Hey guys, I know it's not quite in the week I promised you but it's only a day late. Thank you to those who reviewed the last chapter, you know who you are and your awesome.
"Hi Gerard" Her voice come out quieter than she had expected. Looking up at him she saw that his eyes were large with shock and she had to resist the urge to wriggle with nerves as he stared her. "Long time no see"
"Yea..." Was Gerard's only response.
"I'm guessing Frank didn't tell you I was coming today? You look kinda surprised to see me"
She saw him glance accusingly at Frank.
"Yea, your right, he didn't. He said he didn't want to ruin the surprise for me" A touch of sarcasm coming into his voice towards the end of the sentence.
"What? If you could have seen your face you would have seen how great surprising people is. It was priceless!" Said Frank, a huge grin spreading across his face. "You haven't seen her for years so I knew you'd be super surprised that she was here, and you always pull the funniest faces when you're not expecting some thing so there was no way I could ruin that for myself by telling you." He explained to Gerard.
"Glad I'm still entertaining" Gerard answered with a sigh that made her take a closer look at him.
Now that a bit of the surprise of seeing her had left his face he looked more like the Gerard she remembered, although not completely. He looked older than he had done when she had last seen him, which she had known he would, but there was some thing else about him that didn't look quite as she had expected. It wasn't an obvious thing and she had to study him for a few moments before the answer came to her. It wasn't that he had changed anything big in his physical appearance as she had first been thinking, it was lots of little things. The slightly down turned corners of the mouth, the pale almost grey colour of his skin, even the way he was standing, not tall and straight but slightly hunched, shoulders hanging low as if his arms were to heavy to hold up properly.
"He looks really worn out" She thought, "More than he normally does on the TV or in pictures of the gigs." He looked happy in those, always smiling and looking content and it shocked her that he seemed so different now that he was standing in front of her. He didn't look happy at all right now, and she could have sworn she saw him wince slightly as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his body seeming to hunch in on its self that little bit more.
She glanced at Frank then, waiting to see what his reaction to his friends' discomfort would be, but was taken aback when he didn't seem to have noticed it at all. He was still talking happily to Gerard and there was nothing in his demeanour that showed he thought there was anything wrong.
"You ok Sarah? What you frowning at?" Said Gerard, turning to her with a small smile.
"Err... nothing sorry. Was staring into space" She replied.
Maybe there really wasn't anything wrong. Frank didn't seem to have seen anything and it was hard to think that there was anything wrong with Gerard now that he was smiling again, maybe she had imagined it all. If there was something wrong with Gerard then the people who saw him every day, Frank and the other guys, would have noticed it. "You haven't seen him for years, you're hardly going to notice things the people who know him really well don't." She told her self.
"Shall we go back up to the others?" Frank asked.
"I'll be up in awhile, have a few things I need to do" Gerard said flashing them a smile, before turning away and heading towards the hotel exit, hands stuffed firmly in his pockets.
It took every effort he had to keep his walk at a normal pace as he made his way towards the ornate doors and the waiting street outside. He wanted to run, to let go of any pretence of normality and flee as fast as his legs would carry him. His chest burned with so many different emotions that he was beginning to feel suffocated and with each step he took the dull pain in his stomach became sharper. He squeezed his hands into tighter fists within his pockets, biting hard on the inside of his lip as he forced himself to act like nothing was bothering him. If he ran now they would notice, they would see his frantic steps and want to know what was wrong, and that was something he couldn't allow to happen. It would bring up to many questions that he wasn't ready to share the answers for, and others that he was simply unable to give a response to because he did not know the answers himself.
It felt like an eternity before he finally passed through the doors and entered the crisp morning air. His breath hovered before him like smoke and goose pimples spread up his bare arms as he hurried down the front steps and across the street before ducking into a large coffee shop. It was reasonably busy inside and Gerard was forced to lift his head to search for a sign that would lead him to the toilets, the only place he knew he could be alone with out freezing in just his t-shirt. Spotting a gents sign in the right hand corner of the shop he made his way over to it before entering and locking himself in a cubical.
His legs didn't seem to want to hold him up any more and his body slid down the door till he was sitting on the ground, legs bent with his feet resting lightly against the base of the toilet. Now that he was alone the shaking in his hands spread slowly through out his entire body until he was trembling uncontrollably as emotion after emotion ripped through him. Pain, fear, and longing fought for domination in side him as he quietly gasped for breath, head bent low, hands tangled tightly in his hair. He thought his head was going to explode with the pressure of it soon and he felt hot tears fill his eyes, turning his vision blurry as he stared at his knees.
He stayed that way for the next five minuets, moisture clinging to his eyelashes but no tears falling down his cheeks. Crying was something he didn't do any more, something his body wouldn't allow, couldn't allow. It had learnt that when he cried it only ever made the situation worse, made him face more pain because of the tears, so eventually the tears had stopped altogether and never fallen since.
The sound of the shop grew louder as someone entered the room behind him, the change in noise reminding him where he was and how long he had been there. He was calm enough to think properly now and he felt oddly detached, as if the war inside him continued but had been pushed far beneath the surface where it no longer had full control of him. Wiping a hand across his face he pushed him self up from the floor before heading back out into the shop, flushing the toilet and washing his hands along the way as part of the act to fool the other people there.
Once he was there he brought a large black coffee and found a small booth in the corner out of the way where he could sit and think. In a shop this large it was easy enough not to be noticed and he sank into the dark brown leather of the bench, pulling his legs up till his feet perched on the rim of the seat, his knees resting just above the edge of the table. He wrapped his cold hands around the steaming mug of coffee, staring into space.
He hadn't thought that seeing Sarah again would produce such a reaction in him, but then he hadn't ever really thought about seeing Sarah again. He was surprised at the deep longing he still had to have her know everything, know everything some how with out him having to tell her because he wasn't sure if he was strong enough to do that. They had been close when they were younger, had talked through many things together, always offering the support and advise the other needed. He had been there after her Dad had died, and she had helped him with countless trivial problems which were the only things he had to worry about at the time.
Things had changed when he was 20 though, the building blocks of his life had seemed to fall away from him in a few short months and every week had become aterrifying roller coaster ride that he had desperately wanted to get off. It was in this time that he would have come running to Sarah, needing her comfort more than he ever had in his life, but he been told not to get her involved. Been warned that sharing anything with her would only make everything harder, would hurt her and make her life more difficult which was some thing he had never wanted to do. So he had kept everything to him self as he had been told, learning to be the perfect actor when he was around people, to keep everything real locked tightly inside him. It was surprisingly easy around most people, he had no desire for them to ever find out the truth, but it was too hard to keep up around Sarah. To spend time with her and not be able to tell her was torture, so he had slowly removed himself from that group of friends, no longer hanging out with them when he was back home, as if had simply moved on in his life.
Even being around that much had proved too much in the end though and he had left town completely, not having seen Sarah since. The night he had left had been Mikey's graduation and he had nearly given in and told her every thing, would have done if some thing hadn't come up and given him the chance to run away before he said anything.
He let his eyes drift closed as he rested his head on the wall behind him, trying to work out what his next move should be now that she was back in his life. Ahuge part of him wanted to run away again but he knew he wouldn't do it, couldn't just abandon the band and every one around him now. Anyway she was probably only going to be around for a few days he reasoned, he could tough it out till then. Seven years was a long time, she wouldn't be the same person he had known back then and when he realised that it would be just like he was meeting a new person for the first time. He could hang out with her and the guys like he could if it was any other of Frank's friends visiting, he thought as he tried to convince himself. He didn't have to let it be a big thing that it was her.
With that decided he finished the last of his coffee, through the paper cup in the bin and headed back out towards the hotel, hands shaking only slightly.
Thanks for reading guys, hope that chapter was to your liking. As always, let me know what you think, good points and bad points ect. Next chapter should be some time soon.
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