Apologies and explanations
As Frank entered the room, Gerard flashed him a warm and sincere smile; one that faded almost as soon as it appeared as he noticed Frank’s unnatural pallor. A pang of guilt cut through him like a knife as he jumped to the inevitable conclusion that his recent fixation on getting the music perfect, had made him blind to the detrimental effect it was having on his friend.
“I..I’m sorry, Frank,” he stammered unable to divert his eyes from Frank’s pallid face. “I know something’s wrong, I should have discussed it with you, coaxed it out even. Anything but yelling at you.”
Mikey swept a hand sharply across his brother’s arm in a gesture of ‘I told you so!’ as Frank merely stared in reply, appearing to all to be on the verge of tears.
“It’s not you fault,” he finally struggled to say. “It’s mine! I should have told you.” Tears fell from his eyes as he finally gave in to his fear. “I thought I could handle it alone, but I can’t and it’s selfish, you’re all in danger, not just me!”
Ray, Gerard and Mikey stared blankly. Of all the responses they had expected to hear, that was not one of them. Glancing at each other to check for any mutual understanding, they all came up blank.
“Frank,” Gerard spoke for the three of them, “what are you talking about?”
“I…” the diminutive guitarist wavered.
“Are you going to tell them?” Bob prompted. “Or shall I?”
Frank sighed heavily and fixed his stare on the pattern of the tiled floor.
“You know?” Ray asked, puzzled. “But how… how come… how?”
Gerard rolled his eyes and glanced sidelong at Ray.
“Very articulate, Toro!”
“Yeah, well, I…” Ray began.
“Hey!” Bob cut in. “Can we keep this about Frank?”
The room fell silent.
“Frank,” Mikey stepped forward noticing that the young guitarist seemed to be swaying slightly. “Come and sit down.” He added indicating to his bass amp.
Frank went easily and flopped down on the huge Fender amp.
“I found him by the door, on the floor, scared out of his mind. Some dude’s been sending him death threats.”
The room hung in silence for a few moments until finally Gerard uttered the words everyone was thinking.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell us.”
“I know,” Frank agreed running a hand through his hair. “It was selfish of me, I was putting you all in danger…”
“What?” Gerard replied hastily. “No! Frank we’re your friends. Family! You don’t have to suffer this alone!”
A loud chorus of agreement ran around the room as everyone clustered around the frightened guitarist.
“It’s probably some crank,” Ray tried to be positive.
Frank shook his head vigorously.
“No, I wish it were,” he sighed, “he doesn’t post them, they’re all hand delivered and…” Frank paused, chewing his lip ring as he truly took in what had just happened to him. “He was in my car with a gun in my side.”
“He was what!” Gerard’s eyes widened to the point they could almost have been circular. “How could you possibly keep this to yourself? Frank don’t you know we…”
Mikey slapped his brother’s arm once more, nodding urgently to Frank who was huddling over at the words.
“Frank,” Gerard spoke softly as he dropped to Frank’s side. “I’m not yelling, I promise, I’m just worried about you. You don’t need to keep this hidden from us.”
“I… I didn’t want to believe it was real!” Frank admitted. “How could I tell you when I couldn’t face it myself?”
Gerard’s head dropped.
“I’m so sorry, Frank, I should’ve listened.”
“To what?” Frank shrugged. “I wasn’t saying anything, I couldn’t. And not because of anything with you guys, I just didn’t want to face facts, period.”
Kneeling at his side, Mikey gripped Frank’s forearm and looked up.
“Come on,” he smiled. “We don’t need to rehearse, we know the songs inside out. Let’s go to my place and we’ll get Brian, we’ll talk it through, work out a plan. What do you say?”
Frank stared down into Mikey’s soft brown eyes and his own expression hardened slightly.
“We’re not cancelling the tour,” he said adamantly.
“Frank,” Ray spoke up, “your safety has to be priority. I know Brian would agree. There’s a psycho out there! He’s already hijacked you, you don’t know when he’s going to strike next.”
“Yes I do,” Frank nodded. “He plans to kill me on Saturday.”
Gerard took a deep breath as he rose to his feet.
“I’m calling the police.”