"Aw, Sweetie. Could you be any more innocently cute?" Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
Hands press shyly to my chest, poking it as though the owner of the hands expects it to turn into a hand grenade at any second. The voice sounds frightened, like a little kid trying valiantly to be brave about the vicious barks of a violent thunderstorm; fuck that, the voice sounded terrified, well and truly petrified of something that I’m not even aware of.
That voice belongs to Mikey, the fragile and fretful tone is unmistakably that of my new (and only (and first)) friend, the beaten down boy who is drowning the most horrendous kind of grief imaginable. The kind that moved me to cuddle him closer than I’ve ever cuddled anyone else before, the kind that forced me into caring about him as though I’ve known the boy all of my life. It really does feel like I have, because I understand what it’s like to get beaten down by everyone and to find everything painful because you just don’t know if it’s worth it or not. But Mikey’s worse than I ever was, it’s like he both expects and accepts his treatment; like he’s actually surprised that he’s not getting that from me.
And that’s not fucking normal. It’s about as far from normal as Slipknot is from Katy Perry. For a sixteen-year-old to have the same sort of jumpiness to him as a baby bunny, for him to actually look like he’s constantly waiting for a hit is as sickening to think about as downing bleach physically is. I mean, no teenager should have to live in fear of bullies, but this? It’s like he’s been put on this world for the sole purpose of getting smacked around, at least that’s what his restlessly shifty eyes tell me. Restlessly shifty eyes that are like two huge, glistening whirlpools of pure sweetness; like two spoonful’s of treacle sitting enticingly on the ice-rink of his intricately stunning face.
“Frankie, are you awake?” He hushes quickly, as though he’s saying the words before he can chicken out, and it’s just enough for me to realise through my closed eyes that he’s most likely crying.
Shit. I fell asleep, didn’t I?
Guilt ignites my veins and circulates my body on a relentless tour of remorse at the thought of me leaving Mikey to his own grief and fears just because I got little to no sleep last night through anxieties about my new school and he’s just too comfy for me to not fall asleep holding. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve already let him down; I promised myself that I’d help him through this, whatever ‘this’ is, because I honestly don’t think that anyone else will and I’ve already fucked up.
So I snap my eyes open and sit bolt upright, rubbing against Mikey in the process.
He whimpers and shuffles to the opposite end of the bed; head down and eyes dripping liquid shame that slithers down his bruise-only flawed face like moonlight serpents destroying all that I managed to stop before drifting into a dream that would never have been as good as seeing Mikey Way’s innocent little halo smile. He’s curling his knees into his chest, wincing as I hear his abused bones creak in protest, and shaking as though I just punched him instead of brushed softly against that delicate tissue-paper skin that I would never tear with the same mindless brutality as his ‘friends’.
He’s scared of me, isn’t he? I knew that he was unsure of my intentions, not that I can blame him after finding him half-passed out at the hands of two bastards claiming to be his ‘friends’, but it breaks my heart to think that he’s terrified enough to actually burrow away in the pillows at the top of my spacious bed just because of my accidental contact.
Before I do anything else, curious about how long I was asleep for and more significantly how long Mikey might have been suffering like this for, I glance to my bedside clock; shit.
It’s four in the afternoon, I’ve been snoozing for almost half of the day and let Mikey Way, a boy who’s pulling on my heartstrings with the strength of a rhino with his soul-dampening whimpers, go through whatever has happened all alone. Just like he feels. Just like I swore I will never let him be. But just what has happened? Did the movie spook him into fear and he’s only just speaking out about it now, hours after the credits must have ended? Did grief overwhelm him, like I can easily imagine it doing with such a sensitive guy, at memories of watching films with his boyfriend?
Did I do something; was it me?
I’ll never forgive myself if I ruined his calmness, if I hurt him even more than those bastards, and life in general by the looks of it, have hurt him. Because he just doesn’t deserve to be hurt. And he deserves to be cowering away from his one true friend in absolute, heart-wrenching terror even less.
So I start to crawl down the bed, going along with the slowness of a steady steam train so as not to frighten him further into his rabbit hole of despair and misery; that’s the last thing either of us needs. I’m at the top of the bed now, millimetres away from Mikey Way’s quaking form and kneeling to be slightly taller than his shuddering self so that I can seem at least a little bit like the right person for him to trust, my hands are outstretched in a placating manner; killing me on the inside in the process because I just want to be his friend, I just want him to trust me as much as I think I trust him. It’s not a want; it’s a need.
Because he’s sweet. Because he’s timid. Because he’s vulnerable. Because he’s got adorably puppy-like eyes. Because he’s got the kind of structure to him that just screams at me to hold him closely to myself; because this boy’s caught my heart in a matter of hours even though I know that he’s beyond off-limits to my wondering mind. He’s already scarred and scared enough without me adding to the carnage that my friend has become. Apart I’ve already added to it, I fell asleep and woke up to find him terrified beyond rationality; I’ve let him get hurt again.
“Hey, Mikey, it’s okay. It’s just me; your friend, Frankie. I’m not gonna hurt you, you know that. I’m just here to help you, to be your friend.” I fight to keep the urgent panic out of my velvety voice, with a blessedly high success rate, and offer him the tiny glow of a smile when he cautiously pokes his head out from his hands, eyes red and puffy beyond recognition. “Oh, Buddy, c’mere.” I coo desperately to him, letting him see how much his way-past fretfully sorrowful state is distressing me in the hopes that it will make him realise just how much I really do care about him.
I really fucking do; more than any other person I’ve ever met. Because every other person that I’ve ever met has never been quite as cute, as benign, as gentle, as deserving, as stamped on, as adorable as Mikey Way.
Slowly and gut-kickingly unsurely he curls out of himself, regarding me with the eyes of a wild animal seeing the threat of a human for the very first time. I nod at him, my grin growing and blossoming as he follows the beseeching encouragement in my eyes to slowly shift towards me, limbs battered and shaky, but heading willingly towards me nonetheless. With anyone else I might start getting impatient, perhaps just give up on a kid that so many other people blatantly have done, but with Mikey I don’t think that I could give up even if his body language wasn’t screaming for the comfort, for the help, that I know only I will deliver. With Mikey I just keep my arms as wide open as my heart and let my eyes glisten with the kind of benevolence that I don’t think anyone has had the intelligence to show him for a very long time. Too long.
But that ends now, as he allows himself to collapse against me and I gently pat his hair down, keeping in mind how jumpy he is as I let my hands dust down his back to connect like a chain around his waist so that we’re hugging like we were earlier. Apart from it feels different this time round; this time it feels like I really am the only thing keeping him afloat in a swirling sea of desolation, the one person that he has left.
And, with that crushing thought, pure fury ignites my chest; what the fuck are his parents doing with him if they’ve let him wind up like this? What the fuck were they thinking when they sent him off to school when he so clearly wasn’t ready? I wish they could see him right now, see him and feel torn apart by the guilt that’s latched itself onto me at seeing such a meek guy in such unsustainable suffering.
I can deal with my own frustrations later, when I drop him off at his house like I will insist on doing, but right now he’s sobbing into my chest and shuddering as though his insides are on fire and I don’t fucking know why. I’m his friend; it’s my duty to discover the reason and swiftly destroy it, like he’s destroyed the loneliness that I was drenched in up until this morning.
“Mikey, what’s wrong? Does your head hurt? Did the movie scare you? What happened?” The questions come out in a frantic flurry, making me blush deep crimson (like the crimson that is streaked across his precious face in the form of a nasty scrape most likely from the rough brickwork of the alley wall) at how much I sound like a gushing schoolgirl fawning over the cute little guy that every girl secretly wants to be with. Oh, wait. I am.
How can I be thinking like this, about how serenely stunning Mikey is and about how perfect he would look if only I could ease him into a smile, when the poor little angel is practically freaking out in my arms; how can I think about what my heart is screaming at me when Mikey is almost screaming straight into my heart?
I readjust myself so that I’ve got Mikey softly curled into my lap like a kitten, his head resting sweetly on my chest as my arms wind their own way upwards and around those shaking shoulders that are bruised-black underneath the fabric of the grey t-shirt that I’ve lent him, and rub my nose into his hair in a way that’s almost akin to nuzzling. Apart from it’s not; nuzzling connotes romance, this is an action that’s being carried out through need, through it being the only form of comfort that I can think to offer my only friend in his time of desperate need.
He starts coughing, choking on misery’s bitter river, making my hands move of their own accord to be stroking soothing circles of care onto his heaving back; it’s almost as though he’s throwing up sorrow, everything surging through his system and making him just melt down in my arms as though he’s facing his own personal apocalypse. Although it’s physically painful to see him like this, I can’t help but be glad that it’s my arms that he’s melting down in; because I know that it’s my arms that will be piecing him back together. It’s what friends are for, right?
No. It’s what boyfriends are for.
Shut up. I can’t start thinking like that, not yet and not now; not when he’s grieving for the love of his life.
“Okay, Mikey, okay; you’re gonna be fine, Buddy, everything will work out. I’ll make sure that it does.” I vow solemnly, none of my trademark smirk anywhere near my solid statement of fact, and rub my nose against his icy forehead once more; it may have somewhat romantic connotations, but it seems to be making him feel better and that’s all I really care about right now. “But you gotta tell me what made you so scared, Buddy.”
‘Buddy’. He likes being called that if the strange delight igniting his pupils whenever I say it is anything to go by. I love calling him that, love it more than a vicar loves a church; more than I’ve ever loved anything else in the history of ever. I love it because I’ve never had anyone else to call my buddy, I might have had people that I wanted to call that in the past but they would have most likely smashed their fist into my skull at just the suggestion of being associated with me. Now I’ve got Mikey though, my friend and buddy and precious little angel in need of the protection that only this sinner can offer. And not to mention my crush.
Not to mention because it can’t ever be mentioned; I’m not going to deny the undeniably true fact that I find everything about him, from his looks to his personality, painfully attractive because I really fucking do, I’m just saying that he can’t know. He needs a friend right now, not some perverted punk-boy following the concept of love-at-first-sight like some fucking fairy-tale princess. He needs someone he can trust to care for him and the last thing that I want to do is scare him off with thoughts of me being something other than a friend. I mean, of course it’d scare him; I’ve only known the kid for a day and yet I’m already thinking of him like… That.
But that just proves that this must be true love; I’ve never felt something this powerful ever before.
No. I’m not falling for him. I’m not; I can’t be. I’m no good for someone as fragile as him and he’s no good for someone as reckless as me, it will never end well.
But comforting him is something that I can definitely do that will both benefit him and satisfy me with the fruit of his smile, a smile that I’ve only had a brief glimpse of but need like a cocaine addict needs it’s next hit of that soothing white powder.
“Speak to me, Sweetie.”
I should regret calling him Sweetie, but I just can’t.
Because the tenderly and dearly used nickname has made him smile. It’s only a little twitch of the lips, but it’s more than enough to encourage me to cradle his head even firmer into the pulse of my pounding heartbeat. Perfect.
“I went to sleep, Frankie.” I flinch at how haunted he sounds, like someone has sucked all life out of him like his speech has sucked the starts of a smile off of his face. “I know you told me not to and I’m sorry but I was real sleepy and I couldn’t help it and I’m sorry!”
He volcanically erupts into more tears, looking up at me with eyes so full of remorse that it makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong. I have; I, somehow through reasons out of my control, have put him under the impression that I’m cross with him and so he’s correlated that with getting hit again. Kicked again. Yelled at again. All of the things that I could never do to him, again.
I could tell him that it’s alright, that I’m not cross and that I most certainly will not be hurting him anytime soon or ever, but words can only get me so far. And actions speak in a much softer tone than words, a tone that clearly gets through to Mikey Way if what I know of him is any sort of indicator. So I pull his head out of my chest by semi-scooping his chin in my dainty palm, and force his eyes to lock onto my mine whilst my other hand traces made-up patterns onto his back; and in those few precious moments where our eyes are linked together in a stark flash of electricity, I know that I’ve conveyed all that I need to.
“I had a bad dream.”
Aw, Sweetie. Could you be any more innocently cute?
Yes. You could, if you were smiling like you so obviously deserve to smile.
With that he hides himself in me once more, expanding upon the damp patch of sorrow’s acid in a scorchingly agonizing way. In a way that breaks my heart all over again. So, in response to the action that means the world to me because I know that it means his trust, I run my fingers caringly through his hair; twisting it around my fingers in the same way that my mom does to me whenever I come home in floods of tears and just want to be held.
“It was only a dream, Sweetie. It wasn’t real and it’s all over now; I’ve got you and I’m your friend, which means that I can’t ever let anything hurt you again.” I smile warmly to myself as I feel him cling onto the hem of my t-shirt, an involuntary noise of semi-contentment squeezing through his nasal passages. I feel him relax against me at my purely honest words; words that I would kill to prove to him. “That’s it, chill.”
My eyes drift back to the clock; half past four. It certainly doesn’t feel like half an hour since I looked at the clock last, I guess that no second seems long enough when I’m cradling such a perfectly adorable little angel to my chest. But the truth of the matter is that school’s been out for over an hour and his parents must surely be going out of their minds with worry; I know that I would be if I didn’t know where Mikey was.
“Hey, shouldn’t you phone your parents or something? They must be worried sick about you, Sweetie.”
He tenses at my careful words, tenses and then shudders as though a ghost has just passed through his frail form. For a second I think that he’s going to start full-on wailing again, but then something in his eyes falters and melts; something that I had only just rebuilt.
“They’re in jail. Both of them.” At those almost non-existent squeaks I can’t help but hold onto him tighter; just what the fuck has life dragged this poor kid through? “I live with my big brother and his boyfriend.”
As much as I want to ask him what his parents did I understand fully that I can’t. He’s the sort of person who’s more likely to tell me of his own accord when he feels like he can trust me enough with it, not if I pester him for it until I know who to pin his demeanour on.
His two carers must be terrified right now; what with two parents in prison, I’m sure that they’ve probably had their fair share of scares in the past so I can’t help but let my heart twist in guilt once more for letting myself sleep through the afternoon. I’ve got to get Mikey back home, tell his brother what happened, get the poor angel’s number and then leave him in the capable hands of his family.
No matter how much I want him to stay with me forever, I just can’t bring myself to be that selfish.
“So, Sweetie, you ready for me to take you home?”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading; I hope that this was alright! I kinda struggled with this chapter, so sorry if it sucks. Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think! :)