Mikey dunked behind the dumpster as Gerard pulled a cigarette from his pocket, and not even a minute later, he heard a truck door slam followed by his angered father's voice, “I know you know whe...
“Do you shoulder here or something?” Mikey asked as they entered through a pair of glass doors.
“Yeah, I always come here to clean up and grab a snack if I have the money,” he responded as they passed the counter and neared a small hallway. For a moment, he stared towards the corner freezer that was stalked with various types of beer and alcohol. He then directed his attention towards Mikey, “Do you want to chill out here, or stand in the bathroom? I can see that you don't really feel too comfortable with being here.”
“I am kind of uncomfortable,” Mikey stated in a low tone as he took in his surroundings; grimy tiled floor with countless cracks and a broken down restroom door that didn't read male or female on it.
Gerard gave him a kind look before he glanced at someone who he believed he knew, then looked at his younger sibling, “How about you go to the diner part and sit until I'm done. Maybe do homework or draw. Please, don't talk to anyone or make eye contact, don't even stare at anyone. People around here are really...”
“Mean?” Mikey asked in attempt to finish his sentence.
“Yeah, mean,” he stated nodding tinkering with the loop-handle on the plastic bag.
“I... I'll stand in the bathroom, if that's okay,” he stated fearing being alone.
Gerard nodded, “Alright.” They stepped through the door and walked towards the back of the large tiled room. It wasn't much cleaner than the small hallway, but it was clean. Mikey sat on a small bench as Gerard set the bag down next to him. “Can you hand me the bag once I shower?”
“I will,” Mikey stated giving him a weak smile. He sat there quietly and stared at the floor while his brother showered. Many thoughts ran through his mind [I]I wonder if the school has called mom and asked where I was?[/I] Fifteen minutes had passed before he heard the water shut off and a couple of murmurs came from the stall. “Do you want your bag?”
“Uh, yeah,” Gerard stated before he popped his head out of the stall.
Mikey gently grabbed the bag and reached it towards him, when he realized that his brother's chest and upper arms were covered in scars and burns. “Here you go.” He didn't want to bring it up at that moment. To him, he believed the burns came from cigarettes, but he did not know where everything else did. Eventually, Gerard stepped out and sat down next to him to put on his tattered old converse.
“Gerard, where did your scars come from?”
Hesitantly, he blinked a few times then sat up, “Uhm... The circles came from when I passed out with cigarettes either in my mouth or in my hands.”
“What about the others?” he asked examining his brother's arms, who had resumed tying his laces.
He loosely tied them then sat up once again, “Well, just say I've made some terrible decision; ones worse than doing drugs and drinking.”
Mikey nodded not really understanding what he meant exactly, but had a general idea. The possibilities that appeared in his head were that he could have been stabbed, mugged, or got into a bad crowd.
“Don't become something like me,” he muttered in a guilt-soaked tone.
“I want to help you,” Mikey uttered staring at his hands. “That's why I went out looking for you over the past couple of months.”
“Months?” Suddenly, Gerard's heart skipped a few beats then lodged itself into his throat. The nod he received made him nearly cry or want to tell him that he was really ignorant, but the look on his brother's face made him lean more towards crying. “You've been out looking for me almost every night for the past few months, just so you could help me?”
“I have and don't say you're not worth it,” Mikey ended his statement with a firm demand.
Gerard chewed on his inner jaw to keep himself from crying, “How about we go find something to eat?”
Soon, they were back to wandering down the sidewalk at a steady pace. They kept in step with on another as the silence grew ever so slightly. Every now and then, Mikey stole a glance in attempt of reading Gerard's expression, but every time he looked, it was exactly the same; emotionless and guilt ridden yet more focused than he had anticipated it to be. Over the months that he spent searching, he never knew what he would do when he found him, besides letting him know that he was not worthless.
“Whoa, let's go the other way,” Gerard stammered placing a hand on Mikey's stomach to stop him.
“What?” he asked once he had been thrown off of his train of thought. He glanced around before he was tugged in the other direction by his backpack and saw his worst nightmare; their father climbing into his large truck.
“Mikey, if he comes by, hide in this alley behind the dumpster and stay there until I come after you, okay? I don't care if he beats the hell out of me, don't move until I come for you,” Gerard explained keeping an eye on the truck. All he received was a nod before he pushed him towards the alley he mentioned moments ago, “The old man stops and speaks to me every now and then to rub the life I could have in my face.”
Mikey dunked behind the dumpster as Gerard pulled a cigarette from his pocket, and not even a minute later, he heard a truck door slam followed by his angered father's voice, “I know you know where Mikey is.”
Gerard puffed on the cancer stick, “What do you mean, Donny?”
“Mikey's school called and asked where he was today and ironically, I heard you two speaking early this morning,” he stated angrily. “If you're trying to pull him down with your low-life ass then you better be forking up some cash for your funeral.”
Anger took over the teen's body as he helplessly listened to the conversation from his spot behind the dumpster. He knew it was his fault to begin with for skipping school, but he also knew that something deep down was telling him that he has a huge possibility of helping his only brother.
“I haven't seen Mikes since this morning,” Gerard stated bluntly as he exhaled some smoke through his nose. “If I see him, I'll tell him to go home, alright? If I don't see him, then you're on your own.”
“If I don't find him or if he doesn't come home by tonight, I'm going to report that you've kidnapped him,” Donald spat watching his eldest son take another drag from his cigarette as he swayed from side to side.
“How will that help? I'll be in jail and my little brother would be outside alone because a parent neglected his child and, to add something else in there, the parent threw his eldest son out right before he turned seventeen a couple of years ago,” Gerard explained picking at his nails as he gained a cocky expression on his face. “Social workers would eat that up, Donny.”
“Stop calling me, Donny,” he demanded stepping backwards towards his truck.
Gerard nodded, “Okay, Don! See ya around... Whatever.”
Donald hopped into his truck then sped off.
Standing there, Gerard patted his pocket knowing he had his morning [I]fix[/I] in his pocket, but felt guilty for using when he was around his brother. Heaving a sigh, he jogged over to Mikey, gently wrapped his long fingers around his wrist, then led him across the street to a cheap diner. “You'll love this place, Mikes.”