Silver loses its luster and paint dulls in color. It was only a matter of time that their love faded like a dying fire, even oxygen could not replenish the dreary embers. Some days, their love seemed to kick back into a temporary revival. Something twinkled in an outlying darkness, and it brought promise. Frank would surprise Gerard with a bouquet of roses. Gerard would sing to Frank a love song in a hollow melody. Things that, In time, morphed into desperate endeavors to stimulate any remaining passion left in either one's body, opposed to actions to prove said passion.
Gerard ran mousse-covered fingers through his hair to neatly gel it back to wet-looking, stiff, and professional. The foamy dollops melted onto his hair and stuck the thick, ebony strands back and away from his pale face. The tie on his neck getting adjusted and readjusted, his shirt tucked and re-tucked. Everything had to be perfect today; today Gerard was hoping for that big promotion. He remembered, for a moment, when Frank used to wake up at the early sunless hours to help Gerard get ready for work. He made him breakfast, which they shared together. Frank would wrap his arms around Gerard's broad shoulders to tie his tie, whilst kissing the taller boy's neck. Gerard shrugged; his shoulders felt bare.
Gerard glanced down at his hands, now resting on the white porcelain sink. A gold wedding band, now bleeding the light shining from the bathroom ceiling, stuck out prominently against his skin and the ivory of the sink. Sighing, remembering Frank, he poked his head out of the bathroom door to peer into the bedroom at the end of the hall. A lump of blankets laid motionless, an ink-adorned arm outstretched, limp, onto the ruffled pillow lying next to it. Gerard could see the wedding ring that matched his own. Oh, the trouble the boys went through to get it. Everything this jewelry had once represented seemed so lost and distant to both of them.
Frank no longer went to work after diagnosing himself with a prolonged depression; still untreated, continuing to inevitably fall deeper and deeper into it. He would sulk all day in baggy, stained clothes. He would sometimes gaze out the big picture window in their living room and wait for Gerard to pull into the drive way, rush in through the front door and sweep Frank off his feet. Not the carless Gerard. But the Gerard that Frank had married.
Gerard contemplated saying goodbye to Frank, wondering if a quick kiss and a simple, hoarse "good luck" from his husband might get his own spirits up, but decided against it. Let him sleep. Gerard thought almost bitterly.
As the door clicked shut, Frank's eyes popped open and sprung out of bed. He ran up to the window only to see Gerard's car turning out of the driveway and onto the road. Frank watched him until his car turned a corner at the end of the street. It was the big day, Frank remembered, the day someone in Gerard's department would get a promotion. Frank wanted to wish him good luck; mostly to show Gerard he was capable of remembering "more important things".
Frank slumped into the couch; the big pillows engulfed his lonely, little body. Before, when that couch was brand new, just like their marriage, they watched movies together every Friday night. Wrapped tightly beneath a single blanket, heads resting together until nearly falling asleep, they laughed together at the ghoulish images flashing on screen. Unintentionally, though it did become a routine, the boys fell asleep to the sound of their selected horror film and the soothing familiarity of each other's body warmth. Now, whenever Frank requested it, Gerard would simply shrug the request off like he had not even heard it.
Deep down inside, Frank wanted to try. He so badly wanted to try for Gerard; he just could not bring himself to do it. He has grown so weak from everything their marriage entailed. But Frank was going to give this one last chance and try to show Gerard he was willing to strive for him.
Forlorn hours passed. The sun glowed orange and illuminated the atmosphere into shades of pinks and purples. Gerard's car sped into the driveway, the rocks rumbling against the tires. He walked through the threshold slumped, dragging his feet sluggishly. Gerard's sagging scowl dragged his entire face down after it. His eyes, droopy with disappointment and drowsiness, collected indolent blood beneath the purpling skin. Evidently, things had not gone as planned.
Frank came around from the wall partitioning the living room and the kitchen with an apron loosely tied around his waist. His hair was neatly combed back on his head, the dark curls slightly peeking out from under his ears; just the way Gerard liked it. He was properly dressed for the first time in a long time. A white button-down shirt fit more snug than it had before. He also took the time to squeeze himself into an old pair of skinny-jeans that Gerard had admirably commented on countless times. "Gee," Frank wrapped his arms limply around Gerard's shoulders, removing his jacket as the hug subsided.
"Hey, Frank." He said flatly, his breath was coated in cigarette smoke.
"Why so glum, chum?" Frank said as he hooked Gerard's coat onto the wrack by the door. Though it was only half hearted, and just about half-phony, the playful phrase felt nice rolling off his tongue. It reminded Frank of when their relationship was comfortable, where they would go on with ridiculous banter because they were both fun-loving, open people. Frank soon found those days were just distant memories for Gerard.
Gerard shot Frank an irritated look, and said nothing.
Though Gerard was clearly not in the mood, Frank wanted to do everything in his power to comfort Gerard, to show him he still cared. "Gee, what's wrong?" Frank pouted his lip hugged Gerard, slowly moving his hand around in circles on his back "Did something bad happen at work?"
"I didn't get the promotion." Gerard admitted, mumbling into Frank's shoulder.
"Aw, baby." Frank brought Gerard closer to him. "It'll be okay." Frank tried, but found he could not run his fingers through Gerard's crunchy hair.
"No." Gerard said sharply, yanking Frank off of him and holding his arms tightly in his grasp. "You don't understand. I didn't get the job because of this." He held his left hand up for Frank to see, revealing the once beloved golden band around his ring finger.
"Because you're married?" Frank cocked his head, confused.
"No!" He shoved Frank away slightly. "It's because I'm a gay man, married to another man!" His voice slowly rising.
"Oh baby, I'm-"
"Don't even say you're sorry!" Gerard yelled, yanking at his no-longer-neat hair, "You're not sorry. It's not fair that I'm stuck in this."
"If you wanted us to work, you'd spend a little more time with me and a lot less time obsessing over this job!" Frank could feel his cheeks burning, "that is if I was ever anywhere near as important as you used to say."
Gerard shoved Frank to the ground, "at least my job isn't a whiney little bitch."
Frank widened his eyes in shock, still feeling the wrath of Gerard's hate filled hands on his chest. "G-Gerard."
"It's because of your God damned apathy that we can't love!" But that was far from the truth. Frank was apathetic because Gerard did not show any signs of love. But Frank was not about to point fingers at anyone, he just let himself cry even more.
For a moment, Gerard felt trapped. Before, he would never lay a loathing hand on Frank. Everything he did was for Frank to benefit from. He took up a job with a better pay so Frank could live a better life, which meant relinquishing his desire to become an artist. He let go of disapproving friends and family members. He was willing to give Frank the world because Frank was his world, but as he looks at him lying on the floor, crying, helpless; he felt a lot more exasperation than any kind of guilt.
Both men were motionless, waiting for the other to do something. Frank looked up at Gerard through teary eyes, Gerard stood over him with his arms crossed; his face looked so emotionless, it was almost robotic. Frank lifted himself from the floor and ran to their bedroom, wanting so badly to hear Gerard run after him and apologize, to wrap him in his arms and remind him how much he is loved. But who was Frank kidding?
They both felt something die inside of each other that day. It was not their will to live, nor was it their will to love. It was simply the fact that they had lost each other. But that in itself was enough to rekindle the broken flame. Sometimes you must douse a flame before you can build a bigger, stronger fire.
Sometimes, you have to fall out of love before you can endlessly fall back into it.