Death by moose, unexpected unconsciousness, and determination....
Chapter Twenty Three
Gerard’s point of view:
I’m glad of the dusky darkness, the buffeting wind and the lashing, icy rain; it means no one can see me; no one can see the bitter regret, the overwhelming self-hatred, the horrified shame, and the utterly frustrated humiliation which are all etched violently across my features.
I’m still sitting numbly where Frank left me, frozen to the damp ground. I could have been sitting here for a million despondent heartbeats, a dozen sleepless nights or a hundred heavy sighs, as the guilt, shame and regret rip my chest apart, fueled by the angry self-loathing that’s gradually trickling through my veins, prickly and lukewarm, until its spread throughout my entire body, stinging the fresh wounds punctured in my chest and making them raw, red and corroding. I drag my knees closer to my chest, almost as if I’m trying to hold together its mangled remains.
The self loathing fury is rising up in me like scarlet lava; bubbling in my stomach, swelling in my chest, burning my throat and making my eyes stream. I wipe the hot, salty tears away furiously, fists clenched, nails digging into the soft skin of my palm as I keep my fists tightly sealed in attempt to prevent myself doing something stupid.
Something stupid?! That’s a fucking laugh! I just did what is decidedly the most stupid action I’ve performed in my entire existence, and believe me, there have been plenty to choose from. Whichever deranged person in my brain possessed me to do it, I’d like to viciously stab to death with a spatula…then again, seeing as they’re me, it’s perhaps not the best of ideas.
I kissed a guy. I kissed my friend. I kissed Frank. I just ruined the best thing that’s happened to me in years and ruined a friendship that could have become the best I’ve ever had, all just because of my stupid, thoughtless impulsiveness and lack of self control.
I try and hold back the tell-tale ache rising in my throat as I softly run my fingers over the stitched wounds of the congas, observing the care and dexterity in the morbid stitches, but as I think of Frank’s wide, hopeful eyes as he presented me with the mended painting, I can’t stop a few salty teardrops dribbling down my cheeks, and wish the raw gaping hole that’s been stabbed through my chest was as easily mended as the painting.
I clench my fists harder, furious with myself, hating everything about myself, the needling self-loathing prickling me, tainting my thoughts, making my skin crawl. I wan to tear myself apart, stab, slash and slice at my pale skin until all the crimson blood drains from my body, or just explode in a writhing mass of regret.
I’m suddenly aware of the sound of soft, wary footsteps picking their way through the clumps of muddy, rotting leaves that shroud the dying grass of the park, and a faint, vaguely familiar scent tickles my nostrils.
My stops for a moment, then starts thumping at twice it’s normal rate. I don’t want anyone to see me right now- I want to hide away from every prying pair of eyes, never face another human being again, and go and live in a solitary cabin in a creepy forest somewhere remote, where I’ll finally die, old and sad and alone, only to have my remains devoured by a pack of hungry meese.
Wait…are meese herbivores?
Whatever. I don’t want to see anyone ever again, even if it results in death by moose, or my corpse being munched on by peckish forest animals.
I relax very slightly; the voice is female, so unless Frank has had a sex change in under an hour, I seriously doubt it’s him.
Seconds later Bee ducks under the climbing frame which is so low she has to bend double to avoid bashing her head, and squeezes in beside me, panting slightly, damp-hoodied and shivering.
I flush, hide behind my hair and wish the ground would just open and swallow me up as I try to discreetly wipe the tears from my cheeks, noticing as I finally unclench my fists, that scarlet blood is trickling down my palm and onto my wrist from where my fingernails dug into the soft flesh.
“Bee…” My voice comes out all croaky, and I try and mask it with what I’m sure is an abysmal attempt at a fake smile.
“Oh, Gerard.” Bee smiles sympathetically. “I…I just ran into Frank.”
“Oh god.” I cover my face in utter humiliation, blocking out Bee’s kind, chocolate brown eyes and damp Slipknot hoodie. “I’m so, so stupid.”
“No you’re not.” Bee says gently, slipping an arm round my shoulders. “It’s okay.”
In my opinion, ‘okay’ doesn’t really cover this situation.
“Okay?!” I repeat incredulously. “How the FUCK is this okay?!”
“It was bound to happen at some point…hopefully this will just help Frank realise how he feels.” Bee says.
“What do you mean ‘how he feels’? he fucking hates my guts!” I snap.
“He likes you too- he’s just too scared to admit it to myself.” Bee replies.
I suddenly find all my previous self-loathing anger welling up inside me, only this time, directed irrationally at Bee. To have a fucking hole ripped in my chest and ruin the best thing that ever happened to me, then to be told that eh didn’t mean to run off and leave me and that it’s ‘okay’ is just a tad too much for me to cope with all in a matter of an hour.
“No he doesn’t! he HATES me, okay?! HATES ME! And it’s all my own fucking fault- I’m just this stupid, fucked up, worthless freak that no one gives a shit about!” I suddenly find I’m yelling, shaking all over from the clashing emotions clashing in my chest.
“I do. Mikey does. And Frank does, even though it might not seem like it right now.” Bee says gently.
“Might not seem like it?!” I shout furiously. “He ran away! I’d say it’s pretty fucking clear how he feels now!!”
“He only ran away cause he got freaked out and scared by his own feelings.” Bee sighs. “Look, Gerard, I know you’re upset, but-”
“Upset?!” I snarl. “I think that might just be a tiny understatement!”
“Why the fuck do you always think you know how I feel?! You DON’T!”
“Gerard, it’s pretty obvious how you f-”
“Just leave me the fuck alone, okay?! I don’t need you and your sympathy!” I scream at her. I know I’m being ridiculous and totally overreacting, but I can’t seem to stop.
“Okay, okay! Jeez, calm down already!” Bee says reasonably.
I, however, am long past reason.
I grab the painting furiously and stand up sharply, head colliding with something cold and rock hard.
…And then everything goes black.
Golden sunlight is streaming through my blood-red bedroom curtains and I can hear the faint chirping of birdsong from outside my window and the faint murmur of voices from the kitchen downstairs, so I guess it must be morning.
All memory from the past twenty four hours seem to be strangely absent, so I sit up groggily, confused and sleepy, glancing at my beside clock; it’s 11:30 AM.
I yawn, fling back the bedcovers and stagger out of bed, head throbbing painfully; I bring my hand up to where my skull aches the most, and fell a large, swollen bruise. Even more puzzled, and unable to remember the events of the previous day, I stumble downstairs and into the kitchen.
Mikey is sitting on the kitchen bench, legs swinging, dressed in his favourite ripped blue skinnies and ‘art is the weapon’ t-shirt while eating a choco-chip cookie and talking to Bee, who’s sitting at the table, dressed in her usual black skinnies and safety-pin adorned velvet jaket and buckled black rocketdog boots, sipping a mug of hot chocolate.
They both jump and instantly fall silent the second they notice me standing in the doorway.
“Oh…um, morning Gee…how you feeling?” Mikey asks tentatively, stopping checking his reflection in the back of the kettle and putting down his cookie.
“I just came over to see how you are- I hope you don’t mind.” Bee says, taking another sip of hot chocolate.
“…How I am?” I repeat baffled.
“You…you don’t remember? …what happened last night?” Mikey asks incredulously, eyes wide.
“What? What happened last night?!” I ask, starting to panic slightly.
“Oh shit…” Mikey shakes his head disbelievingly and jumps down from the bench. “I’ll, um…leave this to you, Bee.” And with that, he beats a hasty retreat, putting my shoulder on the way.
I look questioningly at Bee.
“Well…um..” Bee starts awkwardly, not meeting my eye. “Do you remember, uh…Frank?” She tails off at the look of horrified realisation I’m sure is clear on my face, that one name bringing the events of last night flooding back so fast, the memory almost drowns me.
I sink down onto the nearest chair, feeling faint. “Oh.”
“Um, yeah.” Bee says awkwardly, picking at a stain of the table.
I hardly notice; I’m too busy trying to fight off a mental breakdown while simultaneously murdering all the voices in my head that have started yelling, making it impossible to think straight.
“You-You’re sure it wasn’t a dream?” I stutter hopefully.
“I don’t think so, Gerard.”
“I’m sure.” Bee smiles ruefully at me over the rim of her mug. “Sorry.”
We sit in silence for a while, me running through the events of last night over and over again in the hope that the more I think about it, the less horrific it will seem.
My hope is in vain.
“Sorry Bee.” I say suddenly into the silent kitchen, illuminated by golden sunlight. “I yelled at you last night, didn’t I? I didn’t mean what I said.”
“It’s okay.” Bee smiles, stirring her hot chocolate. “You were upset.”
“Wait, why do I have a lump the size of a crème egg on my head?! I ask curiously.
“Well…you kinda whacked your head on top of the climbing frame last night…I think you were so angry you forgot what height it was. It might have been sort of funny if you hadn’t been knocked clean out. I had to call Mikey on my mobile- he got your Mom to come and pick us up.” Bee says.
“Oh.” I say, feeling like a complete and utter idiot. I managed to accidentally kiss my friend, scare the shit out of him, yell at someone who was trying to be kind to me, knock myself out and seriously freak my Mom out. Nice going, Gerard.
“You haven’t got concussion or anything, don’t worry, but um..your Mom was pretty freaked. She’s gone out to work now though.”
I groan. “Oh shit. Wait, does she know about…Frank?”
“No.” Bee shakes her head and I breathe a sigh of relief. “but…uh..” she bites her lip. “Mikey…Mikey kinda does.”
“What?!” I yelp.
“Sorry, he just kinda…guessed.” Bee says apologetically.
I sigh. “It’s okay- I guess he had to find out sometime.”
Be smiles sympathetically. “Want some coffee?”
“Thanks.” I mumble sadly, sitting with my knees pulled up to my chest, trying to hold together my hollow chest.
“Listen, I really want to talk to you about Frank…but only if you’re ready- I guess I was kinda insensitive about it all last night.” She says, spooning coffee into my batman mug,
“No, it’s okay. I wasn’t exactly being nice to you.” I smile sadly.
Bee smiles. “I told you, it’s okay.”
“Thanks. And yeah, I guess I’m ready to hear it.” I sigh, realising I’ll have to hear it sometime, and I might as well get it over and done with as soon as possible.
“I’m not going to let you lose him.”
“There’s no way in hell you’re going to let this get in the way of your friendship.”
“But it will.” I point out. “There’s no point in having a friend who hates me- I think that kinda defeats the point.”
“But he doesn’t hate you, seriously! He made me text him last night to let him know if you were okay- does that sound like someone who never wants to see you again?”
“I guess not.” I admit reluctantly.” But I’m never going to leave this house again.”
“Yes you are.”
“No I’m not. My life is over, Bee.” I sigh, staring despondently at the table.
“Don’t be such a negative drama queen, Gerard!” Bee says, handing me a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee.
“Bee, it’s ME you’re talking to here- I’m negativity personified!”
“You weren’t when you made friends with Frank.”
“Yeah, well thanks to the crazy people in my head, that’s not an option anymore!”
“It is an option. Trust me, Moron.”
I stop short. “Moron?”
“Yeah, I think that’s a suitable nickname given the circumstances.”
“And how’s that supposed to boost my non-existent confidence?”
“It’s not. It’s meant to make you laugh, Moron.”
My lips twitch, despite my depressed mood. “You’re trying to cheer me up by calling me an idiot?”
“Not necessarily- Moron is welsh for carrot.” Bee informs me, finishing her hot chocolate.
I open my mouth, then stop. “I- what the fuck?!”
“Don’t ask…Me and Mom used to live in Wales. But honestly, it really does mean carrot.” Bee grins.
“And how, may I ask, is calling me an idiotic carrot meant to cheer me up?”
Bee shrugs. “Don’t ask me, but it has, hasn’t it?” she smirks.
I suppress a smile. “No…”
“I can see you smiling, Moron.”
This time, I can’t stop the smile spreading across my face. “Okay, okay, you win. But I told you, I’m not leaving this house until hell freezes over.”
“You are, even if I have to drag you, kicking and screaming, or threaten you with giant needles.”
I shudder. “I’d like to see you try.”
“Trust me, you wouldn’t.” Bee chuckles.
“I’m not fucking leaving this house, okay?!”
“Gerard, I thought you’d have learnt by now; I don’t give up! You WILL leave the house and you WILL speak to Frank again, even if I have to personally freeze hell over myself, you WILL.”
Was it okay? I’ve really lost confidence in this story recently- I feel the writing is going downhill :/ do you guys think so? hopefully it will improve in the next few chapters but Please tell me- I’m actually wondering about possibly giving it up. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and please R&R :) love you all!