The doctors had never been sure of the cause of them, but standing in the entrance to the bedroom is Gerard’s dead grandmother. Unmoving, she stands there holding the lead hammer which was used to pierce through her skull all them years ago; a wide, twisted grin contorting her old frailed face.
‘She’s not really there. She’s gone’ Gee tries to convince himself, pulling at his slick ebony hair, repeating over and over again 'she's gone'; trying not to look at the image before him.
“Gerard!” An impatient voice calls from downstairs.
He reluctantly glances up- still, the figure is before him, unmoving.
He hears his mother promptly making her way up the stairs, too perplexed to move towards her voice.
“What’s taking you so long!?” she demands, now at the other end of the hallway, glaring at him.
“I-I-I-I...” Gerard stutters... the figure is gone. “I’m coming” he finally utters out, looking around the room for any sign of his grandmother.
The first day of school. He realises that he must have subconsciously known that he was due to start Manor High, which is the only valid reason he can conjure up to explain the impulse for finding the time.
He sets off out the house; his torn grey rucksack full of new books and stationary hanging loosely from his shoulders.
The image of his grandmother still haunts his thoughts as he reluctantly climbs aboard the rusty looking school bus.
“Pass?” an unshaven shabby looking bus driver demands; breaking Gerard from his thoughts
“huh?” he responds, dumbfounded by the man’s bluntness.
“Oh” he says, scampering through his bag for his school ID pass. He flashes it towards the bus driver as he sluggishly makes his way towards an empty seat.
Sinking onto a torn red seat behind a quiet nerdy looking boy reading, Gerard thinks to himself ‘Damn, this is going to be a long year’.
“OI PUNK!” a kid shouts. A chorus of screeches and applauding following as a loud thud occurs towards the back of the bus. Gerard turns to see a muscular looking boy holding a rather small skinny kid to the side of the bus buy the collar, his fist raised ready to attack. On the back row of the bus sits a fairly large group of teenagers, cheering and whooping at the boy’s obvious distress.
‘Fuck, why’s no one doing anything?’ Gee frustratedly thinks to himself whilst looking around at all the vacant expressions of all the fellow passengers.
The boy screams out in pain as the large teen’s fist plummets down into his face for the first blow.
The fist goes down again, this time causing a gush of blood to come spurting out of the boy’s nose and onto the teens jeans.
“Now look what you’ve done!” he rages, slamming the kid to the floor and twisting his arm with such brutal force that not even the gang at the back of the bus seem to be as amused as they were initially.
Gerard turns in his seat to face the front of the bus again, refusing to witness any more of the violence.
The screams utter out and the cheering continues as the bus journeys down the old dirt track, past small shack-like houses, the sun beaming down and reflecting off the peeling yellow paint of the bus.
Suddenly it goes silent. The laughing stops, the screaming, the rages...
Gerard refuses to look back in fear of the cause of the silence... but whatever it is, he knows it's not good.
It’s not the violence that’s left Gerard so scared. It’s the fact that no one did anything... It was like they just knew what was going to happen and knew that nothing they could do could stop it... why else would they not react at all?... Not even flinch or act as if nothing wasn’t normal?
‘Did it really happen?’ he questions himself, realising that he appeared to be the only one on the bus aware of the event.
He still ponders this thought in silence, as the bus turns a corner and a large silver sign reading ‘Welcome to Manor High’ comes into view.