And, why do you think youd be a good asset to this daycare, Frank?
I shifted uncomfortably in my chair. This question always made me feel like I was on the spotlight, like at any second I was supposed to blurt out some sort of secret. Well, I mused, pretending to seriously consider it. Im good with people, especially children. I dont know why.
She smiled and patted my arm in what was obviously a maternally way. Take it to her to act like the mother, what with her super clear skin and huge boobs. Yep, Im sure many of the fathers drooled over her in their sleep. People never know why theyre good with children. Its a God given gift. Anything else?
Without even really thinking about it, I blurted out, I wont look at the moms when they drop their kids off. Oh, damn. There went another job. I lowered my eyes to my lap, feeling my face and my back suddenly grow very hot. Take it to me to be Mr. Suave. I could sense her confusion when she looked at me, which really only made the situation about five thousand times worse.
Why is that?
Holding my breath I looked up at her and fought hard not to roll my eyes at the predicament I had just gotten myself into. As Dad had said, its never good to lie. If you screw up, tell the truth, hitch up your bags and move on to the next interview. It just really sucked, because they were actually pretty close to hiring me before my slip up. Well, Im gay, so, technically, I wouldnt be eyeing the moms like they were eye candy.
She suddenly pursed her lips, the outlines becoming thin. I think thats all the time we have today, Frank, she said rather coolly. Ill contact you if you got the job.
Ah, the joys of being an out of the closet gay teenager.
I mock saluted her, putting my game face on so she couldnt see how bummed out I truly was. Ill be awaiting your call, I teased her, standing up and bowing. I could see the disgust in her eyes as she walked to her door and opened it. I watched her hands twitch, aching, quite obviously, to pick me up and throw me out of the building.
Dont expect it.
Trying to keep optimistic I bounced out of the daycare, ruffling one of the kids head. I looked back to see her glaring at me openly. Just to aggravate her I rolled my hips, swaying as I walked, and waved to her behind my back. She slammed the office door, and I snickered at her.
Once I was out of the building, I muttered, shit. There were only so many places that would hire teenagers, and, lets face it, I was not going to work at a McDonalds, or Wendys, or any fast food restaurant. Id rather cut off my arm and sell it to science than do that. Which, I was pretty close to being that desperate for money. Armie, will you ever forgive me if I cut you off? I asked it. But of course it didnt respond.
I grumbled and whisked my keys out of my pocket, unlocking my door and slipping in. I sat there for a few moments, trying to regain composure, before staring the car and letting the warm air-conditioned air wash over me. My eyes flicked up to the temperature gauge and I saw it was about ninety-five degrees outside. That surprised me. But, after all, it was summer, and it was New Jersey, and it was humid. I noticed that by the wet that lined my arms.
I drove away from the daycare, flipping it off as I did so. I couldnt afford to be all weepy because, yet again, I slipped and let my sexuality come out. I was just so used to being open about it, it really sucked that in the real world, I had to hide it. Rolling my eyes, I picked up my cell phone and dialed my friend Marcia.
Talk dirty to me, Marcia said in a singsong voice. I snickered at her. Hey, Frankendoodles, she laughed. Howd the interview go?
My lip cricked in a grimace. Well, I accidentally blurted out I wouldnt use the moms as eye candy, so she asked me why and I had to tell her I was gay. Naturally, they dont want gay guys, no matter how good they are with kids, in a daycare center.
She mumbled. Damn society! And here I was, thinking youd get that job, for sure. Youre so good with kids, I was just so goddamn positive. Ah, well! Whats next on your listgoing to work as an apprentice for Dr. Frankenstein?
She really loved jokes that included my name in it. I growled slightly at her, which just made her laugh harder. Hey, hey, only kidding. I say try and get a job at a music store. Hell, youre good enough with band names that Im sure someone could mention a totally odd ball band and youd know it and own their CD.
That is the next thing on my list, I admitted. Im heading over there, now, to go get interviewed. I set my times up so that I could be over there in time. Unfortunately I am an hour early, though. I guess Ill just browse the racks.
Marcia agreed with my plans, and we hung up. I sighed and gripped the steering wheel tightly while looking out the windshield. Being openly gay in a society that hated gay guys was really hard.
I pulled into the parking lot, killed the ignition, and locked the doors to the car. I sauntered up, hoping the building had air conditioning. The grass was too green, the shopping center a poor replica of the western-style buildings that looked either pueblo or stucco. This building just looked sad.
I walked in and was relieved when the air washed over me. I automatically jumped over to the rock section of the store, running my hands across the albums. I muttered under my breath whenever I saw one that I already owned. I snatched any that I didnt, when I enjoyed the bands. The place was loaded with awesome CDs, a lot of them ones that werent even being created any more. It certainly made up for the sad exterior, and also the fact that the place was sort of gloomy helped as well.
May I help you? a boy asked. I looked up (everyone was so much taller than me!) to see a guy, only about five inches taller than I. He had startling green eyes and black hair that framed his pale face. He was wearing a black Iron Maiden shirt, which of course caught my attention immediately, and tight black jeans. I blinked at himhe was, well, really, really hot.
I looked down at the CDs in my hands, trying not to blush. He was probably straight, anyway, I shouldnt be thinking like that. Nah, Im okay. I have a job interview in a few, so Im just killing time before its time.
Youre Frank Iero? the boy asked skeptically. I didnt dare look up, but I wondered if someone had started a rumor about me to all the business owners. I nodded, still keeping my head down. God, I was already falling for him. And I just met him. I was pathetic. Well, Mr. Cornelli wont be ready for another fifteen minutes or so. Hes doing something in his office. Dont ask me what, I dont know, and honestly, I dont want to know.
Unable to help myself, I snorted. I let my eyes linger up to see a smile on his face. Oh, God. I couldnt stop thinking about how cute he looked. Deciding it was probably rude to keep my face down (who was I kidding? I wanted to look at him again), I let my head up. His smile broadened, and I let mine, too.
He peered at the CDs in my hands. I like that band, he said. Was I imaging it, or was his voice shy? I held it up and grinned.
An amazing band. Theyre a breakthrough in rock music, definitely. He nodded fervently in agreement.
And we kept talking, firing off band names and laughing pretty hard when we made catty or sarcastic remarks at each other for the bands. A lot of them we found we liked, and he smiled broadly at my Misfits shirt.
Gerard! a foreign voice bellowed. The boy winced and scowled. Thats Mr. Cornelli, he told me. I nodded, filing away that his name was Gerard.
Is the Frank boy here yet?
Yes, sir, Im right here, I hollered meekly, which earned a nudge in the ribs from Gerard. Hes not that bad, he whispered under his breath to me.
What are you waiting for, boy!? Come in my office!
Good luck. Hope you get the job, Gerard said earnestly. I waved warily at him as I headed towards the direction of the voice.
Thanks, Gee, I said, slipping and already making a nickname for the boy. His answering smile was enough to make butterflies start throwing up inside my stomach. Eew, I know, but thats how I felt.
Mr. Cornelli was a very pale man with a thick neck and hardly any hair. He would have been categorized as grossly overweight, but for some reason the blubber looked more like muscle. I clenched my fists and entered the office, glancing over my shoulder to get a glimpse of Gerard. That calmed me a bit.
So. You want this job?
Yes, sir, I answered, trying to keep the desperation out of my voice.
Okay. Are you good with people?
Yeah. And I know a lot of bands and a lot of different types of music, so Ill be able to relate to a bunch of the customers.
What hours will you be able to work?
Well, right now since its summer, when ever you need me to. But when school comes around I can work from four to eight on weekdays and then eight to five on weekends, if you need me that long.
He nodded in agreement. Okay, youre hired. When can you start?
I spluttered. Im already hired!?
He eyed me suspiciously. Isnt that okay?
Well, yes, its great! I gushed. I can start right now if you want me to. He smiled, the gesture looking pretty weird on his face. He nodded his head to the door slightly.
Youll be working with Gerard a lot. I figured he needed help, since running a shop is pretty hard with just yourself. Im pretty busy most of the time. So, Im keeping you here until eight tonight. Okay?
I hopped up and smiled. Okay, this is great. Minimum wage, right? He nodded and I smiled again. I was going to be working at a music shop, for money. It was too great to be true.
Gerard was waiting at the cash register. He looked at Mr. Cornelli. Did you hire him? he asked. I could hear the anxiety in his voice, and I wondered if it was for or against my cause. But when Mr. Cornelli nodded, Gerard whooped with joy. Hes perfect for the company, as Im sure youve already realized.
Yeah, yeah. Ill be in my office, boys. And with that, he left Gerard and I alone. Gerard sprinted from behind the counter and hugged me. I stiffed for a quick second before hugging back, laughing. What a weird kid, but I was already crushing over him, so it really didnt matter.
I am so glad you got the job, Frankie. Seriously. In fifteen minutes I could already tell you were going to get hired, and that you were the absolute perfect person ever. I grinned at him as he took his arms back from around my body. I held up the CDs, which I had left on the counter, and pulled money out of my pocket.
He shook his head at me. I already bought them for you, he answered almost sheepishly. Theyre yours.
Do you want me to pay you back!? I asked, aghast. He only smiled and shook his head again. I slowly put the money back in my pocket, really quite surprised at his generosity. Gee, thanks, Gerard.
No problem, he mumbled, locking his eyes with mine and smiling so sweetly my knees felt weak.
Marcia, I cant even begin to explain how freaking cute he was. It was
oh, my God, mind blowing.
She grinned, sitting across from me on his bed. She sat cross-legged, her pajama bottoms riding slightly up her leg. If I had been normal, that would have made me go crazy with desire. But, of course, I was gushing to her about another guy that was making me go crazy with desire. Go figure.
Quite frankly, I think Frankie has a crush, she sang. I swatted at her, but we both knew I was head over heels with Gerard Way.
I had just come back from my shift at the music shop, and of course Marcia was waiting for me. She was allowed to sleep over because, technically, gay guys werent going to bang any girl. My parents knew that, and accepted it. Anyway, the six hours of uninterrupted time with Gerard had only intensified my feelings. It was
maddening to be so close to him, but to be so sure that he had a girlfriend. Someone that perfect had to have a girlfriend, it was inevitable. But, still, it didnt hurt to wish, as Marcia always told me when I refused to get crushes on the guys at school for the very reason. But
Gerard was different. It was like; I could risk having a crush on him because we were friends, or something. It didnt make sense to me, either.
Is he gay? she asked, reaching out and holding my hand. I shrugged at her. I honestly didnt know. I hadnt told him my own sexual preference, for fear of what he would say. We pretty much danced around the subject, but never really mentioned it. Good thing, too, because if I told him I was pretty sure I would have thrown caution to the wind and pecked him on the lips, or snogged him, which ever came first.
She exhaled wistfully for me. I hope he is. Then you two can have a perfect summer romance, and it would just be so freaking cute, I wouldnt be able to handle how cute it was. Hey, how old is he?
I think hes our age, but Im not sure. He said he was going into high school again next year, so Id assume hes going to be a senior as well.
She squealed. Would you guys have an open relationship ifwell, if he was gay, too?
Once again, I shrugged. Only if he wanted to. I mean, if he actually was gaywhich I doubt he isand he was okay with being out in the open, then, sure. But, if not, I wouldnt mind keeping it a secret.
We continued to banter like that, her squealing and speaking dreamily. She was more psyched about my first real boy-crush than I was, probably because she was a girl. I found a lot of girls were squeally like that whenever boy-boy was mentioned, as long as they supported gay rights. It really was weird, which just confirmed my belief that girls were too weird to deal with relationship wise.
Frankie! You dont work today, right?
No, Marcia. Its Sunday. I gave the phone a weird look. Why?
Nothing. But Im going to pick you up at six thirty, okay?
okay? Should I wear anything special?
Feel free to get a little dressed upmakeup, a clean shirt, if you will. She laughed and hung up. I held the phone in my hand for a moment, staring at it bewilderedly. I didnt like it when Marcia surprised me. She scared me, sometimes, with her spontaneous actions and quite baffling enthusiasm. I sighed and realized Id just have to wait until six thirty to find out what the heck she was going to do to me.
I looked at the clock and realized it was five thirty. She was giving me an hour to get readyshe knew me too well. With a sigh, I slipped my shirt off in favor of an Iron Maiden one, and pulled on some tight black jeans that had a silver chain belt. I made sure my clothing was acceptable before turning to the mirror and tried to tackle my unruly hair. It finally told me that it didnt want to anything but hang limply in my face, so I let it as I grabbed my eyeliner. I quickly outlined my eyes, more on the top than the bottom, and debated the use of eye shadow. I put a little bit of a reddish color around my eyes, highlighting the green in them.
I bounced backwards at the sound of the doorbell. Sighing, I snatched my wallet and hollered to my parents that Id be back later. I also grabbed my cell phone as I stumbled to the door. Marcia stood there. She took in my appearance before nodding in agreement.
I rolled my eyes at her, crossing my arms across my chest. Whats going on? I asked firmly. She smiled as she flounced to her car, opening the door graciously for me.
Youll see. Everythings already set up, so I thought Id drive you, so you couldnt run away. I know you too well, Mr. Iero. There is no escape, but, I do think that once you get over your jitters, youll enjoy yourself.
On the way there, Marcia made small talk. Have you talked to Gerard lately?
I saw him yesterday, I answered. Wed been working together for about a week, but we still avoiding the topic of sexuality. It sucked. I grew more and more head over heels for the boy every time I saw him. We had exchanged cells, but we hadnt called each other, or anything.
Conversation continued on like that, her asking me a question and me answering it. I didnt have a clue what was going on, until we rolled into my favorite restaurants parking lot. I turned to her, eyes wide, it finally clicking,
He agreed to it more eagerly than Id expected.
Did he know
Yes, he knew it would be with you.
I couldnt stop myself from hyperventilating. She had set me up on a not so blind date with Gerard. I was flabbergasted. Not so much as angry at her, more incredulous. She had gotten the nerve to talk to Gerard, blatantly acknowledge that I had a crush on him, and ask him out for me. And
he had agreed. My heart spluttered nervously as she lead me into the building, grinning all the while. When the host asked us if we would like seats, she shook her head.
No, its just him. Party for Marcia?
Right this way, the host smiled at me. I stared wide-eyed at Marcia as she waved, smiling so broadly I was sure her face would crack. The host led me to a private room (those things were expensive!) and Gerard sat there, looking sort of nervous. The host turned to me and said, the meal has already been ordered and paid for. Your waiter will be out shortly to gather what you would like to drink. And they closed the door on Gerard and I.
His smile was small, obviously more than a bit apprehensive. Hi, Frankie.
Hi, Gee. Uhm. Marcia planned all this, you know.
He laughed, the noise really nervous. I know. She called me on my cell phone and said she wanted to arrange a date with you and I. I said, howd you know I liked him? and she just laughed and said, I didnt. But he likes you a lot.
I blushed as I sat down. Gerard blushed as well, looking down at his silverware. The nice atmosphere of the restaurant, plus the fortune it must have cost, intimidated us both. Is it true? he finally asked. His voice was timid, obviously expecting rejection.
That I like you? Yeah, it is. Is it true that you like me?
Gerard nodded, his eyes still fixated on the fork. He picked it up and examined it, looking at it as if it were the most interesting thing in the entire planet. I shifted in my seat. Yeah. I like you a lot more than youd think, Frank.
The waiter came in at that exact moment, shattering the tension filled yet almost loving atmosphere. Hi, my name is Steve, what can I get you two gentlemen to drink? His voice stumbled over the words two gentlemen, obviously knowing this was a date. Gerard looked up.
Diet coke, he mumbled. I said the same thing, and Steve left, closing the door behind him.
Boldly, I reached across the table and gripped Gerards hands. He looked at me, startled. His hands were warm and soft, really inviting. I had to fight hard not to run my own hands across the texture. They were just too damn soft to not want to, though. After an odd look from Gerard, his face melted into a smile that had my heart beating so fast, I was sure he could hear it. He reached across the table and held my other hand. He was a lot braver than I was, though, running his thumb in circles across my palm. I shuddered at how good his touch felt, but the shudder was so small I was pretty confident he didnt notice it.
Why didnt you tell me? I asked him after a few bliss moments. The waiter came in, then, with our drinks. He took in the fact that we were holding hands and made a face that was a cross between revulsion and anger. He put them on the table almost forcibly and left, as if on orders not to goad us. I wondered if Marcia had mentioned we were gay.
Gerard shrugged, his smile almost audacious, but in a good way. I was afraid you didnt feel the same, he murmured, looking up at me again. I noticed he was wearing eyeliner, too, and a brownish eye shadow that made his eyes look bruised. His hair hung perfectly in his face, shiny and full, matching with the black shirt and black pants.
I laughed. I cant imagine anyone not liking you, Gerard, I blurted out. He looked up and smiled broadly at me, immediately stopping any self-conscious blush that had been working up.
Our food came, then, and I noticed with a wry smile that it was my favorite food (that could at least be eaten in a restaurant). Gerard stared at his food as well.
How did she know I loved this? he asked in an awed voice. I laughed slightly, taking a bite and shoving it in my mouth. We had let our hands go, only to eat; we still had one hand hovering over the table, gripping to each other.
You mentioned it to me, and shes been the victim to my many dreamy recollections of what we talked about. She must have remembered. He winked, finding the fact that I talked about him sweet, not alarming. That made me feel a little more at ease. I relaxed, taking another bite as he took his first.
We ate in silence, polishing off our food in just enough time that the waiter could take it away. Your dessert will arrive in about five minutes, he said stonily. We nodded, hands already itching for more contact than the one we already had. This time I was the one that let my fingers dance across his hand.
Gerard looked at me for a moment, before asking, can I do something?
I nodded, slowly. He leaned across the table, his face literally centimeters away from mine, before crashing his lips down on me. He was so warm, so inviting, that I couldnt help but work my own across his, hands rising and tangling in his hair, pulling him closer across the table. He had to keep his hands planted on it, to make sure he didnt fall, but I knew hed have wrapped his arms around me if he could have. It was so wonderful, frozen in time, nothing besides him and me. But we pulled away when we heard the door open and our snooty waiter stood there with two dishes of ice cream sundaes with huge brownies in them stood there. He rolled his eyes as Gerard crawled across the table back to his seat.
He left without saying anything this time, which was okay, because my heart was hammering so fast inside of my chest I was sure I wouldnt have been able to get any understandable words out. Gerard smiled at me, and I smiled back. I love you, Gerard Way, I sighed as I took a bite of ice cream. Even more cold than it should have been in comparison to the warm lips that had just been pressed against my own.
I love you, too, Frank Iero, he laughed as he took a bite.
We left the restaurant, walking home, which Im sure was Marcias intention. It wasnt that dangerous and it wasnt that far to my house. Gerard was leading the way so I assumed we were heading to his. We held hands the entire way, pressed so hard against one another it was obvious we were aching for more contact.
When we arrived at his front porch he turned and smiled at me. Im glad your friend did this. I dont know what I would have done if I hadnt found out if you were up for grabs or not.
I snickered, jumping onto him and latching my arms around him. He snorted and leant down to press his lips against my own for a goodnight kiss. He pulled away, still holding me to his body as he did so. My pelvic bone was crushed against his, but it really didnt matter. His hands felt good, felt perfect, against the small of my back.
Will you go out with me again? he asked. I nodded fervently.
No, shit, Gerard. When can we go out again?
How about tomorrow after work? We can go catch a movie or something.
How about right now? I asked. He laughed again, the noise enough to let me float home. He bent down again; locking me in another sweet kiss, obviously not caring that a kids face was pressed in the window of his house. I had seen his eyes flicker there so I knew he saw. I wondered how far I could get away with kissing him before his tongue begged for entrance. I granted it to him, chuckling inside that he answered my unspoken needs. We kissed for such a long time before we both pulled back, panting.
He let go of me, the action paining him obviously. Ill miss you, Frank.
Call me, then, Gerard.
He grinned, walking up his steps. Love ya, he said as his hand began to turn the doorknob.
Love you, too, I answered breathlessly as he entered. Once he was gone, I deflated, suddenly so exhausted from being so happy. I had finally gotten what I wanted; Gerard Way, and he liked me as much as I liked him. Walking home with a heart above the clouds, I grinned stupidly when my cell phone chirped at me. I knew it was him who was calling.