"There were many possibilities that could have occurred, a lot of them not necessarily bad things."
Mikey parked just at the end of Gerard’s driveway and drove off. It was only beginning to get dark, and Gerard was anxious to talk to Frank, wanting to apologize. He scrambled to unlock the door and burst in. His backpack landed on the floor, and once again, the pills inside rattled inside their little orange bottles.
“Frank?” he called. No answer. Gerard repeated a little louder, “Frank!” He walked down to the garage to see if Frank was there, possibly still in the car. Once he turned the light on, he saw that his yellow car was nowhere to be seen. The tiredness that drained his energy and vitality was suddenly lifted at the shock of his car not being in the garage. Frank had left so much earlier than Gerard, and unless he got lost or some other alternative, he should have arrived before Gerard did. Still, Gerard told himself, there were many possibilities that could have occurred, a lot of them not necessarily bad things. First, Gerard dialed Frank’s number. For all he knew, Frank could have returned to his old house, which was soon to go up for sale so Frank could move in with Gerard. The phone rang and rang, but no one answered, meaning that the phone was on, but Frank, or anyone in the area, chose not to answer or simply couldn’t hear it. Gerard jogged back into the house to get the spare key for his old Camry, and ran across the garage, still calling Frank on his phone. He quickly started the car and sped off, hoping and praying that Frank was safe at his home.
Gerard pulled into Frank’s driveway, but saw no yellow car. Trying to keep up hope, Gerard didn’t allow himself to give up any possibility. Frank could have parked his car inside his garage. As fast as he possibly could, Gerard ran up to the doorstep and rang the doorbell while furiously knocking on the door. He imagined Frank opening it, weary-eyed and a little peeved at the commotion Gerard had made at his house entrance. Unfortunately, contrary to his wishes, no one answered.
“Frank!” Gerard called, cupping his hands around his mouth to amplify his voice. “Frank!” He cried louder and louder, sure to have his voice reach every crevice of his moderately sized house. From across the street, an angry neighbor shouted,
“Shut up!” from out of his window. Gerard didn’t give up and still called,
“Frank!” The neighbor shouted in response to Gerard’s hopeless,
“I’ll call the police!” That shut Gerard up. Police were the last thing Gerard needed at the moment, unless they were to file a missing persons report on Frank. Gerard put his head in hands, pacing the sidewalk leading up to the main entrance. He tried to think of any possible place where Frank could be; anywhere that made a difference in Frank’s life, but couldn’t think of anywhere. All of Frank’s life, as far as Gerard know, he had moved from house to house, being raised by several collections of fosters parents, each almost identical in actions: pitying Frank and his situation. Frank rarely found compassion in his early life.
The more the Gerard thought and worried about the prospects of Frank, the more possibilities of having him injured or simply disappeared seemed to pop up in his brain. Over and over, he called Frank’s phone, only being directed to voicemail each time. Then, deciding there was no use in staying at Frank’s old abandoned house, he went home.
In the kitchen of his own house, Gerard sat and called everyone and anyone that could have any idea where Frank was. The last people that were possibly left were the band. Gerard dialed Ray’s number, and waited for him to pick up. Only a couple rings later, Ray picked up.
“Do you know where Frank is?”
“I thought he drove home.” Gerard felt his stomach drop. Less and less people knew where Frank was.
“No, that’s what he said but he’s not here.”
“Did you go to his house?”
“Yeah, he’s not there either.”
“And he didn’t pick up his phone, I’m assuming.”
“Sorry, Gerard I have no ide—“ Gerard’s phone beeped, indicating that he had a call waiting. He interrupted Ray,
“Sorry, I have another call. Thanks though.”
“Call me if you need anything.”
“Thanks,” Gerard said and switched calls. “Hello?” He answered.
“Mr. Gerard Way?” a woman’s voice said.
“Yes, who’s speaking?”
“This is Newark Hospital.” Newark hospital? Gerard thought. He never had any business there, but just the mention of the place led him to horrifying assumptions about Frank. The woman continued, “We have a man here, Frank Iero, who has head trauma, several lacerations around the body, and an openly fractured arm from a car crash on the Garden State Parkway. He’s conscious now, but he didn’t have any emergency contacts on his insurance information, so we couldn’t reach you. Are you w—“
“Frank?!” Gerard said. On the opposite line, the woman seemed to regard his outburst without concern, as reactions like that frequently came up, and continued,
“Are you willing to take him home as soon as he’s ready?” Gerard stuttered, still in shock,
“O- Of course. I’ll come now.”
“Would you like directions?” the woman as sweetly.
“No, thank you.”
“Drive safely.” Gerard hung up and shoved the phone in his pocket, running to the garage. He scrambled to put the keys in the ignition, all the while his hands shaking violently.
He was soon on the main road, trying not to speed, but couldn’t help go above the speed limit. It was all his fault, he told himself. While the woman on the phone told him about Frank’s situation, everything in his mind was pieced together. When Frank was cut off during their call, it wasn’t because of bad reception, but was because of the crash. Obviously, he couldn’t answer Gerard’s calls if he was being wheeled into an ambulance. Head trauma, lacerations, and a broken arm. In his mind, Gerard tortured himself with images of Frank, bleeding profusely with bits of glass and metal stuck into his skin with several paramedics carrying his limp body onto a stretcher. In his thoughts, Gerard didn’t notice the silent tears involuntarily spilling down his face. It wasn’t only the horrifying images he played over and over in his mind, but the fact that it was all his fault. He was the one who selfishly told Frank how he ruined everything. He was the one who didn’t chase him afterwards; the one who returned to the show instead of trying to search for Frank. Gerard was the one who allowed Frank to drive away. He was the one made Frank crash the car. If he hadn’t interrupted Frank’s concentration on the road, he never would have crashed.
While in his guilt-ridden thoughts, Gerard subconsciously followed the GPS on his phone and arrived at the hospital. He parked in the middle of the masses of cars, taking a frustrating amount of time to find a parking space. After he left and locked his car, maneuvered around the parking lot, the sudden thought dawning upon him that the owners of these cars were most likely sick or mourning over the ill. So many people were in desperate need of medical attention, and to each one respectively, they felt they or their loved one was rightfully merited to receive treatment with disregard to the approximate thousands of others who yearned for the same attention. And realistically, the higher you were in financial status, as devastating the thought was, the better treatment was received. This crisis in healthcare and human ethics was debated nation-wide, but still, Gerard had no part in this at this time. All he wanted was for Frank to be okay, and he would pay any sum of money for him to be. For the third time that day, he felt selfish.
At the front desk, the receptionist pointed out where Frank would be, and after quickly thanking her, Gerard anxiously navigated through the pristine white halls. He felt uneasy in the ridiculously sanitary building, but pressed on. Soon, he reached room 221 in the Trauma Center and stood outside the doorway, hesitating to step insides, for fear that he would see a horribly mangled body of his beloved and having to realize that it was his fault. Still, he continued, and walked through the door to only be met by a dull blue curtain, blocking his view of half of the room and the bed where Frank probably lay. Gerard pushed back the curtain, and stepped out from behind it. Frank wasn’t quite as contorted as Gerard imagined in his mind, but still, at the sight of his already shattered companion, he choked on his breath and stayed frozen in place. Frank’s upper body was slightly elevated on the bed, and though his face was facing away from Gerard, he looked as though he was sleeping. The side of Frank’s forehead was covered in white bandage, as well as many parts of his body that were visible. Most horrifying of all, a metal bracket surrounded Frank’s right forearm, and more white bandages covered part of the same area. The bracket contained several circular pieces of metal going around his arm, held together with several long cylinders of metal, and protruding from those, were more needles jutting into Frank’s skin in several different areas. Clearly, he had gone through some sort of surgery, but being that he had no experience in the medical area whatsoever, Gerard was completely clueless as to what had happened to Frank.
As Gerard’s guilty thoughts swarmed in his mind, blaming himself for the damaged body in front of him, his assumptions as to whether Frank was awake or not were proven incorrectly. Soon after Gerard stepped into the room and examined Frank from a distance, he turned his head to face the person that entered the room. They stayed staring for a moment, Gerard wanting to burst into apologies, but too astounded to say anything. Finally, Frank said,
“I’m sorry.” Gerard sputtered in response, taking a while to finally spit out,
“I destroyed your car.” Gerard ran both hands through his hair and unfroze himself from his position, walking towards the bed, halfway there.
“I don’t care about the car.”
“I shouldn’t have driven off,” Frank said.
“I shouldn’t have said what I said. You didn’t do any wrong. I was the one at fault, Frank. This was my fault.” Frank smiled melancholically, and said,
“This was none of your fault. You weren’t the one who made me crash. I just had one of those headaches I’ve been having these days, and veered off the road.” As comforting as it was to have Frank tell Gerard he had nothing to do with the matter, he knew that that could not possibly be true.
Frank adjusting himself to better face Gerard. As he moved himself up the bed, Gerard noticed his peculiar lack of response to pain in his arm. Those thick needles sticking into his skin, Gerard shuddered, must have hurt.
“What happened?” he asked. Frank sighed, looking down at his mechanically augmented arm, and said,
“I swerved off the road and hit one of those road blocks, so the car flipped over the side of the road. My arm broke, an open fracture, I think they called it, and I got a minor concussion, thank god. They had to put this external fixator thing on my arm through surgery though... It doesn’t really hurt now because of the local anesthetic, but I’m not looking forward to when it wears off… Oh, and stiches on the forehead, too,” he said, pointed to his head with his good arm. Something suddenly snapped inside Gerard, and the anticipation towards this final event came flooding out from behind his usually sturdy barrier of undisclosed emotions. He rushed towards Frank, carefully avoiding his arm and any other bandaged areas, and embraced the small man, enjoying his touch. As strong as the piercing smell of sterile sheets and material was in the hospital, Gerard could still smell Frank’s familiar scent, soft, but with a certain roughness to it as well.
“I love you,” Gerard said.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed this chapter! For some of the people who have read my other stories, I think you may have noticed the amount of research that goes into it. I try to become completely familiar with the topic so I don't get anything wrong. I know that it's rare that someone would be in the exact same situation, but still, I always feel much more comfortable when I know I'm somewhere close to right. So, anyway, if you spot anything wrong with the content, please don't refrain from telling me! I'd actually really appreciate your knowledge!
So again, regarding the research, when I described Frank having an external fixator/metal braket, I was talking about this --> External Fixator Basically, it's just used for mending bones, but I included this wiry contraption in this story because it's commonly used for fixing open fractures (when the broken bone pierces the tissue or skin.)