Chapter 47: Part 1- Gotcha, Love Cats!
“Yo, Billie Joe”
The black haired young male stopped looking around as well as his steps through the hallway of school to look down at a short freshman who walked up to him. Billie smiled lightly the guy as he got closer, but the guy did not really return the smile or anything.
“Frankie” Billie greeted, but before he could ask anything or do anything, the younger and, strangely for Billie, shorter guy questioned him.
“Do you know what’s up with Gerard?” the tenth grader asked looking quite worried like one who does not find their son but tries not to panic just so soon, playing a bit with his lip-ring using the tip of his tongue. “He like, completely ignored me when I tried to say Hi” Billie’s smile faded as he listened. Just the guy he was looking for. “He was made a total beast for what it looked, and he just walked away ignoring everything and everyone”
“Gerard?” Billie questioned with disbelief, and the kid in front of him nodded. “My Gerard?” he questioned again, and Frank nodded eagerly once again. “Why was he angry?”
“I don’t know, I thought you’d of know or something” Frank shrugged and shook lightly the head. Billie stared at him with the eyebrows furrowed. He thought for a bit, and for harder he tried, he could not come up with anything that could be logical. The little guy looked so okay in the morning, what could have made him angry in the matter of one period? Billie was about to ask for more stuff to come up with an answer, but Frank won the word once again. “And, well, I don’t know if it had something to do with his mood, but…” Frank sighed lightly, scratching the back of his head, looking a bit uncomfortable. “…I think his hair was shorter”
Billie raised both eyebrows and stared at Frank in disbelief. He stayed quiet, remembering just how important his haircut was to Gerard himself, and the whole play. But mainly to Gerard. After some moments, Billie shook his head in confusion again.
“That can’t be, why would he…?” he muttered, but stopped talking to himself and just tried to focus on what the hell was happening. He wondered for a few moments, and then placed a hand on Frank’s shoulder. “Where did he go to?”
“I don’t know, he was first rushing out of class, and he just kept walking through the hallway, we were in English at classroom 101” Frank shrugged once again. “I tried to catch up with him, but he hurried made a beast”
“…okay, he shouldn’t be so far away” Billie muttered more to himself than to the guy himself. “Thanks, Frankie, I’ll go look for him”
“Good luck, Billie” the tenth grader said with a small smile, and after the older guy had stroked his hair, Billie broke out jogging through the hallways seeking for his boyfriend anywhere, somewhere. He kept going and jogging through school for a bit, stopping once to ask for him and getting directed somewhere, to ask again and be directed somewhere else. Even though he was looking for a surely messed up Gerard, Billie did not feel under pressure and certainly not under panic like he had felt the first times he missed the tenth grader somewhere and somebody brought news on him getting in a bad time, or the probability of being in one. Billie did not really feel panicked this time. Like he had gotten used or something.
After asking once more, he was directed to the football field. He smiled and thanked and hurried there. The fastest way from where he stood at was across the basketball pitch. Even though it was not as popular as the football team, there was actually a basketball one as well. Physical Education classes, after all, were mostly taken in that one specific pitch. Billie remembered this one time a kid in ninth year kept picking on him because he was the shortest of class and told him he would not get to the top of the rope, and Billie, instead of crying and going to hide behind his always lanky friend Mike, actually went all the way up in almost a record time. He also remembered to have had been reported for having flicked off at this one kid while saying obscenities. Eh. He had never really…been the favorite to rules and such.
Billie crossed the silent and almost empty pitch in his way oblivious to everything and just headed to the door at the back. Once opening it, he blinked quickly a couple of times while using his hand for his eyes to hide under its shadow against the light of the sun that peered through delicate and thin grey clouds of winter. He waited a few seconds there, and then headed outside with firm steps. Once he had reached the football field, he stared around with curious and expecting eyes trying to locate his special little guy, but he was not on the bleachers and certainly not in the field. Billie stood in the middle of it and kept looking around a bit too innocent-looking. At first there was nothing, but then he caught it; movement behind some bleachers. And he knew about only one person with hair as black as that one.
Billie hurried his way over there and rounded the bleachers, stopping for a moment to make sure it was the little guy he was looking for. Feeling all fuzzy inside by realizing it was Gerard, just like he was a newbie fallen-in-love guy looking at his life-long crush in a beautiful outfit, Billie could not help the happiness of just seeing him as he reached closer for the tenth grader who, knelt down on the ground, groaned and mumbled stuff as he looked down at something. Billie’s excitement faded a bit as he got closer, and soon the worry hit him in the head; just a glance at the guy made him forget entirely why he was there in the first place. Getting closer, Billie stopped for a moment and, as he was about to open his mouth for a tiny first word, he stopped and his breath got cut at the same time his heart skipped a beat. He realized.
At first sight he did not really recall it nor did he pay attention; all of Gerard was always dressed in black almost like he was a freaking vampire, from neck to feet, and in the cold days, his gloves were dark as well. So his hair, being just as black, used to get confused with his clothes as it fell onto his back, and therefore he had not noticed before. But…after all, Frank had not hallucinated or anything. It was true. It was as true as any other true and obvious fact that there could be. It was…it was real. Gerard had done it. He had…it had changed.
Gerard’s hair was short.
Billie stayed still for some moments, and swallowed. After some seconds, he got closer and heard Gerard muttering obscenities; he really did not recall another time when Gerard could curse like that. The twelfth grader approached him more and leaned down as he did.
“Gerard?” he called quietly. His boyfriend looked over his shoulder like he was caught committing a crime. Billie stayed frozen for a few moments; Gerard looked a bit…out of place. Like he had turned into a different person just from last time they saw each other; into a more…fucked up person. After just a few moments of the surprise, Gerard closed the eyes and sighed with anger as he put his head down, cursing again. “Gee? What’s wrong?” the older one insisted carefully as he took another step closer and got on his knees behind Gerard. “What happened?” and he could not really help the obvious. “And what happened to your hair?”
“Ow, fuck” Gerard muttered once again and did not turn to look at the other. He just stayed like that, down on his knees facing the other side. “Just…oh, goddammit”
“What is it, Gee?” Billie asked once again, and he moved a bit to a side to get a better look of the younger guy. After he had moved and got a clearer sight of his boyfriend, he gasped and widened his eyes. “What happened to your arm?”
“I just…” Gerard stopped in a snap, like he had been about to explode but was able to control himself just in time but was struggling with it. He held a piece of cloth against his right forearm, where a bloodstain was visible. Billie stayed quiet, not knowing where to stare, and therefore having his eyes moving from Gerard’s face down to his arm and so on and on. He waited some moments until getting a real response. “I was, I just…fuck, I was just going through the fucking school and there was this…fucking…shitty piece of-“ he growled before continuing, “I mean, I just wanted to walk at a side of the goddamn wall, I had no fucking idea there was a shitty-ass nail coming from it like it’s fucking okay and normal, like, who’s fantastic idea was it to-?“
“Gee, it’s okay, it’s okay” Billie shushed him as his boyfriend started rambling. “Thing is, why are you so angry, sweetheart? I doubt it’s got to do with the lost nail on the wall”
“I’m not angry, I just-” Gerard half-exploded again before hissing and closing his eyes. He took in a deep breath and tried to calm down. Billie just stared at him; he was not used to Gerard’s new anger explosions. He was so used to see him so fragile and crying the whole time that he was a bit lost with his state anger. “I just, it’s just, for fuck’s sake, why can’t the world leave me alone? I don’t want freaking rainbows and shitty happiness, I just am sick of all this bullshit and-”
“Gerard, my love” Billie recalled, placing a hand on Gerard’s cold cheek. At first the tenth grader refused any contact and tried to stare away, but Billie did not move his hand away. “…do I have to guess it was someone’s fault?”
Gerard did not reply. A frown was drawn on his face, but he seemed to really be trying to calm down, leaning in a bit closer to Billie’s hand. After some seconds like that, Billie sighed and stared away. He closed the eyes and counted to ten in his head; one day, he really was going to chop Lance’s head off.
“Listen, my Gee” Billie called softly, moving again to sit in front of his boyfriend, taking his hand and putting it away so that he could hold the little piece of cloth in his place. Gerard hissed lightly at the new pressure, and insisted on not making eye contact. “You can’t let your emotions be controlled by othe-”
“I know” Gerard hissed as he interrupted, in a new explosion he almost immediately tried to control. “I know, I just; it’s driving me crazy, Billie, this is ridiculous” he exclaimed lowly. “Like, I understand if someone wants to beat the shit out of me, that’s what bullies do, but the hair? The hair!?” he growled and did a fist with so much strength his knuckles turned white like snow and Billie feared he would hurt himself with the fingernails, which was probably happening anyway. “For fuck’s sake, from all the bad things he could do to me, he had to specifically, only, just aim for my hair!? It’s ridiculous! It’s like, oh god”
And he kept growling and cursing. Billie could only stare at the other with worry, furrowing the eyebrows. God, to make Gerard get out of control like this…sure, he was not breaking windows and burning down somebody else’s house, but this was totally out of his usual self.
“I swear the world’s got a special aim on me, God’s fucking with me on purpose” Gerard growled, then looked up like he could see Jesus Christ from there. “What’s your damn problem, you, old man!? What did I do to you!?”
“Gerard, sweetie” Billie called. The other’s frown did not soft down nor did he turn to look at the twelfth grader. The older male was about to say it was only his hair, that it could have been worse. The problem was that doing that would only make Gerard feel misunderstood, weird, and not heard at all. And so, Billie knew why his hair was such a big deal. So, glad that he thought about it all in a snap right in that moment before he could say or do any stupid thing, Billie just got a bit closer, without letting go of the small cloth. “Tell me what you’re feeling”
“Well” Gerard snapped, not roughly like he was angry but like he had been impressed and did not even realize himself. After a small pause, he continued, shaking lightly his head. “Dumb. Sad. And angry” he hissed at the end of those previous words, then waited some moments in silence again before continuing. “More than anything, I feel anger. I feel…so damn angry” he muttered. “It feels like…liquid fire under the skin…behind my eyes, under my cheeks, and mostly, burning in my chest like it’s never done before” Billie listened carefully, and despite how bad he started feeling, how worried and upset he had started to get over seeing and knowing his boyfriend in such state of mind, the twelfth grader could not help it but stare at him with worried warmth, and smile for a moment, very lightly; even when angry, even when sad, even when distracted…Gerard was so poetic, so sensible, and with such great touch of an artist that he was plain beautiful. Even angry, he was entirely beautiful.
They stayed some moments in silence. After a while, Gerard’s frown faded and turned into a sadder expression, with the gaze lost in nowhere and somewhere at the same time. It was like the sudden rush of anger had exited his system as he expressed it calmly, accepting it. But it was also the same fact of accepting such unknown new sensation what caused his brain to collapse for a moment, giving him this new state of confusion in which he had to take some moments to process the information before continuing. And now that he was done processing that, the wave of sadness finally got to him.
“…I mean…” he gave away in a whisper, much, way much more calm than before. Billie turned the cloth to keep cleaning the blood away, while Gerard just talked almost only to himself. “…from all the pranks he could have thought about…he thought specifically on cutting my hair” he let out like it had been a total surprise, which it had somehow been. He blinked a few times, and Billie just watched him, waiting for him to continue. “…he thought, specifically, on cutting my hair”, the tenth grader repeated, in awe.
Billie discretely looked at a side when he thought he had caught movement somewhere nearby, but there was no silhouette or person or another living thing around that were not them, so he returned his full attention to his boyfriend. He had not even noticed Billie’s small moment of distraction. He was still a bit lost, like he was taking a bit too long processing.
“…it’s…I needed it for the next The Cat Duet presentation” Gerard whispered, now not showing any sign of anger, like it had never been there, but mere sadness. “…I…it’s…it’s not gonna grow back as long for June” Billie looked away and focused on the cloth on his boyfriend’s arm, even though he really did no find it any interesting at all. “…it’s…it’s gone…I’d have to wear a wig…I’d…I…Lily lost her essence” Billie nodded; it was a very weird way of putting it, but he understood. Any other person, and many actors, would just go Nah and get the wig, and carry on like that. But Gerard was much more different than those “many actors” and “any other persons” that Billie had ever known about in his whole life; Gerard did not take it as “I’ll dress up and act”, he took it as “I’ll let this character talk through me”. Of course the hair was a special matter.
And even if it was not only because his work as an actor had gone down the drain now that his character lost an important detail of their looks, Billie knew that Gerard was not as dramatic as for letting that take over his emotional life and kill him. No, he knew it was something else.
“…it’s, somehow, kind of a representation of what brought us together, BeeJ” Gerard whispered a bit lower this time, and if Billie had been previously scared by so much anger trapped in him, now there was no sign of it, like that little bit of conversation had taken it away in the air, and now only a sad face remained. “…and…it’s gone” as he said that, he finally looked up at the other, with tearful and shiny eyes. Billie felt inside as his entrails calmed down; there he was. The Gerard he knew. The same innocent, fragile and sad expression that was the Gerard he knew. Not the angry one, but this one. The cute and frail one that needed a hug.”…and it’s gone” he repeated.
“Oh, Gerard” Billie whispered as he moved a hand up to caress his boyfriend’s hair and cheek, getting closer to nuzzle at his head, before kissing his face. “It’s okay” he said lowly, closing the eyes and still focusing on just rubbing his face against the other’s head like a mom cat to her beloved kitten. “It’s okay, my Gee…” he insisted, and when he heard the first sniff-like sound, he let go of the cloth he had kept pressed against the tenth grader’s arm and held his face instead, making him look up for their gazes to meet, but Gerard’s eyes stayed down and away, in shame and embarrassment, with the eyes full to the limit of tears. “My baby…” Billie almost pouted the calling, and the first tears rolled down Gerard’s face, which he cleaned away with the thumbs. “I know it meant a lot to you…and I’m not telling you it’s dumb to cry over it because it’s not”
Gerard’s lower lip quivered and he let go of more tears at those words. If he had noticed something about the ridiculously fast speed in which Billie won his trust, that was that it was because the twelfth grader knew how to listen. When someone has a problem and they want to vent it out, people tend to say it’s okay, give a million advices over it, and do everything for you not to cry. Thing is, you didn’t need all those advices. You just wanted to say you felt sad. You never wanted an answer. Them giving away advices or saying it’s okay or asking for you not to cry feels like they don’t fully understand the shock the hit has left on you, and if something makes a human feel sadder or angrier, that’s to not feel understood.
Billie, on his part, listened all that he had to listen, then hugged you and cuddled the pain away, and kept telling you it was fine to cry, and that he was there with you. Of course he sometimes tried to give away advices, but he was never too quick on it, and he definitely never said “Oh, come on, it’s not that bad” with stuff. Gerard had not noticed it with something like that, but he was sure that if he ever got sad over a broken pencil, Billie would look at him the same way than now, would get as worried as now, and would cuddle him and listen to him like he had lost his grandparents or something. Indeed, Gerard had the feeling that he had found that certain one in a thousand; the one that understood that it’s not stupid if it’s making you feel bad.
“My GeeGee…” Billie purred with sadness as he wrapped his arms around the smaller guy, who kept the head down, buried in the crook of Billie’s neck, and sobbed only once, quietly. The older guy kept him tight in arms, pressing him close to himself. Billie had really not noticed, but now that he had, out of curiosity, compared the tiny Gerard he hugged back in the days when the tenth grader was bullied in an alleyway for protecting a kitten to the one who cried right there in his arms, his little boyfriend had gotten…well, his shoulders were a bit wider. He did not feel like a rag doll in his arms anymore, but rather like a…like a kid. Still making him overprotect Gerard, but not like he was a weak kitten; more like a healthy cat. Not a kitten anymore, but still being small and needy.
“Shit…” Gerard muttered under his breath and dropped another pair of tears. Billie kept him tight in the embrace, even though the tenth grader did not break down like he used to, and stayed much more calm and quiet than before. Yet again, he still could not contain the tears and the spontaneous sobbing. After some more moments like that, Gerard was who took the initiative to break apart, but as he did, he kept a tight grip with his fragile (but not as tiny as they used to be) fists on Billie’s jacket, by the chest. He looked up at his boyfriend with crystal-like eyes and a pair of tears on his face. “…that means I can’t be Lily anymore” just as Billie let out a small sigh and tried to convince him otherwise, Gerard continued. “I can’t just go with a wig, it kills the damn character…I-I mean I could have worn it here in school, but we’re presenting for damn New Jersey Performing Arts Center, I can’t just go with a wig! That’s pathetic!” he exclaimed, then went back to bury his face in Billie’s neck, back to tears. “I don’t care if we make it to their stage, I just wanted to be on stage with you…” he whimpered.
Billie furrowed the eyebrows staring down at him, keeping the arms around the tenth grader and caressing his hair.
“I-I…I wanted to have fun with the guys, and spend my stage time with you, because it’s theatre and I love it, a-and it’s you and I love y-you, and…” he groaned but sobbed as he kept going, like he was not sure of how he had to feel at all in that moment, struggling a bit with what he did and said. “…a-and I still could go like that, but I’d ruin the play for my fucking wish of doing the play with you…” he sobbed before continuing. “I-I mean…th-the play is…the play is the reason we’re together, and you’re the best fucking thing that has ever happened in my pathetic excuse of a life, wh-why can’t I freaking enjoy of the only thing that keeps me a-alive for once?”
“Gerard, sweetie” Billie called. “You’re thinking too much on ‘What if’s’ and future stuff that isn’t here just yet” he whispered. “I know it’s hurting you due to all that carries, but, listen…” as he said that, he broke away from the hug and kept the hands on Gerard’s shoulders, focused on keeping their gazes together in an unbreakable connection from which no one and nothing could distract them. “No matter how long your hair is, it’s not taking your hard-work and talent away” he whispered, looking serious rather than happy. “No matter how long it is, you’re beautiful to me” he smiled, and Gerard’s face hinted a soft shade of pink as he cleaned away a tear. After some moments in silence, Billie widened his smile. “And I’m talking about the hair”
“Ah!” Gerard exclaimed like it had been disgusting, but his body and face betrayed his expression as he started giving away a soft, quiet and broken laugh. Billie chuckled with him and looked at his boyfriend, and how cute he looked when he laughed like that, even if he was cleaning a few tears as he did. Once Gerard was done with the quiet but honest laugh, he kept the eyes down but a small smile on his face from the previous joke. Billie sighed and caressed his hair once again, leaning in closer to press a small kiss to the tenth grader’s forehead.
“Listen here, pie head” Billie called, still smiling, as he broke apart. “This is what we’re gonna do; you go back to classes, do your stuff, you won’t think about this, and then we’re going home” once said that, the twelfth grader stared slightly away and blushed. For a moment, Gerard had the sensation that he had gotten a bit nervous, like he had said something he should not have had. “I-I mean, your house…and there, you’ll tell me all that you feel and think, and then you’ll sit down at your living room, and I’ll give shape to that wonderful hair of yours” he winked an eye to the other. “You’ll see how you’ll rock that short hair like a bad-ass”
Gerard took a bit of a while. He sniffed again, even though he was not crying anymore. He rubbed the back of his hand on his face to clean away what remained of tears, and after some more moments, he nodded. He knew that Billie was interested on all that Gerard had to say about how he felt and what he thought, and that he probably had much more to cry, but the tenth grader also knew that Billie worried so that Gerard would do great at school. It could be a bit hypocrite, seeing as Billie skipped classes and tended to fail almost everything, but he still worried for Gerard to do the opposite. It was quite bittersweet when Gerard noticed that Billie wanted the best for him; that he wanted for Gerard to not be like him. That was the reason he worried so much over Gerard doing bad stuff, when he did them himself. Was that wrong? Gerard did not know what to think.
Still, he knew that Billie wanted him to have the mind clear for what was left of the day for him to focus on school. That was why it was some kind of “First focus on this, then we’ll really talk like we want”. And, in all honesty, he did not mind.
“That’s my man” Billie whispered with a warm smile as he yet again stroked the other’s hair, making him give away one of his adorable smiles. Then, Billie cupped his face in his hands and leaned in closer. Closing the eyes softly, he pecked Gerard’s slightly-harsh lips and stayed there some seconds before breaking apart. Gerard’s heart had raced at first due to them kissing in school, but then he remembered he was under the bleachers during class time, so it was okay. He smiled to Billie with sincerity when the older guy broke apart, and he could not help a tiny tear once again. Billie smiled at him and cleaned it with his thumb.
“You’re amazing” Gerard whispered with all the affection he had inside, and Billie needed no other thing to feel it in his heart. “Thank you…”
“The best for the best” Billie whispered back as he got closer again to Skimo-kiss him, before resting their foreheads together. After some seconds like that, he gave a last forehead kiss to his boyfriend, before he stood up softly not to stunt Gerard with the sudden change. Once on his feet, he offered his hands to the other and helped him up. “Let’s go…we’re in class, y’know?”
“Ah, I knew there was something missing” Gerard smiled at him.
“Class?” Billie asked as he took his hand and walked with him a few steps before they both let go of each other as they got out of the space under the bleachers.
“Nah” Gerard shook softly his head.
“Then what was missing?” Billie questioned as they kept going away.
“You hadn’t said ‘You know’ in a while” the tenth grader answered, and Billie left behind a bit of a laugh. “I was getting worried”
“You’re a dummy…”
Their voices got lost as they headed straight to the nearest building to get back to the warm inside of school and their respective classes. Soon enough, they were out of sight and there was no sound of their voices nearby the football bleachers, where one of the cheerleaders sat quickly after being knelt on one of the steps for her feet not to be seen from underneath the seats, putting a hand to her mouth and squealing while whimpering.
“Oh my god!” she squealed as quietly as she could, with her feet drumming like a mad rabbit and her fists shaking, smiling like a retard and blushing. Unable to speak, she let emotions and shock control her squealing for some more moments, before she tried to stay still as she took out her phone. She opened one of the applications of messages through internet, looked for the multi-conversation named “Team”, and started spamming them with emoticons and expressions, before sending four different photographs of the couple she had discovered just a while ago.
She laughed a bit as the squealing kept going, before picking up her stuff to get back to school. Thank God she had followed Billie from the basketball pitch, she thought. What one could find without even looking for it!
“I can’t wait for Charlotte to know!”
Gerard passed the rest of the day with the urge to run away back home and hide in there. His hair was a total mess, a shapeless disaster. It was not that it had been wrongly cut on purpose, but just snapping the scissors once did not really work. There were longer and shorter locks that went everywhere but a logical place. Somewhat, he was an asymmetric piece of art; you could not help to look at it, but something about it just did not feel entirely correct.
Everywhere he passed by, people gossiped or asked. He was at nothing to stop, turn on his heels, throw the arms up and yell “Oh my god, I’m an invisible, isolated ghost, and you people decide to notice me just to gossip and judge!? What the fuck?”, but he merely decided to keep on walking, with the head down and the fists done. He was not sure whether he was angry or sad, he merely knew he was upset and that people were total idiots. God, he wanted no sympathy or sincerity. He just wanted some damn peace.
Some people laughed by thinking he had gotten a haircut to feel included; “like, poor little thing, thinks he’s cooler with short hair”. Screw them. Screw them all. He had lost something intimate, and they gossiped and laughed, and pointed, and whatever. It was not like he asked to be noticed only when bad shit happened to him. The swirly back then, the bathroom beatings, and now this. Brilliant. Wonderful.
His friends were a very human thing as well each one, so Gerard understood that they, too, asked him what the hell had happened to his hair. He knew it was not their fault, anyone else would have asked it. Billie did. And if he were someone else, he would have done so too. So he understood in some way, and he calmed down before exploding at all, and promised to explain later.
He tried to pay attention, but his mind always went back to whatever subject he wanted to think about, always related on the hair and all he had lost with it. He sometimes woke up from his thoughts and tried to focus again on classes, because he knew that Billie was trying real hard for Gerard to really do better. It was not that Billie worried too much on his notes; it was not the notes themselves, but the fact that he knew that the lower they were, the lower Gerard’s self-esteem could go, even if not directly. And he also knew it was a strong reason for Gerard’s parents to strongly believe he really did need that psychologist, so the better his notes, the better they’d think Gerard was, and so, the better they would understand he needed no psychological help.
It was during a break that Gerard and the gang could gather around, Jake included, and so he talked about it. Even though all showed negative reactions out of anger towards Lance and his friends, it was Jake who showed some kind of deeper frustration. It was a bit strange; almost like the whole thing was personal, or something like that. Gerard had explained what had exactly happened, and a very tiny sum up of how he felt (angry, frustrated, quite down in the dumps to be honest), and rambled a bit about how important it was for the play they were repeating in front of important people from New Jersey’s art school.
His friends had tried to not leave him alone a single moment, due to all the people turning to look at him, giggle, or merely point. Even though Gerard was grateful for Ray telling him to ignore people, Frank flicking off at whoever giggled behind them, and Jake taking him somewhere else if someone pointed, Gerard could not help it but to smile when he was left with Bob sometimes because, more than doing any of what the rest of their friends did, Bob merely glared and people just shut up and walked away. And if they were brave enough to ignore the blond’s icy blue eyes that almost said you were getting torture if you laughed or said a single thing about Gerard’s new haircut, he could always go with his alternative. It made Gerard giggle every time, not because of the action itself, but by the reaction from people when Bob turned around and growled at them like an animal The worst of the whole thing (but best, and exactly what made Gerard giggle) was that people did not get creeped out or laughed at the sudden growling on their faces; instead, they ran away and even yelped.
Somehow, his friends made it easier for him to survive during that day, and mainly, to be distracted from the whole subject of the morning’s accident, which was exactly what he needed, at least until he could get home and be alone with Billie to talk about the whole thing, fully.
During the rest of the day, he could almost swear there were girls following him. And if he was hallucinating right, they were all from twelfth year. At first he thought it was just an idea of his; since Lance cut his hair and he went back to classes, he felt like everybody was looking at him when it was probably just his paranoia and stress. But all in all, he was sure that, many times, when he looked over his shoulders, there were two or three different girls each time hiding behind something or turning away, like they were spying on him or following his steps or something. Gerard gave them a cold look every now and then once it had become too obvious they were harassing him, and he had luck enough one of those times to have Bob with him during the way to his following class. Gerard could not help the laughter when the girl squealed and ran away like she had seen freaking Slenderman when Bob growled at her right on the face.
After a few times seeing that, it was almost totally certain that he was not merely hallucinating. A specific group of girls were following him, or watching him at least. The problem was, what could the reason be? Because he doubted highly it could be due to his hair. It did cause some polemic issues among people, and they did start noticing him only to judge and stuff, but it was not like they were going mad on it, or like it had caused panic at all. There was no reason for a specific group of people to just follow him around out of the blue. For a moment, he thought it could or not have to do with the fact that he and Billie had carelessly kissed in school. But then again, they had been left alone at the football field, under the bleachers, when everybody was meant to be in class. It was something out of the list.
Billie found him every now and then during the breaks between classes, and talked with him, comforted him without going too far for Gerard not to break down in there, and sometimes walked him to his next class. It was only when he was with either Billie or Bob that Gerard noticed no girls nearby following him or staring at him more than the normal. And after two or three breaks between classes, they merely disappeared, like they all had gathered the information they needed and had now hid in their cave to share what they found each one, and prepare an evil plan. Or maybe Gerard had watched too much TV and had read too many comic books, and was merely paranoid out of the fact that people had looked at him. It was not like he had done something to start hate in a group of girls.
Gerard had been getting some stuff from his locker and leaving some other things in there when a teacher called for Frank, who was the only one of his group of friends he was with at the moment. The small guy with a lip ring rolled his eyes when he heard the voice behind him, and signaled Gerard for forgiveness, and said he would not take long. The pale guy smiled at him, told him it was okay, and that he would wait there. Frank turned around and had to go with the teacher, who surely had only negative stuff to chide him about or whatever, he was not sure. Any or other way, when a teacher called him, it did not really use to be for something productive or good at all. Gerard stared at him going away, before sighing. He continued with the duty on his locker, when he heard a whistle in a calling way. He ignored it by thinking it was not for him, until he heard his name,
“Yo! Swirly-head Gerry!” Gerard sighed and closed the eyes at the sound of that voice. He swore that if it had been Lance and not his friend Leonard who called for him, he would have taken the fork the guy next to him was using to eat his bowl of fruit and would have gone straight to them, pinned Lance down some or other way, and stab him repeatedly in the eyes with the fork. He kept the eyes closed and his teeth clenched as he tried not to let his anger turn him into a total animal blinded by anger, and after some moments, he looked at his left side, glaring. There stood Leonard, and Daniel and Benjamin giggling like idiotic hyenas, surely already updated on the news of what the two jocks had done to the tenth grader early in the morning. “Nice haircut!”
Gerard’s teeth clenched so hard he feared to break his jaw. He felt an impossible heat inside his chest, and for a moment he felt like his blood was charged with hot gun powder. For a moment he thought of returning the words with something heavy, or at least go with flicking them off. He was not much the kind of guy to defend himself or stand up for protection and defense, but he had gotten sick and tired of letting anyone and everyone abuse of him. He needed a reply, but he was not strong enough to give one. The best he could give, and which came out naturally, without him even needing to think on all of that, was a deeply sarcastic smile with a whispered “Thank you”, showing up a palm like a sign of gratefulness. The jocks laughed more and joked a bit more between themselves and went away. Gerard shook his head and softly but not so softly slammed his head on his now-closed locker, with a heavy sigh. God, he wanted to destroy something.
While Frank was getting back to him, the cheerleaders passed by screaming and yelling, singing and dancing for people not to forget that, finishing classes the next day, there was a basketball game. They motivated people not to miss it, that there would be a huge surprise for everyone, and that the game was going to be amazing, and also, that they had practiced a whole new routine with a whole new song written by themselves. They insisted on not missing the game, and went away singing for the school’s sport teams’ anthem thing, leaving straight to another hallways to cause the same fuss and disaster. Gerard rolled the eyes. Like he was interested in sports at all. And just copying his thoughts, Frank appeared at his side.
“Geez, cheerleaders” he whined, smiling. “I’m not amazed of a whore that sings. I’ll be amazed when it’s a girl that rocks Master of Puppets, goes sexy, and still gives herself to respect”
“Like I care about sports” Gerard whined as a reply, half-smiling and getting to Frank’s side as both started walking to their next class.
“Like I care about sluts” Frank joked back.
“Like I care about girls at all” Gerard joked and his was definitely the last one, as Frank started laughing and could not really win against that. Both of them liked how easy Gerard could talk and joke about his sexuality with his group of friends; even though he was scared of people finding out (as he had it bad enough being known as ‘straight’ for people to bring even more problems to him if they knew), he felt entirely free of joking about it with his friends. He was so free on the subject he even used ‘gay’ to insult them; it was not like it was an insult, and he knew it, but he liked to joke and mess around with the guys.
Entering their following class, they kept joking via paper texts. That, of course, until they were spotted and sent to the principal. Gerard had not really counted it, but he was sure he had not visited the principal’s office so many times in so little time before in his life.