"He curled into a ball and let out the tears. Not halting sobs, not silent tears but just pure, uncontrollable weeping that shuddered and choked through his body, unable to be held back."
Chapter 21; Aftermath
I couldn’t really think properly as I was walking down and around the streets towards Gerard’s house. I’d been there so often in the last few weeks I didn’t even need to think about where I was going. Within ten minutes I found myself standing at the front door. I knocked once and instantly found myself being dragged into Gerard’s arms - quickly enough that it would seem as if he was waiting right inside the door.
“How are you?” Gerard mumbled into my ear. I wasn’t okay, so I was glad he hadn’t asked if I was okay. I didn’t actually know, so I just shrugged.
“I... honestly, I don’t know.”
“It’ll be okay. I promise,” he said. How can you promise you something that you can’t control? Try talking to my Dad. I didn’t say that out loud. I trusted him. No, I didn’t just trust him; I loved him. “Come on, let’s go and put your stuff down.”
Gerard took me by the hand and lead me through the house towards the kitchen. I’d only been here once as a ‘friend’ I realized, never technically as Gerard’s boyfriend. I still couldn’t get my head around it - I was Gerard’s boyfriend!
“Hey, sweetie. Hello Frank.” I looked up from the floor and flashed a tight-lipped smile towards Gerard’s and Mikey’s mum. She was sitting at the kitchen table, reading a book, a briefcase full of paper and pens spread all over the table. I’d only met her for a couple of minutes a bunch of weeks ago, so I was a bit shy as I said hello - but to my surprise, she stood up and opened her arms for an embrace.
“How are you, darling?” she asked, also giving me a hug.
“I don’t know,” I said, again. Mrs Way frowned.
“Oh, your poor thing. Gerard told me what you told him on the phone.”
“He did?” I asked, looking over at Gerard, who was now standing a bit sheepishly next to me.
“Yes. But you don’t have to worry, honey. You can stay here until your parents see sense, if needs be.”
“Yeah, that might be a while, my dad’s a bit... thick,” I said, picking at my fingernails.
“I’m sorry for that, Frank,” said Mrs Way. “But seriously, I don’t mind you staying here.”
“Of course not, honey.” For the first time that afternoon, I smiled and I looked up at Gerard from his mum’s kind face.
“Thank you, Mrs Way.”
“Darling, it’s Donna. Is there anything you don’t eat?” asked Donna, standing up and walking over to the oven.
“I’m vegetarian. And lactose intolerant. And allergic to nuts,” I said.
“And a million other things, knowing you,” said Gerard, perching on the table. I poked my tongue out and sat next to him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Don’t even think about staring an argument, you two,” said Donna, pointing a frying pan at us as Gerard opened his mouth to reply. He closed it again after the look from his mum. “Look, we can have a curry for dinner. It’ll take a while, so you two can go argue somewhere else, if it makes you happy.”
“Oh, fine. Come on, Frank,” said Gerard, holding his hand out for me again.
“And don’t get up to anything behind that closed door, boys!” said Donna as we walked up the stairs. I laughed and we both blushed red. Though as soon as we got to Gerard’s bedroom... okay, no, don’t you perverts go thinking like that!
But in all seriousness. I dumped my bag and (more carefully) my guitar case on Gerard’s floor. About two seconds later I found myself walking back over to him and burying my face into his chest.
“Hey, everything okay?” he asked, wrapping his arms around me. I nodded, sighing and keeping my gaze fixed on the Misfits logo of his shirt.
“They were so upset, Gerard. Well, Mum was. Dad was furious, but I can cope with that, but it was... she looked like I’d let her down so much...”
“Tell me what happened, Frankie. Okay?” said Gerard, taking my hand and sitting me down gently on his bed. I sighed, and launched into a recollection of what had happened since I’d waved goodbye. Gerard’s face remained expressionless as I spoke just gently caressing the small of my back. When I got the bit about me packing my bags, I slowed.
“I... I’d just hung up the phone... and Mum walked in... and she said that she’d ‘figure something out’ for me... I never actually asked wheat she’d meant. But I told her... I said I didn’t actually need any figuring out, that... she looked so upset,” I said, twisting my fingers together. Gerard sighed and rubbed my back.
“Do you have any idea what she might have said?”
“No. I thought it would be... well, bad. You know. It was like... oh, I don’t know.”
I sighed and pulled Frank closer to me. Poor Frankie. My poor Frank, I thought, after remembering what I’d said earlier that day. I’d realized something when we hadn’t been able to walk along next to each other because he was terrified of his parents. They were the only thing that meant we weren’t be able to physically touch each other because of something. Our friends hadn’t minded, and any judgmental looks in school were just brushed off our shoulders.
I loved him. I didn’t just love him, I physically needed him. My Mum had been working at home and I’d practically paced a groove in the kitchen floor with worry about Frank, texting him. She’d confronted me about it, and I poured my heart out without even realizing, close to tears.
She’d wrapped her arms around me and suggested that I call him. I’d shrugged, and that’s when Frank called. My mum was still standing next to me when I told him that I love him. Mum had been studying me through the whole phone call and I almost began to rejoice when he said it back.
After then was a worried blur until the doorbell rang. I’d ben crouching down behind it, waiting for it to ring. And now I sad on the edge of my bed with Frank curled up in my arms, suddenly silent instead of rambling on, Mikey in the other room probably confused out of his brain, and Mum sitting in the kitchen wondering about me and Frank.
Then I realized an odd noise from somewhere... it took me a moment to realise that it was the sound of crying, and it was emanating from the boy curled up in my arms. It was muffled by my shirt and that he was holding the sobs back, tiny sounds that he wasn’t letting to escape that made my chest ache.
I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. I couldn’t tell him it was going to be better, because I didn’t know. Instead I adjusted my body so I was leaning on the wall and pulled Frank into an hug, his face now buried deep in my chest muffling the sounds of his crying. Every sound he made wrenched my heart, but I couldn’t do anything about it... all I could do was to lie with him, murmuring into his ear gently, letting him cry out.
God knows what I’d be feeling if Mum decided I couldn’t stay here. Probably an emotional wreck because everything that I’d been terrified of happening had happened... I tried to put myself in Frank’s position, but I couldn’t. What was it he’d told me in his first week? “I don’t want to be gay, Gerard. They’d hate me...”
And what I’d overhead in Drama a week or two later, just one sentence before I’d become distracted by something else; “My parents don’t even know this, it was bad enough with the hair and everything, but... don’t let everyone know, I couldn’t bear it...”
My poor angel. He’d stopped sobbing but was shaking like the sounds of hurt were rattling his chest but he couldn’t let them out. I kissed his temple and began to brush the hair from his face, whispering gently into his ear. He curled into a ball and let out the tears. Not halting sobs, not silent tears but just pure, uncontrollable weeping that shuddered and choked through his body, unable to be held back. And every tear pulled on and tore at my heartstrings, and it was only then I realized exactly how much it hurt him. And how strong he’d been to manage not to break down until now.
“Boys?” I looked towards the door and saw Mum resting her hand on the doorframe, watching in on us. She had a bizarre expression on her face, something I couldn’t read; something between sympathy, confusion and... love? I just looked at her, waiting for her to say something about what she’d just walked in on.
After a moment of silence only filled with Frank’s muffled cries she said, “-Dinner’s ready.” And she walked out.
“Frankie,” I whispered gently. He lifted his head off my chest an inch and looked at me. His cheeks were stained and his eyes were red, still brimming over with tears that left streaks down his face. But his hazel eyes glowed with green, so bright with emotion. He bowed his head again quickly and wiped his face with his sleeve.
“I’m sorry...” he mumbled, looking down at the floor. I shook my head, hushing him. “I’m sorry for being...” I hushed him again, stroking down the side of his face.
“It’s dinner time,” I said softly. Frank nodded and moved his knees around so his feet resting on the floor. Neither of us said anything, but he gripped my hand like it was caught in a vice as we stood up.
That night, Mum set up a spare mattress down beside my bed for Frank, but the effort to so so was wasted. I was sitting on my bed in my boxers and an oversized hoodie, reading a comic book. Frank was dithering around in the bathroom.
“Gerard?” I looked up, and my stomach practically began to a conga line with my heart. He was standing in his pajama pants, holding a toothbrush... not wearing a shirt. He had the most beautiful body - pale, slim, only very slightly toned. I had to physically force myself away from staring in hunger at him. It was at this point that I started singing inside my head going He’s mine! He’s mine! giggles. I was quite glad he couldn’t read my mind.
After this I realized that he’d been standing in silence for a long time, his mouth hanging open like a goldfish as he tried to find something to say.
“What’s wrong?” I asked after he said nothing. He dithered around on the spot for another moment, before blurting out -
“Can I sleep with you tonight?” I raised my eyebrows in question. “I... uh, I don’t know if... I mean, sleeping on the floor, and...”
“Okay,” I said, smiling at his awkwardness. If he was a teenage girl with long hair, he’d be twirling his hair around his fingers into a plait. And he was blushing. God he’s adorable. How is it possible for one person to be so amazing?
“What are you reading?” he asked, perching himself on the foot of my bed. I held up the comic cover to him - issue 9 of Watchmen.
“How are you holding up?” I asked. He shrugged his shoulders, twisting his fingers together.
“Okay. It’s...” There was a long pause.
“I’m sorry,” I said when Frank failed to say anything. He shook his head and settled back on the wall. I sighed and shifted off the bed, to take my turn in the bathroom. Wetting my hair so it didn't fly everywhere, taking off my hoodie because it's impossible to sleep in - I spent longer than was probably necessary, staring myself shirtless in the mirror. I felt amazingly insecure all of a sudden... scared of what Frankie might think.
Pull yourself together, man, you’re never worried about things like this.
Yeah, but... it’s Frank.
And he probably felt the same way, now stop being such a diva.
I turned around and walked back into my room, dangling my hoodie in my hand. Frank was still sitting in the same spot on the bed, flicking through the comic I’d left behind he looked up when I came in, and the expression on his face mirrored the feelings I’d had when he’d walked in shirtless. I grinned inwardly.
“Nice boxers,” he said. I was wearing my ones covered in squirrels with the words ‘KEEP AWAY FROM MY NUTS.’ I grinned and sat down on the bed.
“Gerard? Don’t forget your script for tomorrow!” called Mum, walking into my room again and slamming my ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ script on the bedside table.
“Oh! That’s where it got to.”
“You’re always leaving stuff all over the place. Now, tomorrow I’ll be home a bit late because I have a meeting at work, but I’ll leave some money so you can get pizza or chinese or something, if that’s okay?”
“Yeah, that’s fine,” I said.
“Alright. Night, boys,” she said. “Don’t stay awake too late.” I rolled my eyes and stuck out my tongue and Frank smiled awkwardly, his arms now wrapped around his knees. Mum walked out the room and carefully shut the door. I switched on the side lamp, turned off the main light.
“I’m tired,” I said, yawning and stretching. I ruffled my hair again in the mirror in my wardrobe, pouted a bit and put my hand on my hip. Behind me, Frank burst out into a fit of giggles.
“Do you do this every evening?” he asked.
“Hell yes,” I said. The room fell into silence as I preened a bit longer in the mirror, before shutting the door and turning to catch Frank’s eye; who instantly dropped his gaze. “Everything okay?”
“Checking me out?” I asked cockily. Frank blushed. “I’ll take that as a yes.” I pranced across the room and twirled on the spot before flopping on the bed.
“You are such a diva,” he said. I smiled and rolled onto my front, gazing at Frank through my lashes. He giggled his girly giggle again, and lay down beside me.
“It’s funny how things just turned out from this morning, isn’t it?” I asked quietly, taking his hand and playing with his fingers.
“You’re not saying much.”
“Would you have anything to say?” I looked into his eyes.
“I guess not.” We both smiled gently at each other, Frank’s still tainted with sadness, and I wrapped my arms around his warm, bare torso and brought our lips together. Tingles ran up my skin where my skin met Frank’s and he snuggled closer as when pulled away. “Night.”
“Goodnight,” I heard him murmur as I switched off the bedside lamp. I felt his head rest on my chest as we settled, and I wrapped my arms around his shoulder, his hand rested on my stomach and I buried my face in the top of his head.
We fell asleep in each other’s arms.
asdfghjkl. And other words. As I was writing that last bit I was listening to With Me by Sum 41 - it's basically the perfect Frerard soundtrack. It brought me to a sobbing, crying, wreck of a mess when I first heard it. I'm thinking of starting another high school Frerard soon.
What, Rachel, another one?!
Yes, another. Anyway, please Rate And Review, you beautiful things.