Frerard. Frank prays for Gerard to love him back.
The church door looms and I can't help but feel that bit of awe and fear, mixed in with the vodka on my teeth. My stomach clenches with nostalgia, and I wonder if I should just go straight to the place of confessions, to hide against that thick screen of worries. Like when I was in the seventh grade, whispering about my love for boys and my stolen stash of comic books, all secret in the closet. Some things never change. Maybe if I tell whoever is on the other side of that screen that I'm praying for a sin, they'll put a good word in for me. Because you and I, we're wrong. Always have been, always will. It's why you hold that girl so close that it burns my sticky lungs, and makes my throat collapse every time you walk on by.
You just don't seem like a sin to me.
Self-consciously, I hide me tattoos and walk inside, feeling the weight of the cross as I take my seat at a front pew. I need to be close, closer to God. Closer to something. This is how I know I'm getting desperate; after all those years lip-synching hymns and cursing behind a Bible, I'm back. To pray for some awful, dirty things to happen. To pray for your girlfriend to disappear, to pray for your lips to crash against my own. To have you write a song about me, to feel your artist fingers against my scalp. I'm getting so desperate it's unnerving. All I taste is your cigarettes, all I can feel is your skin against mine.
I put my hands against each other and I pray, so hard that my knuckles turn a whiter shade of pink as they grip together; they're holding on for dear life. I close my eyes so tightly, trying to focus, trying to hear some sort of message from God. Or the Virgin Mary – I was closer to my mom, anyways. Yeah, Mary seems cool, she seems like she would get it; she birthed a fucking weirdo, after all.
I feel so itchy and sacrilegious as scattered thoughts of you eat their way across my brain – your movements, your hair, that longing in the back of my throat when you look at me. You look through me though, like you don't really see it. But I want you to see though, so bad. I pray for your enlightenment, because I have to choose words carefully. We're talking to God, after all. I use the best words, the way one would if they were serving an important dinner guest. Polite words, complex phrases. I want you to feel endeared by me, amorous. I hope the bread of your skin meets the wine of my blood, I want to take communion in our flesh.
Wow, I'm making this so much dirtier than need be.
Guilt gnaws at me and I get the rosary beads out. They almost remind me of that .25 cent energy shot you can get put into your drink; a little something extra. Like God will listen more carefully if you have some plastic beads interwoven with your fingertips. But I'm talking to the Virgin, at least I'm trying. More guilt is piled on my shoulders, and all I can think about is your hands in her long hair, weaving and turning and moving. And wanting; that's what hurts. The nails and the crown of thorns are placed into my heart as I think, my chest constricting.
My body shifts as I repeat all of the stupid chants and memorized, unoriginal prayers I've learned throughout the years; “our Father, who art in Heaven ...”, “hail Mary, full of grace ...” – none of them work. I try so hard to find the moment, that salvation. But you're my salvation, you're my moment. You'd probably laugh at me, praying. Like, when is the last time we even thought about God. We're young, and we're reckless.
But I feel so old, like the second coming is on my doorstep. Like Thomas is going to try me right here in this very aisle. You would take me home, make me play some stupid Dungeons and Dragons. Let out hands touch. Like that time when we got locked in your room during the thunder storm. We held hands underneath the blankets and you let me put me head on your chest. I felt a kiss on my lips, and it was the first taste I've ever gotten. I felt so warm. I felt so safe.
And when the lights came on, you acted like it never happened. Just a miracle nobody believed in. Three days of death, three days of sleep. And it never even happened.
That ball of fire in my body worsens, and I'm filled with such longing to be her. I want to be a fucking girl, that's how low I'm reduced. But I had you first; we've been friends since high school, since you were a fucking dweeb in skeleton pajamas. Since you were in your first year of college and I was a stupid eleventh grader with awkward hips. You were so cool, and so much older, but so goddamn dorky -- that's what made you so approachable. So easy to fall in love with.
I remember you telling me about your first time – the way she moved underneath your fingertips. I remember the way I went home and cried myself to sleep, fists banging on the wallpaper. I remember you telling me about how you 'accidentally' fucked a guy; we both knew you wanted it. I remember the way you gulped for air when you pushed the bangs from my eyes, then asked me why I was crying. I just said I didn't want you to go to Hell, but I know you didn't buy it. What teenager believes in God, anyways.
The next day I let that college dropout guy at Seven Eleven take me, in the back room with the air conditioning at my back. We did it three times and I bled three times. A spear in my side. I just pretended it was you, and I'd never done it before, and I've never done it since. The last time it happened I just threw up, then got into my car and thought about driving it off of the next available ridge. You didn't even know who it was, you just assumed. You always do.
I don't know that the tears are coming until they do, and I pretend that Mary is sitting there like the way my mom used to, forgotten sewing on her lap. She was always trying to fix my jeans, re-hem them due to my lack of stature and slim legs. I've never felt so alone in my life. My body is hunched over to the next pew, and I'm praying for a car crash and an easy coma, a clean cut for my broken heart.
The way she kisses you, the way she touches the little red mark below your eye. I wish I could be that mark, I'd rest on your cheek for a thousand fucking years. My neck hurts from being bent in prayer, my corpse of a self trembles in my own rageful fucking tears. Please, God. Make this stop. Mary, listen to me; I need your grace to make him love me. Make me beautiful – fuck, make me a girl. I don't even want to be, but if he wanted it that way … I would. If he's too scared to be with me, then I would. I was always the girly one anyways.
Picking at the chipped nail polish on my fingers, I bang them hopelessly against the cherry wood, not caring as the beads snap and scatter along the stone floor. What started as praying is fast becoming a break down, and I don't feel any mother Mary or sweet savior Jesus on my left or right. Just cold air. And you – you're far, far away, on a fucking trip to Paris. A romantic getaway, mon Dieu. I told you how much I wanted to go to Paris once. You said you'd take me, but we were only joking. It didn't feel like a joke though.
The thought of you two intertwined escalates the sobs, so loud that they bounce off of the stained glass and back onto my bony frame. I've lost so much weight since you asked me to be the best man; I couldn't believe you chose me over Mikey. That tone of voice when you pulled me aside and asked in such a hushed whisper. It was like you were proposing. I fucking wish you would. I wish you weren't so goddamn ashamed to love me. Because, baby, I think we could be, if you weren't so scared of what everyone thought. I see right through your arrogant exterior and dramatic flair; we are broken boys, begging for love.
I hear a crunch of beads and my heart still is sinking, because they're not your footsteps and that means no wishes are coming true. I look up through blinded tears to see a father, or a priest, or whatever the fuck, coming towards me, his soft looking eyes trained on my scorpion tattoo. Don't I look like I'm full of the spirit now.
I say Mary's name quietly as I grip the seat, tears racing down my face. He sits, eyes now thoughtfully trained ahead, and I'm just crying because I don't even give two shits. And his arm comes around me and my Bouncing Souls shirt, like we're fucking brothers on this scorching Earth. “She hears you.” He whispers softly, hugging me close. Like my friend. Like my dad. Like nobody bothers to. “Those who suffer are beloved in His eyes.”
Then I feel like Jesus Christ, reincarnated.
(A/N: Not trying to offend, these are none of my opinions. Just saying.)