If you're thinking that what I rolled up, the weed and heroin, would have me crying in the corner, or even high, you're pretty much completely wrong. I put enough in to stop the cravings and the weed was just there to relax me.
Gemme's been gone quite a while now and before I kinda figured that she had gone to explore the town, but I'm beginning to wonder what's taken so long. It's not exactly a huge town, and there's not much to see, really. I wonder if I should go and look for her for a moment, but I figure if she's not back yet then she's still out wandering around and if she's in trouble she would scream at me in my head like before.
I sit in the front room, trying to ignore the gross decor, flopping down on the sofa with an ashtray for some smokes. I turn the TV on and sit back for whatever movie comes on next. I can hear voices, but I'm not sure if it's outside, or on the TV. Muting the screen, I realise they're outside.
Getting up, I go to the front door and open it to see Gemme and... some random guy standing just behind her. Gemme's crying and the random guy moves forward a step, hugging her from behind. Neither of them notices me standing in the doorway for a moment.
I'm not sure what expression is on my face. Anger and confusion and worry are what I'm feeling but whether that translates onto my face or not, I can't tell. Random guy looks up and sees me. He gives me a slight shrug and I wonder why the hell he's even there, let alone why Gemme's crying.
"Who are you?" I ask, keeping my tone as even as I can, though it takes me a moment to realise that I'm trying to keep the anger out of my voice for Gemme's sake. Because unlike Aaron and Benny, this guy looks like he's genuinely trying to cheer her up - which is more than can be said for me.
"Jeremy. I run the gallery a couple of blocks away." He replies in a soft tone. I guess that explains why he's with Gemme. Kinda. Her and her fascination with art, after all, would inevitably take her to a gallery, wouldn't it?
"Right," I nod. Breathe evenly. Don't hit the guy. Stay relaxed. The weed wore off about an hour ago, so where I'm not exactly depressed, or having a paranoia fit, I'm not as chilled out as I could be. Calm. Calm. "Gemme? Wanna come and sit inside and... calm down, or whatever?" I ask, trying not to show how awkward I feel. I still don't know how to handle her randomly crying. She nods, murmuring a "yeah" and Jeremy lets go of her to let her walk inside. I turn to follow her but glance back at Jeremy. I return his shrug and trail after Gemme into the living room, leaving the door open. I sit next to her on the sofa.
Jeremy doesn't follow us inside.
Just hug her. It's not hard. You've done it before.
I wrap my arms around her and she returns the hug, crying into my shoulder once again. I can't help the sense of déjà vu that hits me as she buries her head in my shoulder.
"What's wrong?" I ask quietly when she's stopped crying enough to answer.
"Nothing, I'm fine," she says. Well, anyone can see that's not true.
"Then why are you crying?" I don't want to ask about Jeremy. The temptation to hit him was strong enough once, there's no point making it worse.
"Because I have nothing." She replies. I open my mouth to tell her she has me, the house, her art, but I realise that I'm just a junkie that would rather get high than sit for her, the house is just a material possession and it means little more than a place to sleep, really... but her art?
"You have your art?" I try, most likely in vain, to get her to cheer up, or at least see that she has something.
"Yeah but it'll never go anywhere." Uh... hello? Someone's brain has fallen out, clearly.
"Sure it will. I mean it got you the house, after all. People love your art. I like it, and I'm not what you would call a major art fan," I chose my words carefully, but I can't tell if it was careful enough. "Not that my opinion is important, but y'know, if you can convince an art noob, you're doing something right."
"Thanks," she mutters and I squeeze her gently.
"And..." I'm trying to think of what else she has that means something. I dunno. I'm no good at this. "Well, I'm not much now, I know, but I'm trying, I'll try harder to change. I realise you deserve way more than I'm giving you at the moment, but I promise you, I'll change." The words kinda just come out and though I don't really think about them, I know they're true - I will try harder, and I won't take an eternity to get there.
"Yeah... thank you," she says, tightening her grip on me, and I can't really tell if I made any difference. I hope it did, because it's not like I'm making it up, but I never know how to handle this kinda thing.
But I'm already aware that this isn't going to be easy. I just hope it's not going to be as hard as I fear it's going to be. Getting clean, I mean.
Because there is no way I'm letting her fiddle around in my brain again.