Chapter Three: The Bigger Picture
Mikey and Frank grinned at each other as they pulled up Gerard's driveway with a backseat and trunk full of luggage. They had told him nothing of what they had planned, but they knew he would be ecstatic. They had both been worried sick about Gerard in the past two weeks, and decided -- instead of trying to call each other to try to find out how Gerard was doing, why not just go see for themselves? So Mikey told Alicia and Frank told Jamia that they would be away for a couple weeks, and here they were.
Mikey turned off the ignition and they got out of the car. Marching up the driveway, they went up to the patio, and Mikey got out his key. They opened the door.
Their jaws dropped.
Objects were flipped over everywhere. Papers were on the ground. Some of the decor was in shattered pieces on the floor. Mikey immediately feared there had been another break in.
"Gerard! GERARD!" Mikey went into an instant panic. He couldn't deal with something happening to his brother yet again. Not so soon. Frank nodded his head in the direction of the kitchen, as though to say he should follow. Mikey walked behind him as Frank led them to where the kitchen table was. It was there they found Gerard.
He was seated awkwardly on the chair, quietly weeping. His hands were gripping the table, and they were cut up and bleeding. Frank was the first to come forward.
"Gerard?" he asked gently, and ran a hand through Gerard's red locks.
"Frank?" Gerard asked uncertainly through his sobs.
"Yeah its me, sweetie, what happened? What happened to your hands?"
"I just wanted to walk downstairs and have a cup of coffee... but I kept falling over things and I can't... I can't..." Gerard wailed.
"Well what happened to your walking stick?" Mikey asked as he prepared something to wrap Gerard's hands with.
"I don't know where it is..." Gerard cried. "I can't find it...."
Frank sighed, "Well where is Lindsey?"
Gerard cried harder and Frank and Mikey got the message. Mikey had been afraid of this happening, although he hadn't dared to express the concern. It would seem his and Frank's surprise stay couldn't have come at a better time.
"YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING CARE OF HIM!"
Frank heard Mikey yell into the phone for what seemed like the fifth time. He was unpacking his things in the guest room while he listened to an angry Mikey have a screaming bout with Lindsey via phone call next to him.
"I DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT, HE TOOK CARE OF YOU FOR YEARS AND YOU JUST FUCKING ABANDON HIM LIKE THAT?!? FUCK YOU!"
Frank flinched. Mikey was always a mellow person. They didn't see him lose control very often. But whenever he did, he was harsh. You know what they say about the quiet ones, Frank figured. He could understand where Mikey was coming from though. He himself was quite disappointed in Lindsey. Gerard had been such a good husband over the years, he didn't deserve this.
Yet that was one of the hardest things of being a rockstar: You never know who your real friends are. People could be so convincing, yet once what makes you famous is gone, you're nothing to them. And it was true, it was a strong possibility that Gerard would never be able to be his old rockstar self again. That alone was bad enough, but having to lose everything that came with it….Frank had to let Gerard know he wasn't going to lose him.
He folded the last of his jeans into the bottom bedside drawer and left the room, last hearing Mikey yelling something about being a gold digger. They had helped Gerard back into his bedroom, and told him to stay on the bed until they found his cane. Frank knew how much he hated it, being told what to do. But what choice did they have? It was for his own safety.
Frank entered Gerard's bedroom. Gerard was rocking back and forth in frustration, cross legged on the bed. Frank could tell he was crying yet again. He held a sketchbook in his hands and a pencil over it. Pages of it had been ripped out and scattered around him. Frank picked one up and saw nothing but random scribbles. It took him a while to realize that Gerard was trying to draw.
It was Frank's turn to hold back tears. It hadn't occurred to him that his blindness would mean he might no longer be able to sketch. And art was his world. He could no longer see his favorite masterpieces. He couldn't imagine Gerard without his love for art.
Frank stood there for a while, staring at Gerard. He didn't think Gerard had heard his presence. It almost occurred to him to just turn back and leave. There was nothing he could do, and the sight in front of him was too heartbreaking to bear. Frank shook his head and stepped forward.
Gerard's whimpering quelled. Frank knew he had heard him. Frank walked to the side of the bed and sat on it, beside Gerard. Suddenly Gerard was very quiet, and he drew his breaths shaky and erratic. Frank said nothing and placed a hand on Gerard's arm. Gerard jumped a little, but did not pull away. Frank could feel he was extremely tense. Frank advanced further and wrapped another arm around Gerard.
Gerard could feel arms encircling him. He had felt these arms before, and he knew they were Frank's. He just had no idea what Frank was doing. He could feel Frank sitting slightly behind him. His breath was gently lapping his neck. His arms were around Gerard, his hands moving slowly down Gerard's arms. Almost caressing. Frank stopped when his hands rested atop Gerard's hands, and Frank gripped them.
Frank's face nuzzled Gerard's neck and Frank kissed him lightly on it. Gerard tensed even more.
"Shh..." said Frank "..just relax. Let me guide you."
Gerard tried to do as he was told. Suddenly, he felt Frank maneuver Gerard's hand that held the pencil, and he felt it hit paper. The sketchbook. Frank began guiding Gerard's hand, making it do all these twists and turns on the paper. Gerard was perplexed, and wished he could see so badly what Frank was doing. It seemed to take forever. But as it went on, Gerard managed to relax more and more in Frank's arms. For once in weeks, he felt safe. Nothing could hurt him here.
Gerard felt Frank relinquish his hand finally. Gerard felt excited to know what he had created, even though he knew he could never see it. He felt Frank move around, and heard the tearing of paper. Gerard figured he was ripping it out of the sketchbook.
"What is it?" Gerard asked, unable to contain himself.
"It's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen." Frank told him.
"Well... what's that?"
"You'll know eventually. You did amazing."
"I didn't do anything." Gerard frowned "I can't do anything."
"Don't say that. You did this, and you'll do more. We'll do this again soon. I need to go help Mikey look for your cane."
Frank kissed Gerard on the forehead. The warmth of Frank’s body heat was pulled away. Gerard then heard footsteps and the sound of the door closing. Gerard gripped around for his sketchbook and pencil. He put the pencil to the paper and his hands tried to retrace the steps they had made when they were in Frankie's.
Next chapter: Crawling before walking.