"I’m just fine with what I’ve got." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
I should be in my bedroom, my own personal paradise, doing nothing but strumming lazily on my electric guitar and occasionally texting my friends, perhaps managing to fit a quick MSN conversation into the balance. I should be doing whatever the fuck I want, because that’s what I always do on a Sunday evening. Screw that; that’s what I do all the time. Some would call me rebellious, I call myself my own person; I know what I want, I know how to get it and if I have to piss other people off in order to get it, then other people will be getting pissed off. I’ve been told that I have an attitude problem, that I’m out of control and that my less-than-impressive school grades support that theory; it’s really just a case of me having a personality that other people can’t handle. And I’m not sorry for it. Not at all. I fucking love my life.
Really, I do. I’m one of the most popular kids at school, teachers fear having me in their classes and I’m pretty much the king of Belleville High. I’ve seen other people like me at school, kids who wear band t-shirts with black skinny jeans and who dare to be different, but none of them are me; I’m me and that’s the only reason that I don’t get beaten up for being who I am. I’m me and I am fast learner, I learnt fast enough to know that to make it through high school alive you have to not only play everyone at their own game, but you have to win. And I have won. I have more friends than I care to remember, the only teacher who looks forward to seeing me is the football coach and I know for a fact that half of the school population would kill to have my cell number. The other half already has it.
It’s not that I’m a fake like the majority of other people at my end of the social ladder; I just know how to use things to my advantage. When I first started at Belleville High I was no better than any other kid at that hellhole of a school, I was just another face drowning in a sea of grey; I soon set that straight. I joined the football team, using what I had learnt from the movies to make myself popular, and that got me in with the right sort of people. The sort of people who have the same number of Facebook friends as the populace of a small country, the sort of people who can guarantee me both protection and popularity; the two things that any short teenage boy would want. Sure, the majority of my friends have the tendency to act like douche bags half of the time, but they’re my friends; without them I would have nothing.
Literally, I would be nothing; I would be walking around with bloody noses and black eyes like all of the other kids who remotely resemble me. One of the key reasons that I don’t get the same treatment is because it’s my friends who do the majority of the beating up, fuck, I’ve been known to throw a punch or two. It’s not that I’m a bad person, of course I’m not, it’s just that I’m smart enough to know that I have to look out for number one because no one else will and to do that I have to show my friends that I’m not an outcast, that I am the cool kid who is worthy of their friendship.
I don’t like hitting people, punching people, swearing at people, yelling at people; I hate it. Every time I see a thin dribble of tears bleeding from the victim’s pained eyes like blood is from their nose, a little part of me dies inside; guilt just ignites my heart and I feel like I’m the worst kind of traitor, like I should be the one getting hurt and not them, because I deserve it whereas they don’t.
But I learnt to ignore the gnawing remorse, I learnt to live with the guilt and drown out the furious pounding of my disappointed heart with the laughter of my friends; I have to do it or else I will be in their position. I’m not a bully, honest I’m not; I’m just ensuring my own place in the social ladder, keeping myself safe by making sure that my friends know I’m no different from them, that I am the kid that they know. It’s not only that though, my friends laugh at it; laugh at seeing me do what I have to in order to protect myself, and their laughter is more than enough to egg me on. It’s like as long as they’re seeing me as the person that I want to be, then I am that person and nothing can bring me down.
Until I get home from school, that is. As soon as I get in from school the guilt hits me, knocks me down with the force of a speeding bus and tears chunks out of my soul like the teeth of rabid hellhounds. Every night I promise myself that I won’t do it again, that I won’t hurt the kids who aren’t afraid to be the person that I know I am underneath it all, and every night I go to sleep content with my promise and with my social standing. But then the next day the routine repeats; my friends pick their victim and I help my friends rather than the victim who almost always looks up at me with eyes beseeching me to stop; like my guilt is obvious and they want to play on it.
Apart from nobody can play Frank Iero. No-fucking-body. And God help them if they try.
Most of the time I try to stay out of it, just watch and shout things rather than deliver the tirade of punches that all my friends get a kick out of doing; I never try to stop it, though. And that’s what causes the swirling daggers of guilt that rip at my insides every night, the fact that I let good people get hurt. All because my friends don’t think that they fit in and that makes them less important than us; that just because those kids aren’t afraid to say what they think instead of what everyone else tells them to say that they need to be made an example of, that if they’re allowed to carry on as being different then people might start liking us less. That if we create fear then people will love us because they’re too scared not to.
Biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever spun, but it’s just the way things work. I can’t do anything to stop that so I might as well just go along with it and make it work for me, right? Of course. I’m just living proof of the survival instinct.
But back to right now. Right now, instead of doing all of the things that I should be doing with my Sunday evening, I’m sat in my living room and waiting. Waiting for something I don’t even want. Waiting for some problem child to come home and ruin my perfect life; for some kid with more issues than a character in a soap opera to come into my house and wreck everything. Because they will do, they’ll take my mom’s attention and love away from me even though I’m her real son. I don’t want to share my mom with anybody, she’s my mom and I want to keep it that way.
Okay, I know that sounded harsh and not at all like something a fifteen-year-old should think, but I can’t help but feel frightened that I’m going to lose Mom to this new kid she’s decided to take in for some inexplicable reason.
It’s because I’m not good enough, isn’t it? I’m not a good enough son and so she wants to try again with some mother-stealing little shit. Dad left when I was five and I’ve always had my mom’s undivided attention, affection and devotion; I can’t lose that, it’s the only thing that keeps me going. I know that I have more friends than I care to remember, but none of them know me like my mom does.
Fuck that; none of them know me. Not at all. If they did they wouldn’t make me watch them and help them hurt innocent kids.
When Mom told me that she was looking into adopting I’d just laughed it off, taking it to be one of her flying-fancies; nothing more than some crazy idea that would dissipate as quickly as it had cropped up. So when she showed me the papers yesterday I damn near threw a hissy fit. No, I did throw a hissy fit; I yelled at her to cancel it, to send the kid back from wherever it was he was coming from, to reconsider. I thought that my heart was going to explode in a haze of poison and hurt; this new kid is going to replace me because he’s going to have some sort of history to him, or some sort of issue that will take up my mom’s time. Mom had just said that seeing as we have a spare bedroom and plenty of money sitting around doing nothing for no one, then we might as well help someone out. I get that Mom wants to help people, I know that better than anyone, but adopting? It’s fucking insane.
She told me that she’s doing this for me, to give me a brother and someone to talk to at home. I told her that she needs to be put in a mental hospital; I’m just fine with what I’ve got. I don’t even know this kid’s name. It was Mickey or Mikey or something else equally uninventive. Mom said that he’s fifteen too; said it like it means that just because we’re the same age we’re going to be the best of friends. Of course we fucking aren’t; this kid is taking my mom away from me and will most likely be some weirdo better suited for a mental institution.
I was meant to go with Mom to pick him up from wherever he’s been staying, I think it was a hospital or a hospice or something beginning with ‘h’, to go with her and get to know this new ‘brother’ of mine. She’s taken him clothes shopping because apparently he doesn’t have anything other than an iPod because he got to be in need of adoption due to a fire.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for the kid because he had to go through something like that but that’s as far as it goes; I don’t want some stranger sharing my home, my life and my mom. It just isn’t fair. I refused to go with her and now I’m just sat on the couch, waiting for my life as I know it to end in the most barbaric way possible.
I don’t even know what this kid looks like, if he’s a nice person or a total dick, if he’s smart or stupid, if he’s fat or thin, if he’s quiet or outspoken; how am I meant to be comfortable with something like this? I can’t be, it’s impossible for me to be, it’s like expecting a toddler to be able to cope in a mosh; irresponsible and totally unfair. Because that’s precisely what this is; unfair. It’s unfair on Mom because she now has to deal with two teenage sons; it’s unfair on my new ‘brother’ because Fate decided to strike his family down; and, most importantly to me, it’s unfair on myself because I don’t want my life to change. I’ve only just gotten it to how I like it; safe and fun and stereotypically perfect. People would kill to have my life.
I guess I did kill to have my life; I killed the person that I used to be in order to become this person that everyone loves. But sacrifices have to be made for the greater good sometimes and I understand that, I get it and that’s why I have a life that I fucking love.
Or rather, I did have.
Now it’s going to be completely wrecked by the intrusion of some kid who can’t even keep his own parents let alone have mine. No, no that’s not at all fair; not in the slightest. The guy has been through a lot from what I know of him and he probably really does deserve a loving home, I have sympathy for him as I do anyone in his situation but just because he needs a loving home doesn’t mean that I want him to share mine. Not at all.
I look around my living room, all cream carpet and plasma television, a place that has always been just for me and my mom; not for some stranger who I know absolutely nothing about. The walls are littered with pictures of me growing up, not with pictures of this other kid; the carpet is sprinkled with stains that I managed to make as a kid, not marks that my new ‘brother’ smudged onto it; the room smells of my favourite brand of coffee and the mint gum that I constantly chew in order to prevent Mom from realising that I smoke, not of things that make up this imposter who wants to infect my own little family.
But it will smell of him soon enough though, won’t it? He’ll ruin my own personal palace with everything that I am unfamiliar with; he’ll ruin everything!
I’ll just have to make sure that he doesn’t.
I hear the front door click open and my lungs constrict as though the tension that I’ve managed to create in the living room has extended to my internal organs; this kid is killing me already.
“Home sweet home, Mikey!” Mom chimes merrily in the passageway, making my scowl intensify at how happy this kid is making her sound when all I ever cause her nowadays is grief. “I need to go set up your bedroom, Sweetie.” Sweetie? That’s my name! That’s what she calls me, not some stranger who could well be some sort of psycho for all we know! “The living room’s just through there, go and make yourself comfortable. Frank should be in there, why don’t you go get to know him. He’s your new brother, after all!”
No I fucking well am not! I don’t want this; I don’t want this to be happening and I definitely don’t want be this kid’s brother. Not when he’s stolen my own mom away from me already.
I can’t help but turn my head in careless curiosity as a slumping form slopes into the living room, hands in his pockets and face down as though he’s hideously bored. He flops restlessly into the couch across from the coffee table, somehow capturing all of my attention with each laboured movement, and then he lifts his pale face up into the light of the room.
He’s…. He’s beautiful.
No, no he really fucking isn’t. It’s not that I’m sexually confused or anything, I know full well that I’m bi, but I just can’t think that this kid, that Mikey, is beautiful. He isn’t. He’s stealing my family is what he is. But he isn’t ugly either, he’s got a kind of intricate fragility about him that somehow reminds me of moonlight on cobwebs; wispy and barely there, but captivatingly stunning all the same. His hair is a dark brown, so dark that it could pass off as black in the right light and it looks kind of feathery, like it was made to be ruffled by the hands of some affectionate family member who can no longer ruffle it because they’re dead. Dead like his eyes are, dead but somehow enchanting; kind of like a perfectly preserved corpse of some sort of frail maiden. His eyes though, they really are something that I have to call beautiful; they are. They’re the same pale brown as a baby sapling, but with the kind of sorrow and anguish in them that makes them seem impossibly old compared to the rest of him. His eyes, that seem to currently be cold and calculating, are framed by rectangular, black glasses; almost like a glass security frame in front of two ancient treasures, protecting them from any sort of harm. ‘Almost like’ because he has come to harm, I can see that from a fading burn mark is spiralling up the right side of his pale-as-the-moon neck, somewhat akin to a tendril of smoke staining a snow-filled sky.
I look away from his face and take in what he’s wearing, what my mom’s just bought him in order to make up for what the fire that caused him to be intruding in my life has cost him; black skinny jeans and an Anthrax t-shirt.
Great; odds are my friends will be beating him up tomorrow, not just because he’s the new kid but because he fits with all of their specifications perfectly. He’s even wearing the eyeliner that all of the guys who my friends beat up do; apart form on him it doesn’t look silly or girly, it’s like he was born to have perfect lines of darkness surrounding his pools of vision like a road into his innermost being. Apart from all roads are blocked and his wristband-covered arms are crossed defensively across the logo of his baggy Anthrax top; he looks as happy about him being here as I am.
Because no amount of curiosity or enchantment can take away from the fact that he’s going to ruin everything. Already is.
But I’ve got to speak to him, if not because those eyes of his are a challenge for me to conquer and get to open up, then at least because my mom wants me to. And my mom angry is something that even I fear. I clear my throat loudly, frowning when it doesn’t gain his attention like it should; he’s just looking at the muted plasma-screen as though the omnipotent power of his new high school isn’t sat across from him.
It looks like I’m going to have to start this, aren’t I?
“Well, I’m sure you know this already, but I’m Frank Iero.” He regards me with weary eyes, eyes that flash with pain as my hand reaches out towards him in a shaking gesture; this whole thing will be a lot worse for all concerned if I don’t even try to make the effort. “What’s your name?”
Granted, my voice was a lot gruffer and more resentful than maybe necessary, but the least the guy could do is at least have the decency to look at me, at the kid whose life he is ripping apart by entering it. He might be something pretty to look at, in a sad and longing sort of way, but he certainly lacks manners; the last person to ignore me soon got taught not to make the same mistake twice. My friends made sure of that.
“Mikey Way.” He mumbles, still not tearing his eyes from the silent screen of the telly, and pulls an iPod Nano out of his pocket, unravelling the headphones with the same amount of apathy contained in his speech.
Miserable fucker; he could at least try to make the effort.
An awkward silence shrouds the room like the mist that always signals the start of a horror movie and my stomach ties itself in cripplingly tight knots of unbridled frustration and outrage; this guy can’t just swan in here and act like he doesn’t even owe me the common courtesy of his attention.
Everyone else gives me attention; the teachers give me attention when I turn their faces a fiery red at my antics; girls give me attention whenever they swoon over the sight of my bad-boy good looks; guys give me attention when they admire me for having pretty much everyone under my control; everyone gives me attention because that’s just the way it is, the way it was meant to be and the way it always will be. I’ve been told that I’m an attention-seeker, that I have some sort of complex about being the centre of everything because my father left me ten years ago; I don’t, the people who say that are just jealous of my fucking awesome life.
A life full of hurting the people I want to be and envy, full of people who don’t know me at all, full of… loneliness.
No. I’m not lonely, I’m one of the most popular kids in school; I have everything and I certainly do not need some brattish mouse of a man becoming my new ‘brother’. I especially don’t need him making me think things through like this, like he is a key to things that I’ve forbidden myself from thinking. Because I do have the perfect life, I don’t need someone coming into my home and convincing me that I don’t; that I am as lonely as Mikey looks.
Mikey… I like it. It suits him; it makes me think of Mickey Mouse and this boy really is like a mouse, all small and quiet. But not in the same adorable way that mice are, in an infuriatingly annoying way. In a way that nobody ever has been around me because nobody is stupid enough to think that they can ignore me. Not that I can hold it against him, Mom told me that he only lost his family two weeks ago and is still extremely fragile so of course he isn’t going to be a bucketful of rainbows.
But he could at least have the decency to try.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” I drawl restlessly, earning a shrug in return. “What, are you like, disturbed or something?” Another shrug, but this time with a hint of agony marring those glass-doll-like eyes, a hint of agony that makes me feel a pang of guilt even though I can’t help it; it’s in my nature to be curious. “What do you think of it here, do you like it?”
My words are dripping with the sort of kindness that I get shown every day even though I want him to say no; want him to ask to be placed with a different family, a family that isn’t already mine.
Yet at the same time half of me wants him to say yes, wants this beautifully distant boy to want my company as much as everyone else does because it’s irritating to have someone not want me. Because I want him to want me, I want him to think that I am as hot as everyone else does, I want him to want to know me because he really is one of the most intriguing people I’ve ever seen purely because he isn’t begging to talk to me. Quite the opposite. He looks like he wants to just disappear, to be as far away from me as possible and never have to see my confused face again. Confused because I know that I should hate him for ignoring me, for being rude and for ruining my life like I know he will, but at the same time I can’t help but think how beautiful he looks; how soft those slim, pink lips would feel if I could teach them all I know about kissing. Apart from I don’t want to kiss someone like Mikey, some little emo-freak who will probably have become well acquainted with my best friends’ fists by this time tomorrow. And I, as usual, won’t do anything to stop it because the ignorant shit deserves it.
No. He doesn’t. Nobody does.
But that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t use being taught a lesson or two about manners.
I look at him expectantly, practically begging him with my eyes to give me some sort of verbal response so that I can give myself a valid reason for me to protect him tomorrow from my friends, a valid reason for me to like him enough to put my reputation on the line to save his sorry ass.
“Didn’t your mom teach you any manners?” I spit at him, leaning over the coffee table and grabbing his face in my hands so he is forced to look at me. “Look, Mikey Way, you don’t like me and I don’t like you but seeing as we live in the same house now, we’re gonna have to at least try to get along. And we will if you get this into your head pretty fucking quickly; my house, my rules.”
He shrugs. He motherfucking shrugs. Like he doesn’t care that I could snap his jaw in half right now if I wanted, not that I ever would physically hurt someone outside of school; like he honestly doesn’t give a shit if I hurt him. I don’t like it, not at all; this feeling of not having his respect and not being able to frighten it into him with empty threats.
But what I find myself not liking even more is his blatant disregard for his own safety, even if I don’t like the guy he should at least have it in him to care about himself.
What the fuck am I going on about? This kid has just lost all of his family, is in a strange place and is being harassed by some jumped-up midget; of course he isn’t going to be up to responding properly, he’s traumatised, for fuck’s sake! I can tell that much from the dead look in his eyes; at the way they just seem to be replaying something in front of my face that only he can see.
So I release his ghostly face and fall back into my seat, my eyes studying him thoughtfully; he’s been through something bad, something terrible that I’d never wish upon anyone and it’s obviously taken it’s harsh toll on him and I really do feel a searing strain of sympathy for him that only mutates into guilt at my lack of understanding. I really do feel sorry for him, sorry that someone so shy and beautiful had to go through something as messed-up as he so clearly has, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s in my house. My home. My own little haven just for me and my mom. For my family. Not for some stranger with no sense of gratitude or respect.
But he’s an orphan for a reason, a reason that only happened two weeks ago and I’ve got to remember that even though I know my friends won’t at school tomorrow.
“Looking forward to school tomorrow?”
Fucking hell, would it kill him to at least pretend to be a normal human being?
“Why are you being so difficult?” I pause and fix him with a stern look, the kind that has never let me lose an argument before. “And I swear to god if you shrug one more time I will lose it with you.”
He doesn’t say anything, just fixes his eyes on the iPod that is sat lifelessly in his lap.
But then he sniffles, rubbing fiercely at his eyes in a way that makes me feel indescribably guilty; I didn’t mean to make him cry, just make him talk to me with those sweet-looking lips and give me reasons not to hate the person who seems to be the exact opposite of everyone who’s ever come into contact with me. He isn’t in love with me or in awe of me or jealous of me or scared of me; he just… is. And now he’s crying, this beautiful boy is crying because of me even though he never even did anything other than act like the traumatised little orphan that he so obviously is.
“Mikey?” I ask softly, using a tone of gentleness that I’ve never used on anyone before, and he looks up; piercing me with the redness of his eyes. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to snap at you. But why are you being so fucking difficult? You’ll never make any friends if this is how you act.”
He shrugs. Something in me snaps and I just give up; give up on even trying to make the effort with this imposter in my own home.
“Okay, emo-kid, waste your life sulking if that’s what you want, but I’ve got better things to do with my time.”
And with that I leap from the couch, noticing with biting disdain that Mikey doesn’t even care because he’s simply jamming his headphones in, and I storm up the stairs, to my bedroom. My army-green paradise that really is just mine. I dive onto my bed and let out a guttural shriek of frustration, feeling very much like a toddler being told that he can’t have the lollipop that he’s got his heart set on.
I was right; Mikey Way is already ruining everything. He’s only been here for under half an hour and already he’s shaken everything up like thunder roaring through a valley, he’s fucked up my head and I don’t like it one bit. Why can’t he just be like everyone else; be willing to do anything just to have my attention?
Because he already has it, he has it because he doesn’t want it and it’s messing me up inside that he doesn’t want it because he should do; everyone else does so why doesn’t he? Because he’s a freak, that’s why. He’s just some weirdo in need of being taught the lesson that he will almost certainly be getting taught at school tomorrow.
All of a sudden my room goes from being comfortably warm to eerily cold; the kind of cold that I can imagine a mausoleum being, like all of the life has just been sucked out of the one place where I can truly be alive.
There’s a man at the end of my bed, a pale man with black hair and fiery eyes; there’s a motherfucking stranger standing at the end of my bed and he’s angry, he’s gonna kill me. Oh god, he’s gonna kill me. I don’t want to die, not yet; I don’t want to be murdered by some vampire-esque weirdo who has somehow managed to sneak into my bedroom. How the fuck did he even get in here? I don’t give a shit; not when he’s most likely going to murder me.
Fear grips me and I sit bolt upright in bed, adrenaline telling me not to go down without a fight.
“Who the fuck are you?” I yell at the dauntingly calm figure, putting all of my panic into it in an attempt to make myself sound as aggressive as I normally can.
The man doesn’t even falter, just smirks at my obvious terror as though it’s what he wants. It probably is.
“I, Frankie, am Gerard Way. Mikey’s big brother.”
“But you’re dead!”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading; I hope that this was alright. Sorry that the ending to this chapter sucked, but I hope that you liked it! Thank you very much for reading and please review! :)