Worried friends and Gerard's inner feelings.
I fall into the passenger seat of my brother's Toyota Corolla with a heavy sigh. After a long day at hell, more commonly known as school, I'm ready to get home and lock myself in my room, located in the basement of my home. Some people might find living in a basement creepy and uninviting, but I'm not most people. Most people don't fantasize about their death on a daily basis either, but there you go.
I stare out the window shield infront of me and squint through the blazing afternoon sun. Just a few feet infront of the car I spot my younger brother, Mikey, speaking to one of our close friends, Ray Toro. Well, Mikey and Ray are still close, but as of lately Ray and I no longer are. I can't even remember the last time we had a full conversation. Hell, I can't remember the last time I had a full, decent conversation with anyone. It's not that I don't like Ray, I absolutely adore that tall, 'fro haired, Iron Maiden freak. He's one of the only people in this god forsaken school I can actually stomach apart from Mikey and our other mutual friend, Bob Bryar.
Speaking of Bob, I catch sight of a blonde side fringe and lip piercing gleaming in the late afternoon sun, heading towards Mikey and Ray, and recognize him immediately. He slows his steady pace once he reaches the passenger seat window and waves at me, a hesitant smile adorning his lips. I look up at him, not making eye contact, and nod my head. Normally I would force a fake smile on my face and wave back in an effort to be polite, but I was feeling extra shitty today and decide against it. He frowns at my meek response and I know Bob well enough to know that he wishes I would step out of the car and give him a proper greeting. But being the inconsiderate, self-loathing bastard I am, I stay glued to my seat.
He frowns even deeper and begins to make his way towards my brother and Ray. As I wait for my brother to be done socializing, I drum my fingers along the car door to my right, accidentally lowering the window in the process. I am about to bring it up again when I hear someone utter my name. Usually I wouldn't care, probably just the pricks from my History class making snide remarks about my sexuality again, but then I realize who the voice belonged to. It was Mikey.
"Are you serious? He hasn't spoken to you in two weeks?" I absent mindedly lean closer to the window, straining to hear their conversation.
"Unless you count rare grunts and sighs every now and then, yes, I'm serious, Ray. I don't know what to do anymore, I'm so worried about him, guys."
Hearing the wrecked tone of my baby brother's voice tugs at my heart and makes me want to get out of the car right then and there and incase him in a huge hug. The type of hug I haven't given him in months.
Mikey and I have always had such a great relationship. Unlike most siblings, we actually enjoy eachothers company. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he's my brother and not just my best friend. They couldn't possibly be talking about me, could they? I know I've been kind of distant lately but there's no way I've gone two weeks without speaking to Mikey.
"Maybe Gerard just isn't feeling well."
And just like that, Bob confirms that they infact are talking about me. Bob is usually a terrific liar. I still remember how he got all of us out of detention last year with an elaborate, heart felt speech about how we had to attend his beloved hamster, Freddy's, funeral. Spoken by anyone else, that speech would have landed them with another week's worth of detention courtesy of our hard ass gym teacher. But our dear Bobbert left even the buff, grumpy, Mr.Heffmen in tears.
The memory of that day almost brings a smile to my face. Almost. It seems that whenever the sides of my mouth even think of attempting anything but a frown or grimace, my mind takes over. It fills with all the taunts of my fellow classmates, the punches and kicks aimed at me daily, even the constant pestering and disapprovement by my parents gets to me. Just the thought of my parents has me slouching down in the car seat, as far as I can manage without sprawling on the floor. I've had enough of that today.
Mikey and I aren't exactly looked after by the next candidates for "Parents of the Year", if you can even call what they do "looking after us". They constantly set off on business trips for months on end and for the few weeks a year that they happen to be home, all they do is argue with eachother and remind me what a failure of a son I am. They are pretty easy on Mikey. In their eyes, Mikey is as close to the perfect son they could imagine. He's polite, smart, considerate, a neat freak, responsible, and has this easygoing charm to him. Sure, he may be a little shy but once you get him out of his shell he's nothing but pleasant to be around. Then there's me. Mikey's awkward, morbid, depressed, homosexual older brother who doubles as a punching bag for all the school bullies. Needless to say, Mikey and I are as different as day and night. Summer and winter. Hot and cold. Justin Bieber and Green Day.
"You're not fooling anyone, Bob. I can tell you're just as worried about Gerard as Mikey and I are. We've gotta do something."
"No offense guys, but the last thing Gerard needs right now is an intervention. Just give him some time, I'm sure he'll open up to us sooner or later". I make a mental note to thank Bob for that.
"Besides, it's not like he's done anything stupid. Just been a little quiet, that's all."
Mikey rubs his knuckles together subconsciously and looks at the ground, avoiding eye contact with Bob and Ray. Anyone who knows Mikey well enough, knows that's a sure fire sign that he's hiding something.
"That is all he's done, right Mikey?" Ray says, looking a bit on edge.
"Um...well...I was walking by our parent's liquor cabinet in the kitchen the other day and noticed some bottles were missing."
"How many bottles, exactly?"
Mikey gulps audibly before saying, "All of them."
"WHAT?!" Ray and Bob yell in unison.
"Dude, Mikey, there must have been over 50 bottles in that liquor cabinet!"
"Slow down guys, we don't know for certain that Gerard took them all." Oh, dear Ray, being the optimist of the group as usual.
"Ray, I'm sure it was. I snuck a look into Gerard's room this morning and saw a mess of broken bottles all over the floor."
The three of them just stood there for a few moments, quiet and deep in thought, all equally concerned for their friend and brother. I find the whole situation hard to sit through. Not only do I hate people taking pity in me, but now that Mikey knows about my drinking habits, I'm gonna have to be twice as careful when sneaking booze into my room. I know they're worried about me but the booze is all I have left. The only thing that can possibly get me through the day to live and see another sunrise. That and the drugs I've slowly been filling the void with. But if the guys freaked just from hearing I've been drinking a bit, they definetly don't need to know about that.
In an attempt to get Mikey to speed up the conversation and drive me home, I cough loud enough that they can hear me through the small, open gap in the car window. This successfully snaps them back to reality.
"Look, It's getting late. Mikey, just keep an eye on Gerard for now and we'll sort out what we're gonna do tomorrow."
Mikey and Ray nod half heartedly at Bob's suggestion before Mikey mumbles his good-byes and makes his way back to the car. I quickly press the button on my right and raise the window before Mikey can catch on that I was eavesdropping on their conversation. Mikey starts the car after popping in an Anthrax CD and turning up the volume. But not loud enough that he wouldn't be able to hear me if I tried starting a conversation. Which I don't.
Soon, we're turning into the driveway of our middle-class home and Mikey kills the engine. Instead of hopping out of the car immediately like I'm dieing to do, he stays seated and locks the doors, car keys clutched tightly in his hand. He says nothing but stares out the window shield, his famous poker face planted on his face. I glance over at him, completely confused as to why he locked the doors until it hits me. He's trying to get me to talk.
He knows I won't step out of the car now and cause the annoying, high-pitched car alarm to go off. It's always been one of my biggest pet peeves. So he's determined to sit in this car as long as he has to in order to get me to ask him to unlock the doors. We sit in silence for several minutes that drag on and feel like hours. I want to talk to Mikey, I really do, but I feel trapped by the constant silence that has been following me around like a shadow lately. It's like I don't have the will power to even utter a word to anyone, knowing that I'll either be ridiculed for what I say or receive pity and sympathy from the few people who care when they realize what a depressed mess I am.
They shouldn't care for me at all, they have better things to do than waste their time on someone as worthless as me. The garbage over flowing from the gaudy, green trash bin by the side of our house is worth more than me. Mikey suddenly lets out a heavy, pained sigh once he comes to grip with the fact that I won't budge. He unlocks the doors and begins to trudge up the drive way to the front door.
Before opening it, he turns to me "Gerard?"
I say nothing, but look up at him to acknowledge that I heard him.
"Ray finally gave me back my vintage copy of Dracula. I thought he'd lost it in that bird's nest he calls hair."
Normally I would have laughed at that remark, but not today.
"What do you say we order a pizza and watch it? It's been ages since we've had a movie night."
Movie nights with Mikey have always been one of my favorite past times, now replaced with locking myself in my room and getting wasted. Part of me desperately wants to agree to Mikey's proposal while the other part is screaming at me to blow him off and escape to my safe haven. That part is winning.
I mumble something under my breath about having to do homework and try sliding past Mikey into the house. He grabs me firmly by the shoulders and stops me dead in my tracks.
"Gee, when have you ever cared about homework? Plus, it's Friday."
I stay quiet, silently cursing myself for not coming up with a better excuse until Mikey cups my chin in his hand and forces me to look into his eyes. His usually joy-filled, child like, brown orbs are filled with sorrow and concern.
"We're pigging out and watching innocent victims get sucked dry by a blood thirsty vampire, and that's final."
The determination in his voice catches me off guard. Mikey is usually very timid and sure as hell never tells people what to do like he just did. Dumbfounded, I give up and simply nod once in agreement.
"Good, now let's go inside."
I notice the satisfied grin on Mikey's face before I step inside and close the door behind me. This should be an interesting night.
There you go!
I know this chapter was pretty slow paced but don't worry, our dear Frank will enter soon enough and then the real story line will kick in. Just wanted to use this chapter to set the mood and shiz. Tell me what you think and let me know if I should carry on with this story :)