The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes that morning was Hayley. She was sitting beside my bed with Gerard and Mikey. Upon seeing them all I smiled but that smile was short lived. Something was wrong. I could tell from the look on Hayley's face that something was wrong. The smile she faked wasn't fooling me. "What's wrong?" I asked her, waiting for a response.
Hayley shook her head, "I'm just glad you're awake." She was lying. She had always been a bad liar.
"And?" I asked her, waiting for the truth.
Her voice broke as the words spilled free. "Alex is gone."
I didn't know how to feel about that honestly. Alex had stabbed me. We weren't exactly the closest friends. Was I sad that he was gone? Not really. Did I want to see Hayley cry? No. "I'm sorry Hayley." I was sorry that she was hurting, not that Alex was gone. She didn't need to know that though.
Mikey cleared his throat, "Hayley cleaned your entire room last night." He said it as if truly amazed that such a thing could happen.
That's when I remembered that Hayley had been living with Alex. "... are you moving back in with me?" I asked it in a hopeful tone, unable to mask what I desired. I wanted to start over again. I wanted to be with Hayley again. I wanted to be happy with her. I wanted to make her happy. I didn't want to hurt her again.
Gerard stiffened but my attention remained on Hayley. She looked at the ground, seemingly broken. "I don't have anywhere else to go Frank."
I wanted to reach out and touch Hayley but the simple act seemed too personal with my friends in the room. Instead I opted for words, hoping they would make her feel better. "My bedroom is yours... if you don't want me there as well then I can always get a motel room or something." I awkwardly stated, realizing instantly that forming my words inside of my head before speaking them would have been smarter.
Hayley shook her head, "I don't want you gone. I just- Will this make things awkward?" She asked, looking to me for an honest answer.
So honesty was what I gave her. "Yeah, things will probably be awkward. It's your choice though. I don't want to force you in to this."
Hayley bit her lip, thinking over my proposal. Mikey seemed to realize that her reply wasn't coming anytime soon so he spoke instead, "Are you feeling better?"
"I feel crampy and sore but... I'll live." I replied, realizing that once the pain medication wore off things would suck a whole lot more for me. "Since I'm attempting to be sober... I have a lower dose of pain medication and... they aren't sending any home with me."
"What? That's ridiculous. It's not like you are going to misuse the shit. You have to take it anyway!" Mikey complained. "I'll go talk to the nurses." He stood, looking outraged.
"It was my choice." He sat as I spoke, confused. "I don't want anymore drugs in my system and even though pain medication is different from cocaine and well, most of the other drugs I have been using... I didn't want to risk getting addicted. I want to be completely clean." I looked to Gerard as I continued speaking, knowing that he was uncomfortable with Hayley staying with me. "If I'm coming home to Hayley then... I'm coming home sober."
The room fell silent but I expected it. I expected a lot of awkward situations while I attempted to get, and stay, sober. I still remembered Gerard's fight through addiction. It wasn't pretty but he made it. He was doing good now. He was sober. If he could do it then so could I and I would. I would do it for Hayley. What I did to her haunted me and despite the fact that alcohol and drugs sounded like a great way to wash the memories away I couldn't risk hurting her again and I knew if I gave in that would be exactly what I would do.
"I need air." Hayley stood up suddenly, looking as if she might be sick.
I opened my mouth to speak but she cut me off immediately. "I'm sorry Frank... I just- I can't do this right now. I can't be here and I can't think about us and I can't do it. I just need to breath." She choked out, rushing from the room.
I closed my eyes, wondering just what she meant by all of that.
My eyes opened as Mikey spoke, "I'll go talk to her." And as he left I braced myself for a 'talk' with Gerard.
"Do you really think this is a good idea?" Gerard asked.
"I don't know." I responded, too exhausted to even put up a verbal fight.
So, I was a douchebag. So, I had hurt my ex-girlfriend. I was a drug addict. I was a partial alcoholic. Okay, a complete alcoholic. I loved alcohol. So, what? Did that mean I was a terrible person? Here I was... laying in bed with a stab wound. I couldn't sit around hating on myself for any longer. I was mad. I was sad. I felt a million emotions. Some of them didn't even make sense to me but so what? I wasn't going to fight with Gerard about why I should stay away from Hayley, or why I shouldn't. I wasn't going to. I wanted Hayley. I loved Hayley. You can't stop loving someone. She had to still love me. ... I wasn't just going to let that go.
"What?" Gerard asked, moving closer.
"I just thought a lot of things and now my head hurts." I complained.
Gerard laughed, "Well... if you think you can do this then I'll help. I'll help with Hayley. I'll help with rehab... I'm your friend Frank. When you need me, don't forget that... okay?"
It took me a few seconds to understand what he was saying. "And you're Gerard, right?" I just had to check.
"The one... of many actually. I wonder how many people have the same name as me." He brushed the idea off, smiling at me. "You can do this. I'm sure of it." With that he stood up, "I have to go but I"ll be back later."
Well he was in a good mood. Things were certainly looking up.
"Hayley! Hey, wait up!" Mikey called, footsteps thudding heavily behind me.
I stopped and waited, pushing away my mental breakdown. "What?" My voice came out heavily, littered with emotion.
"I know this sucks." Mikey started, trying to be sensitive about the subject at hand. He just didn't know how to handle it. How could he be of help? He felt just as useless as he had when he found out Gerard had a drug addiction.
"Do you?" I spun around, glaring at Mikey. The tears that clung to my eyelashes suddenly found freedom as they slid down my face. My anger wasn't towards Mikey but he was the only person around to be victimized and I just couldn't control myself. "Do you know how it feels to hit rock bottom and get stranded? There isn't a way up Mikey. I don't have some ladder to help me here. I have to wait and sit at the bottom while I try to help Frank... I have to try and help Frank when every time I look at him all I can think of is how much he hurt me." There, I said it. I came clean. I couldn't look at Frank anymore without thinking of the assault. I couldn't stop loving Frank. How would that ever work out? The idea of him touching me reduced me to tears.
"... You don't want to live with Frank? Is that what this is about?" Mikey guessed horribly, as he tried to piece together the emotions thrust at him.
I shook my head, not in the mood to spell it out for Mikey. I wasn't even sure I'd be able to spell it out. I was so confused that I didn't even understand what I was feeling. "I'm going to get a drink." I spit out, walking away from Mikey.
Mikey walked quickly, attempting to keep up with me. "W-what?" He sputtered out, as if it was the worst idea I'd ever presented.
I stopped for a second, speaking slowly. "I-am-going-to-get-an-alcohol-filled-drink."
"Are you even 21?" Mikey asked, sounding worried.
"I know a bar that doesn't ID around here." Kyla had told me about it at one point in time. Kyla. Kyla- the backstabbing bitch that caused all of this.
"Your boyfriend is a recovering alcoholic and you're really going to be stupid and go get a drink?" Mikey asked.
"My ex-boyfriend." I corrected, "And I'm not the alcoholic, am I?"
Mikey stopped, causing me to stop once again as well. "Don't do this."
"You know I said that same thing to Frank quite a few times." With that said I walked away from Mikey, glad to find that I couldn't hear his footsteps following me.
The bar was dark, full of older men mostly. It didn't really look like a party area but then again I had stopped by before noon. Most normal people weren't stopping by to get drunk currently.
I had everything. I watched it all fall through the cracks of my screwed up life. How had this happened? Just as I expected I wasn't IDed as I was served one shot of whiskey, then another and well then... then I just stopped keeping track.
I was going to get trashed. I was going to forget. I was going to be the one making mistakes tonight. Not Frank... No, he had his turn. It was my turn to not feel for the night. I didn't want to feel anymore. I didn't want to care.
Maybe it was losing Alex that had pushed me over the edge. Maybe I had already lost it before and just hadn't been aware. None of that mattered though. As the cool liquid poured down my throat I coughed once again, attempting to drift in to some form of peace. So what if it was manufactured? I needed it. I needed it to feel real; I didn't need it to be real.
As I asked for another drink and pushed my glass away I glanced across the room to see someone familiar.
My feet were moving before my brain even managed to piece together what I was seeing. Thankfully my mouth was a little faster than I was, "Gerard?"
The man looked up, shooting me a weak smile. "Hey Hayley."
(Drama, drama, drama... I know. I'm terrible. I'm kind of embarrassed by this chapter but it's happening. I know not all addicts are recovering from alcohol AND drugs but most addicts are susceptible to addictions therefore they have to watch what they consume more than others when it comes to drugs and/or alcohol just because of their predisposition. So in this story Frank and Gerard both need to stay away from alcohol as well as drugs. Does that make sense? I hope so. Sorry, I'm currently fending off a cat and dog as I finish this up. I'll try to update again soon. I appreciate all of the feedback I've been receiving for this story. It's got a little more life in it before it's dead. Keep reading? =) Thanks!)
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