And When Rain Fell: Chapter Thirteen

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And When Rain Fell: Chapter Thirteen

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Chapter Thirteen
Expectations

My eyes peeled open, my pale lids allowing the iris of them to adjust to the light. I had fallen asleep, not on purpose of course. My intention was to stay up the whole time with Gerard but that obviously took a different turn. I didn’t feel the moving sensation of the car on the road which worried me a bit. Was I waking up to yet another new and odd reality that was my real life? Were my dreams so intertwined that the real and imaginary were now too confusing for my brain to comprehend? I squirmed in my seat at the thought. I wanted to cry out for someone but suspected that wherever I was, whatever situation I was in screaming wouldn’t be such a good idea. I stayed put in my seat, afraid to open my eyes anymore than they already were. My vision was blurred and only light affected them. I kept telling myself to man up, that no one had hurt me, knocked me unconscious, that I was overreacting but fuck was I scared; that is, until I heard a car door click. I shot up out of my laying position and flipped over. I was now facing the driver’s seat instead of my window. Relief spread through me when I was met with the familiar image of Gerard. “Good morning, beautiful.” As always his voice reminded me of angels. Not that I had ever heard one before, but if I had I expected them to sound like him. Before getting a single word out I choked on my own spit causing me to jerk forward and back again franticly. Gerard held out his hand for comfort but I refused to gesture. Once I was able to get some air back into my system, I braced the door, and stared back at him with watery eyes. “Where are we?” A simple question that had a million different answers, it all depended on which was the right one. “At a gas station. We’re a little less than half way there. You’ve been sleeping for a long time.” I was ashamed for falling asleep on him. It wasn’t fair for Gerard to drive all this way to not get a break of his own. “God damn it.” I scoffed out with a breath. My cruse surprised him. I got myself up and out of the car; I needed a good stretch anyway. I could hear the faint mumbles of Gerard’s voice from inside the car; he was completely clueless and would be until I got him into the passenger’s seat, buckled nice and tight so he couldn’t stop me. But before I did that, I had to look and see where we were.
I saw the gas station we had stopped at. My car was parked evenly at a pump, the front end blocking the one in front of us by that much, for once I didn’t give a shit. The place smelled of something odd, not very fresh and clean but what was I to expect? Right as I was about to ask Gerard exactly where we were, I turned around. It was like when I was back at home, looking out over the sunset I felt alive and free then turning around I realized I was still stuck in reality. This time, it was the exact opposite. I turned away from the run down old gas station which smelled of old stale food and looked, I stood there for a long time speechless. Around me was trees beyond the eye could see. There was a single road, not many cars traveling on it, winding through a valley created by two giant hills which I assumed continued further than I could imagine. It was like a scene out of a movie that you comment: ‘It’s obviously a green screen, I mean, come on….’ But this was so real, I knew it was. I could see it with my own eyes. The trees, grass, and hills were the greenest green I had ever seen. It blew me away. My whole life the only thing I was used to was the high tops of buildings towering over me, looming like at any moment they were going to fall on top of me and squish me like the bug I was. The sight was hard to explain.
“It’s it beautiful?” I heard him say as he walked up behind me. I hadn’t even heard the door open and close. I noticed I was picking out things that I found to be amazingly brilliant, especially nature. First the sunset, the trees, and now this? I was going soft, like Gerard. “Yes it is; how aren’t you dazed?” I asked this rather jealously. I was inspired by this magnificent view and he just stood there staring at me then at the sight then at me again. I wished I could be as calm as him, already realize in my head that everything is beautiful and just leave it at that. “I am, Frank, but I’ve been down these roads many times before. I’m used to it.” I furrowed my brow at that, “How could you possibly get used to something like this?” I pointed to the hills and trees, the perfectly paved road. Then I heard a chuckle with I knew was bad news. “What’s gotten into you?” I stared at the ground for a while trying to think of a good answer then I realized there wasn’t one. So, I didn’t answer. I waited for Gerard to continue asking, until I did reply, but he didn’t keep asking, he took in a deep breath and walked away. I stayed facing the pretty landscape. I was definitely going soft; there was no doubt about it. I wasn’t sure whether to mind it or not. I hate to be stereotypical, but that’s a really gay thing of me to be – a softie. I’m a man; I’m not supposed to find these things amazing without a woman’s help. I scoffed, loudly, and then turned to the car again. Gerard was sitting in my seat staring out the window at me. He was already buckled, waiting for me to get into the driver’s seat. I smiled without even knowing. I got in with ease, feeling the steering wheel under my clutch again felt good. I hadn’t driven anywhere in a long time. The doctor suggested I stay away from the use of large machinery due to the medication he put me on. An anti-depressant, of course. I insisted I wasn’t depressed, that I wasn’t crazy but he would have none of it. ‘It’s simply for you health and well being, Mr. Iero.’ I was close to letting him kiss my ass, but I figured I had no other choice. I couldn’t tell if the meds were actually taking affect. Maybe Gerard could tell. If he did, he wasn’t letting me know.
“Do you know where you’re going?” His words cut through the air. I had no fucking clue where I was going. Why does there always have to be a problem?
I sighed and shook my head – “No, I don’t. Do you have directions?”
“In my head,” I sighed feeling rather lost and confused. I wasn’t going to let Gerard drive any longer, he needed a break. Both of us knew it. My nerves came back to me. “Ya know what?” I said, feeling my hands begin to shake uncontrollably. My gaze lingered to Gerard, his eyes had already connected with me. “Let’s not go yet. Tell me something.” I didn’t want to sound demanding, even though that’s exactly how I sounded. “Tell you something?” He sounded confused, which didn’t help things; at all, because I couldn’t help myself worth a damn – “Tell me something – I’m going soft.” Gerard pulled a face, it almost made me laugh but I held back the urge. “Excuse me?” I was making a fool out of myself and I knew it, but there was no getting me out of this awful mess so I kept going. “Everything I look at I get all soft about and start saying that it’s beautiful. It brings tears to my eyes.”
“And you didn’t used to be like this?” I shot him a look; I couldn’t remember what the fuck I was like before any of this. He simply forgot, he wasn’t joking around, he wasn’t being sarcastic. I couldn’t remember a damn thing and that’s what hurt the most.
He quickly recovered, finding something smart to say to get my mind off of that insane shit. “There is beauty in everything. Potential of the highest praise. But only few recognize the brilliance. Those few are who save the world.” I thought about this for a second, but only a second until I replied. “So would you consider yourself one of those people, Gerard?” He never usually praised himself so I was interested to see what he would do. I always thought I knew the man like the back of my own hand but every time I felt comfortable enough, he would surprise me like the magic man he was. “I don’t know, Frank. I’ve never considered myself as the ‘saving’ type.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He had saved my life and he was telling me he never considered himself a heroin? “But –,”
“I’m not arguing with you, Frank. I don’t know what I am.” I nodded and thought quietly to myself, letting something slip out between my slips I wasn’t sure I wanted to slip out. “It’s just so gay.” Immediately Gerard scoffed and adjusting in his seat. He didn’t like that word. I never realized it until now; it made him uncomfortable to be labeled as something that could be used so cruelly. I completely understood but I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before. He had a weakness, something that made him feel inhuman, maybe even gross and scared. I decided never to use it again. I didn’t want to make him feel any of those things. He was Gerard, the sweet man whose only purpose to himself was to follow his dreams and heart. I wasn’t about to crush that. “There’s nothing wrong with going soft about things, Frank. And it most certainly doesn’t mean you’re gay.” He winced then took a look at me. What he said was comforting but confusing at the same time, but I knew what he meant. “Men can like things that are beautiful. There is so law or code.” I agreed, “Yes, but most like football and –…”
“Are animals, I know, Frank, I know. But not all – like you and me. We’re not like that.”
“Yes, but we’re –,”
“I know!” He shouted, his fists clutched together and didn’t let up until I placed a hand upon his shoulder. “I’m sorry.” He set his hands down at his sides, and without looking at me said – “No, I am.”
I didn’t have anything more to say and honestly I couldn’t bare saying another word. I had hurt Gerard in some way. I never thought that was possible but this instance made me realize that no matter how much I looked up to him he was still a human with emotions and thoughts. I was beginning to look at him as if he were invincible which was something he was far from, I had to keep reminding myself but sometimes I simply got carried away. If only we could be invincible, able to deal with anything we had to. It would make life a hell of a lot easier and there would probably be better people in the world – then again, maybe the criminals would be able to handle to awful toll of being a murder better, or they would be able to deal with their personal struggles more easily so they wouldn’t turn into horrible people. It could be viewed both ways, but neither way was ever going to happen. People were built to deal with what they had to with their own mental abilities then supernatural ones. I liked the thought but unfortunately wasn’t very good at it. I wondered if Gerard was the same way. Maybe I was so blown away by his ability to do great things that it was an easy cover-up, only to make it seem like he was the strongest man I knew. Maybe he was trying to impress me. I scoffed. Now I was getting ahead of myself. Gerard didn’t have to impress anybody because he knew (and know I knew) that if you had to impress someone into believe you were this amazing, extraordinary human being, then they weren’t really worth the effort.
I was now going off on my own little tangent inside my head. I become so entangled with my own thoughts that I had forgotten Gerard was sitting right next to me. I hadn’t started driving yet; we were still sitting in the gas station blocking the traffic through it. I noticed – out of the corner of my eye – I could see that he had turned his pale, stern face staring at me. I snapped out of my thinking, I opened my mouth but before any words could come out he cut me off, stopping me instantly. I sat and listened to him, the tables had turned; now he was ranting to me. Yelling out every word he spoke. I wasn’t sure what to do other than sit, stare, and listen as closely as I could. What had gotten into him? Was he losing it, too?
“I don’t know what to tell myself anymore, Frank! You’re back, we’re real, we can’t keep denying what we have because it’s fucking real. No matter how uncomfortable it makes people it’s what we are. Do you think I’m fake, Frank? Because I’m not – I don’t deal with that kind of shit. I don’t fuck around with who I am or who other people are. I just want you to learn what I know and adapt to this world you’ve been lost to your whole life. Frank, I love you more than life itself but I cannot stand when you see me as – whatever you see me!” I was puzzled and dazed by what he was saying. “What are you getting at Gerard? What do you think I see you as!?” I was shouting, now. I didn’t know what else to do. I had a plan of keeping quiet but that quickly changed once his mouth kept running. “Indestructible, Frank! You see me as something that can never be broken.”
“How do you fucking do that!?” I threw my hands into the air. It became a habit I picked up after spending quite a bit of time with him in my, so called, dreams.
My grip came away from the wheel of the car causing it to swerve ever so slightly into the other lane. My fit didn’t seem to startle Gerard; then again it never seemed to. “Do what?” His voice had died down a bit. I had a feeling he didn’t like it when both people were yelling in an argument. It was either one or the other. It confused me, but hell, it was Gerard. When was I not confused by him? For a long time I dared myself to take my eyes away from the road. I was never one to do such a thing but for a good three minutes all I did was stare at Gerard, guess where my lane was, and hope there weren’t any cars around me. “Read my fucking mind like that! I swear to god, you do it all the time! I hate it, I really do, Gerard! But you seem to love it. It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand how to hide anything from you!” He sighed heavily then looked out the window, away from me and everything I was showing him right then. He knew I was right but the stubborn bastard just couldn’t admit it. He hated me thinking of him as invincible, would he rather me think of him as a coward?
A few minutes passed with no talking. My eyes had returned to the road, thankfully I hadn’t gotten us into an accident yet. I was sure it was bound to happen sooner or later. It was getting dark; it wasn’t the time for the sun to go down. Maybe I had simply lost track of time. There was no clock in my car. It had broken along with twelve other things with the vehicle over the years. I constantly had to guess based on the sun’s position. I was always horrible at that, but roughly close half the time (no pun intended.)
Next to me there came a sound. I wasn’t about to take my eyes off the road again but I fixed my ears to listen. “Frank,” His voice came out louder than I had expected. “Remember I told you I can read you like an open book?” I nodded my head, not sure whether he could see me or not – “And – and I said sometimes that’s a good thing to show a lot of emotion without meaning to, and sometimes it’s bad?” It was something he had told me in one of our dreams which we shared. The memory was clear as water, every memory of the dreams were. It seemed like that’s all that mattered. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but, no one else in your life has ever mentioned anything about what you’re thinking or feeling right when you are doing so, have they?” It was a simple question with an all too simple answer, but of course I had to say something back to prove yet another one of my…pointless…points. “No they haven’t, but that’s because the only people who have ever been in my life that would give a damn is family and even they wouldn’t go to the lengths of telling me what they assumed I was thinking about or what I was feeling.”
“Frank, you’re setting yourself up to be a hypocrite and me as an ass. Do you really want to do that?” I shook my head, feeling as if I were being scolded by a teacher back in grade school. “What I’m trying to say is, maybe you’re not bad at hiding your feelings. Maybe I’m just good at reading them.” I thought about this for as long as I could until Gerard had to say something else. I couldn’t tell whether he was checking the boundaries we had created, testing the waters to see if what he said had an impact, or because he just fucking wanted to. All seemed like things he would do. “You wanna know something, Frank?” I wanted to say ‘No’ and leave it at that but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t shut him down like that. He never would do a thing like that to me. I mentally kicked myself for even considering and glanced at him. It was his ‘a-okay’ sign that I was listening and that he could speak again. “You have too high of expectations for me.” He scoffed, shook his head, and smiled. “I can’t decided whether I like it or not.”
“Well, if I’m not mistaken you just made it very clear that you don’t.” I could tell he hated what I was saying yet still knew I was right out of the two of us. “I’ve changed my mind.” I sat back into my seat. He never in his whole entire life said something like that. Gerard changing his mind on something so passionate to him was like a shark deciding it wanted to be a vegetarian. All I did was give him an odd look, swearing under my breath. “Hard to believe?” It comforted me that it was merely a question instead of a mind-read. “You’re a passionate thinker, Frank.” I was thankful he changed the subject. If not I would have tripped over every word I tried to get out of my throat. “Never lose that.” I nodded, not thinking much of it until he said: “Promise me.” My head snapped. My eyes buried themselves deep down into Gerard’s face. Not literally, of course. Everything about him was perfect in a strange way. “I promise.”