~Part 1 of 9: DILTF~
I've always wondered who my dad was. In kindergarten, when we drew pictures of our parents, it took me half the time it took my classmates. When I saw men on the street, or in the supermarket, I always wondered. I just never thought it would be him.
My mom always said she'd tell me his name, but she didn't. She died before she got the chance to want to. She had breast cancer and it was already so progressed and so spread out that nothing could save her. The doctor gave her six months and put her through chemo. It's best that she isn't suffering.
I didn't cry during the procession. I made sure everything was perfect and just sat there unknowingly. I was too exhausted and too overwhelmed to produce tears. My house was being sold, my stuff was at my aunt's, and my future was pretty standstill-ish.
"Elliot, I need to talk to you", aunt Iva announced over breakfast that morning. "Your mother never told you, so I guess I have to now...
"Your mom went to a party 15 years ago. She got extremely drunk- shitfaced, more like it. She hooked up with a guy and she produced you. Do you want to know who that man was?"
I sat, considering this. The only reason I asked when I was younger was because I watched The Parent Trap and was determined on having a fairy tale ending. You don't get those when your mom dies. Whatever- he's probably a drunken loser anyway. "Sure. Who is he?"
My aunt is on crack. "ARE YOU ON CRACK?"
"I'm not joking either."
"THE FUCK, IVA- GERARD WAY IS MY DAD AND YOU FORGOT TO CLUE ME IN!?"
"It was when you're mom was in art school. She went to the party, and she got drunk, and he was there, and..... THINGS HAPPENED. She had to drop out- she couldn't afford to pay her way through school, go to school, and have you. She came back here California. When you were about 10, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge came out. She and I went to the store, I picked it up, and she saw him on the back, and all the the memories from that night came back."
"What do we do?"
"HOW DO I FILL HIM IN ON THE PATERNITY!?"
"There's a concert tomorrow. VIP/Backstage? Front row? Waiting for him to exit the venue? It's worth a shot." With that she leaves the table and sets out, buying the tickets online.
I go to my room and study my face in the mirror. I'm Gerard Way's daughter. Do I look like him?
I only see dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and my dorky glasses. Glasses prove nothing, my mom had that hair color, too, and hazel is a popular eye color. Then again...
~Part 2 of 9: 'TAKE YOUR FUCKIN SHIRTS OFF'~
We're at the concert. I'm within walking distance from my dad.
I CAN SEE MY DAD SWEATING!
I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING OVER MY DAD'S VOICE!!!
MY UNCLE'S THERE TOO! THIS IS FUCKIN GREAT! I'M SHAKING!
"ALRIGHT GUYS- This next song is fuckin OLD. It's from our first album, Bullets. This song is called Vampires Will Never Hurt You. I need ONE KILLJOY to come up and help me sing it. You have to know ALL THE WORDS- if I point to you and want you to sing and you don't know it, I'll be pissed. WHO THINKS THEY CAN DO THAT?!"
The crowd is in a FRENZY. I just stare up at my dad. MY dad.
"How about.... HER." Is he talking about me? "Yeah-her, get her up here." I just realized Iva's holding my hand up, volunteering me. I panic. Security's coming toward me. I'm getting motioned for. I'm getting helped onto the stage. I'm holding a shirt in my hands that wasn't there before.
"What's your name?"
"Okay, Elliot. Are you ready."
I nod slowly. He smirks.
The music starts and he starts singing. I join him. The crowd is cheering for us! IT'S SO COOL!
But, as quickly as it starts, it ends.
"LET'S GIVE ELLIOT A HAND EVERYBODY!" He goes to high-five me, but instead, I give him the shirt that I was holding onto. He reads it and his jaw drops.
The next moment is warm, safe, and smells of coffee and cigarettes.
He pulls the mic to his mouth- "THIS IS MY DAUGHTER! OH MY GOD! WHERE'S HER MOM!?" The crowd is confused. "WHERE'S YOUR MOM."
"I'm sorry, but she died. I'm here with my aunt Iva."
"IVA LORE- WHERE ARE YOU! RAISE YOUR HAND! SECURITY- BRING HER UP HERE!"
Iva climbs onstage and shakes Gerard's hand. He's telling her to stay onstage with me and that they'll talk once they've finished the set. I catch sight of the shirt. It says, "Arita Lore is my mother. She went to art school with you. You went to a party, got shitfaced, and hooked up with her. You're my dad." Subtle.
"Do you want to keep singing?" I nod.
He resumes the concert.
"GUYS- THIS IS MY DAUGHTER ELLIOT. SHE'S GONNA HELP WITH THE REST OF THE SET."
The crowd is in a FRENZY.
~Part 3 of 9: Velvet Ropes and Guitars~
The set ended with Famous Last Words and the crowd went wild. I felt so enthused and... drenched? I hadn't noticed that I was sweating. We cleared the stage and walked to the dressing room, which was surprisingly small. Iva and Gerard- or should I call him Dad, walked into the room. I tried to follow.
"Your aunt and I are going to talk alone for a minute. In the mean time, you should go talk to Mikey. He'd love to meet his niece..."
I walked to my uncle and he led me away to a small couch at the end of a hall.
"So... what kinda music are you into?"
Mikeyway is my uncle. Huh- never gonna get used to that.
"I dunno... Britpop, Dubstep, classic rock, classical, whatever's halfway decent and meaningful, I guess..."
"Yeah. My mom loved to listen to that stuff. She played it ALL THE TIME! God, I loved it."
"What's your favorite band?"
"Easy- Blur. Graham Coxon is just a BEAST."
"I KNOW RIGHT. The man has skill."
"And EVERYBODY just instantly credits Damon for all the songs- like the others did nothing and sat on their brilliant asses while he composed the albums. Graham did a SHIT TON of work on ALL the albums, but only got credit for like, TWO FUCKING SONGS. Madness."
"I'VE BEEN SAYING THAT FOR YEARS."
"AND NOBODY EVEN NOTICES DAVE! NOBODY FANGIRLS OVER DAVE! DAVE'S CUTE. WHY DOESN'T HE GET STALKERS?"
"Why doesn't who get stalkers?" Gerard and Iva were suddenly in front of us.
"Just like your mom." He shakes his head and smiles. "She always fussed over that, too."
I thought they didn't know each other very well...
"Your father and I talked and he wondered if maybe you'd like to stay with him for awhile", Iva spoke.
I mentally freaked, but I tried to stay calm on the outside. My cheeks were probably turning red. Great. "Yeah, that'd be cool."
"Excellent. Your stuff's in my car."
How'd she... Nevermind. The complexities of Iva's mind and her masterplans aren't something I want to explore any time soon.
"Where would we stay", I asked Gerard, slightly concerned about traveling.
"Well, we have another show here tomorrow, and one the next day in Vegas, and we'll be done for a few weeks. You could either stay with LynZ for a few, come with me, or we could make a family affair out of it."
"Does LynZ know about me yet?"
"No, but she won't be mad. She knows how I used to be with alcohol, so..."
"Okay. I think family affair would be kinda cool."
After that, Iva got my stuff, kissed me goodbye, and the guys filed out one by one. Gerard found his car and drove us home- a place that wasn't quite mine yet.
~Part 4 of 9: Everyone's Heart Doesn't Beat the Same~
Gerard pulls into the driveway and steps of the car. The pick my bag up of the front floorboard and go to open my door, only to find he's holding it open for me. Who said chivalry was dead? I'm led to the front door, where he unlocks the door and steps in, continuing to hold doors to secure that I enter the house without one slamming into me.
We walk into the living room together, where we find Lindsey watching TV.
"Hey babe." She turns with a smile to see Gerard, but her smile fades into confusion when she sees me.
"LynZ...we need to talk."
"About 15 years ago, when I went to a party with some friends from art school. I got wasted, and there was a girl there, and we hooked up, and I have a teenage daughter. This is said daughter. Her name is Elliot."
"She'll be staying with us for a few weeks, if that's alright with you..."
"Great. I'll just go... show Elliot her room."
"Alright." LynZ sat there in disbelief. I walked up and shook her hand.
"It's nice to meet you."
"You too, sweetheart."
"I guess this means I'm your step daughter..."
"I guess so..."
I followed Gerard upstairs, halfway down the hall, to the guest room.
"This is your room", he said. "The bathroom is right across the hall, and Lindsey and I are just down the hall, and Bandit's next door to you."
"She's my daughter. Your sister."
"You have a daughter?"
"Yeah. She's my little lady." I felt a surge of jealousy. I'd never get to be referred to as his little lady.
"Well, I'll let you settle in. If you need anything, I'll be downstairs with LynZ."
He leaves abruptly. I change into my pink and orange polka dotted pajama bottoms and my Pink Floyd shirt, brush my teeth, and settle into the foreign bed.
I begin to think of flowers. Daffodils, lilac, daisies, and white roses. My mama had a beautiful garden...
I'm suddenly in the garden with her. The sun is beating down effervescently, but it somehow calms the moment, making it surreal. She's watering the lilac bushes. They smelled delicious.
"Elli-bug", she calls, motioning for me to come over. I run into my mama arms without hesitation, and she whispers in my ear, "You'll always be my special flower." And without any warning, without a goodbye, she disappears. Just like last time. The sun is gone and it turns cold. The flowers wither and die, and the beautiful lilac is gone.
I call for her, but she's nowhere. I sob, continuing to call for her, and all of a sudden, someone grabs me and pulls me toward them. I cry and their arms and they rub my back, humming low and soothingly.
"It's alright, Elliot. It was just a dream."
I'm awake now, and I'm in Lindsey's arms. The dream is long gone and I'm crying like a baby. I realize how ridiculous I look.
"It's alright, sweetie."
"I never said goodbye. I was at school. I was taking a stupid Algebra test when my mom was dying. I wasn't there for her. She took care of me when I was sick. I let her down", I sob.
"You could never let her down, sweetie", Lindsey pulls me closer and rocks back and forth.
"Please don't go."
"I won't. I promise. Do you think you could go back to sleep?"
I nod. I roll onto my side and Lindsey wraps her arms around me, hugging me.
I fall back to sleep, warm in her safe, welcoming arms, and dream of beautiful sunsets and the tress I used to climb.
~Part 5 of 9: You and Me Will Never Be Undone~
I woke up alone in my room. The spot where Lindsey had been the night before was empty. Of course she didn't stay. Why did I expect her to?
Just then, I smell bacon, eggs, and maple syrup wafting from the kitchen. Breakfast.
I race to get dressed in my skinnies and Gorillaz shirt, brush my hair and teeth, and put on eyeliner, just so I can presentably eat my breakfast with the prefect strangers I now call family.
I practically hurl myself down the steps toward the food.
"Morning", LynZ calls from the kitchen.
"Did you sleep better this time?"
"Yes, thank you. Where's Gerard?"
"He's in bed still. I swear, that man could sleep through an earthquake. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he has. Actually, it would explain quite a bit..."
"Should I wake him?"
"Probably. Breakfast is almost done."
I go up the stairs to the bedroom Gerard specified last night and open the door. He's lying on the bed, half uncovered, with one arm and a leg hanging off the bed. I walk up and poke him a couple of times in the face, only to have my hand swatted away.
"Morning, sleepy head."
"IT'S TOO EARLY."
"Tough. Breakfast is done."
He drags himself from the bed that time, and we walk to the kitchen in silence.
"How nice of you to join the living", Lindsey says as he pours himself coffee.
He sits down and Lindsey brings everything to the table.
I dig in.
"Gorillaz, huh? Jamie Hewlett is legit", Lindsey states, noticing my shirt.
"Definitely", Gerard concurs.
"I'm named after him."
"Seriously", he asks.
"Yeah. Elliot Jamie Lore. My mom was big into Tank Girl, too..."
"What time are we leaving?"
"In about 2 hours. It's only about 11 now. How did you sleep?"
"I slept fine." Lindsey looks at me knowingly and goes back to eating.
We sit there in silence.
~Part 6 of 9: I've Come Undone~
At about 1, and we're walking out the door, getting in the Trans Am. I haven't seen this "Bandit" yet, and I curious where she is.
"Gerard, where's Bandit?"
"She went to her friend's house for a slumber party. She'll be back sometime tomorrow", Lindsey answers. I'm a little afraid about if Bandit will like me. She's probably about ten, with huge puppy eyes and a baby face. I envy her SO much. She got to know our dad. I, however, have been deprived.
"Let's play a game", Gerard suggests.
"Alright. What kind of game?"
I sigh. "Okay."
"YAY! SOOO, what's your favorite movie?"
"Benny and Joon."
"Perfect Day by Lou Reed."
"Elli-bug." I think of my dream and sigh.
"Yellow. Like, sunshine yellow. Not piss yellow, or baby duck yellow."
"Favorite video game?"
"Soul Calibur. I'm not very into video games, though... Can I have a turn?"
"When is Hotel Oblivion going to be released? I wanna know how Ben dies."
They both laugh.
"You know, being my daughter has it's advantages..."
I'm staring at his face in the rear view mirror now.
"I'll let you read it, if you want."
I consider this a second, then shake it.
"No, that wouldn't be fair to everyone else."
"Suit yourself. So, when's your birthday?
"March 13, 1996. I love when my birthday falls on a Friday."
The twenty questions come to an end and were in the venue, preparing for sound check with the others.
"What's your favorite MCR song", Gerard inquires.
"That's what you'll be singing with us."
My eyes are wide.
"Look, you've got a great voice, your presence is phenomenal, and your Gee's kid. You're definitely worthy of getting up here again", Frank pipes.
FRANK IERO. WHY AM I NOT USED TO THIS YET!?
I tackle him. He hugs back.
I can't believe this. I get to sing Cancer. For my mom. With my DAD.
~Part 7 of 8: Cause I'm Awful Just To See~
We got through sound check and people started to arrive at the venue for the second night.
Gerard, Mikey, Frank, and Ray were all getting ready, which left me, LynZ, Frank's wife, Ray's wife, and my new aunt to sit on the small couch and twiddle our thumbs and wait for them to finish.
"I'm sorry- what are your names again?"
"LynZ." She smiled at this, being oh-so clever. I rolled my eyes slightly.
"When are they gonna be ready?"
"Oh- it'll take awhile. Just be glad this isn't Projekt Revolution. That took FOREVER. Seriously, I've never seen guys that take THAT FUCKING LONG to do their makeup and put on a jacket." We all rolled in laughter. This is why I already loved LynZ. Within the last 18 hours of me knowing her, she's been great. Just then, the guys walked out of the dressing room.
"FINALLY", Alicia shouted.
Mikey laughed and pulled her to his chest for a hug.
Gerard pulled me away and into the dressing room.
"Want me to do your makeup?" I looked at him in disbelief.
"...Sure." His face lit up and he grabbed the foundation. Oh, fuck.
I'll sum this process up;
Gerard: LA DI DA *coats my face in cosmetics
Me: *prays to the God I don't even believe in 'Don't let him fuck it up.'
He turns me toward the mirror and sets my glasses in my hand. I put them on and stare into the reflective glass.
I looked GOOD. I had white foundation on to make me look significantly pale, dark red eyeliner coating the skin beneath my eyes, and red eyeshadow that faded to black on top. The best part was the fake scars around my check bones and blood red blotches on my neck, underneath my ears.
I quickly put my hair up in pigtails.
I looked like him.
"Now there's no doubt that your mine." He hands me his Party Poison jacket and mask. I put them on and I'm almost surprised at how well they fit.
"Thank you... Dad."
He hugs me and we head out to the hall.
"We're on in ten", Frank shouts to the others.
I go the the side of the stage and watch Neon Trees finish their set and then watch as Dad, Mikey, Ray and Frank run onstage with this dude name Mike and play Na Na Na.
I have an amazing parent.
~Part 8 of 9: The Moon Is the Only Light We'll See~
"You know, kids do crazy things at parties. They drink themselves into oblivion, they get stupid, and they stop thinking. And, although most of the time the outcome of those nights isn't so great, the product of one special night can be an amazing person. I'd like you all to meet someone just that special and amazing. I'd like you all to meet Elliot."
The crowd cheered and I walked onto the stage.
"Elliot was at the concert here last night and she got up here to sing Vampires Will Never Hurt You. It turns out Elliot is my daughter. She's gonna help us sing another song, and she wants to sing Cancer."
At this point, the crowd is cheering in pure shock because they can't do much else. I guess it's my turn to speak.
"I'd like to dedicate this song to my mom, Arita Lore. She died of breast cancer about 3 months ago and she gave me everything. When she died, I wasn't there and I never got to say goodbye. I don't believe in a higher power, or even an afterlife, but if you're watching, I miss you more everyday."
James started the song and I took a deep breath. I knew Gerard wasn't going to be singing with me.
I saw my mom throwing up at the hospital when she was going through chemo. She told me never to look, because she didn't want me to remember her like that, but I always looked. I couldn't keep myself from looking. It scared the shit out of me.
If you could, get me a drink of water cause my lips are chapped and faded
I thought of the ice she sucked on and how much she looked like death, even earlier on. She was always so pretty, but it was taken from her.
Call my aunt Marie
I thought of the day she died. I came home from school to a quiet house. I called out to her to see if pizza was okay for dinner, but she didn't answer. I walked into her room and tried to shake her awake, but she didn't wake up. I called Iva and told her and she practically screamed in horror. She came over immediately and we held each other in tears.
Help her gather all my things
That night, the ambulance took mom away and I went to stay with Iva. I got as much as I could because I never wanted to go back in that house.
And bury me in all my favorite colors
My mom decorated the entire house in blue and green. She told me they reminded her of the ocean, and that someday she'd take me there. We lived in Bakersfield and we didn't make it there before we found out of the cancer. I made sure she was wearing them during the procession.
My sisters and my bothers still I will not kiss you
Iva and uncle Markus refused to kiss my mother's cheek. The didn't see it as her anymore, and neither did I.
Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you
I didn't want to leave the graveyard that night. Iva and I stayed until closing, when we were kicked out by the security guard.
Now turn away, cause I'm awful just to see
My mom never looked in the mirror after she started chemo. She saw the reflection once and spent a day crying because of how much she hated her new look.
Cause all my hair's abandoned all my body
I shaved my head, thinking maybe it would instill confidence in my mother, but it only enraged her. "You don't understand it. You shaved your head because you thought I wasn't confident and that matching me would prove something. What part of the treatment buys me more time? What does it help?"
All my agony
My mom was miserable the last six months of her life. She woke up, went to work, and waited for exhaustion take her.
Know that I will never marry
My mom had a boyfriend named Rufus. They were in love and he was so sweet to her. When she found out, she told him it was over and kicked him out of her life without giving a reason. It was for the best.
Baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo and counting down the days to go
My mom kept track of all the days she lived after that. She made tally marks on the dry erase board and waited. She died one day after the six-month milestone.
It just ain't living
"I'M NEVER GOING TO SEE MY DAUGHTER GRADUATE, IVA! MY BABY ISN'T GOING TO HAVE A MOTHER FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE AND ALL YOU CAN SAY IS 'IT'S GONNA BE FINE'? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?...Why can't you understand?"
And I just hope you know
"One day, I won't be here, and you're going to have to fight. Nobody can give you a future, El. If you want something, you have to earn it, believe in yourself and don't let anything hold you back."
That if you say goodbye today, I'd ask you to be true
"I know I've never been a great mom. I yell too much, and I'm not that attentive. I'm sorry that you won't be able to have a grandmother for your kids. I'm sorry that I won't be there to see you have kids. I'm going to miss you, and I hope you believe me about just how much I love you."
Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you
I ran to the phone. "IVA- OMYGOD! IVA- I NEED YOU!"
She knew exactly what was going on.
Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you
"Why didn't she just tell me?", Rufus sobbed.
The song was over and I was in tears. There had been thousands of lighters in the air and it was prefect. At least everybody in sight was crying and I was touched that everybody could share this emotion with me. Even Gerard was crying.
~Part 9 of 9: The Verdict Doesn't Love Our Souls~
Within the next two weeks, things changed drastically.
I met Bandit. She's five, not ten.
LynZ and I became pretty close. We talk music, art, books, etc.
Toro started teaching me how to play guitar and Frank's coaching me on how to maintain my stage presence.
Gerard taught me his makeup secrets and some drawing techniques. He takes me for rides in the Trans Am every night and, sometimes, he lets me drive us home.
Mikey and I like to do arts and crafts together and watch zombie movies. It's rather enjoyable.
Also, my dad apparently has a dog.
Yeah- I'm different from what I was two weeks prior to this. I'm doing things the old Elliot would have been scared to do. I take chances, make mistakes, and learn from the experience. I really like it here, and I don't want to go to Bakersfield.
It was June 13th when Iva showed up.
"Iva, I'm happy to see you, but I have 3 more days..."
"NU-UH! You live here!"
"You want to live with Gerard, right?"
"Do you, Elliot, take Gerard Way to be your lawful and genetic father- to have and be held by, in sickness and in health, til your 18 and you can move the fuck out?"
What? Um... shit. What's my line? OH!
"I now pronounce your ass under parental guardianship. You may grab a box of your clothes from my car."
I decorated my room in bright yellow, sunset orange, and hot pink- all my favorite colors. I put up posters and hung my art work and pictures. It was perfect. My bed was full size with black sheets and a rainbow tie dyed comforter. So me. All my clothes were put away in the right place, my bed was wrinkle-free, and my CD's were all on the wrack.
I love my room.
"Can I came in", I hear Gee call.
He walks in and observes my room. "Very you. Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to go to Europe with me and the guys.
Did even HAVE to ask that?
"What do you think?"
"I'll buy the plane ticket."
Part 3: Lady Gaga- Paparazzi
Part 4: Green Day- Jesus of Suburbia
Part 5: TGTB&TQ- Kingdom of Doom
Part 6: Weezer- Undone: The Sweater Song
Part 7: MCR- Cancer
Part 8: Ben E King- Stand By Me
Part 9: Gorillaz- Tomorrow Comes Today
I am officially done with this part of the story. Now for Volume 2 of DILTF...