...can you see? Me eyes are shining bright, 'cause I'm out here on the other side of ajet black hotel mirror, and I'm so weak...
I was slouching in a chair in the tour bus looking out a window, bored out of my mind.
The concert had been last night and it was now almost 11am. We had driven all night, heading to another state where we would have our next concert in a few days.
Bob and Ray were arguing over a video game they were playing, while Mikey was watching them, amused. Frank was still sleeping in his bunk.
Mikey came and sat next to me. "We're gonna be making a stop in about half an hour at a rest area. We'll probably be there for awhile so you'll have time to... sort everything out," he told me, smiling.
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever."
He faked shock and said, "No need to be so rude about it."
I flipped him off, still looking out the window, and he got up still smiling and went back to watching the boys argue.
Frank woke up about 15 minutes later. He walked into our tiny "living room", if you could call it that, rubbing his head and yawning loudly.
"Hey!" Bob called to him, grinning. "I was just about to go wake you up with a nice body slam. We're gonna make a stop in about 10 minutes."
He acknowledged him by waving a hand and went to go attack one of the food cabinets; after a few minutes of searching, he finally settled on some Oreos, munching on them in a chair.
When we arrived at the rest area, we all practically ran out of the bus, grateful for the fresh air and open space.
Most of the guys went inside the building to see what they had (Bob wanted to see if they had any video games) and check it all out, just to stretch their legs a bit.
Frank, however, went over to a picnic table towards the back of the building, next to a forest. When I saw him, he was lighting up a cigarette.
It was the perfect excuse to start talking to him; I had lost my lighter and he didn't know I got a roadie to buy me a new one the night before.
I casually walked up to him and asked for his lighter.
"Lost the new one already?"
"What new one?" I asked, surprised, but trying not to show it.
"The red one I saw poking out of the jeans you wore yesterday."
"Oh that one... No, I just-"
"If you want to talk to me, just say it. You don't need an excuse." He said looking at me while he exhaled the smoke.
I ran a hand nervously through my hair and sat in front of him. "Yeah... we need to talk. Don't you think?"
He shrugged like he didn't care. "I guess."
"Look, Frank, I... this is hard for me to say, but I have to try... I mean, I can't stand seeing us like this... we-"
"Why did you kiss me?"
I was shocked yet again, but I was also getting angry. "I could ask you the same question, you know."
He shook his head. "What I did yesterday was on stage, that's all fake. What you did was offstage and way out of place."
I looked down and said in low voice, "It wasn't fake."
"It wasn't fake! Jesus Christ, Frank!" I was getting tired of this situation quickly. "I don't know what your problem is but we both know it wasn't fake. I don't know what's so hard about just saying what you feel for once in your fucking life! I'm here in the dark, Frank, throw me a rope or some-"
I was glad Frank stopped looking so calm; now he looked pissed too. "What feelings are we talking about, Gerard? I don't remember you ever telling me about any of your feelings so don't give me that shit."
He was right, of course. I hadn't actually told him what I felt.
"Why did you kiss me?" he continued, since I didn't say anything.
"Because I just did, okay? You were on top of me Frank! I just had the urge to do it."
"The urge," he repeated, looking at me with a disgusted look on his face. "So tell me, Gerard, what makes you think last nights kiss was real and not a stage thing?"
"Because of how it felt! You've done it amillion times, Frank, but never that way... I mean... it felt like..."
"What did it feel like, Gerard?" he yelled.
"Magic...fireworks," I blurted out before Icould stop myself. There was no denying it though, that's exactly how it felt.
Frank stared at me with his eyes wide open. He wasn't pissed anymore; he looked surprised and then... depressed.
He finished his cigarette, shaking his head as he dropped the butt and stepped on it.
"Frank..." I asked him, almost afraid, "It really wasn't a stage kiss...was it?"
He continued to look at the floor, and said quietly, "When I go onstage... I feel like anything is possible. Anything I can't do in real life is possible onstage. I feel like a different person."
"I think we all feel like that. Does that mean..."
"I do onstage what I can't do in real life." He insisted. He was staring at me so intently I felt hypnotized; Icouldn't look away.
"But Frankie, why can't you... do some things in real life?"
He waved his hand as if trying to shoo afly, but he was really dismissing my question. "There are a lot of things about me... things from the past that you don't know... that very few people know. Things that make this really hard for me. I try to forget it all, but I just can't. Ican't!"
I thought he was about to cry but I doubted he would. I had never seen him cry.
"Could we talk about something else now?Please?"
"Sure," I answered, "So... how did it go with Sam? Are you going to see her again?" It wasn't a very good question to be asking right then, but I couldn't think of anything else to say.
He shook his head. "No, I don't think so. Ispent the last afternoon in the hotel with her by the pool, but nothing happened; there was no chemistry between us... no magic or fireworks," he said looking up at me, half smiling. I blushed and looked away.
"I went to bed late because I was with Bob in his room... not with her," he informed me. I was glad to hear that.
"That's too bad..." I lied.
He shrugged. "Doesn't matter. Did you see how much makeup she had on at the pool?" he asked, cracking a smile.
I laughed, because I had noticed that."Yeah, I hope she didn't go in the pool after we left to eat! Imagine what she would have looked like with all the makeup sliding off her face!"
And with that we both started cracking up. We continued talking until it was time to get back on the bus.
I was relieved that we were talking again, even though we had left a lot of things open, and a lot of unanswered questions.
Everything wasn't back to normal, but we both knew that things would never be the same between us, for better or for worse.
And I prayed to god it would be for better.
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