Withdrawal sets in as the boys all go home. Well, all except one...
I was curled up in my bed, as tightly as I could, holding my knees to my chin. My arms were sore from where I’d been biting them in frustration all afternoon. My nose was running and sore, and scabbing. My eyes were dry and crusty from tears. My lips were cracked and dry. It had been 3 days since I’d had any verbal contact with any of the guys. We were still on the road, and I hadn’t left the bus for the stops, even when they spent the days shopping and exploring. I’d eaten nothing but some barley sugars and drunk only water. I only left my bunk to use the bathroom or to get water. My body felt so dry, it felt as though it were screaming, and no matter how much water I drank I couldn’t moisturise it. I threw my head forward and dry reached into my pillow, letting out a dry sob after. But as much pain I was in, I swore I would never, ever ask for help. I’d done this to my self. There was no one to pin it on this time. I buried my face in the pillow and screamed, my throat sore and croaky. I knew all I needed to cure this was a few pills. A shot of bourbon. A line of coke. But I also knew that to be able to live with myself one more day, I couldn’t have my precious medicines. I slowly drifted into sleep, taking a quick look at my clock first. 3pm. I shut my eyes and waited.
The last few days had been torture for everyone on the bus. We tried to enjoy ourselves, do our usual activities and such. But one thing had been a firm block on our fun times. Gerard. His constant screams, cries and sounds of him hurting himself, punching the wall and throwing up were just getting to be too much. Every time we saw him he looked worse. He actually fainted on the way to get water once. We picked him up and carried him to his bed, and left him there. These were withdrawal symptoms and he could cry all he wanted. I wanted him to feel pain, like I had. But I could see in Mikey’s eyes, Ray’s forced laughs and smiles, Bob’s quietness and my own breaking heart, that we all wanted to help him. I wanted him to eat. To sleep properly. To laugh. I glanced over at Ray, who was trying to read, but looked distracted. Gerard had stopped crying about 5 minutes ago, and I assumed he was sleeping. Of course we’d help him if the need was dire. I mean, we weren’t gonna leave him there, collapsed in the kitchen. As long as he was safe in his bed, not choking, dehydrating or actually dying, we would leave him to himself. These were the initial stages of what would be a painful road to recovery, and we weren’t ready to help him just yet. By now we were only 5 or so hours out of New Jersey, and we were far from the high spirited band we had been when we had left that exact place 6 short months ago. I looked down at my hands, which were shaking. I hadn’t seen Mikey all day. He had asked heaps of times if he could go talk to Gee, but we agreed that it was for the best that we leave him till we get to Jersey, at least. And I could tell, as much as it was hurting me to see and hear my Gerard like this, it was tearing Mikey apart. I decided to go looking for him. I stood up and walked to the bunks, and he wasn’t in his bunk. I couldn’t resist a peek at Gerard. I looked in and saw his sleeping figure. He looked so sick, tired and tortured… But yet so beautiful. I sighed and shut his curtain, and kept walking to bathroom. I knocked on the door and said softly “Mikey? You in there man?” I heard a sniff. “Mikey, come on.” I knocked again, until the knob turned and Mikey’s head poked out. “Hey Frankie. I just wanna be by myself at the moment, y’know?” I nodded, and then shook my head. ‘I do know. But sometimes family is all you need. And when you can’t get family…” I looked towards Gerard’s bunk. “Good friend’s and Adam Sandler movie’s will do.” Mikey smiled weakly, and I took his arm and we walked to the TV area. “Ray? Can you put Billy Madison on?” Ray smiled and nodded, looking at Mikey, who was pale and sickly looking himself. Bob came and sat down and the four of us watched movies till we reached Jersey, our home.
When I woke up I was in my bed, in my mom’s house. There was no light in the room, so I assumed it was night time. This was confirmed when I look at my clock, which told me it was 1am. The other guys would be at their homes, and Mikey would be down the hall. I sighed and thought shamefully of my homecoming. Here comes my son, the rockstar, Gerard Way, figurehead of an entire demographic. Look at him, all covered in puke, blood and tears, 3 days sober and lovin it. I punched my bed and lay back down. There wasn’t anything I could do then.
I woke up the next morning, and though I was still sickly, I felt the best I had in days. I think it was the familiarity. I was in my own room, in the basement of my own house. The smell of breakfast was drifting down the stairs, and even though the thought of eating made me sick, it was home. I contemplated throwing up, having a drink and going back to sleep. But instead I woke up, snuck to the bathroom and had a shower. It felt good to do something so regular. I finished off and stepped out, wrapping a towel around my waist and sneaking back to my room stealthily. I still wasn’t sure whether I was ready to talk to people. I was about to walk into my room, when a familiar but unexpected sound reached my ears. “And at one show, they threw underwear! Member, Mikes?” It was Frank. Frankie was here. Why? He had his own place to go to, his own family to see. Unless he’s here for you… Said a small voice in my head. No, couldn’t be. He hated me. “Yeah, I remember. Especially when they landed and got caught on my bass.” Said Mikey sarcastically. I laughed, reminiscing. If only I could walk in and just be apart of that. I heard my mom’s laughter, and Frankie’s sweet giggles. But I didn’t deserve that happiness. I walked down the stairs to my room and dressed into fresh, not vomit drenched clothes.