Status: In process.

Three Words You Never Want to Hear

And So It Began

I remember a time when I was visiting Mikey’s, and I had been left up in his room whilst Mikey went to pick up the dry cleaning for his mom, who was going berserk at him for forgetting to do his chores.

Gerard hadn’t been around to begin with, and so I had just awkwardly flicked through a few of Mikey’s old comic books, which he always hid under his pillow. I had assumed that he did this to hide them from his nosey older brother, who shared perhaps an even deeper interest in comic books. The room was scattered with belongings, so it was hard to make out which belonged to who, but it had been easy enough to figure out that everything piled underneath Gerard’s drawing desk belonged to him.

I wouldn’t have called it being nosey; I just wanted to learn more about him. At least, that’s the justification I always use.

Anyway, there I was alone in Mikey’s room, shuffling through his brother’s property. I don’t remember everything I found, but one item in particular really caught my attention.

I remember the exact texture of the leather binding, the soft pages against my fingertips as I read through his most precious secrets. I know my actions can’t be justified, hell, I feel guilty every day for reading it, but at the time I had felt so compelled to learn more about him. I mean, he had been the reason that I had discovered my sexuality, and when you discover who you are it changes you. Makes you the person you were always meant to be, you become more confident in yourself than ever before. So the fact that Gerard had confirmed who I was, and the strong attraction I felt for him, it made the decision to look through his stuff feel like the right one.

I don’t recollect reading anything of Gerard’s alcohol problem, perhaps I had missed the pages to which he had opened up about them, or maybe he hadn’t written about it at all. Nevertheless, I did read other information about him that I still regret reading today. I’m torn however, as to whether I should really feel guilty about it. With the little time I had left with him, and all the time I wasted before that phone call with Mikey, I’m also kind of glad I read it.

It was to this journal entry I then referred to when I asked Gerard this following question.

“Why did you attempt to kill yourself?”

Gerard, who was driving me home from our date at the ice rink, turned to look at me in complete shock.

“Excuse me?”

“Why did you try and kill yourself?” Gerard blinked, clearly too shocked to speak. “Years ago, when we were teenagers. You tried to kill yourself. Why?”

I hadn’t had the chance to read what had actually driven him to such extreme measures, as Mikey had walked into the room. I had only seen the tiny smudged words written at the top of the page in the middle of his journal; ‘I tried to kill myself today.’

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t bring this up sooner. I could have mentioned this small piece of information when reflecting on my brief time with Gerard before Mikey’s phone call, but in truth the pain I feel at this very moment is so piercing I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. However, I find my hands are tied at this point of our story, as I need to explain how I knew of Gerard’s previous attempt at suicide.

Gerard stared at me blankly, his eyes darting back and forth from the road to my face. We had been having a wonderful time at the ice rink, and yet I had felt the need to ruin it with this question that could have surely have waited for later. But I couldn’t help it. I needed to know why.

“Frank, how?” He shook his head, gripping the steering wheel tightly. “How-? How do you know?”

I gulped. I hadn’t planned on explaining myself. “Just don’t get mad, okay? I know I shouldn’t have, I was a total jerk for doing it, but I barely knew you at the time and I was curious-”

“Frank, you’re really freaking me out. Just tell me.” He placed his hand on my knee, rubbing it gently.

I gulped, trying to ignore the sensation as I thought of a way to explain my actions. “I- I went through your private journal when we, I, was sixteen.”

There was a pause. I waited for Gerard’s face to turn into one of anger, but he just stared straight ahead into the road. “You read my journal?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, Gerard, I know I shouldn’t have. It was years ago, I was visiting Mikey and he was busy downstairs so I was looking around-”

“And you found my journal,” he finished, his eyes still focused ahead.

“I didn’t read it- well, not really- I read a few words at the top of one of the entries and I saw that you had attempted... it.”

“You can say it, Frank. Suicide. I attempted to commit suicide.”

“You’re mad.”

“No. No, I’m not mad. It’s just a bit of a shock, that’s all. I didn’t think you knew.” He turned to face me, his eyes glistening. “I was in a hard place, Frank. I felt… alone, like no one needed or wanted me.”

“How could you think that? You had Mikey; you had your family...”

“Mikey was always too busy out with friends to spend any time with me. The only time we really spent together was when you visited, and even then we didn’t talk much,” Gerard sighed, and turned back towards the road. “I didn’t have much of a social life, I stayed in all weekend drawing or reading comic books, girls took no interest in me…”

I looked at him in confusion, eyebrows raised. “You’re gay.”

His lip curled slightly. “Nevertheless it would have been nice to for the ladies to show some interest.”

“The ladies?” I chuckled, unable to help myself. “Sorry, it’s just hard to imagine you with a girl at all.”

“Yeah, well back then I was still experimenting, y’know? I knew I liked guys, of course, but I still wanted to know for sure. A little bit of lady action would have been nice,” he winked, seemingly in a more cheery mood than before. “My family were around, sure, but you have to understand that they were always so busy, so uninterested in my life. When you have no friends, no family to talk to, you can’t help but slip into a world of your own.”

I considered his words for a moment. It was hard to imagine Gerard being so lonely, in my memory he had always been someone I looked up to, a popular, attractive, talented guy. “You mean, you were depressed?” He looked away. “Gerard, that’s not even possible. Not to me anyway. You were my role model when we were younger.”

“That doesn’t mean I couldn’t have been suffering. You just saw what you wanted to see. I was your role model, your crush. Of course you didn’t notice how hurt I was. How could you? No one else noticed, not even my brother.”

I felt obliged to defend Mikey. “He would’ve been there for you if he had known.”

Gerard sighed, looking back to me. My breath caught in my throat at the sight of him. His hazel eyes were filled with tears, glistening as they looked into mine. I thought of my own appearance and how dull I was in comparison to him, how we must look, hand in hand, the beauty and the beast.

“I’m not saying he’s a bad brother. He was just preoccupied back then. I felt alone because I didn’t make enough effort to socialise, I only blame myself.” I went to interrupt, but he shook his head. “Don’t tell me it wasn’t my fault, Frank. If I had acted like a normal teenager then I never would have felt that way.”

“Normal teenager? Depressed with issues? Sounds like a normal teenager to me.”

Gerard made a sound half between a laugh and half a sniff. “You’re not wrong there.”

There was a small silence. I looked out of the window and saw that we were almost home, so if I wanted to ask then this was the time to do it. I decided I could only ask the question outright; there could be no sugar-coating it.

“So how did you try and do it?” I asked softly.

I expected him to brush the question away or hesitate, but he just gave a small smile. “I drank bleach.”

I gulped. I tried to imagine what that would have felt like, but I could only picture my Gerard, crumpled and broken on the floor, screaming in agony. I shivered, coming back to reality as I noticed Gerard’s eyes fixed on me.

“What did it-? What did it feel like?”

“Like my insides were burning. I felt like I wanted to die. The pain was unbearable, I couldn’t think straight, I just wanted it to end.” He paused. “I guess that was the whole idea in the first place. To make it all end.”

“What happened?” I whispered, not trusting my voice.

“Mikey found me.”

My stomach dropped. I hadn’t been thinking about Mikey much recently, and the guilt I felt was intensified as I imagined Mikey discovering his older brother like that. I wondered if Mikey was suffering from the same depression his brother had back then, it certainly seemed like it.

I couldn’t think of anything to say. I mean, what could I have said? Sorry Mikey found you like that? Gerard would have only have blamed himself. I decided to change the subject slightly.

“Gerard, I know you don’t want to tell me yet, and I’m fine with that, but I’ve noticed how… different Mikey has been recently, and it just seems like he’s in a really bad place right now.” I looked to him for reassurance, for him to dismiss what I was saying, but he just nodded for me to continue. “What if Mikey feels exactly like you did back then?”

Gerard pulled up outside my house which had just come into view. I waited patiently for him to turn off the engine. When he did, he turned in his seat to face me.

“What you need to understand is that Mikey cares about me a lot. What’s happening with me is affecting him too.”

“So he is in a bad place?”

Gerard sighed, his eyebrows furrowing together. “Yeah. Yeah, Mikey’s not doing well.”

“Isn’t there anything we can do to help?”

He shook his head. “Not with this. This is uncontrollable, he’s gonna get hurt no matter what.”
I sighed. I was so frustrated with not knowing the truth. “Not knowing anything isn’t making it easy to be supportive, y’know.”

“I know,” he placed his hand on the side of my face, stroking my cheek gently. “I promise you I am doing everything I can for him. Mikey needs a friend right now, maybe you could two could hang out sometime. It might take his mind off things.”

“I’ve been a lousy friend,” I sighed, closing my eyes in both frustration and at the feel of his touch.
I felt Gerard lean forwards, his breath on my face. “None of this is your fault. You’re just trying to be a good boyfriend to me.”

I opened my eyes, and was met with Gerard’s an inch from my face. “You think of me as a boyfriend?”

He looked taken aback. “Y-yeah. I thought we were a thing now, but if that’s not the case-”

“Oh, shut up,” I smiled, grabbing the back of his head and kissing him fiercely.

It was like that, tangled together, Gerard on my lap and my legs wrapped around him that Mikey found us. I blushed and pushed Gerard from my lap, apologising repeatedly. Gerard was in hysterics, but what struck me more was not Gerard’s lack of concern for what his brother had just seen, but the fact that Mikey was smiling.

“It’s okay, don’t worry about it,” chuckled Mikey, opening the car door and leaning in. “I just thought I should come and break you two up before the neighbours get the whole show.”

I felt the blood pounding in my cheeks. I hid my head in my hands, whilst Gerard continued to chortle away. “Sorry,” I murmured.

“Forget about it, Frank. It’s not a crime to be caught kissing your boyfriend,” laughed Mikey.

I looked up and analysed his appearance. He still looked scruffy and as if he hadn’t slept for months, with red rings under his eyes as if he had been crying, and his hair still stood up in a mess. It was his eyes however, that gave away how much he was still hurting, although his smile said different. Clearly he was trying to hide his pain from his concerned brother, so I decided to not make a big deal out of his new personality.

“You saw a little more than just kissing,” I complained, tearing my eyes from the broken man before me.

He shrugged a smirk still on his face. “Trust me; I wasn’t so thrilled to see it myself.”

“It’s not like we were actually doing it,” laughed Gerard, clearly pleased to see his brother in a better mood. “I mean remember when I walked in on you and that girl back in high school?”

Mikey laughed and playfully shoved his brother, whose legs were still on my lap. “At least I got laid in high school, dude.”

Gerard gave a dramatic gasp. “That was low even for you, Milky Way.”

Mikey groaned, and I stifled back a giggle. “I told you not to call me that.”

“Aw, don’t be like that, Milky,” Gerard smiled, pulling himself back onto my lap, causing me to blush.

“Aw, stop it Geetard, you’re making him blush,” Mikey laughed, leaning away from the car. “He’s as red as a fire truck, the poor guy.”

“He’s also listening to you right now,” I moaned, pushing against Gerard’s chest. “Come on, Gerard, Mikey doesn’t want to see this.”

“I’m just sitting on your lap, baby,” he winked, pressing his lips against mine. I heard Mikey groan as his tongue found its way into mine. He pulled away, laughing. “You two are ridiculous. You don’t have to make it so awkward.”

“You’re the one dry humping your boyfriend in front of your brother,” Mikey shook his head, laughing. “Come on, let’s go inside.”

We walked into the living room and sat down, Gerard on my lap, as much as I protested against it, and Mikey sat opposite us, a smile still on his face. I wondered where this sudden mood change had come from, and I could tell Gerard was wondering the same thing.

He didn’t bring it up however, knowing Gerard he was too scared of upsetting his brother and sending him back into his depressing state.

“You two have got to stop staring,” Mikey groaned, picking up the TV remote and flicking through the channels.

Gerard looked at me briefly, and then back to his brother. His eyebrows were furrowed together, and I knew he was trying to figure out what had changed his brother’s behaviour. I squeezed his hand gently in reassurance, which seemed to work as he pressed his lips to mine once more.

His lips moved against mine in perfect rhythm, his tongue occasionally brushing against my bottom lip, causing me to moan. I grabbed a fist full of his hair at the back of his neck, attempting to bring him closer. He moaned and responded by grabbing my ass, which sent me into frenzy. I grabbed him back and began grinding against him, which caused him to moan my name.

“Whoa, whoa, enough!” Cried Mikey from behind us.

Gerard pulled away, but continued to sit on my lap. I had completely forgotten about Mikey’s presence, and I felt ashamed that he had seen me acting that way. I buried my head into Gerard’s warm chest.

“Sorry, Mikes, it seems Frankie just can’t help himself,” smirked Gerard, turning on my lap so that he could face his brother. “Hold in there, we’ll take care of it in a minute.” He whispered when Mikey turned his back, and I blushed furiously. I was feeling extremely uncomfortable, if you get my drift, and I could feel that Gerard was feeling the same way.

Mikey turned towards us again. “You two need to learn how to behave in front of company.”

“Oh, leave us alone, we’re a new couple. Of course we’re gonna be all over each other.”

“Yeah, well, there’s no need to do it in front of your little brother. That’s just sick, dude.”

“Relax, I’ve seen worse with you and your girlfriends,” Gerard climbed off of my lap, clearly he was feeling the same way as me, and sitting that close wasn’t doing us any favours. “Speaking of, how’s the wife?”

It was obvious immediately that this wasn’t the right thing to say, and Gerard looked panicked as he took in Mikey’s reaction. His younger brother’s face contorted, and he suddenly looked a lot more like himself of recent.

“A-Alicia?” Gerard nodded hesitantly. “She’s, uh, she’s okay.”

“Listen, Mikey, why don’t you call her?” Gerard suggested gently, leaning towards his brother. “I’m sure she’s worried sick about you.”

Mikey blinked. “Worried? Why would she be worried? I’m just hanging out with my brother.”
“Mikey, you’ve been here for weeks-”

“I know how long I’ve been here,” he snapped, standing up suddenly. “You know why I’m here, Gerard.”

Gerard looked hurt. “Mikes, it’s not that I don’t love having you here-”

“You asked me to be here, remember? You begged me,” he spat.

“I- I know I did, and I’m so grateful to you for staying with me, but Alicia needs you-”

“Oh, Alicia needs me does she?” He yelled, slamming his fist against the table. I jumped and stood up, looking between the two of them uncertainly. “Well, Alicia can wait! If you haven’t noticed, you need me much more than she does right now, and family comes first.”

“Please, Mikes,” begged Gerard, tears in his eyes. “I do need you here, I do. But you need to be with your wife, especially now.”

I wondered why Gerard needed his brother so much, and why Mikey would desert his wife for so long. It must be something terrible if he was willing to leave his wife to stay with his brother, and I hated that I had no idea what was going on.

“Don’t throw that in my face again, Gerard.”

“No,” Gerard stood up, clearly his temper was rising. “No, you need to hear this. Your wife is having a baby, Mikey. A baby. You can’t just leave her to deal with that on her own.”

I gasped at this new information. Gerard hadn’t mentioned this to me, and I was hurt that neither of them had mentioned it to me. Why did everything have to be a secret with them? More than that, I was angry at Mikey. Mikey, who I had felt so sorry for, had abandoned his pregnant wife. I felt my earlier guilt leave me, and I clenched my fists in anger.

“I have to leave her! I don’t have a choice, Gerard!” Mikey pleaded, looking close to tears.

I didn’t let this stop me however. Someone had to straighten Mikey out. “Don’t have a choice?” I cried, startling them both. “Are you insane? You’re abandoning your wife, Mikey!” I felt Gerard grab my arm as I made my way forward, aiming for Mikey. I shrugged him off angrily. “I thought you were a decent guy, I thought you loved her!”

“Frank, you don’t know what you’re saying,” Mikey muttered, flinching from my face which was inches from his.

“No, you don’t know what you’re doing! You need to get a grip! Look, I don’t know what’s happening around here, but nothing is more important than supporting your wife through this.”

“Frank,” Gerard warned, making his way towards us. “Calm down.”

I swirled around. “Calm down? Gerard, how can you defend him? He needs to wake up, stop wallowing around and be a man.”

“You don’t have the whole story, Frank,” Gerard replied, much more calmly than me. “Just stop, okay?”

“No! He needs to change his ways!”

“Fine!” Mikey yelled suddenly, tears streaming from his face. “You want me to man up, Frank? Fine. But before I go, you need to know the truth.”

“Mikey, no-” cried Gerard in sudden anguish.

“Gerard has cancer.”
♠ ♠ ♠
I wasn't going to make this revelation yet, but I decided that it couldn't be delayed for much longer, and this was the perfect time for Frank to find out. So, did anyone guess that this was what was wrong with Gerard? Is anyone really shocked? What about Mikey revealing the secret so carelessly? And what of Mikey's ditching Alicia? Let me know what you think!