We Can Live Like Jack And Sally If We Want
Chapter OneFrank Iero never thought much of anything. He hated everything, everything seemed to hate him. Except music - him and music got along pretty well. He was well known as the pissed off lead singer/screamer of punk band Pencey Prep. It was more than a hobby, music was his life, the only thing that made him feel worthwhile and complete. And in the middle of the year 2000 in Kearney, New Jersey that was saying something.
Frank grew up with divorced parents and no siblings with little money and friends. His one good friend, Gory, was in the same school and they met up everyday to get his room hot-boxed and play video games. Later he would go to band practice with some guys he was friendly with, friendly being a loose term for Frank. The keyboard player Shaun was smallest after Frank, who was a tiny 5"4 much to his dismay, and barely spoke unless spoken to. Hambone was tall and was rough spoken and looked mostly uninterested in anything almost anyone was ever saying.. he played bass. Drums was played by Tim, a tall, 20 year old who should have been in college and had a vast collection of his own mix tapes.
Frank himself had shaggy-ish short dark hair, hazel-green eyes and was of Italian descent from his father's side. He was the third Frank in his family of musicians and grew up with a real one-two-fuck you attitude. His last girlfriend cheated on him with the drummer of his ex-band, not that it seemed serious anyway and most girls around here were pretty fake, whorey and did he mention fake? That and the lesbian population seemed to have made a real boom since grunge took over the U.S.
It was a rainy day when he begrudgingly returned to Senior year at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington after Christmas vacation. He had exactly four months left at that shithole before he escaped to Uni. The same group of students hung around the same places and Frank resentfully trudged into the faculty, meeting Gory inside.
'Got the new Tony Hawk's pro skater game for christmas. It's awesome…' Gory nodded dopily and Frank whistled. 'Sick dude. Where are the homerooms this year and shit?' he frowned around and noticed the notice board.
'All students from class E2 have homeroom 42 for Social Studies first with Mr. Grenier. Oh well not too bad of a start.' Frank read out and yawned widely. Gory looked around at all the sheets and laughed. 'Wait what class am I in?'
The bell rang out shrilly and Frank snorted. 'I don't know, figure it out. Last term of school man, I mean if we can make this we are done…' he sighed and headed towards his room. A young boy flew out of the toilets in a rush and nearly knocked Frank over. Frank glared over. 'Watch it!'
'Dude wow sorry…' the kid coughed and Frank grinded his teeth. 'Damn fucking sophomores, think they're so fucking punk now.' he threw an empty can after him and stormed into homeroom. His seat was near the back row and he slumped in it, figuring out which music to play in his headset when he felt a poke.
Blazing Tony, prime stoner and skater of the whole school and a Rasta by heart, leaned over. 'Hey dude man is this the class I was in last year?' he frowned and Frank tried to hide a smirk.
'Ah yeah I think I remember you.' he trailed off and Tony just nodded and leaned back, closing his eyes. Frank blew out and glared at some jocks talking about a football scholarship. He had a overwhelming feeling to stand up and shoot everyone in the room and then himself.
'Am I a psychopath?' he pondered then smiled inwardly. '…probably. That could make for a good song…'
As these thoughts entered and exited his head along with the new Black Flag album he was inserting into his hidden walkman, the teacher entered the room, hastily shutting the door. He was a middle aged man with a scruffy black beard and head of hair that was greying around the edges complete with tiny spectacles that sat on the bridge of his nose.
'Settle down class, I have to get the role called…come on settle!' he finally got the class to sit down somewhat although there was still people muttering around the room. The door opened and closed again but Frank was busy sticking the plastic covers on his earphones and jumped at Mr. Grenier's cough.
'Oh I see…class this is Alice Murray, a new transfer student from…where is it you are from Alice?'
'London.' the girl spoke back evenly in a soft yet confident British accent. Frank glanced up in slight curiosity. She was short but had a certain lean, slenderness that made it seem unnoticeable. Her dark, long hair was in a high ponytail and complimented her pale, olive skin. Her face was blemish free and her eyes were a solitude grey-blue, while her lips had a shade of light pink, touched with some red where she had obviously been biting down on them. All in all she looked quite interesting, a little girl next door but with a mysterious twist. Appearance wise she didn't seem to fit in to any clique.
After a few seconds of silence, Tasha, a overly salon-tanned girl with a knack for less than intelligent statements piped up. 'Have you ever, like, met the Queen?' she asked in a heavy New Jersey accent.
Alice just blinked and raised one eyebrow. 'No…'
'Do you drink loads of tea?'
'And like, scones?'
'Do the men wear monacles?'
'What are crumpets?'
The flurry of questions were interrupted when Mr. Grenier raised a hand and called out over the voices. 'I'm sure there will be lots of time for questions later now it's down to some course work planning, Alice take a seat behind Lola, the girl third back, short black hair.' he pointed and Alice smiled politely and followed his directions. She walked gracefully but with a certain air that gave off an introverted feeling. Frank plugged his ear phones in and ever so slightly turned up the volume, only so much that he could hear. 'Nervous Breakdown' sounded softly in his ears while Mr. Grenier droned on.
"I hear the same old talk talk talk
The same old lines
Don't do me that today, yeah
If you know what's good for you you'll get out of my way ''cause
I'm crazy and I'm hurt
Head on my shoulders
Frank listened to it on repeat until he heard the bell ringing, signalling for the end of class.
'Ah Black Flag, at least they always understand me…' he thought as he picked up his new timetable and groaned when he saw that French class was next. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the new girl look around frowning and taking off in the same direction as him, any attention given to her before had now completely died away.
He noticed her nails were painted a glistening black as she reached up the push a loose strand of hair from her face and she wore two 'Sleepy Hollow' wristbands on each wrist. She sighed and stepped back, clearly looking around for directions.
Well, Frank was the school asshole and a noted sourpuss so a damsel in distress was much the same as any old school fob. He walked off soundly to French then noticed a shining penny on the floor.
'Fifty cent…huh can get a can with this!' he thought, bending down and nodding in approvement. A tap on his shoulder knocked him from his thoughts and he turned, staring into the face of the new girl.
Up close her eyes took on a new dimension. Specks of grey and violet flew around in the sky blue and her pupils were tiny dots in the midst. Her lips were small but full and her face wasn't pale per say but it lacked a certain, natural blush so she looked almost sickly. Looking under her eyes reinforced that statement as two black bags understated the skin and made her look tired and drawn. She coughed and sighed out. 'I'm new…you wouldn't happen to know where Mr…Bellasini's…French class is would you?' she looked at her timetable then back up at Frank's unfriendly face.
'I'm going there, you can follow me.' he shrugged and walked off, hearing her footsteps moments later. He usually didn't give two damns about anyone, including himself but for some reason he felt kind of sorry for her. Maybe because she was new, seemed like a misfit or just the fact she liked Tim Burton but he found himself turning and making conversation as they neared the door.
'You like Tim Burton?' his voice sounded snappy but he was used to that. Alice, on the other hand wasn't, and after him catching her staring curiously at the back of his retreating body she jumped and stammered. 'Y-yeah. I mean, yes, he's my favourite director of all time.' she nodded and Frank shrugged.
'Cool.' was all he said and decided that was enough niceness for one day. He walked into French and threw his bag down, chatting with Gory then half-paying attention for the next ninety minutes before the break bell rang.
Gory groaned and looked up and down the busy hallway, opening his locker. 'Wish I could skip the rest of the day. I have woodwork next, bout you?' he asked, chewing on a sandwich that looked days old.
'Art. Tell me about it.' he sighed back moodily and looked around, wondering if he burned the school down would he be caught.
The second bell rang and his train of thought snapped back to present and he turned. 'See ya in the canteen at lunch, think it's meatball day. Don't puke without me.' he snorted and trudged off towards class, nearly knocking an over-excited freshman over.
He threw his bag down and decided to take the second front row seat this year as the class had grew. He stretched his legs as the wave of students entered and their art teacher, Miss Fey, entered whilst talking animatedly.
'…I mean we definitely pride ourselves here in our art course. Hopefully it will be up to your old school's standard but wow, two scholarships that's astounding…' she was saying as Frank half caught a glimpse of the conversation. He glanced over and frowned as the new girl tried to smile along to Miss Fey's lively conversation but it seemed forced.
'I'm sure I'll be fine and ahm, thanks.' she replied awkwardly in her British tongue. Miss Fey gestured her hands wildly and yelled for the class to sit somehow then smiled widely at Alice. 'You can sit…let's see. Over there near Sunny and Frank.' she pointed and Frank rolled his eyes to himself. Whatever…he wasn't going to be nice to her again if that's what she was hoping. If you could even call snapping a one answer question at her nice, which in his books he did.
Alice smiled to Sunny, a ridiculously tall girl who moved from Africa two years ago who couldn't have been less sunnier if she could try. Sunny just blinked and said 'hello…' then watched the girl sit. Frank didn't mean to notice but as she bended down her skirt rose ever so slightly and he could see the top of her stockings on her smooth, slender thighs. He felt his pants tighten then placed his bag on his lap and quickly turned on his music.
'Stupid whorey British girl…' he thought snappily and turned his attention to the pad on his desk and Miss Fey's word.
"Hello class and welcome to the new century! This last term we will be working intensively with sculpture, animation and storytelling art which I'm hoping to start soon, this week even and I'm giving every student the opportunity to work in groups or by themselves, depending on what storyteller they wish to choose, and do a piece inspired by that chosen person.' she smiled and Frank sighed. Obviously he would work alone…and he'd totally do Tim Burton, no one else was bound to choose him. They were all too Rasta or mainstream…
'Shit.' he thought inwardly and glared to the British girl, Alice, who was biting her lip and nodding. He glared at her wristbands and cursed inwardly again.
'For the rest of the class I'll let you all talk together and explore and write down ideas.' Miss Fey grinned brightly around the class. She reminded Frank of Willy Wonka but in female form…her hair was very Gene Wilder anyway.
Frank twiddled his pencil in his fingers, the same fingers he used to strum his trusty guitar everyday. Thinking about it made him ache for it…what was the point of school if he was so shit at it? All he wanted was music…oh yeah, to make his parents proud and not end up like all the other scum of New Jersey. Because that was going so well.
He looked blankly around at Sunny doing her mathematics under the table, some hipster nerds bonding over doing J.D Salinger. Because no one else ever did that. Not that Frank didn't adore that book, his band was named after the school in it.
'Frank! Any ideas yet?' he jumped as Miss Fey suddenly towered over his seated position, her eyes blinking rapidly behind her owl glasses. Frank stared emotionlessly at her and shrugged. 'Ah...I don't know.' he responded and she sighed out.
'You have a real knack for art Frank, you're a very creative boy. You should try harder in this subject…you're very intelligent when you want to be.' she smiled and walked over to Sunny. Frank just snorted inwardly, and as he looked away he caught Alice looking over curiously. He gave her a glare…he didn't really mean to it was just a natural reaction to people. She blushed and looked down. Again another pang of guilt hit him…what was it with those today…and he cleared his throat.
'What about you?' he spoke to her and she looked over at him in fright. 'What?'
'What are you gonna do?' he asked her in a way a doctor might ask a five year old girl where her tummy hurts. Alice just sighed out and rubbed her eyes. 'Sorry I'm not very with it today. I'll probably do Tim Burton…I'm thinking maybe The Nightmare Before Christmas...' she replied with the longest held conversation he'd heard off her yet. Her voice was delicate, her accent not too posh or too cockney and he nodded back, unable to answer. That was his all time favourite movie…
'Well fuck her anyway. We'll probably end up doing this together. I shouldn't have to change my writer for her.' he fumed, his anger replacing his moment long admiration. He guessed she noticed the swift change in facial expression as she looked down again, as if contemplating what on earth she just said to piss him off.
For the rest of class Frank attempted to start on his social studies essay that was due for next Monday. When the end of class bell rang, he hopped up and left, walking towards English.