From the Alps to the Desert..
Where the hell am I?
I struggled to sit up straight because I practically jumped out of the seat, frantically looking around to identify where the hell I was. In all directions, besides the gas station right in front of me, it was desert. Just yesterday, or however many days I was knocked out, I was in the below freezing Alps, and now I was in a hundred degree desert.
Mr. Way, whom I realized that I hadn’t heard his first name, came out of the station with a bag full of what looked like assorted chips and bottles of water. He had his American get up on; nerdy glasses and a dark red leather jacket, the same thing he wore on the train.
“Good morning, sunshine,” he sing-songed sarcastically as he opened the door. He threw the bag on my lap before hopping in the SUV. A Cadillac, I saw, by the symbol in the middle of the steering wheel. I had just realized that the air conditioner was on full blast. “There’s chips and shit in the bag.”
He shut the door and started the caddy as I rummaged through the bag and pulled out a blue bag of Doritos.
“Thanks for trading killing to kidnapping,” I muttered, admiring his American accent. “Where’d your Italian go?”
“Well,” he said, taking off his glasses, indicating that he was returning to his Italian self, “my alter ego is a smart American businessman who grew up with rich parents and is doing a semester at Stanford.”
“Impressive,” I nodded, watching the gas station disappear in the rearview mirror. “Mine is a travelling photographer who just got out of college.”
“What kind of college?” he asked quickly, obviously testing me.
I laughed. “Dropped out of med school to become a nomad.”
He laughed also, looking at me and smiling. “Do you have a name, Mr. Photographer?”
“Depends, which one?”
“Your real name,” he chuckled, turning on a road that seemed to go on for forever.
“Frank,” I replied, looking up at him to see his reaction.
“Frank,” he repeated. “I’m glad I didn’t kill you. My name is Gerard, by the way.”
“Gerard,” I repeated in turn, furrowing my eyebrows. “Gerard Way?”
“Yes,” Gerard replied, laughing as if I should’ve known that. “It’s the only name I use. My American ego only has a different last name.”
“Isn’t that risky?” I asked.
“If you’re not careful,” he said, raising his eyebrows as if to accuse me of being reckless.
I left the conversation at that, only piping it up again when I remembered that I’d been kidnapped.
“I know this isn’t exactly kidnapping protocol, but will you tell me where we are?” I asked, munching on the last of my Doritos.
Gerard looked at the bag on my lap and grabbed some for him.
“Nevada,” he answered, and I almost choked on a shard of chip.
I quickly got a bottle of water and chugged half of it before asking, “how long did you knock me out for?!”
“Eighteen hours,” he said casually, giving me the same sexy smirk as when he pointed out that a hitman was trying to kill another hitman.
“Did you drug me while I was passed out?”
Gerard shifted his hands on the wheel and made some sort of uncertain sound before looking at me.
“You fucking didn’t!” I laughed, leaning on my elbow against the door.
“How else was I supposed to get you on a jet without you trying to kill someone; or me?”
“Oh, I don’t know, how ‘bout a ‘hey, can you get on this plane for me? I promise I won’t kill you’,” I mocked, rolling my eyes as I shook my head.
“That promise would’ve been a lie,” he said, his honesty panging me in the heart.
“Is that the situation now?” I asked, my voice going up an octave. I couldn’t help but start to feel claustrophobic in the car.
“Only if you believe so, signore,” he smirked, glancing at me again. I stared him down until; once again, he glanced at me.
“Why do you keep looking at me?” I asked a bit harshly, grabbing the middle of my hoodie and pulling it closer to myself.
Gerard responded by turning down the AC. “Do you know any Italian?”
I furrowed my eyebrows and temporarily forgot my question. “It’s not one of my strongest languages, but yes.”
Gerard licked his lips and looked me in the eyes. “Sei molto bello,” he replied in almost a purring manner.
It took me awhile, but once I got it translated in my head, my eyes widened to the size of saucers. Was Gerard gay, and if so, how did he know that I was?
In reaction, I kept myself calm and glared at him. “You do not think I’m handsome.”
Gerard laughed teasingly. “You are better at Italian than you think.”
“Thanks, I guess,” I murmered, returning to the window. We were still on the same road. “Hey, where are we going?”
“My place,” he said, turning off on a dirt road that couldn’t be seen if you didn’t know it was there. Even as we bumped along the dirt path, I could barely tell we were on any sort of drivable terrain.
“I hope it has air conditioning,” I commented, trying my best to sound nonchalant.
“Oh, well walking around in underwear keeps the heat away,” Gerard said seriously, looking at me for a reaction. I glared at him.
“Are you being serious, there’s no fucking air conditioning?!”
He laughed and delightfully chomped on another Dorito. “I’m kidding, signore. I thought you’d have a worse time with the underwear part.”
“Maybe,” I secretively smirked, returning to my window to say this conversation was over.