"Frank.... Wake up now baby." Someone was softly calling me and stroking my hair.
I opened my eyes reluctantly, the light filling the room and almost blinding me. My eyelids were still heavy and my still swollen face ached. The person who had been calling me from my doze was standing in front of me now, Aunt Bett. " You fell asleep, Frank. You've been out of it for nearly three hours. Mind you, i bet you were completely exhausted though. You haven't slept properly in days." She smiled sympathetically sitting down on my bed. " You know, i haven't had to deal with the pain of losing a parent yet and i hope that's a long way off. But please, if you need to talk about it. Come to me, Frank. Your mother was my big sister, she and i were best friends. She would hate to see you like this." She said, her blue grey eyes filling with tears.
"But.... i....c..can't....be....without...h..her." I forced out, my breathing was ragged as the tears were coming again. "A..life...without her....that's....not..living..at...all."
"Honey, we're going to keep you safe. We'll talk about her everyday and we'll pray for her everyday. She's safe now, no more pain, no more agony. You have me and Ray and Uncle Jesse. We're not your Mom but we are your family and we love you so much." She wrapped her arms around me and shushed me as i cried silently, just like Mom did when i was a baby.
A few hours later
"Pass the bread Dad." Ray said struggling for the basket of bread which was just out of his reach.
" Raymond, didn't i ever teach you any manners? You say please and ask. And we haven't even said grace yet." Bett said to her son sternly. Her being as strictly catholic as she was meant prayers came first under any circumstances. Every meal was saved until the whole family had said grace and Church was the one thing she was always exactly on time for. She didn't care about being late to work or Ray being late for school but late for church? Not possible on her agenda.
" Okay, maybe we should say grace now then." Jesse interrupted to avoid mother and son having yet another one of their famous disagreements.
"Frank, would you like to lead the prayer considering you're our latest addition to the family?" Ray suggested. Despite him being a close friend/cousin of mine he really should have paid more attention. I've reminded him that my mother raised me without a religion, believing i'd find my own ways to believe and did i know how to pray? Hell to the no.
" That's okay, i think i'll leave it to the pro's." I said quickly, avoiding further questioning.
" Aw no. Go on Frank, we'd love to have you lead it for us tonight." Bett said and Jesse nodded encouragingly.
"Erm... ok then i guess." And so my first prayer began " Thankyou lord for the wonderful meal you have laid on the table, we are all very grateful. Amen." And i sat straight back down.
"Well, that was a lovely prayer. Maybe could have been longer but it was ok."
And with that we all sat down together for a silent, awkward dinner. Story of my life.
The next morning came far too fast. A 6.00am start was something i'd never adapted too and so my mood was dark and so was outside to my horror. As usual, Bett had something she wanted to discuss. Except she wanted to discuss it with me rather than Ray today. I rolled out of bed and slipped on a pair of faded red skinnies and a The Blackout T-shirt and padded down to the kitchen where my aunt was waiting for me, a coffee already in front of my place at their table. " Good morning sweetheart. I hope you slept well. We need to talk seriously, Frank. We need to be very realistic." She said, her eyes fierce. " The chances are that you're going to be staying here for a while at least and we want you to thrive in these months you have with us. Jesse pulled some strings and we have got you a placement at Ashtillen Academy with Ray, they have the best curriculum and the teachers are terrific and we think you'll love you new uniform and-"
I choked on my coffee as she began to ramble on. I cut her off, finally i could talk. " I don't go to schools. The kids are horrible. I don't like uniforms."
" Frank, i know you don't. Not many kids do, but you are going and that is final." She looked pleased with herself, i couldn't do anything to prevent this, for the first time in my life i surrendered, sighing and dreading my future.
"Gerard Arthur Way, up you get! Micheal James Way, get down here!" My father bellowed up the stairs. Mom was off on a business trip and Dad had been left in charge. Dads answer to a good upbringing? Being Strict. He was a kind man though, family was everything to him. I suppose him being strict was just him looking out for us, but it wasn't half annoying in the mornings. "Uhmm...m'kay." i mumbled still full of slumber. I forced myself to sit up and slowly opened my eyes. Oh god, not again. I'd forgotten the night before. Vodka Bottles and Cider cans lay strewn across my bedroom floor, a photograph of my late grandmother Elena as a young woman lay at the foot of my bed. I wasn't coping well without her. Alcohol was getting me through days, the occasional white powder fix here and there when the excruciating pain wasn't concealed by the alcohol. The hangover never seems to end, the darkness never seems to be overtaken by something hopeful.
"What the fuck happened in here?" My little brother Mikey exclaimed as he came through my door.
" Nothing Mikes. Just.... for artistic purposes." I lied.
"Artistic Purposes?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeahhh.... I was...ermm....taking photographs.... to show what...litter looks like." I managed, all total bullshit of course.
"Okay then, Litterbug. See you downstairs in ten minutes. I have to be at school early today."
Shit! I'd completely forgotten about that! I leapt from my bed and threw on my disgusting navy blue and red school uniform. My hair was a huge black abyss of tangles as per, so i fought with my hairbrush to drag it through the shoulder length craziness. My eyeliner from yesterday had smudged but i left it alone, there was no time. And with my feet shoved into my scuffed up converse high tops i ran for our front door.
The sky was a dull grey with hints of black and silver dotted around, all swirling together adding some kind of disturbing yet comforting beauty to the atmosphere. The sky should be blue but i'm not complaining with grey. I always preferred darker colours to the bright ones. I bet Elena was controlling the sky for me today, letting me know i wasn't alone. Yet i felt alone. I couldn't see her physically, not that she would be proud after yesterdays actions. Maybe she was trying to tell me something. Maybe today was going to change the endless cycle of hurt.
Before i knew it, we had arrived at our destination. "Ashtillen Academy, a place for eager students to reach their full potential." As the website always boasted, more like "Get your ass kicked if you're gay and unpopular and no emo's allowed." Yes, i'm gay. I tried to shake the male attraction many times but needless to say, it never worked.
"So, mikes. Why are you here early again?" I asked him.
He rolled his eyes at me and gave me that look. The look that says " Why do i bother telling you anything?"
"Well, Gerard Gay. I'm showing around a new student. Mr Ashtillen asked me if i could yesterday." He said, the patronizing tone in his voice, he also liked to call me Gerard Gay when he was pissed off with me. "I don't mind showing him around because he happens to be Ray's cousin." He added.
"Oh, cool." Me and Mikes were pretty tight with Ray. He was an awesome guitar player and great fun to be around. We also had our buddy Bob, who could drum like no other. The four of us, we were the best of friends. Mikey, however, was the best student. He had the certificates for good behaviour, the straight A's, the rewards and on top of that, he was fairly respected. He didn't get as much shit as me and the other guys did anyways. Rejects? Yupp.
I sat in the passengers side of Rays Chevy 1975 full of anticipation.
"We're here." He announced unenthusiastically. He hated this place with a passion and that made me certain that i would too. People were scurrying everywhere. Girls in short skirts sauntering over to the guys who were talking about some big game coming up this weekend, desperate for some attention. The quiet kids in the corner trying to go unnoticed, burying their faces into Shakespeare and Ernest Hemingway. I was beginning to fall behind Ray. My legs couldn't go at his pace, and his strides were too much for my body to bear.I saw him a short distance ahead, he turned around with a puzzled looks on his face. I couldn't help but chuckle at his confusion. I love my cousins blonde moments! Then before i could react he had his leech like grip on my arm and he was pulling me towards reception.
"Frank Iero, new student." he announced at the front desk.
"Yes, someone is waiting near the Head's office for him. He'll be showing him his classes for this week." The little old lady replied.
"Thankyou." I called as ray pulled me around the corner. And there before me was probably the most beautiful person i had ever laid eyes on. "Oh M Gee." i whispered.
This is my longest chapter yet! Haha i'm really enjoying writing this story and i hope it's okay for you guys! Thankyou for all the sweetness of you all and the wonderful reviews! Love Always! :) x