What must it be like to pour your heart out to your heroes, the Way brothers?
I woke up the next morning, feeling like it was too early for anyone to be alive. A single beam of too bright sunshine shone through my small, only window. I groaned and snatched my phone off my bedside table, to check the time. 9:42am! I heaved myself out of bed and pulled a shirt over my head, heading up the stairs to get some breakfast. I found Mikey in the kitchen, making coffee. Or rather, waiting for the coffee to make itself in the coffee machine mom had invested in.
He looked up at me and gave me a sleepy smile.
"Don't worry, I'm making you coffee too. I was actually gonna pour it over you to wake you up. If I have to be awake, then so do you," he teased.
"Thanks," I yawned, barely taking in what he was saying.
Seeing as Mikey hadn't bothered to make any food, I headed towards the cupboards.
"Pancakes? I asked, holding up a packet of ready made pancakes.
He shrugged. "Okay."
I dropped the pancakes into the toaster and proceeded to find the syrup while Mikey poured our coffee. I was literally tearing the cupboard apart, looking for the syrup. Mikey sighed and moved me out of the way. Reaching into the cupboard, he pulled out syrup, honey and chocolate spread.
"This what you were looking for?" he mocked.
"Uh.. Yeah. Thanks," I said. Boy, it was way too early to be alive.
We sat down at the kitchen and ate our breakfast. Mikey smothered his pancakes in chocolate spread and a thin layer of sugar, while I drizzled syrup over mine.
"So we're visiting Naren today?" Mikey asked through a mouthful of pancakes.
I nodded, sipping my coffee.
"When are we going?"
I sighed. "Whenever you want, Mikey."
He seemed really excited about visiting Naren, like a five year old would be excited about going to the park or movies.
I finished my pancakes and descended into my dingy basement room to get ready. I threw on a pair of jeans, black converse and a black and white striped T Shirt. I pulled a brush through my black hair and toyed with it a little. I was thinking of dying it red, for the whole Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys thing. And we were starting to film our music videos soon, I really needed to get my hair red to be able to portray Party Poison. Basically, we were about to have a sort of make over. A new era. An era of colour, and brightness and attitude. Leaving behind the Black Parade was like leaving behind a part of me, but it had to be done. Yes, I would miss it, and no doubt the fans would too, but Danger Days is just that colour that's been inside us all these years, behind all the black, and only now, are we feeling brave enough to let it out.
I grabbed my leather jacket from my desk and went upstairs to the living room. I put my leather jacket on the coffee table and reach for a comic book that Mikey had probably left lying around. I lose myself in it, until mom comes into the room, fully dressed and looking wide awake.
"Morning, Gerard," she smiled.
"Hey mom," I say, looking up from the comic.
"Going to visit Naren?" she asked.
"Yeah. I think Mikey's getting ready now..."
"Okay," she said, just as Mikey came into the room, shrugging on a hoodie.
"Ready to go?" he asked. I nodded and stood up, lifting my jacket off the coffee table.
"Bye mom, I have my phone with me, call me if for some reason you need me or something. Love you," I said, hugging her before I walked out the door.
11 am, and I'm wide awake. Nothing unusual there. I look around at the rest of my ward, where there are three other teenagers, all of them fast asleep in their hospital beds. Me, I'm sitting up, cross legged and reading Umbrella Academy, absolutely starving. I hear a pair of heels clicking and look up to see a nurse, coming towards my bed.
"Morning!" she exclaims cheerfully, pulling the curtains open, letting bright sunlight into the ward.
"Good morning," I reply.
"Can I get you anything?" she asks, smiling brightly.
"Uhm, I'm kind of hungry..." I say timidly. Then my stomach growls.
The nurse let out a laugh. "Kind of hungry? You must be starving! I'll get you extra waffles!" she winked and left the ward.
I returned my attention to the Umbrella Academy and read a few more pages until I hear the nurse come back in with a tray of food. The sets it on the table and brings it over to me. She plonks herself down on a chair beside me and introduces herself.
"I'm Amy, and I'm doing work experience. I figured you might need a friend while your here, which actually won't be for very long..."
"Thanks. I'm Naren. These waffles are delicious, by the way!"
"I know right? I was gonna steal one from the kitchen, but I'm on duty, and it wouldn't go down too good on my record. Oh, don't forget to try the chocolate milk, it's amazing!" she advised.
I think I like this girl. Oh my god, I've made a friend. A friend! I've made a friend! An actual, real life friend, not someone I've talked to over Facebook! Wow.
"So what sort of music do you listen to?" she asks conversationally.
"My favourite band is Definately My Chemical Romance, I'm seriously in love with their music. And you wouldn't believe what happened yesterday!" I squeak.
"MCR? I like them too! My favourite band is Fall Out Boy though. What happened yesterday?"
"Gerard's the one that found me in the park and called an ambulance, and then he and Mikey visited me yesterday, and they're coming again today and oh my fucking god!" I gushed.
Amy's eyes widened in surprise.
"You serious?" she breathed.
"YES, look like signed my shoe!" I yell, brandishing my black converse.
"Wow. That is just... Wow. Do you think I could meet them? You know, when they visit you and stuff?" she asked, getting extremely excited.
"Yeah, I think so. Why not?" I beamed.
"Great! But I better go now, I have to go take care of some old people now," she beamed.
"Oh," I said, disappointedly.
She hurries out of the ward, and I return my attention to my breakfast. I munch through my waffles and sip my chocolate milk while reading the Umbrella Academy, wondering if and when Gerard and Mikey would visit. I swallow the last of my waffles, feeling full to the brim. A doctor comes into the ward to change my bandages on my arm, and the look he gave me really fucking hurt. He looked at me as if I was a murderer.
"Do you have a problem?" I spat.
At that moment Gerard walked in, followed by Mikey. They smiled at me and waited for the doctor to do his work.
I walked into the Naren's ward with Mikey behind me and went towards her bed, where there was a doctor tending to her bandages. I smile at Naren and gave her a little wave and stood ack to let the doctor do his work. I watched as he unraveled the bandages slowly and what I saw made my stomach drop. I don't even want to describe the state her arm was in. I suddenly felt sick and tried not to look at her. The thought that she had done this to herself horrified me. I turned away and looked out at New Jersey, concentrating on a flock of birds flying in V formation. I blocked out the hospital, I was flying with the birds. Flying high above New Jersey until a quiet voice brought me back down to Earth.
"Gerard?" Naren said timidly, sensing that something up.
I turned and put on a smile.
"Morning," I said, stooping down to give her a hug. She hugged me back tightly, and they way that she held on to me, I could tell that this girl wasn't used to being hugged, and felt comfort in it.
Mikey and I sat down on the chairs, and Mikey picked up a book off her bed waved it at me.
"Hey Gerard, she's reading Umbrella Academy!" he exclaimed.
"You like comic books?" I asked, feeling a smile tug at my lips.
"Yeah," she smiled.
"Marvel or DC?" I asked.
"Marvel. But DC has the best villains," she concluded.
I nodded in agreement. Personally, I didn't like Spiderman or Superman much, and Batman was okay. They're kinda too cheesy and cliché for my liking. X Men and Hellboy are my favourite.
We sat in an awkward silence for a while, Mikey saying the occasional thing like "How are you feeling? Are you tired? Do you want us to leave you alone for a while?"
After I while I decided it was time to address a serious problem.
"So Naren... About your mom... Does she know where you are?" I asked. She shook her head.
"So you just left? And she didn't even notice?"
"But does anyone notice? But does anyone care?" she said, quoting Early Sunsets Over Monroeville.
"I'm sorry if I'm upsetting you or anything but... Did she abuse you?" She nodded, holding back tears.
"Where's your dad?" I asked
She mumbled something that I couldn't make out and looked down, hugging her legs, a tear escaping her eye.
"I'm sorry honey, I didn't hear what you said," I say gently, leaning forward and rubbing her back.
"He's at war. I haven't heard from him in months. My grandmother is dead. Who knows, daddy might be dead too! There's nobody left for me here!"
Mikey and I exchanged worried glances, and I decide to press on with the conversation. She needs to tell someone, get it out of her system. If she gets angry and takes it out on me, it's better than her taking it out in herself.
"Naren, we're here for you. Mikey and I. And I'm sure Lindsey and Bandit would love you too. I'm sorry, I really need to call social services. But I can make it easier for you, you just need to tell me. Tell me everything," I said, softly. She looked at Mikey who gave her and encouraging smile.
"Okay. A few years ago, mom cheated on dad with a drug dealer, and she got addicted, so of course he divorced her. My mom started abusing me then, because my dad wasn't there to protect me. The drug dealer moved in, and after a while he got arrested. He tried to rape me once, and I called the police. He left my mom after that, but she still loved her cocaine and vodka. She still abused me. So I grew up quicker than my friends. People didn't want to be involved with me anymore, because I was so withdrawn and distant. The teachers felt sorry for me, I could see it, just the way they looked at me. But no one ever reached out a hand to me, to help me up when the bullies kicked me down. The only hands that came near me were my mom when she was in a drunken rage. Except my grandmother and my dad. They were the only ones I trusted. My mom got worse. The bullies got worse. I started to self harm. I told my grandmother a while later. She cried when I told her, but she never knew about my mom abusing me. A few months later she died. It's been a while since she died. My dad is at war. Possibly dead. I felt abandoned, and I just couldn't go on. Everyone and everything abandoned me, except for music. The only thing I live for is music, and the fact that maybe, my dad is still out there." She leaned back on her pillow and closed her eyes, caressing her arm.
"Naren.. I'm so sorry," Mikey said, leaning forward and taking her hands in his, "We'll call social services. You'll never have to see your mom again. I'll never let them hurt you, I promise."
She smiled sadly. "Vampires Will Never Hurt You," she whispered.
She leaned into Mikey and he put his arms around her, reassuring her that everything is okay, and that nothing is her fault.
A young girl in a Nurse's uniform came in, about seventeen. She stopped dead when she sees us mouthed "Oh my god!" at Naren. She walked forward and struggled to find words.
"Hi, I'm uh I'm Amy," she managed to get out. She had a slightly punk ish look to her. Sharp, pale face, spiky brown pigtails, dark red lipstick and black and red rimmed eyes. She wore black converse with her Nurse's uniform, and although it looked kinda weird, it was cool and quirky too.
"I'm Gerard, nice to meet you," I smiled.
"Uhm, Naren, I was sent here to tell you that you can go home tomorrow," she smiled.
"Great!" Mikey beamed at me, and I smiled back.
"Uhm, can I have your autograph? And a picture with you? Please?" she asked, trying not to scream.
"Yeah sure!" I say. She hands Naren her phone and she takes a few pictures with Mikey and I. She takes the phone off Naren, and takes a look at the photos, and smiles.
"Amy! What are you doing?" a sharp voice cuts through the quiet of the ward.
She almost dropped the phone in shock, but pulls herself together.
"Sorry, I gotta go! Thank you so much!" she squealed. Giving Naren a friendly goodbye wave, she hurries out of the ward and out of sight.
"That's Amy, I met her earlier, she brought me extra waffles," Naren said.
We sit and chat for a while, about music, comics books, and completely random stuff, until it was really time for Mikey and I to go.
"I'm sorry, Mikey and I need to go now. We'll pick you up tomorrow, and take you to the police station when you feel up to it," I say, squeezing her hand reassuringly.
Mikey and I leave the hospital with heavy hearts, thinking about how hard we must be making it for Naren.