Weakness. I don't know what that word means anymore. I don't know if it means me in a nutshell. Too scared to be honest with myself. Too afraid to suffer the consequences. Not striving for the thing i want the most. I don't know if it's what Frank is going through. Not being able to wake up properly and face me. Not being able to mutter a three letter word. I just don't know.
Sophia seems to know though. She stands before me pacing outside of Frank's room. You're weak! She spits at me. I continue studying the floor, ignoring her presence. Pretending she's not here, pretending Frank's future is certain. Pretending i'm not afraid at all. Knowing that i could lose everything. I could lose my job. I could lose Sophia. I could lose my home. I could lose Frank. Four things i have to live for, only one of them i feel like i really need. But how? How can i need someone so desperately if i've known them a day and a half? Thirty Six hours he's been with me and i've fallen for him? Something is wrong. Something is confusing me. And more than one thing is weak.
I can't do this anymore, Gerard Sophia sighs, her tone suddenly fading leaving her blank and hollow. She flops down in one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs next to me and squirms trying to seek comfort for what she's got to say. I've met someone Gerard. I've met someone who seems to take an interest, someone who genuinely cares for me. She says looking right at me as i desperately attempt to hide behind my matted, tangled hair. So, we're over then I say after what feels like an eternity of awkward, tense silence. I don't know. She says simply and something inside of me snaps. I explode at her It is fucking over! You cheating bitch! I don't love you anymore, all you do is want want and want more. You don't appreciate anything i do for you. You never tell me how you feel, you never include me with your family. This should have been over centuries ago. I shriek as a few passing doctors try to calm the scene, dragging me away from her. Go then! Fucking leave! Go for him if he's so fucking wonderful! I yell down the corridor at her as i'm thrown into an enclosed office.
What were you thinking, Mr Way? A senior doctor asks me.
Gerard. I say, reminding them i hate being called Mr Way for the thousandth time.
Okay then. Gerard. Why were you so angry at the lady earlier? The doctor asks again, choosing her words very carefully, practically tiptoeing on eggshells that she and i both know are likely to disintegrate shortly. She cheated on me and it got to me because all i've done for the last three years is work my ass of to provide for her while she did nothing all day. I say, the heat returning to my lungs and beginning to burn the way they did before.
Okay well. We can't allow that behaviour in a hospital, especially not in a department as fragile as this one. We have let you off with a caution this time Gerard but stick to the rules or you will have to leave immeadeately. And Mr Iero needs somebody there. The doctor smiles at me fondly as a tsunami of shame drenches me. Frankie. The thought of staying in this place for him should have consoled me, yet i failed him already. I won't do that again, from now on it's the rules or nothing i vow to myself silently and leave the office. Thanking the doctor.
I slip a few quarters into the payphone and punch in the digits that make up Gregs personal mobile. Hello? His voice croaks through the phone and i hear a faint drilling of tattoo needles in the background, typical Greg. He's at Work. Hey Greg, It's Gerard. I say knowing his reaction to my call is bound to be full of negativity. Gerard! Oh my goodness! You've fucking disobeyed me! Fucking left me short staffed for the last two days almost! He shouts.
I know Greg, but listen to me okay? That little guy from the shop that day, he was being forced into prostitution, i had to help and he attempted to end his life last night. He's in hospital now, i'm just taking care of him for a while. I explain, sorrow filling my voice as thoughts of Frank cloud my already deeply dysfunctional brain. Ok Gerard. But you have another two days and that's all. You hear me? He says through the phone. Like i said, his sympathy only reaches a certain extent. Deal Greg. Thanks Man. I say through the phone, slightly pissed off he lacked sympathy i expected and slightly relieved as the next two days could consist of getting Frank better and praying for him. That was all that really matter anyway, wasn't it?
White dull light. I hiss in the pain of it reflecting into my dried out, exhausted irises. My eyes take a few moments to adjust but when they finally do i realise where i am. A hospital. A bag of fluid attatched to my bicep. A machine bleeping consistently monitoring the beating of my aching patched up heart. Patched up because it used to be missing something. It used to feel unfixable, but now something has made me feel whole again. Something i would never picture to be a possibility. Not in a million years.
Mr Ario? A latino accent fills the room as a tanned masked face peers down on me. They never get my name right. I feel bad for any kids i may have in my future. They have to endure the same fate. Y-yes I can talk again! I'm better! I can go home! Can i go home now? I ask trying to get of bed. I HATE Hospitals with a burning passion. Oh no, no, no, no sir. You need to stay here for a bit longer. We will put you on a normal ward for visitors though. We just need to check you over again. She says again removing the surgical mask to flash me a friendly and sickly helpful professional smile. Her perfect white teeth lighting up this hopeless place.
Frank! Frankie! A dark haired skinny scarecrow dashes through the door and comes right to me. Caressing me like holy water on a Newborns forehead. I'm purified, I'm blessed. I'm okay. I'm saved. I'm unconditionally and undeniably in love.