Shit, I’m getting off topic.
It’s been 2 weeks. His eyesight is nearly gone; says he can barely even see the wall of light anymore. His hearing is starting to fail; I have to talk louder so he can hear me. He’s getting thinner, not eating as much. His memory is worse; he’s forgetting about the band. And it breaks my fucking heart because only months ago, that band was everything to him. It was what pulled him out of the pits of depression, it was what gave him the strength to give up the drugs and alcohol. So many fans came to us saying that My Chemical Romance saved their lives, and it made me so happy because every single time, I remembered how Gerard would say the exact same thing.
But now, nothing can save his life. Absolutely nothing. Because this time, he doesn’t want to die. When he wanted to die, he controlled his own fate. He could have pulled the plug any time he wanted to. He could have gone and jumped off a bridge, he could have hung himself, he COULD HAVE. Could have. But he didn’t, and that’s why he’s here right now. But this time around, he doesn’t want to die. He IS, but he doesn’t want to. He has no choice in the matter, and he has about as much control over his fate as we have over which way the earth spins.
And that’s what I hate, damn it! As soon as the will to live is there, life takes the choice away. As soon as he WANTS to live, life kills him.
It’s so fucking ironic. Infuriatingly ironic.
I can’t help but wonder if he would have been happier if we had let him die by his own hands. As a whole, humans all seem to be happier when something bad happens of their own doing, versus not of their doing.
Shit, Frank. Stop it. The past is the past, and there’s no point in trying to change it, because it ain’t gonna happen. Just accept it, and maybe in time you’ll accept that your best friend, your soulmate, is dying right before your very eyes.
I slammed my notebook down on the coffee table, tears filling my eyes.
“Frank…?” Mikey said from the chair across me.
“I’m fine, I’m fine.” I said. “Just sick of this bullshit.”
He got up and stumbled over towards me, falling down onto the seat beside me on the couch.
“Can I read it?” He asked.
“You wouldn’t want to, Mikes.”
“That little notebook’s pages are filled with everything I’m feeling. The things I don’t say out loud, I put in there.” I explained. “It’s bad enough that you have to live with your own thoughts right now, the last thing you need is the burden of someone else’s.”
Plus if you read it, front to back, the progression is almost more than I can take.
Happily touring to Gerard dying, who would have thought?
“Frank, am I a bad person?” He asked out of nowhere.
“What the hell?” I laughed. “What even gave you that idea?”
“I feel like I’m missing something. I could be doing something for him, but I’m not. I could be making this easier for him.”
“Mikes, there’s nothing left to do. Think about it.”
“I’d rather not think.” He said. “As if anything could make this any harder.”
Maybe he’s right, though.
“I’m gonna go in and see him. I have an idea.”
“Oh come on, Frank. Not one of your crazy schemes again.”
“This isn’t a crazy scheme.” I grinned proudly. “This just might work.”
“Gee, you awake?” I said, cracking the door open.
“Yeah, come in.” He responded.
I entered the dimly lit cell that is referred to as “Gerard’s room,” and took a seat on the chair beside his bed.
“I have an idea.” I said.
He looked at me and smiled, though I could tell he couldn’t see me. His eyes were dull and blank, and seemed to stare right through me.
“But first, how are you feeling?” I asked.
“All in how you look at it.” He answered, tucking a strand of hair behind his ear.
“Do you want to get out of bed for a little bit? Maybe get some fresh air?”
I thought eyes composed over half of a genuine smile. So how come your face still lights up like a kid with a new toy?
“I’d love to.” He beamed, pushing the covers off his thin body.
“Be careful.” I said. “I’ll get the wheelchair.”
I grabbed the wheelchair from beside the dresser and pushed it over towards him. He struggled to perch himself on the edge of the bed.
“You need help?” I asked as I held the wheelchair in place in front of him.
“I think I’m okay…”
I wish he sounded more confident in his words…
He reached one arm out in front of him and felt around for the armrests.
“Here.” I said, taking his hand in mine and guiding it down to where he was trying for.
“Thanks.” He smiled.
He followed the lead with the other hand, this time hitting the armrest right on. I held one hand out beside him, ready to catch him if he fell.
He turned himself around and sat down in the seat with excellent coordination. It truly is amazing how his other senses are compensating where his eyes are failing.
“How the hell do you do that, Gerard?” I laughed, running over to the closet to get him a jacket.
“I can still picture it. It’s not like I was born blind.”
I picked out his favourite (and warmest, coincidentally) plaid jacket and helped him into it. His frail figure was practically drowning inside it, whereas 6 months ago, it was almost too small for him. His face had gotten considerably more angular and seemed so small, peaking out of the giant jacket.
You need to eat.
I pushed him out of his room and towards the front door. Mikey heard the creak of the wheelchair rolling across the wooden floorboards and ran in from his room.
“Idea.” I smiled. “We’ll be back in a bit.”
“You’re insane, Frank. Why the hell do I trust you with my brother?”
“By that logic, wouldn’t that mean that you too are insane, for trusting me?”
He retorted with a sarcastic grunt and marched back into his room.
I’m such a little bitch sometimes. I should feel bad.
“Here.” I said, grabbing the large quilted blanket from the back of the couch and draping it over him.
He pulled it up towards his chin and tucked it around his arms.
“Warm enough to go outside for a bit?”
I wheeled him outside, onto the front porch. The warm spring air danced around my hair and ears, and damn it felt good. The four of us – especially Gerard – have been inside pretty consistently for the past couple of weeks, and it’s a nice change to inhale the fresh, crisp air of New Jersey.
“How’s the light?”
“Can’t fuckin’ see it.” He laughed.
I can’t decide whether that’s good or bad.
“Remember what it looks like out here?” I asked.
“Sorta.” He said. “Some things… they just slip your mind. But there’s a tree, right around there…”
He pointed northeast, right at the big willow tree.
It’s weird. Some things he completely forgets but other things, he’s smack-dab on. Little things.
“Right you are.” I chuckled. “Wanna try something?”
“What’s to lose?”
I pulled out his old sketchbook and pencil from the pocket inside my jacket and placed them in his hands.
I didn’t need an answer for that one. The look on his face said more than words ever could. His dead-cold eyes lit up like suns and a smile spread across his face, as if he was welcoming back two old friends.
Friends bring out the best in you. They are old friends.
“You always used to say to me that it wasn’t as simple as just drawing. Your fingers did the work for you, and you followed their lead until you knew what it was they wanted you to do. Until you could recognize it. Remember?”
“I can’t, I don’t… but it’s true.”
I leaned forward on the bench, closer to him.
“Pick up the pencil.” I said.
“I c-can’t see though…”
He did as I said, and I clasped my hand around his so that I was able to control it.
“I know you can’t see. But I’m going to be your eyes for you.”
I moved his hand across the paper, creating a soft horizontal stroke.
“You get where I’m going?” I asked.
“I think so.” He grinned, biting his bottom lip.
Gerard, I’m no artist. I could never, in any universe, compare to you. But I’m doing the best I can for you, and my best is all I can give.
I grasped his larger hand firmly inside my smaller one, and led it around the page, trying to mimic his characteristic drawing style. Trying to make the picture in my head become a reality.
I’m sorry my trees look like broccoli.
I looked up from the paper momentarily and watched how his face spoke for him. He still makes those faces that he always used to. I wonder what he’s seeing inside his head.
I don’t think rocks stick their tongues out, Gee.
But damn it you’re cute.
“I get it, Frank. I get it.” He smiled.
We spent the next 15 or so minutes like this. His hand in mine, each trying to figure out what the other was seeing. Him making those silly faces, and me holding back tears each and every time it caught my eye.
“It’s done.” I said, sliding back on the bench. “Do you know what it is?”
“Frank…” He laughed. “I know you too well to not know what it is.”
“Okay then, smartypants. What is it?”
“It’s the view from here. I can’t see it… I can’t see a thing. But I can feel it.”
“And that was my point.” I said, pride filling my heart and soul.
He ran his hand around the paper, picking up pencil lead all the way.
“I can almost literally feel it. Almost.” He said, raising the sketchbook up to his face. “I can see it, inside my head. And it’s amazing.”
That “little kid with a new toy” look took over his face again. If I had one moment in this life to capture forever…
“Let’s do this again sometime.”
As long as I still have your hand to hold.
“Of course.” I smiled. “Let’s go back inside, Mikey thinks I’m crazy and would probably be happy to see you safe and sound.”
“I’m better than safe and sound, Frank. I feel so alive.”
I think when he said “I get it”, he meant it in more ways than one. There was a second meaning behind it; one that I didn’t pick up on at first.
I think he’s starting to understand what’s happening to him. He knows something isn’t right. He knows that I know, but I’m not telling him because it’s better left unsaid. He’s always kept that stuff inside; never talked about it. He picks up on everything; sees things and understands them. And he keeps quiet about them.
Soon, he’ll be deaf as well as blind. I don’t know how I’ll keep him drawing, but I’ll find a way. That’s one thing he taught me so well: no matter what, fight. Find some way around it, and never, ever give up. Even now, he’s demonstrating just that.
He’s a fighter. But a fighter can only keep going for so long.
A/N: Fellow ficwaddians! I have a recommendation for you! I've just started reading this, and I am honestly so amazed. Please R&R it, it's called Gunshot, and it's by davidthesquirrel. Link -------> http://ficwad.com/story/213763