Think of it as a business lunch. And who's feeling vulnerable? That's right, exactly the wrong person.
I arrived at the street on time and took a seat outside the nearest cafe to me. I began thinking of a conversation out of boredom, mixed with undertones of apprehension. Along the lines of "What do you want from me, bastard?!"... Mixed in with fight scenes of course. I had to remond myself to stay open to whatever he wanted but he's just such a prick! I ordered a drink and finished it in a hurry, even paying the waitress as she brought it over.
I decided to hide my frustration with him as Shane's car pulled up close by. This was so odd, I couldn't miss a single detail about it: I was going to analyse every word and move Shane made. Maybe to use it agianst him somehow later.
Shane waved as he approached me and I smiled in a hugely fake way as he sat down.
"Hey Gerard." His tone of voice wasn't casual or light. It was the voice of someone plotting a scheme. He had one thing on his mind - the conversation that would follow.
"Hi. So, what is it you want to talk about, alone like this?" I asked right away. I wasn't going to be subtle about that, I wanted to get to the point.
Shane laughed happily. He tilted his head back and sighed.
"Well. Where do I start Gerard?"
"The start, maybe?" I hissed, already loosing patience. He was messing around!
Shane giggled again.
"Ahh, Gerard... I know you have something against me. So obvious... Especially when it comes to Frank or Mikey meeting me."
I said nothing. Where was this going and how should I react to this truth? Why would I want him stealing those two?
"Well..." Shane took my glass and traced his finger around the rim. As you would on a wine glass to make that resounding, piercing note we've all tried at least once. "What would I have to do to show you I'm worthy of thier company?"
That came as a big shock. As if Shane cares about his worthiness! I very almost spat out abuse at him, but controlled myself, trying to stay open to what he had to say.
"What the hell do you mean?" I gripped the tables edge.
"You need bribes or convincing?" The words were muttered as if by an off-chance. Shane smirked into the glass. His eyes shone as his ideas danced around his head and I was dying wanting to know what he was thinking.
"Shane - I don't get you. Do you mean giving me money so I'll let you see them?! That's crazy!" My voice got louder with my anger at the absurd idea. Buying friendship, buying time with Mikey and Frank, like they're whores, like they're fucking trash.
"Look Gerard. I just want you to know that I'll do whatever it takes to be good a friend to Frankie and Mikey. That means getting you to accept me, so I think we should forget our differences and try to get along."
"Just prove you can keep your fucking hands off them then." I growled, scowling.
"I'd hate to put this twist on it, but they do really like me, and you're just restricting them...!" Shane sighed, smiling with a fake shed of pity in his voice.
"What twist? Just get to it!" I urged, omcredibly anxious by this time.
Shane grinned, this time because he was genuinely happy, or proud of that little idea.
"So you mean we can be friends, to share the two?"
"I'm not sharing Mikey or Frank!" His argument that they liked him did scare me, admittedly.
"Gerard, don't be like that, please, just listen to me, can we have some compromise? Some understanding going on here? I'm no predator y'know."
"How can I trust you Shane? Tell me, how do you expect me to just be your friend so you can see more of them? It doesn't work like that!"
"Oh, c'mon! This isn't business. I mean I actually want to be your friend. Like a crazy drinking, druggie type-friend. Friends so we'll naturally be more tolerant of each other."
Shane grinned, he really is fucked up. Talking about friendship like it's a contract you can sign whenever you want. Meaningless, buyable and something you needn't care about much.
"...Druggie?" I repeated slowly. That was another thing I picked up.
"Don't go bragging about it." Our conversation completely changed. From bribes, to contracts to curious drug inquisitions.
"What do you...?" I didn't want to sound too interested. You can guess I was though. Shane's interesting now, in a twisted way. It made me think back to those years ago when I had so desparately tried to get ahold of aynthing illegal, just to dull my thoughts and dull the sharp thorns that followed all those so-called 'roses' in life.
Shane could barely contain himself. He had me wrapped around his finger, in waiting.
"Cocaine, heroin. Not much but... If we consider each other as friends maybe - you wouldn't report me, would you?"
"No, not at all..." I discarded my anger in a flash, eager to listen to the proposition now. Funny that, bring drugs into the equation and I listen.
"Goood. I mean, perhaps we can start over and you come and try what I got."
"Only friends so it might make Frank and Mikey more happy, so I'll be more tolerant of you. They'll realise how I strive to make them happy." I troed to sound stern but I knew Shane knew what I was intereested in. I could just try something and maybe never even like it. But I knew I had to just try it.
"No, Gerard. I want to be an actual friend. I think we have an awful lot in common." he chewed his thumb nail in deep thought.
"Just as long as you'll never lay a finger on them Shane. Then, I'll be happy to start over with you." I can't show him my anger now, I'm interested in what he's got to offer. I had to be sickly sweet with him now.
"Wow, you really love your boys, don't you? Just make sure -" Shane leered at me, only slightly. "They love you fully back. Because, and this will be my negative comment to you; once Mikey breaks away from you, he'll never come back. Make sure he gets your message."
What?! How the hell does he know anything about me and Mike? How does he know that we go beyond...? Shane is smarter than I've thought to have deduced that. I couldn't let it on that he was right about that, so I tried to stay calm. He was right too, Mikey might never come back to me. I have to make him more dependant on me. Really get him, exploit his easy side. Even if I have to force myself on him. When everything else is gone, there is always one thing, one light in the dark: Mikey. I'll do anything to keep him mine, forever. Keep him happy forever. I know what he needs, I'll keep him happy forever.
"I-I'll do that... So, is that all you wanted to say?" I tried to exude calmness though I was utterly paranoid once more.
"Yeah. I can't wait for us to meet again, and really start over. Sunday, perhaps?" Shane grinned, knowing that he got me.
"Okay. You send me a message. See you then." Half in it for drugs: Half because this could increase Frank and Mikey's love for me, seeing me put up with Shane, all for them.
Shane left, and in good time too.
Wait, did I just make a trade...?!