A year ago; how Billy Eye first entered the world.
"Frankie, Frankie you'll never believe what I've got planned for this weekend!" Daniel's voice blared through my ears. He jogged up to where I was walking and slung an arm around my shoulders. "Come on, guess!"
"I don't know" I replied. "What is it?"
"Well I told you to guess but I'll give it a clue - it has something to do with that hot new chick!"
"Oh, oh, what was her name again?" Alfie asked, gazing up at his brother, hero-worship shining in his eyes. Daniel scratched his head and shrugged his shoulders.
"How am I supposed to know? I'm gonna fuck her though!"
'Of course you are' I thought.
"Dude, is that the new costume shop?" Gary asked, waving a hand in the opposite direction. I followed his gaze and caught site of the small, weatherboard shop on the other side of the street. It didn't look very impressive but then, to its defense, it had only just opened.
"Let's go in!" Ben suggested, his eyes shining with excitement. Ben had always dreamed of being a famous movie star; "I'll have money, fame and chicks practically hanging of me" he'd always say. Daniel scowled and looked like he wanted to say no; then his eyes drifted over to the shop and his expression changed.
"Well, well, well" he said in an almost gleeful tone. "Look who we have here."
He took off across the street without even bothering to check for incoming traffic. If he got knocked down then it would be his own fault. Alfie took off after his brother, Gary hot on his heels. Ben actually had the brains to look both sides before crossing the street. I followed after them at a slower pace.
"...you doing here?" Daniels voice drifted through my ears when I entered the store. I looked around for him and the others and caught site of them hidden somewhere amongst the second isle; I winced slightly when I saw who Daniel was talking to.
"Does the little fag wanna dress up as Cinderella?" Daniel smashed a meaty finger against Gerard's chest and smirked mockingly. Gerard didn't look too fazed at Daniels comment; he shrugged his backpack higher up onto his shoulder and glanced down the isle.
"Hey! Look at me when I'm talking to you!" Daniel roared. Alfie, Gary and Ben all made noises of agreement. I felt my body tensed as Daniel raised one hand threateningly; Gerard glanced up momentarily, caught site of the offending limb and moved out of the way. I could see a cautious glint appear in his eyes.
"Dan, come on, lets go" I urged him. "I think I saw the store owner looking this way!"
Daniel's brow furrowed and he glanced the way I was pointing. I waved a hand for Gerard too leave; instead of looking grateful the other boy looked plain annoyed. He walked off without even shooting me another glance and, despite knowing that Gerard's feelings towards me wouldn't be changed by one action, I couldn't help but feel disappointed.
"No one was looking this way!" Daniel protested.
"She was before" I replied. "When you were talking to Gerard."
"That guy pisses me off so much" Daniel said, his face darkening. "He makes me want to bash that girly little face of his in!"
"We should do it!" Alfie said, his banana grin taking over his features once more. "I bags breaking his balls!" he burst into obnoxiously high pitched giggles.
"Oh shut up" Daniel told his brother, though there was no real malice in his tone.
"Dude look at this wig!" squealed Ben, running over to a display of the things and picking up a bright red one. He slung it onto his head and ruffled it up, grinning all the while. "I look like a chick!"
"An ugly chick" Gary said, giving him a thoughtful look. "Hey look at this one!" he fingered a black one, nudging it like it was some type of mysterious specimen. I stepped towards the display and allowed me eyes to rake over each one. My gaze landed on a blonde wig and I picked it up.
"Damn, this one actually looks real!" I said, plopping it onto my head and gazing at the mirror. My eyes widened. "Shit, it really does."
"It suits you" Ben, the costume expert, said. "You should buy it."
"I have limited allowance Ben. I can't just waste it on whatever I see."
"Buy it" Daniel urged. "Ben's right, it does look good. You could like, wear it to school!"
"Start a new trend" Alfie piped in and then this. I sighed and shook my head.
"I don't know..." I gazed thoughtfully at my reflection. "Wow...I don't...I don't look like me anymore. Who knew a different hair style and colour could change your appearance so much?"
"You could totally trick the teachers into thinking you were someone else with that!" Ben said, eagerly. "You could become someone else! How cool would that be?"
"Imagine how much fun we could have if we could all pretend to be other people" Gary said, thoughtfully. "We could be anything we wanted to - a girl, a pedophile, a rapist...even a nerd!" he said the last part like it was the most shocking of all his suggestions. "We could become part of Gay Way's clique!"
"Oh god, why would we want that?" Ben laughed. Everyone else followed in suit; I didn't. I continued to stare at my reflection, my mind going over what Gary had just said. Become part of Gerard's clique...oh god how I wished. How I wished that it was possible for that to happen. I thought about it all the time...
"...I'll get the wig" I said, absentmindedly, still not completely sure at what I actually wanted it for. I had an idea but it was so ridiculous; it would never work
"Great! So go pay for it and let's get the hell out of here. This place is getting gay" Daniel said. Ben's face flashed indignantly at the last statement. I headed over to the front of the store and handed my purchase to the store owner; all the while my mind was somewhere else.
When I finally got home after a long evening at Daniel and Alfie's place, my mind was still whirring. I fingered the blonde wig for about the hundredth time and thought about what the other guys had said; about how, with the simple use of it, I looked like a completely different person.
If I was a different person, who would I like to be? I'd like to be...unpopular. I didn't want to attention I received everyday at school for stupid reasons and I didn't want my obnoxious, annoying, sex-obsessed friends. I wanted to earn a name for myself not just be given one for whatever reasons.
I wanted to be Gerard's friend.
If I wasn't part of the popular clique then would Gerard like me? If I wasn't the Frank Iero I was at school but the Frank Iero I was in private, around my family...would he still feel the same way?
I slipped the wig onto my head and gazed thoughtfully at the mirror. No longer was I Frank Iero...I was...
...Billy. I almost laughed. I felt like a little kid dressing up; it was embarrassing and refreshing at the same time.
"Hello" I spoke to my reflection-self; the other me that wasn't me. "My names Billy...Eye. I'm new it town. Just moved here with my family; I'm not really sure why I'm in Frank Iero's room right now. I probably shouldn't be here since I don't belong; only Frank belongs here. And I'm not him."
I pulled the wig off, laughing all the while. I was myself again; Billy Eye was gone. I glanced down at the wig in my hand and toyed with it. If I put it back on my head I'd be Billy again...Billy who had no real reputation in this town. Billy who was mysterious and unknown. Billy who certainly wasn't popular…
'Billy's new in town...Billy doesn't know his way around...Billy could very easily lose his way and get lost...he might need help...it'd just be a coincidence that he ended up outside the Way house...'
I sighed and shook my head. What a lovely thought...not that I'd actually do it of course. It was the worst plan in existence; there were far too many holes in it, far too many risks. It was just a dream and nothing else; I tossed the wig to the other end of the room and buried my head in my pillow.
...But if I did go through with the plan...not that I would of course...it wasn't like I was sticking around long enough for there to be any consequences. I wasn't aiming for more than I could handle...I just wanted one civil conversation with no looks of disgust and no biting comments. It couldn't hurt...
No! No! Stupid crushes that made you want to do stupid things. I wasn't stupid though; I would never do that...
...So why did I find myself on the porch of the Way family home two hours later, the blonde wig on my head and a pair of sunglasses hiding my eyes?
Sorry it took so long for me to update this. I had major writers block; hopefully this chapter was worth the wait.