"So, you got a name?" He muttered into our shared pillow, fingers tapping against my back lightly. "Frank." He smirked. "Just Frank?" (Frerard, obviously.)
When I was younger I used to wonder how people would react to my death. Maybe it was just the teenage angst in me taking over, but it really did happen quite often. Every night, after picking at my dinner, after finishing stacks and stacks of homework, and after hiding from both of my parents like a creepy recluse, I'd lay awake in bed, just thinking. What would it be like to die? How and where would I go? How much would it affect those around me? I didn't really see the problem in my way of thinking. It had become a normal thing for me. Death was just really fascinating.
Of course, this kind of funked up my relationships with people. Most of my teenage years, I was alone, branded as the town weirdo. My friends turned away from me when I started to express my opinions. Some would call me names, and push me around, but most were just afraid. This, of course, only brought me further into my own thoughts, and away from reality. I became angry at others, and as the usual story goes, I began to hate my life.
Instead of wondering about death, I'd dream of it. Instead of writing reports, I'd write about the stages of decomposition. My whole life, was death, death, death.
My oh-so-loving parents would try to get me help, and I'd only brush them away. And, as soon as I hit the age of 18, I was outta there.
The college life was a weird experience. Most would blame it on the fact that I'd moved from a small town in North Carolina, and into the big, bustling city of New York. It also didn't help that I'd chosen to go to Art School. At this time, mostly the strange, eccentric people would chose art as a career path. Not that I ever thought I was strange myself, but you may disagree.
If I had to chose any time in my life where I felt mostly happy, this would be it. My class-mates were all equally, or in some cases, even more outlandish than I. They actually accepted me for what I was, weird ideas and all. I made more friends than I could even count on my fingers and toes. I was not exactly popular, but I was pretty damn close.
Somewhere in between all of the parties, projects, booze, and nights out, I lost my teenage angst. I no longer dreamt of the same things. My dreams were filled with the future, of what I'd be like, where I'd go. I never ever thought of death again. When the subject ever came up, I'd turn red with fear. I didn't want to think of dying, when life was such a beautiful thing.
And then during my third year of college, I met him.
He just showed up out of no where one night. I was at a party with one of my closest guy friends, completely shit-faced from the horrid combination of crappy wine and vodka jello shots. I got lost on my run to the bathroom, and somehow managed to find myself throwing up into a shoe box in the hallway closet.
I must have blacked out for a while because when I opened my eyes, he was there, standing over me and wiping a cool wash cloth against my forehead.
"Hey there, pukey." He said, strangely colored eyes glowing somehow in the slight darkness. "How you doin'?"
I managed to garble out a long string of nonsense, which was apparently amusing to him because he let out this high-pitched giggle that would have been cute if I wasn't doubling over for another round of "toss the cookies into an actual shoe this time".
I woke up in my room the next day, alone and really, really confused. When I asked my house-mate about how I'd actually gotten there, he just gave me this strange look and said, "Hell if I know, you were here before me."
So, I just let it go, figuring I'd somehow acquired the skill of magical teleportation.
The second time I met him was better, I suppose. It was about three weeks later, and I was drunk yet again. We were throwing a "small party" at our place, in celebration of a close friend's birthday. We were outside for a while, playing drinking games around the bonfire, and telling stories. At some point everyone ventured back inside, and I was left alone to my flat, warm beer.
"Want some company?" His voice startled me, and I whirled around to immediately meet a pair of glowing hazel-green eyes. His stance was shy, hands in his pockets, feet kicking lightly at the ground. I shrugged at him and pointed to the spot near me, tipping my beer as an invitation. His eyes seemed to light up even more then, mouth quirking up into an easy smile as he took a seat.
It was quiet for a while, both of us sipping on the same still flat beer as if we actually knew each other.
"So," I said eventually, speech slightly slurred, "Do you have a name or should I keep calling you bright eyes?"
He chuckled at my smooth talk, "Yeah. I got a name. I have many, actually."
I squinted at him. "Then, what's your favorite?"
His teeth were small and sharp. "Gerard. "
I took him to bed that night. We stumbled up the stairs and to my room at about half past three, hands grabbing and tearing at clothes like it would save our lives as we stumbled carefully over the sleeping bodies on the floor. When we kissed it was like fire, scorching hot and uncontrollable, sloppy in our intoxicated states. He pinned me to the bed and took me there, hands on either side of my head, mouth only leaving mine to take gulps of needed air. Neither of us lasted long, and by the end of it we were both half-passed out onto the bedspread, limbs entangled and hearts pounding.
"So, you got a name?" He muttered into our shared pillow, fingers tapping against my back lightly. I pressed myself closer to him and giggled out my answer.
He smirked. "Just Frank?"
I saw Gerard every weekend after that night. He'd always show up at my apartment, smirk in place around a cigarette, carrying a ridiculous man-bag about to hold all of his random possessions, and an umbrella shading him. We never went out anywhere, partly because he said he didn't like to be out in the sun for too long. I went along with it, not really thinking twice. We were perfectly happy being alone in our dark little habitat, watching corny movies, eating popcorn, or just having sex and sleeping the whole day. My house-mate called him weird, saying that I shouldn't be letting a man that I met once into the house. He was a stranger to other people, but somehow I knew him.
One night as we lay awake, half under the blankets on the bed, my mind began to wander. I began to think about my family back in North Carolina, about the people I used to know, about the things I used to do. And, I thought about death again.
It wasn't like before. I wasn't horrified, or angry, or scared, or even fascinated.
I was only a bit curious, now.
"Hey, what do you think dying is like?" I asked before I could stop myself, staring straight up at the ceiling, hands reaching up as if I could grab the invisible answers that were in the air. A hint of a smile tugged at his lips, and he grasped at my flailing limbs to bring them back down to the bed. Gerard kissed me then, long and hard, sucking the breath right out of me.
"I imagine it's beautiful." He murmured against my skin, nibbling a bit too roughly at my throat. "I imagine death is a release."
I like to believe that he was right.