Ghosts in Snow

Bela Lugosi

“This is community. In community we don’t talk numbers or self-harm. Anything else that is going on in your life is fair game to talk about and you need to have the stick to talk.” When I first joined group, Dr. Lasher’s accent made it hard to understand things she said but after 6 months, I was used to it. The rules of Community were easy to remember but we only repeated them on days like this: when we have someone new.

Gerard Way was easy to remember. Dark hair, dark clothes, dark attitude. I couldn’t lie and say I wasn’t automatically attracted to him because I, unapologetically, was. He had been sulking in the waiting room with a woman sporting tall blonde hair and a mousy boy with square glasses and a comic on his hands. The woman looked worried, about Gerard I could only assume, but I didn’t say anything.

When we got into the community room Gerard sat in a chair closer to the door while I made me way to the other side so if I could look at him proper with my purse on my lap.

“So, Gerard, when doing introductions we usually do names, age and a question as a way to get to know each other. How about we do favorite movie today? Does anyone want to start?”

Cordelia, a thin girl with thiner hair raised her hand. “My name is Cordelia, I’m 16 and my favorite movie is Casablanca.” We decided to go in a clock wise fashion, leaving Gerard last.

“Hi! I’m Mary and I am 17 and I love West Side Story!” Mary was a squealer. She rarely had anything negative to say and when she did, she said it with a smile. I hated her. I didn’t bother listening to anyone else’s introductions, my fingers fiddling with the edge of my shirt until Josephine, the girl next to me kicked me in the shin.

“Your turn.” She mumbled.

Looking around every one was staring at me. Even Josephine and Veronica, the two who wanted to be here the least and never ever paid attention, their little buggy eyes were on me, too.

Clearing me throat, I sat up a little bit straighter, avoiding Gerard’s eyes. “I’m Birdie and I am 17. My favorite movies are The Queen of The Damned and Dracula.”

Before the next person, Tony, could speak, Gerard smirked and opened his mouth. “Which version?”

I started at him. My mouth was open slightly; I probably looked like an idiot. “Um, Bela Lugosi…” Gerard’s only response was to nod, smiling a bit. I cast my eyes back down to the floor, not bothering to pay attention the rest of group.

***

After group, I wasn’t in a rush to leave. I always told my parents to pick me up an hour after group ended so I could be by myself for a while. I nodded a goodbye to Dr. Lasher and the receptionist before stepping outside where it was raining. I wrapped my arms around myself and kept my head down as I practically ran to the nearest coffee shop.

Once I was there, I dug to the bottom of my purse and fished out my wallet. In the corner of my eye I spotted a dark figure in the back patio smoking a cigarette and drinking a coffee.

“What are you having today little bird?” The barista asked. She quickly got to know me after months of me coming here. “The usual? Caramel soy latte?” I nodded and paid, telling her to bring it outside. I went outside and walked up the dark figure.

“You’re then new guy in my group, Gerard, right?” He turned around and smiled.

“Yeah, I am. You’re the Bela Lugosi fan.”

Laughing I gestured to the seat next to him. “Can I sit?” I asked, he nodded taking a drag from his cigarette, peering at me through the cloud of smoke floating in front of his face. “My name is Birdie.”

“No offence, Sugar, but the fuck kind of name is Birdie?”
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A serious revision.