An unemployed Mikey Way and an ailing grandmother.
And he was stuck at home because his mother had to go earn something at work so she'd support her unemployed son. He was stuck because his brother had left him to rot in Belleville while he was probably having a good time working in some hot shot studio in Atlanta, Georgia. He was stuck because his grandmother Elena was stuck at home too.
"Mikey..." his grandmother called in her feeble, trembling voice.
Mikey sighed as he got up from the couch. The TV was on but he was staring at the wall for the past half hour.
"What is it?" he asked as he peeped inside his grandmother's room. He found the old lady sitting up on bed, rubbing the back of her neck with her bony hands. She looked at him with her soft blue eyes and motioned at her flattened pillow. Mikey sat on the bed side and fluffed the pillow for her. He grabbed another fuller pillow from a chair and placed that one under. AFter that he let her lie down again.
As soon as she was settled down on her bed, Mikey sat back and waited for his grandmother to close her eyes and doze off until she would call for him again for some reason. But her eyes remained open. Her face was unmoving.
"Grams?" Mikey asked, nervously.
Elena turned her head to him. Her eyes were glistening. They always were. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. She seemed to be thinking of what to say.
"Gerard hasn't called yet, has he?" she asked.
Mikey shook his head and mouthed a no. He knew Gerard was his grandmother's favorite, since they used to do everything together. He never had that chance to spend some time with his grandmother, until now, as her caretaker.
"He hasn't called for..." she started, "for...for some weeks now..."
Mikey nodded, not knowing what to say really. He couldn't be loose around his grandmother, unlike Gerard. Gerard could crack jokes around their grandmother, and he could fool around with her. They would both talk of some really strange things. But Mikey wasn't comfortable around Elena. He never learned to relax around her. And now, Elena seemed to always look for her favorite grandson.
"Could you...could...could you call him right now?" she asked him.
Mikey felt sorry for her. But he immediately got up to go make a call. He knew it would be useless though, because Gerard hasn't returned any of their calls. Last time he called was last, last, last Saturday. And Elena was asleep then.
He slipped into the hall and lifted the phone from its cradle. From where he stood he could hear muffling sounds from his grandmother's room. She probably thought he wouldn't be able to hear her, because she started sobbing softly. She attempted to stifle the sounds by pretending to cough.
Mikey sighed and just found himself dialing Gerard's number. But he knew Gerard wouldn't return his call because his brother would be at work in the studio at this time of day. He sighed again as waited for nothing...for Gerard to pick up the phone.
Unexpectedly he heard Gerard's voice on the next line, "Hello?"
"Gee? Is that you?"
"Of course it is. You're calling my number" was the reply, "Mikey, is that you?"
"Yeah, uhm, Gee, I thought you were at work or something."
Gerard didn't answer. Mikey sensed that Elena was listening in to their conversation, so he carried the phone and its cradle to the room, as the receiver was tucked behind his ear. Elena sat up in bed.
"Gee, gram wants to talk to you. Here she is..." and Mikey handed over the phone to the old woman who accepted it eagerly and started flooding Gerard with millions of questions. She didn't notice Mikey leave the room.