Frank hears the Gerard's disturbing account of what really happened to him.
"I... When I woke up, I was in this.. This cage... It was cold. And dark... Someone had t-taken all my clothes and I was wearing this gown thing... It felt like I was lying there forever." Gerard's voice gets quieter and quieter as he tells me this, until he finally says, "I was just so scared."
For a moment I think that's all he's going to say, but he continues his story.
"Then I heard voices in the darkness, and a light was turned on. And... T-they had Mikey..." Gerard is crying again now, his whole body trembling. I can hear his loud ragged breathing.
"And... And they put him in the cage opposite me... He- he kept fighting against them and they kept hitting him.. They wouldn't stop... There was n-nothing I could do... They left me there for ages, but they kept taking Mikey away and bringing him back again.. Mikey wouldn't tell me what they were doing to him, he kept trying to tell me he was fine, a-and it was going to be okay.. But he was scared, I could tell. And I could tell he was ill... And.. And one day I woke up and he was lying there.."
Gerard is sobbing in between his words now, clutching my hands so tight it hurts. "He-he wouldn't wake-up... I banged on the bars until my hands bled.. And.. And I yelled until I couldn't any more... But he wouldn't wake up. They killed him... They fucking killed him.." He sobs.
I sit there in shock for a few seconds. Those people, those monsters, killed someone. All of a sudden I'm filled with rage. I want to make them feel the pain they’ve caused Gerard and his brother. I want to feel their blood run down my hands as I ignore their pleas for me to stop... "Eventually they took his body away," Gerard continues his story, interrupting my disturbing thoughts.
"Then one day, I was just laying there, and someone came for me..." Tears spill over his perfect eyes and roll down his pale face. He gulps and looks down at our entwined hands, I can feel his trembling.
"Gerard.. What did they do to you?" I whisper. He looks up a me with huge, red-rimmed eyes.
"They... They t-took me to this room and they made me lie down on a table, I tried to escape, I really did.. But t-they made it so I couldn’t... And then.. Then they got this needle out... And I was begging them to stop b-but no one listened.." He's shakes his head, "Finally they stopped and took me back to the cage.. But they pushed me on the floor and kicked me first... A-and they wouldn't stop... It hurt so much. They did something like that everyday.. Well it felt like everyday, but I couldn't tell when it was day and when it was night. Sometimes they would put things that hurt on my skin, o-or make me eat stuff that made me sick..." He pauses, and then says quietly, "I thought I was going to die there."
I knew some really bad things had happened to him, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn't shocked by his story. As I take in all that Gerard has just said to me, I realise I’m crying too. I look upon his shaking form, he looks so vulnerable and distraught right now, the thought of people hurting him makes me sick to the stomach. They killed his brother, that explains why he was crying that time after he dreamt about Mikey. I know there's nothing I can say now to make it all better, that a few comforting words can’t just take away the grief I know he must be feeling. So I comfort him in the only way I know how; a hug.
Gerard rests his head against my shoulder and wraps his arms around my waist as I rub his back. "I was going to kill myself the night you found me." He says quietly.
"What?" I reply, horrified by the idea.
"There was some broken glass on the floor, I was going to use it to slit my wrists." Gerard is still clinging to my body, although he’s speaking calmly now, "And then I saw your face in the darkness... At first I thought you'd come to hurt me, but then you said you could help." He looks up at me, smiling through his tears.
I remember that night well, I remember the look of absolute terror in his eyes. If hadn’t decided to wander off from the others that night, if I had just ignored the crying I heard and just left... Gerard probably wouldn't be alive now.
"I thought you were some sort of angel or something." He says, and then giggles, a wonderful sound. I laugh along with him.
"You really are amazing you know that?" I say, because he really is. As I look at Gerard, I realise just how strong he is, even if he may not look it.
"Frank.. Don't be ridiculous." He mutters in response to my statement, his cheeks turning pink, and I can see he's holding back a smile. That’s when I realise the tape recorder is still on, I hurriedly turn it off. I don't want some nosy old police officer listening in to our conversation now.
"I mean it." I say as I brush a strand of hair out of his face. Gerard's blush deepens and I can't help but notice how his eyes momentarily flutter closed at my touch. I keep my hand at the side of his face while I take in his features. His smooth pale skin, his cute button nose. I observe how perfectly shaped his lips are, and how his jet black hair, although matted and greasy as always, frames his face perfectly. His big doe eyes, which are surrounded by long dark eyelashes, are looking up at me.
"You're beautiful." I murmur, as if I’m only noticing it for the first time.
"Frank..." He whispers back, voice shaking. This is when I realise how close our faces are, a couple of inches closer and our lips would be touching... There's a knock at the door. I pull back from Gerard, the spell is broken.
"Come in!" I say, it's Paul.
"Are you finished?" He asks, for a second I think he's been watching us, then I realise he was talking about the tape. Gerard merely nods in response.
"Great," Paul says, picking up the tape recorder, "I'll be back tomorrow to ask you some questions, but apart from that I doubt I’ll need to bother you again. Frank, could I talk to you outside for a minute?"
"Um.. Sure." I say, and then follow him out of the door. Paul just asks me a few obvious questions, like where the lab I found Gerard in actually is. Much to my relief, he makes no comment about my criminal actions. I go back into Gerard's room.
So far, Gerard's story has answered almost all of my questions, but there's still something I'm
confused about. "Gerard... You know you said the last thing you remember was it was nearly Halloween?"
"Yeah.." Is his reply.
"Well, um, what... What year was that?" Gerard frowns in thought for a second. "Do you remember?" I probe. Gerard nods.
"2007." He says. My jaw drops. Four years... Four years he's been in that vile place. No wonder he's so... Nervy. Four years and the only human contact you have is with your dead or dying brother and people who are hurting you, well it's enough to make anyone crazy. Gerard must notice my look of horror, be because he asks hurriedly.
"Why what year is it now?" he asks, his eyes wide and innocent. God, I hate to break it to him, but he's gotta know.
"Gerard... It's 2011." I say, looking at him sadly. His face pales.
"T-that's four years... Four years of my life, just gone." he says in a shaky voice.
"I know.. I'm so sorry." I say even though it's not my fault. Isn’t that what people say to people in bad situations? Gerard doesn’t respond, he just lies down in bed and closes his eyes. He doesn’t have to say anything for me to know he's going to sleep, it's been a hard day and he must be even more exhausted than usual. I sit by the side of his bed watching his chest rise and fall for a long time after that.