I realise that she’s not the only one dressed differently. Because I am too.
For a second I just stand there, staring, as I take in the girl’s appearance. With her brightly coloured hair, dark attire and Gothic makeup she stands out like a Jewish vegetarian at a football supported hog roast; yet with her slightly curled lip and almost arrogant expression she seems to radiate authority and look like she has every right in Hell to be here. I notice how some of the others sneak quick, resentful glances in her direction but she doesn’t seem to care, or is even aware of the fact that she’s the only one dressed slightly differently in the whole Drama studio.
Then I realise that she’s not the only one dressed differently. Because I am too.
“Nice to meet you,” I extend my hand with a smile, eager to make Alt-buddies with someone who has such awesome hair. “I’m Gerard.”
She looks down at my outstretched hand, raises an eyebrow, and completely ignores it. “Yeah, I know who you are. Gerard Way. The guy with a D grade in more subjects than not, a certain disregard for anything academic and apparently some kind of a voice. I’ve heard a lot about you and I want to tell you that this,” she gestures around the studio. “Isn’t a game. This isn’t some kind of one off lunchtime club you can get away with pissing around in. You’re gonna commit to this thing and you’re gonna work. And Christ, if you make me look bad I will personally hunt you down, murder your skinny ass, stick your heart in a baguette and eat it. You got that, loser?”
Okay. Crazy psycho bitch alert. Let us proceed with Plan B: Say what she wants you to say then back away slowly.
“Understood,” I say.
“Fantastic.” She tosses her hair over her shoulders, making the purple streaks dance amongst the black before turning back to Samantha. “I gotta go sort some shit out. Keep this asshole out of my face for a while, will ya?”
And she walks away.
“Um, what the hell was that?” I ask Samantha with a raised eyebrow.
She giggles. “Awesome, isn’t she? Come on. I’ll introduce you to the guys.”
Awesome. Not exactly word I was thinking of. But any friend of Samantha’s is a friend of mine so I let it wash over and follow her to where a group of Plastics stand in a huddle. And when I say “Plastics” I mean plastics. Seriously, there is no fucking way those boobs are real. Or that nose. Or those ears.
“Hey guys,” Samantha sings, pushing me in front of her. “This is Gerard. My new partner.”
The faces change for about a millisecond but I can still register each expression before it is replaced by the obligatory fake beam of greeting. Surprise. Disbelief. Acceptance. And finally on some faces, disgust.
“This is Tina,” a Latino girl flutters a perfectly manicured hand. “Annie,” a girl with red hair smiles and nods her head. “Kelsey,” another smile. “And Christina. The guys are Zach, Mitch, Austin and Gav.”
Zach, Mitch, Austin and Gav nod in a manly fashion and pull me in for a bro hug. I’m not too good at them, never had to do one myself. Frank hugs like a girl, Ray bear hugs and Mikey doesn’t touch people unless their hands accidentally brush while passing over a test tube. Or unless you’re a creepy chick with abnormally wide, staring eyes, vacant expression and zero voice box.
No wave from Christina. Not even a smile. She just glances once my direction and looks the other way, causing me to promptly raise my eyebrows in a “Oh no you didn’t” kind of way. I mean, rude much? I peer round Annie to get a good look at Miss-too-good-to-pretend-to-like-you and shrink back immediately as I realise who it is. Fuck. Oh fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking fuck. That’s Christina Simpson.
Enter flames. Enter bats and millipedes and other insects that gross me out. Someone play an out of tune organ and then laugh evilly. Cos that’s what I’m getting at whenever I hear or even think that name. Consequently, the constant organ playing fucking hurts my brain after a while so let’s just call her the she-devil. Because that’s what she fucking is, a bitchy little...bitch...with the soul ambition in life to cause everyone around her extreme emotional pain.
Okay, so a couple of years back Ray had this girlfriend, a really nice chick called Rebecca. They were totally in love and really happy together and it was sooo sweet to hear them. Honestly, their conversations kinda went “Um, do you want me to kiss you?” “Only if you like.” “Oh, um, okay. Should I go this way?” “If you want to.” Yeah, it was priceless. The she-devil is your average High School bitch-bot. Head of the cheerleading squad, dating the football Captain, hell yeah it’s all very cliché.
We knew she was evil but we tended to stay the hell away from her, except for this one time when she was yelling at this little kid for accidentally dropping ice cream on her shoes and Ray-ban came to the rescue. He told her she was being juvenile and immature and should quit taking out her internal rage on defenceless children and then he left before she could say anything, embarrassing her in front of all her stupid friends and making us laugh. So she had to get revenge, didn’t she?
Long story short, she started a rumour with the help of certain sites such as Facebook and Twitter that the only reason Rebecca was going out with Ray was because she was ugly, fat, desperate and no one else would have her. She posted notes in other guys’ lockers signing them “Rebecca” that said things like “Think you’re better than my boyfriend? I don’t really care as long as you’ve got the cash!” At first everyone just ignored it but soon people started calling her a slut and a whore until she completely broke down and moved to Minnesota, leaving Ray broken hearted and very confused.
We all knew it was Christina; it was so obvious in the way she smirked whenever she saw us coming down the hall and made snide, bitchy comments in our direction. But we couldn’t prove it so she got off. And that is why the she-devil must die in the most horrible way I can think of. Of course she’s in the fashion show. She’s the elite. Maybe I can accidentally-on-purpose break her legs when she’s doing her solo? Sigh. I’m a bad person. But then so is she!
I hate this. What am I doing here? No one likes me. I’m a loser. I’m in the presence of the she-devil. The choreographer already hates my guts, what if she puts together a strip where I have to do something really embarrassing? Like pole dance? That’s it. I’m leaving. And you can’t fucking stop me-
“-So Gerard,” Oh. Kelsey’s talking to me. Hold escape plan for just a minute. “How come you never tried out before now?”
“Uh...” Because I consider you people shallow and superficial and your egos are the only things bigger than your plastic tits? “Wasn’t sure I’d have enough time.”
“You would have gotten in if you had,” smiles Samantha.
Well Gee, thanks! I grin back at her. She bats her eyelashes. Wait, what? Am I...am I being flirted with? Whoa. Okay. Is there something I should be doing? Batting my eyelashes doesn’t seem quite right. Wait, stop, Gerard. Come back to reality. You were supposed to be escaping, remember? And nothing can fucking stop you-
“-You guys wanna go get a Starbucks after rehearsal?”
Ah, screw it. Escaping is for losers.
Ow. Ow, ow, ow, mother fucker, ow! My whole body hurts, from the top of my head to my little toe. (I don’t know what that toe’s called. Pinkie toe? Let’s call it that.) I swear, that was one hell of a work out. And all we were doing is warming up! I wonder, if I was dancing would it be worse? I expressly forbid Ms Maitland to make me dance. It was part of the deal, I would do the show if it meant no dancing. So far she has stuck to her word but all that “pretending to be a tree” hurts more than you’d think it would.
“Well, it’s your own damn fault,” the ever sympathetic Frank tells me back at homeroom. “You don’t do enough exercise.”
“Hey!” I say indignantly. “That is so unfair! I exercise!”
“Running around in circles with next door’s rabid shih tzu at your heels is not exercise.”
It’s tiring enough. Man, that little fucker is fast.
“Anyway,” Frank continues. “It can’t have been that bad because your expression’s brightened up from morbidly depressed to plain gloomy. And,” he looks me straight in the eye and I get the feeling of being X-Rayed. “Word on the street is Samantha asked you out for coffee.”
I feel a blush creeping across the apples of my cheeks. “How do you even know that?”
“I have my sources,” Frank shrugs matter-of-factly. “I’m guessing it’s true then?”
I nod. “Yeah.”
Frank grins and pats me on the back. “Congrats! Who knew you of all people were capable of such suave seduction? So, how did it go?”
“It was going great,” I tell him. “Until Tina, Annie, Kelsey, Austin, Mitch and Gav decided to come along too.”
“Ah,” Frank wrinkles his nose. “Bet that was frustrating.”
“It sucked,” I sigh. “How am I supposed to ask her out when she’s surrounded by groupies all the time?”
“Groupies?” comes an excited voice from behind me. “Where? Where?”
Ray is looking around desperately, followed by Mikey and some random dude I’ve never met before. “I can’t see any groupies,” Ray frowns. “Where are you hiding them, Frank?”
“There are no groupies, dickwad,” Frank snarls. “Jeez Ray, get a fucking life, already.”
“Hey now,” the random dude reproaches teasingly. “That’s no way to talk to your friends, is it? You’re making me jealous!”
“Aw don’t worry,” Frank smirks back. “I’m always ready to be an asshole for my favourite little shithead.”
Randomer laughs and leans into Frank for a kiss, causing my eyes to widen in surprise and Mikey to groan “Oh brother,” behind me.
“Erm, excuse me?” I begin as they break apart. “Am I missing something, here?”
“Oh right,” Frank wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. “Gerard, meet Justin, my new boyfriend.”
“New boyfriend?” my eyebrows reach for the ceiling. “You only just broke up with Alex!”
“Honestly Gee, that was what, eleven hours ago?” Frank shrugs dismissively. “You gotta learn to move with the times, man. Seriously.”
I am shocked. Shocked, appalled, and pretty impressed too. Jesus, that guy works fast. If only he would share his wealth.
“So anyways,” Frank continues. “Whatcha gonna do about Samantha? You gonna talk to her again?”
“Yeah,” I sigh. “I don’t know...I think she likes me. More than the choreographer does, anyway. That was some stick up her ass.”
“What was her name?”
“Oh her,” Mikey pipes. “The crazy chick with the purple hair, right?”
“Yeah, that’s her.”
“She’s in my History class,” he grins. “She’s hot. For a perfectly average looking girl with a personality disorder,” he adds as Heather glares at him.
“She’s freaking insane,” nods Ray. “Hates everyone. Don’t take it personally.”
“But she kept referring to me as “the dickhead who looks like a dead guy on cocaine”,” I pout.
Ray frowns. “Okay, that is a bit weird. She hates you.”
“It’s probably because you’re pale as fuck and intake way too much caffeine,” Frank observes. “Also, the fact that you get out less than my pet guinea pig probably doesn’t do you any favours either.”
Stay tuned kids, there’s more “Let’s Pick On Gerard Until He Cries” after the break. I’m about to reply with something witty and sarcastic when I suddenly remember what I wanted to say in the first place. “Oh guys! Guess who else is on the cast list!”
As soon as the words slip from my mouth the atmosphere changes instantly. Mikey looks up from the book in his hands. Ray bites his lip and squeezes his eyes shut. A muscle jumps in Frank’s jaw and Justin shifts on his lap. Even Heather’s wide eyes narrow.
“Oh yeah?” Ray asks coolly. “Whose life has she decided to ruin now?”
“Well, considering I’ll be working with her over the next few weeks, I’m gonna hazard a guess at mine.” I answer.
“I hate that bitch,” says Mikey suddenly. Heather nods beside him.
“I wish someone would teach her a lesson,” says Frank. “She deserves a taste of her own medicine more than anyone else.”
“Yeah,” I agree. “But who in this school has so little to lose and yet is in such a position as to take such a task into their own hands?”
The contemplative silence lasts for a few seconds before a wicked grin appears on Frank’s face. Why is everyone looking at me?
o.O Is that a subplot I smell? By the way guys, please don’t give up on your hopes of this becoming a Frerard. I still don’t really know what I’m going to do with it so fluffy gayness may still ensue. I know that’s what you all really want. :P