Willow has a bad feeling...
Willow woke up with a strange feeling the next week on Friday morning. She felt sick; not as if she had the flu or anything life that. She felt like something unexpected would happen, something bad perhaps. She picked herself up from bed and her feet led her across the room to her window. The clouds were dark—very dark, in fact—and it looked like it was threatening to snow heavily.
She sighed to herself, happy with the fact that it was the weekend. The feeling inside her didn’t subside, though. The back of her mind wished that it would go away before she went to school. Willow went to the bathroom and turned on the shower, stripping her clothes and dumping them in the hamper. She pulled out a black towel from the linen closet and set it on the counter.
Willow stepped into her shower, shivering as the hot water hit her back. She soaped her body down and washed her hair. She slumped against wall as the water poured down on her, releasing a tired sigh. She didn’t want to go to school today, or the next day, or the day after that.
Friday or not, she wanted to stay home and take Jack and Cassie to the park.
Especially if Gerard is there, that pesky voice in the back of her mind said.
The thought of sitting in her classes or at lunch getting picked on made Willow sick. Terrible, awful people, she thought. Teenagers were cruel; it was a known fact. Just the other day, as she was carrying her books and heavy backpack, she was tripped by one of the jocks, sending Willow and her things flying. It was humiliating, just so humiliating to see and hear everyone laugh at her misfortune as she scrambled to pick up her belongings.
She wanted to cry that day, and it hurt knowing that Gerard and the boys watched her with sadness as all the other kids laughed. She was just a kid, barely an adult, and people still acted like cruel children.
When the water started to run cold, she shut off the faucet and stepped out, wrapping her frail form in a towel. She wiped the mist of the mirror, her own pale reflection staring back at her. She un-wrapped the towel, letting it drop, and looked at her body. Pale, imperfect, full of
flaws…fat. That’s what she was beginning to see in herself. She was fat and she knew it; all the other girls even said so.
She turned to look at her side, running a hand down till it hit her thigh, pinching her skin and realizing that her thighs were huge. Those, too, were fat. She looked at her breasts; they weren’t big like the other girls. They were just there, small and unnoticeable; maybe that was another reason why people didn’t like her. She looked in the mirror at her face, touching gingerly at her features. Her skin was too pale, making her look dead and made her blue eyes dull. Her hair was too black, another reason why those cheerleaders called her “emo”. Her nose was too small, or maybe it was too big; but what did it matter, she didn’t like it. Her lips were too pale of a pink. She felt ugly, and maybe it was because she kept telling herself that.
From under the counter, she pulled out a scale. She stepped on it and waited for the needle to set on a number, afraid of what number she would see. The needle set: 116 pounds. Willow let out a shaky breath, biting her lip as tears built up in the corner of her eyes. She had barely eaten in four days; why was she still fat?
She put her towel back on and left the bathroom to her own room. She closed the door, and looked through her closet for some dark blue skinny jeans, a Beetlejuice shirt, and her favorite black hoodie where she chewed holes in the sleeves. She put on her underwear and slipped her clothes on, then put on her socks and old black Converse. Her hair dried into dark waves, and her bangs settled above her eyes. After applying a thing layer of eyeliner, she gathered her homework from the night before and slung her backpack over her shoulder.
Scott and the twins were sitting at the table when Willow walked down the stairs; her father busily prepared breakfast.
“Hello, young padawan,” Scott sang to her as she sat down beside him. She arched an eyebrow, and he shrugged, chuckling to himself.
“Morning, sweetie,” her father said and kissed her temple as he set a plate down in front of her.
She looked down at her plate and her stomach sank. Belgian waffles…with powdered sugar…her favorite. She sighed, and pushed it towards Scott who had already consumed his in minutes.
“You’re not eating again?” Her father frowned as he took a sip of coffee.
Willow shook her head and softly said, “Sorry.”
Wayne had always been worried about his daughter, even more after Melody had passed. His daughter changed dramatically over the month and a half. Since Scott’s return she picked up talking a little more, but said very little around him. As much as she tried to hide it, he knew that Willow was eating less and less.
“I’m gonna go,” Willow said, getting up from her seat and slinging her backpack over her shoulder.
“I’ll drive you,” Scott said as he followed suit, and grabbed his keys.
They said goodbye to their father and the twins, and stepped into Scott’s car. The ride was silent, mostly because neither of them knew how to fill the silence.
Scott finally found the courage to say, “You know we’re really worried about you…”
Willow sighed, and looked out the window. “You don’t need to be.”
It was Scott’s turn to sigh. “You’re not eating, you’re paler than usual. Half the time you’re a zombie and you look like you haven’t slept.”
“I’m fine, Scott, really,” She said in an annoyed tone. “I can take care of myself. I want you to worry about yourself, okay? Be selfish for once in your life and just care about yourself!”
Scott frowned and turned to look at the road, ending the conversation with another awkward silence. The two siblings never really argued, but when they did it left them both hurt and took a while for them to speak again.
Scott pulled up to Belleville High, and Willow’s stomach lurched as the feeling she had in the morning came back. In the back of her mind, she knew something wasn’t right.
“Want me to pick you up?” Scott asked as she got out.
“No thanks,” She said, “I got to stay after for a quiz.”
But that was a lie, because she really didn’t have a quiz. She just didn’t want to be around Scott to hear another lecture on the way home.
He nodded and said goodbye, and took off in his car. Willow sighed to herself, and turned to walk up the concrete steps and into the building. She could already feel the stares, laughter, and sneers burn into her. She thought she would be used to it now after weeks of the normal routine, but truthfully, she wasn’t. Willow wished she could have the confidence the boys had when they were picked on; she felt safe around them. She felt safe around Gerard.
She went to her locker, ripping off all those little notes that were taped on it. She didn’t both reading them, because she knew what they already said. When she opened her locker, more pieces of paper fell out. She kicked them out of her way in frustration. Every single, little note that littered her locker made her want to burst into tears. And even more so did she want to tear apart those cheerleaders, but how could she when there was so many of them and only one of her?
Willow could hear the cheerleaders giggle from across the hall. She sighed pitifully to herself, and exchanged her books and set off for her class. Every single one of her steps was heavy, and she felt as if she were made of lead. All she could hear and see were the snickers of the people around her, and the way they mocked her.
She felt remorse when she stepped into Government, wishing she could have stayed home and slept all day. Bob sat there with a bored expression and Willow wished that she could sit by him and pass notes like they had in the past. Bob looked up at her, ready to give her a smile until he noticed the blank look on her face. His heart went out for her, and wanted to make her smile.
That’s what he and the boys all wanted to do; to see Willow smile.
Willow sat down at her desk, and was already pelted with paper balls in seconds. Bob watched from the corner of his eye, balling his fists up in anger. He and the others absolutely hated watching Willow get beaten down everyday by these arrogant teenagers.
As much as she tried not to, Willow couldn’t help but let a single tear roll down her cheek. She just wanted out of this school; she wanted to be with her friends. She mostly wanted to be with Gerard, possibly one of the few people she actually felt safe around. She was sinking into a pit of despair as the whispers just seemingly got louder around her. It was suffocating.
When the bell had rung, she instantly felt relief, and rushed out of the classroom and into the hall. Willow didn’t want to go to any of her classes; she didn’t have the energy to face all those people. Even if the boys were in all of her classes, she couldn’t face those evil people on her own while she had them watch with utter sadness.
Her next two classes proceeded just the same as the first; being pelted with paper balls and putting up with the name calling. When lunch had rolled in, the feeling Willow had previously in the morning returned, and she had the strange urge to curl into a ball and heave. When she walked into the lunch room, she could already feel the cold glares from Brandon’s table. You’d think that she was already used to it, but the truth was, she wasn’t. It still made Willow feel insecure and sick to her stomach.
There was always that empty table by the window. No one sat there; she didn’t know why. Willow liked to sit there, even if it meant getting tormented day by day. Maybe she liked it because it was close to Gerard’s table. She could always feel them looking at her though, and so that was the downside. It was like Romeo and Juliet, only without the love part; two worlds that couldn’t cross in fear of disrupting the peace.
Willow sat down and leaned her head down on her arms. She looked outside, the same clouds from that morning hanging in the sky. She knew it was going to snow heavily, and it was times like these that she wished she had a thicker coat. She would ask Gerard for a ride, but she didn’t have the heart to trouble him. She didn’t know much about friendship, but Willow did know that you shouldn’t take advantage of someone.
Gerard watched Willow, and would let out a sad sigh every now and then. He wanted to sit with her, he really did, but couldn’t because she didn’t want him to. It upset him. Gerard couldn’t admit it to the guys, but he did to himself: he missed Willow.
Mikey sighed, and pushed his food tray away from him. “This sucks.”
“The food?” Frank asked between mouthfuls of his apple.
“No, you dumbass,” Mikey said. “Willow.”
“No!” Bob glared at him. Sometimes Frank was just a little too thick. “It sucks that those blonde bitches are bullying Willow!”
“Oh…” Frank said, frowning. Then he pointed to Mikey’s tray and asked, “You gonna eat that?”
Mikey rolled his eyes, and shoved his food at him.
Gerard still stared at her, deep in thought. His hand was in his pocket, fumbling with his phone. The guys noticed him staring; he did it everyday and yet they hadn’t said anything about it.
When no one had said anything, Ray interrupted the silence by saying, “So, do you like her or what?”
Gerard looked at him with wide-eyes, blubbering, while the guys just snickered at him. They could all see through him; he had some feelings for her.
“I…uh, well…I…u-uh,” He stuttered.
“Cut the shit, Gee,” Mikey said. He knew his brother’s mind better than anyone. “It’s so obvious!”
“You know what--!” Gerard pointed his finger at him, about to say some comeback, only to fail and drop his head to the table. He groaned. “It can’t be that obvious, can it?”
“It’s obvious,” The boys said at the same time. Gerard groaned again, banging his head over and over again on the table.
“It sucks, though,” He mumbled. “Because she can’t sit with us and I can’t talk to her…”
Bob rolled his eyes, and plucked Gerard’s phone away from him. “Idiot…”
“Dude! What are you doing?!” Gerard shrieked as he watched him type on his keyboard.
“Texting her,” Bob said, pressing the send button and handing Gerard’s phone back to him.
“OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” He fumbled with his phone and looked through the ‘Sent Messages’.
“Will you relax?” Bob chuckled. “I only said ‘hi.’”
Gerard breathed a sigh of relief, and stared at the screen of his phone. The boys resumed their eating and chatter, watching him with amusement.
Willow felt her phone vibrate in her hoodie pocket, and she pulled it out and opened her inbox. She was surprised to find that Gerard had texted her. She opened it to read, “Hello.”
Gerard’s heart nearly jumped out of his chest when his phone lit up, and he texted back within the minute.
How are you?
She sighed. How was she? She felt like crap. She felt like that every day at school; it was always the same.
Um, okay, I suppose.
Sorry, bad question.
It’s alright. How about you?
Well, the fact that she was sitting tables away from him made him feel lonely. But how could he say that to her? She was already feeling bad enough; he didn’t want to make it worse.
I’m alright, He said.
You know, it’s weird talking to you during school.
He smiled. He knew the feeling.
I know; it feels forbidden or something. Lol.
She also smiled to herself.
Yeah…Want to know something?
I miss talking to you.
Gerard sighed to himself. He did, too. He loved to see her smile as she listened to him. It didn’t feel right anymore to see each other every day, and not be able to say anything.
I do, too.
Before Willow could read his text, her phone was snatched from her grasp. She looked up and instantly regretted it when she saw Brandon and his crew towering over her.
“Disobeying me even more, Willow?” He sneered, going through her inbox and the texts from Gerard.
Gerard looked over to see them, and he gritted his teeth in anger.
“That fucker…” He hissed, and rose to get up, only to be pushed back down my Ray.
“Don’t,” He said. “You’ll make it worse.”
Willow looked down at her hands, and bit her lip to stop from crying.
“Are you really going to talk to that loser again?” Brandon barked. “After all I’ve said to you? You’re just so pathetic, you and those loser friends you talk to. If you can ever call those emo fags ‘friends’!”
Hot tears flowed down her cheeks as she listened to him go on and on.
Brandon snatched her wrist and pulled her up, getting close to her face and said loudly, “Look at me when I’m talking to you, emo freak!”
Gerard snapped. No one could ever tough Willow like that. He simply wouldn’t allow it. Before the guys could stop him, he jumped from his table and made his way towards Brandon. He pushed the jocks out of the way and stood behind Brandon.
“Hey, asshole!” He yelled, and when Brandon turned around, he socked him square in the face.
Brandon held his nose as it started to bleed profusely, and everyone crowded around him. Everyone walked with shocked eyes; no one ever stood up to Brandon, let alone punch him in the face. Well…unless if you were Bob, of course. But no one could ever imagine Gerard Way standing up to Brandon Neary. Gerard turned back to Willow, who was shaking like a leaf and watching with fear. He went to her side and hugged her, and she hugged him back tightly.
“You okay?” He asked, and he felt her nod. Her phone was lying by his feet, and he stooped down to pick it up and hand it back to her. She took it gratefully and smiled at him. “Sorry, I probably made things worse for you now…”
She shrugged, and gave him a small smile. It didn’t matter anymore, because despite Gerard’s kindness, she knew that it would get worse every day.
She just knew.