“Where’s Mikey?” I sat down on the couch next to Gerard. His parents had cleaned up after dinner and had went to be about fifteen minutes ago. Mikey, hadn’t come down for dinner. In fact, I hadn’t seen him at all that past two days. It was starting to worry me.
Gerard sighed, “He locked himself up in his room. He only comes out to get food when everyone is asleep.” He shook his head. “I’m really worried about him.”
This was because of me. Mikey didn’t deserve any of this. He deserved to be happy. “Do you think I should talk to him?”
He shook his head, “I don’t know. He seemed really upset after you broke up with him. I would give it a few more days.”
I just nodded, but deep down I knew it was the wrong thing. I knew I needed to go talk to him, right now. He needed to know that I still cared about him, just not in the same way. He was always my best friend before he was my boyfriend.
We fell into silence. Gerard was staring at the television screen watching some old black and white movie. I tried to focus on the movie, but my thoughts kept drifting back to Mikey, locked in his bedroom. Because of me.
“Frank are you okay?” Gerard turned off the television. The movie must have ended. “You haven’t said anything in awhile.”
I smiled, looking into his eyes. Looking at Gerard made me forget about Mikey and all my problems. I was genuinely happy when I was with him. “I’m fine.”
He returned my smile before pulling me closer to him. I buried my face in the crook of his neck, savoring his scent. It felt like Gerard and I were the only two people left on earth, and nothing was going to break us apart.
He kissed the top of my head gently. “I love you.”
I nodded into his neck, not wanting to say anything. He already knew exactly how I felt. We sat like that for hours. Just the two of us, wrapped in each other.
I looked up at Gerard. He was in a struggle to keep his eyes open, and I knew he must be incredibly tired. Without hesitation, I stretched toward him and placed my lips against his, gently.
Gerard did nothing. Taken aback, I pulled away from him and looked into his eyes. There were a million emotions written on his face, but I couldn’t pick any of them out. He sighed, “I can’t keep doing this... I feel like I’m cheating on you.”
I just looked at him, extremely confused. Cheating on me? What was he talking about?
“I still haven’t broken up with Bert. I will, I just... haven’t yet.” He sounded ashamed.
I sighed. I should have known. Bert was awful, truly awful. Gerard was scared of him, and I didn’t blame him. It would take everything Gerard had to break up with Bert once and for all, but once he did it, I knew he would feel better. Then it would just be the two of us. “I know it’s tough, but you can do this. He won’t do anything to hurt you, I know it.”
He shook his head, pushing away from me. “You make it sound like all I have to do is go up to him and say it’s over. Nothing is that easy with Bert.” He stood up and faced the TV. “He said that he would kill me, Frank.” He turned around, worry stealing the beauty from his features. “I believe him.”
I stood up and wrapped my arms around his waist. I knew just how hard it was to stand up to someone like Bert, but I believed in Gerard. He was stronger than he realized. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but you have to get away from him. It’s for the best.” His eyes were laced with tears. I knew this was hard for him, but he had to trust me when I say he’ll be better off once he leaves Bert. “Just remember that I love you.”
He yawned, “I love you too.” We stood like that, wrapped up in each other, for a little while. All of sudden he broke the silence, “I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. I’m going to bed.”
I nodded, kissing him. “I’ll meet you upstairs.”
He kissed my cheek before disappearing up the stairs. I just stood there thinking about how weird everything was. Before, every time I spent the night here, I stayed with Mikey. Now I was staying with Gerard. I was about to head up the stairs when I heard someone step into the living room. I turned around, expecting Gerard.
“Frank?” It was Mikey. He looked terrible. He had always been thin, but now he looked even worse. I wondered if he had been eating at all. He had bags under his eyes, which meant he hadn’t been sleeping, and his hair was a mess. He looked truly miserable. I couldn’t believe I had done this to him.
“Mikey...” I stepped closer to him, but he backed away from me. Almost like he was scared I would hurt him. Or scared he would hurt me.
He shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans, “What are you doing here?” He sounded defensive. Mikey had never talked to me like this before, and I was almost hurt. I knew I deserved it though. I had done this to him. I was the reason he was miserable.
“I’m staying with Gerard.” I searched his face for anything, and was surprised at what I saw. He was angry.
His hands were clenched into fists in his pockets, and I suddenly felt very vulnerable. “Did you ever love me at all? Or were you always more interested in my brother?” He shook his head, “Is this some kind of game to you!”
I held my hands up in front of me, “Mikey, I always loved you. I never had feelings for Gerard until recently, you have to believe me.”
He laughed, “I can’t believe I actually believe that you cared about me. I probably deserved this because of how stupid I am.”
“Mikey, you’re not stupid! I did love you, I loved you more than I realized, but I’ve changed. You changed.” I sighed, this was not how I imagined talking to Mikey. “Mikey, please.” Once again I stepped closer to him. This time he didn’t back away. In fact, he actually stepped closer too. Now we were only a few inches apart. I could reach out and touch him, and I almost did, but I knew I shouldn’t. “Just because I don’t love you doesn’t mean I don’t care about you anymore. You were my best friend way before we ever dated. I just want my best friend back.”
He shook his head, looking down at the ground. “Even if you are telling the truth, I still can’t be your friend. I loved you way too much for us to ever be just friends again.”
I knew he was right, but the words still hurt. All I wanted was to still be friends. I should have known this would happen. “I’m sorry for hurting you, Mikey. Really.”
He didn’t say anything. Instead he just pushed past me and headed into the kitchen, probably to get something to eat. As soon as he was gone, I felt my heart explode into a million pieces. Not only could we never be friends again, but he believed the whole relationship had been fake. I deserved all of this. After what I did to Mikey, I never deserved to be happy again.