He Never Told Me What He Did For A Living
I was still standing in the middle of the crowd when Angel found me again.
“Josie? Is something wrong?” she asked with a concerned look on her face.
I brushed a stray piece of hair from my forehead. “Yes! Someone in a Batman costume just kissed me and now I don’t know who it was or where he went!” I said in frustration.
“Soo…someone just kissed you and ran away?” Angel asked.
“Yes! And all I know was whoever did it is dressed as Batman,” I groaned.
“Alright everyone, grab your special someone, ‘cause this is a slow one,” Gerard said into the microphone as the band began to play their instruments. The melody was unfamiliar, and I assumed it was from their new album that had been released the week before.
[i]Well, when you go
Don't ever think I'll make you try to stay
And maybe when you get back
I'll be off to find another way
And after all this time that you still owe
You're still the good-for-nothing I don't know
So take your gloves and get out
Better get out
While you can
When you go
Would you even turn to say
"I don't love you
Like I did
Gerard stepped down from the platform, leaving Frank and Ray to the vocals, and Angel backed away as he approached me.
“May I have this dance?” he asked, bowing his head slightly.
Smiling softly, I nodded and stepped closer to him. Gerard hesitated, then placed his hands lightly on my waist. I rested my hands on his shoulders as he began to sway with the music. I did my best to move with him, blushing as I accidentally stomped his foot.
I winced in embarrassment. “Sorry!”
Gerard only chuckled, inadvertently pulling me into him so that my face was pressed against his chest. “No problem,” he said.
I looked up at him, which proved to be a mistake. I found myself starting to get lost in his hazel eyes before his voice pulled me back to earth. “So, I wanted to apologize for the way I spoke to you earlier…the things I said.”
I took a deep breath. “No, it’s okay. If anyone owes an apology, it’s me. I was a bitch to you earlier.”
Gerard looked thoughtful for a moment. “I think you’re reacting in the only way you know how. You’re confused…and I’m not helping much in that matter,” he said with a frown. “I never meant for things to be the way they are between us, Josie.”
I felt my stomach drop- he still hadn’t admitted his own feelings. I felt he owed me that much, since my own feelings, whatever they may be, were so obvious. I struggled to think of a way to bring it up, but nothing seemed right. Maybe there was no right way to bring up such a discussion with a grown man.
“I gotta get back up there and close the song,” Gerard said apologetically, glancing over at the makeshift stage.
“Sure, yeah,” I said with a slight nod.
“I’ll see you later,” he said before sidestepping through the other dancing couples on the floor.
Alone, I stood among the crowd and watched as he once again took the microphone in hand and finished the song.
[i]When you go
Would you have the guts to say
"I don't love you
Like I loved you
The couples that had been dancing stopped and broke out into a thunderous round of applause; it seemed Angel’s party was going to go down in Belleville High history.
Angel bumped my hip with her own, waggling her eyebrows at me. “So?” she asked.
I sighed. “It seems we’re cool again, but he didn’t even give me a clue as to how he feels about everything!” I said in frustration.
Angel stared at me. “Josie, he hasn’t broken your friendship off yet, has he?”
“Well, then that means he at least cares enough about you that he doesn’t want to lose you, duh!”
I shook my head at her. “I can’t say that for sure. He has said that he cares about me,” I said.
“My vote is that he’s into you, too,” Angel said with a wink.
“I guess we’ll see,” I told her.
“C’mon, let’s dance!” she said, grabbing my hand and shoving through the crowd to stand at the front.
Ray and Frank fired up their guitars and began a loud, fast-paced tune, and Gerard took hold of the microphone, caressing it as if it were a lover.
[i]“And if your heart stops beating, I’ll be here wondering, did you get what you deserve?”[/i]
Angel and I laughed as we bounced along with the rest of the crowd, occasionally bumping into the others. Soon, I’d learned the lyrics to the chorus and was singing along with Angel, although a bit off-key. No one seemed to mind; it seemed everyone was having a blast.
[i]”Have you heard the news that you’re dead? No one ever had much nice to say, I think they never liked you anyway. Oh take me, from the hospital bed, wouldn’t it be grand to take the pistol in your hand? Wouldn’t it be great if were dead?”[/i]
Gerard gave Angel and I an adorable crooked grin before returning to the song. As we shook our heads to the music, he began singing:
[i]LA LA LA LA LA!
LA LA LA LA LA LA!
LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!
Well come on,
LA LA LA LA LA!
LA LA LA LA LA LA!
LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!
And then the ‘lala’ was kept up in the background by Frank and Ray as Gerard sang what I assumed was the last of the song. The tempo of their guitars increased and Gerard shouted out the last line before the music stopped completely: “If life ain’t just a joke, then why am I dead? DEAD!”
Again, the crowd burst into applause, and Gerard took a bow, and blew kisses to the crowd. The girls in the crowd went wild, although I couldn’t understand why, as the band had given the impression that they were a cover band and not actually My Chemical Romance, and most of the members had opted to wear a costume that included a mask covering at least half of their face. For all these girls knew, they were ugly or old men at the very least.
I saw Angel glance at her cell phone, probably checking the time. I had no clue what time it was, nor did I really care…the party had started off badly for me, but as the night went on, it had become fun for everyone. She waved at Gerard, probably letting him know it was time to end the party, and walked up on stage and took the microphone in hand.
“Alright guys, I really hate to say this, but it’s midnight, and you all know what that means.” Her statement was met with a chorus of groans. “Firstly, I want to thank all of you for coming, whether you were invited or not- I think it’s safe to say this party was a success! Secondly, how about a round of applause for The Black Parade? You guys were amazing, and I owe a big thanks to my best friend, Josie Scott, for making it happen!”
I backed away as she reached for my hand to pull me up on stage, but I wasn’t quick enough to escape Gerard’s reach- he grabbed hold of my wrist before I realized he was reaching for me. He gave a firm yank and then I was on stage, between my two best friends, Angel with an arm around my shoulders and Gerard’s around my waist. Upon noticing Gerard’s arm around my waist, his hand resting lightly on my hip, she gave me a wink and a wicked grin, as if to say, told you so. I rolled my eyes at her in response and considered telling her to shut up but I noticed Gerard was watching the two of us. So we cooled our antics as the band began packing up their instruments and the guests began to leave. A few of them approached us to tell us how much fun they had, and that they hoped Angel would plan the Senior Christmas Dance in December. She was flattered, to say the least, and extremely excited about it, already muttering something about mistletoe and eggnog.
“So are you coming to watch scary movies with us?” a voice said behind me, close enough to my ear that I could feel the fan of warm breath, and I jumped.
Gerard moved around in front of me before I could backhand him for sneaking up on me, and he was laughing. His hazel-green eyes sparkled with laughter, and I found myself smiling back at the crooked, boyish grin on his face. “I didn’t know that was still on,” I said.
He nodded. “We’re all meeting up in my old room as soon as we get done here. What better place to watch movies than in a spooky old basement?” he said with a laugh, and I knew he was excited about watching the horror movies. I however, was not.
“I don’t know…I mean, I don’t have school tomorrow but-“
Gerard’s raised eyebrow made me forget what I was saying. “Josie…are you scared to watch horror movies?” he asked, staring at me in a way that made me blush.
“No way, I-“
“Josie…” he said, drawing the sound of my name out.
“Tell the truth…it’s okay to be chicken-shit,” Gerard said.
Somewhere to my left, Frank made a chicken sound, and I turned to glare at him. It didn’t faze him; he just went back to making the chicken noises and pretending to flap his ‘wings’.
“I’m not chicken,” I said, and I knew my face was still pinched in a glare.
“Prove it. Come watch movies with us tonight,” Gerard said with a smile on his face that said he knew I didn’t want to go, but that I didn’t want to be called a chicken-shit either. Oh, pride.
“Fine. But I’m going home first to change out of this costume and get this hairspray out of my hair. If I leave it in any longer, my hair’s gonna fall out.”
“Oh, no way. You’re not getting out of this,” Gerard said. “I’ll loan you some clothes and my shower.”
I frowned at him. “Do you really think that’s a good idea?” I asked, searching his face for a clue.
“No. But we’ll be surrounded by people, what could possibly happen?” He didn’t sound too sure of himself, and that made me uneasy.
He was right. What could possibly happen?