Eleven: Help

“What were you thinking of?!” Tina shrieks as I stand in front of her, feeling like a naughty schoolchild.

“I just went for a walk.”

“Anything could have happened to you!”

Nothing was going to happen, Tina,” I insist. “I’m not stupid.”

“Well, I wonder sometimes!” Tina’s eyes are mad and I know she’s going to be going on about this for days.

“Hey, hey...She’s back now, and she’s alive,” Gerard points out, stepping into our ‘conversation’ before it can turn into an argument. “No point in dwelling on what’s done.”

“I hope you’ve thanked Gerard,” Tina says to me.

“For what exactly?”

“Saving you!”

“I didn’t need saving, Tina, and you know it. I’m not a child, I don’t need looking after all the time,” I find the words slipping out of my mouth before I can stop them.

Tina stares at me, and I wonder why I feel so bad for saying that. Is it because she’s looked after me so well after I came out of hospital?

“It’s only because I care –”

“Yes, I know, you keep on saying that.” I shrug uncomfortably and look away. “I don’t know. I want to go home.”

“Well, we can –”

“No, Tina. I mean home; my grandmother’s home,” I say softly. “Not your house.”

“You’re not ready,” Tina immediately says.

“I don’t know, I think I’m getting there,” I answer. “But I am, I am going home, not tonight but tomorrow.”

“I suppose this means you’ll be wanting to get back into work as well,” Tina concludes.

“No, actually. I don’t plan on it, not yet. I still have a lot of money; I can manage for now without work. And after that, I don’t know. Maybe...Maybe this isn’t the place to be discussing my future.” What I really mean is, I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the future, at all, and part of me doesn’t want to know at all because the future scares me.

“Oh. I see. Well, we can discuss it tomorrow.”

I nod, helplessly.

“Well, thank you Gerard, and you lot,” Tina says to My Chemical Romance, smiling. “Thanks for your help tonight.”

“It was no problem,” Gerard smiles back, but then his eyes find mind and he looks curious still, and oddly worried.

As me and Tina turn to leave, I feel Gerard’s hand on my shoulder and I look round. He slips a sheet of paper into my hand and then pats me on the back with a small nod.

I bite my lip and follow Tina out of the door. I look at the paper; it has a number, an email address, an address and then a message:

Layla, if you ever need to speak to someone, call me. I’ll try and help you.

I take a deep breath in and fold the paper neatly. It isn’t much, but it’s all I needed.