Sometimes a picture is all it takes.
When Gerard arrived home he saw another plain white envelope lying underneath the door-mat. Gerard’s heart skipped a beat as he reached down to grab it. He recognized the hand-writing immediately as Frank’s.
Meet me tomorrow at Gina’s Diner on Jewel Street at 6 PM. We have a lot to talk about.
Gerard folded the envelope and put it in his pocket. He didn’t know what he was going to tell his wife, he hated lying to her but he knew that, for her safety, he had too. He shook his head and stepped inside the house. Lindsay was sitting on the couch watching TV; she looked up at her husband and smiled.
“I hope you don’t mind but I ordered pizza for dinner. I was not feeling up to cooking tonight.” Lindsay informed.
“Pizza sounds great, but are you okay? Are you feeling sick?” Gerard asked as he sat down next to Lindsay.
She shook her head, “No I’m feeling just fine, I think the baby might be on her way out here soon. She’s kicking a lot more.” Lindsay laughed softly. Gerard kissed her gently on the forehead and brought her closer to him. He ran his hand through her hair as they both mindlessly watched what was on the television. Gerard let his eyelids close and he let his mind wander.
“Son, I’m going to need to ask you some questions.” The tall police man stated in a firm tone; Gerard and the cop were standing outside Gerard’s house. Yellow tape marked a barrier across the yard, keeping all the neighbors and the reporters at a respectable distance. Gerard wrapped his arms around himself and slowly nodded showing that he knew what the man was saying.
“Okay, now what time did you come home?” He asked.
“A-about two hours ago.” Gerard stated.
“And what did you see when you arrived?” The police officer continued.
“I-I saw that my mom’s vase was broken, and th-then I saw them. I saw my parents in the kitchen.” Gerard felt tears sting his eyes, but he blinked quickly to keep them from falling.
“And then what happened?” The man pushed on.
“I saw that Mikey wasn’t there…I looked through the entire house. A-All of our rooms were messed up. B-but Mikey wasn’t in the house.” Gerard muttered. The cop nodded as he wrote something down on his small notepad. Gerard looked back at his house he instantly wished he hadn’t.
The coroner’s walked out pulling two gurneys, and holding two large black bags. Gerard couldn’t tear his eyes away from them. He watched as they rolled the stretchers across the yard and into the awaiting vans. It suddenly hit him that he would never see his parents again. His parents were gone, and so was his brother. He’d lost everything in just one night.
“Son, we called your grandmother she’ll be here soon.” The officer reported and patted Gerard on the shoulder before walking back inside. Gerard blankly stared at all the people lined up around his house. All the cameras facing him, everyone waiting until he broke.
Gerard soon felt arms pull him into a tight embrace, he knew instantly it was his grandma. She quickly led him to the car and drove away from the house.After they reached the house they walked into the living room, Gerard collapsed on the couch. Elena hugged her grandson tightly as he wept. His sobs echoed the small house and she could feel tears running down her face. “It’ll be okay…everything will be okay.” She whispered into his ear.
Gerard was snapped out of his thoughts when he heard the shrill sound of the doorbell. Lindsay started to get up to go answer it but Gerard said, “Don’t worry I got it.”
He opened the door and saw a young woman standing outside; she was holding a box of pizza. She snapped her gum as she retold the price to Gerard. He quickly handed her the money and a small tip and shut the door. The two ate the pizza in a blissful silence before Gerard spoke again.
“I don’t think I’ll make it home for dinner tomorrow night.” Gerard stated.
Lindsay looked up at him, “Again?”
Gerard nodded, “I’m sorry sweetie but Ray and I decided to stay late tomorrow to do some more research for the case.”
Lindsay sighed softly, “Well…okay. Just call me if you expect to be any later than nine.”
“I will, I’m sorry,” Gerard said again.
“It’s okay, I understand. Work is work.” Lindsay smiled up at her husband, “I’m really tired, I think I’m going to bed a bit early tonight.”
“Okay, I’ll be in there in a few. I love you.” Gerard said.
“I love you too.” Lindsay grinned and walked to the bedroom.
Once he heard the sound of the door shutting he groaned and put his head in his hands. He almost wished that Lindsay would question his lies, that she’d make him feel bad. She trusted him with her whole heart and he was abusing that fact.
The next day Gerard had an uneasy feeling about his meeting with Frank that evening. He wished that he could just get his brother back, but he knew nothing was ever that easy. Ray noticed Gerard’s nervous attitude and asked if he was okay multiple times but Gerard would just nod and smile, ignoring his friend’s worried glances. When it was time to go Gerard quickly grabbed his things and rushed to his car.
He began the short drive to the small diner that he’d only visited once while he was living with his grandmother. When he entered the diner only a few people vacated the seats, and not one of them were Frank. Gerard sighed and looked at his watch; he was still a half an hour early. He walked over to a booth in the far corner and slid in so that he was facing the door. Within in a minute a young waitress walked up to the table.
“Hello sir, welcome to Gina’s diner. Can I get you started with a drink?” She asked with a smile, Gerard looked at her name tag Sarah. Her black hair was pulled back tightly in a ponytail, her bluish-grey eyes stood out against her dark make-up.
“Coffee please,” Gerard grinned; Sarah nodded and wrote down the order on the small notebook before placing a menu in front of Gerard.
“I’ll be right back with your coffee sir.” She stated and walked away. Gerard studied the menu trying to act as normal as possible. Within a few moments Sarah came back with his coffee. “Are you ready to order; or would you like some more time?”
“Just a few more minutes please,” Gerard stated warmly, Sarah nodded and walked away.
Gerard’s head snapped up when he heard the bell on the door ring loudly. He knew instantly that it was Frank; Frank spotted him and walked over to the booth.
“I’m sorry…was I late?” Frank asked as he sat down across from Gerard.
Gerard shook his head, “No, I got here early, you’re okay.”
After a few minutes of silence Sarah came over and took their order. Gerard took a small sip of his coffee before speaking, “So Frank…what do we need to talk about?”
“First off there are a few things I need you to know about me.” Frank started.
“I know that your last name is Iero,” Frank’s eyes widened as Gerard spoke, “I also know that your father was killed when you were young and that your uncle took you in after that.”
“H-how do you know all this?” Frank stuttered.
“Frank…honestly I’m a detective, I have my resources. I didn’t know if I was going to see you again so I decided to do some research.” Gerard answered.
“You can’t go snooping into other people’s business.”Frank stated in a cold tone.
“For one, it’s my job to snoop and secondly, I can damn well look into someone’s business if they know where my brother is.” Gerard said.
Frank took a deep breath before continuing, “Look…I know this must be hard for you but you’re going to have to trust me if you want to see Mikey again.”
Gerard frustrated, ran a hand through his hair. “How can I trust you? How do I even know that you know where Mikey is?”
Frank bit his lip, and pulled something out of his pocket. Gerard stared at Frank with a confused expression. Frank began to unfold what looked like a picture. He put it on the table and pushed it toward Gerard. Gerard looked down and saw that it was a picture of a teenage boy, he was lying on a dirty mattress, and his closed eyes were covered by a pair of glasses. His light brown hair somewhat covered his face, Gerard noticed that the boy in the picture was unhealthily skinny, and a rope was tied around his right ankle. A large bruise covered his cheekbone. The more Gerard looked at the picture the more certain he became that he was looking at brother.
Frank took the picture and folded it back up. “I took that while he was sleeping, Gerard do you trust me now?”
Gerard nodded his head slowly, “Yeah, yeah Frank I trust you.”