"I know you'll change one day when you realise the world isn't always as cold as you think."
The world is a cold place. Regardless of what she thinks.
And I'm even colder.
A flash of noise and light stabs through my mind. A sharp scream, the vicious crunch of glass and bones as the car collided with another. The chill of panic as I look at the woman slumped over the wheel. And then the surge of relief as she doesn't move.
I blink, shocked and Gemme looks at me, equally alarmed. I didn't mean for her to see that.
"Was that your... mom?" she asked hesitantly. My face sets into a mask of anger and it takes a lot of effort to keep things where they are.
"She was no one. I have to go." I say, getting up. I grab my bag and get as far as the door.
"Luca!" Gemme calls after me. My hand rests on the door handle, but I turn and face her.
"Don't go," she asks quietly.
"Why not? I gotta go," I try to keep the growl out of my voice. I fail, by the way.
"Then I'll see you later?" Christ, Gemme. We're fucked up enough without you asking those inevitable questions. I can see them in her eyes and the door flung itself open without me meaning it to.
"Maybe." I manage to stop myself sounding like I'm about to hit something, though I feel like it.
"Yeah. See you." She mumbles, and I know I've hurt her. I didn't mean to, but if that memory is gonna be in my head again, I don't want her seeing any more of it. She really shouldn't have said anything about the world not being a cold place. I know it's not her fault, really, but that wouldn't have come back if she hadn't said anything.
I feel the irrational urge to stab something, preferably myself. Stupid zodiac thing. None of us can die unless we all die at the same time. That and the fact I'm a healer. I'm doomed to stay alive for a very long time, really. Instead of going home to the den, I go to that new flat I saw get marked up by the dealer I've seen around a few times.
Might as well pick a fight while I'm really in the mood for one, eh?
There's no one there, when I break in. I manipulate the lock closed again and go have a look around the new-ish apartment. It's alright. Pretty much the same as the old one with a different layout. There's a bed, a tag on the wall, and a bit of food in the cupboard in the kitchen. I help myself to the food, have a glass of water and smash the glass on the counter. I love my knife, but you can never be too prepared.
I study the tag on the wall and remember seeing it in the old den. I helped steal the business away from him once, this guy. I was younger then. I'll do it again, alone this time.
This guy, Nikki. He's not much of a fighter, if I remember rightly. I'll be gentle. I want to make him think he has a chance. And then I'll make him wish he had never even thought about coming here. Yes, I'm in that kind of mood. Stupid memories.
"Luca, honey, I'm just popping out. I'll be back for dinner, so don't eat loads of crap, okay?" my mom called from the doorway. I roll my eyes. I know where she's going. You don't leave an eleven year old kid with issues like mine at home. I've always been a problem child, always having preferred violence and fighting the other kids at school. I don't think my mom ever really accepted that.
"'kay mom. I'll go over Rayn's, maybe." I say, wishing she would hurry up and get it over with. I'd had no father figure growing up; he left when my mom cheated on him when I was like four. And my mom always left me with other people or on my own as she went to ‘work'. Pfft. Work. We lived in Nevada at this point in time. Prostitution is legal in Nevada. I'm sure you can put two and two together.
Anyways, I went over Rayn's, he only lived down the road and I watched my mom drive off to the whore house, disgusted at her, even at that age. It was an alright day. Mom got home early. She picked me up from Rayn's and said she needed to go to the shops. I could choose what I had for dinner, her treat. I'll tell you one thing, I never did get to choose what I wanted to eat.
I knew about my powers. I'd been practicing them with Rayn, lifting up and dropping him at the other end of the garden when the adults weren't around. It was fun. We had a laugh. And I'd been practicing them that day. I watched my mom step on the pedal to get us to the cheap store at the edge of our town. We didn't get there because... well.
"Good day, honey?" she asked, smiling at me. I nod and watch which pedal she pushes to make the car move. I stare at it for a moment and when she gives up trying to talk to me, I hold that pedal down. The steering wheel jerks to the left, spinning uncontrollably into her hands. She can't see the cause, and panics. I know exactly what's going on and I know my eyes are cold as I send us crashing into the other car.
The noise and the sweeping relief as she doesn't move or make another sound wash through me as I pull myself out of the car. I force myself to cry on the side of the road. I've always been a good actor.
I'm lost in the memory, staring at the tag on the wall, and I feel the same anger, disgust, and relief pulsing through me even now, so many years on. I almost don't notice as Nikki lets himself in. The rage burns in my eyes and my head, and I don't even stop to think before throwing myself on him, sending him crashing to the floor, the broken glass at his neck.