Ex-girlfriend blues, the power of Cocoa Puffs, and birthday promises.
I was somewhere I barely remembered. Everything around me seemed blurred. It had been such a long time since I’d hopped the subway out to Coney Island to see the boardwalk at night. I could taste the salt in the air as I leaned against the railing and watched the waves sliding by beneath the deck. The lights of the Ferris wheel flickered and danced across the water. In the distance, the sky and the sea merged into darkness; I couldn’t tell where one turned into the other.
I started to walk out to the edge of the pier, into the night. The lights faded and the noise of happy people grew dim. I longed to shut them all out.
When I came to the very edge, I looked over to see Gerard standing next to me, a red balloon tied around his wrist. It was floating in the breeze, straining against the string. He lit a cigarette and tipped his head back to admire the stars.
“It’s a nice night to die,” he said, like it was the most mundane thing in the world. It was like we were in the middle of a conversation about last night’s homework. “The stars are out, and it’s quiet out here. No one would even notice we were missing.”
“You’re right.” I wasn’t afraid. Dying didn’t mean anything. It was just a different way of looking at things, through black glass. I was quite sure we’d be just the same as we’d been before.
“I’d be scared if I was alone,” he confided as he kicked off his shoes. “But since you’re here, Frank...” Everything got hazy for a second. “I have nothing to worry about.”
He took my hand and together we jumped into the icy water. It closed silently over my head. Underneath the waves, everything was calm and still. I could feel no current rocking me or tearing me away from him. We spiraled down, down, trails of silver bubbles floating to the surface. I watched his eyes open underwater, dark eyelashes fluttering against his pale skin. His hair hung suspended in the water like ink. I realized I never wanted to move again; I didn’t want to leave this peaceful feeling. Just the two of us, weightless in the black water.
“And I’ll never let you go.” He pressed his lips to mine in another perfect kiss, his cold arms drawing me in close as the outside world fell away.
I jolted awake. I was in bed with Gerard, his arm draped over my waist. His breath on the back of my neck was soothing, but my head still throbbed painfully.
My only thought was: Coffee. Now.
I slid out of his warm embrace and padded up the stairs into the kitchen. I was bare-chested and shivering as I fumbled around with the coffee pot and leaned against the counter, waiting for it to brew. I’d been warm under the covers, but the house was absolutely frigid. Outside a few birds were chirping in the bare trees. I watched them through the window until the coffee was ready. Clutching a steaming cup, I sat at the worn kitchen table.
My birthday was tomorrow. The date itself didn’t matter so much—I didn’t care about the presents, and facing another year was terrifying—but it meant I was a year closer to freedom, to the way I imagined the world would be once I was an adult. Maybe Gerard had gotten to me, but I felt like things would be different. That somehow I would turn into a person that I could be proud of, someone effortlessly confident and cool, someone who wasn’t afraid of anything. I wanted to deserve to be with him, to be loved and adored and taken care of. But I didn’t want to be disappointed if I grew up and nothing changed.
Face it. You’ll end up in a dead-end job, and at night you’ll lie there alone, dreaming of what could have been.
And I couldn’t let myself do that. I had to make every last second count, because I didn’t know what my future would be like.
I heard a weird sound coming from the living room, stirring me from my reverie. It took me a while to place it, because I hadn’t heard it in so long. It was the sound of crying. Someone was crying, soft, muffled sobs that wrenched at me. I set down my mug as quietly as possible and crept across the hall.
Mikey was slumped on the sofa. He looked pitifully small with the tears running down his pale cheeks. I was scared something had happened to him.
“Mikes,” I whispered, aghast. He looked up at me with red-rimmed eyes.
“I’m fine,” he sniffed. “Go back to bed, Frank.”
I ignored that and sat down next to him, putting my arm around his bony shoulders. “What’s the matter, huh? Can’t you tell me? I won’t tell anyone, I’ll just listen.” A thousand thoughts were rushing through my mind, making the hangover worse.
“Well...it’s just that...Casey, she...she broke up with me,” he managed, then broke down again, burying his face in my shoulder. I hugged him close, stroking his hair and whispering whatever comforting words I could think of. All the while anger was building inside me. I didn’t understand how she could do that to him, to Mikey, my best friend; just rip him to pieces like he meant nothing at all. Everybody could see he was head over heels for her. It was all wrong. “It happened last night,” he said when he was calm again. “After you and Gee left. In front of everyone, Frankie, she just...told me I didn’t matter anymore. And I was so ashamed to be myself.”
“Shh, shh,” I mumbled to him. He practically had me in tears, too. “Don’t ever think that, Mikey Way. You are just who you’re supposed to be, and I think you’re great. You’re my best friend, and I wouldn’t change a thing about you. It’s all gonna be okay, you’ll see. I promise.”
“You do?” he asked. I nodded.
We locked fingers in the familiar gesture, and I held him for a while, until his breathing slowed and the tearstains dried on his face. I left him sleeping on the sofa with an old blanket wrapped around him.
Gerard was sitting in the kitchen, cradling his head in his hands. His hair was all over the place. He looked royally hungover.
“Want some coffee?”
He nodded slowly. “Yes please,” he croaked. I got him a clean mug out of the dishwasher. “I heard what you said to him, you know.” My fingers fumbled, but I could tell he was grinning. “You did good. Better than I could’ve. I feel like shit.”
“You were really drunk last night.” I sat down next to him, sliding his cup across the table. “Do you remember anything?”
“You walked me home,” he said slowly, looking up at the ceiling as he thought. I reached over and tucked his hair behind his ear before I could help myself. He smiled absently as my hand grazed his neck. “You put me to bed. I might be imagining the hand job, but...” I shook my head. His smile widened. “I guess not, then. You really did a number on me, Frankenstein. You were so good I thought I was gonna pass out.”
“That might’ve been the vodka talking, though.”
“I doubt it.” He took a long sip of his coffee. “I sincerely doubt it.”
I laughed. We sat there for a while, quiet, thinking. He got up to get a refill, but stopped in the middle of the floor as a wave of pain washed over him.
“Ugh,” he moaned. “My head...”
I grabbed his arm and helped him back to his chair. “Sit down. Just rest. I’ll get you some aspirin.”
He swallowed the pills I gave him obediently, wincing each time he threw his head back, then went limp in his seat. “Frankie,” he said pleadingly. I kissed him as gently as I could. He moved his lips like they were bruised.
“What is it, Gee? Is there anything I can do?”
He shook his head. “Once the pills kick in, I’ll be all right. But in the meantime...” I could’ve sworn I saw a smile flit across his features. “How about taking care of the massive tent I’m pitching for you right now?”
I rolled my eyes. “Only you could think about that at a time like this.”
“Come on.” He pouted. “One drunk hand job is a far cry from satisfaction, Frankie. Not to mention the things I’ve got planned for your birthday tomorrow.”
I shivered in anticipation. “Care to let me in on the big secret?”
“It’s a surprise.” He bit his lip. “I’ll tell you tonight.”
He looked so hot sitting there, exhausted and worn-out from what I’d done to him last night. His hazel eyes were begging me to come closer, to please him. He pushed his chair away from the table and I sat on his lap, my back rubbing his bare, muscular chest. His hands slid down to my hips and held me tight against him as he started up a slow grind that crushed his erection against my ass. The feeling of him right there, so close to where I wanted him, was enough to send sparks cascading through my head. I leaned back against his shoulder and let out a low moan. He turned and captured my lips in a passionate kiss, moving one hand to the back of my neck to deepen the connection. His tongue slid between my teeth and he set about ravishing every inch of my mouth, still thrusting up against me with infuriating slowness. I whined for more and he grabbed the inside of my thigh, forcing me still closer until our clothes were all that was keeping him from being inside me. I felt hot precum staining his jeans. I reached behind me and locked my arms around his waist, craving more friction. His breathless gasping in my ear told me he was close.
“Holy fuck...Frankie, I wanna taste every inch of you...I want you so bad,” he panted, breaking off into a deep, animal groan as my hips bucked against him. I could feel his huge cock pressing into me with every movement, his soft skin touching mine, holding me, his hands roaming over every part of my body. He came, burying his face in my hair to muffle the sound. I felt warm, sticky wetness spreading beneath me, and the heat drove me over the edge into an intense orgasm. His fingers covered my mouth as I moaned his name raggedly, spreading my legs for him and feeling his frantic heartbeat against my back.
“God,” I breathed, and he kissed me again, laughing.
“You are delicious,” he said slowly, his lips just brushing mine as he spoke. “And you know what? My headache’s gone.”
I heard Mikey’s snoring stop. As I got up, I became aware of how we’d look to him. “Um, Gee...”
He laughed and stood up, too. “We’d better get changed before we put Mikey off sex forever.”
The sun was shining down into his bedroom as he picked out something for me to wear.
“You’d be better off with something of Mikey’s, he’s skinny like you. But,” he grinned, “I guess you’re stuck. Here, try these.” He tossed me some faded gray jeans. I slid out of mine and tugged the new ones on. They were a little too long, so I bent down to roll the cuffs. He lent me a bright pink Sex Pistols t-shirt. Gerard put on a little show for me as he changed, wiggling his ass in time with an imaginary beat and sliding his shirt over his chest much too slowly. He let his head loll to the side as I zipped him up, letting out breathy, sexy moans.
“Don’t,” I begged, trying not to laugh. “You’ll have me hard again.”
He smiled wickedly. “You ruin all my best plans.” As we came downstairs, he ruffled my hair. “So you look asleep.” He winked at me.
Mikey was just sitting at the kitchen table, staring at nothing. Gee punched his arm half-heartedly as he set out cereal bowls and milk. We dug in, but he didn’t move.
“Eat something, Mikes. You’re wasting away.”
“Not hungry,” he mumbled.
“Mikey, the world was built on Cocoa Puffs. They put hair on your chest and a gleam in your eye. Don’t make me feed you,” I threatened. He shook his head.
Gerard got up. “Lemme get my camera, this is so going on our Christmas card.”
Mikey lifted his spoon and took a giant bite of cereal. “Mmmph...are you happy now, Gee?” he demanded, milk dripping down his chin.
His brother grinned in triumph and sat back down. “Yes. Yes I am.”
We spent the rest of the day cheering Mikey up, carting him to a scary zombie movie with Ray and Bob, to lunch at a diner that was straight out of the ‘50s, to the record store. Gerard did a silly dance whenever a song we liked was playing. After a while, Mikey was his usual self, laughing and clapping along as I taught them both how to tango.
“You better trip up soon, or I’m putting you on Dancing With the Stars,” he told me. I loved seeing him happy like this, all thoughts of Casey cast aside.
When we spilled out of the record store, it was already dark. Ray was waiting for us in his beat-up old car to give us a ride home. Bob was riding shotgun as usual.
“Did you ever name this ugly rust bucket?” Mikey asked, his gaze traveling to the long spider-web crack in the windshield.
“Sheila.” Ray slapped the dashboard fondly. Gerard stared at him with a look of disgust on his face.
I sighed. “When you and Liza get hitched, you better let her name the kids.”
At the mention of girlfriends, Mikey’s face fell. I put my arm around his shoulders and he leaned into me. His skin looked see-through in the headlights of passing cars, as fragile as glass. I rode all the way home like that, Mikey on one side and Gerard on the other with his leg pressed against mine, his head resting against my collarbone. I held us all together as tightly as I could.
“D’you think breaking up with Mikey was entirely Casey’s idea?” I asked, voicing the suspicion that had been gnawing at me all day. Gerard lifted his head from my hip and looked at me in the dark.
“No,” he sighed. “I don’t. I met her; she seemed like a nice girl. And nice girls don’t toss people’s hearts around like they’re playing hot potato.”
“That’s what I thought, too.”
He kissed the bare skin just above the waistband of my jeans. I gasped at his touch, the feel of his hot lips gliding over my hipbone, igniting sparks low in my stomach. He unzipped me idly, wanting more access. I writhed in pleasure as he bit down gently, reaching up to pin my arms at my sides. By the time he got bored, I was sobbing for breath, my hips straining up to meet his mouth. He lay down on top of me again, folding his arms on my stomach and shooting me a winning grin.
“You’re so sweet, Frankie,” he said. “I could do this to you all day.” I lay there in the dark, trying to catch my breath. “Don’t you want to know what I have planned for your birthday?” he asked.
He laughed. “Hang on. I have a visual aid.” He got up and padded across his room to his backpack. When he came back, he held up two tickets. “These are for a local metal and punk festival. Tomorrow and the day after. And we’ve gotta skip school on Monday because the Misfits are playing.”
I sat up and hugged him as hard as I could, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. “Gee, this is the best present ever!”
“That’s not all.” His voice dropped, and he looked at me shyly. “It’s a bit of a drive, so we’re staying in a hotel, with a whole suite to ourselves. I thought it’d be nice to have some time together, just the two of us.”
I grinned up at him. “It’d be very nice.”
I got what he was hinting at. Sex. Real sex, not a little something-something in the bathroom at school, not what we did to each other whenever we could find a moment alone. We’d talked about it before, but it always seemed too risky with Mikey sleeping upstairs. And since Gee could give me a screaming orgasm just by rubbing up against me, it didn’t seem like a good idea. But it was always on my mind. I could taste his need whenever I kissed him, and I knew he’d been thinking about it, too. God knows I wanted to feel him inside me, to be with him in that way. My heart was practically leaping out of my chest at the thought.
He kissed me feverishly, running his tongue over my lips like they were his own. I sighed and clutched at his warm, muscled body.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” he whispered as we were falling asleep. I rolled over to face him, pressing in close with my hand on the small of his back. Sex with Gerard...it was going to be better than anything I’d ever dreamed; I could tell just by how it felt to touch him. I wanted him so bad I didn’t know if I could wait a whole twenty-four hours. If he said the word, I’d let him have me here and now. And he knew it, but he just leaned in and kissed me sweetly on the lips. “Night, Frankie boy. I love you.”
“I love you too, Gee.”
Hi everybody! Sorry this is a little later than I said it would be; I’m at a hotel and I haven’t had wi-fi in hours and hours. I don’t know if I have a song specifically for this chapter, but the electric version of “Little Brother” by Grizzly Bear really reminds me of Mikey. It goes like this: ‘wide-eyed and up in arms, my little brother was a solemn one’. And “Lovesong” by The Cure works for the second half. Anyway, that’s kind of what this chapter sounds like to me. I’m not gonna be able to post for you guys for a little while, but I hope you’ll stick with me and find out what happens! You’re all so sweet and awesome, you inspire me to write every day :) I’ll have a new chapter for you soon, and I think it’ll be worth the wait (insert knowing wink here) See you in ten days! Xo b_b