“More popcorn?” Gerard asked, handing me a huge bowl filled with popcorn as he sat down on the couch beside me.
I smiled, taking a handful, “Don’t mind if I do.” I shoved the popcorn in my mouth. Beside me, Gerard had grabbed a blanket and began to pull it over us. The blanket wasn’t very big so the two of us had to sit extremely close together.
He lay his arm across the back of the couch, and I moved even closer to him. Underneath the blanket, and with him at my side, I was toasty warm. I smiled at him, passing the bowl of popcorn, “I really appreciate this.”
He shrugged, eating a few pieces, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. I just figured you would want someone to keep you company.”
I was just reaching for the remote to play the movie when my mom came running back down the stairs. She saw me and let out a breath, “Thank God, you’re home.” She paused, smiling at Gerard, “Hello, Gerard.” She turned back to me, “Frankie, I have to run to the hospital. It’s an emergency with one of my patients. Are you two going to be okay?”
I nodded. She smiled and crossed the room to us. She kissed my forehead briefly before leaving out the front door. Once the door had shut behind her, I pressed play on the remote and the movie picked up right where we paused it.
As we sat there, finishing the movie, I hardly noticed how Gerard’s breathing started to change. It was almost like he would start hyperventilating any moment. Finally, I looked at him, worry written all over my face. “Are you okay?”
He shook his head, smiling. “Super.” I turned my attention back to the movie, and his breathing started to slow and get back to normal. I just brushed it off. There was no need to get worried over it.
As the movie came to an end, Gerard finally broke our silence, “Frank, can I ask you something. It’s kind of personal...”
I shrugged, meeting his gaze. He let out a breath before continuing, “Umm, how long have your parents been divorced? I mean, for as long as I’ve known you, I’ve never met your dad.”
I sighed, “Actually, my dad was always pretty distant, but they only got divorced about three or four years ago.”
“Oh... I just thought--”
“That it had been longer. Yeah, after I was born my parents relationship started to decline. When I was five or six he started living with one of his friends, only coming here to visit. My mom finally decided to get it official and they divorced.”
He shrugged, “Can I ask what happened?”
I should have known he would ask that. Almost everyone did. Usually I told them that my dad was starting to see other people and my mom was tired of dealing with it, considering they were still officially married. That’s what I told Mikey. However, I felt like Gerard deserved the truth.
Gerard held up his hands, “If you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t have to. I was just curious.”
I took a deep breath, and grabbed Gerard’s wrists. “Before I say anything, I want you to know that I’ve never told anyone this before.” I paused, trying to find the right words. Beside me, Gerard was silent. “My dad wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought. I was about six or seven when he started drinking. However, it wasn’t the drinking that was the biggest issue. My mom and I could handle that.”
I shook my head, the images in my mind causing tears to start forming behind my eyes. “He started beating my mom. All the time. I was too little to do anything about it, but I knew it was bad and that my mom was hurt. We were miserable. But he didn’t live here and he barely visited so we dealt with it. Keeping up the facade that we were a perfect family.
“Then one day I’d had enough. I was tired of him hurting my mom. So, I went and tried to defend her. He started beating me after that. It didn’t take long for my mom to file for divorce.” I shook my head, tears falling slowly, “That was the best day of our lives.”
As soon as I was done talking, I felt Gerard’s strong arms wrap around me. Instinctively I buried my face in his chest and let the tears fall. We sat in silence. Gerard just let me cry, not saying a word. I had never been more thankful for the quiet.
Once the tears started to slow, Gerard broke the silence. “I had no idea. That’s terrible.”
I nodded into his chest, “No one knows. I don’t like to talk about it... and it’s just embarrassing.”
“I’m sure you’ve told Mikey?”
I met his gaze, “He’s never asked.”
Gerard’s expression changed into something I couldn’t read. All of a sudden I became hyper aware of our situation. The two of us were sitting mere centimeters apart. In fact, we were so close our faces were almost touching. For the first time that night, I noticed his warm breath against my cheeks.
Next thing I knew, our lips were touching. He was hesitant at first, waiting to see how I would react. When he was sure I wasn’t going to freak out, his lips started moving against mine. As the kiss progressed, it felt like every cell in my body was on fire. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
Gerard’s hands slid around my waist to come to a rest on my upper thigh. The whole movement made my body tingle. It was incredible. I never wanted this to end.
Somehow, my hands found their way to the back of Gerard’s head. My fingers got lost in his jet-black hair.
Somewhere in the distance, I heard a loud ringing. It almost sounded like a cell phone. My cell phone!
I broke the kiss suddenly and grabbed my phone out of my pocket. “Hello?” I sounded breathless.
“Frankie, I wanted to apologize for being such a dick earlier. I don’t know what came over me.” Mikey. Instantly my eyes flashed to Gerard who was still sitting beside me. He was leaning forward with his head in his hands. What had just happened? “It’s probably just from nerves about the wedding... I’m really sorry.”
I was in love with Mikey, wasn’t I? We were getting married, I reminded myself. But lately, Mikey had been different, someone I didn’t know. And then there was Gerard. Every time something happened between Mikey and me, Gerard was there.
“Frankie? Please talk to me. I know you’re mad, but you have to believe me. I really am sorry.” Mikey’s voice brought me out of my thoughts. I decided it would be best if Mikey didn’t know about the kiss.
“It’s alright, Mikey. I’m not mad.” I stared at Gerard. When he heard Mikey’s name, he looked up at me and met my gaze. Without a word he stood up and left. As the front door closed behind him I couldn’t help but feel like a part of me was missing.
“That’s great. I promise I’ll make it up to you...” As he droned on, I let my thoughts slip away. I couldn’t focus on his words, when my mind was full of Gerard and our kiss.
I had never kissed anyone like that before. It was amazing. I touched my fingertips to my lips and I could almost feel Gerard’s lips still lingering there. Looking at the front door, I found myself wishing he would run back in and sweep me off my feet.
I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t help it.
“Frank? Are you still there?” Mikey’s voice once again brought me out of my thoughts.
“Umm, yeah. I’m still here. What were you saying?”
“Were you listening to anything I just said?” He paused, and I was just about to answer when he cut me off. “Just forget it. I’ll call you later.” And at that, he hung up.
A//N: This is by far my favorite chapter. I hope you like it as much as I do :)