Things get far less depressing for everyone involved.
Chapter 5. I Quit
I was at Ray’s so fast I nearly forgot why I was there. I was holding a bouquet of pink carnations and black roses (Frankie’s favorite), and I’d showered and actually conditioned my hair for once. It was nice not to have my hair flying all over and knotting up. It was nice not to have to have Frankie brush my hair for me. It was soft and flipped up around my jaw. Maybe Frankie would like it better.
Ray answered the door. I felt lost, standing there looking like a jackass on his front porch, Ray standing in the doorway like he didn’t know what to do. Ray was my best friend, and it was great to see him at all. We hadn’t hung out much since my “problem” started. But he was there, the same as always: the floppy red curls, the big brown eyes, the huge nose I always teased him about, his big smiling mouth.
“Ray,” I whispered.
“Come on in, man,” he said, grinning. It seemed a little forced. “Frankie really wants to see you.”
I held the bouquet behind my back and followed him in. There was Frankie, sitting on the couch, curled up and looking miserable. And hurt. His right eye was black, he had a bruise on his cheek, and his lip was split. And that was just what I could see now. I could only imagine how he looked under that shirt, what bruises were hiding there…
He looked up and saw me. He gasped, then flung himself into my arms. I held him tight, feeling every little shake, every tiny sob. Finally, I held him at arm’s length.
“Frankie,” I sighed. A lump in my throat blocked my apology. All I could do was run my thumb over his cheek. He winced in pain, but hugged me again.
When he was done clinging to me, I brought out the flowers.
His eyes widened. “Gerard…” He took them, holding them close to his chest. He smiled shyly. “Thank you.”
I kissed his forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” he murmured honestly.
I grabbed his shoulders. “And because I love you, I’m quitting.”
He frowned. “What?”
“I’m going to quit drinking,” I replied. A sudden excitement welled in my chest. “And I’m going to quit drugs. I want to be good enough for you.”
Frankie’s grin told me, then and there, that I could do it.
Author's Note: Tis the season to review la la la I like reviews.