When we got into the house, he kissed me good night and went upstairs to bed. I was expecting to hear him crying himself to sleep, but I didn’t.
“Frank, I think we should go to Mikey’s,” Gerard mumbled, still reading the text message we’d just received, staring at it with wide eyes. They were red from all the crying, and they were just about to start again, so I put my arm around him.
“I was just thinking the same thing,” I stated, with the same scared tone in my voice. “C’mon,” he half smiled at me, as he got up and sighed.
We walked out the house, he locked the door, and we made our way to my car. He got in the passenger side, and within the few seconds I didn’t see him, the tears started again.
“Gee, it’s going to be okay, he won’t do anything stupid,” I said, smiling, as real as I could. He wiped his eyes and nodded.
“Yeah, it always is, in the end isn’t,” he said, emotionlessly. I didn’t know if it was sarcasm, or genuine.
We drove to Mikey’s in silence, no tears, just the sound of us breathing and the car engine. When we arrived, Ray answered the door.
“He’s in the lounge,” Ray said, with his head down. “It’s not good, he keeps shaking and crying. Alicia’s lost it too, she’s really not happy, Lyn-Z was like a sister to her.” Neither of us said a word, we just followed the corridor to Mikey.
Alicia was in the garden, sat staring at a brick wall, whilst Mikey was looking, wide eyed, at the floor, facing the door-way. Gee saw him, and ran to the couch.
“Mikey, are you okay?” he cried. Mikey turned his head, towards Gerard.
“Gee?” it was almost like he’d forgotten who everyone was. Gerard kissed his forehead, and smiled.
“Yeah, little brother, it’s me,” he nodded, tears flowing to his eyes, pulling Mikey towards him, holding him tightly.
“I don’t like the fighting, Gerard. It’s scaring me. Memories…” he said, no emotion, his eyes widening on the last word.
“I know, Mikey. It’s scaring me too, but it’s going to get better. I promise you, Frankie promises to,” Gerard said, smiling, head high. He definitely believed what he was saying. Gee pulled away from Mikey, and grabbed his face, “I promise you, little brother, I really do.”
“He could stay with us,” I mumbled, out loud, from the door. The brothers looked at me, stone face, and I began to regret telling them what I was thinking, until Mikey began smiling.
“I’d like that, it’d get me away from Alicia,” he replied, looking outside, at his wife. “She’s really not happy. Lyn-Z came here, bad mouthing you guys. I lost it. And now, now she’s lost it,” he explained to us. Gerard comforted him, as I made my way over to the door.
“Hey,” I mumbled, to Alicia.
“Please don’t speak to me,” she replied, angrily. I sat next to her, she turned away.
“Alicia, I know you’re upset. But you need to hear us out. I know Lyn-Z was like a sister to you, but you’ve got to understand, you can’t help who you fall in love with. You may have had pot luck, with Mikey, but you can’t expect everyone else to be like that, can you?”
“I guess not… It’s just the way you went about things. I mean, the girls, both Lyn-Z and Jamia, are like sisters to me. J may have taken things so easily, but how you told Lyn, I just don’t understand why it came out like that,”
“I was scared,” I said, quickly. She nodded, and finaly looked at me.
“I understand that, I guess I just over reacted. We’re all family, and now we’re falling apart. It’s my fault Mikey’s like this. I yelled at him for being so stupid about Lyn talking about Gerard like that, I just forgot that Gee was his brother,” she got up to go back inside, I followed, like a sheep, leaving the garden peacefully.
When we walked back in, the boys looked at us, Alicia smiled at Mikey, and he mirrored her move. I walked over to Gerard, and rested my head on his shoulder, and he rested his head on mine. Ray came in with coffee, which was good, because I was having caffeine withdrawal, and I could tell Gerard was too.
“So is everything okay in here? I thought I’d make a start on dinner, if that’s alright,” Ray told everyone. We all nodded, but Alicia thought otherwise.
“Oh, Ray honey, you didn’t have to do that, honestly, I could have…” she said, kindly.
“No, I didn’t make it. I ordered some pizza,” he laughed. I had to hand it to him; he really did lighten up the situation. He had a way with words that made everyone around him happy, no matter how upset.
“Please tell me you got me a veggie one…” I said. Ray grabbed me, and pulled me closer to him.
“Of course, my little veggie gnome,” he giggled, looking down at me. I didn’t know how Ray could be so happy at a time like this.
“Ray, how the fuck are you so happy?” I asked him. He smiled again.
“I don’t know…” he mumbled, his head slowly tilting upwards. “Frank, can I talk to you and Gerard in the kitchen?” We both shook our heads, in agreement, and follow Ray.
Mikey and Alicia’s kitchen was huge, but it had a diner table too, so it needed to be. If I’m honest, I would have killed for this house, Alicia had style. A lot of it, too.
“I can take care of Mikey. I’ve already put away all my stuff in the guest room, so you guys don’t need to worry,” he told us.
“Ray, you don’t have to,” me and Gerard said, in unison. Gerard continued for us.
“He’s my brother, Ray, I appreciate this, but it’s my mess,”
“You have your own lives to worry about, I know he’s your brother, but you need to focus on yourselves. Mikey will be okay, with me,” he smiled. I knew Ray was telling the truth, and that Mikey really would be okay, with him. So I stopped Gerard saying anything else.
“Ray, I think that’s a wonderful idea,” I called out. Gerard looked at me, but I ignored him.
After pizza, Gerard and I said our ‘thank you’s and ‘goodbye’s, to everyone. Alicia was perfectly okay with us now, which was great. In the car, Gerard asked me to do that unthinkable.
“D’ya reckon we should call Lyn-Z and tell her about what happened, with Mikey?” he said, looking me straight in the eyes.
“Gee, that’s ridiculous, if I do that she’ll flip…” I replied. He bit his lip and looked away, I sighed. “Okay, I’ll call her when we get home, only because you called Bob, for me,” he smiled at me.
“I love you Frankie,” he said, truthfully.
“I love you more, my Gee bear,” I grinned, at him.
“Gee bear? That’s a new one,” he giggled. “And I love you more, so stop lying,” he stuck his tongue out at me. I shook my head at him, smiling, as I pulled into the drive way.
When we got into the house, he kissed me good night and went upstairs to bed. I was expecting to hear him crying himself to sleep, but I didn’t. I picked up the phone and started dialling Lyn-Z’s number.
I had no idea of what was going to happen or what I was going to say.