We both rushed downstairs after I had grabbed Pansy, Mikey and the guys were sitting at the table and laughing at Ray who was sitting with a lot of popcorn in his afro, and he hadn’t even noticed it was there!
“Jackie! Start a bonfire in the garden please!” I shouted and she jumped off of the counter she was sitting on.
“Hell yeah!” She shouted, grabbing Bob’s lighter off the table and running outside with it.
“What are you two planning on doing and why are you holding Pansy?” Cheyenne asked and me and Gerard flashed her a wicked grin.
“We’re going to burn her.” I stated and laughed like a homicidal drugged up maniac before running outside where the fire was building rapidly.
“You’re going to burn Pansy?!” Ray shrieked at me, running beside me towards the flames and Jackie.
“Yeah! I don’t need her anymore, she means nothing to me because my Dad gave her to me and now he means nothing to me! Simple! You guys are my family now and that’s all that matters!” I screamed and he hugged me tight as we came to a stop.
“Frank, you have no idea how much this means. It means your ready to move on, it means we’re yours and your ours completely. We really are family now.” Ray’s voice was filled with the grin that was plastered on his face.
“Okay, okay, let’s get this thing going!” Hollie yelled as she bounced up to me, dragging Mikey in her wake.
“Sure thing.” Jackie said and we all assembled in a semi circle around the bonfire which was blazing and spitting maliciously.
“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!” I counted down and threw pansy on the fire, giving her away to the flames. “You really are my family now.” I said, looking up at Gerard who was beaming down at me.
“I love you Frankie.” He whispered, cupping my cheek with his hand and pulling me closer to him.
“I love you too Gee.” I reached up and kissed him gently, it was loving and warm. No tongues or fumbling around with clothes falling around us. It was just my chapped pierced lips against his warm, soft ones. Nothing short of perfect.
“You guys know we’re still here right?” Cheyenne asked, a little uncomfortable. She doesn’t really like watching other people show personal signs of affection. Gerard and I pulled apart and I rested my head on his chest, my hand laying just in front of it with my other arm around his waist, feeling the hard muscle of his back against my calloused fingers- his arms were wrapped securely round my waist and his head rested on top of mine.
“Leave them alone. Gay love’s too cute to argue with.” Jackie said, looking distant with her head cocked to one side.
“You’re so gay.” Ray laughed and she snapped her head back, shooting him the evils.
“Thinking ‘bout Lucy?” Hollie asked and Jackie nodded, hanging her head. “It’s weird that after what she did to you, you still love her.”
“I still love all of them, no matter what they did to me. But none of them compare to Ray.” Jackie whispered, before walking inside without another word.
“Her mood swings are giving me whiplash.” Bob sighed and frowned, slinging his arm around Cheyenne. “What actually happened between her and Lucy?”
“Well, they got together a fair few years back and Jackie was bi and Lucy was gay. But then, they split up for reasons currently unknown and about two years later, Lucy contacted Jackie again and they met up and it went from there. Lucy lasted two weeks before cracking. Her and her boyfriend had a bet that Lucy couldn’t last more than a week without cracking under pressure, he payed her £20 a day for it because he thought it was hilarious. Then one day, she turned up with him and was just like; ‘yeah, I’m straight now and you’re such a fool. Who the hell could love a fag like you?’. It didn’t help that this was after the guy that used to beat her, and then she just hit rock bottom. The depression became unmanageable, the anger and mood swings near ridiculous, the drinking got a hell of a lot heavier and she started self harm. Tried to kill herself a fair few times as well, but she got out of it because she knew we needed her. She’s good like that.” Hollie told us and I closed my mouth which had been hanging open.
“Who treats people like that?” I gasped and Gerard answered for me.
“People like Lucy, people like Sven. People that Jackie loved. People like my Dad as well.” Mikey gasped at the last part. “You’re old enough to know now Mikey, Dad cheated on Mom. But don’t tell her, it would break her heart.” He said, a voice so filled with emotion, love and caring. Mikey simply nodded.
“Are none of our lives simple?” Bob asked, shaking his head and holding Cheyenne close against his chest, her arms around his waist.
“I don’t think anybody’s is. Everybody must have something bad that’s happened to them, or something bad they’ve done.” Cheyenne murmured into his chest.
“Gerard, can I ask you something?” He looked down at me and nodded.
“Sure, sugar. Shoot.” I laced my fingers through his and took a deep breath.
“Why did you do drugs and alcohol?” I asked, my voice barely more than a whisper.
“I, um, I couldn’t cope.” He hung his head and I waited for more of an explaination. “I didn’t like who I am, I’m fat, ugly, and a stupid worthless fucking fag. When Mom went out or Mikey wasn’t there, even if they were there Dad would beat me and call me things. Things that I believed, things I still believe. He never used to hit me or hurt me anywhere where I couldn’t hide it; I never told Mom, or even Mikey. Though I did heal up quick of course. It would break them to know that the only man they look up to in the whole world is a cheating, lying and abusive bastard. After he found out I was gay the beatings just got worse, until he took us out that day when he was out of his mind. He wasn’t drunk or anything; just insane, he was ill, I think.” Gerard closed his eyes and swallowed, taking in a shaky breath. “He told me that he’d kill us all, threatened me. I always said his misery and hate would kill us all, but when he crashed the car into the warehouse on purpose. He died on impact. Mom and Mikey were in hospital for a week and then I just got worse, I drank a lot more and started taking pills. I’d always had insomnia but it was just getting ridiculous. The pills helped me sleep and the alcohol helped me forget, even just for a little while. I guess I just felt guilty that I hadn’t been hurt but Mom and Mikey had and Dad had died!” Gerard was sobbing hysterically when he had finished and Mikey scooped him up in his arms, I let them have the brother time they needed.
“Why, oh why, didn’t you tell me, Gerard? I would have told Mom, she’d probably have kicked him out straight away. Oh Gerard!” He sobbed as they dropped to their knees, crying on each others shoulders before gathering themselves together and Gerard stood back by me, and Mikey by Hollie.
“Why did Jackie do it?” Gerard gulped, looking up to meet Hollie’s concern filled gaze.
“I don’t know. I guess she just liked alcohol and the way it made her feel.” She whispered, gripping onto Mikey.
“No.” Ray said, shaking his head. “She hates herself. She always has done and she’s had it beat into her so many goddamn times not even all the love in the world can fix her.” He sobbed, running back into the house and straight out of the front door, where we heard a car door slam and start up again.
“Jeez. That was another deep conversation.” Bob said and we all laughed, nervously at first but then we were laughing hard and for no reason, stumbling back inside the house.