I was sure of just a couple of things; they had been arguing about me. And the first voice belonged to Kurtis.
I could not help but over-contemplate everything Kurtis had just told me in that lesson. I had thought that it was a stupid ply from an overconfident dickhead trying to provoke me into getting angry. So what else is new? But as far as I could tell, that wasn't Kurtis. It confused the living hell out of my, why was he so calm about it? I couldn’t help thinking about what he had said to me. About why I did sit with Gerard. I’d been in the school a week, sat next to him four days out of five and I had barely even spoken to him. I knew nothing about him. I didn’t even know if he preferred Misfits or the Sex Pistols which, in my opinion, is a very important decision to make.
“Something up, Frank?” I looked up to see all the faces of the people I now hung out with looking at me, confusion written on their features.
“What?” I asked, looking around the lunch hall.
“You’ve been sitting muttering to yourself for a few moments now. Is everything okay?” asked Patrick. I sighed and shrugged. “What’s up?”
“Misfits or Sex Pistols?” I asked. Everyone looked bewildered.
“Okay... that’s all that’s been running through your mind?”
“Well, thinking about things is quite a dangerous thing. This is a serious question here, if I’m honest. When you hear the cogs blowing in my brain, you’ll know something’s gone wrong.” Everyone laughed.
“You should stop thinking, it’s not healthy,” said Pete. I smirked.
“You must have done a lot of it. It didn’t do you much good, did it?”
“Hey! Asshole,” he said, shoving me. Mikey smiled at him. Then I realized something.
“Mikey, you’re Gerard’s brother aren’t you?” I asked, looking at the small boy in front of me. I’d just clocked the relationship - they had the same eyes, and they both had the last name ‘Way’, something that I had overpassed.
“Yeah. Why?” he asked timidly.
“No, I was just wondering. He told me the other day that he had a younger brother, and I thought that it might be you,” I said. Everyone looked a little surprised.
“Are you saying that Gerard actually spoke to you?” asked Ray.
“Not really. I just asked him about some stuff and he mentioned that he had a brother. He only said a few sentences, he was quiet after that,” I said. I didn't let on the bit about him getting angry.
“Oh, right. Gerard never speaks,” says Pete. Mikey nodded.
“He barely speaks to me, let alone people outside of our family,” he said. I nodded.
But I didn’t see. Gerard had said how Kurtis bullied Mikey as well. But how? He looked pretty safe with the people he sat with; people appeared to go out of their way to avoid walking past the table that we sat at. Mikey was also a lot more open and sociable than Gerard - not much, I admit - but I could only assume that whilst Mikey could cope with the bullying because of his friends. It would torment Gerard, knowing that there was a possibility that his kid brother was being bullied.
Oh. Now I saw it.
Gerard wasn’t in the day after that, either. I had an odd, nagging feeling in my chest that he wasn’t going to be in, but my heart still sunk a little when I walked in and saw the empty seat. I tried to shrug it off and get on with the rest of the day, but it wasn’t easy. I spent my time in a sort of depressed haze. Everyone else certainly noticed.
“Wake up!” shouted Ray for the third time at lunch that day. I shook myself out of my daydream and smiled sheepishly. “Seriously, what’s up with you today?”
“I don’t know. Stuff,” I said. I didn’t quite think that I could say ‘I’m worried about Gerard’ when I barely knew the guy. I just couldn’t figure out what it was about Gerard that worried me.
You need to stop confusing yourself, Iero, it isn’t helping. Oh boy, I had voices in my head.
I don’t know what you mean.
Yes you do. You know perfectly well why you care about Gerard.
I shook the voice out of my head.
“You were doing this yesterday as well,” said Patrick. I sighed and ran my hand through my hair.
“Sorry. I’ve been... worried about... family stuff,” I said. Well, it wasn’t a complete lie. I was worried. And Gerard wasn’t my family, but they didn’t need to know that one, tiny little untruth.
“Oh, I see. What’s happened, man?” asked Ray, narrowing his eyes in concern. I frowned.
“I’d rather not talk about it,” I said.
“It’s okay, man. Everyone has family problems,” said Pete.
“Oh, speaking of family, that reminds me,” said Mikey suddenly. “Gerard asked me to find you and ask would you meet him by the gates after school today.”
“That’s exactly what I thought.”
“Gerard’s making an effort to be sociable?”
“Have you done something to him?” Everyone was staring at me now, and Pete had a suggestive twinkle in his eye.
“Something you’re not telling us, Frank?” he asked.
“I’m as confused as you are!” I said, raising my hands in defense. “Did he say why, Mikey?”
“No. He just asked me.”
“That’s... weird,” I said.
“You’re telling me,” said Bob. Patrick and Ray nodded in agreement, but Pete was looking at Mikey thoughtfully.
“Did you set this up, Mikeymouse?” he asked. Mikey blushed, possibly at the use of the nickname.
“No I didn’t,” he said. “He’s been... ill... and before I left this morning he simply asked if ‘would Frank please meet him after school today’. That’s all he said, I play no part in this!”
“Uh - huh. We believe you, Mikeymouse,” said Ray, slinging his arm around Mikey’s shoulder. He shoved him away, blushing red. Pete grinned.
“AhhhhhhhaAAAHHHHAHHHHHHHHH,” he screamed suddenly. I jumped backwards, and Patrick practically fell off his chair. Everyone in the lunch hall had gone silent. Everyone stared at him.
“Every alright now, Pete?” I asked, looking at him in 'concern'.
“Yeah, I’m okay now,” he said, nodding. “I feel better.” Then he just smiled innocently at all of us and continued to eat his sandwich.
As Mikey had told me, Gerard was standing by the gates when the final bell rung. He didn’t seem to notice as I approached him, his head hung low and his hood pulled over. I could see the wires from his earbuds trailing into the iPod that he held in his pale hands.
“You wanted to talk to me?” I said as I reached him. He jumped and turned when I approached, but when he saw me he transformed his features into a smile. But his eyes stayed sad. My brain began to register as I smiled back - the fake smile. The hidden sadness underneath, the pretense of being ‘okay’. But he wasn’t. But he also didn’t want to tell me about that, whatever it was.
I also turned when I saw a flicker of fear flit across his face when he looked over my shoulder. I didn’t need to turn to register that it would have been Kurtis that had just turned out of the gates. I swore to myself that I would find out what the bastard had done to Gerard and Mikey.
“Um, yeah. I just wanted to... well, I don’t normally talk to people, and... I thought maybe... because, you said you didn’t mind... and, well... I also kind of wanted to say sorry... because... well, I was a bit rude on Monday,” said Gerard suddenly, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. His voice broke me out of my trance, and I smiled despite myself. I didn’t know how to reply to that, so I just shrugged. I looked u at him, and he down at me, and we stood in an awkward silence for a few moments.
“BYE FRANKIE!” screamed a voice from just behind me. I jumped almost a foot in the air and stumbled backwards, spinning around wildly to see who it was. Pete was standing by the gate, laughing his head off. I glared over at him and stuck my middle finger up when he waved at me. He just laughed and danced away.
“I wish he wouldn’t do that,” I said. We both watched Pete as he ran up to where Mikey and Patrick were hovering around, pretending to talk to each other but I bet they were really watching Gerard and I. Mikey smiled a tiny little smile when Pete jumped on Patrick (who just looked terrified), and they all turned to walk in the opposite direction to us.
“I just wish...” muttered Gerard.
“What do you wish?”
“Nothing,” he said. We stood, watching each other for a while.
“Um, you wanna go get something to eat?” I asked, finally. He nodded, and we set off towards the town. “So... Misfits or Sex Pistols?”
That was the start of one of the most odd afternoons ever. It was odd, because for once, I could actually communicate with Gerard, have a conversation that didn’t involve just whispering or nodding and shaking the head.
I was careful to steer well away from the topic of Kurtis. Simply the mention of the boy was enough to shut Gerard down, and I didn’t want to scare him. So we stayed on the track of normality; music, homework. It was quite relaxing, I suppose, being able to talk to him like a normal human being. And I found out how he likes Misfits over Sex Pistols.
So yes, that afternoon turned out decent. But Gerard did have to make his way home, eventually, and I had to take my usual shortcut through the woods. Yes, there were woods by my house. It was an easy shortcut to take, provided you didn’t get lost. I had to make sure to pass exactly 34 trees, then I would emerge onto the end of my street.
I had reached about halfway when I heard voices. Not voices in my head, but I heard voices, an argument. Real people were standing around the corner from me, fighting, hissing under their breath. I didn’t want to intrude, but I ducked behind a tree to listen to whoever it was.
“Look, I don’t know why it means so much to you.”
“Because you’re supposed to fuck the dude up! Not wimp away or freaking talk to him! What was today all about, huh? You WINKED at the guy?!”
“You don't have to question what I'm talking about. I know what I'm doing, and I don't get why you think you can start questioning me now.”
“Have you turned into a fucking philosopher or something?”
“You’ve been acting odd since this new guy came into our school.” My stomach clenched. They must’ve been talking about me.
“I don't get how you see a difference, he's exactly the same as everyone else.”
"Seriously?! Oh my god..."
"Why have you got a problem with why I'm talking to him?"
"Because it's not getting you anywhere."
"Why do you care?!"
"Why don't you care?! Are you just making excuses? Do you fucking fancy him or something?”
“No, I just... look, leave it off. It’s my own business!” shouted the first voice. The second grunted with disgust.
“You’re weak. You’re gayer than your own fucking cousin,” it spat.
"You don't even know what you're talking about, kid."
I heard footsteps crunching through the branches in the opposite direction. I stood back in shock as the other figure came storming past me.
I was utterly shocked. It was the most bizarre thing I'd ever heard in an argument. To an outsider it would confuse the hell out of them because one was refusing to relent to the other, who sounded like your average bully trying to get his pal to beat a kid up. But it was the way the first voice was arguing that helped me know who it was. I was sure of just a couple of things; they had been arguing about me. And the first voice belonged to Kurtis.
So yush. This has le DRAMA in le story. Don't ask why I'm saying 'le'. And that I don't exactly make any sense. Ho-hum. Please Rate and Review, thank you very much.