I slept quite well now I had no pain to keep me up. I could hear everything outside, every thought that passed through his head but I couldn’t get myself up to talk to him, I knew he wouldn’t want to anyway. When I finally did wake up I felt quite embarrassed. “A friend I have the hots for?” He had the hots for me, he thought I was hot. It took me a minute to register this and as it finally sunk in I found myself spitting out all the milk that I was drinking in laughter. “Yeah, right,” I giggled. I went upstairs and got changed into a pair of jeans and a backless red top so my tattoo was easily shown.
I picked up the canvases in my room, and tied them round with brown paper and string. The whole collection comprised of five paintings. I picked up a biro and wrote ‘Fallen angel collection,’ on it. I picked them up and smiled. I would deliver them to him after all I didn’t want them to be stolen or whatever and also I knew that he didn’t want to see them in a gallery. I decided I wouldn’t mention anything from last night; he needed to deal with that on his own.
I found myself walking to the den again and found the police tape had been lifted and a sale sign was put up outside. I walked up to the door and knocked on it softly and called his name. This is the last time I bug him. This is it. The door opened by itself and I stepped through, “Luca...?” I called. The bedroom door opened and if I didn’t know about his powers this would be like a bad horror movie.
"Luca, this is the last time I bug you. I promise." I smiled holding up the canvases as if to show him why I was here.
"It's okay. I'm really sorry about... well about everything. You're not bugging me; I'm just really screwed up."
"No, you need some time for yourself I understand that. Here, a present." I placed the canvases on the floor, leaning them against the wall.
"I think time alone is probably what messed me up, to be honest," he said, glancing at the canvases.
"Well, I offered to pay for dinner." I noted,
"You did, and I was really rude. Sorry."
"Don't worry about it and stop apologising!"
He opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again. He was probably about to say ‘sorry’ again.
"Well, how's the business? I see the building is up for sale."
"The business is relocating. There's another apartment block on the other side of town that has a bunch of empty apartments. One on the second floor has been marked up. Someone else is thinking of taking over the drugs in this town," he looked pretty grim. "I'm not going to let them." The tone of his voice was actually quite scary.
"Can I help?" I didn’t know why I asked, but I knew that I would have to help if he asked for it now. Damn.
The silence he fell into was a thoughtful one, unlike the unwelcoming one the other night. "Well, I suppose if you could change their mind about it, it would save me having to kill the guy."
"Well if it saves a life." I shrugged, "So, did you come to a conclusion? You never really told me anything on Monday." I said I wouldn’t raise it, I know.
"It's hardly a life worth saving, but y'know. I don't think the police would be too happy to see me again," he said, a slight laugh in his voice. But he had dodged my question.
I nodded, "come see me when you're ready." I smiled, answering both problems at the same time.
He smiled back at me weakly, and he looked like he wanted to apologise again. "Did..." he starts hesitantly, "did you not hear? Last night?" I wanted to say no, but I couldn't lie so I simply nodded slightly. "How much did you hear?" I wanted to say nothing, that I had no idea what he was on about, once again the lying thing. It wasn’t good for me.
"The last few bits," I muttered quietly.
"What last bits? My head was so confused; I didn't know whether you would hear any of it at all...”
"I heard the maybe, the...the fact you thought I was hot." I snickered, finding I couldn't stop the giggles again even though I knew it was the wrong time. Who would find me hot? He laughed a little too and I felt I had to elaborate. "Really, you call me crazy and you think I'm hot?" He nodded and I stopped laughing but the smile was permanent. “Luca, really I don’t know what you see but, I won’t question it.” What happened? I was leaving a minute ago.
"It's a good thing to know Luca. As for last night, I caught the bit where you said kind of and then you thought I would blow if you said that and that you thought the idea of love this soon was absurd." I felt like I was rambling so I shut up there, I had nothing to say anyway I just thought I could have explained it better.
The smile fell from his face at this. "Sorry..."
My smile didn’t fall from mine. "No need, I said my patience was infinite. Luca if I could deal with the answer no I can deal with the answer kind of. In fact, it makes me happy!"
"You hardly deserve this, though, Gemme. You deserve a yes, and not from someone like me!"
"What, so I should go off with someone like Aaron?" I didn’t want to, I wanted Luca. Aaron blew it long ago when he said “he’d be back” then disappeared.
"No, he's a prick. I just mean someone that doesn't have quite as many issues as me. Someone that isn't planning to take over the town's drugs business would be better, too.”
"If I can deal with it what does it matter?"
A sigh escaped his lips. "People like me weren't meant for love, Gemme. I wish I was, but I don't know how I'm supposed to be good enough for someone like you.
"Everyone was made for love and everyone needs somebody! Luca, please allow me a little more time to change your mind." I moved to his mattress and sat down, looking up at him.
"It's not my mind that needs changing, though. It's my entire personality, my whole life. I want to be good enough, but I know I'll never be and this would hurt a whole lot less if we both stop pretending."
"You think I'm pretending?" I was a little hurt, but my tone showed it which made things worse.
"I..." he didn't know what to say. Or think, for that matter. His thoughts were getting noisier, the more confused he got. "Christ, I wish you were," he muttered eventually.
"I'm sorry I'm not. I can if you want me to."
He shook his head and covered his face with his hands the way he had a few nights ago. I could vaguely hear him mumbling swear words into his palms.
Almost instinctively I pulled his hands away from his face and tilted it up so I could look into his eyes. "I am so sorry Luca. Truly I am."