The doctors know who we are... we had to tell them. I remember looking over at Gerard for confirmation that I was doing the right thing, and his patented nod of the head gave me all the confirmation I needed. Now that I think of it, I’m not sure why he wanted me to tell them; I had to write a fucking note, whereas he could have just said it straight-out. Regardless, the doctors gave a bit of a “harrumph”, and the nurses looked slightly frightened. None of them gave any hints as to what they were going to do in regards to the fact that they were treating a highly wanted psycho-murderer; Gerard is scheduled to be released today though, so that may change.
“Well would you look at that.” Gerard laughed, pointing to the TV on the wall opposite his bed.
“What?” I asked, looking up from the book I was reading.
“After a large-scale event concerning the US mafia on Thursday, the Cabaret Del Diamante, only kilometres from the US-Mexico border, was shut down. Sources say that the thought to be long-sealed interior manhole inside the club was actually opened years ago, and ever since has been used as a mafia base. An estimated 30 mafia members and allies have been arrested, some even taking lengths such as using a drag alibi to avoid being found out. Greg, how do you feel about that?” The news reporter said, turning to the older man beside her.
“Well Susan, the events of the past days will most certainly have significant effects on both the US and Mexico, along with the entire mafia industry, for years to come. They say that the cause of the uproar was the shooting of the long-wanted criminal Gerard Way; his status and whereabouts are currently unknown to the public.” The man presumed to be Greg replied.
“Okay, I’ve heard enough.” I sighed, switching the TV off. “They talk about it like it’s a good thing, it’s sickening.”
“Frank, think about it from their viewpoints. I’ve shot their relatives, their friends… they have a right to hate me.” Gerard said.
“You’re a damn human, of course you’ve made mistakes. I doubt they’re as perfect as they think they are, either.”
“Whatever, it doesn’t matter. What does matter though, is that without even realizing it, we may have helped put an end to the business. Almost makes it worth getting shot.” He grinned proudly. “We’ll be in jail soon enough… revenge is off the table.”
The next few minutes were overtaken by a dead, eerie silence. Both of us had too many questions to talk over right now.
“Sr. Way, el Sr. Iero?” Gerard’s nurse of the day said as she walked in; two doctors and a group of security guards and US police officers followed behind her.
This can’t be good.
"Sr. Way, a partir de ahora le den de alta del hospital." The nurse said timidly, reading off the chart in her hands. “Buena suerte."
“I’m released from the hospital, yada yada.” Gerard translated.
The nurse stepped aside for the policemen.
“And under the US law, both of you are under arrest. Mr. Way, your charges are first degree murder, aggravated assault, arson, grand larceny, fraud, vandalism on federal property…” The first officer said, taking a breath. “Kidnapping, threatening an official, and criminal corporation involvement. Mr. Iero, your charges are manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, fraud, vandalism on federal property, threatening an official, and criminal corporation involvement. You have the right to remain silent.”
The second officer came over and handcuffed both Gerard and I. Gerard appeared completely submissive, and as calm as could be. I on the other hand was far from calm, yet smart enough to know that it would not be a bright move to be anything but submissive.
“We’ll be flying you to Washington immediately, where you will be held in custody until your Supreme Court arraignment in two days. I suggest you do whatever is asked of you… the odds aren’t exactly in your favour.”
In silence, Gerard and I were walked out of the hospital and put into a helicopter waiting directly outside. Security guards lined the way; as if Gerard or I were actually fucking stupid enough to try anything. Our time is up, and both of us know it.
As long as we’re together in the end, I don’t even care anymore.
We were put into the back section of the helicopter, where we were trapped inside by metal bars and other various security precautions. I was thankful for the absence of the expected security guard (or five), as it gave us some time to talk without having to worry about whatever we say being held against us in court.
“Are you okay?” I whispered to Gerard, hoping he could hear me over the muffled roaring of the helicopter taking off.
“I’m finally getting what’s coming to me, how could I not be?” He whispered back with a forced smile. “You don’t know what it’s like to take lives for a living and never get punished for it. It fucking sucks.”
“Didn’t you hear? I was charged with manslaughter. Me – fucking Frank Iero, the comic store guy – charged with manslaughter.” I stated, really starting to understand the reality of the situation. “But I get your point.”
“You got manslaughter because you were not only new and under major influence, but you didn’t directly cause any deaths. Just assisted in them. And thank God for that, because that little technicality right there is likely the only thing saving you from death penalty.”
Please don’t tell me I’m right. Don’t say yes.
“Yeah, the chances of me getting a life sentence instead of death penalty are very, very slim.” He trembled. “I’m sorry, Frank. I didn’t realize my charges were that severe.”
I was at a loss for words. At first, the whole jail thing didn’t seem so bad; I’d not only be helping my country rid itself of the whole mafia corporation, but I would get to live the rest of my days out with Gerard. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I’d rather live through hell with the one I love, than through heaven all alone. But those few words changed the entire direction of my future; what I’ve got coming to me now isn’t hell with the one I love. It’s hell all alone.
Not wanting to let him see me upset, the only thing I could think of to do next was scoot myself over beside him and rest my head on his shoulder, praying that someone or something out there would have the mercy and the grace to save him.
“I’m still gonna find a way to make sure you’ll be okay.” He said, kissing the top of my head. “You’re so much more than this life.”
No, Gerard. I’m not. I’ve spent my entire life so far letting down everyone I know. I deserve this.
But then again, I didn’t think I deserved you either.
“Wh-What if the lawyers find a way? To get you a life sentence?” I asked. “If a technicality could save me, it can save you too, right?”
“Frank, if it were anyone else, you’d think they deserved the death sentence.”
I spent the rest of the helicopter ride thinking about what Gerard said; and although I understand what he was getting at, I’m not sure if he was right. A year ago, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought; there would be no doubt in my mind that a criminal of Gerard’s level would deserve to die. I saw them all as cold hearted and barely human… a barely functioning robot that lived to watch others suffer. But I am one of the few people in the world that at some point in their lives, had the opportunity to get an inside view of the criminal life. I call it an opportunity, because through it I realized that criminals, and even the seemingly coldest of killers, are only human. They have feelings and fears and weaknesses, and regardless of how they may present themselves, they all have reasons why they do it. Gerard is no different; he’s a human, and a damn incredible one at that. And it saddens me so much that the courts refuse to open their eyes to that; they just throw everyone who steps over the justice line into jail, without even a thought of forgiveness or a second chance.
If anyone in this world deserves a second chance, it’s the man right beside me. The man who, within the space of a few months, will likely be gone from this world.