Someone to talk you the hell up.
“I don’t get it,” says Gerard through a mouthful of popcorn. “Why are we going to Italy again?”
“To cover Mira Clark’s cat-walk,” I reply. “You know her. Red hair. Stick thin. Probs bulimic. She got some contract a few weeks ago and they’re shipping her off to a fashion show in Milan. And being the school that created her we get to write about how precious she will look in that pretty pink dress.”
“By created, I assume you mean moulded,” Gerard sighs, rolling onto his back and placing a cushion from the couch in between his knees.
I nod sadly. Gerard propels the cushion into the air using his feet, humming absent-mindedly to himself, a song that sounds vaguely like “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner.
“I fuckin’ hate that song,” I growl.
Gerard ignores me. He just hums it louder, a playful look in his eyes. A smirk crosses my face as I grab a cushion next to me and smack him with it.
Gerard just giggles. “I call you when I need you, my heart is on fire...You come to me, come to me, wild and wild-”
“Shut up!” I cry, hitting him again with the cushion. “The lyrics...they’re so awful!”
Sprawled on the floor, Gerard cracks up as I continue to beat him with my cushion, writhing against the carpet in an effort to control his laughter. “YOU’RE SIMPLY THE BEST!!” he screams. “BETTER THAN ALL THE REST!!!”
“BETTER THAN ANYONE!”
“GERARD, I AM WARNING YOU!”
“ANYONE I’VE EVER MET!!!”
With a massive swing the cushion hits Gerard’s body just as I lose my balance. Attempting to keep my hands in front of me to protect my landing, I fall on top of him, causing him to shriek with giggles.
“I’m stuck on your heart,” he continues to sing cheerfully as I prop myself up onto my elbows. “I hang on every word you say...”
He looks up at me from heavily lidded eyes, smiling very slightly. I instantly become aware of my own pounding pulse as I look back down at Gerard flat on the floor, breathing heavily, the playful look still in his eyes as I lean over him, the whole front of my body pressed against his. Like mine, his shirt has ridden up and our skin touches, sending a wave of heat through me and through him. Our crotches are inches apart. Our chests might as well be one.
There’s a funny look on his face, his lips pouted and ever so slightly open. Such a pretty mouth, I find myself thinking desperately. Oh God...how is he doing this to me?
Because if I wanted him before it’s no comparison as to how I’m feeling now. With our skin so scaldingly hot and my thighs pressing against him...my whole body screaming for something, my brain so fixed around the idea of capturing those lips to think a rational thought; that I really should crawl off him. But then he does something very strange. He places his hand on my cheek and the playful look is gone, replaced by a look I don’t quite understand as he brushes my face slowly with his fingertips, ever so lightly.
“I would love to draw your face,” he says softly, the words barely escaping from his slightly parted lips. “It would be like sculpting marble.”
And of course I have no idea what that means.
“I have no idea what that means,” Cam tells me, her voice hoarse over the phone.
“Join the fucking club,” I groan, shoving my face into my pillow in despair.
“He could be saying practically anything,” she continues. “He could be saying that you’re something beautiful he wants to recreate, or that he sees something within you that wants to come out, or-”
“-Or that he wants to chip away bits of my body until I am a semi-muscular alpha-male with a very small penis,” I offer.
“Gotta love Greek art,” Cam nods sagely. “Like sculpting marble...Damn,” she sighs. “You homosexuals say the prettiest things.”
“Yeah, but he’s not,” I groan. “He’s bi-curious at the most. I think he just likes to use my heart as his own personal playground.”
“And who could blame you for letting him when he says things like that?” Cam agrees. I can just see the look on her face through the receiver. All mushy and girly and stupid – the look my mom gets when she’s reading Nietzsche’s autobiography. “I wish Eric would tell me he wanted to draw my face.”
“He wouldn’t know how to hold the pencil,” I say, scowling. “And I wouldn’t let him anywhere near you with a chisel.”
“He’s a babe though,” says Cam before erupting into another fit of coughing. “Oh God,” she wheezes. “I feel like every cell in my body was just raped.”
“Awww, baby g,” I say sympathetically. I hate it when Cam is ill. It’s like a part of me just stops working properly. “Let’s talk about Italy, it’ll make you feel better. Should I pack skinny jeans or will it be too hot? Should I wear my “Punk Not Dead” shirt on the plane? Do they stone anarchists in Italy? Is it weird if a guy shaves his legs?”
“Yes. It’s disgusting,” Cam replies weakly. “By the way, Cynthia’s coming.”
It’s as if she just switched my internal tap to run my blood suddenly cold. “What?”
“Yeah, turns out she’s a really good journalist. I just had to have her on the team. Sorry.”
Any sympathy for my best friend quickly dissipates at these words as I stare, dumbfounded at the receiver. “How could you do this to me?” I cry in my self-righteous voice. “She’s evil incarnate!”
“She hasn’t done anything to you except take the chance you didn’t,” replies Cam tiredly.
“Only because she’s scared of you,” I retort. “If you’re not there she’ll leap on me like a paedophile at a day-care centre. You’re coming into school tomorrow, right?”
“I can’t, I’m ill,” Cam sniffs.
“No! Cam, I need you!”
“You’ll be fine. You’re, like, the toughest kid in the year, for Godsake. Or at least you are for your height.”
“But Caaaaaaaam!” I plead. “I need you for the next stage on the list! Who else is going to be my wingman?”
“Look around,” says Cam carelessly. “Put up posters. Anyways, you have a boyfriend now. Remember?"
"Yeah, yeah, Raoul. How could I forget?" I groan. Don't get me wrong, the guy is motherfucking hot. But he's sooo annoying! His idea of having a good time is to stand there looking confused and then make out. Works for some people, not for me.
"I think you should count your blessings and make the most of what you've got," says Cam knowledgeably. "But if you excuse me I am in the middle of a very interesting documentary on Leonardo da Vinci. Did you know he was fit and gay?”
“I know right! Love ya, hun. Call me later to stop me doing something drastic out of boredom. Like fanfiction.”
We exchange goodbyes and she hangs up leaving me in a wee bit of a pickle. After Cam I have no idea who else can undertake the important task of feeding Gerard good stuff about me. They would have to be sly, sneaky and of great intelligence. Somebody who knows just what to say at just the right time...
Failing that, I go for Ray.
At school, I fill the man in briefly. He looks unsure but up for it, stating that it’s not like he has anything better to do with his time except pretend that because he is from Puerto Rico he can play basketball.
At break I go to hang out with my other group of friends so that I can watch Ray’s progress from the other side of the turf. Jeez, I’m so popular! Not that you have to be popular to hang with these guys, the opposite actually. We’re the punk-assed rebels of Belleville High, complete with glass-shard scars, broken teeth and scuffed knuckles. Gotta say, I have to be the prettiest of the bunch. They greet me with no more than a grunt, not even scooting up on the wall to make room for my tiny butt.
“’Sup, Iero?” asks Vinny, a thick-set guy with a blond mohawk in the year above.
“Och aye the noo,” says I cheerfully.
“Eugh, why do we hang out with this fag?” groans Craig. An asshole if ever I knew one. “All he ever does is say things from the Oxford English Dictionary for Retards.”
“The Oxford English Dictionary is a corporate, narcissistic, commodity,” says Dred.
“Well, your dad didn’t seem to mind when he was screaming my name last night,” I retort, ignoring Dred’s input. “Or was it someone else’s? ‘Cos I don’t think it was your mom’s.”
Craig colours beetroot red as the others guffaw. His dad left his mom for another guy just a few weeks ago. I don’t like to bring it up...but this dick seriously rubs me the wrong way.
I hop up next to Ria, a dread-locked girl with a pretty smile. I hooked up with her a while ago when I was still in denial; broke her heart and broke my jaw but we’re all good now. She offers me some candy from a striped paper bag to prove it.
“Thanks,” I accept, scanning around for Gerard or Ray. I spot them chilling with some of Ray’s basketball buddies, the ones who seem to think that making racist jokes is some kind of noble art. Gerard sees me and gives a little wave that automatically sends my heart racing.
“Who is that guy?” asks Vinny thoughtfully.
“He’s Frank’s friend,” answers Ria. “Gerard Way, right?”
I nod in confirmation. The guys all exchange knowing glances that aren’t lost on me. “What?”
“You guys bumming?” Craig spits venomously, tearing a piece of Ria’s candy with his teeth.
“Wha-no!” I state emphatically, maybe a little bit too quickly. “He’s cute and he’s my friend but I’m not about to fuck every guy I come across for Chrissake!”
“Debauchery is a corporate, narcistic, commodity,” says Dred.
“Can I have him then?” asks Vinny.
“No!” I cry, equally emphatically earning more knowing glances.
Dipshits. I decide to ignore them and instead focus on Ray who is talking to Gerard now. He keeps glancing oh-so discreetly in my direction and I face-palm inwardly. He is so gonna fuck this up.
“Hey, what’s up with those emo kids?” says Vinny.
“I think they’re just bored,” Ria shrugs.
“Faggots,” says Craig.
“Alright Craig, if you say ‘faggot’ one more time I’m gonna break yours,” I growl menacingly.
“’Emo’ is a corporate, narcistic, commodity,” says Dred.
“Fuck off, Dred!”
Craig looks at me, gives me the once-over and shrugs. Yeah, that’s what I thought you inbred wanker. A tap on my shoulder and I turn around to face Ray, wringing his hands and looking confused. Goddammit.
“What?” I snap.
“Can I talk to you for a second?”
I roll my eyes and follow him a little distance away, out of earshot from the others. I gesture for him to talk.
“It’s not working,” he tells me hurriedly. “I keep telling him a bunch of good stuff about you and all he does is look kinda disturbed or amused.”
I raise an eyebrow. “What kinda good stuff?”
“Remember when we were thirteen and you came round mine for Halloween and you pissed your pants watching The Nightmare Before Christmas?”
...What? “You TOLD him that?!”
“Well, yeah. I want him to discover your sensitive side. You know, ‘cos you’re usually such a dick.”
Ignore, ignore, ignore. “What else did you tell him?”
An unhealthy grin splits Ray’s face. “About that time when we were at Sean’s and we were really, REALLY drunk and you dressed up in his mom’s dress and started riding the pilates machine like a cowboy singing “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes” in a Texas accent and then you threw up and it went all over the Tibetan vases-”
“-What is wrong with you?!”
“Hey! It was fucking hilarious! Everyone should know about that!”
I cannot believe this. I cannot. Of all the brainless, hybrid-mutant obsessed morons in this world I just had to be friends with Ray Toro. I just stare at him and he looks like he’s staring back except his eyes have lost focus and his mouth is becoming slack.
“Toro! Wake up!” I yell, snapping my fingers in front of his face.
“Wha-sorry,” Ray blinks. “Wow. I think I just went to another world for a second! That was crazy!”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I think I just went to a parallel universe where you were yelling at me for telling Gerard embarrassing stories about you,” Ray replies. “You looked really mad. Sorta like you do now.”
If there is a God, smite me now. “That was REAL, you nimrod!! I specifically told you to tell Gerard things that will make him like me, not think of me as a bed-wetting cowboy transvestite!”
Ray’s mouth forms the shape of a little “o” in understanding. “I must have misunderstood,” he says sagely. “And I apologise for that. I am not worthy to be your friend. Now excuse me while I go get some sweet, sweet oreos.”
I continue to yell at him as he walks away but he doesn’t look back. Half the school does turn to glance warily at me however, including Gerard. But then Cynthia places her hand on the small of his back and leans in to kiss him and he responds with a touch of her face, a touch that was mine just a few hours ago.
Then I have to stop because it hurts too much.
This was more of a filler chapter, I think. Promise something will actually happen in the next one.