This chapter was a release for Egan and myself.
Anything You Can Yell I Can Yell Louder
Egan was back at the base of the stairs where she liked to sit and think. She’d been hanging out here a lot lately. It seemed she’d really angered Gerard with the stunt she’d pulled the night they went to the mall. He was freezing her out, back to his old gentlemanly, detached ways. He was acting the way he knew she hated, and he was doing it vindictively. She leaned back on the bottom stair, resting her head against the wall next to the railing. She wanted to fix this and make amends, but she was a stubborn, stubborn soul and so was he. Neither was willing to be the first to say something. But Egan was bored and lonely again, just like during her first weeks here. Gerard had the car keys, and she couldn’t ask for them obviously. She’d considered hunting them down and going out on her own, but she didn’t trust him not to inform the police of a stolen vehicle being driven by a possibly drug crazed near-midget. And no one came around. Frank hadn’t ever returned and Egan mourned the sudden loss of her new friend. As for meeting the friends & fam, Gerard had never made good on his promise. So they were back to moving around the house, avoiding each other with everything they could want delivered to the front door. It was maddening.
She could feel her resolve weakening each day, eroding as the waves of boredom washed over her. It was possible she would die down here, suffocated by the still air. Jesus, she was so fucking tired of the still, silent polite air, it was cold and mean and unforgiving and it tried to freeze her every night and she hated it. And she hated Gerard, hated him with his prejudices and his condescension. She’d been half asleep and with two pills in her recently drug free mouth, her decision making skills hadn’t been at their best. Wasn’t he to blame, at least a little? He shouldn’t have given her any kind of drug at all, even if it was an over the counter readily available ibuprofen. She’d asked for it but, again, the point of ‘half-asleep’ should be reiterated. And if he had to know, she was sorry. She was sorry for it, she recognized the extreme stupidity of what she had done and given the choice she would go back and right it this very second. But she wasn’t given that choice and so now they were stuck at an impasse and there was a bridge to cross that both of them were trying like mad to burn instead. But this was it, this was the pivotal moment. Fate would fall one way or the other, but it would make a decision. She would make it make a decision. Because she was not going to sit and become stale any longer. Change was in order.
She was in the living room, wondering what she was doing. What the hell was she even going to say? “Sorry I half jokingly came on to you? I was sleepy and bored and horny? Forgive me for acting my age, like you asked?” None of that would work. And where the fuck was he anyway? Was he doing that thing he did where he would stay in his room for days at a time and not come out and become like some sort of hobbity hermit thing? Or was he doing that thing where he would go and get lost in the maze in the library and read all day long and not even come down for food? The same thing she would do sometimes? Or had he left? If he had fucking left her here in this gold birdcage, there would be hell to pay and then some.
“GERARD!” she bellowed. She was tiny, but she had lungs like a foghorn. She waited 73 second, then gave it another go. “GERAAAAAARD!” This time she doubled it, gave him 146 seconds. Absolute silence. “Where are you?” she murmured as she sank down onto the couch where she had sat the first time they’d actually talked, the night where they told their life stories. It seemed like decades ago.
Thump, thump, thump. He was coming down the stairs. Why was she nervous? It was flippin’ Gerard, for God’s sake.
“Yeah?” She didn’t like the way he said it, like it was some huge imposition on his part to walk down a flight of stairs and hear what she had to say. Didn’t he want to make up too? Didn’t he want to talk to someone? Wasn’t he tired of the quiet?
“Hope I didn’t interrupt anything life-or-death” she said with as much derision as she could muster.
“Did you need something?”
“Yeah, actually, I did. I just wanted to know why you’re acting like such a bitch.” What? What the hell? What was that? That was never an option for making up!
“I’m not.” He turned to walk back up the stairs and she became rapidly desperate. Say something, say anything, make him turn, get him to react.
“Yeah, you are. Hey, bitch! Don’t walk away from me!” That did it. He halted, turned on the spot, and Egan thought it possible she would actually begin to quake under his gaze.
“Allow me to make this perfectly clear for you; I know drug-addled brains sometimes take a while to process things. Do not call me a bitch. Understand?” That was hitting below the belt, of which he was perfectly aware, but he didn’t care, not at all. She deserved it, she deserved what she got after what she did. He was still unable to sleep at night because of his fiancée and here she was making a game out of…out of seducing him!
Egan didn’t flinch though. She really was pretty impressive. She felt like crying (How could he say that? They were supposed to be friends!) but she just took that and made it into pale poison words.
“Sorry sweetheart, did I hit a soft spot? Was that a pet name that girl used for you? Oh, you know the one. She ditched you, right? Sent back the ring via FedEx.” It was all Gerard could do not to launch himself at her and attempt to throttle her. He knew it was irrational, it was unthinkable—at least some part of him did—but he didn’t care, he wanted her dead for saying those things to him, he wanted her cold and unmoving on the floor. So he stood there, muscles clenched so hard they were shaking, and didn’t move at all. He tried to remember how to breathe but it was getting harder by the second as he looked at her face, so cruel, twisted into a snarl almost like she wanted to bite him and rip his skin. Finally, after waiting for eternity to end, he found enough control of mind to turn his body and start the climb up the stairs.
“Don’t turn your back to me! Don’t you dare turn your fucking back to me!” And she flew at him, almost unseen, he had no time to turn around and catch sight of her, he merely felt the impact when they connected. It was like having a cannonball hurtled at your kneecaps, making them buckle instantaneously. Now he was laid back on the steps, pinned down by her tiny body, feeling her sharp fists raining down all over him as she screamed mixed obscenities. Instinct took over completely and he fought back, slapping her across the face and sending her tumbling the short distance back to the ground floor. But she wasn’t down, not even close.
Instead of laying there as he expected, she stood up and did the most incomprehensible he had ever seen. She stood up, took as deep a breath as possible, and screamed until Gerard could feel his chest vibrate. And she didn’t stop. When she would run out of breath, she’d just breathe in and begin all over again, screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming until he was sure her lungs would burst and it would be the end of her. But she never stopped, and the sound made its way into his head, echoing and increasing in its shrillness, paralyzing him with fear and awe.
He saw it coming before it happened. Something told him she had reached the breaking point and as she fell he was already up and catching her. And when she hit his arms, the screaming stopped, all noise stopped and in its absence silent echoes pulsated through out the house. He sank down with Egan held against his chest, sitting on the floor and holding her quietly, just looking at her face so red from the exertion of the sonic boom she’d just put out. She was so very still and silent. She had stopped moving. And suddenly he grew afraid. She should be moving. Why was she so still? Move!
Holy fuck, what was happening? Was she dead? God no! Not her! What—where—how can—“Help! Help me dammit!” He was so scared now, he was shaking so that he almost couldn’t hold her, she almost slipped from his arms as he called out, begging for someone to come and save her.
Author’s Note: I cried as I wrote this last part. I feel like Egan, I want to scream and yell out loud for as long as I want, I just have too much built in me and it’s got nowhere to go. But society mandates we hold our tongues in class and not speak too loudly in public places and never, never scream for no physical reason. You know the drill. Read, rate, review. Two post in one day, one mediocre, one stunning (In my opinion.) I’m impressed. I feel so good now with this chapter out. It’s like a blockage has been removed from my brain. Goodnight.