I slumped over onto my desk, the alcohol raging through my body. I wasn't used to the intoxication, but it helped numb the pain of the thought of Emerson out with someone else. I jumped at the sound of pounding on my bedroom door, the locked knob rattling. What the fuck? Then Iheard her voice.
"Gerard! Oh my god, please Gee, let me in!"
It took me a moment to register that I actually needed to get up to unlock the door. I stumbled over to the door and opened it. Even in my drunken state, the sight that met my eyes pained my heart. Emerson stood before me, her black hair matted at the scalp with blood. Blood also covered her cheek, and a nasty welt was forming underneath it. Her bastard drunk of a father... shit. Here I was, supposed to be the one to help her, and I was drunk. Just like her dad.
"Emerson..." She moved to step towards me, but then froze. She raised her eyes up to mine, and they widened in horror.
"Oh my god. Gerard," Em choked, her eyes filling with tears. "You're drunk."
"Em, I can explain. I-ˮ
"No, shut up. You promised me you would never. How could you do this to me? On the night I needed you most!" Her voice rose, becoming hysterical. I stepped towards her, but she backed away, fear glittering in her eyes. Oh god. She was afraid of me. My sweet Emerson, who had trusted me to the end of the world. Now she'd never speak to me again. That would kill me. I hated myself so much right now for not being able to help her, to kiss away her pain.
"I- I have to go," she whispered, swiping angrily at the tears that slid down her cheeks. Even though she was injured, Emerson fled from my doorway as fast as she could. Once again, I was left staring after her.
Oh my god. Oh god. No. Not Gerard too. I can't deal with this. I ran from his house, ignoring the stabbing pain from my ribs and the throbbing in my head. I stopped on my doorstep and forced myself to stop crying. What was the point of crying when there was no one to wipe away my tears? What a depressing thought, I said to myself. Because if there wasn't even anyone there to wipe away my tears, that meant there was no one there for me at all. So what, I asked myself, is the point of living? Anyone I had ever loved had hurt or betrayed me. So at this point, I had no purpose in life any longer.
So why not just end your life? You know where your father's pistol is. Wouldn't it be grand to take a pistol by the hand? Wouldn't it be great if you were dead?
But I can't do that to Gerard. It would tear him apart. I mean, I love him, for chrissake. I can't do that.
Gerard betrayed you when you needed him most. Think about it. Would he really care if you were dead?
I shook my head, trying to rid myself of the voice that kept speaking to me. I knew what I had to do. I let myself in my house, and breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of my dad's drunken snores coming from the kitchen. I crept down the hallway to his room. Iknew exactly where his pistol was: in his sock drawer. But it wasn't loaded. Ayear ago I had taken the bullets from the gun and hidden them in my room.
A shiver shot through my body as Ipicked up the pistol, the metal of the barrel cold against my sweaty palms. My whole body was shaking as I entered my bedroom. I shuffled over to my desk and ripped open one of the drawers where the bullets were hidden. There, in a box underneath a stack of photos of me and Gerard. I picked the photos up, feeling the tears returning. I couldn't help but flip through them, remembering when each of them had been taken. My sixteenth birthday at Gerard's house, with him hugging me tight as I blew out the candles on the cake he'd made me. Ray and Mikey were in the background, making silly faces at the camera. Frank had taken that picture. Christmas at Gerard's, with me wearing a Santa hat on the couch, asleep with my head in Gee's lap. I smiled and touched the picture softly. It was one of my favorites of us. The way Gerard as looking down at me and stroking my hair made me all tingly...
Stop. Put the pictures down. Do what you came here to do. Finish this off.
I reached for the box of bullets, my fingers slipping. I only needed one to do the job. One shot to the temple. Islid the bullet home into its compartment and cocked the gun. I gasped as the cold metal touched my head.
Pull the trigger. Do it. Now.
No. I couldn't do it. As much as I hated Gerard for betraying me like this, he was the only one I had. Icouldn't leave him. With a cry of anguish, I threw the gun down to the floor and leapt into my bed, screaming silently into my pillow. I couldn't believe what I'd nearly done.
When I awoke the next morning, I had the worst headache ever. Oh yeah. This is what they call a hangover. Although I don't think that last night's alcohol was the only thing causing the pain; part of it was knowing that Emerson probably hated me. I needed to tell her. Oh god, how I loved her. I pried myself away from my pillow, holding my throbbing head in my hands. After locating a couple of aspirin, I pulled on clean clothes (there was no way in hell that I'd go to Em's smelling of alcohol) and my Converse. Before I left, I brushed my teeth to get rid any traces of last night. After that, I ducked out quietly, not wanting to wake Mikey or my parents, who had returned home early that morning. It was about ten a.m., so I hoped Em's bastard father would be gone for the day. He had his routine: wake up, leave to go to one bar or another, return home drunk as fuck, beat Emerson if she happened to show up, pass out, repeat. I shuddered at the thought of anyone laying a hand on my Em. Sure enough, old man Quick's truck wasn't in their driveway. Good. I had one the spare keys to the house that Em had given me and I used that to let myself in. I let my feet carry me to Emerson's room where I found her lying asleep in her bed. I looked around. Her room was very much the same as mine. Old Misfits and Black Flag posters were tacked all over the walls, and there were random objects all over the place. There was a picture that Em had framed sitting on her desk. In the photo, Em was sitting on the floor surrounded by tiny kittens, a huge grin on her face. I had taken that picture a couple years ago, when Em was about fourteen. She loved to go to the animal shelter to play with those kittens. She adored cats, but her father refused to let her have one.
My eyes slid from the photo to something shiny lying on the floor and I gasped, staggering backwards. A shiny silver pistol lay discarded on the floor. I freaked out for a second, thinking Em was dead, until I saw her chest rise and fall normally. There was no fresh blood either, just the blood that had caked on her scalp from last night. Ibent down, and sure enough, the gun was loaded. One bullet.Just enough to deliver one deadly shot. I shut my eyes tight, pushing away images of Emerson lying on the floor, her blood covering the carpet, her eyes vacant and stained. I must have made some sort of noise subconsciously, because up on the bed Emerson was waking up. She yawned and rubbed her eyes.
"Gerard?" she asked sleepily.
"Oh jeez, Emerson," I cried, and catapulted myself onto her bed, wrapping her tightly in my arms. I never wanted to let her go.
"Um," she said after a minute."You're squishing me, Gee."
"Oh shit. Sorry!" I released her from my death grip. She stared at me coldly for a minute before her hard look turned to sadness.
"What happened last night, Gee? Tell me. Why did you get drunk?"
I blushed. I had to tell her. "Okay Em, the thing is, when you told me you had a date, I kind of went mental. Ihate myself for not telling you before now, but... I love you, Emerson. I always have. I couldn't stand the thought of you loving someone else. So I was dumb and broke our promise." I paused to see how she was taking this. She was staring down at her bed sheets that she was twisting into knots in her lap. When she looked up, there was a single tear sliding down her porcelain cheek. Ileaned forward and wiped it away, touching her face softly. Before I could pull my hand away, Emerson reached up and placed her hand on top of mine. She held it there for a second before slowly lowering both our hands, intertwining her fingers with mine. And then she smiled. No, grinned. A full face grin that made her eyes shine even brighter.
"Want to know something?" she asked. I nodded fiercely and she leaned in close to my ear and whispered, "I love you too." My breath caught, and I wound my arms around her slim waist and hugged her tight. We stayed in this embrace unmoving for quite a while before she reluctantly drew away. Em sat back on her knees, a look of concentration on her face.
"What are you thinking, Em?" I asked softly. She looked up sharply, her eyes blazing.
"Gerard. Let's run away, together. Ican't stay here any longer. This place is killing me. Please, take me away from here. We can take your car to Frank's, and from there we could drive to Florida! Remember Ray's friend, Bob? We can stay at his house there until we find something better. C'mon, Gee. Let's get out of here."
I sat there silently, taking in Em's look of sheer determination. We didn't have that much money between the two of us, because she was still in school and I didn't have a job. But I needed to keep her safe. I ran my eyes over the blood that had dried in her black locks. She was right. Her bastard father was going to kill her. We needed to go.
"Okay. Pack what you need and I'll meet you outside in ten minutes. We'll get you cleaned up when we get to Frank's. I'll call him to let him know what's happening."
Emerson squealed and threw her arms around me. "Thank you, Gee," she mumbled into my hair before kissing me on the cheek.