“Believe it.” I said quietly. He stopped pacing and looked at me, running his fingers through his hair.
“I’ll call them.. and tell them to stop.” He said, as if a sudden lightbulb had gone off in his head. I shook mine.
“You can’t. They’d know I told you and also I’d probably be in more trouble when I do go home.” He went silent and the only sound you could hear around us was the tapping of his footsteps and the yelling of students off in the distance.
“How long have they been calling you for?”, he asked, finally sitting down next to me. I sighed and played with a loose string on my jeans.
“Ever since I got here.”, I answered even more quietly than before. I hear him breathe angrily as he tried to bring it all together in his head.
“Steph.. your parents. They’re fucked. You know that right?”, he asked. I looked at him and raised my eyebrows.
“No shit sherlock.”
“But like.. how can they expect you to go home! You’re at fucking college the asses!”. I just nodded in agreement.
“And then on top of that the threats and the name calling.. does Mikey know?”, he asked. I blinked and shook my head.
“He doesn’t need to know. You wouldn’t even know at the moment if it wasn’t for you living next door to me and being able to hear it from the inside of your fucking room.” I said. He nodded slightly in understanding and put his face in his hands.
“I knew it was them. Just by the look on your face. It was the same look you got every time you came over to my house after a fight with them.” He mumbled. I rubbed his back softly.
“And what would that look be?” I asked. He sighed and brought his head up, looking toward the other people sitting down to lunch.
“I can’t describe it. But it made me feel awful every time I saw it. Like I couldn’t do enough.” My face dropped slightly and I hugged him from the side.
“You always did enough just by being there Frank.” He turned and hugged me back, playing with the hair resting on my back.
“You know.. I think you should tell Mikey.” He said suddenly. I stiffened and pulled away.
“Frank, you know he doesn’t need to know. Like he needs other things to worry about on top of mine.” I said, ephasising my words with my hands. He smirked and shook his head.
“He’ll end up knowing anyway. Just remember that.” He said. I was about to answer, but was interrupted by a large person blocking the sunlight around me.
“Can I help you?”, I asked. The boy glared at Frank.
“Iero.” Frank smiled and wagged his finger in the boys face.
“Naughty naughty Tommy. Never give one word answers to nice women.” He said. Then blew me a kiss and started running.
“Love you Stephie!”, he yelled as the large person who I gathered’s name was Tom chased after him. I laughed as I watched him being chased around the field. He was such an idiot, but I loved him.
I walked into the cabin, immediatley smelling the aroma of cooking chicken and garlic potatoes. I breathed in the smells as I pulled my key out of the lock and shut the door behind me.
“Mikey, I’m home!”, I shouted, sitting down my bag in the hallway and walking toward the kitchen. I entered the doorway and saw the figure knealing by the stove and carefully closing the oven door.
“You can cook?”, I asked. He jumped slightly but stood up and blushed, nodding.
“Yeah kind of.” I raised an eyebrow.
“And you’re not burning anything?”, I asked. He shook his head, but quickly turned to check on the potatoes before shaking his head again.
“Nope.” He said proudly. I laughed and walked into the kitchen, sitting down cross legged on the bench.
“How was school?”, I asked, “I didn’t see you around much today.”
“School was fine, and I was going to make that same statement about you.” I kept silent in confusion and he kept talking, sitting down in the chair next to the counter.
“Where did you go during History?” he asked, folding his arms. I shrugged.
“Nowhere special. Bathrooms.”
“Why do you ask?”
“Why, shouldn’t I be worried about you or something?”
“No, it’s not that. I just went to the bathrooms and as I said, nothing special”. He sighed and got up, walking toward the oven and fixing the temperature slightly.
“I want to help you Stephanie, that’s all.” he said quietly. Again I didn’t say anything. He didn’t know.. did he? He walked toward me again slowly and rested his hands on either side of me, onto the counter.
“If I was to say I knew about your parents..” He said, moving closer to me. I stiffened and looked at him in confusion. How did he know?
“If I was to say I knew about the phone calls..”, again he moved closer, his body now touching the edge of the counter and I opened my mouth in protest but he brought his finger up to my lips.
“If I was to say I knew about what you do to yourself, when you think no one is watching.” He moved toward me even further now, I could feel his breathing against my neck as he stared deep into my eyes, trying to find out what I was thinking. I didn’t utter one word though, as he removed his finger from my lips and put his hand to the side of my face.
“Would you let me help you?”, he asked. And with that his lips crashed against my own, the room deadly silent as he kissed me with an amount of meaning that I don’t think I’ve ever thought imaginable in the real world. He pulled away suddenly though to look into my face for an answer. It was my turn now to stare into his eyes.
“Whatever happened to innocent little Mikey?”, I asked. He smiled at this question and went red around the ears. Fixing his glasses slightly he pressed his forehead against my own.
“He’s still here, just in love with an innocent little girl now.” I kissed him softly and scrunched up my nose.
“Cooties.” At this comment he laughed, turning around to check the chicken in the oven.
“You’re hilarious Stephanie, and you’d be happy to know that I was officially announced cootie-free when I paid some dude in year 4 $2.30.” I shook my head and laughed, bringing my hands up to my face.
“What are we going to do with you Mikey.” I heard him pull the small chicken out of the oven and put away his oven gloves. Then I moved my head up again to watch him as he pulled some plates out of the cupboard and set them on the table, along with a bowl of baked potatoes and the chicken.
“I’m impressed.” I said. He smiled.
“I’m proud.” he answered, sitting down at one side of the table. Laughing, I walked over and sat down on the other side, and picked up my fork.
“Just for the record Mikey... you can’t help me. I don’t think anyone can help me from myself.” I glanced up to see him fixing up his dinner and then he fixed his gaze on me.
“I think I can. If you let me.”.