Can't Find My Way Home
Hunter sighed as she wiped her brow with the back of her glove. She looked around at the wasteland surrounding her, the filth she had to work in. “Owens! Go wash your hands and change your gloves! You know better! That’s unsanitary!” Her manager bellowed as he waddled down to where she was. “Sorry Steven.” She muttered nervously, stepping away from the food preparation counter and running to the back to find the sink. Her body ached and her feet were sore from standing for too long. Her uniform was all black but grease stains were prominent on them. Her throat felt clogged as she choked back tears, she was always close to crying at her job. The managers treated everyone poorly, especially her, the customers were rude and the constant fast pace messed with her anxiety. She would’ve loved to quit, but she needed her own source of income.
After her shift ended, she walked outside to head home dreading the thought of moving but enlightened by the fact that she could just go to bed. She was about to cross the street when a small dusty car pulled up in front of her, “Going my way Miss?” the boy inside asked. Hunter smiled, “I’ll go any way if you just get me out of these shoes.”
“Hop in then.” The boy offered lightly. Hunter heard the doors unlock and got in quickly. She let out a loud sigh of relief and sat back. “Thank God.” She breathed, eyes closed and finally relaxing. “I’m no God, but I like to think I’m a really close third of course.” He joked, Hunter let out a tired laugh as he began to drive.
“How’d you even get out so early? I thought you worked tonight?” She asked him, taking off her shoes and putting them into her bag. “I told my boss I was about to give birth and he let me go.” He answered.
“No, seriously?” Hunter giggled, hitting him lightly across the chest. “I’m not joking, he’s quite daft.” he chuckled, holding his chest with one hand and steering with the other. Hunter pulled out her phone and began texting her grandparents that she’d found a ride home, her friend silent next to her.
“He’s quite daft.” She said suddenly, mocking his fake British accent accent he needed for his upcoming play, “You’re quite dapper Gerard Way.” Gerard sneered over at her, voice going back to normal “Ha-ha.” He said shortly, making her laugh harder.
He pulled up into the drive thru of a fast food restaurant. “You want anything?” he asked as they got closer. “No, I don’t get paid until Friday.” She answered, though her stomach hated her at the moment for not eating. “That’s not what I asked, I asked if you wanted anything.” Gerard reiterated, Hunter got back onto her phone. “No, don’t waste your money on me.” She said, typing away. Gerard covered her screen with his hand, she grunted angrily.
“Do you want anything?”
“Are you sure?”
He bought her something anyway. “Gerard! I said no! You barely have enough money to pay for gas, you really didn’t need to.” She whined as he handed her the meal he ordered for her. “Don’t worry about what I do with my money. You can thank me with a smile.” He told her, she looked at him and gave a fake grin. “I said smile, genuine, not the kind you give family members when you’re trying to walk away. Smile!” he ordered, she frowned “I don’t like your tone.”
He used one hand to tickle her until she finally broke, “I hate you!” Hunter pretended to pout. “I love you too darling.” Gerard responded, very pleased with himself.
He pulled up in front of her house, she leaned over and gave him a tight hug, “Thank you so much, I really don’t know what I’d do without you.” She said.
“You’d probably die, or I would. Either why we’d die without each other.” He said. She let go and smiled, “I’m pretty sure we’re gonna die anyway, especially together.” She got out of the car and closed the door, Gee had already rolled the window down, “A risk I’m willing to take honestly.” He said. Hunter clutched her meal and stood back, “Goodnight!” He repeated the phrase and drove off.
Hunter made her way to the front door, shouts and screams echoed inside. Her grandparents were definitely arguing again. She instead climbed into the old tree-house Liam and her built when they were younger. It was still in good shape, impressive seeing as 12 year olds made it. She took out her fries and began eating slowly, while taking out her iPod and playing the music loud to drown out the angry voices. Arguments always made her stomach churn and feel ill, she tried to stay away from them as long as possible.
As Green Day eased her into peace, she reminisced on some of the only things that went right that day. Basically, it was terrible until Gerard came to get her. Her was her best and only friend in the entire world, and had been for a long time. She could remember the exact day they had met, and how much she hated him.
There he was, freaky new kid with the weird accent back in the seventh grade. She ate her lunch quickly and was about to run to the library as she always did. Seeing as she had no friends, she took refuge in there so no one could see her being embarrassingly alone. She was getting up when the Dean of the school brought up a new boy to her table. “Hunter, this is Gerard Way, he’s new to our school and I know you could make him feel welcomed.” He sat down without her consent, food tray in shaking hands. Hunter sat there staring at him, wanting nothing more than to leave. He had long greeasy black hair and wrinkled clothes, Hunter scrunched up her nose. “You have a boy’s name you know that?” he commented, sandwich half in hand, staring at her. “You small like cheese.” She snapped back, glaring now. “I do not! Not my fault your parents thought you were a boy,” he said back defensively. Hunter stood up, “Go find some friends you freak!” She was about to leave when something spontaneous happened. Gerard, she found out later, was trying to stop her and accidentally pushed his tray. His entire meal fell and skidded across the floor, Hunter tripped in it and hit the ground hard in the mix of all the food.
The cafeteria erupted with laughter, Hunter stood up, face burning. Gee was looking at her, sorrow in his eyes and mouth agape. “I hate you!” she screamed to him, running off and into the bathroom. She’d never felt so humiliated in her entire life, she cried in a stall for 20 minutes until a voice came in. “Hunter? Hunter I’m so sorry.” It was Gerard. “Go away! Leave me alone!” she screamed through the tears. She heard him sit down outside the stall. “I’m very sorry, I didn’t mean for that to happen… You don’t actually have a boy’s name you know. I was only joking. I’m not very good at starting a conversation. I bought you some gummy worms from the vending machine. They’re sour but I was going to joke, ‘Sour worms to get you out of a sour mood.’ But that sounded awful.” He went on. Hunter couldn’t help but laugh, he was an idiot but it was kind of cool. They had a good conversation for a long time, and she finally got out of the stall. She took the gummy worms from him as they walked out.
“The new kid was in the girls’ bathroom! What forgot you were a boy with all your raggedy hair?” A boy shouted out. Gerard turned bright red, smile sliding off his face as more people started laughing. Hunter looked at him, then grabbed his hand. He looked back, a shocked expression on his face. “If they’re not laughing, they’re ignoring you. You’ll never like either, but you’ll get used to it.” She told him. He gripped her hand all the way to their next class.
Little did Hunter know, that hand would be her only source of comfort for the next 4 years.