Status: In process.

Three Words You Never Want to Hear

Falling For You

You know, before I had found out about Gerard’s diagnosis, I’d never really thought about death too much.

I mean, sure, I’d thought about it a couple of times, you know, I’d be awake late at night, and my bored brain would begin to contemplate the meaning of life, like you do when you’re in such a situation where you are unable to sleep due to high levels of caffeine being in your system, because like the dumbass lay about teen that I was I always thought it was a good idea to drink red bull before bed.

Anyway, I digress. My point is, I’d only ever thought about the things that any other humane individual would think about. What’s the point of it all? How did humanity come to be? What was the point in living if we were all going to die one day anyway? But as soon as Gerard had come back into my life and shared his secret with me, all I could do was be pessimistic about the world. Of course it was all pointless. You live, you die. Your life means nothing when you’re gone. You’re worm food. As soon as you’re gone, sure, there’ll be people around that’ll remember you, but what does it matter when you aren’t around to see yourself being remembered? When the people remembering you will all die eventually anyway? Even your great, great, great grandchildren won’t be able to keep your memory alive, because no matter how many stories of you are passed on to your future relatives about you, that’s all they are; stories.

What did our tragic little love story matter if we were both going to die someday anyway? Did it matter if Gerard lived or died; when he was already dying of old age anyway? Even if he were to be completely cured by some miracle, and we were to grow old together, we’d still be separated one day anyway. And don’t give me any of this crap that someday we’ll be reunited in death, in some magical kingdom in the sky where we’ll all be so fucking happy, floating on clouds and drinking the finest wine with perfect little angels, once you’re dead, you’re dead. End of story.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to be.

He was gone. I wanted it to end.

“Hey, Mikey,” I grinned, bouncing into the kitchen.

“Ugh, what’s that grin?”

“What grin?” I asked, still smirking.

“That grin.”

“I’m happy,” I stated, sitting down at the table. “Why? You don’t like happiness anymore or something?”

“No, I’m just wondering why you’re being so creepy,” he turned away, flipping the page of the newspaper he was reading. “It’s unlike you to be up so early, and even more unlike you to be so bright and chipper.”

“Chipper?” I laughed. “Been using word-of-the-day toilet paper or something?”

He shrugged, clearly not in the mood to talk.

“So, I’ve been thinking about our little discussion yesterday,” I paused, waiting for Mikey to show some kind of recognition as to what I was referring to. He stayed still, not saying a word as he flipped the page once more. “And I think I should try contacting your parents. I mean, they might not be answering to you guys, but maybe they’ll answer to me.”

“Why, because they’re trying to avoid their own children?” He asked bitterly, still not facing me.

“No, because maybe they’ll listen to me. I mean, maybe I can try and explain-”

“What makes you think they’ll listen to you anymore than they will to us?”

“Well, you haven’t told them about him yet, for one.”

“Yeah, because they won’t even answer the god damn phone, which brings me back to them avoiding us. As soon as you mention us they’ll hang up on you.”

“How can you be so sure?” I asked, hearing the pain in his voice. “Maybe they aren’t answering the phone to anyone. I just thought that I’d use an unknown number just in case, and if that doesn’t work… well, we’ll have to track them down.”

He sighed, his shoulders sagging, as if in defeat. “Alright, I guess I did agree to this. But if you’re gonna call them, we’re gonna do it my way.”

I waited for him to explain exactly what ‘his way’ was, but he remained silent. I decided to break the silence. “Okay, I’ll only do what you ask. But…” I hesitated, unsure if he’d be willing to put our plans into action so soon. “I want to call them today.”

He spun around, his eyes wide. “Today? Why?”

“We don’t have a lot of time, Mikey,” I pleaded, my voice breaking. “He only has…” I couldn’t bring myself to say it, but we both knew his days were limited. Just over two months. I tried not to think about it, but I couldn’t help it. “Please.”

He sighed, a look of defeat in his eyes. I knew he was hurting, and I knew that he’d do anything for his brother, even if he didn’t particularly agree that this was best for Gerard, he knew that I was right. Gerard needed some closure with his parents before he… before it happened. He pulled out his phone and handed it to me. “I have both my parents’ numbers saved on here, and their landline. Just make sure you use a different phone to call them. And don’t block your number, they’ll just assume your some sales person and won’t answer.”

“Got it,” I hugged him. “Thanks, Mikey.”

“So, what do you want to do today, roomy?” Gerard asked, his hazel eyes sparkling with glee.

“Staying here would suffice,” I smiled, snuggling up to him. We were tangled in the sheets on his bed, my head resting against his bare chest. I could feel the soft beating of his heart. It sometimes worried me that his heart was getting slower as time went by, but I was convinced I was just being paranoid.

He chuckled. “That’s a tempting offer, but I’d quite like to go out and do something. Maybe something wild.”

“Feeling adventurous, are we?” I teased, tracing his chest with my fingers. I could feel the warmth radiating off of him, I never wanted this feeling to leave.

“I just don’t want to be trapped in this house all the time, even with you in it,” he turned so that our eyes met. “Don’t get me wrong, I love this. I just want some fresh air. To have fun.”

“Okay,” I smiled, pressing my lips against his. “Let’s do something wild. Something other than drink Starbucks.”

“Damn it,” he grinned, stroking my cheek with his finger. “You know I love Starbucks.”

“Doing something wild was your call, not mine. Although, I think lying here naked all night could totally classify as wild.”
He laughed, sitting up and stretching. “As much fun as that sounds, I’d kind of like to go bungee jumping.”

“What?” I exclaimed, my voice cracking. I sat up, studying him closely to see if he was kidding or not. “Bungee jumping? Please don’t tell me you’ve put bungee jumping on your bucket list. That is so mainstream.”

“I know it’s not very original, but I’ve never done it before. Just imagine the rush of falling thousands of feet through the air, it’d be like flying.” He seemed genuinely excited, his grin so big that his dimples were showing. I grinned back, unable to stop myself. When he was happy, I was happy. That’s all that mattered.

“Okay, fine,” He gave a little fist pump in response. “But we’re jumping out together. There’s no way I’m throwing myself out of a plane without you.”

“Don’t worry, Frankie, I’ll keep you safe,” he leant over to kiss me, his hand grazing my leg as he did so. I felt the usually rush of electricity whenever he touched me, and I pouted like I always did when he pulled away, breathless. “Damn it, Frankie. I need to breathe.”

“Sorry. Can’t help it.”

He chuckled and pushed himself up from the bed, grabbing his shirt from the floor. I stole one last look at his body before he pulled it over his head. “So, we need to find somewhere online and book it. I only hope we can book a session last minuet. If we leave it any later then I’ll chicken out.”

“Oh, so this is a spur of the moment kind of thing,” I stated, forcing myself to stand up and put my own shirt back on. “Well, I’ll have a look online. Can you pass me my phone?”

Now, I know it seems crazy, that I would just go bungee jumping out of nowhere just because Gerard felt like it, but don’t forget that Gerard was dying. I couldn’t say no. No matter how terrified I secretly was of the thought of jumping out of an airplane, I would do anything for him. He needed this, he needed to know what it was to live. He needed to experience everything he possibly could before he was ripped away from me, I needed to see him smile, and if bungee jumping was something that would bring Gerard happiness, then how could I say no?

I had found a place online just a few hours from Gerard’s place that had thankfully accepted last minuet booking. Apparently it wasn’t a very popular time of the year for this kind of thing, and so it hadn’t been hard for them to find a slot for us to fill. I had obviously checked that the place was safe before we’d made our way to the car, I didn’t want us both ending up dead because some idiot plane driver didn’t know how to attach a bungee chord.

“Are you scared?” Gerard asked his eyes on the road. We’d been driving for about an hour, and he hadn’t said much. It hadn’t been awkward though, the silence. I guess that’s how you know you’re comfortable with a person, when you can both enjoy the silence of the world together without feeling the need to fill it with needless chatter.

“A little,” I said admittedly. “I mean, I’m trying not to think about it too much.”

“If you don’t wanna do it-”

“No, no, I do,” I assured him, his face lined with concern. “Seriously, I want to. I’ve never thought about bungee jumping before, but it’ll be kind of a thrill.”

“You sure? Because I can turn this car right back around-”

“Gerard,” I said firmly, his eyes still on the road ahead. “I want to.”

“Just checking. I know it’s not exactly ideal to ask someone to do something so reckless out of nowhere, but I’ve actually been thinking about my bucket list quite a lot lately.”

“Wait, you actually have a bucket list? Gerard, I was just kidding earlier, I mean…” I was lost for words. This was the first time in a while that Gerard had addressed his illness directly. “Look, I’m happy to do whatever it is you want. I don’t care how many crazy things you’ve got written down, I’ll do every one of them.”

“Oh I know. And I’ll do everything on yours.”

I was speechless. “On mine?”

“Oh come on, everyone has a bucket list. It’s not just for the dying.”

I felt the familiar pain in my chest that I always got when I thought about Gerard’s diagnosis. He was being so forward about it, I wasn’t sure whether I preferred him being so open and honest or if I preferred it when he pretended like nothing was wrong.

“Well, I haven’t really thought about it,” I said, pushing away the horrible feeling in my gut. “I guess I just want to spend as much time with you as I can before I go.”

“Don’t you mean, before I go?” He asked, his voice breaking a little. I went to speak but he interrupted. “That’s not a bucket list, Frank. Come on, there must be some things that you’ve always wanted to do before you die.”

“I’ve always wanted to fall in love. And now that I have, I can’t think of anything else that would be sufficient to put on my list. Being with you… it’s the only thing that matters. No matter what, no matter what happens, I will never regret loving you.”

“Is that your way of telling me you’ll be okay when I’m gone?” I went to answer, but he waved a hand at me dismissively. “Let’s not pretend like I’m not going anywhere. Frank, it haunts me. What it’ll do to you when I die. I hate that I’m gonna inflict so much pain onto you. If I could walk away and spare you from getting hurt, I would, but I can’t. I won’t walk away. I can’t stop loving you. I don’t regret it either. Loving you is the best decision I’ve ever made, no matter what happens.”

“Then we’re in agreement,” I swallowed back the tears, my hand on his arm. “I don’t need a bucket list. This is enough. Your dreams are mine, and we can fulfil them together. No matter how terrified I am of jumping out of a plane.”

“I love you,” Gerard replied, his voice raspy. “I love you so much for being here.”

“I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I love you.”

“Damn, we’re high up,” I tried to keep my voice level as I took in the scenery below us. The wind blew fast and the people below were so small that they looked like ants. I had that shallow sinking feeling in my stomach that you often get when being high above the ground, and my hands were gripping the bars inside the plane so tight that my knuckles had gone white.

“Are you okay?” Gerard asked, his voice rose against the wind. “You don’t look too good.”

“I’m fine,” I shouted back, forcing myself to smile. It must have come out as more as a grimace because Gerard just seemed to look even more concerned.

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” he called back, the assistant guy strapping Gerard into some kind of protective gear. “I can do it on my own if you want.”

“No,” I called stubbornly. “I’m jumping with you.”

“Well then, soldier, you’re gonna need this,” the assistant pulled out more protective gear, quite a bit smaller in size than Gerard’s because of my height, and began strapping it onto my waist. “Now, you’re gonna wanna leave this alone,” the man pointed to a hook. “This’ll be the one thing keeping you attached to your chord.” I shot Gerard a look of panic. Just one hook? “Don’t worry it’s completely secure. We’ve never had anyone fall to their deaths here, son.”

“Well that’s reassuring,” I croaked.

“Frankie, focus on me, okay? You’re gonna be fine. I’ll hold onto you the whole time.”

“Wait, you two want to jump together?” The man asked, and for a second my stomach dropped. What if it wasn’t possible to jump together? I couldn’t jump by myself. I wouldn’t. “Well then, which one of you wants to be attached to the chord?”

“Only one will be attached?” I asked, my hands sweating.

The man chuckled. “One of you will be attached and the other will be attached to whoever’s attached to the chord. You follow?”

“But, can it hold both of us?” I asked uncertainly.

“Of course, all I’ve gotta do is find me my other chord, cause the one I’ve got out right now is only good for one of you.” He walked towards the front of the plane and started shifting through his supplies. I sent Gerard a panicked look, almost hoping he’d tell the man we’d changed our minds and have us flown back down to the safety of the ground, but a part of me was telling me to shut the hell up and deal with it. Gerard wanted this. He needed it. I couldn’t chicken out. “There we go. So, who’s being attached?”

We both looked at each other uncertainly.

“Well, if you want my advice, usually the most scared one,” he shot a look at me. “Would be attached to the chord. That way he’ll feel more secure, plus he’ll be the one on top, so if he gets scared he can bury his face into your back,” he looked at Gerard. “Shut his eyes and pretend like he’s not falling thousands of feet in the air.”

I swallowed back the bile in my mouth. “Are you trying to scare me?”

The man chuckled. “You sure you’re up for this, kid?”

I nodded, not trusting my voice. I knew Gerard wouldn’t jump without me, and I didn’t want him to miss out on this experience because of me.

Gerard came over to me and held my hand. He squeezed my fingers reassuringly, and the man attached me to the chord. I could feel myself starting to shake, and I knew that Gerard could feel it too. He shot me a look of concern, his arm now wrapped around my shoulders.

“Frank, I won’t hate you if you don’t want to do this,” he whispered, kissing my cheek. “Please, if you don’t want to, just tell me now.”

“I do,” I gulped, my voice unusually high. “I want to.”

“Well, its show time then, boys,” the man smiled, extending a hand to me. “Come on now, don’t be shy. Just step right here onto this red tape.”

I stepped forward, my stomach dropping and my legs involuntarily giving out as I realised how close to the edge I was. Gerard stepped forwards too, just inches in front of me as the man attached Gerard onto my front. I clung onto him as tight as I could, hanging onto him for dear life. His hand wrapped around mine, and with one step forward, we fell.

I screamed, my heart feeling like it had dropped into my stomach. The dropping feeling in my stomach was so intense, I can’t describe it. I could feel the wind blowing in my face, could hear Gerard’s screams of joy, he sounded so happy, as if we weren’t plummeting towards the earth. It was all so fast; I barely had time to take in the beautiful view beneath us. The world looked so small from up there, it was the first time I had really appreciated the beauty of the world. I could see the fields where crops were growing, actual countryside, not something we saw often living in the city. It was so green, so open, so free.

I felt the chord spring us back upwards, my heart feeling as though it would fly up out of my mouth as the falling feeling left my stomach. I could barely process what was happening, it was such a rush, and then we were up on the platform of the plane again, the man grinning and pulling us back in.

“That was incredible!” Cried Gerard, pulling me into a tight hug. “Unbelievable! Did you see that view? Amazing!”

I laughed, hugging him back. “I can’t believe it, I did it! I jumped out of a plane!”

“Yes, you did!” He screamed, pulling me into a full on kiss, his hand cupping my face as he kissed me harder than he had ever kissed me before. My hand gripped the back of his head, running through his gorgeous hair as I moulded into him, practically becoming one as we wrapped around each other, our bodies colliding with more force than the dive itself.

The man cleared his throat, grinning as we pulled away from each other. “Time to go back down to land, boys.”


“Where have you been?” Mikey asked, his eyes leaving the television as we walked in, our hair ruffled and grinning like we’d won the lottery. “Wait, you weren’t out having sex were you?” He shivered, looking away.

“What? No,” I responded, only to be answered with another groan. “You won’t believe what we’ve been doing.”

“Do I want to know?” He asked, his eyes turning back to the television.

“Oh, hell yeah,” Gerard grinned, catching Mikey’s attention with how thrilled he sounded. “Drum roll, please.” He smiled, turning to me. I grinned back, banging against the kitchen table with my hands. “We went bungee jumping!”

What?” Mikey exclaimed, jumping up from the couch. “No way! No freaking way! And you didn’t tell me?”

“Sorry, it was kind of a spur of the moment kind of thing,” Gerard said, using my words from earlier. “It was incredible Mikey, really. I can’t explain it.”

“So you two just took off, went bungee jumping, and left me to watch boring sitcoms all day?” He groaned. “This sucks!”

“Well, maybe we should go again, all three of us,” I suggested, Gerard’s eyes widening.

“Really? You’d do it again?” Gerard asked, looking like a child on Christmas morning.

“Hell yeah,” I exclaimed, pecking him on the cheek. “I’d do it a million times for you.”

“Well, I don’t know if I could do it,” Mikey shook his head, looking awe struck. “It takes a lot of guts to jump out a plane.”

“Tell me about it,” I breathed, remembering how terrified I had been. “But seriously, dude, it’s worth it. It was one of the best experiences of my life. And I’m so glad I got to share it with you.” I turned to Gerard, who was still beaming. “I mean, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but damn I’m glad I did. Without you I’d never have had the courage to do it. You seemed so calm, how?”

He chuckled, wrapping his arms around me. “I knew that you’d always be there to catch me when I fall.”

“That is so cheesy,” Mikey teased, turning back to the television.

“You’re just jealous you didn’t get to jump out of a plane,” I teased back, turning around and kissing Gerard. “Come on, I jumped out of a plane for you, now it’s your turn to make me happy.”

“Oh, I do wonder what that could be,” Gerard laughed, kissing me back. “Come on then, let’s go back to our room.”

I will never forget that day.
♠ ♠ ♠
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