Of course I know what you're hoping for, Gemme. I looked up what a rhetorical question is a while ago. The lyric was one of those. A rhetorical question.
Now Kat's fucked off somewhere, it's easier to concentrate and the other guys manage to get me back in the mood for working on the song.
A few hours later, we have an acoustic and a much better sounding electric version of the song. Of course it's not helping me keep Gemme off my mind, but what with her coming to the show again, I guess it doesn't matter, ‘cause she would be on my mind anyways.
I wake up later on, sprawled across my hotel bed with absolutely no memory of getting there. Did I get high? Or was I just so tired after working on the songs that I crawled up and went straight to sleep?
I dunno what happened to me while I was asleep, but I'm in a fairly good mood for the first time in what feels like an age. No idea what's triggered it, but I have an urge to go see Gemme, again.
I do a double take on my own thoughts and yes, it's still there. An urge to see Gemme?
I'm not needed until practice tonight, which gives me a few hours to myself.
So the next thing I know, I'm in the car, unwashed, unshaven, hungry and chain smoking, driving towards Newberry.
As I pull into the town, I see someone that looks remarkably like Benny getting in a car and driving off. It nags at my mind until I see Gemme's place. And then everything's forgotten, even that I look like a tramp and most likely smell like one.
What am I doing here?
I debate whether to go in or not, and it feel so weird being back here that it just feels like those surreal dreams where it's like walking through a movie.
Eventually, I kill the engine and get out of the car, looking up at the house. I don't even realise I've walked up the path until I'm knocking on the door.
"Hello?" Gemme calls before opening the door. When she does, she smiles awkwardly looking up at me, "Oh, hello, Luca."
"Hi," I mutter, my voice hoarse. I might be a healer, but singing for hours and then sleeping with my mouth opening and chain smoking really doesn't do good things for my throat. I cough slightly, clearing it as I try to think of a reason for A) why I look like shit and B) why I'm even here. "Uhh, yeah, figured I'd come see Alice, since I'm Uncle Luca ‘n' all."
"Of course," she smiles, calling for Alice. "Alice, Luca's here!" She turns back to me, "would you like some water for that throat of yours?" She asks as Alice comes bounding down the stairs, jumping the last one. I laugh slightly at her over enthusiasm as I crouch to hug her again like last night.
"Um, yeah. I was kinda hoping I could use the shower. I didn't really think before leaving," I mutter, realising I'm still wearing the same clothes as I was last night, too.
"Of course. You're welcome to." She smiles warmly, and even wider as Alice hugs me back. "If you go get a shower, I'll make you a hot cup of coffee to wake you up. You must be exhausted."
"Thanks," I mutter, standing up again.
"No need." She shrugs, standing back to let me in, "you remember where all the towels are and such?" I nod, walking through into the house, "Come on Alice, you can hug Luca when he comes back downstairs." She laughs, ushering her into the kitchen. I wander upstairs and grab a towel from the cupboard before going into the bathroom.
It is so weird to be back here. All I can think about while I'm in the shower is how strange it feels to be here. That and wondering why the hell I'm here anyways.
When I get out, I look for a razor to shave with, but I guess that got thrown away. So, looking like a hobo in last night's clothes, but at least clean, I go back downstairs and find Gemme and Alice in the kitchen. Gemme hands me a coffee wordlessly and I lean back against the counter, drinking it just as silently. It scalds my mouth and burns down my throat, but it feels better than the sandpaper shit that was going on before.
Alice is sat at the table, drawing something and not really knowing what else to do, I put the mug down on the side and sit opposite her, "whatcha drawing?" I ask.
"A phoenix," she says, scrawling the word across the top, but she spells it as ‘fenix'. "You like them right?"
"Yeah, I do. Endless patience or something like that." I mutter, not really looking at Gemme, just watching Alice drawing.
"Patience?" She asks, not lifting her head from her colouring.
"Isn't that something a phoenix is good at?"
"Dunno, I just saw it on Gemme's back! It was cool! She said something about ashes... I heard it in your song!"
"Yeah," I murmur, still staring at her crayon as she moves it across the page. I wish I was that age again, suddenly. Too young to know or care about the bad things in the world. Dumped on a friendly doorstep. Imagine how I might have turned out if my parents had dumped me with someone else. I might have turned out alright.
"Here!" She beams, pushing the paper in front of me. "D'ya like it?" I pick it up and look at it. Sure, it's rough, but I guess I can appreciate the effort.
"Yeah, it's good. Gemme will make an artist out of you yet," I smile slightly.