"The first and only person to help me out since Gee." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
Why is he doing this; why is he being so nice to me?
Frank, I mean. He has absolutely no reason to want to help me and every reason to want to hurt me, and yet here the two of us are sat in the back of the local Starbucks on two opposite couches with soothingly scorching coffees clutched tightly in our hands like they’re some sort of ancient treasure. He paid, said that it was the least that he could do and seeing that we share the same house now I know that I’ll get the opportunity to pay him back whenever I actually have the finances to do so. He also insisted that we get a taxi here because, even I will agree with this, there is no way that I could have walked here in the state that my bruised body has been left in.
A state that his friends inflicted me with like antibodies fighting against me as though I’m some sort of repulsive infection. I guess I kind of am; I infected them with views of something that isn’t what they think it should be, thus proving them wrong and so I had to be dealt with like the other kids dealt with me back at my old school. Apart from they never threw me into a patch of brambles, never kicked me until I spat out my own blood, never made me scream like I’m on a derailed rollercoaster.
But I guess the flip side of that is the fact that none of them ever apologized to me before either. Frank did. Frank still is if the deeply regretful tone in his gaze is anything to go by.
Good. He should feel guilty for not even giving me fair warning.
Of course he doesn’t fucking deserve to feel bad over something that he didn’t even do; sure, he could have stopped it but that doesn’t make him responsible for the attack. It just makes it feel all the more strange that he seems to be trying so hard to make me like him, to make me feel better. I do like him; he’s easily the best-looking person that I’ve ever seen and in ways that make me think that there’s something more to him than the shallow persona he adopts at school. How can I not like him after the way he’s treated me this afternoon?
He apologized to me. He fucking apologized and I know that for someone like Frank, someone with an ego the size of Saturn, to apologize it means that he must really mean it, that he really wants to make a fresh start so that we can at least try to get along like I think we could do if only we just gave each other a chance.
Which is what we’re doing now and I really like it; we’re just sat opposite one another, taking each other in and he hasn’t asked me a question yet that can’t be answered with a nod or shake of the head, like he understands that I’m not really into talking all that much. But I think I could be, for someone like the person that he’s being at the moment I would recite the entire works of Shakespeare.
For the first and only person to help me out since Gee.
He called me by Gee’s old nickname, a name that I thought I’d never hear again. A name that makes me think of every good moment in my life, of every single game of tag, of every bedtime story, of every comforting hug, of everything that I don’t have anymore.
I don’t know quite how I feel about Frank calling me ‘Mikes’; half of me wants to tell him that he can’t call me that because it hurts too much to hear it when it isn’t coming straight from the lips of my big brother and the other half of me is finding exaltation in it purely because it is a name that I associate with love and comfort. Everything that my soul is longing for like a starved child longs for a burger; especially longing for it from Frank.
No. I don’t want to get close to Frank and I certainly don’t want him to love me or comfort me or care; if he does then it’ll just hurt twenty agonizing times as much when he does leave, when he realises that his friends are right about me. If he cares about me then it will be harder for me to cut because I’m running out of room on my wrists that I can easily cover up with wristbands, if he cares then what would he do if he saw the angsty nips at my skin fresh from the teeth of my razor blade? He’d call me a freak, a weirdo who needs to be locked up and sent to a mental institution. He’d stop acting all caring pretty fucking quickly.
Not that he does care. Right now he’s just feeling guilty over something that his friends did and that guilt is just showing itself as benevolent care. As him being the sort of person that I desperately want to believe he is, the sort of person who I really wouldn’t mind caressing the side of my face with his curious fingertips like he did back in the bathroom. At one point he’d even leaned right up close to me, like his heavenly features were being magnetised towards my own hellish ones, making my heart beat with the speed of a rabbit racing away from a fox and I actually thought something that I’ve never thought about anyone else before; I really wouldn’t mind if he kissed me, if he held me like I want to be held and whispered soft comforts like Gerard used to.
In fact, I’d love it. It would make me feel worth something, like I’m not as alone as I really am. But that will never happen simply because I’m Mikey Way; the freaky cutter kid with no friends, no life and no hope, much less a heart worth loving. Much less a heart capable of loving back without fucking everything up like I always do. That doesn’t stop me from wishing though; wishing that I could have the soft lightning strike of his fingers one more time, although without the motive of inspecting my wounds and with the motive of simply getting to know my skin. Yet again, though, this is something that can never happen; if he were to ever fall in love with me, which is fucking impossible, he would find out about the cutting sooner or later and that’s something that I can’t let happen. Because if someone who cares finds out then they’ll make me stop, they’ll strip away the one thing that I have left of my old life and make me go through life being numb and without the knowledge that I can show Gerard how sorry I am through punishing myself.
I can’t let that happen. Never.
But I can let him be my friend, right?
I doubt that he even wants to be my friend though, nobody else other than Gerard and Ray (both of whom left me in the end anyway) has ever wanted to be my friend so why the fuck should someone as popular and respected as Frank want to be affiliated with the likes of a loser like me? He shouldn’t. And yet I can’t help but get the feeling that he does want to know me, wants to know the person that I was before I became the pathetic little creep that I am today.
“So… got any homework yet?” His voice is starting to get restless, like he’s getting bored of doing all the talking but at the same time doesn’t want to stop; like he just wants me to be as good to him as he has been to me this afternoon.
I want to answer him with words from my swollen, torn lips, really I do; but I just… I don’t have anything worth saying. I don’t have any kind words or optimistic little statements to utter nor do I have the kind of silken voice that he does, all symphonic and in tune with the surroundings like he’s meant to be here; like he belongs in the world that I’m cursed with being stuck on without my big brother. So, not knowing what else I can do to respond without making him realise how much of a weirdo I am, I simply shake my head.
“Nah, me neither.” He takes a prolonged sip of his coffee, his eyes darting around with the cute curiosity of a puppy, and he looks at me almost longingly; like he really does want to get to know me like I want him to, like I know I can’t let him because not only will that destroy everything that I’ve got left, but it will also make his social life fall to shit and I just can’t do that to the boy who has been kind enough to clean my wounds with the caring concern of a cat over her tiniest kitten. “Tell me about you, Mikes. What is there to know about Mikey Way that only Mikey Way can tell me?”
He’s smiling at me, looking very much like Gee used to whenever I didn’t want to talk to him about the fresh bruises to my face or the new lacerations to my mind; like all he cares about is getting an answer from me. And I really do want to give him one, but I just can’t. It wouldn’t be fair on him for me to get to know him and vice versa because all I ever do is let down the people who trust me, all I ever do is make them leave and I really don’t want to make Frank leave.
I don’t want to lose the one person I have left who I think might just want to care; to lose him would be like the worst kind of torture humanly perceivable.
Hang on. Why the fuck should he care about me? All I’ve done is be rude to him and managed to get nearly knocked out by his friends; in theory he should be giving me the same sort of treatment. But he isn’t. Which means that this must be a trick, he must be pretending, trying to get me to trust him so that his revenge for my lack of respect will be twice as cutting as it would have been anyway. Yeah, he’s tricking me; using me to make himself even more popular when he makes me cry in front of everyone with the force of his fist.
Why else would he be acting so kind to me when everyone I love is gone because of me? I’m practically a murderer and yet Frank still seems to want to be my friend. He really does seem to want to get into my head, to know me as well as I think nobody knows the real him that only I’m just starting to see, but at the same time I just can’t banish my cynicism; but it’s not cynicism, it’s realism.
Nobody will ever love me, care for me, want me, adore me. Not even I do. Nobody should ever even look at the freak who practically killed the one good thing he had in his life, the cutter kid who made the most wonderful big brother in the world burn to death.
At the memory I shudder in excruciated sorrow; whenever I think of it all I can see in my mind’s eyes is the charred-black remains of my big brother, all I can feel is his flaming arms wrapped around me, all I can hear is his screams and howls of the agony that must have been twenty times as horrendous than he made them sound because he always tried to play down his pain in front of me.
Fuck! I can’t get it out of my head, I can’t stop seeing it. I can smell the smoke, hear the sirens; it’s all replaying in front of me and it really fucking hurts like I know I deserve to hurt for getting trapped under that damn bookcase.
So I hide my head in my hands, squeezing my eyes shut like a vice and bighting down hard on my lip; just trying to blot out all of the memories, every little detail from the way Gerard’s eyeliner was running down his face with his flam-bought sweat to how many pairs of strong arms it took to pry me away from my dead big brother when we were finally out of the home that became hell in a matter of minutes.
I let out a pathetic little whimper, the stress of the recollection forcing the sound out of my lips like a spurt of water breaking into the hull of a ship. I know that it’s stupid and embarrassing and a million other things that I’m sure will make Frank either laugh at me or yell at me, but I just can’t help it; I haven’t cried like this about what happened in front of anyone and now that I am I can’t seem to stop. And nor do I want to. I know that he didn’t even mention the fire, but it’s what he meant and the line of thought that his words triggered pulled me down into the depths of the memories of losing the person who cared the most no matter what I did.
But now he’s gone and all I can think of is the fire. The flames and how they kept on lashing at us until Gee just collapsed outside, how I was forced off of him even though I had made up my mind that I couldn’t leave him because he would never have left me. I did leave him though, and now the crushing guilt of that is pouring out of my eyes like the blood that trickles out of my wrists whenever I take my razor to it.
“Mikes?” Frank squeaks, his voice full of bemused worry and with a slight hint of the panic that is fast gripping my lungs at the thought of the sickly smoke that infiltrated my lungs and suffocated my big brother. “Please don’t cry, I don’t do well with comfort so please don’t cry!”
Despite the deeply touching tone to his plea, the kind of plea that makes me think that he really does care, I just can’t not cry; now that I’ve started I just can’t stop, I just carry on bawling like the pathetic little prick that I am. Bawling because someone is actually acting like the care because they want to, not because they’re getting paid to, and I just don’t know how to deal with that; how to deal with someone being almost as nice to me as Gerard was and I can’t cope with it because it should be Gee being nice to me after I’ve gotten beaten up, not some kid who probably hates me just as much as his friends do.
I hear him heave a sigh in a way that makes remorse pile onto me like my heart is a mosh barely containing all of these different emotions, from possible infatuation with Frank to complete desolation, and before I can even process the sound of movement the part of the Starbucks leather couch next to me sinks down, forcing me to lean slightly to my left. Slightly to my left and straight into the open arms of someone who wasn’t there before; Frank.
Frank Iero is sat next to me, has got his arm around me, is pulling me into his chest and isn’t caring that I’m making an idiot of myself in front of everyone in Starbucks.
“You need to calm down, Mikes. Breathe. You’re gonna end up having a panic attack if you carry on like this, just calm down.” His voice is slightly panicked itself, but at the same time it fills me with hope; hope that he might just think that I’m a person worth caring about, a person who he should hold in his arms a hell of a lot more. “I’ve got you, Mikes.”
And, for some obscure reason, that makes me feel better.
But what makes me feel even closer to alright, is the fact that even though my tears are slowing down and he really knows nothing about why I just had meltdown in public, he’s still holding me like I matter, like he doesn’t care about the fact that he’s showing his true colours in public. Like he’s actually enjoying holding me close.
“There you go, just keep breathing like that.” His voice is taking on a slightly awkward tone now. “I’m sorry, Mikes… I don’t know what I said, but I’m sorry that I upset you like that. You don’t have to talk to me if you don’t wanna… I get it and I’m sorry for not getting it sooner.”
He rubs his hand against my arm, making me stifle a whimper as he rubs the fabric against one of my fresher cuts and thus reminding me how wrong it is for me to be enjoying the contact that I should never have as much for my benefit as anyone else’s. His words strike a heart-stoppingly deep chord within me; everyone else, the doctors and the social workers, have been telling me that I have to talk but now he’s saying that he gets it, gets that I just don’t want to unless I have to. And for that he has my respect, has my gratitude and my admiration; my heart too, should he want the broken carnage that’s left of it.
Of course he fucking doesn’t.
But with him holding me in his arms and whispering soft placations into my ears, I can’t help but wish.
I hear a huge bang, kind of like a mini explosion coming from the kitchen area of Starbucks and I jump so erratically that I make Frank gasp in surprise.
And then I hear it; the sound of the fire alarm. I can’t see the fire but what if there really is one; what if it isn’t just some renegade toasty-maker that I can hear a nearby waitress moaning about?
The siren’s blaring and there’s a red light flashing and I can’t breathe and I don’t want this to go wrong again and what if there’s a fire and what if I lose everything again and I can’t fucking breathe!
My body starts shaking frantically, my arms thrashing of their own accord and I just can’t fucking breathe!
“Mikey, there isn’t a fire, you’re safe; I promise. Please, clam down, I think you’re having some sort of panic attack. Just try to breathe, okay?” He all but yells as he grips me tighter in fear, his worry making me want to carry out his simple request like I want to be able to.
But I just can’t fucking breathe!
A/N: Thank you very much for taking the time to read and please review so that I know how to improve! :)