"Oooh, weeeee." xD
Frank made his way back down the road to the high school. He sighed in relief when he saw Gerard hanging out, smoking a cigarette under the same tree he had left. Frank made his way over.
“..Have you been here all day?” Frank asked Gerard, who looked up and saw him, and smiled. “Maybe…” Gerard answered mysteriously.
“Uh, look, Gerard, about earlier today… I just wanted to say I’m sorry, if I offended you or Bert. It just was a little weird. Like I said before, I’ve never exactly met any gay people before, and…”
Gerard took another drag and laughed. “Frank, ‘s okay, I’m not offended. I understand.”
“Oh, uh, okay. Thanks. And I’d like to try again. So… I’m Frank.” Gerard smiled and shook Frank’s hand. “I’m Gerard.” Gerard got up off the dirt floor and dropped his cigarette butt, stomping it out with his shoe. “And I’m hungry. You up for pizza?”
“Um….” Frank stammered. His mom was at home making dinner, and he didn’t want to go home full. But this was a new chance to make a new friend, and he didn’t want to let it slip away. “Sure. Why not?”
Gerard smiled and grabbed his car keys out of his back pocket. “Alright, let’s go. I can drive us.” Frank followed Gerard out to his silver Subaru XT. Before unlocking it, Gerard patted the hood gently. “Never need to wash it,” he bragged, then unlocked the doors and opened the passenger door for Frank. Gerard got in the driver’s seat, put the key in the ignition, then began to drive down the road. “I know this great place to get pizza,” he told Frank. “Bert’s ex-girlfriend Jamia’s dad owns a pizza place down the street.” Frank lit up a bit inside knowing that there was a good possibility of seeing Jamia there.
Gerard pulled into the parking lot of the Nestor’s Pizza place and got out, and Frank followed. They walked over to the counter, where a girl had her back turned, and she was taking out a full pizza of the brick oven in the back. Her hair was pulled up in a messy ponytail.
“Yo, Jamia…” Gerard called to the girl, and she turned around, her face and cooking apron both covered in white flour. “Hey, Gerard. Hi, Frank.”
“Hi Jamia…” Frank said smiling. “Frank, what do you want on your pizza?” Frank turned away from Jamia to Gerard. “Oh, um, I’m not really hungry, thanks.”
“Jamia, can I pweeaseee, pweasee, PWEEAASSEE have a cheese pizza?”
“Yahhh,” Jamia said, laughing jokingly. “And Frank, do you want anything?” “Um… no, I’m fine.” Frank said.
“And lemme get a coffee too, pwease?” Gerard asked, begging like a little kid. Jamia rolled her eyes and laughed again. “I’ll be right back.” She said, before turning around and heading back to the brick oven in the back.
“Frank, are you sure you don’t want anything?” Gerard asked, and Frank nodded. “I’m sure, Gerard. Thanks, though.” Gerard just raised his eyebrows and shrugged. “Ookkaaayyy then.”
“Um… Gerard, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”
“Sure, Frank. What is it?”
“Umm, uh… how long have you been… out? Of the closet, I mean?”
Gerard raised an eyebrow and rested his elbows on the table. “Two years, at least.”
“And… and your parents, are okay with it?” Frank asked uneasily. Gerard nodded. “Yeah, they’re fine with it. They’re not judgmental about it or anything.” Frank looked down at his hands, thinking about how his parents weren’t anything like that. He started to think about what they’d do to Gerard if he was their kid. Probably kick him out of the house. Frank’s family was one of those Catholic families who didn’t take too kindly to gay people.
“Frank…” Gerard stared intently in Frank’s eyes. “What are you thinking?”
“Nothing. Just… about my parents, is all.” Just then Jamia came back out with Gerard’s coffee and cheese pizza. “TANK YOUU…” Gerard told her, smiling. Jamia smiled back and looked at Frank again. “You sure you don’t want anything?”
“I’m sure, Jamia.” Frank replied. Jamia snapped her fingers and rolled her head around. “Well escuuuuussee meeeh,” she said, laughing. “Aright then, just call for me when you need something.” With that, she walked back to the back, and Gerard continued to press the situation.
“What about your parents?” He asked, taking a small bite of his pizza.
“Nothing, they’re just… really religious. I dunno, I guess I was thinking about how they wouldn’t be so kind with me if I was to come out to them. But I’m not gay, I’m just saying.” Gerard chuckled. “I know, Frank. But, isn’t it your life anyway? I mean, your parents can’t decide what’s right and wrong for you. You’ve gotta do that for yourself.”
“I know, but… they’re my parents, and I would want to be their perfect son, you know? And besides, it’s my religion.”
“Nobody’s perfect, Frank. And I know plenty of Catholics who don’t have a problem with gays. You seem to not have a problem.”
“Oh, I don’t.” Frank said reassuringly. “But pretty much everyone I’ve known seems to have one. And… I’d kill to have parents like yours. Non-judgmental, not religious. I wouldn’t feel so scared talking to them about things, ya know? Like… sex, for example.” Gerard laughed and smiled cheekily. “Aaahh, the joys of puberty, my little fourteen-year-old grasshopper.” He said. Frank rolled his eyes. “Oh, you know what I mean!” Frank retaliated. “But, like, I’m saying it would be awkward. Especially since they want me to wait, and if I try to ask them about it, they might think I wanna do it, or already am, even. Do you catch my drift?”
“Yeah, I get your drift.” Gerard said, nodding understandingly. “And, you know something? You can talk to me about anything. And I promise I won’t try and make it awkward.” He fished in his pocket and pulled out a red pen, then he grabbed a napkin and scribbled his phone number on it, folded it, and handed it to Frank. “I’ll be there if you need to talk.” Frank took the napkin and put it in his jacket pocket. “Thanks, Gerard.” He said warmly, looking up at the clock. “Shit!” he suddenly shrieked. “It’s fifteen after six. I need to get home.”
“Oh, okay, Frank. But I gotta use the toilet for a second, I’ll be back fast.” Frank watched as Gerard got up out of his seat and turned a corner. A few minutes later, Gerard still hadn’t come back. But Jamia had walked back to the counter, a To Go cup of coffee in hand. She handed it to Frank.
“Um… Jamia, I didn’t order this,” Frank said. “Besides, I don’t have any money to pay for it, anyways.” Jamia raised an eyebrow and leaned down in front of Frank on the counter. “You must be one special friend to Gerard,” she replied. “Having him give you his number, and buy you a drink, all in your first day of meeting him?” Gerard had come back then. “You ready to go, Frankie?”
“…Frankie?” Frank asked, smiling a bit. No one had ever given him a nickname before. Gerard nodded. “Yeah. Do you like it? I did.” Frank shrugged. “I’ve heard better, but, yeah, I’ll take it.” Gerard scrunched his face, like he was smelling something real disgusting. “Get your ass in the car,” he said jokingly, pulling out a 20 and putting it in front of Jamia and walking out of the pizza shop. Frank grabbed his coffee cup and hopped off his chair. “And a nickname, too?” Jamia said randomly. “DWAYUMM.” Frank shook his head at her and followed Gerard out to his car. Jamia got up off her position of leaning on the counter, and took the 20, sticking it in her apron pocket. “Yeeeup,” she whispered to herself. “Sounds like love to me.” She laughed at herself and began to clean up the oven.
When Frank got back, his mother and father were already sitting down at the table. They hadn’t started eating yet. “Finally!” his dad whined. “I thought you’d never get home.”
“I thought you were just going out for a walk?” His mother asked. “Well, it started out like that…” Frank admitted. “But, I… got caught up in something.”
“Alright, well, you’re here now, so, come, sit down.” His dad said. “C’mon, I’m hungry. It’s lasagna.” Frank smiled and sat down at the seat at the head of the table, picking up his fork, ready to dig in. His mother stopped him. “Ah, ah, ahhh.” She said, waving her finger. “Have you forgotten the mealtime prayer?” Frank sighed and made the sign of the cross.
“Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive, from your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Amen.” Frank mumbled. His mother looked at him strange. She leaned in and whispered to her husband,
“He never forgets to pray before dinner…”