"Everybody dies and everybody gets left behind." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
I don’t like it here, I want to go home. I just want to go home and be with my big brother and be normal.
Apart from I never was normal; was I? Do normal people live with their headphones in like they’re corks keeping their mind inside their skulls? Do normal people read like inhaling the words of fiction is the only action capable of blotting out fact? Do normal people get told that they aren’t normal by everyone at school? Do normal people like the feeling of sharp, shiny objects skating across the cold ice of their skin like skates, tearing intricate little lines all over the place?
Of course they fucking don’t.
I do though.
Because I’m not fucking normal.
I wonder what Gee would say if he could see me now; sat on the rock-hard bed that is now mine, but never really will be, and clutching a rough wad of tissue my left wrist in a half-hearted attempt to stop or at least slow the tears of blood that I have just caused with the fine razor blade that was in my jean pocket the night of the fire. I can’t even feel it, not really. Obviously I can feel the sharp little sting that made me hiss out like an overused piston when I made the first, mindless and angry swipe at my skin, but it just doesn’t hurt as much as I know it should, as much as I want it to; it doesn’t make me hurt as much as I deserve to.
Because I made Gee hurt, I made him scream and burn and crumple and convulse and die.
He was out, he could have survived and lived the life that he’d always told me he was going to; he was going to become a comic book writer, he was going to immortalize all of the superheroes that he made up for me when I was little and was in need of a good bedtime story to help me ride out that storm or this bad dream. He could have had everything that he ever dreamed of purely because he did dare to dream, did have the admirable determination to make those dreams become reality just like he always told me I could do with mine. Apart from I don’t dream. Not anymore; I just don’t see the point in aspiring to be things that you know you’ll never be because you just end up feeling a crushing sense of worthlessness when you inevitably fail. Which I would do if I actually had dreams. I just don’t dream, it’s like I’m not allowed to because I’m a disgustingly bad person.
Well, that’s a lie. I do have dreams; dreams of seeing my big brother again, of him holding me and telling me that everything is alright, that it isn’t my fault. But that will never happen because it is my fault. Gerard would still be here if it wasn’t.
I wonder if he would have still saved me if he knew what a wreck I am; that I self-harm just because I want to prove them all wrong, prove that I can control something, prove that I can feel. At least, that’s how it started.
It started one day after school a few months ago, nobody else was at home and there was this gnawing at the pit of my stomach, like everything that had ever been yelled at me was eating up my insides like a swarm of starved locusts, and I just wanted to make it stop; drown it out with something that I could control like the bullies could control me. I’d heard things about cutting, about how it’s supposed to make you feel better and so, with a familiar sense of trepidation, I tried it. At first I didn’t like it, thought that it was too painful to do any sort of good but then, by about the fifth little cut with one of my big brother’s craft knifes, the pain just took everything over; just numbed me to my thoughts. I vowed that it would be a one-off, that I would never do it again because even if I didn’t care about my personal health then Gee did, and it would have killed him to see me doing that to myself; it would have hurt him more than the blade hurt me. But the next night I went back for more. It just kept rushing around in the back of my mind like a pack of dogs, the way it made everything stop for at least a few minutes and I just couldn’t resist. So I told myself that the second time would be the last, that I would stop after that and that I could stop if I wanted to because I was in control. Well, third time’s a charm was my excuse for the third time in as many days. Then I stopped for about two days, maybe three, but then the bullying picked up again and so did my new coping mechanism.
Because cutting is like a drug, there might not be any needles or pills involved, but it is just as destructively addictive.
It was always Gerard who made me want to stop, always the way he looked at me as though I’m worth something, but now he’s dead. Dead and gone and never coming back and it’s all my fault. He fucking got out; he was safe, but oh no, stupid little Mikey couldn’t look after himself and needed his big brother to come in and save him like the hero that my big brother is. Just like always. It’s not always anymore, though. Because I killed him, killed my own big brother with my own inexcusable clumsiness and stupidity.
I haven’t been able to cut for the past two weeks for obvious reasons, but now that I can it feels different. Like it’s not doing anything for me because I’m beyond help and relief, perhaps I am, but my blade never judged me before. Never decided if it was going to work or not because I was in control. Apart from I’m not now. I’m still bleeding, bleeding like my big brother was when the paramedics dragged me away from him, kicking and screaming, but I just feel numb. Like the one thing that I have left from my old life, other than my iPod, has turned against me for what I caused my own big brother to do.
Fuck wanting my home and my bass and all of those precious memories concealed within the delicate pages of Mom’s family photo albums; I just want Gee.
Not want. Need. I need my big brother because right now I have no one and nor do I want anyone. All I want is my big brother. Not some therapist talking to me about grieving and guilt and stress. Not some social worker acting like they give a damn just because their pay cheque says that they have to. Not some, admittedly kind, woman pretending to be my mom. And certainly not some jumped-up midget with attitude problems.
Well, that’s not entirely fair on Frank, is it? I don’t even know him and yet I’m already quick to judge him. I shouldn’t be, I know what it’s like to be judged, but right now I don’t think that I could really care less about being fair. Life isn’t fair, so why should I be? If life was fair then I’d be the one dead and gone, not Gee. But that’s my life that isn’t fair; not Frank.
I should have at least tried, shouldn’t I? I should have actually made the effort like he was.
No. If I’d made the effort then I’d still be sat in the living room, acting like everything is fine when really it isn’t. Couldn’t be less fine if my army of therapists were to crop up out of nowhere. I don’t need anyone and I certainly don’t need someone like Frank Iero. Someone who thinks that it’s alright to grab me by the face like I’m some sort of mutt just because I didn’t give him my attention.
But I did, though. I gave him much more attention than I let on; especially to his eyes. Eyes that were the same shade as wild moss, dark and enthralling yet glowing with something that I would have called curiosity had it not been me that he was looking at. No, maybe it was curiosity; I am the creepy new kid who’s just commandeered his mom’s attention. Apart from the kind of curiosity that his eyes wavered with looked to be the same sort that I was feeling bubbling in my lungs; the kind that I can never feel because I can’t let it develop into anything more than curiosity. Because if life’s cruelty has taught me one thing, it’s that by allowing yourself to love someone in any way at all, you’re allowing yourself to get hurt when they leave you. Which they will. Everybody dies and everybody gets left behind. It’s just the way things are and I’ve learnt of a way to cheat the system; don’t have love and you don’t get hurt.
If only I had known that two weeks ago.
No. I don’t regret loving my family, not at all, just that loving them made losing them feel worse to my heart than the flames did to the pre-scarred porcelain of my skin. Especially losing Gee, losing the one person who kept me alive when I thought I had nothing to live for. Of course I never told him just how hideously bad I felt about myself, about what the other kids at school taunted me with, he just always knew the right thing to say just by seeing my face. Because he is my-
Was. He was my big brother. But he’s dead now. Gone. Left me. Just like everyone else.
I used to have friends; yeah, I was never the most popular kid in school but I was more than content with my select little group of friends.
Okay; I was content with my one friend. There was this one kid, an awesomely cool guy named Ray Toro, he was my best friend for years; we were almost as close as I was to Gee. But then his dad got a job in Canada, I don’t care to remember doing what, and so Ray had to go too. Leaving me with a gaping great whole that could only be filled with his friendly smile and kind words.
See what I mean; everyone who I love leaves me, leaves me all alone and twice as broken as I was to begin with.
I can still remember the night Ray left, I was thirteen at the time, and I had been completely inconsolable; Mom couldn’t get me to come down for dinner even though she’d made my favourite because she knew what that day was; Dad couldn’t get me to watch television with him like I always did after school; not even Ray’s cheery and clearly teary texts from his car could soothe the pain of losing my best friend, other than Gee, to the beast that is known as distance. But then Gerard got in from an after school detention, ran straight up to my room, like he was being pursued by the flames that caught him in the end anyway, upon remembering what was happening that day and he made everything better.
Because even if I didn’t have Ray anymore, I still had Gee. Forever and always.
”Mikes, can I come in, Kiddo?” My big brother calls cautiously from my slightly ajar bedroom door, only just audible amidst my heartfelt sobs and wails of complete devastation; I feel like my soul has just been smashed to shit by the huge, rampaging removal van that I saw outside of my best and only friend’s house a few hours ago.
Ray’s gone. He’s gone and left me in a school that was barely bearable as it was with his company to make me feel like I’m not the biggest loser/loner in that hellhole. He was the only thing stopping me from going insane and now he’s disappeared, vanished and now the bullies are going to get worse, aren’t they? I can’t defend myself like Ray did; I can’t think up witty retaliations like Ray could whenever they’re nasty to me; I can’t send me soothing little notes in class whenever I’ve managed to trudge to history class with bruises mottling my worn-out body.
But Gerard’s here. Gerard’s stood in my doorway looking like he cares, looking like he loves me more than I need him to comfort me; just like he always manages to. He looks sad though, like seeing me as nothing but a caved in mound of anguish is something that he never wants to see again. Because he’s my big brother; he’s got my back and I’ve got his. Forever.
“Gee!” I all but wail at him, my arms outstretched like a toddler reaching out for his favourite teddy bear, and the addressed comes running to me.
More like dives to me, but in the most caringly gentle way imaginable. Just buries all of my tears in a hug that’s so comforting and close that, even if I could pry his superglue arms from my shuddering body, I can’t get out of because my need to have my big brother close to me outweighs my need to have the ability to actually be able to breathe. He’s holding me with shield-like arms, pressing my head into his chest and stroking soft circles into my back as though we’ve got all the time in the world; like he’ll never leave me because he understands that me having him here to hold me is a fundamental need that has to be fulfilled or else I’ll die.
“It’s alright, Kiddo, it’s all alright. I’ve got you, Bro, I’m not gonna let go. I’m not gonna leave you. I promise.”
But he did leave me, just like Ray did.
Ray and I stayed in contact with one another for a few weeks, but in the end he just stopped texting back. Just forgot about me and I don’t understand why. I don’t need to understand why it happened; just that it did and that it really fucking hurt. Still does. Because everyone I love leaves me and I’m better off alone. Because at least when you’re alone you can’t understand what you’re missing.
I look down to see that my wrist has finally dribbled itself dry, leaving nothing but a burning red lightning strike igniting my milky skin; it looks just as sore as my soul feels but I just can’t fucking feel it, can’t feel any degree of the pain that I need to feel in order to experience some sort of solace, some sort of control over myself. I feel the tears start to well up and I do nothing to stop the daggers from tearing down my face; I’ve got nobody to be strong for anymore. No big brother to impress. Just Frank.
And why would I ever want to impress Frank?
Because he’s beautiful. Apart from he’s not. He’s mean and scary and just like the kids that bullied me at my old school. He made me cry, made me sniffle like a motherfucking toddler just because I didn’t want to speak to him.
No, I did want to speak to him. I wanted more than anything to at least try to make a friend, someone to care about me enough to make me want to not cut myself; I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything other than give my name and shrug like the antisocial little fuck that I am. I just… He seems like the sort of person who probably won’t like me, the sort of person who wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at the thought of putting me in my place and if I don’t show him that I’m out of place by showing him who I am, then he can’t put me back into the place that I’ve never even been in to begin with. But he looked genuinely sorry when he made me sniffle, when I let some emotion other than apathy show; he looked like he wanted to hug me and make it all better like Gerard once would have.
And I kind of wanted him to, wanted to feel those muscular arms hold me close and tell me that everything is alright, that I’m not alone because he’s here with me.
I don’t want that. Not at all. Not in the least. I don’t want to think like that, I don’t want the thoughts to materialize into reality and I sure as fuck don’t want my heart to splutter into my mouth when I see him; when I think of him. I don’t want any of that. I can’t want any of that. Everyone I love leaves and I can’t take being left behind again; besides, I’m doing just fine on my own. I’m coping, I’m doing alright.
With motherfucking bloody wrists and teary eyes.
That’s fine though, it’s just my way of coping and I know that it’s the only way to get through this, by just drowning out the emotional pain with the physical stinging of my blade and with the thrill of keeping the cuts hidden with wristbands.
Mrs Iero bought me them, all of the same ones that I lost to the fire and she bought every single last one of them back for me. Because she really is a genuinely lovely woman, just like my mom, and I honestly do feel sorry for her for getting lumbered with a lost cause like myself. Maybe I could get close to her, could let her hug me and mother me until I’m old enough to move out, but if I did that then I’d get attached to her; open up for the pain of her death. Because everyone dies, everyone leaves and I’ll just get left behind to face the world on my own again.
I never thought that Gee would leave me though. We always swore that we were going to be brothers forever, fight each other’s demons and always win because we couldn’t lose; we were the unbeatable Way brothers, he had my back and I had his. Forever and always.
At the thought of that age-old vow we made whenever something upset or hurt one of us, I burst into a fresh wave of guttural agony; hiding my head in my crispy pillow to try to muffle the sound of my chugging sobs that are careering out of my mouth like a runaway train crashing into a lake of loneliness. I have to try to at least control my volume a little bit. Because crying loud enough to attract attention only makes people crowd around you, makes them pester you to be quiet and stop using the only outlet that you can. I know that all too well from my hospital stay. I know that all too well from when Gee visi-
No. I didn’t see Gerard. My big brother didn’t visit me. He didn’t talk to me. He didn’t because he’s dead. Motherfucking dead and it’s all my fault; I didn’t see him that night and I’ll never see him again because I as good as killed him. He’s dead. I didn’t see him; it was just shock, survivor’s guilt, posttraumatic stress. It was just me being the fucking freak that Gee always tried to convince me that I’m not. But I am. I know I am.
And, judging by the way that Frank stormed of, Frank knows I am too.
So, just like every other night for the past two weeks, I only have one thing to do; cry myself to sleep like the pathetic little bastard that I am.
Just sleep, Mikey, just sleep.
After all, it’s your first day at your new school tomorrow. At a new school with new people to beat you up and hurt you and make you bleed and laugh at you when you cry.
At least this time around I can find solace in the fact that I know I deserve it.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and sorry for the shittyness/dullness of this chapter, more stuff should hopefully happen in the next update. Thank you sooo much for reading and please review! :)