“Mom, just know that I love you and Mikes, okay?” he stated before he carefully scooted pass her to reenter the hallway and felt a strange feeling overwhelm his body. He kept thinking that they...
Cooped up in his room, he relaxed on his bed and drew in his sketch book. He hadn't had the best week, but it wasn't the end of the world. Only a few terrible arguments he shared with his father, that was all. In the back of his mind, he kept in mind that he turned eighteen in a year and he could leave without saying a word. He also knew he would be leaving his younger brother behind. By that point, drugs had become the least of his issues and more of the savior he has learned to love.
The door creaked open and his younger brother hesitantly stepped in. He said nothing as he seated himself in the floor next to his bed. Gerard sat up knowing he had just come in from a long day of school, “Is something wrong, Mikes?” He always took care of his younger sibling and never wanted anything bad to ever happen to him.
“Some guys picked on me today,” he muttered staring at the floor.
Glancing at Mikey's arms and hands, he noticed a few bruises, “Did they do that to you?” Mikey shook his head as Gerard made his way to the floor to sit next to him, “Who did?”
“Dad,” he said in a low whisper.
Approaching the front door, Gerard swallowed a lump in his throat after remembering that day. Reluctantly, he knocked on the old red door and they waited for someone to open up. It had to be around noon, so they hoped their dad did not come home early from work. Soon enough, an older woman cracked the door open and gave them a weak smile.
“Mikey, sweetie, you're alright,” she muttered bringing him into a hug.
“I found him wandering around last night and let him sleep at my apartment,” Gerard stated only half lying to his mother. “Was that okay, mom?”
“That's perfectly fine with me, sweetheart,” she replied giving him a tight hug. “Thank you so much for bringing him home. Do you want to come in for coffee or a nice shower? Donald won't be home until five, so it's safe here.”
A lump grew in his throat, “That'd be nice.” He brought her in for another embrace and nearly burst into tears, “I'm glad someone else cares besides Mikey.”
“I will always love you, but I don't care too much about your decisions,” she briefly explained as they broke the hug and let them both in. “Do you need any clothes or money for rent?”
“Donnie wouldn't like it if you gave me money; I'd appreciate being able to get some clothes,” he responded as Mikey rushed upstairs.
“He can suck it up,” she stated waving her hand. “How about you go shower and I make you two a nice meal?”
“Sounds amazing,” he stated as she disappeared into the kitchen and he made his way towards to his old bedroom.
Glancing around, it looked as though it hadn't been touched since he had left a few years ago. His eyes landed on the spot of the room where a broken lamp once lied.
The door flew open and made Mikey scamper to his feet leaving Gerard in the floor, “Michael, leave. I've got to speak to your brother in private!” At the bellow, Mikey winced and found himself being drug out of the room. “Gerard, what is this!?”
His trembled lightly when his eyes landed on a small plastic bag that was in his father's hand, “I don't know.”
“Tell me that this is not yours or Mikey's!” he shouted stepping towards him.
“It's not!” Gerard shrieked as his father grabbed the back of his shirt.
“You're lying to me!” he yelled shoving it into his eldest son's face. “Is this yours!?”
“Yes! Let go of me!” Gerard shouted trying to wiggle out of his grasp.
Donald yanked him across the room—literally dragging him—and dropped him near the closet then grabbed his arm, “I'm not even going to give you time to pack!” He jerked him up to his feet then shoved him towards the door, “Get out of this house!”
Gerard tried to turn around to at least grab his shoes and collided with his night stand, then cried, “Ow! I need my shoes.” The lamp shattered against the floor as his father stepped out of his way, so he landed face first against the hardwood floor.
“I'll have some sympathy; have one bag packed in five minutes!” he yelled and slung the plastic bag onto the floor near Gerard's face. It busted and sent a powder substance everywhere before he slammed the door behind him.
A few tears fell from his eyes as he knew Donna had to clean up the mess after he left. He wandered towards the closet and grabbed several t-shirts and pairs of pants then threw them onto the bed. Coming back sent surges of pain through his body. He gradually picked out an outfit before he journeyed to the bathroom down the hall.
On his way, he passed Mikey's bedroom. The door was cracked open and he heard gentle sobs accompanied by a subtle female voice coming from inside. He approached the door and listened in. Mikey explained to their mother what really happened, while Donna intently listened like a good mother would. He went on to say that none of it was Gerard's fault and that he wished their father wouldn't have kicked him out.
Gerard's heart sank as he lost the will to stand and quietly leaned against the wall while thinking, It's all my fault. His pain is my fault. He slid down the wall until he hit the floor as a wave of tears struck his eyes. A whisper escaped his lips, “I'm sorry.” This had to be the first time in a long time that he has really wanted to sober up.
A gentle hand rubbed his shoulder, “Shh... Baby, it's okay. Maybe I can get Donald to let you stay, or we could help you find a nice place to live.”
“Mom, you know that bastard wouldn't do that,” he sobbed into his hands. “I'm just another junkie that he cares nothing about. I can see it in his eyes that he wishes I would've died that one night.”
“No he didn't,” Donna cooed bringing his head to the crook of her neck. “He was worried. I think he regrets making you leave. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not worrying about you.” He pulled back to look up at her and could see the stress ridden face he knew his absence has caused, “Gerard, please. Let me help you. I want to know that you're safe. When I found you that night, I thought I had lost one of my sons.” She gently pulled him into a warm hug.
“I'll show him...” Gerard muttered taking his xanax from the night stand drawer. “I'll take the pressure from this entire family.” He screwed the lid off of the bottle and took a few out then swallowed them dryly. After a few moments, he swallowed several more. He stood up then slid a few more into his mouth as he walked into the hallway towards the bathroom.
Donna rushed up the stairs after seeing him storming into the bathroom door, “Gerard, sweetie. Donald's going to let you stay until the weekend, so I can help you find a place, okay?” She followed him into the bathroom and noticed that he had tossed an empty prescription bottle into the trash can. “What's that?”
“Mom, just know that I love you and Mikes, okay?” he stated before he carefully scooted pass her to reenter the hallway and felt a strange feeling overwhelm his body. He kept thinking that they were kicking in too quickly as he lingered towards his bedroom. The floor felt as if it had been pulled out from under him. “Just remember that I will always love you and Mikes.” He never felt his knees hit the floor, but he knew the he was falling.
Gerard dried his tears before his mother helped him from the hall floor, “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.”
“It was Donald's fault; all of it is,” she muttered giving him a weak smile.
He liked how she didn't refer to him as his father, “I'm going to take a shower, okay? I'll be down stairs soon.”
“You promise?” she stated giving him a loving yet worried gaze.
“I promise,” he responded caressing her cheek. “Twenty minutes, tops.”