Alice bounces off to get ready for school and I wonder vaguely why she's so happy to be going. Aside from the fact I was only put in school when I was nine with no clue how to read or write let alone do maths or whatever bullshit they felt like trying to teach me, I hated that school started so early. How can anyone be happy and bubbly like this in the morning?
"She's taken to you really quickly," Gemme half laughs and I nod looking back at her with a slight smile.
"Yeah. I never thought I'd ever be any good with kids. I just kinda figured I'd turn out to be as shit with kids as my parents were.... apparently not."
"You're lucky, even I haven't had an "I love you" yet."
"Really?" I'm surprised. I'd have thought Gemme would be more loveable than me. "I feel special," I laugh quietly.
"Yeah, it's true," she sighs and I can't help but wonder what I've done wrong.
"What's up?" I ask.
"I've known her for about two months now and I get nothing, you hang around for a few days and she loves you."
"You did make me out to be the knight in shining armor," I point out, "but I dunno," I shrug. What do I know about kids?
"You are," she murmurs and I do a bit of a double take.
"How am I a knight in shining armor?" I ask incredulously.
"Oh, never mind," she dismisses it, but she's made me curious now and I wanna know.
"I'm curious," I say, with a slight smile. C'mon. It's keeping my mind off the cravings and what else I could be spending my day doing.
"Jeremy, or 'the evil man.' You saved me from him; you saved me from an eternity of loneliness. Oh listen, I sound like I'm depressed." She half-laughs, but I wave it away.
"I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have gotten you away from Jeremy. I just happened to be the guy with you when it happened," I shrug, then realize I sound like I'm putting myself down, remembering that Gemme hated it before. I don't even mean to do it. I'm just so used to it, it comes out without me thinking about it. Kinda like how I ended up back here.
"Yeah, you were with me, because do you remember what we were doing before it happened?" I swallow as the beach flashes in my head and I nod. "But that sunset burnt me bad, hmm?"
"It burnt us both," I mutter. At least, kinda. It's like it's branded into my memory forever, etched in with a red hot poker... or whatever it is you call those things you make brands with.
"You just managed to rise faster than what I did."
"Well it looks like it. Sure I have a band and stuff, but I'm broke, my addictions are worse than ever and I'm a hypocritical, lying bastard. If anything, I feel more like I've sunk."
"Well, I'm hardly an angel." She sighs, smiling slightly. You're an angel next to me, honest. "I love you though." She mutters and I'm not sure how I should reply. While I was with Kat, it just became an automatic reply if she ever said it and I realize as I open my mouth, that that's exactly what I was about to do to Gemme. Do I mean it?
I dunno. Confused, I close my mouth again and just in time, Alice bounds back down the stairs, ready for school.
"Hey, Alice," I smile, standing up to take her hand. "Ready?" She nods, grabbing her bag from the table in the corner of the room.
"Yep!" she chirps and I hold out my other hand for Gemme. She smiles and takes my hand too, squeezing it softly. As I make the door open itself and we walk outside, I wonder where the elementary school in this town is. I haven't got a clue. Embarrassing, much?