Gerard has a bit more going on than Frank realizes.
Chapter Five: The Haunting
Adjusting to Gerard's sudden change in behavior was one of the most grueling challenges that Frank Iero would ever face in his entire life. For the first week, whenever he saw his friend hanging around, Frank would often completely forget the recent events, and talk to him as though normal. Yet he would get the sad reminder minutes later that there was just nothing normal about Gerard anymore.
The boy was often found leaving the guest room without any clothes on, much to Jamia's horror. He also seemed to have gained a liking for spilling, throwing, and smashing things. These actions would not even occur in a playful sense --- Gerard did them angrily, as though he had just come out of a bad argument, even if nothing triggered it at all.
It soon became clear to Frank that Mikey had been even more dishonest about Gerard's progress than he admitted to. Still, there was no time for Frank to think much about holding grudges. Poor Frank's mind, body, and soul soon became completely preoccupied with caring for Gerard.
A few friends did suggest placing him into a facility, but Frank instantly rejected the idea. It would feel to him as though putting a lost dog in a pound -- and he could never in a million years do such a thing. As far as Frank was concerned, Gerard only had him, because everyone else was too untrustworthy.
After all, Frank did still love Gerard an immeasurable amount -- more than anyone seemed to understand. He was adamant in this fact, and tried to keep it in mind whenever he could.
If only he knew from the start just how much that love would be tried and tested over the next few months.
As mentioned before, Gerard had begun to have what appeared to be little temper tantrums from time to time. While these fits of aggravation would soon be the least of Frank's problems, it's nonetheless a good place to start.
"GERARD, STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"
Frank ran upstairs, dashing into the guest room. He was met with the sight of Gerard throwing photo frames into the opposite wall.
Jamia was attempting to handle him, but was hesitant to touch him from fear. Instead, she kept her distance and screamed at him in a scolding manner. It was doubtful Gerard even heard her, however, over his own unintelligible screaming.
Frank rushed to intervene at once, enwrapping his own arms around Gerard while he struggled against the hold. Frank had grabbed him from behind, and was attempting to drag him to the bed. It was difficult, but he was finally able to force Gerard to sit upon it. He pried yet another photo frame from his hands, which happened to contain a picture of the band.
Gerard began to sob, as he often did when he was coming down from his tantrums. He was still fighting Frank's touch however, and Frank feared that he may just start up again.
"Jamia," he said as he turned to his wife, "get his sedative."
Jamia nodded and hurried to retrieve the syringe and vial located in a locked drawer within Gerard's bedside table. They kept it there so it might be readily available, but locked it so Gerard could not mess with it. It had proved useful in times like these.
She withdrew the fluid from it's container, and handed it over to Frank. Frank took it from her, while still having to pin Gerard to the mattress. Gerard was sobbing quite loudly, and while he had stopped squirming, he still seemed just as agitated.
Frank sat down next to Gerard, and he pressed Gerard's head to his chest rather forcefully. With the other arm, he tried to give Gerard the injection without Gerard's seeing. He managed, but earned another scream from Gerard's lips when he pressed down on the plunger.
"Shh, shhh.." Frank hushed him. "You're okay, you're okay honey..."
Frank removed the syringe once it was over, and handed it to Jamia. It took a few more seconds for the sedative to take it's effect, but finally Gerard's sobbing quelled. His eyelids began to droop, and he was reduced to occasional moans.
"You're okay baby." Frank cooed at him as he began to lull. He rubbed circles on Gerard's shoulder, using the other hand to rub the injection site.
It had been Jamia who had suggested a sedative some time ago, and Frank had to agree that it was useful. He did not particularly like doing this to him, but he supposed it was better than the alternative results.
Still, Frank wondered about Gerard's suddenly hostile moods. Frank had seen Gerard act very childishly many times before, but the way he acted now was not anything like those times.
No, this was more like when Gerard was going through his bouts of depression, or when he was suicidal. His eyes held that same emptiness and hollowness --- but there was something different. There was something angry and furious, like a little monster that was living inside of him.
"I wish you could tell me what was wrong with you..." Frank whispered, even though Gerard was now completely knocked out. He peeled Gerard off him, a spot in his shirt still drenched with Gerard's tears. Gently, he laid Gerard's head upon the pillow and pulled the blanket over his limp body.
Frank took one last look at Gerard, studying the sleeping form thoughtfully. He then said "Goodnight", and left to join Jamia, who had already gone to their own room.
After Frank had shut the lights and closed the door, Gerard tossed and turned in his bed fitfully.
Even though he was in the familiar household just a moment ago, Gerard suddenly found himself on a highway road. The sun was setting, and the sky was a lovely orange color.
He looked around, knowing he had been here before. There were no cars on the road, no signs, but Gerard could recognize the hills that surrounded the area.
He turned around, and saw a girl standing behind him. He knew her as well.
She was attractive; her hair was black but shining. Her skin was pale and her lips bathed in a bright red lipstick. It contrasted well with her eyeliner that was heavy but well put together. She was dressed in a lovely white gown, which wrapped gracefully around her slender figure. She was the embodiment of beauty itself.
"You again." said Gerard bluntly, his eyes squinting to see her.
"Me again." she smiled at him in a way that felt not entirely innocent.
"Still not gonna tell me who you are?" Gerard asked her, already knowing the answer. He had encountered her enough times before.
She shook her head at him, still smiling.
The mysterious girl came closer to him, and Gerard held his breath, anticipating getting a better look at her. He looked down and noted that she was barefoot.
However, when she was around halfway there, the girl burst into flames.
Gerard screamed as he watched her burn. He screamed, although he stood where he was. And at some point, he thought he heard her scream too.
Her scream ripped through him, and it felt like pure anguish. Why did it hurt so much?
Who was she?
That wasn't her.
Gerard's eyelids snapped open. Frank was standing over him, his expression both exhausted and concerned.
"You were screaming, Gee. Did you have another nightmare?" Frank asked him.
It was a long while before he got a reaction out of Gerard. Finally, he sat up. Gerard then raised his left hand to his head, as though trying to indicate it. Frank was unsure of what this meant, but with no real way of confirming, he had to assume.
"You have a headache?" Frank ventured.
Gerard just continued to stare. He had not turned the lights on when he came in, and in the darkness he failed to see Gerard's frustrated frown. Frank sighed at his silence, and left to go fetch Gerard a glass of water.
Next chapter: A better way to communicate.