The first day had gone by as expected. A few comment thrown here a few insults tossed there. But Toni just ignored it. If there was anything that she had learned from Bob Bryer... it was not to take shit from anyone.... No matter their size.
Sam had shown her to her locker and helped her open it. It was already half way through the school year so all the good lockers were taken so Toni was stuck with one of the old rusty ones on the top floor that don't open without a swift kick.
By the end of the day she was pretty tired after trying to take in what all the teachers were saying and trying to catch up from the work she had done through distance learning. Not all the notes were the same as the ones in this new school.
She and Sam had said their goodbyes at the bus stop and Toni made her way back up to the sixth floor. Pulling her cell out of her book bag as soon as she crashed down on her bed. She wasn't sure who she wanted to call first... Donnie... or the guys. It was a tough call but she decided that it would be better to call Donnie first.. He had a lot of explaining to do.
She went through her contacts list until she found Donnie and pressed the 'call' button. It rang a few times then...
'Hey.. It's me sorry I haven't called sooner.'
'Toni!! ... hey no hun it's okay. So... how was your first day at St Nobles?' He inquired.
' Um.. It's funny you should ask.' She giggles in response.
'It is?' She could just imagine the confused smirk that was playing around his lips.
'Yeah... I just so happened to bump into ... oh y'know just... your little brother.' Once again she found herself giggling and trying to imagine the look on his face.
' What... you gotta be shittin' me! Ha ha!...'
' Y'know that was his reaction too. So...how come you never told me you were from this part of NY?
' Um.. I guess it just never came up in conversation. But I didn't know that Sammy was going to St Nobles now... he must have been kicked out of Lawrence Hill. Gawd he can be such a little ass sometimes.' Donnie said shedding some light on his brother.
'Well he was perfectly nice to me.' Toni laughed through the receiver.
'Yeah.. He's a pretty cool kid. So apart from Sammy you made any more friends?' Donnie asked with hope in his voice.
'Hmmf... nope. Most of the girls there are bitches and the guys are dickheads!'
'Hey I'm sure it'll get better... after all it was only your first day.' You could tell he was just trying to cheer Toni up.
It was not really working but she was grateful all the same.
'Yeah... maybe tomorrow will be a wee bit better.'
'I hope so hunni.'
'Hey I'm gonna go and call the guys now , okay?'
'Yeah.. Is Brian not home with you?'
'No... it's typical. We are off tour but now I see even less of him.... Maybe it's for the best though.' Toni felt slightly defeated.
' You still not talking?' Donnie's voice was slightly lower when he asked this.
'No... and he's still not changed his mind about chucking me out after graduation. I'm kinda glad though.... I want to be able to talk to him again but he is just so invasive and he's never here. So it's better if I go instead of us trying to avoid each other. I just want everything to go back to normal ... To before I messed it all up.... Anyway.. I'm just rambling now.' She laughed nervously.
'Hey ... stop thinking like that... he messed up too okay? And it's good to let it all out. And I'll always be at the other end of the phone when you need me okay?'
'Yeah ... thanks that means a lot to me.'
' Hey I though you were ditching me to go talk to the guys?' Donnie chuckled down the line.
'Oh yeah!... I guess you got me side tracked.' She laughed at him.
'Yeah whatever.... Say hi to Sammy for me.'
' I will don't worry. Bye hunni.'
' See ya sugga!' He said in a fake thick Jersey accent making Toni laugh to herself while drawing the cell away from her ear and shaking her head.
She scrolled down her contacts list until she came to Mikey's cell number and pressed call. It only rang twice when the bassist's tired voice crackled through the airwaves.
'Hey guess who!' Toni screeched out enthusiastically.
'Hey Tones... wait a minute and I'll put you on speaker phone.' Mikey said in a hurry.
The next think she heard was a soft click and then Mikey telling everyone who he was talking to.
'Hey Toni!' Came in a chorus of several different voices.
' Hey.. Are you all there?' Toni questioned.
'Yeah we are on the road right now. Sooo.... How was school.? Mikey asked actually sounding concerned.
'Urm... not great but hey... high school never is right?... Oh! But I did meet Donnie's brother so he showed me around and stuff.... So that was cool.'
'Awesome... so how's things with Brian?' Toni could tell that Mikey had taken the cell off speaker and it was just them talking now.
' Uhh.. I can't really say... he's never here... always at work. And when he is here we avoid each other like the plague. It's so stupid. I don't know what it is. It's like he is trying to stay out of my way until I leave... like, so he doesn't have to deal with me or something. And when we do talk... he has this fake smile... it just creeps me out. I wish it could all just go back to normal.... But I know I pushed him too far last time.... Gawd! I'm such a screw up!.'
Okay she had finally got that out. Mikey was on the other end listening intently. And even though she couldn't see him he was nodding in the appropriate places.
'No Toni you're not a screw up... you're a teenager. Brian has to get his head out of his ass and realise that. Teenagers are meant to say and do things to upset their family.... It's like some kid of unspoken law or something.' Mike laughed trying to cheer her up.
' Yeah I guess you're kinda right.' Toni sighed.
' Hey look I'll be home on Thursday so why don't I pick you up after school or something... you and Alicia can go to the mall or something... how does that sound?'
'That sounds awesome... Alicia has already asked me if I wanted to go to the mall anyway we just hadn't settled on a day yet.'
' Perfect.... So I'll speak to you on Thursday and if not sooner okay?'
'Yeah sure.' Toni still didn't sound to happy about something and Mikey picked up on it.
' Hey keep your chin up kiddo... we'll speak later okay?'
' Yeah... later.'
' See ya.'
She could hear a few muffled 'byes' and 'see ya's' in the background. Then the line went dead.
She heard a key in the front door... it opening. And then promptly being slammed.
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