And When Rain Fell: Chapter Three

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And When Rain Fell: Chapter Three

Chapter Three
Stupid

We gathered all the right supplies. Paint brushes, palettes, canvases, and everything else an artist would need; with the exception of smocks. In my opinion, and probably Gerard’s as well, smocks were like a cover up of the artistic value that could be made and given off while creating, or in this case, painting. It had a tendency to conceal whatever creative juices wanted to pour out of us. Much like how the rule of thirds is like a jail for photographers, a smock is like a sheet covering the painter from the world, making him or her dull and boring. That was the last thing I wanted so to be dull and boring, I wanted to be fun and alive. And with the paintbrush in my hand, I felt exactly that.
“I missed this.” I said while dipping the bristles into a fresh swab of paint. It was like the brush was one with my fingers and I could feel the cold thick colored liquid run into and on my fingers. It was the coolest sensation yet odd. I looked the Gerard who had already begun streaking colors onto the canvas. “I haven’t missed painting.” He responded with a stern face, completely focused on his work of art. The comment hurt me a little; he had all this great time to paint while I was still recovering from my long sleep. Two months dormant, and three moths recovering and then some – I didn’t want to be jealous but my mind wouldn’t let me think of anything else. I was jealous of Gerard; he seemed to have all the time in the world when I was gone when I had lost two months of it. I suddenly felt the inventive passion fade away as my mind thought more and more about the subject. “I missed painting with you.” My head shot up, my eyes gazing at him intently. I wasn’t expecting anything like that to come next. The feeling came back to me, my fingers grew cold again, and my heart began beating once more. He smiled at me, his teeth showing. Then I noticed something that I hadn’t before. His teeth were less stained with the yellow coloring of before. I titled my head to the side wondering how the fuck that was possible. “Gerard?” I asked in a questioning voice. He looked from his canvas and back to me. “Your teeth, they’re whiter.” I felt so dumb saying that, but it was so true and so weird. He blushed a little and closed him mouth quickly. “I thought you smoked, and that’s why you’re teeth were yellow.” The blush grew brighter around his cheeks. I didn’t realize what I was saying until I felt the awkwardness settle in the room.
I brought my stare down, what was I thinking? What a rude thing to say! I shook my head furiously, feeling anxious to take it all back. “I never smoked, Frank.” His eyes seemed set back into his head more giving him a tired but confused look. “You – you didn’t? Then why do I remember your teeth?” He sighed deeply and then I understood. “Frank, I hate to say this to you but it was only part of your dream. It’s not real. –,”
“No, don’t hate to say it. It’s helping, really. One less thing I have to wonder about, right?” Gerard smiled weakly, “That’s the spirit.” I couldn’t help but notice that his teeth were still a slight tint away from white, like something was staining them but slowly. “I drink a lot of coffee, Frank.” He said after realizing that I was still staring at his mouth. This time, I blushed, feeling the heat rise to the surface of my cheeks – I looked away, turning my head back to the blank canvas that awaited my arrival. “What are you painting?” I peered over in his direction again but nothing was very prominent on his page. Only a few lines here and there of different textures and thicknesses, I couldn’t make out what he was planning to do. He didn’t answer either. I raised my eyebrows figuring it was for the best that we both just shut up from here on out.
My strokes remained even throughout the whole silence. I couldn’t take my eyes off of what was in front of me, what I was beginning to create with my own two hands again. A strange sensation shot through my like I had just been struck with a stray bullet. I hadn’t done this since, well, I didn’t know when. Not since I was out of the hospital and it has already been three months. I couldn’t believe the amount of time that passed by. Painting used to be my living and breathing – or so that’s what my mind was telling me. I couldn’t remember anything I had done before, or where my pieces were stashed away. Nothing was coming to mind and frankly that pissed me off. I found myself looking over at Gerard’s work again. He had gotten a lot of progress done. Now the random lines I had once seen formed new shapes that made sense, put together with colors and textures that all formed into one. I cocked my head this way and that. I made sure to look back over at my own piece so he wouldn’t notice; whenever I had the chance I would refer back to what Gerard was doing, just to see, just to check in on what beautiful thing he could be making. I tried to study it for as long as I could before becoming too paranoid to continue. I wanted to be like him so badly, I wanted to paint like him and talk like him still. I soon found myself saying these thoughts out loud. “I can’t believe this.” I caught myself saying suddenly. I instantly covered my mouth with my hand after realizing it was too late. I peered to my right – Gerard’s brush was set down on the easel, his eyes away from the canvas and staring into me.
“Can’t believe what?” His tone was not accusing, more like curious. I shook my head and tripped over some of my words, finally able to spit something out. “I’m so naïve.” He just stared at me after that. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, then again I never really could. “Gerar –,”
“Every time you say something stupid I’m going to splatter you with paint.” He said seriously and sternly. Cutting me off before I could even ask what the hell was wrong. I raised my brows, believing he was bluffing. I rolled my eyes and set down my own brush. I rubbed my hands together so as to take off the paint that wasn’t there yet. “Gerard this is stupid.” I saw the flick of his wrist and then something hit my face. I gasped and looked at my clothing. Little dots of yellow paint lined my body and up the front of my face. “What the fuck, Gerard!?” Again, another splash of something moderately cold struck me. I chuckled and scoffed as I whipped the stuff off. “You thought I was kidding?” Gerard asked with a low voice. I scoffed some more, “Bluffing’s more like it.” I shook my head, dabbing the smaller streak of paint from my lips. I hated the taste of paint no matter how many times it somehow ventured into my mouth. It would constantly make me gag yet I could mind the smell. It brought me back to happier times in my life. Though they ended up not being real, they still brought back memories I could re-make and name my own.
Once there was nothing left I put my hands down to my sides and stared right back at the man with the paint brush. He had already stuck the bristles into yet another color, preparing for me to say something stupid again, being ahead of the game which made me uneasy. Was I really that predictable? Did I really say stupid things? “I never bluff, Frank.” His head was cocked and his voice was assuring, but not in the way I was used to. There was a fleck of innocents still that I could recall but there was something else burrowed in his voice. It sounded like actual taunting, maybe even the kind of tone a power hungry person would have. I pushed this away from my mind. A stupid idea that Gerard should have pelted me with paint for. The lack of new colors on my skin surprised me. He wasn’t reading my mind at the moment, if he truly knew what I was thinking then he would have pelted me by now. Instead of taking action he merely watched me. After a little while longer his gaze became scary. I felt I was being watched by a stranger with a plan to hurt me. Again, another stupid thought Gerard should have panelized me for. “Gerard.” I said in a whisper, barely moving my lips to form his name. He didn’t seem to react to it. He hadn’t heard me; his eyes still remained intact with my body. I was getting nervous, no, worse than nervous. My breathing quickened. It was like I was looking into a reflection but it wasn’t me, or staring into the eyes of a manikin, the skin and hair and limbs not real but made of plastic covered in human clothing, holding the mightiest of all weapons – the paint brush. I didn’t know where to look to find comfort; I didn’t know what to do with myself. “Gerard.” I said again, this time a little louder but not loud enough for him to react. He just kept fucking staring, his olive eyes turning a grey color. It was my mind playing it’s stupid tricks on me and I knew it but it just seemed to damn fake. Gerard’s features sinking away, withering like there were never even there. “Gerard…Gerard stop it!” I yelled as loud as I could, the air in my chest getting trapped at the top of my lungs. And then everything went back to normal. Gerard’s body moved swiftly over to me like it had done many times before. I was shivering out of fear. As he wrapped his arms around me I could feel myself begin to calm down, but the horrible terrifying thing was – I was afraid of him. No now, though. Now he was the real Gerard, the kind that had life to him and didn’t scare the living shit out of me. He rocked us back and forth for a while, talking to my quietly making sure I was alright. I could barely speak my voice had been taken from me along with my heart beat. “What happened?” He asked with concern. I shook my head, burying my face into his body. “You weren’t you, Gerard. It was like you weren’t even there.” And just like that I began to sob into the man’s shoulder. The first thing that came to mind was what my tear stains would look like on his black shirt. They wouldn’t show up, the cloth with only remain back with not trace of tears upon it. I wanted the stains to show, though. I wanted to know it was all real again, that my sadness was only temporary and that those stains would eventually dry. When I lifted my face away from him I saw nothing, no water stains to seal my heart. I wanted to know everything would be okay again, not know that those tears could be as fake as the Gerard I just imagined. “Let’s get out of the house, Frank. It’ll do the both of us some good.” I couldn’t agree more with him. So we both got up and ventured out into the warm-ish weather. It was turning into fall which meant I had missed the beautiful summer. It felt like forever since I saw the leaves falling down to the ground. Not all of them were leaving their places from the branches, though. The season was still blooming, not maturing enough yet for the trees to be naked and exposed soon to be covered with snow. I took Gerard’s hand hoping he was okay and I hadn’t scared him. It wasn’t the first time my mind has gotten the best of me, so he was fairly used to it. Yet, no matter how many times it would occur his reaction was always the same – worried.
“It’s turning into fall quickly.” Gerard said, taking my hand willingly and holding it up to his mouth to warm the skin up. I nodded, not saying a word. I was too busy wondering where Gerard was taking us. I for one was absolutely tired of this shit town. I wanted to get out of it. I would have much rather stayed inside and kept to myself. At the time I thought it was a good idea but now that I was outside and around the many people who looked miserable I regretted my decision. I tried to hide my disgust but I was horrible with concealing my facial expression. Gerard noticed of course, so he said something. “Instead of hating it, Frank, use it to your advantage.” I dipped my head down a little, urging him to go on. “Many people tell you not to compare yourself to others. This is good advice. Don’t you agree?” I liked how Gerard included me into his lectures and lessons. It let me know that I wasn’t just a student listening, I was actually apart of the teaching. We weren’t just conducting a lesson, here. It was a conversation between two people, not just one talking to the other. “I agree, yeah.” Gerard pursed his lips, looking out past everything out in front of us. His eyes didn’t wander to every which person walking out way. They simply stayed focused on one spot that I could not find. “Well, sometimes, Frank,” He said with a long pause afterward. “Sometimes comparing yourself to others makes your realize how much better you are.” I sighed. I knew where he was going with this so I butt in, “All of these people look miserable. I, I am not miserable.” He smiled in approval. “Compare yourself to them and then you feel a hell of a lot better and mightier. It’s like and energy boost knowing you are the happiest one here. It enables you to have a jump in your step and a smile on your face that no one else is this gloomy dark town has!” Gerard flung his arms up high into the air, exaggerating his point, and almost hitting an older woman in the face. I laughed suddenly but stopped myself in fear the woman would yell. It felt rude but it felt so good. I was the only one laughing here; no one else would give a shit. I was in a happy mood and they weren’t so sucks for them! My face lit up, I threw my hands into the air like Gerard, almost hitting a man in the back but not caring. “Now, screaming something, Frank. Screaming something that you just need to scream.” I scanned his face and then smiled. “I love Gerard Way!” I said it as loud as I possibly could, making my own ears ring and my throat hurt. I snapped my head back and looked up at the sky. It was a blackish golden color that I had never seen before in Jersey. It gave me a hopeful feeling. I lead my eyes back down to Gerard, hoping he would still be there. Thankfully and happily he was. His eyes shinning and shimmering with light and his grin bigger than ever spread across his cheeks, “Now it’s your turn.” I said in my normal voice. I waited for him to say something right away, an “I love Frank Iero” was what I was looking for, but he actually had to think of what he wanted to say. I was taken back by this. I cocked my head to the side wondering what he was going to say instead. I didn’t feel insulted only surprised he didn’t be his usual quirky self and say the first thing that probably came to his mind. After a while of waiting, a little too long in fact, I placed my hands on my hips and distributed my weight to one leg. I didn’t mean to look annoyed, but I was growing impatient. “Croyez-moi, croyez en vous, croyez en nous.” I raised my brows; I had no idea what the fuck he just said. I gave him a look. He had shouted it loud and clear but it was in French. He butchered some of the words. I could tell because he had a slight stutter when trying to pronounce them. He laughed when he notices my expression. “I can’t speak very good French, Frank. That was only in your dream.” I sighed and then a thought hit me. “Then how do you know how to say whatever you just said?” I went back through what I just said. It made Gerard laugh but he knew what I was trying to say. “Because, Frank. I want to make it real for you.” He looked down at his feet in a bashful manner. “I understand the language, I know how to say some things but not as well as in the dreams we had.” He laughed a little more before continuing. “I always used to think it hilarious when I woke up, how fluent I sounded when speaking the different language. I want to make that real, Frank, for the both of us.” I could feel my cheeks growing hot. “I trust you, Gerard.” He smiled even wider. “Let’s go get some coffee. I want to talk to you about some things.” I studied Gerard’s face hard. Then I nodded and followed him hand in hand to where ever he was taking us.