I went back to school but it wasn't the same as it was before. I didn't sit near Frank in our classes, I sat at the front and concentrated on what was going on in the lesson. I could feel Frank's eyes burning a hole in the back of my head but I tried my best to ignore it. At lunch times I sat by myself in the hall and I did my homework. All the while, I was hoping that everyone understood why I was avoiding them.
About two weeks after I went back to school, I had found my dad's old electric guitar and I was sitting out in the front garden, fixing the strings. I wasn't very good a fixing the strings. I wasn't very good at playing either, but I could play a few simple songs. I remembered when we were living in Britain for a while, I was in, what seemed to be, a tribute band for The Runaways. We weren't very good, but it the space of two months, we had learned all of their songs and were able to put on two shows. And then my parents had been killed.
I shook the memories from my mind and decided it was time to find a professional who could help me fix these strings for me. I put the guitar strap on as if I was going to play it but I stood up and rested it on my back comfortably. I told Aunt Jess where I was going and then walked to the guitar shop.
The guitar shop I had in mind was just a few blocks away from my house. It was close to Frank's house and part of me was afraid he would spot me and force me into talking. Another part of me was controlling my feet, driven by the urge to play my dad's guitar.
I made it to the music shop and I swung the guitar around my body. The salesman looked amused. He had a lip piercing, and an eyebrow piercing, his bleached blonde hair was spiked up with hair gel and he lovely blue eyes. I had always wanted a piercing but my parents would never let me. Also wasn't allowed to dye my hair.
"This is my dad's guitar, its kinda old and I'm not very good a fixing it." I told him. I slipped out of the strap.
"I'll take a look." He said. He examined it for a minute and plucked at the stings. "You need new stings for it."
"Alright, you find the right ones and I'll pay whatever the price." I said enthusiastically.
"Alright, whatever you say girlie." I giggled and watched him work.
"Nancy." I replied. He nodded and smiled.
He was finished quickly and I handed over nearly all the money I had on. He gave me a receipt and my change and I left the shop with the newly fixed guitar in one hand. I put my left over money in my back pocket and put the receipt in my purse. I noticed some writing on the receipt. Then I realised it was odd that I had gotten a receipt for getting my guitar fixed. "Give me a call sometime, Derek." And his number was scrawled down.
"Nancy!" I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw Mikey and Frank jogging toward me. I thought about just running. But they had caught me. I put the guitar on and rested it on my back again. It was comfortable there, and I knew, no one could just steal it because they would take me with it.
"Hey," I said softly, to the boys as they got closer.
"Where have you been?" Mikey asked. "I haven't seen you in ages."
"Just around." I replied.
"How are you feeling?" Frank asked awkwardly.
"I'm ok. I was just getting my dad's guitar fixed." I told them both.
"Cool." Mikey said. "We were just about to meet Ray and Gerard for some ice cream. Wanna come?"
"I don't have any money. Spent the last of my allowance in the music shop."
"We'll pay." Mikey said. "Come on Nancy. We all miss you." I thought for a long moment.
"Ok. But I can't stay long. Aunt Jess isn't expecting me to be out for too long." They both nodded and I followed them to get ice cream at an ice cream shop down the road.
I felt like I was going to suffocate. Yes, I know that I needed to see everyone again, but it was too soon. I needed to get away. But how. They would just come to the house or ambush me at school. I had to get out of the city.
Britain. I have friends there. My band is there. We could get together again. We could play more shows. This is the living I want to make for myself. Playing music for people, whether its good or bad music.
We were outside the ice cream shop. I could see Gerard and Ray in the window. Gerard spotted me and got out of his seat in a flash. Then Ray did the same. But I turned and ran.
"Nancy!" I heard Gerard call.
I didn't know whether they were all following me. I just kept running. I ignored the confused faces. I ignored the blinding pain in my feet and legs. I just kept running. Its what we did best. Run. My parents did it. And now I was.
This was odd. I was in Britain once again, to be specific, Wales. When I left Jersey, all I had was the cash my parents had left me, (that was supposed to be for college) and my dad's guitar.
I found a pay phone and luckily, there was a phonebook in this airport. I looked carefully for the name I wanted and I hoped this phonebook was up to date. Aha. Watkins. Mr. I Watkins. So, he had moved out of his parents house. I wonder if he'll remember me. I dialled the number and waited.
"Hey, is that Ian Watkins?"
"Depends who's askin?" I loved his welsh accent. It was awesome.
"What if Nancy Carter was asking?" I said.
"Nancy Carter? Doesn't ring a bell."
"Oh right, well forget it." I was to hang up.
"I'm just pulling your leg! Of course I remember you Nancy!" Ian exclaimed down the phone. "Are you in Wales?" I smiled the biggest the smile ever.
"I am. I'm at the airport and I kinda need a place to stay." I thought getting out the fact that I had ran away from home first would be best.
"Right, so let me get this straight," Ian began. "When you left you said you were going to live with your Aunt in New Jersey, USA. Nearly a year later, you ring me up and tell me you're in Wales and need a place to stay."
"Thats right." I confirmed. This wasn't going to work.
"Alright, I'll pick you up in about ten minutes." And then he hung up. I smiled again.
Good ole Ian.
When I got to Ian's house, he let me shower and borrow some clothes. They were far to big but they were clean. Only after I was comfortable did he ask me about what I had been up to.
"I met a bunch of guys and they've been my best friends for this past year. I started sleeping with one of them. Gerard. I didn't fall in love with him, it was just sex. But I found out I was pregnant."
"Did you....term-" Ian began to ask.
"No, I miscarried."
"Oh, I'm so sorry." Ian said. He put his arm around me and hugged me.
"Its alright, I guess I'm over it. I am only 17, I've got plenty of time to have a baby." I said with a weak smile. "I just couldn't handle anymore stress, so I thought here would be a good place to stay for a while."
"Stay as long as you want." Ian said. He kissed my head and I let me rest for a while.