Except when the bill came.
"Frank, I'll get this." I told him as he was taking out his wallet.
"Nancy you always pay." He replied. "I wanna buy my girlfriend's dinner for once." He handed the waiter his credit card.
"Ok, but are you gonna be able to pay it off?" I asked him. I tried not to be snappy but I was.
"Yes, I am because I got a proper job." Frank replied. He started getting mad. He rarely got mad at me, so I had little time to prepare.
"Where's your job?" I asked calmly.
"Waiting tables at the club Pencey Prep plays at." Frank replied. "And, I was going to tell everyone later but Pencey Prep got signed yesterday morning."
"Oh! Frank that's..." I couldn't think of the words. I got out of my seat, and I clung on to his neck. I kissed his cheek. "Its great Frank."
"Thank you." He replied. The waiter came back with Frank's card and we left.
We walked hand in hand down the street. My apartment wasn't far from the chinese so we decided to go there. As we were passing a bar, there was a girl inside who started waving at us. Frank turned his head and ignored her but then she came out of the bar.
"Frank!" She yelled. "Its Lisa! Don't you remember me?" We both turned and Frank glared at her.
"No, I don't remember you." He said.
"Well, you are a lucky lady," She turned to me. "He may not remember it, but he's a tiger in the sack."
I felt like someone had stabbed me, a hundred times in the stomach, chest, neck. Everywhere burned.
I let go of Frank's hand and stormed across the road. I let myself into my building and shut the door tight. I saw Frank running across the road after me but he wasn't going to be able to get in unless someone buzzed him in. I took off my heels and ran upstairs.
My legs were aching by time I got up to my apartment. Gerard was just leaving his apartment and he saw me.
"What's going on Nancy?" He asked. "I just buzzed Frank in. Did something happen?" I was breathing heavily. Then I had a plan.
"Gerard, get back inside your apartment." I went over to him and pushed him back inside. I locked his door behind us and put my ear to the door. I could hear Frank banging on my apartment door.
"NANCY! TALK TO ME!" He said really loudly. Tears silently fell down my cheeks. I unlocked the door. I looked behind me and Gerard was disappearing into Mikey's room. He was muttering something about not getting involved.
I opened the door, stepped out and closed it behind me. I gripped my heels tightly, one in each hand. Frank looked at me. He had tears in his eyes and all the guilt was showing.
"When?" I asked.
"Is it really important?"
"When did you sleep with that girl?" He looked at his shoes. I threw one of shoes at him.
"Ow!" He said as it hit his shoulder. I stormed passed him and went into my apartment. I left the door hanging open and I threw my other shoe at him.
"How could you Frank?!" I screamed at him.
"I didn't mean for it to happen. I was drunk."
"Oh its going to be THAT excuse isn't it?!" Frank came in, after picking up both my shoes. He closed the door behind him and set the shoes on the table.
"When did it happen?" I asked him again.
"I don't want to say." He replied. "It'll just make this ten times worse." I couldn't believe this.
"You fucked that girl when Aunt Jess was in hospital?" He nodded. "Thats why we couldn't find you." He nodded again. "You..." I wanted to insult him. I wanted to hurt him so bad but I couldn't muster the strength. "Get out." I said calmly.
"We can work through this!" Frank pleaded. "Please, let me explain."
"Its took late Frank!" I yelled at him. "You slept with some whore, while my Aunt, the only family I had left, was dying in the hospital. There's nothing to explain."
"But Nancy, I love you! Its always been you! I need you!"
"I don't....I never thought you would do something like this. The one person I have always trusted." I took a breath. I couldn't believe this was happening. "Its over...I don't want to ever see you again." I started crying. Tears were falling down my cheeks so fast, it was almost cartoony.
"No!" Frank fell to his knees at my feet. He started weeping. "I can't lose you! Please! I was drunk and I thought you had stood me up and I didn't know what-"
"Oh so now its my fault?" I wiped a few tears away. "Get out of my apartment before I call the cops." I turned on my heel and went into my bedroom.
Frank started banging on the bedroom door.
"Nancy! Please. I can't lose you." Someone else came into the apartment. There was whispering and then everything was silent. Once again, I was crying myself to sleep. I never thought this would happen. I never thought Frank could do such a thing and then lie to my face for weeks. I curled up on the floor and stayed there nearly all night.
I woke up the next morning with Alyssa stroking my face. I hadn't slept much. My eyes were burning and my hair felt damp. Could one person cry that much?
"Hey..." Alyssa whispered. "I...I wish I knew what to say."
"Don't..." I croaked. "Don't say anything..." I got up. My muscles were stiff and I was still in the dress I was wearing last night.
"I came home just as Gerard and Mikey were getting Frank out of the building. They told me what they had heard." Alyssa explained.
"Oh..." I replied. I felt like I should be crying again but I could produce any tears. "I thought it was them who got him out."
"You wanna go shopping or something?" She asked. I shook my head.
"I wanna get out of here..." I muttered. I got up and left my room. I completely forgot that I wasn't wearing any shoes, but I had to get out of this building.
I wandered aimlessy before I found myself at Ray's door. I didn't know why I was here. I just felt like this was the only place I wanted to be.
I knocked on the door and within seconds, Ray answered. It took him a few minutes but he was there. The minute I saw him, I started blubbering again. I could barely get out the words. He just nodded, took me inside and held me.
"What happened Nancy?" He asked me once I had calmed down a bit.
"Frank...Oh god." I began. "Last night, Frank and I were out for dinner, on our way back to my place, we ran into this girl...who said..." I took a breath. "She said that she had slept with Frank."
"Oh my god." Ray said. "That fucking tool."
"I know... turns out, the whole thing happened as Aunt Jess was in hospital...so you can imagine how I was feeling when I woke up this morning..." I told him. I knew it was bad, making Frank seem like the bad guy to his friend, but he was the bad guy and I didn't care.
"I don't know what to say, Nancy." He replied. "Want me to call Gerard?" I shook my head. I suddenly made a snap decision.
"I need you to help me with something." I told Ray. "And its very important that no one knows what's happening, because they'll just try and stop me."
"What makes you think I won't stop you?" Ray asked.
"Because you've never been one to go against what someone wants." I replied. "And I've always loved that about you." Ray smiled and I kissed his cheek.
I gave him his orders and he set off to fulfil them straight away.
4 YEARS LATER
My good friend Ian Watkins sat across from me at out breakfast table. His hair was spiked up in its usual way and he was wearing his usual, jeans and a random t-shirt. He was feeding himself a bowl of cornflakes while reading a magazine that had My Chemical Romance on the cover. He scoffed and put the magazine down. He caught me looking at him.
"What?" He asked.
"I don't know why you bother reading about other bands, when it clearly upsets you." I replied.
"Well, I was reading about them because...." I looked sadly at table. "I'm sorry, Nancy. I know them being on the cover of every bloody magazine upsets you."
"No, I'm fine." I replied "Its just...nothing. It would be petty of me to hate them just because Frank's with them. Frank is a terrific musician."
"Its good that you realise that." Ian said. He stretched arm across the table and took my hand in his. "How long has been since you left them?"
"4 years." I replied. "4 whole years next Wednesday."
"Still never going back?" He asked. I nodded.
"Only if you're doing shows there." I replied. "And thats because its my job to follow you around and make you sure get to places on time. And get your morning coffee. Speaking of which, Jamie should be calling any minute about his." I stood up, took my coat off the back of my chair and put it on. "Clean your bowl when you're done." I ordered him. He nodded and grinned. I kissed his head as I went past him out the kitchen door.
Just as I was making sure I had everything in my messenger bag, the mail came through the letterbox. I picked it up and looked through it. Bill, bill, crap, letter in Mikey's handwriting, crap, bill...hold the phone.
"Ian!" I called. Ian emerged from the kitchen. I handed him the bunch of letters but kept the letter from Mikey. "Its from Mikey." I half smiled and tears filled my eyes. "Mikey." I grinned.
"What does it say?" Ian asked.
"I don't know. I haven't opened it yet." I replied. "I don't know if I can." But then my hands took on a life of their own. I ripped open te envelope and read the letter.
Hey, I don't really know what to say, this is awkward for me. I think I'll just get straight to the point. We need your help. I'm sure you probably read in some crappy magazine about Gerard's drinking problem. Well its started to escalate and nothing we say or do is making a difference. Please, we need your help. I understand that, you and Frank will probably never want to see each other again but Gerard needs you, Ray needs you and I need you. My brother is killing himself and I feel so helpless. Please come find us.
Love from Mikey xoxo"
"Oh my god." My knees buckled underneath me and I fell to the floor. My phone started ringing, bringing me to my sense. I started looking for my phone but Ian had it and was answering.
"Jamie, get your own fucking coffee this morning. Nancy's ill." He closed the phone and I protested, but he just picked me up and sat me on the stairs. I handed him the letter and he read it over. "Surely they can't be serious..." He mumbled.
"Ian, I have to go..." I mumbled. "Gerard needs me."
"Ok, if thats what you want to do." Ian said. He took my hands. "I'll go with you."
"No, I'll be fine by myself." I told him. "You guys are doing America next week, they're in Japan..."
"Like fuck you will Ian. The company won't let you." I stomped upstairs and packed a bag. Ian was waiting, holding my bag at the bottom the stairs.
"Got your passport?" He asked. I nodded. "Got money?" I nodded again. "I called the airline for you, you've got an hour to get to airport. I'll drive you." I nodded again and we were out the door.
After some clever deception, I found Mikey's room in a Japanese hotel. I hesitantly knocked lightly on the door and he answered straight away. I still had my bag full of clothes in my hand. I didn't even think to get a room.
"Nancy!" He exclaimed. "Oh my God! I can't believe it!" He pulled me into a bone crushing hug. "I can't believe you're here!" Tears filled my eyes.
"I can't believe I'm here either." I whispered.
"Get your butt in here!" Mikey ordered. "Frank can't see you." He said. He dragged me inside his dimly lit room.
"Why can't Frank see me?"
"He doesn't know I wrote the letter." I shook my head at Mikey.
"Mikey..." I moaned.
"We talked about getting you involved. He said no, he didn't want to see you. So I wrote the letter anyway. I had to get you here. Gerard is wasting away. I never felt so helpless." Mikey started crying. I think it was the first time I had ever seen him this frantic. I sat him down on the bed and comforted him.
"I'll go now to him now. I'll do my best." I replied. "I think I could get to through to him. He's....well I guess you could say we've always had a very special connection. He took care of me so many times, I guess its my turn to care of him." There was a loud knock at the door.
"Mikey its Frank! Open up." I inhaled sharply. I indicated to the closet and Mikey nodded. I hid inside the closet and left the door open a little bit.
"Did I see Nancy come in here?" I heard Frank ask.
"Why would Nancy be in Japan?" Mikey replied. "I think you're seeing things dude."
"I suppose. I just saw the back of her but I could of sworn it was her." Frank said. They mumbled a few more words to each other and the door closed. I stepped out of the closet and sighed.
"My poor Mikey." I mumbled. But the door burst open and Frank was there, once again, pointing his finger accusingly.
"Why are you here!?" He demanded. I couldn't tell if he was angry or not. I knew he definitely felt something. But this wasn't my Frank. This was a different, bitter Frank that had formed over the years.
"She's here to help us!" Mikey said back. "Frank we need her."
"She needs to leave now!" Frank stormed over to me and took me by the arm. He started shoving me out of the room. I grabbed Frank's arm and twisted it so he would let go of me. I swept my foot underneath his and he fell to the floor. I put my foot on his back to hold him there. He weighed a lot more than me, so I couldn't hold him for long, just long enough.
"Don't ever touch me like that," I said to him. "I don't even understand why you're so angry!"
"I'm not angry...." Frank mumbled.
"Mikey, where's Gerard's room?" I asked.
"213." Mikey replied. He looked at me in awe. I smiled brightly and him and stepped on Frank to get to the door.
I hurried down the hall and found Gerard's room. I knocked on the lightly. I heard some mumbling, someone falling over and then something smashing.
"Gerard, honey?" I asked. I opened the door and stepped in. The stench was immense. Puke, alcohol, cigarettes and something else, body odour maybe. I couldn't tell.
"Nancy?" Gerard slurred, looking slightly amused. "What are you..."
"Oh Gerard..." I mumbled. I kneeled in front of him and picked up the bits of smashed lamp that was around him. I cut my finger in the process but I didn't care. I was sort of numb.
"What are you doing here Nancy?" He almost sounded sober as he asked.
"I'm here to help."
"I DON'T NEED ANY HELP!!" Gerard screamed in my face. He got up and stormed to the bathroom. Tears filled my eyes but I wasn't giving up.
Set about, cleaning out his room a little. I cleared out the bottles, sheets that had been puked on and broken lamp. I opened the curtains and opened the windows.