Maybe giving Frank my car wasn't such a bad idea, but on second thought...
As the principal took me away, I looked at Frank, hopefully I wouldn't come out too conformed.
"2 weeks!?" I asked in disbelief. She nodded, I swear only in a Catholic school would you get this much detention for doing something so small it's insanely insignificant. I mean it's not like Jesus ever swore, my grandma is a good Catholic and even she drops the f-bomb every once in awhile. "And a week doing school service. That means staying after school until 5 and helping teachers, aids...well you get the picture right?" I nodded. Frank could've warned me ahead of time that she was in our hallway. "Now I understand both of your parents work but they didn't give a work number and it says your home number has been changed so how can I reach them?" "Our new number." I said shyly, the only reason we had to keep changing the number is to throw off a bunch of people who are mad at my dad. It's also why we moved and why they now take their anger out on me. I have to keep it inside though, I can't give the school our number because I know it'd get leaked or something. "Well what is it?" She asked. "I don't have it memorized yet", I was such a good liar, "we just changed it again last week." She rolled her eyes, they stopped at the door. "Oh, Mr. Way I'll speak with you in a minute." I froze, fuck not him. "Ok, Veronica you can go." I nodded, grabbed my bag and headed to the door. "Hey." Gerard smiled. Is it really stupid to be mad at your teacher? Call me stupid then, I just looked at him and kept walking.
I kicked the dirt that I had just remounted into a hill. I had no clue how I would get home. Why did I have to give Frank my car? It's probably totaled now in some ditch...great. I kicked the dirt again and repeated the remounting process. I started talking to myself, "2 weeks of detention and a week of school service for using the Lord's name in vain. That's a serious offense Veronica, do you have anything to say for yourself? Blah, blah, blah what a fucking bitch." I gave up on the dirt and kicked it extremely hard, stomping on it until the already dead object was dead-er.
"You ok?" I turned around, "Fine." I said. "Are you mad at me or something?" Was he following me? No, he's a teacher he can talk to the principal and stuff what am I thinking? "No, why would I have any reason to be mad at my teacher." I was avoiding eye contact. "Maybe because I snapped at you earlier, today wasn't the best day." "Oh." I said, I started rocking back and forth. "Are you waiting for a ride or something?" "Why aren't you at practice?" I changed the subject. "I can be late, they have to tighten up their playing anyway." I rolled my eyes, maybe Frank did but there's no way Ray had too. "I gave Frank my car keys because he had to go to practice. Now I don't have a way to get home." "I'll take you." He offered, if my heart controlled my actions I would've already been in the car. "Isn't that like against teacher law or something?" "I don't know." He said simply enough. I shrugged and followed him to his car, "I know where Frank lives, aren't you close by that?" I nodded, "4 houses down." Gerard nodded.
The car ride should've never ended. Maybe he was just being nice because he feels bad for snapping at me, or maybe this was a long awaited event. "Come on are you kidding? Maiden is so much better." "Please Gerard." I said, I was stubborn when it came to music. If I didn't like it, or I thought it was just ok, it was going to take me a long time to either change or continue to be set in my ways. "Whatever, but you know Maiden is better than Sabbath." "Early Maiden, maybe, but they relied too much on that huge dead reaper thing." "Eddie." "It has a name?" "Shut up. Ok which one's yours?" I pointed to the one on the corner, he pulled into the driveway. Shit, why were they home? "So I'll see you Monday." He said, I had completely forgotten that it was Friday. "Thanks." I said, I didn't immediately get out of the car I waited about 30 seconds. "Uh..." I finally opened the car door, "Did you really mean it when you asked if I wanted to talk about what I was upset about?" I pulled the door closed again and nodded. "Wanna go for another ride?" I nodded, excitedly I nodded.
I didn't know there was a park in this area of Jersey that didn't look like a mob had just hit it. It was by a pond, a lot of trees, very hilly, it was nice. We sat on a bench, in a million years I never thought this would happen. "We've been dating since I got out of art school. We had been living together for 2 years and when the job at your school came, I immediately took it so I could spend more time with her. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, that's when things started getting bad. We were both stressing over planning curriculum, never spending time together, then the band...she didn't like that at all." I felt bad for Gerard, it seemed like he was putting in all of his feelings and she put in nothing. "You know the funniest thing?" "What?" I asked. "She thought I was having an affair with you. Isn't that hilarious, my student, a junior in high school, just because I think you're a talented artist." Yes, I didn't bother to hide my jaw dropping to the floor. "What?" I asked, I shook my head. "Me?" Gerard nodded, "That day at practice, she said I made her sit next to you so I could compare who I wanted." I laughed, "She's off the fucking wall." I said, not meaning for that come out as cruelly as it did. "I'd never have an affair with you...I mean", my head fell between my shoulders. "I'm your teacher and we're what...7 years in age difference?" "Yeah, well do you feel better now that you talked about it?" He nodded, "Thanks for listening but don't think this will make me change your grade or anything." He joked; Gerard wasn't too good with jokes. "Ok Gerard."
I walked into the house, I watched him drive away through the window. A mix of happiness and complete loss of hope flowed through my body. "He's gonna be real late for practice." I said aloud to myself. "Who?" I heard two voices in unison, fuck. "Frank, he's gonna be really late." "Frank doesn't have a car." My mom said, she always did that. She knew everything; no one was above her, no one. "It's new." I said heading for the stairs, trying to escape. "If you're lying, you know we'll find out. Who was that?" If I said, my art teacher they'd flip out, if I said Gerard they'd ask who he was. If I said the singer in Frank's band, I'd get smacked upside the head for letting a "rocker" take me home. It was a lose/lose situation and I'd end up with some type of abuse either way. "A friend from school drove me home, I had to stay after because-." "The principal called us Veronica, please join us in the kitchen at the table." I took a deep breath, please let the phone ring, let a bullet fly through the wall and pierce one of us...something happen. Doorbell, thank Jesus; no, bad Jesus, the wrong person was at the doorbell. "Who are you?" My father asked. "Oh I'm Gerard, Veronica's art teacher. She forgot this in the car." I should've ran, I should've ran right then and locked the door but I was too in shock. "Oh", my dad said malignly. "Thank you." Gerard nodded and walked away. "VERONICA!" My dad shouted. "YOU'RE TEACHER DROVE YOU HOME!? A MALE TEACHER BRINGING BACK YOUR SWEATER!?" Now I ran, I ran like hell.