When Frank goes out looking for Gerard, what tragedies unfold while he is gone? What can Gerard do to make everything okay again?
I watched as the tears streamed down Gerard’s face as he sat on his doorstep, too scared to enter his own home. I watched him as he got to his shaky feet and walked slowly round the back of his house and out of sight. I felt my stomach twist and turn. I knew that I needed to get Gerard back. I needed to get him out of that house- and fast. I didn’t want Gerard to be scared, hurt or whatever would happen to him when he went inside. I wanted Gerard back and safe with me.
I hopped down from my window and grabbed my converse which I hurriedly tied to my feet. I jogged across the road and as soon as I knew it- I was outside Gerard’s house. I had never been inside Gerard’s house before. It stood tall and ominous in front of me. I noticed a window open- I could easily fit through it. I stood on my tip-toes and looked into the room. It was empty, just full of card boxes that hadn’t been unpacked yet. I pulled myself up onto the ledge and pulled myself inside.
I walked slowly over to the door so see if anyone was coming. I could see the staircase a few meters from me. The coast was clear. I walked as slowly and as quietly as I could.
“MIKEY? IS THAT YOU?” A woman’s voice screeched from the kitchen. I looked around. I was alone, she must have heard me. I hurried up the stairs and my heart beat at about a million miles per hour.
“Jesus.” I panted as I slouched against the wall. I gained my breath and resumed my mission to find Gerard and rescue him. The only problem was I didn’t know which room was his.
I pushed the door closest to me open as gently as I could. It gave a slight creaking sound that made my heart pound faster. The room was empty, a double bed stood in the centre of the room with a few piles of clothes stacked high. Wrong room. Maybe Gerard was in the bathroom. I knew where the bathroom was because the house mirrored mine. I knocked on the door quickly before instantly regretting my decision. It could be anyone in that room.
“Who’s there?” A deep voice boomed. “Mikey, is that you?” the man questioned.
“Um…yes? Who else w-would it be?” I stuttered. “Where is Gerard?” I asked, trying to disguise my voice. The only problem was I didn’t have a clue what this Mikey kid sounded like.
“He isn’t home.” The agitated voice answered. “Now leave me alone, I am going to have a shower.” The man ordered.
“Yes sir.” I said quickly. Yes sir? What the fuck was I doing? I turned around and standing right behind me was the boy that I saw the other day when they moved in.
“Can I help you?” I asked. I felt uneasy under his gaze.
“You are in my house, can I help you?” the boy said expressionlessly. I stood there looking at him blankly. This kid was probably Mikey. “How did you get in?” he asked.
“Never mind that, where is Gerard?” I demanded.
The bathroom door behind me clicked open and Mikey pushed me into a room on the other side of the corridor, before shutting it quickly. I lay on the floor listening through the door:
“What are you doing?” the voice boomed.
“N-nothing.” Mikey stammered. I could see their feet under the door.
“Then get out of my way.” The man demanded. I heard a loud thud- the unmistakable sound of a fist on skin. Mikey’s feet hurried towards the door and I got out the way of the door just in time for it to fly open. Mikey collapsed on the bed holding his jaw. I sat there watching the tears streamed down his face. He removed his glasses from his face and tossed them to the floor so he could rub his eyes with his fists. He occasionally glanced up at me as I sat huddled against the far wall of his room.
“I wish I could help you, but I can’t.” He said finally braking the silence as he looked up at me.
“You don’t know where he is, at all?” I asked quietly.
The boy removed his hand from his face to reveal a large red mark covering most of his jaw bone.
“Is that why Gerard hates it here? Because of your dad?” I asked nosily. Why did I always have to ask the stupid questions? I hated myself for asking.
“He’s not our dad.” Mikey hissed.
“If Gerard comes home, please tell him I am sorry.” I said standing up. I needed to get out of here. I needed to find Gerard myself.
“Where are you going? Please don’t leave. I need you to stay. Please I am begging you, Frank.” Mikey begged. I saw the tears gather in his eyes.
“How did you know my name?” I asked quickly. I don’t remember telling this kid my name.
“Gerard told me about you. He really likes you. It is really nice that he has someone like you.” Mikey said. I had that weird feeling in my stomach again at the mention of his name. It was a nice feeling- but it was a feeling I wasn’t used to and a feeling I didn’t quite understand.
I sat back down on Mikey’s bedroom floor while he cleaned the blood from his face. I looked around his room: Most of his things were still boxed up, but the one thing that caught my eye was the scarlet red bass guitar lying on the floor.
“You play bass?” I asked as I scooped it up into my arms.
“Yes, I haven’t been playing long though.” He said as he dabbed his cheek with a wet cloth. I carefully placed the guitar down on the floor and resumed huddling as far from this kid as I could.
“Mikey, please help me find Gerard.” I said finally once Mikey was finished with his face.
“I…I really want to help but I doubt he wants to come home.”
“I need to apologise to him, then. I need to tell him I am sorry.” I pleaded. “Please Mikey, for me?”
He looked at me for a second before finally giving in to my puppy dog eyes.
“Fine. For you.” He smiled.
We headed outside into the woods calling Gerard’s name. The sky grew dark and the rain began to fall from the sky.
“GERARD? WHERE ARE YOU?” We yelled at the top of our lungs but we never got a reply.
“I’m sorry Frank. I need to go home now.” Mikey said after a few hours of searching. It was getting late and we were both soaked through and shivering from the cold but I couldn’t believe he was giving up.
“But what about Gerard?” I asked.
“I will help you look tomorrow. He might even be home.” Mikey shouted over the sound of the pouring rain. “I’m sorry.” He said finally before walking back in the direction of his home. I watched as he disappeared from my sight.
I felt alone. I was alone. I had no one, Mikey had left and Gerard had run away. But it was okay because I was used to being alone. When my mom wasn’t home I would be stuck with my dad. Me and my dad didn’t have the best relationship. Sometimes I even wondered if he had ever actually acknowledged my existence since I was born. I was always alone; I had been alone since I was born.
I guess I had to give up looking for him too.
I headed home through the moonlit forest back towards my house. As I was about to climb across the log that bridged over the river that me and Gerard had visited earlier, I almost didn’t notice the small boy lying under a tree. I knew it wasn’t any ordinary boy- it was Gerard. I jumped down from the log and knelt by his quivering body. He was shivering and soaking wet from the rain. I lay next to him in the horrible mud and wrapped my arm around his waist. I held him close to me and closed my eyes. I felt his bandaged hand hold tightly onto mine. I drifted off to sleep with Gerard in my arms, to the sound of the pouring rain. I didn’t have to worry about anything right now. The feeling in my stomach was the strongest it had ever been, but this time, I didn’t want it to go away.
I opened my eyes to see Frank sitting beside me, smiling at me. I yawned and rubbed my eyes, my clothes we still damp but the mud was pretty much dry now.
“Come on, let’s get home.” Frank smiled sweetly. I nodded and clambered to my feet. We trekked back to Frank’s house without a word, just taking in the beautiful summer forest. We climbed over his garden fence and raced across his garden to his house.
Frank pushed the back door and it creaked slightly as it opened. The whole house was dark. Not a light on or a curtain open. It felt strange and uneasy. Frank’s house was usually a bright, warm, relaxed place. Right now it felt quite the opposite.
“Mom must still be asleep. I will wake her up so she can cook us some bacon.” Frank smiled. We headed into the hallway about to climb the stairs when we were interrupted.
“Frank? Is that you?” an unfamiliar male voice called from the living room. A tall figure emerged from the doorway and walked over to us slowly. The house was so dark I couldn’t quite make out his face.
“Dad? What are you doing home? I thought you were on a business trip.” Frank said bluntly, looking up at the tall man that was apparently his father.
“Never mind me, into the study. NOW.” He roared pointing a bony finger towards a small room next to the kitchen.
“But I was gonna ask mom to make us some bacon.” Frank said disappointedly hanging his head. “Come on Gee.” Frank said grabbing my arm.
“Your friend should go home.” Frank’s father boomed.
“No, he can’t. Let him stay, please.” Frank begged.
“Wait in the living room. I guess it is probably best if you are here.” Frank’s dad said looking down at me. I nodded nervously and trotted into the living room.
The curtains in here were all shut. The only source of light was a couple of tall lamps giving off a warm orange glow. I looked around at the wood panelled walls- photo frames lined the walls. Each with a different memory saved inside. Photos of Frank, photos of Frank’s mom. Each face in every picture was smiling and happy. I sat down on one of the leather sofas and picked up a frame that was sat on a coffee table beside me. It was a photograph of Frank, his mom and his dad with an elderly woman and a small dog. They were all laughing; it looked like a perfect family photo.
I placed the photo frame back down on the table and wiped my cheeks. I hadn’t really noticed I had been crying until now. I wished I had had memories like this. I wished I never had to grow up with so much pain around me all the time. I wished I could just be happy. I pulled my legs into my chest and winced at the razor sharp pain in my ribs. I was used to the pain. That bruise never seemed to disappear anyway. That bruise my step-dad gave me for simply getting in the way.
“You fucking sick twat!” I heard Frank yell from the hall way. I jumped to my feet and rushed into the corridor. He staggered over to me and collapsed in my arms and I saw his pale face was stained with tears. I fell to the floor under his weight but I kept holding him tightly. “Why would you say that dad? I fucking hate you! Get away from me. I don’t want to look at you.” Frank screamed as he buried his face into my chest.
“W-what is going on?” I stuttered. I looked up at Frank’s dad who was a shadow in the study door way. Frank muttered something over and over under his breath, out of my earshot.
“It’s the truth, kiddo.” His dad finally said before disappearing upstairs.
“What’s the truth?” I yelled up at him, but he didn’t answer.
I sat Frank up in front of me and looked him in the eye. I held his face in my hands and wiped the tears from his cheeks with my finger.
“What is going on Frank?” I whispered quietly. His whole body began to shake and he collapsed into my chest again. His whole body shook and I tried my best to hold him still as I picked him up again and held him in front of me.
“It’s not true, is it Gerard? Tell me it isn’t true. Just say it, please. Tell me it isn’t true. Tell me he is just a sick bastard. Please.” He cried.
“Tell you what isn’t true?”
He leaned away from me and gripped my shoulders tightly. I held my arm around his waist as he spoke: “Tell me she isn’t dead. Tell me this isn’t happening. Tell me she is asleep in her bed right now. Tell me everything is going to be okay Gerard, because right now, it fucking isn’t.”
My heart stopped beating, right there. I felt a warm lump rise high in my throat.
“Tell me I am going to wake up in a minute, I will wake up and this will all be a bad dream. Tell me she will walk down those stairs again and hug me and everything…everything will be okay. Please Gerard. Make everything okay.” he said staggering to his feet.
I couldn’t move. All I could do was sit there on the floor watching his heart break right before my eyes. Frank wanted me to save him from something that was impossible to change.
“WHY WON’T YOU MAKE EVERYTHING OKAY? WHY CANT YOU BRING HER BACK? WHY WON’T YOU DO ANYTHING TO HELP ME?” He screamed at the top of his voice.
“I don’t know what to do, Frank. I am sorry but I can’t help you this time. I have no fucking idea what you are going through right now but whatever you are feeling, I can’t make it better. I can’t bring her back. I can’t do anything, you hear me? I can’t fucking help you.” I cried.
He knelt down in front of me and put his hand round the back of my neck.
“You know the worst part?” He breathed. His face was so close to mine I could feel his warm breath on my lips. “You know the worst fucking part?...it is my fault she is dead.” His face inched closer to mine, “If I hadn’t gone out looking for you last night she wouldn’t have worried about me. She wouldn’t have gone out looking for me. She saw someone she thought was me, it wasn’t. She swerved over but didn’t see the driver coming head on towards her…she didn’t see a fucking thing.” Frank said emotionlessly. “And now…she is gone. And I will never see her again. Just like that.” he spat. “
I looked up at his distraught face. If I felt helpless, god knows how he must be feeling right now.