It can only go two ways.
This time, lateness is NOT MY FAULT. Lack of Internet for about 1000 years made me crazy, I was doing the crouching in the corner shaking back and forth saying “Two by two, hands of blue” thing. Not a good stage of my life.
Tell Him How You Feel
When I wake up and find myself on a forest floor, leaves in my hair and a half-naked Gerard wrapped around my torso I am certain that I am still dreaming. Because there is no way this is real. I’ve waited for too long and with too much pain for my dreams to come true and I haven’t been a better person recently so it is unlikely that God or karma or whatever has suddenly decided to see me as deserving.
Depressed as I am at this realisation, I let my head sink back onto the ground and continue staring up at the incredible blue light of day. Such a good dream. Don’t want it to end just yet.
And yet he stirs next to me and moments later he lifts his head up, eyes tired and wincing sharply at every bird’s song. “I feel,” he begins, voice heavy with sleep. “Like Satan crawled into my ear and shat in my brain.”
“That, my friend, would be known as a hangover,” I explain, heaving myself up to look at him in a patronising way. “And thinking about whatever those emos gave to you last night, I’m guessing your hangover’s a bitch.”
Gerard nods, grimacing at the way it makes the world spin. “You’re goddamn right about that.”
He sighs, groans, rubs at his eyes and looks down. It is then that he realises he is half draped over my semi-naked form and that he is also semi-naked, stimulating a high-pitched shriek and a spontaneous jump onto his feet as if burnt.
“Omigod omigod omigod,” he stutters, clapping a hand over his eyes. “How drunk was I last night?”
Hmmm. Dare I tell the truth? Or lie a little to save his dignity? “A bit,” I shrug. “Slightly tipsy. A “burping the Canadian National Anthem” kind of drunk. No big deal.”
“...I was completely shitfaced wasn’t I?”
“You almost got sacrificed to vampires,” I confirm. “So...really you were more “diarrhea-faced”.”
Gerard’s hands go to the back of his head and his teeth find his lip in anxiety. “Frank,” he says desperately. “If you never tell me anything again, tell me last night we didn’t do it.”
“We didn’t do it.”
“But we may have done things,” I continue. “Blowjobs, mainly.”
“Oh my GOD!” Gerard’s eyes are wide as he drags his hand through messy hair frantically, as if looking for something to hold on to. “Oh my Jesus Christ.”
“Hey dude, chill. This kinda thing happens.” I attempt to put a reassuring hand on his shoulder but he jumps away. I drop it quickly.
“I can’t chill,” Gerard groans. “I just realised that last night I almost got sacrificed to vampires and then sucked off my gay best friend.”
We stand there awkwardly for a little bit, my good mood dissipating as quickly as the dust at my feet leaving a hollow empty feeling, similar to the one where you’re at Day Care and all the other moms come to pick their kids up but your mom can’t make it cos she’s got a meeting or something so the nice carer called Jenny offers to take you downstairs and you make cookies together but it’s not the same, really, and you can’t help that feeling from squeezing it’s way out through tears.
That feeling of being unwanted. Yeah, that’s it.
I sigh and it’s a heavy one. Run a hand through my hair, stuff my hands down the pockets of my jeans and gesture with my head in a vague direction. “We should get a bus,” I state bluntly. “Get back to the hotel. The others will be wondering where we are.”
Gerard nods. Nervously. “Yeah. Right.”
I nod back. He sets off and I make sure I keep a few paces behind him. He leads the way, I follow.
The bus ride is awkward. Mainly because neither of us speak and I have to try very hard to keep my leg from bumping against his or something stupid like that, resulting in me sitting in a stupidly fixed position and looking like I’ve got constipation. Evidently I’m not the only one who thinks so because the old woman across from me keeps smiling endearingly and just before she gets off she reaches into her bag, withdraws a packet of tablets and hands them to me.
“Ne avete bisogno più di me,” she says, placing them in my open palm before hurrying away.
“I don’t want your charity!” I call after her, hurling the tablets out the open door. They get stuck in the door and then someone steps on them.
The old lady turns, shakes her head sadly and continues to totter on down the street. I don’t know why but the sight of her stupid pork-pie hat and her walking stick just makes me more depressed. “Condescending bitch,” I mutter and then I feel bad because who actually SAYS that about old people?
The hotel is quiet when we get there. I guess most people are still sleeping off their hangovers. I turn to Gerard in the lobby.
“Okay,” I whisper. “You...you go back to your room. And I’ll go back to mine.”
“Right,” Gerard nods. His eyes shift from side to side. He bites his lip. Scratches the back of his neck. “See you, then.”
“Bye.” I head off up the stairs without turning back round.
I tip-toe down the corridor so as not to wake anyone up and hope desperately that Raoul left the door unlocked. Thankfully, it is and as soon as I get inside I hurl myself under the bedcovers. Yes, sleep. Sleep is what I need. Sleep keeps no secrets and bears no surprises.
“Chérie?” whispers a voice and I scream, jump up and land on my butt.
“Raoul,” I gasp, voice hoarse, heart hammering against my ribcage. Christ! Just about give me a heart attack why don’t you, you evil sonofabitch. “I so dump you!”
And with that I crawl into my own bed, hitch the covers up to my chin and fall asleep after hoping against hope that Cam will pray for my soul when I die.
I am climbing Candy Mountain.
Gummi bears, jaw-breakers, I pass them by as I haul myself up the bright pink rock, desperate to reach the top where Gerard is waiting, waiting with the biggest sonofabitching lollipop you ever saw. He keeps calling out encouragement but now and again he’ll send a boulder hurling down towards me in an attempt to knock me off. Instead of giving up it only causes me to work harder, sending fistfuls of caramel squares into oblivion in my urgency.
I am almost at the top. I can see Gerard grinning, motioning for me to keep climbing. I can make it. Just one more push and we will be eating monster lolli together. But then a huge boulder strikes me and I lose my footing before slipping and falling, falling through the pink air striped with candy-floss...
“Frank, will you please stop chewing my hand?”
“Ugh?” is my intelligent reply, eyes opening reluctantly. Cam is perched on the edge of my bed, surveying me with distaste. Ray is with her, experimentally applying eyeliner to his lashes while surveying himself in my mirror.
“We just came to tell you that Raoul’s gone,” she says, wiping her hand on my mattress. “He got offered a contract from male model agency here in Milan and they left for a shoot immediately. Shame, I had fun drooling over that guy.”
“He was a pain in the fucking ass,” I mumble into my pillow. “I dumped him last night.”
Ray spins around to give me a disapproving “Oh-no-you-didn’t”. “I hope you did it nicely.” says Cam.
Flashback to jumping out of a bed screaming, pointing an accusing finger and having to restrain myself from yelling “I thrice divorce thee!” in a proper Biblical fashion. “Yeah, I was very compassionate,” I reply nonchalantly.
Cam surveys me sceptically but fortunately does not press the matter. “Anyway,” she continues. “Where were you last night? We thought you’d headed back to the hotel but you weren’t there. Did you fall asleep in the yard or something?”
“No,” I yawn, rubbing at tired eyes. “I fell asleep in the forest on the edge of a vineyard.”
Cam raises an eyebrow. Ray frowns, his bottom lip protruding. “Don’t make that face,” I tell him. “It makes you look like your grandma.”
“My grandma is a beautiful person.”
“With a face like a hundred years of mothball collecting as a hobby,” I say, remembering the time when she jumped on me in the night and tried to hang me from a tree. “You’ll never get laid with a face like that.”
“Frank, were you with Gerard last night?” Cam cuts across my reminiscing.
The directness of the question takes me aback and I open my mouth to reply, then close it stupidly, then open it again upon the realisation that I might actually need to in order to say something. “Yes,” I manage to answer.
Ray immediately starts shoving fingers down his throat in a very refined and gracious manner. Cam spares him one glare of disgust before going on to ask eagerly “Was it incredible?”
I don’t think my heart has ever felt heavier. I think it just dropped from one of my arteries and implanted itself in my stomach lining. Well, actually it probably didn’t. That could be a bit serious. “Yeah,” I sigh. “Yeah, it was.”
The look that passes between Cam and I is a mark of how long we’ve been friends and how well we get each other. Cam manoeuvres her body round in order to slink an arm round my shoulders and I transfer all my weight into leaning against her in a familiar position of comfort. I feel like crying. Or dying.
“It’s alright,” she says soothingly. “What happened?”
“I don’t know,” I confess. “He was drunk. I was horny. It was all fine. Then in the morning he freaked out and I don’t think he’ll ever talk to me again.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Cam shakes her head. “Of course he’ll talk to you again! You guys are much better friends than you realise. Just give him a little time to sort his brain out. He’s new to this, remember? It’s easy for you to just jump in but I’ll bet you anything a feel will be as far as he’s gone with a girl, let alone a guy. Just give him some time.”
Time. Give him time. What’s the time? I say the time is right! “Can’t I just get it all out in the open?” I ask. “All this waiting and hoping is driving me crazy.”
Cam looks dubious. “I don’t know, Frank,” she says. “You might want to draw it out for just a couple more chapters. Really rig up the suspense.”
I look at her quizzically. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Never mind,” she shrugs. “Go with my blessing, if you think you’re ready. Just don’t get pissy if he says he’s not.”
Hey! Who does she think I am? “Get pissy? I’m the most chill guy on the planet!” I jump up, suddenly filled with nervous energy. “I’m so chill...I’m practically Zen!”
“Right, yeah, of course,” Ray rolls his carefully mascara-rimmed eyes and starts applying eye shadow.
I think about saying something but decide against it. He’s so far gone that whatever I say will have absolutely no effect anyways. I would tell you that he was dropped on his head as a child or maybe he was in a car crash and it knocked a screw loose to excuse his behaviour...but the truth is he’s just a tard.
“Gerard’s in his room,” Cam tells me, nodding towards the door. “Good luck.”
“Thanks,” I mutter, hauling myself off the bed and crossing out the room.
Gerard’s sharing a room with Craig the Weather Guy, number 284. I take measured steps towards it, aware of how badly I’m shaking. Aw come now, this is ridiculous. It’s not like I’m going to my death or anything! How hard can it be to tell someone how you feel? How you’ve felt ever since you first met them?
This was a stupid idea. I’m going back to my room to read anime.
I’m about to turn and run back across the landing when the door opens. Craig looks me up and down before crossing his arms across his chest in a defensive gesture.
“What do you want?” he snarls.
“Whoa,” I raise my hands in mock surrender. “Little bit on the hostile side there, Craig. What, did you have a side order of aggression with your cereal?”
Teehee. I made a funny. Craig, however, does not seem to agree. “Either tell me why you’re here or go away.”
“I want to talk to Gerard,” I reply. “Is he in there?”
“Yes I’m in here,” comes a voice from inside.
“No, he’s not here right now,” says Craig. “He’ll be back later.”
“But I just heard him.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes I did, look, I can see him in the mirror!” I wave. Gerard’s reflection waves back.
“That’s just a poster of a horse,” says Craig.
“I can’t be bothered with this.” Pushing Craig out of the way I muscle into the room, leaving him to bang on the door angrily.
“Frank!” he cries. “Let me in! This is my room!”
“Oh I’m sorry,” I retort. “Frank’s not in at the moment!”
I turn round to face Gerard who is surveying the scene amusedly, a comic book in his lap. I peer at it interestedly. “Whatcha reading?”
He lifts it up so that I can read off the cover. Batman: The Killing Joke. “That looks pretty scary,” I say in an attempt at light conversation. “Who’s the creepy clown with the green hair?”
“It’s The Joker, Frank,” Gerard rolls his eyes.
“Oh,” I say awkwardly. “I thought he was meant to be fit?”
“No, you just found him fit when we were watching the Dark Knight because he’s played by Heath Ledger,” Gerard corrects me.
Oh yeah. That’s right. God he looked sexy in that film. Gerard places the comic book on the bedside table and surveys me expectantly. It is then that I become aware of how insecure I actually am. Really. I have a lot of issues. And I’ve never had to do this before and all those issues are poking their way to the surface. I breathe deeply, concentrating hard on my happy place. In this case, a forest floor.
“Gerard,” I begin. “About last night-”
“-Wait Frank,” Gerard interrupts me. “Before you say anything, I like you. I really do. You’re one of the first real friends I’ve ever made in this place and sometimes I look at you and I think...maybe this could go somewhere. Somewhere amazing. But I’m scared. I’m afraid. And I’m really, seriously confused.”
“But that’s okay!” I say, feeling suddenly jubilant. “It’s okay to be confused! I was confused when I was fourteen and I woke up in bed with my maths teacher. I was confused when my dad told me that my soul was going down to a reserved spot in Hell. I’m confused about a lot of things. But one thing I am absolutely, totally, positively sure about is that I wanna do this. With you. Forever.”
Silence. Gerard looks down at his feet, a faint pink blush creeping into his pale cheeks. I scratch the back of my neck for something to do. Please God, tell me I did not just say “forever”. I was so hoping I could get my brain to leave that out! However, when Gerard looks up I don’t see fear or hatred in his eyes, and that can only be a good thing.
“I don’t know that you do,” he says plainly. “And I’m sorry, I can’t take that chance. Not yet, anyway. And then there’s Cynthia to think about.”
Oh for Chrissake, are you kidding me?! “Gerard, you need to dump her,” I tell him. “You need to dump her and you need to dump her now.”
“What? Because you can’t have me no one can?”
“No, because she tied you to a stake and let the Volturi take your soul!” I cry. “Do you really think that’s a correct basis for a healthy relationship?”
“She what?” Gerard gawps.
An hour later, Gerard Way is single.
And I still feel like shit.