"I'll be upstairs."
In fact Frank and I get along pretty amazingly. I’m not really that surprised. Frank and I have a love that goes beyond mutual affection. We work well together too. We move through our apartment comfortably and we especially work well together in bed. Once we figured out the key in my comfortableness our sex life became regular and consistent.
Things aren’t always perfect though. There are still times that, without warning, I will slip into a depression. There are sometimes whole weeks when all I do is go to school, then work, and then come home and sleep. Then just as oddly as the depression came on it would leave and things would go back to normal. Frank is usually very good about helping me through. He never complains, just sits here, sometimes singing to me.
Later in the year Frank decides that school is not where he needs to be. He wants to spend more time working to support us and focusing on his music career. Of course Frank’s family was not pleased with this idea but as usual I stand by Frank no matter what his decision. Frank switched to full time work and I continue on with my art classes.
When my school let out for the summer I switch over to full time at Starbucks. Frank and I spend all our time out of work together. I go to every band practice and ever show. When school starts up again the darkness over takes me. It has been two years since my life has changed. So, instead of going to class, I head back to Jersey to climb into my bed and sort things out.
Frank comes by after work. He finds me in the same position he’d found me in for the past two years; in bed, back to the door, puppy and turtle in hand. He doesn’t say a word. Frank simply drops his stuff on the floor and climbs into bed with me. The only thing different about this time is that he turns me towards him and kisses my lips a few times. I simply burry my head in Frank’s chest and try my best to forget.
This year Mikey brings home a cold. Frank gets sick easily. I spend most days in bed with Frank so by the end of the week we are both sick. School the following Monday is out of the question.
No one expected for things to get worse. No one expected to see what we all saw on the news Tuesday morning.
I am too congested too sleep. The early morning news is all that is on. As a frantic looking news reporter comes onto the screen I wake Frank up. The images on the screen scare the shit out of me.
Frank doesn’t say a word, instead he holds me as we listen to what the new reporter says.
“Around six fifteen this morning a car was ran off the road by a dump truck carrying rocks from a local quarry. The car spun out, flipped and wrapped itself around a tree. It is still unknown if the driver and passenger in the car are alive. The dump truck driver is alright.”
The camera moves to show a little red Audi Quartto. It is smashed into a tree, the left side dented in so far that it is almost touching the right side. That is Mikey’s car. He bought is about a month ago off a used car lot after his other one broke down.
I hide my face in Frank’s chest. There is no way he’s still alive. Even if he is he’d never be the same. For a very long time Frank and I sit there, listening to the news reporter continues to tell us the police have no idea if the passenger and driver are alive.
At eleven thirty the dark haired Asian woman comes back onto the screen, her eyes serious, “It has just been announced that the driver, Michael James Way, as well as the passenger, Marcy Jane Write, are both dead.”
My world stops. Mikey was there for me through everything and now he’s gone. The girl, Marcy, was his girlfriend. They ride to work together every morning. I don’t move, even when the phone rings. This can’t be real. I pinch myself a few times wanting this to be a terrible nightmare. It isn’t. The phone rings again. Frank answers. He hands it to me.
“Amber, baby, are you watching the news?” It’s Aunt Donna.
I nod, “Yeah.”
“How are you doing baby?”
“I’m going to go sleep.”
“I’m at the hospital baby. Gerard is on his way home.”
I hang up the phone and let it fall to the ground. The back door opens twenty minutes later. I haven’t moved. I can’t breathe.
“I’ll be upstairs.”
I don’t go to my room. I do straight to Gerard and climb onto his bed. He is staring out the window, eyes puffy and red. We wrap our arms around each other and just sit. Mikey is gone.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Frank looking in on us. After a few seconds he leaves. I just continue to sit there with my cousin mourning the loss of his little brother. How the hell are we supposed to get through this?
Gerard eventually falls asleep. I don’t want to be on my own, not with the thoughts that are running through my head. Slipping out of the room I shuffle down the hallway and enter my room. Frank is there, lying on my bed, hugging my pillow.
I continue to cry as I pull on my pajamas. Frank says nothing. I climb into bed and pull the covers up over myself. I rest my head on the pillow and look at Frank through watery eyes. He reaches out to wipe my cheek with his thumb.
“I love you,” he tells me.
I nod my eyes welling up again as I think back to a time Mikey told me the same thing.
“I love you too,” I answer with a sob.
Frank gathers me up in his arms and holds me.