Misunderstandings, Midnight, and The world of nightmares...I'VE REWRITTEN THIS CHAPTER SINCE I POSTED IT YESTERDAY PLEASE READ R&R THIS NEW VERSION, GUYS! :D
Chapter Thirty One
Frank’s point of view:
He just looks at me for a moment, looks blankly with hazely eyes, bright green in the seeping grey rain that trickles down his ghostly pale cheeks like tears of the murky sky, clinging to his long, dark lashes in icy droplets.
I shift uncomfortably from one foot to the other, suddenly very conscious of the fact I’m only in a thin black t-shirt and ripped skinny jeans, the harsh, drilling rain drenching me and making me shiver violently as I look back at his wide, disbelieving, unblinking eyes, panting from sprinting down the wet, grimy grey street, my breath hot smoke curling out into the icy air that enfolds us in grey doubt.
“…Gerard?” I say tentatively into the silence broken only by the lashing rain pounding against the cracked pavement and soaking into the clumps of decomposing, muddy leaves that clog up the gutter. I’m shivering violently, the violent raindrops that lashing against my skin and washing away my red eyeliner along with my hope and adrenaline; cold, barbed doubt chilling through me as we stare at each other through the misty rain. Can’t he see? Can’t he see how much I care? Can’t he see I miss him, miss the boy who was my first real friend, who appreciated me for who I really am?
Of course, even then, I wasn’t letting him see all of the real me; I was too busy lying to myself, trying to convince myself that the flutters in my chest that occurred when his long, pale fingers brushed mine as we walked down the corridor
Even though I was lying to myself, pretending to be something I wasn’t, hiding away from reality, I still miss those times, because I had Gerard walking by my side.
Now he’s just standing, looking unblinkingly at me through the bitter, grey seeping rain that falls between us like a wall, separating us in a mist of murky doubt and fear.
Suddenly, he blinks, and my heart leaps, but I keep my eyes still gazing unrelentingly into those startlingly green-hazel swirled ones, trying to convey all the pleading thought that tremble inside my shivering skeleton.
“Gerard?” I say again as he lets his gaze drop to the grimy grey pavement, hair falling across his face, letting the chilling doubt that creeps up my spine taint my shaky voice as I step tentatively, uncertainly closer to him, resisting the urge part of me has to suddenly bolt, and keeping my gaze steady, trying to ignore the nervous pounding of my anxious heart.
Once I’m right in front of him, heart beating wildly against my shivering ribs, palms clammy with fear, he finally looks up from under his curtain of rain-soaked ebony hair, eyes raw and hazel, emerald tinted and sorrowful.
Neither of us say anything for a moment, me wondering if I’m actually gunna expire from the nerves that flow unevenly through me like jittery butterflies.
“Okay…” Gerard mumbles, and I look up at him in disbelief, stomach jumping in hope.
“Really?” I breathe, to which Gerard nods, still hidden behind his midnight hair. I suddenly have the strongest surge of overwhelming tenderness towards the vulnerable, shivering, drenched figure standing before me, love welling up inside me like a hot air balloon, making me want to fling my arms round his skinny chest and hug him so tightly he won’t be able to breathe, make knots with our fingers so tightly he’ll never be able to let go, run, dance, scream, cry, do something crazy.
“I just wanted you to know that…” I take a deep, shuddery breath of the icy air, trying to control my shaking nerves as I prepare to upend my heart to the raven haired misfit in front of me “I don’t-”
“Frank.” Gerard cuts me off, his whisper hoarse as he shakes his dishevelled, damp hair over his eyes, shielding himself from my gaze. “I’ll come back, but I really don’t want to talk, okay?”
“But…” I trail off. “I just wanted to tell you how-”
“I don’t want to talk, please just leave me alone. It’s easier, okay? it hurts, Frank. It fucking hurts, and I don’t want to hear what I already know.” Gerard mutters, voice cracking as he pushes past me and stumbles back along the road towards Bee’s house, leaving me standing, defeated and freezing in the icy downpour.
“…I just wanted to tell you how much I love you.” I finish in a broken whisper to myself, watching his retreating skinny figure passing under the skeletal, leafless trees that line the cracked street.
It must be nearly midnight now; the icy world of lashing rain and bitter bleakness outside Bee’s bedroom window is smothered in black night, only the soft patter of incessant raindrops drumming against the glass.
Gerard, Mikey, Bee and I are all holed up in Bee’s purple bedroom in slightly uncomfortable silence, the lights low, the TV in the corner flickering out a scene from Corpse Bride that stumbles over the shadowy room and fills the tense silence that clogs up the gothic, jasmine-scented room.
Gerard hasn’t said a word since I pleaded him to stay, since he brushed my words aside and we stumbled back to Bee’s, totally and utterly drenched from the rain, shivering violently; he’s just sitting, curled up in his sleeping bag by the window, lost in his own world of darkness, gazing out into the bleak blackness with sad, far-away eyes, which may or may not have something to do with the fact his younger brother is currently cuddled up on his best friend’s bed, playing tonsil tennis with her.
For someone usually so tactful and aware of everyone else’s feelings, Bee’s being uncharacteristically insensitive. But fuck, who am I to judge her? She’s spent the past few weeks trying to mend the broken mess I left both Gerard and myself in, constantly putting us first with endless patience and care- if it hadn’t been for her, god knows where I’d be right now. I’d certainly never have managed to admit to myself how I really felt.
My ecstatic happiness of finally discovering who I really am and not having to constantly feed my soul the lies that choked me and clogged up my already muddled thoughts like thick, polluted fumes of deception, that wonderful, whole feeling of free happiness has rapidly faded from seeing the person I’d walk to the ends of the earth and back for looking so sad, so lost and alone and misunderstood.
He’s hunched across the room from me, hair hanging across his face, ruffled and still slightly damp from the rain as he nibbles at his bitten-down nails, tearing away the vulnerable flesh, his insecure silhouette illuminated by the flickery glow of the TV that no one’s watching any more; Bee and Mikey are totally engrossed in each other, cuddled up under Bee’s gothic duvet in some kind of hormonal mush, Gerard’s gazing out into the blackened world of reality, lost in some kind of dark dream, and I’m…well, I’m watching Gerard.
Never before have I been in his presence and just allowed myself to totally and utterly appreciate how absolutely fucking beautiful he is; how beautiful his ghostly skin and startlingly greeny-hazel eyes laced with wide, innocent yet morbid creativity are, his skinny frame and adorable button nose are, his soft, slightly chapped pink lips, long, dark lashes, spiky from the rain, and carelessly dishevelled raven hair that falls across his face, shrouding him from the harshness of reality, letting him live in the world of dreams.
I’m sat right across the room from him, my back against Bee’s bed, facing the TV as if I actually have any idea what’s going on across the screen, sleeping bag pulled over me for warmth as my scruffy fringe flops across my face, tickling my lips… and I just can’t stop looking at him, looking at the beautiful, broken boy staring out at the crying sky, the slumped, defeated figure of the ghost of someone I think I once knew.
He sighs; a small, self contained little sound that mists up the cold glass of the window pane with the warmth of his breath, the soft, sad little sound tugging at the strings of my heart and making my chest ache.
The warmth of his exhale seeps across the cold, grey class of the windowpane, coating the bitterness of the reality outside in a warm, misty sigh. He sounds broken and lost and vulnerable just in that one, simple sound, as if he’s walking through the fractures and failings of reality all alone, no one loving, no one hating, no one even caring he’s still breathing in lungfulls of the tainted air.
I don’t know what to do.
I want to wrap my arms round his skinny frame and bury my nose in his soft ebony black hair, tell him how much he means to me. I want to make knots with our fingers, binding us together so we’ll never be apart, never be alone. I want to kiss him soft, pink lips and let him know that it’s all okay, let him know the uneven rhythm my trembling heart beats for him.
But I’m too scared.
Scared of rejection, scared that by in trying to do any of those things, I’ll only mess things up even more, and the last thing I want is to cause him any unnecessary pain. But if I’m honest, the main thing I’m scared of is loosing him, scared that he doesn’t care about me anymore and just wants me to leave him alone like he said in the dusky rain earlier.
Why can’t I have back the skinny, shy boy I first met in Biology who singed off his own eyebrow by accident and ate copious amounts of Halloween Haribo sweets after school, hanging out by the rusty swings in the local park, bathing in the soft, golden autumn sun, the boy I miss so much? Why can’t he come back? The ghostly pale misfit teenager with a lopsided grin and soft, ebony hair of midnight black tendrils that smelled subtly of charcoal and passion fruit, the boy who created amazing worlds on black canvas?
Why can’t he see I can’t walk through this mangled mess people call reality without him?
“Frank?” I jump, pulling myself from the cloud of reminiscent thoughts at the sound of Bee’s soft voice brushing my ear.
“…Huh?” I look round to see her crouched beside me on the floor, her reddish curls ruffled, a couple distinctly red marks visible on her pale neck.
The movie’s stopped rolling; the end credits are rolling across the screen accompanied by the theme tune that filters through the thick atmosphere, the soft glow of the gothic purple fairy lights that are strung across the ceiling dim, only just picking out the shadowy surroundings of the room.
“Come and help me take this stuff downstairs?” Bee whispers, pushing a strand of her ruffled hair behind her ear and gesturing to the empty sweet wrappers and the remains of four cheese pizzas littered across her bedroom floor. Gerard’s, of course, is untouched, not even a tentative nibble bitten out of the cheesy crust.
“Sure.” I sigh, heaving myself up off the carpet and helping Bee gather the stuff up.
Gerard stays still and silent by the window, not even blinking, like some kind of ghostly statue, as if he’s all alone in the room, nothing for company but the tears of clear grey rain rolling down the grimy windowpane; while Mikey, who’s sprawled, pink-cheeked, on Bee’s bed, looks more than slightly star-struck and utterly incapable of doing anything remotely practical.
I stack the pizza boxes carefully in one hand while I scooping up the empty sweet wrappers in the other and following Bee out the door and into the blindingly bright light of the landing.
“Fuck, my eyes…” Bee groans, frowning at the sudden, harsh artificial light, stumbling down the staircase and into the darkened kitchen as fast as possible, me close on her heels, using my scruffy fringe as a shield from the brightness that burns at my sleep-deprived eyes.
“Okay…Frank.” Bee says, the minute we’re into the kitchen and have dumped the rubbish in the bin. “No offence intended, but constantly staring at Gerard for the entire evening isn’t gunna help things, gorgeous as he might be.”
I feel my cheeks flush from where I’m leaning against the kitchen bench. “Oh…um…I was staring?”
Bee rolls her eyes to the heavens. “Frank, even Mikey noticed.”
“Oh.” I blink, trying to discourage the embarrassed heat creeping up my cheeks.
“You need to stop being such a girl and do something rather than just staring at him for the entire evening.” Bee says sensibly.
“I don’t really know what to do…” I admit, fiddling with the zip on my hoodie and not looking up at Bee’s shrewd chocolate brown gaze.
“Um, talk to him?” Bee suggests as if I’m mentally handicapped, rubbing absent-mindedly at the red marks on her neck.
“I tried, really, when I followed him to try and get him to come back, but he wouldn’t listen…” I sigh, looking up at Bee. “He just said he didn’t want to talk about it, and then went all funny and quiet and I couldn’t get anything else out of him.”
“Do you really expect it to be easy, Frank?” Bee says, looking up at me incredulously. “After all this?!”
“Well…” I mutter, zipping my hoodie up and down, feeling slightly ashamed of myself.
“Frank!” Bee says incredulously, waving her arms about in frustration and narrowly missing hitting the toaster. “You have to fucking fight for the things that matter to you! The things that are most important are usually the things that are hardest to find, okay? It’s not gunna be easy after all that’s happened, but you can’t give up!”
I blink. “I wasn’t gunna…” I mumble, catching my finger in the zip of my hoodie and wincing as the cold metal pierces my soft flesh.
“Yeah, but you need to actually do something, Frank, not just think about it, and like, now…the longer you wait, the harder it’s gunna get. And quite frankly, I’m sick of seeing Gerard looking like someone’s just murdered his pet hamster and you looking more pathetically lovesick than a blushing twelve year old girl with her first crush.”
“I feel like a pathetic twelve year old girl with her first crush.” I sigh, running a hand through my scruffy hair in defeat.
“Well I can’t see any pigtails or freckles.” Bee grins. “Yet.”
I scowl. “Oh shut up, you don’t know my pain. You’ve just spent the past two hours eating your boyfriend’s face.”
Bee grins wider. “Just cause you want to eat my boyfriend’s brother’s face.” She giggles while I flush a deep shade of pink.
“Shut up.” I scowl, stomping from the kitchen, leaving Bee giggling uncontrollably behind me and calling something about a blushing twelve year old girl.
For what seems like the millionth time in the last few weeks, I’m lying wide awake and restless in the small hours of the morning, my relentless thoughts swirling round my skull in a mist of confusion like little black bats, their wings tickling the edges of reality.
I hate not being able to sleep, hate lying, tossing and turning restlessly in the bleak, black night that swamps the world, hate my incessantly tedious, repetitive thoughts preventing me from succumbing to slumber. I hate not knowing what to do.
Bee’s gothic purple room is now nothing but overwhelming ebony, enveloped in silent darkness, only the dull patter of icy rain trickling down the windowpane and the soft, almost comforting whispers of Mikey’s small snores and Bee’s slow, calming breathing breaking the blackness that surrounds us.
I can’t hear anything from Gerard’s sleeping bag, but he is right on the other side of the room.
My mind is fidgety and restive, wide awake and swirling with jittery thoughts that churn in my aching skull, triggered by Bee’s words in the kitchen earlier, my mind turning them over and over relentlessly, preventing me from escaping to the relief of unconscious temptation. My stomach’s churning nervously, palms trembly and sweaty, my sleeping bag sticking to my goosebumpy back, anxious, adrenaline-fused nerves spreading over my entire body like an epidemic of mingled hope and dread.
I can’t stop seeing Gerard in my mind’s eye, drenched from the rain, looking so lost and hopeless, looking back at me with startlingly greeny-hazel eyes, wide with raw sorrow in the seeping thick, grey mist of rain that fell around us, between us like a wall of doubt and uncertainty and insecurity. I can’t stop wistful cheesy daydreams unfolding that involve us walking into the pink-skied sunset together, hands clasped, inseparable.
Why can’t I just summon up the courage and tell him how I feel, admit how stupid I’ve been?
My skull feels torn in two, one half fused with adrenaline making me shake all over, ready to blow up in chemical combustion, right at the edge, almost ready to tell him here and now, to grab him by the collar and smash my lips into his like I’ve honestly wanted to do since the first time I met him, shy and stuttering in Biology what seemed like years ago, never having let myself even dream about him in that way up until the past twenty four hours. Unfortunately, the other half is frozen in trembling fear, fear of being rejected just like I first rejected him, fear of losing the person who means everything to me, fear of just actually going up to someone and simply saying out loud the things you really, really feel.
I suddenly think how Gerard must have felt, to have been in a situation similar to mine now and to have taken the risk, acted on raw impulse, only to be cruelly rejected…I’m not sure I could bear it after the shit of the past few weeks, after finally admitting to myself how I really feel. I’m not sure I could bear it if the most important person in my fragile world doesn’t accept me for who I am.
I’m also not sure I could bear to see his beautifully hazel and mottled emerald eyes, wide and startling, rimmed with smudgy black liner, so haunted, so full of the anguish they were today, knowing it was I who caused it.
Why are things never simple? But I guess that’s what makes the distinction between the things you want and the things you need; if something’s truly important to you, you’d do anything to get it, fucking anything, no matter how long it takes.
And fuck, I’d wait forever for Gerard.
But he wouldn’t necessarily wait forever for me.
He’s hurt and lost and thinking he’s all alone, thinking I don’t care, and I seriously need to change that, because I care more than I’ve fucking cared about anything in my life before about him, and he really needs to know that.
Suddenly, small, whimpering sound issues from across the room over by the window, interrupting my mental chaos and bringing my circling thoughts to an abrupt halt.
I hold my breath, heart thumping against my ribcage, ears straining in the darkness.
Seconds later, the small, vulnerable sound tears through the ebony silence again, a raw, whimpering sound that tugs at the strings of my heart and makes me feel cold all over, eclipsing all my nervous confusion in a heartbeat.
Is he lying wide awake like me, stomach churning, heart thumping? Is he lying in the endless darkness, skull filled with torturous thoughts, thinking he’s all alone in a room that holds the three people that care most about him in the world?
Is he wishing he was curled up beside me, the way I’m wishing I was with him?
The tiny sound tears at my chest again, pure, vulnerable and full of fear, and I can’t bear lying still in the dark anymore, unhelpful to everyone. All of my nervous energy and shaky fear of rejection is instantly forgotten in one of my trembly heartbeats, and I just think solely of one thing.
Gerard; Gerard scared and alone in the dark, Gerard needing someone.
Someone like me, who’s too scared to comfort him.
The soft whimper floats through the darkness once more, rupturing my heart and tugging painfully at my chest and y’know something? Fuck it. Fuck my stupid over thinking, my insecurity, and my irrational fears. Fuck them all- Gerard needs someone, and I’m not gunna let him down one more time.
Without further hesitation, I fling back my sleeping bag and carefully pick my way across the room on tiptoe, trying my best not to wake Mikey and Bee who are curled up together on Bee’s bed, snuggled up under the deep purple covers, breathing softly.
Their deep, rhythmic breathing calms me, steadies my uneven heartbeats and shaking hands as I cross the darkened room as if I’m in a dream, for once, only one thing occupying my thoughts.
My gaze stumbles over the almost pitch-black room, eyes trying to adjust to see only in the thin, silvery moonlight that seeps through the tear soaked window, finally resting on a shadowy figure curled up under the window, huddled beneath the protection of a red sleeping bag, only a mass of dishevelled midnight hair visible.
Gently, I kneel down, heart thumping wildly and whisper slightly shakily, as softly as I can into the inky black hair; “Gerard?”
There’s no reply, but he makes the tiny, whimpering noise again, which just about tears my heart in two.
“Gerard?” I whisper again, louder this time, my voice stronger as I breathe in the soft, comforting smell of his passion fruit shampoo mingled with the lingering scent of charcoal. He still doesn’t reply, but continues to writhe and whimper under his covers, tossing his head from side to side; eyes screwed shut, tendrils of black hair streaking across his pale skin.
“Don’t let them….don’t let them get me…don’t…please…” he whimpers, clutching at his pillow with clenched fists, face screwed up in pain or fear, I can’t tell which, but either way, it’s fucking tearing me apart just watching him like this.
I guess I was right about him living in the world of nightmares.
He whimpers again, the sound juddering right through me, rupturing through my skeleton, and as I look at the pure fear and despair on his beautiful, screwed up ace, everything seems so wonderfully simple.
Without even thinking twice about it, I carefully unzip his sleeping bag, tentatively clambering into the gentle warmth and curling up beside him, snaking my arms round his skinny waist and burying my nose in his soft tendrils of midnight hair blacker than the darkness that enfolds us, losing myself in pure Gerard.
“It’s okay…You’re okay, Gerard…I’m here…” I whisper into the soft skin of his neck, pulling him closer and rubbing his slim back in soothing circles, the fabric of his skeleton pyjamas comforting on my fingertips, and slowly, tentatively, I lean forward and press my trembling lips to his forehead, heart beating right out of my chest, blood pounding in my ears. “ And I’m not going to leave you, okay?” I whisper against his silky soft hair that tickles my cheeks, lips tender against his skin.
Gerard sighs suddenly, deep and shuddery, and turns over, subconsciously cuddling into my chest, button nose nuzzling at my ribs and making my heart stutter as his whimpers gradually fade into the occasional hitch of his soft breaths that tickle my cheek, warm and gentle, sweet and softly peppermint.
Slowly but surely, I can feel sleep seeping over me, warm and tranquil, and I finally close my heavy eyelids, the simple, pure love for the skinny misfit curled up beside me, snuggled into my chest welling up inside me, knowing that this is where I belong, where I want to be and where I need to be. With my misfit, another broken soul, with someone who understands what it’s like to be misunderstood and shadow-bound, with the shy, stuttering boy I was paired with in Biology, who I hung out with in the golden autumn sunlight of the rusty park, with the skinny teenager who made me realise how important it was to be myself, and how fucking important it is to be in the place I want to be most in the whole fucking world, right where I am now.
And I’ll do fucking anything to stay here.
So there you go…Frank’s final chapter! O_O It’s not the last chapter- there’s one left to do in Gerard’s POV, just to wrap things up, as I’m sure you can all see things aren’t quite fully resolved yet…but yeah, that’s it for Frank’s POV! I’m actually feeling quite emotional about it- this story has really become part of me and I really don’t want to end it, even though I know it’s time and it’s what I’d always planned. Thank you all a million for your support- it means the fucking world to me, seriously. Right…really hope this was okay- it was really hard to write and I’m kinda worried it’s not okay and I haven’t managed to pull it off :/ please please please R&R to let me know what you think and I’ll post the last chapter sooner, depending on how many I get (: thanks for reading, love you guys!!!!!!
p.s. I’ve written the first chapter of the story I’ll write after this….will any of you still be interested in reading my stuff??