Are you okay?
The ring was still in my hand about an hour later, neither one of us has moved too much. Gerard was now gazing directly into the fire blankly, not phased in the least by the constant popping of the logs, nor the occasional thunder from the storm. 'He must be deep in thought about something' I said to myself. Poor guy, he loved her and now she's gone. I yawned, stretching my arms out in front of me.
"Gerard?' he turned his head slightly to look at me halfway. "Do you want anything?" I asked. He thought for a moment before finally shrugging and shaking his head, turning his full attention back to the crackling flame. I sighed, pulling myself up off the couch and quietly retreating to the kitchen. Once there, I walked back over to the coffee pot for the third time tonight and reached in the cabinet for a new mug. I finally grabbed one from the very back of the shelf and closed the cabinet door. The house was dead silent besides the storm and the old rusted hinges creaked extremely loud. I never realized it before. I grabbed the coffee pot and poured some of the hot drink in my cup, making sure not to burn myself again. Slipping back into the living room, I grabbed the throw blanket on the armchair by the door and went back over to the couch. I wrapped the blanket around my shoulders like a shawl and was about to sit down when I stopped. Turning on the ball of my foot, I leaned over to look at Gerard.
His eyes were now closed and his pink, chapped lips were slightly parted. I could hear a faint snoring as his chest steadily rose and fell, he was sleeping. With my coffee on the table, I walked on my toes over to where he was now sleeping and adjusted the comforter so it would cover him completely. He shifted and I backed away, but he just sniffled a little and fell back asleep. I leaned down and picked up his shoes, carrying the over to the door so he wouldn't trip over them if he woke up. I slowly turned the corner and into the kitchen, where I filled a glass with ice from the freezer. Filling it with water, I brought it back into the living room and over to the table closest to him.
"Better to have loved and lost, Gee, than to never have loved at all." I whispered, stroking his pale cheek. "Right?" I could see why Ana loved him, he was so sweet. And yet, he seemed so timid, like a scared child. I checked to make sure there was everything he would need if he woke up. There was a phone on the wall behind him if he needed to talk to someone, a glass of water, an extra blanket and a pillow that I always leave in the corner of the room. Was I forgetting anything? I scanned my brain before turning around and making my way to the bathroom at the end of the drafty hallway. I reached around in the cabinet below the sink for a few minutes, groping every corner of it before finding what I was looking for. I fished out a box of tissues and was halfway to the living room when I stopped. Would he need these? Some people say that guys don't cry and I don't want to look stupid by leaving them out here. I decide to set them out, just in case he isn't like those stereotypical men who act all macho. I didn't see him as a guy like that.
When I walked back into the room, I expected to see him laying quietly where he was asleep, but I was extremely mistaken. Where just minutes ago lay a sleeping Gee was a sweaty one, thrashing around, eyes still closed. I ran over to his side and tried to calm him down, but he just continued. "Gerard? GEE!" I said, but he wouldn't wake up. He yelped loudly, almost like he was in pain even though he was still sleeping, and I jumped back, hitting the table. That knocked over my drink, causing my now lukewarm coffee to spill out around its shattered mug. That noise woke him up, and he immediately shot up on the couch. Using his sleeve to wipe the beads of sweat off his forehead, he got up but was a little wobbly. His hand shot down his left leg and he grabbed his ankle, wincing in pain noticeably.
"What happened?" he asked, looking at the coffee mess on the floor. He leaned down to help me pick up the shattered pieces of glass, but I stopped him.
"Nightmares. I am assuming you had a nightmare because of what happened just a minute ago, given that you were asleep," he nodded, "and you screamed, scaring me. So I jumped and knocked the glass over." I told him. He nodded and looked around at the broken mug.
"Okay-" he said, and reached down to help me again.
"But if you would be so kind as to tell me what's wrong with your leg," I said, motioning to the ankle that he was still rubbing gingerly with his hand.
"Oh it's nothing, I just fell on it outside and it's a little- what are you doing?" By the time he asked the question I had scooted across the floor and over to him, lifted his pants leg and was inspecting his ankle.
"Why didn't you tell me? It's swollen and looks sprained at the least," I told him as I got up off the cold floor. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed a baggie, filling it with ice, a couple handfuls of paper towels, a dust pan, and an ace bandage. Balancing all this, I walked back into the living room and set the load on the table. First grabbing the bandage, I lifted up his leg and hearing him take a sharp breath in, propped his heel up on the table. He was stupid for not telling me. But, then again, he doesn't really know me, so he might not have wanted to be a burden. I slowly wrapped the bandage around his ankle, being gentle over the swollen part.
"So what was the nightmare about?" I asked curiously, still not talking my attention away from wrapping. He hesitated, so I spoke again. "You don't have to answer that." He looked away and started to speak again, his voice just louder than a whisper.
"I don't remember. All I can think of was Ana dying, and that s the scariest thing I could ever imagine." I sighed, I had hoped he wouldn't say that.
"Gee?" he looked over at me. "That wasn't a dream. Ana is dead." I said, as sympathetically as I could. He put his hands over his face and I could hear a muffled sob.
"No, no...she can't be...I was g-going to p-p-propose to her t-tonight." He stuttered, still crying. I finished wrapping his ankle and clipped the bandage in place then got up and sat next to him.
"Shh. I know, I know. It's okay. We'll get through this." I whispered into his ear, rubbing my hand in circles on his back. He looked at me, wiping tears away with his sleeve. I reached over to the table and grabbed the tissues I had gotten, suddenly glad with my decision to bring them. I offered them to him and he gratefully accepted, plucking a few from the box. He mouthed a thank-you and I nodded, and got up to clean up the coffee. Grabbing most of the napkins, I soaked up the drink and some of the small glass, scooping up the big pieces with the dust pan. After throwing it away, I walked over to the couch where Gerard was sleeping again, exhausted from crying. I grabbed the ice pack and set it carefully on his ankle, as not to wake him up, and brought the blanket back over to him. I draped it over his thin body and turned off the lights, walking back to the armchair by the fire in the dark. And there I sat, watching him sleep until I drifted off too. I just wanted him to know I was there.
I hope you like it. Read, rate and review. And for everyone who reviewed yesterday, thanks. It made me happy. And I responded to some, and the rest I will tonight.