Stolen away from everything he knows, in a house where his only company is a madman, Frank learns how to love his kidnapper. FRERARD One shot!
Promise you, I have been true
Let me take a ride, cut yourself
Want some help, please myself
In a town where not much seems to happen, a lot seems to have happened to seventeen year old Frank in his short life.
Of course, Frank isn't seventeen anymore but that's where the story really begins so that's how old I'll say he is, or was. Though truthfully, that's a lie too because a lot had happened to Frank before he reached seventeen.
It was either the hard way for Frank, or no way at all and that tradition didn't start at seventeen, even though it takes a grand place in his story. What I'm trying to say is that there are plenty of stories about Frank that took place long before he was seventeen, like how he was born with the umbilical cord wrapped snug around his throat or how he fell off his bike and into a pond when he was six because he didn't want to bother with stabilizers. See? The hard way or no way at all.
Frank actually grew to become a most excellent cyclist but that doesn't fit in much with the story I'm trying to tell you. You'll have to forgive me; I'm not much of a storyteller really, but Frank had insisted that his was to be shared and he's in no condition to tell it. So that's why I'm here, telling you.
I should probably take some time too, to introduce myself. My name is Cherry Iero and Frank is my father. I'm thirty-six and live on the Jersey East coast three miles away from where I was born.
You'll find out more about my mother later in the story but for now we'll focus on Frank.
All the things that happened to Frank before his seventeenth birthday do have relevance to the story. After all he was a growing boy and very much developing a personality and life long before he turned seventeen but all stories need to start somewhere and this one would be far too long if I started from Frank's birthing date. Or perhaps, I could have started even before that with his parents and grandparents and then his ancestors and dinosaurs and finally the great creator himself, but I fear then I would loose the plot entirely (that pun was intended).
So we'll start at Frank's seventeenth birthday, it's a nice stable place to begin and then perhaps we can come back to see more of Frank's early life at a later date, perhaps not.
At seventeen Frank is just starting to discover a world outside of school and church and the fine dinner parties his mother sometimes throws when the rest of the town's feeling a little down (see how already I could go on and on about people that are not Frank?). He stands alone at the refreshments table in jeans and a t-shirt, the jumper his mother made him go out in is abandoned on the back of a chair a few feet away because of the itching it had caused.
Frank's birthday is on Halloween so most everyone is eager to attend his party, everyone but Frank.
Frank is sociable by nature but teenagers get into the habit of becoming reclusive and awkward and at this stage that is how Frank feels. He once described the sensation to me like it was as if he could not fit into his own skin. A most unpleasant condition irritated mostly by parties and other large bodies of people. The drink had helped a little but now he fears he wont be sober enough to go home without his mother noticing, so he stands nibbling on onion rings and watching the others dance.
There's a girl in the crowd that has captured his attention, though she is not my mother.
She's plane but pretty, dressed in a skirt and top and with long fair hair. Frank thinks about maybe going over to talk to her or even to dance but he decides better of it and instead votes on going for a cigarette break. The chances are his mother will scold him more on the smoking than the drinking but he thinks he has some mints in his jumper pocket so perhaps she wont have to know. Of course, she never finds out about the drinking or the smoking but that's no thanks to the mints.
It's cold outside due to it being October and Jersey but Frank remains in his t-shirt, he doesn't think he'll be long. The house belongs to a good friend, Bob, and most of the garden is paved over and lit with security style lights that switch on when detecting movement. Frank doesn't see the irony in this until much later.
There is someone already outside when Frank gets there, the figure is hidden by shadows and is unfamiliar to Frank at this point. The figure turns on hearing Frank enter the garden and they blow smoke rings up into the night, reminding Frank of what he came here to do.
Frank is not a very good smoker- Bob got him in to the habit, being one of those friends Frank's mother calls a bad influence- as he has not been doing it very long. But he is learning and even graceless nicotine is better than none.
Frank doesn't smoke anymore; the amount of time he spends in the hospital as well as the lung cancer don't allow much leeway when it comes to the nicotine sticks. In fact, neither of these things allow leeway for much at all.
Frank doesn't plan on speaking to his smoking company, the man next to him is not anybody he knows and, as previously mentioned, teenagers like Frank are none too good at communicating with others of their kind. Though, actually, this man seems to be more than a teen, a tween perhaps. A little too old to be at Frank's birthday bash, anyway. Frank wonders if perhaps this man is an older brother of one of the guests then lets his curiosity go.
Frank can feel himself staring, that's never a good habit.
It is the man that makes the first move, he captures his smoke between two long pale fingers and turns more properly towards Frank. He's not smiling but his face is warm and bright against the cold night. Frank does smile, if a little stiffly and that is all it takes for the man to start off.
“Hi.” He says and his accent is local. “This is your party, right?”
At the time Frank thinks it's odd that the man knows this just from seeing him but the thought is fleeting, right now man is not a threat.
“Yeah and you are?”
“Mikey's brother, Gerard.”
It does not strike Frank as strange that he has not actually seen Mikey at his party. Mikey is only a boy Frank knows through Bob, he is all and mousy with long, skinny legs and glasses, a good few years older than him. Gerard looks very different to Mikey with thick black hair and a round face, he's bigger too. A lot bigger than Frank. This does little to scare Frank either, though. At this point Gerard is just a stranger at a party. An attractive one at that.
“Frank.” Frank offers even though he suspects that if the man knows that this is his party, he almost certainly knows Frank's name. But Frank has good manners and his mother is bound to find out if he doesn't use them now.
“It's lovely to meet you, Frank.” Gerard says, putting a little emphasis onto Frank's name as he tries it out for what Frank assumes must be the first time.
Frank is wrong, of course, Gerard has known and has said Frank's name for a long time now but how was Frank to expect that of a person he has only just met? The situation is so unusual that I think, even now, I would not suspect these things of a stranger at a party.
Gerard has actually known Frank for a long time. He does not call himself a stalker but he does claim to be in love and maybe he is. He has never spoken to Frank before though, so whilst he is cool and collect on the outside, his insides run riot on his nerves and he thinks he might, in fact, throw up.
“And you.” Frank says because at this point it is quite lovely to have met Gerard. He is handsome and somewhat charming and Frank is not blind. Though, he thinks that Gerard is probably too old for him that does not stop him enjoying Gerard's company for the present. “Are you enjoying the party?”
Gerard looks thoughtful for a second and Frank watches his eyes carefully. They are wide and green, glowing slightly yellow in the porch lighting. “Some what,” he says, “But I fear I've waded out of my depth a little coming to a house filled with drunken teens.”
Frank laughs at this and admits, “You and me both.”
It must be this giggle that decides it for Gerard because then he's offering to get Frank a drink, small spikes of sweat making the back of his neck slick.
“Please,” Frank says and smiles at Gerard. He is simply glad to have found some company at his own party, he doesn't feel so awkward around Gerard.
It's like his skin fits him once again.
Gerard doesn't take long getting Frank's drink but that has to be when he does it, when he slips something in, because Frank is watching Gerard from the moment he steps back out into the garden and he looks innocent enough then. He looks calm, there's nothing about the way he moves or speaks that would suggest that Frank's beer is full of more than he bargained for.
It must have been a powder of some sort, something with no taste that dissolved quickly into the bubbles of the brew. Frank didn't suspect anything as he took his first or second sip, there was no reason he should be suspecting anything, after all.
You may wonder why I keep coming back to that, back to how Frank was so clueless. Frank is not simple, he's not school smart but he's spent enough time on the street to become considered smart in that environment, so don't think I'm trying to imply that. I'm merely trying to show you how easy it was for Gerard, the papers made the kidnap out to be something phenomenal and unexpected, when really it was quite straight forward. Anyone could have done it, truthfully. All that was needed was the motive.
“Thanks.” Frank says, smiling at Gerard.
Around half way through the bottle Frank begins to feel strange. His limbs, as he described to me, were nothing but matter, not heavy exactly but they didn't feel as though they belonged to him. If they were connected to the rest of his body is was only by a thin strand, like when you extract the DNA from a banana. Stringy and stretching like chewing gum.
It's not unpleasant at this stage though, in fact, everything is almost comical, if a little far away. Frank is laughing and Gerard is giggling along with him as he encourages Frank to drink more.
Frank does, smiling at Gerard from around the neck of his beer and slumping against the house. Gerard moves closer and takes the bottle from Frank's hands as soon as it's empty, he places it carefully on the low wall beside them. Frank is giddy and a little crazed. Gerard's face looks strange to his wide eyes and he wants to kiss it. He does, letting Gerard hold tightly too his waist as he nips and kisses sloppily at Gerard's mouth. The kiss is't long though and soon Gerard is pushing Frank away with a wicked grin. Frank grumbles something that even he can't understand and Gerard laughs again, taking Frank's hand.
They move quickly then, out of the garden and down the ally that lines the terrace houses of Bob's street. Frank moves awkwardly falling every so often into Gerard, giggling all the while. They make it out onto the main street and pass a group of teens leaving the party. They frown at Frank tripping over his own feet and raise eyebrows at Gerard.
"He's just had one too many, I'll get him home safe." He says and Frank smashes his face into Gerard's neck, still laughing.
Gerard must give him something stronger when they reach his car because Frank remembers nothing of the ride to Gerard's home. Everything is black until he wakes up a few days later, in a plush but sweat filled bed, confused.
He is alone in a white room. It's neat and he's still dressed below the sticky sheets. This surprises him as he rakes his hands down his body. He's not sure what he was expected but it doesn't seem like Gerard has actually done him any harm. Though, he thinks he might of pissed himself at some point.
He can remember the party clearly up until the moment he started drinking. Then, the memories are still there but it's like they were drawn in charcoal or perhaps white chalk; they smudge and disintegrate when he thinks too hard. He can remember going with Gerard, how it was all a game. It was funny at the time.
Now, alone in a stranger's house, it is not.
I have to tell you, It's very disconcerting to wake up alone in a stranger's bedroom. You don't necessarily realize how much a person appreciates waking up in a place that they know until you wake up in a place that you don't.
He's not sure how long he lays there, thinking and desperately trying to remember. The only image that will settle in his mind is Gerard's face, earnest and round as he giggled with Frank over their drinks. His face doesn't send the same kind of butterflies through his navel as it had that night. Frank feels a cold sweat, building at the base of his spine and where his hairline meets his forehead, whenever he forgets not to remember that grinning face.
It must be a long time he stays there, because it's dark by the time Gerard makes an appearance.
Frank doesn't react at first, he's not sleepy; he feels like he's slept for a hundred years, but his mind is hazy, lost to the dream lands even though his eyes are open.
He snaps away though when Gerard gets too close to the bed. He pulls the sheets up around himself, well over his nose, and watches his captor with wide eyes. He wants to scream but he can't find his voice and somehow he knows it wont help. If Gerard thought Frank could get away by screaming then surly he would have gagged his mouth.
“Frank.” Gerard says, holding is hands out flat towards Frank and making a sympathetic moo with his mouth.
Frank shuts his eyes and tries not to throw up. He shouldn't have moved so quickly; whatever Gerard gave him is still coursing through his body, thumping at his brain. He doesn't speak to Gerard. He falls asleep before Gerard leaves.
The next two days pass strangely. Gerard comes in, sometimes, when Frank is just on the brink on conciseness to feed and water him, to take him to the bathroom. Frank doesn't struggle, he doesn't speak he just stares at the ceiling, a fixed point on the wall. He sleeps a lot. He doesn't cry, he's too dehydrated for that, he just stares and stares until his eyes itch and his lids force themselves shut. On the third day Gerard tries to talk to him.
His tone is light and he keeps his distance. Frank just stares, he doesn't listen to Gerard.
Nearly a week has passed before Frank can move his legs again on his own but they're still weak from malnourishment and underuse. He scrunches them up into his chest and breathes into his knees. He stays like that for a few minutes, wriggling his fingers slightly against his tucked up shins. He licks his lips and opens his eyes once he's sure he wont be sick.
For the first time, he really looks round the room. It is pretty empty and a little drab, there are no photos though there are plenty of frames. There is a chest of draws and a bedside table, a small wall mirror on the back of the door. On the chest of draws is a glass of water and a packet of minni Oreos. Frank takes neither.
He waits until he's sure Gerard isn't about to walk in then he climbs out of the bed. The sheets are sweat soaked and a little sticky, he stinks and his clothes are gross. He needs the toilet too.
It's strange at first, standing up again after such a long time spent either lying down or being carried about. He wobbles a little and leans on the wall until his head stops spinning. The nausea isn't nearly as bad today, though.
He listens for a while, he can hear traffic outside and a few sirens, inside the house is quiet, though and the noises sound far away. Frank guesses they are high up, in an apartment, perhaps.
Slowly, he walks over to the door his hands shaking into empty fists as he nears his mirrored exit, Gerard could be back at any time though, he needs to be quicker. Quieter. He's surprised to find that the door is not locked, it makes little sound as Frank pushes it open, revealing a narrow hallway covered in creepy art and used towels. He'd been too out of it to take notice of the place before.
He pads down the hall, staying close to the wall like this will do him any good, should Gerard spring out from nowhere to heard him back to his cell. He worries his heavy, beating heart will give away his escape route but no one comes rushing towards him with nets and tasers. He is alone in Gerard's house.
There are three doors in the hall and Frank recognizes one to be the front door. There is a small pile of un opened mail under the letter box, addressed to a Mr. G. A Way. There's a latch on the door but it isn't pulled to, and on testing it, Frank discovers that it is not locked. He pulls it open and steps over the pile of mail.
He was correct about Gerard's home being an apartment, he is now in a block of other flats, the concrete floor cold on his bare feet. The place is shabby and cheap and Frank watches his step as he hops from one relatively clean area of floor to the next. He reaches an altermatum pretty quickly; stairs or lift. He stands, weighing his options for a few seconds before voting against the confined space. He's weak and tired and hungry but he thinks he can manage a couple flights of stairs.
The first flight is easy, once he's worked out how to use his legs. He skips down across the steps, feet slapping hard against the concrete painfully. He goes quickly down the second flight too and the third. On the fourth he speeds up, the confining walls make him claustrophobic and he never bothered to check the floor number he started at. He's even faster down the next, tripping over his feat and panting hard. The following flight must be the last, he thinks, because he can see promising glints of sunlight seeping into the building. He speeds up again. He trips over his own feet and falls.
For a moment, for one air bound split second, Frank thinks he's going to die.
He cries out and pushes his hands forward, ready to brace himself against the floor. He hopes he'll reach the floor, he doesn't want to land on the steps. Then strong arms are around him, catching him around his middle and hauling him up into a tight embrace.
Frank stares at Gerard's face and starts to scream.
It's a struggle then. Frank is weak but he pushes and scratches and even bights at Gerard as he tries to pull free. Gerard secures his hand over Frank's mouth and tries to hush him, his left arm still strong on Frank's waist.
Frank claws at Gerard's hand and tries to bight the sensitive flesh on his fingers, low growls escaping his throat as he kicks and struggles. Gerard is stronger than him though and so his hand stays firm on Frank's mouth. Frank is tiny, is the thing, and this makes it easy for Gerard to scoop him up with one arm, hauling Frank over his shoulder fireman style as he makes his way over to the lift.
Frank doesn't want to stop struggling, but he hasn't been fed properly in days and the drugs have made him weak. Gerard puts him down once they're in the elevator but his hand stays as a strong presence on Frank's mouth.
“If I let go, you have to promise not to bight me.” He says.
Frank promises nothing. He closes his eyes and tries to get used to breathing through his nose. Gerard accepts this and removes his hand.
Frank doesn't bight Gerard, though he wants to.
He sinks down the wall and tucks his knees up to his chest, his eyes stay closed. His breathing is heavy and ragged, cutting up his throat painfully; the aftermath of his screaming. He hears them pass three floors and he thinks that, maybe, he could just stay in the lift forever. He doesn’t want to move. He doesn’t want to see Gerard's round hopeful face.
But of course, that is too much to ask. The lift pings open on Gerard's floor and Frank feels Gerard lift him up into his arms, bridal style. He doesn’t struggle this time but for the first time since Gerard took him he does cry, tears escaping onto his cheeks even with his eyes clamped shut.
Gerard lays him back on the bed (the one in the room in which he woke up) and disappears off into the house. Frank hears running water and curls up more into himself. Gerard comes back a few moments later, he’s holding a fluffy looking white towel and clean clothes. Frank just blinks at Gerard's knees and focuses on breathing.
“I ran you a bath.” Gerard says after a moment, his voice that carful neutral its been since Frank arrived. Frank thinks he might throw up again.
“Why am I here?” He asks, his voice sounds rough and crackly to his own ears. Like autumn leaves under thick mountain boots.
“Are you hungry? Thirsty?” Gerard asks, his voice a little quick and high.
“Who are you?”
Gerard stares at Frank then with his big hazel eyes. Frank shuts his own to escape Gerard's gaze and awaits his answer. “I'm Gerard.” Says Gerard.
Frank starts sobbing again then, tucking his head into his chest and protecting his small form with his scrunched up knees. He wants to go home, he wants Gerard to leave.
He hears Gerard shuffle about awkwardly. “Your bath's probably ready, Frankie.” He offers.
Frank doesn't respond so in the end Gerard just carries him to the bathroom. He sets Frank down on the closed toilet seat and grimaces at Frank's tear swollen face. “I'll leave you to um, wash. There isn't a lock on the door and the window is a straight drop so,”
Frank nods, there's no chance of escape. Gerard leaves him to wash, disappearing off into the house.
Frank listens to him for a while, he thinks he can hear him puttering about in the kitchen, humming something familiar. Frank scrambles off the toilet and throws up, mostly bile and water.
He's hesitant about stripping off to get into the bath but he doesn't think Gerard is coming back anytime soon after the first ten minutes has passed. The water is a little too hot but it feels good against his skin. He scrubs at his flesh with a sponge and some of Gerard's fancy body wash. He watches the bubbles forming in the water and begins to cry again.
Eventually he tires of the bubbles, his fingers are like raisins and his hair has gone from soaked to damp. He climbs out of the tub and snatches up his towel with his wrinkled hands, he stopped crying a while ago but the ache in his chest is still present.
He dries off and gets dressed, the clothes Gerard gave him are too big and hang off his frame-- he thinks he may have lost weight but then he was always a thin, sickly thing even before the kidnap, so maybe not-- they're non descript; a black t-shirt and blue denim pants, black boxers and white trainer socks. There's a pair of converse too, his size. He doesn't put them on though, he's quieter without shoes.
He troops back to his room seemingly undetected and climbs under the sheets. He wishes Gerard had bought him pajamas but he wont ask for any. The bedding has been changed since he was last smothered in it and Frank scolds himself for not hearing Gerard come into his room.
He doesn't know when he started thinking of it as his room. He has no personal possessions in there and it's not his house, he hasn't chosen it for himself but it's familiar now.
Around half an hour passes before Gerard makes his re-appearance. He stands hesitantly in the door way and Frank watches, stone still, until Gerard moves fully into the room.
“You should come eat with me.” He says.
Frank doesn't look at Gerard. Gerard makes him feel sick and he's thrown up enough recently.
“Why am I here?” he repeats his question from earlier in the day.
“Because I brought you here.” Gerard replies, “Do you like pasta?”
Frank shakes his head but his stomach grumbles in protest causing a grin to spread across Gerard's face. “Excellent!” He beams.
Frank shuts his eyes and curls more in on himself, he listens to the traffic bellow. How hasn't anyone found him yet? His mother must be worried sick. The police are probably looking for him. Someone must have seen him leave with Gerard. He lets hope bubble up inside of his chest.
Gerard doesn't move from the door, he stays, watching Frank with big yellow eyes. He thinks Frank is beautiful, he wishes he were acting more like he was on the night they met. He says as much to Frank. “You were happy enough to come with me then.” He says.
Frank opens his eyes just a peak and stares at Gerard. “You drugged me.” his voice is horse and wrecked but his words are laced with a certain kind of venom that makes Gerard recoil.
“I had to,” Gerard says, “You wouldn't have come with me otherwise.”
“I might have.” Frank says, and then regrets it.
Gerard grins again, all little teeth and wide stretched lips. He giggles and blushes and comes to sit at the edge of Frank's bed. “You liked me!” he exclaims with actual joy in his voice.
“I hate you.” Frank says.
Gerard shake his head, a little fondly and touches Frank's ankle. Frank tires not to shrink away. “You'll learn, Frankie. It's better like his, you'll see.”
“How is this better?” Frank gawps, “You kidnapped me!”
Gerard just shakes his head again and gets up off the bed. “I'll go make the pasta.” He chirps.
A week passes before Frank realizes no one is coming for him. He wakes up every morning and prays it was all a dream before he opens his eyes. It never is. He spends most of his time in bed. Gerard goes out during the days, leaving the doors and windows locked now.
Frank went exploring one day. It was early on, when he still thought he had a chance of escape.
There are four other rooms aside from his. One stays locked and Frank assumes this is Gerard's bedroom. There's the bathroom, which Frank already knows well (Gerard makes him bathe regularly and he's allowed to use to the toilet any time), a small lounge with a TV, sofa and bookshelf, there's a coffee table too but no phone or computer, of course. There's a kitchenette attached to the lounge but all the draws are locked so Frank can't get at any of the knives he knows Gerard uses when cooking.
He starts reading a couple of the books, but they're all things he's read before. They're are old dog-eared copies, all the same as the one's Frank has on his shelf at home. Once he's realized this, he stops reading.
Frank eats with Gerard in the evenings. Gerard talks about anything and everything except himself. Frank doesn't talk, he picks at his food and notices that Gerard has used fake meat products in each of his meals. Gerard eats real meat, Frank knows. It makes him feel sick.
Everyday he expects either one of two things will happen.
One; the door with be broken down and in will come a squad of policemen and women armed with dogs and handguns. Ready to save Frank and to throw Gerard into the slammer.
Two; Gerard will force himself upon Frank. Maybe he will wake up and Gerard will be inside him, touching him. Or maybe Frank will be in the shower and Gerard will come in. Bigger and stronger than him.
Neither of these things happen, however, and by the time two weeks have passed Frank is still no clearer on why he is here.
He tries asking Gerard at dinner one night.
Gerard's face scrunches up as he thinks. He's clearly glad Frank has stopped ignoring him. Frank is good at staying quiet and removed, he has discovered. But it's clear Gerard doesn't want to be talking about this.
Eventually, though he repeats his words from last time. “Because I brought you here.”
Frank is more awake now, he's not so afraid of Gerard now. So he persists. “Why?”
“I'm not going to hurt you.” He says instead of answering Frank's question.
“Why did you bring me here, Gerard?” Frank grips his spoon with his fist and wonders how much damage he could do to Gerard with it. He thinks a lot, if he was angry enough.
Gerard looks thoughtful for a long moment. His face is creased and Frank thinks that perhaps Gerard is even older than he originally thought. Much older than Frank.
Eventually, he says, “I saw you... a long time ago.” His voice is distant as he recalls the memory. “I thought you were beautiful. You are, still. I mean. I still think you are. But you were young then. Now you're older.”
Frank blinks and feels his insides turn icy. “How long have you planned this?”
Gerard thinks for a while then. “I-” he starts then seams to reconsider “I wanted to take you then, when I first saw you but it was all just like daydreaming back then. I didn't think I'd really do it but then you were at the party and I had to.”
“But I didn't take you to hurt you Frank, I really didn't. You know that right? I wanted us to live better lives just you and me. I never thought it would be here though, I wanted to go somewhere hot but I couldn't afford the plane tickets. I didn't know how I'd get you on a plane anyway so,”
“Where are we?” Frank asks, his voice is a little urgent, a little panicked.
“Oh!” Gerard says, making a little round O shape with his mouth “Washington.” He says.
Frank sucks in a wad of air and almost chokes on it.
“Well,” Gerard says, “Sort of, just outside, really. The map says Washington.”
Frank had believed they were still in Jersey, Philadelphia at the most. He doesn’t remember traveling that far, though to be quite fair, he doesn’t really remember traveling at all. He feels sick, sick like the first time he woke up, back when the drugs were still present in his system. Now he’s sober, though, the sickness is somehow worse.
“How?” He breathes, dropping his spoon down into the homemade soup with a loud clatter.
“I put you in the trunk,” Gerard says breezily, “You weren’t awake. No one saw you.”
Frank runs to the bathroom.
To confront someone with this kind of information over a meal is quite discourteous, the gut has quite the attitude when disturbed during its job, it tends to lurch and spill treacherously on catching words such as Gerard’s.
Frank throws up, with good aim, thankfully, so he doesn’t end up kneeling in his own sick, but it’s a close thing, the overflow. Gerard shadows Frank through the house, his glacial pace proving how little he considers Frank to be on his way out. He looks somewhat star struck, or perhaps the opposite, as he sentries Frank wretch and sob over the toilet bowl. His face holds a certain level of guilt, yet he offers no apology as his captive recovers his breath beneath him.
He kneels to rub broad pressing circles over Frank’s back. Frank doesn’t feel soothed in the slightest but his stomach has run out of things to chuck up and so he sits, still and pliant, allowing Gerard to pet amid his shoulder blades like his mother had when he was recovering from the flue as a child.
“I hate you.” Frank mutters, once he can breathe again. Still, he doesn’t push Gerard away.
Gerard wrenches Frank up into his arms and carries him back to his slight bedroom at the back of the flat. He tucks him up in bed, caressing his cheek with a rough hand, “I know.” he states.
“Let me go.” Frank begs. His eyes are stretched but his breathing is steady. He grips Gerard’s gaze and makes a mute prayer.
“No.” Gerard says simply, looking down at Frank as his stomach plummets.
“I won’t tell,” He bargains, “The police I mean, I’ll say I ran away.” He’s pleading now, not that I can blame him. To be in a situation like this one does things to you, you do and say things you normally wouldn’t. You’d say or do anything to get out.
“I’m sorry, Frankie.” Gerard says, with real conviction.
Frank crushes his eyes shut and rolls away from Gerard. He can still feel him sitting at the edge of the bed and his presence is almost too much. He wants to be alone, he wants to go home, he wants to see his Mom. Yet he’s here, listening to the cogs in Gerard’s head turn as he reflects.
He tries to imagine he’s somewhere better, somewhere away from this strange bleached room and far, far away from the man holding him captive.
He fancies himself at home, just walking through the front door of his parent’s small house. There’s a policeman to his right, taciturn and stern, his mother stands on seeing him. Her face is streamed with tears and she looks older, more tiered than she had when Frank left. Frank feels unreasonably guilty. She smiles though, rushing towards him with outstretched arms. His father is there too, he holds a strong front but the tears flood as soon as Frank is buried in his arms.
Frank is vaguely aware of Gerard leaving the room, back in reality, but that piece of information seems wasted on him right now. He’s found a happier place to stay, for the present.
The policeman sits Frank’s parents down on the old worn setae, in the way that the police always do, talking in a controlled voice, helping Frank’s parents to relax, to prepare. Frank stays standing behind to sofa, neither parent is looking at him now. The Policeman sits down opposite them so that he can start explaining the situation.
“We have found your son,” he says, he’s twisting the hat in his hands, his face grave “Unfortunately, in a complex case like this one there are always complications. We couldn’t get to him in time. I’m very sorry for your loss.”
Frank’s mother has started sobbing again, his dad showing the police man out of the small family home with a stiff upper lip.
Frank frowns, staring at his parents. “Ma,” he says as his mother walks right past him, into the small kitchen “Dad!” he shouts, grasping and pulling at his dad’s jacket.
“Shh, Frankie.” Frank whirls around to face Gerard, he’s leaning up against the wall and smiling “C’mon now, sweetie.” He says, and reaches out to press a cool hand against Frank’s cheek, his fingers tangling in Frank’s long hair.
Frank opens his eyes to stare at Gerard stroking and pulling him up into his arms, again acting as his mother once had when he screamed himself awake as a child. His chest hurts and his throat is sore, he realises, he must have been shouting, his lungs tighten as he looks at Gerard’s face and he wants to start bellowing again. He claws and pushes at Gerard’s chest, tears streaming from his sore eyes. Gerard just wraps his arms around Frank’s back and continues to hush him, cooing softly and petting his back.
“Shh, shh now, honey.” He mewls into Frank’s ear, kissing the hair just above it.
“Let me go.” Gerard pulls back, unwinding his arms from around Frank’s torso. “Let me go,” Frank says again “Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go.” He chants, tucking his legs up into himself as he sobs desperately.
“Frankie, no.” Gerard says, hand patting gently on Frank’s knee.
“Don’t call me Frankie!” Frank jerks backward, shouting, “My name’s Frank.”
Gerard just giggles, his face falling into a lop sided grin, he doesn’t even have the decency to look angry “But everyone calls you Frankie, Frankie.”
“Not you.” Frank breathes.
A hurt look skims over Gerard’s face and Frank realises that he’s probably treading on thin ice, but Gerard doesn’t object further, simply smiles sadly at Frank and says, “I’ll leave you to sleep.” then stalks out.
The next day Gerard stays home. Frank believes this to mean it’s the weekend, not that calendar management is his priority anymore. In that place, Frank’s days mean nothing, weeks are fleeting and hazy, flying past with little regard for his sensitive mind. Not like living in the real world at all, he knows day and he knows night and he knows that somewhere, not far past the bricks confining him, there are people and places and clocks and watches, schedules and schools and offices and homes, busses, trains, cars, people waiting and people going places. But in Frank’s solitary cell, it’s hard to remember all of that, real life becoming almost like a dream he once had; distant, fabricated. In the present, it’s only him and Gerard and his little house and habits, pet names and homemade soup.
On the days Gerard has off, Frank is forced to eat breakfast in the kitchen. Gerard usually cooks, facon sandwiches and scrambled eggs, pours countless glasses of orange juice and steaming mugs of coffee. Frank barely eats.
They don’t speak often, or at least Frank doesn’t. Gerard asks lots of questions, talks about the weather and offers Frank condiments from the centre of the table. Frank mumbles, ducks his head and often blatantly ignores Gerard as he pushes round his food. He supposes, Gerard expects him to be grateful for the company but Gerard and Frank don’t really see eye to eye on many things.
This Saturday though, Frank speaks up. He’s wondered for a while, but he can’t imagine Gerard outside of the apartment, he knows he leaves, he hears the lock click in the door nearly every morning but once you picture one person in one place, it’s often difficult to translate them into a different scenario.
Frank tries, fleetingly, to imagine Gerard meeting his parents; he wonders what they’d think. He misses them a lot. He can’t dwell on the thoughts long though. Thoughts like that aren’t helpful.
“Where do you go everyday?”
Gerard is cooking, sizzling the quorn breakfast in a small pan over a gas stove, he looks over on hearing Frank’s words, glancing over his shoulder as if he suspects Frank to be talking to someone else entirely, which is ridiculous. There isn’t anyone else.
He frowns, considering Frank’s question with a concentrating look, his face thoughtful. Gaging Frank. He grins sharply after a moment, “I wondered when you were going to ask.” he says.
Frank just sits and waits for Gerard to continue, he’s not glaring and he’s not screaming, just playing with his fingernails and shooting glances at Gerard’s face occasionally.
“I’m an artist,” He admits eventually “I have a studio downtown. Got it real cheap but it’s nice enough.”
Frank spots his chance, like a blinking light at the end of a twisting tunnel. “Can I see?” he asks. He needs to get out, out of this house. Maybe if he could get out into the building, he’d see someone, someone could help him.
Gerard scrunches up his face thoughtfully “Maybe eventually,” he decides, “When I can trust you.”
“You can trust me.” Frank lies automatically.
Gerard just raises one cool eyebrow. Clearly, he wasn’t born yesterday.
The idea hits him hard because, of course, laying sobbing on his bed everyday will get him nowhere but with a little perseverance, if Gerard really isn’t going to kill him, he could do it, he could get out. It will be hard, but as I mentioned, for Frank, it's the hard way or no way at all.
Frank forces a tiny smile to surface onto his lips. It feels strange, unfamiliar but he doesn’t actually pull anything so he presumes he should get points for at least trying. He needs Gerard to trust him.
“I just want to see your art.” he murmurs, in a tiny, shy voice.
Gerard’s all grins as he clears up the plates, scraping Frank’s leftovers into the bin as he says, “I think, I have some sketches in my room.”
Frank does his best to look thrilled as he pleads, “Can we go look? I’ve never seen in your room.” He asks in a tone of voice he thought he had lost when Gerard took him. His words bounce through the air, full of life and his mouth bends around a smile as he speaks. He stands up from the table and looks to Gerard hopefully.
Gerard laughs, “See, this is more like the real you. Sure, c’mon.” He leads Frank out into the hallway, pulls a key out from his pocket, “It shouldn’t be too messy.” He says.
Frank just nods, not dropping the smile until Gerard’s back is turned. He follows a little cautiously down the hallway, keeping close to, but not touching Gerard. He remembers hearing something about the key to a person’s room, being the key to their mind but as the door to Gerard’s opens, he’s given little insight to Gerard’s brain.
The room is smaller than Frank’s, it contains around the same amount of stuff, as well as a small photo of him and Mikey on the bedside table. So Gerard hadn’t been lying about their relationship. He looks younger in the image; it must have been taken when Gerard was at high school, judging from the blue painted backdrop and forced smile. It’s not a nice photo, Gerard is larger than he is now and his eyes are empty, Mikey’s all angles swimming in a dull grey suit, he’s not even really smiling, his mouth simply stretched a little around the corners. Other than that, like Frank’s, the room is close to bare save the little piles of clothing clustered about on the carpeted floor.
Gerard sits down on the edge of his bed, pulling a small worn sketchbook into his lap. Frank forces himself to sit close, though their brushing thighs send a cold knife down his back.
Gerard has style when it comes to art. His drawings are dark, scrawled in grey, black and red ink, sketchy and harsh. He flips quickly at first, Frank only catching glances of the countless vampires and demons and werewolves flashing past his eyes, splatter scenes and glaring eyes. Gerard slows down as he nears the end of the book, apparently finding what he had wanted to show Frank. The iconic monsters fizzle out into soft line drawings, some shaded with graphite and chalk, others cross hatched with blue and black biro.
They’re all of Frank.
His eyes, his hands, the curling hair behind his ear, sleeping portraits and a page full of his smiling mouth, his exposed neck as he stretches up out of the page, his cheek and jaw bones. Gerard flicks slowly, giving Frank time enough to take in the images. He’s young in some, still awkward and chubby, he’s in his school uniform in a couple, laughing, probably at something Ray or Bob had said.
He feels instantly sick. He tries to push down the bile rising in his gut, trying to escape up into his throat. He bights back a whimper and attempts to smile, forcing away the nausea with clenched fists. He looks up at Gerard’s earnest face and does his best not to pass out.
“They’re amazing.” he says and hopes his voice doesn’t wobble.
It’s not a lie, Gerard’s work is apparently fantastic, though I’ve never seen it myself, Frank has assured me that compliment was the truth.
Gerard stares down into Frank’s eyes with an enchanted look on his pale face. Frank studies his white, white skin and high, arching cheekbones, the colour in his eyes and his thin pale lips. He doesn’t move when Gerard, seemingly without noticing, brings his hand up to cup Frank’s jaw. He simply allows it, closing his eyes so that they can’t give too much away. He feels Gerard’s hand and he feels all his senses heighten once sight has been taken away and he feels sick, giddy. And then he feels Gerard’s hot, muggy breath on his face, he smells like the FLTs from earlier and Frank’s stomach churns, filled with acid.
He’s sure Gerard’s going to kiss him and he wills it to just happen already but then Gerard leans in past his mouth, whispers into the shell of Frank’s ear, “You’re amazing.” The lines cheesy but Frank can’t even bring himself to laugh at it, he just lets out a shaky breath as Gerard kisses the skin just below his jaw, still murmuring, “Love you so much, Frankie.”
Frank holds still, tries to keep his breathing light. He can’t give anything away; he recognizes that this could be his one chance.
Gerard doesn’t kiss him again, just stays close, trailing a hand through the shaggy hair on the back of Frank’s head. “C’mon.” he says after a moment of silence. He takes Frank’s hand, pulls him up to standing and leads him out of the bedroom.
They sit on the small sofa in Gerard’s living room, Frank resisting the urge to pull his knees up to his chin and Gerard, thankfully, leaving a gap between their bodies. The living room is possibly the nicest of the rooms in the house, mostly because it isn’t near empty and cold; it looks lived in, it looks like a real home. And, although that isn’t the case, in Frank’s reality, he can imagine it, he can see another life, maybe collage students or first time home owners, a couple with a little kid. Frank doesn’t let his mind wander for long though; he is here with Gerard, there isn’t anything else for him.
“Let’s talk.” Gerard says, turning towards Frank with keen eyes and a quirked mouth.
“Anything!” Gerard exclaims, throwing up his hands and grinning wildly, “You, your family, favourite films, favourite book, favourite Marvel villain. Anything!”
Frank suspects Gerard already knows all of that, just like the rest of the secrets Frank had thought were private, exclusive.
He draws the attention back from himself and asks instead, “What about you?” He plays around a little with the soft smile in his lips.
“What about me?” Gerard asks, almost hesitantly.
“You, your life.” Frank doesn’t repeat the whole list but the rest is implied.
Gerard looks, for a moment, like he’s going to object, the only thing stopping him, the glee of having Frank there to talk to. He plays with his nails, not looking up when he speaks, “Well, my name is Gerard Way, I was born in Newark 31 years ago, I’m an artist but you already knew that” He seems to trail off, sneaking a glance up to Frank’s face and smiling lightly.
“What else?” Frank asks, carful to hold Gerard’s yellow eyes.
“You know, I’m really quite boring, Frank.” Gerard mumbles.
Frank goes through loops in his mind then, skirting around ideas and backing out of plans several times before he finally, timidly, scoots closer to Gerard, placing a hand on his knee as he whispers, shakily, “No you’re not.”
Gerard doesn’t move for a moment, a moment too long for Frank to tolerate their proximity, yet he stays, focusing on a point just past Gerard’s head while he waits for his captor to look up. Eventually, he does, raising his head without a word to stare at Frank with wide hazel eyes, his mouth forming a small crooked smile. Frank feels a roll of nausea again in his stomach but he can get through this. He stares right back, hoping Gerard can’t read his eyes, see into his mind. He’s got to get out.
Gerard draws his attention back away from Frank then, twisting his body around so that he’s facing the small CD player sitting on a table near the couch. It’s nearly always playing when Gerard’s in and Frank’s learnt to tune it out, he likes slow sad music, ballads and drowsy British singers, Frank misses the fast thrill of his own tastes, shredding and hammering, machine gun rifts and mosh pits, he lost it all when he went with Gerard.
Frank listens now though.
It’s Morrissey, the song quiet and not one Frank knows well, it’s familiar though, he’s sure he’s heard it before, maybe even outside this flat. Gerard hums along absent mindedly, staring at the CD player for a minute before looking back to Frank.
He sings softly, “Close your eyes and think of someone you physically admire, and let me kiss you.”
There’s a moment of static in the air, Gerard’s eyes heavy on Frank’s face and then Frank does.
He thinks of the girl at the party, dancing and twisting in her strappy top, he watches her move, rhythmic and beautiful in his minds eye and ignores Gerard’s chapped lips pressing to his. It’s chaste and still for a second before Gerard winds a hand up the back of Frank’s neck and moves his lips. Frank does his best not to notice, just listens to the calm voice washing over him and lets Gerard kiss him. Going home with the dancing girl, her lips on his neck, not Gerard’s, her teeth running over his collarbone.
He sleeps with Gerard that day. Though after, he remembers little of it. Gerard was gentle, he knows that, kissing every part of Frank’s body lovingly. Frank thinks he came but he can’t be sure. They’re both clean and tucked up in Gerard’s bed when he wakes up later.
He shoots up and runs to the bathroom. He throws up in the bowl of the toilet and then sets the shower to scolding. He scrubs at his body, his actions futile and pitiful, and then he collapses to the bath floor, sobbing silently. He’s careful not to wake Gerard.
Things are different from then on. Gerard pets over Frank, fawning and kissing him, hugging him and stroking the hair from his face. He eats all meals with Frank, chatting idly over the table, his foot on Frank’s leg as they eat. He brings home art he’s been working on, books and CDs for him. He says nothing of going outside. Frank sleeps in Gerard’s bed, he lets him do what he wants with him and tries to nod and smile in all the right places. He cooks some nights, considers killing Gerard with one of the many sharp knives he’s now entrusted with.
He never does, though.
They’re sitting eating one of Frank’s meals when he finally says, “I want to go outside.” He notices, one the words have left his mouth, that he has, in fact, just interrupted one of Gerard’s ramblings. However his mind is too far away from new art supplies and breaking paintbrushes for him to be expected to follow Gerard’s sentences with any level of coherence, so he doesn’t feel too bad.
Gerard stops midsentence and gawps a little, guppy faced, at Frank, “You do?” He asks, clearly puzzled by the declaration.
Frank nods, taking Gerard’s hand into his own from across the table. “I do.”
“I don’t know, Frankie.” Gerard has begun rubbing absent-minded circles into the palm of Frank’s hand, his face is serious and thoughtful.
“Gerard,” Frank says, half a giggle in his voice, “I’m not going to run away!” he offers a small shy smile as he lies, adding an “I love you.” for good measure, the words sticking to his throat.
Gerard squeezes Frank’s hand as he begins flapping the other about in the air, talking out of the side of his mouth, a habit he adopts when he’s nervous. “I love you too Frankie, I just,” he pauses, looking around the room for inspiration, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You can trust me, Gerard. I’d never leave you, I just. I just need more than this house; I miss the fresh air.” he holds Gerard’s eye and tries not to feel like too much of a liar, it’s not his fault, after all, that Gerard became so obsessed. Frank never chose to be the object of Gerard’s affection. Gerard is crazy, Gerard stole him, he doesn’t care about Gerard.
“Okay,” Gerard decides, “Okay, yeah, tomorrow, there’s a market on, it will be nice.”
Frank makes an effort to be good for Gerard that night. He doesn’t think too deeply about it, not as he’s kissing Gerard back and moaning his name later in bed, but it’s a goodbye of sorts, he doesn’t know why but he feels as though he needs the closure.
He barely sleeps, after, yet Gerard is still the one to wake him up in the morning. He shakes him kindly, kisses his nose, whispering “Morning Frankie. Time to get up, baby.”
Frank blinks himself awake, kissing Gerard with a sleepy smile plastered to his lips. “Good morning.” He says, snuffling into Gerard’s neck.
Frank gets dressed quickly, not bothering to shower. He’s noticed Gerard doesn’t most days either so it doesn’t irk him to be dirty around him. He slips his fork into his pocket at the kitchen table whilst Gerard’s making coffee and he feels it like a weight around his neck as he waits for Gerard to get ready.
It feels like an eternity has passed by the time Gerard is grabbing his keys from the kitchen counter, though the clock hand has only slid ten minutes past the 11 AM marker. Frank’s restless, shifting and muttering, itching at the skin on his arm until it turns red and sore. His whole body thrums with nervous energy. Somehow, he manages to hold onto his breakfast.
He takes Gerard’s hand within his own and presses close to kiss Gerard’s cheek as they make their way out of the apartment. Gerard kisses playfully down Frank’s neck when they’re alone in the lift. And then they’re out in the street.
The area isn’t exactly posh, but it also isn’t nearly as rough as Frank had previously assumed. The air is cool and crisp on his skin, alien to his flesh after the amount of time he stayed cooped up indoors, it must be December; almost Christmas. Frank tries hard not think abut how long he’s been away for, it’s best to focus on the present in a situation like Frank’s.
Frank enjoys the feel of the air on his skin as much as he can, watching the traffic rush past them as they make their way down the street. He does his best not to look at Gerard’s face. He decides on waiting till they’re at the market, then he’ll run.
Frank is right about the time of year as he discovers when they near the market. The shops and stools are German, little wooden cabins and Christmas trees. Frank stares, wide eyed as Gerard leads him though the square.
They stop at a small shop. It smells like pine and mulled wine, sharp and spicy. It sells joss sticks and little wooden Christmas decorations, all hand made and glittering with gems and polished metals.
Gerard moves behind Frank, bracketing his hands around his hips as he whispers. “Choose something, sweetheart. We need some decorations for the apartment.”
Frank stairs at all the Christmas paraphernalia in ore. There are nutcrackers and wooden angels, painted bubals and sparkling, golden stars. He moves away from Gerard’s grip and makes like he’s studying the figures and decorations with his fingertips. He traces patterns over the little golden bells, making them tinkle and chime. Eventually, his focus rests on a wooden and cloth angel. She has long dark, string hair and six round freckles spread across her cheeks. She’s smiling wide and clothed in a blue, cotton dress. Her wings small and painted white on her back.
Frank turns towards Gerard and leans up to wrap his arms around his neck. He whispers close to Gerard’s ear, “Merry Christmas.” And then kisses him. He moves them, with his tongue still in Gerard’s mouth, so that Gerard’s back is angled to face the store. “Goodbye.” He breathes, pulling away.
He pushes Gerard back into the shop’s display, sending him stumbling into the owner, swearing. Frank takes his chance.
He’s running before he’s even realized it, his feet pounding against the ground, pulling him away from Gerard, forwards through the crowds. Some people mutter and curse as he wizzes past them but no one stops him. He thinks he should get help, ask someone but he can’t bare to stop right now. He thinks he can hear Gerard chasing him, gaining on him, and he pushes on faster, faster with every step, swerving out of the market grounds.
That was probably a mistake though, because then Frank is alone, out of the crowd and stranded on the street. He doesn’t stop running though, doesn’t turn back. He ducks down into an ally, praying there will be a way out, a back entrance to a pub, someone to help him. There isn’t.
He hits the end wall, staring up at the closed, dark windows above him. He sees Gerard making towards him, his face dark and furious. Frank pulls out the fork from his pocket and points it at him. “Don’t!” He warns, voice breaking.
Gerard doesn’t stop. He takes Frank’s wrist and forces him to drop the fork. It lands with a clatter on the floor. Frank struggles, crying out but Gerard just pulls him back down the ally.
“No!” Frank sobs, “Please, please!”
Gerard makes a sound like a growl in the back of his throat and squeezes Frank’s wrist tighter. In his other hand, Frank lets the angel from the market drop to the floor.
Frank gasps and starts begging again as they reach the apartment. No one is around to save him. “Gerard! Gerard, please I’m sorry!”
“Shut up, Frank!” Gerard barks, then forces Frank into the building.
They wait for the lift in silence, Gerard’s hand still stretched across Frank’s wrist.
“Gerard," Frank whispers once they’re inside.
“Don’t talk to me.” Gerard growls. Though, he looks more sad than angry.
Frank goes to his room quickly, shuddering as he hears the lock click shut from the other side of the door. He lies on his bed and sobs. He missed his chance; he’ll never get another one again. He’s stuck. Like a bird in a cage, his prison shows no bars but it’s a prison all the same.
He must fall asleep at one point because when he wakes up there’s a glass of water and a cheese sandwich on his bedside cabinet. Frank picks up the water and hurls it towards the mirrored door, distorting his image and shattering the glass of the cup. He does the same with the plate a moment later. Gerard doesn’t react, but Frank’s pretty sure he’s heard.
He knocks the bedside table over next. One of the legs break and he kicks at it before throwing that too at the door. He screams and kicks at the walls until he feels one of his toes break. He starts crying again and collapses to the floor. There’s still no sign of Gerard.
He should be here, sitting with Frank, pulling him close and looking after him, if Gerard’s all he’s got now, then Gerard can’t abandon him.
He watches the keyhole of the door intensely, waiting silently until he sees the flutter of an eyelash. Frank glares, tears still dripping off of his chin, foot still throbbing.
Nearly an hour passes before Frank spots it. The broken glass glittering on the floor. He crawls over to it, hopes Gerard is still watching. Hopes Gerard will see what he’ll do if he’s left alone.
“Gerard,” he croaks, his voice weak from screaming. “Let me go, or I’ll do it.” He holds the glass against his skin and presses in a little, scratching at the sensitive flesh of his wrist.
Gerard must think he’s bluffing, he must because he doesn’t unlock the door, doesn’t stop him. He would stop him if he really thought Frank had the guts, Frank knows he would.
Frank has never cut before. He’s seen it in films, in those educational docudramas he watches at school. He’s heard the horror stories. He runs the glass down the length of his wrist like a blade and waits for the pain. A small line of blood barely pools on his skin, there’s nothing more than a stinging sensation traveling up and down the abused arm.
Gerard still doesn’t move outside the door.
Frank tries again, harder this time, cutting deep. It hurts now, Jesus Christ it hurts. Frank gasps but keeps going. Gerard doesn’t even make an attempt to come in, like he’s given up on him already. He lets out a choked sob at the thought, Gerard doesn’t care anymore, he’s not going to stop him. Fuck you, He thinks, You’ll see. And cuts the other wrist.
There’s a lot of blood. It drips down off of his wrists and onto the white carpet. Frank hopes someone will find his blood, trace it. Maybe Gerard will be put away for murdering a teen then, not just, not just-
Frank passes out, his neck going limp and slack.
When he wakes up again his wrists are bandaged and there’s a plastic cup of water on the floor beside him. He’s in bed. The side table has gone, Gerard is nowhere to be seen.
It could be days then, weeks or months that Frank spends alone in that room. He tries to stay awake to see Gerard but he only ever comes in when Frank’s passed out from exhaustion. Sometimes he’ll wake up and the door will be open, that’s when he goes to the bathroom to piss and shower. He never sees anyone. He misses Gerard.
Frank sleeps a lot once he’s figured out Gerard wont come to him if he’s awake. He eats even less than when Gerard first took him. The only food he does consume is dry and basic, sticking to his throat. He stops crying as much after a while, he just sits, when he’s awake, with his legs tucked up, eyes on the bare wall in front of him.
He knows he shouldn’t have tried to run away. Gerard was being so good to him. If he had stayed being good in return then Gerard wouldn’t hate him, he wouldn’t be all alone in the world.
One day, he starts leaving notes, small biro scribbles on scraps of wallpaper he peels of idly. He leaves them with his food for Gerard to see. The first simply states, I’m sorry. The second, I miss you. Gerard doesn’t reply. The third note asks, Do you hate me?
It’s when he gets no reply to this one that he cracks.
He’s staring out of the window at the brick of the opposite apartment when it happens. He gets up to stare down at the street bellow, there’s no one there, after a minute a car passes quickly. He opens it up. Gerard had said it was a straight drop from the bathroom and it’s the same here. He pushes his weight against the frame until the glass shifts fully open. He begins humming.
There’s a place in the sun, for anyone willing to chase one.
He closes his eyes.
I think I've found mine. Yes, I do believe I have found mine.
He nearly jumps out of pure shock when he hears Gerard’s voice. “Frank, come down.” He sounds calm, a little sad. Frank almost chokes on how happy he is to hear that voice again.
“Why?” he asks, looking out beyond the bars of his invisible cell. His metaphorical birdcage.
“Is it really that bad here?” Gerard wonders aloud.
Frank turns to look at him as he says, “Of course.”
He braces himself ready to push off the ledge, his eyes slipping back to closed, his head tipping back. “Goodbye.”
“I’ll let you go.” Gerard says. His voice still has that calm placid front but there’s an urgent twang behind it now.
Frank opens one eye. “Why?”
“I love you.” Gerard states.
Frank climbs down from the windowsill and walks up to Gerard. His legs wobble and shake with every step, and he’d forgotten how much taller Gerard was than him but everything feels familiar and right as he presses close, allowing Gerard to hug his back as he cries.
“Thank you.” He says eventually and presses a kiss to Gerard’s lips.
“Goodbye, Frankie.” Gerard says and hands Frank a pair of keys. “Car’s the silver ford in the street.”
Frank nods. “I’ll miss you.” He says and leaves.
He never sees Gerard again.
Frank doesn’t give the police Gerard’s name or location. He guesses Gerard has probably moved away already but he wants to be safe. He looks out for him around town and at parties but ends up marrying my mother.
She’s a girl he meets at collage. He name is Jamia and they only marry because of my sister, Lily, and me . Her family seeing it as improper for her to be a single mother. I suppose Frank didn’t care enough to protest. I’ve always known that they weren’t happy, they were good friends but too out of love and too young to be parents.
He was diagnosed with cancer last year. That’s when he told me his story, told Lily too but I was the one to write it down. He says he still misses Gerard. The doctors are calling it Stockholm Syndrome and for the most part, I agree with them. He will die soon, probably before he even gets to read this, his story. But at least now it’s here. He kept his past a secret for a long time, I don’t suspect even my mother knows too much about it. It must have sent him mad, keeping it all to himself, but like I said, at least it’s here now.
I don’t know what’s happened to Gerard. The police had too little to go on to link him to Frank. Not that Frank ever wanted to press any charges.
I think Frank will be in love with Gerard until the day he dies. Though, I know he will never admit it to any of us. He loves Lily and me but I think he regrets leaving Gerard more. And at the end of this piece, I can’t even find the anger to blame him.
You guys have no idea how long this took me if you don't review this could literally be the end of my sanity, jesus christ. Also it comes with two covers/ arts http://sphotos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/71657_4646366930728_1866489548_n.jpg and http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/423178_4646367370739_179016605_n.jpg That's actually something I'd quite like to start doing for other people, so like feel free to ask if you want a cover. I don't want to make a post about it or anything, I'll probably just do things for stuff I like or people that request it.