Meh, whatevs. R&R?
Before Frankie and Gee knew it, Spring Break had rolled around the corner. Gerard speed-walked excitedly down a few blocks, eager to get to Frank’s and start painting.
That is… until he met up with someone he’d rather not meet up with.
“Hey, Gerard.” Bert said, looking up from his feet. “What’cha up to? Where are you going?”
“Hey, Bert.” Gerard replied, his voice melancholy. “And just to meet up with a friend, is all.”
“Hmmmm… a friend, huh?” Bert asked suspiciously, raising his eyebrows. “Babe, you’d better not be going over to that Iero kids’ house…”
“Don’t…” Gerard stated firmly, “Call me babe. And, what if I am going over to Frank’s? What can you do?”
Bert balled his hands up into fists. “You little bitch,” he seethed.
“OOOOh, those are fighting words,” a voice came up behind Gerard.
“J..Jamia?” Bert asked. Jamia nodded and retorted. “And… Gee’s coming over to my house. We need to study for an Algebra test next Thursday…” she looked Bert over quickly. “Of course, being in the… lower math class, you wouldn’t know anything about that.”
Bert narrowed his eyes, and Gerard leaned in. “What are you doing?” he whispered to Jamia. “Just... play along.” She answered. She then took his wrist and began to pull him down the street. “Now, we’ve got lots of studying to do, so if you don’t mind?” With that, she waved Bert off, and raced to Frank’s house.
“Hey, Jamia… thanks,” Gerard said softly. Jamia began to make her way down the porch steps. “No problem,” she said, smiling warmly.
“Uh, Jamia… you know…” Gerard said. “You could always… help out with the painting?”
Jamia chuckled and shook her head. “Oh, how third-wheelish of you, Gee!” she said sarcastically. “And that’s alright, you need this time with Frank. It’s called male bonding, you could use some.”
Gerard laughed. “Fine then. But you’re gonna miss out on all the funnn….”
“Oh, I think your vision of fun is not something I’d wanna be involved with.” Jamia replied jokingly, turning back around. “Ha, see you later Gerard.” With that, Jamia walked down the steps, across the street, and into her front door.
Gerard sighed and rang the Iero’s doorbell. Frank answered eagerly. “Gerard!” He exclaimed happily. He looked around his house for a moment, then gave Gerard a quick peck on the lips. “Come in.” he said, ushering Gerard upstairs to Frank’s empty room. Mr. Iero had moved all Frank’s furniture out to the garage; so Frank would be sleeping in his sleeping bag for the next few days ‘till they finished painting. Mr. Iero greeted Gerard with a wave once they were in Frank’s room. “Hey, Gerard!” he exclaimed. “You ready to do some painting?”
Gerard smiled warmly. “Yep! Let’s do it!” With that, the three men opened the cans of white paint and grabbed brushes.
A few hours later, Mrs. Iero came upstairs with a tray of sandwiches and lemonade. “You boys look like you’ve been working hard!” she said, marveling the room. “You’ve already gotten a half a wall done!”
“Only a half a wall done…” Frank said exasperated. Gerard patted his secret boyfriend on the back. “C’mon, dude. You should be proud.”
“Oh, I am..” Frank replied reassuringly. He looked around the room. “I’m just getting tired of all these Barbie faces… Eww.” Everyone chuckled. Mrs. Iero looked down at her watch. “Oh, Gerard, it’s already ten, and the street lights are on. Maybe you should get going.”
“Unless…” Frank interrupted, getting an idea. “How about he stays with us this week? That way we can finish faster.”
Franks parents considered this idea. “Only if it’s okay with Gerard’s parents, I guess he could stay for this week…”
“Yessss!” Frank cried happily, running over and kissing his mother on the cheek. “Thanks mom!”
“Just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do…” His mother whispered in his ear. Frank rolled his eyes. “Shut it,” he said, and his mother giggled. Then Frank turned back to Gerard. “Lemme call my mom,” he said, pulling out his cell phone and walking out into the hallway, dialing some numbers. Mr. Iero looked into the two cans of paint. “Ooh, we might not have enough to finish,” he muttered. “I’ll have to buy at least one more can. If the store’s still open at this time.” With that he grabbed the money from his pocket. “I’ll be back soon. Tell Gerard we’ll have to pick up again on Wednesday, because I have work tomorrow too…” he trailed off, sounding slightly aggravated.
Anything to make Gee stay longer… Frank thought, smiling to himself as his father left. Gerard came back into the room. “My mom said I can stay here for the week…as long as Mikey can come on Saturday and Sunday.” Frank shrugged. “S’okay with me. Mom?”
“Sure.” Mrs. Iero said. Then she lowered her voice, to almost a whisper. “But, listen boys… don’t do anything when your fathers around, Frank. He… won’t take too kindly.”
“Okay, mom.” Frank replied reassuringly. “We promise, we won’t do anything.”
His mother raised her brows suspiciously. “Okaaay boys, then you’d better get your sleeping bags ready. You’ll have to sleep in the living room this week.”
“Okay, mom. Thanks.” Frank stood on his tippytoes to give his mother a kiss on the cheek, then Gerard followed him down to the living room. There Frank got another sleeping bag, then they set them up a reasonable space away from each other.
Then they saw a shadow outside the window.
Frank poked his head through the curtains, trying to make out who the intruder was. He gasped and closed it quickly.
“What?!” Gerard sat up quickly, also looking out the window.
Yep, no doubt about it. There was Bert, walking down the dirt road. To Frank’s house.
And he looked mad.
“SHIT!” Gerard muttered just below a whisper. “Gerard…” Frank whimpered. “Gerard, what are we gonna do?”
“Shhhh. Frankie, he’s not gonna hurt you,” Gerard said, clutching Frank’s hand.
“But…you said he would.” Frank retorted, his voice small.
“Not if I can help it.” Gerard said sternly, looking out the window again, but only through a small slit in the curtains. He watched as Bert walked up the porch stairs, and Frank squeezed Gerard’s hand for dear life as Bert rapped lightly on the front door.
“Shh…shh…” Gerard said, covering Frankie’s whimpers with his free hand. “He’ll think no one’s home if we don’t answer the door.”
Frank took his word for it and sunk down into his sleeping bag.
But that only made Bert angrier. “C’MON, GERARD!” He screamed, beating harder on the door. “I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE!”
“Gerard… I…” Frank whimpered. “I’m scared.”
“Shh, it’s okay Frankie. He’s not gonna get us, okay?” Gerard replied soothingly. He rubbed Frank’s back as the beating outside got louder. And louder. Until Bert was practically beating down the door.
Frank covered his ears with his hands and pulled his legs up to his chest. Gerard had finally had enough. He hated to see Frank scared like this. So he got up, and was preparing to open the door and face Bert.
But then the beating stopped.
Gerard froze and Frank lifted his head. “Is…is he gone?” Frank asked hopefully.
“I don’t know,” Gerard said. “I’ll be right back.” With that, Gerard turned the doorknob and opened the door.
“Some people are sleeping, Bert!” Jamia yelled. “God, can’t you just give it a rest?!”
“No, youuuuuouououuu give it a rest.” Bert replied snootily, poking Jamia’s shoulder. “And youuuuououou let me get my Gerardy-kins.”
Jamia looked at him, with a confused expression on her face, but no one could really see it well in the dark. “Bert,” she asked, “Are… are you drunk?”
“NO.” Bert said firmly. “Ahhm not drunk. You’re DRUUNK.”Suddenly he began laughing like an idiot. “But I’m soooooo high…” he whaled.
“Okay, Bert. Go home, NOW.” Jamia ordered. “Youououuuouou can’t make me.” Bert said back.
Frankie and Gerard had stood closely against the door, hiding themselves as much as possible, when suddenly Mr. Iero came groggily down the stairs. “What are you kids doing out here so late?” He asked. “Frank, do you know these kids?”
Then Mr. Iero pulled Frank and Gerard into the light. Bert went wide-eyed.
“Uh… yeah, dad. D-don’t worry. He was just leaving.”
“Yeah,” Jamia added. “He’s mine, sorry. He’s my…. Brother. Yeah. And he had a really wild party, so, I’m just gonna bring him inside, yeah?”
Frank’s dad sighed and waved them off, trudging sleepily back up the stairs again. Now Bert’s eyes had shifted into little slits.
“This shit ain’t over,” he hissed before Jamia pushed him down the road. “Tonight,” she said to him, “It is. Goodbye, Bert.” Bert grimaced at everyone before stumbling rudely down the road, falling over a trash can in the process. It was actually quite funny.
“Jamia… thank you,” Frank said genuinely. “You always seem to be around at just the right time.”
“Yeah,” Gerard added. “If you hadn’t came, Bert would probably have beaten down that door.” Jamia sucked her teeth and shrugged. “I’m just used to the stuff he does. Not to sound stalker-ish or anything… but, I’m kinda a Bert McCracken expert, having gone out with him for so long.”
“Wowww.” Frank said, raising his eyebrows. “That’s not stalker-ish at allll!”
“Yeaaaahh, just like that wasn’t sarcastic at all.” Jamia spat back, laughing. “I’ll see you later guys.” She said, waving to them.
“Wait, Jamia!” Gerard said, and Jamia turned. “How’d you like to help out with the painting on Saturday and Sunday?”
Jamia chuckled. “I thought we’ve already went over this,” she said softly. “I’d be a third-wheel.”
“No, you won’t be.” Frank intervened. “Because Mikey’s coming over on those days too. And if you don’t come, then he’ll be the third wheel.”
Jamia contemplated this for a second. “Hmmm… Mikey, eh?” She stood in silence for a while, before finally coming to a decision. “Well, if it’s for Mikey’s sake, I’ll come.”
Frank then smiled and ran up to Jamia, giving her a big bear hug. “Yay yay yay yay yay!” He repeated, gripping Jamia tighter. “I swear, Iero,” Jamia said, short-breathed when he released her. “Sometimes I think you’re secretly a six-year old with that attitude you have.”
Frank just shrugged and hugged her again. “Okay let’s go to bed now.” He said to Gerard and hugged Jamia one more time. “Bye guys,” Jamia said, giggling. “G’NIGHT, JAMIA!!!” Frank screamed unnecessarily before Gerard dragged him into his house.
The two once again got re-snuggled under their sleeping bags.
“Gerard… why don’t you come a little closer?” Frank asked, loathing the two-feet space between them. “I’m lonely.” Gerard giggled and nodded. “I thought you’d never ask,” he said, pushing himself closer to Frank, wrapping his arm around his waist. “Goodnight, Frankie.” He whispered, kissing Frank’s forehead.
“G’nighty-night, teddy bear.” Frank said, his eyes already closed. Gerard giggled at the nick name and too, soon, fell asleep.