Frank's feelings get messed up when he decides to pay Gerard a little visit. What impression will he make on Gerard's new friends when he has an anxiety attack and lashes out?
I sat on Frank’s bed and watched as he sat expressionlessly at this window. He hadn’t said a word in 4 hours, not even to me or his father. He was empty and broken. I hated seeing him like this, but there was nothing I could do to bring her back.
“Frank,” I said as I sat gently down next to him. He didn’t turn to look at me but his ears twitched slightly. At least I knew he was listening to me. “I have to go now.” I said quickly as I stood up.
“What?” He said- voice cracking. “Go where?” he asked squinting inquisitively at me.
“I have to go home.” I sighed.
“Why?” He asked. I couldn’t tell him why I really wanted to leave. The truth was that seeing him like this was becoming too much for me.
“I…I have to go home because I have school tomorrow.” I said trying to smile through my lie. Well the truth was I did actually have school tomorrow. I just didn’t have to leave yet.
“School?” He choked.
“Yes, I start tomorrow. Tomorrow is the first day of the new school year.” My stomach twisted with nerves at the mention of the word ‘school’.
“Fine. Leave.” He hissed waving his hand dismissively. I stood in the middle of his room shocked at how he had just acted towards me. “Go back to your perfect family, your mom, brother and whoever the fuck that man is- if he isn’t your dad.” He spat turning back around and continuing to look out of the window.
“My family is far from perfect, Frank.” I said trying to keep the lump that was rising in my throat away.
“That’s easy for you to say.”
“My dad is in prison, my step-dad beats me and my little brother, my mom doesn’t give a shit about me, I got beaten up at school every day in my last school. The only person on this fucking planet that cares about me is my brother.”
Frank shuffled slightly in his seat. “I c-care about you.” he stuttered.
I couldn’t take this anymore. I had to get out of this house.
“Don’t go!” He yelled grabbing my hand tightly. The cuts under my bandage burned under his grip. He let go immediately once he saw my pain. “Don’t go.” He whispered. He placed his hand gently on my forearm but I shook him off.
“I promise I will come straight here after school tomorrow, okay?” I said finally.
“Okay.” He said pulling me into a hug. I could have sworn I felt his lips brush against my ear.
I sat back up at the window ledge and gazed out to Gerard’s house. I could just about see him through the window. He looked like he was laughing…or…crying? I saw a huge man step in the way of him. I couldn’t see what was going on inside that hell hole but whatever it was, was definitely not good. The man stepped away to reveal Gerard’s small body in a crumpled heap on an armchair. He held his head close to his chest until finally looking up.
I thought he had seen me but he was just shouting before an object flew from across the room and knocked him clean out. His body lay there dead-like. I could see his mother talking to the large man. She didn’t look angry at what he had just done to her eldest son- just confused. Maybe Gerard was right- maybe his family was far from perfect.
I jumped onto my bed and switched the radio on. Under Pressure by Queen blasted through the speakers. Talk about cliché. I sang the words out as loud as I dared with my dad being home.
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
I only noticed I was crying when I rubbed my eyes. Once the tears began to flow I simply couldn’t stop them. I buried my face in my pillow to stop myself from screaming. I felt like screaming so loud in the hope that all of this pain would disappear. I had too many emotions inside my head and I wanted them gone. Anger, sadness, confusion, anxiety and…and that weird feeling I got whenever I thought about Gerard.
Gerard. I jumped up to my window ledge and sure enough, Gerard was still unconscious in the armchair. His body limp and lifeless.
It's the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming let me out
Tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets
I kicked the radio off and collapsed into my bed. I closed my eyes and let my thoughts take over my head before my mind consumed me in a deep sleep.
“Frank? Wake up it is 4pm already.” My father’s voice boomed from outside my bedroom door.
“What?” I hissed, I rolled over and glanced at my alarm clock.
17:03pm Mon 2nd Sept 1993
I had never slept in this late before; it was a new record for me.
“Frank! Get up!” he boomed again.
“Okay, okay! I’m awake.” I snapped. He stuck his read round my bedroom door to look at me.
“I…I have erm…cancelled your tutor visits until after the funeral.” He sniffed. Then out of nowhere, I saw a side of my father I had never really seen before- sensitivity. My heart ached at the word ‘funeral’ but I knew I had to keep it together.
“Uh.” Was all I managed to force out.
My father stood in the door way for a second before unexpectedly bursting out in tears. I didn’t know what to do. I had never seen my dad cry before; we weren’t even that close either. I stood up slowly and took hold of my shoulders and kneeled down in front of me. Seeing him cry made my heart hurt even more. I felt the hot tears burn down my face as I looked into his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I need Gerard.” I said shrugging from his grip. As I ran down the stairs I wiped the tears from my eyes with my sleeve.
I crossed the road and knocked on the door as hard as I could with my fist. Seeing Gerard right now probably wasn’t a good idea but I needed to hear his voice and see his face. Even if it was only for a few minutes or seconds.
The door clicked open and a lady who was obviously Gerard’s mom opened the door.
“Is G-gerard in?” I asked trying to hold my nerves. “He said he would come over to mine s-straight a-fter school.”
“He is in the dining room right now.” The lady smiled sweetly.
“Thank y-you.” I said walking past her.
I walked into the dining room and was greeted by 5 pairs of eyes. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable; I wasn’t good with large groups of people.
“Frank!” Gerard smiled eagerly. I opened my mouth to speak but I couldn’t make a single sound. “Let me introduce you to these guys.” He smiled. He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the large group.
“I-I don’t want to.” I stuttered. “Let go of me!” I yelled. I swung my fist and hit him the jaw. He fell the floor with a thud and the only girl in the group rushed to his side. Before I could kick him in the stomach a tall guy with really curly hair and another that was slightly larger tackled me to the floor.
“GET OFF ME!” I screamed. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” I wriggled about as much as I could under their force but I couldn’t move. They pinned my arms tightly down by my side. Their grip on my arms hurt.
“Get off him!” Gerard shouted once he had got to his feet. “Please, guys get off him now!” The two guys released me from their grip but by now my anger had risen to a new high. They stood around me and I realised I was shaking with anger, anxiety and embarrassment.
“I HATE YOU!” I shrieked, I lunged for him again but a pair of arms grabbed me around the waist and threw me to the floor. I lay there in a heap with my eyes closed; I couldn’t steady my breathing, control the tears or stop my body for shaking.
“Tony!” a female voice gasped from the door way. I opened one of my eyes to see now seven pairs of eyes looking at me. My stomach knotted and twisted. I felt like I was going to be sick- the anxiety was too much. I gasped for breath as I cowered on the floor wishing for this moment to disappear. Wishing I was back home with my mom.
“Everyone get out.” Gerard said quietly. “NOW.” He hissed. I closed my eyes and listened as the footsteps disappeared out the door.
I felt a hand cover my knee- it made me jump. I opened my eyes to Gerard’s familiar face; it made me feel safe for some reason. I noticed his face was battered and bruised.
“T-that wasn’t me, was it?” I stuttered. He shook his head and sat down in front of me and dried my face with his sleeve.
Gerard made everyone go home before he walked me home that evening. Gerard’s mom awkwardly offered for me to stay for dinner but I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. He put his arm around my shoulders as we walked over the road to my front door.
“I should have come straight over like I promised I would. I’m sorry.” He had said before hugging me. I had shut the door hesitantly as I watched him turn around and walk away before rushing straight up to my room.
I grabbed a towel from my bedroom floor and locked myself in the bathroom. My mom’s make up bags were still next to the sink from when she had obviously last used them. I grabbed them and shoved them in the cupboard under the sink. I pulled my shirt and jeans off and switched the shower on. I had no intention of actually getting in the shower so I sat on the closed toilet seat in my boxers. The room grew steamy and warm, the condensation collected on the mirror and the windows.
The humid air made my head grow hot and my brain hurt. I was used to headaches; I used to get them daily when I went to public school. But it really wasn’t helping my mood right now; the last thing I needed was a stupid little headache.
I stood up on the closed toilet seat and opened the cupboard door above my head. This was where my mom used to hide all the pills and medicine when I was younger to stop me from finding them. There had to be some sort of headache tablets in here somewhere. I pulled out a box and emptied the small cardboard boxes onto the floor.
Not strong enough.
That would be helpful if I had a cold.
I’m not six anymore.
I stood back up on the toilet seat and fount a small brown glass bottle with a white plastic lid. I squinted at the small white label on the front. It looked like it had been prescribed by the doctors or something.
Mr Iero Jr, Frank
Amitriptyline, 25 Inividual
To be used for severe anxiety attacks only
Belleville city hospital
These pills were prescribed to me anyway, plus, I had just had an anxiety attack at Gerard’s house and I was still shaking from it. This headache was probably a side effect from the attack.
I unscrewed the lid and tipped one of the glassy looking pills into my palm. I grabbed a cup from the side and filled it with water. I placed the pill in my mouth and swallowed a mouthful of water to wash it down.
The pill made no difference to my headache at all. I tipped a few more into my palm and swallowed them down quickly.
Maybe a few more? I tipped a couple into my hand and swallowed them. Maybe if I had one more then I wouldn’t have another attack like that ever again. The last one into my hand and I felt it slip down my throat.
My head began to spin a little but at least the headache was now gone. I sat down on the toilet seat again but the spinning in my gradually got stronger. My eyes felt wearily and my mouth grew dry with each breath. I stood up and the room began to spin around me. I fumbled with the lock on the door and finally managed to swing the door open. I tripped out the door and landed on the floor. I picked myself up and stumbled towards and down the stairs. I could hear a female voice talking frantically to what sounded like my father. I couldn’t pick up what she was saying because my head swam too much.
“That boy…help…go to…I know people there…they help a lot of…who…” the woman’s voice echoed around my empty head.
I stepped into the living room and found Gerard and his mother sitting on the couch with my father in the armchair opposite them. They turned to look at me.
“Dad.” I murmured. “Help.”
My legs dropped from beneath me and my heart beat faster and faster. I couldn’t control the shaking now. The room span faster and faster and the voices from the room I was in grew louder and louder and more muffled. It was like a living hell. My head felt heavy but I couldn’t shut my eyes. I felt the sweat drip down my face, neck and...