And Then I Met My Teacher
''So, we're going to New York?'' I asked Gerard while he was drawing my “self”-portrait in the empty classroom.
'’You're excited?'' he beamed.
''So excited, you don’t even know,'' I answered smiling.
''You're going to need to have your mom sign the papers, though.''
''What? Why? The trip is in November. I'm turning 18 on October 31st.”
''On Halloween? That's pretty cool,” he contemplated “but you need to bring back the forms back by October 27th, and I’m afraid you’re still going to be 17,'' he announced with firm persistence.
''Seriously, Gerard? For 4 days? You're the teacher, there must be something you can do,'' I begged.
''I'm sorry, but the rules are the rules, I can’t start making exceptions, Frank.''
''So, I have to go see my mom?'' I asked, upset by the turn the conversation had taken.
''Yes, you need her to sign the paper. I’m not saying you have to stay there, you can come home after, just get her to sign the-''
''Then, I am not coming.'' I interrupted. He looked at me, clearly pissed off.
''You don't want to come? Then don't come. Your feeble attempt to manipulate me won't change anything.''
''Great,'' I answered dryly.
''Don’t try to play with me, I'm not your little boyfriend,'' he snapped. I felt my heart breaking in my chest. I swallowed back my tears and looked at him. He was just drawing me, not even looking at me for reference anymore. I grabbed the piece of paper and pulled it towards me, causing his pencil to leave a straight dark line going from the middle of the page to the left corner.
''What are you doing?'' he asked impatiently. “I thought you wanted help with this.”
''Not anymore,'' I answered, rolling up the self portrait and wrapping it with an elastic I stole from his desk.
''Where are you going?''
''With your mom?'' He asked, almost mockingly.
''Yeah, with my mom.''
''Don't be so childish, I wanted to take you out.''
''Why don't you take Cheyenne instead.'' I snapped. I got up and stomped towards the door.
''What?!'' I yelled.
''Since you're going home, you could ask your mom to sign the paper,'' he said, batting his eyelashes at me.
''You're pathetic,'' I snapped, slamming the door. He didn't stop me, nor did he try to run after me. It was over. It had lasted about a week and now it was over. I felt awful. Possibly worse than the day I had left Belleville. This whole time, I had been feeling like he was the one good thing keeping me here. The only thing that kind of made me want to stay. Now that it was gone, I just wanted to go home; see Sam, see my friends, see anyone but him, or my mom for that matter.
An hour later, I was standing on the front porch of my mom’s apartment. I started at the door helplessly for a few minutes, but couldn't resign myself to knock. I knew it had to be done, it’s not like I could just sleep outside in the cold, but I didn’t want to see her. I pondered the idea of going back to Gerard’s and apologize but fuck him, I had nothing to apologize for. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, gathered all my strength and knocked three times. I heard footsteps that seemed to heavy to be my mom’s coming from the other side of the wall and the door swung open.
''Hey cousin,'' he smirked. Shit.
''Hey, Brent,'' I said on what I meant to be a casual tone. I tried to walk passed him, but he put his arm in front of me, blocking the path.
''Not so fast.''
''Where's my mom?'' I asked. I was trying to remain calm and collected but my heart was beating so fast I could hear the blood pulsing in my temples.
''At work. But don’t worry, we’re going to spend some quality time together,'' he beamed threateningly.
''Leave me alone, Brent. I didn't do anything. I just want to go to my room, I won't bother you.” I barely had time to finish my sentence before his hand had hit my face so hard I fell to the ground.
''Shut the fuck up, faggot. I make the rules, not you.''
''Since when?'' I asked to piss him off. It obviously worked because he grabbed me by the collar -of which was actually Mikey's shirt- and dragged me inside, shutting the door and locking it.
''You want to know since when I make the rules? Let me remind you why I've always made the rules, you scrawny little shit,'' he spat. I was scared, terrified even. I knew he was about the beat the shit out of me. I knew he probably wouldn’t stop until I was limp and bloody, and that’s when it hit me; in this moment of despair, all I could think of was Gerard. I realized that in the scheme of things, it didn’t matter whether I went to New York or not. It didn’t matter how angry I was with him. All that mattered was that we found our way back to each other. What if Brent was going to kill me? And trust me, that was not as unlikely as it sounds. Then the last words I would have told him would be that he’s pathetic. I wasn’t scared of Brent anymore, I was scared of losing Gerard. I was scared that he would forever think that I hated him. My bottom lip started quivering.
''Are you going to cry?'' Brent mocked.
''Shut up!'' I yelled without thinking.
''What did you just say to me?''
''Nothing,'' I mumbled, hoping he would let it go, but it was Brent; of course he wouldn’t let it go.
''You don't want to repeat it? I guess it's a good thing I heard you pretty fucking well the first time,'' he said as he punched me in the face. I started to distinguish the metallic taste of blood in the back of my throat and I felt dizzy.
''Oh, you're bleeding'' he pointed out, laughing to himself. What a fucking psycho.
''Maybe if I keep hitting you, you're going to shed enough tears to wash that dumb makeup off your faggot face,'' he smirked, kicking me in the stomach. I coughed, gasping for air, but he kicked me again. I continued coughing helplessly and saw little red drops coming out of my mouth and falling onto the floor.
''How does it feel?'' he asked, still smirking. I didn't answer. I could barely breathe, let alone speak. I was petrified.
''I asked you a question you little cock sucker!'' He yelled. I ignored his shouting, trying to focus my energy on staying awake.
''You don't want to answer? Fine,'' he said, kicking me in the stomach one more time. ''Now, get up!'' He shouted.
''I-I can't...'' I mumbled weakly, fighting off the dizziness.
''I said get the fuck up!'' He yelled. After about 30 seconds of trying to get up, I was finally standing on my feet, holding myself against the wall. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window. My face and hair was covered thick dark blood. My lips were swollen and one of my eyes was so bruised I could barely open it.
''Now, go to your room and don't come out until tomorrow morning. Am I making myself clear?'' He asked. I nodded, holding on to the wall to balance myself on my feet. ''And if you tell your mom about this, I'll make you wish you were dead,'' he added as I stumbled my way to my room. I shut the door quietly behind me and let myself fall on my bed. I laid there motionless for about an hour, trying to regulate my breathing.
Once the air finally started filling my lungs at a normal rhythm, I glanced at the clock. 9:12 PM. I reached for my phone the pocket of my jeans and dialed Gerard’s number. It rang twice before he picked up.
''Gerard?'' I asked weakly.
“Who is this?”
“I don’t know a Frank,” he slurred. Was he drunk?
“Frank Iero,” I added.
''Ooooh, I'm not too pathetic for you any- shit,” he cursed distantly has he dropped the phone and picked it up “Anymore?'' He continued. He was definitely drunk.
''I didn't mean it... I'm sorry...'' I cried weakly.
''Fuck you,'' he said, hanging up. I tried to call him back a few times, but it went straight to voicemail. I had to go see him. I got up and grabbed my school bag. I shove some clothes in it and swung it over my shoulder, which caused me to stumble. My legs were weak, but I had to see him. I couldn’t bare to imagine him drunk and alone. I took a few steps towards the door. My entire body was sore. The pain in my stomach was almost unbearable, but I needed him and according to how he sounded on the phone, he needed me too. I opened the door as quietly as possible. I heard the TV playing, which meant Brent was in the living room. If I was quiet enough, I would be able to leave without him noticing. I walked down the hallway silently, praying to god I would collapse. I opened the front door slowly, trying to avoid making it squeak and got out of the apartment.
The walk to Gerard’s was excruciatingly painful. I was only a few feet away from his front porch when I checked my phone. It was 11:28 PM. The walk had been long and tedious and I was completely out of breath. My lungs hurt so much that for I second, I doubted I would even make it to the door. Brent had hit me before, many times, but never as badly as this. I climbed the steps to Gerard's porch one by one and knocked on the door. I saw a light being turned on from inside the house. Thank god he was still up. He opened the door and my legs finally gave in. I stumbled into his chest and he caught me, preventing me from falling on the ground.
''Frank? What the hell happened to you?"
''I couldn't let you think that you're pathetic. I love you, Gerard,'' I sighed weakly, trying to stand up. He helped me up and dragged me inside, his arm accidently pressing against my ribs. I winced in pain.
''Sorry,” he apoologized, looking for a way to touch me without hurting me.
''It's fine,'' I mumbled weakly. I stumbled inside, holding on to his shoulder for balance and made my way to the couch.
''What happened? Who did that to you?'' He asked, worried. He still looked kind of drunk, but he was not nearly as hammered as he was when I called him.
''It's not important,'' I answered.
''Tell me who the fuck did this to you!'' He yelled.
''Or what? You're going to beat me too?'' I tried to yell back but my lungs wouldn’t let me. I winced in pain and put my hand on my stomach, trying to make the burning feeling go away. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.
''I just- I need to know, baby. Please, tell me what happened,'' he said in a softer voice. I sighed, but answered unwillingly nonetheless.
''I went home to get the papers signed by my mom, but she wasn't there. My cousin opened the door, I didn't know he would be there. He’s been torturing me since I was a little kid. He’s always been bigger and stronger than me and, for some reason, he’s always had it out for me. He’s been calling me a faggot since I was like seven years old. He saw me wearing eyeliner today and decided I deserved a good beating,'' I summarized, talking through the pain.
''I'll kill him,'' he seethed.
''You're drunk,'' I pointed out.
''So what?'' He snapped.
''Why did you get drunk?''
''It's none of your business.''
''The reason why I'm bruised and bleeding is none of your business and I still told you.'' I looked deeply into his eyes, scanning his dark gaze for answers.
''I just needed a few drinks to help me feel better,'' he finally blurted out.
''Is it my fault?'' I asked concerned.
''I am being honest. It's not your fault,'' he said softly. I knew he was lying, but I didn’t have the strength to argue with him. Not again. Not now.
''Okay,'' I said.
''Take off your clothes, we'll go take a bath,'' he said, softly running his fingers up and down my forearm.
''What for?'' I asked.
''Baby, you're covered in blood. And the warmth of the water is going to help with the pain,'' he said, placing a delicate kiss on my forehead. I nodded and helped me taking off the bloody clothes. He intertwined his fingers with mine and helped me up the stairs. When I saw my naked body in the bathroom mirror, I felt like throwing up. I had dried up blood all over my face, my ribs were so bruised that they were almost black and Brent’s boots had left my stomach covered in scratches. I looked disgusting. Gerard turned on the water, and waited for the bathtub to get filled.
''Do you want me to join you?'' He asked softly. I nodded.
''Okay,'' he said, kissing the top of my head. He undressed himself and went in first. He was beautiful. Even drunk, he looked like an angel. I joined him in the bathtub, sitting between his legs, letting my back fall onto his chest. I winced in pain when I felt his skin against my bruises.
''Is the water too hot?'' He asked, worried.
''No, it's perfect. Thank you,'' I said faintly. He wrapped his arms around me delicately to avoid putting any pressure on my wounds.
''I'm so sorry, baby. This is all my fault. I shouldn't have insisted, about the papers. I should have just listened to you.” he said. I could hear he was getting choked up.
''Hey, it's not your fault. You couldn’t have known this would happen,'' I said, grazing his hand softly with my thumb.
''I'll push the deadline to October 31st, okay? I don't want you to go home anymore,'' he said, washing my back gently.
''Please, don't thank me. I should have done that earlier.''
''Stop blaming, Gerard. It won't change anything,'' I said. He didn't answer. I didn't want to bother him or to ruin one of the few peaceful moments we were sharing, but there was one question that kept spiralling in my mind; something I had to ask him.
''Do you really love me?''
Hi babies!! I'm so sorry I haven't updated in literally forever! Please don't hate me! I hope you all enjoy this chapter, which I think is much better than the last one (sorry again for ow much that one sucked)! Keep leaving comments, they make me so happy!
Also, if you're bored, go follow my IG fan account: @crashqueen_and_motorbaby
I'll try to update again tomorrow! <3