"Why does it feel like you care when I know you don't"
I woke late the next morning, finding it difficult to retrieve myself from the heavy slumber. I walked unsteadily towards the full length mirror to hesitantly see my reflection. My shaggy dark black hair fell lazily over my bright green eyes, which were pronounced by my pasty skin tone. I attempted to tame my hair by running my fingers through it, but no such luck. I frown at the mirror and turn to walk up the stairs. Through my bedroom door, sunlight shined brightly, forcing me to narrow my eyes. I stumble down the hall and into the kitchen. The smell of coffee scented the air and I saw Mikey sitting at the table, texting.
He turns around and smiles his wide grin.
"Finally, you're awake. I made you coffee." He guestured to the seat across from him.
I barely had time to take a seat before my mom came bustling into the room in her work clothes.
"Gerard!" She said kindly with a sweet smile. I stood back up and hugged her.
"We've all missed you so much." She said, kissing me on the cheek.
"I've missed you too." I smiled.
She reluctantly pulled away and I saw tears brimming her eyes.
"Don't cry, mom." I heard Mikey say, not looking up from his phone.
She playfully hit Mikey on the arm with her purse, and turned back to me.
"I have to go to work, but when i'm home we'll talk."
I nodded. She hugged me again, kissed Mikey on the head and left.
I sat down across from Mikey again and took a swig of coffee.
"Still a coffe adcict, i see" He smirked, placing his phone on the table.
"Hell yeah." I smiled.
"So who are you texting so intently?"
"Holy shit, you have friends?!"
He kicked me under the table and pretended to be offended.
"Excuse me! But you're one to talk!"
"I have friends, they just don't live here." I said.
Mikey ginned, "Would you like to meet some of my friends, seeing as you don't have any."
"I do so! And yeah, sure." I smiled.
"Are you free today then?"
"I've been in this town for little over twelve hours, what could I have planned." I laughed.
"Right, well go get ready then, we'll leave soon."
I shuffle to my bedroom and open my suitcase, change into my favourite 'Green day' tshirt and skinny jeans, take a quick glance in the mirror to see if my hair had improved, which it sadly hadn't, and raced back upstairs to my brother, who was tying his shoelaces of his doc martins.
He looked up, "Ready?"
We left the house together, Mikey told me that everyone was meeting at the park, which wasn't too far away from our house.
We walked together down the park's path, talking. Mikey told me about everything that i'd missed out on. I felt deprived, like I'd missed out on a whole chunk of his life. He told me about his first girlfriend and his school. I was glad that he wasn't hesitant to talk to me about things brothers talk about. It was like i'd never left.
"There they are" said Mikey, pointing to a group of about five people.
As we approached, a short, cute teenage girl with long dead straight dyed red hair and wearing blue skinny jeans, a Nirvana tshirt and a layer of black eyeliner rimming her brilliant blue eyes came bouncing towards us.
"Mikey!" She called brightly before tackling him in a huge hug.
Everyone sitting in the group turned to see where their friend had gone, none of them seemed surprise to see her attack Mikey.
They all smiled welcomely to Mikey and I as we walked towards them and the girl run back to sit on a muscular blonde boy with a lip peircing's knee.
There sitting next to the blonde boy was a girl with naturally tanned skin, long black hair pulled back into a loose ponytail with strands of hair falling over her pretty face. She was thin and wearing ripped black skinny jeans and a plain red singlet, she looked into my eyes and her smile widened. Next to her was a boy with a afro of brown hair, he was holding a guitar and even though he was sitting down, I could see that he was very tall. I looked from the tall boy to the boy next to him. My breath was virtually taken away. I felt my throat run dry as an army of butterflies erupted in the pit of my stomach. The boy was noticably small, with a thin frame and overall size. He had dark hair which fell over his right eye, but not like how mine did limply. His seemed to give him more of a rockstar look, not a just rolled out of bed look. The boy looked up at me with wide eyes. I noticed they were a clear shade of deep hazel, the kind of eyes you could drown in.
"Who's your friend?" smiled the girl who was making pronounced eye contact.
"Lily" The short girl said, elbowing her.
I raised my eyebrows at Lily and laughed.
"This is actually my brother, Gerard." Said Mikey, though his mood and tone seemed to have descended. "That's Ray" He guestured to the tall boy, "Lily", "Bob and Bonnie" He pointed to the blonde boy and red haired girl who smiled brightly at me, "And Frank." He pointed to the last boy. I lay my eyes back to his a gave him a smile. He didn't respond. Instead he swallowed deeply and started playing with his laces.
"Hey" They all said but Frank, who I didn't drop my eyes from.
I snapped back when I saw Bonnie suddenly leap from Bob's lap and hug me. I laughed and hugged her back, she only came up to my chest.
"Mikey! You didn't even tell us you had a brother!" She said pulling away. "Come sit."
I sat between Ray and Lily and Mikey sat between Bob and Frank. Bonnie bounced back to sit on Bob who wrapped his arms securely around her waist.
"Yeah, Gerard only moved back home yesterday." continued Mikey.
"You seem really familiar." Said Ray, studying me.
I nodded, "I would have been a Junior when you guys were Freshmen, you probably saw me around school or something."
"Yeah, probably." Ray smiled.
"So how old are you?" said Lily, touching my arm to get me to face her.
She smiled, I turned away and looked at Frank, he was already looking at me. I grasped this opportunity of his attention and smiled. He bit him bottom lip and unemotionally turned back to his shoes. I could see the frown creasing his slightly tanned skin.
I tore my eyes away from Frank to look at Mikey, who was busy chatting to Bob, who had Bonnie playing with his hair. I could see in Mikey's eyes that there was something bothering him. I could spot his fake smile from a mile away. The others didn't seem to notice.
After half an hour of laughing and talking, Lily turned to Ray "So are we going to your place, Ray?"
Ray shook his head, making his hair bounce. "My Dad will be home early."
"You can come to our house." I said.
"Alright." Smiled Lily, standing up.
"Come on, Bob!" Said Bonnie happily, leaping from his lap. Bob smiled calmly and got to his feet. Bonnie took his hand with both of hers and started jumping up and down excitedly.
I laughed and looked around where Mikey was. He was crouching down infront of Frank, talking to him and looking serious. Frank nodded and stood up, dusting the grass off his skinny jeans. He shoved his hands in his pockets and stood next to Mikey, scuffing his shoes on the fallen leaves.
"Let's go." Ray said and went ahead.
I walked beside Bob and Bonnie, not really listening to Bonnie's mindless rambles. I let my mind wander and my thoughts bury me. What's wrong with Frank? Why was he being so distant? I barely know him, but I was worried. What if something had gone wrong at his home? I wanted to ask. I wanted to hug him, to tell his everything is okay. But I can't. It's the look he gives me which tells me that he's not even wanting me here. Maybe I'll get through to him, somehow.
"Hey Gerard." An eager voice retrieved me from my mind.
I blinked and looked to my side, Lily was walking next to me, smiling.
"So how are you, you're kind of looking remote."
"Just zoned out, I'm fine" I smiled.
She nodded, "So how long are you here for?"
"I don't know, really. A while, I hope."
"That's cool." She said brightly.
I smiled at her. I looked over at Mikey, he was looking at me. I smiled but he quickly turned to talk to Bonnie. I frowned.
"Hey," I turned to Lily "Is your friend Frank okay?"
"Frank?" Lily frowned and looked ahead where Frank was walking besides Ray, with his hands deep in his front pockets and keeping his eyes firmly on the ground, looking like he was barely listening to what Ray was saying. "I don't know. He's usually just like Bonnie, to be honest."
"Really?" I laughed.
"Well maybe a bit less." Lily giggled girlishly, flipping her long pony tail.
"He was fine when he first got here." She shrugged. I nodded.
We all arrived at our house. Mikey unlocked the door and they all piled into the lounge.
Ray, Mikey and Bob sat on the couch, Lily sat on a beanbag and Frank sat at Mikey's feet, playing with the rug's loose strands of cotton. Bonnie stood infront of the couch and folded her arms crossly.
"Where can I sit!"
"Where you always sit!" Said Ray, hitting Bob's knee.
Bonnie giggled and sat on Bob's knee again, Bob rested his head against her shoulder.
I took a seat on the floor beside the couch.
"Ray!" Bonnie called down the couch.
"Get a drink then." said Ray, lying back on the couch lazily.
I saw a small smile play across Frank's lips.
"I'll get us drinks then, if Ray's too slack."
"Thank you Gee!"
I smiled. "Mikey, come with me."
Mikey sighed "Fine" And jumped from the couch. He followed me into the kitchen.
"Are you okay?" I ask him as he reaches to get seven cans of coke.
He looked up at me for a moment, "I'm fine" and continued retrieving the cans.
"I know you're not." I said softly.
He smirked, and shook his head, placing each coke can on the bench. "Stop assuming you have me all figured out."
"Mikey, you're my brother. Of course I have you figured out."
"I'm not the sixteen year old that you left behind." He said, standing up straight.
"What do you mean 'left behind'? I didn't have a choice." My voice raising a little.
Mikey swallowed. "I'm just saying people change. You sure as hell did.. But you changed for the better, you used to be a real fuckwit." He collected four of the seven cans and headed towards the lounge. I frowned and grabbed the last three and followed him.
He spun around. "Look, Gee, I know that you had to leave for school, I get that part. I just hate the feeling that we're dirfting away from each other and I can't do anything about it. We dropped contact for a whole two years, all apart from the occasional email or phone call. I just don't want us to be strangers again.."
I nodded. "You said it yourself Mikey, leaving changed me for the better. I won't do that to you agian. I'm sorry I kept pushing you away, and I promise you I will learn from my mistakes."
Mikey sparked a small smile and nodded.
"Your friend Frank, is he.. alright?"
"I don't know. He's not really saying anything to me."
"Hmm Don't you hate it when people don't tell you what's wrong?" I smirk.
"There's nothing wrong with me! I'm fine!" He smiled.
"Gerard?" I hear Bonnie call.
Mikey turns and walks into the lounge, he hands his drinks around. I chuck one at Ray and stand infront of Frank, offering him one. Frank looks up at me, captures his bottom lip between his teeth and reaches up to recieve the drink.
I feel the butterflies arise again as he mumbles "Thanks." and looks back at his shoes.
Hours went by and all we'd done was watch various movies and talked crap. I really got to know everyone. I learnt that Bob and Bonnie have been dating for well over a year, we were all into the same kind of music, Ray had even considered starting up a band with Bob, Frank and Mikey. I could tell that Ray was really passionate about his music, the way he talked about it made his eyes spark up and he would begin to talk really rapidly about diffrent parts of a guitar.
"Do you play the guitar?" I ask Frank softly, moving to sit beside him.
I feel and physically see him tense up, but he tried to cover it.
"Yup" He nodded, roughly pulling at the rug.
"I.. I have to go to the bathroom." He said loudly and jumped up from the floor.
"That's nice Frank." Said Bonnie, twining her hand with Bob's while Frank scootered out to the hall.
"What did you say to him, Gerard!" joked Bob.
I shugged "Nothing!"
"He is acting a little strange today." Said Ray.
"He just needs a hug!" Shouted Bonnie, jumping from Bob's lap and running after Frank.
Bob smiled happily and watched her leave.
"Honestly Bob, how do you put up with it!" laughed Mikey.
Bonnie ran back into the room.
"He'll be okay now" She smiled proudly.
"I'm going to get another drink." I say, pulling myself up from the floor.
I enter the kitchen and pull out another can from the frigde. I hear Frank's light footsteps and he walks back towards the lounge.
"Frank." I say, making him jump. He quickly spun around to face me. He bites his bottom lip again, making my stomach do sumersaults.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm fine." He obviously lied.
"I mean, I know I've only known you a few hours, but you seem kind of.. jumpy"
He shook his head qucikly. "I'm fine." He mumbled.
I starred at him, and he starred back, still nervously chewing his lip. His orb like eyes wide, almost with fear.
"Are you sure, I mean you don't seem-"
"I'm okay! Why does it feel like you care when I know you don't" He said quitely, but sharply.
I frowned, feeling a little taken aback.
"I was just wondering."
He shook his head. "Just please, leave me alone."
"Fuck! I'm just trying to be friendly. I don't know how I could have ruined my first impression to you when I've barely spoken to you and you've barely looked at me."
Frank sighed, "First impression?" He took a step back and shook his head, dropping eye contact.
"Do you recongise me at all?" He whispered, looking back up at me.
I looked into his eyes, losing myself for just a second in them.
"Well, I remember you. It's hard to forget somebody who's given you so much to remember." He turned and instead of walking into the lounge, he headed straight for the front door.
I desperately wanted him to stay. I followed him.
"I asked you to leave me alone."
"I don't understand!" I followed him down the pathway and to the road.
"Why do you care, anyway?" He asked loudly, spinning around to face me.
He stopped walking ao suddenly that I nearly crashed into him.
"I don't understand!" I said again. By now everyone had come to the door to see what the yelling was for.
Mikey broke away from eveyone else and ran over to us.
"What's going on?" He said, worry etched over his face.
Frank looked up at Mikey only now I see the tears which are vaugely brimming his eyes.
"Frankie?" I hear Bonnie call nervously.
Frank looked like he was going to say something but instead turned around and walked away.
"Frank?" Mikey called after him. Frank didn't look back. Soon he was gone.
Mikey turned to me.
"What did you do?"
I looked at Mikey angrily and pushed past him. Everyone gave me worried looks as i squeezed past them.
"What happened?" Bob asked.
I shook my head.
Bonnie clutched my arm to stop me from walking away.
"Tell us what happened, what were you two fighting about."
I stopped walking and looked down at Bonnie. She had tears brimming her eyes too.
"I honestly have no idea."
Bob wrapped his arms around Bonnie.
"It's okay" He whispered in her ear.
I could tell that Bonnie and Frank were close, by her reaction. Lily came to my side,
"Are you okay, Gerard?"
"No idea. I don't really know what's going on." I said truthfully. Lily put her hand on my arm and looked into my eyes. I tore mine away, at the moment being hit on isn't what I feel like.. Mikey walked back to the door. He was panting, he'd clearly gone after Frank.
"I couldn't find him."
Bonnie's hand jumped to her mouth and she gave a small whimper.
Mikey looked at me, than Lily's hand on my arm. He frowned to himself and ran his hand through his hair. I looked at Lily, who was starring deeply at me. I quickly turned away, realising now why Mikey was mad. I wanted to tell Lily that I wasn't interested, but I couldn't do it here, it would just embarrass her. And I have bigger problems.
"Look guys, Frank's fine! He's just having one of those days, there's no point us standing around worried." Said Ray.
"You're right." said Bob, leading Bonnie back into the lounge where the rest of us followed,
"I think i'll just go do art in my room or something I said as they all sat down. "It was nice meeting you all." I force a smile and Bonnie jumps up from the couch, she runs and hugs me again.
"Don't be mad at yourself, Gerard. I'm sure everything will be okay in the end"
I walk quickly away from everyone and too my bedroom, ignoring Lily's requests for me to stay.
I sit down gentally on my bed, frowning to myself.
Today was the first time I met Frank and Mikey's other friends, I never knew anyone in Mikey's year. Was Frank mistaking me for someone else?
I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm alone, like i've been left out in the dark and there's no one here to save me.