I looked at him, trying my best not to cry. I decided to look at the floor instead. I felt like I was going in circles. I wasn’t actually helping him; I’d failed in other words. I sighed. “I’ll always be here to help, you know that.” I’m not sure how many times I’ve said that, but I know it has been too many to count. “I just want you to love me and mean it,” he looked at me as if he was offended, he was offended? I have to clean up after him and pick up the pieces of his life! I breathed, keeping myself calm.
“I do mean it, when I have not meant it?”
"I didn't think you meant it last night when you threw me against a wall then ran off." I stated bluntly, trying not to think too hard about my responses.
"I was off my face - you know what I can be like."
"I know, I know. That's what hurts so much. Half the time you're off your face. Half the time, you're not mine, you belong to whoever you see first maybe Damien or some... random woman."
He shuddered, "don't mention him."
"Fine, but you know what I have to go through. I just want someone else to talk to. Someone I know will be there for me all the time, someone to help me when you decide to go off your face.
He bristled and I knew he was trying not to get angry with me again, I know he was trying hard. "I apologised already. I'm sorry for what happened last night. I know I overreacted.
"Luca..." I pondered everything for a moment. I could have broken up with him. I could have but then I wouldn't have been able to live with myself. But, I wasn't sure if I could carry on with him. I suddenly felt very cold, as if everything good I had ever known had just left me and I looked at him, not able to say anymore. He watched me closely. I didn't want to say anything anymore. I didn't want to break up with him. I stood there and then took two cautious steps forward. I don't want to leave him. I'm sure I don't. I still love him. I do... I looked up at him and whimpered.
Even though I was watching him carefully, I didn’t see as his great arms suddenly flew around me, pulling me close to his chest. "I still love you." I didn't mean to say the word ‘still’, but it helped me reassure myself. I raised my arms and hugged him back weakly.
"I love you too"
That hurt, that hurt the most. The fact that I knew he was telling the truth, that he did in fact think the world of me. But, I couldn’t respond. I was still frozen. "Yeah,” was all I could reply, good going Gemme. He hugged me a little tighter and I drank in his warmth, but it still didn’t fill the empty little place inside that was still attracting a cold breeze. "Luca, what would you say... if I just wanted to walk away?"
There was a long, awkward pause. I could tell he was ticking over the possibility. I could tell he was weighing up what would actually happen. "...I don't know."
I waited and then scrunched my eyes closed in an attempt to push back tears. "Luca," I looked up at him and smiled slightly. "Luca," I couldn't say more. I couldn't lie to his face. Not to those eyes.
There was another painful pause. "/Do/ you want to just walk away?" Well that was the killer question, wasn’t it?”
"I don't know." I whispered. "You have shown me, beautiful things. The beach, the stars even you are so beautiful to me. But, I’m so scared of what will happen to me if I stay. Luca. I'm scared of you."
He kissed the top of my head and I felt his hand brush my cheek as he pushed a strand of hair from my face."I'm trying, gorgeous."
I whimpered again, the tears spilling over my cheeks as I placed my head against his chest. "I know you are. I know you're trying so hard," I sniffled, my eyes would be red and puffy and I was a mess. My clothes were wrinkled, probably torn. I had blood in my hair. I had tears streaming down my cheeks and I was just glad I wasn't wearing make-up. Damn, Gemme. You're a mess. He cuddled me close and I realised he could "I-I should go get cleaned up, I have so much to do. I should go say sorry to...people." I dropped my arms slightly, but still remained pressed close to his chest.
He let go of me, "Don't bother apologising to Damien. He deserves it.” His eyes turned cold and he just looked at me.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him softly. "You know what? Never mind. I'm quite happy here." He kissed me back and I smiled, hugging him back again. But that moment was short-lived.
Phil came bursting upstairs, his face raging. Instantly I turned round. I knew why he was here; I looked at him defiantly, wiping the tears from my eyes. I was ready to defend myself, even though I knew I’d done everything wrong. "Why the fuck is Damien refusing to go anywhere near the bus? One of you two put that bruise on his stomach." I nodded.
"That would be me," I stepped forward and looked up at him despite him being at least a head taller than me. "He deserved it."
"For what? They were both high, it was an accident. There wouldn't even be a fucking problem if he,” he pointed past me to Luca, though I knew who he was on about, “wasn't such a homophobic dickhead!"
"I'm not homophobic though! Luca's opinions aren't mine. He wasn't that high. He knew exactly what he was doing. He took advantage of my boyfriend."
"Damien isn't like Cancer! He doesn't need fucking beating up to get something through to him!" To say that he was shouting at me, I had thought he was being rather loyal and I looked up to him for it. He was looking after Damien like Ike looked after me. I admired him.
"Then why does he keep going back for him?" I was cool and calm; I was in no mood or spirit to fight anybody. Especially not to wreck Luca’s band.
"How should I fucking know? If I didn't know better, I'd say he loved the guy, but you should know all about how hard it must be to be anywhere near him." I wanted to hit him for this comment, it was uncalled for. I told him it was me that hit Damien. Why did he have to bring Luca into this?
"Love hurts. I know that. He'll just have to deal with it. And please, I don't want to have to fight you too."
"Why don't you just fuck off back to your little boyfriend, Phil? Go kiss his tummy better and give him a good shag to make him happy so that next time I'm high, he doesn't feel the need to take me back stage and fuck me."
"Luca!" I sighed, he certainly wasn't helping me. "Phil, I'm sorry. If you could stop Damien from taking drugs, I'll stop Luca and this will never happen again."
"Sure, like that's gonna work. We all know that Cancer'll never fucking stop, no matter how long he lives. He could live forever and all he would see in that is an opportunity to get a bigger hit than anyone else ever has"
I looked at Luca and swallowed. Deep down I sorta knew this was true, that I could never do anything to change him but I kept denying it. He was right, who was I kidding? We’d be stuck like this forever. "Well I'm trying!" I shouted to Phil, but I never turned to look at him. "I'm trying my God damn hardest to make things better! Sure, I'll never die. Sure, I'm going to spend my whole eternity watching him destroy himself and me but I don't care! I'm trying!"
"It's not you that should be trying, it's him! At this rate, the band's gonna fall apart before we ever really get anywhere and whose fault will it be? His!" Damn it Luca, shut up! Stop blaming everyone else for your mistakes!
I walked forward and pushed Phil; just enough to knock him back, but not down the stairs. "Get out, get out, get out!" I screamed, controlling as best as I could the burning sensation in my head. He left, with just a pointed look toward Luca. I turned back to him, Phil was right. What could I do? I just looked at him with a blank frown. He said nothing and I whimpered again. I felt a monologue coming along.
“I love you, ya know? Some stupid part of my brain thought, I’ll get married and live happily ever after – me and the one that completes me.” I paused a long while. “But.” That was the word, wasn’t it? “Phil was right. I’m going to spend an eternity chasing you. Picking up the pieces. Convincing myself it will all be better in the morning and it will never happen again.” I placed a soft hand against his cheek, caressing it lovingly, “I wanted to spend my eternity with you. But, I can’t keep losing myself in your embrace. I don’t think I can keep allowing myself to chase the dream of loving you.”
He was silent, his face pulled downward in a frown as he looked at me. "I'm sorry. I want to be with you, I do. But it's just so hard."
"I know. I'm sorry,” he murmured.
"We could have been great; I mean...I love you so deeply. I could have been with Benny but I chose you."
He closed his eyes, "We were great, but I fucked it up. I always fuck it up!" He pushed my hand away and took a step back as I held back a whimper. After all that’s said, I still couldn’t let go.
"Luca... we still could be. I guess, there's still a chance..."
"It's up to you, Gemme."
I sat down on one of the beds and sighed. "Luca, would you be willing to try? To give up I mean."
"The drugs?" He nodded.
"Then I'll stay," or at least I’ll continue to try.
"I nearly did it before, right? I can do it again." Yeah, but back then I screwed everything up, I left you and you became a wreck again.
I nodded, "I suppose us getting married and living together for eternity is a little farfetched though, I don't expect that. Just, give up the drugs, please."