A lump grew in Mikey's throat and didn't dare reply. He felt tears burning in his eye sockets and turned around so Gerard couldn't see even though the light was sparse in that part of the room. The...
“So, what's going on in your life, sweetheart?” Gerard asked giving him a toothy grin.
Last time Mikey heard that phrase, it was when he was visiting a counselor about his problems in school. He shrugged it off and looked over it as he replied, “Pretty good, I guess. Donny and I have been fighting a lot lately, being mostly about school and a fight I got into a few months ago.”
“A fight? What was it about?” Gerard asked curiously.
“These guys wouldn't stop picking on me, so I bumped into one of them in the bathroom and got my ass handed to me on a silver platter,” Mikey responded bowing his head in shame.
Gerard shook his head, “There's no shame in losing, kiddo. I've had mine beat a lot and that's within the last few years.” He laced his fingers together then glanced through the glassless window behind him before he turned his attention back to his younger brother. He noticed that the sun was beginning to set and the colors in the sky were swirling with the smog coming from a factory nearby. “I hope he doesn't show up,” he murmured believing he was going unheard.
“No one,” Gerard uttered changing his gaze to the floor.
After all of the events of the day, Mikey hadn't seen his brother so frightened and put down. “Who do you hope does not show up?”
“This guy that comes around every once in a while near night fall,” he explained briefly as he picked at his finger nails nervously. Heaving a deep sigh, he brought his attention back up to Mikey, “Are you spending the night here?”
The expression forming on Gerard's face saddened him because he wanted to say no, but the guy looked so broken down and worn out. He nodded instead of giving him a secure yes and received a weak smile, “What?”
“I just hope he doesn't swing by tonight,” Gerard muttered again, now giving his hands his full attention. “Do you want something to eat or drink?”
“Would you happen to have something?” Mikey asked politely.
“Beer,” he murmured shamefully. “I don't want to be that bad of an influence; the old man would murder me if he knew you got drunk from the beer that I have sitting in my cooler.”
“I've drank before,” Mikey said as if he had been accused of being innocent. “I'm thirsty though. I don't care what it is.”
Gerard nodded, “The cooler is in the other room. If you get it yourself, I didn't do it.” He sounded as if he didn't care if Mikey drunk, but in his tone was a sense of worry that he would get into trouble for it.
“If you don't want me to, I can run down the street and...” before he could finish Gerard interrupted, “Do what you want to do. I'm not stopping you. If you get drunk, then we'll make up a lie for the old man tomorrow because you're not going home drunk on my watch.”
Mikey stood up from his spot in the floor and lingered into the next room while he noticed his brother standing up and walking in the other direction. He knew what he was going to do, but he also knew that he was going to get to drink for the first time. Yes, he lied. This would be the very first time that he has ever drank any alcohol. He bent over and opened the cooler letting the thought of him being very drunk in a few hours linger in the back of his mind. Getting back at dad will be fun, yet a bitch. Carrying two beers back to the living room, he had another mental image of him stumbling through the apartment slurring curse words about random things. Popping the tab he quickly gulped down two drinks and forced himself not to wince. Stop being such a baby. He chugged another drink and shuttered at the taste.
“Damn it to hell,” Gerard stated rushing from the other room into the living room. “Mikey, hide. He's coming. I don't want him to do or say anything to you.... I-I don't even want him to look at you.”
Gerard hurriedly yanked him up from the floor and he felt something kick in, but he took a few more drinks as he found himself being pushed into a closet. He kept hearing Gerard stammer over his words followed by, “Just stay quiet.” He slammed the door and left his brother with his beer in the closet.
Mikey opened the second beer and smiled to himself as he commenced slowly drinking it. He believe he started off too fast with the first one because he already felt the buzz. I'm such a light weight. He slid to the floor and folded his legs underneath him. He pondered on how long his wait would be as he neared the bottom of the can. Staring at the shadows dancing in the light under the door, he sighed deeply realizing there was an argument probably about to take place. Soon enough, he heard a few shouts coming from the other room followed by a loud thud then more shouting. A fearful sensation rolled through his slightly numb body.
Thankfully, he heard the door slam and he waited for a few moments before he cracked open the door to find his older brother lying near the broken down couch. He crawled across the floor—too afraid to stand up—and sat next to Gerard. “Hey, wake up.” He gently shook him and waited for a response. “Come on, Gerard.”
“Is he gone?” he groaned as Mikey rolled him onto his back and gave him a weak nod. “Good. Are you drunk?” He gained another nod as he resumed, “Think we can get you sobered up and home without the old man thinking I did anything bad?”
Mikey shrugged as he loomed over him for a few more moments, “Can... Can you get up?” He tried to stick sentences together in a firm tone, but it didn't work out too well for him at that point in time.
Gerard heaved a broken sigh and sat up from the floor, “Maybe walking you home won't be a wonderful idea tonight. I could walk you to where we saw the old man earlier in the morning. Can you get home from there? Will he hurt you when he finds you?”
A lump grew in Mikey's throat and didn't dare reply. He felt tears burning in his eye sockets and turned around so Gerard couldn't see even though the light was sparse in that part of the room. The only light that ran through the apartment came from the blinking sign from the bar across the street and the streetlight outside of the window. He felt a hand rub his shoulder.
“If he does it again, you can stay here. I could get a job to somewhat support us,” Gerard suggested in a weak tone. Mikey bowed his head and wondered how doing drugs and getting a job would work out for him if that did happen. “Let's get some sleep and hope Donny can't find us, okay?” Mikey nodded and didn't verbally reply.
Gerard soon successfully accumulated some old quilts and a pillow from the closet and insisted that Mikey slept on the couch. He rested his head on the old pillow as Gerard kindly draped the quilt over him, “Gerard, where's your pillow?”
“I don't need one,” he stated quietly. “I sleep on the streets sometimes, so pillows aren't really something I need. I improvise. Besides, I don't think I'll be getting too much sleep tonight anyway.”