For A Contest
Gerard huffed, taking a drag of cigarette and watched the smoke twist and curl in the air as he exhaled. He bowed his head is moment of cynicism on hold as he leaned on the senseless bars of iron for support as he tried desperately to clear his head. After a few seemingly calming deep breaths, his head snapped up in a moment of realisation. He was alone.
A small smirk and another drag later, his eyes were transfixed on the sunset. There was always something calming about gazing into the sunset. The way the colours would ripple and cling onto each other, and hug the sky so warmly, making a sight which could aesthetically please even the blind.
Gerard stubbed out his cigarette on the railing, watching the embers crackle and fizz as they made contact with the cold metal. After throwing the contents of his cigarette into the surrounding bushes, his fingers gripped the bar desperately, as if he would collapse if he even dared to let go.
Even though it was cold, and the wind was whipping at his hair, making it stand up on end, he preferred it out there rather than inside the towering white gazebo, where people were celebrating something that Gerard thought wasn’t worth celebrating. The very thought of it sent his mind into a frenzy of unwanted and negative thoughts concerning himself, and how people saw him.
He had been standing outside for quite some time, just staring at the sunset, thinking. He thought about how much he lied, how he faked everything in order to hide the fact that he was so very insecure, the way he used sarcasm, and made jokes to show people that he wasn’t dead inside, he wasn’t boring and lacking a sense of humor. He was far too afraid to show people the real Gerard.
His thoughts bypassed most things in his life, until they rested on today; dwelling on everything that his eyes had seen, his ears had heard, his own mouth had spoken. He had woken up that morning, thinking he’d be able to handle it all; the crisp white suits with matte black blazers, the flowers decked out on every surface, the words of congratulations and luck given out. He thought, he hoped he could handle it. He was wrong. Hearing the words and phrases he had dreaded that he would hear, it broke him.
This is going to be the happiest day of my life.
I Love You, I Always Will
Any chance he got to step out, he would take it. After sitting through the service, the meal – where his unwilling mouth was made to lie as he made his speech, some of the reception, he had found his own little solace out here, above the lake. However, the sting wouldn’t go away. The pain he felt was still there, no matter how much he had tried to deny it.
He felt guilt. Guilt towards his best friend, for lying, lying about being so happy for him, so supportive, lying for years about his feelings. He felt guilty, sorry for himself, for denying himself happiness, a chance of it. The feeling, these emotions, burnt and ripped at the tissue of his brain, reopening internal wounds and scars that were better off being kept stitched together.
He was just about to grab another cigarette, his cold fingers fumbling around with the packed in his hands, when another figure graced his presence. Gerard froze, turning cold with the same guilt and anguish that he had felt previously. His hands stopped scrounging for the blessed cancer stick as he closed his eyes, as if to get away from it all, from him.
“Frank.” Gerard greeted, not turning round. He could just tell that it was in fact him, he had that certain aura, that certain smell, which alerted Gerard every time he was near. His were senses like a radar for this particular person, the person who had just a few hours ago, threw away his life.
“Gerard, what are you doing, standing out here all on your own?” Frank inquired, his deep, velvety voice piercing Gerard’s ear drums and making him visibly wince.
Reluctantly, Gerard turned around, met with the sight of his band mate and best friend of five years standing in front of him, his tie loose, and the top few buttons of his shirt undone. His arms were wrapped around his body, goose bumps clearly visible on the exposed skin. Gerard vaguely noticed the thick gold band sitting comfortably on the third finger of his left hand. Gerard’s eyes got caught on it, his warped and biased mind coming to the conclusion that it looked cheap and tacky and out of place next to the ink covered olive skin.
“Gerard?” Frank questioned again, bringing back Gerard’s attention after he had been staring at that particular place for a bit too long in Frank’s opinion. Gerard’s head snapped up, a pained expression on his face and the same emotion forcing out of his eyes. In contrast, Frank’s eyes were full of happiness, but worry for his friend as he was acting even weirder than usual.
“I wanted some time to myself…I need time to think…” Gerard choked out, turning back to the rail and leaning on the cold metal. Frank joined him, not taking Gerard’s hint to leave him alone, as he was the whole reason why he wanted this time to himself. Trouble-filled hazel eyes looked out onto the darkening horizon, noting a flock of birds skimming the lake surface before sweeping up and launching into the air, all going their separate ways. For a split second, Gerard desperately wished he could be like one of them, to be able to spread his wings and as fly far away as possible. He’d fly so fast that he’d be there before they even had time to blink, or a single thought could cross their mind.
“What are you thinking about?” Frank asked. Gerard frowned, Why was Frank so interested all of a sudden? Why was he out here in the cold instead of being inside where his after-the-wedding-disco was in full swing?
“This isn’t the time, or place, to say.” Gerard said simply, not wanting to let too many of his feelings go out into the open. After all, this was ‘the best day of Frank’s life’ and he didn’t want to ruin that, as much as he disagreed with that statement. Gerard took that opportunity to delve back into his cigarette packet, pulling one out and lighting one up, holding it lightly between his lips as he did so. He heard Frank sigh.
“Gerard.” Frank hesitated, moving slightly closer and putting his hand on Gerard’s shoulder. Gerard’s body froze, seized up, his brain fogging over at just one simple touch. “Gerard, talk to me.” Frank maneuvered his body so that they were facing each other, Gerard aimlessly looking into Frank’s now troubled and worry filled eyes, all the excitement and sparkle gone from them. “I can tell something’s wrong…”
Gerard pulled his gaze away, desperately not wanting to trouble Frank with his problems. The guilt reared its ugly head again, wondering how the hell a beautiful and carefree person could ever be involved with an emotional wreck like himself. On stage, it was like Gerard had an alternate personality. He was confident, theatrical, whereas off stage, things troubled him, pushed him up against the wall and raped him and stabbed him until he couldn’t breathe.
“Like I said, Frank. This is neither the time nor the place to say…” Gerard repeated, trying desperately to pry himself out of Frank’s hands, which were clutching his shoulders. No matter how much Gerard pulled, Frank didn’t let go, his usually fringe covered eyes looking deep into Gerard’s soul, almost pulling every thought and feeling out of him and digesting it in one.
“Gerard…please. I don’t care if it’s not the time…Something’s bothering you and I want to help…” Frank pleaded. “Please…?” Gerard managed to pull away, pain and guilt ripping willfully at his insides, making him shake with the want, with the need to tell Frank his true feelings…about all the times he’s cried over him, cut over him, fantasized about his body and heart being impossibly close to his. He didn’t want to let these feelings be known, but either way, he would get torn apart.
“You wouldn’t understand…” That was all Gerard could say. Just drop it, please! His frantic mind begged for him to leave him alone. Everything was fine before he came and interrupted the peace; it was just Gerard, his thoughts, and the picturesque scenery surrounding him. He dropped his cigarette, once again watching the embers fizzle through the air.
Frank didn’t give up, tugging on the sleeve of Gerard’s tuxedo, the scratchy fabric brushing harshly against re-opened and exposed scar tissue that mingled with numerous scars on his arms. Gerard gasped and wriggled out of Frank’s grasp as the material made contact with countless fresh incisions in the pale skin.
“Gerard, Show me your arms.” Frank demanded, and by the cracking tone of his voice, Gerard could tell that he was trying not to break. Gerard’s heart flared with undeniable self-hate and guilt, once again, as he realised just was he was doing to the man next to him. He didn’t want Frank to be brought down with him, he wanted Frank to be able to fly, fly through life just like the birds can, without a care in the world.
When Gerard didn’t respond to Frank’s request, Frank took the initiative and carefully rolled up Gerard’s sleeves, being extra careful not to cause him more pain. With every laceration uncovered, Gerard winced, and Frank whimpered, tears beginning to form in both pairs of weary hazel eyes.
“Why?” Frank said, his fingers tracing the cuts lightly while his watery eyes searched Gerard’s with strong curiosity. There was one reason, a reason far too trivial to be voiced, Gerard couldn’t think of how to word it without scaring Frank off…or thinking he was clinically insane. Gerard could only think of one thing.
Frank turned his head away, stung. It wasn’t really surprising considering his best friend had just told him that he was the reason for his vicious self-mutilation. Heavy droplets surfaced in Frank’s eyes, cascading down his cheeks, the wrong type of tears that should be shed on his wedding day.
“I told you this wasn’t the time or the place…” Gerard said regrettably, hurt that he had caused Frank this amount of emotional pain on today of all days. “You wouldn’t understand why I did this…”
“Then help me to understand!” Frank cried, desperately wanting to know what he had done for Gerard to result in this, something he preached to the fans was the wrong way to go about things. Frank had never suspected Gerard would ever get this bad.
Frank was crying, silently sobbing into Gerard’s chest. Gerard just stared out onto the lake, where the sun had almost completely sunk into the depths of the horizon. This was wrong; Frank should be comforting him, not the other way about. Gerard’s eyes had glazed, not really seeing, but rather thinking, imagining that this wasn’t happening.
He wanted to be alone in his own home, armed with any sorted of sharp object, doing only thing he felt he could do when he felt like this. With every cut he made, three words would leave his lips, his brain, his body as he watched the red substance bleach his skin, after ripping the worn scar tissue that had been broken into so many times. Those three words, he meant with every fiber of his being.
“I Love You.”
Frank stopped sobbing, and brought his head out of its place in Gerard’s chest. His eyes mixing with Gerard’s, tension brimming between them. Gerard felt sorrowful, realizing that he had been thinking aloud and confessed his true feelings in the worst possible way. He was sure Frank was going to run, but he just gave him a weak smile, bringing Gerard into a tight embrace.