A/N: Chp Edited on 12/29/07. No major changes in plot.
Best friend Means you Pull the Trigger.
Gerald sat on the beach in his jean shorts playing with the sand when a boy about his age approached him.
"What are you working on?"
The beach was empty, it usually was. The public beach was hiding behind beach front houses.
"A sand castle" Gerald answered sounding proud
The blond boy looked at the castle, appraising it as he moved around it. "You should make it bigger," he said with a nod of his head, as if giving his professional advice.
"I'm too small to make it bigger," Gerald said with a pout while dropping his shovel.
"I'll help you," the blond boy said.
"You will?" This was new to Gerald other kids rarely played with him. Truthfully he always seemed to shy away from them and they took it the wrong way and always ended hurting him. He was really proud of his castle, though it was small and so he felt enough courage to actually talk to the other boy.
"Yeah," the boy said dropping down next to Gerald. Gerald was wearing some old jean shorts, they use to be jeans but he cut them all by himself to make them shorts when he had grown too tall for them. Mrs. Harrison was really proud of how creative he was; she said she didn't know of any other five year old who would think of it. Gerald wasn't sure she knew any other five year olds.
Gerald had started thinking about his shorts because he would really like to have a pair of swimming shorts like Michael's, that was the blond boys name; they were blue and had white whales going around them.
Michael was patting sand onto the castle, but it was obvious the sand was too dry. He looked up at Gerald, "My mom is sitting over there with my baby brother where is yours?" Michael new that if his mommy became friends with Gerald's mom he would get to see the black haired boy more often, there was just something about this boy. He knew they would be best friends for ever.
Gerald knew better than to answer that question. He looked towards the boy's mother. She was so pretty, his mom was pretty too but she sometimes was very tired and her eyes looked red and puffy. Michael's mom was sitting on a towel playing with Michael's two year old brother. Gerald's mom never played with him on the sand.
Actually his mom tempted to forget about him. She didn't do it on purpose, his mom loved him lots, but she got busy and worked kept her away, but when things slowed down she would feel really bad and make it up to him. They would have so much fun during those days, she bought him candies and movies and they would build huge forts in the living room.
Gerald loved his mommy and he knew that telling anyone that he had sneaked out while she slept, because today was one of her tired days, would get her in lots of trouble, so instead he changed the subject.
"Do you have a pail to go get some water?" Gerald wasn't allowed near the water when his mommy wasn't around.
"Yeah, I'll go get it!" Michael bounded over to his mom and little brother Sean.
Gerald continued patting sand onto his castle as he looked around the beach. He noticed Mrs. Harrison had followed him to the beach. She did that when ever she saw him heading this way, she was afraid he would get hit by a car or drown in the sea. She would follow quietly behind, also when ever his mommy would go away for too long, she would bring him food and even let him stay at her place, she was like a grandma to him.
She always said she was very proud of him for taking such good care of himself and his mommy. His mommy had once told Gerald to not go near Mrs. Harrison that she could have the police take him away. Being away from his mom would kill him and his mom. He loved his mom too much; he could never be away from her. Who would take care of his mommy if he wasn't there?
Gerald had gone over to Mrs. Harrison house and had a very serious, or as serious as five year old can, conversation with her. He told her that he loved her very much, but he didn't ever want to leave his mommy, that his mommy was a really good mommy that loved him very much and would never, ever hurt him. Mrs. Harrison had cried and promised she wouldn't go through with her thread of calling child services; she would help him take care of mommy.
As Michael had predicted the two boys became best friends. When they started Kindergarten they found themselves in the same classroom. Michael had come up to him placed an arm over his shoulder and pronounced him his best friend for live.
They became inseparable, Gerald being a constant visitor at the Mitchell's residence.
In middle school things started to change, the boys were still as close as they had ever been, but you could tell they were headed in different directions. They both still held an unhealthy love for comic books and video games, but their other interests became very different or better said more marked, since they had always been there.
When Gerald was eleven his mom disappeared for almost two weeks that had been the longest she had ever gone missing and he had been terribly worried. Mrs. Harrison wanted to call the police, but he begged her not to. At ten Gerald had discovered that his mom's sleepy days were actually hung-over days.
Michael kept inviting him over, but Gerald wouldn't leave his house until he knew where his mom was. He had the aspirin ready and every morning and afternoon he would make fresh coffee for when his mom got home.
When she finally got home, he was so relieve and upset. He was relieved that she was home and safe, and upset that she had simply disappeared, he should have been used to it by then, but she had never been away with out any type of news for that long before.
He handed her a cup of coffee and told her the aspirin was on the table and then left to his room.
She came knocking the next day. He was getting ready for school, but she told him not to that he could have the day off, and she would make everything up to him. He told her that he had to go to school, midterms where coming up. She shook her head and told him that he was young and should enjoy it.
That day, she got him into the car and they drove two hours to another town. She said she had a friend that owed her some money. She parked in front of a run down building and told him to lock his doors and not open them for anyone no matter what.
A few minutes later she came back and told him that he would go to his first concert that night and that she was going to buy him a guitar.
"I'll teach you how to play. I use to have a guitar; I had to pawn it for food when I was pregnant with you." He gave her a skeptical look and she smiled "I did pawn it for food. I didn't drink while pregnant; I'd never do something to hurt you." She ruffled his hair and they drove to a pawn shop.
Gerald loved his guitar, it had a few scratches but it was beautiful, his mom had even gotten him an amp. The concert had been amazing it wasn't anything too crazy. His mom said she didn't want him getting hurt in a mosh pit. It was an acoustic indie band, he didn't remember the name. His mom seemed to know everyone, people kept calling her name, waving and saying hi to her. He was so happy every time he saw a proud smile on her face telling everyone he was her son and she had just bought him his first guitar.
"He is going to be a star," she would tell them.
They came home really late and Gerald didn't make it to school the next day either.
Well, as Gerald waited for his guitar lesson, Michael joined there school football team.
Michael would worry about Gerald's disappearances; he never knew kids could miss school that much. He was in awe at how smart Gerald was with all his skipping he still was in the top 5 of his school, he never got anything other than an A and always, always made up all his work.
By the time they reached high school Michael was a full blood Jock. He was in the swim team, the football team and the basket ball team. He was just a freshman and was already 6 feet tall and build like a bull. He was popular and had even older girls drooling over him.
Gerald on the other hand, was in band and the debate team. He also had to get a part time job to help pay for rent. His mom had become more and more careless with money and now went binge drinking before paying rent. She didn't even have a job anymore; the only money other than Gerald's pay checks was his the mysterious money order they received in the mail every month. Gerald believed his dad send the money in an attempt to clear his conscience or something. He was curious about his father, but knew better than to ask, he never received a straight answer from his mom.
Mrs. Harrison was growing older and Gerald found himself also taking care of her. He didn't have time to go over to Michael's house anymore and with all his after school activities Michael didn't have time to be with him. They didn't even have the same classes.
Physically they were even more different, well they had always been different. Gerald had brown/black hair, Michael had golden blond. Gerald eyes were brown, Michael's were blue. They had always been about the same height, not the same weight. Gerald had to make his own meals since he was very young with what ever was in his fridge which usually wasn't much. Now, to Michaels 6 feet Gerald was barely 5'4, to Michaels 155 pounds, Gerald was 100.
The one thing Gerald still did and always made time for was escaping to the beach. Even if it was late at night he'd walk the two blocks to it and would sit on the sand and smell the salt in the air.
He wished he could be part of the beach, a grain of sand or a pebble rolling with the waves, anything would do. He just wanted to be part of something beautiful.
It was his 15th birthday and his mom had disappeared. Mrs. Harrison was visiting her son; he almost had to force her to go. The only other person who he would have liked, not expected, -he knew better than to expect anything from anyone, his mom never had taught him how to play guitar- to remember his birthday was Michael. He didn't even see Michael that day.
Michael had a new girlfriend, it was their two month anniversary or so he had heard at school. She was more important than dull old Gerald, the nerd.
He sat on the sand, with jean shorts and no shirt, it was windy and his lips trembled every time the wind hit his skin, but he didn't want to move. He wondered what it would be like to fall asleep there and have the waves simply take you away.
With his fingers he drew a birthday cake in the sand with candles and all; he closed his eyes and made a wish.
"I wish Michael were here," he said under his breath. He then felt large hands cover his closed eyes. His breath hitched, he couldn't believe his wish had come true. He smiled and turned around. The word Michael, died before reaching his lips as he came face to face with his nightmare, Frank.
"Happy birthday, dork" Frank sneered through a smile "You are such a fag, sitting on the beach drawing birthday cakes."
Gerald knew better than sticking around. He stood up as fast as he could and took of running towards his house. He was too slow, his legs were too short, someone very powerful hated him; take your pick in reasons, but Frank caught up with him and he was soon tackled into the sand.
"Why you running away from me? Really it isn't polite since I was about to give you your birthday gift." With that he pulled Gerald's head while still sitting on his back and took a handful of dirt pushing it against the smaller boys mouth.
"Eat some cake first," he laughed. Pushing the sand against his lips, it felt like sand paper against his lips. He felt his lips burn and soon some of the dirt managed to be pushed through. He chocked on a bit of sand and began to cough. Frank stood up when he heard his name being called.
"Oh, my friends are here. I'm going to a party with your crush." By crush he meant Michael. He stood up and kicked Gerald in the stomach, before running off to his friends.
A/N I have been ranting non stop about this story, in my lj, to my family, to my friends on msn. I'm really excited about it. I've reached my word goal to begging posting so here it is. I'm terrified that by posting it I will jinx myself and stop writing. Don't let me if you like this story push me to keep writing! (review)
I love the fact that it was started on a napkin while I was bored waiting.
Also the title is from a song by Taking by Sunday, but the correct lyric is Best friends means I pull the trigger.