Luca: Slipped up. Sorry.Mature

I will... admit... I slipped up, while Gemme was out.

I tried. I tried to stop myself, but the craving got too much, and apparently one night's sleep hadn't quite refreshed me the way it should have. I was too tired to heal away the physical craving and a longish story made a lot shorter, I wound up in the bathroom, a needle in my arm and the thoughts in my head raging away. Emily, Gemme, mom, dad. Everything.

I just couldn't make it stop and I only know that one way to make it go away for a while.

When I come down I'm in the wardrobe in my room with a gun, drenched in sweat and convinced there's someone trying to find a way inside the house to get me. Not a completely unreasonable fear, knowing the way I just kind of left owing a pretty big amount of money to a pretty violent man. But I know this paranoia is triggered by the drugs and...

And I really don't know how a normal person copes like this, unable to heal away their cravings like I can. My body feels like it's being ripped apart from the inside out and I can't make it stop.

Gasping for air and hiding away behind the door of my closet, I try desperately to heal it away, to make my heart stop racing, to make the sweating stop, to make my hand drop the gun.

I want more, though. I want more, because I know it'll make it stop, and I'll stop being so terrified and angry.

There's shouting in my head, my mom and my dad fighting, my mom escaping and driving off, leaving me in the house with my dad while he cools off, except his version of cooling off is to smash the place up and lose it even more. For a moment, hiding in the wardrobe like this, I think I'm back home in Nevada, hiding in my bed at the back of the trailer, or later on in the attic when we finally got a house.

The shouting stops as I hear the door open downstairs. At first I think it's those guys that have been after us, but then I realise it's Gemme. I remember her note vaguely. She went back to Cameron to get my guitar, and this is what she comes home to? Me, hiding in a closet with a gun, hardly able to breathe?

"Hello?" I hear her call out as she drops her keys on the table. I don't reply, too busy trying to get my breathing under control, let alone heal the come down away. "Luca?" I hear her beginning to walk up the stairs and the thought of her finding me like this just makes me hyperventilate. I can't make it stop. "Luca, what're you doing?" she asks as she walks into my room. I cough as I attempt to get air back into my lungs, but it's not really working. The wardrobe door is half closed and I'm stuck inside, choking for air.

Have I really stopped breathing? Is this how it would feel if I was a normal person?

I cringe away from her and try to hide the gun in my pocket, waving her away as I lean on the back wall of the wardrobe.

"Luca..." her voice goes kinda fuzzy. Can't tell if it's the drugs or the fact that my brain is screaming for oxygen. "What's wrong with you?"

"I'm sorry!" I gasp, leaning my head back and closing my eyes against the burning in my lungs. Breathe. It's not hard. Even a retard like you can do it, Cancer, just breathe. "I'm really sorry." Haha, the voice in my head is a genius. I take a deep rattling breath and it begins to cool the burn in my chest. I open my eyes and cough again.

"Luca, what're you sorry for?" she whispers, taking a few steps toward me. I can't look at her, I can't meet her eye. A bead of sweat rolls down into my eye and I brush it away, still having to tell myself just to breathe.

"I couldn't make it stop!" I cry, glancing up at the roof of the wardrobe, anywhere, because as long as I didn't meet Gemme's eyes, none of this was happening, and I wasn't in a wardrobe, hugging a gun on the worst come down I've ever had. "I couldn't... I couldn't. Make. It. Stop. I tried so hard, but I couldn't and I'm sorry." My own voice turns into a pathetic whisper as my breaths come back.

"Oh Luca... please just calm down. Breathe and please, please just open the door?" she pleads with me and I realise she's almost a world away from me, shut off by the thin wood that stands partially between us. I shake my head, whispering "no", but I don't know if she hears me.

She doesn't. The door opens slowly and she's telling me not to do anything stupid, but my heart races again and I find the gun back in my hand.

"I said no!" I shout, shifting into the corner. She steps back.

"Luca, pass me the gun. Please?" she somehow sounds calm. How can she be calm? There's a psychopath hiding in the cupboard. I just laugh and push myself as far into the corner as I can. "Luca, pass me the gun," she says firmly, moving closer to me toward me. Why is she saying my name so much? How do I make this stop? Someone make this stop, please!

Quietly, I sit there hoping she might give up and go away. I mean, she was the one that said she didn't care anymore as long as I didn't make a mess, right? Right?

I feel sick.

"Please don't do this, Luca," she says, opening the door.

"Do what?" I ask in a tone that was supposed to be light, but it came out breathless and desperate as the glow of the late afternoon sun reaches me in the corner of the closet. She gestures at the gun in my hand. How did that get there?

"Just whatever it is you're thinking of doing," she replies. Oh, believe me, I'm not thinking. I look from her to the gun and back again. And then back at the gun, wondering what I was going to do with it, why I picked it up in the first place. I don't remember. I force my fingers to uncurl from the gun, and slick with sweat, it slides right out of my hand and falls to the floor of the wardrobe. She bends to my height and I close my eyes. She's still not there. This is a hallucination. "What did you do?" she mutters. My breaths stutter again and I cough, trying to keep them steady, or at least there.

"I couldn't make the shouting stop," I murmur, my voice too high as it rises in my mind again; mom, dad, Gemme, Emily, Benny, Si, Rayn. Everyone, all shouting at me at once, and I can't make it stop. She wraps her arms around me as best she can in the small space, though I struggle and try to wriggle out of her grasp, she holds on and I give in far too quickly.

The shouting slows and it feels like someone finally found the volume switch and turned it down. My breaths slow and though my body still aches, I finally relax a bit.

Sorry, Gemme. I'm sorry you had to come home to that. I want to tell her I'm sorry, but I'm too tired to talk, and I'm trying too hard not to cry.

The End

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