THE BEGINNING IS STUPID BUT IT GETS VERY DRAMATIC. TRUST ME. Members of the band have problems, they help each other out.
“Aha! So we meet again Monsieur Skinny Jeans! I shall win this battle!!” He then proceeded to pull the black jeans onto his legs. Tripping on one of the pant legs, Gerard fell on his couch and grunted and cursed as he tried to pull them on. Meanwhile, outside of Gerard’s room, a confused Mikey stood at the door listening to Gerard’s curses at the so called “Monsieur Skinny Jeans”, his hand paused in midair, ready to knock the door. He was going to ask to borrow one of Gerard’s many cutoff tank tops but… he would ask later.
2 hours later, the concert began.
Frank was pulling on his skeleton gloves and cracking his knuckles, getting ready to go onstage before Ray was heard running up from behind.
“FRANKFRANKFRANKFRANKFRANK YOU HAVE A SPECIAL VISITOR!”
“…Where?” asked Frank.
“Here,” Ray smiled as he pulled a small shrub out from behind his back adorned with a pirate captain’s hat.
“Ray, what the fuck is that thing.” Frank stood not amused at all by the small plant.
“It’s CAPTAIN SHRUB!” exclaimed Ray. “Make Gerard introduce him onstage!”
“Ray… It’s a shrub. With a hat.”
“Exactly!! PLEAAASSEE ASK HIM! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE!” Ray was on his knees. Frank rubbed the bridge of his nose, “… Fine”
Gerard was jumping up and down. Shaking his arms and legs out. Getting ready.
“Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. You’re gonna be alright Gee. They all love you out there.” He always talked to himself before he went onstage. He closed his eyes and listened to all the fans screaming. All of the sudden, Frank ran up full speed from behind Gerard and almost knocked him down.
“… I’m sorry, Frank, WHAT?!” Gerard was appalled at the sudden burst of words(?) that came out of Frank’s lips.
“Ray. Wants. You. To. Bring. Captain. Shrub. On. Stage. With. You.”
“Frankie, it’s literally a shrub with a captain’s hat on…”
“I’m not blind Gerard, this wasn’t my idea, it was Ray’s.”
“Dammit, Frank, I have no fucking idea what to do with this.”
“Just wave it around and stuff. The fans love this kind of crap.”
“… Ugh, fine.”
Mikey stood on stage, his heart beating wildly in his chest. He thought, “I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna mess up. I’m gonna mess up. You aren’t good enough Mikey. You are anything but talented. You don’t deserve to be in this band.” His thoughts were interrupted when Frank started to play the first chords for “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” The crowd exploded into wild cheers and screams. The lights turned on, full effects. Gerard was holding onto the mic on the stand with his left hand and in his right was… a shrub with a pirate captain’s hat??? Mikey was so confused. He shrugged away his thoughts and wonderings. He could ask about the weird shrub later. It was time to play.
“Well, if you wanted honesty that’s all you had to say…” Gerard sang into the mic and before he knew it the song was over. He was pumped up.
“HOW ARE YOU BATTERY CITYY!!” He screamed into the microphone. “I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO A LITTLE FRIEND OF MINE! CAPTAIN SHRUB! HE’S A VERY GOOD FRIEND AND WOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOU SCREAM FOR HIM!!” The crown screamed even louder. Frank was right. The fans did like this crap.
The concert was over. Frank limped off stage. He had twisted his ankle as he had tried to get up off his back from playing on the ground. He thought to himself, “Man, the crown loved that shit about Captain Shrub...”
Where was Ray anyway? Frank searched/limped around for Ray until he found him passed out on a couch. He would talk to him later.
Mikey sat down on the couch with Ray passed out on it. “Mikey, you suck. You will never be as talented as any of the band members. You are only in this band because Gerard is in it. Stop trying, you fucking piece of shit,” he thought. Ray started to toss and turn on the couch until he fell off with a thud.
“GROUNDHOGS!” he yelled. Mikey stared at him, perplexed.
“Dude, are you okay?” Mikey asked, genuinely concerned. Ray wasn’t usually like this. He was usually the creative, quiet and reserved one. He’d never seen ray act like this before. Suddenly, Gerard walked up and crouched down next to the downed Toro.
“Hey, man, what the hell? A shrub?” Gerard said. Ray laughed, “Sorry, I was just so fucking stoned.”
Gerard blew up,
“WHAT THE FUCK, MAN. YOU KNOW WE HAVE A RULE ON BEING STONED DURING CONCERTS!”
“Dude, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Gerard stormed off to his dressing room.
Mikey slowly sat down on Gerard’s couch in Gerard’s dressing room. He didn’t know where else to go. He placed his forehead in his hands as they rested on his awkward knees. “Leave me alone,” he spoke quietly. “Leave me alone,” he said louder this time. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” he screamed to himself. He punched the couch. Fat tears slid down his face. He whispered, “You worthless piece of shit. You are nothing. Nothing. No one loves you.”
Meanwhile, outside of the dressing room, Gerard stood, head resting against the door. “Mikey…,” he whispered. His slid his fingers down the door. He had heard every word. He wished he could do something, but he didn’t. He walked away.
“Ray, I know there’s something wrong,” said Frank. The two guitarists sat next to each other, Frank facing Ray as Ray looked to the ground. Frank slipped off his gloves and began to pull a loose string off of one. Ray did not respond.
“You’re supposed to be the responsible one. The one who’s composed.”
“I know, man, I just… I feel like no one likes me. None of the fans care. They all like Gerard: the good looking, sassy, amazing person he is. I’m just the ugly one in the background even though I work as hard as anyone here…”
“Ray, are you kidding me?! Those badass solos you take are far beyond what I’m able to do!! If you want my opinion as well as MANY of the other fans out there, you are the most TALENTED person in the band. You don’t need to use drugs to make people think you’re the cool crazy one. You are beautiful. The true fans out there love you for who you are and think the same. Don’t feel this way, man. Everyone here loves you. Even if some ignorant “fans” think you ARE in the background, they are complete idiots. If you weren’t in this band, we wouldn’t be anywhere right now.”
“Wow, Frank, thank you.”
“No problem. I’m always here if you need me,” Frank limped away and heard Ray yell in the distance, “Get some ice for your leg…” Frank smiled. Good old Ray.
Gerard had been in the bathroom stall for about an hour. His eyes stung from crying. “Mikey… Mikey. Mikey. Mikey. What’s wrong…” His put his palms over his eyes. Minutes later, he looked at his palms to finds them black with a mixture of eyeliner and tears.
“What am I going to do? How could I have neglected this for so long? Gerard, you knew something was wrong. You just ignored it like everything was fine.” He craved a drink. A nice shot of whiskey. Or two. “No, Gerard. Don’t start this again. Please. You need to be there for Mikey,” He thought to himself, hitting his head with both fists. When did Mikey start to feel this way?
Gerard patted Mikey on the back as they walked off stage.
“Great job, Mikey. You did awesome,” Gerard complimented. Mikey looked into Gerard’s eyes with an emotion Gerard just couldn’t put a finger on. It wasn’t pain, close, but more like… denial. Denial. Gerard shook off these thoughts and went to congratulate the other members of the band.
Hours later, the band piled into the van to get back on the road. The weather was hot and sticky as it always was in the summer back home in Jersey. Frank took his shirt off, catching Gerard’s eye with his fit body, but something else fazed him. Mikey stepped up into the van trying to hide a wince as he made his way to his seat. His left calf had an enormous purple and blue bruise and almost seemed to be throbbing. Along with the bruise, he had a six inch long gash on the inside of his right arm
“Mikey! What happened to you!” exclaimed Gerard. Mikey responded, mumbling,
“Someone shut a door on my leg and I scratched my arm on a string post on my bass.”
“You alright? You should get that arm wrapped up,” Gerard suggested. Mikey didn’t respond. Gerard stared at him for a couple seconds, scrutinizing the hurt look in his eyes.
Gerard knew something was wrong on that Jersey tour. Why had he neglected to do anything? What kind of older brother was he? His head swarmed with remorse and pain for his little brother. He stood up, wavering on his feet for a while and opened the bathroom stall door.
“I can’t take it anymore. No more. Please. Stop. I don’t want to be worthless. I don’t want to be alone anymore,” Mikey was breathing hard in Gerard’s room, his shaking hands stroking his hair in a constant rhythm. Droplets of tears soaked into his jeans. He couldn’t take it anymore. That little voice inside of his head told him horrible things. He would never be good enough. He was an unwanted piece of shit. He didn’t deserve to live or belong to the band. He was a disgrace to Gerard. Suddenly, determination flooded his mind. He could not live on like this anymore. He wiped the tears from his eyes stood up and stumbled towards Gerard’s bathroom. Opening the medicine cabinet, he found Gerard’s razor lying parallel to the back of the cabinet. Mikey carefully picked up the razor with his quaking hands and somehow managed to intricately remove the blade. He lined the razor parallel to the back of the cabinet and shut it. He slowly walked back to the couch, caressing the blade in his hands, watching the artificial light reflect off of it. He sat down on the couch and pulled up the sleeves of his sweatshirt.
Gerard hesitated before he raised his hand to open the door. “Mikey was there for you when you went through all of that, you have to be there for him,” he told himself under his breath. He gripped the handle of the door and turned it. He pushed open the door. As he looked around the room, Mikey’s figure sat rigid on the couch. His shoulders were tense and trembling. Spots of red were splashed onto his favorite sweatshirt. His hands were shuddering and stiff, his fingers spread and fixed. Blood was flowing from the gashes on his wrists. In his hand was a red blade. Mikey slowly looked up at him, his eyes overflowing with pain and agony. Fear. “Gee…,” his whispered, barely audible. Gerard stood appalled at the doorway choking in fear. The blood. Mikey’s blood. Unable to breathe, Gerard staggered forward and went on his knees, his skinny jeans absorbing the blood on the floor. He grasped Mikey’s shoulders and looked into his anxiety ridden eyes.
“I love you, Mikey,” Gerard said, his voice cracking, tears flowing steadily down his face.