Worry Rock

A Letter From Daddy

"Hey, Joey!" I say, walking into said person's hotel room. Yeah, Jake had his key. I see Joey jump a little and sit up partly. He looks over to where I'm standing with Jake behind me.
"Hey, Charlie," he says tiredly. "You got out."
"Yup!" I say cheerfully and sit next to him on the bed.
"Hey, little bro." Jake waves to him, not saying anything. Yeah, he's still upset about having been woken up.

Joey sits up all the way and yawns. He's wearing a pair of sweatpants, and a huge black t-shirt. I pat his back.
"Come on, let's wake everybody else up!" I say.
"Charlie, let's just go to sleep!" whines Jake.
"I don't want to sleep. I want to make everyone wake up!"
"Charlie, please!"
"Nope. You'll help me, right Joey?" I say, pulling a little pout.
"Um, sure, Charlie."
"Yay!" I throw my arms around him, hugging him, and he holds me as well. When I pull away he's smiling, and I look around to see Jake with his arms crossed. He looks tired still, and even slightly annoyed. "Let's go!" I say. I grab Joey's hand and pull him up.
"Mick!" I yell, going into his room.
"Huh? What? Who - Oh, hey, Charlie." Mick was laying with his face in the pillow when we came in, but now he's propped up on his elbows.
"Hey, Mickey Mouse! Come on, let's wake other people up!"
"Yay!" he says and jumps up out of the bed. Mick loves waking people up. He's the most of a morning person out of all of us, and he enjoys making people wake up. Generally, he gets chewed out never to make us get up early, so I guess asking him to help us wake everyone up is a big deal for him.

I see that he's only in his boxers and say, "Mick, you know I'm used to seeing you run around in your boxers, but once we go into the hallway, people can actually sue you and stuff. I don't think we need any more drama, so why don't you get a pair of pants on?"
"Aw," he says, but walks to the corner and grabs a pair of jeans, which he pulls on and says, "Okay, pants on. Let's go." I grin, and our growing party moves on to Warren's room. Mick is skipping ahead, with Joey and me in the middle, while Jake is trailing at the end. "Hello, brother!" yells Mick, jumping on top of Warren, who automatically pushes him off and rolls over. Contrary to his brother, it pretty much takes a nuclear missile to wake Warren up. Mick is used to this behavior and jumps onto the bed, bouncing up and down. "Come on, little brother! Charlie's back!"
"You're only older by three minutes, asshole. Get the fuck off my bed."
"Ooh, grumpy. Did little brother not get his nap yesterday?"
"That's it!" says Warren and sits up, lunging at Mick who dives out of the way quickly, grinning.

Warren pulls the covers over his head again. I see Mick smile mischievously. He runs off into the hall and comes back with a bucket of ice.
"Oh, come on, man, don't do that," says Jakob, who's still tired. I guess he's just thinking how much he'd hate ice to be poured all over him at the moment. But Mick just grins and dumps the bucket right over his brother's head.
"I am gonna fucking kill you!" Warren yells, running after Mick. They're out the door now, and running down the hall.
"They're not going to be back for a while. Let's go see Boom," I suggest.
"Okay," says Joey, who has woken up a bit. So Jake the grouch follows us out the door to Boom's room. We go in, and I sit down on the bed next to Boom shaking him gently. I've learned it's not good to wake Boom up rudely. Don't even ask.
"Huh? Oh, hey, Charlie. You're out. Why did you wake me up?"
"Because Jake and I have a surprise for you."
"It can't wait?"
"Well, it should be here in a few minutes."
"Wait, surprise? Why does he get a surprise?" asks Joey, tugging on my sleeve.
"Don't worry, you're all gonna be surprised," I tell him. Joey smiles.
"Charlie! Save me!" yells Mick as he runs into the room. He grabs me and holds me in front of him, crouching down behind me as Warren runs in breathing heavily.
"Mick, get your ass over here!" Warren tries to step around me, but Mick moves me to stay between them.
"Will you two quit it!" says Boom, and Warren pouts a little. Mick jumps up and cheers. "Now, Charlie, what's this about a surprise?"

Then we hear another voice from the doorway. "Who wants coffee?" asks Billie with a big grin. We got him to go get us some caffeine so that we could let everyone know he's here at once.
"That's the surprise," I say.
"Coffee!" yell the twins and run to him, grabbing the Starbucks cups out of their cup-holder in Billie's hands (Billie took the liberty of labeling the cups so he could remember which is whose) and retreating to the sofa in Boom's hotel room, sipping their drinks happily.
"Yeah, hi, you guys. Hey, Joe!"
"Um, hi, Dad! What are you doing here?"
"Why are so many people asking me that? I came to see Charlie, but now she says I can stay with you and tour!" he says excitedly.
Boom looks at me skeptically - Jake and I had told Boom that we wouldn't let Billie come with us. 'Absolutely no way,' we had said. I shrugged and said quietly to him, "I caved." He rolls his eyes and sits up to reveal his boxer shorts and white undershirt.
"Hey, Billie."
Joey has hugged his dad now and taken his own drink to go sit down on the sofa with Mick and Warren. Billie hands Jake his coffee, then gives Boom and me our cups. "Hey, Boom."


We're a few months into the tour now. It's April, and Jake and I are sitting on the tour bus with our tutor. We decided that we wanted to get our high school diplomas, even if it means we need a private tutor for it. It's actually pretty fun. We only have to work at it a few hours a day, and the work isn't too hard. If it is, we have Boom to ask. We've all agreed he's the smartest of the group. Sure, we could ask Billie or any of the My Chemical Romance guys, but we would rather get Boom's help. "Okay," says George, our tutor. He's a pretty cool guy. He's actually the brother of one of the guys who was there when we recorded the album, and Billie knew he was also certified teacher, so he got him to come with us. "Finals in a week. You guys are doing awesome. Just, ya know, study and stuff. I think you're ready."
"Thanks, Georgetta!" says Jake. For some reason, he long ago decided to call our tutor Georgetta. Jake flops down onto the couch next to Warren.
I laugh a little. "Yeah, thanks, Georgie." I go sit down at the table next to Boom and watch him as he writes some song lyrics. When I get bored with that, I sit down next to the rest of the guys and watch TV with them for a while.


We're at the hotel now. Finally. We all grab some stuff and go up to our rooms. We're really tired right now, so we just go to bed as soon as we get into our rooms. Except for me. I leave the light to my room on and sit down on the bed looking down at something I've been staring at just about every night since I got it: An envelope with my name written on the front. I've been procrastinating to open it, though. What did my dad decide to get me for my birthday? Is it something good or is it a form saying that he's disowned me and never wants to talk to me again? I'm sort of afraid to find out. I shakily put a finger beneath the sealed back flap. I bite my lip; what if it's something bad? Even something good would feel awkward. I mean, if it's good enough, then I may be forced to forgive him, and that would feel strange. Should I just leave it the way it is? Isn't it much simpler this way?

But I have to find out.
With one swift move, I've broken the seal on the envelope. I turn it over and let the contents drop out on my bed: a folded piece of paper and what looks to me like a gold chain and locket. I open up the note first:

I'm sorry about everything. I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I yelled and wouldn't let you go. I just didn't want to lose you again. Really. Enclosed is your mother's old locket, with a lock of her hair inside. It's for you to keep. Do whatever you want with it. I only want you to know that I love you and will always love you. Happy birthday, Carlie.

Oh my god. Dad gave me Mom's locket? He never even let me touch it before. I pick it up by the gold chain to examine it. It's simple enough. Just a gold heart like those you see in movies, with the name "Charlotte" in script on the front. Charlotte was my mom's name. Curious, I pop the clasp open to reveal a small curl of brown hair, the same shade as my own. I can't help but touch it; this was my mother's. It grew once. It was part of her, part of when she was alive. Wow. I carefully close the locket back up and read over the note again and again. I feel tears coming to my eyes, and soon I'm crying, droplets of water streaming down my face, but I can't stop looking at the note from my dad. I mean, I know it's short. I know it doesn't say much. But he apologized. And this necklace shows that he really means it.

---Jakob's POV---

I walk into Charlie's room using the extra room key she gave me. When I get in, I see her lying on the still-made bed, in the same clothes she was in last night. When I get closer, I see that she's holding a piece of somewhat crumpled paper in her hand. Her cheeks are tear-stained. I carefully pry the paper out of her hand and read it.

What the fuck? That man is messing with her. There's no way he means it, right? But the necklace. Where is it? I look back at her and see that she's opened her eyes which are a bit red and is looking at me. "Hey," I say.
"I'm such a jerk, she mutters, turning her face into the sheets of the bed. I sit down next to her and put my hand on her shoulder.
"You're not a jerk."
"Yes, I am," she says miserably, sitting up. I see that she's wearing the locket now. "You read the note! Dad's sorry. He loves me. He gave me the one thing he loves the most to show me that he loves me. And this whole time I've been ignoring him! I haven't even talked to him since that day that Billie beat the shit out of him. I'm so horrible."
"Charlie, come on," I say hugging her. She buries her face in my chest hugging me back. "It's not so bad. Your dad hurt you. You have every right to be angry with him. You obviously didn't even read the note until last night, so you didn't know. And frankly, Char, I don't really believe him."
She looks up at me. "What are you talking about? Why shouldn't you believe him?"
I sigh. "He's lied before, Charlie." We stay silent for a while. "I just don't want him to hurt you again."
"I think he means it, Jakob."
"I still don't trust him."
"Jake, I love my dad, okay? I do. He's an asshole, and he's a liar, and he's a heartbreaking bastard, but he's still my dad, and I still love him. I just don't know what to do."

I sigh and grab her phone from the nightstand. I start searching through the numbers. "What are you doing?"
"We are going to talk to your dad."
She sits up and smirks at me. "'We?'"
"Yes, we. I don't trust your dad, even if he's only talking to you over the phone." She nods. She know I'm looking out for her.
"Hello? Carlie?" we hear through the cell's speakerphone.
"H- hey, Dad. How are you?"
"I'm doing alright, sweetie. I've missed you." Liar. Liar! I'm getting irritated. This man doesn't love Charlie. He doesn't really care. He's just a cruel, manipulative son of a bitch who would rather make his daughter cry than put any time in to make her happy. The locket doesn't mean a thing. Neither does the note. But this is Charlie's life. I have to let her make decisions about it. I guess it just comes with the best friend package.
"Yeah. Um, did you mean what you said in the letter, Dad? The one you gave me for my birthday?"
A pause. "Yes, Carlie. I'm sorry. Could you please come back? I really have missed you around here."
"Dad, I can't. I'm on tour right now."
"You're on tour?" he says apprehensively.
"Yeah, Dad. With My Chemical Romance."

Here's the test. That asshole hates what Charlie does. All he's ever done is tell her she needs to 'get a real job' and 'give up on that shit you call music.' He really has said that to her. And let me tell you, it's a real confidence breaker. He's the reason she used to cut. He's the reason she got depressed and barely ate. It's his fault, and I hate him for it.
"Oh. Well, I'm happy for you, sweetheart." I can't believe it. he must be lying. No way he's for real on this. "When will you be coming home?"
I look up at Charlie. She looks so happy. She even has a few tears in her eyes. "I'm going to be there for a week for our birthday." We always say that. Never mine. Ours. Our birthday.
"I can't wait to see you, Carlie."
"I can't wait to see you either, Daddy." She said daddy. He has her. Call me paranoid, but I just can't trust her father.
"Okay. Well, I have to leave for work now, baby. I'll talk to you later, alright?"
"Okay. Bye, Daddy."
"I love you," he says.
"I love you too."
"Bye." I hang the phone up, and Charlie hugs me tightly.
"Thanks, Jakob."
"For what?"
"Everything, I guess."
"Okay. You're welcome."

I guess she hears something in my voice, because she looks up concerned. "What's wrong, Jake?"
I take a deep breath before saying, "I just don't really trust your father, okay?"
"Oh, Jakob, why? He apologized! And he's okay with me going after music! Why can't we just start over?"
"Charlie, you know as well as I do that we can't just forget what happened. I might forgive him eventually, but a note, a phone call, and a piece of old jewelry is not enough for me."
She nods. She understands. We always do. "I guess you're right."
"I'm not saying you have to keep shunning your dad or anything. Just be careful, alright?"
"I will. Will you come with me when we see him?"
"If you hadn't asked me, I would've come anyways. I'm not letting him near you alone."
"Thanks, Jake."