“You have no idea how much that means to me Mama.”
I stare up sheepishly at the short, dark haired woman I called my mother, shuffling my feet awkwardly on the slightly worn looking carpet, unable to meet her narrowed eyes. I wanted to open my mouth to speak, but my mouth was dry and when I did open it no words came out.
Deny it, deny it. My mind tells me fiercely. She will be so disgusted and disappointed with you if she finds out the truth. It warns me, picking on the fact that I loathed to disappoint my hard working mother.
“Frank?” she begins sternly, raising one perfectly plucked, dark brown eyebrow. “Are the two of you…together?” she asks again.
I take a deep breath, wanting to deny it but finding myself unable to live a lie. I suppose in a way I almost wanted her to know the truth, I wanted to be accepted for who and what I was. I was just so frightened of her, most likely negative reaction. It was times like this I wished I had Gerard`s courage. Earlier he had told me that it didn`t matter what people think, and I wished I could feel that way, I honestly did. I didn`t want to feel ashamed of who I was just because some narrow minded cunts had a problem with me, but I was just too weak.
“Answer me now, Frank Iero!” she snaps, making me wince.
“I-“I sigh deeply, trying to mentally prepare myself for a huge fucking lecture or outburst about sins and God. “Yes. We are.” I tell her, voice surprisingly steady as I let my mother know the truth, ducking my head so that my wild hair formed a barrier between me and her disgust. I picture the crimson haired, beautiful boy in my mind, and think happy thoughts, willing this horrid situation to be over already.
“You mean that you are…And he and you are…?”
I nod, a single tear escaping from my eyes, slipping silently down my pale cheeks. “I`m sorry.” I say, though I didn`t at all mean it. I was in love, was that such a bad thing? I couldn’t help whom I fell in love with and it wasn`t my fault if she was unable to see it like that. So why did I still feel terrible? “I`m sorry that you hate me.”
She sighs deeply and reaches out hesitancy to pat my knee gently, like she used to when I was upset as a child whenever she was about to tell me bad news.
“You have nothing to be sorry for Frank.” My jaw threatens to drop open but I somehow manage to keep it in place.
“I can`t say that I am overjoyed by this news, but I refuse to ruin things between us. You are my son, my only child and I will never hate you, no matter what.” I am stunned by the honesty in her soft voice.
The corners of my lips curve upwards slightly, forming the ghost of a small, shy, hope filled smile. “You have no idea how much that means to me Mama.” I whisper and place my head on her shoulder, something I hadn`t done since i was a snotty six year old child with scrapped up knees and a gap-toothed grin. She tucks a soft strand of black behind one ear, revealing my face to her and the silent room.
“My sister, you Aunt Carol was like you. She preferred the same sex to the opposite.” She tells me about this aunt I never knew I had, her face clouded over with memories of the past. I notice how she doesn’t mention the word “gay” though.
“Our father was furious, he threw her out. So she came to stray with me for a while. I had just moved out a few months before.” She sighs deeply again, her eyes filling with tears.
“She struggled with it all her life, and she committed suicide on the thirteenth of February the year before you were born.” I don`t know what to say. She is sobbing silently and I am unable to help her.
“She was only twenty three.” I gasp out loud, horrified.
“I swore then that if I ever had a child or someone close to me was gay that I would never judge them.”
She kisses my forehead lightly, wiping away the last of her salty, pain filled tears.
“If you only listen to one bit of advice I ever give you Frank, let it be this. Don`t listen to what others say, if you truly love this boy then forget every mean, spiteful thing they may say. Because you are better than them, Frank. And if you are happy, then nothing anyone else says should matter.”
I hug her small body tightly, something that I hadn’t done for years, grinning wildly, still stunned and amazed by her accepting reaction and kindness.
“Hey Frankie.” Gerard smiles warmly at me as I enter the empty , silent classroom the next morning. We were both early for once, all the other kids were still outside, even the teacher wasn`t here yet. We were both glad, it gave us a chance t talk.
“So does she know yet?” I ask him, and he nods slowly.
“She kinda guessed it form how we were acting.” He smiles, quickly squeezing my hand. “She’s happy for us.”
I squeal inwardly. “So is mine.” I tell him, and his grin grows even wider than I thought possible.