Pete and Mikey go to work, and Patrick's determined to sleep until they get back. To his dismay, three people are blocking the door.
“So, I know you had every intention of hiding away all day, but I have a better idea.” Gerard smiles, “Instead, you could hang out with us. In an hour, if you’d still prefer to be alone, then you can go to the room. Just give us an hour to try?”
I bite my lip and fidget, “Wh-Why do you want to?”
Gerard smiles, “Because, Patrick, we’d like you to get to know us better. And, I know you’re a bit shy, but we’re not that scary.”
I bite my lip and nod, “A-An hour.”
Gerard grins and nods, “You got it. So, want to play a video game with us? We can switch off a two player game. In a little while, though, Frank and I have to go to work. Ray’s off though, so you won’t be alone.”
“V-Video games sound o-okay.” I nod.
Frank shrugs, “I’ll play after Patrick and Gerard.”
“What are we playing?” Ray asks.
“Patrick can pick.” Gerard smiles and opens a cabinet under the television, “Pick whatever you want.”
I nod shyly and look at the videogames, only seeing one I recognize. I pick up the game and hand it to Gerard.
“I-I’ve played this a c-couple of times w-with Pete.”
Gerard nods, “Okay, I love Mortal Combat.” He grins.
He puts the game in and hands me a controller. We sit in front of the television, pick our fighters and wait for the game to start. Ray sits on my other side, Frank sitting on Gerard’s. Gerard wins the first round, and I barely win the second. I kill his character in the third round and blush shyly as he sighs and hands the remote to Frank.
Frank grins, “He kicked your ass!”
Gerard glares at him before smiling at me, “It’s cool.”
I nod and play against Frank, losing this time and watches as he plays against Ray.
Gerard nudges me, “Patrick?”
“Y-Yes?” I look at him.
“Walk outside with me really quick?” he smiles.
“O-Okay..” I stand with him and walk outside.
He smiles and sits on the edge of the porch, patting the spot beside him, “Take a seat?”
I nod and sit beside him.
“Look… I know you have no reason to trust me, but if you ever want to talk about anything I’d be happy to listen.” He glances at me.
I bite my lip, “I-I don’t talk very m-much…”
Gerard smiles, “You talk up a storm to Pete. Not that I blame you, he’s your best friend and boyfriend now. It’s really nice to have someone to trust. But it’s pretty great when you can trust other people too, you know?”
I nod and look down shyly, “B-But some things… I-I don’t want people to know.”
He nods, “We all have things like that. And I’m not asking you to tell me. All I know is, something happened to you that wasn’t good. Something that you didn’t deserve, no matter who said what.”
“You know you deserve this, don’t you, ya little shit!” My father kicks me in the ribs as I lie in the living room floor, no idea as to where my glasses fell.
I look up at his blur and nod, suppressing a whimper of pain.
“I want you to say it.” he grabs my by the hair and pulls me to sit up, “I want you to tell me that you deserve it, and why.”
I whimper and move upwards with his fist full of my hair, “I-I deserve it. I-I deserve it b-because I-I’m n-nothing. I-I’m ju-just another bill that you and mo-mom have to pay.”
“That’s right.” He lets go of my hair and kicks me back down, “You deserve everything we throw out, and more.”
I quickly look down as a few tears slip out of my eyes. Gerard notices immediately and wraps an arm around me.
“Shh.. . It’s okay now.” He pulls me into a hug, “Whatever it was-”
“M-My parents hi-hit me. Th-They p-punched me a-and kicked me a-and did worse…” I begin to sob, “Th-They didn’t wa-want me. I-I just wa-waisted their t-time.”
“Oh Patrick…” Gerard frowns and rubs my back, “You poor thing…”
“S-Said I deserved i-it. B-But what did I do?” I choke between sobs, “I-I was g-good! I-I made g-good grades a-and did my ch-chores. Wh-What did I do?”
Gerard bites his lip and shakes his head, “You didn’t do anything wrong, okay? They’re just bad people. You did all that you could to make them happy, and they beat you. You didn’t deserve it.”
I sniffle and continue to cry onto his shoulder.
Gerard and Frank leave for work, Gerard giving me a hug before they walk out the door. For some reason, completely beyond my understanding, I trusted Gerard with my darkest secret. I don’t regret it either, which is also a bit alarming. But now it’s just Ray and I. Nothing against him, or anything, but I’m really considering going back to my room. I move to stand, but get stopped by Ray’s question.
“Does Mikey like me?” he looks up at me from the floor.
He sighs, “He does, right? Fuck.” He pulls at his hair.
“I-I’m not s-saying he does but…what if he did?”
Ray groans, “I just… Mikey’s great, okay? Really he’s one of the best friend’s I’ve ever had. I just…” he sighs, “I don’t feel that way about him… or any other guy. I’m not homophobic, obviously, but… it’s just not for me.”
I bite my lip and nod.
“He’ll be crushed, won’t be?” Ray frowns, “Damn it! I’ve never wished to be into guys before… Mikey’s so sweet and caring… I hate that I’m going to make him unhappy.”
“D-Don’t tell him u-unless he asks.” I bite my lip, “Th-Then he won’t be unhappy and will eventually fall for someone else?”
Ray smiles, “It’s a nice thought, and it might spare his feelings but… I need to be honest with him. I’m just afraid when I ask if we can talk… he’ll get his hopes up. Yesterday he almost kissed me! I have to tell him!”
I nod, “Y-Yeah. H-He’d be hurt but I-I think he’d appreciate the honesty.”
Ray nods, “Er, thanks Patrick. Sorry for dumping that on you suddenly. Wanna go visit Pete and Mikey? I know Mikey’s break is soon, so Pete will probably get his around the same time.”
I nod, “S-Sure.”
“PATRICK!” Pete grins and runs over to me, hugging me tightly immediately after we walk into the store, “Mine and Mikey’s breaks are in a few minutes, can you wait that long, please?”
“Go ahead and take your break, we’re pretty slow.” The woman behind the counter says with a smile, “You too, Mikey.”
“Thanks Jessica.” Mikey smiles and runs over to the three of us, “Food? I’m starving!”
Ray chuckles, “You’re always starving.”
Mikey blushes and shrugs.
Pete laces our fingers and pecks my cheek as we walk to the food court.
“I have to tell you something.” I whisper to Pete.
“Ooh, what?” He looks to me.
I pull him a good distance from Mikey and Ray before whispering, “Ray doesn’t like Mikey. Ray’s straight.”
Pete frowns, “Damn…” he looks back at Ray and Mikey, “Shit is he telling him now?”
I look back to Ray frowning and Mikey looking at his feet, “I think so…” I frown.
“Shit… Poor Mikes is going to be so upset.”
I nod and bite my lip.
When we sit with our food, Ray has mysteriously disappeared; Mikey buries his face in his arms on the table. Pete and I sit on each side of him and wrap an arm around him.
“Y-You two knew?” He looks up at us.
Pete shakes his head, “Just now. He told Patrick right before they left to come here.”
Mikey sniffles, “I-I hate love.”
I frown and rub his back, “Hey… it’ll be okay. You’ll find someone.”
“Which is exactly what you’d say to an ugly friend who you know is going to live in a big house full of cats.” He sniffles again.
I shake my head, “No… It’s what I’m saying to a really great attractive guy, who’s happens to be my friend.”
“Attractive?” Pete raises an eyebrow.
I roll my eyes at him, “Yes, Mikey’s attractive. No need to act all jealous.”
Pete grins and kisses Mikey’s cheek, “He’s right, you know? You’re pretty hot.”
I glare at Pete, who pouts innocently. I roll my eyes and take a bite of my sandwich. A sound from behind me catches my attention. Drumming. I look behind me and see a guy with long hair, beating the table in front of him with his drumsticks. He begins drumming faster and louder, causing Pete and Mikey to turn around as well. He stands from the bench and begins alternating between using the table and the bench to beat on. I glance over at Mikey and notice him blushing as the guy looks up and makes eye contact with him as he continues. The guy smiles before stopping and stuffing the drumsticks into his pocket. He smiles again and takes his seat, looking down at his notebook and scribbling away.
“H-He comes into the store a lot.” Mikey whispers, “He’s there at least once a day when I’m working.”
“At least?” Pete grins, “And it’s when you’re working?”
“Shh!” Mikey quickly turns around and takes a bite of his sandwich.
Pete grins over to me, letting me know exactly what he’s thinking. He’s going to get them together.
When their break is over, I get Ray’s cell number from Mikey and call him, trying to figure out where the hell he went, since he is my ride.
“Shit! I completely forgot I drove you… I’m sorry Patrick, just… Mikey was upset and I thought if I stayed I’d make it worse..”
I sigh and shrug, “I’ll just stay until their shift is over, I guess.” I lean against a wall, noticing the drummer from earlier walking into Hot Topic.
“Okay, Patrick I’m really sorry!” Ray sighs, “I’ll come get you-“
“No, it’s fine. See you later.” I hang up and peek into the window as the boy with long hair looks around, glancing at Mikey periodically.
He is definitely into Mikey. Mikey blushes at the counter, as Pete whispers into his ear. I walk inside and go up to the counter.
“My ride ditched me, so I guess I’ll hang out until you two get off.” I shrug.
Mikey groans, “I’m so sorry Patrick, that’s completely my fault!”
“No it isn’t.” Pete shakes his head, “You didn’t tell him to leave Patrick here. Are you sure you don’t mind, Sugar?”
I shake my head, “It’s fine.” I walk around the store, glancing at the long haired boy with glasses.
He notices me and quickly walks over.
“Can I ask you something?” he bites his lip.
“S-Sure…” I shrug.
“You… You know that guy, Mikey, right?” he blushes.
I smile, “Yes, why?”
“I-I want to ask him out. But… fuck, he’s straight isn’t he?” the boy pales.
I shake my head, “No, you’re safe there…”
“D-Do you think he’d say yes? Or… he’d just politely tell me no? I know it’d be polite because I can’t imagine he’d ever be anything but sweet.” He looks down, blushing more.
“Wow.. you really like Mikes, don’t you?” I raise an eyebrow.
He nods, “He’s in my grade, but I’m really quiet and I never really talk to him because I’m nervous.”
“Calm down…what’s your name?”
“Andy…” He glances at Mikey, then looks back to me, “Andy Hurley.”