I try getting Frank on the walkie but he isn’t in his room. I wonder where he is and beg Mikey to bring me the phone. Neither Frank nor his mother pick up. I leave a message, begging Frank to come over as soon as he returns home.
Around three I hear the door downstairs open and wonder who could be home at this hour. Both my mother and Aunt Donna have work. Due to the fact my door is open I can hear Mikey downstairs talking to someone else. I can’t quite figure out who it is.
“No, they’re at work, should be home around five,” Mikey says to the guest. “I’m glad your home Gerard.”
Gerard. The one person I’ve been terrified of telling. I don’t know how he’ll react. I’m scared he’ll be mad at me for letting something like this happen. I’m supposed to be strong. I promised him I’d be safe and take care of myself. It seems anymore I’ve been letting a lot of people down.
“Where’s Amber?” Gee asks, standing at the bottom of the stairs or maybe in the kitchen. His voice sounds close.
“Upstairs. Uh…Gerard I don’t know how to put this,” Mikey says stumbling over his words.
“What’s wrong with her?”
“Gerard Amber, she…” Mikey answers but I stop listening, not wanting to hear it. I can tell just by the way Mikey’s voice sounds that he is crying. “Gerard don’t!”
I can hear feet pounding on the stairs as I begin to cry. Gerard hurries over to me, pulling me into his arms and letting me sob into his shoulder. All the pain and suffering everyone is going through…it’s my fault. It’s my fault I wasn’t strong enough to fight off Garry. I hate myself for going this to everyone.
Gerard holds me for a while as my body shakes with tears. He just lets me cry and I’m thankful for that; I don’t know what I’d say to him. Finally, after what feels like hours Gerard touches my hair.
"Amber," he says gently.
I shake my head.
"Amber, let me see."
I shake my head again.
"Please?" he begs.
It’s his tone that makes me looks up…his broken plea. So, putting on a blank expression I wipe my face and then look at him, seeing nothing but the glassy hazel of Gerard’s eyes. He holds my face in his hands, looking me over. I watch as his eyebrows furrow, a few tears rolling down his cheek as he takes in the sight of my bruises and cuts, as the realization of the seriousness of what happened to me sinks in.
I start to cry again
"Jesus," he breathes out.
I sob as Gerard pulls my face close to his chest, letting me cry.
He still doesn’t say anything and I am thankful. He simply gives me what I need which is the closeness and comfort of someone who gives a damn. After a while I wear myself out and fall asleep but Gee stays with me, continuing to hold me.
I am awoken by the usual sound of trashcans rattling around below my window. Gerard is still holding me and only turns his head when he hears the window open.
"Oh, hey," Frank says sounding a little surprised.
"Hey," Gerard replies.
"How is she doing?"
"She's sleeping. You can just go downstairs for a while if you want. I’m pretty sure my mom and Mrs. Marino are home from work. I’ll be down in a minute or two."
Frank leaves through the bedroom door, his feet pounding on the stairs.
"He's a good friend," I say letting Gerard know that I’m awake.
"I know," he answers. "He loves you."
"I'm glad because I need him."
"I know you do."
"You don't have to leave if you don't want to."
"It's fine. My legs are cramped anyway. I'll just send Frank back up to you."
Gerard lets go of me, climbing off the bed.
“Thank you,” I say.
Gerard pats my cheek, giving me a forced smile, “I love you kid.”
"I love you too."
"I'll be downstairs if you need me."
He leaves the room and I pull Frank’s turtle into my arms, Mikey’s dog looking at me for its’ spot on my pillow. A few minutes later my door opens and Frank is back. He climbs into bed beside me.
"Are you tired?" I ask noticing the bags under Frank’s beautiful hazel green eyes.
"Not really, how about you?"
"I'm always tired."
"Then get some sleep. I'm not going anywhere."
“You have to go to school tomorrow,” I reply knowing that when I open my eyes he’ll be gone.
Frank just shrugs, “I’ll be over as soon as it’s over. Get some sleep okay?”
"Okay, sing to me."
“It’s like a storm that cuts the path. It breaks your will. It feels like that. You think you’re lost, but you’re not lost on your own. You’re not alone. I will stand by you. I will help you through, when you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope, I will dry your eyes. I will fight your fight. I will hold you tight and I won’t let go. It hurts my heart to see you cry. I know its dark, this part of life. Oh it finds us all and we’re too small to stop the rain. Oh but when it rains, I will stand by you. I will help you through. When you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope. I will dry your eyes; I will fight your fight. I will hold you tight and I won’t let you fall. Don’t be afraid to fall, I’m right here to catch you. I won’t let you down. You’re gonna make it…yea I know you can make it. Cause I will stand by you, I will help you through. When you’ve done all you can do and you can’t cope. I will dry your eyes; I will fight your fight. I will hold you tight and I won’t let go. Oh I’m gonna hold you and I won’t let go…won’t let go. No I won’t….”
Comforted by Fran’s singing I cuddle up to his side and let my eyes close.
Note: Very proud of this chapter so I hope you like it. Song is I Will Stand By You by Rascal Flatts. Oh, incase you're wondering Homecoming sucked. Heymimusic, unless you go to my school and everyone got kicked out cause of drunks, I hope you had a good time at your Homecoming. :)