Frank makes his move on Payton, but Payton isn't his to have. The stress is building up after running away from home, but what will happen next?
“We all need to leave. Now.” Gerard shouts up the stairs. I hear his footsteps as he runs to the ground floor as fast as he possibly can. My heart is beating a million miles per hour. I guess it’s the adrenaline rush when the police are looking for you. Well, I’m not going to be found. I don’t want to go home; I’m not ready to leave these amazing guys yet.
Myself and Mikey redress ourselves, and by the time we have packed up my belongings into my rucksack, the others have already returned with a few spare clothes and money. Everyone is frantic as they try to work out where to stay or where we will go.
Finally, Gerard and Mikey settle on running away to New York City. We pile into Gerard’s five seater, almost forgetting there are six of us. Mikey drives with Ray in the front with him for directions. I sit behind Ray; sitting next to me is Gerard and on the far right sits Bob. Gerard makes Frank lie down across our laps. His head rests on my lap which makes me feel uncomfortable. Getting pulled over by cops now would ruin everything, Frank needs to stay a low as he can.
Before I know it, we’re driving as fast as the law allows into New York. Ray says the drive should only be a couple of hours, but a couple of hours is going to be too long. If I am honest, I am scared about being found by the police. I’m scared about facing up to my parents. But most of all, I am scared about losing Mikey for good. If…or when…I get found, my parents would never let me see him again. Knowing them, they prosecute and probably send me to another school. I don’t want to let that happen.
When we arrive in New York City, the sky is beginning to darken. Gerard still has no clue where we will be staying, but he has a few friends he will have to find, to see if they have any accommodation for us. We pull into a bar owned by Gerard’s friends and Mikey and Ray go off to find somewhere for us to stay. I am told to go into the bar with Gerard, Frank and Bob- and I do what I’m told.
“Please be sensible.” Mikey says, wrapping his arms around my waist.
“Of course I will. You have to promise to be safe.” I say, smiling into his chest. The scent of him relieves my stress slightly.
“I promise.” He says, he kisses the top of my head and we have to part ways for a few hours. Gerard takes my arm and pulls me into a dingy bar down a backstreet.
The air inside the bar is heavy and thick with smoke and a ghastly stench of piss, puke and alcohol fills my nose. There is a low mumble of men’s voices and clinking of glasses from around the room. I feel on edge as I enter the bar as various older looking men’s heads turn to look at me as I walk. For once I am glad to be in Frank’s company as I sit down in a comfortable chair. Frank will keep me safe, I know that.
Gerard disappears off to the bar and returns with four glasses of beer. He places them on the table and we each take one eagerly.
“Isn’t obvious that I’m not old enough to drink?” I whisper to Gerard.
“Nah, it’s fine! I know the guys that own this place.” He smiles.
“Relax,” Frank says as his arm coils around my waist gently. “Nothing bad will happen to you in here. I’ll look after you.” He whispers in my ear. For some reason his pervyness is quite comforting. At least I’ll know that he won’t leave my side. Gerard and Bob get up from the table and proceed to the bar leaving me and Frank alone.
“These guys are creeps.” I whisper in his ear. I make awkward eye contact with at least five men as I look from face to face. Each grinning at me as I catch their eye.
“They’re only staring because you’re hot.” He whispers quietly. I think he regrets telling me that, as he looks down at the floor and his cheeks begin to flush red.
“But I’m not.” I say awkwardly.
“Yes you are. You’re seriously one of the hottest girls I’ve ever met.” I see a side of Frank that I have never seen before. He has suddenly become shy and awkward around me.
“But you always joke around with me…like that when you touch me. I’m not stupid; I know a joke when I see one.” I laugh, but Frank doesn’t seem to find it that funny.
“I wasn’t joking.” He snaps.
“It seemed like a joke. But it made me scared to be around you sometimes. I didn’t like how confident you were when you had been drinking. It scared me to think I almost betrayed Mikey when you tried to kiss me.” I say seriously.
“I’m sorry. I guess I’ve never really wanted to impress a girl before. You’re something else…you’re perfect.” he smiles sweetly. “Mikey is a lucky guy. You have no idea how much I wish I was him.” he blushes again and my heart seems to lift an inch. I wasn’t falling for Frank Iero, was I? No. I loved Mikey and that was final.
“You’re way nicer when you’re sober,” I say quietly. “But I love Mikey and you have to know that.”
“I know. It kills me.” He sniffs. “Payton,” he says. I look up and find him looking at me “Can I ask one thing? Just one thing and I will leave you alone.”
“Sure.” I say.
“Let me kiss you…just once.” He says quickly, in a fluster.
“Uh…Frank you know I can’t.”
“Please Payton. Mikey won’t be back for a while and Gerard and Bob are too drunk to notice.” He says, gesturing towards the bar. Sure enough, Gerard is stumbling around a group of people, laughing hysterically and I could have sworn Bob had passed out at the bar.
“Okay. Make it quick.” I say.
He leans in and presses his lips against mine for a couple of seconds. I can taste the beer on his lips and it makes me crave him more. Before I know it, I find myself kissing him harder. It’s the alcohol controlling me. I have to stop before it goes too far. I pull away but I can’t stop feeling like I need to kiss him again. How much alcohol had I drunk? I look down that table and count 6 glasses in front of me. Shit.
“Thank you.” he says quietly. He begins to get up from the table but I don’t want him to leave. He’s supposed to be protecting me. I grab his hand and he looks down at it and smiles. Was Frank manipulating me, or did I really love him? Was he taking the opportunity to hit on me because I was vulnerable and drunk, or did I really have feelings for him? Bullshit. This was just a bit of harmless fun and Frank knew that too.
He pulls me too my feet and I find myself in his arms. He holds me against his chest tightly and we sway gently to the slow muffled music.
“I love you, Payton,” He whispers. “Why can’t you be mine forever? Why can’t we just run away and leave Mikey here. I could look after you better than he ever could.”
I mumble something in response but I don’t recall what I say. My head is cloudy and I can’t quite remember where I am, or what I am doing here. I guess that doesn’t matter right now. He begins to kiss me again, this time my body is paralysed from the alcohol and I can’t do anything to stop it. It’s wrong. He shouldn’t be kissing me! I love Mikey, not Frank! He said he would kiss me once then leave me alone. He had lied to me. His tongue slips into my mouth but I can’t pull away. I’ve never even kissed Mikey like this before!
I’m aware that the door opens behind me but I am not fully aware of who enters until Frank is pulled away from me and I lose my balance, causing me to fall to the floor. I try to focus on one person but my head is swaying too much. I hear shouting and yelling between two people, the rest of the room goes quiet. My vision splits in two, giving me the chance to see what was going on.
Mikey had Frank pinned up against the wall.
I must have passed out because I don’t remember travelling to this hotel room. When I wake up, I find myself curled up in a bed with Gerard sleeping on the other side. Mikey is fast asleep in an armchair, Bob is asleep on the sofa and Frank is asleep as far from everyone else as possible- on the floor. I can’t remember much from last night. I remember kissing Frank quickly but after that, my memory is empty.
My fidgeting must have woken Gerard because he wakes up, sits bolt upright and crosses his arms. He has a disapproving look on his face. We sit in silence for a few seconds whilst one of us thinks of what to say.
“I wouldn’t mention last night… at all.” He whispers.
“Why?” I ask, rubbing my eyes with the back of my hand. He jumps out of bed and beckons me towards the door. I jump out of bed but my brain pounds against my skull, making me cringe. I must have gotten pretty pissed last night.
Once outside the hotel, he leads me to a bench and lights a cigarette. He offers me one but I refuse.
“Last night,” he begins, taking a long drag from the cigarette “You got drunk and Frank took advantage of you. He kissed you and Mikey caught him in the act.” Gerard says causally. I take the cigarette from his hand, take a drag, and give it back to him.
“Shit.” I hiss.
“He’s pretty fucked off,” Gerard says disapprovingly. “He said he should have seen this coming.”
“It’s not Mikey’s fault! I shouldn’t have gotten so drunk. Is he angry with me too?” I ask nervously. I never wanted to hurt Mikey like this. Mikey means the world to me.
“No, you didn’t kiss him…did you?” Gerard asks. I can hear the concern in his voice.
“I kissed him once, when I was sober because he practically begged me. But when Frank kissed me the second time it had gotten too far.” I admit. A stab of guilt hits me right in the chest. I had betrayed Mikey.
“Ah shit, Payton!” he gasps. “I won’t tell Mikey this time, but his is my brother and I hate keeping secrets from him. Don’t let it happen again…or at least don’t let me find out.” He sighs. I would be in deep shit if Mikey or any of the others found out. “Come on, let’s get back before the others wake up.”
As we approach the room we can hear the angry voices of Mikey and Frank inside, with Ray and Bob frantically trying to calm them down. We open the door and rush in, to find Frank on top of Mikey beating the shit out of him.
“Get off him!” I yell. Frank looks up and Mikey manages to climb out from underneath him. I push past Ray and Bob to get to Mikey, but Mikey had already thrown the next punch aimed at Frank. Frank managed to duck out the way but Mikey’s fist was already traveling too fast to stop.
The impact of his fist on my head knocked me to the floor. I felt my stitches above my eye brow split open and the warm red liquid begins to roll down my face. ‘Don’t cry Payton’ I repeat over and over again in my head. I look up to find everyone staring wide eyed at Mikey, and Mikey staring wide eyed at me.
“I’m so sorry Payton!” Mikey gasps. He drops to his knees and kneels in front of me. I burst out crying, something I haven’t done in a long time. He tries to take my hand but I push him away and let Gerard help me to my feet. My head hurt too much to think properly right now.
I just wanted to go home…
Gerard holds a damp cloth to my cheekbone and I can't stop myself from cringing at the stabbing pain across my face. My nose aches as I breathed through the nosebleed and my eyebrow will probably need stitching again.
"Keep still Payton." Gerard scolds as I try to push his steady hand away from my face.
I open my mouth to speak but I decide the pain isn't worth it. "Mikey will be killing himself over this. You have to know he didn't mean it."
"I deserved it." I manage to spit out. The taste of blood fills my mouth.
"If anyone needed that punch it was Frankie. You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time." He says trying to comfort me. It doesn't help, I still feel like I deserved it. "Frank fucked you both over, and he knew he was doing it. Nobody deserves to be fucked over; especially not you or Mikey."
"I don't understand...Frank was being so...nice." I say, the tears begin to fill my eyes.
"He's clever, you know?" Gerard sighs "he has let me down too. He was my best friend but he hurt you and my brother, it's going to be hard for him to regain any of our trust." Gerard says, he catches one of my tears with his finger and smiles at me.
Mikey walks in and looks at me with a look of pure guilt on his face. Without a word, I stand up and hug him tightly around his waist.
"I'm so sorry." he breathes into my neck. Gerard gets up and leaves the bathroom, leaving us alone. "I would completely understand if you want to go home." he sniffs.
"You want me to go home, don't you?" I say, tears rolling down my injured cheek.
"No! You know I don't want that." Mikey protests. "I'm just so confused as to why Frank would do that to me...to you...to us."
"Where is he now?...Frank, where is he?" I ask, holding onto Mikey even tighter.
"I think he's sat in the car." Mikey mumbles. I feel the anger in the pit of my stomach, rising to my brain. He has ruined something that was perfect once upon a time. Now I wish I had never agreed to go to that stupid concert.
I push Mikey out the way and run out of the room. I ignore Mikey's shouts to come back and I run down the hotel corridors and down the stairs. In a matter of no time, I have run past reception and am out the door. I can see Frank sitting sitting in the car, my first reaction is to open the door. Frank's head jerks up and he climbs out of the car, onto the pavement.
"Payton, I'm so sorry!" he says, his face is pale and weary.
"No you're not! You knew what you were doing the whole time. Your plan didn't work, though. Mikey still loves me as much as he did before." I can feel the tears rolling down my face, I know that Mikey loves me just that little bit less. I had kissed Frank back, after all. I was too drunk to stop him.
"I let you down. I let you all down, Payton." Frank says, there is no trace of regret in his voice anymore.
"If you're going to apologise, now really is not the time!" I say. Across the street, I see a police man talking into his walkie-talkie looking straight at us. Frank follows my gaze and looks back at me with alarm. Mikey and the others appear behind me, they've spotted the cop too.
"Guys, we have to run!" Mikey hisses. "in the car, now!" he yells. We all pile into the car and the police man runs towards us shouting. I'm sitting on Mikey's lap and he squeezes my hand as Ray accelerates down the street. Behind us, another cop car appears and follows close behind us.
"Go! Go! Go!" Gerard yells. We speed down the high street towards the motor way. It will be easy to escape the police once we've escaped the city.
"Ray, I need you to get a train back to Belleville and call us, let us know how many police are out looking for Payton. Take Bob with you, if you're on your own it will look too suspicious." Gerard says as we pull into the train station. We had lost the cops as we entered the freeway. Bob and Ray climb out and jog towards the ticket machine . Gerard climbs into the driver's seat, Frank climbs into the front passenger's seat leaving myself and Mikey to have the back seats all to ourselves.
We are about to leave the train station car park when Gerard yells: "STOP!" He slams the brakes and we jolt to a violent stop.
"What?" Frank hisses.
"We can't use this car, the police will be tracking it as we speak." Gerard says. None of us had thought of that. Gerard was smarter than I had first thought. Gerard speeds into an empty parking space and turns round to talk to us all.
"Ok, Payton; you see that young man over there? The one by the parking metre?" He says, hinting at a man who appears to be in his early twenties, standing behind 3 other people in the queue. He looks like a bit of a nerd to be honest. I nod and look back to Gerard. "He is the owner to that red ford focus parked three metres from here," I nod again. "He has his keys in his left pocket, we need you to flirt with him and get them for us. Its essential you get them, okay? Or we can't leave. The rest of us will wait until he heads into the train station then we will take the car. You all got that?" Gerard instructs. I hesitate but agree to go along with the plan. It's out last shot at escaping the police for now.
We all climb out of the car, the others walk slowly across the other side of the car park. I walk slowly towards the man at the parking metre. He is now the only one there, there is no one else in the car park except for me, this man and the others.
"You don't happen to have some spare change for parking, do you?" I say, nervously. The man looks down at me and blushes as if an attractive girl has never spoken to him before.
"I...I...I erm I m-might." He stutters.
"Thank you, but be quick. I have an appointment to get to." I say, flashing my most flirtatious smile. His hand digs around in his pocket and hands me about six dollars in change. He shakily hands it to me and finishes of paying for his parking ticket. Shit, I still haven't got the keys! As soon as he turns away to leave, I glance over and the others who are watching intently and an idea flashes into my brain.
"Thank you so much! You're a real life saver!" I yell, I throw my arms around the man's shoulders and slip two fingers into his pocket. I hook my fingers around the keys and retrieve them. Hopefully he was in too much shock to notice.
"It was...um...my pleasure." He gasps. I let go of him and he stumbles backwards, slightly startled. He then walks off as quick as he can. The others were in fact laughing at what had just happened and the man had felt slightly humiliated.
As soon as the man was gone for good, we all rush over to the red ford focus. Once we are speeding down the freeway with Mikey driving this time, Gerard turns to me says "Great show, Payton!" I laugh and I catch Mikey grinning in the wind mirror. But then the whole atmosphere turns a hell of a lot more serious.
"Where are we even going?" Frank hisses. Of course, he had seen Mikey grinning and had become jealous.
"That's a point, we have no where to go." Gerard says.
Our destination is still undecided once we reach Belleville. Our petrol supply is running dangerously low and we are all in need of coffee. We pull into a gas station and finally stretch our legs. Mikey fills up the car with petrol, Gerard goes to get coffee and finally, I get to talk to Frank. He is sitting own his own by the side of the road with his hands to his head.
"We need to talk." I say sternly. Frank turns around and jumps to his feet.
"Only if you let me talk first." He snaps.
"Go on then."
"First of all, enough with the cold glares and snappy comments. I do love you Payton...you've already hurt me enough." He says angrily.
"I wasn't yours to love." I say, glancing over at Mikey who is watching us carefully.
He makes a sort of gagging noise, but then goes on to say "Secondly, why haven't you admitted to kissing me? Why don't you just tell your precious Mikey the truth? You love me Payton. Don't kid yourself into thinking you don't."
"Go round saying all you like, just don't expect anyone to believe you." I growl.
"How unfortunate that people believe you because you're the pretty one."
"Shut up." I snap.
"Don't you tell me to shut up." He says, taking a step closer. Our foreheads are almost touching and I feel the strongest urge to kiss him; but I have to resist.
"PAYTON, FRANK...GET IN THE CAR!" Gerard screams. I turn around just in time to see three police cars speeding into the gas station, surrounding us. I grab Frank's hand in my panic and run as fast as we can towards the car. Just before we reach it a cop grabs my arms, cuffs me and forces me down onto the bonnet of our car.
"Mikey!" I shout in my struggles. I look up just in time to see him, and the others, also being handcuffed. "Let me go! You can't do this to me!" I cry. The cop pulls me to my feet and I see my parents marching towards me. I can't even bare to look at them.
"Payton! I love you!" Mikey yells as he battles against the police men.
"Mikey, don't let them take you!" My throat is burning with every word I scream.
"I'm so sorry Payton." He says, I watch as he gives up fighting the cops and let's them lead him into the back of a car with his brother and Frank.
My mom grabs me by the shoulders and forces me to look at her.
"Why would you do this to us? The whole family? Your friends?" My mom hisses. "I've never been so disapointed in someone this much...how could you?" She hisses, I can hear the slight hysterics in her voice.
"Now, Sally, we can talk about this at home." My father says, leading her away from me. He gives me a little nod. Maybe he still has just a little bit of respect left for me, somewhere in that grown up mind of his.
What I am certain of, is that I won't be seeing Mikey, Gerard, Frank, Bob or Ray for a VERY long time. How I was going to cope without them, I don't know. What punishments am I going to receive? No idea. I know for a fact that my heart is broken. I'd broken Frank's and Mikey's. Didn't I deserve this? I am not going to give up this fight. I will get back to Mikey and the others if it is the last think I do.
Would Mikey fight to see me too? Or has be given up for good?
I'm not going to give up. That's not the sort of person am.