Candy continued to hurtle down the road mercilessly, desperate to get away from the car behind. I was panicking uncontrollably as my head continuously hit itself off the car roof, my mind tying itself in knots about where the hell Gerard had gone. I could only think the worst, although Frank was here now. He could help. He could get me away from the crazy bitch -Candy- and maybe explain everything, something...anything.
But she wouldn't stop driving no matter how many times I shouted, "It's not Marley!" Why would she run from Marley anyway? - Yet another question to add to my impossibly large list, a list increasing all the time.
"Fucking stop driving!" I screamed, reaching into the back of the car as if Gee were maybe hiding in the pocket on the back of the seat ready to jump out and scream "surprise!".
"Fucking stop!" I yelled shakily again.
The car pulled off to the side of the road and screeched to a very welcome stop.
"What's wrong baby?" she asked calmly, as if nothing odd was happening, as she stroked my back while I continued to search pointlessly in the back of the car for my brother, not thinking straight due to the alarm coursing through me. If he fell out while we were driving along, he'd be dead. I shivered under her touch and that thought.
"Gerard is not in the car anymore you stupid bitch!" I turned and lunged toward her, knocking her back against the door on the driver's side forcefully. I watched as the spit flew from my livid mouth and settled itself on her skin; I noted how close our faces suddenly were. She smirked.
"Mikey, he's passed out on the back seat..." she stopped talking abruptly as she looked passed me to where her index finger was pointing -the back seat.
"Yeah, he's not there!" I hissed in her face through clenched teeth.
I opened my mouth to speak words my brain had yet to think off but instead, a surprised shriek emitted from my lips. A shriek, which was almost immediately followed by Candy's identical one as we both fell to the grass bank surrounding the car when the driver's door was opened sharply from the outside. Frank.
"Mikey, get up and get in the car." He ordered as he lifted me from on top of Candy and pushed me toward the second car, Marley's car, which in my panic over Gerard, I had forgotten. I began walking to the vehicle, well more like hobbling to the vehicle, leaving Frank with his arms around Candy, restraining her.
"That fucking phone's a piece of crap!" Ray's voice startled me and I jumped in my seat, once again hitting my head off the roof. He'd been quiet for so long, not speaking to me or acknowledging me. But then, I couldn't have been in the car for that long; Frank and Candy were still talking over by her car. I had been watching them through the window of Marley's car with mild interest, but I was too tired and emotionally drained to care as much as I suppose I should have, so had mostly fallen off into a daze. Ray had stared into the distance through the other window, blanking me. Again, I was too worn to be the paranoid anxiety attack-waiting-to-happen that I usually would have been.
"What?" I croaked, the previous silence making my voice quiet and painful to use. My eyes stayed glued to Candy and Frank.
"The phone you were talking to Marley with. It must have been a piece of shit!" he said coldly, accusingly?
"What do you mean?" I asked tiredly, wishing I could add anger to my tone because I was hurt that he was talking to me so bitterly.
"Well, Marley said you hung up, so I'm hoping it was because the phone was a heap." He said still more frostily.
"The battery ran out." I told him and then turned to finally face him. I gasped loudly as my eyes drank in the dried blood covering the side of his head, the gashes on his forearms, the deep purple bruises covering his face. This is your fault Mikey! My mind screamed at me, guilt washing over me.
"So you didn't choose Bob?" he asked, shocking me; I had forgotten Marley's threat.
"I..." I stopped as I look intently as him, willing him to turn and look at me, but he still stared vacantly out the window, "I didn't get to choose."
"But you would have chosen Bob..." his voice had lost all it's bitterness and frostiness, it sound so small and hurt. But his words made me angry.
"How the fuck could I make a decision like that? Don't you dare ask me that, it doesn't fucking matter!" I somehow found the energy to shout.
"You would have chosen Bob." His voice was calm and final. He closed his eyes once again and I knew he wouldn't say anything else.
I stretched out and felt the starchy fabric of the sheets beneath me, my eyes flicked open in confusion to be greeted by a grotty hotel room. A new hotel room, a different hotel room, not the room from before.
"What?" I asked myself mystified.
"We couldn't go back to the other hotel, they'd look there first." Gerard's voice startled me and I looked around trying to find his voice.
"I'm down here." He laughed a little as he pulled on my quilt. I looked down to see him sprawled out on the floor, a towel draped across his chest as a makeshift cover. He smiled up sadly and then moved to sit.
"Gee, what's happening? You were drunk, Ray's being...." I trailed off, my voice small and barely audible. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I remembered how I thought, only hours ago, that he could be dead.
"I thought I knew Mikey...now I wish I did." his voice mirrored my emotions exactly and I saw he too was almost crying. He stood up, his bones cracking, and he sat down next to me on the bed, staring at his knees. "I wasn't drunk though, I'd never do that to myself again...or to the people I love." He looked up at me then back to his knees.
I couldn't stop myself from reaching forward and throwing my arms around him lovingly, hugging him tightly like I used to when I was a child and I had a nightmare brought on by us sneaking downstairs to watch the old horror movie mama told us not to.
Fuck, I wish I was five again...
"Mikey, I'm sorry, this is all my fault. If I wasn't so stupid and pathetic, none of this would've happened. I just couldn't let her be alone...." His voice got shakier and shakier and he had to stop, giving way to the tears much like the ones I had surrendered to long ago.
"You're not pathetic! Don't ever say you're pathetic!" I stuttered out as I cried harder and held him tighter.
"I'm...sorry Mikes!" he spluttered and I felt his arms tighten around me too.
"Stop saying you're sorry!" I sniffled.
We fell back onto the bed, crying pathetically and uncontrollably, both of us clinging onto the other for comfort and safety and neither of us understanding why it was that life had suddenly gotten that much more terrifying.
It's an hour until my birthday! does the 'It's Laura's Birthday' dance
surprised face What's that philosophical voice of the world? You're supposed to get more mature with each birthday?... DAMN! :)
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