The beeping of the monitor was the only sound in the room, it's loud sudden beeps were like daggers. I held his hand, his luke warm fingers intertwined in mine. Reaching out with my free hand I gently brushed a stray piece of greasy black hair behind his ear.
“You should stop smoking, it's not good for your lungs.” Gerard laughed softly as he patted my back, my coughing slowly subsiding.
“Shut up, you hypocrite” I dragged on my cigarette again, “It's bad for you too.”
He stopped laughing and gave me a stern look, “Yeah but I haven't been off sick with fucking bronchitis for three weeks.”
I shook my head with a smile, it was cute that he cared.
“Fuck you, I'm good now.”
We were only seniors at Queen of Peace, and we couldn't wait to get out of there. I was going to be a primary school teacher, and he, a famous comic book artist.
I sighed and looked at our hands, the hands that I had watched paint a thousand paintings, draw hundreds of comic strips. He might never do that again.
That night kept playing over and over in my head, the one that put him in here. It seemed to stupid when I thought back to it, I had dragged him out with me. I just wanted one night before our exams where we could just be ourselves again, instead of worrying about our college applications. I helped him put his portfolio together for SVA and he helped me write my application essay. Every time I thought back, I noticed a pattern. Since we met in the fourth grade, there was only a few times we were ever apart. He had been there through everything with me. From when my father had left my mother, to when I had my first break up.
Gerard had been there. And I had been there for him.
It went quiet and it took me a moment to realise why. The monitor had stopped beeping. It had stopped filling the silence for the first in weeks. I panicked, ripping my hand from his as I reached up to press the nurses button. I pressed it again and again until I realised my efforts were futile, I bolted into the empty corridor, screaming for a nurse, a doctor, anyone.
People came running, clipboards in their hands.
A nurse stopped and asked me what happened, “Monitor...beeping...stopped...” was all I could breathe out.
I was about to have a full blown panic attack, I could feel it. My breathing was shallow and rough, I was becoming dizzy.
“Hey! Wait for me!” I yelled from the bar as I watched Gerard start to walk out, fumbling for his pack of smokes.
Of course he didn't hear me, the band was pretty damn loud, so loud I could feel the bass vibrating my sternum. I jumped off my bar stool and run after him. He wasn't too far ahead and I caught up with him quickly.
“Gerard seriously, wait up.” I was panting, smoking really did take it out of me, “Gee, what's wrong?”
Gerard was sitting outside the bar on the curb, a cigarette resting between his fingers. He was flushed from the heat of the bar, a red tinge starting from his neck up to his ears.
“What do you want Frank?” He sighed and took a drag of his smoke, the embers on the end lighting up.
“Man what's wrong, you stormed out of there pretty damn fast.” I sat down next to him attempting to pull my pack of Marlboros out of my inner pocket. But my hand was too sweaty and I kept slipping on the plastic.
He looked at me through his long hair and sighed again. “Fuck, here.” He thrust his pack at me and dropped them in my lap.
“Dude what is wrong.” I lit my smoke and took a long hard drag.
Gerard was mumbling under his breath, it seemed like he was fighting with himself. I'd seen him do it before, just after his grandmother died and he spent all his days drunk or high off whatever he could score. “Frankie,” He paused taking a deep breath and stubbing his smoke out on the ground. Lighting another almost instantly. “You've been my best friend, for so long. You helped me, you fucking saved my life.” He stopped again his face still pink in the cold nights air. “You have always pushed away your own things to help me, just shit, I don't know why you put up with my shit.”
“Gerard, I do those things because you are my best friend. I would do anything for you. What is going on, you're really freaking me out.” I looked into his eyes, searching for something to explain this. But he wasn't even that drunk.
“Frank, I-” “Hey Matt, look at these fucking faggots.”
We both looked up startled at the sudden intrusion of our conversation to see three large beefy looking men. Their muscles bulging their too tight shirts. I couldn't even think as to why Jersey dick heads were in this part of town, they never came to this area. It wasn't cool enough for them, and it never would be.
“Look their even touching, filthy cocksuckers.” the guy slurred again.
So they were drunk, and I was drunk and I didn't want to have to put up with their close minded slurs for much longer.
I stood up, dropping my cigarette to the gutter, “Why don't you just fuck off to where you came from and leave us alone.”
One of them – Matt I assumed - looked me up and down “He's not even fucking denying it, what a faggot.”
“Just fucking fuck off!” I stopped dead in my tracks when I spoke, I could see the furry seeping out of the three men.
Matt was the first to throw a punch, it connected with my jaw in a sickening crunch. I was spun around to look at Gee, my best friend be pulled up by his hair and I could see the fear in his face. Normally he wouldn't deal with this, because everyone just thought he was a creep. They didn't go near him. But these guys obviously didn't go to Queen of Peace and they obviously didn't know who we were.
I tried to swing at one of them, but he was too fast. He dodged a got a swift punch to my stomach doubling me over. I fell to my knees as he delivered a kick to my face. My nose shattered and blood sprayed everywhere.
Gerard was sobbing as I heard someone hit him again, “Don't touch him!” I yelled, trying to manoeuvre towards him. I once promised I'd protect him, no matter what. He had laughed and said a midget like me couldn't take on anyone.
But hearing them hurt him, filled me with rage. I stood shakily and charged at them, nearly bowling them over. “Don't you fucking hurt him!” I was growling. Like a fucking dog.
They laughed at me and Matt just kicked me down again.
I didn't even see the gleam of the blade until it was too late. He plunged it into Gerard's stomach, blood pooling out onto the pavement.
Hey Gee, it's gonna be okay,” He was looking at me, eyes wide and mouth dropped open. I pulled myself over and held him too me. I thought back to my first aid classes, but I couldn't remember what to do with stab wounds.
“F-frank,” His voice was hoarse, “Frankie, fuck .”
I could see his blood staining my hands, “Shit Gee, uh-shit, pressure. Pressure on the wound, that was it. Fuck.”
My jacket was already half off, and it was the first thing I could find. So I bunched it up and pressed it to him.
“Gee I'm so sorry,” I was crying, “Somebody! Please!” My hands were fumbling as I tried to keep pressure on my jacket. “Please call 911! Fuck SOMEONE!” I was more than crying now, I hadn't even realised the guys had run off.
A bouncer from the bar was running over, he had heard me yelling.
“An ambulance is coming, is it just him who is hurt?” The bouncer checked Gerard's pulse and under the jacket. He gasped when he saw the wound.
“Yeah just him.” All I could do was brush his hair from his face as looked frantically in my eyes.
The ambulance felt like it took forever, instead of the five minutes it really took.
“Please Gee, stay awake.” He was nearly passing out and I didn't know what to do, my mind was racing. “I'll be there for you through it all, even if saving you sends me to heaven.” I sang softly.
They pulled me away, paramedics automatically taking charge and pulling him onto a stretcher.
I awoke in a hospital bed, my head throbbing in pain. My mother in a chair next to my bed, her head hung low, resting in her hands.
“M-mom?” I tried reaching down to her.
She looked up startled and instantly she was clutching me and sobbing into my chest. “Mom, it's okay.”
My mom managed to stop crying, and tried to compose herself for me. I finally got to have a good look at her. Her normally perfect black hair was sticking up all over the place and her smudged make up was running halfway down her face. She usually looked impeccable and now she just looked broken.
“Where's Gee, Mom?” As soon as the words fell from my lips, she burst into tears again.
She looked at me again, pity written all over. “Frank, I am so sorry.”
“Mom, Where is Gerard.” I frantically tried to sit up. “Where is he Mom, Where the fuck is he!”
I was yelling but I didn't care, I knew in my heart and I could feel my world start to shatter around me.
“Please, please no.”
“Frankie, baby I am so sorry.”