Status: I Want Sprinkles On That Shit

Don't Try to Save Me


So it turned out that there's an owl that lives in the tree right next to my window that seems determined to keep me awake all night. It didn't shut up once, constantly hooting throughout the entire night. 

I felt like shit when my alarm went off and hid beneath my duvet, trying to go back to sleep. 

"Frank! You better be getting out of bed!" Linda yelled up the stairs. "I'm not waiting round for you! If you want a lift you're gonna have to be ready in time!" 

"Fuck off," I mumbled into the pillow before dragging myself out of bed and into the bathroom across the hall from my room. 

I got in the shower and woke up slightly, the water freezing as I stepped in and gradually warming up by the time I was finished. 

I towelled my hair off before evaluating my appearance in the mirror. I still looked a little dead but I couldn't care less right now. I grabbed my eyeliner and went to work on fixing my face. 

I doubted that my class mates would ever have seen a guy wearing make up. Hell, I bet they'd never even seen a girl wearing it either. 

I brushed my teeth and then went and got dressed, pulling black skinny jeans out of one of my suitcases. I topped it off with a misfits t-shirt and a black and red check shirt, leaving it open at the front. 

"Frank! I'm leaving in two minutes, hurry up!" 

I rolled my eyes and grabbed my back pack and converse and trudged down stairs. I felt too nervous and sick to eat anything so I just grabbed a red bull on the way out, chugging it back desperately. 

Linda was waiting by her beloved Mercedes, leaning against the bonnet. She pursed her lips and gave me a disapproving look as I stumbled down the steps. 

"You look like shit," she commented as we got into the car. 

"I know," I grumbled, curling up in the passenger seat. "Didn't sleep." 

"Really? I slept just fine." 

"That's probably because you didn't have a fucking owl outside of your window all night," I whined, scrunching my eyes up at the too bright sun. 

Linda shrugged. "Tough shit. That's the only other bedroom fit to sleep in." 

"I hate you." 

"Have a nice day at school Frank." 

I looked up and found we were parked outside of the school already, my mother smirking at me from behind her sunglasses. "You'll have to walk or get the school bus home, I'll be back late tonight." 

"Fine. See you later." 

I took a deep breath and opened the door, climbing out nervously. 

I winced internally at the stares I was receiving. All of the students seemed to have stopped dead in their tracks to stare at Linda's car, their eyes nearly popping out of their heads when I emerged from the shiny black vehicle. 

I guess they've just never seen skinny jeans before. 

I kept my head down as I marched into the school, avoiding the stares and whispers. By the time I'd reached reception I was pretty sure everyone had come to ogle at me and stories and rumours had spread already. 

The receptionist gawped at me. 

"Can I help you?" she asked, her voice twanging with that stereotypical southern drawl.

"Uh, I'm Frank Iero, I'm supposed to be starting school here today," I mumbled, nervously fiddling with the edge of my shirt. 

"Oh, of course. Let me get your timetable and map for you," she said, fumbling round behind her desk. 

I fidgeted as I waited, glancing round. People were still whispering and staring as if I had two extra heads and eight arms. 

"Here you go," she said, sliding a stack of papers over to me. "Your first class is upstairs in room 3. You have English with Mr. Tarn." 

"Thanks," I muttered as the bell rang, grabbing the papers and shuffling off.

There only seemed to be one staircase in the entire building so I went up and looked for room three. It wasn't hard to find and I was kind of used to having to direct my way round new schools. 

The whole class seemed to be there already by the time I walked in, all of them seated and talking loudly. The noise dropped the second I crept in, trying to keep my eyes on the floor. Everyone looked at me, staring. 

"You must be Frank," a voice from the front of the room. 

I looked over to see my teacher making his way round his desk towards me, smiling slightly. 

"I'm Mr. Tarn, your English teacher." 

Wow, no shit. 

"Why don't you introduce yourself to the class Frank?" 

Oh. So he was one of those teachers. Asshole. 

I looked over to the small area of desks with a bored expression. "I'm Frank." 

Mr. Tarn's expression tightened. "Tell us about yourself Frank." 


A small hush of laughter came from the other students and I felt proud of my small achievement. 

"I think it's only polite to properly introduce yourself to your new classmates Mr. Iero," Mr. Tarn said with a tight lipped smile, his voice short and clipped. 

"And I think it's only polite you stop being so damn nosy," I retorted. 

Mr. Tarn clearly wasn't expecting the comeback, his face dropping and more laughter circulating around the room. 

"Go to your seat. I'll speak with you after class." 

I turned away of him, rolling my eyes as my back was turned and sat down in an empty seat in the middle of the class.

The class passed quickly, filled with boring lectures about the importance of Shakespeare from my asshole teacher and drilling stares from the other kids in my class. 

The only other person worth of any interest was a boy who sat across from me. 

He was taller than me and wore a bored expression, when he wasn't staring at me. He was extremely good looking, pulling off the rugged homeless guy look and making it look amazing. His hair was a messy nest of tangled brown strands, stopping half way down his neck, a few days worth of stubble gracing his jaw and throat. His face was damn attractive, pouty kissable lips and beautiful deep eyes that flickered round restlessly. 

The bell shrieked and the class was gone in seconds, leaving me sat in my seat, staring at Mr. Tarn with an uninterested face. 

"Come here Mr. Iero." 

I slowly got up and made my way to his desk, raising an eyebrow, sucking on my lip ring. 

"If you think for one minute you can walk into my class show such disgusting disrespect and lack of manners, you're wrong. I don't stand for back chat Mr. Iero and you're not going to last long in my class if that's way you're going to act," Mr. Tarn snapped. 

I maintained my bored expression. "Mhhmm." 

He looked outraged, his lip curling up. "Carry on like that and you'll find yourself in detention." 


His face was turning the colour of a tomato. "Get out of my room. I'm expecting an apology next time I see you Mr. Iero." 

I nodded and headed for the door, bristling with anger. 

"And take that filth off your face boy!" 

"It's called make up sir." 


By the time lunch rolled round I appeared to already have a reputation. The teachers all regarded me with a look of disgust and the rest of the student body either seemed terrified or intrigued by me. Apart from the pissed of glares I got from the jocks, but I really wasn't bothered by that. 

At lunch I didn't even bother to go into the canteen, knowing full well that there was no chance of getting a salad suited to my vegetarianism. I didn't really eat lunch anyway and I had a cereal bar and a packet of cigarettes calling my name in my back pack. 

I headed outside and looked for a safe enough place to go and smoke. It looked empty and quiet enough round the back of the gym hall by a group of trees, so I trudged up the slight hill and settled myself down against the trunk, digging my smokes out. 


The voice startled me, causing me to look up quickly, jumping slightly. 

The guy from my English class was leaning against the tree opposite to me, a cigarette dangling gracefully from his long, pale fingers. 

"Oh. Hi," I replied, looking away as I lit up. "Sorry. I can move if you want, I didn't think anyone was up here." 

"Don't worry about it, I don't care. It's kind of nice to be round someone different for a change," he replied in his raspy, seductive voice, clearly not from the dump we were currently in. 

"Thanks," I replied, flashing him a quick grin and pulling hard on my smoke. 

"So, where you from fag boy?" he smirked, flicking his ashes. "That's what they're all calling you by the way. I think it's probably the eyeliner." 

I laughed. "I think so too. They must think I have some sort of mental handicap." 

"Never mind. Those meat heads probably think they'll catch it off you if they try and beat you up." 

I rolled my eyes. "Well, I wouldn't want to be spreading all my nasty city diseases round would I?" 

He laughed, stumping out his smoke. "I knew you from somewhere big. You gotta be to have the balls to walk into this place wearing eyeliner." 

I grinned. "I'm from Jersey originally. But I've been all over the place. We travel a lot." 

"Yeah? Where've you been?" 

I shrugged. "Chicago, Seattle, L.A, New York, just big cities. Never anywhere like this." 

"You've got a Jersey thing going on with your voice. You live there for long?"

"Till I was about nine. That's the longest I've ever lived in one place." 

"You're not going to be staying here for long, are you?" 

I shook my head, chewing on my lip ring out of habit. "Nah. Only a year or so. It already feels like I'm going to be stuck here forever though." 

He laughed. I liked his laugh. It was husky and croaky and sent shivers down my spine. 

"Can you take me with you when you go?" he joked, shaking his head. "This place is a fucking nightmare." 

"You're not from here either are you?" I asked, flicking my burnt out cigarette to the side and tearing open my cereal bar. 

"No. I was born here, but my mum took off with me when I was a few months old. We went and lived with her sister in L. A until two years ago." 

"How come you're back then?" 

He looked away, shrugging. "Car accident. Neither of them survived and I had no place to go but back here with my grandparents." 

"Oh. Shit dude, I'm really sorry, I-" 

"It's ok." 

I just looked at him and his crooked smile. The bell rang for the end of lunch and we both flinched, looking over to the main building. 

"Hey, I never got your name,". I said as I got up, slinging my bag over my should. 

"I'm Bert," he smiled, scratching the back of his head. "Bert McCracken. "

"What do you have next?" 

"Science, but I'll probably just ditch. " 

"Oh. I've got science too..." 

"Well I'll stick with you then, save you from the rednecks," he joked, starting off towards the school. 

I followed behind him, feeling slightly better about my shitty situation. 


"Seriously? They think he's a demon or some shit like that?" 

"Seriously. The dude's pretty weird, but I don't exactly see any horns growing out of his head," Bert said dryly, rolling his eyes.

"I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a few people with horns, I wouldn't put it past some of these people to be with fucking cows," I muttered bitterly, kicking a stone at my feet. 

Bert snorted."Dude, where have you been all my life?" 

We were walking along the dusty dirt road that led up to my new house, trudging slowly. Bert was telling me about the guy that lived out in the woods on the outskirts of town on his own and the stories that were made up about him. 

"Why do they think he's like, possessed or whatever then?" I asked. 

"I think it's probably because of how his family died," Bert said quietly, staring ahead. "When he was a kid he lived with his parents and his baby brother in this big old farm out of town. People didn't really like the family, but one night the house just burnt down. Destroyed the entire house and the barns they had, even caught on all the fields they used for farming. " 

"Shit," I swore quietly. "What happened?" 

Bert shrugged. "That's the thing. Nobody knows who started the fire. Gerard was the only one who survived and it was kind of impossible to have lived through that fire. He got away with just a few burns." 

"And they think he's possessed and that he started the fire because he was the only one who survived?" 

"Yeah. They've tried arresting him for it a few times, but there's no evidence at all. No one really knows where he lives either. We just know it's somewhere out in the trees." 

"That's kind of weird... How come he lives out there all alone?" 

"He couldn't live out in the town with the rest of them. They'd drive him out. He's lucky they let him stay out in the woods. I think the only reason they've not gone marching in there with with torches and pitchforks is because they're so scared of him." 

"God, don't tell me they're actually scared of him! There's no way he can be possessed or whatever stupid shit they've come up with," I groaned.

"They are. Sometimes he comes into the town and it's like, fucking freaky when he does. Everyone just runs for their houses and won't come out for the rest of the day. No one will serve him in the restaurants and he can just about get served in a few shops." 

"Poor guy," I muttered, glancing up the sky that was starting to get cloudy. 

"Yeah. That's not the worst thing though. People go and tie all these ribbons and balloons on the trees on the edge of the woods, as some sort of sign of protection or whatever. Mainly it's just to mark out where he lives, but people actually believe it marks the border." 


Bert rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Dumb shits think that the woods are haunted or whatever by ancient spirits, something like that. They tie all this shit to the trees as a warning not to go past them and into the woods." 

I shook my head in disbelief. "This place is fucking backwards."  

"You should see the place where Gerard's old house was.  It's all just burnt remains, but people have put all these crucifixes up round the fields and the buildings. They think it keeps the ghosts of the Way family out of the town." 

"I don't really have anything to say to that," I admitted. "That's fucked up." 

Bert told me more of the myths and stories that went round town about Gerard as we headed up the path to my house, amazing me even more with the ideas and beliefs of the people that lived here. 

Linda's car wasn't parked outside when we reached the house, but I wasn't expecting it to be. 

"You should hear what they're saying about your mum," Bert laughed as we went inside. "I think the only sort of car they've ever seen is a truck. Or a tractor. " 

I shrugged, heading into the kitchen. "She had a Porsche before that, but the company gave her this new one because she's always wanted one. I think it was a persuasion for moving here." 

"Do they move you round a lot?" Bert asked, hopping up onto the counter. 

"Yeah. It would probably be more if I wasn't around, but Linda won't move too much because of school and shit." 

"You call your mum Linda?" 

"Yeah. It's just... we have a pretty weird relationship. She's never really been a parent." 

We talked some more about all of the places I'd moved around to before Bert offered to help me unpack. I gratefully accepted and we headed upstairs. 

"This house is fucking ancient," Bert remarked as we went into my room, looking round. "I kind of like it. " 

I grimaced. "Wanna swap places? I hate it here." 

"It can't be that bad. What's wrong with sharing a house with spiders and rats?" Bert joked, unpacking a box of clothes. 

"Do not even talk to me about spiders," I said, shuddering. "Those things should just like, die. Be wiped off the face of the planet." 

"That's a little cynical coming from a vegetarian." 

"I have an exception when it comes to spiders." 

Bert seemed slightly overwhelmed at the amount of clothes I had and how expensive they were.

"Seriously? Gucci jeans? Who the fuck even owns them?" he asked, holding them up and staring. 

I shrugged. "Go ahead, call me a spoilt brat. Linda's a snob, she refuses to let me wear anything but designer shit." 

Bert shook his head, hanging the jeans up in my newly assembled wardrobe. "I'm saying nothing." 

We carried on unpacking and my room nearly resembled a bedroom. It was still dusty and needed to be deep cleaned, but I'd do that another day. I was going to paint it a different colour too at the weekend and put my band posters up. 

Bert was currently digging through my CD collection, grinning. "Frank, just marry me, OK? Your music taste is fucking amazing." 

I blushed, shrugging and smiling shyly. "Thanks. Music is kind of everything to me." 

"Yeah," Bert said softly, running his thumb over a Black Flag CD. "It's the only way I've managed to survive the last two years of my life." 

I had never felt closer to anyone at that point. 

Bert got it. He got it. He knew what music could do, what it could mean to someone, how it could change and save lives. His lifeline was the same as mine. We both lived for the same thing. 

Our eyes and met and I grinned. "I think I like you a whole fucking lot Bert McCracken." 

"I could say the same thing about you midget," Bert laughed, standing up and dusting himself off. "Come on. I wanna show you something."