By now I had clicked on that Gerard likes coffee, like really likes coffee, because he decided that he was thirsty and dragged me along with him to some cafe that I’ve never heard of or noticed before on the other side of town.
It wasn’t too big, so that’s probably why I hadn’t noticed it, and it’s design wasn’t exactly the nicest of designs either. The walls were a creamy mahogany colour that didn’t compliment the dark red carpet that covered the floor at all. There was a small water fountain by the entrance that someone, meaning me, was bound to fall into if they weren’t looking where they were going, the tables were wooden and the seats cushioned, yet, despite the way it looked, Gerard sat happily drawing across the table from me while drinking his coffee.
“Why do you come here, Gerard?” I asked, looking around. “It’s so.. Bland..”
“Personally, I prefer starbucks..” He mumbled, turning his book and not breaking eye contact from his page as he sketched, “But this place is a better place to come draw. It’s design is so ugly and I love it.”
“Why do you like it if it’s ugly?” I asked.
Gerard looked up from his book, cocking his head to the side and smirking at me, “Haven’t you learnt not to ask questions about beauty and ugliness by now?”
“Hmm.. Yeah.. Don’t answer that question.” I rolled my eyes. Then I reached over the table and pointed at a corner of Gerard’s drawing, “That needs more shading.”
Gerard didn’t seem at all interested in his drawing anymore, though. Now he was staring at the O that was tattooed on my finger so I reached out my other hand and put them together.
“It says Halloween.” I told him, proud of my tattoo.
“Why Halloween?” He asked as he ran his fingers along my tattoos, tracing them.
“I was born on Halloween.” I said, then i tilted my head to the side, revealing the flesh on my neck as I moved my hair. “And look, I’m a Scorpio.” I pointed at the scorpion tattoo on my neck.
“Cool..” Gerard slightly smiled, still tracing my Halloween tattoo with his fingers.
“Do you have any tattoos, Gerard?” I asked.
“No.” He shook his head. “I’m afraid of needles.”
I smirked the slightest bit. “Well. That’s something I’ve never heard before.”
“It’s a very common fear.” He frowned. “I’m sure there’s heaps of people out there with the same fear. You just haven’t met any of them yet.”
“Sure, sure.” I rolled my eyes jokingly, taking my hand away but Gerard grabbed it, practically pulling me over the table with one tug. The edge of the table hit me in the stomach and winded me, but Gerard didn’t seem to care.
“You have so many scars..” He whispered.
I could feel myself blushing partly from embarrassment as my stomach did a little summersault from panic. The first lie I could think of slipped through my lips, “They’re from Aciden--”
“Self harm.” Gerard cut me off, running his finger along the tissue of the scars.
“No. Why would I do that? I mean, I--”
“You self harm.” Gerard cut my helpless babbling off as he looked at my other arm.
“N-no.” I lied.
“Yes.” He sighed, looking up at my face. “You do.”
Quickly, I pulled my arms out of his grip and slumped back in my seat, holding my arms close to my chest and staring at the table top as hot tears of embarrassment and hurt filled my eyes.
I then felt Gerard sit next to me and he gently asked, “Frank.. What’s wrong?”
“It’s hard to answer that question when nothing’s right..” I whispered. My voice shaking uncontrollably.
“Are you crying?” He asked.
I felt a tear roll down my cheek and I held my scarred arms close to my chest, shaking my head.
“Yes you are..” He whispered, rubbing my back. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
I didn’t answer so he asked another question.
“What are you in life, Frank?” Gerard asked softly.
“What do you mean?” I frowned, wiping my face with the back of my hand.
“I’ll rephrase the question,” He rolled his eyes, “What are you doing with your life? I mean, you look about eighteen. So, you’ve got to have some plans for your life by now.”
“I’m turning seventeen.” I corrected him. “And, I guess I’m not really anything in life.. I’m nothing..”
Gerard had heard my whisper and replied with, “You’re not nothing. No one is nothing. You’re Frank.”
“Ok. So I’m a name now.” I frowned, looking at him once again.
“A name means allot.”
“Because it’s your name. It belongs to you. A name can’t just belong to nothing. The only name that should belong to nothing is nothing.” Gerard smiled.
“But I’m nothing because a stupid name is useless.” I frowned.
Gerard tilted his head this time and cocked his eyebrow. A smirk was running across his pursed lips. “Ok. You know you’re not nothing. No one is nothing. Everyone is something.”
“Maybe I am something, not saying that I am, but I still feel like nothing.” I mumbled, running my fingers along the edge of the wooden table.
“You shouldn’t feel like nothing.”
“But I do.”
“Well you shouldn’t.”
“I still do.”
“You’re stubborn.” Gerard laughed.
When Gerard noticed I wasn't in the mood to laugh, at all, his smile faded and he cocked his head to the side once again, placing a hand on my knee.
“Frank, I know what it’s like to want to die. Trust me, I’ve been there. I know how much it hurts you to smile, because I’ve felt that pain too. When I was your age I didn’t fit it anywhere, no matter how hard I tried. I hurt myself in many ways because I felt like I deserved it. When, in reality, I didn’t.” Gerard then took my hand and clasped his around it tightly. “Don't give up, Frank. Never give up. The starting of life is always the hardest. I promise you'll make it through. And when you do, you'll be smiling. Smiling so beautifully. The way you should be.”
Quietly I asked, “You promise?”
Gerard smiled and squeezed my hand gently, “I promise.”