Chapter 43: Gangsta-screamo, that’s a thing now
Gerard couldn’t believe he was there. He couldn’t believe what he was about to do. He couldn’t believe he was actually going to... Gerard shuddered at the very thought of it as he opened the glass door and stepped into the room. The large windows let in a lot of bright light, but other than that the room was a bit messy. The sheets on the bed were all bundled up, a backpack was thrown carelessly on a chair and clothes, books and pencils were spilling out of it. A Game Boy was on the bed, and it was silently playing the pause music of some game. But one thing was missing from the room. Where was Lucas?
Before Gerard could go ask a nurse of the whereabouts of the boy, there was a loud, surprised and incredibly horrified shout. Gerard saw Lucas standing at the door to the small bathroom that was connected to the hospital room.
“NURSE!”” Lucas shouted. “HE’S TRYING TO KILL ME!” Yeah, he was fine with Gerard being there when Gia was also present, but for sure if they were alone, it meant there would be blood and lots of it.
Gerard rolled his eyes. “I’m not here to kill you, you can relax,” he assured the boy and then shooed off the befuddled nurse who had come to see what all the commotion was about.
“You’re not here just to finish the job? You’re not disappointed the bullet didn’t kill me or something?” Lucas asked, glaring at the man suspiciously while crossing the room and climbing back into his bed. He was aware of how exposed he was in that stupid hospital gown that left his butt completely nude. Sure, it made going to the bathroom so much easier, but also made seeing visitors a tad awkward.
“No, I just want to talk,” Gerard sighed, pulling up a chair and sitting on it. “How are you feeling?”
“Alive, and I’d like to keep it that way. Why?” the boy asked, covering his legs with the sheets.
“I meant your wound, does it hurt?”
Lucas shrugged, glancing down at his chest. The bandages were covered with the fabric of the gown, but he could feel them there. “Not really, not anymore anyway. It probably would, but they gave me a lot of pain killers.”
Gerard nodded, looking down and preparing himself for the hardest thing he’s ever had to say. “The reason I came here is... I wanted to say...”
“That you want to stab me to death...?”
“No,” Gerard said hastily when Lucas’, hand moved towards the nurse-calling buttons on the side of the bed. “Look I know we haven’t really gotten along in the past, and I know that’s partly my fault,” he said, and after Lucas snorted out a laughter, he added: “Fine, it’s all my fault. It’s no secret. But recently I’ve been... led to understand that... Perhaps... You might not be the worst person Gia could... Be with. To tell you the truth, compared to the other guys she’s dragged home, you might not be so bad. But you have to understand, she’s my daughter and I don’t want her to end up marrying some lazy hobo she has to support because he’s too lazy to even get a job. And sorry but I was pretty sure you would be that lazy bastard who would ruin her life.”
“Wow, I’m feeling so much better,” Lucas said, the sarcasm shining through his words with the force of a thousand suns.
“I hate it when people judge others without getting to know them, and I realize that’s exactly what I did to you. I’m sorry.”
Lucas couldn’t believe that Gerard Way, the man who hated his guts and wanted nothing more than to rip them out of his stomach was now apologizing. “What?”
“And thank you. You saved my daughter’s life,” Gerard said, now finally looking straight at him. “I can’t thank you enough for that. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like her hanging around you, but at least now I know you won’t let her get murdered. Look, she’s one of the most important things in my life, and it’s... at least reassuring to know that maybe she’s safe with you.”
Lucas was in shock. He opened his mouth and then snapped it shut again. He just couldn’t find the words. “Wow,” he finally said. “So all along all I had to do was get shot at and almost die in order for you to try not to kill me?”
Gerard realized the irony of the situation as well, and shrugged. “Anyway, that’s all I came here to say.” He hesitated, and then continued with: “Maybe we should... Talk?”
“We are talking, aren’t we?”
“I mean, really. Have a conversation. You and Gia have known each other for... How long? Three years?”
“Sounds about right.”
“Yeah, and I know nothing about you. Tell me something about yourself. What are you going to do after high school?”
Lucas’ face brightened up and very excitedly he explained: “Well, me and a couple of other guys are in this band.”
“Really? What kind of music do you play?”
“It’s kind of straight up gangster-screamo. And okay it’s just me and my friend Sharpie at the moment but we’re looking for a good vocalist.”
At the mention of ‘gangster-screamo’ Gerard had sighed deeply. This wasn’t sounding very good. “Your friend’s name is Sharpie? That’s... Interesting.”
“Well his real name is Jim, but we call him Sharpie because he sniffs marker pens. And who are you to judge anyway, you named your kid Bandit.”
“Point taken,” Gerard said. Now he was torn. Support an aspiring young music group or force his daughter’s boyfriend to have an actual education? In the end, his fatherly side beat up the musician in him to a bloody pulp. “Please tell me you’re going to college.”
“Of course I applied to some colleges. The band thing is more like a plan B anyway.”
Gerard didn’t feel very reassured. “Alright. I think this conversation is over.” He walked to the door to leave, but changed his mind and came back. “There’s one more thing.”
Lucas assumed he had now decided to kill him after all, and his hand went up to guard his face.
“Relax,” Gerard sighed. “I’m really not going to kill you.”
“Then what is it?” Lucas asked. He was still a bit worried, but lowered his arms.
“I know it’s not really going to make up for anything,” Gerard started, looking at anything but Lucas, so the boy knew this was going to be something awkward. “But you did save my daughter’s life so... I should... Repay you somehow, I guess. So what will it be?”
“What?” Lucas asked, not quite getting what he meant.
“Money? A new car? I know the one you drive now is shit. Or a new apartment?”
Lucas shook his head. He did need a new car, because the one he drove was about to fall apart, and he shared it with Danny. And the apartment they lived in had no heating... “No thanks,” he said in the end. “I don't need any of that. But there is something you could do...”
Gerard listened as Lucas explained his wish, and trust me, it was much better than Gerard’s offer to buy him a car.