Franks got a mysterious bruise, and Gee feels he might not be being very truthful.
"Hey, Mary - Whats with that Iero kid?" I asked quietly, Mary looked up from the lesson plan she had been preparing and raised an eyebrow.
"Hm? You mean Frank?" She asked.
"Yeah." I nodded. Mary laid down her pen and sucked on her bottom lip, looking thoughtful. I waited patiently for her answer only to recieve a shrug. I felt my hopes drop instantly, I had been expecting her to launch into a huge story about some emotional problems he had or something, but a simple shrug just told me nothing.
"Well... is he always so... I dunno... timid?" I asked, unsure of how to describe him in one word. Mary laughed and dunked a chocolate biscuit into her tea, she nibbled delicately at the part that had been soaked by the tea before answering.
"Well... Yeah, to put it bluntly. From the day he came to the school all he's been is shy and quiet. He's an excellent worker and very smart, and I've heard he's amazing at playing guitar when he thinks no one can hear him. But... I guess he's just not very confident or something." Mary shrugged casually, evidently she didnt think there was anything wrong with the teenager, but something about her theory didnt quite make sense.
"If he's not confident then why all the hair dye and peircings? Surely if he had no confidence he wouldnt do something that would draw attention to him." I pointed out. Mary observed me over the rim of her mug as she took a gulp of tea, swallowing it loudly before resting the mug on her knee.
"I suppose, but you know what kids are like these days. Things like dying your hair and getting piercings is a way to be cool. He's probably just trying to fit in." She said flatly. I considered this, it could be true but when I was at school dressing like Frank meant you were more likely to be picked on than to be considered cool. I knew Frank could be cool if he had more confidence but he had none.
"Anyway, what makes you ask?" Mary questioned, I looked at her blankly and she tried again. "About Frank. What made you want to know about Frank." She said clearly. I bit my lip and shrugged, what indeed. I didnt know whether mentioning he seemed to be petrified of me was a good idea, so I decided to keep it to myself.
"Well, I just wondered why he was so quiet. That was all." I said quickly and Mary nodded, seemingly satisfied with this answer she went back to her lessons plans and I began to make my own. But the whole time I kept wondering about Frank Iero. There was something about him... I had an ominous feeling but I couldnt think why.
"Hey Gerard, you have a free lesson today right?" Joe asked as we walked over the teachers parking lot towards the school.
"Yeah, lesson three. Why?" I answered, Joe was the school music teacher, he was one of the youngest here except for me at the age of thirty eight. He had sandy coloured hair that he kept short to try and disguise the grey hairs he was beginning to get.
"I figured you could come to my room if you like, I have an easy class then and I thought we could have a coffee or something." He offered, giving me a smile. Joe and I had become pretty good friends over the few days I had been here. As the two youngest teachers in the school with a common love for horror movies I guess it wasnt really surprising that we had become chums.
"Sure thing, I'll see you then." I said with a grateful smile, the idea of spending a lesson on my own in my room to get some work finished in peace was appealing, but spending time talking blood, gore and coffee was even better. I waved at Joe as we parted ways, he to the music rooms and me to the art block which was seperated from the school as it had been built before it by about thirty years.
The school day wouldnt be starting for another half hour or so, but I spent that time preparing everything for the first lesson and getting the coffee machine going. I was fortunate enough to have a small office attached to my room which had a small desk, mini fridge and coffee machine inside it. It was also used as a store cupboard for all of the art materials but that just made it feel like home to me.
I unlocked the door to the office and wandered inside, tossing my keys onto the desk and making a bee line to the coffee machine. I sat down in the old yet incredibly comfy computer chair beside the desk as I waited for the coffee to pour. Sitting down seemed to be a bad idea though, within seconds I had put my feet up onto the desk and I was starting to realise how tired I was. I hated early mornings and I had to be up at six each morning to be at school on time, this was now having a deadly affect on me as the coffee hadnt so much as warmed up before my head fell back and I began to snore.
I startled awake as the first bell of the day rang, I was disorientated for a moment and then I had a second of panic as I wondered how long I had been asleep. A quick look at my watch assured me that the school day had only just started and the students wouldnt arrive to class for another ten minutes. I stretched and sorted out my clothes before rushing to get everything ready for first lesson. I had to get everything we needed for clay work and I had only just managed to prepare it all when the first lot of students walked in. They were first years and some of them were still quite shy and would blush whenever I spoke to them, and if they werent shy then they were on a constant sugar rush. I found teaching them quite cool, but I knew a lot of the other teachers found them annoying.
"'Scuse me sir." I looked down to see a small red headed girl looking up at me. "Theres a boy outside the classroom and he's bleeding." She said, her eyes wide with terror. I felt my heart skip a beat and panic flood my veins, surely a kid hadnt been killed outside my class room. I managed to stay calm and smiled at the girl.
"Really? I'll go check, dont worry about it and take a seat." I said casually, the girl nodded and bounded away as I made my way over to the class room door. It led into a small corridor which then led to the door which would take you outside. I looked about the corridor but there was no one there, I frowned and stepped out onto the tiled floor, and thats when I saw it. Three small spots of blood on the white tiles. It was nothing to panic over but it was indeed blood, and I guessed I should try and see who this boy the girl was talking about was. For all I knew he might just have had a nose bleed, but I felt like I should make sure he still wasnt around.
I made my way down the corridor and rounded the corner, stopping short when I saw Frank Iero leaning against the wall. He had a large bruise below his eye and a busted lip which was dripping blood. He didnt see me at first and continued rooting through his bag, looking for something.
"Are you okay?" I asked, taking a step forward. Frank jumped and looked at me, his eyes filling with terror and he stumbled backwards, hitting the wall on the other side of him, cornering himself. I stopped, not wanting to frighten him and held my hands up in a gesutre of friendliness.
"Your bleeding." I felt like an idiot as soon as I said it, wait a go and point out the obviouse.
"I know." Frank said quietly, not taking his eyes off me as he searched through his bag again, finally locating a tissue and holding it over his bleeding lip.
"Are you alright? How did that happen?" I asked, wanting to step closer and see the damage properly but I didnt want to frighten him again, he reminded me of a little mouse trapped by a cat.
"Just some jerks in my year. Its nothing." He said simply, removing the tissue and looking at the small blood stain that had formed on it.
"Did they hit you?" I asked, surprised when he shook his head.
"Nah, they just threatened me, and when I get nervous I chew on my lip." He explained, gingerly pressing his fingers to his lip, satisfied that it was no longer bleeding he put the tissue back in his bag.
"Then how did that happen?" I asked, rubbing my fingers below my eye to indicate the bruise beneath his.
"Wha -" Frank suddenly looked horrified and pulled his I - pod out his bag, using the reflective surface on the back he examined the bruise, his eyes brimming with tears. "Oh shit... I didnt know that was there..." He mumbled more to himself than to me.
"How did that happen?" I asked, going to step forward but stopping when Frank squished himself further into the corner, watching me with terrified eyes. "Frank, who hurt you?" I asked, feeling more and more worried for the kid.
"No one, I mean - I fell out of bed this morning. I didnt realise it had bruised. Can I go now?" He pushed past me without waiting for an answer and ran to the door that led out of the building. I stared at him in confusion, I had no doubt that he had lied to me about the bruise, and maybe his lip aswell. I mean - no bruise forms like that from falling out of bed, that had to be the work of a fist.
" - And then he grabbed her and stabbed her in the eye with this fountain pen, and he pulled her eye out with it and all this blood sprayed everywhere and it was gory man, it was immense!" Joe laughed and I grinned, we had just sat and talked about the different horror movies we had seen while the kids got on with their work. The room was filled with noise from instruments and singing, chatter and the clicking of pens. This was one of the older years so they could be trusted to get on with their work, and Joe hadnt had to speak to anyone at all. Clearly music was a popular subject. Frank was in this class and when I had walked in he had given me a horrified look before dissapearing into one of the practice rooms, when I had told Joe about it he had merely laughed and said Frank seemed scared of him too. Joe wasnt concerned by this but it made my mind start racing with a million and one questions, I wasnt the only one he was afraid of. He was scared of Joe too. Was it just us or was it all the teachers? Was it everyone in general? What was he afraid of? Had he always been like this?
"Ahh, can you hear that?" Joe asked with a light smile near the end of the lesson. I raised an eyebrow and listened intently, hearing a beautiful yet sad guitar solo.
"Yeah, who is that?" I asked.
"Gotta be Frank, he's an amazing guitar player. Hey, did you see that bruise under his eye earlier?" Joe asked, looking at me. I nodded and flipped my hair out of my eyes.
"Yeah, he told me he fell out of bed and didnt realise it had bruised." I answered, Joe frowned and tilted his head.
"Really? Thats weird..." He mumbled.
"Why?" I asked.
"Well, he told me he tripped on his way to the kitchen and hit the side of his face on the doorframe." Joe said, looking confused. I stared at him for a second before we both turned our heads to look at the door to the practice room Frank was playing guitar in. Had he lied to us both? Or had he told one of us the truth? And either way, why did he lie to one or both of us?