My head feels weird.
Kinda like I'm floating.
Correction. Falling. My body twitches as I feel like I land on the floor.
I'm talking to Gemme, I think. I hope it's Gemme, because I wouldn't say the next words about to come out of my mouth to anyone else.
"You know I love you, right?" I slur my words and look up at her kinda sheepishly. She's a blur, but I can see her mismatched eyes - those wonderful, beautifully odd eyes - and I know it's her.
"Of course I know! Luca, why did you say a thing like that?" I open my mouth to answer, but I can't. No words will come and suddenly the room feels very, very small, like I'm curled up in a box.
"Can't breathe," I mumble, screwing up my face in an unhappy expression.
"What?" Gemme mutters softly, moving back to my side quickly, "why don't you just heal it away? Luca, just calm down, okay?" Calm down? I'm not even panicking. I roll onto my back again, gasping for air and coughing some more.
"I'll be fine," I wheeze, waving one hand dismissively. She shakes her head, resting her hands gently on my chest, looking over me.
"Breathe," she smiles, gazing into my eyes. I look back at her and wonder why she's staring at me. Her hands feel weird on my chest like that. I still can't breathe.
"You need to put him in the recovery position, Gemme," Izzy says, crossing the small space towards us. Crouching, she put her hands on my shoulders half lifting me, "help me, would ya?" she mutters, trying to roll me over onto my side. At that point, everything goes blank and it's like having a heroin hit all over again. Blissful nothingness.
"Luca...please..." Gemme's voice whispers somewhere above me. I gasp in a lungful of air and silently curse heroin. This happens quite a lot, to be honest - I hope they aren't worrying too much. Heroin causes breathing problems and it makes me black out, y'see. Don't get me wrong, the blackness isn't death. I don't know how I know that... I just do. Guess it's the healing instinct?
I hear Izzy sit back and say something to Gemme. "Usually, I'd have Craig to help me out, but the cops caught him dealing in the park a couple of weeks ago." Craig... the name rings a bell. Her flatmate or something. I can't concentrate on the words, though, because I can feel Gemme in my head, clearing my mind of the effects of drugs and numbing my cravings.
I open my eyes and Izzy smiles at me. "You're still with us then, Cancer?"
"Just about," I mumble hoarsely. Gemme pulls out of my mind and I breathe a quiet sigh of relief. She might have been gentle, but it still feels weird.
"I love you too." I'm too tired to be confused about this. I dunno why she just randomly said that to me, and I can't really be bothered to figure out why, because all I can think of is apologising.
"Sorry," I whisper so that only Gemme can hear it.
"Whatever for?" I blink and sigh. I can't explain it in this state.
"Never mind," I murmur, closing my eyes sleepily.
"I hope you don't plan on sleeping here," she said in a warning tone.
"Mmm," I grunt, already half asleep.
"Want a ride back? If we can lift him long enough to get him in the back of the car, that is," Izzy laughed, and even this sleepy, I feel the irrational urge to snap at her. I'm not that heavy.
"It's okay, I can carry him." Gemme says, a smile in her voice as she goes back into my head, using my telekinesis to lighten me lightly as she half lifts me, resting me on her shoulder.
"Hah, you're strong for someone so skinny," Izzy says, standing up with us.
"Don't judge a book by its cover." Gemme smiles, her arm firmly around my waist.
"Ah but how else are you to buy a book?" Izzy asks, "Not allowed to judge a book by anything else these days," she mutters, opening the door to let us out.
"Read the blurb." They laughed and Gemme thanks her, standing in the doorway with me. "I really owe you one Izzy."
"The blurb's on the cover. And you don't really owe me anything. He owes me twenty bucks for the heroin, though."
"Here's forty. Let me know if you need anything else."
"Cheers. It's been nice talking to someone who isn't just after the drugs," she smiles.
"Ditto," Gemme laughs, glancing quickly at me. "See ya."
Izzy smiles again and shuts her door. Gemme smiles too and turns to me, "Luca... Luca?" she whispers. I let out a quiet grunt and open one eye, "you okay, Muse?"
"Yeah... you?" I manage to say.
"Yeah, I'm worried about you." She mutters. Worried? Why is she worried? Why would she worry about me? I'm just tired. "Can you carry yourself, or do I have to carry you home?"
"Why're you worried about me?" I mumble, only half hearing her second question.
"You almost died, Muse!"
"I can't die. You know I can't die, just like I know you can't die," I burble, my other eye opening to look at her with a frown.
"Damn it you can! You just come back; I don't want you to die, even if you do come back... I want you to stop doing this to yourself." Stop doing what? Being tired?
"What's wrong with dying if I'll just come back, though?" I whine. "You did it!"
"But those sorts of effects will carry on into your next life. Luca, don't do this," her tone is half pleading and half warning. I don't like it.
"Don't do what? I'm not doing anything." I groan.
"I've been doing drugs for years," I grumble, "and I've not died yet."
"Has it ever been this bad?"
"Sure-" I'm about to explain that heroin makes it hard to breathe and it's happened countless times before, but she cut's me off irritably.
"If there was a wall, I'd be banging my head against it." She growls. "Fine, I give up. You win."
"You've said that before," I mutter, "you can put me down, now," I suddenly wish I'd stayed asleep on the floor now. I don't wanna be here. I don't wanna be anywhere. I just wanna sleep for a very, very long time.
"Because I just can't let you kill yourself knowingly." She sighs, letting go of me. I stumble away from her a couple of steps, trying to find my balance again. I grab hold of a street lamp to hold myself up against as I give Gemme an accusing glance.
"So what about you, then? What's the difference between taking an overdose and hanging yourself off a tree to get your head to shut up, hmm?"
"I was trying to run away, but you screwed that one up." Oh yeah, because I was about to let the only person I give a shit about run away! "As for getting your head to shut up, damn it, I shouldn't even have these memories, they're yours! You don't know any pain compared to what I have in my head."
"Then fucking give them back and stop whining about it!" I snap, taking a hesitant step forward and stumbling with a loud curse
"Fine," she snarls, sending all these images, horrible, painful, screaming, noisy memories flooding into my head. "Good luck with all that."
The combination of the agonising memories pounding around in my mind and the stumbling step sends me collapsing to the floor. I screw up my eyes and cry out. It's not me in these memories. It's not me. I won't whine, though. It feels like someone's just punched my brain, but I won't complain.
Fucking hell, it hurts.
It's not me, it's not me. It's not real.
"Now no whining!" Gemme snaps, leaving me on the ground like that. I don't move. Well, I curl up into a ball and put my hands over my ears, like it'll block out the screaming, but it doesn't. Because that screaming is in my head, not in the physical world.
"Luca, do you need a help up?" Gemme asks after a moment, her voice muffled by her hands and Emily's wretched cries.
"No," I growl through gritted teeth.
"Luca you can't stay here." She sighs, crouching down beside me. "Come on," she pushes some hair from my face and I flinch at her touch. "Fight it, you have done before."
"This isn't me! It's not me, it's not me!" I scream, the words in my head spilling out of my mouth uncontrollably. "It's not me, it can't be!" but I know it is, somehow. These memories are real and that's the worst part of it. If it had been someone else and I was stuck with their memories, it wouldn't be so bad, because it wouldn't have been me.
But it is me...
"Luca, it is! You wanted to hit me, it had the possibility to happen. Luca, it is you!" She pleads with me to accept it, putting a hand on my cheek.
"It's not me!" I shout angrily, slapping her hand away.
"Fine, because I would deceive you like this, I would lie to you like this." she shakes her head, standing up again. "I loved you Luca. Even when I knew what you did. That won't change." You're mad, Gemme. I'm mad, too, but you're madder for staying with me, knowing what I've done.
"It can't be me," I whisper, still trying to deny the truth. "I'm not like my dad, I'm not like him!" I keep my eyes tight shut, trying to block out the image of his face, too similar to mine, his anger towards my mom just like my anger towards Emily. It's not right. I've tried so hard to avoid being like him.
At least I remember who 3 doors down are now?
"Luca, it was you, it's up to you to accept that." I know that. I know that. I just don't want to believe that. "Well, if it's any consolation, that's not you now!" I groan slightly as my head pounds and I uncurl on the floor pushing myself up.
"No," I gasp, staggering slightly, "I should fucking hope not!" I put my arms around Gemme and hold onto her, half hugging her, half using her to keep myself standing up. "Sorry," I mumble.