Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > 19


by PartyPooperX 5 reviews

"Sounds a lot like you're a prisoner of your own subconscious fear."

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Frank Iero - Published: 2012-07-19 - Updated: 2012-07-19 - 3560 words

[A/N: ELLO ELLO ELLO! yay super happy fun mega long chapter! Have fun ploughing through this one...]


June 2001

Lindsey sighed and squinted up at the sun. Bright white and dazzling in the cloudless blue sky it beat down on the streets mercilessly, driving everyone on the block into their air-conditioned homes and sometimes a shimmering haze on the road was visible if you looked especially close at the horizon. No, the sun wasn’t the problem, nor the heat or the parched yellowing lawns around her. Although, she added, peering at the bushes of her front yard; it really wasn’t doing any favours for her poor geraniums.

She raised the watering can in her hand and let the water soak into the flowers and the soil, watching how the droplets rested like crystals on the petals. It probably wouldn’t have done them much good, not as much as the rain did anyhow, but she liked the action. Normal wives watered front yard geraniums. Normal.

The slam of their neighbour’s front door shattered the limpid silence, maybe shattering her calm a little too. She looked up and saw him, leaning against the fence separating their houses lighting a cigarette. She wondered how a boy that age could need a cigarette on a day like this. She wondered how anyone could need a cigarette on a day like-

She shook her head and looked back at him. Hollow dents appeared in the creamy skin of his cheeks as he sucked at the cigarette, then two slender fingers removing it from his mouth and a thin stream of smoke wafting into the air. He’d even had a lot of practice. She wondered if his mother knew her son was as good a smoker as he was.

The boy, Frank, looked up and locked his eyes on her. They were big; big and brown and full of adolescence. And light. Every angle he moved them a different spot of light would reflect into them. He smiled, a boyish crooked one, the cigarette hanging limply between his lips, and raised a hand as if in his own, signature half-wave.

She understood what Gerard saw in him.

“Hey, mizzez Way,” Frank said, in that teenage manner when they couldn’t decide whether it was ‘Mrs’ or ‘miss’ so they settled half way. It reminded her of how young he was. Hell, everything about him reminded her of how young he was. “Nice day, huh?”

“Yeah,” Lindsey breathed, settling the watering can down beside her. “About time we got some heat.”

It was awkward; some people you just don’t make conversation with very well despite how hard you try and this was one of those moments. He was a nice enough kid, she didn’t deny. Young, of course, in a ripped jeans and messy hair and piercings and tattoos he’d probably grow to regret way. But inside he was old, much older than her, and maybe she’d even noticed before he had. Lindsey wasn’t sure what to make of him.

“Is Gerard in?” he said, gesturing to the house behind her.

There it was. “No,” she replied. “He’s…” That was just the thing. She wasn’t really sure where Gerard was.

“Oh.” Frank scuffed his foot on the sidewalk. “Tell him I said hi, won’t you?”

“Of course,” she smiled. “How’s your mom?”

“She’s fine, yeah, she’s out,” he replied hurriedly. “She wants to invite you guys over sometime.”

“That’d be nice.”

She heard him exhale through his nose and wondered whether she really was intimidating him. Lindsey picked up the watering can and began to let the water spurt onto the flowers again. His eyes searched her.

“Well, I gotta get going,” Frank began.

“Sure, I don’t wanna keep you from you’re day.”

“But it was nice, y’know, to speak again...” He sounded so apologetic. Lindsey smiled to herself. “I’ll see you later.”

“Sure.” He pushed off the gate and dropped his cigarette to the floor, grinded it with his heel. Then he shot her a glance and began to saunter off down the street, disappearing within the haze. Her eyes settled on the cigarette lying discarded on the sidewalk and stayed there for a while.

Frank let a breath he wasn’t aware he had been holding, his chest aching from the pressure. He continued to stride away from the house, too scared to look behind him and see if her eyes were still on his back. He wondered if she disliked him as much as she gave off; he wondered if she thought of him as a threat.

A threat to what, exactly?

He turned a corner and then another, doubting he could keep the speed his legs were going up for the whole journey. He could feel his shirt sticking to his back; he hadn’t expected the heat to be this harsh. Frank coughed, once and then again because the first had done nothing for the son of a bitching tickle in his throat. He swallowed, retching because the taste was bitter, stale. He could still feel her eyes on him, boring into his back, even though he was 3 blocks away from their street. He couldn’t shake the feeling; he hadn’t been able to ever since they met - it was always there, even when his mind was elsewhere it was there, she was there. Watching.

His pace slowed as he neared the centre of town, comforted by the rush of people moving around him in one busy blur of colour. Easier to disappear into crowds.

He stormed past one shop and then another, until he was stopping in front of the one place he really, really, didn’t want to be right now; the one place he pretty much had to be right now, if he valued the roof his mother kept over his head. He deliberated the consequences of not going in, of simply walking away and going home – no, not home, definitely not home – or the park or something. But then he thought if he missed this meeting, this one pointless meeting it may have an effect on his apparent ‘future’ and then this whole thing would’ve been a total waste anyway, and he thought that maybe he’d never be able to face his problems and seek a job and get some education and he was just fated to dying alone just because he missed this one goddamn meeting.

Frank’s mind worked in confusing ways.

So he settled with the notion that he’d had enough rebellion that week anyway and too much would just turn him into a complete asshole, probably like the kids inside, and, ignoring his free falling stomach, placed his hand on the glass door of the clinic and pushed it open.

It was cool inside, the softly whirring fan above giving the room that air condition-y smell that he couldn’t get out of his clothes at home ever since the heat wave started. He swallowed again and almost gagged at the same stale, sand-papery roughness of his throat, wondering if now was the time he ought to give up smoking. The waiting room was pretty much empty, the only sound being the receptionist click-clacking away on her keyboard and looking extremely busy as receptionists do.

Warily, Frank edged his way over to the desk, the receptionist obviously not noticing his presence or otherwise thinking that if she ignored him for long enough then he might actually disappear (Frank got that a lot).

“Hello,” he said awkwardly, his voice strangled from lack of use. He cleared his throat.

The receptionist exhaled and her fingers froze in mid-air. “May I help you?” she asked boredly, as if she wasn’t getting paid to humour junkie’s and fake type on her stupid keyboard all day.

“Yeah, uh, there’s a meeting for Adolescents’ Helpline on today, right?”

The receptionist shut her eyes exasperatedly. He thought he could see her silently counting to 10 under her breath, like his mom did. “Across the hall in the Career’s Room.”

“Thanks.” He didn’t quite understand what it was about him that bothered receptionists so much.

The Career’s Room was easy to find, as it was indeed across the hall with a laminated sign saying ‘Career’s Room’ on the door. He smiled because it was printed in Comic Sans to appeal to an adolescent audience. Obviously. Taking a deep breath he turned the doorknob and shuffled inside.

The kids in the room kept to themselves and didn’t acknowledge his entrance as far as he knew. He’d seen this crowd before, back in the high school equivalents of these meetings when his teachers were concerned about his lack of effort and enthusiasm for learning so they checked him into afterschool life lectures about drugs and defining fear from love and premarital sex.

Of course it was a small group; no self-respecting flunky would willingly go to an Adolescents’ Helpline meeting when they had better things to do. Frank rarely had ‘better things to do’ these days because he simply didn’t do anything, and he never really considered himself self-respecting so he came along for the ride anyway. He let his gaze fall on his peers, each one pretty much fitting the stereotypical bill he’d encountered so many times before.

The comfort eater sitting complacently in a chair picking something out of his chubby elbow dents and grubby Anthrax t-shirt, the Asian Hello Kitty fanatic, complete with badges and lunch box, who’d sit primly on the edge of a desk staring into space through oversized Hipster glasses. Then the scrappy one with a twitch and bald patch in his eyebrow that never seemed to grow back, and lastly the girl in the beanie sitting on the windowsill in an ‘I’m so too good for this’ way, James Dean printed on her shirt and all. Her dyed strawberry blonde hair was so strawberry it shone pink in some lights.

Frank resisted the urge to sigh at how cliché this whole thing was.

“So these are my lost souls.” He raised his eyes and rested them on the speaker, an infuriatingly over enthusiastic man with a lean figure and honey coloured combed-back hair, his unnaturally glowing tan contradicted drastically by the thick black moustache on his upper lip. Frank cringed; this was the type of guy his mom and her wittering friends would call a ‘dish’.

The man sashayed his way across the room, radiating energy from his smile and the exaggerated dimples carved into his cheeks. He checked out the group, that maddening expression never once leaving his face and Frank wondered if it was a side effect of all the Botox.

“Hot stuff!” he exclaimed.

Hot stuff? Frank exchanged looks with Beanie Girl. The sides of her mouth twitched.

When the man was finished staring them up and down he sat in one of the chairs in the middle of the circle. The group watched him with limited expressions. Then his mouth twisted into a million dollar smile and he knitted his hands together.

“So,” he started. “How are we all today?”

A chorus of monotonous “good” and “okay” and “I didn’t kill myself today” came from the group. The advisor sighed melodramatically and shook his head, looking for the world like they were in some cheap insurance commercial. Frank looked around the room for hidden cameras.

“Is that it?” the advisor said. “Look out that window!”

The group turned their heads towards the window.

“Look at that,” the advisor continued. “A beautiful day. A glorious day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, doesn’t that just make you feel glad to be alive?”

Frank raised his eyebrow.

“My name is Tobias,” the advisor said. “And I’m on a mission. And that mission is to show you that there is a way out. A light at the end of the tunnel. How will I do that, you ask? Well, I’m not going to do it. I don’t need saving.” Tobias paused for, what Frank presumed, dramatic effect, and then exhaled, “That’s down to you.

“Right then.” Tobias stood up and placed his hands on his hips, that commercial smile again. “Who’ll start us off?”

The group remained silent. The scrappy kid’s shoulders twitched.

“Come on now, people!” Tobias cried. “Don’t be shy! Who’s ready to come out?!”

Comfort Eater shifted in his seat, desperately trying to stay off the radar. Tobias’ gaze fixed on him like a hawk and he grinned wickedly. “How about you, my chunky amigo?”

Comfort Eater shook his head nervously, his eyes widening.

“I promise you’ll feel much better afterwards. Come on, stand up; tell us what’s on your mind.” Tobias’ teeth gleamed like a shark’s.

Comfort Eater hesitated for a second before slowly standing up, his eyes fixed on the floor. “My name is Sebastian.”

“Okay, Sebastian, what’s up?”

Sebastian shifted his weight from one foot to another. “Well…I like to eat…and stuff. ‘Cus I was being…y’know…bullied…by the kids at s-school.”

“And what kind of things did they do, Sebastian?”

“…They said mean things.”

“What kind of things?”

“…Ugly. F-fat.”

“Did they say “nice pants, why do you wear them up to your moobs”?”

“…No. No I don’t think so.”

Tobias nodded understandingly. “Okay, Sebastian, you can sit down now.”

Sebastian sat down. His eyes never left the floor.

“Who’s next?”

Twitchy jumped up, giving everyone a miniature shock. “Why can’t I get a job?” he demanded, a determined expression on his rat-like features.

Frank groaned and sank lower in his seat.

“Well, son, I don’t know. Why can’t you get a job?” Tobias retorted.

Twitchy chewed on his lip in deliberation. Then his skinny shoulders shrugged. “I dunno.”

Tobias sighed and rubbed his face. “Of course you can get a job,” he groaned in an ‘it’s so obvious’ kind of way. “Anyone can get a job.”

“No, a lot of people are just lucky,” Twitchy argued.

“A man makes his own luck, son,” Tobias replied. “And every man has support from the good father up above.” He raised his hand and flashed a winning smile at the ceiling. “Good job, sir!”

“Some people are lucky,” Frank said suddenly.

Tobias dropped his hand and looked at him. “Excuse me?”

“Some people are born with a one way ticket to a good life,” Frank continued. “They don’t even have to try to get into the football team or the school board or a good college. And what about us? What about the people who actually have mouths to feed, that need the money and work, what about them? I mean sure, maybe he is the runt of the family, and maybe he doesn’t have any qualifications and he really needs to sort out that twitch, dude -”


“– But does that make him any less deserving than the people who get what he can only dream of having? Of course not. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t support from the guy upstairs. That’s not God, man.”

Tobias’ eyes hardened and he sat down primly in his seat. “Well why don’t you stand up and tell us what it is, then. What great misadventure have you been through to make you stop believing?”

Frank raised and lowered one shoulder and stood up. Everyone’s eyes were fixed on him; even Sebastian had managed to raise his countless chins in his direction.

“Okay…” Frank scratched the back of his neck a little awkwardly. “I’m Frank. And I like to live inside my head because of my inability to face real life.”

Tobias smirked, unimpressed, and raised a disturbingly neat eyebrow. “And why is that?”

Frank thought for a moment. “Well, a lot of it is trivialities. I mean, so much of all this just…doesn’t matter. In the grand scheme of things all of it’s so pointless; all these things people get so worked up about. So I disconnect myself from that.”

“Sounds a lot like you’re a prisoner of your own subconscious fear.”

He frowned. “No…no, that’s not it at all.”

“Then answer me this, Frank,” Tobias sneered, spitting his name like it was something he could use against him. “Truthfully. What has ‘living inside your head’ done for you so far?”

He began to count on his fingers. “Let’s see. My mom’s disappointed in me, like, she didn’t see it coming that another Iero would be a total failure or something. Then there’s the drugs, and the booze, and the sleeping around. I can’t even get a job at motherfucking Juniper’s for goddsake, and that’s a fucking lowlife vegan restaurant that’s in debt raised by this Azerbaijani couple. I got rejected from a university, my dad won’t write and I’ve developed a gay crush for my fucking married 30 year-old neighbour, so now all I have to do is attend these goddam meetings with some fucking Jim Cunningham wannabe telling me to turn to God, who, as you know, I’ve given up on the existence of! HOW’S THAT FOR PRISONER OF FEAR, HUH?”


It was only a fraction cooler outside than it had been earlier, and as Frank sat with his back against the wall of the clinic he couldn’t ignore his relentless craving for a cigarette. He wanted to get up and walk rather than just sit there in the sweltering heat but if he was home early his mom would’ve suspected something. She could always suspect something.

The door swung open and Frank didn’t acknowledge the person exiting the building until she was sitting next to him, her scuffed converse resting against his.

“That was quite a show,” said Beanie Girl. She had in fact taken off her hat, letting her roughly chopped locks stick out and fall onto her shoulders. It looked ginger in the sun. “Pretty inspiring until they kicked you out.”

Frank smirked and looked out across the empty high street. “Fucking jackass.”

“Yeah, well what you gonna do.” She extended her hand. “I’m Jamia.”

“What were you in for, Jamia?”

Jamia offered him a crooked smile. “I burn stuff.” She took out a lighter and began to flick it as if to illustrate her point. “You want a smoke?”

Frank nodded and took the cigarette in his fingers. He let her light the end and brought it to his lips, ignoring the ‘Smoke Free Zone’ sign ironically just above his head.

“So all that stuff you said was true?” she said.

“Every word.” He released a plume of smoke.

“Even that bit about your neighbour?”

He smiled secretly. She took it as a yes and chuckled. “That’s rough, man.”

Frank shrugged. “Not so bad. His wife his badass though.”

“No kidding.” She laughed and he laughed with her. Frank studied her face, the creases at the side of her mouth, her slightly prominent chin and nose. A nice face. Not particularly pretty, but nice.

He opened his mouth to speak when his phone began to buzz from his pocket. Frowning, he uttered a quick apology and flipped it open. His heart froze at the caller’s name.


“Frankie! Long time no speak, man. Where ya been?”

“Why are you calling me, Blue?”

“Well, word is you’re a little short on work. Thought I could lend you a hand, if you know what I mean.”

“You know I don’t do that shit anymore, you got some nerve calling me up now -”

“Please, Frankie, don’t have a tantrum. I’m short on guys for this one job and I thought, ‘who does it quick, quiet and no questions asked?’ You were always the best, man.”

“No way. Uh-uh. I’m straight now, I’m good, I don’t do this anymore. I told you, I’m out.”

“Come on, Frankie, one teeny tiny delivery and I’ll leave you alone. You’ll be back before your tea time and it’ll do you some favours as well.”

“I told you, Blue. No means no.”

A heavy sigh crackled the line. “Suit yourself. But the offer still stands. Anything for you, Frankie-boy.”

The line clicked as he hung up, leaving just the crackle of static in Frank’s ear. Jamia looked at him with raised eyebrows. “Everything okay?”

He swallowed, shakily putting his phone away. He shut his eyes and exhaled deeply, before slowly swaying to his feet. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. I gotta get home.”

“Sure. Guess I’ll see you around?”

He began to trudge away, briefly glancing at her over his shoulder. “Yeah, see you.”


[A/N: ooh suspisicion. Real sorry guys, but next chapter won't be up till after a fortnight or so, as I will be in spain! I'm so sorry! Promise to start writing as soon as I get home! Sooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Love y'all]
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