"He’s just… nothing." Read, review, rate and feel my love :P
He’s just… nothing.
If I could only pick one word to describe how Mikey Way looks right now, as I stand in horrified awe at the end of the grim corridor leading to my apartment, ‘nothing’ would be the best word to fit it. Nothing; as in it’s like he doesn’t exist inside, is just an empty shell. An empty shell collapsed against my front door, sat on the grotty carpet and leaning against the door as though it’s his last hope. His legs are laid out in front of him and, even from here, I can see the blood-smeared tears in his jeans.
Something which most normal people take for granted that it’s inside of them but for Mikes he seems to be severely lucky if it isn’t staining his pure-white skin like strawberry sauce on whipped cream. His hand is outstretched to his side, his cell resting limply in his palm from where he plucked up the courage to call me for help. I can hear him, too. Hear him whimpering softly to himself in such a way that I’ve never really heard before; nothing about it is asking for attention and nor does expect comfort, but at the same time it demands it with it’s bottomless well of hopeless heartbreak that is dragging me in and I think that I might actually drown if I don’t dry it up.
Dry it up by drying up his tears.
His tears and his blood.
Couldn’t those fuckers just give the kid one day of peace; one day, after what was probably the most traumatising weekend of his strained life, without the hassle of mindless torments that mean nothing to everyone but the world to him? One day. One fucking day. Probably the day that he needed it most and it looks like they’ve beaten him like never before. Or at least, I sincerely hope they’ve never beaten him like this before; the poor kid really doesn’t deserve it. Can’t take it either, not after all the shit he’s been through. Shit that he’s too scared of to talk about to anyone.
He coughs a little, weak splutter of misery and wraps his arms tighter around his heaving chest, a chest that my arms should be holding; not his own. He needs me and now I’m going to be here for him. Just like I promised. Just like he needs me to be. Just like I need me to be. Just like a best friend should be.
“Mikey!” My voice pulls his face towards me and I gasp at what I see; more cuts, two black eyes and a bloody nose.
The damage to his face might look bad, but I know for a fact that the damage to his soul is so much worse. After he’d made so much progress too! He must be so frightened, so downtrodden, so disheartened and other kids caused it. Other kids. Kids. As in the same thing that Mikey is; young and meant to have fun. I guess they do have fun, they have fun by depriving Mikey of it in the same way a net deprives a fish of water; it’s suffocating him of all things that a person needs to function. Suffocation always ends in a slow, agonized death, unless someone can breathe oxygen into the constricting lungs; just like I’m going to give hope and happiness to Mikey’s shattered heart.
He looks up at me, all withering eyes and quivering lips, but then has to drop his head back onto his chest as shame parades like a funeral procession down his almost mauled face. Shame because he thinks that I’ll find his condition funny, because those bastards probably laughed whilst they kicked him and teased him and made him bleed like I want them to.
I sprint to him, nearly tripping over a tear in the carpet, and fall to my knees next to him with the speed and anticipation of a Christian spotting the Second Coming. I’m knelt right next to his left side; I can hear him whispering incoherent words under his breath, words that I can’t make out but understand fully.
He’s telling himself off for making me come home. And that makes me cringe in dismay; does he really think that I’ll be anything less than nice to him, that I’ll do anything worse than making sure he’s alright?
Of course he does. He does but he shouldn’t; shouldn’t be as hopeless as a sinner rotting in hell because, whilst this may be every kind of hell to him, he is most definitely not a sinner. Couldn’t be a better kid if he tried. If I were him I would’ve lost it with those kids by now, would have stuck up for myself. But no, not him because he’s too scared of making people feel bad to even complain about the knife that they’re twisting into his already tattered heart.
I put my index finger under his chin, wincing at how tear-hot it is, and gently flick his head up so I can look into his lost eyes and find him within them. Find him and tell him with my own caring gaze that he’s safe now, that I’ll look after him until he doesn’t need looking after anymore.
God, I can see the blood trickling like hellfire down his face, dripping over his lips and all. What if his nose is broken? It doesn’t look badly bent, but still; it could be. It could be and it would all be down to some heartless bastard acting like they’ve got the right to glorify themselves by belittling someone already too little inside to cope with it.
“Honey…” I trail off, my disgust at the cruelty of what teenagers are capable of doing to their own kind snatching my breath away from me and preventing me from finding the correct words to say.
So I just slip my arm behind his back and pull him safely into my warm, secure embrace. He topples into me, arms around my waist and head in my lap. My lap.
He does look kind of cute; all defenceless and in need of a hero…
No. That would be wrong, so very wrong.
Wrong enough to be right?
Too wrong to even consider.
He needs a friend and comforter, not some weird nineteen-year-old doing the things that said nineteen-year-old would rather be doing with his big brother and would only be doing with him because he’s cute. Not my burning love and passion, just because he’s really very cute. And that would be wrong and horrid and unfair and cruel, even.
So I just pat his head serenely, stroking it so lightly that it’s almost like moonlight on a battle scene. I can see a nasty bump pushing up through his hair, making livid fury burn in me once more at the idea that anyone could find it possible to even consider hurting such a cute, fragile kid. A kid that’s pressing hard into my lap and grasping at my waist as though he thinks it’s a summer day and can be blown away by the winds of a harsh winter at any moment. I can hear him gagging on his sobs, choking like he’s going to throw up his despair, so I put my hands in his armpits and sit him upright.
His cries become more cutting.
Oh. He’s interpreted it as me pushing him away. As me not wanting him.
He tries to shuffle backwards, tries to get away from the person who was lucky enough to have enough of his trust for him to fall into, but I grab hold of his hand. A hand that is shaking so violently that it makes me want to be violent towards everyone who’s caused this to happen. Even Gerard because, in the end, it is his fault too. I told him that Mikes gets beaten up, begged him with my eyes to do something and yet it’s still happening.
That’s not fair; it’s not like I’ve done anything to stop it either.
I use his hand to cautiously tug him back close to me, like a rider coaxing a scared foal out of a dark forest, and when he doesn’t protest I pull him into me so that his head is wedged safely between my left shoulder and cheek, my warm skin pressing tightly against his own face so that he feels like someone’s here, like someone cares. And also a little bit because I like the way his face feels; all soft and, well, cute. Apart from the bruises and various other unjust blemishes that adorn his face like an ugly thorn sticking through a golden gown; horribly out of place on something that should be, deserves to be, beautiful. This closeness, however, also means that I have no choice but to feel the poisonous slick of tears that are riding his facial features in their thousands. I run my hands up and down the long marathon of his back, making them quick enough to avoid lingering on any painful bruises yet slow enough to make it meaningful enough to be taken as a soothing comfort.
“Shush. It’s alright, Honey, I’m here, I’ve got you and I’m not gonna let go until you want me to.” I hush into his ear like liquid affection and purposeful kindness flowing into a cracked chalice of despairing anguish. He snuggles deeper into my shoulder and I respond instantaneously by cradling him tighter, rocking us steadily to the rhythm of his pounding heart that I can feel through our clothes. “I’ve got you.” I repeat, wanting to drill that into his spite-crowded head to make him realise that he isn’t alone; that he isn’t whatever they’ve called him because I know better.
He hiccups, only making him seem more cutely innocent and undeserving of the tears that forced the hiccup, and I feel the tension in his shoulders give out; his body finally relaxing in my hold and fully resting on me to support him. Like he actually trusts me to not let go, that I do have him and that makes it alright enough for him to feel safe. Does he trust me? I think that he just might and that sends my heart rocketing upwards with the force of a shooting star catapulting across the night sky; if he really does trust me then that means I can finally get to him, get into his deserted soul and fill it with happy memories to replace the terror and loneliness that I am striving to eradicate.
But his trust also frightens me slightly; I can’t betray him if I do have it, not that I would, because he’ll never trust again if I prove his insecurities correct.
I won’t. I never will. I’d die first.
I have to get him to tell me what happened so that I can make it hurt less, so that I know what sort of wounds I’m dealing with (both physically and mentally), so that I can calm him down enough to make him reachable.
“Honey, what happened?” He shakes his head. So much for the whole trust thing. No, he does trust me; just doesn’t want me upset over him. Because that’s how amazing my best friend is. “C’mon, Mikes, you know that you can tell me. I only want to help you, Honey.”
Honey. Should I really be calling him that? Does it send out the wrong sort of impression; an impression that the playful, flirty, attracted-by-cute part of me wants to give?
No, of course it doesn’t. It’s just a nickname meant to impart a feeling of friendliness and brotherly love. Brotherly love; not any other kind. At least, I hope that that’s how the nickname comes across to him as; I don’t want to be messing up his emotions even more by giving out the wrong kind of sign to an already mixed up kid. I think that he like my affectionate name for him, it always makes him cuddle closer to me. But is that a good thing? Of course it is. He needs closeness and comfort, if a calming embrace is how he finds those things then who am I to deny him? And if calling him ‘Honey’ helps him to get to that point, then it can only be a good thing to call him, right?
Yeah. Besides, I don’t think he’s even gay.
But I called Gerard ‘Honey’ too. What does that mean?
A completely different thing from when I call Mikey it. Used on Gerard it’s meant in the passionate way that I’ve often heard lovers calling one another. On Mikey it’s meant in the protective and caringly reassuring way that people use to soothe kids. Yeah. I just hope that Mikey sees it that way; I’m certain that he does, he’s a smart kid.
The silence is back and it’s twice as agonizing than that night a few days ago when I found him in a barely worse condition than he is in now; he just isn’t talking. Not that I can blame the poor kid.
“Talk to me, Honey. Please.”
He just shakes his head morosely at my pleading beg for an end to his silence. It must be bad if I can’t even get him to stutter some form of reply to me.
“C’mon, let’s get you inside and cleaned up, yeah?”
He nods, but makes no indication that he’s about to let go of me.
It really is very cute; just like one of those adorable little bush baby things that always cling onto things as though they’re teddies. So what am I supposed to do? We can’t just sit here in the corridor of my scummy apartment block and I have to clean him up quick; I know from past experiences that infections can happen almost instantly and I don’t know how long he’s been like this for already.
But I can’t let go of him; I promised him that I wouldn’t let go until he wanted me to.
What should I do?
I’ve carried him before, I can do it again.
So I scoop him up, earning a surprised gasp from his bloody lips followed by the shadow of a ghostly smile, and turn to my front door knowing that, due to it’s busted hinge, it will open with one good kick.
The kind of kick that probably put Mikey in this state. The kind of kick that has changed my perspective of the world.
Before Friday night I thought that the world was a relatively alright place to be; yeah, you get the odd scumbag, but nothing’s perfect. Before Friday night I thought it wasn’t just me who thought that hurting a kid is wrong, more wrong than Jesus making out with Lucifer. Before Friday night I thought that only having two friends was what it meant to be alone. Now though, now all of that has changed. Now I can see the world for what it really is; a harsh tundra void of all compassion apart from that towards those with the malice to snatch it from those who deserve it and need it the most. Now I know that everyone on this pitiful planet is completely insane; they must be to think that purposefully causing pain to someone as sweet and harmless as Mikey Way is alright, amusing even. Now I know that I’ll never know what it means to truly be alone, not in the way that Mikey does; in the way that convinces you that you’re worthless and without a soul good enough to feel loved, even though it’s a soul with a higher value than anyone’s that I’ve ever met because it is a pure, benevolent soul longing to do good in a world that only ever does bad to him.
Everything that I thought I knew has changed because of the Way brothers; my perception of pain, of love, of hopelessness, of hope, of suffering, of needing, of lacking, of innocence, of hate, of everything that those two brothers have ever felt and have caused me to feel. Most of the view changes are not positive ones and I miss my old light of the world, but I wouldn’t change meeting them (or re-meeting, in Gerard’s case) for the world that they have changed.
I stride into my apartment, Mikey still attached to me like Velcro, and sit us both down on my couch. A couch that has been soaked with Mikey’s slithering needles of sorrow too many times already, despite only having first taken in his imprint days ago. Days that have passed like a tropical storm in a thunderous whoosh of love and lust and agony and sadness and silence and sobs.
We sit, him sat on my lap like a small child nestling into Santa Claus and me holding him strongly as his anguished audible cries die to down to sniffles, all snuggled together as though we’re the only important people to each other.
“Honey, can you tell me what happened?” My voice gently slides from my lips and straight through the near no-distance to his ears.
He gasps and shakes his head as though any form of consent will leave him worse off than before.
Those bullies have really done it this time, done more than enough to terrify him back to the safety that he wrongly believes silence shrouds him in. He shouldn’t have to feel the need to hide his soul from others in the form of silence; he should take pride in the beauty of his voice and the compassion that his actions show me he could convey through it. But those bullies have beaten that out of him, beaten out any progress I may have made with him and his low self-esteem. Not that ‘low’ even begins to cover it, it’s deeper than that; it’s like a huge gash in his heart that can no longer be described as deep because it has gone the whole way through him.
“Bullies, huh?” He looks puzzled, as though trying to decide if the fuckers that did this really are bullies and aren’t not just showing him his place as he believes them to be, but then nods. “Mikey, I need you to listen to me and I need you to believe what I say because it’s the truth, okay?” He looks into my eyes like an archaeologist digging for an ancient treasure and then nods again, slowly this time. I can’t mess this up; whatever I do, this has to come out right and work. “Those kids that do this to you are horrible, evil people that will grow up and die alone, unmarried, without anyone to care. I know that right now they might have it pretty good, but soon people will realise just what they really are and they won’t be able to get away quick enough. You though, Mikey Way, will grow up to be a good, kind, beautiful person who’ll never have to be alone.” He’s blushing. And it really is painfully cute. Painful because he should be used to hearing kind words, if not from friends then at least from Gee, not blushing away from them. “So don’t believe a word of what they say and don’t, for a split second, think that you deserve to get hurt. You hear me?”
I think I’ve done something wrong.
He won’t look at me, won’t nod or talk or anything. He’s just hiding in my chest, hiding from something that my words have chased out of his soul and into his mind. I think that I can just about understand how Gerard can get so frustrated with not being able to help him; it really is the most devastating, crushing feeling I’ve ever had weighing my heart down. But I don’t think I can ever understand how Gerard can yell at him. I guess we’re just two different people with two different ways of dealing with things; and there’s nothing wrong with that. I still love him, how could I not? He’s only trying his best to take care of his little brother.
But if he really was would Mikey be here now, shuddering like a ghost is blowing through him, in my arms? No, he’d be with Gerard, seeking comfort from his big brother like he should be.
And now he’s properly crying. Again. And it hurts like bullets rotating into my eardrums.
“Oh, Honey, please don’t cry. Talk to me, tell me how I can help you. Please, Honey. Please let me help you.”
He peeks up at me before throwing himself into an even tighter embrace that my quick body returns with considerable concern. What the hell has happened to this poor, poor, lost little kid?
He takes a deep breath in, freezing everything in anticipation.
“I just want it to stop; I want it to all go away.” He whispers in a way that makes my heart stop; it’s not said like a drama queen moaning about the poor quality of life she has just because her parents cut her allowance and it’s not even like a kid that is genuinely sad asking for help. It’s so much more worse than that. It’s not even a plea for help, it’s a statement of how he’s feeling and what he wants to happen, but it’s also stating that he thinks it’ll never happen; that he’ll always be bloodied and hated by everyone.
And then it hits me like a guardian angel knocking it’s human out of the path of harm; he didn’t stutter.
He said a sentence to me without stuttering; he really does trust me!
“I just want it stop, Frank.”
I cradle him close as though his life depends on it; as though my body heat can make all of it stop like he wants it to because, as long as he is close enough to feel my body heat, nothing can hurt him. I won’t allow it. A pack of starving hyenas could close in on us and I still wouldn’t let him get hurt, I’d stay curled around him like my body can shield him from everything bad. I wish that were so, but I won’t always be here next to him, no matter how much I want to be. Today, for example; I wasn’t with him and look what happened. Torn jeans, torn face, torn body, torn soul. Because I couldn’t defend him. But I can defend him now, defend him from himself and the thoughts that are mangling his hope into self-hate. Self-hate that should be directed at kids who did this.
No. Those aren’t kids. Kids connote innocence and kindness; everything that Mikey is. Not the shocking spite and appalling cruelty that those bullies possess in abundance.
And I sincerely hope that they burn in hell for it.
I’ve never wished that upon anyone before, let alone ‘kids’, but they really do deserve it. Deserve it for convincing Mikes that he deserves to suffer like he is. Nobody deserves to suffer like he is; no one. And that just makes it even more horror-striking that people have persuaded him that he does when, in truth, he deserves nothing short of love, kindness, compassion and perfection. No, not perfection. That’s what Gerard’s trying for and it’s ruined them; perfection only ever causes the small imperfections to bubble to the surface. Without the ridiculous idea of perfection nobody would ever feel inadequate or imperfect. I guess you could say that perfection itself is the world’s greatest imperfection as it causes the realisation of them.
Mikey sniffles and I look straight into his tsunami-style eyes to see a kind of omnipotent sincerity that is so true, so despairing that it terrifies me. I want to be deaf to his next words because the look in his eyes tells me that I’m not going to like them. But I can’t be deaf to them; the kid is finally talking and he needs someone to listen like nobody’s ever listened to his meek words before.
I’m listening and ready to help. No matter what he says.
“I wish you’d let me die.”
A/N: Thanks for reading; I hope that it was alright and not too bad. Please, PLEASE review! :)