Eliza still finds Gerard's love difficult to face...
“Are you okay, Eliza?”
In between Gerard’s pale fingers he still held a pencil over his sketch book as if he were frozen, his silky hair had fallen over half of his face and his clear hazel’s stared at me with concern against his champagne skin. I had to slam my eyes shut for a moment to clean the perfection of his face from my mind. “Yes. Yes I’m fine.” I replied and smiled quickly. “Just a little tired.”
The lesson seemed to last forever, and all the while I could feel Lou’s cold eyes burning into me and secretly taunting me as she behaved like she was innocent.
I do believe that hate is a strong word and I really didn’t want to hate her, but boy did I strongly and most certainly dislike her. The way she allowed her little hands and arms creep around and caress Gerard and the way she whispered to him in the way that a lover would made me want to ring her scrawny little neck.
I mentally punched myself.
I didn’t want to strangle her really, did I? It was wrong for me to envy the relationship another girl shared with my best friend. It wasn’t like me and him were a public item. He wasn’t my ‘hands off’ property, even though I knew he wanted to be mine.
Now in knowledge that Lou was found of Gerard I couldn’t help but picture them together. Her with him and him with her. Her beyond white short hair contrasted beautifully with his raven coloured long hair in my mind. Her skinny little figure danced around him as she teased, pulling him to herself, and away from me.
But Gerard loved me and not her. I saw the way he cringed when she threw herself at him. He looked scared. It was obvious he was put off by the girl.
Besides, he was only my friend. I had to keep reminding myself of the fact that I had in theory rejected Gerard’s love. If anything I should have been feeling guilty, which left me completely clueless to the jealousy I felt squirming inside of me.
The feeling tore at my heart and dug deep inside of me. So deep I was unable to pick it out and analyse it. Part of me was almost tempted to tell Lou about the way Gerard had offered his heart to me. About how he told me that he had loved me for so long and the way we kissed and held one another. I could have easily rubbed that in her face and flaunt the stunning boy who had more or less told me that I was his everything. But I wasn’t selfish and heartless. I wasn’t so stupid and cruel enough to just tell Gerard’s friends that he was in love with me purely for my own pleasure.
And anyway, to me he was only my best friend, not an object for me to show off.
I sighed. Maybe Lou was just being friendly to Gerard and I was over reacting. Perhaps the flirtatious behaviour toward him and her bitchy attitude toward me were all in my imagination. After all, a few weeks before Lou had tried to protect me from Kathleen’s twisted games. She couldn’t have had it in for me as much as I suddenly suspected if she had been trying to help me.
But then Alice’s words of Lou and her apparent feelings for Gerard began to swim back through my memory.
"Everyone knew she has feelings for him, she just hasn't admitted it to anyone.
I sighed again in frustration as my brain throbbed with the mental conflict it endured, and I pushed my hands through my messed hair, praying for the lesson to end.
Surprisingly enough after what seemed like an eternity, it was the end of the school day. The first day back with Gerard was disappointingly strange. If it wasn’t the new found and sudden dislike and envy for Lou or the wide eyed and questioning stares I received from the kids around school when they saw me with Gerard and not with Kathleen, it was the fact that Kathleen herself nor her girls were no were to be seen, and for some reason I found this worrying.
At least I felt that everyone at most tried to welcome me back into the group, despite knowing they were all thinking about the sicking actions Kathleen could and would make. To one half of me, knowing that they were scared to welcome me because of Kathleen made me want to be anywhere but with them. I didn’t want people to be afraid of being around me. I didn’t want to be the reason for anyone’s pain, especially when that pain would involve Kathleen. But the other half of me was thankful that they included me, even though it was obvious that it was partly for Gerard’s sake as they knew how much he had missed me. Even Lou appeared to be friendly, well, friendly in eye of everyone else. I would have almost fallen for her charm if it wasn’t for the small voice at the back of my mind telling me that she was lying.
Gerard often became quiet during the day. He would drift off into another world and stare into space. Ray had to ask him if he was okay a couple of times before he returned to the normal world and I watched as he forced a smile and gave some bullshit excuse for the absence of his attention. Only I knew why he was quiet. He was hurting, and it was my entire fault.
Gerard walked me to his car through the cold dusk air at quarter past four to drive me home. He had become solemn again and he came across as deep in thought, so I figured it was best not to interrupt whatever was going on in his mind – which I knew too well what it was. We arrived at the car and he opened the passenger door for me still in silence. I stepped in and settled myself into the seat, Gerard got into his car soon after and started the engine and, thankfully, along with the heating.
“It’s cold, isn’t it?” He finally said, strapping himself in. I followed suit and nodded enthusiastically in agreement, happy that he was talking. “It’s freezing. I’m gonna’ have to run a hot bath at home.” Gerard didn’t reply, instead he shot me a tired smile and began to drive out of the school. I sighed, letting myself sink down into the car seat. It was difficult, pretending like nothing had happened between us. Behaving as if our relationship hadn’t changed, when in reality we had been shifted. And it was so hard to watch Gerard suffer. I hated knowing that I had ripped his heart out, that I was the reason he was so distant. But In fairness I still hadn’t truly accepted that he loved me.
Me, of all people.
“Gee, what’s the matter?” I asked, even though I knew exactly what the matter was, I just needed him to tell me so I had a reason to talk to him about it, to reassure him, even though the topic seemed out of bounds and over thought already. “Nothing, Eliza.” He replied, his eyes set directly in front of him. I shrugged and let out another sigh. “I don’t know why I asked you that, I know what the matter is.”
I wasn’t going to let it drop, but still Gerard kept quiet and concealed.
Why did he have to keep himself so locked up.
Gerard pulled in the car and stopped. I looked around and realized that we were already at my home, and that my mother was out again. I turned back to Gerard and his expression was so lost, almost scared and suddenly all I wanted to do was to cry.
This was all my fault.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered, afraid that if I spoke any louder my voice would break. Then without another thought I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him. I pushed my fingers through his hair and held him tight. For a moment he felt tense in my arms. I imagine he was shocked by my surprise action, but he soon relaxed and rested his head in my neck. “I’m so sorry for this.” I said, starting to sob. “I don’t want you to be sad.”
“I know you don’t.” He murmured. “It’s okay Eliza, please don’t cry.”
“I’m sorry for crying. I don’t deserve to cry, I caused all of this.”
“You didn’t cause anything.” He said, lifting his face so we were able to feel one another’s warm breath against our flesh. “You haven’t done anything wrong Eliza, it’s just me being all depressing and stupid.” He grinned slightly and I managed to laugh at his self-mockery. But his ability to make me feel better even though he was the one in need of comfort made me feel selfish and useless. I wanted to be the one who was strong. I wanted to be the one to make everything better.
But I couldn’t.
“I can always rely on you make me smile, even when you’re the one hurting most.” I said quietly as I began to lose myself in Gerard’s clear eyes. He bit the bottom of his rosy lips and tugged my waist closer toward him. I brought my eyes away from his and down to his swollen lips, noticing how they had become plumper and their colour had deepened during the cold.
And then the dreaded yet heavenly desire returned to me. The contradicting urge I detested so much yet I longed for it. I wanted to kiss him, I wanted to push my lips, no, smash my lips against his own. I needed to because the desire was over powering. And he was right there in front of me in my arms, basically waiting for me to kiss him, and I knew he wanted me as much as I wanted him in that moment. I wanted to show him that I loved him. I wanted to tell him how much I adored him. But I couldn’t. Because I fucking didn’t.
I don't love him I don't love him I don't love him I don't love him. I can't love him.
The same words clawed and dug into my mind over and over again making me cry out. I fell backwards against the car door and squeezed my eyes shut. I felt so stupid and weak. I had pushed Gerard’s love away and there I was losing myself in the need to love him back.
My feelings and emotions made no sense to me. I just wanted something to be easy for once.
But nothing ever is easy, especially the losing game of love.