A/N: Gah - sorry for not updating in so long, I kept meaning to but never...actually... did O. o No excuses really, I just didn’t and now I feel bad so I hope this chapter makes up for it :]
I didn’t see Frank for the rest of that week, and I have to admit I was starting to get worried. Why wasn’t he in school? I spoke to some of the other teachers but they didn’t know any more than I did, he just wasn’t showing up. I wondered if something had happened to him, or if he was ill. It was likely that he had just got a virus or something; Mary mentioned that he didn’t have a very good immune system and I guess that’s why none of the other teachers were concerned over his absence. But I couldn’t help but worry, every time I let my mind wander it would go straight to him and I would wonder where he was, what he was doing. The more I thought about it, the more I felt the need to know. Was he okay? Should I be so concerned? Why hadn’t his parents called to tell the school why he wasn’t here?
By the time the weekend came my mind was in a frenzy and I couldn’t stop thinking about that damn kid.
"Mr. Way?" I turned and felt my heart jolt as I came face to face with the principle of the school. He had a serious expression on his face and I began to worry that I had done something wrong. It was only first thing on a Monday morning - I hadn’t even had a coffee yet!
"Yes...?" I mumbled, wondering whether I should add a sir on the end of that.
"I don’t know if you have noticed but there has been a student missing from school for the past week, a err..." The principle stopped and looked down at a sheet of paper in his hands. "Mr. Frank Iero. The school has not been informed of the reasons for his absence and we have tried ringing his house to no avail. I noticed you have a the last two classes free, I don’t suppose you would mind going to the Iero house hold to see if you can find out what’s wrong with the boy?" The principle regarded me through his glasses and I sighed with relief.
"No, no I won’t mind." I said, actually happy that I would have an excuse to go see Frank. I wanted to find out was wrong with him just to calm my own mind... and to meet his father...
"Excellent!" The principle said happily, scribbling something down on the corner of his paper, ripping it off and handing it to him. "This is his address; will you be able to find it okay?" He asked. I looked down at the paper and nodded, I knew the place - it wasn’t far from my own house and a little out of the way as it was private property.
"I'll be fine." I clarified and the principle nodded, slapping me on the shoulder with a chuckle and then walking away, yelling at some students to get to class. Talking of which - I was late for my own class!
I pulled up outside the fair sized house, checking the address on the paper to make sure I was at the right place. It was only a two minute drive from the main road, reached by a long driveway which led to the single house. It had a small and tidy front garden, and my guess was a large garden out back. I unclipped my seatbelt and got out of the car, locking it just in case and approaching the front door whilst looking at the living room through the large bay window. From what I could tell it was modern and extremely tidy, and there was no one sat in there. In fact, the whole house was still and appeared empty, I wondered whether they weren’t in which kicked off some fresh worrying.
I knocked on the door loudly with my knuckles, stepping back to peer at the upper windows. Hoping to see some movement. There was nothing and I sighed, they must be out. Turning away with a sinking feeling in my stomach I was suddenly cut short by the sound of someone screaming inside the house, their voice cut off suddenly and I turned to face the door with a gasp, it must be Frank - it sounded just like him. I ran to the door without a second thought and grabbed the handle, pushing it open easily since it wasn’t locked. I could hear some struggling in one of the upstairs rooms and I began racing up the staircase which was in the hallway right infront of me, they must have heard my footsteps because by the time I was halfway up the stairs the house was silent. I slowed down as I reached the upstairs landing, trying to figure out which room it had been in.
"Can I help you?" Startled I spun round to find a man stood in the doorway to one of the bedrooms I'd guess, he was about the same height as me, with light brown hair that was streaked with grey, he had laughter lines round the corners of his mouth but he had a youthful look about him. His eyes were what caught me the most, they were almost exactly the same shade of hazel as Franks, but a little darker. He was observing me with a confused and slightly annoyed expression so I spoke fast.
"Erm, sorry to intrude - Are you Franks father?" I asked. He nodded and I continued. "I'm his art teacher, I was sent here by the school to see if he's okay because he wasn’t in all of last week, or today." The man nodded and walked out of the doorway, closing the door behind him, giving me a quick glimpse of the room which made my heart stop...
"His art teacher?" The man repeated and I nodded. "I see, well - Do teachers usually just walk into peoples houses uninvited?" He asked coldly. I felt myself blush despite knowing I hadn’t been in the wrong.
"I'm sorry, I did knock and no one answered the door. I was going to leave but I... erm, I thought I heard some screaming - I didn’t think twice about running in here. I thought someone was getting hurt." Franks father blushed slightly himself and I could feel my heart racing... what would be the consequences if I just pushed him aside now and ran into that room?
"Well, Frank fell out of bed is all. I just went in there to make sure he was okay, he's been very ill lately which is why he hasn’t been in school. I apologize for not calling and informing the school." He said calmly, looking me right in the eyes. Heartless liar.
"I see, well - I hope he gets well soon." I said slowly, knowing I was supposed to leave. But I couldn’t, not after what I had just seen.
"So... thank you for checking up on him, he should be in tomorrow." It was clear by the mans voice that I was no longer welcome and I knew I had to leave despite not wanting to, I sighed and left the house slowly, feeling his eyes on me the whole time.
I sat in my car for a while without moving, replaying everything back through my head. When Franks father had moved to shut the door I had seen him, Frank - sitting on the bed looking at the floor, his shirt hanging off his shoulders with the buttons lying about his feet - It had only been a glimpse. With just a second of seeing him before the door was shut. But I knew I hadn’t imagined it, I couldn’t have. I knew I shouldn’t jump to conclusions, but I couldn’t help it - and Frank’s father had hardly convinced me he was a kind, loving parent. Maybe he was. Maybe he was a little too loving. Maybe I had just stopped him from abusing his son. Maybe he was abusing him right now, picking up where he had left off before I had interrupted. Maybe I should barge in there.
Maybe I should just stop thinking.
With these final words I pull the switch and return to dust - dust to dust - my name is like - I grabbed my phone and hit the answer button, pressing it to my ear.
"Gerard, I think you should get here right now." It was Joe and there was panic in his voice.
"What’s happened?" I asked, feeling dread swell in my chest.
"The art block, its on fire man - the whole building is completely engulfed in it." He cried, I was silent for a second as my jaw dropped along with my stomach.
"Shit..." I whispered.
"Dude you have to get here - we don’t know if any kids were in there!" Joe cried, horror in his voice and I released the hand brake, pulling on my seat belt quickly.
"I'll be ten minutes!" I declared before throwing my phone onto the passenger seat and reversing my car, spinning round causing dust and gravel to fly into the air before speeding away from Frank’s house, him and his father completely out of my mind.
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