Status: A work in progress.

Everything But Time is Running Out

Heaven on ***ing Earth

"Delivery for a Mr. Frank Iero," I said, placing his food in front of him. He looked famished and acted like it as he said thanks and right away dug into the food. I went to excuse myself when out of nowhere, he grabbed my wrist and pulled, which, of course, caused me to stumble and catch myself right before I landed on his lap. "Stay," he ordered as he continued to shove food in his face. "And I'm thrilled you remember my last name, babe." He winked at me.

"I'm shocked she even remembers your first name, dude," Bob retorted.

"Shut it, douche," Frank said. He pulled me down to sit next to him, scooting down and squishing Gerard against the wall.

"Fag," Gerard said, continuing to be antisocial and went on scribbling what looked like gibberish on paper.

"Don't mind if I do!" Frank happily said, pulling out a little red box. To my surprise, David, the owner of the restaurant, allowed half of his restaurant to be smoke free and the other half not. He says it brings in more customers during dinner and evening hours, and actually, he's so on point with that. Lighting up a cigarette, Frank made sure to blow the smoke away from me and in Gerard's direction. Gerard flicked him off.

"So, Kara," Mikey spoke, "how is it that you are on a first and last name basis with our one and only Frank Iero?" He landed his chin into cupped hands, blinking rather quickly and imitating someone who I assumed was supposed to be all cutesy.

"Oh," Frank replied for me, "us? We go way back." He rested his arm around my shoulders.

"Yeah, right," Ray said. "Way back into last week." He laughed at his own lame sort-of joke. "This must be the reason why you had such a great time in the mental institute." Some of the guys snickered.

"Hey!" Frank objected. "Kara is not a 'this' and for your information... Yeah, she's the reason." He offered an innocent, toothy smile, pulling me even closer to him. I could smell cigarettes and cologne on him. What a heavenly scent it was. There were ooh's and ah's passed around the table.

"Well, she's pretty cute, so I guess I approve." Ray gave me a thumbs up. His comment caused me to blush.

"And she thinks Deryck Whibley is ugly, so she gets an A from me!" Mikey said. We high-fived because he heavily insisted. Frank's face help confusion.

"You guys already know her?" he asked.

"Mikey, here, interrogated her as soon as she walked out here," Ray explained. Frank's lips mouthed the words, ah, I see.

"It's always nice to have a chick around," Bob said. Frank tensed.

"Easy, man. She's mine. Hands off!" Frank made an X mark by crossing his hands together. Bob's eyes grew in size.

"I so didn't mean it like that!" he clarified, looking at me apologetically. I smiled at him, nodding in understanding. "I just meant... It starts getting old when you always have the same guys around day after day."

"Gee, Bob, I feel so much love," Gerard said, keeping his eyes focused on his story.

"He's alive!" Mikey screams, making me jump. Frank rested his hand on my lap.

"Yeah, yeah," Gerard waved us off. I looked over and noticed that he wasn't only working on what looked like a story, but there were thumbnails of what looked like a comic strip.

"What'cha working on?" I asked, piqued with interest.

"Just some stuff with words," Gerard nonchalantly (and quite vaguely) replied, not missing a beat with the speed of his pen. I leaned over Frank's lap in order to improve my line of vision of Gerard's work. I caught a glimpse of words such as killjoys, guns, Kobra Kid, BL/Ind... It all made zero sense to me. Gerard caught me peeking at his apparently private working masterpiece and moved his arm around it, shielding it from my sight. I guess it wasn't open to the willing public yet. Oh well. I just assumed it was video game related or something. Hey, I've played Halo before; I'm familiar with killjoys and whatnot...

I was still leaning over Frank. The side of my face was directly aligned with the front of his. He took the opportunity to smack his lips right plump onto my cheek, causing me to snap my back straight and make a very unattractive noise.

"Augh!" I exasperated, moving my hand to wipe away the slobber left behind on my cheek. Frank grinned wide at me. Bob quite verbally yawned, taking up practically the entire side of the booth to stretch his stiff limbs out, much to Mikey's and Ray's dismay. Realisation his me. "Oh, right!" I remembered. "My apologies, guys! I'll get your checks right away! You guys are probably more than ready to get out of here." I found my way out of Frank's grasp, the wonderful warmth staying with Frank, leaving the side of my body feeling cold, lonely and empty.

I quickly returned with five individual checks, passing them around the table. They all paid with cash; thankfully easy transactions for me to deal with. The card reader that David refused to update was a pain in the ass and was one of those that only accessed VISA or MasterCard, but you had to slide certain cards this way and other cards that way and sometimes you had to repeat the transaction twice in order for the computer system to accept it and then explain to the customer that you really didn't charge them double for their meal, etc. etc. etc. and holy shit I'm just so glad the guys paid with cash.

They all left fairly generous tips, to which I commented, "thank you so much, guys for your wonderful, enjoyable presence this afternoon. I'll make sure Fish receives these tips well." I went to pile the bills together when Mikey's hand jolted toward mine.

"Hold the phone, Karebear! These aren't your tips?" I merely shook my head. "Well, fuck, give me one of my bills back!" He snatched the collection pile out of my hands. "I thought you earned them for your service! And... Fish? Who the hell is Fish? He wasn't even here for the majority of our stay." Mikey was getting himself exasperated. I quietly sighed.

"Fish is the waiter who seated you and served you your meals prior to Frank showing up. He had an emergency with his vehicle and had to leave early. And besides, I'm not even technically a waitress here; I get paid under the table so I can't accept any tips from customers." I explained.

"Even if you perform most of the service?"

"You get paid under the table?"

"Is Fish his legal government name?"

Everyone spoke all at once, causing me to mentally shut down. My mouth gaped open as I tried to organise my thoughts. "Uh..." I uttered. "Okay... Uhm. Well, yes, even if I do most of the work, I still don't accept tips. Yes, I get paid under the table because David has more than enough workers here as it is, but lets me work with floating hours during anticipated busy hours because he's a nice guy who's simply helping out an extremely poor and jobless girl. And besides, Marjorie is on maternal leave, which leaves quite a gap open on some week days, scheduling wise." I took in a breath, trying to answer all of their questions. "And, no, Fish is not his legal name, of course! He just prefers it to Kyle Hoyer, because his last name sounds so similar to the word whore and he absolutely hates it." There. That's my speech of the day, I'll take appraisals and autographs at the checkout desk.

"Well," Frank said after a few seconds of silence. "If you won't accept tips from us-"

"-Because she's not a prostitute," Mikey chimed in. Frank playfully rolled his eyes.

"Yes, Mikey, because she is most definitely not a prostitute, and because of reasons she literally just stated, how about I take you out tonight?" Frank flashed me a bashful smile.

"I concur!" Ray bobbed his head. Bob was half asleep on the tabletop, his head almost slipping out of his hands as he dozed. Mikey, of course, was colored in delight. I glanced at Frank, who looked hopeful for my answer.

I pretended to think about it as I turned my back and walked toward the cash register on the front desk. "Hmm... I'm not sure," I thought aloud. "My parents always told me to say no to large, enthusiastic groups of middle-aged guys who look like they have nothing better to do than hit on sweet, innocent middle-class college girls..." I peeked over my shoulder. Mikey was nodding in agreement.

"Ah, yes, I see what you mean. Ray does indeed look like an old, perverted fart with that hair of his and that pedophile-like face of facial hair." Ray slapped Mikey upside the head. I could here the blow from across the room.

"You dipshit," he insulted, but he soon had beaming smile on his face. "I agree, though, with you, Kara, not this double dumbass right beside me."

"It's decided then!" Frank slammed his fist on the table, mock-holding a wooden mallet. The sudden sound caused Bob's head to perk up, accompanied with a nice, loud snort. He looked dazed and confused, and honestly seemed like he would be dead to the world in a few more minutes. "We shall all meet at The Place tonight!"

"Break!!" the guys yelled in unison. Gerard had already gathered his belongings and was making his way outside to the parking lot. Bob was being dragged up by Ray and Mikey was skipping across the room, humming some out-of-tune melody. Frank sheepishly pushed his hands into his pant pockets.

"So, uh..." he said. "Are you off work now or...?" I happily nodded.

"Yeah, Mikayla should be here any minute to start prepping for the dinner crowd." Frank offered me his arm, that I enthusiastically held as he led the way toward the front of the restaurant.

"Oh, Frank, hold on a sec!" I quickly made my way toward the kitchen. "David!" I shouted, "I'm taking off! Call if you need any help tonight!" I heard muffled shouts back and just assumed he dismissed me for the evening. Skipping back, I resumed my position near Frank and we left the building, arm in arm.


I had the guys drop me off at my dorm, much to their surprise.

"I don't see why you are all shocked that I attend Uni here," I pretended to be miffed. "It's quite a popular place to apply to!"

"Yeah," Gerard said, "but it's Grass Valley State University, also renowned for pretty much every major it offers!" Gerard had perked up when he realised where I was currently residing. "How the hell did you get accepted??" he asked incredulously. I didn't take offense to this question, because not only was Gerard in shock of the whole situation, I could completely see where his inquiring mind sprouted from.

"I've had quite a colorful background regarding art and written composition," I meagerly mentioned. Gerard's gaze was one of deep unsatisfactory. "Geez, Gerard, give a warning when you lease a stare like that one someone!" I joked. His face relaxed a bit. "If you want elaboration," and Gerard was rapidly nodding his head, "I started taking a great interest in art back in middle school and just persistently pursued the department ever since then. My art teacher in high school noticed my immense passion and acceleration in skill, so she recommended me a specialised education program, referred to as [i[Skills Center, created just for high school students who had a definitive path for a career. I guess you could say students who were recommended and elected to attend could get a jump start on their career by taking specialised and very specific classes regarding the department of their career choice in order to build up their resume, experience, skills and portfolio, when applicable." I finished my short synopsis on the significance of the whole [i[Skills Center program existence. Gerard gawked at me in awe.

"That... is the champion of all champion career-aiding programs I have ever had the pleasure of hearing about!" I could tell just by the way Gerard was reacting and looking at me that I had gained an colossal amount of respect. "So, then if you don't mind me asking..." he trailed off.

"Now you've done it," Mikey warned. I quietly continued to look at Gerard.

"If you don't mind me asking," he repeated himself, "would you mind taking a look at my work?? I've been dying to get a second opinion on it and the guys aren't too keen on the fastidious reviews and feedback I require." He messily shuffled through all of his papers, his story pages and his drawings, trying to quickly get a hold of some sort of organisation before handing me a massive stack of paper.

"Uh..." I faltered, taken aback by the sudden request. "Actually," I said, "Gerard, I would be honored to assist you in your project!" I was immediately suffocated in hugs and gratitude and warmth and excitement as Gerard started gushing about a thousand and one words per minute on what he was currently working on. I couldn't even keep up with really anything he was saying.

"Gerard," Frank interrupted, "how about we continue this conversation later, after we meet Kara at The Place tonight?" Gerard apologised for keeping me as I laughed and reassured him we would definitely revisit this conversation. I waved and turned away to head inside.


"Out??" my roommate, Molly, asked in disbelief.

"Yes, I know," I agreed, "I can barely believe it, too." I had barely had any sort of social life outside of bonding with Molly ever since I moved into this place a year ago.

Molly squealed in delight. "I'm so happy for you, K! Especially after you said it's including, what, like five guys? Five cute guys?" I shrugged, a small smile crept across my face. "Well," Molly continued, "you know what they say, when they come, they come in flocks."

"I have never, ever heard that before, Molls." I laughed. She shrugged at me, puffed her chest out, popped her ass out and cat-walked out of the living room. I shook my head, tee-heeing to myself, and headed to my room to change out of my smelly restaurant uniform, showering quickly and change into something comfy and normal.

Rewinding back in time a bit, Molly was, in fact, the one who had found me in the bathroom, passed out from blood loss. Of course, she was also the one who was responsible for the 911 call and all. We have been best friends ever since we met; our personalities were extremely similar along with our hobbies, preferences regarding anything and everything (boys, music, food, movies, fashion), and if we did differ in opinion, it didn't stray too far from the other one. I never imagined I would meet anyone like her and, if I'm being honest with myself, I would turn sexual preferences in an instant if I wasn't so absolutely straight. She, on the other hand, was bisexual, which was perfectly fine with me. I mean, to each his (or her) own; it literally does not affect me in any way. So we were perfectly content with owning our own title of BFFFF's (best friends for fucking forever). She doesn't quite understand my fascination with death and all that, though, but she really is there for me if I need anything. She doesn't probe too deep, but knows when or when not to say anything.
God, I really do love Molly.

After I returned home from the hospital, we talked a little bit about our feelings and had a mini therapy session and when she verified that I was really okay (for the time being), it was never mentioned again unless I wanted to bring it up for some reason. The amount of discretion is impeccable.

Making my way down the hallway after changing into ordinary clothes, I actually took the time to dry my hair. "Ooooh," Molly chimed. "Must be quite the special guy if you're going for an up-do look." She nudged my arm as she squeezed by me to grab her perfume.

"I guess you could say that," I didn't even try to hide my interest in Frank, at least in front of Molly. I, of course, had told her about all of our encounters during my admission in the hospital.

"Keep me updated, babe!" she called out, leaving the bathroom. "I'm heading out with Jack so I'll probably be gone for the night! Love ya!"

"Love you, too!" I said back, waving behind me even though she had already shut the front door. Jack was her 'friend with benefits' so she says, but I secretly expect they are actually dating; neither one of them just wants to admit that they want more to the relationship. Too cute.


I was sweating bullets waiting for the guys to pick me up. I wasn't sure why; hanging out with them earlier at the restaurant was a piece of pie. I actually felt comfortable enough to be a part of their group, even if I don't speak up at times.

My leg was bouncing at the speed of lightning as I stared blankly at the flashing television in our living room. I put on The Departed on Netflix, but it just wasn't holding my attention. As much as I super adore Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio and, okay, Jack Nicholson is a cool actor, Frank ended up being first place in my mind.

My eyes drifted downward to a new focal point; I found myself noticing a little silver and green box laying on the small living room table our dorm was able to fit in. Taking in a breath and sighing out, I grabbed it and headed out to the front of the building.

My lungs filled with cool, menthol-sweet smoke as I inhaled a drag of my cigarette. I was sitting on the steps that led up to the front doors, sitting horizontally, leaning my back against the cement and letting my legs fold over each other. My eyes were closed as I hummed a tune that was stuck in my head, rocking a little bit back and forth, feeling the minimal, brief high that the first cigarette of the day gives a person. The air was crisp as the sun was settling down for nighttime. I pursed my lips, ready for another puff. Suddenly, the cigarette was snatched out of my hand, which brought me back to reality.

"You know, you can get cancer from these things," Frank pointed out, finishing what was left of my cigarette. "Mmm! But they sure do taste yummy!" He expertly snapped the butt away and then reached his hand out to meet mine. "You ready to go, doll?" I couldn't be any more ready. I eagerly grabbed his hand, but stumbled a little, falling right into Frank's chest. "Whoa there, babe. Careful of the head rush. Don't want you falling down on top of me." He paused, having a thought. "That is, unless you wanna fall on top of me." He smirked down at me, supporting my weight. I immediately blushed and had absolutely no idea of what to say, so I didn't say anything. He just chuckled. "Either way, we won't be doing any falling right now. We've got a date to make time on!" He lead the way to his car, still holding my hand.
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I have no knowledge of universities that are well known for culinary arts, arts and illustration, and literature, so I just created a fake one. Please do not take anything regarding this university seriously.