Three years after Lizzie leaves, Gerard meets someone new...
Gerard hadn't tried to get clean in three years. Lizzie's leaving had destroyed him beyond repair, and everyone he cared about knew it. Now 24, Gerard Way was barely surviving in his tiny apartment in New York City, popping pills and drinking every day. More often than not, he snorted cocaine every day as well. His friends and family had tried to stay by him and help him, but it was too hard for some of them.
Mikey, who was 21 by now, was usually the one who had to clean up Gerard's messes. He tried to make Gerard understand how hard it was on him, but his brother was too stoned most of the time to realize. In the three years since Lizzie had left, Mikey had lost too much weight to be healthy and was now suffering from depression.
Their friend Ray Toro, who had been Gerard's best friend since they were in kindergarten, was usually helping Mikey when Gerard's messes were too big to deal with on his own. Ray, who up until now had been trying to keep Gerard's problems from the rest of their friends, was now letting everything slip in a hope that, together, they would all be able to get him to clean up.
Frank Iero, or Frankie to his friends, was the youngest, and besides Mikey, the most fragile of the group. He was 20, but still had the mind of a 14 year old, and therefore was the most prone to freaking out. Nothing upset him more than when his friends were stressed and depressed because of Gerard's problems. He'd been the first one to scream at Gerard that he needed to stop the drugs and booze because otherwise, he'd lose everyone he loved.
And Gerard had wanted to listen to his friends and brother, to clean up and start over without Lizzie, but it was impossible. He'd never tried to clean up, and right now he was planning how he would make his family and friends happy again.
"It'll be three years exactly next month," he muttered to himself, sitting on the ancient couch in his living room with a beer in his hand. "I haven't done anything to help them since then. They've tried to help me but I've done nothing in return. I don't deserve their help and they don't deserve what I've done to them. Next month, I'm gonna take away their sufferings." Gerard took another swig of his beer and set the bottle on the table next to him. "They don't need me to keep them happy..." Sighing and beginning to cry a little bit, he stood up and staggered over to his bedroom, which was nothing more than an old mattress and clothes piled in the corner. Dropping onto the bed, he made a pact with himself that unless he cleaned up in the next month, he would take a cyanide pill that would kill him and stop his family and friends' suffering.
The next day started for Gerard like any other. He woke up, downed some pills, ran his fingers through his hair, got dressed, put a bottle of Xanax into his pocket, and left for work. He worked as a cartoon artist in New York City; it wasn't the best job, but he was able to be alone with his pills and still work, he loved drawing, and it payed the bills enough for him to keep his home and vices to himself.
Pulling out his cell phone, he decided to call Ray on the way to work. Now that he'd decided what would happen at the end of the month if he wasn't able to get clean, he was able to talk to his friends without remorse. "Hey, man."
"Gerard?" Ray asked, surprise in his voice. "You haven't called in...God, way too long. How've you been?" he asked cautiously. The last time Gerard had called, he'd been drunk and on cocaine, ready to shoot himself.
"I'm good. Great, actually. You know, us and the guys should get together sometime soon. How's that sound?" Gerard asked brightly, flagging a taxi down. "Hey man, I'm just getting in a taxi now, I'll talk to you later, all right?"
"Yeah, okay. See ya. And Gee? Thanks for calling." Ray hung up the phone.
In the ten minutes it took for Gerard to get to his office, he'd already planned what would happen if he didn't clean up. The note, the pills, everything. Smiling for the first time in months, Gerard paid the driver and walked up to his office.
"Gerard, you have those sketches Mr Adams wanted?" one of the girls who worked at the office asked. She was fairly new and Gerard hadn't learned her name yet.
"Yeah, I'll just put my stuff at my desk and go bring them up to him. Hey, you wanna come to lunch with me? I'm just going to this little deli on the other side of town," he asked. If there was a chance he'd been gone in the next month, he wanted to know his colleagues a little bit, and he knew that this girl had a crush on him.
She frowned. "I don't think I can. Me and my friends were gonna meet up since we haven't seen each other in a while. But if you want-"
"All right, I'll talk to you later, then," Gerard said, cutting her off but smiling at the same time. He took the elevator to the top floor where he worked and sat down at his desk. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching him, he took some pills from his pocket and quickly swallowed them. Time to get to work, he thought, pulling out the sketches he'd worked on last night.
By the time he made it to the deli he'd been planning to eat at, Gerard wasn't hungry at all anymore. He decided to keep walking and stop in the first coffee shop he found. It only took a few minutes before he saw one and walked in. After ordering just a black coffee, he sat down at a table in the corner, pulled out his sketchbook, and started to draw.
"What are you drawing?" came a voice with a slight accent.
Gerard looked up to see who had spoken to him. It was a short girl with curly black hair that went down to what looked like the middle of her back, olive skin, and bright green eyes. "Uh, not quite sure yet."
She smiled. "Do you mind if I stick around to see what it ends up as?"
"Sure, no problem," he answered, jumping up and pulling the chair out for her.
"Thank you," the girl said warmly, her green eyes sparkling. "What's your name?"
"Gerard." He'd gone back to sketching, but kept glancing up at her.
"I'm Celeste. Is this place any good? I just ordered the first thing I saw and I've never been here before." Celeste laughed quietly, a very cautious sound.
"Yeah, it's pretty good. Not the best, but it's better than some places I've been. Are you new here?" he asked, looking up at her and putting the pencil on the table.
She nodded, frowning. "I just broke up with my boyfriend a week ago and needed to get away from him. We'd been dating since high school and I just couldn't take him anymore. So I just packed up and moved here. It was really hard to find a job and a place on such short notice."
"I imagine it would be. What are you doing now?" Gerard asked as their coffees arrived.
"I'm actually working in a bookstore in Greenwich Village. Between college and paying for my apartment, I'm not gonna be able to survive on just that income for long." Celeste frowned again. "I should've thought this through more."
"Why?" he asked, concerned. She didn't look much older than 18 and already was seeming to regret her choice to move to New York City.
"It's not gonna work out. I'm fairly certain of that. I mean, I'm 19, hours away from all my family and friends, and I'm working at a bookstore."
"Don't worry about it, Celeste. Everything will work out eventually." Setting his empty cup of coffee down, Gerard glanced at his watch. "Shit, I'm sorry, but I need to go. It'll take me a while to get back to work and I only have about ten minutes left of my lunch break. See you around?" he asked, standing up. He sincerely hoped he would; she seemed very nice and down to earth, and he wanted to try to make friends with everyone he could in the next month so that he'd have more of a reason to get clean.
"Yeah, sure. I'd like that." Celeste stood up and smiled at Gerard. She had to look up to see him since she was so short. "Hey, do you have a pen?"
"Uh, yeah, I think so." He started looking through his pockets before he finally found the pen he was looking for. "Here."
Celeste grinned and grabbed Gerard's wrist. Twisting it up, she pushed his sleeve up and wrote her name and number on his forearm. "Don't forget to call me."
"I won't. Bye, Celeste," Gerard said, pulling his sleeve down and picking his sketchbook up.
"Bye," she said warmly.
Since it was a Friday, Gerard decided to go see his parents and brother back out in Jersey. He hadn't called them, but every time he spoke to his mother she told him that he could come out for dinner whenever he wanted. Grabbing his wallet and cell phone, Gerard walked back downstairs and hailed a taxi. "Hey, man. I'm going to Grand Central."
"Okay," the cabbie said, his voice thick with an accent.
In the ten minutes it took to drive to Grand Central, Gerard had called his mother to let her know he was on his way. She'd been thrilled but didn't have any food, so she was going to run out and get something to make dinner. Mikey was home, though.
During the entire train ride to Jersey, Gerard was thinking about the girl he'd met during lunch. In fact, she hadn't left his mind all day. For some reason, Gerard kept thinking about how she'd seemed frightened that she was in New York City alone and the whole boyfriend situation. It seemed too coincidental that she was terrified and had broken up with her boyfriend.
Anyway I can, I'm gonna help this girl. She doesn't deserve whatever shit she's going through. And if I'm gonna leave this world, I want to make a difference in someone's life. A good difference, Gerard promised himself as he walked up the steps to his parents house. Knocking on the door, he felt good about himself for the first time in years.
Did you like it? Took me a while to put this up since I wasn't sure if anyone wanted to read it...but anyway. Rate/review please! It helps me decide whether to keep going with this. :)