Lindsey isn't the only one who knows how to self destruct.
"Hey Gee, what's up?"
"Um, I don't think I can make it to the studio next week. You guys can start recording without me, but I don't think I'll be in for a couple more weeks."
"Dealing with some stuff with my family."
"Well, what's going on?"
"It's kinda personal, Mikes."
"And since when did your personal life not include your brother?"
"It's not that, I just have a lot going on right now."
"Well the more I should know, shouldn't I?"
"Mikey... okay.... please.... don't take it like that. I'll talk to you later. Just tell the other guys yeah?"
"Okay, Gerard. I'll let them know. And hey..."
"You're okay, right?"
"Yeah, Mikey, I'm okay."
Gerard hung up the phone and laid his head back on the living room couch. He had hoped it wouldn't come to this, but it appeared to be unavoidable. He had to postpone his recordings for the new album, probably dragging the entire project down by at least two weeks.
He and Lindsey had agreed they were going to work on getting Lindsey clean together. That they were going to take this thing down before it grew any bigger with teamwork. But Lindsey had made little to no effort. She continued to disappear at random times. She continued to have erratic moods. And now that Gerard knew, she seemed to be doing it even more as she had nothing to hide. Gerard was at a loss as to what to do. He certainly did not want to leave Bandit alone with this woman who he no longer recognized.
Glimpses of the Lindsey he knew and loved came to surface every now and then, and she seemed lost and confused. Frightened and nervous. Unfortunately, Gerard was no longer sure if these moments only came up as an act, to win over his sympathy whenever Lindsey knew he was getting frustrated. Damn him for being a sucker for puppy dog eyes.
He felt his phone vibrate, and he checked the screen. It was a text from Frank:
‘Mikey just called, you okay?’
Frank. His best friend. Gerard felt guilty at having a slight urge to tell Frank what he refused to tell Mikey. Mikey did have a bit more of a right to know than Frank did. But it just seemed like Frank was the one who always knew how to make him feel better. Always knew just what to say. Especially now that he was a family man, taking care of two baby girls. Once put in that position, the responsible thing to do was to grow up. Make yourself someone your children can seek guidance from and look up to. Frank was great for that role.
Clearly, Gerard thought, a role he himself had failed at.
He was a horrible person.
A horrible, horrible person.
It was all Gerard could think as he cradled a crying Bandit, who was screaming for her mother. Lindsey had come home at 3 AM from a party, high as all hell and had passed out in their room right away. Not too long after, Bandit had awoken from a bad dream. Gerard had tried to feed her and change her, tickle her and play with her, but nothing worked. She wanted her mother who couldn’t be bothered.
He shouldn’t have had a family.
Now he’s doomed Lindsey and Bandit both. He’s dragged them into this stupid attempt at happiness that he obviously wasn’t equipped to handle. He didn’t deserve the privilege of fatherhood. Or marriage. And now God was punishing him for trying, Lindsey and Bandit being the innocent bystanders that were going down along with him.
“I’m so sorry…”, he whispered as he looked down into his daughters tear filled eyes.
She continued to cry, and not too long after, he began to cry with her.
It was another night. It was 7 AM. And Gerard was really beginning to panic. His wife had not come home. She typically never stayed out later than 4. He was driving towards the location of the party she said she had gone. He had left Bandit with their neighborhood friends, claiming an emergency. Nervous, he almost hit a few cars on the way. Or maybe they were the ones almost hitting him. It was a Saturday night, and drunk drivers were everywhere. Finally, he arrived at his destination. A suburban looking home with many cars parked around it. He knew the man who lived here. Bobby, a long term friend of Lindsey’s. They used to hang out a lot more back when Lindsey was a constant user. Gerard never liked him much.
Gerard walked up to the porch to see the door was already an inch open. He let himself in, and was greeted with the sight of a living room with people passed out all over it. He walked through them, careful not to step on anyone, looking to see if any of them were his wife. After walking through a few rooms, he was about ready to turn back when he felt a hand latch on to his shoulder. He jumped.
“Where you going pretty boy?”, he heard a voice growl behind him. Gerard felt himself being spun around. It was Bobby. The dark brown pupils barely visible between his long black hair were as huge as saucers. Bobby was a rather scruffy looking fellow, so being cornered by this man while he was quite obviously hopped up on meth was not a position you want to be found in.
“Bobby.”, Gerard acknowledged, trying not to let his intimidation show. “Where…. Where’s my wife? Where’s Lindsey?”
Bobby grinned crookedly. “Oh, she left a while back sweetie. But that’s okay. You’re much prettier.”
It was only then did Gerard realize Bobby had nearly backed him into the wall behind him. He swallowed.
“Alright, um… I’ll just be going then.”, Gerard tried to get away, but Bobby slammed him into the wall.
“Not so fast, babe.” Bobby hissed before shoving his mouth against Gerard’s unwilling mouth, using a hand to pry Gerard’s jaw open so he could insert his tongue inside. Bobby moved his hands down to Gerard neck and pressed both his thumbs down into his Adam’s apple hard. He pushed into it slowly, taking his sweet time. As Gerard struggled against his grip, Bobby snickered.
“I have a bit of an asphyxiation fetish.”, he smirked. “As your wife would know all too well…”
Gerard glared at him and screamed, “GET OFF!” before he gave Bobby a particularly hard kick to the leg, finally paining him enough to get him to release him.
“AGH! You little fuck!”, Bobby screamed. Luckily, he was hurt enough to give Gerard an opportunity to run for it. Gee fled quickly out of the house, stumbling over a couple of passed out partiers on the way. He ran into his car, and started it quickly, his heart racing. Finally, he sped off.
Gerard tried to calm himself. He wondered if he should head back home, maybe she would already be there? Unfortunately their home was a good 30 minutes away, and if he went back and she still wasn’t home, he would be back to square one. Gerard decided to drive around the area, see if he could spot her walking or hanging around anywhere.
He circled the block a few times, going into some cul-de-sacs. It was already nearly 8. He was getting rather tired, as he hadn’t gotten any sleep for the night.
Then finally, he saw her.
Lindsey Way was sitting on a curb near a gutter, her shoulders slumped and her head down. Gerard pulled over immediately, and got out. He walked over to her and bent down.
“Linds?”, he prodded.
She looked up at him. Her pupils were even bigger than Bobby’s had been. She looked completely dazed.
“Lindsey, c’mon, we gotta go back home.”, Gerard tried helping her up. She snatched her arm away.
“Who are you?”, Lindsey asked in a dreamy voice.
“What?”, Gerard was extremely confused.
“Who…?”, she cocked her head to the side. Gerard’s heart broke. She didn’t recognize him.
Sighing, he tried a different approach and lifted her up by the armpits, slinging her over his shoulder.
“Get off, you smelly man!”, Lindsey kicked and struggled, although very weakly. Gerard stuffed her into the passenger’s seat of the car and got into the driver’s, taking a minute to close his eyes and get a grip on himself before starting the ignition. He needed the guys. He needed a drink. He needed a hit.
He needed something.
Lindsey awoke to daylight, and the warm comfort of her bed sheets. What had happened last night? She went through the events in her head, but they were blurry and vague. She only remembered going to Bobby’s house, but not much else after that. She looked over to the side and saw Gerard was absent. Getting up groggily, she wandered over to the bathroom. Only now did she feel a throbbing head ache come upon her. She tried to walk quicker, and saw the door was already open. She peered inside.
Gerard was seated on the edge of the bathtub. He was digging a knife into his own skin. Blood was running in thin lines down his arms. It sounded as though he was muttering to himself. Lindsey stepped back and Gerard heard her. He looked up at her, and she stared back at him. There was a long moment of silence before Lindsey simply turned and walked away, closing the door behind her.
Next chapter: Gerard gets a surprise visit, and Lindsey takes things a bit far.