Chapter 009: Gossip Goose
Mina drifted through the next week of school in a daze, now two months into her pregnancy. A great portion of her day not spent studying, was turned to the problem ahead; telling Frank. Truly, she could not tell anyone but him for if she did, it would have ghastly consequences. If Bert or any of her surrogate brothers found out, Frank would be dealt the heavy blow of death. If she told Lane, currently her best friend forever/ surrogate sister, she'd spill the beans to her fiancÃ© who would tell his brother. Mikey, God bless his little soul, would somehow slip it to Frank. Mina knew that would not be the way that her beau would like to find out, so her closest options were down at the moment.
Needless to say, such pressures as school, the baby, and telling Frank weighed heavily on her mind. And, unable to relay her mind's worries to another person, Mina would often cry herself to sleep; she never felt more alone in her life than she did now.
The phone rang painfully close to Mina's head on a Saturday morning. She groaned heavily as she picked the annoying object and clicked it on.
"Mina? It's Pete! What's up?" a sing song voice floated over the line, making Mina sit bolt upright.
"Pretty good." she lied, "You?"
"Same old, same old. Listen, are you busy today? 'Cause I'm in town. around your school area, and I was wondering if you might wanna have coffee or something."
She grinned at the invitation and did not hesitate to reply with the affirmative. "Why not? I have something I want to tell you."
"Ooh! A secret? Cool, I'll see you in fifteen." and he hung up.
Sighing a breath of relief, she got dressed. 'I can't believe I forgot about Pete, of all people Pete!' she mused, laughing at her stupidity. Mina had become close friends with Fall Out Boy's bassist during the tour and found it odd that she didn't think to tell him about her problem. While she ponied up her long hair, Mina glanced at her reflection in the mirror. As expected, due to her naturally small frame, she was still not showing. But if one were to put a hand against her seemingly flat mid-section, one would definitely feel the small bump of a fetus.
Mina stroked the area fondly before whispering to it, "I'll tell your daddy soon, sweetie. Hopefully he'll at least feel you before Uncle Bert goes Operation Desert Storm on him."
Minutes later, Pete, loitering unnoticed by others, was found by Mina in the lobby of her dorm hall.
"Well if it isn't my ickle Mina-kins!" Pete said in a baby voice as he hugged her in greeting. The squeeze, unfortunately led to their immediate separation, due to her discomfort.
The dark haired man looked at her in alarm as his hand flew to her tummy. The slight curve was all Pete needed to feel before his new suspicion was confirmed. Again, Mina was enveloped into a gentle hug as Pete spoke.
"Does Frankie know yet?" he asked softly.
"No, I can't bear to tell him. He's so busy, he can barely find time to call me back, let alone think about a baby." Mina replied as they headed out in the late February chill.
"You need to, Mina. It'll make things easier for the three of you in the long run." Pete tried to coax her into the best possible solution. "I'm sure Frankie will understand and take care of you."
"What if he doesn't What if he wants nothing to do with the baby or me?" her words came in short bursts as she continued, "And Bert, when he finds out..."
"When he does, when both of them find out, I'll be with you if you want." he suggested as the pair passed a clicking and shaking bush.
Mina shook her head, "Frank I can take, and I can take Bert if I'm with Frank. But if it doesn't work out that way, I'll do fine on my own." she said in a resolute voice.
Pete put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her close, "I won't let you go on alone in this. If God forbid Frank doesn't want to be a man about this and if Bert wants to hurt you," he looked straight into her eyes, "I want to take care of the baby with you."
"You'd do that?"
He kissed her forehead in an older brother fashion as they walked down the sidewalk, "Of course, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't?"
They spent the rest of the day traipsing about the city. Pete mainly sought to solace Mina whenever she showed signs of sadness. Also, he eventually convinced Mina to tell Frank the news.
"I'll see you tomorrow afternoon, then, for a late lunch?" Pete said as he safely delivered Mina back to her dorm.
"Definitely. Thanks for today, I really appreciate it." They embraced at the entrance of her dorm hall as a bush clicked and shuddered. Breaking apart at the noise, Mina looked around for the source, "Did you hear that?"
Pete shrugged, "Probably a squirrel or something." He reasoned. Mina waved him from the premises with a true smile, feeling just a bit more secure.
Once inside her room, Mina accessed her answering machine to find a message from Frank.
"Hey Mina! Its Frankie, sorry I haven't been able to call, I've been so busy in the studio with the new album and all." his voice seemed to fill the room as Mina scooted closer to the speaker so that the baby could hear. "But good news! I've got the day off tomorrow, so I thought, 'Why not visit my beautiful girlfriend, Mina?' I'll see you around ten am sharp at the coffee shop Ray owns. I won't take 'no' for an answer. I love you, babe, bye."
The young blonde nearly stopped breathing as the message washed over her. Mina's mind raced, 'No-no-no, this is going so wrong! Plopping upon her bed, reality commenced to suffocate her; 'Ugh... Ready or not, Frank, you're gonna be a father.'
Frank trotted down the street toward the Torosaurus CafÃ©, quarter to then o'clock. Nothing could ruin his mood of utmost elation as he was only a block away from seeing Mina again. he paused at a newsstand to pick up the latest Alternative Press magazine when something caught his eye. There, on countless tabloids and gossip magazines were hoards of pictures of Mina and Pete hugging and others with his arm slung around her shoulders. Plastered upon the covers were various phrases such as, "Rocker vs. Rocker, May the best guitarist win" and "Who Will Mina Dean Take Home?" Frank's nose flared in indignation as he slammed down a twenty upon the stand and stormed off with the magazines.
With every step her took, he tried to calm down, but it was not use. 'How could she? Doesn't what we have mean anything to her?' Frank arrived at Ray's cafÃ© in to find his girlfriend and the fluffy haired owner chatting at the bar-like counter. Mina swivelled in her seat with a smile but it faded as she saw a look of pure fury etched into her boyfriend's face.
"What is this?" Frank spat as he slammed the many issues of People, Star, and Us Weekly on the counter.
Mina peered at the magazines to see pictures of her and Pete the day before. "Oh my God... How?"
"You think I wouldn't find out?!" Frank's voice rose with each word, "That you're cheating on me with Pete fucking Wentz!"
The cafÃ© went silent and emptied as Ray, not wanting to get between them, shooed his few customers out with 'I owe you's and flipped the sign to closed.
Mina looked as though she had just been back handed as she took to her feet, seething. "How dare you?! How dare you assume that I'm cheating on you?!"
"Well if the shitty picture fits!" Frank snarled.
"A picture doesn't mean a Goddamn thing!" she screamed, her blonde hair falling from her loose braid. "And for your information, Pete was comforting me; something you should have been doing."
Frank was taken aback by her sudden motion of cursing, but quickly regained his stand. "What then, pray tell, was he comforting you from?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from his words.
"I'm pregnant, its yours." she hissed, still livid from the accusation. "I didn't tell you right away because I knew you were already too stressed to think about a baby or me for that matter. I was being considerate, unlike you right now." Mina snatched her purse from her seat and shot from the cafÃ© before he could even comprehend her words.
Frank sank into the nearest stool with his head in his hands. He was fully convinced that he was, in fact, the worst boyfriend in the entire world. Mina had been respectful of his craft by keeping the pregnancy to herself. Yet, what did he do to repay her? Oh yes, he not only abandoned her for months at a time but also jumped to conclusions about her fidelity; nice one.
Ray, who had wisely stayed silent during the fight, broke into Frank's thoughts with an urgent tone. "Frank? Jeph just called, his bad is flying in."
"Bobby was released from prison last night."