"I just can’t take it anymore!" Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
I’m late. I’m late and everyone knows what that means; feasting teenage eyes devouring my image as I wonder into home room ten minutes after the bell that signals the end of all contentment. That and my teacher asking me why I’m late. Asking me why I’m late in front of the entire class. An entire class that hates me enough without me annoying them with fucking infantile stutter. A stutter that lets everyone know just how worthless I am, just how much of a freak I am.
But Gerard said that I’m not worthless or a freak yesterday!
What if he didn’t mean it? Just like he didn’t mean to hurt you?
But, I… He’s my big brother; he wouldn’t lie to me.
You sure about that? It’s one person against the world. Besides, who’s to say that he wasn’t just lying to stop you from crying like a stupid little bitch?
He’s just trying to get you to trust him.
Isn’t that a good thing?
Of course it fucking isn’t! Trust only makes it hurt more when he turns against you.
But I trust Frank. Don’t I?
You tell me.
Yeah. Yeah I do. And he said that I wasn’t worthless.
He was just fucking with you because that’s all you’re good for, all you’ll ever be good for.
Not Frank! He likes me.
And you like him. Don’t you?
I… Yeah. I do like him. I like him a lot.
My converse squeak on the clinical corridor floor like a demon’s hoof catching on the brimstone floor of hell and I take a deep breath in; just a few more metres and I’m at home room. The kids in it are truly horrible to me, make me feel like the piece of shit that I apparently am. Or am not, depending on who you chose to believe. Personally, I don’t know who to believe anymore. It’s kind of like convincing a strong Christian that God doesn’t exist; possible, but highly unlikely because that Christian has believed in God his whole life. Just like I’ve believed everything ever shouted at me. Because if I don’t believe it how am I meant to fix it and make the other kids want to be my friends? Not even my friends, just people who’ll smile at me instead of sneer at my silence.
I used to have a friend, Bob his name was. Bob Bryar. But his mom didn’t like him hanging out with me because apparently I’m disturbed, I probably am, and so he stopped talking to me. Called me a freak. Called me an attention seeker. Said that that’s what his dad told him I was, so it must be true.
It is true. All of it. Gerard and Frank are just too nice to admit it to me, they think that I can be helped. I can’t. You can’t help a person who isn’t even a person anymore, just a worthless and lonely freak that doesn’t even want saving. I don’t want saving; I just want to be normal, like everyone else so then they won’t be able to find reasons to hate me or hurt me. I want to not have to be frightened of everything because my body is telling me that painful punches should be avoided, even if it does deserve them. I want to not stutter because then people wouldn’t find me annoying, would want to talk to me and hang out with me.
I want to not be alone anymore.
What about Frank? Is he really my friend? I’ve got his number on my cell and his email address too, but does that make us friends? I hope so. Hope? Hope. Actual, tangible hope that normal people can feel, that I haven’t felt for a long time. It feels nice, I guess, all tingly and fizzy like it doesn’t want to be ignored. It’s making me want to believe what he said, making me hope that it’s true that I’m not worthless; that I don’t deserve to get hit; that me getting beaten up isn’t funny; that he likes me. Especially that last one. I really, really hope that he does like me. Because I like him. A lot. More than a lot. He’s nice to me and he makes me feel wanted, like I’m as special as he is even though I’m not. He makes me feel like I’m worth something because anyone who can make him smile like he does is worth the world for making him happy. He makes me feel loved, like Gerard used to make me feel loved. No, not like Gerard made me feel loved. It’s more than that. Deeper than that.
And that’s what confirmed it for me. Confirmed that I’m gay, I mean. I always thought that I was; I never took any interest in girls other than to try and befriend them or run from them when they start to dig the claws of their words into my soul, but I never really fancied a girl. Thought that one or two were pretty, but in the same way that people think flowers are pretty, not in a I-want-to-fuck-you kind of way. Not in the kind of way that I think I like Frank.
Like he could ever like me in that way; he’s way too good for some pathetic little loser like me. I’m just lucky that he’s willing to be my friend.
Like I’m lucky to have such a forgiving big brother who wasn’t even all that mad about the fact I didn’t want to come home. At least, I don’t think that he’s mad. Maybe he is. Maybe he’s just pretending not to be so that the lesson will be twice as poignant when he decides to teach it to me. I hope not. Hope. There’s that word again, cropping up like an uncontrollable pest. It’s such an alien feeling and I’m not too sure what to make of it. I hope that he really does care like he said he does yesterday, like his eyes said he did when he asked about my eating or lack thereof. It’s not that I think I’m fat, if anything I know that I’m underweight; I just don’t see the point in eating, don’t see the point in wasting food on someone that’s always empty anyway. I do eat, just not a lot. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Right? But Gerard really did look worried about it, like he thought I’m going to fade away before he can catch me.
And that’s why I’m late. Gerard insisted on making me a packed lunch so that I have no excuse to forget to eat. A packed lunch full of things I haven’t liked eating since I was six. Things that now make me feel physically sick. I’ll probably be showing it the bin later, I don’t want to hurt Gerard’s feelings; he really is trying, I’m the one who’s messing up.
I stop in front of the white, abused door that reads ‘Room Thirteen’ and heave a huge sigh. Here we go; stares, giggles, taunts, maybe even the odd projectile or two. I can’t complain though, it really is my fault; I’m the one who acts like a freak, so it only makes sense that it’s me that they hate. If only I could be more… unlike me. More like them and less like me, that’s all I want. I just want to fit in enough to have people want to be my friends instead of them telling me that anyone who wants to be my friend is off their rocker. But I guess they have a painfully valid point; I wouldn’t want to be friends with me if I were them.
That doesn’t stop me longing for a friendly face, though.
Hang on; I’ve got a friendly face now. I’ve got Frank Iero. Or at least, I have him until he realises what a waste of space I am. I’m living in endless fear of that moment, the moment that he finally realises that he should have let me die in that alley and starts hitting me like everyone always ends up doing. Because I always mess up and make them mad. I expect it now, but I despise the idea of Frank doing it; I think that it’ll hurt even more than when Gerard first hit me.
I want to tell Gee about what he used to do to me; I need to tell someone before it kills me. It feels like this huge grey weight is resting on my chest, getting heavier with each moment that passes until it crushes my heart completely and the only way to remove it is to speak about the memories that make up that huge grey weight; to release them from my mind like a trapped minnow being freed and let back into the naturalness of a serene stream. I want Gee to know that I’m not just being oversensitive with him, although I probably am, that he really does scare me sometimes because of what he used to do.
I want to tell him but I never will. I can’t; I refuse to make him feel bad about something that happened long ago. It just wouldn’t be fair on him when all he ever does is try to help me.
I can hear my class chattering animatedly about various different subjects; which shoes to wear with that skirt; how many lollipops is too many; what time football practice is on till tonight and over things that I don’t understand. I don’t crave to understand them, I crave being able to say them without a stutter; without a reason for people to tell me to piss off.
I can’t put it off any longer. I reluctantly push the door open, trying to make as little noise as possible, and walk in.
Everyone stops and stares. Stares at me. Stares at my wide, frightened eyes. Stares at the bruises and scabbing cuts on my face, some of which weren’t even caused by Friday night but by them instead.
Someone laughs. Laughs at me because I’m scared and hurt; because I’m being pathetic again. Even more pathetic now that tears are forming an unbearably tight film around my eyeballs. A cheerleader starts giggling. Giggling because I’m tearing up in front of everyone. Tearing up because now that I know how it feels to have someone be nice to me I really miss it. I want Frank. I want him to come in and tell them to stop laughing at me because I know that I don’t deserve it.
No. I do deserve it. Of course I do. Always have done, always will do. It’s just the way things are; freaks like me are only created to make other people laugh, no matter how much it hurts the freak in question.
“Mr Way?” Miss Brookes, my home room teacher, snaps me like elastic from my thoughts.
She really hates me, not in the way that most teachers hate pupils purely because they are part of the job that they have to do every day, but because she thinks I put my stutter on for attention. She told me that once. Not ‘tell’ so much as shout. Not shout so much as scream. When she phoned Gerard to tell him about my ‘behaviour’ he had been so livid that it made me want to cry out in fear because he was so genuinely furious. With her, not me. But because of me. I made him be mad at her and now she hates me because Gee filed a complaint against her. Which is why she likes making me talk in front of the class; she gets pleasure out of making me suffer. Just like everyone else.
“Care to explain why you’re late?” She’s wearing a sick smirk that makes me want to run straight out of school and to Frank’s house.
Because Frank can make me feel better, make me feel safe and relaxed. Not like Gerard.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that Gerard really does try and I love him for it, but I have a way of managing to screw everything up between me and him, a way of making him angry. And an angry Gerard, whilst nowhere near as scary as a drunk or high angry Gerard, makes me feel like a mouse being strung up by it’s tail in the claws of a fierce feline; it actually makes me doubt everything, every nice word he’s ever said, every hug and hair ruffle, every reassuring smile that only ever makes me feel even more helpless for needing it. Because I am helpless; I let people beat the shit out of me and no one ever stops to help. I’m not worth helping because it will all just happen again tomorrow.
I swallow and shake my head. That didn’t come across as rude, did it? By the fiery look in her eyes I think that it just might have. Oh shit.
“Ha, looks like the freak is trying to be cool!” A guy yells with a thick New York accent, causing a chorus of mindless guffaws at something that I don’t even understand the humour behind. I wasn’t trying to be cool, just trying to not talk so that people won’t laugh at me.
But they’re laughing anyway and it hurts. Hurts like never before and I can’t take it!
But I have to. I don’t have any choice. After all, they’re in the right and I’m in the wrong; I’m the one making them laugh even though it pains me, so I can’t really blame it on them, can I?
“Aww, is the little mute gonna go cry to his mommy?” A girl sneers in such a sharp voice that I think it may cut me. Wait. It has cut me. It’s cut me to shreds inside and now I’m slowly bleeding out like I should have in that dingy alley.
I really, sincerely wish that I had died in that alley. Everything would have stopped; the teasing, the missing people that I’ll never see again, the stutter, the hopelessness, the making Gerard angry and sad. I want all of that to stop and Fate should have let it.
But then I would never have met Frank Iero.
Frank Iero who actually cares about me because he thinks that I’m a nice person, a good kid, someone worthy of being called ‘Honey’ by his soft lips. Soft lips that actually pressed against my head like it was the most precious thing in existence as opposed to his lips. But it wasn’t meant to be romantic. Was it? I want to think that it was and my heart tells me so, but I know that he could never want me like that. Nobody does and I pity anyone who ever will. I’m just not worth it.
If it was anyone else Miss Brookes would have told them off for teasing and shouting out in class, but purely because it’s me that’s getting shouted and teased she doesn’t do anything. No, she does do something. She smiles. Because I deserve it.
“Don’t be silly, Luce! That fag’s momma is six-feet-under. Probably died of shame. I know I’d rather be dead than living with a worthless freak like him.” It’s the first one, a guy called Dean, and he sounds so sincere that I want to believe him. Not want; I do believe him. Because it’s true. Sure, I didn’t cause the death of my parents but it’s impossible for me to say that they wouldn’t be ashamed if they saw me now; pale and shaking and silent and watery. Of course they fucking would be. I am.
And I just can’t take it anymore! But I have to. Because I’m Mikey Way.
“Just sit down, Michael and stop acting like an idiot.” Miss Brookes sighs frustratedly as though I am to blame for everything that’s wrong in her life.
Perhaps I am. In fact, it’s highly probable that I am.
I nod half-heartedly and walk to the back. Or try to. Before I get there Dean kicks out as I walk past, sending me crashing to the ground and the class crashing into cruel laughter. Apart from it’s not cruel. I deserve it. I know I do.
But I hit my rash of tender bruises on my way down and scream like the weak little shit that I am because it really does hurt, hurts way more than when they were caused. And the laughter only makes it burn more; I want someone to help me, not find my pain the funniest thing that they’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. But nobody ever helps me, nobody ever asks if I’m okay or if I mind them picking on me. I don’t expect them to either, I’m just not worth it.
They’re all looking at me, staring at me like I belong in the zoo with all of the other animals that don’t talk. But animals in the zoo get treated better than I do, because at least someone loves those animals, someone cares; all I have is hate and a crowd of people baying for my blood. Normally I would be fine with being reminded of this, but today is different; today I know that someone does love me and someone does care. Frank does. Gerard might, but I doubt it. No, Gerard does love me but not because he cares; because he feels like he has to. Yesterday’s conversation was just the eye of the storm, he’s just feeling bad because he thinks that me getting attacked is his fault even though it really isn’t; we’ll soon go back to how we were before Friday night. It kills me to know that, but it’s better that I realise it now than get my heart smashed with disappointment’s well-aimed spear in a few days, after I’ve gotten used to the idea of having my big brother back.
I know it and it kills me and I just can’t take it anymore!
I want Frank to be here to make it all better. I want Frank to be here to hold me like I’m fragile enough to break and it would matter if I did. I want him comfort me like he doesn’t think that I’m beyond help. I want him to kiss me like I want to kiss him. Like I would want to kiss him if I was brave enough to. But I’m not so I never will because he would never initiate it; nobody would with an ugly freak like me.
I want Frank to be here wiping away the tears that are now trenching down my thin cheeks like fire-bombs and hushing the strangled sobs running from my mouth like I want to run away from this. From life. From everything. I want old Gerard to be here to take me home. No, not home; to Frank’s house because Frank, not an old Frank but a current Frank that is actually still real unlike the person I want Gerard to appear as, can make me feel better. Not quite alright, but better than how it feels to be me right now. How it feels to be me most of the time.
“Get up, Michael.” Miss snaps, standing up herself and heading towards the door. I gasp in panic at the thought of her leaving; she may not like me but she isn’t allowed to just let me get beaten up in front of her. Without her here I’m just a dog’s chew toy being thrown to the wolves; wolves that have thorns for teeth and razor blades for claws. But that’s probably a motive for her to leave. “I’m going to sort something out in the science department, I trust that you lot can behave appropriately.”
The door shuts behind her and I stare after her like some sort of puppy watching his owner drive off, leaving it on the cold roadside for whatever beast wants to consume it.
I decide to just stand up and go to the back of the class, fade into the background and retain any hope that I have left inside my hollow heart that these kids might start being nice to me like Frank said they should.
And I don’t think that Frank would lie to me. Maybe I do trust him; I shouldn’t because trust only adds to betrayal, but I do. I trust him and I think that I might just be falling for him.
But I’ve never fell for anyone before and this is kind of scary. Scary, but not in a bad way; in a rollercoaster kind of way. I know I sound like some stupid twelve year old obsessing over a hot movie star, but it’s true. I’ve never felt this kind of love before and that’s the only way that I can think to describe it; exciting, thrilling, terrifying and amazing. Or rather, I’m sure it would be if he felt the same way but, like I’ve said before, I’m lucky that he doesn’t want to beat me up for throwing up my own worthless blood on him.
“Hey, Way!” I turn in the direction of the animalistic bark to see Lloyd Greenman, Belleville High's best track runner, stood like a predator at the front of the class, demanding the attention of the entire room. I nod uncertainly, preparing myself for whatever may be about to stampede my way. I’m stood in front of my empty desk, leaning on it because I don’t think that my fright and panic will let me stand upright without shaking like a tent in a hurricane. “What happened to your face? It looks even more fucked than usual.”
They used to say that every day back when Gerard hit me, used to ask about the bumps and slithers of red skin striking my face like merciless lightning striking a flame to a dead tree. I never said that my brother did it because he didn’t; the drugs and alcohol did. They took control of him and then I got in his way. So all of those marks were my fault, not Gerard’s. Never Gerard’s. Besides, I could never tell on Gee; I didn’t want him to get into trouble because he really didn’t mean it. Didn’t even remember doing it; only ever tried to make me feel better afterwards. So I just told them that it was another kid at school, usually saying that I couldn’t remember who. I didn’t want anyone to get into trouble over me. I’m not worth it. I still don’t and I’m still not. But all of this pressure of bottled up memories is aching, aching and swelling, aching and swelling and about to explode.
And I just can't take it anymore!
“Someone give you the beating that you deserve?” He snickers and stalks forwards, knuckles cracking like popcorn.
Unsure of what he wants me to do, I shrug.
He comes closer, a few centimetres from my face and I can feel his cannabis soaked breath drenching my face. My heart quickens and my lungs constrict, my grip on the desk tightening as though squeezing it will prevent what I know is coming. What I know I deserve. But my body still stings from Friday night; I don’t think that I can take anymore hits, no matter how much I’m asking for them.
But I’m not asking for them! I haven’t even done anything today yet and already I know I’ll be going home tonight with a bloody nose. Again. I don’t want another bloody nose! I want people to be nice to me for once, to look past my stutter and then honestly tell me that I’m a bad person because then at least I’d know that I definitely deserve it instead of doubting it like Frank’s words have caused me to.
“Know why you deserve it, freak?” Everyone’s crowded around us by now and I can hear their hearts all beating in time, all beating to the same song that begs for my cries of pain. All apart from my heart which is beating so erratically that I think it’s about to leap from my chest and splatter Lloyd’s Sol Cal neon blue polo shirt. I hope it doesn’t; he hates me enough already. “Because,” he stops, pulling me forward by the front of my Green Day t-shirt, positioning me so that I can’t get away.
He’s going to hurt me. I don’t want to get hurt again, it frightens me when they start hitting me. Kicking me. Shoving me. Punching me. Spitting on me. I know I should be used to it by now and I guess I am, but people with long-term illnesses don’t just stop feeling sick because they’re used to it. I go through this nearly every day, some days just verbal abuse instead of a cocktail of both beating and berating, yet it still affects me like it did the first time it happened. No, the first time it happened I didn’t understand it, didn’t think that I deserved it. But now I know better.
But I can’t take it anymore! But I don’t have a choice.
He hoists me even closer, his fingernails clawing into my skin, into a previous cut courtesy of Friday night.
“You’re an attention seeking,” he throws me to the ground. I yell out. The class cheers. “Worthless.” He kicks me in the stomach. I clutch the afflicted area. The class manoeuvre to get a better view of my flooding eyes. “Mute.” Another kick, this time to my left shin. I cry in absolute agony. The class giggle. “Shameful.” Kick. Scream. Laughter. “Fag.” Kick. Whimper. Guffaws. “Freak.” Kick in the ribs. Exhausted groan. One final round of applause to the guy with the guts to give me all I deserve.
But Frank said that I don’t deserve it. The excruitiantingly agony firing through my blood stream tells me that I don’t either. My burning tears tell me that I shouldn’t put up with this anymore, that my body physically can’t put up with this anymore.
Ignoring the pain and fear and shocked gawps, I jump to my feet and run. Run out of the door; out of the corridor; out of the school.
Where the fuck am I going?
I have no idea.
I know exactly where I’m going.
I’m going to Frank’s.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading; I don’t really like this chapter so I hope it turned out alright. Thanks to anyone who’s been lovely enough to review, it always makes me smile! Thanks for reading and please be kind enough to review! :)