Frank finally makes a friend- his new neighbour Gerard Way. But what will happen when Gerard learns why Frank finds friendships so difficult?
I watched the numerous boxes be carried into the house opposite my own. Three or four men unloading every last piece of furniture from the lorry and hauling it inside the large house. A car pulled up into the drive of the house and two boys about my age hopped out. A lady stepped out of the car too and ushered them inside the house. I watched as the older looking boy reluctantly followed behind with his arms folded across his chest and his head down. The younger looking boy looked somewhat exited to be moving into a new house as he bounded ahead and through the door.
I watched as the last boxes of furniture were unloaded and carried into the house and the lorry finally drove off revealing the rest of the house that had been hiding behind it. The house mirrored mine. The exterior painted white like the rest of the few houses on my street. The grass on the front garden cut perfect and neat and not a piece of gravel out of place from the stony drive.
“Frankie,” my mother called from downstairs breaking me from my thoughts. “Frankie, get down here please.” She yelled again.
“Coming mom.” I yelled back. I hopped down from the window ledge which I had currently been sitting at for about four hours and hurried down the staircase which lead to the hall way then into the kitchen to see what my mom wanted me so urgently for.
“Be an angel and go run a few errands for me, please?” My mom asked handing me a shopping list and some money
“Sure.” I agreed, shoving the list into my pocket. I hurried into the hallway and tied my red converse tightly to my feet before walking swiftly out the door, shutting it behind me.
I was happy to be out the house for once. It was summer break and one of the hottest summers New Jersey had experienced in decades. I had no friends to meet up with either making my break even more boring than it already was. I had no brothers or sisters to play with and mom refused to buy me a dog until I was fifteen next year. I was left to play all on my own.
I hurried to the shops and brought the few items on the list. Milk, bread, various vegetables and I also brought myself some chocolate with the rest of the money. I walked back home slowly, letting the sun soak into my skin. Feeling the light wash over my body.
I got to my street and was about to turn down the path to my house when a battered football rolled slowly across the road and stopped in front of my feet. I looked across the road in the direction the ball had come from. The boy from earlier was sitting on the lawn looking at me. I picked the ball up and walked across the empty road to where he was sitting. I noticed he was maybe a bit older than what I had thought from watching him out the window. Maybe just a few years older though.
“Is this yours?” I asked nervously holding the ball out towards him with my shaky hands. I felt my face grow red. This always happened when I talked to people.
“Yeah.” He answered quickly. He looked up and me for a few seconds. Was there something wrong with what I looked like? Was I being too rude. He didn’t take the ball from my hands so I dropped it in front of him. “Thanks.” He hissed rudely.
“I’ve never seen you before.” I said sitting down next to him. Why was I talking to this guy? Every voice in my head told be to stop being stupid and to walk away.
“Just moved here from Philadelphia. Got kicked out of all the local schools. It’s a ‘new start’ or whatever.” He said quoting the air with his fingers.
“Why did you get kicked out of all those schools.” I asked nosily. I watched his irritable movements. It was as if he didn’t want me here. I don’t blame him, nobody ever wanted me around. My stomach twisted into a tight knot. I found it horribly irritating talking to people I didn’t know. I had got myself into this situation after all.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” he snapped. My mind blanked. I didn’t know what to say. This always happened, I don’t know why I even bother talking to strangers.
“I should get home.” I said standing up and brushing the dead grass from my legs. I could feel my fist twitching by my side. I had to resist the urge to act how I always ended up acting in these situations of unnecessary embarrassment.
I was about to turn to walk away when he grabbed my hand- stopping me from going anywhere.
“No…stay.” He said quickly.
“Erm, okay…I’m Frank by the way.” I said warily sitting back down.
“I’m Gerard.” he smiled innocently.
After talking to him for a few hours it appeared he was just lonely-like me. He seemed nice. And he was one of the first people I had got along with in a long time. We had agreed to meet up the next day. After all, we were both bored out of our minds and his parents and little brother were out of town for a few days getting the rest of the furniture, leaving him with nothing to do.
A couple of hours later my mom spotted me out the window and told me I had to come back inside for dinner. I didn’t want to leave Gerard on his own. But I was hungry and Gerard had assured me he would be okay.
“Are you sure you don’t want dinner at mine?” I offered one last time.
“I’m fine, but thanks all the same.”
“Nice meeting you.” I smiled as I hurried back across the street. My head spun and I felt nauseous. One of my normal symptoms.
“You too!” he called.
I sat at the front of my house for hours but Frank never came to meet me. I just lay there in the sun with my eyes closed waiting for him to appear and my boredom to vanish. But he never came. Should I go and knock for him? What if he didn’t want to see me today? What if he found me too grouchy yesterday?
Fuck it, I was going to knock for him anyway. This boredom was unbearable.
I hurried across the road and up the drive but before I could press the doorbell the door swung open.
“Gerard!” Frank beamed. “Sorry, I got grounded”
“I’m sorry, do you want me to leave?” I asked nervously.
“No. Do you want to come in and play?” He asked.
“If that’s okay with your mom.” I said, stepping into the house.
“Yeah, it will be fine.” He said. I followed him out to the garden where I could see his mom through the kitchen window. She smiled at me and I waved back.
“Wanna play soccer?” I asked kicking my football over to him.
“Yeah, okay!” he laughed.
I went in to tackle him but he was too good. He kicked the ball a few meters ahead and then dribbled it towards the back end of the garden. Not only was he an amazing player but he was also extremely fast. I jogged after him and attempted to tackle him again but it was no good. He just curved the ball past me and ran straight after it. I giggled as I tried and failed to tackle him once more. Frank smiled at me before passing the ball to me.
“I’ll give you a chance.” He laughed. I dribbled the ball around him until he decided to try and get the ball back. I dodged him as best I could occasionally almost tripping over the ball itself. Frank laughed at my lack of skill and got the ball back from me easily. He dribbled to the far end of the garden again and I saw the perfect opportunity to tackle him. I ran in for a slide tackle but missed the ball and took Frank straight off his feet. He hit the floor with a thud.
I couldn’t tell if I had hurt him or not until he sat up and examined his foot. His leg was covered in mud, blood and grass stains.
“You fucking idiot.” He yelled and lunged for my face. I managed to get out the way of his punch.
“What the fuck are you doing.” I yelled. He grabbed me by the shoulders and pinned me to the ground. “Get the fuck off of me!” I shouted. He climbed onto my chest so I couldn’t escape him. Before I could push him off his fist swung round and hit me in the jaw. Then again. And again. I felt the tears escape my eyes and the blood run from my mouth. I was barely conscious when I heard his mother scream his name. He staggered backwards and his mom helped me to my wobbly feet. She tried to walk me inside the house but I kept stumbling so she resorted to carrying me back inside.
She sat me down on the kitchen counter and cleaned up my face while Frank sat and watched in shame from a chair on the other side of the room. He clearly didn’t mean to hurt me as much as he did.
“Please don’t take that personally. Frank suffers from social anxiety disorder. It makes him act like that in situations where he isn’t comfortable or feels embarrassed.” His mom explained.
“It’s fine. I understand.” I mumbled through my sore mouth.
“Do you just go round telling everyone that? Just…just shut up about it, please.” Frank hissed at his mom. I saw his face turn red and his fist begin to twitch down by his side.
“Would you like me to call your mother?”
“No.” I said sharply.
“Do you want me to walk you home?”
“I’d rather stay here. But thanks for the offer.” I said hopping down from the kitchen counter.
“If that’s what you want. I don’t want any more fighting, you hear me Frank?” His mom called as we disappeared out the room.
“Yes mom.” He called back. I followed him silently up the stair case and into his bedroom.
He opened the door and I followed him in. There was a huge window opposite the door and a double bed by left wall. There were various guitars hanging from the walls and also a red drum kit opposite the bed. The walls were lined with band posters: The Misfits, Black Flag, Iron Maiden- you name it. There was also a book case. Two shelves of vinyl records, one of CDs and another of books. I sat down on the bed next to him for a few minutes. The silence was almost unbearable.
“I am so sorry.” Frank finally said as the tears spilt over his eyes.
“It doesn’t matter. Everyone gets angry.” I said as comforting as I could.
“Not everybody beats the shit out of their friend.” Frank hissed.
“It is fine Frank! It doesn’t even hurt.” I lied. My face hurt every time I tried to speak. My lip stung whenever I tried to talk.
“I’ve fucked everything up again.” he said.
“Why do you always put yourself down like that?” I hissed.
“Why do you care so much anyway? You have known me what? One day?”
“Of course I care about you! That’s a stupid thing to say!” I said standing up in rage. I turned to exit the room but he grabbed my hand and swung me around to face him. I noticed our faces were extremely close and I could easily just show how much Frank meant to me with one simple action. I had to resist the urge to kiss him. After all- I had only known him one day.
“Stay.” Frank whispered.
“My mom will be home soon.” I lied. I felt Frank’s grip around my wrist tighten as I tried to pull my hand free. “Ouch, Frank that hurts!” I said as his nails pierced my skin.
“See! I did it again!” He yelled. He dived into a draw by the window and emptied it out into the bed. He was desperately trying to look for something. He threw pencils, headphones, and other bits of junk to the side. I watched in horror as he pulled a razor out the pile and held it to his wrist.
“NO!” I yelled. I grabbed the razor in my hand, the sharp edge slicing through the skin on my fingers. I felt the warm blood run down my arm. The more Frank struggled to get the razor back, the more my fingers bled. I had to let go, the pain in my fingers was almost unbearable.
Frank fell back against the bed with the razor in his hand and held it to his flesh again. I could see in the sunlight the faint scars that looked months old. I wasn’t about to let him do it again, I knew how hard it was to stop once you had started. He shifted the razor in his hand so it was right across his vein.
“Don’t you come near me.” he breathed. I clutched my cut-up hand tightly as I kneeled down in front of him. “Don’t you dare touch me.” he cried.
“It’s okay, I won’t- just give me the razor.” I said, trying to steady my breathing back to normal. I moved my hand an inch closer and he pressed the razor slightly harder to his skin. “Please…please just stop Frank. I…I don’t want you to hurt yourself. If you want me to go, I will. I will do whatever you want, just please don’t hurt yourself.” I cried. The warm tears dripping from my cheeks and mixing with the blood up my arm.
He screwed his face up- trying to keep the tears away and dropped the razor to the floor. I picked it up with my bloody hand and shoved it into my pocket. I hugged him and he hugged me tightly back, I felt my shoulder grow damp with his tears.
“I told you I was a fuck up.” He whispered.