Mikey has always been ignored, overlooked in his brother's shadow. But someone finally notices him. One-Shot
Thanks to my brother’s antics, my entire life I’ve always been able to hide from everyone. Nobody ever noticed anything. Any problems I might have had got lost in Gerard’s craziness. I wasn’t angry at him for it; that was just how he was. He commanded attention, whether he wanted it or not. It’d always been like that. Until Frank.
My parents never knew I was anorexic. They still don’t know. Of course being Italian, my mother always told me to eat more, but she never became too concerned. She just thought I was naturally skinny, even though it wasn’t something that ran in the family. Every time she even got close to asking me about it, she’d realize Gerard hadn’t come home, or that there was a bottle of wine that was missing from the fridge. It was useful, peaceful, to always know that things I might do would go unnoticed.
Like I said, it wasn’t Gerard’s fault. And he noticed me more than anybody did. More than my parents, he worried about me. But that was when he wasn’t trying to deal with himself. Which wasn’t very often. He didn’t notice how I’d drink some of what he had hidden in his closet. He didn’t notice when I swallowed a few more pills than necessary. All throughout middle school and high school, I treaded the line he walked, but a few steps behind. So that when I started the things he’d done to induce so much panic in our parents, it didn’t matter, because he was keeping their attention with something farther down the line.
Once the band started, I continued to be peacefully ignored. I was there, but I never held anyone’s attention the way Gerard did. On stage, and off it.
Even my to me, my own problems gave way to my brother. I never noticed how much I drank, or how my pants that had come from the girl’s section refused to stay around my waist. I just watched my brother load up on beer and pills every morning, go onstage and explode, and then vomit in the parking lot and pass out in the grass. I was more worried about him than I was myself, just like everyone else.
That pattern was finally broken, by one outstanding and sudden exception to the way I’d convinced myself that nobody cared about me.
I’d woken up in my bunk to see my brother passed out on the floor beneath me. I could hear him snoring. His jacket had been slung haphazardly over his body like some sort of blanket. I cringed as I looked at him on the floor, wishing it wasn’t something I was so familiar with.
After I managed to pull my eyes away, I realized that I felt hot. I looked down to see my hands shaking like leaves. I frowned and tried to control them, but it didn’t work. I continued to tremble violently.
Ray came through the bunks just then to tell Gerard and I that the show was starting in an hour. Again I frowned; it was unlike me to sleep this late. Usually only Gerard had to be warned at the hour mark.
I sighed and tried to shake the pain that had arrived in my head along with my trembles as I leaned down to wake up me brother.
“Shows in an hour Gee,” I said, grabbing his shoulder tightly.
His eyelids fluttered open as he stared at me lazily. “Do I have to get up?” He drawled.
“Yeah,” I told him with a sigh, as I got out of bed and helped him up. He moaned as I pulled him from the floor, then frowned at me.
“Mikey you’re hot,” he said as he stumbled down the hall.
“Uh, thank you?”
He shook his head as he pulled a beer out of the mini fridge. “No, you’re hot. Like warm.”
“I’m fine.” I pushed off his tiny concern, grabbing a mug for coffee with my shaking hands.
Ray, Bob and Frank bustled into our tiny kitchen area, scrambling for last minute cups of coffee, water and beer.
“You alright?” Frank said, and at first, I thought he was talking to me, my heart jumping in my chest. But then I realized the way he was facing. Towards Gerard.
“Yeah. I’m good.” Gerard said, taking a swig of beer and pushing past us out of the bus. “Let’s rock.”
Ray and Bob followed, and Frank and I trailed after them.
Frank ran a hand through his messy hair, eyes narrowing as he looked at me.
Normally, I’d have been excited by the attention from him. He was all I wanted. But I suddenly felt drained, too tired to speak, let alone play a show.
“Mikey, are you ok?” Frank asked hesitantly. I stared at him, stunned.
“Mikey?” He asked again. I blinked, trying to make sure I wasn’t imagining this.
“Yeah. Uh, yeah. I guess.”
Frank bit his lip, fiddling with the ring that adorned it. “You look like shit.”
“I’m just tired. I’ll be ok.” But even as I said it, I realized with a sinking feeling that I was sick. I’d been ignoring all the signs in the wake of finding Gerard on the floor of the bus. Now I could feel the heat creeping up my body, burning on every inch of my skin.
“Are you sure?” Frank said, grabbing his guitar off a rack near the stage and tuning it.
I found my bass, but almost dropped it before I was able to reply. I noticed how Frank’s gaze lingered on my trembling hands.
“I’m ok.” I replied. Part of me wished he’d continue to worry, but he trusted me, walking onto the stage without another thought.
“I’m not okay…” I sang softly to myself as I followed him, wishing I could dive into a bucket of ice.
During the forty minute show, Gerard’s pants fell down twice. He was so hammered, and high and just plain wrong. But all I could think about was the show ending, so I could get off that stage, away from all those people and douse myself in ice water. I doubt I played anything right.
The moment that the show was over, I was off the stage as well as I could manage, leaving my bass on the floor for someone to take care of. Nobody even followed me, or asked why I was leaving so fast. Probably because right after we got off, Gerard walked into a wall, and blood began to pour out of his nose. I was thankful for the distraction. He had good timing. He always did.
I poured a bottle of water over my head, but I still felt like I was in flames. I swore I could see an orange glow around my body. I thought I heard noise behind me, but I ruled it out to hearing things. I was practically hallucinating as it was.
Nausea began to crawl up my throat, and I swallowed, but I wasn’t too worried. Being anorexic, it’s not like I had much to throw up anyhow.
I dragged myself up the stairs of the bus, to my bunk. I flopped down on the pillows, as the nausea got worse. I heard thuds up the steps as I clenched my teeth, in an effort to keep back what little I had in my body.
“Mikey? Mikey!” Someone called worriedly. I vaguely wondered who it was, though most of me thought I was imagining it. But it wasn’t my imagination that brought Frank sprinting down the hallway, calling my name.
He tucked his hair behind his ears nervously as he scanned the bus, running towards me when he caught sight of me in my bunk.
“Mikey? Are you ok? I swear I thought you were gonna pass out up there.” He frowned at me, putting a hand against my broiling forehead, then pulling back like I’d shocked him.
“Jesus! You’re on fucking fire! Why didn’t you say anything?”
Because I don’t want to puke, I thought to myself. But he was waiting for an answer.
“S’not a big deal.” I muttered, swallowing feverishly.
“Mikey, you’re sick. It is a big deal. What’d you think, that nobody cared?”
I stared at the wall, and though I couldn’t see him, I could feel the pain on Franks face.
“You really did think that didn’t you? That no one cared that you were sick? My god Mikey.” He said, crawling into the bunk with me. I stared at him through my hazy vision in surprise, imagining how perfect this moment would be if I wasn’t about to throw up, or if I didn’t have a fever of two billion degrees.
“Jesus,” Frank said again, tucking my sweaty hair behind my ear as he wrapped his arms around me. “I can’t believe you’d think that.” When I didn’t reply again, he continued, determined to prove himself to me. “I’ll prove you wrong Mikes. I’m not leaving your side until you’re better.” He stoked my burning cheekbone. “Even if there is a giant spider. Even if the bus gets flooded with water. I won’t leave you.”
“Thanks Frankie,” I sighed, the words getting caught in my throat as the nausea began to overwhelm me. Frank moved lightning fast, grabbing an empty McDonald’s Happy Meal container from the floor, and holding it under my chin. I gagged and choked as bile made it’s way up my throat with a hit of coffee. It was only a mouthful, which would’ve been a relief for anyone else, but for me it wasn’t because I knew it meant empty heaving, which is just as excruciating.
Frank gripped my shoulder tightly as I clenched the muscles in my stomach. He trailed his fingers up and down my back. I trembled against him as I was wracked by a vicious series of dry heaves that lasted far too long. When I lay back down against him, Frank sighed.
“Mikey, are you anorexic?”
I gulped, swallowing and cringing as the acid taste washed down my throat.
“No,” I said, but it came out more like a moan. The blistering heat on my skin was enough to make me want to black out.
“Really? Then how come you didn’t have more to get rid of than coffee?”
“Because,” I said, my voice lowering to whisper as my remaining energy dripped out through my voice. “I haven’t eaten.”
“Well I’m gonna make sure you do from now on.”
I was too tired to fight him, or even get defensive. My reply was one word, submissive.
“You can sleep now Mikes. I won’t leave.”
He didn’t leave. When I woke up an hour later, he was still there, in the exact same position. Ray brought us Tylenol and some water, which Frank gave to me. I fell back asleep after that, and when I woke again, he was still there, asleep next to me. I could see my sweat slick on his arms from where he’d held me. His breath was cool on my face, refreshing. I shut my eyes again, enjoying the moment, listening to his soft, steady heartbeat.
I was never forgotten after that. As long as Frank is here, I never will be.
Okey doke. What'd you think? Like I said, it's not my favorite thing I've ever written. But I still want to hear your opinion. Also, for anyone who's interested, I've decided to do a commission type thing, if you will. Not for money (hardee har har) but because...I feel like it. So if you've got an idea for a one shot (one shots only, I don't have time to take on another story) that you want me to write, review and let me know, and I'll try to write it for you, as well as give you recognition for the original concept. I'm interested to see what you guys come up with. Thanks! Rate and Review xoxox