"Frank?"A mean and shrill voice interrupted my thoughts. I guess I'd been staring off into space for longer than I intended to, but I guess school does that kind of thing to you.

"Yes?" I tried to act like I was actually listening with an intelligent-sounding response.

"Can you answer the question that I just asked the class?" Mrs. Simmons is the worst teacher I've ever had. When other students don't pay attention, she lets them off easy. But god forbid, if I don't listen to her go off on tangents about history, I get the ax. She just hates me.

"I wasn't listening," I stated firmly. I didn't care if she caught me zoning out.

"Next time, I suggest you listen. That D+ average in my class won't go up by itself, Frank," she said, completely and purposely butchering my name in disgust.

Fuck you, bitch, you aren't my mother. I just nodded, and she continued to ramble.

I heard Mikey chuckle next to me, so I just said "Shut up, bitch."

He looked away and smiled widely. It didn't take long for him to forget I was there and listen to Mrs. Simmons' lesson intently.

Mikey Way is my very best friend. Actually, my only friend. Considering that we've only been friends for two months, that's pretty damn good. All the other people at this school think I'm some sort of martian, mostly because I dress "weird" and listen to "strange and angry" music. The best part about Mikey is that he's under the exact same category, just with "nerd" added in there somewhere, but I'm pretty sure that's only because he wears glasses. Other than that, I think he's pretty normal. His hair is brown, and halfway down his neck, not covering his face like mine does. He's got a pretty good personality, I guess... and listens to fuckin awesome music, and plays the bass guitar. Which is pretty awesome, because I play bass and guitar. So we have something to do when we're bored, something we can help each other with while having fun.

I nearly jumped out of my seat when the bell took me by surprise. I gathered my stuff up in my bag quickly- I just wanted to play some fuckin bass, and fast.

Mikey and I got all our stuff in our lockers and such, I got my bass from the safe room in the auditorium, and started on our walk. Mikey's house was much easier to get to from the school, so that's where we were going. His place was maybe ten minutes away, and mine was twenty... It's a good thing his parents like me.

"Sometimes I wish I didn't play bass, cause this thing gets heavy after

two minutes of carrying it," I complained.

"The hard case doesn't make it any easier, does it?" he laughed.

I laughed too. "It's fun though, that's damn good enough for me."

"Yep. Didn't you say once that your dad or grandfather got you into playing? And guitar?"

Damn, this kid's good! "My dad is urging me to play drums, and my grandfather taught me how to play guitar, so bass guitar kinda came naturally. The funny thing is," I smiled, "they both play guitar sort of professionally, yet my dad still insists on drums."

Mikey laughed. "Maybe your dad wants variety in his family or something."

"Ya know, probably! He's always saying that he wishes he played drums in his band instead of guitar."

"Well, there ya go!" Mikey always knows how to make me laugh.

I guess I always know how to make him laugh too, because right a

fter he said that, I tripped over my own feet and landed face-first. Mikey burst into uncontrollable laughter. I rolled onto my back and lie there for a minute, trying to regain my state of mind. A group of jocks walked passed us and laughed at me, shouting rude shit like "how's the view down there, freak?" and the most popular: "Fag!" I just flipped them off with both my middle fingers as they walked by.

Mikey had stopped laughing and apologized for laughing in the first place. "Don't apologize, you didn't do anything wrong," I insisted.

"Okay then," he muttered. "Need a hand?" He put his hand out for mine, and I did feel kinda sore... so I took it and let him help me up.

I gained my balance back and brushed myself off. "Thanks." I picked up my bass and we kept walking.

"No problem. So what were we saying before you fell ever-so-gracefully?"

"Shut up!" I laughed. "Family, I think."

"Oh yeah! You might get to meet my brother today, I think he's home."


"Yeahh. I told him about you at dinner one night, how you're my only friend and we have so much in common and stuff, and he said you sound like the perfect man for me."

That made me laugh really hard. "I take it you told him I swing both ways?"

"I figured it didn't matter cause he does too," he said.

"Gotcha," I said. Mikey's brother is sort of a mystery to me. All I know about him is that he's still living at home, four years older than Mikey- who's a year younger than me, unemployed, smokes a lot, and likes the same music as I do.

"Do you even remember his name?" Mikey asked.

It hadn't occurred to me that I didn't know my best friend's brother's name. "Uh... Jared...?" No, doesn't sound right. Mikey shook his head. "Uhh... Jacob...?"

Mikey scoffed with a smile. "It's Gerard."

It completely clicked when he said it. "That's it! I was close the first time..."

"Yeah, you were," Mikey said with a smile."

The rest of the walk to his house we talked about music. Bands, records, songs, musicians, everything. It was pointless, but interesting to say the least. The rest of the walk was also accompanied by me having a smoke. School sucked today, so my stress level was through the roof for some reason, so I needed a Marlboro to calm me down a little. I'm pretty glad that Mikey's used to smoking in his home, because if he wasn't I would be so screwed.

After what seems like ten seconds, we arrived at Mikey's. At this point, I've been here enough times that I know

it like I know my own home.

So, easily, the first thing I noticed was a silver Subaru XT in the driveway that I've never noticed before. Must be Gerard's car, since he's home today. Mikey walked into the house and I followed with caution, because I didn't want to trip over the threshold like I normally would... not with this big fuckin bag and bass. I put my stuff down next to the door like I always do and when I looked up, I saw a guy in sweatpants and a black tee-shirt sitting on the couch looking up at me. I waved. Must be Gerard.

Mikey put his stuff down and sighed happily. "Gee, this is Frank, that guy I told you about," he gestured to me with his hand, the other was in his pants pocket, "and Frank, this is my brother, Gerard."

I waved again, but added "Hey," this time.

He smiled at me, said, "hi," and leaned forward and picked up a mug off the coffee table. "There's fresh coffee in the brewer if you guys want some," he said, took a sip of what I'm now assuming is coffee, and got right back to reading the comic book he had in his lap.

Mikey smiled this huge smile I've only seen a few times before and silently shouted, "yes!" He headed towards the kitchen. "Want any?" he asked me.

"Coffee at 2:30 in the afternoon? Really?" I've never done that before.

"Um, fuck yes! Me and Gee, we love coffee. It's the most addicting substance ever. I'll pour you some." He started to carefully pour his coffee into a glass mug that reads, "life's a beach." I laughed out loud at that. He went to the cupboard to get me a mug, and cursed under his breath. "I gotta get a mug from my room and wash it for you," and left for his room without saying another word.

I took this opportunity to observe the mystery dude. He wore dark blue pajama pants and a tee shirt and black socks. He was pretty skinny, kinda like me. But I'm guessing he's taller than 5'2. His hair is black,- maybe even blacker than black- and long, as in down to his shoulders. It's also kinda messy, but it gave him that I-don't-give-a-fuck look. The biggest thing that I noticed was his skin tone. This guy looks like he's never even been in the sun before! If he has albino eyes, I won't be surprised.

Mikey returned with a mug and washed it out for me, then poured me coffee, shoved it in my face, and said, "drink this," as though we would hurt me if I didn't.

I took the coffee like a good little short person and drank a sip, and I noticed Gerard's head rise to watch me. I was immediately overcome by the best tasting coffee I've ever had. I couldn't help but moan little bit- it was so good, it was almost orgasmic. "This is so fuckin good! I think this is seriously the best coffee I've ever had in my entire life!"

Gerard and Mikey both grinned, and I nearly dropped my coffee. They looked almost identical when they smiled like that. I noticed they had the same eyebrows, face-shape, mouth and eyes. So when they smiled I thought I was seeing doubles.

"Isn't it great? Gee makes the best coffee, he stated happily, then walked towards his room.

I trailed behind. When I past Gerard, still sitting on the couch reading a comic book, I said, "awesome coffee, man!"

"Thanks," he said, sounding very accomplished.

I realized I had forgotten my bass, so I set my coffee down on the table I was right next to, turned around and ran towards the bass, grabbed it, and ran back to my coffee and flew down the hall without saying a word or sparing glance at Gerard. I did hear him laughing, though.

The rest of the time I spent at Mikey's was spent playing bass together, talking about awesome bass riffs, and eventually we got onto the topic of horror films. Now I know I have someone to watch horror films with on my birthday who isn't my mom. Being born on Halloween means I'm sort of obligated to watch at least two.

Before I knew it, my mom had arrived to pick me up. I said goodbye to Mikey, waved to Gerard, and left.

I lay here in my bed, waiting for sleep to take me away into a land of trippy shit, and nothing happens. I can't fall asleep for the life of me tonight. My mind races through everything that happened today.

I woke up, prepared myself for the day, ate breakfast with my mom as always, left for school, sat through school, went to Mikey's house, met Gerard, drank coffee that Gerard made, complimented Gerard... Suddenly Gerard isn't letting me move on to other thoughts. He's such a mystery to me, he's keeping me awake thinking about him.

I keep replaying our meet and greet session over and over in my head, as though I'm looking for some sort of clue. I don't even know why. He's contaminated my brain! This is probably just the way things usually go with me. I meet someone for the first time, then they're always on my mind. I'm always curious about them, want to get to know them, but never do. Eventually, that shit goes away.

Tomorrow's a new day, new times, new experiences. So I'm gonna make the most of it... and get a new pack of cigarettes.