Two days later, Mikey came home after an entire day of errands. He was ready to finally get to relax, given that Gerard didn't need anything. He unlocked the door and opened it. Walking into the living room and putting down some grocery bags, he didn't quite notice what was sitting patiently at the center of the room. When he did, he had to do a double take.
It was a dog. A beautiful golden retriever. It had a leash on it, with somewhat of a saddle around it's back. Mikey read "The Seeing Eye" on it, and "Guide dog Lucy" in small print underneath that. The second thing Mikey noticed was that it had a note in its mouth, and it seemed to be waiting for Mikey to grab it. Mikey snatched it from her, and she watched him as he read it.
All it said was: "A more permanent solution."
Frank. Mikey quickly dashed off to Frank's room. He should have known Frank was behind this from the moment he saw there was a dog in the house to begin with. He opened the door to Frank's room, and had to do yet another double take.
It was empty.
All of Frank's things had been neatly cleared out. Frank had up and left.
Mikey's immediate thought after that was Gerard. So he went just down the hall to his and Gerard's room. He opened the door to find Gerard sitting on the bed playing with some sort of rubber stretchy ball that was supposed to resemble a duck. Gerard's head snapped up at the sound of the door opening.
"Frankie?" he asked hopefully.
13 YEARS LATER.
Gerard Way's funeral was coming to a close. People had already left. Her mother wanted to leave. But Bandit Way felt that she was still needed here. For what, she didn't know. All the duties had already been fulfilled.
She was just walking around the grassy gravesite aimlessly sulking when a man approached her. Slightly stout.Big green eyes.Tattoos all over. Bandit recognized this man to be one of her father’s former band mates. While she stayed in contact with Uncle Ray and Uncle Mikey, this was the one she never really spoke to. Yet from what she understood, he was the one who had shunned himself from everyone else.
“Bandit.” he addressed her once he came up to her. He held out his hand for her to shake. “Frank Iero.”
“Yes, I know who you are.” She said with a small smile, not taking the hand.
“I’m…ah… sorry about your loss.”
“Yes, it’s very difficult….” Bandit said awkwardly. She honestly wasn’t sure how difficult it was. On one hand, she never really knew her father. On the other hand, maybe that’s what made it difficult. Any chance she had to know him personally was gone, and all she had left was music videos and documentaries. She had wanted to know him. From what she heard, her father loved her very much.
“Your father meant a great deal to me.” Frank nodded.
“Really?” Bandit raised an eyebrow. “Uncle Mikey says you broke his heart and ran off like a spineless coward.”
She was surprised to see Mr. Iero laugh a hearty laugh at that. “Yeah, Uncle Mikey would say that. I guess I won’t deny it. Then again, I can say the same for your mother.”
Bandit flinched at that. Yet she totally believed it.
“I did --- I do love your father though. Very, very much.”
“How do you love someone, but break their heart?”
Frank looked at her. He didn’t seem offended at the remark, only thoughtful. He seemed to be deciding something. Finally he said “C’mon, I have something to show you. It’s about your dad. ”
Bandit looked behind her. Her mother was standing there, watching them. Should she just go off without asking? Her mother was most of the reason she didn’t get to know her father before he died of end stage lung cancer. Her mother had kept her away from her father. She said she had been protecting her. From what, Bandit still didn’t understand. She had known her father’s story. And it didn’t make her respect him any less. She explained this to her mother, and she simply dismissed her.
Her father had made a last request to see Bandit before his death. Her mother had denied the request. While Bandit was forced to remain civil with her mother as she was her caretaker, she didn’t know if she could ever forgive her for that. Especially not now.And she knew she was not the only one. Uncle Mikey had glared daggers at her mother for even daring to show up at his funeral. Her father’s death had been hardest on him. Bandit heard he had taken his last breath while cradled in Uncle Mikey’s arms.
Bandit wasn’t sure if her mom would let her, but she didn’t want to pass up yet another chance to gain more knowledge of her father. Bandit had been secretly collecting memorabilia of him. She needed this. Yet she knew she would be in great trouble if she just ran off.
“Hold on for just a sec.” Bandit sighed and ran off to her mom.
“Having a nice talk with Frank Iero?” her mother said somewhat scathingly.
“Yeah, mom he wants to show me something! It’s about dad! Can I go, please, please, please?” Bandit begged with the best “puppy dog eyes” she could pull.
Her mother examined Frank for a while with her baggy eyes narrowed. And to Bandit’s great surprise she said with thin lips “Fine. But take Lucy with you.”
Her mother handed Bandit the leash that was attached to their golden retriever, Lucy. Lucy had been a mysterious gift they had gotten for Christmas last year. Around the time she heard her father was bed ridden and dying. She had shown up on their doorstep with nothing more than a name tag and a gift bow on her head. She was a slightly older dog but she had a lot of pep in her.
She pulled Lucy and walked back to Frank, now very excited. Frank gave the dog a curious look, smiled a little and motioned Bandit to follow him.
They got into his car and they drove only a few blocks away. They had gone to a quaint little house at the bottom of a hill that was humble looking but still rather big in size. There were two girls in the front yard, planting some flowers. Two twin girls around Bandit’s age. They greeted Frank as he walked by them, and Bandit concluded they were his daughters. Frank asked Bandit to follow him a little ways away from the house.
Finally they reached what seemed to be a tornado shelter that went underground. Frank took out a set of keys and unlocked it. They went inside.
Frank switched on the light and Bandit observed the place. It was room whose walls were completely dressed in paintings. The paintings weren’t very good, mind you. Well not in a technical sense. Some of them seemed to be nothing more than random scribbles. But Bandit liked them a lot. They were abstract.
“They were your father’s.” Frank explained, and Bandit jumped because she had forgotten he was even there. “Every time I feel upset or discouraged, I come in here and I sit.” Frank motioned towards the simple wooden chair at the center of the room. “And I think about how courageous your father was. Even after he was blinded, he didn’t give up on his art. He didn’t give up on his passion. How he was still able to smile, even if it took a bit of work. Your father will forever be my inspiration to never give up on life.”
Frank then got a box on a high shelf in the room. It looked like a tool box that was old and rusted. He opened it and showed Bandit the contents. There was money inside it, a few hundred dollar bills.
“I’m saving up to put these babies in a real gallery someday. I think your dad deserves that. This is all I have so far. It isn’t much, but it’s a start.”
Bandit felt deeply moved. She was close to tears. All the bad things she had heard about this person suddenly seemed like complete and utter lies. Frank pulled out a key from his pocket and handed it to her.
“I think your dad would have wanted you to be inspired the same way I have. So I’m giving you a spare key. If you ever feel down, or if you feel like giving up or the world is treating you like shit, you’ll always be welcome here. It helps, trust me. It’s like every painting is a story he’s telling. Every painting is like a pep talk he couldn’t be there to give." he sighed and paused before saying "...I’ll leave you to it then.”
Frank smiled at her, and Bandit could tell he was in a very emotional place at the moment too. Just before he was about to turn away, she flung herself at him and gave him the biggest hug she could. He chuckled and returned it, patting her on the back before he left.
After she heard the door close, she looked at the paintings some more. One of them that caught her eye seemed to be a clumsy depiction of a little girl. She wondered if it was her.
Lucy barked at something. Bandit turned around to see what it was. She saw Lucy looking and wagging her tail at something strange on the wall. Something out of place. She came closer and saw it was a ripped out page from a sketchbook, much smaller than the paintings. Once she was close enough, she saw what was on it. It was a sketch of her own father. His younger self, like she had seen him in pictures. Just underneath the sketch was a golden plaque. It read:
“All art made by Gerard Arthur Way: musician, author, artist, and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
…Goodbye brown eyes, goodbye for now . Goodbye sunshine, take care of yourself. I have to go, I have to go, I have to go and leave you alone; but always know, always know, always know that I love you so…
A/N: If you don’t get the ending, you should re read the end of the chapter “The Bigger Picture” where Frank helps Gerard sketch. Then you’ll get it haha. The lyrics at the end are from AvrilLavignes “Goodbye”. I’m not really a big Avril fan, but holy shit I heard this song and it was just so amazingly perfect for this fic. Here ish a link if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIhg2492Ejc
Thanks for all the reviews. Hope you enjoyed!
I don’t know when my next story will be. People keep telling me to continue “Falling”. I guess I might. We shall see.