I didn’t get a response from him. He just smiled to himself and pulled up in my driveway.
‘Home sweet home.’ I muttered to myself. I hadn’t told my mother but I hated Belleville. School wasn't bad, a few people picked on me because of my appearance but I was ignored by most, I had friends. But it didn’t seem like home, not yet. I still missed my home, how it smelled, how it looked. Belleville just wasn't what I wanted.
‘I’ll see you later.’ He leaned over the console and kissed my cheek before I slid out of his car.
I didn’t even get halfway through the front door before my mother pulled me into one of her bone-crushing hugs.
‘Hey Frank!’ She cheered. My mother was known for being a little hyper. Some say that I got that from her.
‘Hey mum. Can I stay with Mikey this week? Mrs. Way is going on a business trip.’ I asked when she finally let me go.
‘Sure hon. It’s good to see you making some friends. Oh, Jamia called and so did Chris. I said you’d call them back when you got home.’ She handed me the home phone from behind her back.
I ran upstairs to pack a bag for the week. While I did that, I dialed Chris’ number. I still knew it by heart.
‘Hello?’ a familiar voice answered.
‘Hey James. It’s Frank. Is Chris home?’ I was given permission to call Chris’ dad by his name since I was always over at his house when we were younger.
‘Hey Frank! How’s Belleville treating ya?’ He asked, sounding quite happy.
‘It's okay. Nothing like home but I have a few friends.’ I said, throwing a few pairs of jeans in my bag.
‘That’s good. Here’s Chris, take care of yourself, Frankie boy.’ I laughed. I’d always been “Frankie boy” to him.
I heard the phone switch hands.
‘FRANK!’ Chris screamed down the phone. I had to pull the phone away from my ear before I went deaf.
‘Hey man! You called?’ I was excited to talk to him. Chris had been my only friend since year 3 and I was sadd leaving him behind.
‘Yeah. Just wanted to know how you’re going. Got any friends?’
‘Yeah. I miss you though. I wish you were up here to wreak havoc with me.’ I said, running to my closet and opening a random box. I pulled out a bag of make-up. Not girly at all!
‘Me too man! What your friends like?’ I knew Chris was nosy.
I went on describing my friends with Chris drooling over E-Jay. He told me how everything was going at school. Then he asked me when I was going to see Gerard again, since I admitted I kinda liked him. Chris was cool with it, saying he knew I was gay in some way.
‘I’m going there tonight actually. I better get ready. I’ll call you when I get home. Cya.’
I hung up and put the phone on my night stand. It was 6.45 when I looked at the clock. My heart sunk a little. I chickened out. I couldn’t say it to her face so I texted her. I re-wrote the txt a few times till it looks perfect.
Hey Jamia. Look, im sorry I cnt say this to ur face but I dnt think we can be tgether anymore. I rlly did like bein with u but wth the distance, im afraid we’ll fall apart. I hope u can forgive me. F
I closed my phone, set it on the night stand with the home phone and turned on my CD player. My mum must had been playing with it since Joan Jett blasted from my speakers. I didn’t change it. I kinda liked the song.
I replayed it over and over till I could sing it. I sat on my window sill, watching people walk by. A few looked up at me, I just smiled back at them. After a while, I got up and danced around, singing along with the woman. Mum had come up twice, asking me to stop. I invited her to join but she declined and took the home phone.
I jumped up on my bed, bouncing around.
‘Frankie?’ Gerard giggled, standing in my doorway. He was smiling, yet he looked so sad. I turned the music off by the remote and ran to stand in front of him. Only then did I notice he had a black eye. I reached up and ran my finger along the broken blood vessels. He flinched under my touch.
‘I-im sorry.’ I whispered, withdrawing my hand.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine.’ He said, trying to smile. I hugged him tight, without thinking about it. After a moment, probably getting over the shock, he wrapped his arms around me too. His head rested on top of mine.
‘Can I ask what happened to you?’ I looked into his face, the black eye standing out with ease ‘cause of his pale skin. He looked away from me, staring at my bare walls.
‘Just an argument gone wrong. It’s nothing.’ I knew he was hiding something from me but I didn’t want to push him too far. I gave him a squeeze then ran to grab my bag. He took the bag from me and carried it down the stairs.
I shouted a goodbye to mum, who ran to me and hugged me before I could escape. She even hugged Gerard, but he didn’t have a problem with it.
‘Hello, Mrs. Iero.’ He giggled when she let him go. Gerard was taller than my mum, making her look up for once. I grabbed his hand and dragged him from the house before my mum could reply. My mother could never shut up once she started.
‘I like your mum.’ He stated as we drove back to his house.
‘She’s a lot like you.’
‘So you’re saying you like me?’ I teased. I started to blush again, something I never really did.
‘Yep.’ He smirked.
My heart stopped for a moment. Whether he meant it as in friends or more, I didn’t care.
‘Why do you like me?’ I said, teasing him again.
‘Many reasons. Some that would come out like I was hitting on you.’ He smiled.
“I wouldn’t mind.” I thought. Again, I mentally slapped myself. Jamia was no longer my excuse. I used Mikey as one.
We joked all the way back to his place. I could laugh freely with Gerard. There weren’t many people that you could do that with in Belleville.
‘Gee!’ Someone yelled as we got out of the car. There was another car parked on the lawn with 3 people surrounding it. One was tall, bulky and blonde. The next was also tall, kinda thin and afro-fied. I froze at the last guy standing by the car. He was a little taller than me, black hair and the worst attitude imaginable.
‘Pete!’ I hissed.
BIIIIIIIIIG change in this one. I'm on a roll, people!