Gerard has starts a fun day with his daughter, with a little drama and angst infused into it.
Gerard half woke up, when he felt the absence of the blanket that was covering him. He lifted Lindsey’s limp, sleeping arm off of him and twisted his head around, making his neck crack, and saw Bandit standing beside the bed, her arms around a teddy bear with one eye, hugging it close to her. She held the corner of the blanket, her face so serious it unsettled Gerard. He whispered,
"Hey, Bandit, why’d you do that?” She responded softly,
“I poked you, but you kept sleepin’”
“You have a bad dream?” Gerard asked sympathetically. Bandit inhaled and exhaled slowly before answering,
“You wanna sleep with us?” Another sigh, then,
“Yeah.” Bandit handed the corner of the blanket to Gerard and clambered onto the bed. Gerard pulled the blanket up evenly over the three of them, Bandit in the middle. Gerard adjusted himself under the covers so that he was facing Bandit. Bandit pressed herself against her mother, who had turned over, back now facing Gerard. Gerard whispered into the darkness, his eyes barely making out his daughter’s frame,
“Wanna tell me what the dream was?” After a long silence, Bandit answered,
“You sure?” Gerard said. Bandit shook her head. Gerard leaned forward and kissed her forehead.
“Goodnight, Bumblebee,” he softly. He heard Bandit giggled wearily at her pet name.
“I love you, Daddy,”
“Love you, too, Bandit.”
The sun shone through the window, blinding Gerard as he tried to open his eyes. He rolled over onto his stomach, shoving his head into a pillow. Suddenly, the wind was knocked out of him. Bandit had jumped onto his back and was sitting there, giggling, pulling at Gerard’s hair.
“Ah! Bandit! Stop! Ow!” Gerard struggled to pry his daughter’s hands off of his hair. Bandit was shrieking with delight. Then, Gerard lifted himself onto his hands and knees, Bandit still riding on his back. Squealing, Bandit toppled over onto the bed.
“You’re silly, Bandit,” Gerard said, pinching her nose. Bandit batted at her father’s hand. Gerard started to laugh, but was stopped when Bandit’s little hand smacked him square in the face. Surprised, Gerard sputtered,
“Little B, you can’t hit people, okay?” Bandit’s face fell, disappointed in herself. A little guilty that he ruined her happy mood, Gerard said,
“You wanna go get breakfast?” Bandit nodded enthusiastically. She exclaimed,
“Egg!” and hopped off of the bed and ran to the kitchen, her bare feet
slapping against the cold, wooden floor.
Gerard pulled himself out of bed to make Bandit her favorite breakfast food: hard-boiled eggs. He walked down the hallway, expecting to find Lindsey watching television or eating breakfast, but instead, found her in the kitchen fully dressed, preparing for work. Perplexed, Gerard asked,
“Isn’t it Saturday?” Lindsey, a piece of toast hanging from her mouth, gave a muffled answer,
“Yeah, but I just got an email that I have a teachers’ workshop at 9:30 today.” Lindsey was an art teacher at the nearby middle school. It was almost a miracle that the arts program hadn’t been cut from the school curriculum yet, especially in the poor area they lived in. Through her job was not completely stable, Gerard could not help but feel a little jealous of his wife. Even though she had to deal with pubescent teenagers, at least she got to make art almost every day.
“Take care of Bandit, okay?” She said as she slipped her shoes on. Bandit was usually dropped off at Lindsey’s parent’s house when Lindsey went to work.
"Of course I will,” Gerard said, lifting Bandit up and putting her on his shoulders. Bandit squeaked in happiness and grabbed onto Gerard’s hair again to keep balance.
“Bandit! Don’t pull hair!” Gerard kneeled down to dismount Bandit from his shoulders. Lindsey started to laugh at them as she closed the apartment door behind her. Once Lindsey was out of sight, Bandit ran straight to the kitchen and was pulling pots out of a cabinet. When she found the right size pot, she stood on her toes and placed it on the counter. She tried to put the pots she took out back into the cabinet to no avail. She left the pots that didn’t fit on the floor. Gerard, watching this, reorganized the pots, and then took a step back to watch Bandit take the stool in the corner of the kitchen and drag it to the sink. She clambered up the chair, took the pot she put on the counter before, and placed it in the sink. Gerard stood behind her, ready to catch her if she fell off the chair. Bandit turned the sink on, filling the pot up halfway. She left the pot in the sink and climbed off of the chair. She looked up at her father and said,
“Eggs, please!” Gerard went to the fridge and took out two eggs. He handed them both to Bandit, then took the pot of water out of the sink and held it in front of her.
“Put them in carefully, you don’t want them to break.” Bandit cautiously lowered her hand into the pot and dropped the egg into the water. It landed on the bottom with a muffled clink. She went through the same process with the second egg. After she was done, Gerard complimented her on here carefulness and placed the pot on the stove and turned the heat on. Bandit, satisfied that she had helped in making breakfast, ran to her room to get a comic book from her hidden collection under her bed. Gerard took out a couple slices of bread and some butter from the refrigerator. He spread the butter on the toast and positioned them parallel to each other in the toaster oven. He set the timer for 4 minutes, and then went to check on Bandit in the living room. She was sitting in the middle of the living room carpet, a stack of his comic books piled next to her. She was not yet able to read the actual plot, but clearly enjoyed looking at each drawing.
“Do you want some apples?” Gerard asked.
“Yeah!” Bandit replied. Gerard went back into the kitchen and took out an apple and a knife. He leaned over the trash bin and started to awkwardly peel the apple skin away. The knife did not cut through the apple smoothly, but erratic with its movements and soon slipped from under the apple’s skin into Gerard’s thumb. Gerard bit his bottom lip, he let the knife clatter on the counter and the apple fall beside it as he inspected his injured thumb. Blood was welling up from it and started to drip down his hand. He tried to wipe the blood off of with his hand, but gave up and went to the bathroom to get a Band-Aid. He clumsily wrapped his bloody thumb in the skin-colored bandage and returned to the kitchen. Instead of finishing peeling the apple, he took the apple and cut it into sixths and very carefully sliced the remainings of the core off of each slice. The toaster oven dinged twice, indicating that the toast was ready. Gerard retrieved two plates from the cabinets above him and opened the little toaster oven door. He lightly dragged the toast from the oven to the plate. One of the sides of the toast on the left of the oven was slightly charred from the uneven heat distribution. he placed 3 apple slices on each plate along with the toast. Minutes later, he turned the stove where the eggs were boiling off and watched the flames disappear. He took the pot by the handle and held it over the sink where he proceeded to carefully pour out the steaming water keeping in mind that eggs could roll out if the pot was tilted too far. He filled the pot with cold water from the sink and let the eggs cool off so that they were edible without burning their tongues. Gerard sipped his coffee and went to grab the carton of whole milk from the refrigerator. He poured the smooth, white drink into a small plastic cup and placed it and his coffee onto the counter. He stuck his hand into the pot with the eggs and grabbed the two eggs and cracked them off, peeling off the shell and placing one on each plate. He took one plate and the cup of milk to the living room. Bandit was still transfixed on the comic books, but when Gerard neared, she lifted her head and smiled sweetly. He placed the plate and cup on the small coffee table that was short enough for Bandit to eat at. While Gerard went back to get his breakfast, Bandit grabbed ahold of the slippery and started to remove the white part of the egg to reveal the soft yellow yolk. She placed the yolk aside and started to each pieces of the whites, aware that her father’s comic books were still next to her, and careful that she did not get them dirty. Gerard returned with his plate and sat on the couch.
“Don’t tell Mommy we’re eating in the living room, ‘kay?” Bandit nodded, chewing on her breakfast. He turned the television on and flipped through the channels until he found the news station. A little while later, Gerard found himself continuously sipping his coffee, gazing into the distance, the voice of the weatherman on the television fading to the background.
“-- 70% chance of rain today--” Gerard snapped out of his detachment from reality and glanced out the window. Instead of seeing dark, ominous clouds creeping towards the hazy sun, he found that there were few wisps of clouds floating on a bright blue sky. There was no way it was going to rain.
“Hey, Ladybug!” Gerard said. Bandit looked up. Her plate was empty was now empty with the exception of a few bread crumbs.
“You wanna go to the park?” Bandit jumped up from her seat on the ground.
“Yeah!” she nodded vigorously.
“Okay, let’s get changed.” Gerard followed Bandit to her room. She started to pull out different outfits from her clothes drawer. Gerard picked out a pale yellow long sleeve shirt and a pair of dark blue denim overalls. He kneeled down and held the two pieces of clothing in front of Bandit.
“How about these?” he asked.
“Okay!” she said.
“M’kay, you go get changed and I will, too.” Gerard left her room to change into his clothes. He opened his closet to find a tshirt and jeans. He flipped through hanger after hanger, finding only dress shirts. Not finding one he liked, he went to look at the bottom of the closet. There were quite a few empty shoe boxes and small cardboard boxes. There were old unread books,worn shoes, and picture albums. Gerard dug through the cluttered closet until he found a small collection of old t shirts lying in the corner. He pulled all of them out and looked through all of them, each one more worn than the last until only a black one was left. Gerard flattened it out in front of him and saw a huge white print of the Misfits skull on it. He smiled. This shirt was from when he was still in high school. When he looked at the shirt closer, he noticed that there were reddish-brown stains covering the used-to-be white skull. All nostalgia was drained from Gerard. His face fell.
Gerard’s forehead and nose were pressed against the frosted ground. His mouth was filled with the sharp, metallic, but sweet taste of blood. He had bitten the inside of his cheek when that monstrous beast of a high school jock had punched him when he had accidently spilt his coffee on the jock when he pushed Gerard into the wall.
“You stained my fucking jersey, freak!” the jock growled. He kicked Gerard’s side just as he was getting up off of his hands and knees. Gerard choked, the dark red blood that was flooding inside his mouth suddenly bursting out, dripping from his bottom lip. The droplets of blood landed on the frozen ground, melting the ice encrusted blades of grass. His arms gave way from under him and his head landed on the ground again. His vision was blurred. He could barely make out the seemingly shiny, brand new shoes the jock was wearing. He felt himself being picked off of the ground by the collar of his shirt. He was thrown against the brick wall of the school. He felt his spine scrape against the hard, red wall. He still could not breathe from the blow he had taken in the side and was choking for air.
“I-I’m sorry. P-Please. Please...” Gerard rasped. His own cowardice disgusted him. He deserved to be beaten up.
“You better be.” The jock kneeled down in front of Gerard and smiled morbidly. The side of Gerard’s mouth was flowing with blood, and was starting to drip from his chin and onto his shirt. The cut inside in mouth had opened even more when he was thrown against the wall.It felt like his throat was constricting, like it was closing until he woulf never be able to breathe again. A whimper escaped from his throat, louder than he would have liked.
“Faggot,” the jock sneered. Gerard felt a sudden surge of rage and power fill his mind and without a second thought, he lifted his foot and kicked the jock’s forehead, pushed him to the ground. Before Gerard could even think about what he had just done, he felt the jock’s hand curl around his throat and close tightly. His face was just inches from Gerard’s. On his forehead, a red imprint of the bottom of Gerard’s boot had started to appear. Gerard would have laughed if he were able to breathe.
“You fucker...” the jock spat. Suddenly, a sharp, stinging pain rose from his stomach. He tried to gasp, but the jock’s hand his not relent. Gerard clawed at the jock’s hand with his own, and after what seemed like an eternity the jock released Gerard,
“I’d kill you, but I’ll leave that to you, emo faggot.” He walked away. Gerard noticed the blade of a pocket knife in the jock’s hand. The sun’s light glinted off of it’s shiny, red, wet surface. Gerard breathed hard, unable to take in enough oxygen in one breathe to recover right away. He lightly touched the area on his stomach where the jock had hurt him. When his fingers touched, it burned in excruciating pain. He slowly looked down at his hand and noticed how violently he was shaking. The tips of his fingers, like the jock’s knife, were shiny with blood. In the middle of his shirt was a large slit . The cloth around it grew darker in color, and part of the white of the Misfits skull was bright red. Panic encompassed Gerard as he tried to stop the blood with his hands. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. Now, with every hard inhale and exhale Gerard took, came a panicked whimper, as he was overwhelmed with the amount of blood his shirt was soaking up. He couldn’t go to the hospital. He wouldn’t go to the hospital. He couldn't. He had to get home. The sun was setting. Gerard tried to get up, but his legs would not listen. He tried to slide up the wall for support, one hand over his stomach. His spine scraped against the rough stone again. Finally, Gerard had gotten himself to lean against the wall. He was still hyperventilating. Trying to convince himself that he was alright and that he needed to calm down, he took his spare hand and attempted to pick up his backpack that was thrown off of him. He pushed himself off of the school wall and took small steps away from it, his backpack dragging behind him. The sun was beginning to set behind him. He walked as slowly as possible until he was about halfway home. The bleeding had slowed to a stop by then, but it still hurt. Gerard’s throat was dry and his breath was beginning to rasp. What he would do for a glass of water. Concentrating on his breathing, Gerard didn’t notice someone run up to him from behind. When they had put their hand on Gerard’s shoulder, he had almost yelled in surprise. Gerard turned around to find a lanky, tall freshman trailing behind him. He wore round glasses and stood a little slumped.
“Are you alright?” the freshman said, concerned by Gerard’s bloody face.
“Yeah... I’m fine,” said Gerard, taken aback by the freshman’s sudden friendliness. Most people weren’t this nice to him.
“You’re bleeding pretty badly. What happened?”
“... I got stabbed.”
“What?! Where? You need to go to the hospital!” Frantically, Gerard answered,
“No! I’m fine. Just... Just leave me alone, okay? I just... I- I...” Gerard stuttered.
“Let me carry your backpack at least,” the freshman said. Gerard didn’t say anything. Even though Gerard had not responded, the freshman started to pry Gerard’s bloody fingers off of the dirty backpack that was being dragged for a mile already.
“I’m Mikey by the way,” the freshman said, happy that he could help.
“Gerard,” Gerard responded, still incredulous as to why a freshman was being so friendly towards a junior. They walked in silence until they reached Gerard’s home.
“Thanks, Mikey,” Gerard said, taking back his backpack.
“No problem, Gerard!” Mikey said happily, “Take care!” Gerard watched Mikey walk off, and then opened the door to his grandparents' house. He walked straight to the bathroom, closed the door behind him and turned the bath water on.
That night, Gerard had taken his grandfather’s razor and had attempted to commit suicide, but was found by his grandmother. Her remembered how she had screamed. He was barely conscious, he could feel his life slipping through the gashes on his wrists, but that scream was clear in his mind. His grandmother was a frail old lady and had loved Gerard as if her own son. That scream, filled with pure horror, angst, and terror had broken Gerard’s heart as soon as it had left her mouth. Immediately then, he had realized how much pain his death would cause. He couldn’t do that. He remembered being lifted gently from the bathtub, his clothes still on, dripping red water. The red water. Pools of blood on the ground. Blood on her hands. Tears and blood.
“Daddy?” Bandit was standing in the doorway, dressed in her outfit. Gerard was sitting cross-legged on the ground, clutching the stained Misfits shirt in his hands. Frantically, snapping out of his thoughts, Gerard picked up the Misfits shirt and threw it under his bed. He grabbed one of the shirts from the pile he had taken out from the closet and a pair of jeans. After changing into them, he said in fake enthusiasm, still a little thrown off by the sudden flashback,
“Okay! Ready to go!” The both of them got their shoes on. Gerard grabbed an umbrella just in case the weatherman was right, and the both of them walked out of the door.