Gee's pissed, so turns to an old friend for guidance...
I was surprised to see that Ray and Frank were already there when I got there. Alicia was out, so it was just us four guys in the house. I was also surprised to see that they were all wearing similar expressions - anger, disgust and dissapointment all rolled into one. "Gerard," Mikey said. "Have a seat." I sat obediently, and they all sat on the opposite side of the table.
They seemed to be having some kind of mental argument with their eyes. Frank lost. He sighed and looked at me. "Gee... you know if you ever have... any kind of problem... you can talk to us, right?" He said, cautiously. "You don't need to drink or... or whatever... to solve it."
"Yeah, Frankie," I laughed humourlessly. "I really need to sit here and have the 'say no to alcohol' lecture."
"No, no, I know," He held up his hands. "All I'm saying is... we all know how tempting it can be to hit the bottle when you're feeling down. The thing is, you don't need to. You have friends you can talk to."
"Okay. I'm confused," I shook my head, not getting it. "What the the hell is this?"
"I was talking to Lindsey on the phone the other day," Mikey said, quietly. I waited for him to carry on. When he didn't, I wrinkled my nose, still confused.
"Okay. That's um... real nice for you, I guess," I said. "But you're gonna have to explain why that has anything to do with drinking..."
"Damn it, Gerard! Stop playing fucking dumb!" Mikey jumped to his feet and slammed his hands down on the table. I flinched back, scared by my brother's sudden outburst. Ray gently pushed Mikey back into his seat.
"I... I don't know what you're talking about..." I shook my head, worried in case I said the wrong thing and made him mad again.
"Look, Lindsey told me that you've been going out drinking and sleeping with other women," Mikey snarled. "And she told me how mad you get when she asks you not to. She told me how you hit her in front of your daughter. She told me, Gerard. Don't bother fucking denying it."
I blinked at him, hurt and confused. "Linds...Lindsey told you that I'd hit her?" I whispered. Mikey nodded. "And you believed her?"
"She was fucking crying- and anyway, why would she lie about something like that?" Mikey asked. I shook my head - I didn't know.
"Wait- you don't all believe it, do you?" I asked. Frank and Ray remained silent. "Ray?"
"I dunno, man. I mean, you've been all quiet and stuff. And you were 'ill' on tour. And you missed recording on Sunday..." He said. Recording? I didn't even know we had a recording. Still, I swallowed.
"Right. Okay. But... you don't really think I'd do that. Do you, Frank?" I turned to my best friend. The one person who'd stuck by me no matter how much I fucked up. The guy who'd shown me love and compassion when nobody else would. The guy who, on the rare occasion he'd argued with his wife, I'd welcomed with open arms and held him while he cried. All I wanted was for him to do the same for me - to be my leg to stand on, my crying shoulder, when nobody else understood. But he just looked down at his lap. "Frankie?" I whispered.
"I'm sorry," He said. I got to my feet.
"O-okay," My voice wobbled. "Nice to know what you all think of me. I'm gonna go home."
"Gerard! We brought you here to talk to you!" Mikey yelled after me. I didn't listen - I just kept walking out of the house and into my car.
I went home, intending to talk to Lindsey about what she'd said, and clear up why she'd said it. I returned to an empty house. I thought maybe some sleep would clear my head - but when I went up to my bedroom, I was greeted with a shock.
Lindsey's half of our wardrobe was open and empty. All her things from our room were gone. I checked Bandit's room - it was empty. The bathroom was void of anything feminine or childlike. All Lindsey's CDs and DVDs and magazines and books were gone. All of Bandit's toys and crayons and drawings were missing. I looked in the kitchen, almost as if I was hoping they would magically reappear. Stuck onto the fridge with the 'Number 1 Dad' magnet I'd gotten from Bandit for Father's day was a slim piece of paper. Lindsey's handwriting scrawled a note on it; Gerard. I can't be with you. I just don't love you any more. There's somebody else - I've left for him, and I've taken Bandit with me. I don't know if we'll see you again. Lindsey. I turned the note over. I don't know why I did it - but I wished I hadn't.
The note was written on a piece torn from one of Bandit's drawings. The one of Lindsey, Bandit and I which I loved so much. Lindsey had torn me out of the drawing, and torn me out of their lives.
When I was done crying, I tried to call the guys. None of the answered their phones. I guessed they were all still pissed with me. It was Mikey I really wanted to talk to - he was my brother. He always made me feel better. So I sent him a text; Please answer the phone, Mikes. Lindsey left me. His short reply made me cry all over again. No surprise there. Dick-head.
I tried Frank and Ray numerous more times to the point were they both switched off their phones. All I needed right now was a hug. I sighed. Who'd give me a hug now, though? Who'd still care about me enough to listen to my problems and take care of me? I sat up straight, with a sudden realization. There was one person who would still talk to me. One person who would believe me when I said I'd never hit Lindsey before in my life. One person who wouldn't care if I had anyway, because he knew I could fuck up bad and that it was just part of being human. I smiled at took my phone out of my pocket again. I dialled a number and pressed my phone to my ear. I smiled when he answered it.
"Hi, Bert. It's Gerard. Are you busy tonight?" I said.