Stupid, perceptive younger brother.
Okay, so nothing quite that exciting. We were only marching around Loughborough after all.
I don’t like silences. They creep me out. They make me imagine how the world was before the G-man supposedly decided that darkness and gloom was not cool. And I imagine the world sucked. The idea of there being no sound and I’m all alone, standing there by myself is too much for me to even think about. So silences must be broken, by whatever means possible.
I yawn. It’s not silent anymore. Good job, Gerard.
“You what?” Mikey’s eyes are wide. Oh shit, Mikey changed his expression. Not good. Head for the hills!
“Ah well, look at the time, gotta go. Great seeing you guys but mom is expecting me back soon so I better split.” I try to turn around to get swiftly the hell away but Mikey grabs me by the scruff of my t-shirt and holds on tightly.
“You’re not going anywhere,” he snarls.
“Why not?” I ask defensively. “I’m a free human being. You don’t own me. I have rights and if I wanna leave I will motherfucking leave-”
“-No, you won’t,” Mikey rolls his eyes. “Because this is your house Gerard. You live here.”
“Yes,” I nod. “But I was planning on joining the...Beguines.”
“That’s right. I’m a Beguine now. Impressed, aren’t you?”
“Just tell us what the fuck happened with Ms Maitland, Gerard!”
Alright, alright! Jeez Ray-ban, keep your fro on! “After the audition I...I went to the rehearsal at lunch,” I glance up at Mikey and Ray and seeing the fury on their faces quickly look back down again. “Ms Maitland asked me to sing some songs, mostly old time shit like “Moon Giver” or something and-”
“Yeah, that. And I guess she liked me ‘cos she said “You’re in” again and gave me a timetable and told me to talk to Samantha. Either way I’ve got the lead whether you guys like it or not.”
Ray shakes his head in disappointment. “But Gerard...why?”
Okay, that’s it. “What the fuck do you mean why? Is it so wrong for me to have nothing going except the ability to draw naked chicks with wings? Is it so totally unthinkable that I could possibly have a chance at rating A-List, me, a social misfit and Grade-A loser? But you’re right. I don’t wanna do this thing. But I did it for you guys, as a chance to finally do something about the fact that we can’t turn a corner without being punched in the face. I did it so that we could all finally make a name for ourselves. I did it to prove that a social misfit can so sing as well as any one of those guys. I did it to make a stand.”
“No fuckwad, you did it to get into Samantha Rose’s pants.”
Stupid, perceptive younger brother. “That is completely beside the point! And you’re 14, Michael! You shouldn’t be thinking such dirty, evil thoughts!”
“Gerard, you thought the vibrator in the boy’s locker room was an egg whisk.”
“Shut up. Okay, so maybe Samantha is an advantage to this whole affair. But honestly, the main reason I’m doing this is...” Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it, “Because Frank told me to.” GODDAMMIT!
At that Mikey and Ray groan and cover their faces with their hands. I sheepishly look down at my feet again. But they tell me nothing. Except that I’m a fail of a human being and a generally idiotic person. Then I realise that feet can’t talk and it’s me telling myself that. Great, so now I’m fucking schizo on top of everything.
“Gerard, why do you listen to him?”
“I try not to!” I protest. “But...you know how he is. Once he gets an idea in his head he goes all Attila the Hun on me. Come on, remember when you were seven, Ray?”
Ray suddenly blushes and it’s his turn to have talking feet. “Yeah,” he mumbles.
“And what did Frank do?”
He mutters something inaudible. “Sorry Ray-ban, didn’t catch that.”
“He made me dress up like a girl and parade down the street singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop” by Shirley fucking Temple.”
“Right. And Mikey, when you were five?”
“I...I can’t remember.”
“I think you can. Didn’t Frank persuade you to sing a naughty song you’d heard on the radio in front of your toddler crush with him and then ditch you at the last minute before pulling your pants down and showing everyone your-”
“-Shut the fuck up Gerard, Heather has ears.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever, Spok face. I’m sure Heather’s very interested in the childhood tales I have to offer. You just remember that.”
My precious baby brother goes an adorable shade of beetroot. Heather stops counting clouds and suddenly looks very interested in the conversation.
“I’m going in there and giving Frank a piece of my fucking mind,” Ray states.
Mikey and I look surprised. Whoa. Ray-ban is in the house. And he looks angry and badass and awesome! Evidently, he thinks so too as he swaggers inside and into the living room.
“Yo, Frank!” he says sharply, eyes burning with determination.
Frank looks up from his argument with Alex, takes one look at the expression on Ray’s face and raises an eyebrow. “What?”
Man, all this tension is giving me tingles! It’s like watching a Quentin Tarantino film, only with less butt rape.
“We’ve had enough,” Ray states. “All our lives you’ve been getting us to do shit we don’t wanna do. And now I’m putting my foot down and so are these guys. We’re your friends, not one of your freshmen slaves. And as your friends it’s time you started showing us some respect.”
Silence except for the humming of the TV and the clock ticking on the wall. It’s so uncomfortable you could probably cut it out of the air with a scalpel. I really need to get out of the habit of staring at my feet so I fix my eyes on the clock. It’s got Julius Caesar on it. Cool.
“Okay,” Frank says at last. “I had no idea you guys felt this way. I’m sorry to have caused you all such pain, believe me it was not intended. I didn’t know. It must be because I am too up my own ass and filled with self-importance to see how my presence affects my dudes.”
Ray nods curtly but his cold exterior has fallen away slightly, revealing a little embarrassment. “Well...I didn’t mean...I don’t think you’re up your own ass.”
“No I am,” Frank says dismissively. “I’m a pathetic, selfish, egotistical sadist who thrives on the pain of those closest to me. I don’t deserve friends like you. Leave me to walk the world alone...like I deserve.”
Oh, I see what you’re doing. Clever little Wankie. It may work on them but it hasn’t worked on me. Nuh-uh, I can see right through to your blackened soul, you tiny motherfucker. Don’t fall for it Ray, it’s a trick!
Evidently, my telepathic powers are in doubt. “Frank, we couldn’t leave you! Don’t be a retard, you’re our best friend!”
“A title I no longer deserve,” Frank sniffs and rubs away fake tears. “Go, Ray. I am not worthy of your sympathy.”
“Aw man, don’t cry!” cries Ray, looking horrified at the thought of driving someone to tears. “I didn’t really mean it Frank, I was just kidding! You’re an awesome friend, honest!”
Frank sniffs. “Really?”
“Sure. Please don’t cry, I didn’t mean to be a bastard!”
Another sniff. A tiny, weeny, baby voice. “Okay.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Frank Iero with his world famous act: “Manipulating People’s Emotions to Get Whatever the Hell He Fucking Wants”. Jesus Christ, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him!
Frank grins and pats his stomach. “I’m hungry. Let’s go get waffles, I’m buying!”
I love him.
“So, you’re really doing this?” Mikey asks me, squirting maple syrup over his plate.
“Yup,” I nod, swallowing a mouthful of sugary goodness. “I’m really doing this.”
Frank pats me on the back and I glare at him. Don’t think that just because I’ve given it I’m not mad at him anymore. I’m still mad. Stupid, scheming sonofabitch.
Mikey shakes his head. “I never thought I’d see the day,” he says. “Gerard Way. Sell-out.”
“Shut up!” I tell him, holding my fork at a very threatening angle. “I am not a sell-out. I’m trying to make a stand for rock and roll here!”
“Is rock and roll a 5’5 brunette with an A in everything and chopsticks in her hair? Because I’m pretty sure it’s genderless.”
Silly Mikey, everybody knows rock and roll is a woman.
“Personally, I think this is one of the best things to ever happen to us,” Frank leans back into Alex who immediately looks very smug. Oh fuck off, asshole. There’s no need to look so fucking full of your self, you’re the only gay couple in the goddamn diner. ”Gerard is finally gonna make a name for all the people like us who have to fight for social survival. And who’s gonna attack the best friends of a High School superstar?”
“Point well made,” Ray nods. Mikey doesn’t say anything. He just goes back to pretending not to be texting underneath the table.
“Who ya texting?” I lean over to take a peek.
He jerks the cell away with surprising reflexes. “None of your fucking business.”
“Oh, does Mikey have a boyfriend?” Frank laughs. “Is Mikey about to join our noble ranks as fags of Belleville High?”
“Why are you always so derogatory?” Alex scoffs.
“Because I like to be,” Frank rolls his eyes. “And everyone but you knows I’m kidding.”
“But it’s offensive.”
“Not if I’m referring to myself. Now shut the fuck up and eat your waffles.”
“I’m not eating them. Do you know how many calories there are in that?”
“So you had me buy you something you’re not even gonna eat?”
“I thought you liked waffles!”
“Are you kidding?” Frank’s eyes widen. “Soon you’re gonna be telling me you don’t like fries or...or ice cream or coffee-”
“-I don’t like coffee. It stunts your growth.”
“HOLY FUCK!” Franks screams and everyone in the diner looks up. Frank doesn’t seem to care, or even notice. His face is bright red and his whole body is shaking with anger. Oh man, he’s gonna blow. “WHAT KIND OF A MAN ARE YOU?!”
“YOU’RE BOYFRIEND, AS YOU KEEP FORGETTING!”
“YOU’RE SUCH A BASTARD! WHY THE FUCK DID I EVER SLEEP WITH YOU?”
“BECAUSE I’M THE BEST CATCH YOU’LL EVER HAVE, MAYBE?”
“SWIM AWAY, LITTLE FISHY!” Frank screams. “BECAUSE I DON’T NEED TO PRETEND TO LIKE AN ASSHOLE LIKE YOU!”
With that, Alex turns on his heel and marches out the diner. Frank slumps back into his seat, seething like an angry cat. Suddenly he jumps back out of the chair and runs out after him.
“I WANT MY FUCKING MONEY BACK FOR THE WAFFLES, WHORE!” he yells.
I can’t tell you what Alex shouted back in reply. It’s just too bad to put down. Frank didn’t take it kindly but he was prevented from bashing the bastard’s brains out by a couple of cops who were conveniently marching up and down the street. So he re-entered the diner and sat down, breathing harder than ever.
“I never got why you ever went out with him,” says Mikey.
“There was a reason,” Frank replies thoughtfully. “But I can’t remember it. Aw fuck it, we’ve got tickets to see Linkin’ Park for tomorrow!”
“It’s alright dude,” says Ray comfortingly. “We’ll go get a pizza and watch the Star Wars trilogy instead!”
Frank rolls his eyes and recedes into furious silence. To be honest, I’m too pleased to be shot of Alex to feel sympathetic towards Frank. I know it sounds mean...but he was such a bitch.
“Shit,” I face-palm myself. “No can do that pizza. I’ve got a rehearsal after school. You think we can do it another day?”
Aw man! I love those movies.
Tuesday, after school. I am at rehearsal. Eugh, I shiver inside every time I even think the word. Today I am dressed in bright red skinny jeans (awesome, I know), Misfits t-shirt and purple converse. I don’t care what Mikey says, I ‘aint no sell-out.
“Hiya, Gerard!” Samantha waves.
I wave back. How is she so pretty? And nice? And pretty? She’s in a baby blue strappy shirt and blue jeans that I can’t help but notice how good her ass looks in. She has such a cute ass.
“There’s someone you need to meet,” she smiles.
She gestures to the corner and another girl walks over to stand beside her. Black hair with purple streaks, dark eye shadow, bright red lipstick and a clipboard. “Gerard, meet Lindsey Ballato. Our choreographer.”
Balto? Ballato? I don’t know. The Internet can’t make up it’s mind. Will someone please let me know Lindsey’s second name? Thank you much.