Eliza is welcomed back by Ray and the others, but yet again there is some bad news for her to find out...
The chapter title is Paramorrreee!
Fithteen minutes late to the lesson, Gerard pushed open the door and held it for me to walk into art. As I had suspected the register had already been taken and the class were busy at work. However as soon as Gerard and I stepped foot into the class room everyone became silent and stopped whatever they were doing to stare at us. In particular Ray, Charlie, Lou and Alice seemed to find it very hard to keep their eyes off of us as their jaws dropped from what I guessed was disbelief.
I stood their dumbly with Gerard at my side until the class shortly returned to their work, all apart from the remaining four who continued to gawp at us.
I flashed a small shy smile as Gerard grinned widely at them.
“Gerard? You’re back!” Exclaimed Ray excitedly. Gerard moved as if to make his way over to them, but we were both suddenly called over by an angry art teacher.
“Nice of you to join us finally Gerard Way.” Emma said sternly. “But you and Miss.Seventrees are however extremely late.” Gerard rolled his eyes and made his way over to Emma and I followed him anxiously. “Sorry Mrs.” Grumbled Gerard as we watched Emma mark us as late on the register. “We…” He paused for a second to think of an excuse. “We got caught up in traffic.” Emma raised her eyebrows and looked at me over her rimmed glasses. “So I gather that you got a lift in with Gerard today then Eliza?”
“Yes.” I said quickly, glancing at Gerard. “I couldn’t manage the walk this morning and we were late as it was, but there was traffic on the drive here.”
Emma set the clip board which held the register aside. “At least it’s nice to see you’ve made a friend Eliza after spending my previous lessons by yourself.” I blushed, feeling embarrassed and slightly irritated by Emma’s patronising manor. Gerard bit his lip to smother his amusement at my reddened cheeks. “No Mrs.” He said.
“Me and Eliza go way back.”
As he spoke he gave me his charming wink, and as if on cue my insides turned to fireworks and the feeling of fluttering creatures returned to my stomach. I fixed my eyes away from Gerard as my face turned to an even deeper scarlet.
Emma sighed and stood from the table. “I’m sure the story of your friendship must be very touching, but you really need to get on with your work. “ She beckoned for Gerard to follow her as she explained what the lesson held for us. “Eliza you need to carry on with the work from the other day and Gerard you have a lot to catch up with. Come with me and I’ll show you what you’ve got to do.”
He shrugged and began to follow Emma as I remained standing uncomfortably, unsure of where to go.
“Go and sit with Ray.” Gerard suggested.
“I can’t.” I whispered, remembering that I hadn’t told Gerard the situation with Ray and the others. “It’ll be awkward.”
“Why?” Gerard laughed. “Go on, they’re all nice. I’ll be over in a minute.” I watched Gerard walk after Emma into the art office where she began to hand him tons upon tons of lesson briefs for him to complete. I chuckled quietly to myself at his bemused expression, before looking over to Lou, Charlie, Alice and Ray. Taking a deep breath I caught their gaze and I walked over to them.
“Hey.” I murmured timidly, forcing a shy smile.
“Hi.” Alice returned the smile with a little more strength, while Charlie, Lou and Ray creased their lips at me in what I guessed were meant to be three uncomfortable smiles.
After standing in silence and trying to avoid eye contact with the three, Alice asked me to sit down.
“Urm, you can sit with us if you like.”
“Oh, yea, thanks.” I stuttered thankfully and took a seat, silently praying for Gerard to come to the table and break the awkward atmosphere.
“So, when did Gee come back?” Ray asked excitedly.
“Oh, he got back on two days ago.” I replied. “I kinda’ bumped into him at lunch break and then I guess we got talking again.” I trailed off, not wanted to go into detail about what exactly me and Gerard had talked about.
“Well I’m surprised he didn’t come and find us.” Lou said, her eyes still fixed on her sketch book. I was surprised at the conceited tone which filled her voice as she spoke. She then turned her head to look at me. “Does he even know who you’ve been hanging out with?”
“Lou!” The other three hissed in unison which was their way of telling her to shut up. They looked back at me and their expressions spilt with penitent.
“You are still cool with us, right Eliza?” Ray asked.
I heard the guilt frayed in his voice and I knew full well what he was referring to.
“Yes, of course.” I answered, not wanting to make him feel worse than he was obviously already feeling. “I understand, seriously, I’d have done the same.” I explained. “I wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble with someone like Kathleen.” I let out a small laugh with the last sentence, impressed with how I had handled the situation so easily. To my relief everyone let the topic go and went back to their work. I reached for my books and attempted to do the same until Alice caught my attention.
“Don’t worry about Lou.” She hushed next to me. She waited until she knew that Lou wasn’t listening before she continued. “She can be a bit ‘like that'.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, she thinks she’s right about everything a lot of the time.” Alice grinned.
“And I should warn you.” She lowered her voice even more so I had to strain my ears to hear her words.
“The year you left a lot of new people joined New Jersey High for senior school.”
I nodded in acknowledgment.
“Me and Lou were friends before we started hear, and then we met Gerard. As soon as Lou met Gee I knew she found a soft spot for him. Everyone knew, she just hasn’t actually admitted it to anyone.”
I didn’t say a word, I simply listened intently.
“She knows how close you and Gee are, he used to talk about you and how he missed you so freekin’ much all the time.”
“Sure he did, anyone would have thought that he was in love with you or something.” Alice pulled a face, oblivious to how I shifted my eyes uncomfortably at the last part of her sentence.
“So yea, that’s my point. I’m not saying this is certain, but now you’re here and mates with Gee again, Lou is not gonna’ be happy about it one bit.”
I stared at Alice, hardly unable to understand what she was telling me.
“Are you serious?” I half questioned half demanded. I didn’t believe it was possible to make yet another enemy out of all the ‘friends’ I had.
“It’s okay!” Said Alice. “Like I said, it’s not for certain.” She rolled her eyes and moved her attention back to her work. “I’m sure she’ll get over him anyway.”
I continued to stare at Alice, my mouth slightly open with confusion and disbelief. Gerard was my friend. My friend. What right did Lou have to ‘not be happy about it’? He had been my best friend for eleven fucking years.
I snapped out of my daze to see the surrounding people happily beaming up and greeting the boy in name, his perfect white smile wide in reply as he joined us at the table.
Ray grinned wildly and stood to meet his friend. “It’s great to see you man!”
“You too buddy!” Ray and Gerard high fived each other and then shared a sort half hug which made me smile. I decided that I really was happy that Gerard wasn’t alone and had found someone after I had gone, no matter how neglected I felt in England.
I evacuated these thoughts from my head and tried to focus on the present, but unfortunately the present was Lou strangling her stick like arms around Gerard’s neck tightly. He, in surprise returned the embrace lightly with his hands on her back.
“I’ve missed you Gee-Gee!”
I heard her whisper to him, her breath all over his neck, her tone now running like sickly honey as she continued to smother him. Then her pale blue eyes met mine for a spilt second and I saw her gloat and thrive in the jealousy she knew she was causing me.
I watched Gerard pry himself from Lou and she reluctantly allowed him to sit. Running a hand through his dark hair like I had done so only hours before, she returned to her seat and left me with red hot stings of envy burning at my chest.
But why was I jealous?
Gerard was only my friend. How could I be jealous of something which wasn't really mine to guard. On this thought my mind turned and reminded me that Gerard had given himself to me.
He was mine, and I knew that there was no way in hell he would let himself be returned.
In all my selfishness I didn't want to return him eaither.
I sighed due to the fact that Lou even wanted to make me jealous, and that I was finding it difficult to not feel a strong dislike toward her and her attidude already.
As if there wasn't enough going on with Kathleen and her threats.
I then blinked angrily and raised my eyes, only to be met by Gerard's concerned features. His large hazel’s shone at me like glass and everything else around me and him became a blur. The stabbing feeling at my chest calmed and I was yet again transfixed with Gerard.
Transfixed with the beauty of my best friend.