"This is going to hurt." Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
Oh my God.
I knew that things were bad for the poor kid, a poor kid that only deserves the very best that life can give because that’s all he ever tries to give to anyone else, but even I’m shocked.
Not shocked; disgustingly appalled with anyone who’s ever met him for letting him believe the tormenting teases and whatever other spiteful maces people have heartlessly swung at his broken soul. Disgustingly appalled with everyone who let this happen; his teachers, his classmates, his bullies, even Gerard. Of course I know that Gee would never purposefully let his little brother retract like a baby tortoise so far into his shell that nobody can see any part of the person he used to be anymore, but I also know that Gerard has always been a constant presence in Mikey’s life; ergo, he must have been around when the bullying started, back when it was early enough to stop and sort out. But he didn’t. No one did and now, as a result of too much torture, I am sat on an ancient bench with a chest full of grieving sixteen-year-old. Not that I mind holding him, if anything feeling him hanging onto me as though I’m all that matters to him makes me glow like Christmas tree lights on the inside, it’s just that I want my hold to actually make things better for him. I guess that in a way it is; it’s showing him that he isn’t as alone as he believes himself to be. Not anymore. Now he has me.
But what use am I when he doesn’t even trust me enough to tell me all of the grains of sand that are weighing down his wings? He’s letting me know more than he was, but he still hasn’t told me everything. I need to know about how the bullying did get this bad; about all of his little insecurities that I want to soothe out of him because he needs to know that he is nothing short of a fantastic person behind all of the shyness; about how losing his parents made him feel and how it rattled his soul like an over-eager five-year-old shaking a little goldfish in it’s carnival bag to the point of death; about all of those little insults that no one else bats an eye lid over, but crush him like vicious vipers, slowly sucking all hopes of happiness from degraded and humiliated soul; about what Gerard has done to make him so insecure because I can tell that it is so much more than what I have witnessed. However, I also desire to hear fond memories pour from those cracked lips like confetti. I desire to hear about his secret little play places that one can only discover through a childhood of endless summers; about the funniest joke he’s ever heard so that we can both laugh together like old friends; about everything that has the super power of making him smile; about him and Gerard growing up together as brothers. All are things that I need and want to know in equal measure, but right now the best thing I can do for him is to make him feel safe.
Poor kid. Stupid old bitch, acting like she’s some sort of omnipotent power that can bring some beaten up boy even further down into the depths of hell. And then I was careless enough to let my anger manifest itself, let myself lose control just enough to shout at the monster who dare claw at Mikey. Just enough to scare the one I long to protect and make safe. Scare him badly enough to send him into a panic. A panic attack. I don’t want to see him like that ever again; I’d much rather have my eyes sewn shut with painfully blunt needles then see that again. He couldn’t even stand up properly and it was no fault of his physical injuries; every little nip and scratch at his beautiful mind finally bled themselves out. He looked so petrified, like a lost little deer hearing the sound of a hunter’s bullet propelling towards it’s skull, and he just couldn’t take it; not just mentally, his body couldn’t take it either and I have a horrible feeling that if I hadn’t have known how to handle it he would’ve passed clean out. All because the majority of people that are blessed enough to know such an anxiously sweet kid are absolute bastards and are cowardly enough to add to his problems instead of trying to fix their own.
And now he thinks that he deserves it. All of it. All of the hurt and pain and agony and sorrow. He may think it, but I know for a fact that he doesn’t deserve anything less than the kindness he tries to show through his veil of insecurities.
Neither of us has spoken since his cruelty-cracked cry of pure, heartfelt acceptance in what he believes to be the truth. I don’t know what I can say and I think that he’s too upset to speak; besides, my strong hands are holding his head so closely into my chest that I doubt he can speak anyway. I just don’t want to let go of him. Too many bad things could happen if I do. His body’s pressed up against me like a disregarded blanket, his legs curled underneath him and my hands are pressing his damaged head into the softness of my hoodie; I can’t help but think how nice he feels to hold. How nice it would feel if he was smiling instead of sobbing like he can’t ever stop.
“Honey, I… I need you to talk to me. I can only get so far with guessing, Mikes, and want to help you. I’m ready to listen whenever you’re ready to talk, okay?” I whisper softly into his ears so that he knows that the words are only intended for him; a sincere delivery of my longing to make everything better. Or rather; help him to make everything better.
I feel him nod and sniffle into me like a sharp dagger twisting into my heart. Because it really does hurt to see him, someone who should be a happy and carefree kid, like this; like he can see the world for what it actually is.
“That lady didn’t know what she was talking about and if she knew anything she’d know that nobody deserves to get hurt; least of all someone like you.” His arms wrap tighter around me as though terrified of losing such honestly kind words, words that someone else (preferably Gerard) should have said to him a long time ago.
He peels his face from the safety net of my secure chest and gives me a look that makes me want to curl up and die just so I never have to see such pure suffering again. His eyes are blood-shot from crying and look as though they’re some poor, wild animals longing for freedom from the cage of cruelty and hate that Fate has boxed them in; no, they look like their owner wants to cease to exist, like he just wants to give up and stop trying to survive the tundra of hateful misery that his soul has been cast into to. His nose is running like that of a child crying at the prospect of burying his puppy after finding dead in the garden shed and his lips are shaking as though they want to dissolve into nothing through fear of messing up again. Apart from Mikes never messes up, everyone else messes with him; messes with his head like it’s a basketball.
“I-I’m always-ays bad-ad, Frank. I deser-serve to get-et hit.”
What is implying with his broken voice that is twenty times as wrecked as the words? Is he trying to tell me that kids beat him up at school or is it something else? Or is he just referring to things in general? I know that he gets bullied, but I’d hoped that it wasn’t physical bullying even though that has a tendency to hurt a lot less than verbal abuse. I’m sorting this out right now, no matter how long it takes us to battle through. There are two outcomes that I crave to gain from this; the first being a happier friend, for I know that it will take more than just one teary conversation to make him fully happy like he should be, the second being to have persuaded him to go back home to Gerard. To tell Gerard whatever he tells me so that Gerard can do something about all of these things that Mikey’s going through, because if Gerard helps him through it then they might just gain some ground in their race to find each other before it really is far too late. But first I have to find out what he means by ‘hit’. Find out what he means and make it hurt less.
“Hit? Honey, who hits you?” I ask gently, like the fingers of a doctor tending to a life-threatening wound. He shakes his head with such force that his glasses jump up and down on his nose. “No, Mikes, you can’t say something like that and expect me to not take it seriously; if someone’s hurting you, you need to tell me, Honey. Tell me so I can fix it.”
“Yes. Yes, Mikey, it does. People can’t just go around hitting each other, it isn’t right.” He hides in me again, listening into my chest like my heartbeat can drown out the things that he doesn’t want to hear. “Do you mean the kids at school, Mikes?” I hate to put words in his mouth but I know that it’s the only way that I’m going to get anywhere with this. He looks torn, ripped apart mentally like a delicate rag of tissue paper, and then nods once before dissolving into cyanide drill bits once more. “Honey, look don’t even think about them okay? They don’t know what their missing by being mean to you.”
I know that there’s something else, something that he’s not telling me but I can’t force more out of him now. I have to extract this bullet before I can sew up more of his wounds.
“They-ey’re not mean-ean. They’re-re help-elping me know-ow my pla-ace.”
“Is that what they told you?” He nods, looking as though he believes it and that makes me as livid as an exploding volcano; it’s one thing to beat up a kid. Quite another to actually convince them that it’s the right thing to do. He really does believe what he’s saying, what they’ve said to him and that rams through my heart like a lorry careering through the brick wall of someone’s house. How could they actually be that evil? How could adults let them be? “They’re lying, kid. The lot of them, because if that were true than it should be you punching their lights out.”
“I’m wor-orthless, Frank. It’s bet-etter-er if you-ou just real-ealise it now-ow.” He whimpers into the scratchy fabric of my hoodie, clinging to me like he’ll never be able to have my hold again.
Oh. That’s it, he thinks that I’m about to turn on him; realise that the lies everyone has forced into his mind like a brainwashing pill are actually truths, truths that I should abhor him for and hit him for. Hit him. As in raise my fist and slam into some delicate part of him until I can feel a bone or hear a yelp of pain. I could do that and he would just think that he deserved it, that it’s all he’s worth. I could never harm him. I could never harm any kid. Wait, actually I could throttle all of the bastards that thinks alright to treat him like an abused animal; I could kick them until I get the satisfaction of hearing every one of their worthless bones crumble. Wow, I actually scared myself with that thought. I’ve never thought of taking pleasure in hurting someone before, but just looking at Mikes right now, hearing his anguish pour out of him like blood I could quite happily have his tormentors pouring out blood like he is pouring out anguish. I just feel that I have to protect him with everything I’ve got. Partially because I know that no one else will.
Mostly because I really do like the kid, like him a hell of a lot.
“Mikey Way, I promise you that you couldn’t be worth more if you were made of gold.” He looks up at me like a nervous rabbit poking it’s vigilant head out of the safety of it’s burrow in search of reassurance that there are no threats or predators lurking and waiting to tear his heart out. He raises his eyebrows in surprise and disbelief, a cynical slither fighting into his longing-to-believe eyes that tells me he fully expects me to tell him that this is all some big joke. “Yeah, it’s true. I swear on my life, you’re worth more than anyone who tells you otherwise.”
He blinks up at me with eyes wider than any planet and that shine like the moon being reflected on dangerous tides, all watery and unsure. He genuinely looks profusely uncertain and frightened, but what did I expect?
“Have you told anyone that you get beaten up?”
“The-ey’ll laugh at me-e.”
“They won’t, Honey, of course they won’t.” It couldn’t be less funny if one those bastards came up to me now and punched me in the face. Actually, then I might find it funny. Funny because then I could give that little shit exactly what he deserves. But that what make Mikes cry in fear, so I guess even then it wouldn’t be anywhere close to funny. “I’m not laughing, am I?” I want to set free my tears like a pyromaniac wants to set the world on fire.
He shakes his head.
“But-ut you’re diff-ifferent-ent.”
Too fucking right I am.
“No, Mikes. I’m just normal. A normal person wouldn’t think that you getting hurt is funny, Honey. Far from it.”
“Why-y? Every-eryone else does-s.”
I sigh forlornly, like a breeze drifting through a funeral congregation, and stroke his back like my hand is all that’s keeping him together but if I touch him too roughly he’ll shatter. I ache for him to know how much I care and to believe that care is all he does deserve; not spite from the forked-tongues of some weak little bullies who can’t sort their own lives out.
“Honey, how long has this been happening?” He shrugs, unable to find the motivation to use the voice that society has taught him to hate, and I wince; his shrug tells me all I need to know. Too long. “Does Gee know?”
I want him to say yes because that way at least I know he hasn’t kept this bottled up for God knows how long for. I want him to say no because then I know that Gerard, my Gerard, hasn’t just stood by and let this happen. To know that would break my heart completely as opposed to the critical condition that Mikey’s state is gripping it in. I love Gerard too much to be able to stand the idea of him letting his baby brother suffer like this. I know that he’s said some terrible, hurtful things to poor Mikes but at least he tries to make it better afterwards; but letting him get hurt every day at school is something very different. Something inexcusable and nearly unforgivable.
“Gee-ee…” He mumbles quietly in such a deafening way that I thing my ears my collapse in on themselves. He’s shaking, really, truly shaking now. Like there’s an ocean of lava bubbling underneath his skin. “I wan-ant my big-ig brother-er, Frank-ank! I want-t Ge-ee!”
What the fuck have I done? The exact right thing. He may be wailing at a volume I didn’t think his lungs could create, but this is undeniable progress no matter how painful for all concerned it may be. He’s finally admitting it, admitting exactly what is wrong. I just need him to make it clear to me exactly when and how it all fell apart for them. This is going to hurt, but all good disinfectant does. But I don’t want to make him hurt more than he already is! I want to make him happy, make him realise just how wonderful he truly is. To do that though I have to show him how to get over all of the bad things. How to acknowledge that they happened, talk through how they make him feel, let him cry them out if that’s what he needs and then leave them behind him.
“Gee wants you too, Mikes. Really he does.” I try to give him a small smile of reassurance but I think that it turns into a watery tilt of the lips instead, so to make up for it I pick up his head and resettle it into my neck, a much warmer and closer part of me. His feathery hair tickles my cheek and I press a soft kiss into it; the kind of kiss that I can imagine Gerard giving to him in a time of crisis. Whether my one makes a better difference to the situation than one of Gerard’s remains to be seen. I hope it does. Because then I have an excuse to tickle my lips with his silken hair again. Wait. What the hell is that supposed to mean?
“No-o. Gera-rard thi-inks he want-ts me. He-e’s not-ot Ge-ee. Ger-erard hates me-e.” As he speaks his tears stab into the skin of my neck, slicing straight through and slitting my throat wide open. “Ju-ust like ever-eryone else-se.”
The last part is cracked, obliterated whisper that I can only just hear; I think it wasn’t meant to be heard. But that just makes it even more important; is he really saying that he thinks of Gerard like he thinks of the bullies? I guess he is and the sad part of this is that I can see why; some way or another Gerard has confirmed everything that the bullies say, even if he didn’t mean it, and he’s made Mikes cry. Just like the bullies. But Gee isn’t a bully, just confused and stressed with the pressures of being something he shouldn’t even be attempting to be. I just have to help Mikey to see that, make him realise that Gerard really does love him even if he can let his temper control his voice box at the worst possible moments and make him reaffirm his belief that Gerard would never hit him. Because he never would; I can see how much Gee loves the kid and that in itself gives me confidence in that fact.
“No, Honey. Gerard loves you very much. You need to tell him how you feel or else he’ll never become Gee again. Tell him how much you need him as a brother.” I encourage him, looking into his empty eyes that have been vacant, just like a haunted house, since I bought up his brother.
“I tri-ried to and I-I ended-ed up in an al-alley! I can-an’t do anythi-thing righ-ight.”
“I don’t know if I should tell you this,” look at him, I have to, “Gerard really does love you. Do you know what scares him the most?” He shakes his head like a kindergarten kid listening to a story book. “Failing you. Making a mess of things with you. He just tries too hard to get it right, huh?”
“I-I guess.” He stops, swallowing his dissipating sobs, and nods into my neck, sending a rush of something that I can’t quite place around my nervous system.
“He’d never hit you like the others. You know that, right?”
How could he not?
“I-I…” He sniffles in a way that makes me anxious, makes me want to shake him until he tells me precisely what’s going on his head. He looks so downcast that he makes a hurricane look like pleasant weather, but then he wipes it from his face and nods.
No speech accompanying it though. And that concerns me. Concerns me a lot.
“Honey, you do believe that, don’t you?” He nods again, but I can see straight through it clearer than looking out of an open window. “Oh, Mikes. He’s your big brother; he could never turn on you. Ever.”
Another nod, a sticky-up strand of hair brushes my chin and I lean down to kiss into his hair again. I tell myself that it’s the friendly, brotherly thing to do. Because it is. I’m just pressing my lips to his head like Gerard probably does. Yeah. Nothing wrong with that. Right? Of course not. Oh God. His hair smells and tastes of my shampoo, but I don’t think that it compliments my hair like it does his. If it did I wouldn’t have any hair left; I’d have eaten it. I rip my lips from the top of his head before that thought can continue. I can’t let it continue. Not ever.
“Fra-ank, I-I miss th-them.”
Did he really just say that, say it without me prompting him onwards? Maybe my friendly, and nothing else, kiss did help. No, he’s just learning to find courage. And I think that’s amazing. Amazing that he can be strong enough to open up to me. I guess this means that he trusts me now. I hope with every part of me that it does. I’d rather have learnt of his trust a different way, without having to listen to him grieve. Yet I’m glad that I can allow him to grieve like he so obviously needs to, even if his parents did die over a year ago.
“I know, Honey. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You’re allowed to be sad, Mikes. Just like you’re allowed to talk to me whenever you need to.”
“I wi-ish the-ey wer-ere h-here. Then Ge-ee wou-ould be too-oo.” His tears are trickling down my neck like blood from a slit throat and I press him further into it in response, as though my skin can dry up liquid sorrow.
“I don’t know what you want me to say, kid, but I’ll tell you what I know.” I pause and reposition us so that he’s sat levelly next to me, but his head flops immediately back onto my shoulder like a super-powered magnet. I think it’s that his mind doesn’t want to let go of the one benevolent, friendly figure that he has met in an eternity of loneliness. An eternity that I’m bringing to an end, like a mighty rebel leader ending the harsh reign of an evil dictator over a country of honest and helpless subjects. And that feeling, of having his dependant head burrowing into my shoulder, empowers me to continue with my overthrowing of negative emotions that have reined Mikey Way for an excruciatingly long period. “Gerard loves you. Loved you since the day you were born and will do until the day you die. Even then I doubt that he’ll stop loving you.” He lifts his head a little to ensure that my eyes support the honesty in my words. They do. Sevenfold. “When he upset you yesterday he looked heartbroken. He didn’t mean any of the crap that he said and if he could see you now, he’d tell you that. But because he loves you and only wants what’s best he’s let you stay with me. Because he wants you to be happy.” The tears have stopped, but his eyes are begging me like a starving tramp for me to continue, for me to feed his hunger for reassurance. “And it kills him that he can’t make you happy. He just doesn’t understand what you need. Which is why you have to tell him, have to communicate with each other. If you don’t tell him where he’s gone wrong he won’t know how to get back to you. And that’s something that you both want.”
“Do-o you thi-think tha-at Gerard-ard’ll let me-e go home-ome? I thi-think that-at I… I nee-eed to talk-alk to him-im.”
I beam at him, a beam that could power the lights of a Vegas casino with it’s pride alone, and offers me a meek little grin back; his way of thanking me for my assistance.
“Of course, Honey.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading; I hope that it was okay and not too boring! Please review and tell me what you think. Thanks for reading! :)