Gerard isn't up to going to school.
Mikey didn’t go to school the next day. He faked being sick. I didn’t blame him in the slightest; if I’d gotten the shit beat out of me, I don’t think that I would’ve gone either.
Not having Mikey gave me the freedom to enjoy the bus ride, without having to share it with anyone. But it just felt wrong without him. He was so special to me, and without him there the atmosphere changed dramatically. In a negative way. I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the empty space, because it reminded me of what happened to him yesterday. I gritted my teeth together and took a deep breath, trying to control the urge to punch out the window.
I’m like that. Little things make me incredibly upset, and force me in extreme directions. I think maybe it’s because I’m so empathetic, so whenever someone is hurting I feel their pain too. And it’s just worse when it happens to someone that I care about. Like Mikey. Like Frank.
I was so focused on controlling my sudden burst of anger that I didn’t even think about going to talk to Frank. So it caught me by surprise when he suddenly appeared by my side. One thing I noted immediately was that his bitter, almost depressed mood that he’d had the previous day was completely gone. Now he looked charged, grinning at me.
“Hey Gerard.” He frowned after a moment, as he stared at the spot where Mikey should have been. “Where’s your brother?”
I wanted to tell him the truth. It turned out to be unnecessary.
“Is he the one that got beat up yesterday?” Frank asked me, sensitivity in his voice as he looked me in the eye.
I nodded, biting my lip uncomfortably.
“I’m sorry.” Frank said, and he looked me over. “Are you ok?”
I looked up at his wide hazel eyes, which were filled with concern. Concern for me.
“You were right.” I burst out suddenly, feeling my emotions begin to spill over, and go out of my control.
“What?” Frank replied, looking confused.
“Everything you told me yesterday, in the library. It was right, all of it!” I was talking loudly, I realized, as I looked around and saw the other kids staring at me with odd expressions.
Frank smirked. “Oh, that’s what you’re talking about?” His smirk became a sad smile. “Yeah, I guess I was.”
I noticed that I was shaking, and I tried hard to steady myself. Frank looked at my trembling hands and frowned again.
“Did it surprise you that much?” I nodded. He leaned back and sighed. “At least you know it now. It’ll probably make things easier later on.” I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by that, but I didn’t ask him to clarify.
I groaned as I looked at the building that held even less interest than it usually did for me. I missed my brother. I was bi-sexual. I was a misfit. I was confused. I was in love with the boy next to me. Piling all this up, school was just not something I could deal with.
“Frank, have you ever skipped?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “You mean, like running and jumping at the same time?” He smiled at me. “Cut class you mean? Yeah, I’ve done it.” What surprised me, was that he looked embarrassed about it. He wasn’t someone I would guess would be bothered by missing school. Just another notion I’d had about him that was incorrect.
“Was it easy?”
“Sure,” Frank shrugged. “You just walk out and act like you got somewhere to go to.” He eyed me. “Why? Not up for school today?”
“No. I never am. But today especially.”
“I’ll come. If you want, that is.” He was so confident in himself now. It confused me a little. His mood went up and down so dramatically.
I felt my pants begin to tighten at the thought of having time with Frank. Him all to myself. I swallowed, trying to focus on something else, anything else but him. I moved my backpack onto my lap, sliding my hand underneath it to calm myself down a little bit. Luckily, it worked most of the way. I would have been screwed otherwise.
“So, do you want me to come or not?” Frank asked me again, fearless. As if it didn’t matter to him whether or not I wanted him to come. I had a feeling he’d do what he wanted to do either way. But he still grinned when I said yes.
“Ok. Then follow my lead on this one.” Frank said as he stood up, pulling his backpack over his shoulder. “Come on.”
I’m not sure how he knew that the doors were about to open just then, but he did. We were the first off, but there was still a sea of kids outside for us to dive into. Frank walked right through them all, right to the edge of the sidewalk. I couldn’t get through as easily as he did. The crowd didn’t part for me the way it did for him.
“Ok, so we’re just gonna walk out.” Frank said, looking back at me with a glint in his eye.
“That’s it?” I asked him.
“Yup. Let’s go.”
Adrenaline pulsed through my veins as I followed Frank, walking coolly behind him as we left the campus. And no one watched. No one even noticed us. It worked just like he said.
Five minutes later, we were on the street corner, staring at all the cars and wondering where to go.
“Do you have any idea what you want to do?” Frank asked me as he sighed and looked down the road.
“Um…not really.” I said, suddenly feeling embarrassed for not having a better plan. I should’ve known Frank would though.
“Do you want to go watch some local shows and stuff? I know a place not too far from here. They won’t give us any shit about not being in school.” The way he said it was so confident, as if, even though earlier he’d seemed embarrassed about skipping, he felt totally comfortable with our current situation.
“Sure.” I said enthusiastically. I was fine with it, for multiple reasons. I never said no to a live show, and the music would take my mind off of everything that had me pulling my hair out right now. Plus, I trusted Frank, and to be honest, I didn’t really care where we went so long as I was with him. Not that I would ever think of telling him that.
“Great,” Frank said, with a smile that lit up his entire face. Corny as it may be, it took my breath away. It was obvious that the idea of being around music thrilled him. I was just happy to get away from it all. Except, in the end, I didn’t escape anything. I walked right into what I was running away from.
Frank moved happily down the road, eager to go see the mystery show. I followed him, happy, but still weighed down by the incident with Mikey, and my recent realization.
We were passing a drug store when we noticed these big kids cornering this short kid, with glasses and wild hair. For a moment, I thought it was Mikey, and my heart dropped into my feet. But after another second, I realized it wasn’t him. Oddly enough, that didn’t change the anger, and defensiveness that had sprung inside me immediately.
“Dude, that kid. They’re gonna beat him up.” I told Frank, beginning to shake as I watched them push him against a wall. Frank looked up suddenly, following my gaze. He turned to me with a sad expression.
“Gerard, there’s nothing that we can do about it. They’d outnumber us. We’d just get hurt too.” He looked me in the eye, with an empathetic face. “Gee, there’s nothing we can do.”
Gee? He called me Gee.
It was a tribute to how upset I was that I didn’t have to run away and jump up and down with excitement. Instead, though I felt my cheeks redden, I followed after him sadly, taking one last look at the boy who was about to be ripped apart.
I don’t know why it had such a big effect on me. But it did. It hurt badly. I couldn’t stand it; the truth in Frank’s words the previous day burned me and made me feel like I was drowning. The knowledge was like a rock, pulling me down as I tried to swim towards the surface.
Frank noticed it to, because he punched me playfully in the shoulder. “Lighten up,” he said, smiling. “Let’s have fun. That’s the point of cutting class. To go have fun, and get away.”
“Right,” I said, trying to fake a smile. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t very convincing though.
It only took fifteen minutes to get to the little place where the show was. Inside, it was tiny; at most thirty square feet. The stage was roughly six feet wide, cramped to the maximum meaning of the word. I was sweating the moment that I got inside, though I was probably sweating before too. And I was still trembling. I needed to calm down, I needed to calm down.
“Frank, will they give us alcohol here?” I asked, my voice cracking a little bit. Normally when I was stressed out, I got something from the fridge in the garage. Nothing too much, it just made me chill out a little bit.
Frank eyed me worriedly, looking surprised. “Yeah, they do…” He trailed off, telling me without words that he didn’t think that was the best idea. I ignored that, walking up to the tiny bar and pulling out a chair.
“Can I get you something boys?” The man behind the bar asked us. He had tattoos covering every inch of visible skin, and his voice was raspy. It reminded me of sandpaper.
“Yeah, I’ll have a beer. Don’t care what kind.” The man looked slightly surprised, but he didn’t say anything. Instead he turned to Frank.
“Just a Pepsi for me.” Frankie said. The bartender smiled at that, considering it looked like our orders should be switched around. He turned and went to the fridge, delivering us our drinks just a moment later.
I cracked mine open with shaking hands, still trembling. I always started to shake whenever my emotions got extreme. Scared, nervous, happy, angry. It was sort of embarrassing. When I felt the beer rushing down my throat, I felt cooler, but not any less stress. I gulped half of it down while Frank watched me apprehensively, taking tiny sips of his Pepsi.
It took me less that five minutes to finish the first beer, and I was trembling even worse than before. It never occurred to me that it was because alcohol didn’t calm me down much. Instead, I just assumed that I needed more to cool off more. The next one jumped me up. But not enough. Not enough for what I was aiming for.
I asked for a third, and the bartender raised his eyebrows. “You sure about that kid?”
“Yeah. Just giveittome.” My words were slurred but I didn’t notice.
The bartended turned to Frank, and Frank shrugged. The bartender looked to me one more time before sighing and passing me my third can. I took it eagerly, dropping it to the floor in my haste. Frank picked it up for me, giving me a look as he placed it on the counter in front of me. I pulled the tab back, enjoying the hiss. I took a joyful slurp, spilling some of it on myself.
I got through half of it before bursting into hysterical giggles.
Frank looked apprehensive again. “What’s so funny?”
“I’m…laughing.” I gasped to him, banging my head on the counter.
“I know. Why are you laughing?”
“Because…nothing’s…funny.” I snorted, surprising myself. I was silent for a second, marveling at the sound, before bursting into laughter again.
Frank’s eyes were wide as he looked at me. I was ready to piss myself. He looked almost scared as I snorted again, and toppled off of my chair and onto the floor. My head whacked against the concrete floor with a resounding crack.
“Ow…..” I moaned, as Frank jumped down from his chair. He hunched over me, still looking mildly frightened.
“Are you ok Gerard?” He asked me, helping me to sit up. I laid right back down again.
“I want to stay down.” I said, staring at the pattern on the ceiling.
I heard the bartender speaking to Frank. “Buddy, if he’s not wanting to get up, that’s your cue to get him out of here.”
“Ok.” Frank replied to him, then I felt an arm around my shoulder. “Come on Gee, let’s get you out of here.”
“But…but the show hasn’t farted yet.” I giggled to myself again. “I said farted.” I explained myself to Frank.
“I know.” He said in a serious voice. We stumbled out, with Frank carrying almost all of my weight for me. It must have been difficult for him, because by the time we got out of the building, he didn’t try to get me up when I collapsed onto the grass.
“How come…you didn’t have anything to…drink Frankie?” I said as he sat down next to me. “I can call you Frankie, right?”
He nodded. “I did have something to drink. I had a Pepsi.”
“Something adulty. That you’re not supposed to have.” I explained.
“Because I don’t like that stuff.” He said bitterly. “It messes you up.”
“What are you talking about? I feel…good. I feel all fuzzy. Like a kitten. Meow.” I made a claw with my fingers and scratched at him.
He laughed, but it didn’t seem to come from humor. “The fact you just did that pulls this case in my direction.”
My eyebrows came together. “What case? What’s in it? Is it more beer?”
Frank smirked. “No. It’s not more beer.”
“Oh.” I said in a defeated tone. “Damn it.”
Frank laughed again, then sighed. “We need to move Gerard. We’re right by the street. People might see us.”
I sighed. “Okayyyyy.” I tried to get up, and fell right back down with a gentle thump. Frank pulled me up under my armpits, dragging me backwards.
“I can do it.” I insisted, and Frank reluctantly released me. I took a few steps forward, wobbling wildly.
“I’m Frankenstein!” I said, sticking my arms out in front of me and making a face. Frank laughed from behind me, then gasped when I did a sudden face plant. He ran up next to me, and pulled me back behind some bushes.
I shielded my face from the bright sun. “I don’t like the light Frankie.”
Frank laughed and took his beanie off, placing it gently over my eyes.
“Thank you Frankie.” I said happily. I inhaled, noting that the hat smelled nice.
“What am I gonna do with you?” Frank said to himself.
“Give me sugar!!!!!!” I said.
“Um…that’s about the last thing I’m gonna do.” Frank said with a small laugh. “What else do you want me to do with you?”
I giggled to myself, imagining the things we could be doing together. I still had enough sense not to voice any of them to him.
“I don’t know.” I sighed.
“Then let’s just stay here for a while.” Frank said, and I felt him moving next to me.
I breathed loudly, frowning to myself.
“Frankie, I don’t feel good anymore. I don’t feel fuzzy.”
“What do you feel like?” Frank said casually, but I could hear some concern.
“Dizzy. And hot.”
“Take off your jacket.” Frank said.
I sat up and tried to unzip the zipper, struggling. Frank sighed and helped me, tossing my jacket a few feet away.
I looked at the ground, which seemed to be rocking back and forth for me. My stomach rolled uncomfortably.
“Frankie, I feel sick.”
He gave me a once over. “I’m not surprised. Here.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and led me to the more secluded trees a few yards away. The ground swayed even more, bouncing and making me feel like I was on a trampoline.
I leaned over, clutching my stomach as it spilled onto the dirt in front of me. Frank put a hand on my back as I vomited. I took a breath and the smell made me sick again. I felt so terrible, for a moment I forgot to be embarrassed about throwing up in front of Frank.
I was trembling again as I tried to straighten up. I tripped in my hurry to get away from my puke, and Frank had to catch me before I fell into it.
“Thank you Frank.” I said as he led me back to the bushes. He let me down, and I curled up into a ball. He sat next to me, putting his hand on my back again. His touch calmed me, and I stopped shaking so much.
He exhaled softly. “What am I gonna do with you,” he whispered to himself again.
I looked into his hazel eyes. “Take care of me.” I said pleadingly. He gave me a melancholy smile.
Well? What did you think of it?What IS Frank gonna do with Gerard? Why did he decide not to drink? And why did he come with Gerard in the first place? All the things that you'll just have to wait and find out. Please Rate and Review!!! Keep me green! I really want to know what you think. And if you're confused about stuff, I'll answer your questions. That is if they aren't about the future...:-)By the way, song of the moment for me: HereGoesNothin' By NeverShoutNever. LOOK IT UP