Act 1, Scene 1
'I guess I shouldn't be too surprised,' he thought to himself. 'This whole thing is strange. Moving here just before I started high school was strange. Me and my friends all leaving California at once was strange. Leaving California at all was strange. Everything about this place is strange, and I still haven't gotten used to it. Whether it's been two years or not.' He finally gave up and stepped into the shadow of the wall to his right. His friend Adam copied his movement.
"I'm bored," Adam said flatly. Hunter nodded in agreement.
"We could always go find Davey," he said with a shrug. "He's bound to be causing trouble somewhere. Probably setting fire to something."
"Isn't that more like something Jade would do?" Adam asked, glancing around for any sign of one of their friends.
"True," Hunter responded. He thought for a second. "I feel like hurting someone." Adam took a step away from him, and he laughed. "Not you, genius. One of them."
"Are you kidding me? The last time we got in a fight with one of their guys, you ran away." Hunter shrugged.
"I felt sorry for them."
"So you ran away," Adam said skeptically. Hunter nodded. "That makes no sense." Hunter shrugged again, abruptly darting into a nearby alley. Adam hesitantly followed him.
"What is it?" he asked.
"I saw Ray and Bob. Didn't you?" Hunter asked him. Adam shook his head. "Idiot. Anyway, I'm about to prove to you that I don't run away from fights. Watch this." Hunter stepped out of the alley and continued walking down the street. Adam sighed and followed him, keeping his distance from Hunter rather than walking beside him.
He watched as Hunter nonchalantly walked down the sidewalk at a relaxed pace, as if waiting for him. He walked even slower in response, not wanting to be a part of whatever Hunter was planning. Hunter's plans usually didn't turn out well.
He watched as Hunter passed the two teenagers, who were talking animatedly about something. A smirk came to his face as Hunter gave them the finger.
Bob stopped him almost immediately.
"You just flip me off, kid?" he spat, emphasizing kid. He knew Hunter hated being called anything other than his name. Hunter shrugged.
"I flipped someone off," he said lazily.
"You didn't answer my question," Bob said darkly. "Did you or not?" Adam caught up with Hunter at that moment, seeing that he was unable to avoid the situation. Hunter turned back to him and spoke in a low voice.
"Will he kill me if I say yes?" he asked. Adam nodded. Hunter flashed a smile and turned back to face Bob.
"No. I flipped someone off. I never said it was you."
"You trying to start something?" Adam asked Bob.
"Me? No. Your idiot friend here? Yes."
"I'm just saying that if you are, it's fine with me," said Hunter with a smile. Adam rolled his eyes. "We're equals, after all."
"You're not better than us, that's for sure," said Bob with a smirk. Hunter immediately swung at him, and a brawl quickly ensued. Both Ray and Adam backed away before they could be pulled into it. Gerard, who was walking down the street, saw what was happening and rushed to intervene.
"That's enough," he said, pulling them away from each other and threatening them a knife. Adam held Hunter back until he calmed down. They looked to the left as Jade approached.
"This is interesting. Way tells them not to fight, yet holds a knife," said Jade.
"I'm only keeping it peaceful around here, Jade," Gerard said in a tone of warning.
"We're just full of contradiction today," he said sarcastically, drawing a switchblade. "Peace. That's funny." He leapt at Gerard as if to kill him, but Bob tackled him in midair. Hunter joined the fray on purpose. Adam was dragged into it.
Soon more people began to fight alongside them, most of them friends with one side or the other. Teeth were knocked loose and blood began to spill. It had become an all-out brawl. Davey saw what was happening and ran toward the fight, but his girlfriend, InÃ©s, stood in front of him.
"Don't get involved in this," she said with a pleading look in her eyes.
"But Jade's over there!" he said hurriedly. "And I think I see Hunter and Adam."
"I don't care," said InÃ©s, shaking her head. "You'll get hurt." Davey's eyes narrowed when he caught sight of a familiar face. His next few words were spoken darkly.
"It's him. Iero."
Frank approached the fight from the other direction, and saw Davey standing on the side of the street. He began to run towards his enemy, but Jamia held him back.
"Let me go!" he cried, surprised at how strong she was.
"Don't go looking for a fight, Frank."
"Enough!" shouted a new voice. The fighting slowed to a halt at the sound, and everyone turned to see its owner. He approached them with anger flashing in his eyes, motioning for Frank and Davey to join him. "This is the third time I've had to stop one of your fights," he said angrily, looking each of them in the eyes. "When are you gonna get the hint?"
"They started it!" shouted Hunter, motioning to Bob and Ray. Bob knocked him to the ground with a flurry of punches.
"I told you to stop!" he shouted again, separating them easily.
"Billie Joe, I swear I did not start this," said Bob. "It was all his fault."
"I don't care who started it. I'm finishing it," said Billie Joe, glaring at them before turning back to Davey and Frank, who were on the verge of killing each other. "Every time one of these fights starts, one of my friends gets hurt." He looked them in the eyes threateningly. "If this happens again, I will kill you. Both of you."
Davey's eyes widened. He had known Billie Joe to act irrationally before, but this seemed excessive, even for him. It seemed like he really meant it.
"Davey, come with me," Billie Joe said calmly. He glanced at Frank. "I'll deal with you later." He turned and walked back the way he came, with Davey close behind. InÃ©s sighed and followed him. The crowd slowly began to disperse, until only Frank, Jamia, and Gerard were left.
"Okay, Gerard, who really started this? You were here, weren't you?" Frank asked him. Gerard thought for a moment.
"Hunter and Adam were here, and I saw Hunter and Bob were fighting. I pulled my knife and broke it up, but then Jade came along ready to kill someone. He's the one who started the real fight. It just got worse and worse until Billie Joe showed up." Frank nodded affirmatively.
"Have you seen Mikey today?" Jamia asked, sounding worried. "I'm glad he wasn't at this." Gerard smiled. Everyone treated Mikey like a kid brother, whether they were related to him or not. It was like having one giant family.
"Well, I woke up early today, before sunrise. I got up and went for a walk. I saw him sitting under a tree a few blocks from our house, and I walked toward him, but he knew it was me and took off. I decided to leave him alone. We both get like that when we need to think; we stay away from everyone else." Frank sighed sadly at his friend's words.
"I know what you mean. Sometimes just doing nothing can make you feel better. But he's been off by himself more than usual lately, and I have no idea why. So far I haven't said anything, but I will soon if he doesn't lighten up. He'd better have a good reason for acting like this."
"You don't know why he's acting like this, have you?" Gerard asked with a sly smile. Frank shook his head.
"I don't know and he won't tell me."
"Have you tried asking him?"
"I have. So have Jamia, Ray, and Bob. He won't talk to anyone." Gerard looked away from Frank and saw Mikey in the distance, approaching them listlessly and staring at the ground. Gerard was surprised his little brother's glasses didn't just fall off.
"Well, he's coming. If you'll leave I can ask him," he said with a shrug. Frank flashed a grateful smile, and he and Jamia left.
"Hey, Mikey," Gerard said as his brother approached. Mikey didn't respond right away.
"Was Frank here?" he muttered, looking up. Gerard nodded.
"What's wrong?" he asked. Mikey sighed sadly, but Gerard only smirked. "You're in love, aren't you?"
"Out," said Mikey, looking away from his brother.
"Out of love?"
"Out of her favor," he nearly whispered. Gerard placed an arm around his shoulders.
"Love is not kind, Mikey."
"Obviously. Hey, is that blood?" he asked suddenly, seeing a pool of red gracing the sidewalk. He looked back at his brother's smirking face.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing. In fact, I'm sad."
"Because you're sad," Gerard said simply. Mikey sighed.
"That's how love works: it pulls everyone into it. I'm only making you miserable by being here. Maybe I should leave," he said hesitantly, trying to break away from his brother. But Gerard didn't let him.
"I'll go with you. If you leave without me, I'll be hurt," he said with a fake pout. Mikey did not smile as his brother had hoped.
"I'm not even really here, Gerard. Mikey's not here. He's somewhere else."
"Tell me who it is, Mikey. Who are you in love with?" Gerard asked more seriously.
"What, and only make myself feel worse?" Mikey asked forlornly.
"No. Just tell me."
"I'm in love with this girl-"
"Yeah, I kinda figured when I said you were in love," Gerard said with another smirk. Mikey glared at him, and it fell from his face.
"You're right. And she's beautiful," he added softly, allowing the faintest of smiles to come to his face. It quickly vanished. "But she's made it very clear that she won't go out with anybody. She won't let any guys talk to her most of the time. She stays away from people so they won't look at her and fall for her."
"You mean like you have?" Gerard murmured. Mikey gave a single nod. "So she really won't go out with anyone?" he asked incredulously.
"Yeah. It's a shame. She's really so beautiful..." Gerard gave him a half-hug.
"Just forget about her, Mikey. If she's not gonna notice you, she's not worth your time."
"I'd rather forget everything else except her."
"Why don't you look for other girls?" the older Way brother asked. "I'm sure that whoever it is, she's not the only girl around here."
"It's not like that, Gee. You have no idea what it's like. Find one girl who's more beautiful than her, and maybe I'll listen to you. But you can't. Because no one else is. You can't make me forget everything, Gee." Mikey finally broke away from his brother and went the other direction. Gerard stared after him.
"I will, Mikey. You'll see," he said to himself. "I'll help you forget about her...whoever she is."