Frank makes a discovery.
Part 5: Letters and Liars
As the bounty of their food and supplies died, tempers and attitudes began to rise. Time soon proved that no matter how much they had tried to deny it over the course of their ten year career, they were more rock stars than they thought they were.
The boys fought constantly. Ray and Frank still managed to form somewhat of an alliance, constantly questioning Mikey's methods for rationing. Ray's scheduling of shifts had also become a hot topic, both Mikey and Frank complaining that Ray was not allowing them enough sleep.
No one fought with Gerard, but it was clear that the only reason for this was pity. None of them wanted to upset Gerard for fear of agitating his condition. In front of him, they treated him as though the frailest flower, a fragile peice of already broken glass. They would speak in low voices when addressing him, and touch him very gently.
Yet Gerard still had his wits about him. He knew there was animosity towards him as well, even if no one would ever admit it to his face. He had heard whispers of how he was taking all the supplies, and it was his fault they were going so fast.
Still, what could he do? Die faster, so that they may have their precious supplies to themselves? Gerard felt somewhat disappointed that his friends were so quick to resent him, although he understood. He was very grateful for the amount of care they had been giving him. Yet it was quite obvious that Gerard was now merely a burden on their backs through the blazing path to survival.
He knew deep down that he was going to die here, yet he still desperately wanted to live. There was so much more he felt he had to say to both the world, and his loved ones. His last words to Lindsay and Bandit had been ordinary farewells, such as "see you later.". It was funny how you never got a really good perspective how incomplete your life is until it's slipping away from you.
Now, within a matter of three days, he could barely even speak. And it was a wonder, nay, a miracle that he was not dead already. Still, he knew his luck could only last for so long.
During a time when Mikey and Ray watched, while Frank slept, Gerard felt something poke him from within the pocket of his skin tight jeans. He fumbled for it, moving slowly in his weak state. Finally, he gripped the top of it and realized it was a marker. He had always carried pens and markers with him, mostly for the sake of autographs.
He pulled the black sharpie marker from it's hiding place and uncapped it, taking in it's familiar toxic smell. After staring at it for a few minutes, Gerard had an idea.
He had to twist himself slightly. Once he was facing the wall of the cave, he rubbed the tip of the marker against the stone in order to test it. Once he saw that it left a mark, he began to write:
For Lindsay Ann Way and Bandit Lee Way.
I don't know if I'll be able to make it home. My leg is infected, and I think its spreading. As I write this now, I probably don't have much longer. The days I have spent in this cave have been incredibly lonely without hearing your voices. I miss you both so much, and I'm very sorry for any worry my disappearance may have caused you.
To Bandit specifically, I know you're going to grow into an amazing person. Just know that no matter what happens, daddy is very proud of you. Remember that, even if I'm not there to see you through life.
I will love you both with every breath left in my body. You'll be okay without me. You’re both two of the most incredible people on this planet. Stay fighting. Never give up. Remember everything I taught you…
It was here that Gerard lost his strength. He only had time to write one last, mangled looking "G" at the end of it before he dropped the marker and slumped back into his former position, exhausted and woozy. He only hoped that whoever found them would have the decency to try and pass the message along.
Frank awoke shortly after. After some stretches and yawns, he checked on Gerard. He examined his leg and saw that the area of the injury had turned a sickly brown, cooper sort of color. He grimaced and then looked up, noticing that Gerard was asleep. He then looked up further, and jumped slightly to see the scrawled letter Gerard had written.
He read it and frowned. Poor baby. The idea that they may not make it out of here to see their daughters grow into women became more of a reality every day that they stayed here without help. He could not imagine how Gerard was feeling, being so ill in this already uncomfortable and stressful situation.
Frank looked around and saw the marker that Gerard had written it with, just a few inches away from his hand. Frank took the marker and pocketed it.
It was time to watch again, and Frank and Ray sat outside in the cold with nearly empty stomachs. The portions had become ridiculously small, and it was a wonder as to why they even bothered continue to have their little “eating sessions”. It was only a reminder of their threat of starvation in this god forsaken cave.
Frank turned around and saw that Mikey and Gerard were not in their usual spot against the wall. He saw them a little further back in the cave, Mikey huddled over Gerard, blocking him from view. Both curiosity and boredom overwhelmed him. He got up from his spot and told Ray that he needed to urinate.
As he turned around, he heard Ray scoff, "You're pissing in there? Why don't you go outside and do that? The last thing we need is your piss stinking up the cave."
"Fuck off." Frank scowled. "Its the only way I can go comfortably."
Ray rolled his eyes but then turned back to watching and ignored him. Frank tip toed off into a corner of the cave, trying to be unnoticed by Mikey and Gerard.
He had not needed to urinate as he had said, but instead tried to hide behind a particularly large stone. He only had wanted a small glimpse of what they were talking about.
Yet he never actually heard any words being exchanged. Just a strange occasional crunching noise. Becoming more and more puzzled, Frank struggled to crane his neck in order to see what they were doing.
Finally, uncomfortably, he managed to. Frank's jaw dropped, in disbelief at what he saw.
Next chapter: The downward spiral.