The next week went by quickly, but slowly.
Quickly by how I always needed more time to do something, whatever that might be, but never got it. It seemed that time was slipping away from me when I needed it most.
And slowly by how it was the same old routine every morning and every night.
Wake up, have a shower, get dressed, have breakfast, get myself ready, walk out the door, drive to school, be at school for five hours, get home, do homework, make dinner, eat dinner, do more homework, sleep. Then wake up a few hours later to do the same thing as the day before all over again. And I worked every second night, so that made it that much worse.
It was all quite stressful.
It was all starting to take its toll on Gerard as well.
While he went to Art school to study there, I went to University to study to be a Journalist.
We hardly got to spend any time together, let alone time to just relax and be ourselves. Gerard didn’t get that much homework to come home to, but that still didn’t lessen the stress it was leaving on him.
Gerard worked as well, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night.
I could tell that he was as close to breaking apart as I was.
So that Friday night, I took the night off work, made sure I had most of my highest priority homework finished, and we went out with friends. Something we hadn’t done in a very long time.
“I can’t believe how long it’s been.” Scarlet sighed, wrapping an arm each around me and Gerard.
“You make out it’s the first time we’ve seen each other.” I said into her dress, only for it to come out muffled.
“Yeah, but when was the last time we all went out together?” Scarlet asked, releasing us.
“We’re all so busy now.” I sighed, feeling a sadness sweep over me.
“Don’t you just wish we could go back and live the way we used to?” Scarlet asked quietly.
“Not gonna happen… Unless.” I said slyly.
“Unless?…” Scarlet prompted.
“Unless we built a mystical time portal machine that teleported us to different frames in time!” I said excitedly.
“Nope. Not going to happen Rach.” Scarlet shook her head seriously as I frowned.
I heard a loud knock at the door.
“Gerard, could you get that?” I called out.
“Could you? I’m kinda busy!” Gerard called back.
I sighed loudly and jumped off my seat.
“Fuckin lazy ass.” I muttered as I walked to the door.
My face lightened as I opened the door and saw Mikey standing in the doorway.
“Mikey!” I squeaked, hugging him tightly to me.
“Hey Rach. Excited to see me?” Mikey laughed.
“Ah I’m just happy that I can get out of this place on a good term.” I said, walking away as Mikey followed.
I walked into the living room to see a button up shirt stuck over Gerard’s head as he struggled to get it over his head as Scarlet laughed and tried to help him by yanking it down.
“What the hell are you two doing?” I screamed.
Mikey saw the sight and laughed.
“I’m stuck!” Gerard complained, giving up with his arms raised above his head with the shirt still caught.
I smiled lightly.
“Gerard, you’re meant to undo the buttons first and then do them back up. Not just shove it over your head.” I explained, standing in front of him and beginning to unbutton the white buttons.
“I thought I’d save some time.” Gerard shrugged.
“And how did that work out for ya?” I asked sarcastically.
A muffled laugh came from inside the shirt.
Another loud rapid knock came from outside the door.
“That’d be Frank. Can get that please Mikey as I try to detangle your brother?” I asked, looking back as I continued to work.
“Sure.” Mikey smiled and walked off.
I heard the door open, a loud shriek and an even louder thump before Mikey started calling for help.
“Can you go see what those two retards are doing in there before they start breaking stuff?” I sighed to Scarlet, who giggled, then nodded and launched herself towards the front room.
“They means not mess from you as well Scarlet!” I called back, unbuttoning the last button and freeing Gerard.
I raised my eyebrows at him as he grinned at me cheekily, his hair now a total mess and his shirt creased.
He pulled me to him.
“You seem a lot happier today.” Gerard muttered, trailing his lips along my neck.
“I am.” I smiled up at him.
“It’s good to see you smiling again.” Gerard said, hugging me closer and I slid my hands along his bare stomach to wrap along his waist.
“Oh god. You leave them alone for a minute and they’re already making-out.” Mikey joked, rolling his eyes for effect.
“Does it look like we’re making-out Mikey?” Gerard asked with fake aggravation.
“Not now, but what’s five minutes? Five minutes could have you two on the couch whist…. Ya know..” Mikey trailed off.
“Less than five minutes. Gerard Way’s a fast worker.” Gerard played along.
“HA!” I snorted as I unwrapped myself away from Gerard and walked away.
“What’s that for?” Gerard asked defensively, doing up his shirt the right way this time.
“I think you know what that was for.” I replied, eying him.
“Has this got anything to do with the other night?” Gerard asked.
“Perhaps.” I pursed my lips.
Gerard seemed to look confused.
I turned to walk as I meet Scarlet’s equally confused glaze.
I took her hand and lead her slowly away to the bedroom.
“The other night Gerard got home and I was watching TV. I was about to start dinner when he started coming onto me, I told him later cause I still haven’t done dinner, and he’s being all pushy and saying that I can wait… So eventually I just give in to shut him up… And then afterwards, like, literally straight afterwards, he asks ‘so what’s for dinner?’!” I explained hysterically.
“That’s what I did wrong?!” Gerard called loudly from the kitchen, obviously listening contently.
“What did you think it was?!” I yelled back.
“I don’t know! Something else!” Gerard replied loudly.
“Something like what?” I asked, continuing our conversation from two different rooms across the house.
“Hormonal mood change?” Gerard guessed, growing a little quieter.
I made a sound of disgust as I stomped the rest of the way into the bedroom.
Scarlet laughed lightly behind me.
I turned and started laughing too.
“I miss just being able to just, laugh… No worries about nothing…” I sighed, sitting on the queen sized bed.
“Gerard said you’ve been pretty stressed over everything lately.” Scarlet agreed, sitting next to me.
“When did he tell you that?” I asked quietly, turning to face her.
“Yesterday when I came over.” Scarlet answered.
I screwed up my face and closed my eyes.
“You need to calm down a bit Rachel… We all know you too well that you do stress yourself out more than needed.” Scarlet advised, playing with my hair.
I sighed and lay down but resting my head in her lap.
We fell silent as we listened to the guys talk to each other enthusiastically.
“It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve all been together just as, us.” Scarlet sighed.
“When was the last time we were all together?” I asked, looking up at her softly, I felt like a little kid.
“Not last week, week before. Remember?” Scarlet reminded.
I thought hard before nodding.
I closed my eyes again.
“Just forget everything and have some fun tonight. We all need it. It’d be good. It’s a lot harder now.” Scarlet ordered.
“Fine.” I couldn’t help but giggle.
I heard quiet footsteps approach towards the bedroom before stopping.
“Ah, you girls ready to go?” Gerard asked, not sure if he was meant to be intruding.
I opened my eyes and sat up.
“Yep. Let’s go!”