Memories are driving him insane.
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t sleep that night. Or the next three nights, as a matter of fact. When I did finally sink into oblivion, I dreamt of him, making me gasp and wake up shaking. At around two o’clock each night I gave up, and made my way upstairs to make myself a coffee.
I would still be sitting there five hours later when Mikey would make his way downstairs.
“Hey Mikes,” I mumbled softly on Thursday morning as he dragged a hand through his hair and headed straight to the coffee pot. “I’m gonna have a shower, okay?” Mikey gave no indication that he had heard what I had just said, so I got up and left him to wake up at his own pace.
I usually hated looking at myself in the mirror; it made me even more disgusted with myself. I looked so fat. No matter what Mikey said about me being to thin, I didn’t believe him. I was fat, and I didn’t need food. It worked for me.
Today, however I undressed out of my ratty pyjamas and stood in front of the mirror, completely nude, assessing my body. I was still fat; there was no doubt about that. Peering into the mirror I saw how big my stomach was, how my thighs seemed to dwarf the reflective glass, how my face had more double chins than a fucking elephant. I shuddered. Because of my lack of sleep my eyes were red and bloodshot, and I had black bags outlining my face. I could stand looking at myself any longer and I turned away, and stepping into the shower. I scrubbed and scrubbed at my skin, trying to rid myself of the dirt that’s accumulated to make me that all I was wasn’t it? That’s what he had always said I was: a piece of filth. I believed him. I believed him because I could see all the filth with my very own eyes. I disgusted myself.
After I finished in the shower, I made sure I faced away from the mirror as I dried myself off.
After my shower I didn’t bother to dry my hair, rather I just left it as I brushed my teeth and then shoved on the same clothes that I had worn yesterday. My brother and I were lazy and since it was usually only us at home we had to our own washing. Or lack of washing since we either put on stuff that we had already worn, or we left it on our bedroom floors.
After realising that I only had five minutes until we had to go I shouted at my brother to get a move on, fixed my make-up, shrugged on a heavy black coat that made me feel like I was in the film ‘The Matrix’ and tried to something with the rats nest on top of my head, to no avail.
“Come on Mikey, lets go!” honestly, this was the second time he was late this week. I really needed to buy him a new alarm clock or something. Making my way to the school grounds I spotted Frank and his gang sitting near the entrance, smoking and laughing, hurling abuse every so often at people passing by. I did the weak thing, and crossed the road, so I wouldn’t have to pass them by. Still, I could feel their eyes on me as I walked past, and it was making me feel so uncomfortable. I had noticed over the past couple of days that whatever lessons I was in with Iero, whenever I looked at him, he would always be watching me. It kind of creeped me out.
The first half of school was alright. I bothered no-one, and for the most part, no-one bothered me. Lunch, however, was a different story. I had made sure that I told Mikey he could sit with his new friends today, teasing him about Olivia, and her luscious blue hair and her cute nose ring, until Mikey was practically beetroot coloured. I said to him that I would be fine on my own, so I made my way over to the field once again to sit and relax. Glancing around I noted the fact that there seemed to be no teachers around and dove into my bag, finding the slightly squashed pack that sat at the bottom. I hadn't had one since Wednesday at about four o’clock in the morning, and I was gagging for one. Finding my battered lighter I lit one and sucked the smoke in, smiling at the rush of nicotine. This was another one of my vices, but I didn’t really care. I fucking lived on these. And they wouldn’t make you fat, a win-win situation in my point of view. So what if I died from lung cancer? I bet heaven was better than all the shit I had been through on Earth. I took another deep drag of the cigarette and cautiously looked around for a sign of a teacher. Thankfully, no-one seemed to be around at all. I sighed happily and got my music player out, shoving the headphones into my ears and turning up the music to loud, mouthing the lyrics in between taking puffs of my cigarette. I leant up against the tree I had sat underneath, and although I was freezing my arse off, I was happy. At least, as happy as I could be, which wasn’t really a lot. But hey, I wasn’t complaining.
All of a sudden two fingers reached in front of me and plucked the fag out of my fingers scaring me out of my fucking mind. I very nearly screamed, which would have been so fucking embarrassing. I looked round; expecting a teacher to have found me and start to tell me off, but the actual figure was none other than Frank Iero, standing there and taking a drag of my cigarette.
I think the thing that got me most was the fact that he was completely alone.
I pulled out my headphones and gestured for him to sit in front of me, drawing my legs into myself at the same time to form a protective circle between his body and mine. Frank noticed this new arrangement of my body, but didn’t say anything as he walked around me, to a place to sit in front of me.
“Hey. I didn’t know you smoked.” Frank said, sitting in front of me, but far enough away that I didn’t feel twitchy. I was glad about that. I didn’t want to look weak in front of Frank.
“You don’t know a lot about me.”
“That’s true.” Things fell silent for a moment. I couldn’t help but notice how different Frank was when he wasn’t around his cronies. With them he was loud, brash, and arrogant. With me he was a lot more conserved. I liked that about him. I liked him being quieter. I relaxed slightly.
“Umm, can I have my cigarette back?” I asked timidly, afraid he’d say no and then I’d look stupid. He nodded, and then took another puff before stretching his hand out towards me. I didn’t like how close my skin was to his, especially considering how much the cigarette had burnt down. I tried my upmost to avoid touching his fingers and managed it, tucking the smoke back into its place between my fore and middle finger, taking another deep breath of smoke in.
“Why are you sitting out here on your own? Are you okay?” Frank asked, tugging on his lip ring in a way that had me transfixed. That was sexy. Then I realised I had to answer the guy instead of just staring at him like a lovesick fool. I blushed, and ducked my head, wishing for the millionth time that I hadn't let my mother cut my hair off.
“Err, I like being alone, I guess. I can relax out here, you know? Forget my worries…” I trailed off, hoping that he wouldn’t ask me what my ‘worries’ were. I wouldn’t tell him and that would be even more awkward. I kind of liked this little conversation we had going, and I didn’t want to make it awkward, although I was a champion at turning things that seemed fine into embarrassingly awkward situations… like the time when I took a shower fully dressed a couple of months ago. Oh lord.
Frank didn’t ask me about my worries; instead put forward a question that was almost as difficult to answer: “Why don’t you eat?” I grimaced putting my head onto my knees. I decided to just straight out lie to him, pretty much what I had done to Mikey yesterday, stubbing out the remains of the cigarette in the process.
“I do eat, all the time. You just haven’t seen me, I guess.” I looked up smiling slightly to meet Frank’s sceptical gaze.
“I don’t believe you. I’ve been watching you since Monday and you never eat. Not at break, never at lunch. You don’t eat all the time. I mean, look at you.” The fact that Frank had been watching me for the whole four days I had been there unnerved me slightly, cos that was just fucking creepy. Nevertheless, I did as he asked and looked down at myself. God, I was fat. I didn’t even need to be standing in front of a mirror naked for me to see that. I looked up at him confused.
“What’s wrong with me? I may not eat when you are watching me, but I do eat. Like, all the time. Trust me. There’s nothing wrong.” Frank looked a little unimpressed, and then brightened as he had an idea. Fuck, I thought in my head. This can't be good, whatever he is planning.
Frank dug around in his bag for a second before extricating a pack of skittles, holding them triumphantly in the air. I blanched, knowing what he wanted me to do. I couldn’t eat them. They were so bad for you. I needed to lose weight, not gain it.
Frank thrust the bag into my face. “Here, eat one.”
This was a time for me to lie, and very quickly.
“I cant, I can’t eat them. I don’t like skittles. Especially the green ones. Yuck. Sorry, no can do.” I smiled. That was a pretty good save from me, if I did say so myself.
“Honestly Frank, I’m fine. Why do you care so much about my eating habits anyway?”
Yes, that question I would like to know. Frank opened his mouth and was just about to answer when, unexpectedly, a shout came from behind me. Craning my neck around I spotted Frank's cronies, Bob, Ray and Brendon waving and jogging up to us. I was a bit annoyed that they had interrupted us. Frank just looked relieved. I really wanted to know then what he was going to say. Too late for that now.
“Hey man,” Ray said, pulling Frank up and wrapping him in a bear hug. “So this is where you went to! We’ve been looking for you all lunch! Why’d you leave us? Wait, why are you sitting with him?” Ray looked at me, suddenly just noticing I was there. I smiled and bobbed my head, not really sure what to do in a situation such as this. A wave? No, knowing me it would just end up looking more like a nervous twitch. Okay, calm down Gerard, seriously. Get a fucking grip on yourself!
“Yeah, I though you said he was a weird freak!” piped up Brendon behind him. Frank winced. Apparently, tact was not Brendon’s strong point.
“Na, guys, Gerard’s cool. We should talk to him more often; he’s got awesome taste in music!” I smiled briefly at Frank, before turning my mind to what Brendon had said. Did he really say that? Was Frank just being nice now to save his face? Suddenly an arm grabbed mine and hauled me into the air, taking me completely by surprise and shocking me into complete and utter fear.
He just touched me. Someone had just touched me like he used to. Like they used to. Oh my god. I drew in a sharp breath and jumped backwards, trying to get the feel of someone else’s skin on mine off of me and tripped over my bag landing on my behind. I could feel his hands all over me, touching me, hurting me. I whimpered, curling into a ball, like I used to, trying to hide my stomach and my head. Oh fuck, I could feel his fingers all over my skin, and I couldn’t escape the feeling. This was so bad, I was falling apart in front of these four guys, in front of Frank, and there was nothing I could do to stop myself.
“Hey, dude, what’s up? I was only helping you up…” Bob trailed off as he saw my face, frozen in terror because of the memories flitting through my head, suffocating me.
I did the only thing I could do. I got up, grabbed my bag, and I ran.
I actually fucking loved writing this chapter. Is it wrong to like your own fanfic? I feel really up myself now. whatever. Rate and Review, please! I actually smile so much when I see someone has reviewed, it makes my entire day so much better:')