It was Monday and Mikey still hadn't called. He wasn't at school either. I was starting to think he was ignoring me when I saw his car in the parking lot. He was leaning against it, looking just as amazing as ever. It took all my strength to not run over to him and kiss him hard on the lips.
I managed to keep my composure as I walked across the near empty parking lot. It wasn't until I was a few feet away from him that he finally looked up at me and met my gaze. “Need a ride?”
Of all the things he could have said to me, this was not what I was expecting. “Uhm, sure.” He nodded and climbed into his car, starting it. Slowly, I walked around to the passenger side and slid in.
He drove me home in silence. Finally, when we pulled into the driveway, he parked his car and turned to face me, “Frank, what is going on?”
I looked at him confused. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.
When I didn’t say anything he continued talking, “You just seem so distant lately. Like, you don’t want to be with me or something.” He whispered the last statement, and I felt my heart break into a million pieces. I loved Mikey more than I’d loved anyone else. How could he think something like that?
“Mikey, don’t ever say that. I love you so much... Of course I want to be with you. Why else would I have said yes?” A small smile played at the edges of his mouth.
Suddenly the smile faded, “I don’t know. We’ve fought a lot lately, and it worries me. We’ve never fought before.”
I sighed, looking out the windshield. “Mikey, believe me when I say I don’t want to be fighting with you, but lately you’ve been really different too. I mean, since when do you go to parties and get drunk.” I turned to face him, “I thought you said you hated drinking.”
He just shrugged, “I just wanted to have a good time. Everyone else was drinking... I figured it wouldn’t hurt.” He sighed, placing his hand on my shoulder. “I only had, like, three drinks that night, Frank.”
I shook my head, “That’s not the point, you know I don’t like people drinking. Alcohol makes people different...”
He put his hands on the steering wheel and gripped it hard, his knuckles turning white. “What is your problem with people drinking? I mean, it’s a part of life! Everyone drinks, Frank.”
I just stared at him, trying to think of the right words. I knew I should have told Mikey about my dad a long time ago... He continued to stare at me, obviously waiting for an answer. “My dad is an alcoholic, okay?” I could feel tears building behind my eyes, “Every night he would come home drunk, and then beat us. So, I’m terribly sorry that I have a problem with people drinking.” And at that, I opened the car door and jumped out. I didn’t want to face Mikey yet.
“Frank, wait!” I could hear him calling me as I ran up the steps and into the house. Once inside, I closed the door behind me and leaned against it. My body slumped onto the ground and I put my head in my hands, letting the tears fall. I felt miserable.
All of a sudden there was a soft knock at the door. “Frankie, please. I’m so sorry...” Mikey sighed, and I could hear him lean against the other side of the door. “I can’t believe you hadn’t told me.”
I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. More than anything, I just wanted to be alone. I needed time to think. As the seconds passed, I heard another car pull up in the driveway, and I knew it had to be my mom. Sure enough, I heard her say something to Mikey before she unlocked the door. I managed to move out of the way just before she slid to the door open.
Before she closed it, she saw me sitting on the floor and she was instantly at my side, her arms surrounding me in a hug. Before she had a chance to say anything, I spoke, “I told Mikey about dad. He was getting mad at me because I didn’t like it when he drank, so I just told him.” Fresh tears started falling down my face.
Under normal circumstances I would have been relieved now that Mikey knew the truth, but I felt terrible.
“Frankie, it’s okay.” My mom cooed in my ear, rocking me slightly. She hadn’t held me like this since I was little. It was actually really comforting.
It didn’t take long for me to calm down a little bit. My mom finally let go of me and helped me stand up. With a quick kiss on the forehead, she smiled. “Everything will be alright.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know.” She smiled wider and ruffled my hair a little bit. All I wanted was to head up to my room and lock the door. I needed to be by myself. My mom disappeared into the kitchen and I took off running toward my bedroom. Locking the door behind me, I collapsed on my bed.
I should call Mikey, and tell him that I was sorry for running away like that. But he had just made me so angry! For once I wished he could have a conversation and not end it with fighting. I took a deep breath and reached for my cell phone. I was just going to call him and apologize, nothing more.
Quickly my fingers dialed, and I waited. Finally on the fourth ring, he answered, “Mikey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to run away after that. I just--”
“Frank?” It was Gerard. I brought my phone away from my ear and looked at the screen. I had accidentally called Gerard instead of Mikey. Never before I had done that. I didn’t know what to do.
“Um, sorry Gerard. I was calling Mikey. I must have dialed--” He stopped me.
“Frank, I’m really glad you called. I need someone to talk to.” What sounded like sobs filled silence. Was he crying? I had no idea what was going on, but with Gerard upset at the end of the line, I completely forgot about calling Mikey.