Chapter 11

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~Frank’s P.O.V.~

I walked out of LAX, Gerard next to me. He explained to me how he had never been to Los Angeles before as we waited for a taxi, and I told him about how I had grown up here. He seemed strangely interested in everything that I had to say, and I liked that I didn’t bore him as much as I told myself I did.

When a taxi finally stopped for us, Gerard took my suitcase along with his own and put them in the trunk. He opened the door and gestured for me to get in, but I insisted that he get in first this time, and put my hand on the door. He sighed, but slipped into the car, and I followed him.

It might have just been the taxi that was narrow, or the fact that neither of us were near the windows we sat next to, but we were sitting so close that our thighs were almost touching. It reminded me of how I had woken up just as the plane was landing; with my head on his shoulder. He had had his head resting on mine, and I carefully pulled my head out from under his before grabbing his arm and shaking it lightly, whispering that we were landing. His eyes fluttered open, and a smile spread across his face. He nodded, stretched, and I sat back in my seat so we could both look at the window as the plane hit the ground.

I wasn’t sure if he had realized that we had slept like that on the plane, but if he did, it obviously hadn’t bothered him. It didn’t bother me either; I wouldn’t have moved if we hadn’t had to get off the plane in the next few minutes.

I told the man driving the taxi the address to my parents’--my dad’s--house. He nodded and started to drive, and I watched out my window, not knowing what else to do.

This car ride was as silent as the one had been earlier this morning, but it didn’t seem as silent as the other one. There was something hanging in the air, filling the silence, and it didn’t make me uncomfortable that neither of us were talking like it had in the cab in New York. There was no noise being made but those of the city from outside of the car. Gerard’s thigh was almost touching mine, and his shoulder would occasionally bump into mine as we turned a corner. But it didn’t feel awkward like it did before, and I wasn’t sure what it was that made it this way.

My dad’s house came into view, and a smile crept onto my face. My hand reached for the door handle as the car pulled up at the end of the driveway, and I jumped out of the car the second we had stopped. I stood there for a minute, the door to the taxi still wide open, and waited for my mom to come running out of the front door in her kitchen apron and scream “Frankie!” as she embraced me in a bear hug. But silence was the only thing that greeted me, and I felt my heart fall to my stomach.

“You okay, Frank?” Gerard asked. I turned around to see that he had scooted to the edge of the backseat, but couldn’t make it out of the car because I was standing in his way. I took a step away from the car, mumbling something that I didn’t even understand, and he stepped out.

“Don’t worry, I already paid him.” Gerard said when he finished getting our bags from the trunk. I opened my mouth to say ‘you didn’t have to’ or at least a ‘thank you’, but the words wouldn’t come out.

We stood in the driveway, watching as the taxi drove down the street and out of sight. I turned around to face the house, and took a deep breath. It just didn’t feel the same anymore.

I led Gerard up to the front door, and walked inside without knocking. My dad jumped to his feet from where he had been sitting on the couch, and smiled when he saw me.

“Frank! It’s so good to see you.” he said, walking over and throwing his arms around me. “How have you been?”

“I’ve been okay.” I replied, shrugging. The inside of the house didn’t feel the same, either. My mom’s lively spirit didn’t hang in the air anymore, the one that made you feel like you couldn’t help but smile every second you were in the house. I frowned at the feeling that the house was giving me now, and my dad patted me on the shoulder.

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