Dead to him...
Frank fingered the airline ticket in his hands. They had just finished the US leg of the Black Parade Tour and were heading to the UK to start there. He knew that if things had gone differently, Escher would have been going with them. He sometimes thought he would never recover from the shock of her running away again.
The band had been gutted, except for Gerard, and Frank had begun to believe that Gerard had known her plan all along, that she had phoned him or been in contact somehow. He wouldn’t ask him though, he wouldn’t let it be known that he cared.
They must have all known though, he knew he wasn’t himself but the only place he seemed able to drag himself out of the churlish melancholy that had settled over him since she disappeared, was on stage, and even then it was a constant struggle.
The fans had noticed it as well, he didn’t jump around on stage as much. Although they explained it away with the somber mood of the Black Parade record, but the others must have known.
He could still see her, her eyes wide and her full lips parting as he laid over her. Sometimes he could feel her. He didn’t know what the fuck was wrong with him.
He and Gerard had fought not long after she had left. Going through Gerard’s room to find a contact list for Reprise, Frank had stumbled across the paperwork that finally made sense of a lot of the things Frank could never understand about Gee and Escher.
- Flashback -
Frank’s fingers came to a stop as he noticed the name on the paper, Escher Drake. He picked it up, at first thinking that perhaps Gerard had found her. But it was a contract, a legal document. He scanned it, his eyes growing wide as he did.
He had slapped it down on the kitchen bench where Gerard was brewing his morning coffee.
“You’re her business partner?” Frank demanded.
Gerard had blinked at him, he’d never been very good in the mornings.
“The Canary…Escher! You’re the one that bank rolled her”
“Is that a question or a statement?” Gerard deadpanned as Mikey, Ray and Bob looked on in interest.
“Fuck Gerard! How did you not tell us that you were her silent partner?”
“Fuck Frank!” Gerard mimicked obstinately, “how is it any of your business?”
Frank took a step back, shocked and Gerard sighed heavily.
“I wanted to help her out but I needed to keep it on the lowdown,” Gerard explained simply, “how would it look to the media for an alcoholic to be part-owner in a bar?” He raised his eyebrow, “and it just seemed easier not to say anything at all”
“So all those nights,” Bob began, “wait, let me wrap my mind around this for a moment, but all those nights where we put hundreds of dollars over the bar there, we were really just lining your fucking pockets?” He asked in mock anger.
“I sleep on a mattress stuffed with your fifty dollar bills Bob”
They had all laughed, except Frank.
On Christmas Eve the guys had been invited to a party at The Canary, it had come wrapped up in a small gift box and signed from Sarah and Lazslow. Frank had seen it sitting on the bench and opened it without reading who it was from.
“We’re all going” Mikey had said.
“We’re hiring a car to take us back to New Jersey after the party”
Frank placed the invitation back in its gift box.
“Sounds like fun” He said slowly, in a monotone.
“So you’ll come?” Mikey asked.
“Whatever” Frank had shrugged.
And he had gone, he drank himself stupid under Sarah’s patronizingly concerned watch. And he had flirted with the new girl. And he threw up in the gutter as they were getting into the car Mikey had hired. And he passed out on the way home. And when he woke up later on Christmas Day he felt like ass. And he still couldn’t escape the image that danced behind his eyes.
By New Year they were back at work, practicing the stage show and getting fitted for new Black Parade costumes Escher had helped to design. It was during a practice that Frank had stumbled outside, fumbling with his lighter and come face-to-face with one of the girls from the Belleville party. He recognized her straight away and she had smiled at him.
She had laughed,
“Right, Michelle…what are you doing here?”
“I came to see my sister, Kyra, Bob and Gerard got her a gig with the merch team after they saw
that top she made with the marching band characters all over it, she’s helping to design the Black Parade merch”
“How have you been?”
Frank shrugged and inhaled against his cigarette,
“Have you heard from Escher?”
His eyes flew to Michelle and she knew she had struck a nerve. He had mumbled some noncommittal
response and gotten the hell out of there.
He hadn’t heard from her. Everyone knew he hadn’t heard from her. Everyone knew that she had run away from him. Everyone – except this girl apparently – knew to leave it the fuck alone. Had Michelle heard from her? Sarah? Laz? Did Gerard still speak to her? Did he know where she was?
Frank didn’t care! He had meant what he said to Sarah that day. Fuck her, fuck Escher if she was going to run away again. He shoved the ticket in his jacket pocket, took one last drag of his cigarette and crushed it beneath his shoe. Exhaling he made his way into the airport to meet with the guys. Escher Drake, like Escher Green before her, was dead to him.