Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Soul Purpose


by asherschick 3 reviews

Gerard and Defne have a little heart-to-heart sort of thing. It's complicated. I guess also emotional...

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Characters: Bob Bryar,Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way,Ray Toro - Published: 2008-02-11 - Updated: 2008-02-11 - 3702 words

13. Listener

“Those who still think listening isn't an art should see of they can do it half as well.”

Momo – Michael Ende

She sat back in her seat and stretched her arm to admire her work. Holding out her hand, she stared at it critically to see if something looked bad. Nope. The nails of her left hand were perfectly painted red.

Now, she just had to wait for the nail polish to dry so she could repeat the same actions on her right hand, too. Sighing, Defne looked around the room. She was sitting at the booth in the back lounge of the bus. Actually, Gerard had declared that table his drawing table but he was nowhere to be seen and his art supplies were nowhere to be seen. So she had claimed the table for herself – temporarily, of course.

Her eyes fell on a colorful magazine on the coffee table. It was one of those really shitty ones that were always full of rumors. Someone must have bought it at a gas station in the middle of a mental break-down – in order to consult to such measures, she concluded. She noticed the date on the front cover. According to the magazine, it was the last week of March. Her eyes grew big with shock. She checked her cell phone’s calendar to be sure. Yep. It was March and the little box was framing the number 27. A month had passed by and she hadn’t even noticed it. Yet there were times, like this, that the hours seemed too stubborn to pass by. Her sense of time was really fucked up, these days. She realized once again that she really wasn’t a person who enjoyed traveling around, being on the road for long periods of time. Too bad her choice of career left her no other alternative. She shook her head in despair.

Turning her attention back to the table she was seated at, Defne grabbed the book she had been reading before she had decided to paint her nails: Momo by Michael Ende. Thinking of time had made her remember the book again. She had first read it when she was 11 and had instantly fallen in love with it. For years now, she would just take out the book from where she kept it – the places changed throughout the years – and read it, usually aloud and taking care to adapt her voice to the tones she imagined the characters to have. The book was mistakenly classified as a children’s fantasy book for a long time. She hadn’t been able to recognize the real message of it when she was a kid, because it wasn’t actually meant for kids. The book spoke out to the grown-ups of today’s mundane world.

Defne handled the book delicately – she never handled books roughly, twisted their covers or things like that. Because she didn’t want them to lose that new book shape, that warm new book smell .Of course, Momo had survived years (since she had bought this English translation of it from a secondhand bookstore) and it didn’t quite smell like fresh paper and ink but it still was in pretty good shape. She found her favorite part of the book and started reading it, holding the book with her paint-free hand.

She couldn’t help but imitate Momo’s wonder-filled, awestruck tone as best as she could. The gray man seemed to appear before her eyes for a moment before she whispered “Isn’t there anyone who loves you?”

“Huh?” asked a voice from the doorway, dumbfounded.

Defne dropped the book to the table, shocked and embarrassed at having been caught practically adapting the novel into a play. Her eyes shot up to greet the new-comer, her face already pink with a nervous blush.

It was Gerard. He was standing in the doorway, staring at her intently. He was holding two mugs and as soon as the intoxicating scent filled her nostrils, Defne realized they were filled with coffee.

She dragged her dark gaze away from his warm, honey-like orbs and murmured. “Nothing, I was just reading out loud…”

Gerard lifted his eyebrows and moved to sit across her, sliding one of the mugs towards her. “I figured you’d like some coffee.” he said noticing her slight discomfort and trying to put her at ease.

She wrapped her hands around the warm cup and inhaled. “Thanks.” she said, smiling gratefully. It never occurred to her to ask him how he knew she’d be in the back-lounge.

“So, what are you reading?” he asked curiously, sipping his coffee.

“Momo. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, it was really hard to find a copy of it here. I learnt it was only published once in The U.S. in 1985.” she replied rather enthusiastically, her embarrassment starting to draw off.

He smiled and tried again. “You’re right. I haven’t heard of it. But maybe I know the author?”

“Michael Ende.”

“Wasn’t he the writer of The Neverending Story?” he asked, frowning. He didn’t look very sure about it.

Defne nodded happily. “Yeah, he is! I love that book, too.”

“Me, too. Can’t say the same about the movie, though.”

She shrugged. “I haven’t watched the movie but then, book adaptations usually disappoint me.”

He nodded, gesturing around wildly with his hands. “Me, too. I just can’t help but expect to get the same vibrations I had gotten from the book but the movies can never satisfy that need.”

“Exactly!” she exclaimed, her own hands flying around in the air in excitement. It was in the blood – Mediterranean. “I had been so thoroughly disappointed with the Harry Potter movies, for instance. Everything was just so different from what I had imagined in my mind and I wish it had stayed that way. And then they started to butcher the seemingly-insignificant scenes to keep the movies from being too long and it totally destroyed the touch of what Rowling had created in the first place.”

“Yeah, really. I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter but the movies made me lose my enthusiasm for even the books! I still haven’t read the sixth one and the seventh is gonna come out in a few months…”

She nodded, lost in thought. She was looking forward to the last installation of the series, wondering how exactly the final battle was going to turn out. She truly was addicted to those books and sad at the thought of it all being over. Really, the intense craving to read them came to her in huge waves, sweeping her off of her feet and leaving her like a junkie without a fix. That’s why she tried so hard to not go anywhere far away without her HP books.

Gerard placed his elbow on the table and propped up his face in his hand, his round cheek pressing hard against his palm. He stared at her absently, taking in the wistful expression on her face. Her eyes were glazed over, indicating that she was far away in dreamland. Yet, they didn’t shine the way beautiful and expensive jewels do, like so many other people’s did. No, her eyes shone like melting bitter chocolate. That was the only fair way of describing them. They didn’t possess the lifelessness of hard stones; there was always something so warm about them. Something so alive. Something that would instantly react if you’d poke at it. He sighed, wondering what she was dreaming about – possibly trying to predict what was going to happen in the last book.

He remembered the way she was holding her book in one hand as he walked in the room. It was as if she didn’t want even one page to wrinkle a bit. She was holding the book open definitely less than 90 degrees so that it seemed like she wanted to keep it as undamaged as possible. It was very similar to the way he’d treat his comic books. He smiled to himself slightly.

Now, he noticed how she was sucking on her bottom lip as she dreamt. How her fingers were slowly and distractedly rotating the mug in her hands…

He suddenly thought she was truly adorable in every noticeable way.

Slowly, she returned to reality, shaking and stretching like a dog awakening from an afternoon nap. She blinked a few times and caught his starry gaze.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I totally zoned out on you, didn’t I?”

He waved it away with a graceful motion of his hand, grinning all the time. “Nah, it’s okay, I don’t mind.”

She awarded him with a friendly smile of her own. She took a sip of the light brown liquid in her mug and let it stay in her mouth for a while, tilting her head to one side and reveling in the taste that lingered on her tongue.

Gerard leaned over the seat towards her, his eyes twinkling. “So, tell me about Momo a bit. It must be really amazing to get you to start vocalizing it.”

She blushed hard this time. “You dope! ” she said scowling playfully at him.

“Come on, I’m really curious now!” he insisted, smirking.

“I’m not gonna tell you, you’re making fun of me!” she said childishly and stuck her tongue out at him. She sat back in her seat, crossed her arms on her chest and glowered at him to complete the mental image of a 5-year-old.

She looked so incredibly cute he had to laugh out loud.

“You know, you’re not making anything better.” she said, raising an eyebrow at him. Then she dropped her gaze back to the table and realized she still had to paint her nails. Picking up the red nail polish she shot him a smug look and muttered. “Besides, I’ve got other things to do than entertain you…”

She took the brush-like-thingy in her left hand and proceeded to spread the paint smoothly over the nail of her thumb. She was still smiling and laughing interiorly at Gerard’s pretty happy-expressions and her own 5-year-old imitation.

Her silent shakes of laughter didn’t do any good for the process at hand. She couldn’t prevent the trembling of her hand even in normal circumstances so her inner laughing fit made the output much worse. Her nail was a mess of smeared red paint, now.

She sighed hopelessly and reached for the nail polish remover. Scrubbing off the paint, she patiently took the polish in her left hand again. But this time, Gerard grabbed her hand suddenly. She flinched a little at the unexpected contact. Not that it was unwelcome but… His hands were warm and soft.

Defne’s eyes shot up to stare at him.

“Let me.” he said, blinking up at her innocently.

“It’s okay, I can do it myself” she said stubbornly.

“Yeah, I know. But I wanna do it for you, wouldn’t it be easier this way?” he asked.

She stared in his eyes for some time, trying to figure out if he took her previous actions seriously and he wanted to make up for making fun of her.

“Gerard, you know I was only kidding, right? I’m not mad at you or anything –”

“I know! I’m not offering to paint your nails for forgiveness, I just wanna help…” His tone was sincere.

“Umm… okay, I guess. It’s just that… no other guy has offered to paint my nails before. I think they find it rather girly –”

“Well, I went to art school, lots of guys find that girly, too.” he said grinning. “And besides –” he held up his own hands and showed his fading black nails.

She flashed a bright smile at him. “O-kay” she drew out slowly “My nails are at your mercy.”

Taking the nail polish from her hand – and brushing his fingertips against her soft skin pleasurably during the process – he attempted to give her a confidential smile but failed to hide his huge grin behind it.

“Don’t worry” he said “I paint Frank’s nails, too, he’s too incapacitated to do it himself.”

“Did you just imply that I am too incapacitated to paint my own fingernails?” she asked, mocking suspiciousness.

He just rolled her eyes at her in response and took her right hand in his, pulling it closer to himself in order to work more comfortably. Defne had never known one could get so happy over someone just holding their hand. But apparently her hormones were working on overload, making her feel like a nervous school girl with a crush.

“Now, tell me about Momo.” he demanded again, working on her nails like a professional.

Defne sighed. “Okay.” She relaxed at the pleasant feeling of the polish on her nails as Gerard painted. She smiled at the coolness slowly spreading to her fingers and began talking.

“The book is named after the main character… Momo is a little orphaned girl and she lives in the ruins of an ancient amphitheater in a rather poor neighborhood. She has this amazing ability, this gift, to be able to listen. Really listen, I mean. Just sitting there silently, her eyes wide. She listens in such a way that even dumb people come up with bright ideas at her presence, kids play the best games when she’s near. I think she inspires people with her silence, weirdly. The author describes that kind of listening as an ‘art’.”

Gerard looked up at her in amazement. “That is absolutely right!” he exclaimed “Sometimes you need someone to just listen to you like that…” His mind had wandered off to his therapist for a moment.

“Yeah, I sometimes wish I wasn’t such a loudmouth but I was able to listen like that.” she said longingly.

“Nah, you’re fine this way.” he said, a smile tugging at his thin lips. “I can’t imagine you like that… Besides, they don’t complain about me talking too much anymore, cause I’m not alone in that department, now!”

She laughed. “Poor guys… I can’t imagine what kind of a nightmare it is for them to put up with both of us!”

Gerard concentrated on the brush in his hand and held Defne’s middle finger in order to keep it steady. She sighed at the contact. Now her spine had started tingling. She was literally on sensory overload over something so small but still… It felt so good.

She picked up the story from where he left to distract her mind away from the pleasurable sensations of Gerard’s skillful hands against hers.

“Whatever… So, people love Momo. They always go to see her, bring her some food and talk to her. Then, it all changes one day, the gray men slowly start to invade the city. They trick everyone into ‘saving time’ in order to use it later. And people begin to quit all those little nothings they do, the things that make them happy, in order to save time. Everyone falls in a routine, miserably hurrying everywhere. Not getting satisfied with anything, forgetting happiness completely. And the gray men start to multiply because they’re like vampires, only they live off of stolen time instead of stolen blood. They even manage to trick children, who have nothing more than time ahead of them, into saving time. But Momo is immune to the gray men and she has to save her friends from the terrible life they lead…” her voice trailed off. “Let me read you something from here.” she added and began to search for the page she wanted to read from.

“People never seemed to notice that, by saving time, they were losing something else. No one cared to admit that life was becoming even poorer, bleaker and more monotonous.

The ones who felt this most keenly were the children, because no one had time for them any more.

But time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart. And the more people saved, the less they had.”

She stopped reading and there was a dramatic silence for a few moments.

“Doesn’t sound like a children’s book.” Gerard muttered.

“It isn’t.” she agreed. “It gets pretty scary at some moments. And I’ve never read another book that criticizes today’s society and consumerism so bluntly and harshly. I think it’s actually better at criticizing capitalism than even Fight Club… Of course I was 11 when I first read the book and I wasn’t able to get it, then. But I was still able to see that awful life it described, even though I couldn’t see the grey men… Still, it’s not a children’s book. Nope.”

Gerard was finished with her nails and he was now listening to her open-mouthed.

“Wow… The book has really made an impact on you.” he said, his voice full of wonder.

She nodded. “It did. I think this book’s one of the main reasons I’m here, right now. Whenever I feel like I’m wasting my time, stealing from my own life I remember Momo and I feel like I’m betraying her, somehow. Or maybe, I’m betraying myself…” She shook her head. “I don’t know.”

The raven-haired man studied her. He was still holding her hand although he was finished with painting her nails. He looked into her eyes and he saw a… a heart in the depths. Broken, bruised, guilt-ridden and maybe a little rough around the edges but still strong, thumping loudly to keep its owner on her feet. Still innocent like a new-born. Pure. And big. And broken again. He had known her for a little over a month, of course that wasn’t enough time to get to know someone completely. But still, he could read her a bit. He could read her enough to know that it cost her something big to come to this place.

“Does this have something to do with you giving up being an engineer and continuing with the band?” he asked softly.

She stared in his eyes for a long time. She didn’t know how he did it but Gerard had understood her in a flash, something so many people – people so close to her - failed to do. She was simply amazed. She saw his hazel doe eyes shining with insight, she felt him squeeze her hand softly and she closed her eyes. Then nodded.

“I didn’t want to be just another brick in the wall.” she whispered. “I was afraid to be so far gone that after some time only a shell would be left from me… I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do. It didn’t matter that people kept telling me I was bright, I had such a huge potential, that I was gonna change something that way, in the future. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to do anything but only keep on existing, mechanically.

She turned her face away from his intense gaze. She didn’t want him to see the sudden tears that came to her eyes. “For me, it lacked passion… ” she murmured, opening her eyes wide to will the tears away. “No one understood.” Her voice rang in the silence of the room, lost.

Gerard’s heart sank at that moment. His chest ached as if someone was squeezing the air out of it forcefully. He squeezed her hand tighter with one hand and used the other to touch her chin lightly, turning her to face him.

“I understand.” he stated softly, his voice cracking with the absence of the air he had trouble getting into his lungs. He stared into her swimming eyes once again and he couldn’t help his own tears. He couldn’t bear seeing the girl he knew to be so cheerful and strong like this. Broken.

She studied his face. She saw the raw emotions written all over his eyes. She couldn’t understand why he was so… broken, over her pain but she could see the troubled breaths he was taking. Her own breaths were ragged, her throat stung because of trying so hard not to break down and sob.

She sniffed a little and asked timidly. “Did it shatter you, too?”

He took a deep breath and struggled to smile at her. He run his thumb over her full cheek, using his other fingers to stroke the soft skin where her ear met her pale neck.

“No. It didn’t. It can’t shatter two people at once.”

Her eyes brightened up a bit. “Yeah…” she muttered, leaning her face into his palm unintentionally. She closed her eyes for a moment.

“Gerard?” she called drowsily.

He loved the way she pronounced his name. The word seemed to roll off of her tongue in such a graceful way that he couldn’t help but feel a little flattered.


“Thank you.” She opened her eyes and their gazes locked.

He bowed his head shyly. “I didn’t do anything…” he murmured.

She smiled up at him this time.

“You’re a great listener.”

He beamed.

“Momo listened to everyone and everything... even to the rain and the wind and the pine trees - and all of them spoke to her after their own fashion.”

Momo – Michael Ende

A/N: I knew I wanted to include Momo in this story one way or another. I think I managed to make it fit in. I strongly recommend it, it’s such an unexplainable book. Makes you feel so many different things all at once. I don’t know…

Let me know what you think about this one because I’m in serious pain right now. I need feedback!!! Please! I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for hours and my back and neck are killing me… I wish someone would give me a massage… xD
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