"He loses me and he loses himself. He loses himself and I lose him. I can’t let that happen." Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
What have I done? What the fucking hell have I done?
I’ve been a bully. I’ve been everything that I despise. I made a low and critical blow, a blow that completely obliterated my brother. My baby brother. But he’s not a baby anymore, our fierce row has taught me that much. No, he’s definitely not a baby; he’s a sixteen year old boy in need of help, of someone to just be his friend. And I think that’s what he was trying to tell me. I was just too deaf, too stupid, too unwilling to hear it.
I want you to be my damn brother.
It dawns on me with the blinding glare of an atomic flash, the realisation ripping my insides apart like a downpour of murderous radiation flooding down my useless throat; he was telling me, in his own introverted way, that I’m messing up with him. That I’m hurting him a hell of a lot more than any of the bastards at his shithole school do. That I’m making him feel worthless and alone and with nobody to run to. Why couldn’t he have just said it like that so that I could have fixed it like a good guardian should?
Because he’s scared of upsetting you, you retarded fuck!
Because he really is a good kid. A good kid in need of a good parental figure. Something which I just can’t seem to be. Nor does he seem to want me to be. But I have to be; how else can he have a good, love-filled home? All I ever do is try to help him, do what our father would have done. So why the fuck does it never work? All I ever succeed in doing is pushing him further away from the one person he has left, the one person that will help him through the jungle of fear that tangles through his troubled mind, the one person capable of hugging and consoling away the tears. But I don’t think I’m that person anymore; not in his hollow and lifeless eyes, anyway.
Eyes that I made erupt with the horrific explosion of his tears. All because of my blind and selfish mind. Why the fuck did I have to use his stutter against him? Especially when I know full well that it’s the main cause of his painfully low levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, not to mention that it earns him endless beatings from brainless bastards who can’t see the stunningly wonderful person forming the fragmented words. It’s the one imperfection about him and it puts him through hell. So what do I, his guardian and only friend, do? I make a dig at him about it. And it burns my mind like my soul will burn in hell that I did. It keeps replaying in my conscience-stricken head; the wide-eyed wounded shock in his eyes followed by his attempt to find some sort of anger with which to retaliate and then, then the sniffles. Sniffles that sound like all of the bad things in our world put together, sniffles that I should prevent, not cause.
But I did cause them and now he’s gone. I still don’t fully understand how it happened; only that it’s my fault and that it’s made my soul feel like the world’s strongest man has taken a sledgehammer to it in a fit of uncontrollable rage. I think that I need him as much as he needs me; after all, if I didn’t have him to look after I’d probably be drunk right now. Or stoned. Or high. Or on a really bad trip. Or struggling not to drown in my own vomit. Or dead.
I have to get him back. Back home, back to me, back to who he used to be. He’s never stuttered at me before, never felt nervous or unsure enough to. Until earlier. When I somehow tore away his faith in me, in his big brother and protector. When I broke his heart and he broke mine with a hammer that I had handed to him. And that’s what hurts the most. I can’t even pretend to myself that I had the right to say those things, that none of my hits were unlicensed because he was being unfair to me, because he wasn’t; everything he said was perfectly justifiable and only highlights how much I’ve let him down. How unlike the guardian that he deserves and needs I have behaved. I have to get him back; I have to talk things through with him. Dad would do that; find him and sort out all of the problems. I have to do that; I have to fix it like Dad would.
But isn’t that what started this in the first place? Me trying to be the father that he doesn’t want to be replaced. But that’s what he needs, what every kid needs, right?
“Fuck!” I yell at the invisible monsters taunting my mind into believing that there is no answer to this; that I can’t help my brother. But I can. I have to. I don’t have a choice. He’s my brother, my responsibility, my only family and my whole world; without him I have no purpose.
It’s been three endless hours since I as good as kicked him out. I didn’t mean what I said about not coming back; of course I fucking didn’t. I was angry and scared; scared of how much I’ve lost him, of the idea of him leaving in the first place especially in the pitiful state I’d forced him into. But he wouldn’t have wanted to leave if I hadn’t treated him like shit in the first place.
What if he’s hurt? What if someone New Jersey scum has him cornered down some God-forsaken alley, like a hunter trapping a helpless deer? What if he’s already dead, dead like the lost look in his eyes before they set out into the dangers of the outside hell of Belleville? No. Stop thinking like that, Gerard. He can’t be hurt; he’s too smart for that. He’s probably in some twenty-four hour diner with a warm coffee in his hands, wondering if he should come home yet. Yeah. That’s it. He’s fine, just unsure of whether he can come home. He can’t be hurt. Not Mikes. No way. He’s my little brother; he can’t get hurt. I won’t allow it.
But what if he is?
I’ll never forgive myself. I don’t care if he’s quiet or nervous or anguished or has a motherfucking stutter; he’s my baby brother. I have to protect him. If he gets hurt it’s my fault and even if it wasn’t it’ll destroy me; I really do love the kid. Love him like a child loves their first pet; unconditionally. And just like a child with their first pet, I don’t want to see him lying dead in the road. Fuck! I don’t even know how to describe how much I adore him; worry about him; care about him; want him back not only physically, but mentally too.
Perhaps I should try his cell. I vowed that I wouldn’t, that I’d let him contact me first so that he’s had time to think about what he’s done and how he feels. But that’s something a father would do. Something that I want to do because it’s what a father would do, but I can’t; I want my brother and he wants me, not a father; he said so. Just not like that. He exploded it out and that, too, is my fault; he’s been acting more and more distant, more dejected and I never stopped to ask why. He kept it bottled up and now look what’s happened. All because I noticed something was wrong, that he was telling me in his own subliminal way, but I never did anything. I don’t know why I didn’t. Perhaps I feared finding out the problem, feared confirming that I was failing him. Or maybe it’s because one of the books I’ve got on looking after a teenager tells you to let them open up to you, not to force it if you want them to respect you and trust you. I don’t care the reason, but I loathe myself for it. Apart from loathe isn’t a strong enough word. Imagine how much the Sun hates the moon, enough for them to avoid each other at all costs, and then multiply it by ten. Then you can almost imagine how much I hate myself for it.
That’s it! I’m trying his cell. I have to know that he’s alright, that he’s not bleeding to death at the hands of some alley-roaming beast.
What if he doesn’t want to talk to me, what if really hates me for what I’ve done? Like I hate me for what I’ve done? I sincerely hope he doesn’t; I may be stupid but even I know that he’s practically dependent upon me for support. He loses me and he loses himself. He loses himself and I lose him. I can’t let that happen. Never.
What if some sick motherfucker has taken him? I’ll never see him again and I’ll never know if he does hate me. I would much rather he was safe with some nice family and openly hated me, than keeping me happy by staying with me and hating every aspect of his life. Including me. I just want him to be happy. Happy with who is and what he’s got. But how can he be happy with what he’s got when he’s missing our parents so unbearably much? I guess that’s one of the reasons as to why I try so hard to be a substitute for the people that he needs, that Fate snatched from him.
What if he’s hurt? Like properly, severely injured. The kind of injuries that causes blood to flow; bruises to form; skin to redden and swell. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do if that is the case; just the idea makes me feel like a lost little toddler out in the depths of hell with nobody to help. I’ve got to stop thinking like this. He’s not hurt. He’s fine. I just know it. I may know it, but I still doubt it. Doubt it in the same way that Mikey refused to believe that our parents were dead, until he ran into the operating theatre to see our mom’s cold, mutilated and bloody body. He hadn’t even screamed. What he did was somehow an uncountable number of times worse than that; he’d just walked slowly back out and into the waiting area, sat on a seat and just stared into space as though he was searching for an answer to an unanswerable question. He didn’t speak for days after, and when he did the stutter started. But I’m not like that, I’m not hopeless; he’s alright. I know it. He has to be. He's just a kid. He's alright.
“Hello?” My voice cuts in before my brother can say anything. “Mikey, please don’t hang up!”
“I, err, I’m not Mikey. Are you his brother?” A tired, concerned man, who is most definitely not my baby brother, answers.
“Yeah. Who the fuck are you and where’s my brother?” I snarl dangerously, one-hundred-and-one different scenarios wrestling in my mind; I don’t want any of them to win the fight to be true.
I hear him sigh down the phone. He doesn’t sound like a hazard to my brother’s safety; he sounds sad. About something to do with Mikey. Oh God. Please let him be alright. Please.
“There was an… incident.” He sounds kind of scared of how I’ll react to whatever he says next, kind of like Mikey would. “He got hurt and… I’ve cleaned him up as best as I can, Mr Way. He’s asleep right now, but I think he wants you. My address is; Flat 3A, Sunnyside Apartments, Friar’s Road. Do you think you can come?”
I am stunned. Completely and utterly stunned. My baby brother’s hurt. Could be dead, but this guy, some stranger with a good heart, has helped him. But he’s hurt. By the sound of the man’s voice, he’s hurt bad. And I caused it. This impossibly nice stranger has fixed him up and I’m extremely grateful, but I can’t help but think that it should be me healing his wounds. And once more, my hate for myself has been renewed; tenfold.
“Sure. I’ll be there in a few minutes. And call me Gerard.”
“Okay. I’m Frank. Frank Iero.”
Holy fuck! I know him; he was my lab partner back in my second year of high school! Now that I know who he is, I can find it quite believable that he’d help out a complete stranger. He always was nice. I never understood why he was regarded as an outcast. I wonder if he still is.
I pause in contemplation, unsure if I really want the answer to my next question.
“How bad is he?”
“Look, it’s probably best if you come see for yourself.”
Dread fills me like poison flooding an overflowing chalice of malevolence. How the fuck could I have been so stupid? Why did I let him leave? Why did I shout at him when all he needed was for me to love him like a big brother should?
He sighs again, making me realise that he really and truly cares about Mikes; something that isn’t too hard to believe. He may be the most introverted person I know, but he’s also the most loveable.
“Do you have a spare pair of his glasses?”
“Yeah.” I hesitate, not wanting to consider what he is implying. “Why?”
“His got smashed.”
I hang up, grab his spare glasses from the kitchen and storm out of the house.
I’m coming, Mikey; I’m not about to let you down again.
A/N: Thanks for reading; I hope that it wasn’t too bad and that you liked it! Sorry that not a lot happened, I hope that it wasn’t too boring. Please let me know what you think and how to improve. Thank you sooooo much for reading, please review! :)