The Letter

The letter was the beginning.

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1. The First Fold

“Gerard, I love you. You know that. So I’m saying this from the heart. This was a really stupid fucking idea.”

Gerard glanced at his brother’s face before frowning and turning back to the television. He didn’t know what he was watching but he knew it was loud! But still not loud enough to drown out Frank’s shouts from outside. Mikey sat directly in front of the screen and caught Gerard’s eyes with his. From behind the rims of his glasses, he looked on the verge of anger, which told his brother that to get that kind of reaction, maybe it was a really fucking stupid idea.

“Well, I know that now!” He stood up from the sofa and began to pace, making Mikey dizzy as his converse wore patterns into the carpet. Gerard began manically combing his greasy hair with his fingers so it stood up in the air. It would have looked comical if not for the pained expression he wore as he listened to Frank’s screaming. What had first been angry shouts and the sound of Frank’s feet against Gerard’s new car where now desperate pleas and possibly even tears-

Gerard stopped pacing. He was being sucked in by Frank again. This wasn’t fair. He’d done this for the band. For everyone. So why did it feel like this was such a selfish thing to do?!

“Bob the builder, can he fix it? Bob the builder, yes he-“

Mikey’s face turned a shade of crimson as he answered his phone. He’d honestly forgotten Alicia had been messing around with it. Gerard just stared at Mikey, his hands still in his hair as he listened carefully for sounds which would tell him that it was Frank calling, again. But Mikey seemed calm, too calm to have the angry munchkin down the other end, Gerard decided.

“Yeah, he’s still out front. Come round the back, the door’s unlocked.”

“The door’s unlocked?!” A pair of hands pulled Mikey so close that he could smell the coffee and cigarettes on his brother’s breath.

“Hey, get off! It’s not my fault that your boyfriend’s too stupid to realise that we have a back door!” Mikey spoke hurriedly, trying to move towards the garden so as to see the others coming in. He moved swiftly away, his phone still clutched to his ear.

“Ex!” Gerard’s voice came out as a hiss of venom and he scared himself with the intensity of it. He let his eyes scan the living room, a mess of comics and empty plates from where he and Mikey had been hiding out. Frank never seemed to need sleep and he’d honestly lost track of the time that Frank had been waiting them out; but then again Gerard had never been the best at time keeping. He let his eyes wander to the window, where the curtain was pulled tight after Mikey had realised being able to actually see Gerard made Frank even angrier. And an angry Frank caused Gerard to hyperventilate. Calming him down had been a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Gerard ran after Mikey, suddenly realising there was only a locked door between him and Frank. In that second, the red wooden door could have been made of cardboard. Mikey was gesturing manically out the window as Bob and Ray turned the corner and began to enter the garden. Bob looked tired, like he’d just woken up while Ray was springing ahead of the two, pulling Bob along by the hand. He carelessly kicked the gate open, not fully aware of the danger that lurked a few metres away, just outside the entrance of the alley which ran by Gerard’s house. The gate gave a spine chilling creak and Mikey turned to his brother, his brows knitted in frustration.

“I meant to get it fixed?” Gerard offered half-heartedly but honestly with all the work of the new album and stuff with Frank, he hadn’t been thinking too much about his squeaky back gate.

Mikey opened the door just in time to hear a sound that made both Ray and Bob freeze outside and made the hairs on the back of Gerard’s neck stand up, though with all the finger combing they were kind of stood up already.

“Gerard! Mikey! Is that you?!”

Ray seemed to sense the danger and sprinted for the door, letting go of Bob’s hand. He took a giant leap over the threshold and raised his arms in the air like he’d just ran a marathon, his hair seeming to move of its own accord. Mikey just raised a judging eyebrow at him before turning to try and save Bob. But Bob was now walking round the front of the house and no amount of arm waving and name whispering would stop him.

“Quick! Upstairs!” Gerard led the way to his bedroom where they would be able to see the two from above. While Gerard expertly swerved the piles of week old clothing cluttering his floor, Mikey paused to have an over-the-top coughing fit at the smell and Ray screamed as his feet were engulfed in crusty socks and underwear.

“How old are you?” The sarcasm dripped off Gerard’s tongue as he pulled back the black curtain to reveal a stream of light which only showed more of the filth that coated his room.

“You know that washing basket I bought you for your birthday wasn’t for decoration, right?” Gerard ignored his brother, letting his eyes find the gentle giant and the hot headed midget out the window.

Frank seemed to be getting louder and louder and Bob was clearly trying to calm him down but not getting anywhere fast. He watched the pair of tattooed arms flap around but Bob didn’t seem to understand any of the furious words coming out of his mouth and just backed away a little to avoid a punch in the jaw. Suddenly the pair froze and Bob removed something small and metallic from his pocket. Mikey leaned over his brother so as to see more clearly but the light was blinding his eyes behind his glasses and he had to blink to refocus them every time he squinted. Man, he should really rethink that laser eye surgery thing!

They watched as Bob mouthed a hesitant ‘Hello’ into his phone and Gerard let his arms grab at Mikey’s neck in fear as he heard a voice ring out behind them.

“Hi. Yeah, it’s me!” Ray gave Gerard a look over his phone as Mikey tried to stop his brother climbing his slender frame like a tree.

Reluctantly, Gerard removed himself from Mikey and Mikey self-consciously flattened his straightened hair, sighing at the twitchy man who still stood too close for comfort.

Ray fell over Gerard’s floor trying to get to the window and the other two shuffled up beside him, trying to catch the other half of the conversation. Frank had gone back to yelling, not caring if no one was listening now. His cheeks were flushed and he bit his lip over and over between yells, seeming determined to rip his silver lip ring right out of his skin.

“Yeah, I can hear him!” So could Gerard as he stuck his ear as close to the speaker as he could, trying not to care about being attacked from all angles by Ray’s hair. If Frank looked angry then he sounded fearsome, his voice now hitting new volumes that seemed impossible to be coming from someone who was so innocent to look at; well maybe not always, well maybe never.

“Is that Gerard?” Frank moved towards Bob who batted him away with one big hand and gave him a gentle shove which almost sent Frank flying backwards.

“No! Calm down, pint-sized! It’s Ray!” Frank looked ready to kill; he really was edgy about his height.

“Bob, if you don’t make it through this, just know that I love you.” Ray spoke so seriously that Mikey couldn’t help but let out an uncontrollable giggle that Bob seemed to hear from outside, because his lips rose into a smirk.

“Love you too, babe!” Bob blew an exaggerated kiss towards the window and gave a low bow with the hand that wasn’t holding back Frank. Ray made a stupid girly sound that made Gerard want to be sick or hit something, because it reminded him too much of how Frank had made him feel. Before Frank had ruined everything.

“Bob, you’re an idiot!” Mikey spoke, causing everyone to wonder in unison why it had suddenly gone so quiet.

Frank stood, looking transfixed at the window where Bob had blown a kiss to and stared blankly at Gerard, who couldn’t think of anything to do expect stare back. He tried not to let his eyes well up at the image of Frank’s own tear stained face but it was all too much. Frank’s hands found the crumpled letter in his pocket and he shakily removed in from its envelope, his eyes never leaving Gerard’s.

‘How could you?’

The single sentence was enough to cause Gerard to sway on his feet and even as he felt two pairs of arms rush to catch him, he felt his world turn cold.

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