Gerard goes back to some old memories
"Frank still isn't talking to me. He hangs out at lunch witht he preps. It makes me feel sick, but mostly just sad. Why did I have to yell at him? If I didn't then he'd be here with me. That's not even the worst part. He just recently started joining in when Doug "tortures" me. That's the thing that makes it so hard, because for once I actually thought he might be my friend. It's been so long since I've had some one else to talk to. That kid, Tommy, sometimes talks to me. I still have no clue how he finds me.
I guess Tommy's kind of like a friend, in the sense that he talks to me when I'm down. I'm actually at home right now. mikey's still at school, dad is at work, and mom is in New York, working on this really big project. Or so I'm told. I personally think she migh be cheating on my dad, or even hunting down some poor person so she can turn them in. She did that to my uncle Jim once, when he was running away from the slammer.
It's because there is money involved. That's the only way she'll do anything useful anymore. I don't care very often. I don't have a reason.
But back to Frank.
Remember when I told you that there was writing on the fence out front of my house? I painted over it, but only after dad punished me. He made me stay up practically all night, painting it twice. I found out that it was Frank and those jock friends of his. How did he suddenly get so popular anyway? I can't really picture him as the football-playing sort of guy. A soccer player, maybe, because it involves running, and he's pretty good at that.
Grandma Elena is watching Mikey and me this week. I forgot to say that dad works in New York, too. The only good thing about this week is that the beating are reduced to only at school. I'm getting real tired of having to wear long sleeved black shirts everyday.
Oh, I found out where Mikey ran off to, by the way. You know, the night he ran away and mom freaked? Turns out he was at his friend Matt's house, playing that new video game, I forget what its called. "Super Mario World," I think.
I'm not in full charge of Mikey anymore, because apparently I'm 'too irresponsible,' and don't deserve it. Wow, big loss. Note the sarcasm. I love having to monitor Mikey, because it makes me feel special, umportant, and a reason to live. Without him I'd probably be dead. Or I'd be loved more because he would have never exsisted if I only just put that rubber balloon back in my father's sock drawer. Hm, I'll have to look into that one.
I've been showing up at school a lot lately, instead of ditching half of every class. It's pretty strange. I don't know why, either. I guess it's because being around other people doesn't make me feel so utterly alone.
I wonder what Tommy and I will do today, if I go and visit him. Yesterday, Wednesday, we chased bats at night. The day before that, Tuesday, we hung out at the park, and on Monday we shared some of our deepest darkest secrets. Well, we were supposed to, but we just ended up laughing and making up funny songs.
But I really miss Raymond. He used to do everything with me. And when I got kicked out of my first band because I couldn't play "Sweet Home Alabama" on the guitar, he quit too and helped me start another one. He's back in Newark. You know what? I haven't been to Newark for a really long time, I think its been five years. I should pay him a quick visit..."
I shut my journal and placed it under my bed. I stood up and grabbed my black and white converse, slipping them on as I stumbled down the stairs.
"Are you going somewhere, Dearie?" my grandma wondered. She was seated on the couch, watching "I Love Lucy" reruns.
"I'll be back later tonight. Don't fix me anything, OK?"
She only nodded and continued to watch the screen. I hugged her before I left, and walked quickly towards the subway station. I had to sneak a ride, because I have no money, and got off quickly in Newark.
'My God, I haven't been here in years! I hope I recognize his house.' Actually, I just hope he lives in the same ouse. The sun was just beginning to slowly set, and I knew it would be very unlucky to wander these streets alone. I found Monte Cristo Avenue and turned left. All the houses looked a little familiar, but I couln't remember anything about them. I stopped in front of a two story white house.
'God, there are too many white houses in the world!' I slowly made my way up the porch steps and paused, before ringing the door bell. I heard yelling and heavy footsteps before the door was answered.
"Hello," and cheerful looking woman greeted me. Her smile really scared me. "How may I help you?"
"I'm here to see R-Ray T-Toro. Is he here?"
She laughed. "You're on the wrong side of the street kid, they live over there," she said, pointing across the street at an old, run down yellow house. I turned bright pink, I swear. I thanked her and went across the street, and proceeded to ring the bell.
This time, instead of a cheery smiling woman, it was a smelly man who looked as if he didn't own a shower, or even a razor. I tried not to wrinkle my nose.
"Yeah? What do you want?"
"I-I'm here to see R-Ray T-Toro," I stuttered.
"What? Speak up boy, I can't hear you!" I nearly jumped back.
"I'm here to see Ray T-Toro," I tried again. He grunted and slammed the door in my face. Litterally in my face. My hand automatically went up to cover my nose, and I stumbled backward, landing first on my ass and then on my back. I layed there for the longest time before someone cleared their throat. I opened my eyes and directly above me stood...a big mob of hair?
"Hey, are you OK? I saw your fall from my porch."
'Oh my God, the hair is talking to me! What kind of drug am I on?'
"Hello, are you alright?"
"I'm going crazy," I mumbled, pretty much to myself.
"Beg your pardon?"
"I'm talking to a huge mob of hair! Why in the world would I be alright?!"
"Whoa, man, I'm not a mob of hair. I'm a man, see?"
A face appeared out of nowhere. It did indeed belong to a man. He looked about my age, maybe a little bit older. He helped me up, and then shook my hand.
"I'm Ray. Ray Toro. Are you new here?"
"No, I've been here before. I acually used to live here, somewhere." My eyes drifted off in another direction, and settled on a two story town house, colored an odd blackish brown. My old home. But it didn't look the same. And in a weird way, it was still my home. I began to wonder if he would even remember me. I suddenly realized he was talking to me.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"I was saying how that black house used to be white, back before it pretty much burned to the ground. This whole neighborhood rebuilt it."
"What happened to the people living in it?"
He seemed to get lost in a memory, before answering me. "They um...They died. Nobody could find the bodies. Family died."
"Why so gloomy?" I was starting to get really curious. Nobody had ever told me that we lived in a "haunted" house.
"My best friend died in that fire. My only friend, and his little brother. I miss them all, but not that dad of theirs."
"What happened with their dad?"
"He was a real jerk. Used to steal my toys from my front yard and give them all to his little boy. I swear that kid was spoiled rotten. Rumor has it he's the one who started the fire."
"Anyway, I just realized I don't even know your name, although you look really familiar."
"Just another question. How do you really know he's dead? Or the rest of them?"
"I don't know. But their dad is the one who said it. 'My family's dead. You'd be good to stay out of that house, ya hear?' That's what he said. Scared the living shit out of me, and I never went in."
"That mother fucker. Lying son of a-" I mumbled.
"What?" Ray interrupted.
"I'm not dead."
"Ha, of course you're not! I can see you right in front of me."
"No. Ray, I'm not dead. It's me."
"OK man, stop fooling around. What are you talking about? Are you on drugs?"
I shook my head.
"No man, it's me. Gerard."
"Look, I'm gonna tell you once more: Gerard is dead. End of story. Got it?"
"No, you look. I'm Gerard Arthur Way, born April 9th, 1977. I'm not dead, I've never been in a fire, my father still steals toys sometimes to give to Mikey, and I'm standing right in front of you!"
Ray made a sort of face that looked like a mix of anger, disbelief, and hope, before he hit me. He knocked my clean off my feet with his headbutt, and we began to wrestle. And after all these years, I could still predict the moves he would make, one after the other. Right arm back hand, stomach plow, left foot kick, head lock, sucker punch. And I dodged them all, just like I used to. I managed to pin him down and counted to ten before I stood up again.
He slowly got up, with that bitter look of defeat he alwasy used to get, and then he started to smile. That turned into a giggle, then a laugh, and finally a hug.
"Oh my God man, where have you been?!"
"Over in Belleville. My dad moved my entire family five years ago."
"Really? Why haven't you called me?"
I smiled sheepishly. "I lost your number."
He laughed. "Silly Gerard! I knew it was never smart to give you a number written on a piece of papter. So what have you been up to?"
"Oh, just trying to get by in school. It's kind of hard to do that with all the jocks and preps at my school."
"What about your friends?"
"I don't have any. Well, my new friend Tommy, but he's only around when I'm all alone."
"Doesn't he go to your school?"
"Yeah. But what about you?"
"Oh, I moved down the street."
"I meant at school."
"Oh! Well I've got a couple friends. Bob and Shayla."
"Is Shayla your girlfriend?"
"No, she's just a friend. I like her a lot though."
"Cool. Does your mom still make those chocolate chipt cookies of hers?"
"Yeah. In fact," he looked down the street,"I can smell them from here. Wanna come get some?"
"Sure. Just don't tell your mom about me and what not, OK?"
"Chill man, she's oblivious to the lie your dad told the town. She'll just think you came to visit, cos you kinda are. It's all good."
"Cool. Well then let's go!"
"You're on. Go!"
We raced all the way to Ray's door, then stopped to catch our breath, laughing. Then we walked in.
"Honey, you home?" a woman called. I figured it was his mom.
"Yes mom, and I've brought a friend!" he called back. I tried not to giggle as a woman with very wild blond hair came waltzing through the doorway, carrying a large plate of cookies. 'Big hair must run in the family,' I thought to myself.
"Well hello there! I'm Roxy, nice to meet you!" she said cheerfully.
"It's a p-pleasure being here, Mrs. Toro."
"Oh, aren't you a sweet lad. Well come sit, I've just made cookies. I'll fix you up a plate."
We were brought to a dining room big enough to fit about twenty people and sat down at the table. An even bigger plate of cookies sat in the middle of the table, with two glasses of ice cold milk. My mouth watered at the sight of it. Ray's mom joined us at the table a few minutes later, and instantly started chattering away. I could tell Ray was getting either embarrassed as she told me of his younger year, or the fact that she didn't catch the hint that she was saying too much. Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Ray offered to give me a lift to the subway station, and I gladly agreed.
It saved me about a thirty minute walk. We exchanged phone numbers and I gave him my address. Then I caught a ride on the back of the train. I'm pretty sure Ray didn't approve of not paying, but that's just Ray.
Walking home I passed Frank's house. He was sitting outside on the car parked by the sidewalk in front of his house, smoking a cigarette and drinking with his new friends. I made sure to feed Midnight before continuing my journey for home. When I arrived there weren't any cars parked in the driveway, except for my grandma's old Buick. I smiled to myself at the memory of waving goodbye to my parents. Sweet freedom.
I walked in the front door and was greeted with the smell of my grandma's spaghetti. And Mikey was sitting at the table. I heard someone else's voice, and it didn't belong to anyone I knew. I walked into the kitchen and hugged my grandma.
"Oh good, just in time for supper. Sit," she commanded. I sat across from Mikey, and then realized where the voice was coming from. Sitting next to Mikey a few feet over was a girl. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back and then smiled at Mikey.
"Hey Gerard. This is Sam. She's staying for dinner. Sam, this is my older brother Gerard."
"I didn't know you had an older brother. Well it's nice to meet you, Gerard." Then she giggled. It sounded like music to my ears. But not that ickie love stuff. The kind of music that makes your day go from gray to gay. I looked at Mikey and saw immediatly that he liked her. I was proud of my brother.
"Grandma? I'm not hungry. I'm just gonna go upstairs, Kay?"
She mumbled something in another language, probably Italian, and waved me away. I left the room hearing Mikey explaining to Sam how we were half Italian. And then she giggled again. I could see Mikey's love struck smile right now, which made me smile.
See, he may be a spoiled brat sometimes, but I still love it when he's happy.
I layed down on my bed, in the dark, and randomly thought of what it would be like to go to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. Then I put on the Misfits, which one of my greatest dreams is to go to one of their concerts, and fell asleep. I love the Misfits!
I really don't know if this is one of my better works of "art" but.. whatever :) I like it