(Reviews are a must people!)Possibly the saddest one in the series yet. Chances are looking slim for Frankie...and even slimmer for Gerard.
The smell was what hit him first. The smell of urine and blood and excessive amounts of spilled alcohol. He saw the bottles first, almost thirty of them, all empty, bearing the label of a popular beer. There were about five more, but they were clear, also empty, sporting the words “Popov Vodka”. Then he saw the gun, laying alone, on the carpet, all by itself. So where was…
Gerard came to the other side of the bed and lost it. He started screaming as he took in Frankie’s body. Frankie’s chest was heaving with the labor to breathe, his lungs obviously collapsing as the rest of his body was shutting down. His pants were soaked in urine, the shock of the bullet traveling through the skull and into the soft tissue would have damaged nerves and caused bodily dysfunctions. The yellow carpet was absorbing the large amounts of blood that Frankie’s body had lost. Blood was slowly trickling down the sides of Frankie’s mouth. His face…oh God…or what was left of it in the least.
He had severely missed, but Gerard blamed it on the alcohol and hopefully not a last minute change in heart and denial and the gun had accidentally gone off. The whole right side of his head was ruined, shattered and incredibly exposed to air and germs. His brain was visible, and the soft tissue was losing blood. Frank was hemorrhaging horribly and there was no way on Earth-
“Don’t think like that.” Gerard yelled at himself as he kneeled by Frank, not touching the gun lest be blamed for shooting him. He looked at his cellphone and dialed 9-1-1...hoping to God something or someone would be able to save him.
“911. State your emergency.” And the rest was a total blur.
“Mr. Way?” A kind, yet tired voice pulled Gerard from his thoughts and he looked up. “The doctor would like to speak you for a moment.” A women with slicked back white, blonde hair and over-excessive blue eye shadow motioned for him to follow as soon as he was able to pull himself out of the chair. Her stiletto hills clicked on the cream colored linoleum and it was enough to make him want to pull his hair out. His arms were so sore. The police had to hold him down when they took Frank away, their faces grim, hopes looking extremely low. They had almost had to tranquilize him, but he made himself lay there. They had eventually released the vice-like grips on his legs and arms and escorted him to the hospital. He had called Frankie’s father and grandfather the moment he got there. They were still almost half an hour away from the hospital. Frankie’s father had broken down over the phone and Gerard had hung up, pretending to lose signal. He couldn’t stand to here Anthony Iero cry, it was enough to hear himself.
Gerard followed the nurse into a room that was poorly decorated with faux ivy climbing the walls and navy blue wallpaper. He threw himself onto the love seat and let his head fall.
“The doctor will be here shortly.” She turned to leave, shutting the door behind her and he could hear her heels clicking away down the hall. Not even two minutes later the door opened back up and the doctor stepped in.
“Mr. Way.” He stuck his hand out, and Gerard wearily took it. “I’m Dr. Dunaway.” After Gerard offered no words or no hope of conversation he went into it. “Frank has lost a lot of blood. His body has gone into shock almost three times in the last four hours and that’s not good. It’s putting a lot of stress on his brain and body. Luckily the bullet exited his body, because if it had still been in there, there was a good chance that us even attempting to remove would have caused even more stress and could have harmed him permanently. We were able to repair the skull the best we could, but with such a severe amount of cerebral swelling, we couldn’t close it just yet. His skull is still open, but wrapped.”
Gerard looked up at him, wishing he’d just get to the point and the prognosis. “Is he going to…uh…”
“The chances of that are, and I don’t like saying this, very slim. There’s only about a 20% chance that he will make it out of this. The swelling in his brain has caused severe damage to almost all his body. With the amount of stress it’s put on him, he’s likely never to see again, and he will have to take therapy to be able to use his arms and legs again. He would suffer from memory loss and severe amount of intelligence.”
“So he’d be mentally retarded, is what your saying.”
“In more or less words, yes.” Dr. Dunaway sighed heavily. “He’s on life support right now, because even the task of breathing could prove to be to much on his body and brain. Are his parents coming?”
“I believe so, yes.” Gerard glanced at the time on his cellphone. They should’ve been here by now. “They should be here any moment.”
“Good, because we need someone to decide whether or not we should keep him on life support.” Gerard felt anger boiling up in him. Dr. Dunaway sensed it and continued on speedily. “There is only a slight percentage that he would make it out, Mr. Way. There is hardly any brain activity going on in him right now, and he close to death. You and his family should probably start discussing insurance and other arrangements. We have a counselor here in the hospital, too, if you’d like to speak with her.” Gerard shook his head, and let his eyes fall to the floor. “Very well. I will be back once his parents are here. You can go in and see him if you’d like, but only for a few minutes.”
Gerard nodded and followed the doctor out of the discussion room and down the hall into the IC unit. The doctor left him at room 2126 and Gerard looked through the glass window and into the room. Franks head was almost entirely wrapped in guaze, only his nose and mouth completely uncovered. His eyes were taped close. A breathing tube was down his throat, hooked to a machine that was manually pumping his lungs full of air and releasing it in a steady rhythm. Several IV’s were inserted into his arms, one feeding his body with morphine, another with saline, another with blood and more that he couldn’t identify.
He made himself turn the knob and stepped in quietly and shut the door behind him. The beep of the heart monitor, the click-shush when the IV’s released their fluids, the rhythmic pumping of the breathing machine, were all too familiar. He had been in hospitals way to much lately, and it was wearing him down. Gerard walked over to the bed and sat in a chair that was set close to it. He looked at Frank closely.
There was purple under his eyes, his skin was sickly pale, his body just looked…/small/, /fragile/…weak. He didn’t look good at all, he looked…/dead/. Gerard hated admitting that to himself, but it was true. He looked dead. There was no sign of life at all inside of Frankie. He was gone… Gerard shook himself. “Stop being that way.” he told himself. “He may be this way now, but you give it awhile and Frankie will be up and awake. You know how he is…you know he’s strong.” Gerard convinced himself, though he still halfway didn’t believe any of it. He stood, looking over at Frank, touching his hand lightly.
“You’re gonna be okay, Frankie-boy. I know you…and I know you’re strong. You may be extremely hard headed and incredibly stupid at time, but I know you can do it Iero. I know you can.” Gerard leaned down, planting a kiss on his cheek. He squeezed his hand, hoping he could feel it. “I love you Frankie. Pull through…please.”
Gerard rode home in silence. Frank Jr. and Frank Anthony Sr. had gotten there and he talked to them some, asking were Iris(Frank’s mother) was. They said they had contacted her at her sister’s house in Maine and she was already on a plane back. They thanked him for finding Frankie and Gerard just nodded. Then he told them he had to get back to the guys and inform them of what had happened. Obviously Frankie hadn’t told his parents yet about how he was kicked out of the band. He was surprised he hadn’t told his grandpa. He told him everything. Frankie looked up to that man.
Oh well, it was probably better. Gerard kept his eyes on the road, in a daze, barely making it home before he broke down. He made it to the drive way and just out of the car before he fell to his knees in the front lawn, bawling hysterically, screaming at the sky, shaking horribly. Mikey heard and ran outside.
“Gerard! Gerard what’s wrong? What happened!?” But he could only shake his head. Mikey pulled him against his chest, holding him there, rocking him back and forth. The commotion caused Bob to come out too, an expression of pure fear on his face, wondering why the man that kept this band together was in a pieces on the front lawn. Gerard glanced towards the front door, Ray standing in the frame, and he quickly averted his eyes. It may not have ended good between those two, but he knew deep inside that Ray would fall apart if he told him right now with him being like this.
“Gee! Please tell me!” But he couldn’t talk, he hardly breathe as it was. He continually choked on his own sobs, until he was gagging and throwing up. Mikey and Bob helped him stand and led him into the house, laying him on the couch. Mikey sat with Gerard’s head in his lap, smoothing his hair, trying to calm himself. The stress of everything was hitting him all at once and Gerard couldn’t help it.
The whole thing fell like a ton of bricks on top of his head. It had all started with Frank overdosing, then Ray trying to kill himself, the drop of the label, the loss of Skeleton Crew, the tour bus being towed away, the stupid media, and now this…Frank trying to kill himself… When one dominoe fell, they all fucking followed didn’t they? What was next? Bob leaves because he thinks they are all fucking crazy and they have to search(again)for another drummer? Then Ray gives it up tries to kill himself, too? And Mikey signs himself into a mental ward because of the shit he’s been through and the shit he has to put up with? Gerard couldn’t take it, he was sick of it, sick of everything. He suddenly bolted up, pushed away from Mikey, ran up the stairs.
He was ending this, here and now. And for real, no hospital stay, no psychiatrist meetings at a later time, nothing. Just a moment of pain and then eternal darkness. He opened the door to his room, slamming it and locking it. He heard Mikey follow, try the knob. He drowned out Mikey’s voice, just concentrated on the task at hand. He went to his closet and opened it, taking out a tin, silver box with a latch. He flipped it, opening it up quickly and throwing the box to the floor once he held the cool metal in his hand.
It was an old birthday present from his dad. A small .6 mm revolver. One close range shot was enough to kill anyone with this thing. Gerard turned and face the door as it swung open and Mikey stepped in.
“I’m sorry Mikey.” Gerard pressed it to his head, firing.
“GERARD!!!” His body fell to the floor, blood already pooling around his head. He wasn’t moving, wasn’t breathing. “NO! NO! NO!” Mikey lunged forward, rolling his brother’s body over, looking down, tears falling heavily from his eyes, his clothes splattered with blood.
“Jesus Christ!” Bob yelled as he walked into the room, Ray behind him. “Oh, my God.” Ray was already dialing 911. Mikey was holding onto his brother’s body, hugging it to his chest, rocking back and forth, sobbing quietly, whispering to himself.
“It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay…it’s alright. You’ll be okay Gerard…yes you will…just wait and see.” Mikey was hysterical. Bob slowly walked over to Mikey and pried him away from Gerard’s body. Mikey now clung to Bob, and he carried him out into the hallway, down the stairs and onto the couch.
Ray just stood there, eventually making himself look away and stumble down the stairs. Police sirens were already approaching the house. Mikey was huddled against Bob, covered in blood. Ray sat on the loveseat, wrapping his arms around himself, shaking with disbelief. What the hell was happening to them? First Frank, then himself, now Gerard? But Gerard wasn’t coming back…
He was never going to open those deep, thoughtful hazel eyes…never going to open that mouth and compose melodies that made teenage girls and boys everywhere get up and live… he was never going to wake up this time. He was never coming home.