Frerard. There's a new kid at school and Frank's falling fast. But he couldn't just ask him out, that would be ridiculous. So instead he asks what all guys want to know...what would a girl do?
Hope you enjoy! The first chapter is more of an introduction, by the way.
A Misfit's Guide to the 20 Ways
The L Word
As the bell rings for the first lesson and the door slams shut behind the tidal wave of students I can’t help the feeling that I’ve just made a very big mistake in coming into school today.
NAME: Frank Iero
OCCUPATION: High school delinquent, social misfit, wise-cracking smartass.
STATUS: Queer of two years.
RATING: Infinitely awesome.
It’s the same feeling I get every day. The echo of the closing door sounds off the walls for a second before the mindless chatter and plans of torture swallow it up and I am tossed into a sea of crowd. I’ll wade a little in an attempt to reach my locker and when I finally do I hang to it like a life raft before some dumb jock can push me into it. Although, come to think of it, that hasn’t actually happened since seventh grade. But you can never be too careful.
Finally the swarm begins to disperse and there’s some space to breathe. I crane my neck a little to see if I can make out Cam’s fiery redhead or Ray’s retardedly curly one making towards me and sure enough the former is soon to be seen, weaving her way through the cracks in my direction.
I feel a smile splitting my features. N’aaaw. My bezzie can’t wait to see me! Well, why the hell not? She can’t live without me. Neither can Ray, my other bitch, no matter how hard he pretends otherwise. I stand on my tippy-toes and wave.
“Hey! Bitch!” I wave harder. “Over here!”
“I can see you,” she replies tiredly, swinging her school bag off her shoulder.
NAME: Cameron Kosravi.
OCCUPATION: Best friend of the God of Infinite Awesomeness, (c’est moi, obviously) paranoid worrier, editor of The Source (lame-ass high school newspaper), too much of an intellectual to be cool.
STATUS: Straight. Dating Bosh, creepy douche who everybody but me seems to love.
“Ooh somebody used the wrong end of the eyeliner this morning,” I tease.
She just looks at me in exasperation. “Frank, when will you learn to quit making up sayings that don’t make any sense?”
“How does it not make sense?”
“Who would use the wrong end of the eyeliner?”
“I did,” I answer. “See? I have a scar.”
I show her the reddish tinge just below my eye. She appears not to care.
“For your information, my mom threw out a bunch of papers I’m working on because she said they didn’t ‘look right’ in the house, my dad ate the last croissant and my cat pissed in my foundation. Also I’m on my period which makes every shitty thing feel like a million times worse,” she explains.
Cam’s mom was released from Belleville Mental Institution a few months ago. We have a theory that the doctor who signed the papers was high at the time. “Dude, that sucks.”
“Yeah. So excuse me if I’m a total psycho bitch today,” she snaps, punching the numbers into her locker combination with surprising aggression.
I say nothing, used to her random mood swings. Despite the fact that everyone seems to think “gay” qualifies as “half female” the ways of the woman mystify me, like last night when Cam called me up to talk for an hour about a meerkat with a mohawk she saw on the Discovery Channel and today she seems to have switched bodies with Attila the Hun.
“What do we have first?” she asks me, spilling textbooks into her arms.
“Double History,” I groan, pulling out my timetable.
“History is fun!”
“History is laaaaaame,” I reply. “Did you do that assignment on Oliver Cromwell’s whatsit?”
“Rise to leadership?”
“That’s the one.”
“Yup. Finished it last night.” She hands it to me. Four pages long in teeny, tiny handwriting. I groan again.
“Caaaaaaaaaaam. Why d’you have to be so smart?”
“Believe it or not Frank, you’re the naturally smartest of all of us, or you would be if you put the effort in. I’m just willing to work hard,” she replies, continuing to forage around in her locker.
Yeah. Right. I flashback to a parent-teacher meeting back in fifth grade.
“Believe it or not Mrs Iero, your son is naturally one of the smartest boys in the class, or would be if he put the effort in.”
“Naturally smart? Frank?”
“Yes, Mrs Iero. He shows remarkably good sense when answering questions and is also very quick when problem solving in maths.”
“This is my son we’re talking about, right? Frank Iero? This kid here?”
“That’s right, Mrs Iero. On many occasions your son shows advanced intelligence and brightness of mind. Frank’s problem is one of concentration; he gets bored very easily and when he gets bored he is often very distracting to other members of the class and frequently rude to teachers.”
“That’s more like it.”
“He also has a very...controversial sense of humour. We cannot yet prove it was Frank who...defiled Ms Brockman’s desk, however-”
“-Defiled? What do you mean defiled?”
“...You haven’t heard of this?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Well...The janitor found something disgusting and, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, incredibly unhygienic on Ms Brockman’s desk, something that definitely was not in there before. It took weeks to get the smell out.”
“Anyone see Frank put it there?”
“-Frank tell you he put it there?”
“-Then you can’t prove it was him. And innocent until proven guilty, I say.”
“...Yes. Well. Like I say, there have been incidents in the past. And it would be such a waste if Frank were to carry on like this when he has so much to offer.”
“So much to offer?”
“Yes, Mrs Iero.”
“...This is Frank we’re talking about?”
“Whatever you say, Miss Crackington,” I muse aloud, recalling my old nickname for the poor woman.
“What was that?”
“Nothing,” I say, coming back to earth. “Any news from The Source?”
“Just a bunch of amateur articles about the amount of asbestos found in the store cupboards,” Cam shrugs. “Hey. Wait a sec.”
She withdraws a slip of paper from a stack. I watch her eyes dart from one side to the other as she skims it through. “What? They can’t do that!”
She looks up, eyes burning with resentment. I take a wary step back. “They hired a new columnist for the newspaper! Apparently, The Source is ‘losing it’s touch’. They think some new blood on the team will mean more readers. What the fuck?”
“That is so unfair. They can’t do that do you. You should go in there and kick some stinky bastard ass,” I recite in a couldn’t-care-less monotone, knowing the words off by heart.
Cam, appearing to sense my indifference, frowns and grasps me by the arm. “I will. And you’re coming with me.”
“Huh? Why?” I have time to stutter as she yanks me with surprising strength in the direction of The Source headquarters.
“For moral support,” Cam snaps back. “You’re my best friend. You’re supposed to help me with this kinda shit.”
“I don’t remember signing up for that.”
“No. But I distinctly remember you signing up to copy off my English and Maths assignments last night.” Reaching the office she knocks on the door and barges in without waiting for admittance.
“Mr Principle sir,” Cam begins only to break off upon realising that our Principle isn’t actually in the room. In his place stands a kid our age staring down at his feet, ridiculously floppy black fringe falling into his eyes, scuffing the floor with beaten converse. He looks up and my breath catches in my throat upon a realisation.
He is the most beautiful human being I have ever seen in my life.
The world becomes hazy. I’m standing on the precipice of a shadow land, looking down into a sea of mist. Lightening flashes across bellowing clouds, thunder shakes the ground below my feet. I’m hand in hand with a dark figure, the figure stood in front of me now. He looks at me and smiles, beautiful and destructive. He laughs out loud, his voice one with the wind and my laugh joins his, joyful and evil and oh so powerful.
What the fuck?
“Hi,” says the new kid with a shy smile. “My name’s Gerard.”
“My name is Frank and I am single and I am gay,” I state, unable to stop the words coming. “My favourite colour is lilac and my favourite food is-”
“-Frank?” Cam is looking at me as if I suddenly started speaking Japanese.
“Cam, I need to talk to you.”
“Can it wait?”
“My favourite food is pizza and I want a dog called-”
“-Okay, fine,” she sighs her why-must-I-carry-the-weight-of-the-world-on-my-thin-shoulders sigh and turns back to Gerard. “We’ll just be a moment.”
He nods and we exit the room quickly. Once she has checked that the door is firmly closed, Cam whirls round to face me. “What the hell, Frank? It’s going to take weeks to get the smell of word-vomit out of my office.”
“I don’t know what happened!” I stutter. “It was scary, Cam. I saw him and then I had this vision and I was like ruling the world with him and then I couldn’t stop talking and he’s so cute and I think I might be in lesbians!”
“What? You can’t be in lesbians! You only just met the guy!”
“I know!” I cry. “And now I’m freaking out. I don’t fall that fast! This is me we’re talking about. Frank Iero. Manwhore extraordinaire. I can’t be in lesbians. I just can’t.”
“I agree. It is strange,” Cam nods. “You high?”
“I’m not high, I promise,” I roll my eyes. Geez. I came into school wasted once. Once. It ended in tears and will she let me forget it? Noooo.
“Well, we can’t stay out here forever,” she shrugs. “You’re just gonna have to go back in there. Maybe it was a fleeting thought.”
“Caaaaaaam. We were the Lords of Ultimate Darkness and Despair!”
“You have problems.”
“Oui, c’est vrai,” I agree, following her back inside reluctantly.
Gerard is still standing there in an adorably awkward way, digging his converse into the carpet. I resist the temptation to football-tackle him to the ground and take him in a manly fashion. I don’t think that would go down well at my next parent-teacher meeting. Rape is one of the sins I haven’t actually committed yet.
“So,” Cam flashes a winning smile and extends her hand. “Cam Kosravi. Editor of the source. This is my socially inept best friend Frank,” I grin like a moron on crack. “And you must be our new columnist.”
“Principle Schneider just said I should come here,” he shrugged. “I write short stories and...stuff.”
He blushes, bringing a slight tinge to his marble-pale face and goes quiet. My heart swells just a little bit bigger.
“Okay,” says Cam. “Well, not to be rude or anything but this is kinda my area. I hope he made it clear to you that I can’t take you on until I see what you can do so...”
“I have some stuff here,” he reaches into his bag which, I spot with excitement, is printed with the Misfits skull, and withdraws an A4 writing pad which he hands to Cam. She takes it and sits down.
For a few uncomfortable minutes Gerard and I are stood there, taking each other in whilst Cam skims through the notebook. His eyes widen as he takes in my Iron Maiden t-shirt. I flash him a middle finger and he returns a crooked grin, unsure whether I’m kidding or not.
“These are good,” Cam smiles approvingly, handing the pad to me. “Hilarious, in fact. Alright. You’re in.”
“Cool,” Gerard says, apparently relieved. “So...what does that mean, exactly?”
“You report here every Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes to discuss pages with me or one of my people and work on projects. You’ll have to dedicate a decent amount of time to this at home so just send me you’re stuff when you’re finished, I’ll look it over and see what needs tweaking. There’ll always be someone here, our friend Ray does the sports page and Frank hangs with us because he has no life-”
“-That is so untrue!”
“-But apart from that you have pretty much all the freedom to write whatever you want. Word of advice,” her voice drops and we both lean in to hear her better. “Frank and I...we’re not your average, conforming, high school clique-freaks. We’re just freaks. We write what no one else will and we like to live that way. Frank wants to die that way.”
“I’m committing suicide before I get to forty-five,” I nod. “Grey pubes? Get outta here.”
“Your stories are different, Gerard,” Cam continues. “You seem different. I don’t think you’re going to have a problem fitting in here...or not fitting in, however you see it. But if you don’t want to be seen with us, better make a decision now.”
Gerard grins and flicks his fringe out of his eyes. “When can I start?”
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