"You slept with Brittany?"
It was another one of those rainy days, but then again it seemed to be raining almost all the time nowadays. The clouds were thick and dark grey not letting through a single ray of sunshine. I loved the rain, but sometimes it just became too much and it made me gloomy. There was nobody outside, everyone hiding out in their houses out of the wet which was understandable since it wasn't just wet, but cold as well.
I was seated in the passenger's seat while Gerard was driving back home. We stopped recording early today for a change and it was only a little after five. We usually only finished after at least seven in the evenings, but today the producer said we could leave early. I for one was relieved, because it's been a long week.
Brittany and I made peace after Mikey's little party and she's been keeping me very busy since. However, we've learned to be more discreet since Gerard's questioning. Obviously we weren't going to meet up at my house either since we did not need to peak my mother's suspicions either. Instead I would borrow my mom's car and we'd go to the little recording studio since it was normally abandoned after hours. If not, we had several other 'rendezvous' spots.
The drive home seemed to take extra long today. I stared out the window at the passing houses and finally noticed the familiar houses off our street. A particular house came into view and could see it clearly since the rain had cleared up for a moment. Two people were standing on the front porch. It was a blonde girl wrapped up in the arms of a tall, dark-haired boy.
My eyes grew wide and my jaw dropped at the sight that met my eyes and then I frowned deeply. This was certainly unexpected. Gerard sighed deeply from next to me and I tore my eyes from the couple making out to look at him.
"I wish she could learn to keep her private life private."
I turned back to stare at the pair and saw the guy making his way down the steps towards a silver, clearly convertible, car parked in the street in front of the house. The girl looked at us in horror and turned to go inside the house. I subconsciously crossed my arms over my chest and faced the front again.
"You okay?" Gerard wanted to know.
"Yeah, who was that guy anyway?"
"Brittany's boyfriend. The guy's a total douche bag, at least I think so. Mikey doesn't have a problem with him, but he and I just can't seem to see eye to eye. Maybe I'm just overprotective."
I could feel my blood boiling, but I stayed quiet. There was no need to give Gerard any idea of what was really going on inside my mind right now. If I opened my mouth to respond I was sure to spit fire and that would just end badly considering my current position.
Gerard finally parked the car in their driveway and got out.
"Are you coming in?" he asked.
"No, yes..." I stopped my blabbering mouth and thought it over.
If I accepted his invitation and accidently bumped into Brittany which was more than likely I would probably not be able to contain my anger, but then again I wasn't stupid and it has been a while since Gerard and I hung out.
"Sure," I nodded, following him up the garden path and up the porch steps where mere seconds ago Brittany stood, making out with her /boyfriend/.
My fists clenched tightly at my sides as Ithought of this, but I breathed in deeply before following my best friend into the house. The house was surprisingly quiet and I relaxed. Maybe I wouldn't have to face the blonde... I wouldn't have to face Brittany.
"Can I get you something to drink? We have beer," Gerard offered, pulling one of the alcoholic beverages from the fridge and handing it to me. "Excuse me a sec, I'll be right back," he said, leaving the room.
I sighed deeply, opening the beer bottle and taking a large swig. Beer was probably not going to be strong enough right now, but hopefully it would help me calm down just a little.
She didn't do anything wrong. We're not in a relationship. She could do whatever the hell she wanted. I took another gulp of the bitter liquid and slammed the bottle down on the kitchen counter. Alcohol was not going to be the answer to my problems right now. The only thing I could do was talk to her and hear her side of the story though I doubt that there was any way she could explain making out with some other guy, especially when he was her boyfriend.
With that thought in mind, I marched towards her room. I noticed the bathroom door being closed and assumed that that was where Gerard was. I continued in the direction of Brittany's room and knocked on her door.
"Come in!" she called from inside and Ididn't hesitate to walk in and shut the door behind me.
She looked up and jumped the second she saw me.
"Frank? I thought it was Gerard... Uh, what are you doing here? I assumed that you would've gone home," she rambled.
"Assumed or hoped?" I asked sarcastically.
"Because I didn't. Honestly, I was kind of hoping not to have to talk to you right now, but then I just couldn't help myself. I needed to hear the truth from you, though whether or not I'll believe anything coming from your mouth is a whole different problem."
It took everything I had to keep my cool. Iwas trying to keep my breathing slow and even. My fists were clenched tightly at my sides and that's where they stayed.
"Frank, I... I can explain."
No 'I'm sorry'. Nothing other than the promise of more lies. Her eyes were wide as she spoke. Clearly she knew exactly what I was talking about. She knew that I saw her with that other guy...her boyfriend. The word seemed to ring in my mind.
"You have a boyfriend????" I finally exploded.
She jumped again at my outburst and looked at me guiltily.
"Gerard told you?" she guessed.
"Not that he had to. I saw you with that other guy's tongue down your throat! Gerard simply clarified by informing me that said guy was actually your boyfriend!"
"Frank," she started, climbing off her bed and coming to stand in front of me. "Calm down and listen to me. Tray /is/my boyfriend, but it's just a cover..."
"A cover?" I snorted in disbelief. "Yeah, he had your entire face covered from what I could tell."
"You said it yourself, Gerard was getting suspicious so I thought that a boyfriend would keep him from finding out the truth," she carried on. "That's all there is to it."
"How long have you been together?" I asked as calmly as possible.
At this her face turned slightly paler and I knew that everything she'd told me so far had been a complete lie.
"Tell me!" I growled. "The truth."
Well, I guess that explained everything. Ijust spent the last six weeks sleeping with someone who was already in arelationship. My life definitely could not go to shit any more.
"I thought it would be suspicious if Isuddenly broke up with him..."
"Stop lying! You're always lying!" I shouted upset. "You are such a fucking hypocrite! Barely a week ago you/were pissed off at me for catching a ride home with a /friend when all this time you've had a fucking /boyfriend/!" I continued, shaking my head in disbelief. "You know what, I don't even care," I said without any emotion, because at this point I was just so completely over it.
Yeah, maybe I did give a crap about the beautiful blonde teen standing in front of me, but after this whole incident Iwas simply over it. I was over her games and all her childish actions. I didn't have anyone but myself to blame, because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into the second we started this. Honestly, I couldn't even say that Iwas surprised at how things turned out.
"Frank, come on. Don't be like that," she said, smiling sweetly at me as her fingers curled around my upper arm. "It's you I want not Tray."
"No, Brittany!" I snapped, pulling my arm from her grip. "I'm not going to be the guy you use to cheat on your boyfriend with..."
"You already are..."
"That was before I knew you had aboyfriend!" I shouted in outrage. "When you were still lying to me!"
She sat back down on her bed and looked up at me innocently. She really was unbelievable. Here I was flipping my shit over her keeping her boyfriend a secret from me and she was acting as if nothing was going on. She had absolutely no remorse. Her next line was the last of it though.
"Come on, Frank. Don't you think you're overreacting? I mean it's not like we were actually together."
"Exactly... Then you'll have no problem when I walk away," I said flatly, turning my back on her and heading for the door.
"Frank!" I heard her feeble outcry as Islammed the door shut behind me, storming off.
I only came as far as the living room when Gerard stopped me.
"I think you and I need to talk," he said seriously.
During my conversation with Brittany, Icompletely forgot that Gerard was still in the house and he probably heard every word of our argument, because I pretty much went ballistic without intending to.
"What is it?" I asked a little shortly, but warily, because I wasn't in the mood for whatever he had on his heart right now and I was worried about what he wanted to talk to me about.
From the sound of it, it was important. Ialways put his interests before mine and I would gladly do the same now. I was really not in a very good place right now, but maybe whatever was bothering him would take my mind off of what just happened if it didn't have something to do with what happened right now anyways.
"It's about you and Brittany," he told me and my heart sank.
I gulped, "What about us?"
"This whole thing between the two of you has to come to a conclusion, because this is just ridiculous. You both are being ridiculous!" he stated excitedly.
I was confused. His reaction was not what Iexpected. Yes, he was upset, but not in the way I thought he would be.
He must've read the confusion on my face, because he continued. "You'd think that if you guys became a couple you would argue less, which actually have," he said absentmindedly before he got back to what he was saying. "But it seems to me that your arguments have gotten a lot worse. Before it was just childish bickering, but the things I've heard lately have been bad."
"You know," I choked out in shock, feeling all the color drain from my face.
Gerard knew and he wasn't going ape shit on my ass. We were cool. At least I wasn't about to lose my best friend as well. Ifelt myself relax even though just a little, because there was still apossibility that the worst was not over yet.
"Of course I know," he said matter-of-factly. "I'm not stupid. You're my best friend and she's my sister. Iknow both of you like the back of my hand. You honestly thought I wouldn't figure it out?" he asked a little insulted.
"I... How long have you known?"
"A while," he shrugged. "Remember that day that Mikey was certain that you had a thing for Kasey?"
"You already knew," I realized.
"I knew you had some girl on your mind, but I didn't know it was Brittany," he admitted. "I got my first suspicion when Isaw you two dancing in the club that night though. If you two really hated each other you wouldn't have been dancing the way you did."
"You saw that?" I asked a little horrified.
"I did," he nodded still calmly. "And then we watched movies here that one night and Brittany was hiding behind /you/. Naturally that perked my suspicions even more and besides all of that you were getting along quite nicely all of a sudden. To top it all off, my mom caught the two of you having a little too much fun the other day," he finished with asmall smile. "But I'm guessing that you didn't know about Tray and that's why you were arguing just now?"
I nodded sullenly.
"I'm sorry man. I love my sister, but she can be a real bitch," he stated, patting me on the shoulder. "Come on," he nodded in the direction of the kitchen. "I think you need that beer right about now."
I managed a small smile and nodded, "I really do."
"I can't get why you didn't tell me though," he said over his shoulder as we walked to the kitchen.
"Where do you even begin to tell your best friend that you're sleeping with his little sister?"
"I was afraid you'd hate me forever once you found out," I finished and stopped walking when I realized he wasn't walking anymore and that he was staring at me furiously. "What's wrong?" I asked confused.
"You slept with Brittany?"
All the puzzle pieces seemed to fit together now. That was why he was so cool about the whole thing. He thought that Brittany and I liked each other and that we were having a secret relationship. He had no idea that we've been sleeping together and why would he? It's not like we were advertising that little fact. Then I had to go and open my big mouth and blurt out /everything/. Gerard did not look happy.
"You've been lying to my face this entire time?" he demanded angrily. "Every single time I asked you and you said nothing, this is what you've been hiding?" he shouted furiously. "It wasn't the fact that you and Brittany had a thing going on, but the fact that you were sleeping together???"
The next thing I knew, his fist was flying at me, catching my on the mouth. I could feel the skin splitting and taste the bitterness as blood ran into my mouth.
"Fuck!" I exclaimed, grabbing my mouth.
"I fucking trusted you!" Gerard spat not even caring. "I trusted you! You're supposed to be my best friend and the last time I checked, best friends don't go around screwing your little sister behind your back!"
"I'm sorry, I..."
"Fucked my sister in secret and thought that I would never find out? You're a fucking coward, Frank!"
"Gerard, stop it!"
Both of us turned our heads at the sound of Brittany's voice. Her eyes met mine and she saw my busted lip. I could see her frown deepen.
"Have you lost your mind?" she asked her brother. "You can't punch someone with a lip piercing on the mouth. What if it tore out?" she demanded furiously.
Gerard looked almost sorry for punching me, but then he obviously remembered why he was pissed off at me and anger clouded his features once more.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he responded, pulling back his fist and this time his knuckles connected with my cheek right below my left eye and I winced. "I'll remember the next time I see him again."
"Gerard, I swear if you hit him one more time I will kick your ass!" his sister threatened, hurrying over to my side to inspect the damage. "This isn't Frank's fault. It just happened."
"Oh, so he had no control over his actions?"Gerard said unconvinced. "Of course, I forgot that he's still a child who has no control over his fucking hormones."
Brittany and I looked up at him guiltily. We knew that this was going to be his reaction and that's exactly why we decided to keep it a secret. Unfortunately, secrets always had a way of coming out and now we were paying the price.
"You both should've known better," he continued in the same irate tone of voice. "I expected better from both of you. Brittany, you're still a fucking kid..."
She opened her mouth to protest, but Gerard carried on without even blinking or stopping to catch a breath. "The fact that you were sleeping with Frank while you had a boyfriend proves that. And Frank..." he stopped talking and shook his head in disappointment."Whatever," he muttered, stomping away.
A deafening silence fell over us and Brittany and I both just stared after him in shock. After several minutes, Brittany came back into motion and grabbed my face in her hands, looking deep into my eyes.
"Frank, are you okay? Shit, you're bleeding,"she murmured, gently running her thumb over my busted lip.
My brain functions kicked in and I took ahold of her hands, removing them from my face. I didn't say anything as Iturned and headed for the front door. Her suddenly fussing over me didn't change what she did. She still had a boyfriend and lied about it. I couldn't even blame Gerard for the way he reacted. He had every right to punch me and if he never talked to me again I would understand that too. I deserved it.
"Frank!" Brittany's voice pulled me from my thoughts. "I'm sorry, okay? I'll break up with Tray tomorrow and then we can go back to the way things were."
"Don't bother," I said dismissively, stepping out of the house and into the pouring rain.
I didn't even take note of the ice cold droplets hitting my skin and drenching my shirt. All I could think about was Gerard's angry and disappointed face. I didn't mean to hurt him. He was my best friend. /Was. /He wasn't anymore, because I don't know if he'll ever forgive me. What did I expect was going to happen? Of course he was going to go ballistic when he found out that I've been having sex with his eighteen year old sister. I would've reacted the exact same way if I were in his position. I knew one thing though, Gerard would forgive me eventually. He wasn't an unreasonable person and he was my brother. There was no telling how long it would take, but he would come around.
On the other hand there was still this thing with Brittany. However, I shouldn't even be bothered over it anymore, because it was over. There was nothing between me and the blonde girl anymore. Now I could relax. All secrets were out. Now we could go back to hating each other and fighting all the time. Yeah, that was all there was left to it.
I climbed the steps up the porch, but sat down when I reached the top one, just staring at the sheets of rain coming down. I was already soaked and it didn't matter if I stayed outside for a few more minutes. The rain was almost refreshing and I took a deep breath.
"Frank? Honey, come inside."
I turned around to see my mom standing in the doorway. She must've seen the defeated look on my face, because she grabbed her umbrella and hurried outside, bending down next to me.
"What happened? Are you okay?"
I gave one look at her worried face and nodded, "I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm just enjoying the rain."
"Can you please enjoy it from inside the house? You're going to get sick if you stay out here," she told me caringly, straightening up and offering me a hand.
"Thanks, Mom," I murmured, getting to my feet and giving her hand a squeeze to ensure her that I was okay.
We stepped into the warmth of the house and I looked around feeling a little out of place.
"Hey, Mom is it okay if I borrow your car?There's someone I need to go see."
She gave her consent and I grabbed her car keys from the small table standing by the front door. I didn't even bother changing into dry clothes, because the rain wasn't going to stop anytime soon and I was just going to get wet again.
The drive to my destination was short and Isoon found myself standing in front of the apartment door of the only person Iknew to talk to right now. My fist came up and knocked on the white wood.
"Frank? What the hell happened to you?" Amy asked worriedly, standing aside to let me enter.
"It's a long story," I sighed, walking past her.
"Hold on a second," she told me, closing the door and leaving the room.
I looked around at the open plan apartment. It was nice and tidy, exactly what I would've pictured Amy's place to look like. The living room area was spacious, had a thick white carpet and led straight to the bedroom where a large queen sized bed stood covered with silver bedding. I assumed that the doors to the sides of the room led to the kitchen and bathroom respectively and whichever other room she also had.
Movement caught my attention and I turned to see Amy approaching me with a towel in her hands.
"Here, dry yourself off," she said, handing me the soft blue towel. "Come here," she requested, walking over to her bed where she forced me to sit down before disappearing into the bathroom again only to return with a first aid kit. "Let's get you cleaned up."
I was still using the towel she gave me to dry off the most of the water though I was sure her bed was already wet after Isat down on it with my soaking body.
"Okay," she breathed, sitting down next to me and turning my head so I would face her. "Talk to me. What happened?"
She pressed a wad of cotton to the bruised skin under my eye and I blinked.
"Sorry that I'm bothering you. I just needed to talk to someone outside of the band," I apologized.
"Why, Frank I feel insulted. I kind of hoped that you considered me as connected to the band by now," she joked quietly in an attempt to lighten my mood.
"I do, but something happened between Gerard and I and it didn't feel right talking to one of the guys about it."
"What happened?" she reiterated.
I sighed deeply, "I screwed up, literally and metaphorically speaking."
"Ah, what did you do, sleep with Gerard's girlfriend?"
"His sister actually," I corrected her and she stopped tending to my face to stare at me in shock. "Yeah," I nodded. "Big mistake on my part and very stupid for that matter."
"Wow," she muttered, dabbing the white cotton ball with more antiseptic before pressing it to my busted lip. "I'm guessing Gerard's the one who's responsible for your injuries."
"He didn't really take the news too well,"I affirmed. "The thing is I never planned for any of this to happen. You met Brittany the other day. She and I used to hate each other when we were kids and even when I returned from New York and joined the band, but then one day something happened and we ended up in bed together. Don't even ask me why, because I don't even know the answer to that myself," I admitted embarrassed. "And after that we just kept at it. Things got more complicated when people close to us became more and more suspicious. However, things were even more complicated than I thought, because I just found out that Brittany has had a boyfriend this entire time."
Amy gaped at me, her hands freezing above the small white box where she was busy putting away the leftover cotton balls and antiseptic.
"You're kidding me, right?"
I shook my head, "Nope. They were a bit tongue-tied when I saw them together for the first time this afternoon."
"Damn, that sucks," she said, returning the first aid kit to its place in the bathroom. "What did she say?"
"She tried to explain, but she's lied to me so much that I don't believe anything she says and besides, I knew this was never really going to work. This whole boyfriend thing might actually be a good thing. I don't see how else we would've stopped what we were doing."
We were quiet for a while, both busy with our own thoughts.
"I can't believe I was so stupid," I muttered, shaking my head again. "The worst part is that I was falling for her. I never thought that I would admit it, but I cared about her. Maybe that's why it hurt so much when I saw her in that guy's arms today."
"Oh, Frank," she said quietly. "You cared about her and she hurt you."
"Whatever right? I should concentrate on getting Gerard's forgiveness. I cannot get kicked out of this band. I'll have nothing left. I can't lose my best friend. It just sucks to know that I deserve this. I know he'll forgive me with time, but until then I'm going to be stuck in a small room with him until we finish recording and I'll have to face him day after day knowing that it's all my fault that we're not on great terms at the moment. I mean, he fucking punched me! This isn't going to be easy. Of all the shit I've done in my life..."
"You have to stop beating yourself up, okay? Shit happens and in this case it happened to you. All you can do now is make the best of a bad situation."
I nodded, managing a smile, "You're absolutely right. I'm not this wimpy guy."
"No you're not," the blonde agreed. "At least now I know why Brittany doesn't like me. She's jealous."
"She was even after I told her that she didn't have any reason to be."
Amy looked down at her hands entwined on her lap, a slight blush on her cheeks.
"Did she?" I asked curiously, wondering if maybe I missed something.
Amy was beautiful. I realized that the first time I laid my eyes on her. She was smart and we had good times together. We had pure, uncomplicated fun. She also happened to be the first person I went to when I needed someone to talk to after what happened. Maybe I liked her all this time, but I just never noticed.
"She does," I realized and Amy looked up at me in surprise.
I don't know who moved or what happened next, but the next thing I knew our lips were connected and moving together. Her fingers became entangled in my dark hair. One of my hands supported my weight while the other found its way to her side.
"Wait, Frank stop," she said, kissing my lips once, twice and then pulling away. "I'm not going to be your rebound," she said breathlessly.
I nodded, breathing in deeply and sitting back.
"Yeah, I need to slow down. My last 'relationship'started too fast and ended in ruins. If we're going to do this, let's do it right."
"Yes," she nodded in agreement. "How about some coffee?"
"Coffee is good."