Gerard is definitely NOT excited for his first day of band class. At all. Not even a little bit. That is, until he sees the attractive saxophone player. This was written after my band teacher le...
He is always telling me to go out and talk to people, but honestly, I get scared. People judge you, they lie to you, and they make fun of you. Keeping this in mind, I tend to enjoy the safety of my own little shell. It’s safe in there. I am shielded from the cruel world that lies outside of it. The only one that I will let into my shell in Mikey. Thank-GOD for Mikey. Where would I be without that boy? Dead, presumably.
“Gerard! Ready for school?” Mikey called to me, interrupting my thoughts.
“No, can’t I just stay home to-day?” I pleaded.
“Of course not, Geetard! It’s our first day at Belleville High! You have to go, whether you like it or not,” he stuck his tongue out at me and grabbed my arm, pulling me towards the dreaded door.
“Bye, boys!” I heard our mother call as I was hastily dragged away from my precious home and my safe boundaries.
Damn, Mikey. Won’t even let me say goodbye to my own dear mother before I’m forced to attend the hell that these townfolk call, “school”. Speaking of school, what will people think of my shirt? People don’t usually like Black Flag. Oh, god they’ll hate it and I’ll be shunned and ridiculed and they’ll-
“Stop worrying about school, Gee! It’s gonna be fine!” I swear to God that kid can read my mind. It’s actually quite creepy at times.
“I can’t help it! Everyone’s gonna stare at me and holy hell I just remembered.”
“I have band to-day!” I exclaimed, hiding my face with my hands.
“Why? What’s so bad about that?”
Oh, Mikey. You know nothing. Has he forgotten that the choir program is closed at Belleville this year because they couldn’t find a replacement teacher? That narrowed me down to three options: strings, general music, and band. I’ve heard that strings is incredibly hard and I would be the only beginner with everyone else so far ahead. That was out of the question. General music was out, too. That was the class that all the dumb jocks and brainless preps went to so they wouldn’t have to DO anything. I had a pretty strong feeling that I would not be the most accepted kid in there. So that left band class. I’m scared to death. Never before have I even touched an instrument, much less a saxophone! I only picked it because my dad played it a couple years ago and it was the only choice that was not completely foreign. I knew some of the fingerings already, trying to avoid having the teacher have to show me in class. That would be embarrassing.
“I have to play a saxophone! How am I going to do that? Everyone else will already know how to play their instruments!” I shouted, exasperated.
“Calm down, I’m sure the teacher will make sure you can play it. You know what you need to do? Take a breath. In. Out. In. Out. Chill and listen to some Smashing Pumpkins, bro.”
I sighed and stuck my tongue out at Mikes. Sure, he was a pain in the ass, but he was my brother, and my best friend. And as we grew closer to the school, he kept telling me it was going to be fine. I felt pretty lucky to have such an awesome brother, and I really, really did not want him to go about his own schedule while I would have to figure out a completely different one.
Mikey had already received his schedule from the office and gave me a quick hug wishing me luck. I gave him a weak smile back and stepped towards the office secretary’s desk to receive my own information.
“Good morning! Gerard Way, is it?” she asked in a rather polite tone. It made me feel a little better about having to go to a whole new school and I even cracked a tiny little grin.
“Y-Yes ma’am,” I stuttered, still nervous.
“Alrighty, hon. Here is your class schedule, school map, bell schedule, and a pass for first period if you happen to be a bit late. Oh, and don’t forget your locker combination!” she handed over a manilla folder with all the important papers that I would need. In return, I gave a small nod.
“Now, in case you need it, the nurse’s office and the guidance counselor’s office are right down this hallway and you can go there whenever you would like. Just ask your teacher. I think that’s about it! Your locker is in Hallway A so you can drop your bookbag off there right away! As for band class, the teacher will assign you an instrument. You have a nice day now, Gerard!” she grinned, giving me a little wave as I turned to walk out the office door.
Well, at least my day had a nice start. That is always a good sign. Usually the office staff consists of a group of grumpy old ladies snarling about what horrible students we all are.
My good luck turned in first period, to my dismay. I had math first, which was never a good way to start the day. I knew for a fact that I was terrible at math. Having it first thing in the morning was going to be hell to the third degree.
“You’re late,” was what I was greeted with as soon as I entered the classroom. Oh, joy. I handed the grouchy old woman her stupid note and watched her scratch her hideously over-dyed blonde hair with a ballpoint pen.
“So, Gerard, is it? That’s an interesting name. Well, I guess it suits you,” I wasn’t sure if that was such a complimenting remark. I tried not to let it get to me, but snickers were evolving around me in the room and I became increasingly more aware of the number of students staring at me. Please don’t get sick, please don’t get sick, please don’t get sick…
“Mr. Way, go sit by Mr. Stump,” I hesitated, completely confused. There were three empty seats in the class, all with a male either to the right or left of them. I had absolutely no idea who this “Mr. Stump” was.
“Well, hurry on, now! I don’t have all day! I’ve got a class to teach!” she called to me. The class laughed and laughed. I just stood up in the front of the room until, thankfully, the “Mr. Stump” gave a little dismissing wave and I went and sat in the empty seat next to him.
The unfriendly math teacher, who I never caught the name of, was lecturing us about the proper usage of Euclidean Geometry when the bell rang and saved me from almost falling asleep. I rubbed my eyes a bit, and stood up to walk to my next class: band.
I felt the nerves in my stomach twist up and I grew uncomfortably anxious. I did not want to come in late and cause another scene. Quickly, I went to walk out the math class door when a boy came up from behind me, took my one-and-only pencil right out of my hand, and fling it in the trash can. He and his friends then proceeded out of the room laughing. I sighed and followed them, not in the least bit excited for my next class.
“God, will you HURRY UP?” the teacher called at the mass group of students struggling to assemble their instruments by the lockers in the band room. I watched as some of the students rolled their eyes and smiled at him, but he kept a prize-winning poker face. It may not have been as good as Mikey’s, but it was definitely close.
I slowly approached the band director, a bit scared of what he would think of me. When he saw me, he sighed and let his shoulders move up-and-down to over-exaggerate his point.
“Let me guess, a new student,” he breathed.
“Y-Yeah, uhm, yes, s-sir,” I struggled, handing him a note with the information for my saxophone rental.
“So, Mr. Way, you would like to play the saxophone? Is that right?” I answered him promptly with a nod of my head.
“Are you sure you don’t want to be a flutist? You come across as one of those sassy man-fluters to me,” he asked without even breaking a grin. I frowned, completely embarrassed. I am pretty sure that my face flushed one billion shades of red.
“HEY!” I heard one of the male flutists in the second row exclaim. All the kids around him turned around to look at him and bursted out in laughter.
“I hate you, Urie!” the director called to him.
“Sure, you’re just jealous!” he retorted, making the teacher lean back in surprise.
“Oh, yeah and why would I be jealous of YOU, Urie?”
“Because I have a full head of hair!” The “Urie” kid smiled and for a second time, the class erupted in giggles. The teacher simply placed his hands in the air, defeated, and turned back to me.
“Now about this saxophone you are getting… if you break it in any way shape or form, drop it, chip the mouthpiece, dent the case, break the neck strap, anything like that, I will have to assassinate you and your dog. Got it?” he stated, in complete seriousness.
“Aye, go easy on him, Mr. Z! You’re going to scare the poor kid!” I heard a voice say. That was about the moment when all time stopped.
His voice, it was pure gold; shiny and silky smooth. It flowed through my ears like a string of lace whipping about in the wind. I slowly traced my gaze over to the voice’s owner. Holy shit. He was… gorgeous. He had blonde, shaved hair on either side of his dark fohawk. His eyes were like sparkling hazel candies gleaming in the sun. His lips were pink and cheery, smiling warmly at me. I could have fainted just by the pure fact that he had acknowledged me.
“WAY!” the teacher shouted at me. Fuck! How long had I been zoned out? I felt my face turn red instantly and saw the beautiful voice’s owner softly giggle and watched a couple other kids from the class stifle laughs as well.
“S-sorry, s-sir,” I answered quietly.
“We all know Iero is extremely ugly, but I’m going to have to ask you to turn your attention to this important form that will determine life or death in band class,” the director, or Mr. Z, replied.
“Hey!” the “Iero” boy yelled. I soon gathered that “Iero” was the one with the stunning face an voice. I kept my gaze towards the ground so that I would not have to look at him.
“Shut up, Iero!” Mr. Z called, earning a reply of, “You know you love me,” from “Iero”. To this, the teacher simply gave a short laugh and looked back at me.
“Well, Way, take long enough to sign that?”
“Wh-what am I to s-sign it with s-sir?” I inquired rather unsmoothly.
He casually answered, “Blood.”
I wasn’t exactly sure how to respond to that request, so he handed me a utensil. I was just about to attempt signing my name with it, when I realized that he had handed me a needle.
“Wha-what is this for?” I asked, a bit scared now. Was I really supposed to sign this thing in blood?!
“To prick your skin of course,” Mr. Z remarked. I did not answer that, earning a few laughs from the class. After a short while, Mr. Z, himself, let out a laugh and declared, “It was a joke, stupid. Welcome to Walmart!” To that, the entire class erupted once more and I was left there looking like a complete idiot in front of the whole band, and the gorgeous “Iero” boy.
Noticing my embarrassment, Mr. Z handed me a pen and explained the basics of the class whilst adding in a few politically incorrect jokes here and there and exclaiming how one of his kids were so ugly now and then. I noticed that no one seemed to be taking offense to these remarks, they were just smiling and having a good time. Even the kids he pinned were grinning and shouting back retorts about how he was one to talk. It seemed like a welcoming environment, but being the new kid, it was a bit overwhelming.
Everyone looked so at home here. They all new each other and what they were supposed to do. They could all chuckle when Mr. Z gave me instructions to mark my music so dark that Helen Keller could see it if it helped me and fixed the mistakes. He warned me that if I did not go home and practice that he would make me attend lunch detention and that would be a wonderful time for him, but horrible for me. Apparently lunch detention would consist of me sitting in a chair in the corner of the room listening to opera music on full blast all period. I could agree that that would not be in my best interests.
When he finally finished explaining everything, he asked, “Do you know the basic fingerings? I hope so, because that would be a pain in the ass to teach you.”
I widened my eyes a bit. Did he just cuss? I didn’t know teachers were allowed to do that. I thought that was against some big Teacher Law Code Rule of some sort.
Mr. Z just looked at me and said in a cheerleader voice, “OMG, did he just say the a-word? OMG.”
The kids giggled in their seats even more and I bit my lip. I just wanted to take a seat in the very, very back of the class and keep quiet for the entire rest of the class period. Unfortunately, I had no such luck.
“Way go sit by Iero, I’m tired of seeing your face,” Mr. Z ordered, but I noticed that he was smiling encouragingly at me instead of scowling. He wasn’t so bad, just kind of terrifying, but okay. I did notice that he was wearing a Metallica t-shirt and combat boots. I smiled back a bit, feeling slightly at ease.
I went to go take a seat by “Iero”- fuck. Not that kid! The only thing that I could process while walking over to my new seat was ‘FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKIAMGOINGTODIEFUCKFUCKFUCK’. I was exactly like that; all stringed together and all completely scared. I knew that I was going to do something stupid and make him hate me. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had to sit right in the front row, too! Fucking hell.
“Hey,” “Iero” grinned as I took my seat. I gave him a half-hearted smile that I doubt he could even see considering that my hair was almost completely concealing my face. Of COURSE he had to play a saxophone, too.
Mr. Z took a deep, overdramatic breath and announced, “Alright, you lazy bastards, start at bar 69-”
“NINETY-FIVE PERCENT!” a girl on the other end of the saxophone row yelled out. The class started to giggle abruptly again and I wondered what kind of perverted inside-type jokes they have in here.
“Thank-you Miss Barbour, or should I say, Cyclops, may we continue?” he grinned at the girl. I wondered why they called her Cyclops. She had long blonde hair, glasses, and a Journey t-shirt on. I looked at her a bit more closely and discovered that she did, indeed, have two eyes. What was this unspoken band lingo I was not aware of? Does it involve mythical numbers and percentages? Hell, there is no way I am ever going to fit in here.
“No, go on Mr. Z. I would hate to have to important text conversations aside for my crude comments!” the class laughed when they saw Mr. Z busily texting away and then turning his head up in confusion and asking a clueless, “Huh?” He then shook his head and began the count-off for bar 69 when-
“POPE SPIT OUT YOUR GUM. YOU ARE SETTING A BAD EXAMPLE FOR THE NEW PASTY KID.” He shouted to the percussionist in the back who was apparently chewing gum. I blushed and ducked my head when I realized that I was the “new pasty kid”.
“Iero” simply smiled at me with his happy grin and assured me, “Mr. Z’s a big jokester. Don’t take it to heart.” I gave him another half-hearted grin that was probably impossible to see.
“AYE! That’s whack! She gave it to me!” “Pope” practically yelled across the room from the percussion section. He was pointing to the keyboardist who threw her hands up in the air as surrender. Why couldn’t I have picked percussion?! They get to be all the way in the back!
“Why you gotta blame it on the ginger, Pope? Even the soulless red-heads have feelings, too,” Mr. Z questioned him, pretending to wipe a fake tear from his face.
“HEY!” the ginger girl yelled. I swear to Christ, I’ve heard the word “hey” here in the past half an hour more times than I’ve heard Mikey say the word “unicorn” in all his years of living.
Mr. Z lifted his arms to try, yet again, to start the band at bar 69. This time, however, when he counted off, “One, two three, four, one, two, three…” we actually began to play. Well, the rest of the band did. I looked off of “Iero’s” paper and attempted to follow along, but I was completely lost. Sure, I knew most of the notes and fingerings, but I could not keep the tempo to save my life. By the time we reached bar 87, he waved us off and everyone stopped playing.
“RYMAN,” he bellowed.
“Yeah?” I heard a female voice ask. I turned around to see this “Ryman” that had been mentioned. She was wearing a Rise Against band shirt and had her hair dyed blonde-and-brown. On her wrist was a concert band that said “ROCK” in thick, black letters and a giant zebra-print hair bow.
“DON’T OVER-BLOW THE INSTRUMENT.”
Before the band director could move on, the “Cyclops” girl yelled out once again, “NINETY-FIVE PERCENT!” and I was absolutely sure that it was a pervy thing. The class let out snickers to this, including Mr. Z, before they calmed down and let him continue his spool.
“WAY,” I heard him yell to me. Oh, God. Oh, Fuck. Not me! Please?
I looked up at him, not making complete eye-contact, and meekly responded, “Yes?” I sounded so scared, it made my cheeks flush red.
“THAT REALLY SUCKED. EYELIDS, IERO,”
I fixed my eyes on the floor. I knew it, I sucked. I could not play this damn saxophone for anything. If they held Mikey above a shark tank and threatened to drop him if I didn’t play the sax, he would probably die. I would feel horrible afterwards and never forgive myself, but he would die.
“Yeah?” a girl in the front row replied. I supposed that she was “Eyelids”. I could see why she was given that nickname. Her eye makeup was in red-black-and-white stripes and she had thorn branches sprouting up around her eyes. It looked really cool, actually. I also noted her blink-182 top.
“Yup?” “Iero” asked. He was so beautiful. I couldn’t help but stare. And holy shit, was that a Misfits shirt? That was practically my favourite band! He could not possibly get any better! I suppose I had spoken to soon because I noticed that he was wearing a thick bracelet with the words, “ANTHRAX” printed on it. This guy was perfect.
“One of you help Way as he sounds like a dying seal that was coughed up by Helen Keller,” again with the Keller jokes, eh, Mr. Z? “Decide amoungst yourselves, I have Metallica to listen to. Get out.” As soon as he finished his little speech, the bell rang. I had to give him props for timing.
After the three rings had completed, I walked over to put away my saxophone. I noticed that each instrument had lockers by kids with matching instruments. That meant that I would pack up with “Eyelids”, “Cyclops”, and, oh fuck, “Iero”. He was so hot, I am going to completely make a fool out of myself and have to live in a cave for the rest of my life.
“Hey, newcomer!” “Eyelids” greeted me. I gave her a very small wave, not wanting to make much conversation.
“You need help with the song, eh?” she asked. In reply, I nodded once and finished putting away my instrument.
“Well, I think I’ll let Frank take care of that-” she began, but was cut off when he came over to us.
“What about me?”
“Oh, I was just telling Way here about how you’d looooove to help him with the chart! Wouldn’t you, Frank? Yeah you would,” she smirked at him. He seemed to blush a little, but mine was far worse. I simply kept my head down and my hair in front of my face to hide it.
“Oh, uh, sure. You wanna come over after school?” he questioned me in a suddenly quiet voice.
I mumbled a quick, “Sure,” and ran off to my next class.
School was horrible. Every other class was exactly like first period. I got called “emo” and “fag” all day by practically everyone I saw. I recognized a few kids from band class, but I still did not know them enough to actually hold a conversation with them. Not that I would have anyways, I’m bad with conversations, but it would have been nice to know I could sit by someone that I knew.
However, even though the day had dragged on, the bell signaling the end of the day finally rang and I sprinted out of the classroom to gather my things from my school locker, and to head off to the band room to collect my saxophone.
The band room was quite empty. Mr. Z had already headed out and a few kids were locking up their lockers and starting on their way home. I was about to head out as well with my instrument in hand when Frank came through the double-doors.
He smiled at me and asked, “Ready to practice?”
I kept my gaze firmly planted on my feet and remembered something that I probably should have mentioned before. I decided that it would probably be a good idea to share this with him.
“Uh, I-uh, forgot that I have to walk my-uh little brother home s-so could-do you think you-uh could come over t-to mine instead?” I stuttered. Fuck. Stop stuttering!
“No problem! Just let me get my sax and we can go!”
Walking to the school gates to meet Mikey was quiet. Well, at least on my part it was. Frank would ask little questions and I would shake my head every once in a while. What could I say? I liked the guy and I was scared.
As soon as Mikey saw me he came running and gave me a big hug. He had not noticed my “friend” who would be coming home with us yet. I think he was simply surprised that I had made it out alive.
“Hey Gee! How did it go? Did you make any friends? How were the teachers? You did talk to people, right? Remember, you have to meet new people. Do you have any homework? How was band? It wasn’t bad, was it? I told you it wouldn’t be horrible.” Mikey overpowered me with questions.
“Whoa, Mikes,” I attempted to calm him. This kid had a far too large coffee intake each morning.
“So it wasn’t bad?”
“No, it was horrible.”
Mikey sighed, and gave me another quick hug. I felt so lucky to have a brother as great as Mikes. I didn’t need any friends. He was good enough for me.
“Oh, who’s this, Gee?” my little brother asked me. I assumed that he had finally noticed Frank.
I looked over at “Iero” and noticed that he looked a bit out of place. It was probably from the small conversation that Mikey had started. I was quick to bring him back into the topic of conversation.
“This is Frank. He’s going to help with my saxophone,” I explained and watched as Frank waved at my brother and stepped forward to shake his hand.
Mikey, of course, was eager to meet new people and beamed at him. He was probably excited that I had been acquainted with another human being that I was not related to.
“Hey, I’m Gee-tard’s brother! It’s great to meet you! Hey, do you like-” and Mikes held up a conversation with Frank the entire way home. I simply trailed behind them paying close attention to the cracks in the sidewalk as I put one foot in front of the other.
We soon reached our front door and walked inside. Frank complimented our home and watched as our mom came into the foyer from the kitchen and welcomed us all home.
“Mikey, who’s your friend?” she asked him kindly.
My brother smiled and replied, “Actually, he’s Gee’s friend, mom!”
I could tell that my mother was surprised. After all, when was the last time someone had walked home with ME? Never. Not one single time had a person chose to visit my house to see me.
“Good heavens, child, let me hug you!” Bloody hell. Why did my mom have to do this? Is that cave still an option?
Frank laughed and warmly responded with, “It’s nice too meet you, ma’am. Your sons are incredibly good-hearted people.”
“You are such a peach, sugar! Let me make you boys some cookies and sandwiches!” I could tell that my mother was practically exploding with happiness at the moment. I took the chance to make my escape and escort Frank to my room and avoid getting embarrassed further.
“You’re room is awesome! I love the Misfits! And Black Flag! And these are fantastic, did you draw them?” Frank commented as he looked over all the posters and papers on my black walls. I nodded and he smiled back at me before looking around some more.
After he had made plenty of comments about how we liked the same comics and music, he took his saxophone out of its case and asked if I was ready to practice. I complied with assembling my own instrument and plopped down on my bed to warm up.
“Okay, so measure 70 starts like this,” he said as he pointed down to his music. I sight-read it and tried to play it out on my own, but it sounded really bad.
“That was good,” he encouraged, “but finger that note like this.” He proceeded to show me which buttons to press.
I tried the part once more, but again it was a trainwreck. Frank just laughed and reassured me that this particular section was a bit tricky and that I should keep playing until I got it right. I followed his advice and played it over again. However, just like all my other attempts, it was simply horrid.
I began to grow frustrated with it and held my head in my hands. There was no possible way that I could do this. Why couldn’t the school just have gotten a new chorus teacher? This was impossible.
“Hey, hey, don’t cry,” Frank cooed. I hadn’t even noticed that I had started sobbing.
“I-I’m t-t-terrible!” I wailed. It was true. My sound was absolute shit.
“No you aren’t! You just need to get the rhythms and fingerings right. Why don’t you try singing it?” he suggested.
Singing it? I didn’t see how that would help at all. But despite my thoughts, I gave it a try and sang the measures that I had previously attempted to play. When I had finished, I looked over to Frank who had suddenly grown quiet.
“Your voice is… amazing,” I breathed.
“Oh, uh, sorry I- I don’t know. But, uh- yeah that was great. Try playing it like that,” he remarked, still acting a bit stunned. Sure I like to sing, but I didn’t think that I was all that good at it.
I sighed to myself and picked up the saxophone. This time, the rhythms were correct, but all the fingerings were completely screwed up. I felt another hot tear roll down my face before I could stop it. Frank leaned over, to my surprise, and wiped it away.
“Here,” he offered as he sat behind me on the bed and wrapped his hand around mine on the instrument. His hands were cold and icy against my hot ones. I could feel myself starting to shake as I took in the fact that he was sitting against me. I could feel his body heat on my back.
“Play,” he whispered. And so I did. This time, everything was perfect. I sang the rhythms into the saxophone and Frank made sure that every fingering was correct. It sounded beautiful, actually.
When the song was done, Frank grinned at my with his lovely smile and said, “You did it.”
I was incredibly proud that I could do it, but my mind was far from that at the moment. Frank was still behind me with his hands curled around my own. By this time, I was violently shaking and far beyond nervous. Frank seemed to notice this by my lack of response and shuffled away from behind me. He instead took a seat behind me and watched as I set the instruments in their cases, still scared as ever.
“Gerard, are you okay?” he asked, sounding a little worried.
I took a seat on the bad as far away from him as I could and stared directly at the ground. My hair was once again shielding my face, just the way I preferred it to. I nodded slightly to him.
“Can’t you talk to me?” he asked sadly.
I shook my head, signaling a clear ‘no.’
“Not good with talking…” I mumbled so quietly that I wasn’t sure he could hear me.
“You can talk to Mikey,” he pointed out. Oh, yeah. That’s true. But Mikey’s different. He’s my best friend; of course I can talk to him. He’s the only person in the whole entire world that understands me.
“H-he’s different,” I stated.
“He-he’s my bes-best f-friend.”
“And what if I was your friend?” Frank pressed.
“Th-that’d be stupid,” I half-laughed.
“Why would it be stupid?” he asked as he cocked his head ever so slightly to the side. I couldn’t lie; it looked adorable.
“You wa-want to be fr-friends with th-the em-emo f-fag?” I looked at him questionably.
By the time he had said this I was completely confused. No one was my friend, and I had grown to be used to it. Now all the sudden the hottest guy in the world wants to hang out with me? What is this? A joke?
“You know what?” he asked slyly. It sounded a bit suspicious, so I responded cautiously.
“I think what you need is just a little bit of kindness,” he declared. Before I could ask him what he meant by that, he leaned over and caught my lips with his own.
My mind shut off and all I could concentrate on was the fact that Frank Iero was kissing me and it was amazing. His lips were soft and warm against my own. His cold hands were holding my chin and felt as a nice contrast to the rest of his body’s heat.
‘Boys! The snacks are ready!” my mom called from the kitchen, breaking us apart.
Frank looked into my eyes and smiled before he stood up from the bed, kissed my cheek, and left to accept my mother’s offer of food. Shocked, I still sat in my bed, eyes wide, trying to figure out what the fucking hell had just happened.
Interrupting my thoughts, Frank popped his head back in my doorframe and asked, “You coming?” I silently nodded and stood up. I walked over to meet him by the door and he sneakily slipped his arm around my waist to lead me to the source of our previous interruption. I looked down at him, still afraid of screwing something up, but he simply stood up on his tip-toes and kissed my nose. This made me laugh and for once, I actually smiled myself.
The next day in band class, Mr. Z had us go over the song that Frank and I had been working on the previous night. I performed it very well in my opinion and apparently Mr. Z thought so, too. As class was winding down, he gave his final remarks about the band.
“Well, that wasn’t good, but it was better. WAY. Nice job. I see Iero managed to fix that Helen Keller sound you were giving me. Seriously, if Keller played a sax, it would have sounded like you yesterday. So well done. Now get out of here.” Once again, as soon as he had finished talking the bell rang. I swear to God, that man’s timing was incredible.
I walked over to the lockers when “Pope” approached me. “Aye man, nice job,” he grinned and attempted to give me one of those hipster hand-shakes that everyone seemed to know. I had absolutely no idea what to do and he started to laugh. Embarrassed, hid my face with my hair, but he casually demonstrated how to do it and I tried again, this time doing it correctly.
“Catch ya later, Way!” he called. I waved, finding that talking to him wasn’t actually all that bad.
I bent down do put my sax away, and found that “Cylclops” was right across from me. I felt a sudden urge to find out what her nickname meant and before I could stop myself, I was making conversation.
“Why does he call you that?” I asked, interested.
“What, “Cyclops”?” she giggled and I nodded. “It’s because I only need glasses for one eye, so one lens is prescribed and the other is clear, see?” I looked closely and it did, indeed, seem like one eye was bigger than the other.
“You laugh, but he’ll give you a nickname, just watch!” she called as she left the band room. Wait, I was laughing? AND making conversations? Did I have a fever or something?
“Hey Way, nice shirt!” the “Ryman” girl complimented to me. She likes Smashing Pumpkins? Wow, band kids have good taste in music. I glanced her way to see that she, too, had a Smashing Pumpkins shirt on to-day.
“We match!” I noted.
She chuckled and suggested, “We should hang out some time and listen to them!”
“Definitely!” I proposed. She waved a goodbye and headed off like the others had. Okay, this was getting weird. Had I just thought to go listen to music with someone after school? Since when did I do that?
As I was trying to figure this out, Frank, “Eyelids”, and the “ginger” girl walked over to me. “Eyelids” gave me a big hug and had a ridiculously large smile plastered on her face. The red-head was practically squealing as Frank took my hand in his.
“We’ll leave you two love birds alone. Bye Frerard!” “Eyelids” called.
“Frerard?” I asked as they giggled away to the door.
“Yeah, that’s your couple name!” the “ginger” yelled back to us.
Frank rolled his eyes and wrapped his arms around me. “You did a great job to-day, Gee!” I blushed.
“Thanks, but you were so much better, Frankie,” I stated.
“WAY.” Mr.Z called from his office.
I broke apart hesitantly from Frank and strode into my teacher’s office. He looked at me sternly and then asked me a question that took me by complete surprise, “How would you like to play in the Jazz Band?”
“S-Sir, are you sure? I don’t think I’m r-ready for that-”
“Stop shitting me, do you want to or not?”
“Oh-okay. I can try-”
“Excellent. Good day, Mr. Way.”
“Bye, Mr. Z.”
I headed out of his office, but before I was completely outside of it he called me.
“Oh, and Vampire?” I grinned at my new nickname.
He winked and said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Iero is in it, too.”
You know, band class might not be that bad after all.