Willow is threatened by Brandon, and she worries for the safety of Gerard and the others.
I finally made it through my first week in Belleville High. After hanging out with the boys, I started to get more acquainted and comfortable with the feeling. I still felt that insecurity and shyness, but I still liked being with them; being with those five boys had changed me… only a little. My father seemed to notice, and smiled in approval in my new found mood. I smiled more, but still I didn’t speak; I didn’t have that strength. Gerard always talked to me, and I listened. He always talked with passion and depth, and I got sucked in. He always talked about art or music or just life its self.
It was the Friday of my second week, and I had Art with Gerard. We were working on our projects that Mr. Paisley assigned us. Gerard was talking to me quietly about a concert he had gone to with Mikey, working diligently on his sketch for his painting.
“…And then Mikey just disappears,” He said. “And I was panicking because my parents would have my ass if something happened to him. So, I’m like running around the parking lot trying to find him, and then I suddenly see him talking to freaking Iron Maiden!”
I laughed softly and he let out a low chuckle. “At least we got autographs and pictures.”
I nodded, a smile planted on my face. I moved my pencil around my sketchpad, shading in and erasing as my hand ghosted across. I could feel Gerard’s eyes on me as I drew.
“Can I see?” He asked. I smiled, and slid my sketch over to him. His eyes looked at, using every second to take in what detail I put in it. He passed it back to me with a grin. “It’s amazing.”
I blushed, and looked down at the sketch. It was of a wooded cliff, looking out to the sea and crashing waves. At the very edge, a boy sat there, his dark hair covering his face as he looked out. I looked over to Gerard’s sketchbook, and the moment he saw my gaze, he covered it with his arms.
He blushed slightly and said, “It’s… uh, not exactly done…”
I flashed him an “oh-really” look. He nodded, and said, “I’ll show you when I’ve painted it; it’s a surprise.”
I nodded and gave him a smirk, going back to my drawing. We sat in a comfortable silence as we worked. The bell rang after a while, and we packed up and Gerard walked me to my locker. It was a normal routine now, considering his was only ten lockers down. I exchanged my books for the night, and closed it shut. Gerard was back at my side and walked with me to the doors of the school.
“I’ll see you Monday,” He grinned, giving me a side hug. “Have a good night, ‘kay?”
I smiled and nodded as he waved goodbye and walked to his car where Mikey was by the door waiting for him; he saw me and waved. I waved back, and went down the stairs and around the school. Suddenly, I was pulled back roughly by my arm, and thrown to the brick wall. I froze in terror as Brandon and two others stood before me. Brandon had an evil glint in his eyes, and my heart hammered in fear as of what he could possibly do.
“Well, well, Emo Freak,” He sneered, coming to close for comfort, and grabbed my backpack and threw it to the ground and gripped my arms painfully. “So, I heard you’re hanging out with those Emo Losers.”
I didn’t say anything, and he squeezed my arms, causing me to whimper. He grinned at my reaction.
“You know,” He said, “I really do think you’re cute; you shouldn’t be hanging out with the freaks. How about you should start hanging with me, it’d be fucking cozy just us two.”
I wanted to gag so badly. I shook my head no, and glared at him. He tittered, “Oh, now, Willow. You really don’t wanna get in trouble now do you? Especially if me and my group can take those loser friends of yours down and have them spilling their insides, especially that Gerard Way guy.”
I froze, looking at him with wide eyes. He wouldn’t dare… would he? I couldn’t let him hurt the guys, especially Gerard.
“What?” Brandon cooed, getting very close to my face. I breathed heavily and felt so scared. “I see you with him a lot; saw you holding his hand that one day. I don’t like that at all; maybe I should play a little revenge on him for stealing you away from me. I could snap a bone or two of his, make him hurt so badly. Hang him by his legs on the flagpole…” He cackled evilly.
I shivered at the thought. Only after did he say that did I realize that he wasn’t bluffing. He really was going to hurt Gerard. My eyes stung at the thought.
He threw me to the ground gruffly, and pulled back my head by my hair, causing me to yelp softly from the pain.
“If you don’t want shit to get ugly,” He breathed. “I suggest you stay away from those freaks.”
He let go of me, and he and other two boys walked away, leaving me there with an aching scalp and wrists. I got up slowly and slung my backpack over my shoulder. I was still shaking, and walked down the road to my house. I couldn’t believe what had just happened, and Brandon’s words felt like an icicle that had been plunged through me. The shock of the threat made my legs weak and heavy for every step I took. I was so scared; I was scared for myself, my friends, for Gerard.
Brandon was serious. He meant every word he said, put so much hate and venom in those words. I couldn’t bear the thought of him hurting Gerard, the one person who welcomed me with open arms, the one who would protect me from Brandon. He was my first friend, and I couldn’t lose him after knowing him for two weeks.
“We’re your friends now, and we need to look out for each other,” Gerard had said.
They are my friends now; Bob, Ray, Gerard, Frank, Mikey… I wasn’t going to let them get hurt over me. I wasn’t going to let anything happen to them. I have to look out for them, protect them… even if it means I couldn’t be with them anymore… even if it means I couldn’t be with Gerard.
I didn’t realize that I was crying until a strong breeze hit me in the face, making the moisture on my cheeks go cold. I continued walking down the street, an ill feeling at the very pit of my stomach as I inhaled and exhaled shaky breaths. I wiped away the freezing tears, and I neared my house, but I stopped in my tracks as I saw another car in my driveway. It was a black Honda with a Metallica and Misfits bumper sticker, and I only knew one person who had that car. I took off in a sprint to the front door, pushing it open and throwing my backpack to the ground, and running to the living room where my father was sitting with a boy I hadn’t seen in so long.
The boy stood up from the couch, looking at me as a smile broke out on his face. Fresh tears sprang to my eyes, and I ran into the arms of the one person that meant so much to me.
I buried my face in the neck of my older brother, and whispered brokenly, “Scott.”
We were in my room, Scott and I. We sat there in silence, not an awkward silence but one that was comforting, the one we used to have when we were younger. I sat at the head of my bed, my knees up against my chest while Scott sat cross-legged on the foot of the bed. Every time we caught each other’s eyes, we smiled and laughed lightly.
“How are you?” He asked quietly. “You know… since Mom passed?”
I shrugged, looking down at my black-sock clad feet. Scott was in Scotland when mom died for a college-student exchange program; he tried to fly back for her funeral, but the airlines wouldn’t let him, delaying his flight back here to last night. He looked much different now; his dark brown hair was a little longer, and his bangs slightly covered the top of his blue eyes. We both had Mom’s eyes; sometimes people would think we were twins despite the four-year age difference and height. But the look in Scott’s eyes upset me, seeing that they had lost their glow just like mine had after Mom died.
“Dad… Dad told me about you… and the talking…” He said, looking at me with sad eyes. I bit my lip and felt the pressure from my eyes as a tear slid down. He crawled across the bed to sit next to me, and pulled me into a hug.
My throat felt raw and raspy as I opened my mouth to speak.
“I missed you, Scott,” I croaked, and buried my face into his shirt. “I missed you so much…”
“I missed you, too, Kiddo,” He kissed my head and rocked me back and forth.
“You have no idea how hard it was…” I said, the words I’ve been wanting to say for so long finally spilling out. “How hard it was to be strong for Dad and Cassie and Jack… pretending that I could get through this and that I was okay. I miss her, Scott, I miss our mom…”
I could feel his tears hit the top of my head. “I know, I know. I miss her, too. I only wish I could’ve been here for you. I wish I could’ve said goodbye to her, I wish I could’ve been there for her, I wish I didn’t decide to go when I knew she was sick.”
This made us cry harder as we held each other. We cried for what felt like years as we were in each other’s arms. We finally had gotten our chance to cry for our mother together, to finally have the chance to mourn for her. I’ve never seen Scott cry, and the only time I did was when our grandmother died. My heart shattered as I looked at him, and the tears continued to flow.
After a while, we calmed down, and held each other in silence, the only sound in the room being our heart beats.
“Do you wanna go visit her?” I said quietly. I felt him nod against my head, and we both got up from the bed and out of the room.
We walked down the stairs and to the door where we slipped on our shoes.
“Hey, Dad,” Scott called out to our father. “Me and Willow are gonna go out for a bit.”
“Okay!” He said from the kitchen.
We walked outside into the cold air, and to the driveway where we got into his car. Scott backed out of the driveway and to the city cemetery. The drive wasn’t long, twenty minutes at the max, and it would be an hour if we walked. Soon enough, he pulled up by the gates of the Belleville cemetery. We got out of the car and up the stone pathway to the cemetery. Gravestones, old and new, were dotted everywhere, and the October trees were spread out with ghostly branches. I led Scott up a hill, to where a lonesome tombstone stood. We both kneeled down before it, and I leaned against Scott’s shoulder.
Melody Marie Johnson-Adams. April 24, 1956 to October 1, 1994. Beloved Mother, Daughter, Wife. May her soul be guided to the blessed Afterlife of the Lord Father. Amen.
The tombstone had carved in roses and crosses around the engraving, making it have an old, beautiful feeling to it. Scott ran his fingers along the carving, sighing to him self.
“It must’ve been a beautiful ceremony,” He said.
I nodded. “It was. It was something Mom would’ve loved.”
“You know… I’ve always thought about God and Heaven… how you have to live your life to the fullest, live it the right way so God wouldn’t hate you or something…” He said, almost to him self. “I remember when Mom used to tell us about God… and when we were growing up, I just resented Him, but right now I hope He’s taking care of her.”
I gave him a one-armed hug. “He is, Scott. He’s looking after Mom. She was a good person; she’s in heaven…”
He sighed. “I hope so.”
We sat by Mom’s grave for a while, remembering her. I started to hum a little, which was soon followed by the lyrics.
”See all those people on the ground, wasting time,” I sang softly. “Trying to hold it all inside, but just for tonight. Top of the world, sitting here wishing, the things I’ve become, but something is missing.”
“Maybe I, but what do I know? And now it seems that I have found… nothing at all. Wanna hear your voice out loud, slow it down, slow it down.”
“Without it all, I’m choking on nothing. It’s clear in my head, I’m screaming for something. Knowing nothing is better than knowing at all. On my own… on my own…”
“Without it all, I’m choking on nothing. It’s clear in my head, I’m screaming for something. Knowing nothing is better than knowing at all. On my own… on my own… on my own…”
Scott sniffed beside me as I finished singing. He looked at me with tired, puffy eyes, giving me a very sad smile.
“I missed your singing,” He said, and hugged me tightly. “I wanna hear your voice all the time okay?”
I sighed, and nodded. “I’ll only talk for you. I don’t have that strength for Dad or the twins or Ge--”
I stopped when I was about to say his name. Scott pulled away, arching an eyebrow.
“Whose name were you gonna say?” He asked.
I bit my lip with hesitation and answered, “Gerard…”
“He… he’s my, um, friend…”
“Really?” Scott smiled, and I nodded. “That’s amazing! I’m glad you made a friend!”
I sighed sadly, and his smile faltered. “But I have to stop being around him…”
“Because I want to protect him from getting hurt.”
“Protect him from what?” He said unsurely.
I stayed silent for a moment, wondering if I should tell him about what Brandon said today. I finally said, “Protecting him from this guy Brandon…”
“Who’s Brandon?” He asked.
I exhaled a breath, and looked down at the dead grass. “Brandon is this boy who picks on me and the guys. Gerard told me that he’s bad news… and that he’d protect from him. But Brandon is going to hurt him if I don’t stay away, and I can’t let that happen…”
“Sweetie…” Scott sighed. “If he’s going to cause trouble then I want you to tell the dean or principal at school, okay?”
Then he’d come after me and the guys, I thought.
I nodded. “Okay, Scott,” I lied.
He gave me a small smile, and helped me off the ground. We walked back to the car, and he drove us home. He pulled up into the driveway and shut off the ignition, and just before I got out of the car, he suddenly said,
“Oh, yeah, forgot to tell you! I’ve decided to live with you guys again; the university isn’t that far so…”
I threw my arms around him, and he chuckled warmly. “I love you, Scott…”
“Love you, too, Sis,” He said softly.
Thank you all so much for the reviews and ratings! The song Willow was singing is On My Own by The Used :3