Act 3, Scene 3
"Mikey?" he said through a mouthful of crumbs. He swallowed and spoke again. "Mikey, get in here before you get killed! I told you this was a bad idea." He grabbed Mikey by the arm and pulled him through the doorway, slamming and locking the door in one fluid motion. Mikey looked so pale that for a second Matt thought he was dead.
"What's wrong?" he asked in shock. "What did Billie Joe tell you that I don't know?"
"You're too familiar with bad news, my friend," said Matt with concern, leading him away from the windows. "I'm afraid I only have more of it for you."
"What could be worse than Billie Joe's anger?" Mikey asked with a shrug.
"Well, he's not going to kill you...unless he finds you. You've been exiled."
"Exile?" Mikey said incredulously. He suddenly panicked. "Be kind and call it death! Being exiled is worse than death. Do not say it."
"You've only been exiled from Belleville, Mikey," Matt said comfortingly. "Don't forget about the rest of the world."
"There is no world outside of Belleville," Mikey said miserably, "but torture, Hell itself. I might as well have been exiled from the world. And the world's exile is death. Calling death exile is like murdering me with a smile." Matt frowned at him.
"You should be thankful. Under the law you would be given the death penalty, but Billie Joe set it aside and only exiled you. Why can't you see his mercy?"
"It's torture, not mercy," said Mikey, following Matt to his room and sitting on his bed as Matt continued his previous activities of guitar practice and cupcake-eating. "Heaven is here, where Alicia lives. And everyone living here, even the cats and dogs, can look at her, but I can't. There is no life for me without Alicia. So without her, I might as well be dead." He looked at Matt with venomous tears in his eyes. "And you say exile isn't death."
"Calm down, Mikey," said Matt. "Just let me talk."
"Why should I? All you're going to do is keep talking about exile."
"I won't. Just talk about it with me."
"You mean like counseling?" Mikey asked skeptically. Matt nodded.
"It'll make you feel better."
"Yet 'exiled'? Forget counseling! Unless it can make another Alicia, move a city, or reverse someone's decision, it will not help. Say nothing else."
"I see insane people have no ears," Matt said with a sigh, still playing his guitar. He had stopped eating cupcakes for the time being.
"How can they, when wise ones have no eyes?" Mikey shot back. Matt finally gave up and put his guitar back on its stand, folding his hands.
"Fine, let's talk about something else. What are you going to do with all your stuff? You can't just leave it all alone."
"My brother's not going anywhere. He'll handle it. Don't try to talk about something you don't understand, Matt. If you were as young as me, and Alicia was your girlfriend, only having been together a few hours, Jade murdered, depressed like me and like me exiled, then maybe you could speak." Mikey slid forward off the edge of the bed and fell to his knees. "And fall to the ground as I do now, feeling like you're already in your grave."
Another knock at the door startled both of them.
"Mikey, hide somewhere," Matt said quickly, jumping to his feet and grabbing his friend's arm. Mikey wrenched it from his grasp.
"Not unless someone's dying." The knocking sounded again.
"Who is it?" Matt called, not caring to hear the answer. "Mikey, I'm serious; you'll be taken. Run to the room down the hall. I'm coming!" he added, again speaking to the person at the door as they knocked again. "Who is it? What do you want?"
"Let me in, and you'll know," called Hayley. "Alicia sent me." Matt reached the door just then.
"Welcome, then," he said, opening it and letting Hayley inside.
"Matt, where's Mikey? I know he's here," she said impatiently. Matt led her to his room, where Mikey had remained, still crying.
"There on the ground, drunk with his own tears."
"And it's all because of Alicia," Hayley said sympathetically, rushing to his side and dropping to her knees as well. She placed an arm around his shoulders. "She's crying as well. For her sake, get up. Why are you so upset?" She tried to pull him to his feet, but he seemed to suddenly realize she was there.
"Hayley!" he said in surprise. She nodded vigorously.
"Death is the end of it all."
"You were talking about Alicia. How is she? Does think she think I'm a cruel murderer, now that I've ruined our relationship with blood from one of her closest friends, almost family? Where is she? Is she going to break up with me?" Mikey said quickly. He was starting to hyperventilate and reached for his inhaler, calming down almost immediately as the medicine permeated his lungs.
"She says nothing, Mikey, but cries and cries."
"You make it sound like my name was shot from a gun. A gun that murdered her, as that name's cursed hand murdered her friend." Mikey drew his own knife as if to stab himself, but Matt wrestled it away from him.
"Mikey, stop acting so childishly. You should be thankful that both you and Alicia are alive. Maybe if you give Billie Joe some time, he'll calm down and change his decision. He's reasonable. You've already killed Jade; why kill yourself and make Alicia more miserable?" He placed the knife safely in his pocket and turned to Hayley. "Tell Alicia Mikey's coming, and to make sure everyone else is asleep by the time he gets there."
"I will," said Hayley, nodding.
"Do that, and be ready for Alicia to snap at you," Mikey warned her. Hayley pulled something out of her pocket.
"Here's a ring she wanted me to give you, Mikey. Now let's hurry; it's getting late." Hayley left the house, closing the door behind her. Mikey smiled and sighed in relief.
"I feel better now knowing she's alright."
"Go, Mikey," said Matt, leading him to the door. Mikey gave him a small smile.
"Thanks, Matt. For everything." Matt nodded as if waiting for him to finish, then roughly shoved him out the door.