The first day of work...how will Gerard do?
My mother was more stressed out and excited about my first day at work than I was. It was ridiculous.
“Gerard, dear, go comb your hair,” she said, anxiously trying to smooth it out once again. I sighed and rolled my eyes.
“Mom,” I whined. “I already did three times. Calm down, it’s not like I haven’t had a job before.” She tutted at me, straightening out my clothes. I grabbed her hands in the middle of fixing my shirt. “Mom, stop it. You know that I’m not going to mess this one up. Just relax.” She sighed, defeated, and I dropped her hands.
“I’m just a bit worried. You haven’t had a job in a year.”
“And it’s all the way in New York City.”
“Will you promise to come straight home after work?” she asked warily. I sighed and nodded. “Okay. Your grandmother’s coming over tonight.” I smiled as convincingly as I could, then hopped in my car and started the long drive to the office. I was somewhat excited once I had seen what I would be doing. I was going to help draw for a cartoon that might or might not get accepted as a TV show. But I knew that in a little more than a year, I wouldn’t be working there anymore, so I shouldn’t get in too deep with this.
I walked in, and the receptionist greeted me warmly, trying to make me feel more comfortable. She showed me around and brought me to the little cubicle that was going to be my office. I thanked her as sincerely as I could and put my stuff down. I was dying for some coffee, so I started out in what I thought was the direction of the break room. My tape from the tape recorder was in my pocket, where I usually kept it for safekeeping, and I started to run my thumb over it as I walked. I could almost sense my gun in my bag of art supplies and various other things at my desk as I touched the smooth plastic. I let a small smile creep onto my face as I thought about it. The gun was just for emergencies, like if I saw him doing something like he had done again. Or if I was getting mugged, I supposed it would’ve come in handy.
I wasn’t watching where I was walking, and I passed the break room. Feeling stupid, I turned around and walked in. There was a girl already there, helping herself to some coffee. She was kind of short and had slightly curly long brown hair. She had a nice enough figure, and I supposed that I could like her. Maybe. And then she turned around and I got a good look at her face, and I felt my lip curl into a scowl. It was the Starbucks girl. She probably didn’t recognize me. When she saw my expression, her eyes grew wide. Then they narrowed in recognition. Maybe I was wrong. She set her coffee cup down on the counter, preparing for a confrontation. Her arms folded in front of her chest, and I pried my hand away from the tape in my pocket and followed her lead.
“I’m still not apologizing,” I warned.
“Oh, I figured that one out. I’m just curious. Are you following me or something?”
“Why in the world would I follow you?”
“I don’t know, because you’re a psychopath bent on revenge?” she spat. She actually wasn’t too far from the mark, but I wasn’t about to let her know that. “Why are you here?”
“I just got a job here.”
“What? You’re the new kid?” she asked breathlessly, shock coloring her voice and her features.
“Yes ma’am,” I replied sarcastically.
“Oh,” she said simply, picking up her coffee again. A confused look darkened her brow.
“Well, now I’m going to have to hate your drawings. And it’s a real shame, because you’ve actually got some talent.” I felt my breath catch in my throat. I was talented?
“How would you know anyways?” I snapped defensively.
“Because I’m supposed to be your new secretary.”
“What?” I asked sharply. She shrugged.
“I didn’t choose it, believe me.” I sighed and got my coffee, needing it more than ever, and she stalked out. I went back to my desk, and was immediately called into my boss’ office. He welcomed me, and then we talked mostly about work. He said that if the cartoon ran, my name would be in the credits as an animator. He chuckled and hoped that it would be enough fame for me. I chuckled along and confessed that one day I wanted to have my own comic book. He told me to keep dreaming big and then sent me along to work on some sketches. He said to take it easy since it was just my first day. Instead of setting to work right away, I began to sketch something, not really paying attention. It was when I heard someone’s breath catch behind me that I looked up. It was the Starbucks girl. I supposed that I would have to learn her name soon if she was really supposed to be my secretary.
“Who is that supposed to be?” she asked. I furrowed my eyebrows and looked down. It was a drawing of her, the last expression that I could ever remember her wearing frozen across her face forever. I couldn’t bear to look at that face, mascara running down her cheeks, eyes full of hurt. I couldn’t stand looking at the accusing look in her eyes as she wore a shirt she had stolen from me. As soon as I realized that I was about to lose it, I crumpled the sketch up and threw it in the trashcan.
“No one,” I said, my voice a bit raw as I tried to hide my face. The tears that threatened to fall were forced back behind my eyelids. I wouldn’t give this girl the satisfaction of seeing me at my weakest. I felt her pat my shoulder softly.
“Doesn’t look like no one to me,” she muttered to herself, but she kept patting my shoulder until I had regained my composure enough to look at her again. I gave her a tight smile. “She’s beautiful.”
“She’s a bit of a rough subject with me,” I explained. The Starbucks girl just nodded understandingly. “I’ve been meaning to ask you…what’s your name?” She smiled.
“Emily. Emily Pattinson,” she said, extending a hand.
“Gerard Way,” I replied, shaking it. “Maybe we should stop hating each other while we’re working together,” I suggested. She smiled.
“Works with me. But one day, you will apologize, Mr. Way. And I’ll be waiting for that day.” I rolled my eyes. “By the way, your mail’s here.”
“I have mail?” I asked. She shrugged.
“I almost threw it out, actually, since I didn’t know your name. I don’t know who would have your business address, but you’ve got a letter.” She handed it to me. The envelope was plain, and there was no return address. She stood and waited for me to open it. Sighing, I ripped the envelope open. And out fell a small note. It read:
I know you’re planning something. And I’ll be watching you too.
My eyes widened. I knew exactly who this was. This was him, the one that I was planning against. My hand instinctively went to my pocket, and I stroked the plastic of the tape once more. Emily missed none of this, but she still laughed.
“Oh please,” she said lightly, still watching me warily. “Who would send you this?” I smiled too.
“Just my little brother,” I lied easily. “We went paint balling a few weeks ago, and he’s been waiting for the perfect chance to rematch me. He probably figures that I’ve got some sort of plan going through my head.” I laughed with her, though I knew that she wouldn’t buy it. My hand was still in my pocket. I forced it away from the tape, and it fell out. My fingers itched to fly down after it and pick it up, but I fought against the urge. Emily’s eyes flickered to it, but she didn’t reach for it either. “Need anything else?” I asked, forcing a light tone. Her eyes moved around my cubicle, resting on my coffee cup.
“I can get you some more coffee if you want,” she offered. I shook my head.
“I’ll get it,” I replied. She didn’t move. “I guess I’ll go right now then.” And I pried myself off of my chair without giving the tape another glance and hurried off to get more coffee. Of course, I took the last of it, and I had to make another pot. When I got back to my desk, the tape was sitting on it, and I let out a sigh of relief. Of course, I hadn’t marked it, fearing that Mikey or my mother might find it and freak out. I pocketed the tape once more, still feeling a bit uneasy. Later on in the day, I realized that my trash can was empty. It didn't help my strange feeling.
The uneasy feeling lasted throughout the day. I learned that one of the sketches I was supposed to be doing was an explosion scene, and I thought of the irony. Emily checked on me twice more, uneasiness showing in her eyes too. We were strictly polite to each other for the rest of the day. When it was time to leave, Emily and I walked to the elevator together. We were the only two inside and the elevator doors squeaked shut. We stood there in silence, only the elevator music filling the air. I was very aware of my gun pressing into my thigh and of Emily standing next to me. I kept sneaking glances at her, worrying that she knew. I saw her looking at me, and we both smiled sheepishly and turned away.
“Was she your girlfriend?” she asked suddenly. I knew what she meant automatically.
“Yes,” I said softly. My face must have changed.
“Did she leave you or something?” she asked, sensing my discomfort and pain. She was a very perceptive girl. I was trying to figure out if I liked that or if it drove me insane.
“Or something,” I said vaguely.
“Clarify, please," she almost demanded.
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“What happened then?” She definitely drove me insane.
“She’s dead,” I said flatly. Emily’s eyes grew wide and she touched my shoulder.
“I’m sorry, I should've have pried,” she said softly. I shrugged.
“It’s really fine. I shouldn’t be so touchy.”
“No. Really. That wasn’t okay. I should learn to keep out of other people’s business,” she said firmly. Four floors down from our office’s floor, my mother called.
“Gerard, where are you?” she demanded sternly. “I’m worried, and your grandmother is already here. And so is Mikey. And dinner’s almost ready.”
“Relax, I’m leaving right now,” I reassured her, not wanting Emily to know who I was talking to.
“You’re going to get stuck in traffic! And then dinner will get cold!” she started. She was only anxious because it was my first day at this new job, but it irritated me to no end. I tried to intervene.
“Stop it, please,” I muttered, turning away from Emily. My mother went on, ignoring me. “Stop worrying.” Still, she ignored me. “Mom, come on,” I hissed. “I’ll be home soon.” I could almost feel Emily’s smirk on my back. “I’ve gotta go, I’ll see you soon. Love you.” I snapped the phone shut in a hurry and turned back to Emily. As I predicted, her smirk was in place. I raised my eyebrow, daring her to say something. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, her phone rang.
“Hey,” she said in a tired tone. “Yeah, I’ll be home in a few. No, don’t worry about it. Yeah, I’ll be fine driving myself.” I heard a man’s voice speaking concernedly, and she rolled her eyes and sighed. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. Yeah, sure. Mmhmm. You too. Bye.” She snapped the phone shut, almost angry. She smiled exhaustedly at me. “My boyfriend,” she explained with a wrinkle of her nose. I could see another emotion in her eyes, though.
“Doesn’t sound like you like him much,” I observed. She shrugged, trying to be nonchalant.
“Eh, whatever. Just a boring patch in the relationship, I guess. You live with your mother still?” she asked, the smirk creeping back onto her face as she tried to change the subject. I let her win for the moment.
“Yeah,” I said simply. She left it at that, and we went our separate ways when we got to the garage.
“See you tomorrow, Gerard,” she called. I waved in response.
A/N: I like almost all of this except the ending. Tell me what you think of it?