Skiving, phonecalls during Geography tests, and unwanted events...Please R&R, guys!
Chapter Twenty Six
Gerard’s point of view:
The sky that stretches endlessly overhead is a cold, clear blue, illuminated by the warm, golden glow of the late October sun that's sinking low into the autumnal skyline, casting my shadow long and feeble; a spindly silhouette that dances along beside me as I trudge wearily across the deserted, rusty park, scuffed black Doc Martens trampling the muddy, decomposing corpses of once amber leaves into the dying grass.
I've been walking for what seems like hours...walking...walking.....walking, with no purpose or destination, just letting the rhythm of my Doc Martens pounding the never ending grimy grey pavements calm me, earphones in, music up full blast to drown out my thoughts, letting the pounding guitar melodies, deafening drumbeat and tortured screams become my thoughts.
Despite the warm, golden glow of the sun on my back, the air is crisp and cold. Although the shimmery silver dusting of frost from this morning has long since melted, the distinct essence of oncoming winter lingers in the chilly afternoon air, my breath smoky tendrils that curl of the tip of my tongue and unfold into the cold sky.
I've subconsciously come to a halt just in front of the swings that sit under the now leafless, lifeless maple trees, their fallen leaves of russet and amber scattered at my feet. I sigh, pull my earphones out and let the sudden, abrupt silence overwhelm me as I sink down onto the nearest swing, hooking my left arm round the rusty chains and start swinging gently, shoes scuffing the worn tarmac below.
I sigh heavily into the desolate silence of the empty park, chest heavy...the last time I sat on one of these swings, I was with him...with Frank, the boy who can make me laugh or cry, smile or scream, the boy who gave my meaningless existence purpose. But that's all gone now...
Yeah, you fucked that up big time, fuckface.
Thanks a fucking bunch for reminding me- like I didn't already have that thought plaguing my mind every waking moment!
I groan and block out my moronic, argumentative inner voices, resting my aching head against the chains of the swing and shutting my eyes in exhaustion.
I feel completely drained, physically and emotionally, my skull feeling ready to split in two from all my unthought thoughts of post nervousness and painful reminiscence screaming to be set free; My stomach's aching from hours of acidic adrenaline bubbling inside it from early this morning, fluttering, confused, agitated butterflies gnawing relentlessly at my already maimed innards. There's also a dull, dragging ache in the pit of my dehydrated stomach from lack of food- I felt far too jittery and churned up to eat anything at breakfast or lunch...it didn't really help that the only option in the school canteen was their imitation of roast dinner, which is hard enough to stomach at the best of times, let alone on a day like this.
I didn't last any longer at lunchtime at school- the events of Biology were so unnerving they were enough to keep me a twitchy, nervous wreck for the rest of the morning...and then I saw Frank.
With Aled Hutchings.
And that was really too much for my adrenaline fused mind and nervous, self-hating thoughts; to watch someone who means the world to me back with the dickheads that made his life hell, made him believe he was nothing, a freak, utterly worthless.
I couldn't stay there and watch the person I care most about in this falling, fractured world get hurt when there was nothing I could do- he wouldn't want to hang out with me again, let alone talk to me.
So I ran away...ran from my troubles and just roamed the polluted, never ending streets for hours, trying not to think about it, trying to forget, to convince myself he's not worth it.
But fuck, he's worth everything, no matter what lies I feed my stupid, impulsive, fucked up little brain cells.
He doesn't actually seem to want to rip out my essential organs and feed them to a pack of bloodthirsty meese though...I mean, when I walked into Biology this morning (and no, my knees weren't quaking with nerves...I was just cold), he looked almost as scared and uncertain as I felt- eyes red and raw and deprived of sleep, hair unkempt, face unhealthily pale. His expression the was so clear, not hatred, just pure nervousness and uncertainty. But wow, when I found him looking at me when Mrs. Evans stopped the film, I've never seen such a complex, confused expression...confusion and clarity, horror and relief...raw, bittersweet, wild with conflict, imprisoned by denial, all swirling potently in those russety depths. It gave me goose bumps- it was such a powerful look, despite the inner turmoil and confusion, even though I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, it was full of raw emotion, meaning so much all at once.
Arggh, I must. Stop. Thinking. About. Frank.
Or just stop thinking altogether; it’s not going to alter the past or change the future…I’m stuck with it, so the sooner I forget, the better.
I sigh and put my headphones back in, not allowing my thoughts to carry on down such a dangerous path, re-living the happenings of Saturday night. If I let myself remember, it makes me want to tear the skies apart, scream until I combust, or drown in a river of my own selfish tears. Remembering taints and stains my world with angst.
But I need distraction; if I’m left alone in silence, the thoughts overwhelm me.
I quickly scroll down the playlist on my MP3 player and play ‘Helena’ by The Misfits, turning the volume up full, and letting it absorb me.
‘If I cut off your arms and cut off your legs, would you still love me anyway? If you’re bound and gagged, draped and displayed, would you still love me anyway?...’
Seriously, what would I do without The Misfits? Whoever introduced me to them is beyond epic-
Oh my god, Cat! She’ll be able to help me- she always knows how to cheer me up! How come I never thought of her before?!
I fumble in my pocket for my phone, draw it out, and dial Cat’s mobile number, with shaky, exhausted fingers.
“Hello?” Cat finally answers.
“Cat! Jeez, it’s good to hear your voice!”
“Gerard? Why the hell are you calling me now? I’m in the middle of a Geography test- it’s last period! Aren’t you at school?” Cat’s voice is a hushed whisper.
“Are you okay, Gee?”
“It’s kinda a long story- I’ll talk to you online later.”
“It’s fine, tell me now- my bitch of a teacher hasn’t noticed I’m on the phone yet.”
“Yeah? Oh shit, Mrs. McLeod is coming…”
I suddenly hear the voice of a very angry teacher in the background.
“How dare you answer a phonecall in the middle of a test!”
“It’s important!” I hear Cat protest.
“As important as my geography lesson?”
“How DARE you!”
“Umm…Gerard?” Cat’s voice sounds closer to the phone again. “I’d better go…text me okay?”
There’s a couple of scuffled noises, Cat faintly saying ‘Old bat!’, then the line goes dead.
I feel a reluctant smile creep across my face. Trust Cat- she always seems to manage to cheer me up, even if it is only unintentionally.
I’ve listened to all of ‘Famous Monsters’ and have just started on ‘Walk among us, huddled into my hoodie, when someone behind me pokes my shoulder.
I jump up and whirl round, yanking my headphones out, only to see Mikey standing behind me.
Before I can say anything, he envelopes me in a bone-breakeing hug, his carefully straightened, apricot and peach scented mousy hair tickling my nose.
“Wha…?” I ask, bemused as he pulls back and reaches up to ruffle my messy hair.
“We were worried about you, Moron! We had no idea where you’d gone!” Mikey rolls his eyes exasperatedly at me.
“Sorry, I didn’t think…” I say, suddenly feeling ashamed.
“No, it’s not really your strong point, is it?” Mikey grins cheekily.
“Gerard!” I look up to see Bee running across the park toward us, her black buckled biker boots splattered with mud and rotted leaves.
“Hey.” I smile weakly.
“You skived!” she pants, coming to a halt beside Mikey and massaging a stitch in her side.
“You lied.” I point out, sitting back down on my swing, head sill aching with exhaustion.
She sighs, sweeping her red-brown curls out of her eyes. “Okay okay, you win- but I only did it cause I wanted things to get better for you. You know that, yeah?”
“I know that.” I reassure her as she sits down on one of the picnic benches opposite the swings and smiles at me in relief.
“Are you okay though? You don’t look great.” She frowns, peering at my pallid complexion.
“I’m totally worn out.” I sigh weakly. “I walked the streets for ages.”
“Why did you run off in the first place, anyway?” Mikey asks, sitting down tentatively be Bee.
“I saw Frank…with Aled.” I whisper, throat dry, heart heavy, as if it only became unjust reality once I spoke it aloud.
To my great surprise, Bee laughs. “Oh Gerard! If you’d stayed a couple of seconds later, you’d have heard Frank standing up for you, telling them to leave you alone, and that you were an awesome guy.”
I’m pretty sure my mouth is hanging open.
“Your mouth is hanging open.” Mikey announces unnecessarily.
“H-he said that?” I stutter in disbelief.
“Yep.” Bee smiles.
“Then…he was standing up for me…even after what happened on Saturday?” I whisper.
“That’s what I said.” Bee grins.
I feel a slow smile spread across my face, warming the taut muscles that have been clenched in stress.
Bee shakes her head at me, rummaging through her schoolbag for a moment, then drawing out a bag of haribo starmix sweets.
“Here.” She chucks me a gummy bear. “These’ll give you a bit of energy.”
“Thanks.” I smile, popping it into my mouth, and trying not to snigger at Mikey’s ridiculous, gooey-eyed, lovesick happy expression when he sees that Bee’s given him a heart shaped sweet.
“So, Gerard,” Bee says conversationally. “Are you a hundred percent Gay?”
“If what happened when he was watching Billie Joe Armstrong on TV is anything to go by, then yes.” Mikey smirks.
“Will you shut up about that already?!” I growl, throwing a sweet at his smirking face as Bee giggles.
“No, seriously Gerard?” She presses.
“Why, thinking of dating him?” Mikey asks a little jealously.
“Um, no thanks!” Bee splutters, then hastily adds, “No offence, Gerard.” When she catches sight of my raised eyebrow (the other one STILL hasn’t grown back properly from the disaster in Biology a couple of months back)>
“Well, to answer your question, yeah I guess I am…I’ve never really thought of girls in any way other than friends.” I admit.
“In that case, Gerard,” Bee sighs. “I have some unwelcome news for you.”
I groan. “What now? Hasn’t the universe punished me enough already?!”
“Umm…apparently not…um, someone’s gunna ask you out. A girl.”
I choke on my sweet and Mikey’s jaw falls open.
“W-w-what?” I choke.
“She’s called Annabel- she’s in my maths class, and she’s really nice…smart and funny, and she’s got this amazing long blonde hair. She-um-asked if you and me were going out.” Bee giggles.
Cue Mikey to choke violently.
“Oh…” is my response. Since when do girls ask me out? Who in their right mind would want to go out with a Misfits obsessed, unhealthy vampire lookalike with only one and a half eyebrows and a seriously geeky interest in morbid art.
“What’s wrong with her?!” Mikey asks, clearly thinking along the same lines as me. “Is she fucking blind or something?!”
“Oi!” I say indignantly.
Bee bites her lip, hiding a smile. “Actually, I know this really isn’t funny, but she has seriously badly impaired vision…she’s having to get glasses specially made.”
Mikey starts laughing like a hysterical unicorn humping a drunk hyena on speed.
“Oh.” I say again.
Mikey’s howling with laughter, Bee giggling uncontrollably.
“Oh god.” I shake my head, but suddenly I’m laughing too, the vocal smiles spilling from my lips, reverberating through my body and making my cheek muscles ache.
I feel almost alive again- friends really are what makes the world go round; friends you can laugh with or cry with, friends that are always beside you, a candle to light your darkest hours, a strength to stop you falling. Bee cares about me, she laughs with me, she understands me…she even, for some bizarre reason, seems to like me.
And maybe, just maybe, in time, with the support of people like Bee and Cat and Mikey, I can pull through this. I can forget Frank.
Or at least convince myself I have.
The sky is a cold, murky grey when I step out into the chilly dusk from the hash strip lights of the supermarket, carrying a bag of assorted sweets; for the past couple of hour, Mikey, Bee and I have hung out in the park, listening to music and playing truth or dare to try and distract me from equally Misfits obsessed, extremely adorable 5’4 teenagers, but it was starting to get cold and dark, and we were all starting to get sugar withdrawal symptoms, so I set off to buy some more sweets.
I set off down the darkening street toward the park, wrapping the thin fabric of my hoodie closer around me, shivering in the dull gloom and walking more briskly until I reach the gate of the park, my eyes roaming it’s murky scenery for Bee and Mikey’s dusky silhouettes.
I stop in my tracks.
Entwined together are my brother and my best friend.
Hurt impales me like a blunt dagger, contorting my ribs.
When I need Bee most, she’s not there…she’s chosen Mikey- she won’t want to be bothered with me. They won’t want me playing third wheel around them. She’ll stay friendly for a while, but she’ll gradually drift away until I’ve got no one left.
I take a deep, shuddering breath of the icy night air, turn my back and start walking wearily down the lonely, frozen street. Alone once more; First Frank, and now Bee…How many more friends can I lose? Why do they have to fade when I need them most?
Autumn is dying around me; the once crisp, amber leaves rotted into muddy corpses, the warm golden sunlight eclipsed by thick, cold grey cloud, the once lush, green grass parched and lifeless. I know everything has to die sometime, whether it’s with a bang or a whimper, but in my fragile world, why does it always have to be the brightest stars that flicker and fade first? When they’re gone, my world is left in darkness, mangled, meaningless and mundane.
How was it? my writing isn’t going downhill at the moment, is it? I’m kinda worried it is cause I’m so stressed :/ like I said, if I get enough reviews, I’ll update when I’m away (assuming I can find a computer to type it up on)…so please let me know if this was okay! Thanks for reading and being so patient with this story! Love you guys!
p.s. I’ll be updating “Be My Detonator” before the end of the week. (:
p.p.s I’ve recently started a collab with the lovely cup-full-of-blood…if you wanna check it out, here’s the link- please R&R xD http://www.ficwad.com/story/161165