Don't get too close!
He crawled up onto the mattress and we fell into it. Crying in our own little ball. The harder he cried, so did I. I felt like my entire life was flashing before my eyes. The sad part? Every piece of it without Gerard wasn't even worth watching. This was the pure definition of my own personal hell. Was I a masochist because of this? I didn't even know anymore. I just knew he needed me, and I needed him. Where this was going? I hadn't the slightest clue. I just cried and cried. He pulled from my arms and chest. His face looked to mine. Yet another single syllable escaped his hesitant mouth. It was swallowed with a kiss. He kissed me hard and so desperate. I felt him cry into it and I cried too kissing him back. He retreated to my embrace, both of us sobbing. Then it all went black.
I woke up and I hadn't the slightest idea where I was. I wasn't in that same hotel room. I was in a hotel room, but I knew we were somewhere else. I started to look around, lids still half shut. All of the sudden I felt this weight beside me. My eyes fluttered to my side. A stranger. He was touching me. He had his hand to my forehead. It was cold, so cold. A bright light was shone in my eyes. I cringed as he pulled my eyelids open to let the light in. I couldn't speak. Where was I? Who was this? I heard faint voices.
“Is she going to be okay?” It was Mikey. The man took his hands from me and turned to him.
“Yes, her vitals all seem normal. Sometimes a lot of anxiety and emotional stress can cause mental exhaustion which can in turn make the rest of you defend itself in the one way it knows how. Sleep.”
It was a doctor then. I felt a little better. What was wrong with me though? Why was he checking me out?
I saw him grab his bag and stand up. My eyes fought to be more alert. They found the strength to look more around the room. I could make out bodies, just not faces.
“What do we do now, doctor?” Alica's voice.
“Just make sure she gets plenty of fluids and something to eat. Try to keep the stress to a minimum and to help her relax. Here are some instructions on meditative breathing. If Christine should get any more anxious than normal, have her do these exercises with you.”
“Got it. Thank you Dr. Ayano.”
“Anytime. Call me if anything happens.”
I heard a door shut and his figured faded away. I felt another weight sit beside me. I wanted to speak but my mouth was too dry. I could have almost sworn I had had a mouth full of cotton the entire time I was out.
“She probably is really thirsty. I'm going to run down and get something from the machine, babe. I'll be right back.” Another shut door, this time it was Alicia. I was left with Mikey sitting bedside.
“Christine? You in there? Blink or nod or something?” he asked.
I managed to blink and nod my head.
“Oh good. Alicia's ran to get something for you to drink. I bet you've got fuckin' cottonmouth like no other.” he laughed. He always did this awkwardly when he wasn't sure what to do or say.
I smiled feebly and I nodded again. Why was I so immobile? It was like the connection between my brain and my body was severed.
“I'm sorry we put you through all this. I know it's horrible. We really didn't mean for you to get hurt.--” He stopped mid sentence.
I was about to attempt to speak when I saw Alicia return.
“Mikey help her up. Get some pillows for her to lean on.”
He did as she asked, propped me up against the headboard. Alicia helped me get a drink.. It was so odd. I couldn't recall a time when I loved the taste of orange soda so much. It felt so much better. My lips began to move on their own agenda, and my voice followed suit. Weakened, but still there nonetheless.
“How long was I out?” I asked them.
“You were out for three days.” She answered, Mikey nodded in agreement.
“Holy hell. Really?” I was shocked.
“Yeah. I came to check on you two and you were both asleep. I shook Gerard and he came to. He tried to wake you but you were practically unconscious. I checked your pulse while he was freaking and we called a doctor right away.” Mikey said to me.
“Shit. I'm sorry. So where are we?”
“The hotel closest to the hospital. Gerard was so worried he changed hotels.”
“Wait don't we have to be on the road for the next show?”
“We already played it.”
“Are you serious? So wait how'd I get here?”
“Me, Mikey, and Gerard all drove you. He couldn't keep his eyes off you. You're still in the same state you were last show. The guys just flew to the show.” Alicia answered.
“I don't care if I'm half dead, don't deny the kids a show. It's not fair to them.”
“Well, lucky for you. We're pretty ballin' and we have to the money to fly back and forth and shit.” Mikey joked. I managed a weak laugh.
“I cannot believe you just used the term “ballin'” Are you gangster now, Mikes?” I asked.
“Straight up G!” He moved his arms around to look cool and tried to make hood hand signals. Alicia covered her face with a hand.
“I'm in love with a dork. A total dork.”
“Yeah, but I make bank, son! I support my bitches! I treat you nice don't I?”
I couldn't help but burst into laughter. Thwack! She hit him upside the head.
“Ow! What was that for? Okay no more bottles of Crystal for you. Box wine from now on. That classy shit.”
I was laughing my ass off then and by that point he was being so ridiculous that Alicia laughed too.
“You're lucky I love you, Michael.” She pointed a finger with a stern look.
“I know. I looooovee you, honey.” He cooed whilst giggling.
“Love you too, dork.”
It was nice to laugh, since lately had been so hellacious. Watching those two together, loving on each other, my logical brain kicked in. Where was he? Where was Gerard? Suddenly I got serious again.
“Where is he?”
“Who?” Alicia asked.
“You know damn well who.”
“Oh. Gerard. Mikey, when was the last time you saw him?”
“In here. He was watching her sleep. He told me he was going downstairs to the lobby for food. Then the doctor came and I haven't seen him since. I should probably go find him. He'll want to know Christine is awake.”
“No. I want to find him myself.”
“But Chrissy, you practically just woke up from a coma.”
“I was asleep. Big deal. I'm getting cleaned up and I'm going to go find him. You can't stop me.”
“Okay, we won't try.” Mikey answered.
“Alicia, I know my brother. He needs this.”
“Okay.” Alicia didn't sound so sure, but she was going to let it happen anyway.
I mustered up the strength to pull the duvet off me and swing my legs out of bed. Mikey stood up and made way for me, still standing close should I fall. I was actually okay. A little shaky, but I was standing just fine.
Ugh, I needed a shower something fierce. I headed for the bathroom, looking around first.
“Lic? Where's my clothes?”
“Oh your bags are over on the other side of the bed.” she replied. I stumbled over there and opened my duffle and scavenged through it.
“I'm gonna jump in the shower.”I announced.
“Are you gonna be okay?” Mikey asked.
“Yeah, I'll be fine.”
“Alright, I'm gonna go catch up with the guys.”
“Okay babe. I'm gonna stay here with her.”
Mikey hugged and kissed her goodbye. What I would do to have that kind of normalcy, I thought. He left and I went for the bathroom. The water was heaven. I could feel the exhaustion melt away. If only it could do the same to my brain. I knew I had one hell of a journey ahead of me. I had to be able to fight through this. I'd lose it if I didn't. I got myself all dressed, put my face on and I said goodbye to Alicia. I stepped into the elevator and took a deep breath. She had insisted she follow, but I made sure she didn't. I knew this had to be something I did alone. Even though it scared me, I had to. Okay, so Mikey said he was in the lobby. Better look there first. I made my way through the lobby. My eyes scanned as I walked. Maybe I should ask the front desk? Yeah, that was a good idea. The front desk clerk greeted me with a smile.
“ Can I help you, ma'am?”
“Uh yes. Have you seen a guy, a little taller than me. Black hair past his ears, hazel eyes, kinda pale. Might be wearing sunglasses? His name is Gerard.”
“Oh, well actually I think I have. There was a group of teenagers following him, like he was famous or something? He went into the bar about 15 minutes ago. Over there--” He pointed. “it's adjoined with the hotel restaurant.”
“Yes, that has to be him. Thank you so much.”
I practically marched over there. The bar?! Oh god. I was scared. I didn't want him to be doing anything he was going to regret. I looked through the place and I saw what appeared to be the back of him, there was a couple people getting autographs. I heard one of the fans ask for a picture so I decided to keep my distance for a moment. Gerard got up and turned around to pose with the young girl. He looked like hell. He still smiled politely and posed for another picture. I was sort of hoping he didn't see me. I was so nervous. My knees went weak and I felt nauseous. The people said their thank yous and left, he reclaimed his seat at the bar. He hadn't seen me. He notioned to the bartender, who brought him a glass. Of what I didn't know. I could only hope It wasn't booze. Okay, I can do this. I walked to the bar and took a seat by him. He had just lit a cigarette, took a drag, set it down, and was on his phone. He took a drink and I smelled whiskey. He hadn't even noticed I sat down. I sat there for a minute, seeing if he would. He must have been entirely out of it. I decided to finally break the silence.
“Smoking's bad for you, you know.” I chuckled lightly, attempting to soothe my own tension. He jolted up and his face darted toward me.
“Holy fucking hell. Christine.” He nearly dropped his phone on the table and pulled me to him. I could feel him on the verge of tears.
“Jesus you scared me so badly. I thought---” He lovingly put his hands in my red hair and touched his forehead to my own. He cringed closing his eyes, speaking again. “I thought I lost you.” Gerard kissed me desperately. I kissed back, holding his hands. I let him go to talk.
“Why on earth would I leave you now?” I smiled, relieved that he wasn't entirely upset.
“Well, I mean look at what happened to you. I put you in a coma. I didn't know if you were ever going to wake up. I was scared-- so scared.”
“You didn't put me in a coma, the stress did.”
“Yeah, stress I caused.”
“That's over now. I'm okay. I'm here.”
“This just feels like one big nightmare. Like I'm still dreaming. I want it to be over. I want to wake up.”
“You can. We can. You've got to learn to stop beating yourself up so much.”
“I'm a monster. All I do is hurt the people I love.”
“You're the equivalent to the boogie man, Gee. You're only scary in theory.”
He managed a smile and a laugh. “You know I wrote a comic about him once.”
“See? In theory.”
“What do we do?”
“I don't know. We'll have to make it up as we go along. I know we can make it.”
“You sound so hopeful. I don't get it.” He took another drink.
“Gerard, is that whiskey?” I asked hesitantly.
“Don't change the subject.” He said.
“I asked you a question. Is that booze?”
“So what if it is? We can't all bounce back like you Christine. You have your way. I have mine.” another drink. His tone was drowning in resentment. I snatched the glass from his hand. He caught it with his other, a firm grip.
“Give it back.”
“No. This isn't the answer.”
“You act like I'm some drunk. I know how to handle myself.”
“Gerard, I've heard stories. You've been so good about staying sober. Don't break it. Not now.”
“Why are you doing this? You're so two faced. So hard to read. A rose with thorns. Pretty to look at but painful if you get to close.”
“Oh look at you, you're a regular fuckin' Shakespeare.”
I made the bartender take the drink away.
“Please. Quit this front. Don't shut me out. We can cope”
“Since when have you ever had to cope with anything in your fucking perfect little life?!” He chuckled and his eyes were glazed in cruelty.
“Now. Right now, Gerard. My life hasn't been perfect, you know! It's never been. I've done so many things I'm not proud of. I'm trying my best to love you. I am. You can't do this to me.”
“I am though, aren't I sugar?” He was an inch from my face. His lips curled into a sinister smile and he kissed me. I hated him for this.
“Oh and by the way. I'm no fucking charity case. You don't have to try your best to love me. I'm not a sick puppy you picked up from a shelter or some shit.”
“I know that. I know that, okay! Enough of the bullshit. You wanna play hardball, Gerard. You fucking got it. Let's play. You're scared. You're scared I'm going to leave you. So you do this shit to try to scare me. To push me away. Guess what, motherfucker. I push back. You wanna be a dick? I can be a bitch. You made me promise to stick around. It's a promise I damn well intend to keep. What the hell is it going to take to make you realize I'm NOT going anywhere? Huh? What?!” I yelled. He looked wounded and shocked.
“Jesus. I've never seen you like this.”
“There's a lot to me you haven't seen. This is just one of them. I'm stronger than you think.” I smirked.
“I'm such a fucking mess. I'm sorry. You're right.”
“It's okay. I forgive you. You have to stop doing this though. I don't want you seeking comfort in the bottom of a bottle. When you're low, tell me. I love you. I don't know how else I can make it any more clear,”
“You shouldn't have to, I know it.”
“Then fucking act like it.”
“I'm trying. I barely know how.”
“Then let me help you.” I took his hands in mine. He put one to my face. His hazel eyes met my baby blues and he kissed me.