I hoped this wasn't happening. That it was just another one of my fucked up dreams. Unfortunately, I knew it wasn't.
I stared at him for a moment and rubbed his back. “Hey, it’s okay, man.”
“No it’s not.” He said, wetting his lips with his tongue. “I’m crazy.” I didn’t know what to say to that. “I’m insane. I killed my family, Frank and now I just… I can’t forget about it. I just can’t. People expect me to move on, but I can’t.”
He had pulled out the Scooby Doo blanket and was clutching it as if his life depended on it. “Was that your brother’s?” I nodded towards it, even though I knew the answer already.
He nodded, his eyes glistening and he looked down. “Mikey… It was his favorite. He always had it with him. He… I wrapped him in it, because I thought… If he didn’t make it, he would look like he was sleeping.” Gerard whispered, tears now falling down his cheeks.
It was things like this that just didn’t seem to make any sense to me. Gerard had killed his family, right? And if you kill your family, one assumes that you did it out of hate. But that didn’t seem to be the case here – Gerard still obviously loved his little brother and he missed him. Sure, I’d miss my little brother too, but why the fuck did he kill him in the first place then? I was so confused.
Gerard took a deep breath and continued on. “Mikey used to have nightmares a lot. He used to come sneak into my room in the middle of the night, and I let him sleep with me. He always had this blanket with him. I have nightmares too. About him. The blanket helps. A little.”
I nodded my head in understanding. “I’m sorry, Gee.” The nickname just slipped out. I wasn’t sure where it had come from. More tears fell from his eyes as he looked at me in shock.
“What did you call me?” He asked after a moment, tears still falling.
“Erm… ‘Gee’…” I felt my cheeks flush, even though I wasn’t sure why. “Sorry, it was… I don’t know why I said it…”
“Mikey used to call me that.” Gerard grinned through his tears. “He couldn’t pronounce Gerard right.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “I like it when you call me that.” He said after another moment.
I felt a smile creep up on my lips. “Alright, then. Gee it is.” He smiled back.
I guess now you could say we were ‘officially’ friends. We had both opened up to each other, even though something was telling me Gerard wasn’t finished telling all that he was hiding, but for that moment it was okay – I was just happy to have finally found a friend. And I was pretty sure Gerard felt the same way.
I flipped through my sketchbook, trying to find a blank page. There were only a couple that weren’t already stained by my charcoal pencils. Maybe I could ask Ms. Hart. Or not. She’d say no. I’m sure. Or maybe yes. She was nice.
Frank and I were friends. He was nice too. He called me ‘Gee’ now. Like Mikey used to. It made me feel happy inside. Frank just made me feel happy inside, in general. I didn’t know why. I just knew he did.
We were sitting outside. Frank liked sitting under the tree. He liked the shade. I sat next to him. I liked the shade too. It was fun. We talked about stuff. Like the shows we would watch when we weren’t in here. Frank told me about when he went to high school. I had never gone. I was in the Lennox House.
I found out more about Frank the more I talked to him. He was sixteen. Two years younger than me. Though he seemed older. Because he knew more than I did. And yet younger. Because he was small. And he giggled like a girl. I liked his giggle. It made me laugh. He lived next to the neighborhood I used to live in. Our dad’s worked at the same place. His dad probably still worked there. My dad, of course, didn’t.
Frank didn’t seem to mind when I didn’t talk, now. He simply filled in the silence with his own stories. He had funny stories. I liked them. I liked him.
He wanted to see inside my sketchbook. I told him no. I think he was sad. But I don’t like showing anyone my work. They say it’s wrong. Weird. Disgusting. Disturbed. They always say I need help. I know I do. But I can’t seem to find anyone that will help me. Maybe Frank will. He seems like he could.
I still didn’t want to show him my sketchbook. Another reason was because I found out I had been sketching him. He wouldn’t want to see that. It was weird. If he saw it. He wouldn’t like me anymore. I didn’t want that.
We liked the same kind of music. He said he wished he had an Mp3 Player. So he could play music. And we could listen to it. He played the guitar. I couldn’t play an instrument. I never had the chance to learn. He said if we ever got out, he’d teach me how to play the guitar. That made me happy too.
Frank just made me happy in general.
Gerard was a pretty cool guy after you got to know him. He had great taste in music, he was obviously into art and shit, and he had a sense of humor – it was more dry and sarcastic than anything, but that’s what I liked the most about it. And his smile. God, that boy’s smile.
So fucking amazing. His eyes crinkled up at the sides. He had small teeth, but I didn’t care. His grin lit up his entire face. His laugh was a little off and I wanted to say it reminded me of a ‘serial killer’ off of television, but that would be awkward.
We were talking and laughing until Mike whistled for us to come in. We got up and headed towards the door. That’s when I saw him.
He was here. He wasn’t facing us, but I knew it was him. Somehow he had gotten through the gate and into the back. I wasn’t sure how it was possible, but I didn’t really care. His brown hair almost looked golden in the sunlight and he had gotten a tad darker, but that was cool.
I couldn’t help but grin. “Gerard! It’s Eric!” Gerard turned around and looked right at Eric a confused expression on his face. I waved for Eric to turn around. “Hey! Eric! Over here!”
“Frank…” Gerard started but I cut him off.
“Hold on, Gee. Eric! Dude!” He turned around in smiled when he saw me, but frowned when he saw Gerard. I turned towards Gee and saw that he was still staring at Eric with a confused expression. What was his problem?
Frank pulled on my shirt sleeve with a grin on his face. I turned around. “Gerard! It’s Eric!” He cried excitedly. I turned towards where he was looking and my face fell. “Hey! Eric! Over here!” Frank continued to yell.
“Frank…” I felt sick.
“Hold on, Gee. Eric! Dude!” Frank waved his arm in the air wildly. I hoped this wasn’t happening. That this was just another one of my fucked up dreams. Unfortunately the feeling in the pit of my stomach told me it wasn’t.
Frank was waving and yelling, trying to get the attention of ‘Eric’.
And there was nobody there.