Here we are. The last chapter. The final installment. The end of a saga. It’s strange for me to be typing this since I actually finished writing this story a decade ago, but it feels like a good ending. Enjoy it, and catch my commentary on this story as a whole at the very end.
“Maria, that guy at the restaurant was SO checking you out!” Lisa laughed as she painted the fingernails on my right hand for me.
“He was not! I mean come on, he was like 50!!!!” I said back trying hard not to laugh, or move.
“Well you like older guy’s right?” She asked finishing my nail polish. I laughed and blew on my nails. “I mean come on it’s not like Gerard is ever gunn…a….” She stopped talking slowly and I heard the door open behind me.
“Lisa, he’s never gunna what?” I asked waving my left hand in front of her face. I figured that it was probably just Elena standing there; wanting to know about something and Lees didn’t want her to hear our conversation.
Completely improper use of a semicolon, and also the most vague description of why someone would walk into your room, probably ever.
When she didn’t respond I turned to look at the person in the door.
“I’m never gunna do what Lisa?” He asked walking in and picking up a notebook that I had lying on the ground. My body froze, every muscle in it tightened.
“Get around to recording that album you’ve been talking about.” She said smirking. We all knew that the guys were hard at work on the album, recording and fixing it. Gee gave her that, get out of the room…NOW! kind of look. She stood and pranced out smiling smugly the whole way. I couldn’t help but feel as though I was missing something.
“So what’s up babe?” I asked tensely as Gerard took a seat next to me. He held the notebook and opened it to the first page. My hand shot out and grabbed the book. I snapped it shut and put it in my bedside dresser.
“What?” Gee asked amused. “Is it full of secrets or something?” He laughed.
“No, it’s just…personal.” I mumbled. Technically it was full of secrets. My secrets. Bad secrets.
Dark secrets. Mystic secrets. Okay, it’s blood magic. The book is full of spells that summon the dead to do your biding.
“Ok, I can respect that.” He said pulling me into his lap. I smiled up at him and my muscles relaxed.
“Why did you come in here? Not that I mind you and me just sitting like this, just wondering…” I asked stroking his silky black hair.
“So, today I went to my therapist, and he said that I seemed a lot happier today, than I have in a long time. He asked me what was going on at home. I told him that for the first time in a really long time, I got to spend a few days with my girlfriend.” He started to explain. “He asked why I seemed happier with you then with any of my other girlfriends. I said it was because the others I’ve had in the past couple of years only wanted to date me for my money. You were already rich, and some-what famous when I met you, you didn’t care that I was famous.”
He smiled at me and I kissed him softly for a few seconds before pulling away. “He said that he was really happy that I was happy, but wanted to know why you were so special; why I felt better now then I had since I was seven. I told him that it was because you are the only girl I’ve ever been truly in love with.”
He moved me from his lap and knelt on the floor in front of me. My heart beat sped up and I could have sworn that he could hear it.
“Maria, because you’re the only girl that I’ve ever truly been in love with, and because you make my day, that much brighter that I can go to therapy and not think about death. You’re all I’ve ever wanted, or hoped, and dreamed to have, in a girlfriend. And I know that we’ve only known each other about a year but I still love you, very very much. Maria Armstrong, will you marry me?”
I mean, I guess that’s how therapy works, but also not at all how therapy works. Mainly, other people should never be the source of your joy.
Also, I know I teased engagement at the end of the last chapter, but did anyone really expect this? After the up and down and on and off and in a relationship and not, how much time did these two people actually spend together? I would guess somewhere in the ball park of two months.
I stared at him blankly for a minute, I couldn’t say yes. Every fiber, every muscle, every piece of my heart was telling me to say yes. To give in to him, to let him know that I love him just as much, but my brain was telling me not to. It was saying that there are too many secrets that I have to hide, I can’t tell him them now. Not now, not ever.
“Gerard, I…” I wasn’t sure how to do this, I’d never dumped anyone, and I didn’t want to dump Gerard, I just wanted to tell him that… this wasn’t right. This whole marriage thing, I can’t do it. I couldn’t do it. “I’m not ready for this, I can’t marry you.” His face fell. I could see that he wasn’t expecting this answer. His depression quickly turned to rage though.
“What? You can’t commit to getting married? Why the hell not!? I’m giving up a ton of shit to get married to you, to ask you to marry me. Maria you’re the reason that I’m still alive!! You made me stop doing all the drugs and drinking and shit! But I guess you don’t have enough will power to do that!” He screamed for a good minute and a half solid.
Yeah, and was apparently wicked verbally abusive. That’s not cool. 13 year old Maria, get your shit straight. You shouldn’t marry him because he started shaming you for making your own decision.
I sat there, and took it in, I felt horrible. I needed to do it. I had to tell him I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t go on the rest of my life hiding in closets, hiding all my secrets. He had to find out before we got married. He looked at me, his eyes were sparkling with tears, they were hurt, and angry. I looked down at my feet.
Slowly he walked out of the room and slammed the door. Tears spilled out of my eyes and I needed them now more then ever. See, the big secret was, I’m a pill addict. Almost any kind of pill, mostly pain killers, but I also had a small amount of marijuana pills.
At first they were for after I slit my wrists, but I slowly started to like the feeling I would get. It quickly turned into an addiction. I walked into the connected bathroom that was with the room Gerard and I shared. Now I’m leaving, going back to New York to my tiny one bedroom apartment, to watching movies alone, and only going out when Bam stops by. I couldn’t live my life like that, the pills helped; they numbed everything, made me look at life with a serenely calm point of view.
Strangely I understood what taking too many pain killers felt like without ever taking any pain killers. But I didn’t quite grasp any other drug concepts without experiencing them. Maybe that’s for the best.
I searched through the cabinet and found some hair scissors. Nice and sharp, smooth, giving a good hair cut. Or a good slit of the wrist. I sat down with a cloth in one hand and the scissors in the other. I slowly opened them up and placed on edge on my wrist. I felt the same familiar tingle on my wrist that slowly crawled up my arm and to my scalp. I felt alive and well, right then, I didn’t need those pills, the pills that were cleverly hidden in my messenger bag. I heard my skin cut open and the blood started to drip out slowly. I felt better. Much better. I pulled the cloth out and placed it on my wrist. the bleeding slowed and finally stopped and I walked out of the bathroom.
Mikey was sitting on my bed, face somber my bag in his hand. He either found the pills, or my notebook that was shoved in the bag after I left it on my dresser. Or he just wanted to hold my bag after he found out that I didn’t say yes.
Okay that last one is just sort of creepy, and highly unrealistic.
“Why didn’t you say yes?” He asked clutching the bag tighter to his chest. I could tell now why he was holding the bag. It’s the one he bought me after I went to the hospital.
“Look Mikey, it’s hard to explain, and it’s long,” I sighed rummaging through my drawer for the Advil that I had. My wrist was starting to throb with pain, and though it felt slightly amazing, I didn’t want to be too conspicuous.
So naturally I had to take an Advil for no visible reason. That wouldn’t arouse any suspicion at all.
“Tell me, we have all day. It is midnight after all. You don’t need to go home or bring Elena back for another few days.” His voice was un-shaking and he spoke in a complete monotone.
“Alright, I’ll tell you.” I sighed taking out an Advil and dry swallowing it. He stared at me confused. I sat down next to him and explained about the drugs, and the secrets that I couldn’t tell anyone and how I just wasn’t ready.
“Ok, I get it. But you still really hurt Gerard. You should think about talking to him.” Mikey gave me my bag and walked out of the room. I decided it. Right then and there. I’m never talking to Gerard Way again. I’m going back to New York and staying there for the rest of my life.
LOL running away from all of my problems. Never gonna see you again. OKBYE!
Though at 13 I’m pretty sure I didn’t see any other options. Running away sounds decent enough, for a minute. Then you realize your problems probably aren’t that awful, and you probably can overcome them, and dammit just keep moving forward!
But that’s a hard concept to grasp at 13 when the worst thing to ever happen to you is your friends shit-talking you openly (and passive aggressively) on the internet.
The car ride was long and boring. I drove Elena home first, and then backtracked the turnpike to my apartment. The lights were off and it was empty. As always. I flicked them on and put my stuff in my room. I walked into my living room and the couch looked quiet inviting. I lay down and turned on FUSE.
“Yeah, it’s pretty awesome,” Gerard’s voice hovered in the air like mist over a lake on an early morning. “but once in a while touring does get really dull.” I sighed. I really should have explained why I said no to him. I couldn’t.
“So guys, what do you think is the hardest part about being on tour?” Steve asks the guys. This was obviously from the Warped Tour.
“I think not seeing our friends, is the hardest part.” Gerard said looking at the other guys as they nodded. “For me, I know, the hardest part is not seeing my girlfriend,” He started to talk about…me. About how much he loves me, and how much he missed me.
I turned off the TV and rolled onto my side. I could feel hot salty tears stream down my face and onto the couch. Moving on was going to be tough, but I can pull through. I’ve done it before and I can do it now. My cheeks, stiff from the tears, were red and blotchy. This was going to be the first night of many, where crying would be the only way to fall asleep. I didn’t understand, at first, why I’d said no. But then it dawned on me. I couldn’t marry Gerard until I could tell him everything, everything that I’d done, everything that Billie Joe and I had to do. I couldn’t do that now.
WHY?! He literally confessed to being a heroin addict after knowing you for 15 minutes. You can probably tell him you pop Oxy. I think he’ll understand.
Date: January 25, 2006
Place: Maria’s Office building.
Another fun time jump, because explaining it through actual words would have been difficult and time consuming.
I decided to see her. We did only live about 40 minutes away from each other. Why can’t I just go and talk to her, see if I can change her mind about this whole marriage thing. I needed to be with her. To see her to kiss her again, I’d been tearing myself apart. Slowly but surely I looked worse and worse each day, Frankie had noticed, Ray had noticed, Mikey was getting scared. I had to talk to her.
Or you could find a great therapist, talk to him about your problems, work on yourself, eat better, exercise a little, and move on with your life. But that’s just your creator’s opinion on it. You do you, bro.
I cleaned myself up, made my hair look a lot neater then it normally was and I put on a suit. It was, as Frankie said, sexy. Her office building had tight security and I couldn’t get in without a pass. Well, most people couldn’t get in without a pass but seeing as I’m Gerard Way, and they thought I was here to contribute clothing designs.
That’s not a full sentence, and I don’t think Gerard ever had enough pull to get into places without going through the proper procedure.
I walked up to her office.
I glanced in the window. My heart shattered, I never thought I could feel this bad.
You were literally addicted to heroin. I think the withdrawals from that were probably worse physically.
It was her, looking more amazing then ever, her long hair pulled into a sloppy ponytail wearing a tight red tank top with black fishnet sleeves safety pinned to the straps, her jeans were tight and naturally ripped, I could tell.
Because only posers wear store distressed denim. Gawd.
She was leaning over so that her shoulder blades arched slightly as she drew.
After I recovered from her beauty I saw him. The pure evil, that was now dating the girl who I was so head over heels in love with.
Okay, Bam Margera sucks a lot but I don’t think he’s pure evil. I think that’s Quinn, who works for Satin, lord of the fabrics.
He took her from me and now, now she’ll never be mine. I’d never be able to hold her in my arms again, to kiss her soft skin, to stroke her silky hair. Bam was standing behind her, stroking her arm and kissing her neck.
I couldn’t cry, it hurt too much to cry. Instead I walked out. Out of the office, out of the city. This hurt, it hurt real bad. But the worst part, she didn’t even know that I knew. She never would.
“How’d visiting Maria go?” Mikey asked as I walked into the kitchen pulling off my leather jacket.
“It didn’t happen.” My voice was depressing and cold.
“What happened? You get lost or something?”
“No, I walked up to her floor, and I felt really confident and guess what I find.” I slumped at the table. Mikey looked at me confused. “Bam, all over her.”
His face turned from shock to sadness to sympathy in roughly 5 seconds. “Wow, I’m so sorry Gerard.”
“Yeah, but the worst part, she makes me want to drink again,” I sighed. “She really is Legitimate Self Destruction.”
SEE WHAT I DID THERE? SEE? GET IT? IT’S THE TITLE OF THE STORY!
It took me a really long time to figure out what the last line needed to be so that it would end with Legitimate Self Destruction. Honestly, one of the best things I’ve done in my entire writing career is end this monstrosity with its own title.
It was legitimate self destruction writing this, and then re-reading it and annotating it, and then putting it all onto this blog. But it definitely helped me grow as a writer, and allowed me to see some of my own dumb-assery at its finest. I had a clear voice, which is a comforting thing to see in a story from a decade ago.
Mostly it gave me a chance to reflect on who I was and what my life was when I wrote this story in middle school. It was a peak into my deepest desires and some dark secrets (i.e. my obsession with mental illness) from puberty.
Sometimes it gave great gems, like the fun there/their/they’re drinking game. Or the hazel eyes drinking game. Or the tense change drinking game. Really, there’s a lot of drinking games you can play to this mess.
Sometimes it had actually decent writing and I surprised myself with my abilities. I found some great comparisons in it. I also laughed a lot while re-reading and annotating.
I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did. I sadly don’t have any more 30,000 word fanfics to annotate. But I have a lot of other weird stuff piling up in my brain. So you’ll still hear from me. I’m still not wearing pants.