The innocent question sparking a completely unexpected response from Gerard…
“Frankie?” Gerard smiles up at me widely, trying to encourage me. “Please play something?” he asks a little shyly, his grin less confident now. He reminded me very much of the young pale skinned raven haired boy from my memories of him, his eyes just as wide and pleading as they were then whenever he had wanted something. There was however, a lack of…I wasn’t quite sure what. A lack of something in his eyes. Happiness maybe or innocence. Then again, what teenager was truly innocent?
“I dunno guys.” I mumble uncertain, not wishing to embarrass myself in front of my newly found friends. I wasn’t used to having them, Francesca was my only friend back where I used to live, and didn’t want to lose them. Not now and not ever. Especially by doing something stupid.
“Oh c`mon Frank. Just one song, not even that, just a few chords.” Ray joins in, Bob staying silent, a small smirk playing with the corner of his lips as he mouths some words I can`t quite make out at Gerard, who ducks his head, his cheeks reddening slightly, looking a little strange against his bright red hair.
“Oh well…I…fine.” I sigh defeated, knowing that either way this was going to end with me playing something. I may as well get it over with sooner rather than later.
I bend down and gently grab hold of my second hand, snowy white and very carefully maintained guitar, allowing myself a brief smile as I feel the familiar weight in my hands as I lift it.
“Come on Frank, we ain`t getting any younger here!”Bob was not very patient, was he? Ray rolls his eyes, Gerard stays silent, his eyes fixed firmly on me, unblinking as though he didn’t want to miss anything. I usually got embarrassed and blushed whenever I felt someone looking at me, I became very accident prone too, buy for some reason as it was Gerard I didn’t mind. I felt at ease, the most at ease I had felt in a long, long while.
He catches me returning the stare and shyly waves, causing me to giggle, Ray and Bob giving us odd looks.
“So erm this is one of my favourite songs I`m gonna play you, is that okay?” I check with the three off them, Bob and Ray were now sitting orchid on the edge of my unmade bed and Gerard had plonked himself down in the centre of the floor, looking up at me expectedly. They all nod, telling me that they were ready whenever I was, something that didn`t help my nerves one little bit.
No one had ever seen or heard me play, not even the hyper, immature and yet somehow still lovable Francesca or Frankie as she insisted I called her. Sure she had begged me enough times, threatening to snap the neck in half more then once, but she had never persuaded me to actually play for her.
“So here goes and he honest okay? But not to honest, eh?” I take a deep breath to try and collect myself, prying to whatever God there was up there that I wouldn’t mess this up and experimentally strummed a few chords to practice, before growing a little more confident as I ignore everything, forgetting that anyone else was in the room, just getting lost in the comforting music.
“Wow, you were great!” Ray compliments me, shaking his head in disbelief. “Where the fuck did you learn to play like that man, I`ve had lessons since I was six and I still-“
“Ray, don`t worry, your fuckin amazing.” Bob tells his friend who was still surprisingly awestruck over my shy and quite unwilling performance. “And Frank, wow, jut wow.”
“Wow, thanks guys. I didn’t think I was that great and I messed up on the-“
“Frankie, who the fuck do you think you’re kidding?!” Gerard cuts me off sternly. His face is unreadable, his eyes giving away no clue to what he was thinking. I wait impatiently, dreading what his reaction was going to be, hoping against hope that he would have liked it. For some reason unknown to me, I wanted him to like it; I needed him to like it. I found myself caring way more about what he thought than the others, and I was looking forward to his answer about as much as trip to the dentist.
“You are amazing- at the guitar I mean.” He hurriedly adds in the last part, face burning almost as red as mine as he ducks his head, his equally red hair partially shielding his unusual, intelligent greeny-hazel eyes.
“Frank, I`m home from work!” my mother calls up the stairs. It was early evening, late for my mom as she normally worked morning shifts but as it was a new job and my first day of school today (which I had skipped most of) she had worked later.
I hear her light footsteps as she walks up the stairs. A single sharp knock on my bedroom door and she opens in, a tired smile on her youthful face.
“Oh hello, I didn’t know you made friends already.” She grins at Bob and Ray who awkwardly smile and wave back. Gerard turns t look up from the latest issue of Kerrang! and smiles at her. my mother’s jaw drops when she sees him.
“I-Aren`t you that Way kid, what is it, don`t tell me…Gerald?” she asks him, causing us all to laugh.
“Gerard.” he corrects, placing the magazine down on the bed.
“I did wonder if you and your family were still here.” My mom speaks, though more to herself than to any of us. “Is your mother and father well?” she asks, the innocent question sparking a completely unexpected response from Gerard…