Frank's head rose slowly and gazed out the window. In my direction.
I gasped and ducked behind the bushes I was hiding in. For a few seconds, I gripped the camera tightly, watching the picture slide smoothly out of the old fashioned machine and breathing hard.
Frank's bent head appeared on the image and I sucked in a breath. His perfect, perfect hair was falling into his face and his hand was halfway to brushing it aside. I clutched the photograph to my chest and groaned silently. Ooh, I wanted him SO bad!
Peeking over the top of the bushes, I saw that Frank had gone back to scribbling in his notebook. I was pretty sure it was the black one with the red and gold leaf-patterns along the edges. The one he always carried by hand. Oh what I wouldn't give to get a peek at what was so precious to him.
I raised the camera slowly once more, desperate to get Frank's face in such a perfect position; slightly bent and in perfect profile so that the curves of his nose and lips were perfectly visible, his eyelashes lowered and hi lip-ring glinting in the light of his desk-lamp.
This time, Frank's head shot up but I sat down just as fast, my heart racing. Shit. Had he seen me?
One part of me wished desperately that he had, and that he would confront me so that we would finally have a proper conversation. But the other, more sensible part realized that if he caught me, not only would I never again be able to watch him go through his daily routines but I might get in serious trouble
I shut my eyes and moaned. I couldn't help it. Why was I cursed to be such a stalker?
'Because Frank is popular and uncreepy and you are a total dork.' I thought, cringing unhappily.
At first, I had simply been curious. Who was this mysteriously sexy boy that came to school every day and lived in that big old house down the street? Who was he to move to our town, our school in the middle of the year and still be the coolest and best liked person in our grade? That's what I told myself. I was just curious.
I sighed and opened my eyes, getting to my feet and tucking the camera safely into my jacket. This was sad. I knew it. But I couldn't stop. I needed Frank and if I couldn't have him for real, then I would take the next best thing; having him from afar.
As I escaped from the Iero estate and started down the road to where I lived, I heard the door of the old house creek open.
'Shit,' I thought, turning around to see Frank looking angrily in my direction.
I started to run and of course, he being the jock he was, he started chasing me. I knew I didn't have a chance but still I ran as fast as I could, ignoring my burning lungs and the stitch that had come almost as soon as I had started to sprint.
Halfway through the park between our houses, Frank caught up to me. He didn't tackle me or anything like I kind of hoped he would. He just grabbed my shoulder so hard that the camera and the pictures I had taken of him fell to the floor.
I stopped trying to get away from his grasp and bent down, trying to quickly gather up my stuff. My face was burning, I could feel the stupid blush turning my cheeks bright pink.
"Gerard. Stop it."
'He knows my name.' I thought, excited despite the fact that I was now in deep shit.
I stood up slowly and Frank held out one hand, his beautiful green eyes focused angrily on my face. The other was still clutching the red, black and gold notebook.
Frank snatched the pictures from my hands and started looking through them while I stood there awkwardly, wondering what to do.
Finally, after an eternity of me standing there blushing like an idiot, Frank looked up. "How long have you been
stalking me?" he demanded.
I flinched at the word "stalking".
Frank Iero drew himself up to his full height (exactly three and a half inches shorter than yours truly) and placed both hands on his hips. "How long?" he asked through gritted teeth.
I ducked my head, blushing harder. "About three months." I whispered and my eyes stung with tears of humiliation.
There was a long silence and when I dared to look up, Frank wasn't reaching for a knife. He was smiling. Grinning actually.
"Only three months?"
I nodded quickly.
Frank whistled. "Wow, I had you for longer than that."
"Had me?" I whispered, hardly daring to breathe.
He held out his notebook.
I paused. This had to be some kind of trick right?
"Go on, take a look will you?" Frank said impatiently. "I've been dying to see what you think."
Slowly, I reached out a hand and took the book from Frank. Then, taking one last look at his expectant face, I started flipping through the well-worn pages.
They were all filled with pictures. Photos of me.
And not like the ones I took either, oh no. These were perfectly clear, as if Frank had been in the same room as me. And they weren't just me with my head bent over a desk either.
I turned an even deeper shade of red as I saw the pictures of me getting undressed, singing into my hairbrush, wrestling with Mikey and even one of me in the bath. And next to each and every image was a neatly printed date, time, location and description.
When I had gotten near the end, when the pictures stopped, Frank gently took the book out of my hand and leaned close to my still bent head. His lips stopped, millimetres from mine and I couldn't tear my eyes away from them.
"Why don't you leave the stalking to the professionals, honey?" he whispered.
I nodded carefully, breathing in the mint-chocolatey smell of Frank's sweet breath.
He leaned away and my eyes followed.
Frank smiled and turned to go, taking my precious pictures with him. I stood there, frozen on the spot, my camera held limply in one hand.
Before he exited through the park gates, Frank turned to me. "Oh and Gee?"
"Yeah?" my spirits soared.
Frank grinned devilishly, looked around to make sure there were plenty of kids from school at the park and yelled, "I totally dig guys who wear My Little Pony boxers!"