Closing his eyes, he backs away from the window. "Not today," he mumbles. "Not today."
"Okay. I'll talk to you later? Ok, bye, Joseph." Donna Rush hangs up the phone with a smile on her face as she walks into the kitchen. That smile fades instantly when she sees her ex-husband, Donald Way, taking a beer out of the fridge. He has on nothing but a pair of red drawstring basketball shorts and she can see the waistband of his boxers poking out from the top, causing her to roll her eyes and grimace.
"Who was that? Your boyfriend?" Donald's voice is rough and sarcastic as he leans against the fridge, popping the tab on his beer. The tattoos on his arms flex and Donna sighs inwardly.
"No, that wasn't my boyfriend. You know that as well as I do, Donald." Irritated, she walks around the kitchen table to get to one of the cabinets and pulls down a bowl. Bending over slightly to grab the ice-cream from the freezer, Donna cries out when a hand smacks against her ass. "Quit it, Donald! That hurts!" She gets up quickly and glares at him, turning away when he just smiles drunkenly at her and chuckles.
"Oh please. According to you, everything hurts."
"I have a bad back, Donald, yes. Herniated discs tend to cause pain, y'know."
A door closes somewhere in the house, a squeaking sound following, indicating that it is Gerard's door. He quietly shuffles into the kitchen and stands in front of the fridge with a blank gaze until his father moves before opening it, acting like his parents aren't even in the room. But Gerard knows, he knows very well. The tears are already stinging at the back of his eyes and he quickly blinks them away. Can't show weakness, he thinks to himself as he bites his lip. He grabs a bottle of water from one of the drawers and slides it closed with his socked foot, huffing when it gets stuck in the catch. He wants out of that room as soon as possible, before one of them-
-speaks to him. Sighing, Gerard mumbles a "hey" in his father's direction before walking back towards his room. Only, he doesn't make it that far before he runs into his little brother Mikey in the hallway. "Watch it, tubby," sneers the twelve year old, his Super Mario Bros. pajamas clinging awkwardly to his stick-like frame. Gerard just looks down at his feet with a "Shut up, Mikey" and opens his door before slamming it closed. He hurriedly presses in the lock, his hands shaking as he tries to hold back the tears. He doesn't even know why he's crying; this was nothing compared to all of the other fights he's witnessed in his fourteen years.
Sniffling quietly, Gerard climbs up into the top bunk and huddled in the corner where two of his walls meet, holding his stuffed polar bear to his chest. "So fucking pathetic," he spits at himself through the tears, wiping them away hastily. He buries his head in his knees, and tries to block out the noise of his parents screaming at each other by pressing the palms of his hands against his ears.
"Why don't you just leave? Go stay with whoever it is that you're fuckin' and screwin'!"
"I would, Donald. And I'm not sleeping with anyone, but you have no idea how appealing the thought of moving out is. I'm only here for the boys, and for some reason I do not understand they want to be around you."
"Well, too fuckin' bad! I don't give a fuck! Take 'em with you, for all I care!"
That is when a scream makes its way past Gerard's clamped lips and he squeezes his eyes closed so tight that he begins to see spots. Sobs soon begin accompanying the screams and he can barely breathe from all of the air leaving his lungs. He starts hyperventilating and he presses one of his pillows up to his face, hoping to silently suffocate himself as his parents continue.
"Don't say that, Donald. You're drunk, don't say things you'll regret."
"Ha. Bitch, I'm not drunk! And why would I regret the truth?"
Gerard screams again as he begins scratching furiously at his arms, causing them to bleed. He just keeps scratching, listening to his surroundings. He hears Mikey's video games through the yelling. Mario's annoying Italian accent permeating the dangerous thoughts in his head, releasing some of the pressure. Curse words are flying through the air. He can hear his dog's collar jingling as he barks at his father's aggressive behavior.
"Get your ass off of me, mutt."
"Leave him alone, Donald! He didn't do anything to you!"
"Daddy, stop," Mikey says in a monotone, as if he isn't affected by the fighting. Which he probably isn't, Gerard thinks.
"Don't you fuckin' dare try an' tell me what to do, bitch!"
"Donald, stop. Donald, stop that hurts! Let me go!"
"Get the fuck away from me, bitch. Get off your lazy ass and do something for once!"
"You know why I can't do that, Donald! The state's medical training isn't advanced enough, there are no jobs here for me."
"That ain't my problem."
"Well, why don't you actually save your money so that I don't have to pay all of the bills! Instead of spending it all on alcohol for you and your good for nothing friends, why not spend on your children for once! Like those Air Jordan's you bought for your friend's kid. Those were hundred dollar shoes, and you have the nerve to buy them for someone else's child?"
"How does what I do with my money concern you?"
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" By now, Gerard has practically jumped off his bed and stormed into the living room, his bleeding arms by his sides and his hands balled into fists. The tears are running down his face and his nose is both stopped up and runny at the same time and he's struggling to breathe correctly as he screams at the top of his lungs, his voice cracking painfully.
"What did you just say, boy," his father asks in disbelief. He stalks towards Gerard, shrugging Donna's hands from his shoulders as he moves.
"I said," Gerard spits out, his voice quivering, "shut. The fuck. Up." He glares at his father with watery eyes and screeches when a hand comes flying towards him.
"You don't talk to me like that, boy."
Gerard can smell the alcohol on his father's breath and he cowers against the wall. His father's sweaty fingers are wrapped around the collar of his shirt and his feet are no longer touching the linoleum floor.
"Let go of him, Donald." Donna's voice is shaking as she walks towards them, coming to a stop by Gerard.
Donald's eyes cloud over and he roughly shoves Gerard against the wall before releasing his shirt and walking to his room. Drawers open and close, and a minute or two later he walks past them, fully clothed, and slams the front door closed after him.
Gerard runs back to his room before anyone can speak and the sobs break free once again. He climbs back up into his bed and curls into a ball, his thumb sliding into his mouth subconsciously. He can hear Donna consoling Mikey in the other room and he wishes she would come do the same to him. But Mikey's always been her favorite. He hiccups and rolls to his other side, so that's he facing the window. He can see the streetlights and briefly considers packing a bag and running away. He gets out of bed and walks to the window, pressing the hot flesh of his face against the cool glass. His uneven breathing creates funny shaped fog spots, and he almost smiles. Closing his eyes, he backs away from the window. "Not today," he mumbles. "Not today."