Chloe meets Franks parents, Lucy loses something, Hollie gains something...
I looked at the couple standing in front of me. Frank’s Dad was strange to say the least. He had black hair like his son and a black moustache to match. His clothes looked extremely old but maybe he was putting some effort into his appearance for the meal tonight just like I had. A mud brown suit with a black tie with yellow spots and black leather shoes cleaned so thoroughly that I could see my surprised face in them. His Mother was slightly more comforting. She had chocolate brown curly hair to match her light brown eyes (Though they weren’t curly). She’d tied back one part of her hair but left the rest loose. Her dress was floor length, white and covered in small pink flowers. Her dress was so long that I couldn’t see her shoes.
“Good afternoon Miss…” Frank’s Dad greeted me.
I smiled at him politely “Chloe. It’s very nice to meet you Mr Iero.”
He didn’t look too impressed that I had said my first name instead of my last. I blushed a bright red colour as his Mum said “We couldn’t wait to meet you Dear, Frank has told us so much about you.”
I glanced at Frank wondering what he’d said about me. Because whatever it was, I was pretty sure that it wasn’t the truth. If Frank told his parents all the crazy things I said or did then they certainly wouldn’t be calling me ‘Dear’.
Frank coughed “I think we should get going now. I’m starving, I don’t know about you!”
“I’ll be driving!” Frank’s Dad told me “Come on Dear, get into the car…”
I followed Frank to his parent’s car. He opened the door for me and I slid into the backseat. Frank walked round the car and slid in next to me. As his parents were getting into the two front seats I managed to hiss to him “What did you say about me?”
“That you were a quiet, polite girl with good intentions.” Frank whispered back “And other stuff…”
“Other stuff…?” I demanded to know.
Frank’s Mother turned to look at me “What did you say dear?”
“Oh nothing,” I said politely “So, what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a banker,” Frank’s Father informed me.
Frank’s Mother looked proudly at her husband “And I’m a florist.”
I could see them both doing just that. “What’s your favourite subject at school?”
A quick glance at Frank told me everything I needed to say “Science and maths, it’s a hard choice. I like nearly all the academic subjects though.”
“And your plans for the future?”
My real plans for the future were to start a band with Frank. We’d already started rehearsals, me, Frank and Ray on guitar, Gerard and Hollie on vocals, Mikey and Lucy on bass, Bob on drums. We were a big band and sometimes we felt we had more than we needed but it was good fun. Frank glared at me not to tell his parents all this though.
I thought about it for a second “I want to be a lawyer.”
Frank’s parents made approving noises so I assumed this was a good choice. Frank smiled gratefully at me. I nodded in return and then before I knew it we were outside the restaurant.
We took a seat at a small table near the window in the upstairs section. I sat down next to Frank, opposite his Mum. I hadn’t learnt their names but I assumed they preferred being called Mr and Mrs Iero.
Mr Iero handed me the menu and I scanned through the choices. This was probably the most terrified I’d ever been in a restaurant trying to order food. When me, Lucy and Hollie were quite young but old enough to read and understand numbers, we used to scan the menu for the most expensive thing on the menu and then we’d order it, three of them. It irritated our parents because half the time we didn’t even like the food that showed up. But then they’d pay us back the next night by serving up the same food, saying “Since we know it’s your favourite…”
I wished that Hollie and Lucy were there then. It’s not very often that I get nervous but sometimes I do. But when I’m with my sisters I just don’t get nervous. I guess it’s because they’re both terrified of like everything so I feel like the brave one. In this situation, I feel like the weak one.
I continued to look through the menu. I didn’t want his parents to think I was cheap but I didn’t want them looking at the price and getting angry. So I waited until Frank finally coughed and said “Um I think that me and Chloe will just have the soup of the day for starts then order our mains afterwards. Is that okay?”
“Of course it’s okay.” Frank’s Mum smiled “As long as that’s okay with you two dear?”
I nodded “Yes, that’s what I’d love.” I smiled at Frank gratefully and then started making idle chat with his parents.
After the starter Frank chose our mains too but he did it dead subtly. As if he wasn’t choosing for me but like he was suggesting it to me. It was just easier that way.
Everything was going great. But then I spoilt everything during dessert. But I had to say something, I wasn’t just going to sit there and accept it after all.
Frank’s Dad was eating whatever it was he had ordered when he suddenly said “You’re very different from your triplets you know Chloe.”
“Am I?” I asked “I wasn’t aware you’d met them.”
“I met Hollie,” He said “When she came over to drop Frank’s homework off one night. She’d borrowed it to copy out, not the answers, just the questions because she’d forgotten hers. She seems a bit like an airhead if you ask me.”
I stopped eating my food. Had he just insulted my sister? She wasn’t an airhead; she was one of the smartest people I knew.
Frank’s Dad smiled and continued “And I met Lucy when she came over to see if Frank was coming out to the park one night. I had to tell her that he was too busy studying. She’s a bit… Well, scruffy.”
Lucy was not scruffy. She was a bit of a tomboy but she was presentable and one of the politest people you will ever meet. I know she made a mistake before but that was probably the first and only bad thing she’s ever done since she was born.
I shuffled uncomfortably while Frank’s Mum continued “They’re not like you Chloe. I see you were the only one taught manners.”
“How dare you!” I suddenly snapped. Frank glanced fearfully at me but I glared at him to get my point across “My parents taught us all beautiful manners. So Hollie forgot to pick up her homework sheet, it doesn’t make her stupid! Yeah she’s a little forgetful but she probably knows a lot more than you do!”
“I beg your pardon?”
“And my sister is not scruffy, she’s a tomboy. She dresses sensibly and comfortably and that’s the way she chooses to be. It’s none of your business what they dress like. And you think I’m the one with the good manners? My sisters are a lot more polite than I am, trust me! I am sick of pretending to be someone I’m not in front of you two!” I looked at Frank “I’m so sorry Frank I know I’ve probably messed everything up.”
Frank shrugged, blushed and looked down at his lap. Frank’s Father shook his head at me “Young lady, just who did you think you are?”
“I’m Chloe Bowden.” I replied “I know who I am.”
He stared at me with a look of disgust on his face “Do not think you are ever seeing my son again.”
“Dad-“ Frank started but his Dad cut him off by putting his finger in the air.
“Chloe Bowden,” Frank’s Father glared at me “You can walk home. I will pay for your meal but do not think you are ever seeing my son again. Now get out and stay away from us.”
I glanced at Frank expecting him to have something to say. He had plenty to say but he couldn’t say it, not in front of them.
Tears welling up in my eyes, I stood up and ran out of the restaurant. Hollie was wrong. They hated me for who I was.
“That was a really great movie,” I told Mikey “Kind of feels like part of my childhood is dying though if you know what I mean.”
“I totally know what you mean!” Mikey replied, putting his arm round me “I said that to Gerard and he complained it was more like his childhood dying. I very nearly slapped him.”
I giggled “I still don’t get why if Harry was one of the things then why did Voldemort want to kill him so badly?”
“Maybe he didn’t know?”
“Still seems stupid if you ask me.”
“Don’t call Harry Potter stupid!” Mikey laughed “Are you cold?”
“Kind of,” I’d forgotten to bring a jacket. I thought because it was warm when I left the house that it’d stay warm all night. I’m such an idiot.
Mikey took off his jacket “Here, put this on.”
“No way, I can’t wear your jacket. You’ll get cold.”
“I don’t care,” He carried on, shoving his jacket at me “Please wear it!”
Finally I gave in and pulled it on. It was too big for me but I didn’t care because I love baggy clothes. “How do you think Chloe meeting Franks parents went?”
“Guess you’ll soon find out. But I’m sure it went fine.” Mikey coughed then asked “So um there’s this Smashing Pumpkins gig next week. Gerard got us four tickets because he wants to introduce Lucy to rock music and he knows how much I wanna go… But obviously I didn’t wanna go to be with Gerard and Lucy getting loved up so I was wondering if you’d come with me?”
“When is it?”
“Oh I can’t, this guy from school asked me to go out with him that night…”
Mikey looked at the floor, looking slightly hurt and embarrassed before I giggled and said “I’m joking, I’d love to go out with you!”
“Don’t tease me!” Mikey complained, laughing “You know how gullible I am!”
“I’m gullible too,” I reminded him “But you don’t ever lie to me or tease to me. And do you know why?”
“Because ya fancy me!” I told him in a cowboy accent before bursting into hysterical laughter.
Mikey giggled “Dude, I think everyone reckons you’re drunk!”
We both looked at an elder couple across the road staring at us. We both laughed at them as they whispered to each other. “What do you think they’re saying?”
“I don’t know,” I giggled “Well they think I’m drunk. What do they think of you?”
“I like to think they consider me your Doctor…”
We were still laughing when we reached my house. I turned to face Mikey “Thanks for walking me home.”
“It’s okay, anytime.”
He leaned over and kissed me goodnight. When we pulled away I heard a strange noise behind me. It sounded like an animal in pain or something. Mikey looked over my shoulder to see what it was. I twisted round and saw what it was.
It was my sister Chloe crying. She ran into the house, crying her eyes out.
I glanced at Mikey “Yeah, I guess I’d better go talk to her… Sorry…”
“It’s okay. See you tomorrow.”
I gave him a quick hug goodbye before running into my house. I noticed I was still wearing his jacket but I didn’t have time to chase him to give it back. I felt a little bad because he’d be really cold but oh well…
“Chloe!” I yelled, running up the stairs into her bedroom “What’s wrong?”
“They hate me!” She cried, sobbing into her pillow “And it’s all my fault! They really liked me Hollie, they really did but then I ruined it…”
I sat down on her bed “What happened?”
Chloe told me everything that had gone wrong “Did they really expect me not to stick up for my family?”
“I guess it wasn’t you sticking up for your family.” I told her as gently as I could “I think it was the way you did it.”
“They made me angry.”
“I know but Frank’s parents aren’t going to like being yelled at.”
“I don’t get why they don’t like you two.” Chloe said, propping herself up onto her elbow “And now they don’t like me either.”
“Maybe you need to apologise?”
“They’re the ones who insulted my family!”
“I know but somehow I don’t Frank’s parents are going to apologise.”
Chloe sighed and laid herself back down “I’m tired, I need to sleep. Can we talk in the morning?”
“Sure,” I got up and closed her door behind me. I could hear Lucy rustling about in her bedroom so I went in “What’s wrong Lucy?”
“I can’t find my diary!” Lucy cried “I’ve been looking everywhere for it and it’s just not here!”
“It’s around here somewhere.”
“What if someone stole it?” Lucy asked dramatically “Don’t tell anyone this but I wrote some totally bitchy stuff in there about Gerard when I was kidding myself that I didn’t like him. And there’s bad stuff about Mikey, Bob, Frank and Ray…”
“Trust me Lucy, you’ll probably find it in the morning.” I yawned “Oh well. Good night, I’m going to bed…”