Driving into the small town of Calipatria Gerard, Ray, Frank, and Mikey realize just how far from Jersey they've come.
I was exhausted and damn grateful that we were close to the town. I really didn't want to leave Jersey but considering the fact I had graduated and didn't get into any colleges because of the lack of money I decided to help the Ways and Ieros. Plus, I didn't trust Gerard alone. He's smart and all but honestly, he can't live alone with Mikey or Frank. But I was an idiot for one thing, and that is not asking where I'd be taking them. When Mrs. Way said she wanted to get all us far from Jersey she wasn't kidding. It was a serious culture shock to leave our tiny state and town and to come to this HUGE state but a tiny town. Especially since I could tell how hot it would be here. We Jersey boys were going to live in the desert, a literal desert. I had Googled the town after Mrs. Way told me the name, and wow was it unexpected. About 3,000th people lived in it and in the summer it got up to 120's. Fuck. That was all I could say when I read that. Huge difference from our cool aired home. Or at least the place that used be home. Not that I would really be missing anyone but I would miss home. Luckily I had the guys here. I looked in my review mirror and saw tiny Frank and Mikey sound asleep. Funny enough Frank's hand was in Mikey's hair which made me smile even more.
Frank had went through a lot for being different and only being 14 going on 15, well it was a lot on the kid. He came over to my apartment every day after school and I would have to fix up the bloody noses and the cuts from all the ignorant jerks who hurt him at the stupid Catholic school he had transferred to 7th grade year. His mom had been at my house one afternoon talking about who knows what when he came in almost dead. Blood was all over his school uniform and his arm was bleeding non stop. His nose looked horrible and he had a huge gash over his left eye. As soon as he walked in he dropped his stuff and his knees buckled beneath him. I rushed over to him carrying him to my pick up. Mrs. Iero followed crying on the phone with Mr. Iero. By the looks of things this was the first time she knew of the bullying. I wasn't worried about how she felt at the moment, I just wanted to get Frank to the hospital and fast. As soon as we got into the parking lot I wrapped in my arms again noticing blood was all over me but not giving a single fuck. "Tell my mom I'm fine," he had told me as I rushed into the ER with him. Nurses came rushing to help and a few went to calm down Mrs. Iero. I tried following them but they made me stay in the waiting room. They tried giving me new clothes but I refused anything until I knew Frank was okay. I comforted Mrs. Iero until her husband got there who was followed by my mom and dad, Mrs. and Mr. Way, Mikey, Gerard, and our friend Bob who was visiting. We all sat in silence as our parents freaked the hell out. The doctor came out and told us he would survive, that we had got there just in time. Those words put my mind and heart to ease knowing I had got him there when he needed to be there. After that incident it was settled between the Ieros and the Ways about Mikey and Frank's future.
Now Mikey, he was another story. He has always been like a brother to me and poor kid was so screwed up. He never was beat up but he had emotional issues. In the summer of 6th and 7th grade the Way's sent him to a rehab center for self harm. No one had any idea he was suicidal or depressed, especially at such a young age. Until one night towards the end of 6th grade when Gerard and I were baby sitting. We were in the living room watching The Rocky Horror Show when we heard a crack come from Mikey's room. We both ran, Gerard getting there first seeing his brother's small body on the floor, a rope tired around his neck, a fan wing hanging from the string, him coughing up blood. Gerard ran towards him as I dialed 911. When Gerard picked him up his shirt went up and we saw his scars and cuts and Gerard started to go into hysterics crying and screaming at him. The medics got there to rush Mikey to the hospital and contacted the Ways. Mikey was going to be okay. After that night he talked to me or Gerard very night and went to therapy on a weekly basis. He'd been doing good since the rehab but after Frank's incident no one wanted to risk either of their's safety. So everyone, as in the Ways and Ieros and even my parents, asked Gerard, who had graduated high school early like me, to take them to a far away town they'd found. I was there when they asked so before Gerard could respond I said yes, for both of us. Gerard was mad at first because he was expecting to get a job as a cartoonist in New York, but soon realized this was for his brother and his best friend. He soon warmed up to the idea.
And that's how we're here entering a place called Imperial County. I looked at the signs and it said 45 miles from El Centro. That was a good sign, El Centro was apparently the big town.
I woke up when Ray hit a speed bump. "Ugh dammit Ray," I said stretching and get my hand out of Mikey's hair which had no business being there. Mikey and Gerard woke up too.
"Well looks like you guys woke up just in time, we're almost there," Ray said laughing at our droopy expressions.
I looked out and I could have sworn we were on a whole other planet. I saw tumble weed, dips of sand in the ground, and heat waves, literal heat waves. I could see them and was in shock. I may be 14 (and a half!) but I was smart enough and old enough to realize how serious our parents had been, but really? Sending us to ummm Calipat was the name I think, a place that looked like a bomb had hit the place I mean really, this was bad. But then again I wouldn't suffer alone. Gerard, Ray, and Mikey had to too.
"Wow, they weren't lying huh! This place is FAR from home!" Mikey say verbalizing my thoughts.
"Same thing I thought!!!" I replied high fiving him. "Ray, are you sure we are in the right place, hell are we on the right planet?" I ask laughing.
"Now entering Imperial County Yupp we are in the right place kid," he said pointing to a sign. "What do you think of this place so far Gerard? You haven't said anything yet," Ray asked as he took a sharp turn.
"Well uhhh this place looks dead and boring, but hey! The sunset is nice," he says pointing out the window. And he's right. It looked amazing setting against the distant mountains. You don't see that in Jersey.
"Of course, my artist brother finds the beauty in this dead hell hole desert," Mikey says patting his head from behind the seat.
For about 15 minutes after Mikey said that we were all quiet, awaiting the entrance into our new town. As we sat in silence I began peeling off my nail varnish not being able to sit still.
Sitting there quietly watching the sun set I began tracing my scars. For some reason I was proud of my scars, they reminded me of a life I wouldn't return to. 15 (and a half!) I was more confident and was getting a new start. That's all I wanted, a new start with my best friends. I knew Gerard secretly was happy too, he wanted to get away from it all; Frank needed a new start too and he seemed actually excited for it; Ray just wanted us to all be okay, he was the caring one, he was even like Gerard's big brother though Gerard is the oldest of us.
Knowing that Ray and Gerard were soon to be our legal guardians made me feel safe. Not that I didn't love my parents I just was grateful for them because they literally saved my life. I was eternally grateful. Plus, I really loved my brother and Ray as my brother. Another great thing was that Frank would be living with us, which was sure to be exciting!
"Hey guys, welcome to Calipatria," Ray said as we drove past a small church and into the middle of the town in less than a minute.
"And look! There's the end of Calipatria already! Ha!" I said looking out when we stopped on Main Street, I was guessing. I was actually able to see the end of town already.
"Haha, you're right Gerard!" Frank said laughing. Ray just shook his head and laughing. He was always a bit more mature than me, just a bit.
"So where's our new house?" Mikey asks with ab it of eagerness.
I turn in my seat to answer him, "First off it's an apartment, secondly, who knows? The heat is already getting to me," I laugh.
It really was hot though, I could especially tell because it was the beginning of August and no one was out, then again maybe the town was that dead.
We then came to a sudden stop. "Here! We're here guys," Ray said shutting off the car. We all opened our days and immediately regretted it, the heat was horrible!
"Time to go to Alaska!" Mikey said taking off his thin jacket.
"Agreed!" Frank replied who was surprisingly enough, already sweating.
"Stop whining and get the stuff out, we have apartment ummm 462," Ray said taking the to hood off his pick up's bed.
"Yeah listen to Ray guys. Hey Ray where's the key?" I asked slyly.
He threw them to me and I ran to the apartment laughing knowing I'd be the first in the nice AC'd apartment.
"Hey!" I heard them all yell in unison as they unloaded the truck.
I had just gotten home from Robin's and was staring at my ceiling blasting a bunch of my music, aka The Smiths, Black Flag, Fall Out Boy, The Misfits, Avenged Sevenfold, etc. I always laughed when I thought of my music taste, it was so diverse, to me of course. Lying there I couldn't help but wish for something, it was stupid but I wished to meet someone at BUHS who would care about me. A long shot, I knew that, but hey, a girl can wish can't she?
and! done. More tomorrow or Monday. Not sure which. Review please? Be brutally honest! xoxo