Everyone knows that publis schools are wilder than private schools...
I woke up the next morning, feeling a pit of dread growing in my stomach. I groaned and rolled over, pulling my pillow over my head. Ididn't want to go to school.
Lindsey peeked her head in my door, checking if I was awake.
"Cara? Time to get up and get ready for school," she said softly. I groaned again.
"I feel sick, I can't go," I lied, groaning again for effect.
Lindsey came and sat on the bed next to me, looking worried.
"Really? Maybe you should stay home then, I'll bring you acup of tea," Lindsey said, standing up to go downstairs. I snuggled back into my warm bed, pleased with my efforts.
Gerard chose that moment to walk in my door.
"What's up?" he asked Lindsey.
"Cara's not feeling well today so I'm going to bring her acup of tea and let her get some sleep."
He chuckled. "Linds, don't fall for it. I know every trick in the book, believe me, I wrote the goddamn book."
I groaned again and pushed my covers back, getting out of bed in defeat.
"Fine, I'm getting up."
Gerard laughed. "Love you Cara."
I got dressed as slowly as possible, wanting to take as much time as possible so that I would be late. I carefully curled my lilac hair to create spiral curls that fell just below my waist. I made sure to put all of my black rings and studs in my piercings, attempting to get myself kicked out as soon as possible. I chose a pair of super skinny pale blue jeans and a floral singlet that I bought the other day, pairing them with my worn black converse. I used liquid eyeliner to create dramatic wings on my eyes with pale foundation.
I trudged downstairs where Lindsey was making crepes with banana and Nutella for breakfast. I made myself a coffee and sculled it, pouring myself another one before sitting down at the table.
Gerard was sitting at the table with a coffee and the newspaper, his brow furrowed in concentration. I took the opportunity to really study him. We were so much alike, I didn't know how I couldn't see it before. Ihad his high cheekbones, his hazel eyes and even his jaw structure.
Lindsey put a plate of crepes in front of me and I ate them quickly, heading back upstairs to get my backpack, full of brand new exercise books.
When I went back downstairs, Gerard was waiting for me by the door with his keys in his hand. I sighed as I walked outside and to the car.
We drove to the school in silence, except for the radio playing quietly in the car. This was another reason why I got myself into so much trouble at school, I hated it.
We arrived at Belleville High School to find the entire front building covered in spray painted names and slurs.
"Hasn't changed a bit," Gerard mused. I just rolled my eyes and got out of the car with him.
As we walked through the throngs of teenagers to the front office, I could hear whispers and feel stares on the back of my head, people scrutinising me and Gerard. There were whispers of excitement and whispers of scorn.
We arrived at the front office to see an older lady sitting behind a bulletproof screen. My heart rate spiked. Was this school for real?
She looked up when we approached the screen and gave us awary look.
"How may I help you?" she asked, slightly intimidated.
"I enrolled my daughter Cara here yesterday," Gerard started.
"Ah yes! We have some forms we need you to sign and then we can get Cara started on her class selections then you'll be ready to go," she said, standing up to go to a separate window, "Just put your bag on the conveyor and step through the frame.
Okay, now this was fucked up. This hag wanted me to have my bag x-rayed and walk through a metal detector.
Gerard nudged me. "Everyone has to do it for safety precautions. We're not the only school that has once. Haven't you ever been through one of these before at school?"
I shook my head. "Private schools, remember? Everyone paid too much for their education to even be able to afford a gun."
Gerard laughed at that as he walked through it without any hassle. Of course, it was a completely different situation for me. The beeping noises filled the corridor and the other students standing there gawked at me as I blushed. What a way to be introduced.
The hag started to say something into a walkie talkie, until a young girl stepped in.
"It's okay Mrs Rooney, her piercings make the sensors go off. She's too clean looking to be holding anything else," the girl explained before turning to smile at me. She had both sides of her nose pierced, snake bites, tongue, eyebrow and a trail of piercings in each ear. I smiled back at her, grateful for her understanding.
"Thank you, Kate, we understand that," Mrs Rooney said to her.
"No problem Mrs Rooney. Would you like me to stay behind her show her around when she's finished choosing her classes?" Kate asked, layering on the sweetness.
"Why thank you, Kate, that would be very helpful for Cara."
I picked up my backpack from the end of the conveyor belt, the contents declared safe.
Mrs Rooney ushered me into a room adjacent to the office and sat me down at a small table and placed a form in front of me.
"These are your class choices, the ones in red are the classes that are full already so you'll need to pick from the ones in black."
I scanned through my choices, not liking most of them. They were all boring things like Business, Economics, Legal Studies and Modern History. I finally settled on Advanced English, Standard Math, Biology, Music and Italian, giving me a study period each day.
I went back out to where Gerard and Kate were both waiting for me; Gerard to say goodbye and Kate to say hello.
"Alright, you're all set to start, here's your schedule and we hope you fit in," Mrs Rooney said, dismissing us as she turned back to her paperwork.
Gerard spoke first. "Have a good first day, try not to start any shit, smoke in class, vandalise shit or set shit on fire. I probably won't be able to tolerate it as well as your mother did. What time will I need to pick you up?"
Kate cut in before I could reply. "Oh it's okay, Mr Way, Ican take Cara home after school, I have my licence," she said, smiling widely, still layering on the sweet.
"Oh, okay, that would be great, thank you Kate. I'll see you this afternoon, Cara," Gerard replied, giving me a hug and a kiss on the top of the head.
"Okay, see you later Gerard," I said, still unable to call him dad.
He turned and walked out the doors and back to his car.
"So you live with Gerard Way? That's pretty awesome," Kate said as I turned to her.
"I still can't get over it," I said truthfully.
"Wait, what do you mean? How long have you lived with him?"she asked me.
"Only a few days, I only found out he was my dad when I got here," I explained.
"Holy shit, he's your dad?" she exclaimed, a little too loudly for my liking. I clapped my hand over her mouth.
"Shh! I don't exactly want everyone to know, let's just keep this between you and me for now," I said, looking into her eyes. She nodded, unable to speak from my hand over her mouth.
"Alright, let's show you around and get you some new friends," Kate said once I removed my hand.
We walked through the corridor as people shoved us in ahurry to get to classes or just to spite us. Kate rolled her eyes.
"At Belleville High, you're either cool or you're not. And by associating with me, you're immediately put in the uncool category. Sorry if I dashed your hopes at being a popular," she said, with a smirk. I grinned at her.
"I'm used to being different from everyone else. Private schools have taught me to cop everyone's bullshit. Although at private schools there's me and then there's people with logs up their asses."
Kate laughed along with me as we reached a table of people with crazy coloured hair and plenty of piercings.
"Look alive sunshines, this here is Cara, she's new. She joins us from..." Kate hesitated, waiting for me to fill in the blank.
"I don't even fuckin' know, everywhere," I replied honestly.
"Cara from everywhere. Play nice and don't bite. Hard," Kate tacked on the end.
A boy with straight brown hair and snake bites approached me. "Hey, I'm Dean," he introduced himself.
"Hey," I responded.
"So what class do you have first?" he asked me. I looked down at the schedule I held in my hand.
"Uhh, Biology," I answered, not really looking forward to it. Biology was one of my weakest subjects, why the hell did I pick it?
"Oh damn, none of us do Biology," Dean said pitifully and Isuddenly felt scared. Who was I going to have sit next to me in classes? I started feeling anxious.
"Oh wait, Laura does Biology, you can hang with her," he corrected himself and I felt relieved. Even though I had no idea who Laura was, at least there'd be someone in the group for me to sit with.
"Okay, so which one's Laura?" I said, turning back to my new group of friends. I scanned through the girls, hoping it wasn't the stick-thin, scary-looking punk with metal coming out of every crevice.
"That one," Dean said, pointing to the one I feared, "Don't worry, she only looks like that, really she's a softie."
Laura looked in our direction, staring daggers at me. Igulped.
"Why is she looking at me like that?" I asked Dean fearfully.
"That's just her face; it's usually just to ward off the preps, it'll change if you go talk to her."
Shaking, I approached the scary looking girl.
"Hey, I'm Cara. Dean said we have Biology together?" I said it as more of a question than a statement. Her face remained unchanged, still death-glaring. She looked away with the same glare on her face, not saying anything.
The bell rang, signalling that we were to go to our first period classroom. Laura stood up wordlessly and walked away, the scowl still on her face. I quickly followed suit, waving goodbye to Kate and Dean.
She walked into a small classroom and sat down in the seat in the back corner. I sat in the seat next to her, my heart rate high.
I looked at her and she looked back. The fear was evident in my eyes. She cracked and busted up laughing.
"I'm sorry, that was just so much fun to do!" she exclaimed, still laughing. I sunk down in my seat in relief.
"Thank god, I was genuinely scared for a moment there," I breathed out.
"Kate texted me saying she was bringing a new girl to the group and I couldn't resist scaring you," Laura explained. She pulled out her books and pens, and I couldn't help but notice that she had a My Chemical Romance binder and coverings on her books.
"Hey, I like your binder and books," I said.
"Thanks, I take it you're a fan?" she asked me.
"You have no idea," I muttered.
The teacher walked in at that moment and the rest of the class was instantly quiet and sat up ramrod straight, Laura included. I sat with my back slouched as usual, not caring what would happen.
The teacher's eyes darted to me immediately, as did everyone else in the class. Laura gave me a sharp jab to the ribs with her elbow and when I looked to her she motioned for me to sit up straight. I ignored it.
The teacher slowly made his way down the aisle to my seat and stood staring at me for a minute with his eyebrow cocked.
"Excuse me, but we have a rule in this classroom," the dick said to me in a stern voice.
"Please inform me of this rule, I have not been in this class before so I wouldn't have a clue," I replied sweetly.
"First off, no slouching, secondly, no backchatting. You just earned yourself an after school detention as well," he said, turning his back to me and walking back down the front of the classroom.
He began the lesson, going on about killer T-cells and memory cells, stuff that I'd had more hands-on practice with at my other schools.
Finally, the bell rang. As I passed his desk, the teacher handed me a slip of paper. It was a detention notice.
"4:30 this afternoon, don't be late," was all he said. Islumped my shoulders in defeat as he swivelled to me again.
"Up straight!" he barked at me. I gave a mock-salute as Ileft the room.
Laura waited for me outside, walking me to my next class which was English.
"Man, is that guy always such a dick?" I asked her.
"He hasn't always been, only really started when his wife divorced him around a year ago, he's turned into the biggest prick since then,"Laura complained.
We arrived at a larger classroom where I saw Kate and Dean sitting with a seat spare between them.
"Here's your classroom and there's your seat," Laura said, pointing to the empty seat and walking to her own class.
I sauntered into the room and sat in the spare seat. Kate and Dean looked at me expectantly.
"Well, I got a detention within the first five minutes of my first class," I started. Kate groaned and sunk in her seat. Dean put his head in his hands.
"Jesus Cara, what are we going to do with you?" he groaned.
"More like what is your dad going to do? He told you not to start shit just before he left," Kate said, giving me a look.
I shrugged my shoulders cheekily in reply. "What can I say; I have a reputation to uphold!"
"Well, I have to be home after school to look after my brother, so you're on your own getting home," she said sympathetically. Isighed. I was going to have to call Gerard to pick me up.
"Fine, I'll call him," I said, pulling my cell phone out of my bag. I hit the three on my speed dial, Gerard's assigned number.
"What did you do now Cara?" Gerard answered.
"My teacher decided that I wasn't sitting up straight enough so I asked him what the rule was and then he gave me a detention. It's at 4:30 this afternoon so I guess it would end around 5:00," I said, layering my charm on.
Gerard sighed in frustration. "Fine, I'll pick you up then. Just don't get another one today or I'll kill you," he said, exasperated.
"Thank you! See you later Gee," I hung up.
Dean was looking at me funnily as I hung up, so I looked back at him the same way.
"You call your dad 'Gee'? Shouldn't you call him 'dad' or something?" Dean questioned.
"I've only known him for four days, I can't quite get my head around the whole concept of having a dad," I replied, slightly cynically.
"Yeah, when you meet her dad you can kind of get why-" I cut Kate off by clapping my hand over her mouth, which she proceeded to lick.
"Why? Who's your dad?" Dean asked, curious now. I opened my mouth to lie, but was cut off by the teacher coming in the room.
The class it kind of boring, but much better than Biology. They were studying Shakespeare's "As You Like It", a play which I had never heard of before.
The bell rang again and we packed up quickly, eager for abreak.
I followed Kate and Dean into the cafeteria and found a seat at their table. Several of the others were eating macaroni and cheese that looked like it had been regurgitated and a few others had mystery meat, or prostitute as I often called it. I pulled an apple from my pre-packed lunch, mentally reminding myself to thank Lindsey once I got home.
They were discussing something that was happening soon, so Ilistened in and caught the tail end of a sentence.
"- If their World Contamination tour was awesome, then this will be amazing. Are you coming, Cara?"
I looked up, trying to look like I hadn't been listening in to their conversation.
"What am I going to?" I asked.
"My Chemical Romance are doing a small tour next month and they're playing here, you in?" Laura asked me.
I was so used to having to turn it down or say that I'd ask, because my mom would never let me go. But it was different this time; I knew I'd be allowed to go because, well, they were my family.
"Yeah definitely, I'm in," I said, glad that I could actually say this now.
Kate smiled a knowing smile at me and I slyly winked back at her. They continued their conversation about their love for my dad's band until the end of the break, all of us going our separate ways for our next two classes, mine being math and Italian.
Maths was boring, the same as all math classes were at any school I'd been to. I didn't have any friends in that class or in Italian. There weren't many people in my Italian class, all the people in it were split between people that were serious about it or picked it because they had no other choice. I was in the latter group at the beginning of the lesson, but started to go towards the first by the end after discovering Ihad a knack for picking up the language.
After writing out a thousand sentences to translate for homework, the bell rang for lunch and I packed up quickly, eager to be around friends again.
I took a seat next to Laura and Kate, both of them welcoming me.
"So Cara, what were your old schools like? They must have been pretty horrible for you to end up here," a boy named Sam started.
"Well, they were all private schools; this is the first public school I've been to," I started, interrupted by an exclamation from Laura.
"Shit! How did you survive?" she asked me.
"I didn't, I would be kicked out from anywhere between a week and a month, I was too 'hardcore' for private schools," I said, putting airquotes around the word.
"Damn straight you are," Kate muttered, shoving a spoonful of yoghurt in her mouth.
"Yeah, maybe even too much for school in general. I've never heard of someone who gets a detention in their first ever class," Laura said.
"My mom never used to care, just as long as there was somewhere else to go. But I'm trying to change because if Iget kicked out of all the schools around here then I'm screwed because Gee won't move," I said.
"Who's Gee?" Sam asked.
"My dad. I call him Gee 'cause Idon't know him well enough to call him dad yet," I said, hoping they'd drop the whole dad issue, which they did.
"So why did you get kicked out of everywhere you went?" Laura asked me.
"Just generally misbehaving: smoking, skipping classes, vandalism, that kind of stuff," I explained, shrugging it off. No-one spoke for a minute. "What?"
"Man if only those private school bitches came here. That stuff is a regular occurrence here at Belleville High,"Dean said. I smirked.
"Good, 'cause I'm just warming up,"I said, regaining my confident, rebellious stride.
We spent the rest of lunch talking about random things like where I lived, the My Chemical Romance concert and classes until the bell rang. My schedule said I had a free period with Dean so dumped our bags in our lockers and snuck out to the parking lot for a smoke and a hang out.
Admittedly, I was a little worried about what would happen if the teachers came out and caught us because I didn't want to disappoint Gerard, but Dean reassured me that the teachers wouldn't catch us and if they did they'd only ask for a light and join us.
"There's actually a pretty good teacher/student relationship here," Dean said, pulling us each out a cigarette from his packet and lighting them, handing one to me, "They know that most of the students here smoke and they smoke themselves, the only thing they'd do would reprimand us for being in the parking lot during school hours and it's just like a smack on the wrist kind of thing, nothing serious. I've smoked with a couple of teachers before, heck; I shared a joint with one last year."
My eyes went wide at the thought and Dean chuckled at my expression, blowing the smoke out his mouth in a long stream. I wouldn't admit it but he actually looked sexy when he did that.
"She's a Biology teacher, naturally, she's high about 99% of the time, makes for an interesting class," Dean explained.
We sat in silence for the next few minutes, finishing off our cigarettes. Once I stubbed out the butt I lay down on the tarmac and put my arms behind my head and closed my eyes, revelling in the peace. I put all my thoughts out of my head and felt myself beginning to fall asleep, so I jolted my eyes open and turned to look at Dean.
He was mimicking what I was doing before, a serene look over his face as his mind wandered. Never before in my life had I had the urge to lean over and kiss someone. The look on his face was so peaceful and he looked completely angelic.
As if he knew what I was thinking, his eyes snapped open and without sitting up he reached into his pockets for his Marlboro's and pulled another one out for himself, offering the packet to me. I took one graciously and laid back down, putting the unlit cigarette in my mouth.
Dean lit his cigarette and Iexpected him to hand me the lighter but what he did was totally unexpected. He sat up and leaned over me, bringing his face closer to mine as his lit cigarette came into contact with my unlit one, effectively lighting it. Iclosed my eyes again, inhaling and exhaling the smoke.
I opened my eyes again and noticed that Dean was still hovering over me, the veins on his forearms straining from his weight.
I took the cigarette out of my mouth and away from my body as he leaned down further and pressed his lips to mine; letting me taste the smoke on his mouth.
As soon as his mouth left mine, Iinhaled my smoke and pulled his head down to mine, transferring the smoke to his mouth.
He exhaled my smoke and smirked, lying back down by my side as we finished our smokes again in peace.
The bell rang shortly after and Dean scrambled to his feet, offering a hand out to help me off the ground. Once vertical, I brushed myself off and we headed back into the school grounds, the taste of smoke in our mouths and Dean's phone number in my cell.
I arrived in music with Dean to find a group of kids sitting in a circle with different guitars: bass, electric and acoustic. They were all strumming along, creating the most melodic tune I'd ever heard. There was a guy testing out the drum kit while a few blonde girls strolled in the room, practicing some riffs.
I chose myself an electric guitar and tuned it, before ripping out into 'The Downfall of Us All' by A Day To Remember. A couple of the guys on electric, the bassist and the drummer joined in and Dean hooked a microphone up to the amps and pounded out the vocals.
The teacher came into the room as we were playing but didn't interrupt us. I stood up and joined Dean at the microphone, screaming the lyrics until the end of the song, the entire class finishing off.
"This town will be the downfall of us all!" we cried.
The teacher let out a round of applause. "It seems we have some new talent in the class. I'm Mr Paynter, but you can just call me Doug like the rest of the kids do," he introduced himself.
"Cara Hanson," I said.
"Cara. You got any musical talent in your family?" he asked me. Shit. It would be tricky dodging around this one.
"Yeah, my dad is a singer and my uncle and step-mom are both bassists," I replied, leaving it there and hoping he wouldn't continue with the exposure of my family. I wasn't as lucky as I was at lunch.
"Oh really? Anyone we'd know? New Jersey is pretty famous for it's punk groups, I'm sure we've heard of them," he said, gathering the rest of the classes attention. I gulped nervously.
"Um, nah, you probably haven't heard of them, they just play for fun," I lied, dodging the question skilfully. I sighed internally as he turned his attention from me to the rest of the class.
Music was probably the most fun class I'd had all day, Doug had a relaxed teaching style and the entire class worked together on songs, putting in their own harmonies at times and making everything sound great. I was infact a little sad to hear the bell ring, especially since I now had detention with that cranky old fart.
I dragged my feet along to his classroom, where several other students were seated and scowling. I took a seat up the back and slung my bag on the desk as the prick of a teacher entered the room.
"I'm sure you've all got homework to do, so make a start on it. If not, sit in silence." With that, he sat at his seat and pulled out a bunch of papers and a red pen.
I sighed as I pulled out my Italian book and opened to the sentences I was supposed to translate. Ho mangiato un panino. Seriously, how was I supposed to pass exams when all I was learning to say was 'I ate a sandwich'.
By the time the half hour had finished, I had completed half of the sentences.
"Okay, hurry up and get out of here before I lock you in," he grumbled, tucking the papers back into his bag.
I shot up from my seat and almost ran to the parking lot, which was now teeming with rain.
I scanned the lot for Gerard's car, but there was no sign of the silver sedan anywhere, so I looked around for Lindsey's black car but it wasn't there either.
There wasn't any undercover area to wait, so I stood in the rain for fifteen minutes, my clothing saturated and my hair plastered to my skull in limp strands.
I pulled out my phone and tried to protect it from the rain. I had a text message from Gerard. I groaned, already knowing what it was.
Forgot to mention I rehearsal this afternoon, won't be able to pick you up, sorry
I groaned again, due to the fact that I now had no way home because Kate was babysitting and Dean...
I whipped out my cell phone again and punched in a contact, pressing the phone to my ear.
"Hey Dean, could you do me a huge favour?"