Mikey Tries To Help, He Really Did. But In The End There Was Nothing He Could Do.
The smoking turned to becoming stoned. Again, laughing because he was doing something he shouldn’t, still with Frank. This was as far as Frank would go; he was too frightened to try anything stronger, anything more risky.
This was wise of Frankie. He didn’t end up in the same place as Gerard. He didn’t end up lying face down in a ditch, vomit covering his face and chest. The breath in his body fading rapidly, his life circling the drain with it.
Frank was not the one who found him, the person who found him had no idea, not a clue about the illness Gerard had inflicted upon himself. Frank, having seen this before, would have known what to do, Mikey did not.
First, he moved his brothers’ body, big mistake. Gerard had fallen, not a great height, but high enough for some damage to be caused. He’d hit his head and as he was moved he groaned heavily. Exhaling pain as Mikey tried to examine him.
He’d probably broken a few bones. His right arm was limp, not in a way that would’ve been normal from a sleepy man. His arm was twisted in an odd way. Mikey’s stomach turned just at the sight of it. Frankly, he couldn’t wait for the ambulance to arrived, his brother’s weak condition affecting his own health in the process.
Grabbing his cell phone from his pocket, tugging wildly when it would not come out, he dialled 911. Mikey had become exasperated and fraught with worry as he tried to give the address to the hotel in which they were staying.
The ambulance arrived and pulled out an array of different materials ranging from an oxygen mask to something Mikey didn’t quite recognise. The paramedic stuck something down his throat, causing him to choke a little.
Gerard’s breath began to quicken, become erratic, it was too fast to be normal. But within a minute or two it had resumed to its usual pattern, the colour in his cheeks hadn’t returned and neither had he regained consciousness.
“What hospital are you going to?” Mikey asked. The paramedic told him as he loaded Gerard into the back of the vehicle. Mikey, on the other hand, did not join him. He ran into the hotel, sprinting up the stairs as he was too impatient to wait for the elevator.
Bursting into their hotel suite his voice gasped through the room. “Gerard … Gerard … He’s … He’s dying … He’s overdosed … I found him”
“What?” Frank exclaimed, jumping from the bed and leaving the room as soon as he was told. He went straight to the room where the other two stayed.
He called them, they followed. The four piled into the back of Franks car, they headed to the hospital where Gerard was currently receiving treatment.
On arrival, they four rushed to the front desk. The breathless band heaved his name and waited as the receptionist, nurse or whoever she was typed his name into the computer.
“He was admitted twenty minutes ago, they took him through to A&E, that’s on the third floor – just take the elevator up” She said, looking at them for the first time since beginning to type.
Mikey had lost control of whatever self-restraint he possessed. He was crying, his fear had driven him to tears. Shaking wildly, Frank took him by the shoulders and led him to the elevator. They stood outside waiting for the doors to open, it seemed to take forever, it wouldn’t open quickly enough.
They arrived upstairs, Mikey still being led by Frank. Again, heading towards the desk, they repeated the same name but this time, something different happened.
The nurse did not log on to the computer, instead she rose from her seat and head down the corridor, signalling that she would only be one minute. Frank had become impatient; he could not believe that she’d acted so unprofessional.
On her return, she was not alone, she was accompanied by a tall woman who was around about 30. The woman wore a white coat; this showed she was one of the doctors, probably one that had treated Gerard. She seemed to have a compassionate look on her face.
Frank was the first one to recognise the signs. The face, the pose, the hesitancy, he knew what had happened. He knew that the news they were about to receive would not be good.
“May I ask what relation you are to Gerard?” She asked. They were hardly going to refuse this knowledge, she seemed to be prolonging the inevitable moment where she would have to reveal what had happened.
“I’m his brother,” Mikey shook, “What’s happened?”
“He came in, we did as best we could, but by the time he arrived in his heart rate had decreased so much we didn’t get to resuscitate him,” She seemed to care, but that didn’t matter to Mikey. All he heard was “we did as best we could”.
She went on to explain exactly how he had died. She could even tell that he was an addict, this score had just not agreed with him. Frank, being the only one who knew, felt a rush of guilt enshroud him.
The time of death did not matter to Mikey. The death was what counted, the way he had hidden his problems was what hurt the most.
The funeral took place a little later than a week after the tragedy. The whole of Gerard’s family crowded around the graveside in order to say goodbye to the secretive man that had inspired them in countless ways over the past thirty years.
Donna way stood and mourned, resenting the fact that there was nothing she could have done. Nothing. He was too far away and too far gone to be helped by his mother.
Mikey was the only one who stayed at the graveside after the service. He spent the time talking to Gerard, telling him about how he was worried about their mom, telling him how angry he was, disappointed, let down.
Mikey spent many of the next months wondering why he’d never picked up on what was going on. Was it because he didn’t want to know what his brother was going through? Had Gerard hidden it too well? Did he even want the help?
The worst questions that played on Mikey’s mind was this: Was I the one that caused his death? Did I do something wrong when I found him? If I’d have known would I have done it differently? Was I to blame?