Once he climbed out, the feeling he finally rid himself of came back to haunt him; he could see a teenage version of himself lying in the middle of the floor hoping his parents wouldn't burst in.
Wrapping a towel around his waist, he dug into his rattier, dirty jeans for something. After a few moments of rummaging through every one of the pockets, he found a few pills then lied them on the counter. He stared at his reflection in the mirror and shook his head guiltily, “Am I taking advantage of my mother's courtesy by doing this?” The reflection never responded, but he commenced crushing the pills hoping no one needed in the room.
Mikey scooted out of his bedroom after a short breather and found himself standing there alone. He heard water running in the bathroom, so he figured his brother was still showering and scurried down stairs to join their mother in the kitchen.
“Hey, sweetheart, is Gerard still in the shower?” she chimed as she sat two plates on the table, then sat freshly made sandwiches in them. Mikey nodded then seated himself at one of the empty chairs. “Are you feeling any better?” He shook his head and gained a loving gaze from Donna, “I know, baby. We can help him, but only if he wants it. You know that.” She watched her youngest son lay his forehead against the wooden table, “Mikey, how about you eat?”
“I'm not hungry,” he murmured knowing that his stomach was sure enough near empty. “Do you mind if I go lie down? I'm not feeling too well.”
“Okay, sweetie,” she muttered kissing the top of his head. “Lay down on the couch and I'll put your food in the refrigerator.”
He cut her off, “Let Gerard eat it. I'm sure he's starving to death.”
Donna nodded understanding what he meant, “Okay. If he doesn't eat it, I'll let him take it when he leaves because I'm sure he doesn't want to wait around for dinner to put up with Donald.” Mikey nodded and hugged her before he made his way towards the living room. Donna sighed and wandered around the kitchen aimlessly.
“Hey, Mikes,” Gerard bellowed as he gently patted his brother's shoulder, who had just lied down on the large sofa.
“Hey,” he murmured sleepily.
Gerard frowned lightly then attempted to hide it before he entered the kitchen, “Hi, mom.” He kissed her cheek before sitting in the chair Mikey had just left. “Oh, sandwiches. They look absolutely delicious. Didn't Mikey eat?”
“He's not feeling too well, so he forfeited his sandwich to you,” she explained kissing the top of his damp head. “I'll make you some to take with you, sweetie.”
“I feel bad taking his,” Gerard muttered biting into one.
“It's not like I cannot make him one when he wakes up from his nap, right?” she replied softly. “How have you been?” She sat in the chair next to him with a bottle of water in her hand and a soda in the other.
Gerard sat his foot down and stared blankly at the soda can, “Not so well, mom.” He grew silent and now knew how his younger brother felt, but his came more from guilt and lack of hope. “I don't want to lie to you.”
She slid the soda towards him then gently grasped his hand, being the only actual affection he has experienced in a long time, “It is good that you don't want to lie to me; the truth is best. Do you want to talk about it?”
He chewed on some food then stared at her hand as he gently squeezed it, “It's life in general. I know you and Mikey still care, but it's not like I can be welcomed home with open arms. I truly have no place to go.” He swallowed and clear his throat, “I want to quit, but I can't, mom. I just can't.” Drawing his hands towards his face, he felt multiple lumps forming in his throat, “I want to so bad.”
Donna rubbed his shoulder wishing it would sooth him, “It's okay, baby. We know you want to. I can try and get Donald to let you stay.”
“You know he wouldn't have it,” he sobbed.
“If I have anything to do with it, he will; even if I have to throw his butt out,” she cooed as he gently grasped his hand again. “I love you too much to let that man ruin this family.” He muttered himself incoherently. “What was that, sweetheart?”
“I'm the one who ruined this family!” he cried into the palm of his free hand. His high was taking a sharp turn towards a more emotional state and not the ecstatic one he had the day before. “I'm sorry. I've destroyed everything you've worked your ass off for.”
“Hush,” she stated rubbing her thumb over his knuckles. “You did no such thing. It was Donald.” As bad as he disliked arguing with her, he sucked it up and agreed with her. “Now, eat. I'm sure you're starving. I'll make you some food to take with you and you're always welcome here, especially when Donnie's not home.”
He sniffled, “Thanks mom.” He felt her grasp disappear as she stood up to make some food to-go for him. By that point, his appetite had diminished, but he forced himself to eat it then finally opened the soda setting near his plate. “This is the first time I haven't had anything off-brand in a long time.”
“Sometimes the off-brand is good,” Donna stated glancing over her shoulder to give her eldest son a reassuring smile. “Do you really want to sober up?”
For a moment, he hesitated and stared at the red can, “Yes. Why would I lie about that?” He took another drink then focused his attention on her.
Donna racked up some thoughts so she wouldn't say anything wrong, “I don't want to sound like I don't believe you, but some people say they do want to sober up then they go right back to it after they succeed in doing so. I just...” She leaned against the counter and rested her wrist against the bridge of her nose to hold back tears, “I just don't want to see you go back, sweetie.”
Gerard heard gentle sobs escape her and walked up behind her. Wrapping his arms around her shoulders, he buried his face into the back of her neck, “I'll do it for you and Mikes.”
She turned around and brought him into a more formal motherly embrace, “Do it for yourself and us, okay?” He nodded and she let him go once more, “Now, eat. You're getting too damn skinny. We'll set some things up with a counselor tomorrow when I expect you to drop by; same time, same place.”
Sitting back down at the table, he let out a defeated sigh, “Okay. Tomorrow, same time, same place.”