The day in school and Frank's night plans.
I was right - the day did drag on. As Frank had said earlier, I was in most of the same classes as Phin. I didn't like being sheparded around, but I appreciated it. Without her help, I never would have found my way around the school.
Before lunch the lessons weren't too bad - English, Science, Music and Drama. Phin didn't do Drama as a lesson, but she introduced me to a girl named Jenny who stuck with me during that period. She was nice enough, even if she clearly didn't appreciate being stuck with the new kid.
After Drama ended, Frank was hovering outside of the room talking to one of the guys I recognised from this morning. His face and exposed arms were blotchy with bruises and I figured this must be Kyle - the guy who got beat up. Actually, I remembered his face from this morning.
"Hey," Frank waved at me when he noticed me emerge from the classroom. I was surprised he'd bother to come and find me.
"Hi," I shuffled my feet nervously. Well Kyle really did not look friendly!
"My class was just down the hall, so I figured I'd stick 'round and wait for you. Show you where we usually hang at lunch, and make sure you don't get eaten alive by any of the bastards that come here."
"No problem kid."
I followed Frank and Kyle down the corridor. I knew people were staring at me - I could feel their eyes on my skin. It made me shiver, made me feel like I was an attraction at a zoo, or a biological experiment they had to dissect. I know I was being paranoid. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the whole world isn't out to get you.
We exited the school building out of a small side door and crossed the lawn to where a small group of trees were planted. A load of people were there already, sprawled out on the grass and soaking up the sunlight. Many of them were smoking in-between eating food out of their bags. I could hear their voices as I approached. For such a tough looking bunch, they had surprisingly friendly voices. And nice laughs, I noted as a dark skinned girl threw back her head and giggled in the bright sun.
When we reached the group, I sat a little apart, keeping in the shade. No one seemed to notice and I was happy with that. No one could hate, or annoying, or bully when you're invisible.
Unfortunately, my discreetness did not last as long as I would have hoped.
"What you doing sitting over there?" One of the boys leaned round the tree he had his back to and grinned at me in a slightly insane manner. I shrugged. "Ya know, you're never going to make any friends sitting on your own."
"I mean come over here - we don't bite." The last comment got him several what are you on about stares. "Ok, some of us do but that's usually because we're stoned or having sex." I laughed at his comment, not entirely sure whether he was joking or not.
He jerked his head, indicating for me to move closer. I hesitated. The guy looked ok, certainly not as scary as some of the other people sprawled in the sun around him. He had dark blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and a lip ring. There was a small amount of stubble growing on his chin, but he looked friendly. I nodded eventually, and scooted over to him on by bum, dragging my bag with me.
"I'm Bob." he said smiling.
"Gerard." I smile hesitantly back.
"So, Gerard... what do you think of California?"
"Too hot!" That made him laugh.
"Do you not like the sun?" Phin looked shocked. Her eyes were slightly bugged and the cigarette she was holding was in danger of dropping out of her hand. Frank snatched it off her and took a drag.
"Not really," I said, feeling uncomfortable under the gazes of all of the stares I was getting. "I mean, look at me; I don't really see it much."
"That's true - you could pass as a snowman." Frank giggled. I blushed. "Apart from when that happens. Then you have more of a... crabby look about you!"
The group laughed and my blush deepened. Then I realised they weren't laughing at me - more of the idiocy of Frank's comment.
"Dude? What the hell? Crab?" One of the girls asked, clutching her stomach with laughter.
"Oh shut it. It was the first red thing that jumped into my head!" said Frank defensively, though he was laughing too.
"You're mad." Phin stated, grabbing the cigarette back. I looked longingly at it - I hadn't had a smoke since leaving New Jersey.
"Want one?" Phin asked, seeing my face. I hesitated. It was shit like that that got me stuck here in the first place. But then, I hadn't had a drink, or done any drugs since Jersey either and my body was craving its poison. I nodded. One little ciggy couldn't hurt.
She chucked me the box and fished in Andy's (whose lap she was sitting on) pocket for a lighter. "One," she said warningly before throwing the lighter over to me as well. I nodded and pulled a stick out of the pack, before tossing it back. To her amusement it landed in Frank's lap as opposed to her. Yeah, I fail at anything even vaguely sport related - aim included. I light up and inhale the fumes deeply. Even after my first drag I felt more relaxed.
I was about to throw it back when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see Bob, also holding a cigarette. "Lighter?" he asked and I obliged, handing it to him.
He lit up, and as the smell washed over me I realised it wasn't a cigarette he was smoking.
"Ewwww. Bob do you have to smoke that here? It stinks." I didn't see who said it, but Bob's only response was to inhale again and throw the lighter back to Phin. She stuck it back in Andy's pocket.
I couldn't feel slightly jealous as I watched Bob smoke his weed. I had to stay away from it though if I wanted any chance of getting back to Jersey. I busied myself with my own smoking and tried to ignore the smell drifting over to me.
As she had with the cigarettes, Phin noticed the look in my eyes when I saw Bob smoking. "It's funny," she announced. Frank, Andy and Bob looked at her questioningly, but I thought I knew where this was going. "I would not have pegged you to be the type to be into drugs, Gerard." The people listening just gave me stunned looks and I lowered my head in shame.
At Phin's words, my head whipped round to look at Gerard. He was looking at his knees, and I could tell he was embarrassed even know I couldn't see his face through the curtain of hair that covered it. He brought the cigarette back to his lips.
I was surprised. He wasn't denying it, so it must be true, but he didn't smell of weed or anything when I met him yesterday. Anyway, he didn't seem the type to be a pot head. I wondered how on Earth Phin managed to pick up on it.
"Is that what got you kicked out of New Jersey?" Phin questioned. It was kinda rude of her, but that was Phin - she was very direct. I glanced at her, half wanting to tell her to shut it, the other half as deeply curious as she obviously was. And then of course, there was the small part of me that enjoyed seeing Gerard cringe under the gaze of various strangers (to him at least). However, it wasn't nearly as enjoyable to watch as to inflict, and despite enjoying irritating him, I also felt protective. Yes, I am one fucked up little person.
At last he nodded. "Yeah," regret and sadness coloured his voice, and a small stream of pity ran through me. I wasn't going to lose face amongst my mates though by comforting him. To my right, Phin nodded and leant back, dragging on her cigarette again, before passing it to Andy. The conversation soon resumed and in a few minutes, my group was back to its usual joking and mindless conversation. Needless to say, Gerard did not join in. After Bob finished his joint, he began talking to the kid. He was obviously strung out, but that didn't really matter - high or not, Bob was easy to get along with. By the end of lunch, the two were chatting happily. I couldn't help but feel a little jealous that Gerard was more comfortable in Bob's presence, but considering the way I had treated him so far, it wasn't really surprising.
We made our way back to class. Gerard, Phin and Lissa had math next, so they headed down the west end of the school. I followed Ollie and Adrian - two of the most mental guys I know, and I have met some pretty bizarre people in my time - to English.
"Soooo...?" Ollie asked, dragging his word out to make it a question, the way Phin did. Maybe he thought I was more likely to answer if he impersonated my best friend. "You think Gerard is hot?"
I liked Ollie and Adrian, I really did, but that was not information I intended on sharing with them. I had told Phin earlier that Gerard was a nine - out of ten obviously. Truthfully, it was more like nine point nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine, nine. Not that I was going to admit that. So I threw them off completely. "Yeah, totally! OMG, he just looks so cute with his emo bangs and vampire-y pale skin!" I gushed, doing my best impression of a hormone ridden teenage girl, whilst still managing to sound sarcastic. I'd perfected this a long time ago. Don't ask how or why - it's just one of those things. "No, seriously, he is the weirdest looking dude I've seen in a while. I'd bang him though."
The two of them just looked really confused, trying to figure out which part of my speech had been serious. I grinned internally - mission success.
"Really? 'Cos you were staring at him all through lunch." Ollie decided what I had said meant I didn't find Gerard hot. Which wasn't entirely true, but 'cute' suited him better. I wouldn't usually go for a guy like that, but as I have already said I intended on screwing with Gerard. Mentally and physically.
"It's true." Adrian grinned, agreeing with Ollie and interrupting my plan-making.
"Yeah, I was trying to figure out whether he was bullshitting or not 'bout the weed thing." I lied.
"Dude, why would he lie 'bout something like that? It's not like he was trynna make himself look hard or something, 'cos he was embarrassed by the whole thing."
"Yeah, but he could have been looking for attention. Like pity or something." I replied, though I didn't really believe what I was saying.
"I suppose..." Ollie said doubtfully. But my bitching had put him off questioning me, which was the purpose of the whole thing. We arrived at English. Thankfully, I was in a different class to them, so we went our separate ways.
I hated math. I sucked at it. I was struggling over the first question the teacher had given us; a very complicated equation used to figure out the volume of something. She had of course explained how it works at the beginning of class and how to use it. I had honestly tried to follow but I was completely lost within five minutes. After that I'd just let my mind wander, knowing I'd never pick it up now.
Lunch had been a disaster. I wished so badly that I hadn't been forced to admit that I did drugs to the point my parents had kicked me out infront of all of those people. I didn't even know most of their names. But I hoped that now that they knew, they might keep the smoking and drug taking down around me. I doubted it though. And with my self control being the size of half a dollar bill, I could see myself being sucked into the Californian drug scene very quickly. At least the group couldn't judge me as it appeared that they were as into drugs and smoking as I was.
What made it worse was that I could feel Frank's eyes on me all through the rest of lunch. I refused to look at him though I wished I knew what he was thinking. After Bob finished smoking we began to talk. He was friendly enough, if a little stoned. I wished he was here to help, as I was too nervous to ask Phin (who was sitting next to me for help). Her questions earlier made me resent her a little although she hadn't been directly mean to me. I glanced at her sheet now and saw she'd already managed to complete eight questions, as well as talk steadily to Lissa. I really needed her help.
"Ummmm, Phin?" I said tentatively.
"Yeah?" she replied, swinging her head round to face me so her hair spun out.
"I really, just don't get this. Could you help?" I bite my lip, waiting for her reply.
"Sure. What don't you get?"
"All of it."
Phin laughed and began to explain. To my surprise I actually understood by the time I was done.
"Thanks, I suck at math."
"Maths." She corrected me. "With an 's'."
She shrugged. "How you say it in England. I'm English and I inflict it on everyone."
"It bugs the hell out of everyone." Lissa leaned round Phin to inform me. I laughed. We carried on chatting for the rest of the lesson and any resentment I had towards Phin for her earlier questions vanished. She was very direct, even when joking.
After math - or maths - as Phin was continually correcting me - was PE. My worst subject after maths. Phin showed me where the changing rooms were, hesitating before she left me.
"Just so you know - the guys in this class are all cunts. Literally, every single one of them." she smiled regretfully at me before turning and walking back down the corridor to what ever lesson she had.
I took a deep breathe and walked into the changing room. The guys in there were getting changed (duh), and ignored me at first, too preoccupied with comparing tans And stomach muscles. I was the skinniest, palest person in there - and the only one wearing make up.
It only took a few minutes for them to notice this, and for the whispers to start.
"Does he think he's some sort of fucked up vampire?"
"Just look - he's got 'fag' written all over him."
"I feel sorry for his parents - imagine having a kid like that!"
That last comment stung. I blinked the tears from my eyes and looked up. Everyone was staring at me with various expressions of hatred and disdain. I recognised the Ben guy from the fight in the hall.
"What are you looking at faggot?" he sneered. I lowered my gaze, hate washing through me.
The taunts lasted all through PE, the teacher appearing not to notice.
"Go back to where you came from!"
"Want to borrow my razor to cut yourself with?"
By the end of PE, I did feel ready to cut myself open. It was a relief to escape to art. Even there, some of the insults continued. Thankfully, the teacher did notice this time. He set me up with some sketching and I happily lost myself in my art for the final hour of school.
When it finished, I stuffed the paper in my bag. I hadn't drawn anything amazing - just some cartoons, but it had calmed me down.
I got a little lost on my way to the school's parking lot as no one had bothered to collect me after art. I wasn't too fussed though - l liked being solitary. However, when I was around Phin or Frank the insults that were following me now were no existent. It seemed like even the tough, pierced, tattooed people that threw me daggers (metaphorically) were scared of the two of them.
When I finally tracked down Frank's car, he was leaning on the hood, talking to Bob, Lissa, and a few others.
"Hey," Frank said when I arrived by them.
"Hi," I muttered. I had just noticed (again) how truthfully gorgeous his eyes were. Right now they had a mischievous glint in them, making me wonder what he was planning.
"Ready to blow this dump?"
"Yeah - more than ready."
"Come on then - no rest for the wicked!"
Obediently, I opened the car door and got in. Out of the windshield, I saw Frank lean forward and whisper something to the group. They all laughed and I blushed, assuming they were talking about me.
"Good day?" Frank asked, after getting in the car and pulling out of the parking lot.
"Not really," I replied.
I expected him to laugh or make some patronising comment, but to my surprise his reply was soft and understanding. "Yeah, I know the feeling. A load of kids at my school are arses."
"They don't seem to bother you now." I commented.
"Yeah. I got some really bad shit thrown at me a few years back. I made friends with Phin and she basically taught me to hit back harder. Haven't really had any trouble since then. You'll learn to handle it sooner or later." The last sentence was accompanied by a shrug. I translated it as meaning 'or you won't - I don't really give a fuck'.
I was lying on bed, just staring at the ceiling. I had my headphones in and was just concentrating on the music, letting it wash over me. I had gone online for a bit, checking my emails and stuff. I already had several from Mikey. God, did I miss that kid. I'd replied to him, but then Frank had started bitching about me making the connection slow so I'd given up.
I sighed. I wish I knew what to do about Frank. He was just so incredibly neurotic. One moment he'd be teasing me and driving me insane, the next he'd be sweet and understanding. Either way, he was fucking gorgeous. I could just picture his tanned skin, decorated with a hundred colourful tattoos; his black hair - the way it clung to his face in soft curls; the cheekiness of his grin when it parted over his pearly teeth; and his eyes - those eyes. I could get lost in them for hours. The dark chocolate that sparkled with excitement and energy. They were beautiful.
And I'd turned into a fucking girl.
At that moment, my shoulder received a sharp jab.
"Ow!" I opened my eyes, to see the ones I'd just been dreaming about hovering above me. I ripped my headphones out and scrambled away from Frank who had been bending over my head.
"Enjoy dreaming 'bout me?" he asked, smirking.
For a moment I panicked. How had he known? Then I regained my mental composure. He hadn't known - not unless he was telepathic in which case I was screwed.
"You wish!" I snorted.
"I do actually," Frank replied in a soft, seductive voice and I felt my stomach do a nose dive. Then he was smirking again. "Here." He pushed a piece of paper into my hands.
I frowned, confused, and unfolded it. It was a map with a red line drawn along some of the streets.
"What's this for?" I asked.
"Directions to Phin's house. It's about a ten minute walk so you should be okay. I can't drive you, 'cause I'm out for the night."
"What? W-Where are you going?" I found myself stuttering.
"On a date!" He replied perkily, his grin growing. "Well, not so much a date as a fuck, but ya know...!" I didn't actually. "Anyway, I need the car and you'll need a lift so go to Phin's."
"What?!" I squeaked. "I can't just turn up there and demand a lift! I only met her today!"
"Sure you can. I'll call her; tell her you're coming. She won't mind - just be there before eight."
"Frank! Please, no!" I pleaded. He just grinned, waved and left the room.
I collapsed back on to my bed, groaning. I really did not want to face Phin tomorrow, but I doubted John would give me a lift in. Anyway, Frank said he'd call her and I had no way of contacting her so I couldn't just not show up if she was expecting me.
After the stress of those thoughts died away, I began to think about Frank. What he'd be doing right now. Who he was with. What it would feel like to have him doing those things to me...
I laid back in bed. Fuck only knows why, or how, but I had fallen hard for Frank Iero.
What did you think? As ever - please review. And sorry about the math/maths thing. It just bugs me when I hear 'math'. Don't ask - I'm weird like that.
By the way, I'm currently watching the Reading Fest on you tube. My Chem were fucking amazing!! Why was I not there???? :( Cheer me up by reviewing! PLEEEEAAAASE