R just becasue I'm not exactly sure. Maybe PG-13. Posted on Buzznet, but editing a ton and posting here hoping to get more of a response!
The tears were streaming down my face as I knocked on the door to his apartment. This wasn’t how I imagined this relationship to end up, but that couldn’t be helped at this point. I guess I should probably start from the beginning…
It was already half way through junior year when my family moved from Seattle to Chicago. Technically, it was a suburb of Chicago-Wilmette-but whatever. I went to a catholic school until this year when I went to New Trier. I hadn’t had a very good first day, and it was only my lunch period. I took my time at my locker and ended up as one of the last people in the lunchroom. I headed for the first table with empty seats I saw. It was pretty far away from the door and had four guys and two girls sitting at it. “Can I sit here?” I asked quietly. The boy I was standing behind turned around, surprised at the sound of my voice. “Um, sure,” he said. I sat down in one of the two empty chairs. The boy I had talked to had a faux-hawk. “I’ve never seen you around,” the guy with the hat pointed out. “You new?” I nodded and started unpacking my lunch. “What’s your name?” he asked. I looked up. “I’m Emily Harper,” I said. The boy with the faux-hawk took over the speaking part. “I’m Pete Wentz,” he introduced himself.
“That’s Patrick Stump,” he indicated the boy with the hat, “that’s Joe Trohman,” he pointed to the boy with the short brown hair, “that’s Andy Hurley,” he pointed to the boy with the long hair, “that’s Katie Bloom,” he pointed to the girl with the brown hair, “and that’s Lindsay Crew,” he pointed to the last girl who had blonde hair. I looked at Pete a little closer and started to get worried. Not only did he gel his hair into a faux-hawk, he wore eyeliner! I settled for sitting here today, but finding a new spot tomorrow. There is no way my parents would approve of these people as my friends, especially Pete.
“I fucking hate math!” Andy suddenly burst out. I winced at his choice of words, and Pete noticed. “What, you’ve never heard anyone swear before?” he smirked at me. “Not too much,” I admitted. “My family is all devout Catholics and I was taught that words like that put you in hell.” They all gaped at me as if I was from another planet. “So, do your parents ground you if you aren’t, like, perfect?” Joe asked.
“No, they’ve never grounded me. Honestly, I’ve never given them a reason to.” All their eyebrows shot up. “So basically you’re perfect?” Lindsay asked. I twisted my mouth a little, thinking that I would come off as a little-miss goody-two-shoes if I said I was perfect. “I guess, but I’d use different terminology.” We spent the rest of lunch talking about how Catholicism screwed me up. I wasn’t ready to believe it, so I just sat there and looked interested. Either I’m a good actress, or they didn’t care because they never shut up the entire period. However, their personalities did catch my attention. If I wasn’t so hard pressed to be “perfect” as they would call it, we would all be a perfect match for friends. Pete ended up being in all of my classes, but I just hadn’t noticed it. All the rest of them were in at least one of our afternoon classes, too. I wasn’t sure just yet if that was a good thing, so I just went along with it until I figured that out.
After school, I realized that my locker was in the same hallway as theirs, also. We all walked out of the school together, and everyone went their separate ways-except me and Pete. We found ourselves walking in the same direction. “Walking home?” he asked, falling into step with me. “Yeah, you?”
“Yeah, I guess we’re heading in the same direction.” We chatted on the walk and his personality continued to grow on me with each word. “Well, this is where I stop,” I told him. “Me too!” He smiled. I must have looked confused because he pointed across the street. “That’s my house.” He lived directly across from me. “Oh! Well I guess I’ll see you on the walk to school tomorrow.” He smiled. “I guess so. Bye!” He crossed the street as I walked inside. “How was your day?” my mom asked as I put my messenger bag down. “It was good,” I said, although I wasn’t sure if I was telling the truth. I didn’t know if I should continue to talk to the people I had met that day or not. “Meet anyone you like?” she asked. “Um, yeah, actually, I did-Katie Bloom and Lindsay Crew.” I knew that my mom wouldn’t care if they became my friends because I could already tell that they knew how to control themselves and weren’t obviously going against everything I was told to stay away from like Pete was. I didn’t mention the guys yet because my mom probably wouldn’t approve of me getting to know boys already on the first day.
“That’s good. Is there anyone with the last name of Wentz in your grade?” That was sudden. “Yes, Peter, I think.” I acted somewhat ignorant because I knew that she would only bring someone’s name up if she wanted me to stay away from them. “That’s who I’m talking about. I would stay away from him. I don’t like how he looks. He wears those skinny jeans or whatever they call them, he’s got the Mohawk, he’s even got some tattoos.” I hadn’t realized he had some tattoos on his arms until she pointed it out. “Okay,” I responded, knowing that this would be the first time I wouldn’t listen to her. “Good. I don’t want you falling in with the wrong crowd.”
I completely ignored my mom’s advice about Pete. At some point during the week, I learned that the group of kids had grown up together. They continued to grow on me until I finally saw how they thought and acted. They even managed to convince me that how I had been raised was a waste of time by the end of the first week. After that crucial first week, I realized that I felt like I had grown up with these kids and trusted them enough to let them convince me the opposite way of how I was taught-it was okay to swear, tattoos and skinny jeans were cool, low-cut shirts were sexy, and anything else I had never even dreamt of thinking or doing. I continued to learn all the new words, action, phrases, and everything else as the week progressed.
At long last, my second Friday at New Trier came. I was waiting for Pete on the corner of our street so that we could walk to school together like I always did so I didn’t get in trouble. As soon as he saw me, he ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. “It’s free hug Friday!” he exclaimed as he let go of me. I laughed and started walking, knowing that his antics had only just begun. He wrapped each of our other friends in a bone-crushing bear hug as he did to me earlier, but they were expecting it. I laughed as he enveloped each person in a hug while I got my books for my morning classes with Pete. We took our usual spots at the lunch table later that day.
“So are you doing anything tonight?” Katie asked me as I unpacked my lunch. “No, why?” I asked. “Do you want to go shopping with me and Lindsay? We’re staying at my house after.” I shrugged. “I want to, but I’ll have to ask my parents. I’ll call you when I get an answer.” She nodded and continued eating. As the lunch hour passed, I realized that I was going against my parents for the first time just by sitting at this very lunch table with them. And honestly, I didn’t care anymore. It was almost a scary thought knowing that I wasn’t doing as I was told and I could care less, but then again, I liked it so much better. I smiled to myself as the bell rang, and Pete and I headed up the stairs to the bio class with just me and him. He was acting out of character and taking notes for once, so I watched him in bewilderment more than I should have. One time, he caught me looking and flashed me a huge smile. I quickly looked back down at my notebook and realized something-I was falling for Pete.
Pete noticed I was a little quieter than usual on the walk home. I told him that I was just worried that my mom would say I couldn’t go shopping later, although I knew it was really the thought that I was crushing on Pete. I pushed the thought out of my mind for the time being and took up the empty space with thoughts of shopping with Lindsay and Katie. I asked my mom about it, and thank God she said yes. I really needed to tell them about my realization. I immediately ran upstairs and called Katie. “Sweet!” she exclaimed when I said I could go. “Lindsay and I will be over in, like, ten minutes to pick you up.”
Twenty minutes after that, we were walking into the mall. “Where should we go first?” Lindsay asked no one in particular. “Um, actually, before we do anything, can I tell you guys something?” I asked. “What’s up?” Katie said as she sat down on a bench. Lindsay and I sat on either side of her. “I’m crushing on Pete,” I admitted. Katie and Lindsay started squealing. “I knew it!” Lindsay exclaimed. “Katie, we can finally put our plan into action!” I opened my mouth to say something, but she cut me off. “Shut up, yes we already had a plan. And we’ll help with the funding.” I narrowed my eyes. “Funding? What funding?” Katie rolled her eyes. “We’re helping you pick out a new wardrobe, hair cut, everything!” she stated like it was obvious. “I have wanted to do this for ages!” Lindsay squealed, pulling us up from the bench.
They dragged me into the first store we were going to look at and kept adding clothes to a pile for me to try on. I just kept quiet and held out my hands for the monstrous amounts of clothes they were adding to the mountain. I tried on the first outfit and came out to show Lindsay and Katie. “It’s cute, but my parents would never let me wear anything this low cut,” I said looking in the mirror. They frowned at me. “That puts a damper on things,” Katie muttered. “That’s not all that low cut compared to a few of the things we picked for you.” I frowned and looked at them. All of a sudden Lindsay sat up straighter. “I’ve got it!” she announced. “You can wear a sweatshirt over everything in the mornings, then take it off when you get to the corner and put it back on when you’re on your way home!” I raised my eyebrows. “That’s insane enough to work,” I reasoned. I tried on the rest of the stuff they chose for me, and checked out with three bags full of new clothes. “That actually takes care of almost your entire wardrobe,” Lindsay said as we walked out with bags under our arms. “We’ll get you a couple pairs of skinny jeans that you can hide, and then a few sweatshirts that you can throw over your stuff. But let’s do that later. I’m hungry!”
We headed to the food court to grab a bite to eat. We sat down, shoving the bags under the table. “Do you have contacts?” Lindsay asked suddenly. I nodded. “Take off your glasses.” I did as I was told, not wanting to mess with the makeover-crazed girls in front of me. “God damn it, Emily!” Katie practically shouted. “Why do you wear those dumb things if you look so fucking hot without them?” I felt my cheeks turn red. “I don’t know,” I muttered. “Now take your hair down from the ponytail,” Katie instructed, stealing my glasses so I couldn’t put them back on yet. “Again, why the hell do you keep it up all the time if you look so much better with it down?” I shrugged and put it back up as I stole my glasses back and slid them on my face. “We’re getting your hair cut,” Lindsay said, “But you have to promise you’ll wear it down.” I put up my right hand. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” They smiled, proud of their small success.
We finished eating and went to go get my hair done. While we sat there waiting, and all of a sudden, Lindsay brought something up. “What do you think about coloring your hair?” she asked, putting the magazine down that she was looking at. “How would I hide that?” Lindsay smiled smugly. “We can get streaks put in it so when you pull it back, they don’t show.” I smiled, too. “That would be awesome. You know, I’ve always dreamt about purple streaks in my hair.” Katie grabbed my arm excitedly. “That’s exactly what I was just thinking! Let’s do it!” I got layers put in my hair and actually had a stile for once in my life, then they put the purple streaks in, making sure they were done so that I could hide them. I looked at the finished product and flipped out. “This is AWESOME!” I squealed.
As soon as that was done, we quickly grabbed a couple pairs of skinny jeans so that I would have them when I could use them and a couple sweatshirts to hide all the damage we had done that day. It was almost eleven by the time we got back to Katie’s house. We threw a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and slept there. We all woke up at about noon because we had stayed up all night talking. An hour after that, Lindsay and Katie were giving me a ride home while my parents weren’t there. They helped me bring the bags upstairs to my room, and left before my mom got back. I pulled my hair back and started hiding all my clothes. I had always done my own laundry, which was perfect because I would have been in so much trouble when my mom saw the clothes in the wash. After everything was out of sight, I collapsed on my bed, tired from the day before. Pete is going to flip! I thought as I smiled to myself. I totally owe Lindsay and Katie. I flung my legs over the side of my bed and stood up, heading to the bathroom to find my contacts. I was surprised that I actually knew exactly where they were and I was able to get them in right away. I smiled at my reflection. They were right-I shouldn’t wear my glasses if I looked so much better without them. I heard the door open downstairs, so I put my glasses down in my room and ran down the stairs to say hi to my mom.
“How was shopping?” she asked as she put the grocery bags down. “It was good,” I said as I started helping her put away the groceries. “Did you end up getting anything?” I shook my head, because I knew she would want to see it all. I hung around the house for the rest of the weekend, only going out for church. I was anxiously awaiting Monday when Pete would see what Lindsay and Katie had done to me. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I walked down to the corner where I always waited for him. “Hey Em!” he greeted me. “No glasses today! Nice!” I smirked. “That’s not all. Hold this.” I handed him my messenger bag, and he took it, obviously confused. I pulled my sweatshirt over my head and let my hair down shoving my sweatshirt in my bag. I took my bag back from Pete, smiling at him the whole time. “What the fuck?” he muttered, staring at me happily. “I thought you couldn’t do anything like that!” I smirked. “I can’t.” We started walking to school. “Wow, someone’s turning into a badass!” he laughed. I rolled my eyes. “Thank Lindsay and Katie for all the help.”
We got to school and went to our lockers because no one else was there yet. Pete was faster with his books than I was, so he joined me at my locker when he was done. I was shutting my locker door just as Patrick walked down the hallway towards us. “Pat! Come here quick! Em is HOT!” I giggled and hit his shoulder as he moved from in front of me. “How the hell did you pull that off without your parents murdering you?” he asked, smiling. “Just takes some thought about how you hide it all.”
All of a sudden, Lindsay and Katie were on either side of me. “She looks awesome, doesn’t she?” Katie mused. Everyone nodded in agreement as Joe and Andy joined the group. “Holy shit!” they exclaimed at the same time. I smiled. “Different, huh?” They just nodded. The bell rang, and after some quick good-byes, we all scattered to our morning classes. Every time one of the guys passes me in the hallway, they would practically shout ‘Purple hair!’ at me. I just smiled and kept walking.
After all of our morning classes, Katie and Lindsay met me at my locker. We walked to lunch together and took our usual spots with the rest of the table yet to be filled. “I wonder where the guys are,” I said as I took a bite of my sandwich. They just shrugged. “Oh, there they are!” I pointed to the doors, where they were all coming in at once with huge smiles on their faces. They all sat down with us. “Where were you guys?” I asked. “Purple hair!” they exclaimed. I waited for the actual answer, but there wasn’t one. “Anyone want to answer the question?” I said. “Purple hair!” they all exclaimed again. I rolled my eyes. “So obviously you guys like it?” I tried to make conversation. “Purple hair!” was the answer again. “Is this how the rest of the day going to be?” Again, “Purple hair!” was the answer. I kept trying to talk, but the only response I got was “purple hair!” It was actually pretty funny. After a while, I got into it to, so we went back and forth saying “purple hair” to each other until the bell rang. We stopped talking when we went to our lockers, and then we obviously couldn’t talk during class (Although, in the first class after lunch Pete put a note on my desk that just said purple hair). Eventually, they stopped with the purple hair thing to say good bye before we left school. Pete promised he wouldn’t say that on the walk home.
“I’ve got something to ask you anyway,” he reasoned. I raised my eyebrows. “You do, do you?” He nodded. We walked a couple blocks silently, but then he finally took a deep breath and spoke. “You want to go out with me?” I smiled. “How could I say no?” He smiled-one of the reasons Pete was so awesome. “That’s…that’s awesome! Are you ever going to tell your parents about me?” I shrugged. “Not in the near future, no.” His smile faded a bit, so I tried to cheer him up a bit. “It’ll be like Romeo and Juliet! How cool will that be?” It worked, his smile grew. “Yeah, except we’re only hiding from your parents. It’ll still be cool to pretend, though.” I raised my eyebrows. “Wait, you actually know the story of Romeo and Juliet? I didn’t think you’d pay attention enough in class to know it.” He shrugged. “Doesn’t everyone know the general story?” We chatted until we got to the corner. “Farewell, Juliet,” Pete said dramatically before crossing the street. “Bye, Pete.” He laughed. “Well, that was anti-climactic.”
I walked into the house, still smiling to myself. “Well, it looks like you had a good day,” my mom noted as soon as I walked in. “Yeah, I guess I did,” I said as I threw my bag on the floor. “Good. Oh, did I tell you about this weekend?” I shook my head. “Your father and I are going to visit your brother for a long weekend. We’ll leave Friday morning and come back late Monday night. You don’t have to come with this time.” My brother was going to college in Colorado, and every so often my parents would go visit him, dragging me along only half the time. This would be a perfect opportunity to hang out with Pete.
I was just taking off my sweatshirt the next day when Pete joined me at the corner. “You’re planning on doing this every day, aren’t you?” He asked as I let my hair down. “Yeah, do you have a problem with that?” He smirked. “Not at all.” I smiled at him. “So guess what?” I asked, excited. “What?” he asked as we started heading toward the school. “My parents are going to be gone all weekend, so I’ll have the house to myself. That means I can do whatever the hell I want!” Pete’s jaw dropped to the floor. I looked at him weird. “I just heard you swear for the first time ever!” he explained. “Doesn’t count, I’ve said hell before in, like, religion classes and stuff. Same goes for damn.” He shook his head. “It counts as swear in the context that you used it in,” he reasoned. “I guess so. You win.” He pumped his fist in the air. “Yes! Victory!” I laughed and kept walking as he did a happy dance.
His high didn’t end until the first class had started, and it was my job to explain it all to everyone. At some point during the day, I worked in the idea that they should come to my house on Friday night, and they all agreed. “Oh, and bring music,” I added. “All of mine sucks.” Friday night would be epic, I could just feel it.