She smiled and we walked to the car. For some reason I felt uncomfortable again, the same feeling I had before – that I was forgetting something.
Gerard and Mikey were sitting out on the front lawn talking. For some reason I had felt uncomfortable being there, but John and Melinda let me sit on their couch and watch television. I told them both the story of how Gerard and I had escaped from Mountain View and how my parents had called the police.
At first I was scared that they were going to pull the same fucked up stunt my parents had, but they didn’t, they simply sat and listened. After I finished the story, John nodded his head simply and leaned back in his chair, while Melinda actually got up to come hug me.
“Is Gerard still ill?” John asked after his wife had hugged me and sat down next to me.
I nodded my head slowly. “He was about to pass out before we got here. I think he’s been a little better now that he’s with Mikey.” I peeked out the window, to see Mikey and Gerard still sitting on the grass talking. “But, I’m just afraid it’s gonna get worse after… Well, I don’t know what will happen over this.” I admitted quietly. My eyes began to burn with tears and I tried to blink them back.
Melinda and John exchanged glances before John leaned forward and stared at me intently. “Frank, you and Gerard can stay here.”
I looked at him in surprise and a grin crept onto my face. “Really?” I asked, not caring how excited I sounded.
He nodded. “But, not for too long.” My smile faded.
Melinda quickly spoke up. “Oh, it’s not that we don’t want you here. Of course we do – you’ll always be welcome, but it’s not exactly legal for you to stay here, since no one knows your whereabouts and you two are still classified as ‘unstable mental patients’.” She saw the look on my face and sighed. “I know this doesn’t sound too great, but do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
I slowly nodded my head. “We don’t want to get you into any trouble. Besides, if we do have to go back I think we should go back soon.” I knew that if we stayed too long, Gerard wouldn’t want to go back, he’d be too attached to Mikey – which was understandable, but not okay if he had to leave; He’d be even more torn apart. But at least now he knew that Mikey was alive and he was happy.
We were at the Harmon’s for a few days, and everything seemed to be going fine. Mikey and Gerard were getting along, even though Mikey was still unsure of what to believe – Gee didn’t really care, he was just happy he had been able to see his little brother again.
Gerard and I shared a room, which I didn’t mind. He was always gushing about what him and Mikey had talked about and what they still had in common, late when I kissed him goodnight. We slept in the same bed and yet I was still unable to get the ‘L’ word out. Gerard either didn’t seem to mind, or he was waiting for me to say it first – whichever it was, he never complained when I didn’t say it.
There had been no calls from Hart or anyone at Mountain View, and none from the police, which was surprising seeing as I thought this would be the first place they would check; then I remembered that we had stolen the file from them. Even though I knew they might not have any way of tracking us down unless they went through extreme measures, I still had a bit of worry inside of me and I couldn’t understand why. I kept feeling as though I was forgetting an important piece of a puzzle, but I couldn’t seem to find it.
Mikey and I had officially become ‘friends’. It was nothing special, but he seemed to like me. It was hard to tell with that kid, because he always kept a straight face. Sometimes I’d catch him cracking up at something he saw on television, but whenever he’d notice me there, his smile would fade. He was still a pretty cool guy though. We were into the same movies and the same music, so we had a couple things to talk about.
One day, Melinda wanted to take a picture of the three of us while John was at work. She decided she’d take us to the park and make us stand by the lake. She had one of those weird cameras where the pictures slide out the bottom once you take them. She said it made them look vintage and they looked better in a scrapbook or photo album. Okay?
We stood in a row a few feet away from the lake; Gerard and I were standing next to each other, my arm wrapped around Gerard’s waist. He was grinning and I was too – Mikey was standing awkwardly next to Gerard and the corners of his mouth were turned up slightly, in some form of a smile.
Melinda took about five photos, all with the same pose, and my lips were starting to hurt. “Okay, last one.” She said, biting her lip as she took the last picture. She straightened up and grinned. “Alright, there we go.” She collected the last photo and sat it down on the table where the others were laid. “Now we just wait for a little bit, and voila! we can go back home.”
I loved how she said ‘home’ – as if it was home to all of us, and in a way it was; that was one of the things I loved about staying with them. The four of us sat at the table and discussed random things, like what life was like at Mountain View, what life was like at Belleville High School, and other things that I can’t even fucking remember. After a while, Melinda checked the photos and flipped them over, pulling out a Sharpie from her purse.
“What are you doing?” I asked curiously, peeking over her shoulder.
“Writing down, the date, your names, your ages… All that fun stuff.” She wrote down the same thing on each of the pictures then put them in a small white folder. She smiled and we walked to the car. For some reason I felt uncomfortable again, the same feeling I had before – that I was forgetting something. As we pulled away from the park I could have sworn I saw one of the photos still sitting on the table.
Just waiting for someone to pick it up.
Author’s note- Tell me what you think?