.
Ten minutes later, finger-tooth-brushing, face washing and not shaving aside, I stood in the middle of Mikey’s gleaming kitchen, hands on hips.
Has this guy ever used this part of the house?
Pushing that thought away, I set to work; I had things to do, even if I had no how to do them.
It was probably the smell of burning bacon that woke Mikey from his slumber as he literally fell through kitchen door, in complete bewilderment.
“Gerard? What are you doing?” He croaked, voice still heavy from sleep.
“Erm, well… It looks like I’m burning pig for you.”
A sleepy smile crept across his face, eyelids still half shut.
“Why? And you should take that off before you incinerate it completely.”
“And you,” I smiled, “should probably get up off the floor.”
“No, can’t be bothered.” He stated throatily. “Now remind me again, why are you doing this?”
“Though I might make you a “thank-you” breakfast before I left… Hah! Works every time.” I smirked, watching Mikey leap off the floor and to the coffee I had set down for him on the table
“You leaving so soon?” He asked, cradling the steaming mug in both hands and blowing into it.
“Things to do, like shave. And again,” I said, scraping the crisp bacon onto a plate in front of him, “ a little thank-you thing, even though im not exactly the best of cooks, but I try.” He smiled again, eyes fluttering shut and then quickly re-opening.
“No problem, ‘s’ been my pleasure. Hey, wait, come back!”
And ignoring his pleas, I slipped out the house, I smiled to myself.
Almost sounded disappointed there.