"I’m not alright and I know it." Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
“It’s alright, Mikey.”
As Frank’s soft, relaxing voice waltzes into my ears like sunlight brightening a rainy day I can’t help but want to believe him. There’s something about those concerned, bottomless eyes that makes me want to trust him, trust him like I used to trust my brother.
That’s not fair really, is it? I do trust Gee, he’s my big brother; I have to. Apart from he’s not really my big brother anymore; he’s some scary stranger that I barely even recognise. It’s like when you’re watching a horror film and you can see the shadows moving around, ready to claim their next victim; you know what’s in those shadows, but at the same time it’s impossible to tell because they’re so eerily unfamiliar. No, I can’t compare Gee to some heartless monster from the movies. He’s done a hell of a lot for me. And all I ever do is make more problems. Problems that hurt him because that’s all I ever manage to do; cause him pain. Even back when he… wasn’t himself I managed to inflict lacerations on his mind. I must have. You’re supposed to be happy when you’re drunk or high or whatever the fuck Gerard was, right? So I must have been pretty bad to make him as angry as his fists suggested to my face. I used to make him cry, too. Whenever he saw me looking him at him as though he were some sort of uncontrollable wildcat that could tear my limbs like tissue at any given moment, he’d yell at me to stop staring. Yell like he was going to hit me. So I’d start crying like the stupid little brat that I am and that, for some unknown reason, would set him off crying. Crying because he thought I hated him, even though I was the one that deserved to be hated for ruining his happiness. I still do.
And now I’ve made him cross and sad again. I didn’t mean to, honest I didn’t. I was just frightened.
If someone murdered a little girl because she ‘frightened’ them, would that make it right? No. Of course it fucking wouldn’t. So I don’t see how my non-existent bravery and overpowering weaknesses can be used as an excuse for upsetting the one person that cares.
He hates you, remember? Doesn’t want you anymore because you’re a complete failure, because you’re a worthless piece of shit, because you’re a ‘fucking ungrateful bastard’. Gerard said so. He told you not to go back; told you what he really thinks of your pathetic stutter; proved that he really does hate you because of how terrible you are. He made you cry, just like the bullies. He made you cry because he hates you. You should hate him back. You know you want to.
But he also said sorry. Sorry means that he feels bad and won’t do it again, right? What exactly is ‘it’ though? Him shouting at me? Him swearing at me? Him making fun of my motherfucking stutter? I would like to think that it meant that he’ll stop trying to be someone that he isn't, but I know that’s not what it did mean. Besides, I highly doubt that the apology means anything now. Not after I ran away and kicked him onto the floor like a toddler kicking frantically out at the water of it’s first paddling pool.
What’s he even doing here anyway? Has he come to tell me how awful I’ve been and that I really can’t go back home?
Hang on. Do I even want to go home? Not home; to the house that’s haunted by the teasing memories of better times and is frequently patrolled by the ghosts of my brother and me. I don’t even know if I really want to go back.
Of course I do. Isn’t that what this is all about; me wanting to go back home? Back home to when it actually was my home. When Gerard was still the big brother I hoped he’d always be; when Mom was still there to clean my cuts; when Dad was still there to tell me pointless stories about his childhood; when the few bullies that did torment me meant nothing because I had the greatest family in whole wide world; when my words were listened to as though they actually meant something; when I may well have been worthless, but at least my big brother never let me feel it. Because to him I was worth the world; a world that the Way brothers could take on and win, just because they had each other.
But the world did take us on. And it’s torn us apart. Or rather, it’s torn me apart. Torn me in half, with one part of me, the fun and happy and likeable part, still attached to Gerard. I’m just the unwanted dregs of a person. Not even unwanted. Worthless and despised. Laughed at and teased. Hopeless and pathetic. Unworthy and awkward. Shy and stuttering. Alone and unloved. All things that Old Gerard would never have let me become. But Old Gerard died and now I’m an empty person. Not even that. I don’t even feel like a person anymore; just like a worn-out punching bag used to catch insults from truthful mouths. Apart from even an old punching bag is wanted; why else would it still be in existence instead of rotting away in a tip?
I want Gerard to want me. No; not want. Need. I need Gerard to want me and tell me to come back home and for everything to go back to how it was between us all of those years ago and for everyone to live happily-ever-after. But I gave up on happily-ever-afters so long ago that it feels like I never even believed in them in the first place. But I know that I did because whenever I think about them it feels like a rabid hellhound is taking a cruelly dragged-out bite from my heart. Actually, I think I can remember when I gave up on happily-ever-afters. I just don’t want to because the memory of the first time that Gerard pushed me into the sharp corner of my bedroom door, managing to draw blood where my cheek caught on the handle, makes me feel even worse than when the scarlet dribble was forced from my shocked face.
That’s why I can’t look at him how I used to; like he’d never hurt me even if meant he’d get a guaranteed place in Heaven and that he’ll always be my big brother. Because he has and he isn’t. Not anymore. It’s my fault though. I know it is. Everyone says that it is and if everyone says it then it must be true. The school therapist told me that my stutter was my fault because I’m attention-seeking. I’m not. I hate attention, especially the kind that my stutter provides me with. The bullies tell me that it’s my fault that they beat me up because I’m a freak. I am, but I don’t choose to be. I tell me that it’s my fault that Gerard used to hit me because I got in the way and it’s my fault that he shouts at me because I always throw everything back in his caring face. Which is why I can’t go back home, even if Gerard does by some miracle want me back; I’ll only let him down again. Make him sad again. Make him angry again. Ruin everything. Again. I’d rather be out on the streets than seeing my big brother lose himself even more because of my insignificant self.
I feel a cautious hand on my shoulder and, more from reflex than genuine fear, I jump as though a rusty nail has been twisted into one of my many fresh wounds. Wounds that have been tended to by the owner of the cautious hand. And whilst the owner tended them I had actually felt almost safe. The safest I’ve felt in a long time. When he held me until I fell asleep I felt like someone cared. When he asked me what was wrong and listened to me cry I felt important. Not quite important; that’s something I’ll never be. I felt like I had a friend. A friend who really will never hurt me, will never shout at me, never tease me. Just be nice. That’s how it felt, but I highly doubt that that’s the reality. He probably just pities me, well that’s the best case scenario. Worst and most probable case scenario is that he’ll figure out what a wretched bastard I am and use what trust I allow myself to give him against me. Which is why I can’t give him my trust. Not yet. I know I seem cold, perhaps I am, I just don’t want to be hurt by someone I trust again. It would drain my heart of whatever positive emotions it’s still clinging on to like a child clings to the dead body of it’s first pet in a vain attempt to revive it.
“Please don’t cry, Mikes.” Frank’s velvet voice coaxes me out of my thoughts, the genuine plea touching the shredded remainders of my soul and causing a ripple effect throughout my exhausted body. I didn’t realise just how much I’m crying, how loudly I’m sobbing, how much of a prick I’m making of myself. He must think I’m fucking stupid, that I act like a motherfucking toddler.
I don’t want to hear him say that like Gee did. I want Frank to like me. Even if I don’t trust him yet I want him to like me; I like him. He could’ve let me die but he didn’t and for that nothing can ever make me not like him; that’d be like a Satanist suddenly declaring their hate for Satan and that they want to worship Buddha instead. It just can’t happen. Or at least, it’s highly unlikely to. I don’t want him to treat me like everyone else does, I may deserve it but from him, I think that would push me over the edge. The one person who I know that has yet to hurt me can’t turn against me; I need at least one person to be here for me. One person to talk to.
But for that to be so you actually have to talk, fucktard.
I have spoken to him! I will do, just not much. The less I say the less reasons I can give him to hate me.
Wait. Did he call me ‘Mikes’? Has he really given me a nickname, granted one that Gerard already uses, already; just like a friend would?
Wow, I sound desperate. I guess I am. I don’t have anyone; no family, no friends, no lover. Hold up. Lover? What the fuck are you on, Michael James Way?
Who would ever love you?
No buts. You’ll be lucky if he even wants to be your friend, you miserable piece of shit.
…. I guess you’re right.
Of course I am, I know how things turn out for you and they never turn out well. Because you always fuck up.
I don’t mean to! I’m sorry, I-
“Hey, are you alright?”
He’s sitting down next to me, reaching out to wipe away my tears. He really is so much like Gerard used to be. And it hurts. In the same way that seeing any photos of my parents hurts; indescribably, rampantly, excruitiantingly. He wraps an arm around me, the other pulling the covers back over me. They’re Watchmen covers. I think I could really get on with this guy. If he really is the friend that he claims to be. I think that, just maybe, he might be. Why? Because when he puts his arm around me and wipes away my silly tears I don’t feel afraid; I feel safe. The opposite of how I felt when Gerard was shaking me.
I don’t want to be afraid of my own brother; I shouldn’t be. He won’t hurt me, not anymore because he’s clean. But what if he does? What if he really does decide to give me all that I deserve? It’ll kill me in every imaginable way. Just like thinking about it is killing me right now. I don’t understand why, but I want to tell Frank how scared I am; something inside of me tells me that he won’t laugh at me, that he’ll actually try to help. Because he’s my friend. I’m not alright and I know it.
I sniffle and nod like the coward I am.
“I know you’re not.” I snap my eyes onto his face, for they had been lowered shyly to the safety of my lap, to see that his profound portals only show one thing; concern. Real, almost tangible concern. As in; he’s worried about me and actually cares, kind of concern. The kind that I don’t deserve and nor do I understand why he thinks that I do. The kind that makes me feel bad, because he really does look worried; I don’t want to upset him like I’ve upset Gerard. “It’s alright to say if you’re not okay, you know. How are people meant to help you make it okay if they don’t know that it isn’t in the first place?”
Is that an invitation to talk?
I doubt it. And you can’t talk anyway; remember? You’ll just stutter like an idiot.
But I don’t think that he’ll laugh at me. I tru-
No! No you don’t. Trust only allows for more hurt. You know that.
What should I do then?
Just nod. Even you can’t fuck that up.
So I do. I just nod, liking how his hands are pressing my head to his shoulder and making me feel all sleepy. Like I can sleep and not have a nightmare because there’s nothing to be scared of. Not if Frank’s holding me like I’m precious; like I matter.
“Do you wanna talk about your dream? It’ll help. Honest.” He sounds like he’s begging and I almost want to indulge him.
But that intelligent, truthful part of me kindly reminds me that I can’t because I’ll only succeed in sounding stupid. Besides, my mouth is currently smothered by his t-shirt. And I like it. It makes me feel protected. And I can hear his heartbeat like some sort of natural lullaby.
So I shake my head.
“Are you sure? I won’t laugh at you, I promise. You’re my friend.” There he goes, calling me his friend again. It feels so strange to hear the word coming out as ‘friend’ and not as ‘freak’; strange in a nice way. Like the way that a really old, long-forgotten lollipop tastes strange. Not quite right or normal, but still undeniably sweet and a pleasant surprise to find. I nod, indicating that my silence isn’t about to be broken. Not because I’m rude or want to anger him, quite the opposite. Exactly the opposite. “Okay, if you’re sure.” He leaves it open, like a final plea.
I want to talk to him!
Go ahead, then.
But what if-
Exactly. What if? You’re better off not finding out, because I can guarantee that you won’t like it.
But what if I do? What if he really can help?
What if he can’t? What if he is just messing with you, huh? What then? Besides, no amount of help will make you better.
Because you don’t need help. You need a new life. A life that doesn’t involve you.
That doesn’t make any sense.
Oh really? But you’re the one who thought it. Look, just trust me on this; don’t open up. When you’re open you get hurt.
But I don’t think that Frank will hurt me.
You didn’t think that Gerard would.
I… I don’t know.
Because it’s exactly the same. How are the scars he gave you, still there?
They’ve nearly gone.
So why are you still thinking about them?
I tremble and Frank holds me tighter, making me feel even more confused about who I should listen to. My head or my heart? The head that’s always been right, or the heart that I always listen to and always lets me get hurt?
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have pressured you to talk.” Wow. I’m the one being bad and yet he’s apologizing. Genuinely, too. Like he really does feel contrite. Contrite and sad. He must hate me for making him feel so negatively; I hate me for making him feel negatively. I don’t want him to hate me! I look up at him, my eyes collecting my guilt’s raindrops and ready to overflow. “It’s alright, I’m not mad at you.” Good. “Just know that if you want to talk to me, you can. Whether it’s about nightmares or school or Gerard or what happened tonight or anything; you can talk to me if it’ll help.” Nod. “I won’t laugh at your stutter. I actually think it’s kinda cute.”
Wait. Cute? He thinks that my curse is cute? Is he taking the piss?
He has to be.
He can’t be.
“That came out wrong.” Is he blushing? “I’m not teasing you, if that’s what you think.” I let out a huge roar of a yawn, one that makes him giggle. His giggle’s cute, not my stutter.
Did I just say that his giggle is cute? Yeah, I did. And yeah, it is.
“You must be exhausted, Mikes. Do you mind me calling you that?” I shake my head. Another yawn. “Get some sleep. You’re safe now.”
And I really do feel it.
Until I can feel him move to part from me through my fog of near-sleep.
“D-d-on’t-t leav-eave me-e!”
Great. Here comes the laughter. Here comes the teasing. Here comes the hit.
Wow. He rolls me back onto his chest. He strokes my hair. He smiles softly.
“Don’t worry, Mikes. If you don’t want me to leave, I won’t.”
I let out a semi-content sigh and dare to snuggle in deeper to his top.
What the fuck are you doing?
Relaxing. Feeling safe.
What about when he turns on you, how will you feel then?
How do you know?
I just do.
That’s ridiculous! You’re gonna end up getting hurt.
No. I’m not.
Yes, you are. He’s gonna turn agai-
A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope that you liked it! I was originally going to do this chapter in Frank’s POV, but decided on doing Mikey because he’s funner to write as; so I hope it worked out alright. I’m not sure if this makes any sort of sense/is any good at all, so please tell me what you think. Also; tenth chapter! I’ve never written a story this long before (I hope that it isn’t boring)! Anyway, thank you very much for reading and please review! :)