The drive back to Newberry seems to drag on forever, going painfully slowly, despite the fact I'm going at a hundred down the highway.
Thoughts are flying around my head as I drive. Thoughts of Emily and what I did to her. Thought's of Gemme and how much she means to me.
Thoughts of Gemme and Benny in the park together, whispering "I love you" to each other.
The more I think, the angrier I get. The angrier I get, the faster I drive, though it still feels like I'm driving on a treadmill.
Because I'm shit tired, I still feel sick and my head is getting too noisy. It's giving me a headache. I can heal this one away, thankfully. It just keeps coming back. Like ants to a kitchen. Once they've found a way in, there's no fucking getting rid of them.
I come to a stop on the side of the highway, thumping my head down on the steering wheel, trying to stop the sick feeling and the headaches and the screaming in my mind that won't shut up. I growl at nothing, hitting my head on the steering wheel a few more times before looking up, wondering why the hell I'm going to go see her.
Why would I want a cheating whore back?
I light a smoke and lean back in my seat, trying to make my head shut up. After a moment, I throw that out of the window at a passing car and smile as I make it fly in through the open window. The driver freaks, comes to a screeching halt and leaps out of the car. He inspects the burn marks in his pants and looks up at me, livid.
"What the fuck do you think you're laughing at?" he yells when he sees me trying to hold it in. Watching him dance around brushing ash off his pants and getting pissed at a couple of black spots? You'd have to be a retard, or the one with the cigarette in your lap to not find it funny.
"You," I inform him with a smile and drive off, leaving him in a cloud of dust and dirt. Well that cheered me up for... oh, about ten seconds.
And then the screaming started again. Joy.
Finally, Newberry comes into sight and the town flashes past. I reach the house and See Gemme sitting on the wall outside. If it had been noisy in my head before I saw her, there's an apocalypse going on in there right now.
The conflicting urges to hit her and hold her close rise up and I sit in the car for a minute, trying to calm down enough to say and think more than the words "fucking" and "whore". Gemme doesn't move or say anything, just waiting.
Looks like this is all hanging on my temper.
Great. Just fucking great. We all know how my temper is, after all.
I want to get out, throw her on the floor and make her hurt. I want to turn around and drive away. I want to hug her tight and tell her I'm sorry.
Right now, driving away seems like the easiest, simplest option.
"Luca please don't." She whimpers in my mind, and I look up. She's sat on the wall with her arms around her legs, gazing absently at the floor. I look away, at my hands on the wheel. My knuckles are going white where I'm holding it so hard. I force myself to let go and get out of the car, slamming the door shut and leaning on it.
This is harder than I thought it would be.
"I'm sorry, okay. I'd ask for forgiveness but, I dunno. I guess I should need to say goodbye." She doesn't look up. I don't make her look up. I don't want to have to see her face. I blink and don't say anything. Still trying not to hit her. If I speak now, the only words that'll come out are still "fucking whore".
"Luca..." She takes a deep breath, but still doesn't look up. "I'll be going home next week, well, I'll be going back to England..." She pauses, "they say home is where the heart is. I guess that will always be with you." She shakes her head. "I don't want it to end, let alone like this." This is the part where I know I should say it's all okay, let's forgive and forget.
But something snaps when she says she's going home. I mean, she said it earlier, but... I know she means it now.
"So you'd cheat on me, tell him you love him and then fucking run away?" My voice comes out in a low, sleep-deprived growl. I can't decide if the growl sounds more threatening than yelling.
"I don't love him like that, I didn't mean to..." she sighs, "I'm running away because I'm a horrible fighter." I want to tell her she should face up to what she's done, but Emily nudges me, reminding me that I ran away too. So I don't say anything. What is there to say, that won't spark a fight? "I don't want to spend an eternity like this. I love you, Luca. I'm sorry, it's your choice whether you want me to stay or go."
"I don't know what I want, Gemme," I say, my voice weirdly even.
"I know what I want. I just don't know what's best." She sighs, looking up at me finally. "I messed up really badly. But hey, what do you expect from a whore like me?" I don't meet her eyes. I can't.
"You're not a whore," I spit, "if you were a whore, you'd have charged him for the sex." Which more accurately makes you a slut, I s'pose. Doesn't really matter, either way. It still happened, whatever name you deserve from it.
"No, I paid for it though, dearly," she says sadly.
"You deserve to fucking pay for it," I snap, not knowing where the renewed anger is coming from.
"Yeah, I know. I promised I wouldn't, I gave you my word. You have given me so much and sacrificed so much for me and I have given you nothing in return." Funny. I'd kind of fucking noticed that one!
I don't say anything.
"Well, if you say goodbye to me now I'll be out of your way and you'll never have to put up with me again." She sighs. "I could even erase all memories of me being with you, if you'd like." I open my mouth to mutter "goodbye". I want it to be over. I don't want to deal with this anymore.
But I can't do it.
I can't say goodbye.
I can't say anything.
"Luca, just think it then. Say it! Think it!" she begs me and I look at her uncertainly meeting her eyes for the first time.
"You sound like you want to be rid of me," I choke the words out, my thoughts frozen.
"No, I don't. But I don't want you hurting again! I'd do anything to stop you hurting."
"Then why did you fuck him?" I yell, standing away from the car, now, just a step closer to Gemme, towering over her.
She looks up, meeting my gaze easily. "I don't know."
"You don't know?! You don't know?" I repeat incredulously, "you're a fucking idiot!" I shout, finding myself a step closer, my hand flying towards her face. Our skin meets with a resounding smack and all I feel is anger and frustration. Remorse for hurting her is the last thing on my mind right now. She closes her eyes as I hit her, but manages somehow to look into my eyes again, her lip quivering slightly.
"I know, I am, I know... I just, don't want to lie to you." I grit my teeth.
"Should have thought of that one sooner! Going to the gallery, you said. Going to the park to fuck Benny behind my back more like. You fucking know what happened with Emily! You know that, so why did you fucking do it?!" My hand twitches as I resist the urge to hit her again. I want her answer first. She stands, still nowhere near as tall as me.
"Because I was sick of having the world on my shoulders!" She blurts and I put a hand on her shoulder, pushing downwards, forcing her to sit back down. Better than me punching her, eh?
"How did you ever have the world on your shoulders, Gemme?" I snarl the question. None of us have the world on our shoulders; just the weight of our own problems. And even then they're only as heavy as we let them get.
"Let's see, I have people chasing after me and not just the anti-zodiacs. I have my mind that is twice as bad as anyone else. I have dual-personality disorder and I can't stop reading people's minds. Then I have the fact that I'm torn between doing what I always have done and run away from everything or to stand here and fight with you. Not to mention, by being with you I chose to help you with your problems. I promised I wouldn't break, but I am breaking and I'm sorry."
"That's not the world, Gemme," I correct her. I sigh, the urge to hit her gone again. I dunno. I dunno what to do anymore.