Rated for language. Compassion.
The crappy restaurant booth groaned as Frank and Mikey plopped down onto it sleepily. Gerard rubbed his eyes and grabbed menu’s tossing them to his brother and Frank. The three sat silently still waking themselves up after a long night of video games and horror movies. Frank yawned widely as a group of kids from their school came in the small family-owned restaurant; one of the taller boys in the group smacked the back of Frank’s head on the way by causing the girls to giggle and the other guy to laugh rambunctiously.
“Fucking hate those pricks,” Frank muttered angrily. Mikey and Gerard grunted in agreement, to tired to process thought at the moment.
A waitress with bright red hair and glasses approached the table with a wide smile on her face, “Hey there, I’m Rachael and I’ll be your server today, what I can get y’all?” She asked cheerily, her loud happy voice ringing throughout the restaurant.
Gerard groaned loudly and leaned his head back against the booth; Frank rolled his eyes and ordered some coffee and an omelet. Mikey ordered himself a Coke and some pancakes. Gerard just groaned, Frank ordered a coffee for him.
“I’m so glad we don’t have school tomorrow,” Frank commented. Mikey nodded in agreement. They had been up until four last night. Franks stomach grumbled loudly. “Damn I’m hungry,” he said and turned to look for the waitress, Rachael.
The red-headed girl was stuffing napkins into a container at the bar counter, she must have sensed Frank and Mikey staring at her because she looked up, the smiled and waved happily.
“I swear I’ve seen her before.” Frank muttered as they turned back to face Gerard.
“She goes to our school dipshit,” Gerard grumbled, he wasn’t much of a morning person, although it was almost noon at the moment. “She also can’t stop looking over here now that you’ve gotten her attention.”
“Why do you say it like it’s a bad thing?” Frank asked as he twisted around in his seat to shoot Rachael one of his ‘smooth’ looks. “I crave attention from the ladies.” He said and winked to Rachael causing her cheeks to go pink.
Mikey snorted loudly and rolled his eyes, “Yeah nice try, Frank, don’t harass the poor girl,” He said.
“Don’t hate one me because I can get a girl to blush and wave. What can you do? Nothing. You can’t even get Charlie to do what I did to Rachael!” Frank retorted crossing his arms against his chest and sitting back smugly. Mikey’s jaw had dropped; he turned to look at his brother. Gerard didn’t seem to notice (or care) that Frank had announced that Mikey had a crush on Charlie.
“Frank!” Mikey hissed angrily while simultaneously kicking him under the table.
“Ouch! What the hell?” Frank shouted reaching a hand down to rub his shin. Mikey gave him the death glare and a short nod towards Gerard; Frank rolled his eyes.
“Mikey, Gerard knows.” Frank said in a ‘duh’ tone.
Mikey gaped, his own brother knew and yet he still hit on Charlie? That aggravated Mikey beyond belief.
“How?” Mikey asked.
“You moan her name in your sleep every once in a while. Try not to forget our walls are paper thin.” Mikey’s face grew hot. Shit! He thought, he was aware that he had more than one… ‘good’ dream about Charlie, but he didn’t know he made noises! “Mikes it’s alright, I have sex dreams too.” Gerard said casually. Mikey cringed at his brother’s choice of words: sex dream. It sounded so crude and awful that Mikey didn’t like it whatsoever.
“You do?” A female voice snapped Mikey out of his thoughts. He looked up from his lap and saw a pretty blonde girl sit down next to Gerard on his booth seat. Mikey and Frank blinked in surprise as Gerard smiled, wrapped an arm around her, and kissed her. The girl giggled softly and snuggled into him.
“Stop staring guys, it’s rude.” Gerard said lazily. Mikey blinked again, Gerard had a girlfriend and he didn’t even tell his own brother?!
Gerard must have read his expression because he said, “Oh guys this is Emma, Emma this is Frank and my brother Mikey.” Emma smiled sweetly and gave them a small wave. Mikey felt a slow blush creep onto his face, it wasn’t because he was angry with Gerard, it was because he knew he had been staring and he wasn’t going to lie to himself, Emma was pretty. And the main reason why he was angry with Gerard was because Gerard never had self-control. Gerard would flirt with whomever he wanted to and yet he still had this Emma girl. That really pissed Mikey off.
Mikey was also beginning to get this very lonely feeling that wormed its way down his spine. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he watched Gerard kiss Emma’s nose, that small action made Mikey want to get the hell out of there. Not only was there public display of affection sort of gross, but also Mikey felt like he was missing out. Sure he had kissed a girl before, it was terrible but he still had the experience, and just watching his brother with this girl made Mikey feel very alone.
Rachael dropped off their food, mostly keeping eye contact with Frank causing Mikey to feel even lonelier. The rest of their ‘breakfast’ passed by agonizingly slow. Mikey managed to keep his eyes focused on his food so he didn’t have to bear seeing his brother or Frank. Eventually Emma left, causing Gerard to get agitated and triggered their departure.
“We’ll see you later, Rachael!” Frank called as he threw an extra buck on the table, along with a piece of parchment that had his phone number scrawled on it in blue ink.
The three walked towards the door trying to ignore the popular group of kids that had seated themselves in the closest booth to the exit. As they made their way by the group jeered terms like ‘freaks’ or ‘fags’. Mikey reluctantly reached for the door, but someone grabbed him by the neck of his shirt and slammed him back into a booth seat.
“Ow!” Mikey shouted rubbing the back of his head and glancing around, he had been pulled straight into the popular kids booth.
“You better start telling me what’s wrong with Charlie this second or I’ll have Bachman beat your ass.” Mikey recognized it was Lauren, Charlie’s best friend, who had pulled him into the booth. He swallowed thickly as Ryan Bachman, a beefy football player who had the IQ of a postage stamp and made everyone call him by his last name, cracked his knuckles from the seat directly across from Mikey.
Mikey glanced around the table, he saw Marley Raider, Bachman’s girlfriend and one of the prettiest girls in the entire school sitting gingerly next to Bachman as she toyed with the hem of his shirt’s sleeve. There was also Ian Balitzkat, the co-captain of the Lacrosse team and the biggest sex maniac if Mikey ever saw one. Next to Ian was Kelsey Noble, Kelsey was probably the shyest of the group, but she indeed was one of the popular kids. She was pretty and thin and was a cheerleader, she didn’t talk much, but every time Mikey heard her say something it didn’t sound too intelligent.
“Hey, what’s the big idea?” Gerard asked rounding on Lauren. Bachman stood up; he towered over Gerard and flexed his muscles menacingly. Lauren laughed twirling a piece of Mikey’s hair between her fingertips, causing the hair on the back of his neck to stand on end.
“We just want to talk to your baby brother,” Lauren said, her voice sounded so saccharine it nearly derailed Mikey’s train of thought. Gerard’s hand clenched into a fist- Bachman saw and copied his movement. Mikey was aware that ever since he started high school, Gerard had become more protective over him. Mikey always knew it was because Gerard had gotten a rough time when he was a freshman and wanted it to be different for his younger brother, but not everything worked out perfectly.
“Leave him alone,” Frank interjected. Bachman took a step forward and both Gerard and Frank took a shaky step back. Bachman chuckled triggering the rest of the table’s laughter.
“Now let’s calm down, Bachman sit,” Lauren commanded. Reluctantly, Bachman did as he was told, “We only need to talk to Michael. We won’t hurt him or anything, we just need to ask him a few things.” Marley giggled sweetly and nodded in agreement.
“Now leave or we’ll kick you out, literally.” Ian said from across the table as he put an arm around Kelsey.
Gerard hesitated for a moment, Bachman’s whole body tensed, and then Gerard angrily pushed open the restaurant door and stalked out with Frank following closely on his heels.
Once they were gone the whole group seemed to collectively exhale and turn to look at Mikey expectantly. Mikey blinked, he wasn’t going to lie, but he was terrified. He was all by himself and wouldn’t stand a chance against Bachman. He weighed his options, he was a pretty decent runner, and maybe he could get to the door before Bachman could reach his fat hand out and swat him like a fly.
“What’s wrong with Charlie?” Marley said suddenly before anyone else could speak. There was a murmur of agreement from the rest of the table. Mikey glanced around; each one of them had the same worried look on their face. Even Bachman and Ian, Mikey didn’t think they actually had a soul.
“Whoa you guys actually care?” Mikey said out of amazement without really thinking. He never thought any of them really had an ounce of compassion.
“Hell yeah we do! Char’s our friend,” Ian said loudly.
“And we know you have some idea of what’s going on, so spill,” Lauren said firmly. Mikey sat silent for a moment. He knew Charlie would be angry if he told her friends that she was moving or anything that related to her family, but they seemed to really care about her. Mikey looked sideways at Lauren, she looked so desperate for some sort of news regarding her best friend.
Mikey decided he couldn’t tell them, as much as he wanted too, he couldn’t blow Charlie’s trust like that. He opened his mouth to tell them but Bachman interrupted him.
“If you choose not to tell us you’ll be beaten to a fucking pulp everyday until we graduate.” He said stomping on Mikey’s foot harshly to add emphasis to his point.
“Ow,” Mikey said drawing out the word. Lauren gave Bachman a sharp look.
“Bachman cut it out!” She said shrilly, “He can help us, don’t discourage him!”
“Baby listen to LaLa,” Mikey rolled his eyes at Lauren’s nickname, “we really need dorky.” Marley said making a small hand gesture towards him. Marley kissed his cheek when Bachman sat back in his seat and he put an arm around her pulling her close into his side. Mikey felt a pang of loneliness at the sight.
“As much as I’d love to help you all, it’s not my job to go around telling Charlie’s personal business. It she wants to tell you all what’s up she will,” Mikey said as strongly as he could, he had watched Bachman’s face contort in anger as he spoke.
“Michael, please,” Kelsey said softly.
“We’re her best friends, damn it! We deserve to know!” Bachman boomed angrily making everyone in the restaurant jump and look at their table.
“Bachman, chill your balls dude,” Ian said coolly.
“He’s right though, Ian, we’re Charlie’s best friends. Don’t you want to know why she won’t tell us anything anymore?” Marley asked with her eyebrows raised. Ian was still only a moment before nodding his head sadly.
“Mikey,” Lauren said wincing slightly as she used his nickname. She took his face gently in her cool hands, “I know we aren’t good friends and we don’t get along, but we both care about Charlie. We need to know.” Mikey looked deeply into Lauren’s eyes, he saw all the love she had for her best friend and was about to give in when-
“Hey guys, sorry I’m late,” Devon said as he stumbled casually into the restaurant. He stopped and stared open-mouthed. Lauren immediately let go of Mikey and pushed back in her seat.
“You can go now,” She said, her tone was icy and cruel. Mikey blinked then nodded, standing up carefully and moving out of the booth.
“Wait, what’s going on?” Dev asked as he took a step closer towards Mikey. He looked Mikey over once or twice, checking whether or not Bachman and Ian had hurt him.
“Nothing,” The whole group said in monotonous unison. Devon knew they were all lying to him though.
“Tell me the truth,” He said firmly. Mikey shifted around uncomfortably on the ball of his heels. “Wait- it’s not Charlie is it?” No one responded, “What’s wrong with her?!” Devon nearly shouted, his voice cracking with worry.
“That’s what we’re trying to find out! But Charlie won’t tell us and neither will he!” Lauren shouted back pointing straight at Mikey.
Devon turned to Mikey, “You know why Charlie has been acting weirdly?” He asked his voice held a challenge.
“I– uh– I-“
The door was flung open again and Frank popped his head in, Mikey sighed in relief. “We have to go,” He said. Mikey nodded and without looking back at Lauren or Devon or anyone, he ran like bats out of hell.
Devon sat silently in the place Mikey had been occupying not moments before. No one spoke. Dev had a horrible feeling that there was something more than Charlie’s abusive father. He was so confused; he thought Charlie told him everything. Did she not trust him enough to tell him certain things? But she obviously had told Mikey. He began to think that maybe Charlie didn’t love him after all, maybe it was all a big show; a cover up. Maybe the reason why she told Mikey everything, was because she was in love with him and not Devon. Dev bit his lip angrily, he really loved Charlie, and he wanted to be there for her. But how could he do that when she was keeping things from him? Devon shook his head, this couldn’t be happening.
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P.S. I have a friend name Ryan Bachman and he's actually really nice! I just used his name and body type... so yeah don't judge any Ryan Bachman's if you ever meet him... haha