I wake up at noon. Me and the guys got home really late last night. Last nights gig was so crazy and fun, we just didn't want to leave the place. Our crowd was bigger and louder and the band after us rocked hard. I haven't had that much fun without alcohol in a long time.
I sit up in my bed and check my phone remembering I had texted Edith but didn't reply because I fell asleep.
/I'm really sorry but we can't meet up tonight. I have to wake up early. But we can next time/
Oh well, she couldn't hang out anyway.
Wow, it's been such a while since the last time I saw her. She's been so distant since the wedding. She rarely answers all our calls. I hope she's doing okay.
Then I realize I have a missed call from Ray. He left a voicemail:
"hey man, don't forget about tonight's meeting. Trust me, it's going to be one of the best choices we've made in life. I'm sure this will take us far. I know we've got something. Don't give up on this Gerard, life is calling."
Last night when Ray approached us and said he had good news, he really did have interesting news.
He said he was grabbing a beer when a guy in decent clothing approached him. He was an agent from a company called Eyeball Records. I've heard of that company before. They search for new-born bands in New Jersey and sign them up for their big break. Quite a few bands I've heard of made it big.
Anyway, this guy was telling Ray how great we sounded last night and he's been to some of our other shows. He thinks we can be a great band if we sign up with them. We can record a record in no time and we can have our very first concert soon. Ray--without speaking to me about it first--agreed to meet up today.
And that's when he approached us to give us this huge news. Everyone is psyched for this. I in the other hand, am very ambivalent to this. Don't know If it's a good idea. Other record labels have come by and said the same thing and we've all turned them down. What got in Ray's mind to accept this one? Oh brother, I hope he knows what he's doing.
"hey Gerard, you awake?" Vicky comes in through the door startling me.
"yeah, just woke up." I look over my shoulder. She stands by the door. She then walks in and sits next to me.
"what are you looking at?" she questions.
"just my phone. I got a call from Ray."
"oh, he's here."
"oh really? Tell him I'll be out"
"cool." I enter the restroom and shower.
"what's up man." I greet him and sit down on the couch.
"ready for later?" he asks eagerly.
"eh." I respond and get up to get a cup of coffee.
"come on dude, this is going to be great!"
"why do you say?" I stand under the door ledge drinking my hot coffee carefully. He gets up walking towards me.
"because! we'll finally have an album and soon, we'll have concerts and travel for gigs and merchandise to sell, it'll be great!"
"what is different about this company that made you agree to it?"
"well because I was thinking, I'm graduating college soon and.. I want to do soon big with my life. Get out of Jersey for once."
"hmm, makes sense but did it ever occur that, what if we don't make it big? What if our first record doesn't sell?"
"then we have nothing to lose. You can continue your dream to be a cartoonist and I'll find something new to do with my life. Maybe major in something else I dont know. Point is that I want to give myself this chance no matter what. Come on Gee, it won't hurt if you try. You never know."
"I guess. Fine, I'll try it but if we don't make it big, you better pay for my educaton."
"no promises!" he pats my shoulder. I walk in the kitchen to grab more coffee when I catch Victoria smiling to herself looking out the window.
"what are you smiling about."
"oh nothing." she sighs. I look at her oddly. She giggles and grabs her coffee mug going inside her room.
"let's see." I crack my knuckles sitting in front of my computer. I click the search engine and search for wedding rings once again.
I click on a website and a shit load of wedding stuff comes up.
"all these things are so expensive!" I comment to myself. My dog Pookie comes up behind me and I grab her and place her on my lap.
Ever sense Linda's wedding, I've been obsessed with weddings. I've been looking online and in stores for the perfect wedding ring. And now that I know My Chemical Romance might sign up to a record label excites me because maybe, just maybe, we'll have a big concert and I'll be able to propose to my lovely marshmallow.
"I'm home!" I hear Emma yell. I immediately shut down the computer and sit down on my bed petting pookie.
"hey" she says entering the room with laundry cloths.
"what are you doing?" she asks taking her coat off, "aren't you suppose to be at work?"
"no, I have my day off today. I'm just here petting pookie."
"oh cool. Have you eaten?"
"yeah. Cereal." I get up and place pookie back in her room with the other dogs.
"are you going with Ray and Gee?" she asks entering the kitchen.
"nah, I think they should just go."
"oh alright. Have you guys told Edith?"
"nope, she hasn't answered any of my calls."
"man, that sucks. I really miss her."
"me too." I lay down on the couch and Emma joins me. She lays between my legs resting her head on my chest.
"Emma?" I start.
"what's your dream wedding?" she looks at me, "why?"
"just asking. I'm going to marry you soon."
"I dont know, anything that comes from your wacky head is perfect for me." she giggles.
"perfect." I laugh evilly. She looks up again oddly and I kiss her forehead.
"you're creepy." she comments.
It's finally time to meet up with this guy. Ray and I drive over to the bar from last night where he said he was going to meet us.
"ready?" he asks as we park the car.
"ready." I reply inhaling and step out. The bar is lonely and there are only a few people scattered around. A guy sits close to the bar and calls us over.
"glad you could make it." he greets shaking our hands. We sit down across from him.
"hi I'm David. Nice to meet you. You're the frontman of My Chemical Romance right?" he says to me.
"yeah, I'm Gerard. Nice to meet you too."
"the pleasure is mine. You have a strong voice kid. Exactly what we're looking for."
"anyway, like I mentioned to Ray yesterday, I've been to some of your shows lately and I think you guys are a great band that can go far. Do you guys believe that?"
"yes, yes we do." Ray interrupts.
"awesome. So if you guys decide to sign up, I'll just have my manager look over the contract and we can start recording in no time. We can book you guys a few shows and if you guys are hits, we can have bigger concerts, merchandise to sell, record videos, all that good stuff and maybe, even talk a second album." he winks.
"what if we're not a hit. What happens then?" I ask ignoring all the things he's just said.
"well, I'm pretty sure you guys won't suck that bad. You guys are great believe me but since you're concerned, basically the same thing that happens to other bands that don't make it; die out. Or maybe, we can try to improve a second album. You know, depends what the company says."
"will you guys ever make us record anything we don't want? 'Cause I'd like to write and make my own music." David giggles and Ray nudges my elbow.
"fine, we'll give you guys the freedom to do that. You guys are creative dudes, I'm sure you won't create anything stupid."
"hmm.. I dont know."
"Gee.." Ray nudges me again.
"look Gerard, we need you. Your sound needs to be heard. You guys are great! I'm sure you could sell. I'm trying to give you guys a great opportunity. Wouldn't you like that? Wouldn't you like to do something big in your life? Get out of Jersey? I grew up here just like you and believe me it was hard to get out but I'm glad I pursued my dream to be in the music industry. Now I'm trying to help those garage bands out. Something I've always wanted to do. Come on man, this is your chance."
This guys actually makes sense. Who knows if I'll ever make it big with comic books anyway. Cartoon Network already rejected my idea of the Breakfast Monkey. Why not just give this a try?
"fine." I finally agree. David and Ray shout in joy.
"yeah! That's the spirit! You won't regret this. Now, you're with me too right Ray?"
"of course! Where do I sign?"
"perfect. So here is the contract so if you could just sign here and initial here." I take out my pen and sign as he says.
"now here, and here. You can read over this if you'd like. But it just basically states what I told you."
"yeah I'll look over it later." Ray says signing the paper.
"alright boys, it was great making business with you. I'll get back to you guys in about a week."
"we'll be expecting your call." Ray shakes his hand rather eagerly.
"perfect. You have a nice day." we exit the bar and walk opposite ways. I walk with Ray silently while Ray keeps babbling about who knows what.
"..and I'll be graduating soon. God I can't wait to tell the others. Aren't you excited?"
"huh? Oh sure.."
"come on Gee, lighten up!" he smacks my shoulder as we exit the parking lot.
"I'm excited trust me. Just distracted."
"how do you know it's about her?"
"when is it NOT about her. We should make a party to celebrate and invite her."
"yeah we should. I'll call the others right now." I dial Mikey's number and give him the news. When I do, I can hear yells on the other line from Mikey, Jade and Ms. Lynn. I tell Mikey to call the others and let them know the great news. I then dial Edith's number but again, she doesn't answer.
"damn!" I say in a low whisper hoping Ray didn't hear and put my phone away.
"what did she say?" he asks.
"she didn't answer."
"oh.. Well, call later. We can go look for her if you'd like."
"nah, it's okay. Anyway, Mikey said he's going to cook a BBQ to celebrate at Frank's house. He said we should all meet there."
"that's perfect. I'm gonna pick up Christa if you don't mind."
"not at all."
"alright." he makes a right turn towards west. I feel my phone vibrate and I check to find a message from Edith.
Hey, can't answer right now. Call back in about 2 hours. Thanks
Wow, 2hours? What in the world could she possibly be doing?
"Spot, spot, spot, come on you're doing it!" Ms. Joyet cheers as I do a la seconde turns on my left leg.
"that is very nice. It's very hard to master them. Very good, very good Edith. Now are you feeling tired?"
"a little but I'm fine." she gives me the look and walks over to me.
"Edith, I think you've been pushing yourself too hard. We've been practicing 5 hours straight. You don't want a break?"
"I already took a break."
"for five minutes! Come on, let's practice part of act 2 once more and lets call it a day, sound good?"
"fine." I smile and prepare for my cue. She plays the music and I step in following the choreography and fixed mistakes she pointed out.
"slowly bow, there." she repeats. I look at my sweaty face in the mirror and pretend I'm in front the audience. It feels great to be back in ballet.
"gently move back... Perfect." the music stops. "exit the stage."
"wow, very nice. It gets better and better each time. So next practice will be on Friday is that okay?"
"yeah totally fine."
"okay. Really good job today. And remember, don't push yourself too hard Edith. If you keep doing that, you'll hurt your ankle again."
"alright Ms. Joyet. Thank you!"
"you're welcome honey." I step out and make my way out into the parking lot. I gently step inside my car and take my shoe off. I rub my ankle gently and ice it before wrapping it around with an injury band. I hurt my ankle last week while practicing and told Ms. Joyet I was doing better now. But I'm actually not. It hurts a little when I do my turns. I dont know why though. I just thank God I didn't sprain it, or else I wouldn't be able to dance. I carefully place my shoe back on and grab my phone to return Gerard's call. I dial his number and call. It rings five times then sends me to voicemail. I give up on calling and just wait for his call. I wonder what he needed to tell me.
"did Edith ever return the call?" Ray approaches me in the kitchen. I turn to him and he stares at me as he eats his pork chop.
"I dont know let me check." I grab my phone from my pocket and find a missed call.
"dammit! She called half hour ago!"
"fuck, why don't you call back?"
"I'm pretty sure she won't answer."
"Ms. Lynn!" Ray yells.
"yes?" she comes inside the kitchen.
"do you know anything about Edith?"
"of course, she's my daughter."
"where has she been? Or, how is she? She won't answer our calls."
"she's fine. She's been busy lately though. She's been busy with her company and her job."
"she has a job?" I interrupt.
"yeah, she works with me on the weekends and Tuesday's."
"I dont know, she just said she wanted a little extra money. Have you looked for her Gerard?"
"no, but Annie says she's never home."
"hmm.." she squints, "keep trying. If you still can't get a hold of her, come talk to me okay?" she winks.
"alright. I'm going to head home because this old lady is getting tired."
"want a ride home Ms. Lynn?" I ask her.
"that's sweet of you. Sure."
"alright." I walk to the front door. Ms. Lynn goes around the house to say goodbye and then we walk downstairs to my car.
On my way back home from Ms. Lynn's house, I get the craving of coffee so I stop by Starbucks. It's 9pm and surprisingly, this Starbucks isn't as full as I thought it would be. I order the usual and take a seat near the window. When I sit, I notice a girl with a white muscle shirt exit Starbucks and instantly recognize her. I run out of Starbucks and follow her. She walks fast down the street and is about to enter a taxi cab when I call her name.
"Eddie!" I scream. She turns around startled and exits the car closing the door. I run to her and we meet up half way.
"hey! How are you? Aren't you cold? It's freezing!"
"ehh, I'm okay. It's not so cold for me."
"well you're going to get sick. Here, take my jacket." I take my favorite jacket off and place it over her shoulders.
"thanks. So what brings you around?"
"I was at Starbucks and saw you walk out. What are you doing out without a sweater?" I chuckle as we walk down the street.
"I was at Starbucks too just hanging out. It was pretty warm inside Starbucks so didn't think of a sweater at the moment."
"how long were you there?"
"about an hour."
"oh well, I called."
"I know, I called back."
"I know. I'm sorry I didn't answer but I was calling to invite you to come over to Frank's house. We were throwing a party because we signed up for a record label."
"wow, that's great Gerard." she says, barely smiling.
"yeah, we're really psyched." I smile. We stop at a corner. My car is parked right across the street but I'm not sure if she'd like a ride. She looks down at the ground then to her left and back at me. I look down at the ground too and notice her ankle.
"what happened to your ankle?"
"oh I got hurt while dancing. But it's not biggie, I'm still able to be on pointe."
"oh cool. Um, are you still in the same company with Harry?"
"ah, no. I'm back with AV ballet for a tour."
"wow, look at you being all cool. What piece are you guys doing."
"..Swan Lake.." she responds softly after a while. I raise an eyebrow, "interesting. How's that going?"
"really good. I love it. It's my favorite piece."
"nice, can I come and watch?"
"sure. That'd be cool."
"I'm pretty sure you'll look good up there."
"thank you." she looks down at the ground again.
"I have to...go" she says after a while.
"do you want a ride home? My car is just right there, I can give you a ride." I point at my car and she looks. She hesitates before answering, "sure."
"awesome." I look at her with a sweet smile and she smiles back softly. As we wait for the walking light to turn green, I brush my hand against hers and slowly grab it. She looks at me emotionless gripping her jaw but then grips my hand tight. My heart aches with joy. I smile to myself. The light turns green and we run to my car. I open the car door for her and she steps in. I run to my side of the car and drive away.
We arrive at her house in silence. We did not talk at all but just hold hands which is okay, I at least have some contact with her. She opens the door to her house slowly and Annie comes running in.
"where have you been? I've been worried!" she says not taking notice of my presence.
"I was out." she replies. She looks at me and signals me to follow her in her room.
"Edith, no please. Listen.." she stops her mid way. Edith looks into her eyes, "what is it?"
"I called you.." Annie starts to tear up, "I was worried. You said you would be back by 6."
"it's just 10."
"exactly! I just.. Thought something happened. I was watching the news and there was a kidnapper reported." her bottom lip quivers.
"I'm fine okay? I was with Gerard." Annie looks at me and smiles.
"yeah she was. Don't worry, she's safe now."
"thank you." she comes by my side and hugs me.
"thank you Gerard." Edith looks at us blankly and then steps in her room.
"wait.." Annie says again. Edith turns around facing Annie and I. Annie looks at Edith from head to toe, "another injury?" Edith roles her eyes and groans.
"Edith, I thought you promised-"
"I'm not pushing myself okay!" she yells.
"yes you are! This is your third injury! Edith, I didn't want to say this but you look awful. Your hair has lost its shine, you have bag under your eyes and you look pale. And not to mention, you look skinnier. Have you been eating properly?" I look at Edith and back at a teary Annie. Edith looks at me and back at Annie with watery eyes.
"just leave me alone!" she yells and pushes us both out. Annie and I stand in the hallway awkwardly till I speak, "what's going on?"
"come." she grabs my hand and takes me in the restroom.
"you see that?" she points in the trash can, "that's Edith's vomit." she walks out of the restroom and into the kitchen opening the fridge, "you see that? She bought that last week." it's a plate full of Chinese.
"you see Gerard? I think she's pushing herself too hard! She's always at work and dancing ballet. She's never home and when she is she's always sleeping and never comes out of her room. I cook food for her and take it to her room. She comes back out and leaves the empty plates. Making me think she ate her food but the other day, I was taking out the trash and saw the spaghetti I made her. She's not eating Gerard! And it worries me!" she whimpers. I take her in a hug and cry silently myself. My poor Edith is slowly killing herself..
"you have to talk to her Gerard. It's really starting to worry me. She won't even talk to me Gerard.."
"okay.. I will. Don't worry, she's going to get better okay?" she nods and hugs me tight again.
After 5 minutes of trying to calm Annie down, I walk into Edith's room. Her lights are off. I walk to her bed and turn the night light on. She's not in her bed..
I inspect her room. I find everything scattered around. Pills, shoes, cloths, everything. I then come across something I haven't seem in so long. A teddy bear I gave her. It sits on her night stand next to a photo of her mother and Jade. I pick the teddy bear up and hug it carefully as it is many years old. I then hear noises in her balcony and see smoke. I walk to the balcony and find her there smoking.
"Eddie.." I say softly. She looks at me slowly, deadly and puffs out smoke. I take the cigarette from her hand and throw it out.
"don't do this to yourself.." I grab her hand and lift her so we're both standing. I take her in a hug which she doesn't accept. She keeps her arms dangling down by her sides.
It's true, she has lost weight. She feels a lot more fragile and her body feels so small against mine. I look into her eyes, she looks back at me, almost with a dead glare. I keep looking into her eyes. She slowly closes her eyes and her body goes limp..
**for future references and to let you guys know, I know this isn't the way My Chemical Romance signed up to Eyeball Records. But it is my way of putting it. Just saying so I won't be getting reviews about how I'm wrong.
Thank you for waiting by the way c: you guys are amazing.