Naren is in the hospital, and the Way brothers visit her. She is totally starstruck.
I was taking a stroll through the park on my own. I had just arrived in New Jersey the previous day, to visit my parents. This place would always be home, really. Despite all the bullshit I went through in childhood, my family was here. I stop for a moment and look at the pond. There's a mother duck, with her ducklings swimming in a line behind her. I wish I had thougt to bring bread with me. The ducks swim around the bend and out of sight.
I hear a branch break to my left. I thought I was alone, so I looked up to see a girl, maybe about 14, staggering towards a tree. My tree. The tree I always sat under, sometimes with Mikey, sometimes alone. I would draw, read comics, talk about music with Mikey. We would talk about that Radiohead concert we went to, or the Iron Maiden one we wanted to go to. I looked away and sighed inwardly. Just another drunken teenager. She'll probably ask me for a cigarette, or a light. I heard heavy, rasping breathing and looked around in concern. I looked at her more closely now. Black hair with a red fringe. Ruined eye liner smeared all over her pale complexion. She was wearing a Demolition Lovers hoodie. Oh, a fan. Then I noticed something that made my stomach churn. Her sleeve was soaked in blood. She dropped her guitar case and Misfits satchel, hanging onto a low branch for support. She wasn't drunk, she was injured. I rushed to her side, and caught her just as she was about to fall. Her eyes were going in and out of focus, and then they found mine. A gasp escaped her lips when she recognised me.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. I pulled my phone out of my pocket, and with shaking hands, dialed 911.
While I wait for the ambulance, I try to wake her up, but to no avail. She is alive and breathing, but unconscious. I pull up her sleeve to find four deep, brutal cuts. Self harm. It was obvious enough. Her arm was covered in cuts and scars. And on her wrist, she had written 'LOVE' for suicide awareness day. I felt a pang of sympathy in my chest. This girl had been harming herself, and possibly no one was there to help her. Maybe she was bullied at school. Maybe her parents had died. Maybe she was suffering from depression. How unfortunate that today, she cut too deep.
Paramedics come and pick up the girl. They put her in the back of an ambulance, and set off for the hospital, sirens wailing and hurting my head. I wonder who the girl is, and what happened. Was this an act of self harm or was she attacked? Her clothes seemed intact, and she still had her guitar and her bag, so the latter seemed unlikely. So it was most likely self harm? If it was then why? Why did she do this to herself?
I began to feel personally responsible. If I had've been there earlier could I have stopped her? It was like a smack in the face. I've worked so hard to help people. To stop self harm, to stop suicide. And then this happens, pretty much right in front of me.
Will this girl be okay?
Later on that day
I push open the front door and step into the dark hallway.
"Gerard? That you?" Mikey called from the living room.
"Yeah," I sighed, kicking my shoes off.
"What's up?" Mikey asked, sensing something was up.
I sat on the couch. "A fan at the park..." I trailed off.
"Another teenager try to rape you?" he smirked, raising an eyebrow.
"No! She had to go to hospital... She was injured, and I was just passing by, and... She collapsed. She didn't recognise me at first, I think the blood loss got to her. But she recognised me just before she passed out. The look she gave me, Mikes, it broke my heart. I want to see if she's okay!"
Mikey raised his eyebrow again. I wished he would quit doing that.
"Will you go to the hospital with me? I know we don't have her name or anything but we could try! Please?" I pleaded.
Mikey sighed and nodded.
"Food's ready boys!" Donna called. Mikey grinned at me.
"Spaghetti." he said simply, causing me to grin too, in spite of how I felt.
We ate our spaghetti in silence, with garlic bread too. Afterwards we had a quick cup of coffee and then we were on our way.
"Where are you going?" Donna asked.
"We have someone to visit. We'll be back soon," I smiled at my mother and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
I stepped outside, into the chilly New Jersey air. I shut the door behind me, and ran over to the car where Mikey was waiting, the engine already started. I ducked into the car and clicked my seatbelt in place. We drove to the hospital, listening to David Bowie.
"So what's this chick's name?" Mikey asked, trying to start a conversation.
"I don't know," I replied meekly.
"That's helpful. You know, that's actually one of the names I was thinking of naming me and Alicia's baby.
My eyes popped out of my head.
"Alicia's pregnant!?" I shrieked, out of shock.
Mikey's face turned a magnificent shade of scarlet.
"N- No, I - I meant if she ever is pregnant, we're not planning anything though!" He said, somehow turning even more red.
I laughed. "Use protection, little bro. Have you had the talk yet?"
"Gee! I think I'm old enough to be mature about this. And why the fuck are we talking about sex?"
"Your the one who brought up the subject of babies, Mikey!" I teased.
"Oh shut up. We're here anyway," he said, finality clear in his voice.
"Really? I meant the hospital in Liverpool, England," I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm.
I got out of the car, shutting the door behind me,making sure it was locked. Mikey did the same.
We walked inside the huge, intimidating hospital. I shuddered. What must it be like to come in here with no family or friends, when you're half dead or critically injured. Or what would it be like coming in here to visit your loved ones, who are on death's door. So many people had died in this place. I pushed the thought from my mind, walking through the automatic doors and towards the front desk.
"Uhm, I'd like to visit a patient?" It came out like a rude, sarcastic question and the receptionist glared at me
"Name?" she snapped.
"Uhm, I don't know her name... But I was the one who found her. She was brought in a few hours ago..."
"Well that's useful. I'm gonna have to check the new arrivals list," she said, placing a pair of red rimmed glasses on the end of her nose.
"Why was she brought to hospital?" she asked.
"Self harm, I think," I said to her.
"You think, huh?"
"Yes. And stop being so bitchy, because if I hadn't have found her, she would have bled to death. And there's no money in that, is there?" I spat.
The woman pursed her lips. "I don't like your attitude."
"I don't like yours either, Miss," I said.
She ignored me and proceeded with finding who the girl was.
"I know who your talking about. She was brought in a few hours ago. She says her name is Naren Lockhart. Room 394. Anything else?" she smiled sweetly. Sweet like venom, not sugar.
"No. Thank you for your kindess and consideration." I said over his shoulder, already walking off, Mikey walking behind him.
"What a bitch!" he exclaimed.
"Yeah, I know. Luckily, I got sass. That bitch didn't see a thing coming," I said, smirking.
We eventually found room 394, and Mikey announced he would go and get coffee. I walked inside the room. Immediately I saw Naren. She was reading a book and listening to music. She didn't see me walk in, she was so engrossed in her book. I saw the cover and smiled. It was Harry Potter. I approached her and she looked up. She seemed to have a mini heart attack. In a second the headphones were on the floor and the book was forgotten.
"G-Ger-G-G-Gerard Way!" she stuttered.
I chuckled. "Yep. And Mikey's outside, getting coffee. It's nice to meet you Naren." I extended my hand and she stared at it open mouthed. She prodded it experimentally, and then closed her own small hand around it.
"Handshake too formal? Want a hug instead?" I asked, smiling at her.
She let out a high pitched squeal, then covered her mouth, her eyes widening.
"I'm sorry! Yes, I want a hug! I mean, yes please...."
I bent down and hugged her tightly, trying not to hurt her arm. After a brief hug, I let go and sat back down. This time, my expression was serious.
"Naren, why did you do that to yourself? And why were you in that park alone? Don't you know how dangerous that park is?" I scolded.
"No, I'm not from New Jersey... I've never been here before," she mumbled.
"And your on your own?"
"My mom..." She whispered.
"Huh? What about your mom?" My tone grew more anxious.
Instead of answering me she removed her hair from her face, revealing a huge purple bruise over her eye. I didn't want to see any more, but she showed me anyway. She showed me bruises on her legs, where patches of hair where missing, and a scar she had on her forehead from when she threw a fork at her head.
"She did this to you?" I asked through gritted teeth, seething with anger. She only nodded.
"I'm calling social services. No matter what you say. You can't go home to that bitch."
"Please don't leave!" she pleaded.
"That's okay, I'll stay as long as I possibly can, if you want me to," I smiled reassuringly, trying to hide my anger. "And here comes Mikey with the coffee!"
"Hey! You must be Naren!" Mikey exclaimed, handing me my coffee and trying not to look at her bandaged arm.
"Yeah, I'm Naren.... And your Mikey Way! Fuck!"
Gerard almost choked on his coffee. To hear someone who looked so sweet and innocent, to just say 'fuck' as if it was 'rainbows' was more amusing than he ever imagined.
"So what age are you?" Mikey asked her.
"I'm fifteen," she replied.
"Cool. So you like our music?" he continued.
"No shit Sherlock!" she said.
They laughed together, and for the first time in years, Isabelle (Naren, remember they're the same person) felt happy.
Soon it was time for the visitors to leave. Mikey and I stood up disappointedly. We really enjoyed talking to Naren.
"Well we have to go now.... Unless you want one of us to stay?" Mikey said, a little awkwardly.
"No, I'm fine. But uhm..." she trailed off, her cheeks turning a cute shade of red.
"Yes?" I say.
"Can I have your autograph?!"