Hey, what are bully's for?
August 27, 1992
"I haven't been to school in a couple days. I just barely made it here last period. This is my last class of the day, and I hate it. I only saw a few people that I actually know. I haven't even seen Doug at all, and I'm sort of hoping that he's absent or something. I haven't really even seen Lenny today either, come to think of it. Frank said hi to me today, and tried to talk but I pretty much ignored him. I feel sort of bad, though, cos he's right in front of me now, and I haven't said anything to him. I didn't even say hi to him this morning. I'm such a jerk. But it's not that I enjoy being rude, I just can't really talk. It sounds lame, I know. But after the other night full of screaming, I really don't think I'll be making any noise for a while.
I did wave, however, so I guess that's one way of saying hello. I wore long sleeves today, to cover up the bruises and cuts. I've got white powder and white stage make up on my face, to hide my black eye, but my busted lip was a bit harder to cover up. A few people thought that I was new today, and I admit that I was a bit suprised at how I look with white on my face. Frank seemed to be the only person who noticed me, and recognized me. I really don't know how, but oh well.
After school yesterday, even though I didn't go, my brother came home. He was hugged and kissed and fed like never before. But he wasn't punished for running away at all. That's what confuses me. Here I am, getting punished and beat for every little thing Michael does, and he's the one who runs away and gets welcomed into open arms! This always happens to me now, yet I can't exactly figure out why. I've already figured they must hate and detest me, but I don't know why either. I was their first born, their pride, love, and joy, up until five years ago that is. The year my grandfather died, everything changed. My grandmother started calling me more, my mother got a job, my brother was forced out of my dinky little bedroom and into his own gigantic one, and I was ignored by my parents. That's when I started running away, to my grandma's house and down town, until eventually I found the cave. I also lost every single friend I ever had. I used to be a sort of popular kid, believe it or not. But that was long before I moved here, to Belleview. Before, I lived in Newark, and it was cleaner, smaller, and people were nicer to me. My first and only best friend, Raymond, or Ray, was left behind. We did everything toghether. We used to play Badmitton, and Croquet, and even learned to swim, except Ray never actually got the hang of it. Those were the best days of my life. Back when it wasn't my responsibility to look after Mikey all the time.
Ugh, my head hurts like a bitch, because some one hit my head with a book. Oh, it was Frank...Maybe I should just try to talk to him. Plus, I think I'm done talking about my old life. My eyes are starting to feel funny."
I stopped writing and put my notebook away, and silently scowled at Frank for giving me a headache. Why the bloody Hell would he hit me with a book?! I shouldn't even bother saying hi now. He turned around, as if he'd heard my thoughts, and smiled at me.
"Hey Gerard!" he said in a voice that very much matched his smile.
I attempted a smile and held up two fingers, my index and middle, as if to say hello back. He growned.
"Are you mad at me or something?" I shook my head.
Why would I be mad at you? You didn't do anything to me! I wanted to say, but all I could do was stare.
"Are you sad?" I shook my head, only half lying.
Of course I'm sad, I miss my friends!
"Oh I get it. You're playing shrades!" he squealed. I mentally strangled him. But I still decided to play along. I put my right hand up around my throat and put a pained look on my face.
"You got choked?"
I shook my head once again. I motioned with my hand that no sound came out.
I clapped my hands, and he smiled.
"OK then, that explains a lot. How about I just talk and you nod your head and listen Or if you think you can talk then do it."
I nodded, not realizing that he was probably the most talkative person in the world. Eventually the bell rang, and then I realized what day it was. Thrusday. Oh crap, that means my next thing to do is help out the football team. Damnit! My dad thought it would be an awesome idea to sign me up as a water boy for the ports teams, against my wishes. I should have seen this coming!
"Gerard? What's up with your face?" Frank asked. I realized I had probably been silent and not nodding for a while. I shrugged my shoulders and walked out of the room, Frank apparently following me.
"Hey, wait up!" he called, and I heard the sound of him running.
"Hey, I was wondering if you wanted to go to that cave, and like, talk or something."
I shook my head and walked off. Once again, he followed me.
"Well, how 'bout you come over to my house? You could meet my mom. I think she'll like you."
"No," I managed to croak.
"Well, what then?"
"I..have to..help..the team," I said slowly, barely above a whisper.
"Oh. Well, I could help too! It'll be fun, we can help the team together."
"Frank, just go home,"I said plainly.
He stared at me blankly, then nodded his head in what I thought was aggreement.
"I see. You want me to go so that I won't see you get hurt or something," he accused.
"No, I just want to do it alone."
"Well I want to help!"
"Well I don't need your help."
"Just let me! Why won't you let me?"
"Because you're annoying!" I shouted. He stopped arguing and looked at me. I realized the entire hallway was staring at us, waiting for the next word to be ushered. I saw Frank's lower lip quiver, and his eyes begain to get watery. I suddenly felt extremely guilty.
"Frank, no. That's not what I-"
"Save it, Gerard. I don't care," and Frank turned around and walked off.
"Nice going Gerard, you hurt the new guy!" some one snickered. I turned around and saw Jennifer Collins, my school girl crush, laughing with her friends.
"Shut up, Jenn," I said with as much disgust as I could manage.
"Oh yeah? What are you gonne do, make me?"
"Just shut up and rot in Hell," I replied, turning around to walk away. I heard her mock shock, and then something wet and slimy collided with my face, in my eye. I wiped it away. Oh gross, spit!
I turned around and flipped them all the bird, causing one of the jocks to frown at me. It scared me a little bit, but only because it was Jeremiah, that one really tall guy that was dating Jessica Johnson. I turned back around and hurried down to the fields.
I arrived and was greeted by the most beautiful sight in my world. Practive was cancelled for today, because the coach was sick. I smiled my special happy smile and walked off in the direction of the bus stop. Something was nagging at me the entire walk, and until I reached the bus stop I couldn't pin my finger on it. And you know what? It hit me harder than Frank's book had earlier. Oh my God, Frank!
I feel so bad about how I yelled at him earlier. I'm going to go to his house and talk with him.
I stood up from the bus bench and walked off in Frank's house's direction. I passed Barker Street and stopped short. Frank was standing by a big Oak tree, talking to a bunch of huys. Jocks, more like it though. I walked up to them, because quite frankly I didn't recognize any of them. I just hope to God they don't know me.
"....And then I was all like bam! I knocked him the fuck out. He ran off cryin' like a little baby," I heard the tallest of the jocks saying. One of the chubbier ones saw me coming and quit talking. Then all of them turned in my direction and Frank frowned at me.
"What do you want, Gerard?" Frank sneered. I ignored him.
"Hey, can I talk to-"
"No, now answer the damn question. What are you doing here?"
"I was just-"
"What, you were just coming to bug me and my friends? Well you can just go away, we don't want you here."
"Alright fine. I just wanted to-"
"Look man, he said leave, so leave. Or else we'll have to make you," the tall huy said, cracking his knuckles.
"I just need to talk to Frank pl-"
"You know what? I don't like you. And I'm pretty sure Frank here doesn't either. Now just back off. I don't want to have to hurt you." This time it was the chubbier guy.
"Just let me talk to him. Please," I asked.
The taller one scoffed at me. "What do you say Frank? You gonna talk to him or can we take care of him."
"Yeah boss, just say the word!" a shorter one said, with a voice that reminded me of one of those movies where the second guy alwasy repeats words. I smiled to myself.
"Ah look, he's smiling!"
"What are you smiling about Gerard? Why can't you just go away already?"
"Because I'm sorry. I'm sorry I yelled at you, I was just stressed is all. I really am sorry. Have fun with your new friends." I turned aroumd and walked off with my head down. I heard them all snickering at me, and I walked faster. I headed off towards my cave.
I took a short cut though the park, passing by a bunch of little todlers swinging and playing on the teeter totter, and running around screaming. I usually smile and wave, but not today. A little girl ran up to me, and I recognized her, but just barely.
"Gewawd!" she squealed. I stopped and turned.
"Hey Sophie! What are you up to, you little Munchkin?"
She giggled. God, I love this kid. She always makes me smile.
"I dwew a picta for you at school today. Do you wanna see it?"
"Sure I would Sophie. Where is it?"
"Wight hew. See?"
I looked at the picture. There was a man all covered in black, with long har, and there was a little girl next to him in pink, and she had blond hair. I smiled.
"Is that you and me?"
"Uh huh! And and I got a good gwade on it! See?"
She pointed at the letters 100% on the side of the paper and I smiled again."Do I get to keep it?"
"Yep!" I heard her mom calling her over, because it was time to go home. She dropped the picture and ran off. I took the paper and started to walk off again, when all of a sudden I've got Sophie hugging my legs. I bent down and wrapped her up in a hug. She kissed my cheek and then ran off again, to her mom. I laughed to myself and walked off. This time when I walked down into my cave I didn't turn on the lights for a while. I only turned them on when I heard Midnight growling, because she couldn't see me.
When she could see that it was me, she stopped her growling and licked my face about a thousand times. Then she stalked off to hunt for spiders. She enjoys nudging them around as they die from the light.
Today in the cave, I was lonely for the first time in my entire life. It was very strange, actually, because even though I'm always alone, I've never before actually noticed and felt it. Ever since I met Frank and took him down here.
"Damn that stupid kid. I wish I'd never met him. Why oh why did I have to help him? I should have hust let Doug beat him up. Then I wouldn't feel so empty. I hate him," I said to myself.
"No Gerard," a voice said," you don't hate hime. You hate yourself."
"No I don't. Who are you?"
"I am nothing."
"Don't play stupid with me. What's your name?"
"My name is Tommy."
"Hello Tommy. Where are you?"
"I'm all around you. I'm with you every day. I always have been."
"Are you an outcast too?"
"Sadly yes, I am. I go to school, just like you. I get spit on, and beat up, and turned away, just like you. And my father beats me, to, just. Like. Yours does."
"So we're exactly alike. Do you know Frank too?"
"No. Why don't you tell me about him."
"OK well I met him a few days ago, cos he's new, and we got along great. But today we got in a fight, and I yelled at him, and now he won't tell me."
"Tell you what?"
"Oh, I meant talk to me. Sorry, I'm kind of tired."
"Well then you need more sleep. Why don't you go home?"
"My dad's home, I think. And my little brother is too. I hate him."
"No, just my dad. Well, I hate my mom too, but I could never hate my brother, no matter how spoiled he is."
"Well have you ever tried?"
"Yes, when he was first born. I hated him for taking up my parents time, so that they wouldn't talk to me, but that went away real quick."
"I see. I think you need friends."
"I had friends, but they all went away. Plus I moved, and now I've chased Frank away."
"What's so special about Frank?"
"He's the first friend that I've had in five years since we moved."
"Really. I moved too. From Newark."
"Me too! Hey, how come I've never met you before?"
"Because you never needed me like you do now. Understand?"
"Yes. So what was your name again?"
"My name is Tommy. You may call me Tom, though."
"Alright Tom. Well I have to go now, so bye."
"I'm never far, Gerard, remember that."
"All you have to do is call my name, and tell me you need me."
"Right. Good bye."
Then it was silent. Midnight had ceased to move, and was whimpering. I don't know why.
"Midnight, come here girl."
She whimpered, barked once, and ran off. I was confused. But I shrugged it off and got up. I turned off the flash lights and blew out the candles. Then I made my way through the long tunnel that led outside. It was even quieter than usual, despite the soft scurry of the spiders.
It was even darker than before, and I wondered now how long I was down there, talking to Tommy-I mean Tom. I reached my house and stopped. Where my-our-white picket fence was, there was writing on each piece of wood. I backed up a little bit so that I could see all of it.
'YOU'RE DEAD 2 US GERARD!" was what was on it. I groaned. My dad was going to kill me even earlier than planned! I put my head down and quickly walked inside. I grabbed the phone on the way up to my room and dialed my grandma's number. It rang three times before she answered.
"Gerard, is that you Dearie?" my grandmother's sweet voice answered.
"Yes it is. Grandma, I'm in a sort of pickle."
"Do you need to come stay with me? Or are you fine there."
"No, I think I'll be OK here. But just in case, keep the back door unlocked, will you?"
"Sure thing Honey. Good night."
"Good night Grandma."
She hung up, and I went back down stairs and hung up the phone on the base. I heard a car drive up in the drive way and I ran upstairs and shut my bedroom door. The front door opened and shut downstairs and I heard my father's very drunken laugh. And he was coming up the stairs. I tip toed over to my closet and stepped in. I quietly shut the door and sat down with my knees up to my chest. i heard him come into my room and go through my things. Something glass shattered, and I knew he had thrwon something though my window. I clsed my eyes, praying that he wouldn't look in my closet.
I hated it when he was drunk. When he's drunk he yells at me. Yelling is much more painful to bear than a beating is. I'd rather have bruises all over my body than listen to him scream at me.
I must have been in my closet for hours before I came out and discovered that my room was now completely destroyed, my bed was against the opposite wall, my stereo was missing, and my dad was nowhere to be seen. I regretfully peeked out my window to find my stereo laying ont he roof below me, just a tad bit out of my reach. There was a knock on my bedroom door and I nearly freaked out before I realized that it was only my brother.
"Why is your window broken?"
"Because I- ugh I don't know. But I need your help. Come here," I said, and he came over to me. "See that right there? I need it."
"You eant me to get it? Forget it I'll fall to my death!" he squeaked.
"No no no, Mikey. I need you to hold my feet while I get it."
"Oh. OK, but make sure to make it quick. I'm going to watch Batman Begins, the new cartoon."
I nodded and had him hold my feet as I hung out the window, reaching for my beloved machine.
"Be careful of the glass, Mikey! I don't want you cutting yourself."
He mumbled something I couldn't hear, and I bit my lip in concentration. I was almost there, only another inch. Mikey was complaining about my idiotic attemp, but I didn't answe back.
"Almost got it. Almost got it Mi-"
"OW! I cut my hand!"
"Mikey! Don't let--WHOAH!"
I went sliding down the roof shingles, grabbing ahold of my stereo before falling off the roof and landing on my back. I groaned.
"Gerard! Are you alright?" my brother called.
"Yeah Mikes, just fine!" I said while getting up.
I laughed all the way up the stairs, fixed my room, and laid in bed.
"Gerard, don't ever do that again," Mikey complained from down stairs. I only laughed.