woo-ha! ive never had so much trouble naming a chapter...
Those things weren't important, though. The only thing that mattered was that I couldn't stop. If I did, I'd fall to the ground, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would die. Maybe wild animals would attack me; maybe I'd die of starvation; maybe a serial killer with a long, sharp knife would come and find me--I didn't know. But I didn't want to find out. I squeezed my eyes shut.
When I opened them again, I was safely in my bed. I breathed deeply, my eyes darting around the near-dark room. That would always wake me up from bad dreams: shutting my eyes for a little bit and then opening them again. I touched my cheek, and my hand came away wet; I was crying.
I was no stranger to nightmares; I'd had them on and off for as long as I could remember. But this dream was different. I'd dreamt it every night for the past two weeks, and every night it was harder to make myself keep running.
"It's only a dream," I reasoned as I got out of bed. I glanced at the clock on my bedside table: 11:00 a.m. I opened the thick black curtains on my window and looked outside. It was raining out, and the world seemed to be enveloped in an ethereal grey blanket. "Only a dream..."
But as I turned away from the window, I couldn't shake the feeling that if I were ever to keep dreaming long enough, I might never wake up again.
"Gerard?" I whispered, after knocking timidly on his door but then deciding that even if he was awake, he wouldn't have heard a knock that quiet. "Are you awake?"
I was standing outside his door, in the same Greenday pants and an Iron Maiden shirt that Gerard had lent me for the night. I was meant to be sleeping in my bed downstairs, in the living room, but I had freaked out at a few little noises outside, so I'd snuck down here.
I rubbed my arms to ward off the goosebumps I could feel creeping towards my shoulders; it was freezing. I knocked again, a little louder this time, but not too loud--Mikey's parents WERE at home, after all, and parents are notorious for their good hearing.
Gerard opened the door and peered out at me.
"Hey, Verity." He looked surprised, but also slightly pleased. I nearly fainted when I saw what he was, or rather wasn't wearing: a pair of black trackies, and no shirt. I tried not to drool.
"Hey," I whispered. I didn't know why I was whispering, but the dark atmosphere and his delicious appearance seemed to lend themselves to it.
"Can't sleep?" he asked, smiling slightly and also whispering. I shook my head, trying not to stare. "Me either. Here, come in," he said, opening the door wider.
I stepped in curiously, as this was the first time I'd seen his room. It seemed pretty non-descript, only it was very dark; the desk-lamp hardly illuminated the darkness. Once my eyes got used to it, though, I could see that the walls were covered with pictures. Some were of superheroes and cartoon characters; some were simple portraits of people in everyday situations; and others were macabre, often romantic drawings consisting of lots of black and red ink. I stood for a few minutes, looking at this word of wonder on paper. Then I turned to Gerard, who was watching me and looking embarrassed.
"Where'd you get all of these from?" I asked him. "They're awesome!"
"Um..." he made a sound halfway between a laugh and a cough. "I...drew them?"
"No way!" I gasped. "You did?" He nodded.
I stepped closer to the wall to inspect the drawing nearest to me. It was a doll, blonde and perfect, like a Barbie or something. She was naked, wearing nothing except one red shoe. There was a slit in the left side of the doll's chest, and in her hand she held a perfect red love-heart, torn from her chest. From here I could tell that it was done freehand; and it was the most amazing picture I'd ever seen close up.
"Gerard, this is...fuck, I don't even know what to say!" I said. He laughed nervously. "I mean, it's amazing! I can't believe...just, whoa!"
"You like it?" he asked, smiling somewhat shyly.
"I love it," I said simply.
"Thanks," he grinned, looking down a little. "I'm drawing a new one, you wanna see it?"
I nodded enthusiastically, and he led me over to the desk. There was a nearly-finished picture of a small girl sitting on a swing. She had long black hair and was smiling, even laughing, but everything around her was awash with orange flames, including the tree the swing hung from and the ends of her inky locks.
"Wow," I breathed. "This one's even better."
"Really?" he asked. He seemed desperate for my approval.
"Definitely. Hey, can I sit on your bed?" I asked.
Gerard smiled. "Fuck, you can get IN it if you want!" he told me.
I gave a mock squeal and jumped onto his bed, wiggling my way in-between the ash-coloured sheets. I buried my face in the fluffy pillows and gave a contented sigh. I could hear him laughing at me a little, but I wasn't listening; I was too busy smelling his pillow. It smelt like he did: of cigarettes and whiskey and cologne. Holy shit--was I seriously smelling his pillow!? That was something crazy psycho-stalker bitches did! I quickly rolled onto my back and smiled when I realized Gerard was looking at me.
"You have a nice bed," I said.
"I know, I love it," he said. He went back to his drawing and I just watched him for a little while. He kind of chewed on the side of his tongue when he drew, and I was mesmerized just watching him. Finally he threw down the pencil and gave a satisfied sigh. I smiled a bit as I looked away, hoping he didn't notice me staring at him.
"I'm done," he smiled, coming and lying next to me on the bed.
"Lemme see!" I said. I tried to sit up, but he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me back down.
"No, stay here," he said, and I laughed at his whining tone. "Please?"
"Fine," I huffed, pretending to be mad at him.
"Your hair smells nice," he told me. I stifled a laugh.
"That's cause I, ah...washed it, you know? Like, with shampoo...it's something I like to do from time to time," I smirked.
Gerard just laughed at my obvious referrence to his less-than-squeaky-clean hair. He hugged me a little tighter, and I smiled and closed my eyes.
"Gerard?" I asked softly.
"Mmm," he hummed.
"I...I don't know what I'm gonna do tomorrow." He didn't say anything, so I kept going. "I mean, if my dad's still there then...you know. And even if he's not, my mum's gonna give me so much shit for just running off." I sighed a little.
"Then stay with me," Gerard said. Like it was the simplest thing in the world.
"Forever?" I smiled. I felt him nod.
"Okay." I wrapped my arms around him too.
"Kiss me?" he whispered.
I kissed him.
We fell asleep.
Half an hour later, I woke up crying.
I sat up and tried to calm myself down. I didn't want to wake Gerard up, but he'd been sleeping with his arms around me, so it was too late.
"Verity?" he said, slurring my name a bit. He blinked a few times and squinted at me. "Whassamatter?"
"Nothing," I said, trying to smile even though he couldn't see me. "I"m fine."
He wasn't awake enough to know I was lying, but he could still tell I needed comforting. I lay back down and he hugged me tightly, stroking my hair a few times before he dozed off again.
I tried to stop the tears, but I was so freaked out. Why would I just randomly dream something like that? I never have nightmares. Ever. And now...fuck. I had to talk to her. Something was going on.