Thirty years ago there was a terrible movement called 'The Great Purification'...(Past Frank/Gerard)
The title comes from the song "Your Legs Grow" by Nada Surf
It's first POV by an original character named Elyse. There's past Frank/Gerard.
Thirty years ago there was a great and terrible movement called 'The Great Purification' where a malicious leader named Michael Luther White convinced the people of America that the world was soon going to end and that God would come to place judgment on them all. For everyone to make it into the golden gates of Heaven, they would have to clean America from the sin it had collected over the centuries so that God would show them mercy and save their souls. White was the Hitler of his time.
Anyone against Christian laws was sent to a local holding cell, referred to by outsiders as 'clinics', where they were given a chance to change themselves to the way of God. The prisoners were tortured, starved; anything White could think of them that would make them follow in the ways of his God so that his country would be saved upon the day of judgment. Some prisoners fell to fear, some stayed strong in their beliefs, and some grew too weak to carry on. Those who wouldn't let themselves be 'purified' were done away with.
It took five years for America to see the lies of Michael Luther White and that what he was doing was inhumane. By that time though, almost five thousand lives were lost; men, women, and children alike. And just like a fairytale, the whole thing was altered to keep the truth from those who didn't know what really went on behind the 'clinics' walls in an attempt to hide what truly happen; to erase it.
No matter what though, there will always be some small piece of evidence, even if only in people's minds, that will keep the Great Purification in existence.
I stood against the rusted iron fence, my fingers wrapped around the thin wires in the open holes as I stared at the building inside its clutches. The white paint was chipping off the bricks and the large green leaves from wild vines stretched up its walls. Windows were broken, some boarded, and the weeds had long since overtaken the grass. This clinic was far different looking from the one I had to go to when I was sick. This one has been closed about thirty years and they're just getting around to tearing it down. Part of me wants it gone because it's a bit of an eye sore but at the same time, I don't want them to take it down because it's a piece of our history and well, there's not much of that in our little town. "Are we going to stand here all day or go inside?" Sara asked, pushing her layered black bangs aside allowing her brown eyes to just barely catch one of the golden rays of the setting sun.
"I'm coming," I took a deep breath and nodded my head. Something about the place gave me a heavy feeling; almost eerie. It wasn't exactly anything scary but rather painful, like the worlds grief was suddenly wrapping around my heart. "But, uh, how do we get in?" I asked, glancing towards the large gates that had a thick chain wrapped around the bars, weaving in and out of the small spots, a heavy, unbreakable lock permanently keeping them shut. "I don't exactly have a key."
"At least one of us left home prepared," She sighed, reaching into the gray messenger bag hanging over her body, producing a pair of wire cutters. It's a wonder that bag doesn't make her topple over. Sara is a very light framed girl and her bag is so heavily decorated with pins, patches, and key chains that it probably weighs as much, if not more, as she does. "Stand aside," Sara told me, walking up to the fence and sliding the ends of the cutter in. The fence was thick but because it was so badly rusted, my hands now a reddish orange color, that it wasn't as strong as it once was and with a bit of strength, Sara was able to snap through the pieces of metal until there was enough of a hole for us to squeeze through.
Sliding the cutters back into her bag, Sara proudly smiled and gestured down to the little hole. "After you," She said, making me smile a bit as I got onto my knees, removing my own bag and shoving it through the hole first before laying on my stomach and working my way inside, rocks poking into my body as dirt clung to my attire. "Please, move at a snail's pace, you know how it thrills me," Sara teased, quoting The Devil Wears Prada.
"Fuck off," I said back with amusement, pulling myself onto my knees again, inside the fence now, my heavy feeling increasing even more. I ignored it though as pathetic fear and stood up, brushing my body off as Sara crawled through her made hole as well. I've always had a problem with anything I can relate to horror and a large, abandoned building like this sends my mind back to some of those cheap movies I've watched but have scared me nonetheless. Stupid Peter and his dare that Sara and I stay the night in here. Sara, of course, jumped right at the idea. I took a bit of convincing. "I wonder why they rebuilt the clinic," I said, picking my bag up off the ground and sliding it over my body again.
"Maybe because this one is a piece of shit," Sara said as she brushed her clothes off.
"If they took care of it then it would be just fine," I frowned. Everyone seems to be into 'new' nowadays. Granted, they rebuilt the clinic thirty years ago, but this building doesn't seem like it's in terrible condition. "My mom says that they used to bring a lot of people here during the GP," I told Sara. The Great Purification was one of the greatest parts of our American history. Michael Luther White saved America from falling to sin like God told him to do. "She said that during the GP a lot of people would go to the clinics to seek refuge and become one with God again, kinda like a rehab."
"I know," Sara adjusted her bag on her body. "I do happen to go to school," She teased, pushing me lightly on the shoulder. "Well, it's almost sundown; shall we?" Sara opened her bag once again to pull out a flashlight, twisting the end until a bright light shot out of it. I nodded and removed my own flashlight, turning it on and following Sara towards the luminous building to figure out a way inside. Technically, the dare was to stay the night beyond the fence but I know Sara's not going to settle for that and will want to be inside the building so I brought a first aid kit and such just in case. Yes, I even have a cross in there. "I think we should be able to get in one of the windows," Sara said, running her flashlight over the building even though it was still plenty light enough to see, looking for a means of entrance.
"With all that broken glass?" I asked, eyebrows raising a bit.
"Well I don't see any other way," Sara huffed. In a way, we did have to get inside. Peter said that we had to bring something from the grounds back out as evidence and the most we'll find outside is a bunch of rust. "I'll climb in and see if I can pry the door open, ok?"
"Be careful," I said as Sara stuck the flashlight in her mouth and walked up the broken cement steps to the door, shaking the railing a little to test its durability before climbing onto it, holding onto the vines for support, and stepped to the edge of the window beside it. The whole time my heart was going a million miles an hour because what if she falls? My first aid kit only has some bandaging and anti-bacterial cream; nothing for broken bones.
Sara jumped completely to the window, nearly falling backwards (which made me squeak), but caught her weight and managed to slide right into the broken opening. I heard some glass breaking and a bit of cursing from inside before silence, my foot bouncing nervously until Sara pulled the door open with a grin on her face. "Told you," She smirked, motioning for me to come inside.
"I hate you," I laughed a bit, my heart easing as I climbed up the cracked steps to the door where Sara stood, shining my light inside the dark interior and jumping when Sara slammed the door shut behind me. The inside of the building was far from what I expected. It wasn't at all like the clinic I go to. This one had a desk right by the door, beside a flight of stairs, and had only one room off to the left that was like a mini church. There was a small hall between the church room and the stairs with a little door that I guessed maybe went to the basement; somewhere I definitely wasn't going. I don't do my own basement which is almost like a whole other living room.
"So...where to first?" Sara asked, dragging the beam of the flashlight slowly around the room. "Our only options are up the stairs or in the church and personally, I get enough of God every Sunday," She had one hand on her hip, the other flopped sideways as it held the flashlight.
"Are the stairs safe?" I asked, ignoring the God comment, keeping my own flashlight on the desk which was beneath a bunch of scattered papers covered by dust.
"Only one way to find out," Sara shrugged, starting off towards the stairs. She grabbed the railing and stepped onto the first wooden step, a loud creaking noise ringing through the empty building, disrupting a few birds who frantically flapped their wings and made me jump. "You coming or not?" Sara asked, going up the stairs as though they were the ones in her house now, her flashlight locked on a door at the top with a half hanging sign reading 'employees only'.
"In a minute," I replied, going to the desk and brushing some dust off to see what the papers were. They were faded and some even mostly burned, the once white paper a yellow tint like they had been soaked in tea or coffee. I couldn't read the parchments so I pushed them aside until I came to a thick book with a leather binding which I opened, discovering it was a list of names.
The names were hard to read, written in a neat cursive hand writing as well as faded, with a couple of dates beside each one. A few were even crossed out in thin, straight lines which could be a number of things really. There were also room numbers beside each of the names so, figuring it might prove useful, I lifted the book off the desk then followed Sara up the stairs which continued to creak beneath my feet until I came to the second floor, going through the now opened door. "Sara?" I called, the hallway being empty. The sun was almost gone so all the light I had really was my flashlight and that was kinda really freaking me out.
"In here," I heard her voice before seeing a light dancing around in one of the rooms. I walked to the room she was in and stepped through the door way, the scent of a forgotten building quickly jumping at me. "This one was open," Sara told me, walking around the room. She was intent on the walls which, when I saw her light shine upon them, I could see paper taped up on them. "What's that?" Looking back at me, I was snapped from my trance as Sara motioned towards the book in my hand.
"Oh;" I shook my head to get my mind back to my body. "I found it on the desk. It's got a log of all the people that stayed here," I said, opening the book in my arms, barely able to hold the flashlight underneath it. "Their names, some dates, and their room numbers," I said.
"Well, who stayed here?" Sara asked, walking towards me. The only light in this room was our flashlights. There were no windows which I thought to be odd and slightly depressing but maybe the person didn't like natural light. The one on the ceiling was busted by now.
"Um...I don't know," I said, cocking my head to the side. "What's the number?" Sara walked past me and out of the room to find out.
"104A," Sara read, joining me back inside, looking over my shoulder. I scanned the pages for the number, finding it and sliding my eyes along the line to the name.
"Way, Gerard," I could barely see the ink, it was so faded. And as though the building wasn't creepy enough, Sara and I both screamed as the door suddenly slammed shut, both of us jumping and my throwing the book across the room. "What the fuck?" I asked frantically, my heart nearly exploding.
"I'm s-sure the hinge was l-loose," Sara said, her hand over her heart and other hand wrapped so tightly around the flashlight the white beam reflected her shaking body. "We have to s-stay the night anyway, m-might as well j-just do it here," I could hear the slight panic in her voice and honestly, it sounded like a very good idea. This room is small and windowless with a door which limits more freaky happenings.
"D-do you h-have your dad's l-light?" I asked, trying to avoid a very unwanted panic attack. Sara nodded and pulled open her bag, producing her dad's camping light which she switched on and set in the middle of the floor. It created enough light to fill the room, though just enough to faintly see every item, but was still stronger than our little flashlights.
"At least there's a bed," Sara tried to lighten our little scare, motioning towards the cot in the corner that had a thin blanket with holes in it. Surely they gave out more during the winter because it looked like there was no heat source in this room and winters here can be really brutal. I nodded and went to pick up the book, bending down when my flashlight suddenly landed on something under the bed that caught my eye. "What?" Sara asked, noticing my sudden intrigue.
"Something..." I muttered, getting onto my hands and knees, not too concerned with the dirt and dust on the cement beneath me, keeping my light under the bed as I extended my arm out, my hand resting what appeared to be a small book. I grabbed it and pulled it back to my body, blowing the dust off then coughing a bit as the thick amount flew into the air then my lungs. In the middle of the little book in my hand were the small, golden, cursive letters GW which I assumed stood for 'Gerard Way' as the other book had told me was the resident here.
I stood up and sat on the cot which dipped down beneath my weight, making more creaking noises, and crossed my legs with the book in my lap. Sara came over and sat beside me, a curious expression painted across her face as she looked over my shoulder again. "What is it?" Sara asked, leaning on me.
"I think," I took a deep breath and ran a finger over the smooth surface, "I think this is the diary, or journal if you will, of Gerard Way," I said because it resembled something of that private nature. I carefully bent back the cover to find a page very similar to the ones in the book of names. "To the best big brother ever, Love Mikey," I read in far messier hand writing than the log book but easier to read at the same time. "Is there a 'Mikey Way' anywhere in that book?" I asked Sara who got off the bed to grab the log, returning to sit beside me again and opened it.
"Nope," She shook her head. "The only 'Way' is Gerard."
"I don't think we should read this," I said quietly, looking back to the journal in my lap. "It's his private journal..."
"I've never heard of a Gerard Way and you know that I know everyone in this godforsaken town," Sara said with a bit of annoyance. "I highly doubt he's going to be too upset. He left it here anyway."
"I know," I sighed, fingers itching to turn the page. "It just seems wrong..."
"If you won't do it," She reached a hand out, "I will."
"No," I said defensively, holding the journal a little tighter. I felt like it was my job to protect it for some reason. I pulled myself completely onto the cot and leaned my back against the wall. "I...I'm going to read it..." My voice was shaky because it still felt wrong but I was so curious about what happened during the Great Purification. Our text books just lightly touch on it, saying that it was a time of great change and prosper for America. Something always seemed like it was missing though.
"Well get a move on," Sara teased, sliding up the cot to sit beside me. "Let's hear the deep dark secrets of Mr. Gerard Way," She beamed, that glint in her eye that meant she was thinking some pretty dirty things. I just stared and she tilted her head. "Come on, I know you were thinking it too."
"Not all journals are full of dirty things," I said, still keeping the journal on that first page. "Just because yours is..."
"Don't start with me, Miss I nearly had an orgasm at the way the little drops of cold water clung to his perfectly chiseled abs that-"
"Ok!" I stopped her, cheeks burning with embarrassment. I need to find a better hiding place for my diary. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath, slowly exhaling and lowering my eyes to the journal again. "Forgive us Gerard," I quietly said. It's ok. "Huh?" I looked to Sara.
"What?" She asked as though I suddenly put her on trial for something.
"Didn't you just say something?" I asked with confusion, Sara raising an eyebrow in that 'wtf' kind of way. "Never mind," I mumbled. "Hold the flashlight for me to read, please," I said and Sara nodded, grabbing one of our flashlights and holding it right over the journal. I carefully turned the page over to find one with semi-neat handwriting scratched across it, still dark enough for me to read almost perfectly. With a deep breath, I started with the date, entering the world of Gerard Way. "April 9th; Mikey gave me you, my journal, today for my birthday..."
He said that I really need to stop writing in things full of flowers or rainbows or cute little animals. But how can you not like a sweet little kitten? Lol, maybe I am a little too gay for my own good. Mikey just likes to pick on me. But he got me this journal from Italy or something when he was traveling with his new girlfriend. He even got engraved with my initials. He's seriously the best little brother ever.
My birthday was awesome. I couldn't wait to turn 21 because now I can legally drink! I mean, I've done it for years, but now it's legal! No more fake ID! It was this whole huge event at my parents house and normally I'm not a people person but for some reason I've never had more fun. My mom made me a cake and my family was there plus the one or two friends I managed to accumulate. Even Bert, my amazing boyfriend, took the day off just to be with me! He's never done that before.
"He was gay?!" Sara interrupted with a bright face. "That's so cool!"
"Are you going to let me read this or not?" I asked with a bit of frustration. A very soft, almost inaudible sound similar to laughter ran through my mind but it wouldn't be the first time I've heard things that aren't really there so I just ignored it.
"Yeah, sorry," Sara settled down again. "But seriously; gay people are awesome and we have like none around here..." I rolled my eyes and waited for her to stop shifting around to hold the light steady so I could read the little handwriting.
"Anyway," I found my spot in the passage, "I got a few gifts but..."
none was better than the gift that Mikey gave me only because he knows how important a journal is to me. Ever since I stopped cutting back in tenth grade, I've been writing. It's a far cleaner and probably safer way of dealing with my problems. It wouldn't be so bad if being gay wasn't such an outcast thing but my friends and family accept me for who I am so I deal. Mikey also gave me a bunch of copies of the pictures he took because the scenery was amazing and he knew I would have loved to go.
My mom got me some more art stuff like brushes and paint and a really nice box of pencils. I start at NYC's AI this fall and I'm so excited. Just wait and see; I'll be the next Picasso or Degas or Monet. They'll hang my artwork in the most prestigious museums all across the world and I'll be so rich that I won't know what to do! Lol. Ok, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself but I'm so excited because that school is really hard to get into and I actually made it! Me; Gerard Arthur Way!
Well I have to put you away now because Bert wants to give me a special gift. I can only imagine what. I'll try to write every day but I'm busy a lot so we'll see.
"What?!" Sara huffed. "Where's the good stuff? He can only imagine?! I can only imagine since he was seriously lacking details!"
"A diary is not written porn!" I said, smacking Sara lightly. "Not everyone carries on about their sex life, or imaginary sex life, in their personal experiences. Gerard even wrote that he keeps journals to help with his cutting!" I pointed to that line, Sara frowning. "Now if you don't want to sit there and listen then keep quiet because I'm curious how Gerard ended up here instead of his art school."
"Fine," Sara slid down and crossed her arms over her chest, leaning on me still to listen. "Still needs sex," She mumbled and I shook my head some, turning the page to get to the next entry.
"July 5; Wow, three months since I've written in you! I'm so sorry! I've..."
been so busy lately that I barely have time to sleep. I ended up moving out of my apartment in Jersey and to New York, close to the school, so I can be all settled for when school starts next month. I'll have to stay on campus the first year but Bert's going to be here and I'll come back on weekends to stay with him when he's not working.
New York is pretty awesome. It's busy which is nice and it's only about an hour drive from the apartment and school which is nice too. Bert didn't want to live so far from his work, two hours, and I understand that, but after a little persuasion, I won. ;) Mikey likes the apartment too which is awesome because I love having my little brother around. He's like my best friend and has been for years. Plus, he gets on Bert's nerves and sometimes I just love watching Bert get upset.
I know, what an awful thing to say about my boyfriend. But Bert pisses me off a lot so it's all even! A lot of times Bert just comes home, grabs a beer, watches television, and goes to bed! I'm lucky if I get a hello some nights! Where's the love in that? But I really love Bert and I know that he loves me. Mikey tells me to break up with him but I can't because Bert has also helped me with the whole cutting problem I used to have. It's hard at times, but what relationship isn't?
I was watching the news today, Bert left it on, and there was some man on there named Michael White who was talking about how America needs to become more Christian again. That's a bunch of bullshit. He's just another homophobic prick fighting against gay rights. But mark my words; one day I'll walking down an isle to fiancé, I won't promise it will be Bert but I hope so, and we'll say 'I do' just like every other straight fucking couple out there. My mom will cry as she watches the ceremony, my dad smiling proudly, and I know I'll be the luckiest man on earth. Yeah, I've planned my wedding. Who doesn't?
But this White guy was going on about 'purifying' America and I don't get what he thinks gives him or anyone else the right to judge what makes other people happy. He claims that God told him that it's his duty to clean America, that 'Judgment Day' is coming, and it amazes me that they didn't just stick him in a mental institution. I believe in God and I go to church and I have spontaneously combusted yet so obviously God doesn't care that I'm gay. I have my theories about the bible anyway. I was always taught that God just wants his children to hold him in their hearts, which I do, somewhere, and that God loves us all equally. My fucking guys shouldn't change that.
I've had this argument so many times but no one seems to believe me. People frustrate me. Maybe that's why I avoid them. I should ask my counselor. That's about all that's happened in the past three months. It seems really uneventful but I swear I've been busy! Lol.
"Wow this guy likes to ramble," Sara said, back to sitting up and reading over my shoulder. "Can't we skip to the reason he got here? It has to be soon if he mentions MW. It didn't take long for him to start the GP," She pointed out and I nodded but I didn't want to miss anything.
Skip to August. I swore I heard someone talk to me but I looked around and it was only Sara and I; maybe a spider or other bug. And spiders don't talk like they do on Charlottes Web; I've tried. It's ok.
"Do you hear something?" I asked Sara a little hesitantly because I didn't want to sound insane, but I was sure as hell feeling it.
"Yes," Sara answered, almost giving me hope. "I hear my own boredom." I sighed and let my head fall back against the wall. Telling my parents I hear voices definitely won't go over well; again. "There's a lot more to that journal so get a move on or fork it over."
"I'm going," I snapped back, giving in to the voice and flipping the pages, just briefly scanning the dates, until I came across one reading 'August 4th'. "There; I skipped ahead. Happy?"
"Enthralled," Sara drawled, playing with the key chains on her bag. I ignored her sarcasm and shifted myself a bit on the uncomfortable cot, my butt falling asleep, before starting to read more of Gerard Way's diary.
"August 4th; I have no idea how to even begin what's happened over the past week..."
I was laying on my bed, unable to sleep as usual due to my insomnia, when I heard a bunch of noise. I got my hopes up that it might be Bert since it had been three weeks, two days, four hours, and fifty-one minutes since I had heard from his last. But the noises were louder and angrier than Bert which made me fear. The next thing I knew, there were these men in my room, yelling at me about how I'm unholy or something, dressed like priests with thick, wooden cross necklaces, yanking me from my bed. With a gun held to my head, I was told to get some clothes together because I was going with them. I wanted to argue but I didn't want to die so I did as I was told. I barely remembered to grab my journal.
At three in the morning, in only my boxers, I was forced out of my apartment and to the street to a van where I was shoved inside, landing on top of other people. They were all just as afraid and confused as I was. It was dark and I couldn't tell one person from the next; I could only hear rabid heart rates and frightened whimpering, before the van began to move and we were repeatedly told to shut up. A few more people were crammed inside.
When the van stopped for good outside this large white building with stained-glass windows and a wooden door. We were all told to get out, some people getting hit if they were too slow, and lined up according to what I assumed was age. All I could think about was the Holocaust and how this looked very familiar to those movies I've seen where the Jews think they're going to some camp only to be killed. I couldn't stop thinking about dying.
That's when he appeared. Michael White. He told us how we were full of sin and were brought to this clinic to be purified and ready for God. It was the same bullshit from all the times I caught him on the television, only this time it actually scared me. All I could do was stand there beside all the other people, holding my clothes to my body for decency. He said that when we converted to the proper Christian ways we would be allowed to leave. It was a clinic to help us. From the moment I saw this place I saw it as hell.
When White left, we were all ushered inside and 'checked in' by some lady at the desk. After that it was upstairs where we were assigned rooms. Basically, we came to a door and were shoved in. My room is so cramped and uncomfortable. It's small with a very uncomfortable cot which I now sit on as I write by the small stream of light coming in through the open space on the door since there are no windows. I'm lucky to still have my journal because they took practically everything else. They cut my hair to almost a buzz and I'm only allowed to wear these plain black clothes with a giant ass white cross on them. I hide you, my journal, every night beneath my bed in the far back corner where they wouldn't ever look. I only hope I keep until I get out of here.
"He didn't even sign it..." I whispered as I re-read the entry. In a few short paragraphs, I could feel Gerard's fear and pain from being forced here. It wasn't a clinic, it was a camp. Like a concentration camp if you will. And as he said, Michael White was indeed a Hitler.
"Don't stop there!" Sara frantically spoke, sitting on her knees and staring at me. "I want to know what happened!"
"Ok, hold on!" I said, fighting back tears because just thinking about being ripped away from my home, my life, and forced into someone else's ways like that hurt. I could only imagine what Gerard felt since he actually was forced to live like that. Go on; I'm free now, the same quiet, whisper like voice said to me and I absently nodded, turning the page which was left half blank to get to the next entry. "August 13th; I don't understand why they're doing this to us..."
Punishment here is beyond anything you could ever imagine. If you step out of line once, no matter how little you get yourself over that line, heavy cuffs are locked on your wrists and you're dragged to the third floor where there's a small room containing a hose, a drain, and a series of chains hanging from the ceiling. It's the last place in the building you ever want to be. Even the 'basement of bodies' as we call it would be better than the room of chains.
You're locked inside the room with one guard who pulls your shirt off and removes your cuffs only to grab your wrists and pull them over your head, hooking them into one of the sets of chains hanging from the ceiling. Your legs are spread and your ankles chained to the floor, the cold air brushing your skin as though it's trying to numb you for what's to come. Nothing can ever prepare you though, no matter how much you try and pray or distract yourself.
The guard takes a whip of his choosing off the wall, all of them being of various size and thickness but all of which have sharp edges and begins to attack your flesh relentlessly, carrying out a certain number of lashes based on your crime. You can cry and scream all you want as the whip cuts through you but it only makes the guard do it harder or more than they're supposed to. They just have to reach the given number; they don't have to stop there. And all you can do is pull on the chains locked around your wrists, rubbing your skin raw and pray that it ends soon.
Once whipped, you get to feel the warm blood trickle from your burning, stinging wounds, before you're hosed down with the highest pressure hose you could ever imagine, watching your blood mix with the water as it slips down the drain. If you're lucky, you're alone in the room during your punishment to save yourself a little dignity, but usually the chains are full of innocent people being wrongfully tortured. When clean, you're released and told to redress, dragged to your room where you're supposed to 'thank God for letting you feel what Jesus felt'. It hurts for days and there's nothing you can do about it.
It's hard to think about getting out when you can't move without ripping the cloth from your flesh.
I couldn't help it anymore. Tears started to slide down my face, as did some on Sara's, because how could anyone be so cruel? Pure and utter torture for what? Because Gerard was gay? Don't cry over the past. I felt, what I thought was hand, stroke the side of my face briefly and I quickly put my hand there, my warm tears landing on my fingers. "Everything we were ever taught...it was all a lie..." I whispered, thinking about the way the textbooks and teachers always decorated the Great Purification to be some amazing time in America's history that we prospered from. How is torturing innocent people for having different lifestyles than our own prosperous?
"G-go on..." Sara said, wiping her eyes.
"A-August 21; T-today wasn't all b-bad..."
Each day a cell or two becomes empty, available. I've seen what happens if you keep fighting. You just keep getting whipped until the flesh practically falls off your bones. I've given up fighting. I go along with what they tell me. I'll never give up my beliefs though. I'm gay, I always have been, and I always will be. If they want to kill me over that then so be it because no amount of physical torture I endure will ever change who I am inside.
But anyway, they brought some new people today. The groups keep getting younger and younger which makes me wonder exactly what qualifies you to continue living in the real world. If it wasn't for my journal, I would surely have lost track of what day it is. Day blends into night until everything is just and on stretch of time where your daily routines repeat over and over.
In the new group of people today there was this young boy, eighteen or so I'm guessing, that caught my attention. He's cute, like really cute. His arms are decorated in a beautiful array of colorful tattoos that, unless they cut his arms off, he'll be fortunate to keep. His luscious brown hair though will be cut away like my black locks were. He had these big, not quite brown, eyes that sparkled despite the fear that consumed them. He only glanced briefly at me as I scrubbed the floors, used to watching groups of prisoners being escorted up the stairs, but something about him managed to put a tiny smile on my face, receiving one in return, as though I was lying to him to tell him he would be ok. I could tell he knew it was a lie though. But that was ok.
If I can see him every day, even if I never know his name, I may make it out of here yet.
"Awwww," Sara laughed a bit, wiping her eyes some more as I smiled. "He had a crush!" I wiped my eyes a bit more as well, not wanting to smudge the already hard-to-read ink with my tears. I also noticed that he signed it again. "There has to be more about him!"
"Let's see," I said, flipping the page over to continue going. "August 23; I learned his name today! It's Frank and he's eighteen just like I thought..."
I was sitting on my bed, drawing a few pieces on a few pieces of paper that I ripped out of you (Sorry! Hope it didn't hurt!) when my door suddenly opened. Quickly, I shoved everything beneath my pillow and could only imagine what I did wrong now. Was the floor not clean enough? Was I not loud enough during our morning prayers or was I too loud during mass when we were singing? My wounds had just healed over and the last thing I wanted was for them to be split open again.
But, with an angry push, Frank was shoved into my room. The guard told me that, due to space problems, Frank would be staying with me. I didn't mind that, of course, but I felt bad because we weren't getting another bed; there was no room. And we were being punished for being gay, at least I was, so that meant there was no way we could get away with sleeping together. Still, the cute boy was now in my room, alone with me, looking completely adorable still in the atrocious outfit and much shorter hair. Yes, I felt like a bit like a pedophile because he seemed so young but it was only a couple year age difference.
It was awkward at first but eventually I managed to get him to sit on the cot beside me. That's when he told me his name and I gave mine to him. And once that wall was down, he lost it. The poor kid just burst into tears, expressing his immense fear of being in the building, pulled away from his family; and I just put my arms around him to tell him it would be ok. He clung to my shirt, his fingers accidentally brushing over my cuts, but I didn't mind. He needed someone and I was the only one there. I just wish I had the guts to of cried like I so desperately wanted to when I arrived.
That was the beginning with Frank. Right now he's sleeping as I write. My insomnia still keeps me up but now I feel like if I sleep, something will happen to him. I've told him to do as he's told and I only hope that he listens because he's at that rebellious age, not to mention he's already covered in tattoos, and I don't know what I would do if they torture him. Escape looks grim but survival is still a possibility, if we hold on tight enough. I gave Frank the cot and I sit on the floor because it makes no difference to me. Both are cold and hard; I can only offer the better to the younger man who fell asleep as soon as I laid the blanket over him. We can't be caught too close so I made it quick, humming him a lullaby my mom used to sing to me, watching his lids fall over those hazel eyes as he drifted off.
Bert's gone, it's been almost two months, I think. This isn't cheating. This is survival. This is protection.
"That's so cute!" Sara all but squealed as I finished the entry. "Frank seems so cute!"
"There was hardly anything bad in that entry," I said, glancing over it quickly again. "He gave up his bed for Frank..."
"Duh," Sara rolled her eyes. "He loves him!"
"But he hardly knows him," I pointed out, though Sara seemed unconvinced. "And Bert..."
"Gerard even said a bunch of pages ago that Bert was gone. He also said how he and Bert had some problems," Sara ranted on. "Plus, haven't you ever heard of love at first sight?" I frowned, finding it hard to believe that Gerard could love someone so easily and so quickly like that. He probably saw the need to protect Frank since he was younger and Gerard already knew what happened in the building. Sometimes, you just have to follow your heart.
"Let's see what's next," I said, pushing the little voice aside and turning the page. "September 1st; It's been awhile, I know, but things aren't all that bad..."
Frank and I have been getting to know one another. His middle name is Anthony. He's actually like the third person in his family to have that name. He loves to play guitar and he did have a lip piercing before his parents decided he didn't need it anymore. He was in a band with some friends and seemed to be doing really well.
He doesn't have any siblings and his parents are divorced. Frank like comic books like me and horror movies and his laugh is probably the best thing I've ever heard. I only get to talk to him at night because during the day we have our duties, church, and whatever else is given to us. Today, I had to bury bodies. It's not the first time I've done it but it doesn't make it any better. No one gets a tombstone or anything. We have to dig holes big enough to get the body inside, dump it in, and cover it with dirt again.
It's weird, seeing people that I used to see walking around or hear screaming now lying in a massive heap of naked flesh, no more fear in their eyes and a smile, if you will, on their faces as they now know they're free. I envy them for being able to be free, to go wherever they want, but at the same time I don't want to be dead either. If I was dead, I wouldn't be with Frank. And so I silently pull up the earth, push a body inside, and leave it to the earth to claim however it will. My hands used to blister but now they're calloused which makes gripping the wooden handle of the shovel less painful.
Frank had to wash dishes. I'm glad he doesn't have to be near the dead bodies. He's still young, he doesn't need that on top of his already emotionally unstable soul. He hasn't spoke out of line yet either which I'm grateful for. I hope he can stay strong because sometimes they just really try to push your buttons. Even if the guards start if, if you slip, you're the one who's punished.
He looks so cute when he's sleeping. What I would do to be able to hold him as he sleeps; to feel him close. But I can't risk his health, his life, like that. For now, I will imagine it, just like I imagine what my life would be like if this 'Great Purification' never happened. The only good that it's brought me is Frank, and I'm starting to think that he may be worth it all.
"Tell me that's not love!" Sara threw her hand towards the journal in emphasis and I smacked it away, looking at my watch. It was already midnight; only six more hours until we could leave. At least we had Gerard's journal to keep up entertained. "What happens next? Does Gerard end up pounding Frank into that cot?"
"Will you stop that?!" I smacked Sara's arm as the soft laughter returned to my mind. "Haven't you been listening?! Gerard doesn't want to get caught doing anything with Frank because he's afraid of what they might do to Frank! Last I checked, sex isn't exactly a quiet happening."
"Last you checked?" Sara rose her eyebrow at me. "You're more of a virgin than Mary!"
"Well I haven't squeezed any holy baby out my vagina so then yeah, I think I am a bit more of a virgin," I said, both of us staring each other down before bursting into laughter. "I'm sure they had a mature, adult relationship," I said, turning the page to start on the next chapter. "September 7th, I totally made out with Frank today!"
"Real mature!" Sara laughed more.
"Fuck you," I mumbled, smiling some. "It was totally on accident but it was amazing nonetheless..."
Frank told me he had never kissed anyone before. I couldn't believe it because he was a teen and aren't all teens like horny as hell all the time? I'm 21 and I was still rather horny myself. Not so much here, but you get my point. So when Frank told me he had never been kissed before, I knew there was no way I could let that go on. Mainly because, in here, you never know when your last day is going to be. I'm one of the only remaining ones from the first 'shipment' and I'm waiting for the day I don't return. Which is why I had to kiss Frank; and to have him be able to know what it's like to be kissed.
So, when the lights had been turned off for the night, I was sitting on the cot with Frank as usual, humming the lullaby to him, when I bent down to kiss his forehead and Frank, the sneaky little devil, turned his head so I ended up kissing his lips. They were a little chapped and dry but very soft and probably one of the sweetest things I've ever tasted. I pulled away in shock, trying to take in what happened, before I realized that I had just kissed Frank and bent back down to do it more. He allowed me to, putting his fingers in the bit of hair I had left, and after a bit of time, Frank got the idea of what he was supposed to do.
And that's how we spent our night last night. I was in such a bliss today that nothing got me down. I wonder what will happen when the lights go out tonight. ;)
"That's what I'm talking about!" Sara bounced on the cot, making it squeak a bit. "Hot, heavy, action."
"They kissed," I said, trying to steady myself so I wouldn't tear the page. "It's nothing you haven't seen happening under the bleachers at gym," Sara stopped bouncing and adjusted herself to sitting in an Indian style pose like I did myself.
"We've seen more than kissing under those bleachers," She cringed a bit, tingles running through my own spine. I yawned, rubbing my eyes and trying not to begin dozing off, wanting to know what happened with the two though, in my gut, I already knew. Gerard's journal was left behind so they either ran away or, well, I'm going to think positive. Don't be afraid of the truth, the whispering voice ran through my mind some more. This is what happens when I'm tired. There's no need to fear the past; it's already done and over with.
"How about we go a bit further before I pass out?" I asked Sara who looked like she was on a caffeine high. Turning the page, I released another yawn and blinked my eyes to back to reading. "September 21; I haven't been able to write because, well, my nights are spent with Frank..."
It's weird, really, the content I feel from just lightly kissing him to holding him in my arms at night until he falls asleep, sliding out from beneath him to go sit in my corner. There is nothing overly sexual or lustful, but it all feels so right. The small touches, the brief smiles from passing in the hall, the sparkle in his eyes when we're not close enough to accidentally touch shoulders or bump into each other. I don't want to say it for fear of losing it, but I like I l-o-v-e him. Just like I hate to say it, but I'm glad Bert's not around because he'd probably be out on his ass.
I don't care if Frank feels the same about me. Even if he's pretending, it's enough to give my mind a place to slip away when my hands get stepped on as I clean the floors or when I get shoved to the ground for not walking fast enough. When we get out of here, I'll ask Frank to come back to New York with me. My apartment's plenty big enough and he's legally old enough to make his own decisions. And I'll take care of him like I've tried here. We could be happy together if we gave it a try.
But for now, I'm content watching him sleep or softly kissing him or quickly pulling out a bible and 'studying' when a guard comes in for a random room check. I couldn't be happier. Maybe there is a God and maybe He's showing me some redemption in this place. Maybe Frank's an angel, I know he is, and he's exactly what I need. And maybe, maybe I have a future beyond these four cement walls after all.
Sara suddenly lost all of her bouncy attitude and was lying on the cot, staring up at me with tired eyes but eagerness for me to continue. I smiled, and before she could ask, I flipped the page to the next entry, "September 30; Today was the worst day of my life..." I automatically froze, afraid to read on, Sara's smile instantly falling from her face. Don't be afraid; I'm happy and without pain now. "I don't know why, but they took Frank..."
I don't know what he did wrong, or what I did wrong even, but they came in the early morning and pulled him from the bed and wouldn't tell me why. They just dragged him from the bed out the door, ignoring his cries for help, his cries for me, leaving me alone in the room until it was time for breakfast. I didn't see Frank all day and my heart was pounding so hard against my chest it literally hurt.
I didn't see him until a few hours ago when I was sitting on the cot, playing with the frayed strands of the blanket, that the door opened and Frank was shoved inside; covered in blood. He fell to his knees and coughed a bit, the red substance splattering across the cement floor as the door was shut behind him. His arms were torn with cuts, his blood already seeping through his shirt, and when he collapsed completely to the ground I nearly had a heart attack in fear.
I didn't know what else to do so I jumped off the bed and ran to him, falling to my knees and stroking his face which was crusted with his blood. They had tortured him; they had tortured him. I called his name a few times and got no response but he was still breathing so I had to pick him up and bring him to the cot where I removed his shirt, I could see all the deep cuts across his body. I still don't know what caused them to attack him but then again, do they really need a reason? These fuckers control our every move and it's sickening.
I took off my own shirt to place over his mutilated body so he wouldn't have to wear the blood-soaked one they put back on him. It's cold and the cement stings my bare back but Frank needs it. He's sleeping at the moment, I check on him every few minutes, because I fear nothing more than him not waking up. He occasionally coughs or whimpers and I wish I could take his pain away, but what can I do? I've cried and I've hummed and I've kissed his cheek. We're trapped in a cell without medicine and I've let the chilled air run over his cuts to try and numb them. Now, all I can do is pray.
Again, this was another unsigned entry. Gerard seems to only sign the happy ones. I don't blame him. This one had been hard to read because some parts were blurred from smeared ink, no doubt his tears, and I had to push the journal to my ankles so I wouldn't smear it anymore. How could anyone treat someone else so cruelly? Some people don't care.
"I-is Frank ok...?" Sara asked, waiting for me to continue reading the journal.
"H-hold on..." I whispered, wiping my eyes clean of tears again. Suddenly, I felt as though there were arms wrapped around me, and it was kind of soothing in a way. I sat like that, felling enveloped, until I gained my composure and brought the journal back to my lap to go on to the next journal entry. "O-October 24; Almost a month since I've entered something and I'm sorry..."
I've been really busy taking care of Frank whenever I can. He got sick from the abuse. His wounds got infected slightly and he kept throwing up so I was constantly cleaning out the little bucket that serves as our bathroom, which annoyed the guards since they had to keep letting me out but fortunately, all they did was bitch or push.
At meal time, Frank couldn't keep anything down. He barely could get from our room to anywhere else. They still made him work and I have to give Frank credit for managing the best he could. They didn't attack him anymore because they knew that wouldn't do any good. If anything, that would only make Frank collapse so he wouldn't get anything done. They wanted him to be alive and functioning, but just barely. Any chance I could I've helped him and as soon as we were put in our room for the night, Frank would lay down on the bed and I would hum my lullaby, stroking his face gently until he would manage to fall asleep until the next morning it would all repeat again.
I haven't slept at all in a few weeks and everything's starting to blend together but I can't go to sleep because if I do, I might wake up and Frank won't be there anymore. I don't want him to suffer, but I don't want him to leave me either. I can't help but wonder how much longer Frank will last because every day he gets a little worse and one can only take so much abuse...
"Just...go on..." Sara whispered, lying on her side in a curled position as I leaned back against the wall, the feeling of arms around my body gone again. I nodded, unable to produce proper words if I could, and carefully turned the crumpled page open to release more of Gerard's heart into the room he once sat in. I wondered where he was now and how he was doing; how Frank was.
"October 31; It's Halloween today which is really awesome because..."
I've always been a fan of the holiday but more importantly because it's Frank's birthday. He didn't tell me until today actually. It's awesome his birthday is on a holiday. I wish I was that cool! x3 My birthday is in boring old April though. Frank deserves to have a cool birthday.
He's better, you know. Not completely, of course, but he's able to keep a little of the 'food' down now and doesn't shake as much at night. His cuts are beginning to scar a bit and the shine in his eyes is coming back a bit as well. Because he was sick, and because I was in the room with him, it was decided we needed some fresh air; that the whole building did. So our day was spent outside in a recess sort of event. It's probably the only time I can say the people that run this place are human.
Frank and I just walked around a bit, my supporting him, enjoying the somewhat cold air that was much cleaner feeling than the air inside the building. Leaves were multiple colors, falling from the trees, and everyone scattered across the front of the lawn, no one daring to go out back where all the bodies had been loosely buried. It was depressing and this was a good day for us so that was the last thing we needed.
Frank and I sat beneath this tree off to the side, making sure we were still able to be seen by the guards who monitored everyone actions, sitting beside each other and just talked. Frank said he would come live with me when we got out which made me really happy. He told me how he wants to be in a band and I think that's pretty awesome because he really seems passionate about it. I want to go to art school still. I have the supplies and a bit of talent. It's always been my dream like Frank's is to be in a band.
We spent hours outside, not really caring when the wind picked up and pushed leaves or dust at our faces. It was just Frank and I beneath that tree, no one there to bother us really, knees pulled our chests and sharing our dreams. I know Frank's the one I'm supposed to spend my life with. I can just feel it. And when we get out of this building and beyond that fence, I'll take him to meet my parents and Mikey. Mikey will love him; I know it. He's so different than Bert. Frank is more caring.
It's been a long but really nice day and I think that, tonight, for once, I can actually get some sleep. Until next time;
"I want my birthday to be Halloween..." Sara said to herself and I laughed tiredly. I was ready to pass out but I was so eager to finish this. Glancing at my watch again, I saw that it was 1:45 in the morning. No wonder; I'm lucky if I survive past midnight. I can't sleep all morning like some people can.
"Bit more," I yawned, pushing myself further to read more of the beautiful handwriting over the yellowed pages to enter that world of Gerard Way and his lover Frank. I was never against gay people, but I had never been for it. Then again, everything I've really ever been taught has been based on lies. "November 5; It's getting really scary around here..."
People are rapidly disappearing. Every second I'm away from Frank, I'm panicking. What if he's next? What if I am? They're not bringing anyone else in anymore either. Could this be the end?
I showed Frank my journal and he smiled, laughed a bit, and even cried as he read it. He loved how he's in it but there's no way I can't write about him. How I would love to paint him too if I had the materials. He's watching me right now actually. Just sitting there on the cot as I sit on the floor in my usual spot, eyes glued to me, quiet as a mouse but looking cuter than ever. I can't keep the smile from my face. To wake up to that face every day in my bed in New York will definitely be worth all these long, cold nights on the floor.
Frank's almost over his sickness, but his body sure took a beating. He's so exhausted all the time that he can't quite hold himself up, even when he's sitting, and he still doesn't eat much. The guards push him a lot because he's slow but I can't do anything about it without them hurting him more. I want to run and help him up every time I see him fall to the floor or hold him close and tell him everything is going to be ok every time he winces with pain from his still healing wounds.
He said to me, you know. On his birthday, right after I put you away and was getting ready to go to sleep. He wasn't out himself and after kissing me in the darkness of the room, he told me he loved me. And the words flowed so easily off my lips back to him. It was the happiest moment of my life because, while I said it to Bert and occasionally had him say it back to me, those three little words didn't quite seem so hollow anymore. They seemed filled and warm and perfect.
Since then he's whispered it to me every night as I cover him with the thin blanket and kiss him goodnight. And I always say it back to him. I love him, and he loves me. And I couldn't be happier regardless of the horrible life I'm being forced to lead.
"Awww..." Sara mumbled, half asleep now beside me. My head was falling to the side but I turned that page anyway, a smile on my face. They loved each other; and it was all Gerard needed to keep him going. That's true love. To be trapped in the worst place imaginable, still happy as can be simply because you're with the one person who you would do anything for. He was, he is, my everything.
"November...13..." I said between wide yawns, almost holding my eyes open, the flashlight resting in my lap now to give me light to read. "This will probably be my last entry..."
It happened today. The day I had always been fearing finally came. We were rushed from our room in the morning, all of us, and brought to the back, stepping over and on the various graves of other people. We were all lined up, just like in the beginning, only in a different way. They separated Frank and I.
What I noticed was I stood with the people who looked as healthy as possible, Frank with the weaker people. I knew what was coming and I didn't want to watch it but I couldn't take my eyes off Frank. I wanted to protect him. The line I was in was ushered back against the wall of the building, our hands behind our heads as though we were being arrested, the others lined up about two yards ahead of us.
The guards lined up as well, a few watching us but the majority in front of that line. Frank looked back at me with sad eyes and tears began to run down my face because he knew what was about to happen as well. The 'Great Purification' was coming to an end and White was frantic so he was disposing of people in the quickest way possible.
One by one, they were shot down; like dominoes. And with every shot and falling body, my heart beat faster and my tears grew thicker as they got closer and closer to Frank. He just stood there, you know. He stood with his back straight and chin high, the very soft hum of the lullaby I always eased him to sleep with drifting from his throat and back towards me, making me cry harder. He's so brave and at only nineteen years old I wish that I was more like him.
The gun was pointed to him and I screamed, only to get hit harshly by one of the guards watching me. Frank didn't flinch as the guard cocked the gun, the barrel aimed right at his chest; he just stood there like he had before and continued to hum. I blacked out a little when the gun went off, waking up to see Frank fall to his knees in what felt like the longest seconds of my life until he laid on the ground, silent in a mass of dirt as the guard moved on. Tears streamed down my face because he was gone now, laying dead before me on the ground.
And when all the bodies were dead on the ground, they told us to grab shovels to bury them. I wouldn't let anywhere near Frank as the guards went back inside and we all set to work. I knelt beside him at first, a smile on his lips even in death, and told him how I loved him. I know he heard me. Then I went to tree out front we had sat beside to dig his grave, ignoring the yells from the guards that I was supposed to be out back. They didn't do anything though; they were afraid someone would see with my being out front.
Then, unlike the other graves, I dug Frank's deep so when I went back to get his body, cradling him in my arms, I kissed his lips one last time and sat on my knees to carefully lower his body into the earth. When I covered him with dirt, I made sure it was neat and even. I took all evening, skipping dinner, to make sure it was perfect. He deserved that; he deserved so much more. I can only be thankful that he's free now. He'll no longer suffer or live in pain and exhaustion.
I can't stand it here any longer. They're only going to kill me soon which is why I'm writing this last entry before I leave. I don't know how I'll die or how quickly, but I won't fear it. I welcome it now. Because I know Frank will be waiting for me and I only hope that I can be as strong and brave as he was when he died.
Should someone find this journal, I hope the horror is over. I hope you don't have to face what we had to face and I hope that you can live the life you want. All I can say is that when you find love, don't let go to it. It's really the best thing to happen to you. So now, I bid you a last good bye because I'm going home to the man I love and I'll be happier than I've ever been in my entire life.
Flipping the page, tears uncontrollably rolling down my eyes, the rest of the journal was empty. It really was his final entry. "There's no m-more..." I whispered, Sara already asleep beside me. Rest child; it's done and over. The voice whispered to me, a gentle hand stroking my face again. I adjusted myself beside Sara, curling up with the journal tight to my chest, and cried myself to sleep.
"Elyse; Elyse, wake up," I groaned and opened my sore eyes to see Sara sitting up in front of me. "Come on, we have to go before our parents freak out," She said, sliding off the cot we had fallen asleep on.
"W-what...?" I mumbled, managing to pull my aching body into a sitting position.
"It's already like, eight am!" She said frantically, sticking her father's camping light into her bag. "We have to go!" I looked around the room which was still dark, except for Sara's flashlight, but the door was open now. I padded around for the journal, finding it next to me, and slid it into my bag as I got off the squeaky cot. My parents would kill me if they found out I spent the night here. "Come on!" Sara left the room and started down the stairs.
I followed her out of the room, stopping and looking back inside. "Thank you, Gerard," I said, rubbing my eyes a bit to clarify my vision. "I'm so sorry for what happened to you and Frank but I'll keep your journal in a safe place so people will know what really happened," I promised, holding my bag close.
"Elyse!" Sara called from the stairs so I followed her down, Sara already at the door which was allowing streams of sunlight inside the building. We left the building, nearly running down the broken cement steps to the little hole in the fence, Sara's flashlight on as we traveled.
I suddenly stopped on the weeded path and looked towards a tree standing off to the side. I swear I saw a tall, thin man with long black hair standing next to a man who sat beneath the tree with his knees held against his chest, his arms tattooed and hair a shaggy brown mess. The man with black hair smiled at me, reaching an arm down and helping the sitting man to his feet before giving me a soft wave, the two turning and heading away from me, hand in hand. I waved back a little, Sara suddenly grabbing my wrist and pulling me towards the fence. "I won't let your slowness get me grounded," She said, pulling her bag off. I looked back to the tree but there was nothing and no one there.
And I just smiled because Gerard was right. He really did go home to be with the man he loved.
A/N--- 11.8k words. That took me hours to write. And just so you know, I was crying.
But this is kinda my take on what's going to happen if we cant get the fuck over ourselves and just accept people for who they are.
Dedicated to lilrainforest my lovely, lovely wiffeh