My flailing had caught the edge of a bookcase and had knocked a pile of books free, slipping off on the papers... That’s when the bookcase fell off the wall.
Chapter One; Music Mishaps
Monday seems like a good place to start something, doesn’t it? It’s the first day of the week, the first day of term or the school year... okay, scratch that. Mondays are horrible days. It’s when things start. I can’t stand Mondays. Nice of the world, then, that my school decided to arrive back from the holidays on a Tuesday.
But it was still the first, so it was still as depressing as walking into your room and finding dead bunny, which is pretty horrible any way you slice it. No, not slice the bunny, I mean the fact that we were going back to school... oh, you know what I mean.
I’d just escaped seven weeks of blissful nothingness, of sunshine and ice cream and pure laziness, lolling around in the shade with my friends, and returning to my Academy of Doom. School, if you prefer to call it that. I call it the Academy of Doom because one day the apocalypse will happen and I’m pretty certain that Satan’s Daughters will have organized it. I wouldn’t be surprised if his daughters did attend my school. They also go by the name of the Popular Kids, and that there’s a secret lab underneath it that controls the moon or something. Probably.
But you know, I wasn’t exactly sane myself. I mean, I was a socially awkward, vertically challenged, badly coordinated punk kid who’s general mental health probably listed somewhere in the ‘seriously unstable’ zone. Oh yeah, my name’s Frank. Frank Iero. Maybe even Frank homo-dingbat Iero as my friend Ray Toro so delicately put it. Or if you prefer, I could be ‘Punk’ or ‘Kiss Ass’ or ‘That Gay Kid’. Yeah, so if you like, I am four people at once. That's just how I roll.
I was returning to my apparent multiple personalities because I had to go back to the Academy of Doom that sadistic parents send their children to so they can receive an education. Not that anyone actually does any learning there, because with me in the classroom any number of awkward incidents could happen. Like that one time I set the Chemistry teacher’s pet Tarantula on fire. Don’t judge, I fucking hate spiders, I swear they are Lucifer’s babies. Just like teenage girls. Well, some teenage girls. They’re just little rays of sunshine, aren’t they? They’re often the same colour, too, i.e, orange. Wait, the sun’s yellow. Or kind of a whitish colour instead. My bad...
The sun was also currently peeking inside my bedroom window. Not the sun itself, that would just result in a very frizzled Frankie. But at least it wasn’t stifling in my room, a slit sized stream of sunlight and a cool breeze whispering through the gap in the heavy curtains. The light lit up the telltale signs of life outside, reflecting off the treetops, bouncing off the charred rooftops and brightening up the red-brick rows of houses.
I groaned and pulled myself away from the window sill to examine my bedroom. Over the weeks of non-school-ness, I’d managed to not let piles of books and papers and useless worksheets stack up but instead the floor was littered with coke cans and crisps and old pizza boxes. This is what happened when you let your two friends stay over at your house for a day. Or a week.
I gazed longingly at my wardrobe, desperate to wander over and pick out my zombie shirt and pink skinny jeans, but instead I had to yank open the ever-unpopular school uniform drawer. The school uniform was an ugly motherfucker, it made me look like a lesbian potato, which was never good. The white shirt was easy enough to pull off, and the tie was red and black, but the blazer was an ugly maroon colour that hung off people’s shoulders like an awkward French tent.
So of course, I didn’t pull out the blazer, but left it festering in a heap at the bottom of the wardrobe and selected my old, comfy black hoodie instead, and rather than having awkward baggy pants I had the skinny type, thanks to being the Gay Best Friend and being good for all the girls to drag shopping with them. I swear, I was some sort of fashion counselor. I started getting apprehensive about being the shopping buddy when the football captain asked me to take his girlfriend shopping for skirts.
I’d got myself a skirt instead.
And came into school in drag the next day.
The Principal sent me home. There were no rules against makeup in the school and certainly nothing about guys and their make up, so I was really quite offended when I had to go. It did nothing to squish the opinion on my sexuality, but it was fun while it happened.
“Frank?” It was also really uncomfortable. How do girls get away with having long hair knotting all over the place and skirts that ride up your ass? And those awkward shoes, don’t they just hurt your feet? And of course the fact that I had a penis didn’t really help on the skirt front. We’d had a student teacher first period on that day. That’s kinda how how he figured out I wasn’t a girl, because I couldn’t cross my legs properly.
“Frank?” It was actually quite awesome being a girl. But freaky that I got away with being so good at it that the girls in school thought I was a new student. And they invited me into their group and I got away with girl talk for the morning. They freaked out when they realized they’d been talking about bras and periods for a whole hour with a guy, namely me.
“Frank!” I flinched at the shout that cut into the inner babbling of my sexually confused brain, tried to twist around from where I knelt on my bed and consequently got my legs tangled up in the duvet and fell backwards onto the floor.
“Unggff!” Ow. I felt like something very hard and sharp just just cracked my spine in two. Which is probably because I’d landed bent in half on the floor. Ow ow ow! Seriously, how painful can it be falling off the bed? Like a million tiny savage pixies began to attack my back with a cleaver.
“Frank, get up off the floor,” said The Voice from the direction of the door.
“I think I broke my back,” I wailed, trying to shove myself up. “Owch!” The owner of The Voice sighed, and I heard the clip-clopping of heels across my wooden floor, and suddenly a pair of hands gripped me under the arms and hefted me up so I wasn’t lying down like a concertina.
“Better now?” The Voice asked. I nodded and rolled over on my stomach to look at a pair of sharp green eyes, the eyes full of skepticism that belonged to my mother.
“Thanks Mum,” I said, grinning sheepishly, my chin digging into the floor. Mum sighed and stood up.
“I want to have a quick word with you before you go back,” she said, moving a pile of guitar music off my desk chair and sitting down delicately. I sighed, pulled myself to my feet and sat cross-legged on my bed to listen to Mum. Or rather, I zoned out while she tried to speak to the subconsciousness full of pixies that was the centre of my brain.
When I looked at my mother, it was weird to think that she was the one having given birth to me, it was like we weren’t even related. Her neat brown hair was tucked up into a tidy bun on the back of her head, her grey suit was neatly crisp and in her tidily manicured hands she clutched a black, neat handbag. That’s another mystery of life, is how to women fit everything into their handbags? I certainly couldn’t fit all my shit in a rucksack. I really needed to invest in a handbag.
“Are you even listening to a word I’m saying?” said Mum. I shook my head dazedly. Then I realized what I’d done and nodded quickly. I didn’t know, but I could guess. “What was I saying, then?”
“Uh...you don’t want to hear that I’ve hidden in a locker, or flushed explosives down the sink, or blown up the P.E shed?” I asked, remembering the speech she gave me on every first day back. Though it didn’t stop the various mishaps me and my pixies had managed to commit.
“...yes,” said Mum slowly. “Well. I won’t be here tonight, because...”
Blah blah blah. My brain drifted slowly out of the open window, carried off by the savage little pixies in my head. Probably off to join some butterflies to flit around in the fields. In the sun. I shook my head a bit and summoned the pixies back, determined not to face the sunshine until I could. And anyway, since when did pixies live inside my head? Oh good god, I’ve spent far too much time out of school. Your imagination begins to run away with you.
A rustling of papers broke me out of my trance and I looked away from the fuzzy grey clouds of imagination that had begun clouding my vision to see Mum standing up, readjusting the guitar music on the chair and walking out of the room. I sat in a trance in my room for another second, before groaning and realizing that I did actually have to get up and... well, go to school. Fuck.
After a lot of stumbling, swearing and fighting with the coat rack (I swear that thing deliberately moves around to trip me up) I managed to extract my Misfits bag from the pile of shoes that sat by the door and hitched it across my shoulder.
The bus that ran to my school stopped right outside my house, just a few meters down the road, but I never caught it. Bus drivers were evil. I usually watched it drive off, then I’d cross the road and continue going down the grey cobbled path that lead into the park. It was small at first glance, but the park stretched on for ages with woodlands and fields full of wildflowers, ponds and lakes and orchards. You never know what you might find amongst the trees, what fruit you might discover in a orchard if you take a wrong turning, what wildlife you could find. It was extremely peaceful.
I didn’t venture deep into the woodlands for now, I kept my feet firmly on the cobbled path that lead straight down the middle of the part, with houses tucked away into trees on one side and an overgrown, now-empty riverbed on the other. Bridges crossed over this riverbed from when canal boats used to travel down it from when the water flowed, but was now overgrown with thistles and nettles that people liked to avoid. Across the bridges stretched the rest of the park, inviting you in with the sunlight that shone through the leaves and grass that sprung underfoot.
I crossed the last bridge I came to, which crossed the riverbed into a large green field. The path continued forward and around in a big paved loop, but I didn’t need to go that far. In the corner sat a clustered mismatch of tables and benches.
My best friend went by the name of Kayleigh Lester. Or Kitty, as she preferred. She was a little bit like a cat, and the bright blue cat-eye contact lenses she wore didn’t do anything to get rid of the nickname. She lived in one of the red-bricked houses taken over by vines, so I often met her and her younger sister, Riley, outside and we’d walk to school together.
This morning, however, I didn’t see her. Instead of the long curly black hair, the thud-thudding of heavy boots and the humming along to a tune, I was greeted with the sound of cheesy video game music and puffy head of hair.
“Morning Ray,” I said. The furry-headed friend lifted his gaze from his game and flashed a grin in my direction, his fingers tapping away on the keypad. Ray Toro was in the year above me and an absolute genius, the best game player I knew and a fucking guitar God. Which is one reason I couldn’t stand him, but I couldn’t stand him in the way I like him so much that I hate him... if you know what I mean? You know, when yo can’t help be friends with them but you’re really jealous at the same time. That’s why his hair was so big, it’s just an overflow for all that knowledge and was probably also full of things like pens, games and his packed lunch.
“Hey Frankiestein,” he said, switching the power off of his handheld thing and tucking it in his pocket.
“Where’s Kitty and Riley?” I asked, looking around. She was never not here.
“Their cousins are starting today so they’re showing them the way. I came here ‘cause I figured you could use someone to bully you,” said Ray.
“Well that’s just wonderful,” I said, folding my arms. Ray rolled his eyes and stood up. The other thing I hated about Ray is how he was actually a whole seventeen feet taller than me. Okay, maybe a foot, and half of that was his thick ball of fluff that he called hair. But he was freakishly tall and I was... not. We looked severely wonky walking along side-by-side.
“You said Kayleigh and Riley’s cousins?” I asked after a moment of walking along quietly. Ray shrugged.
“Yeah. They just moved down here from further north. One of them’s in my year, and the other’s in Riley’s, I think,” he said.
“Do you know what they’re like?”
“No, all I know is that they’re both guys, that’s all Kayleigh said.”
“Oh god. They’re gonna be a couple of ugly dumb ass jock types aren’t they?” I groaned.
“I don’t know! I haven’t met either of them yet, Frank!” said Ray, frowning. I held my hands up defensively and looked away from him; just in time to see a metal lamppost appear in my way and leaving me with little time to scuttle out the way, overbalance and nearly fall into the overgrown canal. Ray just sighed.
We arrived in school with ten minutes to spare. The park kind of goes on for miles, but we take a shortcut, a fifteen minute long dirt path that winds around trees and over hills, under a bridge and along a canal for the last two minutes until we emerge out between two houses that line the road leading up to school.
Ray and I made our way together through the churning sea of students gathered around in groups, milling like a herd of sheep, shrieking at seeing each other again - ‘Oh my god, your hair!’ ‘Are those new shoes?’ ‘I can’t believe it!’ and so on. Our few friends weren’t exactly notorious for arriving at school on time, so the table we normally all crowded on was empty save for two people, sitting opposite each other, playing Speed. No, not the drug, the card game.
These were Kayleigh and Riley. Evidently they’d delivered their cousins to the front office safely - maybe not delivered, they weren’t parcels (at least, I didn’t think they were).
You’d never know they were sisters; they were polar opposites. Kayleigh had long black hair that curled down her back but Riley’s hair was blonde and sat on her shoulders. Kayleigh wore black eyeliner but Riley’s glowed in emerald green. Over their uniforms, Kayleigh had a black saftey-pin studded jacket and Riley was actually wearing the blazer, but she looked adorable. She was possibly the only person who could pull it off. But despite their extreme opposite appearances, they were as close as any two relatives could get.
They were both seriously eccentric, which is why I’d bonded with Kayleigh when she’d moved into my class a year ago; they were both from England, and Riley was two years below us. Riley usually only sat with us until her own friends arrived, and then I’d be left to the wrath of Kayleigh’s non stop talking tongue. I swear, she talks like a hamster on cannabis; not in any language or accent that makes sense and far too quickly.
They both nodded a hello but seemed far too caught up in the game to say anything, playing Speed with a triple deck of cards. It’s easier to play card games when you have eight people at one table if you have more than one deck of cards. It also makes games like Snap a lot more fun, and a lot more lethal.
“Speed!” shouted Kayleigh, slamming her hand down on the winning pile. Riley groaned and shoved her cards away.
“Oh, fuck you,” she said, swinging her legs around delicately and standing up. That was the other thing about Kayleigh and Riley, one was small and dainty and the other moved a bit like a drunk elephant in army boots. But don’t ever let Kayleigh hear you say that or she will feed your genitals into the meat grinder, and I quite like having my genitals attached to my body. But she did wear army boots. And own a meat grinder. I never asked where she got the meat grinder, and I don’t think I want to know.
“Your face,” said Kayleigh, poking out her pink tongue at her sister.
“Your Mum,” said Riley, swishing her hair over her shoulder and prancing away to join a small gaggle of her friends. Kayleigh raised her eyebrows and pursed her lips, finally turning to notice us.
“Oh, hey guys!”
“Is it common tradition to insult your sibling’s and therefore your own mother, or is that just you two?” asked Ray. Kayleigh shrugged.
“I guess. How was your summer?” I looked at her.
“Kayleigh, you and Ray were both at my house like, two days ago.”
“I know, I was just...” she waved her hands in the air, trying to articulate. After a moment of sitting unable to actually say anything, she put her hands down again and collected the scattered triple deck of cards back together. “So, have you guys got your timetables yet?”
“Yeah, they sent them to our houses a week back.”
“Oh. What have you got first?”
Brrrrrriiiiinnnnng. The shrill bell that called everyone into their torture chambers - pardon me, classrooms - rang throughout the grounds just as Kayleigh finished speaking, like it was waiting to cut her off. She glared in the direction of the electronic bell.
“Well, I guess we’ll find out,” said Ray, smirking. He turned around on the seat and stood up, and Kayleigh did that same; I did my best to copy them but got my foot caught on the bench and I instead landed with a splat on the concrete.
“Unnnfnooomph!” I mumbled in pain, the air filling itself with Ray’s bizarre cackle and Kayleigh’s giggle.
“Oh dear, your coordination has not improved a bit,” said Kayleigh through her giggles, holding out a stubby-nailed hand. I reached up and she hauled me, with rather impressive strength, to my feet.
“What have you got, then?” I asked, rubbing the spot my where forehead had collided with the floor. Motherfucker. That hurt. “I swear the floor has a vendetta against me.”
“The floor has nothing against you, Frankie, you’re just a clumsy git,” said Ray, rolling his eyes.
“Fuck you, Toro,” I growled, dusting my knees off.
“No, I’m good,” he said lightly. “And I don’t think that...”
“Frank, we have Music,” said Kayleigh, cutting Ray off halfway. He shot her a glare, but she just smiled sweetly and tucked her timetable back into her rainbow-sharpie decorated bag. Ray rolled his eyes again.
“Lucky,” said Ray. “But I have... apparently, a free period.”
“Yeah, look here!” he said, flashing the piece of paper at me, where sure enough there was a blank space under ‘Tuesday, Period 1’. “Suckers! I’m gonna go have a nap somewhere.”
“Fuck you, Toro,” said Kayleigh, yawning. Ray sighed and shook his head. “Seriously dude, if you roll your eyes any more they’re gonna get stuck in your brain.”
“That’ what you think.”
“Guys!” I shouted, holding up my hand when Ray opened his mouth to retaliate. They both looked at me. I pouted, grumbled and strode on ahead, leaving them left in their pathetic quarrel. Idiots. I liked Music, so I was quite glad that it was what I had to start my school year with. The Music rooms were just at the end of the main corridor, off the canteen and right next to the Drama studios. They were awesome, as far as rooms went; the smaller practice rooms full of fancier equipment were gathered around the classrooms, but the large ones could easily accommodate a room full of twenty kids on pianos... me, I liked guitar. There was a plentiful supply of them, too, acoustic and electric and bass.
I walked into the room and perched on one of the chairs at the back, crossing my left leg over my right, pulling out the holiday Music work we’d been given before summer had started and leaving my bag curled up underneath.
Fifteen minutes later I was sitting next to Kayleigh and one of my other friends, discussing our separate compositions. Another minute after that, Kayleigh looked up and a small ‘ooh’ popped out of her mouth, before she jumped up and hopped towards the front. I didn’t even bother watching after her, making an adjustment on my sheet with my pen.
“Hey, there’s a new kid!” said the girl sitting next to me, my friend Auriaco, but I just call her Aura. I ‘mmhhmmm’ed absentmindedly and spun my pen in my fingers. Auriaco had pink hair this week, clashing quite bizarrely with her almost orange coloured eyes. I had no idea what country she was from, judging by her name, nor did I get her obsession with colouring her hair.
“Frankie...” she muttered, looking over my shoulder.
“Check out the new kid!” Auriaco whispered, leaning in towards me. I made a funny little gesture with my shoulders, but I really could not be bothered looking around.
“Guys?” Kayleigh was back.
“Mmhhmmm?” I mumbled, not looking up from my writing.
“This is my cousin, Gerard,” she said. I sighed and glanced up at the figure she’d brought with him.
I promptly felt every muscle in my body leap into a spasm and I fell backwards off my chair.
Because standing in front of me was the most mouth-wateringly, mind-blowingly, incredibly gorgeous guy I’d ever laid eyes on in my whole 16 years of life.
His hair was long, raven coloured and stylishly messy, framing his face in an opulent black cloud, sticking out like coal in snow against his delicate ivory skin. Ivory skin that covered a smooth pointed nose, soft featured face and sharp, sparkling, laughing and fucking jaw-droppingly pretty hazel eyes, rimmed with smudgy smoky black eyeliner. Holy fuck. From where I lay in a dazed heap on the floor I saw his thin lips pull into a smile and my stomach double flipped, gazing over his tight black pants, unlaced Doc Martens, slim-fitted leather jacket with his maroon blazer hanging from his fingers...
“Unffhgah?” I asked, my brain unable to form a coherent sentence as the guys twinkling eyes bored into mine, and I felt all the blood circulating my body instantly flood to my cheeks.
“Frank? Are you alright?”
“Oof... ow,” I complained, closing my gaping mouth and tearing my gaze away from the angelic vision standing in front of me to stare at the bright florescent lights in the ceiling. Oh fuck fuck fuck! “Ow!” I said again, bashing my head backwards on the floor, but I don’t know if I was complaining that I was hurt or if I was just in a daze from having just looked at the most gorgeous guy since I saw Green Day live and Billie Joe playing that song stark naked. Unf.
“Hitting your head really isn’t going to help,” said Kayleigh, smirking. “I need to talk to Sir, could you untangle him for me, Gee?” The Sex God standing in front of me chuckled and moved forward slightly. I deliberately kept my eyes away from him, wanting to keep my brain cells intact, and saw in half-delight-half-horror that the rest of the class were staring hungrily at Kayleigh’s cousin too. Half-delight that I wasn’t the only one shellshocked, half-horror because he was too delicious to want anyone else to look at him.
“You need a hand?” he asked softly. I snapped my eyes back to him again and felt my cheeks flush again. His long pale fingers were coated in chipped black nail polish, just like mine, and I just stared at it for a minute before reaching tentatively out. His fingers closed awkwardly around mine and he hauled me to my feet, letting me stumble for a moment before his hands closed on my shoulders to stop me from falling over again.
“Hey, steady,” he said. I shivered and looked up, meeting his hazelnut eyes again, my muscles again beginning to spasm.
“Uh, thanks,” I mumbled, taking a tiny step back to remove myself from the hands of this devastatingly beautiful guy.
“No problem. I’m Gerard,” he said, smiling a tiny smile.
“Ugh.. F-Frank,” I stuttered.
“Nice to meet you, Frank,” said Gerard. “Kayleigh’s told me a bit about you.”
She has? What has she said?! Oh my god, she’s not going around embarrassing me, is she? No, she wouldn’t do that. Actually, she would, which is really scary... she didn’t tell him about the PE shed, did she? That was an accident! I didn’t mean to get the guy’s finger in the process...
“Uh, did she?” I asked, cutting off the inner voice. “I-including the... uh, the... lack of ability to, um, not fall over everything?” Good. That was a sentence, breathe, Frank, breathe.
“She did say something about being co-ordinationally challenged, I think,” said Gerard, smiling slightly wider. I felt my cheeks burn.
“I guess, uh, she was... well, you can see,” I said, waving my hands around, and something crashed to the floor. My flailing had caught the edge of a bookcase and had knocked a pile of books free, slipping off on the papers.
That’s when the bookcase fell off the wall.
Oh for fucks’ sake.
Hehehehehe. How was the chapter? Likey? No Likey? You better likey, bitches. Okay, sorry for calling you bitches, I love you really! I wrote this chapter at like half-functioning brain power, I'm seriously tired. As in, falling asleep in class every day tired. Coffee does not seem to suffice. In other news, I'm cosplaying as Helena for Comic Con in England and hoping I won't freeze to death.
Please, please Rate and Review my loves, it would mean the world to me!