Emotions get the best of Tristan and Gerard after a tragic mistake. What will Gerard do?
I’d End My Days with You in a Hail of Bullets
Later that day in the basement…
I was sitting on Gerard’s bed, in dry clothes and my wet hair tied up into a messy bun. I was staring at the drawings just above Gerard’s desk; the ones of me. Gerard had helped me change into new clothes and then sat me on his desk while he went upstairs for a while. My mind was wondering through a maze of questions still, but different ones this time. Why did I do that? Why did I attempt suicide? Did Gerard really care? He must care.
Gerard walks through the door silently and comes up and stands directly in front of me. I swing my legs over the side of the bed, so my boot wasn’t on his bed. He stared down at me with a pained look on his face. I met his blood shot eyes and tear stained face with mine. I had caused that pain that I could clearly see upon his face.
“Do you want to tell anyone about the pills?” Gerard finally broke the silence with a hard question. I shook my head no.
“Do I need to watch you every second of everyday? Are you gonna hurt yourself again?” Gerard’s questioning persisted. I was overwhelmed with all the emotions I was feeling and the emotions he was showing. He was never one to show his true emotions just like myself. I thought for a moment and decided that he wasn’t gonna have to be burdened with being on watch. He was angry with me, worse than I had ever seen him. I shook my head no once again.
“What’s wrong? Are you sad?” Gerard asked with a few tears escaping his eyes and falling down his tear stained cheeks. I nodded my head yes. I wasn’t going to start lying now. He had saved me from myself and I needed him.
Gerard stared at me for a minute and then spoke again. “Me too…now.” Gerard’s tone was laced with sadness. “Tristan, something has changed in you toward me. A lot has happened and September eleventh didn’t help, it just made it worse between us. I don’t know what I’ve done to make you act differently toward me. You didn’t talk to me most of the summer and you never came to see me. You are distant and cold toward me. I mean seriously, you aren’t even talking to me anymore. We used to talk all the time. We are best friends. You can’t kill yourself,” he paused and wiped a tear away from his cheek. “I need you. You can’t leave me here alone. I need you!” Gerard was trembling now.
We were both crying uncontrollably now. I couldn’t handle seeing him so hurt and I caused it. I reached up with my right hand and took his shaking right hand in mine. I looked up into his teary hazel eyes and finally choked out, “I need…you…too.”
Gerard’s face fell to his chest and met my eyes. Then the phone rang and Donna who must have come home after my ordeal yelled down to Gerard to get the phone.
I breathed out a sigh of relief wondering what might have happened had the phone not rang. Gerard turned without looking back at me and ran through the basement and up the stairs to the kitchen.
My mind was swimming with all the emotions that I was feeling and that he was displaying in front of me. Did he really care that much?
Before I move from sitting on the bed, Gerard walked back into the basement with a strange look on his face and still holding the phone. I looked up at him, trying not to show my feelings. This was too intense.
“Frank wants to know if you are up for playing bass tonight for Pencey Prep?” Gerard sounded angry, but his face was sad. I thought for a moment and nodded my head yes. I would have said yes, but I didn’t trust my own voice at this point in time. I don’t know what I want right now, really.
Gerard stared at me for a minute and then asked, “Are you sure?” I knew what he was insinuating, but I wasn’t going to let my brother down.
“I’m sure,” I nearly whispered. Gerard shrugged and walked away so I couldn’t hear his conversation.
When he hung up he came back and said, “You need to change. We gotta get going. The venue is in Trenton in an hour.” I nodded and took off for the bathroom.
The ride to Trenton was the most awkward ride I have ever been on in my life. We didn’t speak to each other and I could tell by the way Gerard was white-knuckling the steering wheel that he was angry. He was angry and frustrated. I could tell he wanted to say something, but he never spoke a word the entire way to Trenton.
The show was fine. I was in it about halfway. My heart was in it, but my head wasn’t. Gerard was in the sparse crowd, but the look on his face told me he was in deep thought. What have I done?
The show wasn’t very long, but I enjoyed it the best I could. I decided to continue my no talking trend while I was there. I didn’t trust my voice.
After the show, Pencey Prep, Gerard, Mikey, and I were sitting around a round table at the back of the club; watching the other bands and drinking. Well I wasn’t drinking, but everyone else was. I sat against the wall in my own head. Gerard kept watching me and when the guys were really into a certain band, Gerard got up and walked outside. I decided this was my opportunity to try to talk to him, maybe. Let him know I was ok now. I’m not really ok, but I just needed him to think I was. I was growing angrier since the ride there. Why was he acting like an asshole? I decided I didn’t want to talk to him then, I just wanted to get away from everyone.
I reached the door and burst out into the rain-drenched late night air. It was coming down in sheets now, and I was instantly soaked. Choking on rainwater and tears that I didn’t know were coming down my cheeks, I darted past Pencey Prep’s familiar-looking blue van, rain sheeting off its roof into the gutter, and was about to race across the street against the light when a hand caught my arm and spun me around. It was Gerard. He was as soaked as I was, the rain sticking his dark hair to his head and plastering his shirt to his body like black paint.
“Tristan, didn’t you hear me calling you?”
“Let go of me.” My voice shook.
“No. Not until you talk to me.” He looked around, up and down the street, which was deserted, the rain exploding off the black pavement like fast-blooming flowers.
“Come on.” Still holding me by the arm, he half-dragged me around the van and into a narrow alley that bordered the club. High windows above us let through the blurred sound of the music that was still being played inside. The alley was brick-walled, clearly a dumping ground for old bits of no longer usable musical equipment. Broken amps and old mikes littered the ground, along with shattered beer glasses and cigarette butts.
I jerked my arm out of Gerard’s grasp and turned to face him. “If you’re planning to try to talk to me, don’t bother.” I pushed my wet, heavy hair back from my face. “I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You should talk about it, Trist. You tried to kill yourself,” he said, rainwater running off his eyelashes and down his cheeks like tears. “You tried to leave me here alone.”
“It had nothing to do with you,” I lied, “I don’t have to explain my actions to you.” What right did he have to be hurt?
“I didn’t say you did, but,” he said slowly, “there was a reason you decided to kill yourself in my room. You wanted me to find you. Me, Tristan, no one else.”
All of my rage rose to the surface, a hot, unstoppable tide. “How many times do I have to say it? It had NOTHING to do with you,” I shouted. “Even if it did, you wouldn’t give a shit, since my name is not KAT!” I took a step back, blindly, and nearly tripped over an abandoned speaker. My bag slid to the ground as I put my hand out to right myself, but Gerard was already there. He moved forward to catch me, and kept moving, until my back hit the alley wall, and his arms were around me, and he was kissing me frantically. I knew I ought to push him away; my mind told me it was the sensible thing to do, but no other part of me cared about what was sensible. Not when Gerard was kissing me and kissing me like he thought he might go to hell for doing it, but it would be worth it.
I dug my fingers into his shoulders, into the damp fabric of his T-shirt, feeling the resistance of the muscles underneath, and kissed him back with all the desperation of the past few months, all the not knowing if he felt the same way about me.
I gasped as he drew away from me; only far enough to reach his hands down and put them around my waist. He lifted me up so I stood on top of a broken speaker, making us almost the same height. Then he put his hands on either side of my head and leaned forward, so our bodies almost touched—but not quite. It was nerve-wracking.
I could feel the feverish heat that came off him; my hands were still on his shoulders, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted him wrapped around me, holding me tight.
“W-why,” I breathed, “are you kissing me?”
He ducked his head down to look into my face. His eyes, surrounding by lashes darkened with rainwater, were impossibly black. “Because I want you. I care for you.”
I couldn’t stand it anymore. I took my hands off his shoulders, hooked my fingers through his belt loops, and pulled him against me. He let me do it with no resistance, his hands flattening against the wall, folding his body against me until we were pressed together everywhere—chests, hips, legs—like puzzle pieces.
His hands slid down to my waist and he kissed me, long and lingering, making me shudder. I pulled away.
“Y-you want me?”
“I can’t lose you, I have to show you how I feel,” he said, “I don’t care. I’m sick of trying to pretend I can live without you. Don’t you understand that? Can’t you see its killing me? Can’t you see that what you did to yourself has hurt me because I care for you?”
I stared at him. I could see he meant what he said, could see it in the eyes I knew as well as my own, in the bruised shadows under those eyes, the pulse pounding in his throat. My desire for answers battled the more primal part of my brain, and lost.
“Kiss me then,” I whispered, and he pressed his mouth against mine, our hearts slamming together through the thin layers of wet fabric that divided us. And I was drowning in it, in the sensation of him kissing me; of rain everywhere, running off my eyelashes; of letting his hands slide freely over the wet, crumpled fabric of my shirt and jeans, made thin and clinging by the rain. It was almost like having his hands on my bare skin, my chest, my hips, and my stomach; when he reached the hem of my shirt and down to my jeans, he gripped my legs, pressing me harder back against the wall while I wrapped them around his waist. He made a noise of surprise, low in his throat, and dug his fingers into the fabric of my jeans.
Not to be outdone, I slid my hands under the hem of his soaked shirt, and let my fingers explore what was underneath: the tight, hot skin over his ribs, the ridges of his abdomen, his smooth back, the angle of his hipbones above the waistband of his jeans. This was uncharted territory for me, but it seemed to be driving him crazy: he was moaning softly against my mouth, kissing me harder and harder, as if it would never be enough, not quite enough—
And a horrific clanging noise exploded in my ears, shattering me out of my dream of kissing and rain. With a gasp I pushed Gerard away, hard enough that he let go of me and I tumbled off the speaker to land unsteadily on my feet, hastily straightening my shirt.
My heart was slamming against my rib cage like a battering ram, and I felt dizzy.
“Dammit.” Mikey, standing in the mouth of the alley, his hair plastered to his head, kicked a trash can out of his way and glowered. “Oh, are you two-,” he asked. “I’m sorry I didn’t know. I’ll give you some privacy.”
I looked at Gerard. He was drenched; water running off him in sheets, his dark hair, plastered to his head, nearly black in the faint glow of the distant streetlights.
Just looking at him made me want to touch him again, Mikey or no Mikey, with a longing that was nearly painful.
He was staring at Mikey with the look of someone who had been slapped out of a dream—bewilderment, anger, dawning realization.
“I was just looking for you guys,” Mikey said defensively, seeing Gerard’s expression. “We were about to take off.”
The music had stopped, I realized, at some point; I hadn’t noticed when. “Anyway we should get going, but I’ll wait with the guys if you guys want to….” Mikey gave Gerard a look that a brother would give in this situation. “Go back to what you were doing. What’s the point in wasting a perfectly good brick wall when you have someone to throw against it?” Mikey then stalked off, back toward the club.
I looked at Gerard. At any other time we would have laughed together at Mikey’s timing, but there was no humor in his expression, and I knew immediately that whatever we had had between us—whatever had blossomed out of his momentary lack of control—it was gone now.
I could taste blood in my mouth and wasn’t sure if I had bitten my own lip or he had.
“Gerard—” I took a step toward him.
“Don’t,” he said, his voice very rough. “I can’t.” And with that we walked silently back to the Subaru and went back to the Way house.
The ride was silent, just like before. Mikey rode with us this time, and even he had nothing to say, which wasn’t like him. I think he could feel the tension in the car. I could feel it and it was killing me. Would he ever touch me again?