He tasted good.
“Did you want to get something to eat first?” Gerard asked, over the loud music pouring out from his speakers.
“What?” I couldn’t hear him.
“Do you want-“ Gerard was yelling but then he laughed and turned down the music instead. “Do you want to get something to eat first?” He asked, at a normal volume.
I grinned, “If you want to.”
Gerard smiled at me for a moment before his eyes flew back to the road, where they belonged.
I watched as he drove. He had a calm look upon his face, as if nothing was below his skin but I could tell something ate at him. I figured it had to do with his brother. I would never be nosy enough to ask though, because then I’d have to accept him asking about my life… and that was something I couldn’t cope with. My monsters weren’t yet forgotten in my past, and I had no hope that they would ever be.
“This looks nice. You ever eat here?” Gerard asked, pulling up outside of a restaurant I’d never even heard of. The sign was lit up however, so it was open.
“Nope, but it’s… got food, I’m sure.” I replied, staring out the window in momentary fright. Was I ready to be around other people?
Gerard laughed, “Most restaurants do. It’s good for business.” Then he frowned, and I jumped as his fingers brushed hair from my face so that he could see my expression. “Is this okay?” He finally asked, “I can turn around and take us back at any moment.”
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been out.” I admitted, glancing at him. I expected him to frown at me, or tell me that life was short and I was stupid for closing myself in an apartment.
Instead he smiled. “We can take this slow. What if we just get some fast food and eat in my car? Will that be less pressure?”
I cracked a smile, “We don’t have t-“
Gerard cut me off. “We don’t have to, you’re right. Do you want to though? Because that’s what I’m really asking.”
I looked from him to the restaurant, “I want to go inside with you, and I want to sit down and order- like a normal person would. I want to feel normal today, even if my fear is crippling. I have to try.”
Gerard nodded, and I saw something in his eyes. Was it appreciation? It was a glowing emotion, one that I felt myself clinging to. “Well then, let’s go get us some food.”
The air outside felt freeing and it smelled like flowers. It was a smell that I missed. Gerard waited patiently as I paused outside of the restaurant, just enjoying the feeling of the wind blowing past me.
When we were both ready we walked through the door to the restaurant, listening to the bell above the door chime. It was a sound of life, one that I was grateful. It was like I was checking myself back in to reality.
Gerard grinned at me as the hostess seated us, setting menus in front of us. “You look happy.” He commented.
“The air felt good.” I admitted, “I used to love being outside. I think I just remembered that.”
“What changed?” Gerard asked, just as I knew he eventually would.
I looked down at the menu, a frown pressing my lips down. “I didn’t mean to make you sad again.” Gerard mumbled, “Forget I asked.”
I glanced back up at him, “I just don’t know how to say it without breaking down.” I admitted, lip trembling.
Gerard’s eyes widened in surprise and before I really even knew what was going on he was leaning towards me, his chair tipping over once he left it. I stared in utter confusion as his lips met mine, filled with a passion I’d never felt before. I kissed back, surprising myself. The kiss didn’t last for very long but it left a lasting impression upon my lips, which tingled.
Gerard pulled away, awkwardly fixing his chair.
I watched him, my lips slightly parted.
“I’ve been wanting to do that since you opened your door.” Gerard admitted, face flushing.
“I admire your self restraint.” I choked out.
Gerard laughed loudly, “I admire your ability to admire the nonexistent.”
I lightly ran my fingers over my lips and Gerard’s smile slipped, “I- Did I cross the line?”
“I don’t have any lines for that.” I admitted after a few seconds.
Gerard nodded, but didn’t smile.
The waitress appeared.
Gerard ordered something for the both of us but I was too lost to even hear his words, or hers. Something was placed in front of me. It was a drink. I took a careful sip, finding that it was Dr. Pepper. I hadn’t had Dr. Pepper in a long time and though it wasn’t my favorite drink it would do. Gerard was just shooting in the dark after all.
Silence fell over our table and I could feel Gerard’s eyes on me but I couldn’t say anything- nor could I meet his gaze. I was lost, hopelessly lost.
I took another drink, finding that I was quite thirsty. The cold liquid slipped down my throat, and in horror I found myself choking it back up. Liquid flew from between my lips, directly on to Gerard’s unsuspecting face.
I finally looked at him, to see him wiping Dr. Pepper from his face with his napkin. “That was an accident.” I blurted out, embarrassed.
“The kind of accident you have to tell a certain neighbor to back off of your lips?” Gerard asked, watching me carefully.
“No, the kind of accident that you don’t plan.” I replied.
“I meant to kiss you- I just didn’t plan it right, and I should have asked first.”
“I don’t remember ever being asked before being kissed.”
“That’s because it’s always been done wrong, to you.”
“I don’t want you to ask.”
“You don’t want me to kiss you again?”
“I do.” I blushed, the words falling out. “I just want you to do it.”
“Right now?” Gerard seemed surprised.
“Right now.” I admitted.
He didn’t need to be told twice, though this time was a lot less of a shock as he carefully stood up- not knocking his chair to the ground. I lifted my head, so that my lips would meet his.
He tasted good.
I tasted like damage.
When he pulled away we both smiled though- and I could almost fall in to him, if I wasn’t so frightened that he would ask questions. I would never be able to really get close to another person, because I could never really be honest about my past with them.
But his lips tasted good and for a second I couldn’t taste my own damage.