So, Frank is introduced and you learn a little bit about the towns past...
It was your typical, boring rather tedious Monday morning. The sky outside my bedroom window was a dismal shade of grey, fog lingered over the street, enclosing the old houses in a greyish mist. There were no birds to be seen, or heard for that matter and from downstairs I could smell the faint aroma of breakfast-a couple of eggs and a few slices of toast made from wholemeal bread. My life was so mundane, sometimes I wished something completely life changing would happen, ya know, like meeting someone with a murky past or my favourite band playing somewhere remotely near the pathetic, tiny excuse e for a town I lived in. To be honest, I`d happily settle for a fire at my school, a nice orange and red blaze, tragically taking the lives of the bastards that picked on me every day, just for my religious beliefs. Oh, no. That was terribly mean, how on earth could I think something like that?
Grudgingly, I pull my small, tired and aching body out of the warmth of my bed, pick up the clothed I had laid out the previous night before going to sleep. I had already had a shower and washed my hair last night. Well, I had kinda had to, to rinse the black hair dye out. As I pull on my scruffy, purposefully ripped at the knees, black skinny jeans I think back to the day when my mother had came home from work to discover that her son had dyed his hair black. Let`s just say, she was not impressed.
“Frank Iero!” my mother yells from downstairs.
“Be down in a minute!” I shout back down, as I loosely button up my white, freshly ironed school shirt, pausing for a brief moment to admire my tattoos, the ones my mother didn’t know, and never would know, existed. Next I quickly tie my black school tie that I had added...a personal touch to with the help of a few safety pins and the occasional badge. The tie covered my old crucifix, and I can`t help but feel a little glad. If they couldn`t see it, maybe they wouldn’t tease me about it. Maybe. I quickly pull on my black converse, grab my bag full of crap I hadn’t bothered to empty out of it from the previous week and rush down the soft carpeted stairs.
“Morning sweetie.” Despite my age she still insists on kissing me on the top of my head every morning. I loved my mother to much to ask her to stop.
“What is that on the top of your head, Frank?”
“Mother, I know that you don`t really approve of me dying my hair, but-“
She raises her hand to stop me. “Not that, it`s even more of a mess than usual.”
Oh. That’s right, in my rush to get downstairs I must have forgotten to brush it.
“Oh, well.” She places a white plate full of food down on the wooden table in front of me. “At least you’re not wearing that ridiculous junk round your pretty eyes this morning.”
I eat in a hurry, barely registering what I shove into my mouth, but I notice my mother staring at me reproachfully.
“What?” I ask with my mouth full and she tuts, making me feel like a little child again, as per usual.
“Darling, you know I love you.”I was waiting for the "but", nine times out of ten there was one.
“But,” and it seemed that today was no exception. “I was just wondering if you would consider…toning this…this…look down a little.” I frown, taking a small bite out of my toast.
“What`s wrong with the way I look?” I put the rest of it down, appetite suddenly long gone.
“Nothing, Dear!” she answers far too quickly for my liking. “it`s just, the eyeliner, and the jeans and the tie-“
“The tie is school uniform.” I tell her, standing up and walking into the bathroom looking for a hairbrush.
“I know Frank, but all these pins and.” She sighs. “Your principle called me on Friday.” All of a sudden I experience a sudden sinking feeling and my stomach fills with a feeling I had grown very accustomed to recently-dread.
“What did he say?” I try to keep the tone of my voice nonchalant, but we both know that isn`t how I feel.
“He said your math grades are slipping.” I resist the urge to shrug-maths was never my strong point, even before we moved to this shithole.
“And even your music and art grades are-“
“My art teacher is an evil bit-“she glares at me. “We don`t get on.”
“School is a place of learning, Frank, not a place of socialisation.” She tells me sternly. “And someone else had a word with me the other day, any ideas who?” I shake my head, not wanting to her hr answer.
“Mrs. Williams from across the road, she lives right next to the house where those two boys were-" she stops herself just in time. No one and I mean no one around here talked about the Ways, or what had happened to the two teenage boys that, until last summer, when we had moved here, used to live. Mother said no one talked about it because it was wrong to, unfair to the parents to speak about what had happened. I personally believe it was because no one really knew what had happened last summer in that house. Or, more specifically, outside the house, where the two brothers, what were their names again? My face screws up in concentration, we had only moved here a couple of months before the two of them…were…found, so I couldn’t quite recall their names. I had seen the two in school, it was a small town, everyone attended the same school, but I had never spoken to them. They always seemed to be in their own little world.
“Gerard and Mikey.” I cover my mouth, wishing I could take the words back, but it was too late.
“Don`t Say their names, Frank!” Mother`s eyes are wide with fear, though I can’t tell why, not for certain at least. You see there were rumours about the Way brothers, horrible ones.
“Get to school, Frank.” I take a quick swig of my orange juice, grab my bag and walk out of the house, just in time to see the bright yellow school bus (or as I referred to it, the death-trap on wheels) stop just down the road at the stop I usually got on at.
“Freak, go back where you came from!” the jeers don`t hurt as much as they used to, simply because I was used to them.
I take my usual seat at the back, next to my two best (and only) friends, two boys in my year, a sandy haired guy called Bob, and ray, the guy with the massive `fro. Seriously, I`m not joking, he was famous in this town for his hair.
“hey, `bro.” ray greets me, smiling, while Bob, on the other hand barely glace sip from a music magazine he was reading and mumbles a quick “Hi”.
Ray rolls his eyes at Bob, who was so immersed in his magazine he probably, no scratch that, wouldn`t realises if the bus caught on fire or we drove into a ten metre deep ditch.
“So, good weekend?” He asks me. It was rare that the three of us didn’t spend the majority of the weekend together, but the one just past Ray and Bob had gone to a concert. I had of course been invited, but had been forced to politely decline after my mother had told me she didn’t want me going as it “wasn`t safe or suitable.” And I couldn’t lie to her about going, as she already knew I had wanted to go, so anything I came up with she would have seen right through. Plus, I was already dreading Confession as it is. Everyone at the church had made it very clear that there was something that they didn’t like about me, something I really wished they would tell me, as far as I knew I had done nothing wrong. But hey, despite my mother’s constant nagging, and all of the disapproving glances I received from everyone, I couldn’t bring myself to feel too badly about them not likening me.
In the many weeks and months to come, I would think back on this morning as the one that signified the beginning of the changes. I would look back on it and laugh at how I had wished for something life changing to happen, to maybe meet someone with a murky, interesting past, and how I actually did. But for now, I knew nothing about that, but that was soon about to change…