Teach Me How To Love

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Archive' started by MCRxParader, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 35


    My breath caught in my throat after his statement. I considered my next few words carefully, even though I knew I had no choice in the matter. I had given him my word that I would do whatever it took to win his trust back. If this is what he wanted, I couldn’t refuse, or it would be the end of whatever it was that we had.

    Instead of saying anything, I just nodded my head slowly.


    “Yeah. Yeah, of course. Whatever it is you want.”


    He smiled at me, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. That familiar distrust of everyone around him that I saw just a few weeks prior was back. I hated it; and I hated even more that I was the cause of it now.


    I laughed awkwardly in an attempt the break the silence that had formed after this odd decision we had just made.


    “So, uh, how do we go about planning a road trip to see your ex-boyfriend who fell off the face of the earth?


    His eyes widened. “Road trip? How far are we going?”


    “Canada.”


    Frank just sighed and scratched his head. “Yeah, that sounds about right.”


    I didn’t ask him what he meant. I don’t think I was ready to go at that moment.


    It suddenly dawned on me that this trip would either make or break me and Frank. I wasn’t entirely sure of his motives behind wanting to come, though I assumed they were along the same as mine – closure. But what did closure mean for Frank? How did I know he wouldn’t go running back into Nate’s arms the second they were reunited? I know he wasn’t mine, but the thought made my face go hot and my throat tight. But I pushed the thought to the back of my mind, for now. I had an entire day ahead of me.


    “Are we okay?”


    “Yeah, Gee, we’re fine. I’m still a little…upset. But it’s okay. I’m fine. We’re fine.”


    I wasn’t convinced. I would find a way to make it up to him in a big way later. But I didn’t have time to think about it too much, as the bell had rung, signaling the start of the day.


    I gave Frank a quick, apologetic glance. “I’ll see you at lunch?”


    He looked at me with those giant hazel eyes of him and I felt my stomach flip for what felt like the 800th time that day. There was still a look of disappointment in them, but I saw what seemed to be a flash of something more tender.


    “Yeah, Gee. I’ll save you a seat.” He chuckled softly.


    The rest of the day went by in a blur. I wasn’t much able to focus on my teaching, but I had been doing this for a while now, so my body was basically on autopilot anyway. Lunch with Frank went just fine, and I felt him slowly loosen up around me again. It wasn’t where we were at before, but I knew I couldn’t win his trust back that easily.


    I dropped Frank off at home, waving him goodbye, my chest aching with longing at the fact that I would have to wait until tomorrow morning to see him again. I breathed deeply, and the aching subsided ever so slightly.


    As much as I missed Frank already, it was a relief to pull into my driveway knowing I had a night of watching stupid movies ahead of me until I had to go to sleep. I trudged up the stairs, already loosening my tie so I could change into comfortable clothes the second I got through the door. I noticed Mikey’s car parked next to the sidewalk. Perfect, now maybe we could finally have a f**king conversation.


    God, I wished some higher being – if one even existed – would have prepared me for what I saw in front of me when I walked in. Movement on the couch, a soft groan, a blanket shuffling. I forgot I had been holding my briefcase until the thing crashed to the floor, startling me out of my shock.


    Mikey. And Ms. Sporkel. On the couch. Their clothes on the floor. I didn’t stay long enough to confirm what my mind had already subconsciously figured out. Scrambling for the stuff that was inside my briefcase and running out the door, I could have sworn that I saw a nasty smirk on Mikey’s face as I fled.


    I slammed the driver’s seat door, gripping the steering wheel with one shaking hand and dialing Frank’s phone number on my cell phone with the other. He picked up after 3 rings, thank f**king goodness.


    I heard his good-natured smirk through his words. “Couldn’t stay away for more than twenty minutes, huh?”


    I didn’t answer. Just breathed raggedly into the receiver.


    Now I heard concern in Frank’s voice. “Gerard, is everything okay?”


    “Far from it. I got into my house…Mikey…and Iris…on the couch…no clothes...f**king hell.”


    Frank gasped audibly. I don't think he even knew what to say.


    “Do you mind if I come over there? Please? I can’t even imagine going back in there.”


    “Of course, Gee, of course. I’ll be waiting for you.”
     
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  2. WeAreTBP

    WeAreTBP Active Member

    Ugh Mikey is the WORST
     
  3. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 36

    I sped over to Frank’s house as fast as I safely could, all the while swallowing the anxious lump in my throat that had begun to form.

    What the f**k was going on? How could Mikey do this to me? Why was he doing this to me? I tried to wrap my head around it but kept coming up more and more confused with my brother.
    I pulled into Frank’s driveway after what seemed like 5 hours of driving. For a minute I just stared blankly at my steering wheels, hands gripping it so hard that my knuckles started to ache. My jaw was clenched as tightly as a fist.

    Forcing myself to take a deep, shaky breath in and then out, I exited my car and started walking up to Frank’s door. Before I had the chance to knock, it swung open and Frank was staring at me, a look of worry in his hazel eyes. Tentatively, he wrapped his arms around me, his small frame pressed up against me. He didn’t say anything, which I was grateful for in that moment.

    He led me inside, and I saw that he had fixed up the couch for me with an incredibly soft-looking pillow and blanket. For a moment, I still kept staring, not able to think or say anything. Then, everything that has happened over the last couple of months, and I mean absolutely f**king everything hit me at once.

    I felt my legs buckle below me, my knees hitting in the ground as I whimpered, then began full-on sobbing. I knelt, my face buried in my hands, and let the guttural scream rip through me. Everything – falling in love with a man whose feelings I was still in the dark about, finding out about this past, my brother betraying me – the weight of it all sent me crashing to the ground, knocking the wind out of me.

    I don’t know how long I stayed there, knees on the ground, torso on the floor, face buried in my hands. Second? Minutes? Hours? I couldn’t escape the mental images of Frank and Nate looking utterly in love, or Mikey and Iris f**king on my couch. It felt like I was outside of my own body, watching myself utterly break down on Frank’s living room floor. I had lost my brother, and the trust of the person that I loved the most in this world. It was too much.

    And then, I felt his finger under my chin. I felt him slowly lift my face up to meet his. Our eyes locked and then, all I could see was his eyes – he didn’t take them off me for a second. The last thing I felt was being wrapped up in his arms – but not like before. No, this felt as if he were trying to absorb my pain, make it his own. His arms, so strong, held onto me as if I would fall off the face of the earth if he let me go. I buried my face into Frank’s warm shoulder and just sobbed there. He didn’t say anything…he just let me.

    Although it wasn’t incredibly late in the day, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. Frank led me over to the couch and swept the blanket over me. My head fell straight onto the pillow, welcoming the soft surface against my burning cheeks. I must have fallen asleep minutes later, even though I barely remember drifting off. God, I must have been so tired. I was so f**king tired of thinking and feeling things that I didn’t want to feel.
    In what must have been the middle of the night, I woke up. The house was dark and quiet. I heard the soft patter of rain on the living room window.

    And then I felt Frank crawl onto the couch beside me. He lifted the blanket and got underneath it. Again, those small yet strong arms wrapped around me. I pretended to be asleep.

    He kissed the back of my head. I felt him tuck a stray piece of hair behind my ear, and then he kissed the back of my neck so tenderly.

    “I’m here, Gee,” he whispered, as if he thought I couldn’t hear him. “I’m here, and I’m not leaving.”
     
  4. Miz Erie

    Miz Erie Black Mariah Staff Member

    So I haven't actually read this, but I'm very curious after glancing over this new chapter. I hope you'll continue to post updates. If and when you finish it, let me know, and I'll move it to the completed section and read it. (I don't read incomplete fics because so many are abandoned now.)
     
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  5. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 37


    My eyes shot open the next morning. The first rays of sunshine had begun to stream through the blinds of Frank’s living room window. I sighed, the ghost of yesterday’s emotional turmoil still floating around in my gut. The sinking feeling was momentarily assuaged when the smell of just-brewed coffee and toast came wafting into the living room. My stomach grumbled in spite of itself.


    I padded into the kitchen, with the vision of Frank sat at the table reading over some of his students’ papers, one leg tucked underneath him, a cup of coffee being brought to his lips greeting me. He looked up at me with his still-sleepy hazel eyes and smiled warmly. “Morning, Gee.”


    “Morning, Frankie.”


    I stared at him, letting the image of the man I loved settle all the shitty emotions I had swirling around inside my brain. It didn’t squash them completely, but it definitely helped.


    Before I had the chance to ask if I could take some coffee, Frank spoke again.

    “Obviously it goes without saying, but you can stay here as long as you want to. I can imagine you probably have some mixed feelings about going home, but my space is always open to you. Hope you enjoyed sleeping on the couch because it’s yours now.” He smirked as he lifted his cup to his lips.


    My lower lip trembled. I didn’t want to put Frank out, but I couldn’t imagine being within even 5 feet of Mikey right now. And the fact that it meant I could spend more time with Frank…I really wasn’t in the position to protest.


    “I’m so sorry about this. I hope you know how much I appreciate you opening your doors to me.”


    Frank snorted as he bit off a piece of his toast, surprising me. “I’m only sorry I wasn’t there to kick Mikey’s butt when you found him with Iris.”


    I didn’t bother fighting off the smirk that engulfed my face. Frank noticed and blushed furiously.


    “Sorry. Again. That thought was supposed to stay in my head.”


    “Oh, please don’t apologize. You’re pretty hot when you’re riled up.”


    Frank barked out another laugh and poured some coffee into a cup that was placed at the empty seat across from him. I realized I had no idea what time it was.


    Almost as if reading my mind, Frank spoke up. “We have a little over an hour until we need to be at work, if you need to psyche yourself up to see them. Also, I was thinking we can go to your place at lunch and collect some of your stuff to bring back here without running into Mikey.”


    Instinctively, I leaned across the table and planted a kiss on his cheek. When I pulled away, his face expressed surprise but also relief. “Jeez, I was wondering when I was going to get one of those again.”


    I raised the cup of coffee to my mouth and smiled, relishing in the sensation of the hot liquid immediately perking up my senses.


    A little while later, Frank and I pulled into the parking lot of Monroeville. He gave my hand a gentle squeeze before we exited the car, ensuring me that he was right by my side in this whole mess. My heart pounded against my chest as we made our way towards the teacher’s lounge and I heard the sound of Mikey’s raucous laughter filtering into the hallway.


    I stopped outside the door and squeezed my eyes shut as mental images of Mikey and Iris tangled up on our couch forced their way into my thoughts. I don’t know how long I stood there, dizzy from the mental ambush. When I opened my eyes, Frank was staring at me patiently, worry swimming in his hazel orbs.


    “Are you okay to go in?”


    I nodded stiffly and forced myself through the door before I lost my nerve, feeling Frank’s body next to mine.


    It could have been worse. Mikey and Iris’ backs were turned to me as they conversed with some other teachers in the lounge. The booming laughter came again, with Mikey throwing his arm around Iris’ shoulders in an exaggerated gesture and planting an obnoxiously loud kiss on her cheek. I rolled my eyes internally, stifling a snort. Frank and I quietly grabbed a small table in the corner, trying to remain unseen.


    The first half of the day passed by in a blur. At lunchtime, Frank and I left the school grounds to go get some of my clothes and toiletries from my house. We made sure Mikey and Iris were too busy feeding each other lunch to notice us leave.


    We were quick, and I made sure not to touch anything in the main room so Mikey wouldn’t know that I had been there. He would figure it out eventually, but now wasn’t the time to dwell on that – he couldn’t do anything about it anyway. My hands shook with anger as I packed up my meager personal belongings and left my old records, movies, and other collectibles behind. I hated that my own brother had forced my hand like this. And for what? Some asinine idea of Frank that he had for no f**king reason? I would never forgive him for this emotional roller coaster he was needlessly putting me through.

    With my bag of clothes and other belongings shoved into Frank’s trunk, we made our way back to Monroeville and finished off our day. I assumed that Mr. Toro hadn’t picked up on the whole Mikey and Iris situation since the two left the building together, giggling like idiots and trying to keep their hands off each other as they passed by his office. Even though we hadn’t interacted today, I knew they were putting on a show for my benefit. To hell with them. The urge to rat them out to the principal boiled deep inside my chest. The only thing that simmered me down was the feeling of Frank’s hand on the small of my back as we left the school.


    When Frank and I sat down for dinner that night over a bottle of wine in celebration of the weekend, I felt like something had shifted. Although our plan to go confront Nate together still hung in the air between us, unspoken for the time being, our talks became deeper, our laughs louder, our gazes longer, our touches more frequent. Maybe the wine played a small part, but I felt myself becoming more and more intoxicated by his mere presence.


    As the sun sunk lower over the horizon and the sky bled from red, to purple, to black, our eyelids grew heavy, speech slightly slurred from the alcohol but mostly from the exhausting last few days.


    “Alright, I’m calling it in. I’ve been drifting in and out of sleep for the last half hour,” Frank chuckled, rubbing his eyes.


    We got up from our chairs, and I made my way into the living room.


    “Good night, Frankie. I’ll see you in the morning.”


    I kissed him softly on the forehead, and then turned to my sofa bed. Before I could take another step toward it, Frank grabbed my hand. I looked at him, my eyebrows raised. His eyes sparkled with affection, and he motioned towards the stairs, leading up to his bedroom.


    “Come on upstairs. We can share my bed tonight.”


    He didn’t have to ask me twice.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  6. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    Hi new reader! Yes, I'll be posting regular updates from now on. I definitely want to finish this story!
     
  7. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 38


    [Frank’s POV]

    Cue the cliché, but all at once, nothing mattered anymore. None of it.


    Throughout the night, Gerard Way had managed to slowly chip away at the pieces of the sturdy wall I had built around my heart over the last few years. He had taken his chisel and hammer, and lovingly, patiently dislodged every single hardened stone that I had used as my defense. I had been proud of my wall, I thought it had made me powerful, untouchable. Only at this exact moment did I realize how incredibly foolish I had been. To hell with these defenses. Sure, they had kept out the poison feelings, the toxic rage and hurt and sadness that had haunted me for far too long. But they also had kept out beauty, joy, vulnerability, and sheer f**king happiness in the shape of the man in front of me. So, just like that, none of it mattered.


    When Gerard had been preparing himself to lie down on my couch, I just stared at the back of his gorgeous head, and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I wanted to be near him. I wanted him to feel his arms around my body, feel the broken pieces of me that he had been so gently putting back together all this time. I was tired of internally punching at the air with my tiny fists while a tornado of emotions overpowered me. I was tired of fighting off the feelings that I knew had begun to manifest quite some time ago.


    So, I took his hand. His surprised eyes made me giddy.


    “Come on upstairs, we can share my bed tonight.”


    His eyes gleamed and softened. He didn’t take them off me for a second as I lead him upstairs to my bedroom, with only the most tender of intentions.


    It was late and we were already half asleep. In a silent agreement, we crawled underneath my covers, still fully dressed and giggling. I sighed contentedly as the back of my head made contact with my pillow. The feeling was euphoric, enhanced only by Gerard laying next to me, rays of moonlight coming in through my window making his features glow.


    My eyes travelled over his face as I felt the full surge of emotions that had been stewing inside me. Without even a moment’s hesitation, I leaned over and planted a soft kiss on Gerard’s lips and lingered there. Jolts of electricity shot down from the top of my head, engulfing my entire body. It was the gentlest of gestures, practically a whisper of contact…but it was everything.


    Gerard smiled and kissed me back, just as tenderly. He reached up to tuck a stray piece of hair behind my ear, letting his hand linger there for only a moment.


    I pulled away slowly, keeping my eyes locked on Gerard’s as I let my head fall back against the pillows again. My brain was finally starting to shut down, and I wanted to fall asleep tonight with my lips still tingling from our first kiss.


    The last thing I remember before my slumber overtook me, was the feeling of Gerard snaking his fingers through my own, stroking my hand gently as I finally succumbed to the darkness.
     
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  8. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 39

    [3 MONTHS LATER]


    I woke up with both a literal and metaphorical chill in my bones. It was 7 AM on a snowy and windy Monday morning. I shivered and hugged Frank’s still-sleeping body closer to mine for added body heat.

    It was the first day of winter break, and I was both anticipating it and dreading it. Anticipating it because it meant a much-needed break from our hectic high school and dreading it because we would soon be departing for Canada to go see Nate. We weren’t in any rush – we wanted to sleep in and take our time before facing the long drive and emotional journey that was to come. I closed my eyes for a brief moment, just relishing the feeling of Frank’s back rising and falling against my chest while he slept. A lump formed in my throat at the thought that rushed into my stupid brain for a flashing second – is this the last time we’ll ever be like this together? My stomach flipped violently at the thought. I took a deep breath before pushing the covers off my clammy skin and reaching for a sweater, my coffee craving becoming too strong to resist any longer.

    Sighing, I made my way downstairs to the kitchen, enjoying the calm of the morning. Arriving at the ground floor, I looked out the windows, which were covered with a thin layer of frost. Little piles of snow grew taller on the windowsills. I pulled my sweater tighter around my shoulders as I made my way into the kitchen. I had been unofficially living with Frank for a few months now and knew my way around his house as if I had been here for years.

    I clicked the coffee maker on, pulling out two mugs from the cabinet. I had a feeling that Frank would be awake soon and I wanted to have a mug ready for him. As I waited for the coffee to be made, I sat down at the table, flipping absentmindedly through last week’s newspaper that had been left out. My mind drifted to memories from last night. Frank and I had made dinner together, trying to recreate a recipe that we had seen on the Food Network a few days earlier. Obviously, we had made a giant mess of the kitchen, spilling liquids everywhere and practically burning the food. But we had laughed harder than we had laughed in weeks, throwing cut-up pieces of vegetables at each, enjoying each other’s company and enjoying not having to go to work the next day. We had eaten the food with gusto, not minding the charred aftertaste that came with almost setting fire to the stove. We especially didn’t mind the burnt taste as we exchanged kisses, some short and sweet, others longer and deeper, almost getting carried away in the light of the kitchen but being wise enough to secure our wandering hands until we were safely away from the still-hot kitchen appliances.

    It was only when the sound of the coffee machine bubbling loudly snapped me out of my daydream that I realized my cheeks were wet with tears. I wiped them away hastily, trying to shove the notion that we might not have those moments again into a tiny box in my brain. What good would it do to have these thoughts now?

    Like clockwork, I heard the sound of Frank’s soft footsteps coming down the stairs. I smiled sheepishly in spite of myself, having easily predicted that he’d be joining me so soon. At the same time, I gave my cheeks another wipe-down to ensure that no stray tears were left behind. I couldn’t let Frank see me like that.

    I finished pouring our coffees out, and turned around to face him, handing him to steaming mug. He took it from my hands gratefully, his sleepy eyes meeting mine as he took a greedy gulp.

    “Careful, you’ll burn the damn skin off your tongue if you keep gulping it down like that.” I laughed, placing a soft kiss on his cheek.

    I went to sit down, still leafing mindlessly through the newspaper as I sipped my hot beverage. Frank sat down across from me, silently. I felt his eyes burrowing into me. I shifted in my seat uncomfortably and looked across the table at him, worrying about the expression I might see on his face. He only looked concerned.

    “What’s wrong, Gee?”

    I hope he hadn’t noticed that my eyes were puffy from my small cry a few moments before. I smiled in an attempt to assuage his worries.

    “Nothing at all, Frankie. Just still waking up.” But the heaviness of what lay ahead in the day pressed down on us. It was undeniable.

    His brow stayed furrowed, the concern on his face only deepening. He didn’t say a word but reached across the table and took my free hand in his. He squeezed it firmly.

    “Look at me.”

    I did, feeling more tears pricking at the corners of my eyes. But I held them back.

    Not now. Don’t do this to Frank. You need to be strong for him – and also for yourself.

    “I’m fine. I promise.”

    He continued to drink his coffee, but never let go of my hand, hanging on for dear life.

    After what seemed like hours, our mugs were drained, small bits of coffee grinds clinging to the bottoms of our mugs. Sunlight had begun to stream through the kitchen windows, illuminating the space around us with a soft, pink glow.

    I looked up at Frank’s face again. He looked pensive and terrified at the same time. I couldn’t imagine what the expression on my own face must have looked like. I thought it might be similar to his. But I had to be the strong one, at least for now. This was my idea after all. I had to be an emotional brick wall for my Frankie.

    Finally, when it felt like putting it off any longer might send both of us into a panicked tailspin, I spoke.

    “Come on. Let’s start packing up the car.”
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  9. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    Last chapter before the big Nate showdown!!!
    ---
    CHAPTER 40

    We had gotten off to a later start than expected. A misplaced wallet, two misplaced passports and another gallon on coffee later, we had finally gotten on the road. We were behind on a 9-hour drive and with the winter nights setting in earlier than usual, we had decided halfway through to get a hotel for the night and continue the drive in the morning.

    Frank was sleeping like a rock in the passenger seat next to me as the sun began to dip under the horizon, turning the sky a violet hue with thick, fluffy pink clouds gliding across the few twinkling stars that had made an appearance. The radio was turned on to some channel that I had absentmindedly flicked to a few hours earlier. I didn’t really care what was on, but the background noise to accompany the hum of the wheels on the highway was welcome.

    Deciding that now would be as good a time as any to find a place to settle down for the night, I kept a close eye on the highway signs indicating that a motel would be coming up in 5 miles. God knows what kind of flea-ridden, rundown piece of poop we would find ourselves in, but the full-night’s sleep was necessary.

    With the next sign indicating that our home for the night lay just beyond, I slowly pulled off the highway and into the parking lot of a surprisingly decent-looking motel. Shutting off the car and high beams, I turned to look at Frank, his head having fallen to the left, mouth slightly agape. How cruel it was to wake up this perfect being while his body recharged itself after such a long drive.

    I put my hand on his shoulder and gently shook.

    “Frankie, hey. We’re at the motel.”

    He groaned, eyes still closed, curling his body further in on itself. He was making this so hard. What I would give to just let my angel sleep and never disturb his peace ever again.

    “Frank.” I shook him one more time, a little harder.

    His entire body quaked, startled out of his slumber. He gasped, breathing hard, looking around, clearly unsure of where he was. For a second, I saw absolute fear in his eyes as he struggled to catch his breath. As it finally dawned on him that he was awake and in a motel parking lot, he sighed, burying his face in his hands.

    I swallowed down the boulder of worry that had begun to form in my throat.

    “Hey, are you okay?”

    He looked at me, his eyes glassy and nodded, biting his lip as if he were trying not to cry. He grasped my shoulder and just buried his face there for a minute. When he lifted it up again, he had a sleepy smile on his face. I could tell he knew I was worried.

    “I’m okay Gee. Just a little nightmare, ya know? Zombies and poop.” He smiled at me again, but I knew he was lying. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. Then again, how could it, given it the circumstances we were currently in?

    I just nodded and made a move to reach for the door handle. “Let’s get ourselves into this shitty motel, yeah?”

    He chuckled and nodded, swinging his legs out of the car and stretching his arms way above his head. His eyes were closed in a moment of bliss as his muscles untensed themselves from hours of being scrunched up beneath him.

    We walked up to the front desk and requested a room for the night. The manager grunted a price in response and turned over a pair of rusty keys to us. Handing over the cash and slinging our bags over our shoulders, we made our way up to the third floor. The hallway reeked of mothballs and the smell of unclean carpets, but the feeling of Frank grasping my hand in his pushed any negative thoughts from my mind.

    It took about five tries to finally jiggle the lock out of place and get our door open. We were greeted with the sight of a twin bed that looked about as uncomfortable as the car seats we just freed ourselves from, a tiny bathroom that was missing a shower curtain, and a TV set that looked like it was from the 1960s. But it would do for the night.

    I turned to Frank. “I’m gonna go shower, okay? Gotta get the smell of stressful road trip out of my damn skin.”

    He laughed. “Okay, Gerard. I can’t promise I’ll still be aware by the time you get out though. Truthfully, I’m only about 20 percent awake as we speak.”

    I gave him a smile, and cupped his face with both my hands, planting a long kiss on his lips. I felt his smile curling on my lips as he grasped my hips and brought me in just a bit closer.

    When I finally felt like I could stand to be away from him for only 10 minutes, I underwent the uncomfortable task of showering without a curtain, getting water all over the grimy bathroom tiles, unsatisfied with the 1-star soap and shampoo provided by the motel. God, how I missed home already. Was it too late to just turn around, go back to New Jersey and never think about Nate ever again?

    After the wholly disappointing shower experience, I toweled off and made my way towards the bed. As promised, Frank was already fast asleep. The man could sleep through a damn hurricane passing through a tornado. He only bothered to take off his shoes and had, for some reason, opted to forgo the covers. Probably a good idea, as I suspected they hadn’t been washed in at least half a century. I scooted into the bed next to him, flicking on the TV for more background noise. The screen was grainy and the channel that was on was playing re-runs of old game shows from the 80s. Appropriate.

    I nestled in, trying to get comfortable, only half paying attention to the episode of Family Feud that was on. I turned and looked at Frank. It never failed to amaze me how no matter how many times I looked at him, my heart filled up with such emotion that my chest hurt. Looking at Frank, asleep at my side, I knew there was no one else on this planet, nay this galaxy, that I wanted to spend my life more than I wanted to spend it with him. The curve of his neck, the point of his nose, his eyelashes that rested on the tops of his cheeks, his soft, dark hair, the sounds of his soft breath in and out of his slightly open mouth as he dreamed. I only hoped that sometimes he would dream of me. I only hoped that one day, the proper words would exist to convey to this man the feelings I had for him, the love I felt filled up every crevice in my body just by being near him. An army of 100,000 men couldn’t keep me away from Frank. A nuclear explosion wouldn’t, an ocean full of piranhas, 50 volcanoes all exploding at the same time around me. I would cross any obstacle that life threw at me to just be able to hold him next to me.

    “Can I be the only hope for you? Because you’re the only hope for me.”

    I felt a single, hot tear slip down my cheek as I tucked a piece of hair behind his ear.

    “I love you, Frank,” I whispered under my breath, feeling the weight of finally saying those words out loud being pulled off my shoulders. “I love you so f**king much. I would go through hell and back for you. One day, I’ll say it to you when you’re actually awake instead of being a coward. I mean this, forever.”

    I kissed him softly on the forehead and turned over, facing my back to him. I needed to get some damn sleep if I had any chance of getting through tomorrow.

    [Frank’s POV]

    I had fallen asleep and was gentle awakened by the sound of Gerard getting into bed next to me. Maybe if I kept my eyes closed, I would fall under the night’s spell again. My brain was mentally f**king exhausted after having bad dreams about Nate the entire drive to this motel. I would finally put a stop to it tomorrow. I would finally put Nate and my past life behind me and truly start my life with Gerard.

    The sound of Family Feud filled my ears, and then Gerard began to speak. His voice was low and soft, but I could easily make out what he was saying.

    “I love you so f**king much. I would go through hell and back for you. One day, I’ll say it to you when you’re actually awake instead of being a coward. I mean this, forever.”

    Every vein in my body was electrified with the words he spoke. It took everything in me not to burst out of bed, screaming with joy from the rooftop of this shitty excuse for a sleeping establishment. All of a sudden, I wasn’t tired anymore. I wanted to leap into Gerard’s arms, look into his eyes and kiss him until I couldn’t feel anything anymore. Until I felt nothing but our bodies combining into a single unit.

    But I didn’t. I needed tomorrow to be over. I needed to completely cleanse everything that had haunted the majority of my life before I could fully, completely give myself over to Gerard. Even though, I knew I already had, deep down, my stupid brain decided to hold me hostage from happiness for just a little bit longer.

    When I had felt him shuffle around and was absolutely certain that his back was to me, my lips parted in silent speech.

    “I love you too, Gerard,” I mouthed, speaking the words only to myself for now. “I love you more than I have ever loved anyone.”

    And then sleep wrapped me in its sweet embrace once more.
     
  10. MCRxParader

    MCRxParader Active Member

    CHAPTER 41

    “You are 7 minutes away from your destination.”

    The sound of the GPS announcing our impending arrival at Nate’s house sent my stomach into a violent lurch. I looked over at Frank and watched the worry wrinkles crease his porcelain-coloured forehead.

    “Gerard, I’ve been thinking…”

    I raised my eyebrows expectantly. I didn’t like how he sounded when those words came out of his mouth.

    “I think I should confront Nate alone.”

    His words sent my foot crashing down hard on the brake pedal. The car behind me honked and proceeded to speed around me, tires screeching all the way.

    “What? Why? Frank, you can’t be f**king serious.”

    I saw that he was getting flustered, stumbling over his words but remaining defiant.

    “I know him, Gerard. If he sees you with me, he’s gonna fly into a jealous and probably become violent. I’m just trying to protect us both.”

    “You can’t be serious,” I repeated. “Frank, this was my idea, you can’t just send me packing. We wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t gone looking for him myself!”

    “I know Gee, I know. But trust me, this is not a good idea. How well do you think it’s gonna go over, having us both walk up to his front door to tell him off? You don’t have anything to say to him, but I do. All those years of radio silence, and him just walking out on me? I wanna blast him until he cries. But please, please trust me when I say it won’t end well if you come along with me.”

    I stared at him in utter disbelief. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I let my mouth hang open but really considered what Frank was saying. He did have a point – what would I have to say to Nate? I didn’t know the guy from any other motherf**ker in a crowd. I had been so consumed with anger and jealousy when I had found him online all those months ago upon discovering all of Frank’s secret photographs. But now? Frank and I were in such a good place that, really, my anger towards Nate had begun to simmer. It was always there, especially when I thought about how he had broken Frank’s heart, but deep down, I knew he was right – this wasn’t my fight. Frank was the one who deserved this confrontation, not me.

    Sighing, I pulled my car back onto the road.

    “Fine, Frank. But the second you need me, please call me so I can come get you. And for Christ’s sake, give that motherf**ker extra choice words from me.”

    Frank breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Gerard. And oh, don’t you worry, I’ll hurl all the damn dirty words that I know right at the bastard.”

    I chuckled in spite of myself. Frank was an awful poop-talker. I hoped to God that he would be okay without me.

    When the GPS announced that we were less than 2 minutes away, I pulled the car over again, letting Frank out to walk the rest of the way. We didn’t want Nate to see a car he didn’t recognize pulling up in front of his house and getting suspicious.

    Before exiting the car, he turned to me. His eyes were wide with fear and his lip was quivering every so slightly.

    “I’m f**king terrified, Gee,” he whispered, only loud enough for me to hear him.

    I stroked his cheek. “Hey, hey. If you don’t want to do this, say the word and I’ll turn this car around right now.”

    He shook his head. “No. No, I have to do this. I’ve waited too long to tell this f**ker that he ruined my life. If I don’t do it now, I never will.”

    He sucked in a breath as he bit his lip, looking towards Nate’s house. He looked back at me and opened his mouth like he wanted to say something else. But then he just leaned forward and planted a kiss on my lips, soft as rose petals. I melted, wishing we could just stay like that for as long as humanly possible.

    “Wish me luck. I’ll call you as soon as I’m finished giving him a piece of my mind.” Again, he looked like he wanted to say something else, but then thought otherwise.

    I nodded, waiting until I saw his back disappear around the corner before finding a coffee shop nearby to kill time at. All I could do now was wait.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I waited patiently for an hour before I started to worry. I was nursing my fourth cup of coffee, shaking my leg up and down anxiously under the wooden Starbucks table. I drummed my fingers repeatedly on the surface, prompting the student at the table next to me to throw an annoyed glance in my direction.

    Where the f**k was Frank? I had been checking my phone every 3 minutes and no text or call from him. Complete radio silence. I started to imagine the worst.

    Oh no. He got there, they made up and now they’re having passionate “oh I missed you so much” sex. No worse, they made up and decided to run away together and now they’re long gone.

    I shook my head hard, trying to clear my thoughts. No, that wouldn’t happen. Frank was with me now. That couldn’t happen. Right?

    After another 10 minutes of anxious waiting and no word from Frank, I got up, scraping my chair along the floor. This had gone on long enough. What more could they have to say to each other over an hour later?

    I hopped back into my car and drove the few minutes down the road until the GPS announced my arrival at Nate’s house. I knew Frank told me not to be here, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. Too many questions were hammering around in my head, my hands shaking with anxiety and fear. I couldn’t stand these thoughts that kept forcing their way into my brain, shaking my foundation until I was dizzy.

    I walked briskly to the door and heard the faint sound of shots coming through the door. I recognized Frank’s voice and there was another one foreign to me – Nate. At least the shouts didn’t sound pleasurable. No, they were infuriated.

    I should have just turned around. Now that I had confirmed that they were still here and angry at each other, I could breathe a sigh of relief and just turn around, wait for Frank like I had promised him. But what I recognized as my name being yelled by Frank pulled me closer to the door. I pressed my ear against the door frame. From this much closer, I could hear much clearer. I also heard the sound of a woman crying.

    “You know what Nate?” I heard the sound of Frank’s voice through the door. “Thank you. Thank you so f**king much. I couldn’t see it at the time through the fractures of my broken heart but you leaving was the best f**king thing that ever happened to me. I found love with someone who takes care of me and loves me more than anything. He has stuck by my side through all this bullshit and yeah, who knows what the f**k the future holds, but I see one with Gerard so much clearer than I ever saw one with you. I love him. So f**king thank you. I said what I had to say and now I’m done. I’m leaving you behind forever and I couldn’t be any more excited to start a life without you haunting my f**king brain all the time.”

    I should have just stayed behind the door. But the sound of Frank’s passionate shouting and declaration of his feelings for me sent me over an edge of ecstasy. All I wanted to do was wrap him up in my arms and absorb his soul into mine.

    I shouldn’t have pushed open that unlocked front door. Frank froze as he turned to stare at me, hazel eyes full of surprise.

    “Gerard? Why are you – GERARD NO!”

    Those were the last words I heard before I felt a fist collide with the side of my head and my body hitting the ground. I heard Frank scream my name again, sounding so far away. And then everything went dark.
     

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