In the middle of a gun fight, in the center of a book store..
"Gerard?", I asked dumbstruck.
As a response he mummbled something.
We dropped our broom and pan and ran for him because I suspect he would not remain standing much longer.
He was really drunk. Drunker than drunk.
It was a miracle he found the house because I didn't think he recognized us.
We grabbed him and helped him down to his basement, a floor of which was covered with cans of beer, drawing and other random rubbish.
We tripped a couple hundred times but made it to Gerard's bed.
Just as we seated him on the bed the lights came back and caused us all to squint and Gerard mummbled something.
I was surprised he was able to mumble, it's the drunkest I ever saw him.
We helped him out of his coat and shoes.
"I'll get him something to drink", said Mikey and exited the basement.
I stared at Gerard and he stared at me, at least I think that what he was doing, then he shut his hand to his mouth and ran to the bathroom attached to the room.
I quickly followed him, the sight of him sitting on the floor in front of the toilet, throwing his guts made me feel a mixture of sadness and anger at the same time.
I approached him, held back his shoulder length black hair, to make him at least a bit comfortable.
After there was nothing left to throw up, he leaned on me ,exhausted.
I flushed the toilet without looking and led him back to his bed.
After I made sure he's comfortable, I returned to the bathroom, took a clean towel from the wreck and held it under the cold water tap. I squeezed it so it wouldn't drip and took it back to Gerard.
I sat on the edge of the bed, wiping his sweaty face and mouth with the towel. He closed his eyes with pleasure from the cold towel on his burning skin.
Mikey returned with cup of tea for Gerard in his left hand and glass of water in his right hand.
"You look like you saw a ghost", he said handing me the cold water.
Gerard sipped the tea and spilt half of it on the blanket I covered him with, he avoided looking in our direction and held his gaze firmly on the cup.
He finished drinking and put the cup down with a trembling hand. It broke my heart to see him like this.
I covered him with a blanket and took the cup from the drawer, where he placed it.
He caught my gaze with his unfocused blood shot eyes and whispered my name, I thought he's going to say something but he blacked out.
I exchanged looks with Mikey and went to the bathroom to wet the towel again.
I returned to the room when Mikey buttoned Gerard's pajama, we covered him with a clean blanket instead of the one he spilt tea all over and I've put the towel on his boiling hot forehead.
Mikey picked Gerard's dirty cloths and turned off the light as we walked out.
I sat on the sofa while Mikey dropped the clothes in the washing room and dishes in the kitchen.
When he returned, he took one look at my face and said, "I'll walk you home".
He went upstairs for my coat.
After I put on my coat, Mikey wrapped his arm around my shoulder and I wrapped my arm around his waist and we made our way silently to my mother's flat.
On the next morning, to my surprise Gerard waited with Mikey as usual. Under the huge sunglasses he was wearing I could see the same green skin tone from yesterday and his pale lips were almost white.
I ignored him all the way school, he tried to touch my hand as usual but I put all my efforts into not smiling.
During the breaks I looked for things to do, trying to look busy. I even played with Frank the stupid card game he invented.
On lunch time I dragged Mikey the furthest I could from him and made sure he won't have the opportunity to sit closer.
I avoided his looks, avoided his touch.
I was so angry with him. For doing this to himself, to Mikey. To me.
In a way I could understand him. He was feeling bad and that's the only way he knew how to make the feeling go away, but still I wanted him to be stronger. I needed him to be stronger, like that day in the park.
I knew I was selfish and mean by ignoring him but when I saw him drink his usual self away, it hurt me so much.
I wanted him to laugh, to be happy not throw his inside up.
After school I stopped by my mother's flat to drop off my bag and eat lunch after which I headed for Mikey's store.
I hoped I won't find Gerard there.
I didn't know how to explain my behaviour to him, in a way I felt guilty for ignoring him.
I entered the store looking around for Mikey and making sure I stayed away from the comic books section, where we often sat.
I saw Mikey handling customers, I smiled to him and waved. He waved back.
I went over to the books section looking for something to read while I waited.
"What's up with you today", Gerard startled me. He stood behind me with his hands crossed on his chest, his glasses were off just to display the dark circles he had under his eyes.
"I can ask you the same thing", I continued to look for interesting titles.
"What do you mean?", I heard him lean on the shelf behind me.
"You got so drunk yesterday, you barely made it into the house", I refused to look at him.
I was outraged by his reply.
"So? So? Why do you do it?", I turned around sharply to face him, holding some book I grabbed at the heat of the moment.
"Because I want to", he stood up straight again ,"I don't owe you any explanations".
I was prepared to throw the god damn book on him.
"Of course you don't", I replied sarcastically, I didn't quite know what to say.
I just wished he could see why it's upsetting me so much.
"You're not my mother", he looked past me.
"I'm your friend", I put my hands on my hips with the book somewhere in between.
Gerard smirked sadly, "Yeah".
That done it for me. I snapped.
"YES! LIKE IT OR NOT! I'M YOUR FRIEND AND I CARE FOR YOU AND I WISH YOU COULD SEE IT! BUT YOU'RE JUST A PLAIN MOTHERFUCKER! YOU DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ANYTHING BUT YOURSELF! AND YOU DON'T CARE WHO YOU HURT! YOU DON'T CARE WHO YOU HURT BY WHAT YOU'RE DOING! YOU DON'T MIND HURTING YOUR BROTHER! AND YOU SURE DON'T MIND BREAKING MY FREAKING HEART! IF YOU THINK NOBODY CARES, YOU'RE WRONG! BECAUSE WE DO! WE ALL FUCKING DO! MAYBE IF YOU WERE SOBER FOR A FEW DAYS IN A ROW, YOU WOULD NOTICE SOMETHING ELSE EXCEPT FOR BOOZE!! YOU'RE SELFISH AND I HATE YOU! AND I HATE MYSELF FOR CARING AND WASTING MY TIME ON YOU!!", I shouted it without taking a breath in and almost instantly regretted everything I said.
I could see Gerard was upset by what I just said, what I didn't see coming was that he started yelling back, "YOU'RE THE ONE WHO'S SELFISH! YOU NEVER SEE ANYONE BUT YOURSELF! AND MIKEY OF COURSE! YOU THINK BECAUSE YOU'RE FUCKING PERFECT, WE ALL HAVE TO BE JUST LIKE YOU!! WELL WE'RE NOT!! I'M NOT!! AND IF I WANT TO FUCKING DRINK MYSELF TO DEATH, I'M GOING TO DO JUST THAT!! AND I DON'T NEED YOU'RE FUCKING PERMISSION TO DO THAT!!
I was overwhelmed and out of control, I turned to leave but then swung around and threw the book at him, I was so furious I didn't even aim properly and it went flying past him, "I'M PERFECT?! SURE I AM! AS IF YOU DON'T KNOW MY FUCKING LIFE!! JUST BECAUSE I DON'T DRINK MYSELF TO SHIT DOESNT MEAN I'M FUCKING PERFECT!! YOU...YOU.. YOU MOTHERFUCKER!! YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT MY FUCKING PERFECT LIFE!! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT??"
"OH SURE!! MOMMY HATES YOU!! BOO-FUCKING-HOO",he screamed on top of his lungs.
My jaw dropped, "GO FUCK YOURSELF OR DRINK OR TAKE WHATEVER IT IS YOU'RE TAKING!!! FUCKING BASTARD!!!"
"I'LL DO JUST THAT!!! AND ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU WHILE DOING THAT!! IN FACT MY NEXT DRINK IS TO FUCKING HONOR YOU!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I ACTUALLY LOVED A STUPID MOTHERFUCKER LIKE YOU!!
People began to gather around looking at us.
"OH FUCKING KISS MY ASS!! DRUNKEN IDIOT!! YOU NEVER LOVED ANYONE BY YOURSELF!!!", I yelled back.
"Guys what the hell are you doing?", Mikey came through the crowd.
Gerard and I glared at each other, breathing heavily. His face was red and I felt like I'm on fire.
I smiled weakly at Mikey, "I was just leaving". I flipped Gerard my middle finger and stormed out of the store.
A couple blocks from the store I collapsed on the bench and started crying.
How I wished to feel him close now.
Why did I started that stupid fight in the first place?. His drinking is none of my business.
'You care for him too much to see him suffer', said a little voice in my head.
I do care for him don't I?. But now it is all lost, he'll never speak to me again.
'He hurt you pretty badly, he knew all about your so called perfect life and how broken you are inside yet he wasn't afraid to throw this in your face', said the same voice.
I nodded to myself.
I was a mess.
I was angry as hell, but in the same time I felt awful for starting this shit.
But wasn't I a hypocrite?
How many times I wished for something to take all the shit I was feeling away, how many times I thought about drinking to forget?
On holidays or special occasions I always used the opportunity to drink for relief, to forget my sorrow.
How different was I from Gerard?, at least he was brave enough to do something to feel better for some time and not hide behind masks, or special occasions.
But did I really feel better after I drank?
For a while, and then I felt the pain stab me again ruthlessly and with more passion.
Was it this way for gerard? Did he felt this too?.
I felt even worse for yelling at him but than I remembered his words and they choked me.
I felt numb again, it felt like a part of me was dying.
I stood up and headed home.