Ghosts in Snow

The Truth

I was pushed back against Gerard’s pillows, Gerard hovering over me our lips still attached. I let my hands travel from his waist where they were resting up to his shoulders and around his neck to tug at his hair. One of his arms was planted next to my head while his hand cupped my jaw. As I wrapped my legs around his hips I grabbed his wrists feeling two thick, jagged lines. When my hand came in contact with his wrist, Gerard stopped kissing me. We just laid there with ur lips pressing against each other for a moment before Gerard sat up. He looked down at me, arms sprayed out from my body, legs still hooked at his hips.

He unhooked my legs and laid next to me and let out a huge sigh. “I guess it’s time for the truth?”

“Only if you want to. I’ve neglected to tell you...things.” I was scared of what his truth could be. Gerard never gave me any reason to doubt him or be cautious, worried in any way. We stayed laying side by side staring up at his ceiling before he started talking.

“I tried to kill myself. It was a month before I started community and I stayed in an inpatient clinic for that month, they only released me if I went to therapy, group and one-on-one because my parents and therapist agreed that I have a negative relationship with my peers and I should learn how to get along better with people who are not my friends or brother…I tried to kill myself...because...well, I found a website. Dedicated to me and trashing on how...fat I was an-and ugly and a waste of space. It was in my brother’s history on his laptop. I was so infuriated that Mikey didn’t tell me so I stopped going to college, mind you I had moved out already and moped around my apartment...I didn’t eat I didn’t sleep, I could barely pick up a paintbrush and make something. So...I went to a party...and drank all night then went home and slashed open my wrists, completely forgetting Mikey was coming over.”

He paused and I could feel that he was looking at me. He said softer, “I’m glad I forgot that I invited Mike over or else I would have tried some shit elsewhere and never would have met you…”

I opened my mouth but nothing came out. Instead, the water that pooled in my eyes spilled over and I could feel the weird cry-mucus built up in my throat. I swallowed. “I was in Letchworth because I killed my best friend then I had a break down. I guess you know why I’m in community, last year I went from 120 pounds to 85. Over the summer, before junior year, I agreed to this competition between me and two other girls. We were best friends, three peas in a pod, and we wanted to see who could lose the most weight and not get sent away. We all had different ways of losing the weight, I restricted and ate when I needed to have just enough energy to exercise. Lilah was bulimic. Cara-Lee was a combination of restricting and binging. Cara-Lee lost by the time Junior year started because all she did was put on weight.” I could feel my voice breaking. I didn’t want to tell Gerard the next part but it all spilled out like word vomit. I scolded myself for not working on the detail problem I had. I could never tell a story without all the little details being put in.

“It was Thanksgiving break when Lilah died. They said her stomach ruptured form all the purging. She threw up at least six times a day.” The tears were cascading down my face at this point, I didn’t know how to keep my big mouth shut.

“She and I got so competitive we eventually stopped talking, yet every time we saw each other at school it was in the bathroom, just to look at each other. I was skinny as a twig but she looked healthy; great hair, great skin, she looked a normal weight but then she just dropped dead! Mr. and Mrs. Marin were supposed to come over to our house the day after Thanksgiving because it was tradition but instead they phoned us from the hospital telling us that Lilah was dead. When we got back to school, Cara-Lee and everyone else had already found out, there was a three page spread in the local paper. Cara got scared because the police came poking around the school so she told the police and school what we did. The school board contacted my parents and they took me out of school and put me in Letchworth Village the next week.” I wasn’t crying like I usually did when I told this story, I was sobbing.

“I ain’t hear about none of that.” I could barely hear Gerard he was so quiet.

“We lived in Orono, Maine at the time, no one in Jersey knows about it. There’s only about 9,000 people there and the next town over, Bangor, ran the story in their papers, too, because it was such a shock. Mr. Marin worked at the University with my father and everyone loved them: they were a picture perfect family. I wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral because we were already in New York but people were telling my parents there was a crowd of people waiting to get into the church. My parents didn’t go either. They didn’t want to leave Manhattan, they lived in Morningside while I was in Thiells.”

“You guys live near Columbia? So, you basically only moved to New York to go to a hospital?”

I nodded. The tears were starting to subside, and I could breathe and talk properly again. “Yeah both of my parents transferred work over here. They wanted distance but not cross country distance.” I finally looked over at Gerard who looked lost in thought.

“I guess we’re both fucked up,” He laughed, turning his head to look at me. “You know, I know you didn’t want to tell me about what happened before you moved here but I don’t see you any differently, Bird. I still think you’re great.”

I turned to my side facing Gerard. “You don’t? You don’t think I killed Lilah?”

He shook his head. “Of course not, sugar.” he smiled. “My ma once told me that the only person you can control is yourself. Lilah made the same choice as you did, to kill yourselves but in the end, it was Lilah that paid the price. I’m sorry to say this but I’m glad all this happened to you, or else I would have never met you and I would never be this happy, I haven’t been this happy since I was a kid…”

“Well,” I started, sniffling and wiping the last of my tears away. “I’m glad I met you, too, despite how hard it’s been to get to this point. And, Gerard?”

“Yeah, sugar?”

“Do you mind if we continued what we started? The kissing I mean, I kind of liked it…” I felt a warm blush wash over my cheeks, making Gerard smile.

“Of course, sugar…” with that, Gerard resumed his previous position on top of me, one hand supporting his weight on one hand while the other rested on my thigh rubbing it up and down. I felt a tingle zing down my spine and straight to my middle. I knew I should have felt turned on, but all I could think about was how my body would look under his, if I was too skinny and boney for his taste. Looks like my plan to gain weight would have to speed up a bit. Man, I sure do regret not eating that much at dinner.
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Shameless plug ---> Where Do We Belong?