When Gerard finds out some life changing news he is forced to decide who he leaves behind. His best friend for life of the wife he loves more than anything.
Gerard's POV - Saturday night
"you spend too much time with him." Lindsey said as she got into bed next to me in the pitch black darkness of our bedroom. I sighed as she laid her head on my chest. I played with a strand of her hair peacefully until we were interrupted by the vibrations of my phone. The screen of my iPhone lit up the whole room too. She immediately lifted her head from my chest and rolled over so she wasn't facing me.
1 new message
Frank 'Frankie' Iero
"don't you dare open that text." she hissed from her side of the bed. I ignored her and opened it anyway:
Hey Gee. Just texting you because I can't sleep and I was wondering how your day has been. Frnkxo :-)
"You're unbelievable, Gerard. Can't you go one day without talking to him? You act as if he is more important than me some times." Lindsey snared.
"Baby, you know that's not true! I love you so much. You are my world and even Frank knows that." I leaned over to her and kissed her cheek. I felt her cheeks curl up into a smile under my gentle lips.
"Just promise tomorrow you'll spend the whole day with me? You have spent almost every day with him lately."
"Of course, baby." I smiled.
It was true. I had been spending more time with my friend than my wife. Frank was my best friend and I loved Lindsey more than anything but finding the time for both of them was hard.
I unlocked my phone and the screen lit up the room again. I quickly typed my reply:
Yo Frankie, sorry can’t talk right now. + my day was great and you know that because you were there!! - Gee ;-)
Before I could press send my phone vibrated and my ring tone echoed throughout the bedroom.
Frank 'Frankie' Iero
"That kid has issues." Lindsey muttered.
I clicked 'answer' and held the phone to my ear. I grabbed my slippers and slid open the balcony door. I stepped out into the cold New Jersey air.
"Gerard?" Frank's voice croaked through the phone speakers. His voice sounded weary and tired.
"I thought you said you couldn't sleep? You sound pretty much dead to me." I laughed. He gave a short giggle then sighed. "Hey, is everything okay?" I asked suddenly concerned.
"I just wanted to talk to you." I could tell he was smiling.
"Well I can't talk right now. Lindsey is pissed with me and I swear if I don't sleep I will pass out right now."
"Okay dude, sweet dreams!" he giggled. I heard him yawn and I hung up.
I slipped back into bed next to Lindsey and put my arm around her waist.
"I love you." she whispered.
"I love you more than anything." I whispered back. I closed my eyes and shut my brain off from the world. Just as I was about to drift off my phone vibrated on the bedside table making me jump.
"If you don't tell him to fuck off, I will!" Lindsey hissed angrily.
I read the text message which, again, was from Frank:
I forgot to ask when we were on the phone; do you wanna meet up tomorrow? XoFrnk :-D
My reply was short and quick:
Sorry, have plans. -Gee :-(
I switched my phone off and threw it onto the rug next to the bed. I really did want to talk to Frank but I couldn't upset Lindsey like that.
That morning I woke up and stretched. I was looking forward to my day with Lindsey. We hardly got to spend time together, what with the band and all. I headed downstairs in my boxers and plain white pyjama top to the sound of Lindsey's voice. She was talking to a man. That man was Frank.
I stepped into the kitchen surprised to see him and slightly embarrassed that he had to see me in my pyjamas. I was pretty happy to see him; Lindsey on the other hand did not look so pleased.
"Sorry to ruin whatever plans I told Gerard to cancel but today is mine and Gerard's day." Lindsey said angrily shoving a mug of coffee into my hands. She pushed past and stormed upstairs.
"Dude, I told you that I was busy today." I said trying to sound stern but that was almost impossible in Frank's company.
"I’m sorry. I'll leave." he said, eyes fixed to the ground.
"No! No... I mean, why don't you have a day with Jamia?" I suggested.
"She's gone out of town for a few days with some friends. She’s coming back tomorrow evening for something ‘important’ that I don’t have to know about but then she’s leaving again. Plus, I was hoping to spend the weekend with you."
"I have spent every day of the last two weeks with you." I said. I could kind of see where Lindsey was coming from now.
"I'm sorry." he said fiddling with his sleeve.
"Don't be. Look, I'll try and convince Lindsey to let me spend today with you but tomorrow it is just going to be me and her, you get that?" I smiled.
He nodded sweetly and I headed upstairs to find Lindsey. I was stood outside out bedroom door and I could hear a soft whimpering coming from the other side. I pushed the door open and sure enough, Lindsey was sitting on the bed in her pink dressing gown in tears. She looked up as I sat next to her.
"I told him not to come." I said quietly. She didn't reply but she started to cry more. "Shh don't cry." I soothed as I wiped a tear from her pale cheeks with my thumb. "You’re so beautiful, even when you are crying." I smiled softly. She looked up at me and cracked a small smile before placing her hand on the back of my head and kissing my lips.
The door creaked open and Frank awkwardly stepped in. I glanced over at Lindsey and I could almost feel the anger radiating off of her body.
"Get. The fuck. Out." she breathed. I had honestly never seen her so angry.
"Frank, I think its best you-"
"GET OUT!" Lindsey roared. Frank backed out the door quickly and I bounded after him.
"Frank?!" I hissed as he hurried down the stairs. I managed to grab his arm before he could leave the house.
"I'm sorry." he whispered. He looked up at me and I saw the tears forming around the rims of his eyes.
"Please don't cry." I smiled. He didn't reply, he just let a single tear roll down his cheek, off his chin and onto the floor. "I will see you Monday."
He nodded and headed out of the door. I watched him get into his car and hastily drive off.
I shut the door and turned around to see Lindsey at the top of the stairs.
"Is he gone?" she asked. I nodded and she walked slowly down the stairs.
"What is it about him that you can't stand?" I asked as she wrapped her arms around my waist. I breathed in the sweet scent of her hair as she spoke.
"That he gets to spend more time with you than I do."
"Fair enough." I sighed.
"I love you, Gerard." She started. "And I'm starting to think he does too." she said pulling away.
“Gerard, where’s the address book?” My wife called from the dining room.
“In the desk draw, I think. Why?” I yelled back over the noise of the television.
“Oh, alright then.” I said turning back to the soccer game on TV. Lindsey was up to something and it made me feel uncomfortable knowing she was planning something without me knowing.
I heard her enter the room behind me. I looked behind and she smiled at me.
“Hey baby, why don’t you come watch some TV with me?” I suggested, patting the sofa beside me.
“Sure…I just…I think I…I’m going to be sick.” She stuttered and ran off in the direction of the downstairs loo. I ran after her and found her bend double over the toilet. I stroked her back gently as she threw up.
“It’s okay baby. You have a fever, why don’t you go and lie down.” I said. She looked up and me and I placed my hand over her burning forehead. “I think you have the flu.”
I kissed her forehead and I walked her upstairs to our bedroom where she lay down and fell asleep pretty quickly. I lay next to her and stroked her beautiful face with my finger. I leaned in about to kiss her cheek when my phone vibrated on the bed side table making me jump. I leant over and picked it up. Of course, there would only be one person trying to get hold of me:
1 new message
Frank ‘Frankie’ Iero
I slid my finger across the screen to unlock it and the message came up:
I am really sorry about earlier, bro. I didn’t mean to upset Lindsey. See you tomorrow. xoFrnk :-)
The message made me smile. Maybe it was because Frank was apologising for Lindsey’s unusual bad mood or just that fact he was texting me. I began to text back.
Don’t worry, bro. She’s not normally like this. See you tomorrow. Love you –Gee :-)
We always said we loved each other as a joke. I guess it started when we used to kiss each other on stage but things have changed now. We both have wives who had explained to us that it made them feel uncomfortable- even if it was all a joke. We agreed to stop doing it every show but it never stopped completely. It was more of a one-off joke now anyway. A rarity.
The reply was almost instant:
Can’t wait. Love you too! :’) xoFrnk
I spent most of Monday alone. Frank and cancelled on me because he had to take one of his dogs to the vets and Lindsey had gone to work on something in the art gallery despite my attempts at making her stay home as she kept being sick. She had ordered me to clean and tidy the entire house while she was gone which kept me occupied for the most part of the day until she arrived home at 5 o’clock.
“Some people are coming over so dress up nice!” Lindsey had smiled as she excitedly bound upstairs.
She emerged at the top of the stairs about an hour later wearing a stunning red dress that contrasted her pale skin tone perfectly. Her black hair was silky and strait and shaped her face perfectly highlighting her high cheek bones. Her perfect lips were scarlet red and around her eyes was a touch of mascara and a thick line of eyeliner.
“You look so beautiful!” I gasped. She smiled at me and I caught a glimpse of her perfect white teeth.
“Go on, go and get changed.” She smiled blushing slightly.
I hurried upstairs and put on my favourite Dior suit. It wasn’t too dressy- just a white shirt and black jacket with a plain black tie to match. I splashed water on my face just as the doorbell rang the first time. I had managed to fix my black hair and tied my shoes to my feet and the doorbell had rung at least 10 times, I could now hear the mumble of exited chatter downstairs.
I made my way down the stairs to see all of mine and Lindsey’s friends standing around talking to each other. Why where they all here? I noticed Lindsey talking to Christa Toro at the side of the room. I pulled her to one side; I needed to know what was going on!
“What is all this for?” I hissed.
“You’ll see!” she giggled.
“Everyone can I have your attention please!” Lindsey called. The chatter died down and everyone turned to face her. I looked around the room for Frank but he wasn’t here. Jamia, his wife, was here but Frank was nowhere to be seen.
“You are probably wondering why I have gathered you here today. Me and Gerard have an important announcement to make.” She didn’t say another word, she just simply stroked her lower stomach and the whole room exploded in applause.
She was pregnant!
I ran up to her and threw my arms around my neck.
“I am so happy to have such a beautiful woman conceive my baby!” I whispered into her ear. I kissed her lips and the cheering in the room grew louder.
"Where's Frankie?" I asked seriously after our kiss. The crowd had broken off into their own private conversations by now so the spotlight was no longer on the two of us.
She didn't reply. She just looked at me with wide eyes.
"Jamia is here, so why isn't Frank?"
"Jamia helped me organise this whole thing. She's my best friend- of course I invited her." Lindsey replied trying to smile to stop the tension. I knew she wasn't trying to upset me but it was too late, I could already feel the lump rising slowly up my throat.
"Frank is MY best friend, surly Jamia and you both knew that."
"I know, I just thought that if he came then you wouldn't have time for anyone else. He would be the only person you talked to and we both know that."
"Fine. But let me call him and tell him to come here now." I pleaded.
"Fine, the baby wouldn't want it's daddy to be sad." she smiled rubbing her stomach.
"Thank you." I smiled, kissed her neck before I rushed upstairs.
I dialled Frank’s number and waited eagerly for him to answer.
“Hello?” came a tired voice from the other end.
“Frank, I have some really good news!” I said excitedly.
“Ok…wait…what is that noise in the back ground? Where are you?” I guess he could hear everyone downstairs.
“I’m at home. Listen, Lindsey and Jamia have organised a party but Lindsey didn’t want to invite you, but I talked to her and have convinced her to let you come.”
“Erm…ok.” He said simply. He sounded hurt and upset.
“Listen, Frankie if it was up to me you’d be first on the guest list. Just come round mine now, I have some really good news!”
“Okay, see you in about 5 minutes.” He said dully, hanging up.
I made my way down the stairs as I was greeted by my mother’s over excited voice.
“Gerard! Gerard, honey, congratulations! I’m gonna be a grandma!” she smiled throwing her arms around my neck. I found my face buried deep inside her big curly blonde hair. “Any name suggestions yet? How long have you known? When is it due? Do you know the gender?” my mom threw various questions at me which I answered as quickly as I could. My eyes kept flicking over to the door- waiting for Frank to enter.
At last the door opened and yes, Frank stepped in. Of course he wouldn’t have wanted to dress up. He never did. That’s what I loved about Frank- that he didn’t care about the rules or what people thought about him. He looked up at me and caught my eye. I couldn’t help but smile back.
“Mom, it was nice catching up with you, but I have to greet some of the other guests now.” I said kissing her cheek.
“Okay honey; make sure you look after that beautiful wife of yours!”
“Always.” I smiled.
I pushed my way through the crowd until finally I was with Frank again.
“What’s this good news you wanted to tell me about?” Frank asked impatiently. I didn’t blame him for his bad mood.
Before I could answer, Mikey popped up out of nowhere.
“Gerard! Congratulations dude! You’ll make an excellent dad! I can’t believe I’m going to be an uncle.” He hugged me and I saw Frank’s facial expression melt into disgust.
Frank didn’t say anything until Mikey had gone. And when he did, he was definitely not happy.
“You’re having a baby?” He spat.
I nodded in reply.
He didn’t say another word he just ran out of the house in the direction of his own.
“Frank, wait!” I yelled after him. I grabbed his wrist and spun he around to face me in the darkness outside. “What’s the matter?” I asked noticing his tear filled eyes.
“Nothing. I…I am just…erm why didn’t Lindsey invite me?” he mumbled.
“That’s not the real reason you’re upset, is it?” I questioned. Frank furrowed his eye brows before answering.
“Yes…yes it is. Plus, I wouldn’t have come tonight even if I was invited.” He spat.
“That’s bullshit! Maybe Lindsey was right, maybe you do have some weird obsession over me. Maybe that’s the reason you can’t leave me alone for more than five minutes.” I hissed. I could feel the anger boiling up inside my stomach.
“Gerard, just fuck off.” He whispered. I watched as he walked down the drive way and off down the deserted road. My house was quite deep into the forest so barely any cars came down the mud road leading to it.
“Frank?” I said, slightly taken aback. He had never told me to ‘fuck off’ before. Maybe as a joke but he was serious this time.
He stopped in his tracks about 5 metres from me.
“What?” he asked throwing his arms down by his side. He looked at me for a second before marching towards me. I braced myself ready for the punch but what happened next, over the next 10 seconds, was definitely far from a punch.
His soft lips crushed mine and I felt his warm breath mix in my mouth. I felt a weird rush of electric I hadn’t felt since the last time I had kissed him as a joke. But this wasn’t right. Not anymore. I had a wife that I loved more than life itself. Not Frank. I didn’t love Frank.
I pulled away quickly and wiped my mouth with my sleeve. He looked slightly startled at what he had just done too.
“There…that should explain everything.” He breathed trying to catch his breath. I saw how much he was shaking. He couldn’t hold his body still. He glanced towards the house and I saw a tear roll down his cheek. He stumbled backwards and started to run. But what was he running from?
“FRANK?” I yelled but it was no good. He was already out of sight about probably half way to his home. He only lived 5 minutes walking.
I couldn’t help but feel a heart breaking sense of guilt in the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t help but let the tears roll down my face. The salty water burnt my cheeks and my breathing became painfully unsteady. How could I have not seen that he was feeling like this? It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t love him as much as I loved my wife.
I turned around and saw one of the living room curtains move slightly. Had someone just seen the whole thing? The front door opened and my mom, Mikey and Alicia made their way outside. Lindsey was waving them off to their car.
“Gerard! Come and say good bye to myself and your brother.” My mom said as she spotted me. I wiped the tears from my face and cleared my throat before marching over to them. I said goodbye to Alicia, shook my brother’s hand jokily and kissed my mother’s cheek.
“Why are you crying?” my mom asked. I let another tear escape my tear duct but she wiped it away.
“Just shocked that I’m going to be a dad, I guess.” I said trying to grin. Another lot of people exited the house and Lindsey said good bye to them while I stood awkwardly trying not to let my mom see any more of my emotions.
“You’ll be a great dad, Gerard!” she smiled. Her face suddenly transformed into seriousness. “Don’t worry; you don’t have to tell me the real reason.”
I guess she had seen through the mask I was trying to hold onto my face. I nodded and suddenly her face was back to her usual cheery self.
“Anyway, I haven’t seen Frank tonight. Was he here?” she asked. Her bright pink lips curled into a huge smile.
“Yes. He just left.” I said coldly. My mother’s serious face reappeared.
“Whatever trouble you two are having with each other will be over as soon as you know it. I’ve never seen you so happy with someone like you are with him. You two are meant to be.” She smiled.
“Thanks mom.” I smiled. The car behind us beeped loudly.
“MOM! Hurry up or we’ll leave without you!” Mikey yelled from inside the black Mercedes benz.
“Coming dear!” she called. She patted me on the shoulder and got into the back of the car the way you’d expect a super model or actress to. I smiled and waved as they drove off before heading inside.
Everyone was gone and there wasn’t as much mess as I expected there to be. Just empty glasses and empty bottles of alcohol. I heard the door shut behind me and I saw Lindsey make her way upstairs slowly out the corner of my eye.
“Going to bed already?” I called up to her.
“It’s late.” She hissed. I glanced down at my watch. I hadn’t noticed the time. It was already 1am but that isn’t too late.
“But we usually go to bed at 3.” I laughed.
“You usually go to bed a 3, Gerard. You do.” she said coldly. I put her miserable attitude and snappy mood down to the pregnancy. I sat down at one of the high stools at the island in the kitchen and picked up and empty bottle of vodka from the counter. I tipped the last drop onto my tongue and it felt good. I picked up another bottle, this time there was about one eighth left and poured it into the nearest glass. I downed it all in one. The cool liquid burnt my throat and made my eyes water a bit.
Lindsey was already in bed by the time I managed to stumble upstairs. I stripped off into my vest and underwear and got into bed next to her. I put my arm around her waist but she pushed me away. The room was pitch black but I could tell she had rolled over to face me.
“Gerard, I saw Frank kiss you earlier.” She said slowly. “Doesn’t that prove my point? He loves you and I’m scared I will lose you to him.” she confessed.
“Lindsey, I want you to know that will never happen. Frank knows I don’t love him back and plus he will be like an uncle to our baby and he will soon realise how much I love you.” I smiled.
“That is why I have to ask you something.” She took a deep breath. My heart thudded as I waited for her to speak again. “I want to move to California by the end of the month.”
“California?” I choked. “What? That is across the other side of the fucking country!”
“I know, but I want the baby to grow up with a better life than one here.” She said quietly.
“You mean you want the baby to grow up with a better life away from Frank.” I said. We both knew that was the real reason she wanted us to leave Belleville, no matter how much she argued against my accusations.
“I do love New Jersey but you know how much safer California is. I wouldn’t have suggested moving if it wasn’t something I really really wanted and you know that.” she sighed.
“I guess.” I said stroking her cheek.
“But there is just one thing,” she started “Even if you don’t come, Gerard, I’m still going. And I’m taking the baby with me.”
That was the only thing running around my head that night as I tried to sleep.
Even if you don’t come, Gerard, I’m still going. And I’m taking the baby with me.
She was making me chose between my best friend who I had known for years and her, my wife, who I loved more than anything. My heart was torn between the two of them:
If I left Lindsey:
1) I wouldn’t be able to bring up my own baby.
2) Lindsey is the only thing that has kept me sane over the last few years.
3) I loved her more than the earth itself. I had never loved someone as much as I loved her.
4) She truly cared for me. She looked after me and gave me strength not to give up.
But if I left Frank:
1) I would have to leave the one man I had the most and best memories with.
2) It would put pressure on the band.
3) I told him everything, even the stuff I couldn’t tell Lindsey because I trusted him with my life. And if I moved across the other side of the country I couldn’t tell him that stuff easily.
4) It was always really him that kept me from killing myself those years ago.
5) I guess I really did love him deep down but not as much as I loved Lindsey. He was more of a brother to me.
6) I would miss seeing him every day without fail.
I guess it was obvious who I had to leave behind. I had to stay with the person who gave me most reasons to do what I wanted to, didn’t I? I had to leave the person to who I’d leave the least behind.
It would be a heart breaking decision no matter who I chose to leave but it wasn’t negotiable. I had to leave either one of them.
I woke up quite late that morning to the sound of my phone ringing on the bedside table. I reached over and looked at who was calling.
Frank 'Frankie' Iero
For the first time in my life I actually debated whether I should answer or not. Lindsey had already gone to work so I had to talk to him I guess. I tapped the ‘answer’ button and held the phone to my ear.
“Gerard?” Frank said.
“Hey.” I said quickly.
“Listen, I’m so sorry.” He said. I heard him swallow which let me know he was crying.
“Don’t worry about it. Listen, why don’t you come over? Lindsey has gone to work and won’t be home till late this evening.” I suggested.
“I…erm…I’d rather not.”
“Okay then. I’m coming over to you; I need to tell you something.” I said hanging up.
I pulled on my tightest black skinny jeans and a Madonna shirt I found in my wardrobe. I attempted to flatten my bed hair so it looked half decent and the pulled on my trainers. I ran down the stairs and out the door. I marched down the road to his house, the cool mid-October wind whipped at my cheeks and I could see my breath in the air in front of me.
I finally got to his house and knocked on the door pretty hard considering I wasn’t actually mad with him. He opened the door and his cheeks flushed a light shade of red when he saw me. I pushed past him into the warm house and was greeted by his ecstatic dogs that jumped up at my legs.
“Sweet Pea, get down.” He hissed. The small, fat, scrawny black one whined and ran off into another room. “Coffee?” he suggested.
“Do you even have to ask?” I laughed. He giggled and I followed him into the kitchen.
“So,” he said as he switched the kettle on. “What was it you needed to tell me?”
“Lindsey said that by the end of the month we will be moving.” I said. I felt like I was going to cry. How could I tell my best friend I was moving across the country?
“That’s cool. I suppose you’ll want a bigger house nearer a school.” He smiled.
“You don’t get it.” I said. This was painful. I didn’t want to say this but I had to. “I’m moving away. I mean away-away. Like far away.”
“G-gerard…what do you mean?”
“Lindsey wants us to move to California.” I choked.
“But…but that’s so far away.” Frank mumbled. I watched as the colour drained from his face. “You can’t. You can’t go. Please Gerard. Please tell me you didn’t agree to move.” He coughed.
I stepped him to hug him but he pushed me away.
“You’re leaving me for Lindsey?” he spat.
I stormed out of the house. Frank didn’t even cry. I thought he loved me? Why was he not upset? My face grew hot with anger. Why hadn’t Frank reacted in the way I wanted him to? But why the fuck did I want him to cry? I
“Gerard!” He yelled after me. I stopped in my tracks and looked up at the grey sky. A huge rain drop fell from the clouds and landed on my head. Then another. And another. Until I was completely drenched. I ran my fingers through my wet hair and suddenly a pair arms wrapped around my waist and a head with soaked black hair rested on my chest. I hugged him back tightly and he looked up at me. I didn’t think I’d ever be the one to do it first but I pressed my lips against his as the thunder rumbled above our heads. Kissing in the rain had always seemed like such an ironic thing but we had never done it before and it felt good.
I didn’t want our kiss to end. I wanted to kiss him for hours and hours. I thought all my feelings for him had gone but being told I was moving that far away from him made them resurface. I couldn’t bear to leave him. I felt his cold hand grip the back of my neck and he kissed me harder. I couldn’t tell if my face was wet with tears or rain right now. But either way I didn’t care. He pulled away but I didn’t want him to stop.
“I don’t want to leave.” I cried. He picked up my cold hands in his and squeezed them tightly. He hopped onto his tip toes and kissed my cheek. He leant his head gently against my chest and held my hands under his chin.
“I think you have some packing to do.”
Lindsey had already travelled to California already to unpack all our stuff but I promised Frank I’d wait until after his birthday, which was today.
He hadn’t organised a proper party this year. He just wanted to spend my last day in New Jersey with me. He promised he would come with me to the airport just so he could say good bye which I thought was really sweet. But right now I didn’t want to think about that. Right now I just wanted to enjoy my time with him. We spent the evening in his basement listening to music and drinking beer. He took a photo of the two of us together which he said he would print out and sent to me in a frame.
“You do know we will still see each other!” I had laughed after he took it. “We’re in a fucking band together. You’re stuck with me for years to come.”
“I know, but I won’t be able to see you every day.” he said frowning.
“I know, and I’ll miss that.” I said hugging him again.
We got a taxi at midnight that night to the airport. My flight was in two hours but I really didn’t want to leave him. He stood outside the small airport and handed me my bag.
“You better go before someone recognises us.” He smiled. I nodded and pulled him into one last hug. “I’m going to miss not seeing you as often as I want to.” He whispered.
“Me to. I love you Frankie.” I said trying to keep the tears away.
“I love you too.” He said. I wiped a tear from his face and I headed into the airport building. I didn’t want to look back and see Frank crying there. It would break my heart.
My phone vibrated in my pocket as I headed over to the check in desk. I slid my finger across the screen and read the message which was inevitably from Frank:
Promise you will visit me. xo
I replied quickly:
You won’t be able to keep me away. Xx
I looked back and saw him through the glass wall separating us both. I watched as he wiped his eyes and got back into the taxi. The taxi drove off quickly and I knew that I now had to face the world without him. At least he understood that I wasn’t completely ditching him. I did love him we both knew I would have to leave one day.