A school production, some crazy friends and an attractive cousin. Gerard Way's final year in school is going to be interesting.
Chapter One ; The First Day Back
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Or if you wanted accuracy, my day sort of begins with a ‘YAAAAAAHHHHHHH’ and some freaky dramatic orchestra music. I flinched awake at the sound, rolled over to try and find the god dammed speakers, miscalculated how far away I was to the edge of my bed and promptly fell on the floor. Why I thought it was a good idea to wake up like this at stupid o’clock in the morning to spend my stupid day at a stupid school, I wouldn’t know. I mean yeah, I was the one who came up with the idea but that doesn’t mark it as a good idea.
“Owch.” I grumbled to myself and dragged myself up back onto my bed and towards the window, and attempted to open it without disturbing the curtains. “Oww!” Yeah, that didn’t work; I screeched and ducked behind my windowsill as the sun shone through, evilly happy and ready to dismantle everything I valued. Well, that’s what the sun does. Thank god it was, at the least, windy so the breeze started to cool down my overheating room and make the curtains flap really annoyingly. Hoo-fucking-rah.
The sun that so kindly (!) decided to invade my room was already hanging high above the sky over the roves of all the red-bricked houses. Rather annoyingly, really, because why on earth does the sun get up so early? I didn’t like the sun. I much preferred the cover of grey clouds and a bit of rain, or the cool blanket of darkness that nighttime brought. No such luck now.
Yeah, welcome inside the head of Gerard Way. That’s me, by the way. Current status: teenage zombie. Or goth. Emo. Creep. Vampire. Gay twatbag. Oh, I don’t know, a million different things. But let me classify on of those last points; I’m not really a vampire. Let me clarify; I don’t sparkle under the sun (who the fuck even wrote that shit, like seriously?) and I don’t like to tear out people’s throats because my survival doesn’t exactly require me to drink people’s blood to live. Why would vampires want to drink blood, anyway? It’s all tangy and irony. I’d much rather live off coffee. Mmmm. But even though I’m not exactly a vampire, I am a stupid amount of pale, and I do have long black hair and weird teeth. I do hate the sunlight and I am irresistible to the ladies. So all things considering, I’d probably make a rather excellent vampire. Everyone in school calls me that, anyway.
School. Oh dear, that horrible place. Summer had ended, I had to leave my place of blissful(ish) sunshine and peaceful nothingness. And I say I only sort of like the sunshine because remember that bit about me not particularly liking the sun? Anyway. I had to return to the place of terror, the Academy of Doom, ready to start my education. Yay. Fun.
Doom. That was another name for it. Why oh why oh why were Monday morning starts a thing? Why not Monday afternoon? Or even better, why not just cancel school? It’s not as if I had a plan for my future. I groaned, yanked the curtains closed again and flopped backwards onto my bed. School. What a lovely, wonderful, stupid place for kids to spend their lives. Oh, okay, mine wasn’t tooooooooooooo bad. I had friends. And it only had a semi-uniform so I wasn’t stuck looking like a silly little schoolboy all day. A white shirt and a black tie with the school’s logo on it (a shield and a tree. How quaint), and otherwise you could wear whatever you wanted. Within reason, of course, otherwise I would totally call it my duty to turn up to school wearing nothing but the shirt, tie and a pink pair of tights.
Unfortunately, the rules did say “sensible daytime wear”, and pink tights aren’t exactly practical. And they also ruled out wearing just the shirt and nothing else. But the rules didn’t say anything about cross dressing, and conveniently when my distant cousin from Italy wanted me to take her shopping for a prom dress, I saw an opportunity. Her dress was beautiful and I did a wonderful job of picking it out. I also took the opportunity to get myself a lovely tartan skirt.
I wore it to school the day after.
And I got fucking sent home.
I mean, really? There were no rules against it or anything, and I made sure to make that point, but apparently it was ‘inappropriate’. Why was it inappropriate? I didn’t get busted for wearing makeup. None of the jock kids got done for wearing excessive amounts of fake tan and hairspray. But you know, gender roles and all that bullshit. And it didn’t do anything to squish the rumours of my flaming sexuality, but it didn’t make all that much of a difference. I didn’t care too much.
Pity. So instead of some ridiculous fashion choice (which I’d totally do if I could, by the way) I pulled on grey skinnies, my favourite scruffy leather jacket and trudged out of my room towards the kitchen and the scent of coffee. Also known as the scent of heaven. Heaven will probably just be a giant Starbucks.
“Morning, dickface.” ‘Dickface’ is my brother, Mikey, who was lying on the sofa in the living room, holding his PSP in the air. He’s a couple of years younger than me, and we go to the same school. He’s also an annoying little shit and perhaps a little bit notorious in our school – but only because he’s my brother. Poor kid. I do feel a bit sorry for him sometimes, because he has to live with me.
“Ay there, Geetard.” Other times, not so much. Besides the fact he was an annoying little freak, we also didn’t look like brothers. His teeth were pretty normal, for one. His hair was soft and flat and mousey brown, his cheekbones angular and he always wore square-framed glasses that sat so close the to end of his nose they always looked like they might fall off. I threw a cushion at him and darted into coffee, where my mum stood with a pot of coffee. I didn’t know what was more beautiful, my mum making me coffee or the coffee itself.
“How are you, love?” asked Mum, giving me a one-armed hug and handing me a mug of coffee with the other.
“That well, huh? And what on earth have you done to your hair?” she said, trying to brush it down. I batted her hand away.
“I haven’t done anything to it.”
“That probably explains it. Tell me, sweetheart, have you ever heard of this amazing new invention called a comb?”
“Gee, we gotta go,” said Mikey, perching on the dining table and pulling his shoes on. “You always take so long. And we have to detour through the park because there’s building works on the main road and pedestrians aren’t allowed around there.”
“Well shit,” I said, draining my mug. “That’s gonna be fun. Do the others know?”
“Ray and the sisters walk through the park in the morning anyway. We’ll just run into them a little earlier than usual.”
“Okay, then. See you later, love you, Mum.”
“Bye, honey. Don’t forget your thermos!”
“Not likely,” I said, even though I did have to double back and actually pick it up. Because I would have forgotten it given half a chance. I grabbed my bag and had to run out the house after Mikey. “Why the hurry?”
“Buses are off, aren’t they? We have to walk quickly if we want to get to school on time.”
“Mikey, you dipshit, it takes us like ten minutes to walk there. It takes not even twice as long through the park. And school doesn’t start for half an hour.”
“Yeah but I know how slow you walk.”
“I do not walk slow! And why are you worrying so much? Meeting your secret girlfriend behind the bike shed?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Mikey glared at me.
“Oh, what’s her name?” I asked. Mikey just rolled his eyes and stalked on ahead. “Okay, what’s his name?”
“Gerard.” Mikey pouted at me.
“Mikey.” I pouted back. “I’m not discriminating, buddy. Just… the bike sheds aren’t a very classy place.”
“The only reason you wouldn’t discriminate is because you hate being a hypocrite. And because you’re in denial”
“What, like you keep denying your relationship with your hair straighteners?”
“Oi, at least they’re faithful to themselves. And they know what they’re supposed to do. Straighten things. Save for you. You’re un-straighten-able.”
“That’s not even a word. And what does it matter, buddy? I’m as straight as a parabola and I know it!” I said, swinging my bag at Mikey’s head.
“Ow! Don’t do that.”
“Well shut up then.”
“You know I’m joking, asshole. There isn’t a girl in school who wouldn’t date you,” said Mikey, almost bitterly.
“Well, what can I say. I know I’m just too sexy for my own good… hey, was that jealousy? Aww, is widdle Mikeymouse jealous of his big bwother?” Mikey took his turn to swing his bag at my head.
“Asshole. Come one, the park’s this way.”
The buses that ran to my school usually stopped right outside my house, just a few meters down the road, but we never caught it. Bus drivers were evil. I usually watched it drive off, Mikey would yell at me for being slow, and we’d walk down the main road after it. The bus was just too much of a waste of time to catch. Like, four stops away and we’d have to spend money for tickets every day.
So instead we crossed the road and continued going down the grey alley 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 pretty peaceful, but we didn’t walk that way most days. It was too long and I didn’t like leaving the house twenty minutes earlier than I had to.
Along the side of the main path we walked along, there was a dried up, dead riverbed. This place used to be docklands and the riverbed was an old trading canal. 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.
We crossed the last bridge we came to, which crossed the riverbed into a large green field. Across the field was another path, which lead out of the park between a collection of benches, a small residential area, across a small built up river and then through to the main road where we usually met our friends and walked to school in a group.
But instead of seeing three figures sitting on the closest bench, two with ever-changing coloured hair and one with a large mass of curly hair, I only spotted one; the mass of curly hair. We were also greeted with the sound of absent-minded humming and cheesy videogames music.
“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 buttons of his handheld… thing. I was pretty terrible when it came to videogames and consoles and shit. Ray Toro was in same year as 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 you 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 Geetard, Mikey,” he said, switching the power off of his handheld thing and tucking it in his pocket. “Nice of you to join me this morning.”
“Where’s Kitty and Blake?” I asked, looking around. They were the other two that we walked with most mornings, and they usually waited for Ray by his house in the morning. But they weren’t there, which was odd. And her name wasn’t really Kitty. It was Kayleigh.
“Their cousin is starting today so they’re showing him the way. I waited here for you ‘cause I figured you could use someone to bully you,” said Ray. “Actually, I think that was just Kit. Blake said something about waiting for us in Starbucks.”
“Alright then, let’s go,” I said, grinning. 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. So was Mikey. I wasn’t short, but I wasn’t the tallest person on the planet, either. I was comfortably average. Which sucked.
“You said Kayleigh and Blake’s cousin?” Mikey asked after a moment of walking along quietly. Ray shrugged.
“Yeah. He just moved down here from further north. He’s in the year below, I think. Not with you, sorry Mikes.”
“Do you know what he’s like?” I asked.
“No, just that he’s a guy. And they seem to like him so I can wager he’s not too terrible a person.”
“Oh, that’s okay then. Guess we’ll meet him in school, huh?”
The streets towards school were empty, as usual. We didn’t walk slowly at all, just like I said, and we arrived ten minutes early. Just like I predicted. I’m pretty clever, you know. Hell, I know what a parabola is. And I know how to calculate the curve of one. And I don’t even take extended maths. Or math, if you want to be picky, but the sisters were English, and the terminology does kind of stick to you after a while.
We didn’t run into Blake after all, and Mikey strode off towards the music block right away, (which was the opposite direction from the bike sheds, so that screwed that theory), leaving me and Ray outside the front gates, perching on the wall, waiting for anyone else we knew and talking about the level of Super Mario Brothers that he’d been stuck on for about forever.
It wasn’t half bad a school, I suppose. The exams scores were pretty good and not everyone in there was an asshole. They had a fantastic performing and creative arts scheme, and most of the teachers weren’t total assholes. Not even my ex-Phys Ed teacher, who was a bubbly Jamaican lady called Tessa who always threw basketballs at us when we were mucking about.
“Hey fuckfaces.” Ray and looked up, but I only caught a glimpse of a human figure before I was smothered by something thick, blue and smelling of hairspray.
“Jenna!” The tall, bubbling figure that was Ray’s and my friend of about forever pulled away from her attack of the bear hugs. We’d been neighbours until we were nine, when she moved to the other side of town, and then we’d both been in the same classes in this school since we turned thirteen. She was the happiest person I knew, always smiley and caring, despite her insane exterior, and her hair that changed colour pretty much every single week.
“Blue, huh? It looks good. It’s gone green at the ends, though,” I said, tugging on a lock of her hair she stuck out her tongue and jumped up on the wall between me and Ray, giving him a hug in the process.
“It was supposed to look like that, it’s ombre.”
“It’s… first colour fadey into second colour. Capisce?”
“Yeah, sure thing dumbo.” Ray rolled his eyes and went back to his videogame.
“You’re just jealous,” she said, tugging her hair out of my grip. “You looking forward to school?”
“Aren’t we all? Just perfect, school, especially seeing as we have assembly first thing.”
“Oh lord, do we?” I nodded grimly. “Are we sharing it with the other year? I mean we’re… in twelve now, right? Are we having it with the elevens?”
“I think so. That’s what happened last year,” I said, standing up and stretching.
“Well, at least it provides a good time to go napping. Come on, let’s go.” As she stood and said that, the bell rang and the throng of students started to surge towards the school. Very, very slowly. It wasn’t so much a surge as a groaning and very unwilling shuffle.
New school. New start. New chance to screw everything up again. Hoorah.
“Alright, later numbnuts. I’d take you to the hall, but one of the teachers wants to talk to you first. Also that’s my friend over there and I need to go but I’ll introduce you two later, bye!”
“Sure thing, Kayleigh. Bye.” I watched my cousin turn and run into the hall, grabbing a kid by his shoulder and giving him a hug. One of her friends, I guessed, who she’d promised to introduce me to later.
I was sitting in the front office of this new school, waiting for one of the teachers to come by and tell me what to do, and I was getting bored. Well, at least this school looked better than my last. They didn’t have any stupid uniforms, just a tie and a shirt. I sighed again and twizzled in my chair to look out the large glass windows that fronted the office into the front grounds of the school. The kids here were a huge mix of different types, which was also quite refreshing. They all wore the customary white shirt and black tie, but other than that, it was like a huge mixing pot of different types. Three tall, skinny girls in tiny skirts and linked arms. A tall, pale, spooky looking guy with spiky black hair. A lanky boy with mousy hair and glasses, accompanied by a tiny girl in an oversized hoodie.
“Frank Iero?” I turned around in my chair towards the voice.
“My name’s Miss James, Frank. Sorry to have kept you waiting,” said the teacher, extending a hand to me. I raised my eyebrow slightly but still shook it; she was tall, curvy and wore a tight pencil skirt, a red blouse and had thick curly hair that tumbled past her shoulders. No wonder the guy behind the phone at the reception had his eyes out on stalks.
“S’alright. What am I doing now?” I asked, standing up and shifting my bag over my shoulder.
“You’re in your eleventh year, correct? You’ll be having orientation with your peers and the upper year. You’ll get your timetable there, too. You want me to show you the way?” Miss James asked.
“By the way… I like your taste in music,” she said, as we made our way down the finally quiet halls. I glanced at my Green Day bag, and I grinned up at her. She seems okay.
“No problem. There are some assholes in this school, but there are also some pretty good kids. You’ll be fine here. I know I shouldn’t play favourites, but I really do. Your cousins go here, correct?”
“Yeah, Kayleigh and Blake.”
“Aw, good. They’re good kids. You’re in good hands with them and their friends, Frank.” We had reached the theatre by the time she finished talking. She pushed open the doors and walked in. “Good morning students!” she called. The hall erupted in cheers and babble, and there were quite a few people waving.
“Oh shit,” I muttered.
“So, guys, we have a new student joining school today. Don’t scare him too badly!” But my head had just frozen. She was introducing me to the whole year?! Great. I held my head up a little higher – but still kept my hood over my head – and walked forward from where I’d been hovering in the doorway. Most people in the hall raised their eyebrows at me or kept silent, but that was it. Some of the ones closer to the front were trying desperately to see my face under the hood, but I kept my face hidden. And there were a bunch of kids at the back of the hall nodding in approval, perhaps of my Misfits hoodie. “Guys, this is Frank. Frank, you can go sit up the back with Penina, I think she’s in your form.”
“Okay.” I readjusted my backpack and made my way up the centre of the stands, my heart still racing furiously. Introduce in front of the whole school? Yeah, awesome idea. But Penina, the girl Miss James had directed me to sit next to, looked okay. She had thick chestnut hair and a full fringe that dangled into her eyes, so I could only make out about half of her face. I did however spot the grin that appeared when I approached.
“Hey, bud. I’m Penina,” she said, shuffling up on the bench to make room for me.
“Frank. You English?” I asked. She nodded.
“Yeah. My friends told me the accent was fading but evidently not,” she said, smiling.
“Nice to meet ya.”
“And you, Frank. Hope you fit in alright here,” said Penina. “Our friends are good people. You’ll like them. T are a couple of them in the year below, but most are in the year above so they’re sitting that side of the hall. Good people. You won’t need to worry about anyone bothering you,” he said. I shrugged.
“My cousins go here. Year below and year above.”
“Kayleigh and Blake?”
“Oh, really! Yeah, I know them. That’s awesome! Hey, is it possible I could see what you actually look like under that hood?” asked Penina. I smiled and shook my head. “You not much of a talker?”
“Nah. Not really, anyway.”
“Ah, no problem. You’ll be fighting to get a word in edgeways when you meet the guys later anyway. Speaking of, Miss give you your timetable?” I shook my head. “Ah. Never mind, you’re probably gonna be in one of the mixed classes seeing as that’s what the rest of us appear to have. I spoke to some of them this morning. You’re in my stream, which is good, we should have a few classes together, and our other friends. And, if you don’t see any of our guys, you’ll meet them at lunch.”
“Shut up, guys,” said one of the girls sitting in front of us. “Miss will get mad.” Sure enough, Miss James had just shouted at us from the front of the room. Penina stuck her tongue out, the girl in front shook her head and I felt myself smiling for the second time that morning.
Hm. Smiling. In school. That was new.
I did my best, and I really hope you enjoyed! Please remember to leave an R&R, and I love you guys muchly. With much luck, the next lot will be up next week. Love you guys