The past two weeks flew by. Mikey and I were finally back on track. He stopped drinking, and we spent almost all our time together. Somehow, after lots of back and forth we settled on a date for the wedding.
I hadn’t spoken to Gerard since we kissed. He was still dating Bert, and I couldn’t believe it. Bert was a drunk and abusive, yet Gerard wouldn’t leave him. More than anything I wanted him to be happy. Even though he said he was happy with Bert, I knew the truth. He was too scared of what Bert would do to him if he ever tried to leave.
“I think it’s time to celebrate!” I heard Mikey yell, grabbing my waist and pulling me to him. He kissed me hard on the mouth. I couldn’t help but laugh. All of a sudden he threw his hands up, “I can’t believe we finally did it!”
I just nodded, kissing him again. “Yeah. We’re done!” I could barely contain my own excitement. Mikey’s gaze locked on mine before he slammed his lips against mine again. Completely forgetting that we were surrounded by our fellow graduates and their families, I locked my arms around his neck and backed him up against the wall. The kiss became more heated, and we both just ignored all the names and stares from everyone around us. Nothing could bring our mood down.
Against my lips, I felt Mikey moan, sending shivers down my spine. Before I knew what was happening his hands were at the hem of my shirt, playing with it. Quickly, I broke the kiss. Both of us were panting, breathless. He laughed, “Maybe we should get some privacy.”
I just shook my head, wrapping my arms tightly around him. “Seriously, I really want to celebrate.” Mikey said, looking down at me.
When I didn’t say anything he continued, hesitantly. “Some of Gerard’s friends are throwing a party tonight. I really want you to come with me.” He pouted.
As much as I didn’t want to go, because I knew there would be drunk people all over the place, I couldn’t say no. I wanted to celebrate just as much as Mikey did. Nodding, Mikey’s face lit up. He wrapped his arms tightly around my waist and and kissed me again. “It’s going to be great, I promise.”
I smiled, letting him lead me to his car. “I want you to promise me something, Mikey.” He opened the passenger side door for me, and I climbed in. “I don’t want you getting drunk.”
He smiled again and kissed me one last time, “Don’t worry. I promise I won’t drink anything.” He paused, “Well, I might have some water.” He shrugged and rushed around the car.
I couldn’t believe it. We’d only been here for thirty minutes and Mikey was already wasted. Without him noticing, I managed to get outside. Currently, I was sitting on the front curb in front of the house, just enjoying the scenery. I had just called Gerard asking if he would come and pick me up. I was tired of dealing with Mikey, and I just wanted to go home and be with my mom.
A few minutes later, Gerard’s car pulled up in front of me. He rolled down the window and smiled, “Home?”
I nodded, standing up and climbing into his car. “Please and thank you.”
He sighed, starting off in the direction of my house. “Mikey’s drinking, isn’t he?”
“Totally wasted.” Gerard never said anything else. We both fell into an awkward silence. The last time we had been alone together, we ended up kissing. That kiss, I still couldn’t get out of my head. It was incredible. Kissing Mikey didn’t even come close to comparing. But I was in love with Mikey, and we were getting married. I couldn’t think about Gerard like that anymore.
Ten minutes later, Gerard pulled into the driveway. He put the car in park and waited for me to get out silently. I just looked at him, really looked at him for the first time in two weeks. His hair was longer, covering his eyes completely now. His shirt was hanging loosely off his frame, and even his jeans looked baggy. He’d lost a lot of weight. It couldn’t be healthy.
Finally, Gerard turned to face me. There was something in his eyes that I couldn’t read. Whatever it was, made me feel miserable.
“Have you been eating?”
He didn’t say anything. Instead he turned and looked out the windshield, gripping the steering wheel harder until his knuckles turned white.
“Gerard, whatever he’s doing--”
“He’s not doing anything to me!” His voice was angry. It was actually kind of scary. I had never seen him like this before.
“If he’s hurting you--” I tried again. Only to be cut short by Gerard once more.
“Please, Frank. Just go.” His voice was gentler this time. It crushed me. I knew without him saying anything that Bert was hurting him.
“We need to talk about this.” I paused, waiting to see if he was going to interrupt me again. “I worry about you. It kills me seeing you like this, knowing that it’s because of him.”
He ran a hand through his hair, “Frank, you don’t understand.” He turned to face me, defeat all over his face. “Do you think I really want to stay with him? No! But where else am I going to go. I would be just as miserable without him.” He paused, meeting my gaze. “Maybe I deserve what he does to me.”
“Don’t you ever say that! No one deserves to be treated like that.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This wasn’t the same Gerard that I used to know. The Gerard I used to know would have never stood for this.
He didn’t say anything for a long time. I assumed he was done talking, and I opened the door.
“I love you, Frank. I always have.” Gerard’s voice filled the empty silence. My heart skipped a beat at his words. I wasn’t expecting that.
Pulling the door closed, I turned to face him. He was looking at me desperately. I had no idea what to say.
All of a sudden he slammed his hands down on the steering wheel. “Do you know how hard it was to see you so in love with Mikey? And now you two are getting married and will be together forever, while I’m stuck here.” Tears were starting to fall down his face, and I could feel tears of my own starting to form.
“Frank, no.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “I’m really happy for you two. Really.”
I opened my mouth to say something else, but he stopped me. “Frank, please. Just go.”
I had no idea what to say or do. Tears streaming down my face, I opened the door and climbed out. Gerard was already out of the driveway and heading down the street before I had time to turn around and look at him one more time. Never before in my life had I felt more miserable than right then, at that moment.