Frank doesn't come to school > Gerard goes to check what's wrong. “This or death” he had told me before. I shuddered at the thought of Frank lieing in a coffin.
The bell went to signal the end of school. I instantly threw my bag onto my shoulders and left the classroom. As a walked threw the corridors to the main exit my eyes scanned the corridors for a sign of the short little black haired boy I so often hung around with.
He hadn't been in school today. Of course this wasn't anything unusual. Frank was always sick but he hadn't answered his phone when I had called him at lunch time. And this worried me as Frank was famous for answearing even at the most awkward of times, such as the time I had called him and he was using the toliet or when his aunty had dragged him to mass and he answered in the middle of sermon.
Once I made my out of the school door a cold breeze began to blow on my face, it sent the fallen leaves laying on the footpaths into joyous spirals. I shivered.I knew if Frank had been beside me he would have insisted on going to the small park a couple of blocks down so we could lie on the soft grass and enjoy it. That kid always found the beauty in the cold things in life.
I continued my walk down the dirty New Jersey streets that were now filled with teenagers dressed in the rainbow of school uniforms. I turned the corner in the maze of houses where Frank lived. It was only at this point my mind really started to think.
Why would Frank not answer his phone? There wasn't many answers to his question. I worried about him alot he came from an abusive Father and although he and his Mam had managed to collect enough money and move away his Dad had been known to show up on the door step and try to drag them violently back.
I'd always offered Frank santuary at my house but he refused. I would drag him back to stay in mine as often as I could but he would still show up to school bloody and beaten. At this time I'd found that a few of scars had been self inflicked. I remeber when he had come into English late,face frozen in sorrow and anger. I had sat at my desk for forty minutes prying for the bell ring. When it did I jumped from my seat whisked him into the bathroom.
“What happend to you?” I asked still cluthching his hand. His bottom lip began to quiver, I wrapped my arms around him and he buried his head into my chest. He cryed for over 20 minutes I stayed waitting for tears to end so he could explain ,finally they did.
“My Dad showed up last night” he mummbled into my chest.
“Why didn't you call me?” was my intial response.
“I didn't want to wake you up” he muttered. I shook my head.
“Frankie, I don't F£$king care If I have to get out of bed and swim across a hundread and oceans or walk across a thousand fires or run a million miles! All I want is for you to be safe, safe in my arms . Now promise that you'll call me if anything happens, promise me?”
He nodded timidly “Okay now let's take care of you” I said takeing a damp piece of tissue and wipeing a bit of blood from his face. Next I went to his arms, he pulled away but I continued anyway. I gasped when I saw the tiny raisied lines of cuts and scars covering his arms. Frank was silent. I couldn't believe my Frankie who was always so happy and so engetic had done this to himself.
“Your Dad didn't do this did he?” I questioned. He shook his head his hazel eyes dropping to stare intently at the floor. “”Why?” Frank broke down into tears his hand covering his eyes. I reached around him pulling him closer to me.
“Frankie you gotta stop this” I whispered in his ear “You have to stop hurting yourself”
And that was the first time I knew about the real Frank. The Frank who was so deeply depressed he had to punture his own skin to just to know he was still there, that his heart was still beating.
“This or death” he had told me before. I shuddered at the thought of Frank lieing in a coffin.
I now stood outside Frank's door ringing the bell, there was no answer. I rang his phone but he didnt pick up. I pushed the handle down, it was open. I stepped into hall. It was cold ,rubbish scattered the floor, something I knew would annoy Frank .He was always something of a clean freak.
“Frank?” I called. It echoed threw the house but still there was no answer. I went for the stairs heading towards his bedroom. When I reached the top of the stairs the door to his bedroom was open. “Frank?” I called again. No answer.
I took a couple of steps into his room until I saw him sprawled acoss the bed blood running from two deep gashed on each of his wrists.
“Frank” I wispered to myself “What have you done” Tears flooded from eyes as I rang 999.