Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Famous Last Words

Chapter 2

by Sassy 4 reviews

Is it hard understanding?

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Horror - Characters: Bob Bryar,Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way,Ray Toro - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2009-05-21 - Updated: 2009-06-03 - 1824 words - Complete

I made my way to what I suppose would once have been called the study or library. Two of the walls seemed to be entirely made up of floor to ceiling bookcases, stacked full of what appeared to be ancient books, many of which looked as though they would crumble to dust if you even looked at them too long. Each dusty old volume bound with what was once stiff dark leather. Some were black or maybe blue, some brown, others burgundy. The spines varied a little too; apart from the neatly embossed titles, some were very plain, many had three or four ridges running across them at evenly spaced intervals. Quite a few of the books were embossed with gold or silver leaf, many of which were beginning to fade and peel. It was sad to see the neglect that had caused the once impressive collection to fall into disrepair. I doubted that anyone had taken a single book from the shelf in decades and that they were considered merely ornamental now.

Opposite the door was a huge arched window taking up almost the entire wall. Sectioned into two feet square panes separated by lead strips, the window very much the focal point of the room; a period piece that still looked as striking as it had when it was built. If it weren’t for the heavy drapes covering over half of it, the giant arch of glass would have let in a flood of natural light. As it was, the small exposed area let in what light it could; the individual leaded panes casting shadows at angles across the floor as the sun rose.

The remaining wall held an imposing but unfussy fireplace. It was set flush with the wall, with no mantel and made of a white stone that looked as if it had always been that way and had never needed cleaning. A large painting hung over the disused fire depicting the house and gardens as they had been in the late nineteen-twenties, only a few years after it was first built. The remarkable detail in it had held my attention on a number of occasions. Lately, it felt to me as if it was the only thing that had my attention for more than a few minutes. I loved that room and spent a great deal of my free time there. In there, I can’t explain it, I felt safe, secure. I wouldn’t say happy, but it was the closest I’d been in a long time.

That morning, like so many others, I was full of contradictions. I knew they’d follow me and, if I’m honest, part of me would have been unhappy if they hadn’t, but when I heard the door opening, I sighed audibly and deeply.

I have to be honest; I thought it was odd for a library, even a study, but the room housed a large leather couch near the centre of the room. From it, I could look out of the window, stare at the painting and watch the door. But right now, I was sitting with my back against the high arms, a small cushion tucked under the small of my back for support. My legs were drawn up so that my knees almost touched my chest, my arms folded defensively across me.

I was thankful that they were still worried enough to be sympathetic with me; I really don’t think I could have stood an argument at that moment. It sounds stupid, but I hadn’t slept well, I was sure of it; even though I hadn’t woken, my dreams had been fitful and disturbing. But, if nothing else, there was one thing I was certain of – I had no recollection of walking around the house in the early hours, crying or otherwise. I certainly had no memory of seeing Ray. In my mind, I was adamant that I was right; Ray had imagined it, dreamt it, whatever. All the while I tried hard to shut out the nagging doubt that tried to correct me.

“Mikey?” Gerard began.

I want to say his tone was kind and reassuring, but I’d only be lying to myself. He was uncertain and, not for the first time, I felt like he was treading on eggshells.

“Yeah?” I replied unhelpfully. I didn’t plan that; I just didn’t know what to say.
“We need to talk,” he replied awkwardly.
“What about?” That time it was intentional.
“Come on, Mikes, don’t make this hard. You were walking around in the early hours crying. Would you prefer it if we ignored you?”
“I don’t remember. I was probably sleep-walking. It’s not like I can help it,” I replied still staring at my knees as if the answer to the eternal question of life was written across them.

I heard Gerard take a deep breath. He knew there was nothing he could say; that whatever had actually happened was no more or less plausible that my reply. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him glance at Ray who merely shrugged.

“Okay, Mikes,” Gerard conceded. “You want to get some breakfast? Coffee?”

A faint smile curled the corners of my mouth. It was as if Gerard had uttered a magic word and all my troubles were at an end. I pushed myself from the couch and followed him silently back to the kitchen without even a backward glance. Behind me, I strained to hear Ray’s voice.

“He wasn’t sleep-walking, it was more than that. It was really creepy. When I…”

And then I was out of range, or he got quieter; I don’t know which. But I could forget all that. It was mostly irrelevant and my coffee was still hot enough to drink. Ray and Frank joined us within moments and for a while, it seemed as if peace had been restored. But I knew, it was only a matter of time before there would be another problem; something else for them to pick at me over.

The rest of the day was uneventful, unless you count the ever present sniping in rehearsal, but I’d almost grown to expect that by that point. It started innocently enough, well apparently innocent anyway. But it was always like this. A simple comment, wait for me to bite then move in for the kill. I was wise to them now. Could I see it coming? I could set my watch by it! We took a couple of hours break to eat and reset our thoughts. I needed it more than I realised. And I made a decision; I wasn't going to take any more from them.

It was almost ten o’clock by the time we forced ourselves back into the studio. We had been working on what would become The Sharpest Lives but it was a long way off completion. That’s the thing I hear the most actually when fans who are musicians in a band talk to me. They say things like ‘We did a new song last night but it doesn’t sound anything like as good as yours’. Now, they put this down to lack of talent or that we’re musical gods or something. The mistake they make is that they assume the songs emerge fully formed, easily, painlessly. This is, of course, nothing like how it really happens, well, not most of the time anyway and this day it was tending more towards painful.

Gerard flicked the switch on the desk to replay our last take; we listened and frowned. It just wasn’t good enough, not by a long way. But now, our unenviable task was to work out why. I had a feeling that somehow it would be my fault.

“Okay,” Gerard began with a sigh that suggested the process had stepped up from what had felt like a chore to the status of an ordeal. “Anyone got any ideas?”

All eyes fell on Ray. Whether he liked it or not, he was very often the ideas man. Don’t get me wrong, we all contribute to the songs and it’s very much a mixture of ideas from all of us. But, when we’re stuck, we all look at Ray. As usual, it was the right thing to do. Maybe he had an idea ready, maybe it’s the pressure or the flattery of us turning to him, but he had something in mind.

“Well…” he began. “I think what we’re doing at the start is too much. I think the vocals need to stand out more. Mikey, if you…”

He didn’t get any further. I knew it would be my fault. I was already disconnecting my bass from the amp and swinging the heavy guitar from my shoulders.

“Where are you going?” Ray asked, mystified by my actions.
“I just can’t listen to this any more,” I replied, my voice a mixture of indignation and anger.
“What’s wrong now?” Frank snapped irritably as he too lifted the guitar strap across his shoulders and almost slammed the guitar down onto its stand.

It should, if I’d been thinking straight, have occurred to me right then and there. We weren’t behaving normally and even though I could see it, and I remember seeing it, I couldn’t react to the fact that something was tearing us apart – individually and as a band. With hindsight, I know exactly what it was, but at this stage, we were unaware.

“It’s always my fault!” I yelled bitterly, staring at Ray as if I might just kill him.
“What?” Ray seemed confused by my accusation and that just inflamed me more. That is, until he continued. “I was going to say that we should all strip away our parts at the opening of the song, leaving only the bass accompanying the vocals.”

I stared at him, blankly, for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds. He looked back at me; he still seemed puzzled by my reaction but his temper held.

“You’re not affected,” I said quietly.

Even I was unsure what I meant, but Ray nodded as if suddenly he understood the answer to all life’s mysteries.

“You’re right,” he nodded. “Ever since we came here, we’ve slowly been getting irritable, bored and miserable and we’ve lost interest in just about everything.”
“Except you?” Gerard asked the guitarist, stepping forward to lay a comforting hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“I always knew you were a Vulcan,” Frank replied sarcastically.

It was meant as a joke and Ray knew that, but even so, the comment had emerged with a dry, serious edge to it. Certainly something was affecting them, but what? How? And most of all, why?
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