“There’s...there’s something I haven’t told you yet.”
Thanks for all your reviews. Okay, so we have now finished the beginning. I don’t like to think of it as the end of the beginning. It’s the beginning of the middle...if that makes sense. It might take me a while to figure out that one. My brain isn’t working today. But while I do, I command you to read!
Like I said, the rain returned. But now it was more frequent; fat, harsh raindrops soaring down like miniscule bombs. They plastered my hair to my scalp as I stepped out of the warmth of the school building and into the car park. I shivered and crossed my arms over my chest as I began to walk home, angrily cursing my ignorance when I went boldly to school without a jacket that morning.
“Are you busy?” I heard him breath into my ear. A small smile escaped my lips as I turned around to look at him, sopping dark hair stuck to his marble skin and sending tiny drops rolling down his face. We had been dating for three weeks. If you called it dating. We hadn’t actually been out on a date yet. It was more talking and making out.
“I don’t have to be.”
Gerard smiled and took my arm, leading me to a road the complete opposite direction to the one I usually took to get back to Mom’s apartment.
“We going back to yours?” I said shivering as we set off down the road.
“...Kinda,” he muttered. I frowned momentarily, but didn’t press the matter. It didn’t take us long until he turned and lead me down an alley, stopping at a set of black rusted rungs sticking out of the wall next to a couple of dust bins that reeked of dog shit and worse. Slowly, we began to climb up the side of the abandoned building until we reached a small platform outside a door blocked with damp wooden boards.
“Ladies first,” he smirked, gesturing to the door. I rolled my eyes and barely slipped through the gap between two boards.
It was pitched black inside until I heard Gerard fumble around for a light switch. The lights flickered on, revealing the small room in which we stood. It wasn’t much, just a petite living space with dusted floor boards and stained once cream walls. A moth eaten couch slouched sadly in the corner next to a few cardboard boxes filled with junk and papers. A few posters hung on the walls here and there, a frayed red carpet lay shrivelled in the centre and a small grimy window covered with metal slatted blinds in the far corner.
“I love what you’ve done with the place,” I said, stepping gingerly over to the couch. Gerard chuckled and slumped down onto it, kicking his shoes off and patting the seat next to him for me to go sit.
“So this is like your hangout, right?”
He nodded and sniffed, slightly coughing from the dust lacing the air.
“Yeah, it’s nice to get away from home sometimes. My foster parents don’t know I’m here though. They think I’m at the skate park with my friends,” he laughed dryly.
I raised my eyebrows. “You’re fostered?”
He nodded again. “My mom never really got the hang of parenting and I never knew my dad.”
I shuffled uncomfortably. Gerard had been through so much and he still seemed so calm, yet here I was majorly freaking out when my goldfish Fluffy sometimes decided that moving was overrated.
The silence fell upon us and, in search of something to do, I leaned over the arm of the couch and leafed through some papers that stuck out of a cardboard box. Gradually becoming more curious, I took out a beige paper file and placed it on my lap. In the middle of the first page, in big bold letters read:
St Eloise Mental Institution
Belleville, New Jersey
Patient Census, 2007
“What the hell is St Eloise Mental Institution?” I frowned. His eyes widened slightly and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“It’s nothing, just drop it,” he muttered, suddenly standing up and walking over to the window.
“No, what is this, Gerard?” I persisted. Why the hell would Gerard keep a three year old mad house’s patient census?
“Just drop it, okay?!” he snapped viciously.
I looked up from the file at his angry expression, taken aback. How was I supposed to know that it would mean so goddam much to him? I bit my tongue and silently slipped the file into my bag as he turned back to the window. I wasn’t going to let this go by – my curiosity was engulfing every thought in my mind. I glanced back down at the box, at a grimy newspaper article hanging limply over the side.
Tragic fire kills a family and leaves house in ruins.
I picked up the newspaper article and read; only one thought buzzing round my head as I took in the faded print.
I looked back at Gerard. He was inspecting the view of the rooftops through the cracked glass of the window. What did this all mean? I quickly folded the article and stuffed it in my pocket as he began to turn back around to face me.
“I think you should leave,” he said quietly. Ouch. I stood up, shouldering my bag which was now noticeably heavy due to the added weight of the folder, and made my way over to him. Once by his sullen side I leaned in and kissed him softly. He didn’t make any attempt to kiss me back, so I pulled away sighing.
“I’ll see you, then,” I mumbled and left the rancid hideout.
As soon as I had left the alley I fumbled in my pocket for my cell and sent Mom a quick text saying I’d be back late. I wanted to know more about the odd papers in Gerard’s hideout. Something was off. Something was definitely off.
I reached the local library in no time and went inside, embracing the welcomed heat that instantly hugged my chilling bones. Plonking myself down in an armchair in the far corner, I took out the census from my bag and leafed through the pages, finding nothing but what I expected; a bunch of wacked up patients writing their names down on a form. Until I passed a certain page that caught my eye. I turned back to it and I’m pretty sure I died there and then.
There, staring up at me with dull hazel eyes was Gerard. My Gerard. Recorded as a patient in a mental institution three years ago. He looked quite different then; his hair was long, wild and greasy and curtained his familiarly pale face. Great dark circles shadowed his eyes and his mouth was formed into a small, unimpressed sneer. I shivered and read:
Gerard Arthur Way, 15 years old.
Gerard’s family came to us describing his severe changing moods, almost as if he were “a completely different person than he was yesterday”. After three months of tests and therapy, we have found that the trauma Gerard faced with living with his drug-addicted mother and her several abusive boyfriends has finally given him severe schizophrenia...
My heart froze. This couldn’t have been right. Gerard couldn’t have been schizophrenic. This was bull shit. Nothing but a fucked up piece of bull shit. I slammed the file shut and pushed it off my lap, fuming angrily. This was wrong. This was all wrong. But I needed to know more. I was way too deep in to just ignore it now.
The lady at the reception smiled briefly as I came over. Her nametag told me she was called Doris. I bit my lip and twiddled my thumbs nervously as she looked up at me expectantly.
“Um...hi,” I began, not quite sure how to form the words flying around in my head into a constructive sentence.
“Can I help you, miss?” Doris sighed slightly exasperatedly.
“I...uh...do you perhaps have any records of St Eloise Mental Institution?”
“Those files are highly classified, miss, I’m sorry but I cannot permit you to view them.”
Bitch. I sighed and chewed on my lip, casting my mind around for another lead, something I could use to get to the next stage. And then it came to me.
“Do you have any newspaper articles about any breakouts from St Eloise?”
It was crazy, I know. And probably just another bug hunt. But maybe it would work...
The sounds of Doris’ perfectly manicured fingers tapping away at the keyboard of her computer broke my train of thought. After a few minutes she stopped on what I guessed was the file I wanted and her eyes flickered back up to me.
“We have an article from May 2008 if that might help-”
“Yes, that’s fine!” I interrupted enthusiastically. Doris coughed awkwardly and sniffed.
“I’ll print a copy out for you and you can pick it up at the printer,” she sighed. I turned and headed to pick up the article, not even attempting to ignore the butterflies erupting in my stomach. If my hunch was right – which I certainly hoped it wasn’t – then I could’ve been on something. Something big. Something that Gerard was hiding from me.
I took the copy and sat down; bracing myself for the tell-tale heading that would jump out of the paper in big block letters.
Breakout at St Eloise – two guards killed.
Just last night a breakout occurred at Belleville’s local mental institution St Eloise. Two patients have seemed to leave a trail of destruction through the east wing of the building; including the bodies of two security guards. 19 year old Bert McCracken and 15 year old Gerard Way are missing from their rooms at the institute, and security camera footages have showed two blurred figures heading for the door of the east wing (that is, before the camera’s were disabled during the breakout.)...
Two guards killed. Two. Their blood on the hands of this McCracken shithead and my boyfriend. The guy I fell for. The guy I trusted. A psychotic, murdering escapee. Tears pricked my eyes and I stared dumbly at the paper as they rolled down my cheeks, immovable in the chair. The cruel words of the article’s opening paragraph engraved themselves into my mind. I didn’t feel pain, or hatred, or sadness. I just felt numb. I didn’t know what to do, what to think. So I did the first thing I found necessary. I reached into my pocket and brought out the folded up newspaper article I stole from Gerard, rereading the heading that I prayed would sew everything together.
Tragic fire kills a family and leaves house in ruins.
Number 16 Cemetery Drive, once the average suburban home of the Rush family, now a ruined pile of ash and shrapnel. Last week on May 9th 2008, a disastrous fire wrecked the household and dreadfully, killed three people inside. Experts have proved the bodies to belong to Geoffrey and Helena Rush and their adopted son Mikey. But, oddly, it seems the body of the couple’s other adopted son was nowhere to be seen...
I frowned and checked the date of the other article. May 10th 2008. Funny how on the same night Gerard broke out of the crazy house his foster home burnt down. Funny.
I exhaled and leaned back in my seat. This didn’t make sense. There was one thing missing, the last piece of the jigsaw that you always lose underneath the sofa or had fallen down the cracks between the floorboards. And I was this close from finding the truth. So now there was only one way left to find it. No records, no articles, no files. I wanted the truth. And I would get it out of Gerard one way or another.
Even if I had to beat it out of him.
I retraced my steps back to the hideout and began to climb the rungs up to the platform where the door was. I stopped at the door in the pouring rain but hesitated before going in. What I was doing would certainly change things between us, and the possibility that it could even ruin everything we had didn’t come unnoticed. I sent the thoughts of doubt away and replaced my expression to one of determination, despite how my insides were dancing the tango right now.
With a deep breath, I jutted my chin up with dignity and stepped inside.
He was sitting on the couch drawing. Just drawing, like everything was normal and happy in his ever so ordinary life. Like I was your average everyday girlfriend who knew every nook and cranny of her boyfriend’s past. Nothing wrong at all.
“Back so soon?” he suddenly said, eyes not leaving the drawing. I hated it when he did that. I marched over and stood before him, ready to plunge in headfirst. Then his eyes flickered up to mine and he held my gaze steadily, expectantly. He knew. He always knew.
“Is there something you wanna tell me, Gee?” I asked him. He paused, eyes still locked with mine. I resisted the urge to break his gaze and burst into tears as he surveyed me.
“No,” he said casually, placing the drawing off his lap and onto the cushion next to him, as if I was asking him what he wanted for dinner or something.
“You sure? Nothing you haven’t told me?” I said, trying hard to keep the anger from my voice.
“Can’t imagine what.”
“Can’t imagine what? Can’t imagine what?!” I screamed, throwing the papers at him. “You wanna jog your memory and tell me what the fuck this is?!”
He grabbed the papers in his hands and gazed at them, eyes widening. His fringe fell into his eyes which were now filled with rage. Damn right, ass hole.
“You read this?”
“Hells yeah, I did!”
“I can’t believe you, Lee! You stole this from me when it had nothing to do with you-”
“-Nothing to do with me?! I am your girlfriend, Gerard, and you’re saying it’s nothing to do with me? You lied to me! Fuck you!”
He stood up and stepped towards me. We were both fuming.
“Well what the fuck was I supposed to say, huh? Hey, Lee, be my girlfriend, oh wait, I forgot to tell you I’m a schizophrenic criminal-”
He was interrupted by my hand smacking him hard across the face, and then there was silence between us. Tears were welling up in my eyes as I stared at the hot red mark on his cheek. He sighed and looked back at me, apparently no longer angry. We both weren’t quite sure what to say.
“Look,” I said quietly, my voice strained from the effort I made to keep it steady. “Just tell me. Please.” I softly caressed where I had slapped him with my hand. “It can’t really be that bad, right? Right, baby? Please just tell me, Gerard.”
For a minute he didn’t say anything. But then he took a deep breath and spoke.
“There’s...there’s something I haven’t told you yet.”
Bum bum bummmm!
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