That was until Gerard startled him by exclaiming "There's the gopher!" and pointed to a stuffed gopher on the mantle.
When he arrived at the center, the truck was already parked outside with a worker beside the open back door. No sign of Gerard. He had almost felt disappointed, but smiled when he heard his voice say "I thought you weren't going to come!" as he jumped out the back of the truck excitedly with a smile.
"No I just, I just had some stuff on my mind and I walked slow" he replied, furrowing his eyebrows. Had he really just said that? "I'm definitely going to help this time"
His smile widened. "Cool! That means I get to show you the gopher in the office!" he rubbed his hands together. "You'll love it!" Frank smiled amusedly and watched as he looked over his shoulder at the truck. "I think there's a butterfly thing in there" he said with a nod. "I hope there is, that'd be cool to look at" he turned back to Frank. "Wanna get started?"
Frank nodded. "Sure. You look like you're going to explode with excitement and, well, I'd rather you didn't" he said quietly.
Gerard laughed. "You're right. I am. I'll probably explode anyway, but let's do this" he said with a small wave of his hand. "D'you wanna get that small box?"
Frank helped Gerard and two other workers carry in boxes and parcels. He had even helped a guy, Jeremy, carry in a large box. They both almost suffocated in laughter when they got stuck in the door way. The both of them giggled about it every time they made eye contact. Then they'd both get a confused look and an amused smile from Gerard, even though he didn't understand. It just made it all more funny.
"These ones over here have to go in my office" he said with a nod as he drew a circle in the air with his finger around a large box and a few parcels. "You wanna grab that side?" Frank, who had been looking around the truck, snapped his head back to Gerard and nodded, moving around to the side he had been pointed to. "1, 2, 3... lift!" Gerard almost yelled. They lifted the box up easily. "You going backwards or am I?"
Frank looked over his shoulder at the ramp on the truck and said "I think I'll die if I go backwards down that" before he looked back at Gerard. "Backwards walking isn't really safe for the uncoordinated"
Gerard nodded. "It'll be easy peasy" he said with a smile as he turned them around. "If I fall, go on without me!" he said dramatically as he started stepping backwards, Frank making sure not to push the box into him too quickly. He didn't want to be the cause of his death. Or serious injury.
"Hey Gerard? Want us to get the rest of the parcels? They're small enough to all fit in the trolley!" Jeremey called out as we neared the door. I slowed as Gerard attempted to flip his hair from his face.
Squinting one of his eyes from the bright sun rays, he looked over at the truck and nodded. "Yeah! Saves me going back!" he called back. "And it means I can show you the cool things in my office" he grinned.
Frank smiled back. "Can't wait" he replied. He really couldn't wait. He was anxious and excited to see what kind of quirky and interesting things Gerard had accumulated in his office. He imagined it was going to be a never ending surprise fest. He had no idea what was coming.
As they walked down the corridor, Gerard walking backwards happily and Frank concentrating on not tripping forwards, the only noise they made was the shifting of the cardboard box and their shoes tapping and squeaking on the marble floor. It would have been awkward had Frank not been concentrating so hard.
Then Gerard sighed. "I should have made sure the door was open first" he said with a thoughtful look on his face. "How are we going to open the door?"
Frank shrugged. He had no idea. What could they do? Put the box down and have to pick it up again? Risking back injury? Have Gerard grow an extra arm? What other ways were there?
He was snapped out of his thoughts when the box was shifted in his arms. He looked up from the sticky tape holding the lid flaps shut and watched as Gerard held it up with one arm and his hip. Then open the door quickly before he dropped it, smiling triumphantly when it worked. Everything he did he seemed so happy with himself.
"We'll put the box here" he said with a small nod when they had stepped into the cluttered office. There was stacks of old paper and ornaments everywhere. You couldn't even see the wood of his desk. "Aaand we made it here safe" he said with a smile as we set the box down gently, the both of us dusting out hands off, looking at the box proudly. We had no more boxes to carry. The truck was empty. Frank continued to stare down at the box with his hands on his hips. That was until Gerard startled him by exclaiming "There's the gopher!" and pointed to a stuffed gopher on the mantle.
Frank, having looked up quickly with widened eyes, stared at the gopher that Gerard had been mentioning and started laughing. He hadn't taken him seriously all those times he had told him about it. "Oh my God" he whispered as he walked toward it, stepping around a few littler stacks of paper on the maroon carpet. "Look at it's face!"
Gerard laughed quietly from behind him. "I think it was really surprised when it died" he said amusedly as Frank poked the body gently, actually afraid it would come alive and jump at his face. "I really appreciate the help today, Frank"
Frank turned around and hopped over the papers again as he said "It's no problem" and shrugged.
"Hmm..." He watched Gerard stand behind his paper covered desk in thought, his finger and thumb gripping his chin gently. "What will I give you as a thanks..."
Frank panicked. He hadn't wanted any reward. Seeing him was a reward, he didn't need another one. "Oh, no, you don't need to give me anything. I wanted to help" he said awkwardly.
Gerard ignored him because he had a few ideas. "Do you like birds? Cause I have this really cool feather somewhere around here" he said loudly as he pulled open a drawer. Then he stopped and looked up, shaking his head. "No, a feather isn't a good reward..." he frowned and looked around the room slowly while Frank watched awkwardly. "Do you want the gopher?"
Frank shook his head. "No, no... I'm fine. Really, I don't want a reward"
"Nonsense Frank. You have to have a reward. I said so" he scratched his head. "I know! I'll give you a free tour of the center!" he exclaimed with an excited smile. "You never got to see all of it! You only saw the art and as great as the art is, there is so so much more you need to see" he nodded. "Would you like that?"
Frank stared at Gerard, his heart thumping loudly. Realizing that no matter what he said Gerard was going to give him something anyway, he nodded silently. He had wanted to take a another tour anyway.
"Cool. Yeah, we'll do that. That will be awesome" he nodded with a smile and picked up a pen and note pad and started to write. Then frowned. "Pen doesn't work" he said to himself, throwing it over his shoulder and grabbing another one. Again, he threw it over his shoulder. "I don't think I have a pen that works" he said annoyedly as he started pulling things out of a drawer messily. Then pulled out yet another pen to write in his note pad, smiling when it worked. "So... I guess keep this and when ever you want to use it show em' at the desk and if they have a problem with it tell them to take it up with me" he said as he wrote. "Or just find me first off. Either way" he grinned and shrugged as he tore the small page out.
Watching Gerard walk around the desk as he read over what he had written, Frank pushed his hair from his eyes and smiled. For working, he'd sure had a lot of fun. Gerard gently placed the piece of paper in his hoodies pocket. "Um, thanks... then" Frank said with a small, nervous smile. "I'll... I'll look forward to that"
Smiling, Gerard nodded. "So will I"
Blushing a light shade of pink, Frank rubbed his neck and said "I should probably go I have an essay to write and stuff" awkwardly. He basically always felt awkward around him.
"Yeah, okay, I'll see you whenever then" he said with a smile as he pushed his hair back. "Or, you know, if I need more history books and you're working"
Smiling almost embarrassedly, he nodded. "Yeah, I'll uh... see you around" he gave a small wave and turned to the door, making his awkward and slow exit as Gerard said a quiet, yet happy, "bye" behind him. he just waved again and started down the corridor, listening to the taps of his shoes echoing off the walls and his brain cells going mushy. Even the slightly homophobic ones had shut up and turned to mush. Maybe they weren't homophobic but just in denial.
Frank sighed and shoved his hands into his hoodies pockets, a smile stretching across his thin lips when his hand brushed against the small slip of paper. The paper Gerard had placed in there himself. The paper that was going to give him a free tour with Gerard. Still smiling at his thoughts, he stepped out into the sunny, yet slightly cold Autumn world outside and started home; content. It was almost a foreign feeling.