she licked her glossed lips and said "I like you, Frank. A lot, and I have for a while now"
"Hey Frank!" Jamia chirped happily as she took hold of his hand. He almost screamed. He had been walking down the hall in his own little world and hadn't even heard her footsteps behind him. She just appeared.
"You scared me!" he said with widened eyes. "Don't sneak up on me!"
She giggled and looked down at her feet, which were nicely fitting into a pair of red ballet flats, and said "Sorry" and looked up with a smile again. "I was wondering if you wanted to come over after school, considering I just got back from New York and haven't seen you properly in a while"
Frank frowned. It hadn't even been that long, had it? She left on... Monday? And... Oh he thought, mentally slapping himself. It's Monday again. It had been an entire week. "Um, after school... as in, today after school or tomorrow after school?" he asked, making her giggle. It wasn't funny.
"Today after school, silly!" she tucked her light brown hair behind her ear. "Unless you're doing something?"
Frank looked at her and said a slightly awkward "I kind of am. I'm helping someone unload a truck"
She looked at him weirdly. "A... truck? Who do you know that has a truck?"
Frank had to resist the urge to roll his eyes. Every time he mentioned another person that wasn't his family, she questioned it in a tone that almost asks "you don't know anyone else but me" which wasn't the case at all. Not any more.
"I'm helping someone with work" he said with a shrug. "It's... My-It's my dad's friend" he nodded and congratulated himself mentally. For the first time in a long time he hadn't made up a really stupid and impossible excuse. Like the time he said he had to feed the pineapples in the biology lab.
"Oh. How about tomorrow then? I missed you. You never replied to my texts"
Frank, stopping at his locker, let go of her hand happily and started fiddling with the lock. "My phone died" he lied. "Apparently they don't work after you try to text in the shower" he shoved some books back into his messy locker as she giggled. "So... Yeah. I guess if I have nothing on tomorrow, I can"
Smiling sweetly, she nodded and said "Cool"
But Frank, on the other hand, knew it wouldn't be cool. She may be acting all innocent and sweet now, but as soon as he goes over and her bedroom door is shut, he just knows what she wants. She has been asking if he was ready for months now, almost whining when he said no. Lying, of course. He was well beyond ready, he just didn't want it to be with her. That's why he didn't want to go.
"Yeah, hey I kind of have a class to get to, so I'll see you later or something, okay?" he asked with as little annoyance as he could possibly do. He didn't want to sound like an asshole because, to be honest, Jamia was a really nice girl. If he had been straight, she'd be everything he would be looking for. But that was the problem. He wasn't straight, and eventually, he'd have to break her heart. He dreaded that day, but he also knew it would be the best thing he'd do. He'd finally be free.
"Okay, see you" she pressed her lips to his quickly and gave him a small smile before she happily skipped off towards her small group of friends down the hall. He grimaced and hid behind his locker door so he could wipe his mouth. He felt disgusting when she kissed him.
Sighing loudly, he picked up his English books and started towards his classroom, where he'd finally be able to just sit there and argue with his brain cells again.
English just seemed to fly by for Frank as he sat in the back, doodling in his book. He had mindlessly drawn a messy and, slightly bad, drawing of the Historic Center the best he could from memory. He'd probably missed a great lot and would realize when he tried to match it up, but considering art wasn't one of his strong points, he thought it was pretty good.
He glanced up at the clock above the chalk board and found himself almost smiling. It was nearing the end of the day. That meant helping Gerard unload the delivery truck. That meant just seeing Gerard. He was excited.
"I want your essay's on Of Mice and Men on my desk by Thursday, no later than Friday" Mrs. Fluer said loudly over the chatter of the classroom. "Any late submissions will be an automatic F" she looked up at the clock and, to Frank, almost looked relieved. "You may talk quietly among yourselves until the bell"
The chatter got louder quickly, making Frank frown. He hated a noisy classroom almost as much as he hated library books being in the wrong place. He didn't want to hear mixes of conversations. He didn't care if Jonathon wasn't going to baseball practice because he was going to 'study' at Judy's house. He didn't want to know about the red haired kid, Sid, and his growing foot fungus problem. He didn't even care about the fact some were even talking about happenings from the news. He just didn't care about them. Any of them. He didn't want to know.
When the bell rang out loudly, the chatter became loud shuffling and shoving in attempt to get out the door. Friends laughed and pushed each other around, happy that the school day was over and they could finally do what ever they wanted. Frank just watched them all attempt to squish through the narrow doorway at the same time, complaining when their toes were stood on or they were shoved too hard. In Frank's eyes, it wouldn't happen if you weren't all trying to go through at once. He seriously wondered if his classmates had brains.
Though finally, after a few minutes wait, he could walk out the classroom with ease. He felt like a higher being walking through the empty door, like he were steps above the rest of them. But then again, he kind of was. He was smart enough to wait and leave without an injury. He actually had a brain, even though the cells were always yelling at him.
"Frank?" he heard someone say from behind him in the busy hall. He slowly turned around and was shocked to become face to face with Cara.
"Uh, yeah?" he answered awkwardly. The first, and last time Cara had spoken to him was that day in the city when she asked him to join in with lazer tag. That had been weird, and now she was speaking to him in school.
"Can I talk to you for a minute? Like, are you busy?" she asked with a nervous smile. She was never nervous.
"Um..." Frank looked around at the slowly emptying hall and said "I have a few minutes I guess?"
She smiled and pulled him to the side so they were standing in front of the janitors closet and tucked her blonde hair behind her ear. "This is really hard to say, and I don't want to be awkward but..." she licked her glossed lips and said "I like you, Frank. A lot, and I have for a while now"
Frank just stood there frozen. There were so many problems with this it wasn't funny. He was gay and he had a girlfriend. And that was only two from his giant list. "Um, Cara, I kind of... You know, have a girlfriend" he said awkwardly, biting his lip when she frowned. "You're a great person, don't get me wrong but... the timing and well... I kind of just- can we be friends?"
Obviously disappointed and upset, she nodded gently. "Yeah, yeah... sure" she let out a small sigh. "I have to go, um, I'll see you around" and with one last miserable smile, she had disappeared into the last group of people leaving the hall, leaving Frank standing there feeling extremely bad and awkward. Now he was disappointing two girls.
Sighing, he trudged out of the building's front doors and out of the school yard all together, scuffing his feet along the path as he watched the pavement slowly disappear beneath his feet. All the lying and hiding was bound to catch up to him soon. Then he'd be in trouble. As for the guilt, well, it was already eating him alive. He so desperately wanted to tell someone about his sexuality or make his parents understand that it isn't a choice and that love is love so he could finally just be himself. But in his case and family siuation, coming out would just be the start of Armageddon. The world as he knows it would just crumble around him, sending him into a fiery pit. It'd be Hell on Earth. But it's already Hell, he thought. Always has been.