After a messy divorce, Frank and his mom move from New Jersey to a small town on the Penn-Ohio border in order to be closer to family Frank has never met. When he almost helps Gerard, a senior with...
“Ten fucking pages? You have got to be kidding me.” With a huff and a loud slap, Frank throws the packet onto the dining room table and crosses his arms. “Can’t I be home schooled?”
Frank’s mother gives him a tired look. “Frank, come on. Ten pages of rules isn’t that much.”
“They’re all about the fucking dress code.” He picks the packet back up, flips to the front page and begins reading in a high, feminine voice. “All shirts must be collared and in the appropriate colors, with the exception of TigerWear –what the bloody fuck is TigerWear- and logos may not be any bigger than two by two inches. Shorts and skirts may come no more than two inches above the knees and may have no more than four pockets. Absolutely no denim.”
Frank gives his mother a look of absolute desperation. He didn’t want to move. He completely and openly objected the notion of packing up everything they owned and moving across an entire state to Shitville, Pennsylvania to be closer to relatives that, at this point, Frank isn’t even sure exists. On top of the stress of the move and unpacking and repacking and the fact that Frank hasn’t smoked in practically a week, his new school is totally and completely Communist, down to the size of the logo on your shirt and whether or not there was ink injected into your epidermis.
Despite all of the rage glowing in Frank’s chest, his mom was completely calm about it. “It’s not that bad, darling. And you can change your clothes after school.”
“But that’s two sets of clothes, mom! Twice as much money! Can’t I just-“
His mother holds up a hand saying that that’s the end of the discussion, so Frank shoves the packet away angrily and stomps upstairs to his room. The house is stupidly small compared to their house back in Jersey. The old one had four bedrooms,three bathrooms and, more importantly, Frank's father. This one has two bathrooms, two bedrooms and an unsurprising lack of a father.
Frank got the bigger of the two bedrooms (much to his glee) and had already unpacked most of his stuff since they arrived on Friday afternoon. Not as far away as Frank would like, several church bells sound off six chimes. He knows that there are three churches in a five block vicinity of his house, possibly more. The chiming was eventually going to get on his nerves.
Frank fidgets about the room for a while, trying to find something to do. He fishes out his guitar and plays a few chords before setting it gingerly on its stand by his bed and heading out onto the balcony. The balcony is Frank’s favourite part of the house. He could see the high school on the other side of town, along with the creepy statue of the Virgin Mary that stood atop one of the creepiest churches Frank had ever had the displeasure of laying his eyes on. The night they drove into town, the tall stain glass windows had been lit up, waving like the place was on fire, even though there weren’t any lights on inside.
He had silently thanked the universe for not having to go past it until Monday.
Frank fumbles about inside of his hoodie, successfully retrieving his cigarettes and a lighter. He lights up for the first time in too long and is instantly relaxed as he takes the first drag. Maybe school won’t be so bad. Frank is an adaptable person. If anyone could work around it, he could.
After five more minutes of staring out across the city, Frank’s mom calls him for dinner. She throws a Hot Pocket at him from her doorway and reminds him to shower before going into her room and locking the door. Frank stares sadly at the chipped white wood before dragging himself back upstairs, throwing the combination of undercooked bread, molten lava disguised as cheese and processed meat into the trashcan by his door as soon as he walked into the room.
Frank is a vegan. His mom knows that.
He sighs heavily and goes over to his back of Car Snacks, pulls out his last two homemade rice crispies, and flops backwards onto his bed. Outside, a car drives past. It seems too loud, as if any second now it could crash through the wall. Frank sits up and peers out his side window. The car has slid to a dead stop in the middle of the road. Feeling much too like that creepy dude in the movies, he pulls open his window and leans out, trying to see who the car belongs to.
A tall guy climbs out, cursing loudly, and Frank gasps involuntarily. Even from far away, Frank can tell that the guy is gorgeous. Clad all in black, from his hair to his shoelaces. The man continues cursing, popping the hood of his car and frowning intensely. No neighbors make any signs of life, so Frank takes the liberty to go help the poor guy.
Actually, he practically bolts outside which is automatically a bad idea because Frank ends up leaning against the railing on his front porch wheezing angrily. Right. No running. Not until his lungs stop being pussies and man the fuck up. Pacing himself this time, Frank shoves his hands in his pockets and walks down the sidewalk.
“Need some help?” Frank calls, almost shrinking into himself as the guy turns to him. Oh fuck, Frank thinks, he’s fucking hot, like “Alex Pettyfer and Neil Patrick Harris had a baby” hot. Plus, he's wearing eyeliner. Which, again, is fucking hot.
The guy laughs. His voice higher than Frank had been anticipating. “Yeah, yeah I could use a little help.”
Frank saunters over, trying not to look like an idiot while he leans over the car. “What happened?”
The guy shrugs. “Dunno. It doesn't look like anything came loose... Gah, hold on.” And then the guy seems to dive right into the car. Doesn’t even bother rolling up his sleeves, and that jacket looks sort of expensive. He digs around for a minute, before pulling out a shredded baggy. “Fucking Bert. I’ll strangle him.”
The guy waves a hand at Frank dismissively. “N’importe quoi.”
“Well… okay then. How’d a plastic bag get in there anyways?” Frank asks nonchalantly, looking up at the guy.
“My dumbass friend. That’s how.” The guy shrugs and closes the top. After a moment, he looks down at Frank. “Know what, I haven’t seen you around here before.”
“I just moved here from New Jersey.” Frank explains, digging his hands deeper into his pockets. “I’m starting at the high school tomorrow.”
“No shit.” The guy says almost in awe. He leans against the car hood and crosses his arms. “Sharon?” Frank nods. “Poor kid. Sharon sucks. I’m a senior there this year.”
“Sophomore.” Frank says, almost embarrassed. “I’m Frank, by the way. Frank Iero.”
“Gerard Way.” Gerard holds up a fist and, after realizing he isn’t going to get punched, Frank bumps it awkwardly.
The pair stands in an awkward silence. Frank kicks an oddly shaped rock and it rolls under the car. Gerard stuffs the ripped bag in his jacket pocket, looking around suspiciously.
“Thanks for almost helping with my car.” Gerard says, shuffling his feet awkwardly. Frank can tell he wants to leave.
“No problem. Almost helping people is what I’m best at.” Frank smiles at him and Gerard almost smiles back, but he looks away instead.
“I’ll see ya in school, I guess.”
“Yeah. See ya in school.” Frank says, feeling a bit hurt. Why hadn’t Gerard smiled back?
He takes a few steps backwards and Gerard gets in the car and drives away, his car moving like it’s brand new and a random bag of illicit substances had never even been inside it. Frank turns around and makes his way back to the house, hands out of his pockets and rubbing his arms instead. He felt freezing cold, even though it was at least sixty five outside. Talk about cold shoulder Frank thought grumpily as he went back upstairs.
Frank thinks about school, and how maybe their neo-nazi tendencies would be tolerable if he got to see Gerard. He’s taking a few senior courses and, if Frank gets lucky, Gerard will be in one of them. Despite his smile totally being blown off, Frank can’t stop thinking about how damn hot/sexy/cute Gerard Way is. Or that suspicious side glance as Gerard put the bag in his pocket. Or his-
Frankie stop it. Frank orders himself as he flops down onto his bed. You’re gonna start crushing on him. But his last thought before falling asleep earlier than he planned is that he definitely is going to look for Gerard in the morning.