Or so i thought..
We stood on the sidewalk as the cab pulled away, staring at the house. Although we knew dad had left us for good, we were still terrified of walking through the door. I felt for Mikey’s hand, which in turn was clasping Frank's. I gave a worried glance at my friends and we all took a step forward.
When we got to the front door, Frank let go of Mikey’s hand and stepped inside first, leaving Mikey and I staring blankly at the house. Several minutes past, and I was still frozen in the same spot, rooted in fear. Franks head appeared out the bottom floor window, and motioned for us to go inside. I crushed Mikey’s hand for support, until I was pretty sure I was breaking his hand.
Together, we moved forward and walked through the door. Frank was standing there, smiling nervously as he quickly lead us past the stairs. I winced in pain at the memory but tried not to think about it, for my sake, and above all my little brother's - we had to move on. We walked into the lounge, where the mysterious lengthy disappearance of Frank became explained. He’d pushed all the bottles and cans (and there were a lot) into the kitchen, but some were still poking out the door.
The couch had been moved into the centre of the room, and it had an outspread blanket, a pillow, a small stack of comics and an iPod perched on top. Mikey was grinning now, and he pulled back the blanket and flopped on the sofa, and I swiftly followed him, as did Frank.
For the next few hours we sat there, reading comics, and having endless conversations about absolutely nothing. It almost felt like our house again – almost. The smell of booze lingered in the air, and every so often I would notice another beer can hidden somewhere. Mikey evidently noticed this as well, as after a while he got up, and set about picking up cans and putting them in a pile. Not long after Frank got up and dug out some garbage bags. As they began to clear the house up, I sat there feeling so useless. I should’ve been helping. Instead I started to sing any tune that came into my head, which seemed to comfort everyone, soon the lounge was cleared and they set to work on the kitchen, leaving me alone on the couch.
We tied up the full garbage bags and began to work on the Kitchen. We were only 5 minutes in when I knew that he wanted to say something - his full lips were puckered and a scowl was etched across his forehead. My premonition proved true when he began to stutter out these words.
‘F-Frank, uh, you know what happened the other day with Gee; I think it’s plain that it was because of me.’ I looked at him shocked, but his expression prevented me from arguing. He licked his lips and carried on. ‘And I think me and Gerard have to sort things out, brother-to-brother, y’know? It’s tearing me up that he got hurt, and I haven’t even told him what happened the night when... when I left. I’d just really appreciate if you gave us some space, just for a couple of days.’ He forced out the last words with difficulty and glanced up at me with his clear, honest eyes.
‘Y – You want me to stay away?’ I could feel tears welling up, but I refused to cry.
‘Not in that way Frank! I really appreciate what you’ve done for us, you know that. I just need to talk to him and get things straight. Please understand.’
‘I understand. Perfectly. Call when you’ve sorted your head out okay?’ I turned to leave, not wanting him to see how upset I was.
‘Frank.’ I glanced over to see his eyes so unbearably pained, it was nearly impossible to not tell him how sorry I was - and of course I understood, and I hoped he will sort it all out – nearly.
‘Bye Mikey.’ I turned once more, and walked out of the kitchen.
I walked past the couch, past Gee’s confused face. Past the stairs, past the door, down the drive and away. I only stopped when I reached the park, and sat down in the grass. I hated what I was doing, the way I was acting. It would’ve been easy to turn back right now, or to call him. But however insensitive I was being, he’s going to have to realise that I was only trying to help, after all, it’s my fault this happened too. I thought we were in this together.