“I chose whether I live or die.” Frank shrugged, “basically.”
Ow. My eyes had become so used to the darkness that the new, golden light stung them, momentarily blinding me as they became accustomed to it, making me wish I hadn`t bothered opening them. As cliché and overdone as it sounds, the first thought that came to mind upon opening them was “where the fuck am I?” the last thing I could remember was dragging my feet across the sodding wet pavement on the way home from school, rain drenched hair plastered to my face, making it difficult to see.
So what am I doing here?
And more importantly, where is here?
Here was what looked like a lush, green field, hundreds of different brightly coloured, delicate looking flowers were dotted around, and pretty little birds were chirping away merrily above my head, singing without a care in the world. If I listened carefully, blocking them out, I could faintly here the gentle trickle and drip drop of water, probably from a nearby steam or something. the sky up above my head was a bright blue, and the bright yellow sun shone above, blanketing the field in a warm, golden glow. I had the sudden urge to get my sketchbook and draw, forgetting for a second that I didn’t have it with me. It was so beautiful here, so peaceful.
Nope. I think to myself, slowly getting to my feet. This is definitely not New Jersey. For a start it was clean, and pretty. The air was unpolluted and I seemed to be the only person here.
Or maybe not…
“Hey, Vamp, over here!” I nearly jump, shocked as I hear someone-a boy-yell in a sing song voice. I had been so sure I was alone. I frown, realising what he had called me, “hey Vamp”? what the fuck? Then again, I couldn’t be too picky, maybe this guy knew where I was, maybe he knew how to get home.
“He-llo?!” he calls again and I answer, only to be rudely cut off.
“Hey, I`m Ger-“
“Gerard, I know.” He waves one hand dismissively, clearly unconcerned by how freaked out I was.
“How did you-“
“Know your name?” he asks, giving me one of those annoying half smiles, and I nod, about to speak again when he interrupts me. again. this was beginning to become a little irritating. It soon became clear that I wasn’t going to get an answer, so I asked something else.
“who are you?”
“That`s simple Sugar, I`m Frank.” He holds his hand out for me to shake, but I ignore it. Shrugging he adds, “but you can call me Frankie, everyone does.”
And that piece of information was going to help me how?
“Okay, Frankie, where am I? how do you know my name, how do I-“
“don’t ya worry `bout any of that, Gee.” He frowns, creasing his forehead slightly.”Can I call you Gee? Yeah, alright then, Gee it is.” He said, before I even got the chance to answer him about my name preference.
“Can I get you a drink, Gee? Water, Coke-the drinking kind, not the other shit, tea, coffee?” he offers, but I sigh, I was thirsty, very thirsty but I was taught to never accept anything from a stranger, and they didn’t come stranger than this guy.
“no, oh alright then. Hope ya don`t mind if I have a coffee, you don’t, do you?” I shake my head, sighing. I had barely been speaking to this guy for five minutes and he was already wearing me out and getting on my last god damn nerves.
Frank mutters something under his breath that I don’t quite catch, and grabs a mug of coffee. That would have been normal except for one tiny little insignificant thing: HE GOT IT FROM FUCKING THIN AIR!!!
He raises one eyebrow as if to ask “what?” and casually takes a small sip from his cup.
“You just-from thin-and it!!” he rolls his eyes, and I frown, feeling extremely creeped out and confused.“Huh?”
All of a sudden, Frank`s smile fades away into a frown, along with his confidence.
“y…you really…don`t…know?” he asks me in a shaky voice.
I shake my head, causing my long, dark and extremely irritating hair to fall forwards into my eyes. I sigh and flick it back, expecting Frank to laugh seeing me so annoyed. He doesn’t.
“Know what?”what was he on about now?
“Well, erm, I err, don`t really know how to say this, but um…your, err, kinda, well ya know…dead.”
“easy, easy.” Frank holds his hand sup in front of him, all traces of his earlier confidence long gone.
“I`m dead too, you ain`t the only one.” Was that supposed to make me feel better?
“But how?! I was-“
Frank pulls a large, black file from out of his jeans pocket (how it fit in there I didn’t know) and opened it. He began to read quietly to himself, ever so often turning over on to the next page, while I stood there, shuffling my feet awkwardly, not sure what to do or say.
“let`s see.” He mummers and turns the page again. “Motorcycle accident.” He reads in a calm, bored voice.
“HOW!!?? I don’t even have a-“
“ehem.” He clears his throat and carries on reading from the black file. “Gerard Arthur Way, born the ninth of April, died the 5th of august aged eighteen. Cause of death: hit by a motorbike whilst attempting-but definitely NOT succeeding.” He smirks. “to cross a road.” He reads the words in a bored, almost uncaring tone of voice and slams the file shut, chucking onto the grass somewhere behind him.
“real interesting way to go, eh? Hit by a fucking bike.” He teases, and my hazel eyes narrow, it was bad enough just finding out that I was no longer in the realm of the living, but know he was taking the piss out of my death. No fucking way.
“Oh yeah,” I smirk back at him, and his eyes narrow. “Well if you’re so cool how did you die?”
Silence. I notice silvery tears forming in is chocolate eyes, and I can’t help but feel bad, knowing it was I who put them there. Ridiculous seeing as I barely knew the guy and I didn’t particularly like him much so far.
“I… I don’t…talk about that.” I nod, understanding.
“erm, is this Heaven?” I ask, changing the subject. I look around once more, half expecting more people/angels/whatever the hell you call `em, to materialise out of thin air, like I suspected Frank had done. Nope, nothing.
“No, this is somewhere in-between..”
“in between what?” I ask, growing annoyed at Frank again. why couldn’t he just explain things properly instead of telling me half of everything? “In between what?” I as again. “heaven and hell or- he laughs once, but one that lacks humour, a bitter laugh.
“Wrong again kiddo.” I frown, I was certain I was older than him, maybe it was just his height, but I didn’t think so…unless he had been here for years, for all I knew he could have been here for centuries, but eyeing up his clothes-a pair of black skinnies similar to mine and an old band shirt- I doubted it.
“Your currently in between Earth and Heaven, some kind of Limbo, I guess you could say.”
That was the first proper answer I had gotten off of him since arriving here…which reminded me of an earlier, unanswered question.
“Who are you?”
He frowns. “I told you, I`m Frank.” He pauses, his confident smile changed to a look of concern. “did you hit your head or something, that can cause memory loss or-“
“no, I mean, who are you to me, I mean.”
“Oh, well I guess you could say I`m…” he trails off, unsure. “I`m here to help you.” And he`d been such a big help so far. Not.
“You have an important choice to make you know.” That was when I first noticed the door, an old, heavy oak one, with a glimmering, silvery outline was stood just behind him. Well, it wasn’t a full door, just the outline of one. Part of me longed to see what was behind it, yet it frightened me, realising what it must be. The gateway to heaven or whatever they called it up here.
“you see, the thing is Gee, it wasn’t actually your time so you have to chose weather to go back or to, well not go back.”
“I chose whether I live or die.”
Frank shrugged, “basically.”
I blinked. Then took a few steps back from Frank and the door, staring at the unnaturally green grass. I needed to think, but wasn’t sure I trusted myself to make the right decision. This morning, even before I …died…if you had asked me if I was happy being alive I would have said no, I had even attempted suicide last year, it wasn’t as if me and life were best mates or anything. It seemed pointless to come all this way and to then go back. Anyway, it wasn’t like I was anything special. I didn’t get decent grads apart from in art and music, I had a very small group of friends (including my younger brother), I wasn’t brave, I wasn`t noticed, I was invisible to near enough everyone. What did I have to go back to? Being picked on and ignored, mum and dad constantly fighting. The longing for things I would and could never have, like acceptance and love.
“C`mon, there has to be something good back there.” Frank said. “Art, music?”
I lift my head and face him, looking him directly in the eye. “Huh?”
“you like art, you’re very good at it too. And music, you love listening to it and writing lyrics. You ain`t half bad at that either.”
“how do you-“
“Know?” he laughed, but not unkindly. I had never told anyone about my art or music, not even Mikey so it shocked me to hear him say this.
“Ge, go back. Try again. your young, life can’t be all that bad, and if it is it`ll get better.” He pauses. “at least that’s what they always say.” He laughs again, one of his really bitter sarcastic ones, drained of all humour. I can’t help but feel for this boy, he was young too, I couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing here.
“I’m here to help you, remember?” Frank said, as though he had been able to read my thoughts. Bastard probably had.
“well?” he asks, raising one eyebrow.
“fine.” I sigh, my mind made up, shocked at my answer. “I’ll go back.”
“fine by me.” Frank shrugs and grabs hold of my left hand, the golden light and the field vanishes, only to be replaced by the feel of solid, bloody, concrete road under me.
I was back at the scene of the…accident that had…killed me, laying there half conscious in a pool of my own blood, I could hear Frank muttering something, but it sounded to distant for me to understand it. I hadn’t expected him to come back with me, and I was surprised to feel glad that he had. Something is pressing on my chest, people are still screaming and I can hear Mikey sobbing, that was the loudest sound I could make out and it was pure torture. He must be crouched next to me crying, it was that loud. I felt dreadful. I hated ,myself, knowing that it was my fault that he was crying, knowing that it was me who had caused him this pain. He would have been better off without me, but it was too late now.
“Gee, Gee, please! Don` t leave me!” it breaks my heart to hears him like this. I wanted to speak, move, do something, anything to let him now that I was alright, that I was still here. That I wasn’t going to leave him.