“Hi, Ma, we’re on our way home,” I said into the phone, but all of a sudden I realized that my mother was sobbing and attempting to speak, but failing. “Ma, calm down; what’s wrong?” I asked, concerned as to why my mother was so upset.
All of a sudden, she handed the phone to Mikey, and he said the four words that I never ever wanted to hear.
“Grandma Elena is gone,” he said quietly, and I could hear the sadness in his voice and just imagine him standing in the kitchen stock still with salty tears freely flowing down his cheeks.
Right when he said those words, I stopped right in my tracks and just froze, causing Frank to stop as well. I could feel a tear escape my right eye, and my phone slipped out of my hand. I didn’t bother to pick it up, I was still in shock from the horrible news I just received, even though my phone was now being soaked by the rain. Frank picked it and put it in his pocket, and then he enveloped me in a warm, caring embrace. Though he was much shorter than me, I still managed to cry into his chest, soaking the front of his Misfits T-shirt even more than it already was. He didn’t seem to mind, though, and proceeded to rub small circles on my back and whisper soothing words into my ear saying that everything would be okay, everything would be fine. But nothing was fine, at least not right now. My grandmother was dead, and I knew Frank could tell. We had been talking about her yesterday, and I was telling him how I was worried because she was horribly ill. At least she was no longer sick. But she was gone. I knew she was no longer suffering and that she was in a better place now, but I was so close to her. It devastates me that I’ll no longer be able to visit her during my breaks and listen to her old stories. Also, Frank and I were actually going to visit her this weekend and she could finally meet him, but I guess that’s not going to be happening now.
As I was crying, Frank had managed to keep us moving and soon we were standing in front of his house. He took me inside and we sat down on the couch in the living room, soaking it in the process. Frank’s mom heard us come in and came into the living room, but gasped when she saw my state.
"Oh, honey, what happened?" she asked sympathetically.
I don't know how Frank replied, but all I know is that I was wrapped up in a warm, red blanket and a cup of hot coffee, made just the way I like it, was placed next to me on a small folding table soon afterwards.
"Thanks," I managed to croak out in between sobs.
"Shh, don't talk," Frank cooed, still hugging me and rocking me back and forth like I was a small child.
I noticed that he didn't have anything dry him off and keep him warm, since he'd just been holding me the whole time, so I lifted up a part of my blanket and asked him with my watery eyes if he wanted to join me in its warmth. He gratefully accepted, letting go of me for a few seconds just to come under the blanket and comfort me some more. He's so sweet.
I always talked about him to Grandma Elena on the phone and in person since the first day he came into my life. She always said, "He sounds like such a nice boy, I can't wait to meet him one day. I really hope things go well for you, Gerard. Remember, no matter what happens, I love you and I always will." I would always say that I loved her back and all that good stuff, and then our phone conversations would usually end, or we'd go back and join everyone else for dinner. We always went to her house on Sunday and Ma would cook dinner. I guess our tradition was gonna be over now. I still can't believe she's gone. I told her everything; she was my confidante, my gossiper, one of my best friends. And now she was gone, and the last thing I ever heard her say was, "Remember, Gerard, no matter what, I will always love you, okay? And don't you ever forget that, either," and then she'd hugged me close, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and I went back to Dad's car and we took the one hour ride home. This Sunday was supposed to be different, though. This Sunday, Frank was supposed to join us at our weekly family dinner. Now the only way he'll get to meet her is at her funeral, if he comes. I sure hope that he will, I think I’ll need him for support.
Once I finally calmed down, Frank started loosening his grip on me and moving out of the blanket.
"Will you be alright for a couple minutes?" he asked me, fully out from underneath the blanket and standing up now.
I nodded, my eyes drooping closed. I hadn't realized how tired I really was until now.
"Okay then, I'll be right back, Gee," he said to me, leaning down to place a small kiss on my forehead. "Everything will be alright, okay? I promise," he told me in a whisper, his gorgeous, yet worried hazel eyes looking into my dull and sorrow filled ones.
I nodded again, blushing from the small kiss. Yea, I know it was just for comfort, but it was still a kiss from my crush and best friend. He then went into the kitchen, and I guessed that he was gonna go and speak to his mother again. To my surprise, I overheard him talking on the phone instead. I eavesdropped on his conversation from my spot on the couch.
“Yea, it’s not Gerard, sorry, Mikes. It’s Frank.”
“How’s everything over by you? I heard what happened, and I’m really sorry for your loss.”
“Yea, Gerard and I are at my house.”
“He’s fine. We kinda got caught in the rain, but we’re good now.”
“I don’t think so, I was gonna see if he wanted to stay here. I don’t know if he’d be alright to go home tonight. Can you ask your mother for me?”
“She said it’s good? Great! Send her my condolences. See ya later, Mikey.”
He came back to the living room and sat down next to me on the couch, which was when he noticed that I was sitting at full attention.
“I take it that you’re feeling a bit better?” he asked.
I nodded in response.
“Good, that’s great, I’m glad you’re feeling better. Listen, I just got off the phone with Mikey. He called your phone to check in on you and it was still in my pocket. If you want, you can stay the night here, if you’re not ready to go home yet or whatever. I’m assuming you’re already staying for dinner? Mom’s making lasagne, vegetarian, of course. Don’t worry, it’s MUCH better than the school’s,” he said.
“Sure, that’d be great. I’d love to. I don’t have anything to wear for tonight and tomorrow, though, and my toothbrush is at my house,” I replied.
He smiled. “You can borrow something of mine. I don’t want you going back to yours right now, I don’t think you’re ready to yet. I’m sure I have some bigger clothes of mine that could fit you. And we have a ton of spare toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet. Don’t worry; I won’t let you sleep on the couch. It’s pretty comfy to sit on, but not to sleep on. Trust me, I’ve tried that. You can sleep upstairs with me; my bed’s big enough for two,” he said.
“Okay, sounds good,” I said with a small smile.
“Boys, dinner’s ready,” Frank’s mother called from the dining room, so we went and joined her for supper.
All throughout dinner, we pretty much just made small talk. Linda, Frank’s mother, she always insisted I call her by her first name instead of Mrs. Iero since she’s no longer married, kept sneaking sympathetic glances at me, but I pretended that I didn’t notice. I tried to make it seem like I had everything together, but in reality, I didn’t, at least not at the moment. On the inside, I was actually a mess; curled up in the fetal position and crying my eyes out, wailing and screaming in agony. But on the outside, I just seemed like a shy and quiet kid that was nervous to talk to their friends’ parents. Even though we just made small talk during dinner, I barely spoke, only speaking if I was spoken to. Frank and Linda did most of the talking. I felt kinda bad; I mean, they let me into their house, fed me their food, and were hospitable to me, and I pretty much just shut them out. I wasn’t really even paying much attention to what they were talking about during dinner. I felt a bit rude by doing that, but I couldn’t help it. I was trapped in my own mind, trapped by my own harsh thoughts.
Before I knew it, Frank’s mother was cleaning off the dinner table and doing the dishes. I offered to help, but she wouldn’t accept it and just told me to go and hang out with Frank, which is what I did. He’d totally disappeared, though; I had no clue where he went. I walked into the dining room and found him crouched down in front of the TV, looking through a pile of DVDs. He heard me come into the room and turned around, smiling at me.
“Hey, I was thinking that maybe we could watch a movie, are you cool with that?” he asked me.
“Yea, sure, that’s cool. What have you got?” I replied.
“Hmm, I was thinking maybe “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.” Ya know, the original, not the remake. It’s not really gory or anything, but I figured that maybe it could help to take your mind off of things,” he said, grabbing the DVD’s case and flashing the cover at me.
I gave him a small smile. “Okay, that’s perfect.”
Frank and I were sitting together on the couch, cuddled underneath the blanket and sharing a bowl of kettle corn popcorn. Watching this movie’s really helped to improve my mood, as it’s my favourite “Friday the 13th”. The movie was nearly over and it was at the part where Melissa comes around and Nick’s telling her not to go outside because of Jason. I didn’t like her, she was such a whore. I then decided to voice my opinions about her to Frank.
“I can’t believe that bitch hasn’t been killed yet! Oh, oh, wait, yes, she’s finally dead! An axe to the face; you finally got what you deserved, motherfucker!” I got up and did a bit of a happy dance.
Frank chuckled and said, “Now that’s the Gerard I know!”
I chuckled as well and settled back underneath the blanket with him. A little while later, it got to the part where Nick and Tina FINALLY kissed, and I couldn’t help but look down at Frank. I really liked him, and even though he was gay as well, I knew that he’d never like me in the same way. Seeing the characters in the movie kiss made me think of what it would be like to actually kiss somebody. I’ve honestly never had my first kiss, and I knew that Frank hadn’t either, so I hoped that I could be his and he would be mine.
I looked down at him and smiled at the top of his head, even though he couldn't see me. He must've felt me looking at him, though, because he looked up at me and smiled back almost instantly, causing my heart to flutter. That always happens to me when he smiles. I blushed and looked away. Soon the movie was over, and Frank started getting up. He grabbed the popcorn bowl and went off into the kitchen, dumping the remaining kernels in the trash can. I got up and folded up the blanket, leaving it on the arm of the couch.
He came back and asked, "You ready to go to bed?"
I looked up at the clock on the wall and noticed it was just after one A.M. Thank God tomorrow was a Saturday, or else I'd be screwed for school tomorrow. I looked back at him and nodded. We then proceeded to go into his bedroom, and I sat on his bed, waiting as he got out our pyjamas for the night from his dresser. After digging around in there a bit, he tossed me a rather large New York Yankees T-shirt and a pair of navy blue and white plaid pyjama pants. I looked at him with a raised eyebrow, not exactly knowing why he’d have such a large Yankees shirt, as they were both our favourite baseball team.
He simply said, "It was my Dad's. I used to sleep in it a lot when I was little," and shrugged.
I nodded, understanding. He grabbed a white t-shirt and red and white plaid pyjama pants for himself, and I started to leave to change in the bathroom across the hall, but I was stopped by Frank's hand on my shoulder. I turned around gave him a questioning look.
He blushed and softly said, "You can change in here if you'd like."