Death-Wish Kids


Frank immediately asked what Mikey and I had been talking about the second the bell rang signaling the end of second hour and the beginning of class. He shouted across the room for us to wait for him while he maneuvered around desks and slow-moving students. As short as he was, he had a surprisingly hard time squeezing between people.

"So, what was all that secretive whispering about?" Frank asked as we headed down the hall towards the lunch room. He grabbed onto Mikey's sweatshirt sleeve to slow him down and gave him a look that he shared with me, silently demanding that we tell him.

"I'll tell you at lunch," I replied, pulling him forward so he'd stop blocking the way of the other students in the hall, "It's not a huge deal."

Frank nodded, subdued by my promise and quickened his pace, seeming to realize that every extra minute we spent in the hall added another fifteen to twenty kids to the line for food. "Come on, Cyren," he demanded as he dragged Mikey to the line, "Nobody is getting back in line with you once it gets shorted so you might as well just come now and tell me what you two were talking about."

I smiled at his rowdiness and shook my head. "I'll get in line by myself," I denied, starting to veer off towards our table, "I don't want to talk in line. It's so crowded."

"But, please?" Frank asked, clasping his hands together in a plea as he and Mikey stepped into the line, "I don't want to wait that long!"

"Come on, Frankie," Mikey muttered, rolling his eyes at the boy, "Leave her alone. She'll tell us once we get some food."

"Yeah," I agreed with the taller boy, "I will, I promise."

Frank huffed and crossed his arms over his chest. "Fine," he pouted, turning away from me as another kid tried to step in front of him.

I chuckled as he shoved his way back in front of the kid. I walked over and sat down in my chair at our usual table so that I could get started on the math homework I'd neglected the night before. As I looked at the problems the numbers in the equations got lost somewhere in my head and were replaced with thoughts of the upcoming weekend and subsequently thoughts of Mitchell Hurst, a boy who had contributed to the downfall of my young life and prominently to the most humiliating days I'd experienced thus far.

He'd stayed for a weekend before, but now, will friends to tell, it felt different having my child's father sleeping on my couch. With a new life unfolding around me, it felt wrong to have to keep looking back at the past.

The second Frank sat down he was back to asking me what was wrong and this time Mikey didn't help me fend him off. Frank pulled his tray closer to him and trained his eyes on me.

"Fine," I muttered, leaning on my elbows, "Micah's dad is coming to stay with me for the weekend."

"He's going to sleep at your house?" Frank asked before he took a bite of his pizza, "Does he do that a lot?"

I glanced at Mikey and met his gaze. He was silent, like usual, but I wanted to know what he was thinking. Instead of asking I shook my head in reply to Frank's question. "Every couple of months he'll come by and see Micah."

"Sounds like a shitty dad to me," Frank replied, rolling his eyes, "If I had a son I'd never be able to ditch him for months at a time. Especially if the mom was as cool and laid back as you."

I shrugged. "Mitchell and I aren't close," I admitted, glancing away from the boys.

"That doesn't mean he can't come see his son," Mikey spoke for the first time, "Just because he and you don't get on as well as you should doesn't mean he shouldn't see his son for months at a time."

"I know," I murmured, folding my arms and resting them on the table.

Frank wrapped an arm around my shoulders which caused me to look at him. When his green eyes met mine, he said, "Him not being around just means that you don't have to see him very often."

The statement made me smile. No matter how much it bothered me that Micah didn't see his dad very often, I had to admit that not seeing Mitchell wasn't all bad.

"I guess you won't be able to hang out this weekend, will you?" Frank questioned between bites of cheese pizza, "Or could you leave Micah with his dad and come hang out with us on Saturday night?"

Mikey looked up to me with a hopeful expression.

I shook my head. "There's no way I can leave Mitchell alone with Micah," I told them, my nerves rising just at the thought of letting Mitchell supervise our baby. "He's no where near responsible enough. I don't think he's ever even changed one of Micah's diapers," I added, shaking my head continuously.

Frank rolled his eyes dramatically but then glared at Mikey when the taller boy smacked his arm. "That hurt," he stated, eyeing Mikey.

"Don't be rude," Mikey replied, offering me an apology smile.

"What?" Frank asked, holding his hands up in defense, "I was rolling my eyes at Micah's dad, not at Cyren!"

Mikey gave him a look. "Still," he concluded.

Frank sighed dramatically and turned his full attention to the rest of the food on his plate. I turned my attention back to the book in front of me and tried to focus on the problems as best I could but thoughts of Mitchell and Micah interrupted me and kept me wondering if someday Mitchell would be able to take Micah alone.

"I have an idea!" Frank exclaimed once he'd finished eating.

I looked up to him with a grin on my face. I could tell by now that ideas came easily to him and that he never shied away from explain them to whoever would listen. Mikey looked amused too and motioned for Frank to get on with it.

"What if we came over and hung at your house?" Frank suggested, running his hand over the bleached part of his hair, "Micah could hang out with his dad and we could hang out with you. It would work out for everyone."

"I don't know..." I trailed off, trying to imagine how Mitchell would react to having them around on one of his days, "This weekend is supposed to be all about Mitchell and Micah."

"It will be," Frank agreed, "They can spend time together while we watch movies or something. What do you have to do with them spending time together?"

"I don't think so," I shot down, something in the pit of my stomach turning me away from the idea of having all of them in the same house at the same time and even more so from the thought of having anyone outside of Mikey and Frank know about Micah.

It was obvious that both Frank and Mikey were disappointed that they couldn't come over this weekend, but they agreed without arguing and with a not so subtle look Mikey stopped Frank from asking any more questions as to why not.

"I'm going to meet this guy sometime," Frank said instead. He grinned when I looked up to him and continued talking. "I'm going to find out what kind of guys you're interested in and make sure that you never date anyone like this guy again."

I chuckled, slightly confused and asked, "Why not?"

Frank shrugged but answered anyways, surprising me with the seriousness of his words. "Because this guy seems like a jackass and you deserve more than some guy that shows up to see his son every few months." He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly and looked at me for confirmation.

I closed the space between us by wrapping my arms around his small frame. He hugged me back tightly.

"Thank you, Frank," I whispered to him, "That's kind of the nicest thing anyone has said to me before."

I felt Frank nod against me. "And that's the saddest thing I've heard in a while," he replied honestly. He pulled back and smiled at me, but it wasn't a happy smile it was more one of compassion and for the first time, I didn't mind that Frank felt bad for me, because I knew that it went hand in hand with being my friend also. And I always believed that having someone feel for you was a sign of friendship... just not one I'd experienced myself.

"Maybe you two could come over for a little while on Saturday," I mentioned near the end of lunch. We'd spent a lot of the hour back in line with me and then Mikey and Frank bickered as I ate my food and watched them like a hilarious sitcom.

Frank threw my trash away as we headed towards the main doors of the cafeteria. "What changed?" he questioned, visibly pleased by my retraction.

I shrugged. "Nothing really."

Frank fiddled with the pack of cigarettes in his hand idly, obviously not realizing that he'd pulled them out of his pocket.

Mikey's eyes widened and he reached out to yank the pack from Frank's fingers. Frank shouted out to him as Mikey stuck them in his own pocket quickly.

We all quieted instantly when a teacher looked our way. Suspicious of us, he headed our way. Mikey jammed his elbow into Frank's side and Frank stopped trying to get his cigarettes back and instead plastered a fake smile on his face. "Principal Dougan, what can we do for you?" Frank questioned, crossing his arms.

I stood up a little straighter on instinct. I hadn't met the principal yet and hadn't heard anything about him from Ryder, but from the look of his pressed suit and shiny shoes I knew he wasn't one to be lenient about the use of tobacco products on school grounds.

Mr. Dougan shrugged to answer Frank's question and then added, "I just thought I'd come over and introduce myself to your newest friend, Mr. Iero."

"This is Cyren," Mikey introduced for me, resting a hand on my back as he did so. "Cyren Alexander."

The principal smiled like he knew me and nodded enthusiastically. "Yes, I remember seeing your name when you transferred. You're related to Ryder, aren't you?" he questioned, much like many of my teachers had when they met me.

"Yes," I stated, "She's my older sister."

The conversation with our principal didn't last long and I knew it was somewhat because of how different I was from my sister. Everyone who knew her expected me to be at least a little like her but were usually disappointed when they realized we couldn't be more different - although they never told me so. It wasn't hard to see the subtle changes in them when they really started to know me. Sometimes it was the way their smile became smaller, or the way their voice changed as did their body language.

As for Mr. Dougan, it was the way he glanced around the cafeteria before he met my eye again. When he did so he put another smile on his face that wasn't nearly half as genuine as it had been before.

"We've got to get going," I said as I shoved my hands into the pocket of my hoodie, "I need to stop at my locker before the bell rings and I'd really hate to be late to class."

Mr. Dougan agreed and politely excused himself as a couple of kids began to loudly argue in the back of the room. "Have a nice day, Cyren. It was nice meeting you."

"You too." I tried to smile. "See you around."

He nodded and hurried past us with wide eyes as a boy threw a punch at another boy. A few girls screamed as the arguing duo flew past them and hit the table. Frank laughed loudly as they fell to the floor and another teacher tripped over them as he tried to pry them apart.

"Doesn't look like the no cell phone policy is working," Mikey commented as he motioned to the array of kids around the room who were recording the fight.

Frank rolled his eyes and pulled me towards the door. "I don't know how these adults think they can truly enforce anything around here." He looked back at Mikey harshly and shoved his hand into his pocket. He pulled out his pack of cigarettes and huffed at his friend. "Do we have time to go for a smoke?"

I glanced at the clock that hung above the lockers to our right. "No," I answered, "We've got about three minutes before the bell rings."

"Damn it," Frank muttered, shoving the smokes into the back pocket of his jeans, "I'll just have to slip out sometime during fifth hour."

I hoisted my bag up higher on my shoulder and leaned against the wall. "I'll ask my dad about having you guys over on Saturday night," I told them, "I don't know if he'll go for it seeing as Micah's dad will be there, but I'll try."

"Just tell him that we'll fucking show up anyways," Frank suggested, tapping his foot against the tiled floor of the hallway. "That should probably do the trick."

I laughed and bumped his shoulder with mine. "I'll try it," I replied, grinning as he wrapped his arms around my waist.

"Shit, Cy, you're not much taller than me," he changed the subject, sounding pleased with his revelation, "How tall are you?"

"Five-five and a half," I replied, standing up taller as he stood on the tips of his toes, trying to make himself look taller than me on purpose. "Knock it off," I demanded playfully as I pushed his shoulder down towards the ground.

He pushed his mohawk out of his eyes and stood flat on his feet. "Just an inch and a quarter taller than me," he calculated, pleased by his own words, "Thank god not everyone towers over me like this freak." He jutted his thumb towards Mikey, who paid no mind to the little insult.

We scattered as the bell rang, each of us heading off in our own direction. My classes were the same like every other day except today while everyone else handed in their work, I sat quietly in my chair at the back of the room and waited, knowing that explaining myself was the worst way to go.

In seventh hour Geometry, though, I was far from alone. Frank sat smugly with his arms crossed defiantly over his chest when our teacher started asking students why they didn't have it done. By the looks of him, Mr. Tanner couldn't help but pick on him.

Frank raised his eyebrows at the young teacher and shrugged his shoulders. "I had better things to do," he replied, sounding honest and disinterested in one go.

"Like what?" Tanner asked as he collected the rest of the papers.

"Stuff that makes sense and isn't boring," Frank replied, shaking his head at the question, "Isn't that kind of obvious?"

"Not to me," our teacher replied, "I do this for a living, remember?" He looked at Frank and smiled, believing that he'd ended the conversation effectively.

Frank sat forward and rested his elbows on his desk. "Hardly anyone actually likes their job anymore, Mr. Tanner. So I'd been assuming that you spent over half of your year with stupid high school kids just because of the shitty pay and the summers off. Guess I was wrong."

Our teacher gathered his papers into a neat pile on his desk and shrugged his shoulders, smiling even though Frank's words were directed at him. "You're half-right," he admitted, causing some of the students to laugh, "My pay checks are the highlight of my life, Mr. Iero."

"What else is there to look forward to?" Frank responded, smirking as Mr. Tanner's smile wavered.

"Alright, Frank, back to the lesson," Tanner replied, heading over to the white board, "And no," he stated, turning back to Frank as the boy raised his hand, "You can not go to the bathroom."

Frank glared at the young teacher, his hopes of having a cigarette break shot down as Tanner started writing something on the board. Frank looked back to me with outrage and I smiled apologetically, mouthing the words, "I'm sorry," as he pouted in his chair and glared bullets into the back of our teacher's head.

At the end of the hour Frank raced off to his back door and I headed to Biology to meet up with Mikey. Unlike me, Mikey had his work done and turned in when the teacher asked for it. I leaned back against chair restlessly and continuously glanced at the clock above the board, wishing for the first time that time would slow and I would be able to stay at school for just a little while longer.

Truthfully, I wasn't really to see Mitchell again. Sharing Micah wasn't something that I should've had a problem with, but every time Mitchell touched him I wanted to scream. It wasn't fair that Mitchell Hurst was allowed any where near my son but I wasn't allowed to do anything to stop him, our arrangement was court ordered.

Mikey and I walked out of the school building together after the bell rang. He was quiet like usual but as we waited for Frank to emerge from the school, we sat on the ledge and he asked about Mitchell.

"Where's he coming from?" he questioned softly, smiling reassuringly as he waited for me to answer.

"He flies up from Florida," I replied, kicking my heels against the stone we were sitting on. "My dad has probably picked him up from the airport already."

"He flies all the way here for just one weekend?"

I shrugged, training my eyes on the cracks in the cement. "He can afford it."

Mikey nodded and we stayed silent until Frank appeared, pushing through a group of girls who were walking slowly in front of him. "Guys!" he shouted as he ran over, "I almost got busted getting back into the school!"

"What happened?" I asked, leaning back on my hands as he sat next to me.

"One of the English teachers came right down the hall as I came back in and she fricken let me go!" he bragged, grinning proudly, "For a teacher she wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box."

"Frank, don't you -"

Mikey stopped me before I could correct him. I laughed it off and let Frank talk about whatever was on his mind. When Gerard pulled up he was back on the subject of coming over this weekend. He dragged me towards the Nissan so he could finish what he was saying. "Seriously, though," he ranted, half-way into the car, "I think it would be awesome to go to your house this time. I'm sure your sister would just love to have us around," he laughed, sending a wink in my direction.

"My dad would love it so much more," I replied, smiling at the boy. I ducked down and said hello to Gerard too.

"Got home safely, I see," he commented, running his palm over his white hair.

"Yeah. I'm actually not a rubbish driver if you can believe it," I stated, playfully rolling my eyes at him. I turned my attention back to Mikey and Frank and nodded in the general direction of my car. "I've got to get going. Got people waiting for me."

I backed up so that Frank could close the car door. "See you this weekend," Frank said as he rolled down the window, "Text Mikey and let us know what's up."

"Good luck," Mikey added from the front seat.

"Thanks," I responded to him, "I will," I added to Frank, "See you guys later." I stepped into the road behind Gerard's car as he took off. As they left the sense of ease that had crept into me went with them and my nerves rolled back in.

For a split second, the idea of taking Micah and driving far away from my house seemed brilliant, but when I realized that I wouldn't make it far before the cops were on my tail, I pushed that idea away and started towards the daycare, knowing I was in for a difficult night.
♠ ♠ ♠
I have not read through this for mistakes.. I am very tired but I wanted to get this out to you guys. :) So, if the mistakes bug you, bite me. :P

But have you guys heard MCR's cover of Pulp's song "Common People"? It's beautiful. I loved the original but I love this one so much more. Gerard's voice is just... uuunf. ;) If you haven't heard it I suggest you listen to it! I've even posted it here for you. Aren't I helpful!?

I've probably watched this video a hundred times on YouTube and listened to the song on my iPod twice that. Just... the way he sounds (and looks) is breathtaking. Make sure you really listen to the lyrics... a few times.

Oh! And please comment! We're probably going to meet Mitchell in the next chapter!