And just like Edith and I planned, I moved out within that week and now, we've been living happily together for about a week and it's been great. Never in those seven years did I imagine myself sharing a bed again with the love of my life.
As Edith showers to go out, I cook her a delicious and healthy breakfast. I checked out a book at the video shop about healthy eating. So I can cook the healthiest meals for my ballerina.
"whatchu doing?" she comes in the kitchen smacking my butt.
"better not put the house on fire." she exits the kitchen with a bottle of water an enters her room again.
"I'm not you okay!" I yell and finish up.
When I'm completely done, she comes back out wearing leggings and a sweater and hair in a bun. She takes a seat and starts to eat.
"this is really good." she tells me as I serve us both some juice.
"thanks, did it all by myself."
"you're the sweetest." she smiles kissing my cheek.
"living with you is the best. I get to see you even more often. And I already saw you all the time before!" she says.
"I get to see you get dress and undress everyday now." I wink.
"me too." she laughs and continues to eat.
Once we were both done, she picks up my plates and hers and puts them in the dish washer.
"thank you honey, you're the best. Now I have to go to my ballet class but I'll see you later." she kisses me goodbye and exits our home.
I start to clean up a bit and then shower to get ready and head over to Frank's. It's guys night out.
I knock on Frank's door and when he opens, he opens up wiping his nose.
"hey man." he answers a little groggy.
"you okay? You sound sick."
"t'sup guys." I greet Mikey, Matt, and Ray who sit on the couch with the guitar, bass and drumsticks. All of a sudden, Frank enters his room and I hear small weeping.
"what's wrong with him?" I ask.
"he's sad because Arthus died." Mikey responds.
"we tried helping him calm down but we just couldn't." Ray replies.
"poor Frankie." Matt sighs throwing his head back.
"I'm going to go talk to him." I stand up and walk over to his room. I open the door and find him sprawled across the bed babbling into the pillow like a kid.
"Frank, you okay?"
"no!" he yells in the pillow.
"Frankie.." I lay down next to him mocking his position and put a hand on his back.
"he's been around for so long. I fell in love with him the minute I saw him as a puppy at the pet shop. Why do we have to grow old man!" he cries.
"Frankie.. It's okay.. You have other dogs.."
"but Arthus is special! Edith gave him to me so I can take care of him! He was the only thing that reminded me of her when she was gone!"
"Frank.. Don't cry. You have to understand that he had to die soon anyway. He was an old dog.."
"but he was getting better. Emma's medicine helped but then I think he ate something again and that made him worse. And he died. Poor thing!" he cries again. I don't say anything anymore but just stroke his back. This dog meant a lot to him for many reasons. Wouldn't blame him for crying this much.
After a while, Frank finally calmed down and held a picture of him, Edith and Arthus to his chest. It's a very old picture that was taken back in high school. I remember that day exactly. It was a weekened where Emma, Frank, Edith and I went to the park. Arthus was still very small. He was brand new to our family of freinds. I remember as Edith and I rested by a tree, Emma took pictures of Frank and Arthus playing around. Then Arthus came tackling Edith with Frank and Emma took the picture.
"you feeling better Frankie?" I ask as he stared at the picture.
"yeah, all the tears are out of my system. I just can't believe he died."
"it's okay man. We all have to learn how to let go. Just remember we all had great memories with him."
"yeah. Ha hey hey.." he laughs, "remember when we first got him? It was when Edith came back from the hospital after her drug incident. It was a hell of a day."
"I remember that day like if it was just yesterday."
"yeah.." he looks at the picture again and stuffs it in his pocket as he gets up.
"hey you want to see something cool?"
"sure." I follow him in his closet. He reaches inside one of his blazer's pocket and takes a small box.
"look, my engagement ring for Emma."
"oh my god dude, this must have cost you a fortune." it was a very shiny ring with a pretty big diamond.
"half a carat diamond ring man."
"where'd you get the money?"
"I'll explain it right now, let's go show the other guys first." we exit the room and find the guys drinking beers.
"feeling better Frankie?" Ray asks. Frank takes a seat next to him and I sit on the armchair.
"yeah, thanks for the support guys."
"anyway, look guys, Emma's engagement ring." they all huddle up and stare in awe.
"how much did you pay?!" Mikey asks in amusement.
"well it did cost somewhat a lot but I didn't pay shit!"
"did you steal it?" Matt asks nonchalantly like if what he said was something decent people do.
"of course not. I went to talk to Emma's parents last week and told them about what I was going to do. They were super physched and offered to take all the expenses of the wedding."
"damn, are Emma's parents rich or something?" Matt says.
"somewhere around there." I answer.
"yeah so they're going to our release party."
"wait, why?" I ask.
"because I'm proposing to her that day." he answers proudly.
"oh wow, nice." Ray answers.
"we're proud of you man." Mikey answers holding up his beer, "Cheers, for Frank!"
"for Frank!" they all say and hold up their beers.
"wait! Don't make the clinging sound yet!" I run over to the fridge and grab myself a beer too.
"Kay, for Frank!" I say and we click our beers together.
"oh and guess what else I've been blessed with.." Frank says biting his lip.
"so my boss died just the other day as well and I went to his funeral with Emma. His lawyer read his will and these were his exact words, 'is there a Frank Iero here?' I felt super awkward so I awkwardly stood up. The monopoly look-alike lawyer looked at me raising his glasses, 'are you Frank Iero?'
'yes sir' I replied. He cleared his throat and continued reading.
'My donught shop has come to great use and in all these 30 years of business, it has brought great fortune. And about 8 years ago, a young man in his teens came by one day and asked if I was hiring. I put into thought what my wife had told me, to hire someone to help me sell since I was getting too old to stand around all day selling donughts. So I hired this young man. And during these 8 years of working with this boy, he brought me a lot of trouble. But because of that trouble, we grew close. This young man, named Frank Iero has brought me a lot of joy for the past 8 years and as he grew, he became a loyal assistant and a good friend. I hereby name Frank Iero owner of NJ's Best Doughnut Shop after my death.'"
Frank bursts out into laughter smacking his knee.
"I was so shocked this cranky old guy thought of me that way! It was incredible yet a huge blessing. I have my own shop baby! And I'm only 23!! He laughs again.
"that's so awesome Frank!" I tell him and hug him.
"yeah! Free donughts!" Mikey chants like a football player making Matt and Ray laugh.
"gosh, it's great to be my own boss. Oh! And, the band has been a success! We're releasing our own album baby!!" we all chant and hug congratulating each other.
"wow, aren't we badass." Ray says and starts to chug down his beer.
"chug chug chug chug!" we all say and Ray drinks all of it in what seemed to be one huge gulp.
We then suddenly hear a door slam. We all turn our heads and find Emma looking at us weird.
"you guys are idiots." she comments and grabs a bottle of champagne.
"hey!" I whisper loudly hoping Emma doesn't hear and signal Frank that the engagement ring is sitting on the table wide open. He quickly grabs it and puts it in his pocket.
"so you guys.." she says turning to us, "we have something to celebrate."
"and what is that baby." Frank says getting up and kissing her.
"I got an official job as a vet!" she squeals. Frank yells picking Emma up and spinning her. All of us guys then stand up and huddle up around her celebrating. Matt takes the champagne bottle from her hand, shakes and it pops open.
"where is it at?" Frank finally stops putting her down.
"it's a bit far out of town but who cares!"
"as long as you have your dream job baby." Frank says and snatches a kiss from her.
"so it's only you guys here?" Emma says serving everyone a glass of champagne.
"yup, just guys." Mikey answers playing a tone on his bass.
"where are the girls?"
"you're here." Frank answers following along to Mikey's beat on his guitar.
"Christa is with Jade shopping." Ray answers also joining the beat.
"really?" Mikey says, "didn't know."
"Edith is doing her regular: ballet."
"and I have no girlfriend." Matt says beating the table to the beat and when I realize they were playing Skylines and Turnstiles, Emma and I start to sing the lyrics.
"can our lives get any better?" Emma starts to say after a while.
"what do you mean?" I ask her.
"I dont know, I feel like we're all finally doing stuff in our lives. Something that was a huge topic back in high school."
"hey yeah, I remember we'd always talk about this when Edith left. Looks like we are and I'm proud of it."
"yeah me too. Cheers! To us!" Emma says lifted her glass of booze and all of us guys join her.
"well wasn't that fun?" I comment when Christa and I plop down on the couch at her house after our little shopping spree.
"yeah, glad you could come." she says.
"you want anything?" she asks as she walks to the kitchen.
"sure, some water would be great."
"what do you think the guys are doing?" she comes back with two glasses of water.
"probably playing their instruments."
"as usual. Hey, why don't we call the rest of the girls and we can do something here. You know, like catch up?"
"sure, I'll make the calls." I take my phone and dial my sister's number first.
"while you do that, I'll prepare something for us to eat."
"great." the phone rang twice and she answered. "hey Jade."
"hey, what are you doing?"
"just coming home from Ballet. You?"
"at Christa's. We're having a get together with the girls, want to come?"
"for sure. Who's there?"
"well just me right now. But mind calling Emma and I'll call Victoria?"
"yeah I'll do that. I'll be there in about half hour."
"cool. See you then."
"alright bye." she hangs up and then I dial Victoria.
"hi Vicky, you busy?"
"no, just cooking up something to eat."
"oh sucks, I was about to ask you if you wanted to hang out at Christa's."
"oh, well I sure can. It's just too bad that I was cooking. How about I bring some?"
"sure, what is it?"
"it's just some fried shrimp."
"ooh, yeah bring some!"
"perfect. I'll tell Harry to go drop me off."
"nice, see you." I hang up and Christa calls me from the kitchen.
"yeah?" I approach her.
"does Vicky need a ride?" she asks.
"no, Harry is going to drop her off."
"are they together yet?"
"nope.. Apparently she's afraid to do so."
"My sister. She's afraid Edith will get mad."
"it's Edith!" she says in a shocking tone, "Edith is like super chill with everything."
"yeah but you know, Everyone knows but Edith. How ironic."
"she's seriously hiding it from her?"
"yup, Emma and I keep telling her just to tell her."
"she should probably do it soon, or else Edith is going to find out one way or another."
"that's true. Then we don't know what will be her reaction. Now then, she could probably get mad."
"you think so?"
"yup, I know my sister. She doesn't really like surprises."
"does anyone really?" she laughs.
"exactly." I laugh too.
Right around 5:03pm, the first knock on the door came around.
"hey!" I greet Vicky and Harry at the door. I hug Vicky first and she swivels past me to greet Christa in the kitchen. Harry and I stay at the door.
"long time no see." I comment leaning on the ledge.
"yeah I know, how are you?"
"I'm great. You?"
"feeling better than before, that's for sure." he giggles and looks past me. I turn around to see who he's staring at and notice Vicky was there placing food on the coffee table. I then look back at Harry and give him a cheesy grin. He realized I caught him so he started to blush. I giggle and closed the door behind me stepping out with Harry.
"you like her don't you?" I question him. He slightly parts his lips breathing in deeply and slightly getting pinker.
"now don't lie, your secret is safe with me."
"I knew that's what was behind that stare. Tell me, how'd it happen.."
"well, we just grew close as friends. She was there for me when no one else was."
"yeah she tends to that. Did the same with Gerard when Edith left."
"yeah she told me. She's a great friend."
"oohh yeah, we've realized that over the years. Why don't you ask her out?"
"oh no, I don't know if that's the right move."
"I dont know, there's just so many barriers.."
"really? Like what? Or should I say... Who?.." he starts to blush again and looks away from my gaze.
"Edith." he finally says.
"she won't trip." I chuckle.
"it's not about her tripping as much anymore, it's just the way things are."
"what do you mean?"
"well, I most definately don't like her but she lives in my past. Something that hit me quite hard and I'm not yet ready for a relationship. I really like Victoria; I love having her around. I'm just afraid of loving again and getting hurt."
"and same thing happened with my sister. She felt the same way about her and Gerard.. Dating again but what they did, even after knowing each other so well, was take it slow. They started fresh as a new dating couple. You know, it makes sense for you to do that with Vicky too--obviously--but it will also help you realize what's going on and how you feel about it. Then you'll come to the conclusion of what to do next. Get my flow?"
"yeah I get what you're saying. But, I dont know what she thinks of me. That's another barrier."
"well Vicky.. She hasn't had quite a good experience with guys after high school. Maybe as karma of what she had done but you know, I think she might be feeling the same way as you. She probably just wants you to approach her."
"alright, I'll take your advice. Thanks."
"no problem." I smile and accept his hug. Soon after, the door opens behind me.
"oh hey, thought you left." we brake the hug and turn around to find Vicky at the door way.
"oh nah, Jade and I were having a conversation but I'm leaving now."
"oh, well then I'll see you at home." Vicky hugs Harry and the way Harry embraces her with such care, I can tell he really likes her.
"you want me to pick you up later?" he asks when they let go.
"no, Jade or Christa can drop me off. And besides, Edith will be here."
"oh well, alright. See you at home." they hug again and I start to giggle.
"what?" Vicky says with a smile looking at me.
"you guys act like a married couple." they both let go of each other's hold and blush.
"what are you talking about?" Vicky says with a nervous laugh, biting her lip and shrugging her hands behind her. Harry also nervously laughs and wipes his hands on his pants.
"oh nevermind just hurry before Edith gets here. Go! Go! Go!" they quickly hug again and Harry runs to his car while Vicky slaps my arm running inside.
"I know you said that on purpose!" she yells.
"I sure did." I start to laugh with her.
"what were you guys talking about anyway?" she asks grabbing a cookie from the tray sitting on the coffee table.
"oh you know, just catching up on stuff. No business about you whatsoever."
"ugh.." she laughs and throws me a cookie.
"hey, better watch it missy, or you don't want me to tell him you like him!"
"you better shut up Jade!" she laughs again with a threatening tone.
"fine fine, homeskillet, just watch it." I wink and throw her a cookie.
The girls were all soon gathered around Christa's living room eating the delicious fried shrimp with Christa's cookies and fried chiken balls,(similar to chicken nuggets just Christa's crazy way of doing them), Emma's wine and Edith's presence. Stupid girl didn't bring anything to eat! (nor did I)
"so, how are things with you and Gee now that you're living together?" Christa asks Edith as she stuffs her face with food.
"oh he moved out of the other apartment?" Vicky then says in shock.
"yeah, since he said he didn't like being alone in there, I asked him to move in with me."
"where did Annie go?" I ask.
"oh she moved to Canada."
"what?!" all of us girls say.
"yeah, she really wanted to be with Carlos."
"aww, that's so nice." Emma says eating a cookie with some wine.
"yeah, so Gerard and I are great in the condo. I love living with him. It's like if we're married. We just never fight though." she laughs.
"..but how are things with your independent life?" she turns to Vicky. Vicky's face flushes pinkinsh as all of us girls stare at one another knowing that Edith is the only one that doesn't know the complete truth.
"it's.. It's great.. Yeah." she giggles nervously.
"where is it at?" Edith says drinking her wine.
"um, it's close by. Just deeper in the fun parts of New York. You know, close to that one mall."
"oh I think I know what you're talking about. Well nice, apartments there are pretty. Glad you've made this move in your life."
"anyway you guys.." Christa starts to say skipping the subject, "talking about moving in with boyfriends and moving out, now that Ray and I have graduated, we're planning to move in together too."
"aww.." we all cry, "what about your parents?" I ask.
"well they told me they didn't want to hold me back and if they were put in a senior's home they wouldn't care as long as I'm happy. Because I've done so much for them and they really want me to be happy with Ray."
"your parents are the sweetest. My parents kicked me out before I even turned 18. Thank god Gerard moved in with me at that time." Vicky announces putting more wine in her glass.
"aww, I'm so sorry to hear that Vicky." Christa says patting Victoria's back.
"oh it's okay. My parents aren't the sweetest anyway."
"are you happy?" Emma asks Christa.
"course I am! I get to sleep with my grizzly all night and day! Why wouldn't I be happy? He makes me happy everyday of my life."
"aww that's so nice. I feel the same for Mikey. Look what he got me." I say sticking out my hand showing them a bright diamond sitting on my wedding finger.
"he proposed to you?!" my sister exclaims.
"no, it's more like a promise ring. When he gave it to me, he said that when ever I look at it when I'm away, it'll be like a mental wave sent to me saying that he's thinking about me too."
"dork." Emma laughs.
"yeah, and he said that with it, I will know he loves me and he misses me and he will be waiting for the day I come back home." my eyes start to water unable to bare the fact that my vacations are almost over.
"I just want to stay here with him forever.." I plead feel a tear role down my cheek.
"aww.." the girls say and huddle around me hugging me.
"are you leaving soon?" Emma asks.
"yeah I am. But.. I don't want to go. I miss having family around. All of you. I just can't wait till all this is over and I'll be back home."
"aww, we like having you around too. We missed how much fun it is to be with you." Christa says.
"we miss your dorky-ness sis." Edith comes around giving me a hug.
"I'm going to miss your insults too Edith." I say accepting her hug with a giggle.
"well, with the time you have left, we'll make the best out of it!" Vicky says and all the girls start to clap.
"thanks guys, it was so much fun having this little get together. We should do it when the guys are out like today."
"we totally should." Emma agrees.
Then, we hear a phone ring and Edith reaches for her phone.
"hello? Hi Gee. With Christa and the other girls. We're just hanging out since all of you were busy. Aww, really? That's so nice. Well I'll be home right now if you want. You sure? Cuz I'll stay.. I knew you were joking. I'll be over. Bye." she hangs up and looks at us smiling.
"so you're leaving now?" Emma asks.
"I guess so. Gerard says he misses me and is at home waiting for me. He also said that they were talking about all of us. All your boyfriends miss you." she starts to laugh and gets up.
"aww, I want to see my RayRay!" Christa shouts clapping.
"well guys, I had a very good time. I love you all." we all stand and hug Edith goodbye.
When she leaves, we all turn to Vicky.
"what?" she says.
"well?.." Emma looks at her with cocked eyebrows.
"why didn't you tell Edith!" Christa shouts again.
"oh god you guys, I can't. I really can't."
"well we understand.." I pat her back.
"no.. We don't."
"she needs to tell Edith. Edith won't get mad!" Christa and Emma fight back.
"hey! But you're not the one in this situation and Edith has been nice to both you all these years. You guys weren't her enemies like Victoria was and all Vicky wants is to have peace. I'm sure that we can all agree that problem left Vicky, Edith and Gerard traumatized so please, cut her some slack! She'll say it in the correct words at the right time in the needed situation. Okay?" I exclaim. Then they all look at me shocked.
"whoa.. What a speech." Vicky says looking up from her palms.
"fine, I guess you have a point." Emma pouts crossing her arms.
"that was such a persuasive speech." Christa still looks with wide open eyes.
"I know thank you." I bow feeling proud of myself.
We continued to talk for a while till Ray came and Emma, Vicky and I decided to give them their space. So I, Emma, Vicky, and I got in Mikey's car and drove home. I dropped them off and when I came home to Mikey, he waited for me with wide open arms and I accepted the great hug he had waiting for me.
"Frank I'm home." I call when I enter my house. The TV is off and I enter my room to find it empty as well. Then I hear the shower on so I know my baby is taking a shower. I kick off my shoes and lay in bed.
About 10 minutes later, the bathroom door opens and I feel a body hover over me and plants a kiss on my lips. I then open my eyes and find Frank grinning like a freak.
"hey Frankie." I say, cup his face and kiss him.
"hey babe." he gets off me and slips a pair of briefs on.
"how was it at Christa's house?"
"it was great. Lots of fun." As he looks through the closet for a shirt to put on, I pick up his dirty cloths he's left on the ground.
"glad you had fun." he adds a giggle and turns around putting his Smashing Pumpkins shirt on.
"Frankie, how many times have I told you to put the dirty cloths in the dirty cloths basket!" I hold his pair of jeans up and he snatches them from me.
"uhh.. Okay.." he turns around taking something from the pockets, sticks it in his briefs and goes inside the restroom.
"all done." he announces giggling.
"Frank, what's inside your briefs?" I scold.
"my penis. Duh."
"other than that."
"uhh.. Nothing." his face blushes red.
"can I see, please?"
"no! You can't!"
"pretty please?" I walk towards him and he walks backwards like a scared puppy. When he hits the wall, I stop. I look down at his briefs and notice a little box sitting beside his thigh.
"Frank, what is that box?"
"nothing, nothing." he grabs the box and moves it around to his butt.
"that's gross Frank. Fine, I won't ask what it is anymore." I start to walk away and sit pouting on the bed.
"no marshmallow, find I'lll show you." he takes the box out and opens it revealing a shiny ring.
"it's Gerard's engagement ring for Edith."
"oh my god.. That's so pretty..." I look at it. I take out of the box and try it on myself.
"wait, why do you have it?"
"he doesn't want Edith to find it so he told me to take care of it."
"aw that's so nice." I observe it on my finger. How nice would it be if it were mine..
"when is he proposing?"
"I dont know but you can't say anything! No one knows.."
"I won't! They are so perfect together. You know, Mikey got Jade a promise ring too."
"really? Hmm, interesting."
"yeah.." I look down at the ground and take it off.
"here, put it away before you lose it." he takes it from my hand and puts it inside the box. He puts the box in his underwear drawer. I then change into my pajamas and lay comfortably in bed where I am wrapped by my lovers arms.
"I love you Emma." he says kissing my cheek.
"love you too." I close my eyes. How much do I wish for Frank to propose to me. But I understand we don't really have the money for a wedding right now. Oh well.. I'll have to wait..