"Love chose you..." After devastation strikes the Way family in the form of Gerard's death, Mikey wants nothing more to be alone and Frank wants nothing more than to make sure he's okay... [Oneshot...
For the longest time, I never understood why anyone would be in love with someone else out of their own free will. Who would want to deal with the commitment?
That was all before I first saw him; it was all before I found out that love wasn’t something that you chose.
Love chose you.
Perhaps that was why I found myself standing about ten yards away from a boy I barely knew, yet I had known all my life, watching him gaze out toward the slowly-falling sunset.
Almost every night I was rooted to the same spot, drawn by curiosity I suppose, where I would sit and drink in his every movement.
A small frown was apparent his features as he leaned back against the blossom-covered cherry tree behind him and began to hum. I leaned closer in hopes of maybe hearing what tune he had began to replay in his mind. Alas, I only heard a bittersweet echo carried by the wind.
Because the world is round, it turns me on. Because the world is round…
The back of his hand quickly brushed under his eye and I squinted to get a closer look at him. What I saw was, in fact, what I had thought. And what I had thought was heartbreaking. But why was this seemingly innocent boy crying? Had he done so every night he came here and I, ever-so neglectfully, failed to notice?
My breath caught in my throat as I began to silently mull over my options. I could just stay here and let him do whatever it is that he came here to do everyday at nightfall. But another part of me longed so horribly to console him, to find out what was the matter and try to help. My only concern with that is that I might scare him, a stranger walking up and interrupting an obviously personal moment.
Regardless of what I chose, I figured he’d still be upset, so I decided to take a risk. Normally, I wouldn’t approach someone I seldom talked to and try to console them for reasons I didn’t know. This wasn’t a normal circumstance though, was it?
Awkward footsteps lead me through the grass and over to the boy who now sat hunched over, head in hands and his body shaking from sobs. I was nearly a yard away from him when I paused yet again and questioned myself.
Was I really doing the right thing by going and speaking to him? Surely I just couldn’t leave him to cry there all alone, could I? Of course not…
Before I could talk myself out of it, he turned around and looked at me with watery, bloodshot eyes. “W-who are y-you?”
What exactly am I supposed to say to respond to that? I’m the kid that watches you every night when you come down here? Then I’ll sound like a stalker. Maybe this was the wrong idea…
“My...uh…my name’s Frank. I’m sorry…I just saw you crying and I wanted to, um, see if you were okay?” When I started to speak, that sentence wasn’t intended to sound like an inquiry, but as I seemingly lost interest in talking to him and gained interest in looking at my feet, it ended up that way.
“O-oh,” said the boy somewhat shyly, “I’m Mikey.” He forced an insincere half-smile and bit his lip to prevent any more tears from pressing themselves out of the corners of his crystalline, hazel eyes. I returned the favor (a little more promisingly than he did) and knelt down beside him.
“I’m not deliberately interrupting whatever it was that you were doing,” I assured him, gingerly placing a hand on his trembling shoulder, “but I was just curious as to why you was crying in the middle of Branch Brook Park by yourself…”
Mikey looked at me again with those heart-melting eyes and bit his lip, shaking his head ever-so slightly. I did my best to conceal my disappointment when he didn’t tell me, standing up and turning away from him. My neck shifted slightly and I looked over my shoulder at him.
“I hope things get better, Mikey, whatever they are.”
Walking away from him was like walking away from the love of your life; somewhere deep inside of you, you wish they’d call you back and you could hold them tight. Goosebumps shot down my arms, but I wasn’t sure if they were from the sharp gust of wind that blew straight through my threadbare hoodie or from hearing his hushed voice float through the air as softly as the pollen from the cherry blossoms.
“They told us he’d be here for his birthday, that he had at least another month…they lied to us, Frank…” He whimpered and I turned back around, suddenly feeling guilt drop in the pit of my stomach like an anchor. “Friday was when they told us he was gone. And to think,” He forced a tiny laugh, “he and I were supposed to go out today. He was going to be 18; we were supposed to celebrate by going out to lunch at the little Italian place down the street- his favorite.”
My teeth sunk into the inside of my lip and the metallic taste of blood filled my mouth; I had no clue what to say to him. The last time someone I knew died, I was too little to understand what death was. Grandma passed away when I was only four, how could I have known she wasn’t coming back?
Rather than try to say anything that may or may not make it worse, I simply sat down next to him on the ground once again. Perhaps not saying anything would be for the best.
“The sky is so big,” he said sadly, gazing up at the gradually darkening skies above us. “I wonder if he’s in Heaven…or if there even is one…”
“I don’t know, Mikey, I really don’t. The galaxies are massive, just the Milky Way alone is immense, but I’d go across the universe to find out for you if I could…”
Because the wind is high, it blows my mind... Because the wind is high…
Mikey tore his eyes away from the clouds momentarily to look at me, our gazes interlocking for a hasty second before he craned his neck back to look up again. My hand crept down his arm and gripped his own tightly. “You really loved him, didn’t you?” A heartrending nod was the only response I got from him.
And we sat there for about thirty minutes beneath the cherry tree, enveloped in a mutual silence with our hands still tightly intertwined, before he finally spoke again.
“It wasn’t loved, Frank. Just because he’s gone doesn’t mean I can’t love him anymore. I remember when he used to talk to me about immortality…I never understood what he meant when he said someone could die and still be undying. He said that immortality didn’t mean never dying and I finally understand what he meant; I never did before. If I still think about him, he’s not really gone, is he?”
“I don’t think he’ll ever really be gone, Mikey. You’re right, love is eternal.”
Love is old, love is new.
Love is all, love is you…
As the thoughts of what Mikey had said began to process in my mind, I developed a new sort of respect for him. No longer did I think of him as a person I only respected because I found him attractive. He’d been through things that I never would have dreamed; he was closer to his brother than anyone I’ve ever had a relationship with in my family.
My own eyes began to burn and water with impending tears as I felt Mikey rest his head upon my shoulder.
“I’m here for you, Mikey,” I whispered comfortingly to him. The last few orangey embers from the sun were lost behind the trees, cascading in glowing bands across the lake before disappearing into darkness. Wind began to rustle the leaves and I scooted closer to him, glancing up at the deep navy that the sky was beginning to blend into. The tears that had been begging to come out finally dripped from the corners of my eyes.
Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry…
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