"I’ve got to be tough on him. That’s what parents are supposed to do, right?" Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
Chapter One – Please (Don’t) Leave
“You’re not my fucking father, Gerard!”
Wow. From that frustrated yell you would never be able to guess that my little brother’s shyness and quiet nature have earned him endless visits to Belleville High’s student councillor; that he is normally so lost in his fears of what other people think that he stutters painfully every time he talks to someone who isn’t me; that I’m his guardian and the closest thing he has left to a ‘fucking father’, as he oh-so-lovingly put it.
Okay, I’m not as cold as I just made myself out to be. I really do love the kid; worry about the kid; care about the kid. But right now, I feel like I’m about to throttle the kid.
“Don’t you speak to me like that, you fucking ungrateful bastard.” My voice doesn’t come out in the tantrum-style roar that his did, but contains twice the amount of force and immovability.
I don’t get why he’s so wound up; all I ever do is look out for him. Because I’m the only one who will. Because he’s too fragile to face the world alone. Because I can’t stand the thought of him getting hurt. But he looks hurt now, hurt at me and I don’t understand why.
“But you can speak to me like it, right? Hypocrite.” The disdain in his voice shocks me, and not in a good wow-what-a-great-present way. More like a fuck-that-rabid-dog-just-tore-my-leg-off kind of way. I don’t know when he became so headstrong, so dark, so un-innocent, so… like me.
Now that I think about it, my little brother and charge really is just like me. Just minus the arrogance and cockiness that is often said to be my downfall. He’s like I was just before I flung myself off of the rails which I have been firmly back on since taking full responsibility of Mikes, and it scares the shit out of me. I don’t think I can stand watching him self-destruct like I almost did before our parents’ car collided with fate’s ruthless fist. He’s all I have left and I can’t let life destroy him like it so obviously is.
Which is I why I’ve got to be tough on him. That’s what parents are supposed to do, right? Tough love, or some shit like that.
“Yeah, actually, I can. Do you know why? Because I’m the adult. You’re the kid.” I nearly wince at how like our father I sound, but then decide to view it as a good thing; a father is just what Mikey needs right now. Not some flaky big brother who’ll let him retract so far into himself that even I can’t pull him back out of his shell again.
“I’m sixteen. And you’re only three years older than me.” I just role my eyes at him, showing that I know for a fact that I am in the right and he is in the wrong. “Just because Dad’s dead doesn’t mean you have to replace him!”
Oh no. He’s full on crying now, his body shaking profusely with the sobs that wrack his body and shatter my heart. The last thing I wanted was to make him cry, make him even more depressed than he normally is. If there’s one thing I despise more than fighting with my baby brother, it’s seeing him cry. Especially when the cyanide that leaks from his eyes is my fault. I don’t know how it’s my fault, but it must be; it’s my job to prevent his face from ever getting burnt by the searing trails of his tears.
I sigh helplessly, my temporary anger evaporating like I want his tears to, and cross our small living room to where he is slouched morosely by the front door. As I near him I notice, guiltily for the first time, a small bruise forming just under his precious jaw. Poor kid. Why is life so cruel to those who deserve it the least and cope with it the worst? Rampant remorse flares up in my barely beating heart; the kid needed me to comfort him after a rough day, not rip his head off in a petty argument over I-don’t-know-what. Taking his tears to be the end of our fierce row and a way of letting me know that he wants consoling, I move to put my caring arm around him.
He shrugs it off.
No. Not ‘shrugs’. That has far too gentle of a connotation. He shook it off with the force and manner of an arachnophobia-suffering lion shaking of the world’s hugest tarantula. And it stung me like a million wasps on steroids; relentlessly, cruelly, agonizingly, bitingly, woundingly.
“Mikes, just what the fuck do you want from me?” I’m mildly surprised to find that the sickness in my heart, the sickness that his cold actions have infected me with, has spread to my vocal chords in the form of a fractured whisper.
“I-I want you to b-be my damn brother, Gerar-ard! I want us to be li-like we were before all-l of this sh-shit happened.” He’s fallen back to his usual, timid demeanour; stutter and all. But that makes it hit me harder. He only stutters with people he doesn’t trust or feel comfortable with; never with me and never with such a broken look in his once youthful eyes. And that all but breaks my soul into an uncountable amount of jagged pieces. Just how much have I really lost him?
“I am your brother, Mikey. I’ve never not been. I just don’t want you making the mistakes that I almost did. Mistakes that Mom and Dad saved me from.”
“Only because they died, Gee!” His semi-strong, rage fuelled persona is back; only now it’s twice as slicing. “If they weren’t dead you’d still be some worthless New Jersey junkie! And don’t act like I’m bullshitting, you know it as well as I do!” His spiteful words twirl with deadly grace through the air like flying daggers and hit their intended spot at a critical angle.
Where the fuck did this even come from? He’s never spoken about the things I used to do before, so why is he bringing it up now when there’s too much other shit going on with us?
“That was a low hit, Michael.” That it may be, but it’s definitely not a hit founded on lies and mistruths. That just makes his sharp words dig in even deeper. “What the fuck happened to you?”
“Me? You’re the one who’s changed.” Our eyes meet for a split second and I can see my own pain reflected in his agonizingly teary, dark hollows of vision. “And I fucking hate you for it.”
I can’t take it anymore!
“You ungrateful little fucker! What do you think would have happened to you if I wasn’t here; if I hadn’t cleaned up my act?” My hands are digging roughly into his shoulders, fear illuminating his pale face. “Do you know how much it took for me to get clean? But I did it anyway, because of you. And all you can do is act like a spoilt little shit and st-stutter insults at me like a motherfucking toddler!” My piercing words hang in the stagnant air; my heavy breathing scrathing at the angry silence left behind.
He looks torn between breaking down and exploding out. He looks as though he’s about to blow, but then a horrible look of resignation sweeps across his face, leaving a trail of heartfelt desolation in its merciless path.
“I-I don’t mean to-o stutter.” He sniffles hopelessly up at me, making me feel like the bullies I loathe for doing exactly what I have just done. “I-It’s not-ot my fau-ault.”
He may have made a low hit, but at least it was an undeniably licensed one. Mine, on the other hand, was inexcusably cruel. And I despise myself for it.
“Shit, Mikes. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-“
“No! I’ve had enough, Gerard!”
He rips the front door open to reveal the biting cold that only the transition of a winter’s afternoon into a winter’s night can deliver.
“I’m going-ing ou-out. Don’t-t wait-ait up.”
No. I can’t let him leave. Not like this. Not with his deadly tears still pouring down his face like some sort of toxic sludge.
“You leave now, you don’t come back.”
The words that I hoped would force him to stay, that our father had once successfully used on me, ignite a dull fire behind the lenses of his glasses.
“Why the fuck would I want to?”
Those seven, screamed words make my heart stop and my breathing quicken and my chest feel so tight that death would be a sweet release.
And with that, the door slams harshly shut behind him.
A/N: Thank you sooo much for reading! I’m not entirely sure if I like this so please PLEASE let me know what you think and wether I should carry on. This is the first time that I’ve actually planned out a story before writing it, so I can tell you that there will be Frerard and Frikey later on… if people are kind enough to review. Thanks for reading; I hope that it wasn't too bad! :)