I came so close to saying those words last night. I wasn't even aware that I was beginning to feel anything more for her than friendship. But there I was, almost about to say it. I couldn't do it, though. How pathetic. I can kill people and not think twice about it, yet I can't say a few words?
I shake my head and clear my thoughts, knocking on Izzy's door.
"No," she calls but I open the door and go in anyways. "I said ‘no', you stupid fuck," she says angrily, storming out into the dark hallway. She stops short when she sees me, and looks up at me. She's tall, for a girl, but she still has to look up to see my face. "Who the fuck are you?" she demands, crossing her arms.
"Cancer." I mutter and she laughs.
"Cancer? You're joking," she searches my face for a moment before seeing I'm not joking. "Well, Cancer. Your reputation precedes you." She turns and walks into another room. I follow.
"What have you heard about me?" I query as she flops onto a dirty sofa. I sit in an armchair, not waiting for her to invite me to sit down.
"That you lack manners," she grumbles as I settle into the chair. I just smile. "You're very good at evading the police. You killed Nikki and stole his business. I also heard that Richard was killed - I'm going to take a wild guess that it was you. And you're a good dealer. When you're not off your face," she gives me a look that tells me she's considering something. "I wasn't told you were eye candy, too though," she grins. I don't correct her about Richard. As much as I'd like to give Gemme the credit for that one, it's better if she thinks I did it.
"I'm here to ask if you wanted a new dealer on your team, not to flirt." I tell her evenly. Go me, keeping my temper longer than ten seconds!
"Of course," she says, her smile not dropping. "I'll think about it, Cancer. Si did say you were a double edged sword. Good dealer, but very moody," she laughs. It doesn't surprise me that she knew Si. A muscle in my jaw twitches as I make an effort to stop things from moving. Moody?
"Just because I have anger issues, doesn't mean I'm a liability. I never was to Si." Well, apart from the bit where those anti-zodiac guys shot him. She nods and gets up.
"I'll think about it," she smiles and waves a hand dismissively. "Get lost," she says, lighting up a cigarette. Shaking my head with a small smile, I get up and let myself out.
I walk back toward the house slowly, taking my time. I grab a smoothie from the smoothie bar and sit in the park with it. I hardly touch it.
I'm just trying to clear my mind.
It doesn't work. I light a cigarette and stay sitting there until my smoothie is pretty much undrinkable and I've run out of smokes. Notice all the mothers gently steering their kids away from me. I watch the kids playing and wish I was that age again. Things were so much easier when I didn't understand anything.
Not that I understand too much more now, really. Don't even know what ‘rhetorical' means.
Being with Gemme has really highlighted my lack of education. I don't like it. It never bothered me that I'm barely literate before. I mean, I know enough to get by, but beyond that... whatever.
With a sigh, I get up and wander over to the Wal-Mart to get some more smokes and then head back to the house.
When I get back, there's a van outside, a bunch of guys I've never seen before and Ike. What the hell is going on?
I walk inside, pushing past the burly guys until I find Gemme. They look like they belong on a football team or something. They probably do. I look around and the place looks totally different. If it hadn't been for the fact Gemme was here, I'd have thought I'd walked into the wrong house.
"Hey," I say as I reach her.
"Hey," she replies.
"I didn't realise you were inviting the local football team over while I was gone," I mutter, looking around at them.
"We couldn't do it all on our own," she shrugs. I nod and smile.
"No, but you could have told me what you were planning to do today. Telekinesis would have got the job done a whole lot faster," I laugh, as if she hasn't been on my mind all day.
"True but I wanted you to go do what you wanted."
"I wouldn't have minded helping out, y'know," I tell her with a shrug. "I'm just gonna go put my knife away, I'll be back in a sec," I smile and wander off upstairs. I do exactly that, but when I'm tucking my knife under a shirt in my bag, guess what I see.
Those wonderful, hateable drugs, hiding away in the bottom of my bag, just waiting. I hesitate, for a moment, inexplicably tempted, before I realise I just want my head to shut up. I close my eyes and take a breath, sitting back on my heels.