It's time to go back to school.
We spent the weekend in a haze of silences and worried looks. Mikey was somewhere else, his head stuck in the few hours when he lost his father, and gained an enemy. The bruise on his face had spread; leaving its ugly, purple footprint along his jaw, the last gift given from father to son.
Monday morning started out being awoken by Mikey’s screams. He kept having night terrors, which frightened the hell out of both of us. I fell out of bed with a jolt, and tried to wake him up from his fears - before we woke up the house, or before it got any worse.
‘Mikey! Mikey baby it’s okay, shhhhhh, it’s okay.’
His eyes jolted open, terror and insanity plaguing the usually beautiful irises. My hand was clamped over his mouth, and I could feel his teeth digging in. I slowly removed my hand and he sat up silently. He rubbed his eyes and put on his glasses, suddenly seeming much older. He kissed me softly on the cheek, a mere brush of the lips, before he got up and padded to the bathroom. I sighed and began to get dressed.
We left the house late, unwilling to leave the warmth and privacy of home and thrown into the flourescent lights and scrutiny of Belleville High school. The walk would normally have taken 5 minutes, but that route passed Mikey’s house and I knew he couldn’t deal with that yet. We arrived at least 10 minutes after the bell, and we rushed to home room.
We burst into a wall of disapproving looks, gasps at Mikey’s eye, and sniggers from the jocks at the back. We managed to scrape through with just a small rant from Mr. Martin, but I knew we both wished for a detention, as Mikey would have to face Gerard at break.
The bell rang for lunch and I practically sprinted to Mikey’s math class so I could at least be with him before Gee pounced. I skidded around the corner to find Mikey crouched on the floor in tears, and Gee leaning over him. Fuck, I’m too late. I approached cautiously, catching snippets of their conversation.
‘I can’t go back gee, he’ll kill me. Can’t you understand that? He hates me.’
‘You need to go back there sometime Mikey, and you know it. I’ll be with you, I don’t think
Frank should. Just come back with me afterschool and- ’
They both looked up as my shoes made an inappropriate squeak. I walked over quickly, and sat down next to Mikey, grabbing his hand automatically.
‘Gee, I don’t think we should, your dad needs to calm down for a while before...’
Gerard sighed and sat down with us, taking Mikey’s other hand.
‘I just, I never thought he would react like this, and I never thought I’d never be the straight one.’
We all giggled at that, The bad mood lifting slightly. Mikey rested his head on Gee’s shoulder, sighing.
‘I always need you guys around me okay? Don’t you ever, ever leave.’