Outside-of-school Gerard is so much better
He insisted on driving, he drove like a speed-demon. "Frank come on, I can't afford a ticket." "Sorry." He said slowing down. "Ok now tell me where we're going." "We're meeting Alli at her house, and then we're going to Gerard's." "WHAT!? Why are we going there I-oh Frank, I hate you." He looked at me quickly and smiled. "That's not funny I can't share a living space with him. It'd be really, really hard." "If it doesn't workout, Alli said we could stay in her house." "What about her parents?" "What parents? She lives with her Grandma." "Oh...I bet that's difficult." "No, her grandma's cool." "How do you know?" "You think I'm winging this? I've had this idea in my head forever, I just needed a reason to do it." "Frank, you have a good life you don't have to leave anything." "But you're my best friend; where ever we go we go together." This whole thing was a total crackpot idea but Frank made it seem so right.
Pulling into a seedy alleyway like the one we pulled into made me feel like some criminal. I saw Alli standing there, she waved us in. "Here." She said handing Frank a large envelope. He opened it, "Thank you so much." He said hugging her. "What is it?" I asked. "$1,000." Alli said. "$1,000! Are you fucking out of your mind?" Alli hugged me, "Yeah but you guys are my friends and I want you to be ok." She pulled away and looked at me and Frank. "We'll keep in touch." Frank said thanking her one last time and getting back in the car. "Alli, thank you so much love." I said hugging her again. "Don't worry about it; just call me if something happens. Call me if something doesn't, I'll see you guys at school." "I hope so, I have no idea what Frank has planned." She smiled, "Frank's a great guy." "Aha! I knew it, you like him." "Do not." She was a terrible liar, "I'll put in a good word." She rolled her eyes, "Be careful." She said. "Bye Alli"
I didn't know where Gerard lived, apparently in an apartment. "He just got this place, after Liz kicked him out. He said it's nothing special but it's roomy." I continued looking out the window, it looked like an old area, almost haunting. "We're here." Frank parked the car outside the creepiest building I'd ever seen. "This is so Gerard." I said under my breath. "I'm gonna go buzz 'em so he knows we're here." I stayed put as Frank got Gerard. He appeared no more than 4 minutes later, smiling and chatting with Frank. "Get out of the car." Frank said standing outside my window; I hit him with my door. "Fucker." He said rubbing his thigh. Gerard smiled, "Hey." He said, almost guilty-like, I wondered if Frank had said anything. "Hey, thanks for doing this." I helped an injured Frank unload the trunk. "No problem, Frank told me everything." "Everything?" Gerard nodded, "Everything."
The place was roomy, it was huge. There were 2 rooms, in my perfect world I'd have one to myself, actually in my perfect world I'd share one with Gerard. "Veronica, I'll room with Frank so you can have your privacy." Gerard said dropping some of the bags on the floor. "Thanks." I said, "But you don't have too. I've been sharing a bed with Frank for along time, it's ok if you want to stay alone." I couldn't be too selfish, I just moved in. "Ok, you and Frank and room then. Oh there's just one thing both of you have to know", Frank looked back at us as he was already channeling surfing and sprawling himself out on the couch. "What?" Frank asked. "No one can know, I mean no one. I'd get fired and you two would either probably get suspended or expelled." Frank and I both looked at each other, "Deal." We said in unison. Gerard smiled, "Well make yourselves comfortable. I'm gonna...actually I'm gonna go to the grocery store and get some food for dinner." Gerard grabbed his keys; Frank jumped over the couch and stood in front of Gerard's way. "Let me go, it's the least I could do for letting us stay on such short notice. Besides...I love you." I laughed; Frank thought he was a good actor when I begged to differ. "Ok Frank, since you love me and everything." Gerard handed him the keys, it was just like Frankie to set me up.
"You can hang shit on the walls I don't care." I was sitting on my new bed with Gerard standing in the doorway like a parent. "There's something wrong." He said walking into the room. "No I'm fine." I said, it was clear I wasn't though, staring off into space like I was trying to see through the wall. "Liz used to get the same look." Thanks for comparing me to my least favorite teacher Gerard. "Well I'm sure her look was different, no one's the same." "You're such a smartass and I can say that now since you're living here. Outside of school, things are completely different." "Why don't you just stay out of my business then?" That sounded mean that sounded really mean. "Now something's really wrong, come on tell me kid." "Ok first of all, I'm living here now like you said. Also, I have a name my parents didn't name me kid. They should've, it's not like they ever called me by my name anyway, unless they were pissed at me. Parents suck but somewhere deep down I miss them. Asshole, Frank is such an asshole just like them. Why is everyone trying to take me away from things that cause me pain, the cops would do it, Frank's doing it, and this is terrible..." I went on ranting, I didn't care if Gerard stayed for the whole thing or not but insanely enough...he did.
I had just spilled my guts to my teacher/roommate/new friend. My eyes were now looking at something else; it almost looked like a bloodstain on the wall. "What's that?" I asked interrupting Gerard's lecture (or at least it sounded like one). "What's what?" He asked. "That, that mark. Is that blood? Is that your blood?" He got off the chair and walked over to it, "Whoa must be, weird." "Creepy, fucking creepy." I felt like one of those people with ADD, constantly changing the conversation, interrupting someone who was trying to tell me something important, asking too many questions when I didn't even care to know the answer because by the time I got it I had moved on to something new. "Veronica." Gerard said, we locked eyes. "You can hang posters up you know." "You already told me that." "Then why don't you hang some up?" Maybe he was hinting something, maybe he wanted to help like it would bond us or something. Lord knows Frank's going to spend as much time in that grocery store as he can before he cracks from too many aisles of flavored coffee creams. "Are you implying that you'd like to help if I did decide to hang up some posters?" He nodded, almost childishly. "Ok."
I liked outside-of-school Gerard so much better than Mr. Way-Gerard. I mean, he still used words like 'sterile' when describing art, which is what we ended up talking about anyway but he seemed...realer. In school, he had to be an authority figure, he had to be someone who'd punish a kid for saying words that fell from his lips outside of the building like 'fuck' or 'asshole'. He seemed sadder, not completely depressed but like he had emotion at all. The only time I saw the guy with a different emotion was Friday when he had gotten dumped by that bitch of a woman. Now it was like he had multiple personalities, but not literally. "So when did the beatings start?" He asked, this was the new topic for discussion. Surprising to both of us, I was fine with talking to him about it. "I told Frank it had only happened 4 times, which is right...if you're just asking about this month. It's only been going on for 2 months total though, my mom got a job that's better than my dad's so they'd come home and argue. My dad's just trying to show his masculinity by being a complete dick, my mom's just PMS-ing all the fucking time." He laughed, I liked his laugh. "The first time it happened, my dad was working on a really important presentation that his promotion was riding on, my mom was on the phone and practically yelling at whoever was on the other line. Then she said something like "Yeah now I'm the breadwinner and my husband is the homemaker." That pissed my dad off, he was a...workaholic and to hear his own wife call him a homemaker pushed him to the edge. I grabbed his hand for him to calm down but instead he grabbed my shoulder and pushed me off the chair. My mom stayed on the phone and turned her back to the whole thing." I looked at Gerard, he stared at me. I just shrugged my shoulders and shook it off, it was along time ago. "I'm promise, as a friend, I'll help take care of you from now on ok?" He placed his hand on my shoulder and rubbed it gently, a chill ran up my spine.