“If you wanna, I can do stuff for you. I… you know? I won’t mind.”
It was a late Monday night and Gerard was driving back from a long yet regardful day at Hope House. The first subject for the Zoo had been reptiles and Moos wouldn’t be Moos if she didn’t have some weird questionable connections with a guy who was obsessed with exotic animals, involving snakes and one giant turtle. Brian nearly went through the roof when he heard that Moos ‘kind of’ hired the guy to come by with the reptiles: ‘Deadly animals and kids don’t mix, Moos!’
But of course Moos got what she wanted after the Reptile man promised he would only bring non venomous snakes and that he would leave the baby Caiman inside his aquarium.
Gerard couldn’t remember it ever being so quiet inside Moos’ classroom.
Afterwards they all got a drink and mister Reptile man, who happened to be called Joe, had some good gory stories to tell about crocodile attacks and dismembered limps. This completely made Gerard’s day. Driving back home Gerard made himself a silent pledge never to swim in a lake… or a pool, if he believed Joe’s epic tale of a baby shark in a suburbia swimming pool.
He took a detour, not feeling the need to drive along three liquor stores and a pharmacy tonight. Habits die slow, cravings stay by your side. And it was Monday night after all, the Monday blues.
Thank God he took that detour that night, or else he would have never spotted Frank standing on the sidewalk. Hips forward, tight jeans he couldn’t remember seeing him wear before, and eyes that kept rolling back and forth. Struggling to keep on both feet he waved flattering towards passing cars.
Without thinking (or looking in his rearview mirror) he slammed his foot down on the brake and leaned over, yanking the door on the passenger’s side open.
Higher then the fucking sky stared Frank up, shaking his hips: “That desperate ha?”
Gerard flushed from anger and utter sadness, seeing his kid, his client, in such a state.
“Frank, get inside the car.” He hissed through gritted teeth, deeply disappointed, and wishing Frank would listen so he didn’t have to drag him in.
Luckily Frank did what he was told to do, nearly mechanically, and it made Gerard sick to his stomach wondering how many countless times Frank had done that before.
Unable to sit up straight or remain in the same position, Frank widely grinned at him. It looked so wrong, a meaningless, empty, and completely drugged up smile. So completely unlike his real bashful smile which he didn’t show often. Too many teeth showing, clearly acted and so out of it, so completely wasted at the moment, it was a stab in the heart to see Frank, or anyone, in a state like this.
“Jesus, Frank, what did you do?” He asked pitifully, although it wasn’t hard to guess. Quickly he started driving again, in great need of getting his client as far away from that damned street corner as possible.
“Whatever you want handsome,” Frank slurred, clearly misunderstanding Gerard’s question, “handjobs are twenty, blowjobs sixty. I don’t fuck and you better get that, I don’t fuck and I ain’t cheap. Don’t need to be with his pretty face.” He ran one finger over his cheekbone, down to his chin and blew him a kiss.
By now Gerard felt ready to throw up and not just once but long enough till that last sentence hurled up from his memory. He didn’t receive a chance to puke though; Frank was done touching his face, reached out his hand, and placed it down on his thigh, gently squeezing it while shaping his mouth in a perfect ‘o’.
Completely stunned he tore his eyes off the road down to Frank’s hand and screamed out a very high pitched, “STOP!” when Frank started to move up further. He managed to smack Frank’s hand away and maneuver the truck to the side of the road without causing a fatal accident (although at this point he wouldn’t mind that much).
“What the hell is wrong with you?!” He shouted, shaking the teen until that despicable fake smile disappeared. “Fuck!” He yelled, shoving Frank back into his seat and watched him doze off immediately.
“At least wear your fucking seatbelt…” He muttered soft, anger already gone, and he had to swallow one horrible lump. Tugging the belt around the boy, he heard him making panicked little noises and whimpering pleads.
Instinctively he ran his hand through Frank’s hair and rubbed over his cheek whispering: “It’s going to be alright, Frank, it’s going to be alright.”
After about fifteen minutes, Frank woke up disorientated and still high as a kite. Head bobbling from side to side, he stared at the traffic lights and tried to trace them with his fingertips.
“Did you know a guy paid me thirty bucks to suck me off?” He announced from out of nowhere, which made Gerard wonder if Frank knew to who he was talking. The bright toothy smile reappeared while his eyes shot everywhere. “What fucking retard pays to suck another guy off?” A few minutes later the smile shattered, act crashed, and with teary eyes Frank confessed: “Fucker made me fucking like it…!”
Luckily he dozed off so Gerard could keep his full attention on the road and focus on his breathing, wishing for a private room to curl up for a few hours.
He didn’t actually plan to drive to his own home. Matter of fact he was surprised when he parked in his own driveway and not the ones of the Palmers. But when he considered putting his car in reverse and driving to Frank’s foster family he froze. If he dropped Frank off in the state he was in now, they would probably ship him over to another family or back to the re-education centre the next morning.
Stepping out of the truck, he walked over to Frank’s side and carefully opened the door. The boy didn’t blink but flinched when he reached over to unbuckle his belt. Letting out a tiny gasp, his eyes fluttered open, trying his best to focus. “G-Gerard?”
“Yeah, it’s me.” He answered, trying to keep his voice and own emotions under control.
Frank’s eyes crossed, and he blinked a few times before looking around. “Where am I?”
“You’re home, at my home.” He corrected himself quickly when he saw the fear rise up in Frank’s eyes. The teen eased slightly and tried to sit up.
“I don’t feel so good…” He confessed, voice still slurring, hands folding on his lap.
“Don’t worry; I’ll take care of that.” Gerard said. “Let’s get you out of the car.” He pulled Frank’s arm over his shoulders and helped him stumbled out of the truck. When Frank lost his balance, he grabbed Gerard’s shoulder and pulled himself close, holding onto him as if his life depended on it. He buried his face against the chest of his social worker, muttering the same phrase over and over: “I fuck up.”
Gerard didn’t reply and tried to keep the whimpering teen on his feet while he guided him onto the veranda. Frank went completely silent and froze against him when he pushed the keys in the lock and opened the door as quiet as he could.
“Can you stay quiet? Everyone else is sleeping.” He asked and felt Frank nod soft against his chest.
Balancing the two of them downstairs to the basement was a task itself. But Gerard luckily had a lot of experience waltzing downstairs dead drunk; they made it to the basement without falling down and waking up the entire neighborhood.
Gerard swore when he missed the light switch and had to take a step back. During their walk through the hall and down the stairs, Frank had been quiet, still clenched against his chest and being pretty much a dead weight.
One tiny bulb illuminated his stuffed room and, while kicking aside smelly clothes and an overfilled ashtray, he maneuvered Frank to his bed and made him sit down. Turning around and trying to remember when he placed his faithful puke bucket, he heard Frank squirm and spun back on his heels.
“Frank, what are you doing?” He asked sharper then he’d aimed for as he watched the teen standing back up and taking a few tiny steps forward. Frank did seem to question himself and shook his head softly before he found enough courage to stare up at his social worker. Frank’s stern gaze was enough to make Gerard wince back.
“You know…” Frank started and bit his lip, lowering his gaze again. “If you wanna, I can do stuff for you. I… you know? I won’t mind.”
Gerard froze on the spot, eyes nearly popping out of their sockets and gasping deeply as he shook his head, “No, no. Frank, no. No.” Stunned and sickened, he wanted to beat the living shit out of himself. “Just because I’m gay- Jesus, no! No, I’d never ever take advantage of you like that!” He felt the need again to shake the teen, but this time until he was back at making sense and smart-ass remarks.
“I thought you’d understand that by now. I just want to help you.” ‘Just want to help you damn it!’ he thought bitterly, still unable to believe how Frank could even think he would use him like that.
Frank shrugged and kept his head low, staring at the tips of his feet. “Nobody ever wants to help a foster fuck, nobody ever…” He paused and swallowed bitterly. “Nobody ever gave a damn. Never, never for nothing. So after all the things you’ve done for me, I thought you’d like to get something in return.” Frank tilted his head a little to the side and sniffed. “Fuck, they always want something in return.”
Pieces fell together and Gerard’s biggest nightmare seemed to become real. Shaking his head, unintentionally he stuttered, “Frank, Frank. Jesus… Frank, I’m sorry. You’re high, I shouldn’t have brought you here, to my place. Definitely not to my bedroom. I… I… I’m such a fucking moron. Fuck, you’re so high.”
“I just smoked a few joints, I’m fine.” Frank stated coldly, shoulders dropping.
“You can’t fool an ex addict, Frank. There’s a wave of alcohol around you. How much did you drink?”
“Quarter of vodka and some cheap whiskey I guess.”
Gerard closed his eyes and asked, “Why?” He really wanted to understand why. “Why do you do this, Frank? You got the chance to start over; you got a new home and a new family, opportunities to leave this all behind.”
Frank’s head shot up, and the fragile little bird disappeared. Loathing and furious, Frank stared up at him. “You think all that crap makes me forget all the sick, twisted things people did to me? To me, when I was just a fucking kid. You think a dandy new family will fix that? You think an education will make me stop feeling like dirt? You think new clothes will make me feel less disgusting? You seriously think anything can fix a foster fuck like me?” He hissed his words through gritted teeth, and he was shaking, but not from cold nor from the side effects from the drugs and booze.
“I fuck with guys so I know I have enough money to keep myself alive. I don’t trust any fucking asshole who promises me money otherwise. Because you have to work for money; the system doesn’t simply give it to you. Not when you’re in foster care, not when you need it to survive. Nobody gives a shit about me, and just because I haven’t figured you out yet doesn’t mean you’re any better!”
Gerard swallowed, completely struck and unable to keep his mind from wondering about all the things that had happened during Frank’s childhood. What did shape him into the person he was today? What created his mistrust in people who simply tried to hold out a helping hand?
“Not everyone is like that Frank, some people actually want to help you, and they care. I care alright; I don’t want you to screw up your life.”
A wry grin appeared on Frank’s face, glaring up to his social worker in utter disbelieves. “My own mom once drenched me with gasoline and told me she was going to burn me up; that’s what you do with baby demons,” Frank sneered in a higher feminine tone, finger pointed up to Gerard. “I ran like hell before she could get the lighter and stayed hidden in the storage room in the basement of our apartment. I was four. Neighbors knew my mom was some psychotic freak of nature and they kept their mouths shut. All of them, didn’t matter if I screamed or banged on the thin plastered wall while she locked me up inside the closet for days. Strangers don’t want to help, they just don’t wanna see, or hear or notice!-”
“They drugged me up,” Frank continued bitterly. “Said I was too hyperactive. Fuck that! I was just trying to survive, serve the first punch because I was done being hit in the face every god damn time. I was done with turning the other cheek, so they drugged a six year old up with pills. Didn’t take the anxiety away or fear of being hurt, only took the edge of. They thought that was enough, fucking idiots!-“
“-At one…At one place, ya know… I… When I was younger I used to piss my bed a lot. At one place they didn’t like that so much. And if I pissed my bed she’d drag me out, grab me by the neck and just rub my face into the mattress. And then I had to sleep in it, she did that every damn time. You don’t do that to a kid!” Frank fumed, shaking all over and tears streaming down his face.
“You are just one of them, you act nice because it’s your job, and then you dump kids just like me at someone’s porch and never try to find out what really happens behind closed doors. Ya’know how many times I nearly shit my pants because my social worker asked me about bruises while the creator literally sat next to me? Or when I had to come over for a chat because I got suspended from school for ‘quote unquote’ being sexually frustrated. You would be too if some sick bastard stuck his hands down your pants while you pretended to be asleep, every god damn night!-“
“You’re just another one of them,” Frank sighed deeply, lowering his hand he’d been pointing up at Gerard the entire time. “You don’t have the right to judge me because people like you did this to me! You did this to me and once you sign off because I’m too much of a problem another one of you will pop up eventually. And all you guys can pretend to care and nag and bitch and whine all you want. I ain’t listening no more. Just write this all down mister social worker and hand it over on a silver platter to the Palmers so they can send me off to a clinic, or a mental place, to a re-ed centre. I don’t give a fuck, I’ll get out eventually and then I’ll be hitting the streets again.”
I dug my own grave, this part should be used in like 10 chapters or so. But I wanted to speed things up and keep it interesting for me (and you the readers) I feel bad about this chapter, because it doesn't leave anything for the imagionaty, its in the face and it's shit that happenes every damn day to innocent kids. fucked up.