‹ Prequel: Frank Iero: P.A.

Gerard Way: Artist


“You are a disgrace! A fucking disgrace!”

“What kind of person does what you do and thinks it is okay?”

“We don't want you here! No one wants you here! Who could love a mental-case like you?”

My dream becomes all too vivid, all too truthful. I'm pulled from it by my consciousness and sit bolt upright in bed. Beads of sweat roll down my cheeks, pooling on my upper lip. I suck in heavy, desperate breaths. This recurring dream has struck me most nights since the week before Christmas last year. Three months of this same awful dream is not acceptable, but nothing seems to shake it.

I throw the covers back and climb out of bed in a hurry. There is jar of sleeping pills in the cabinet calling out. I took two before I went to bed, around ten o'clock, but clearly they haven't helped. I should wait at least another hour or two before I have any more, however this isn't feasible. With my new personal assistant starting in the morning, I need to be well rested to ensure I come across as the intimidating person I strive to be. I take two pills from the bottle.

“This is just to help you sleep – you won't become addicted,” I say aloud before downing them both dry.

I repeat this same mantra whenever I take medication. Throughout college I had a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol; I'm always wary of what I put in my body to relieve my pain and anxiety. Right now, allowing something to take away my control is not an option.

The sleeping pills did their job. I wake at 6am with at least four hours of sleep behind me. Thankfully, the dream kept itself at bay for the remainder of the night. I take a long shower to freshen my appearance and dress in my darkest jeans, accompanied by a crisp, navy blue shirt.

As an artist, with fame beyond what I ever anticipated, I frequently take up residence in my studio. Today is no different. There is a stack of canvases needing my attention. I take a Granola bar from the box on my drawing table and eat it as I lay out my paint and tools for the day.

Knowing my new P.A. will be starting at eight o'clock, I only work through until 7:45. If he is anything like what his resume suggested, he will arrive early. Punctuality was a key factor in why I hired him.

At ten past eight I am still waiting for him to arrive. My patience is wearing very, very thin. Finally, the sound from the electric security gates chimes throughout the house. My housekeeper, Ellie, moves to the door to open the gate.

“Make him wait,” I command from the living room, where I've been waiting for the past 20 minutes.

“Why?” she asks me, clearly confused.

I take a detour to where she is standing on my way into my office. “He is almost 15 minutes late. If he thinks my time is worthless enough to waste, then I shall make the same assumption about his. Wait five minutes until you open the gate.”

Ellie doesn't appear too pleased with my instructions, but she obliges. The signal for the gate chimes again by time I reach my desk. The sound feels like victory. A satisfied smiles comes to my lips when, after 6 minutes, my new P.A. Finally enters the house.

“You might want to get a new housekeeper or something,” he jokes when he comes into my office, a further 30 seconds later. “I was standing outside for ages.”

I don't dignify him with eye contact and keep my eyes trained on the magazine I've been browsing. “It is such a pain when you keep people waiting, isn't it, Mr Foster?”

When I flick my eyes up I see a guilt-ridden expression has taken over his features. That is exactly how I want him to be feeling.

“I'm sorry I was a little late–”

“–A 'little late' would imply you were here at 8 o'clock,” I tell him. “An efficient assistant would have been here ahead of time.”

“My babysitter was stuck in traffic; I couldn't leave my 18 month baby on his own,” he explains. “I'm sorry.”

“You assured me your family wouldn't get in the way of your work here. It is day one and it already has,” I reply. “That doesn't inspire much confidence. Get to work – now.”

He leaves my office in silence, but the atmosphere does not remain that way. Once he is gone, I assume to his desk, I hear several loud thumps and the sound of glass shattering. I walk out to his area and find he has bumped into the filing cabinet and knocked a stack of papers and books off the top of it, as well as an ornamental vase, which is lying in pieces on my shag carpet. This is absurd.

“You will be paying for that vase out of your first paycheck,” I tell him severely.

“I'm so, so sorry!” he apologies. It doesn't fix anything – my vase is still smashed beyond repair. “...How much will it cost to replace it.”

“$1,100 at the very least,” I reply, looking annoyed at the porcelain shards. “I'll also be subtracting a further $100 dollars to pay for the cleaners to remove all the pieces in the carpet.”

Marty looks at me, crestfallen and perhaps on the verge of tears. “But... that's almost my entire wage for this week.”

I shrug and head back to my office. “Learn to pay attention.”

He sighs loudly. “I’ll start cleaning up.”

The hell he will.

I turn on my heel promptly and fix him with a stern glare. “You’ve wasted enough of my valuable time already by being late. Get to work now.”

His eyes glance down momentarily to the mess on the floor, but he takes heed of my words and steps back closer to the desk. The clock on the wall catches my eye and I mentally curse at how much time has gotten away. I have just under half an hour to organise myself before I need to get up to my studio.

I pull the French doors to my office shut behind me as I stalk back to my desk. The phone rings just as I sit down. It’s Marty’s extension. My irritation grows further.

“What?” I snap.

“Uh... I know you don’t want to be bothered, but I was just wondering... when is my lunch break?”

Is he fucking serious? I slam the phone down and yank the cord from its socket so he can’t anger me further. If Marty doesn’t shape up, he could be gone before the week’s end.
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Welcome to the first chapter of Gerard Way: Artist. This is just a quick chapter to get the ball rolling.

As with Frank Iero: P.A., this story will be updated weekly on, but on Friday's (Australian Eastern Standard Time, Thursday elsewhere) this time. I chose the 6th of February to start this as it is exactly one year since FIPA ended. I thought it'd be a great way to kick things off.

As always, please comment and let me know what you thought.

Coming up in Gerard Way: Artist...

“I do not have a face like that,” I snap back, “nor do I become ‘obsessed’ with men. All my interactions with men are very controlled.”

“Don’t you lie to me, Gerard – I’ve know you since you were five years old,” Ellie says firmly. “It is your pattern. You meet some handsome, young thing and jump into a relationship with them, then you get from them want you want – which I am far too sophisticated to say aloud – and push them out of your life when you’re done.”