So I get out of the bathroom to see Benny waiting for me. I move out of his way, thinking he wanted to go in - even though there's a second bathroom - but he puts a hand out, grabbing my arm. I look down at his hand and then back up at his face as I force him to let go. He winces slightly as I make the muscles in his hand spasm, but he talks at me anyways.
"Don't go giving Gemme a hard time about what happened, okay? It was more my fault than hers and she doesn't deserve to hurt any more for it." just for a second, the floodgates in my mind are opened and the anger I'm holding back and the pain that either of them did that to me rush around inside my head. And then it's blank again. "I remember how you went after Emily, Cancer, and you're just letting history repeat itself. Kinda. I know you can't kill Gemme, but you're just bottling it all-" I don't let him finish, constricting his throat enough to stop him talking but enough to let him breathe.
"I'm not making her hurt. I've moved on from the fact that she's a cheating slut and so now I suggest you shut the fuck up, Benny," I say quietly, my voice low so that only Benny will hear. "Just shut up and book your tickets out of here as soon as. I only just got you out of hospital. Don't make me put you back in hospital." I wait a moment longer before he nods and I stop interfering with his throat.
"C'mon man, none of us want you to go the same way you did after Emily, okay? You actually have to deal with things sometimes, rather than hiding from them," I know he's right. And it's probably because I know he's right that I'm tempted to punch him.
"How am I making her hurt? I stayed with her, didn't I? I've forgiven her, I've gotten over it. Leave me alone and cut the bullshit," my voice is rising. Benny doesn't believe me and if I'm not careful, Gemme's gonna hear. Hell, she can probably hear it already.
"No, I don't think you have, Cancer. I don't think you have forgiven her yet, let alone gotten over it." My fist crashes into his face and blood drips from his lip onto his shirt. I wipe it off my fist onto my jeans irritably and cuss at him loudly. Because he's right and he knows it, and he's just rubbing it in my face to get back at me for hospitalizing him in the first place. He swipes the blood off his chin and gawps at me. "Ow! Motherfucker!" he shouts at me and I hit him again, shoving him out of the way. As I get to the top of the stairs, Gemme appears at the bottom of them and looks up at me.
"Why are you guys yelling?" she asks and just like when I was stuck in Jeremy's shit car, I feel stuck here, somewhere between Gemme and Benny and I know I can't get past either of them without there being more of a fight.
"It's nothing," I mutter, going down the stairs, managing to get past her without having to make her get out of my way.
"Wait!" she called, chasing after me as I walk outside.
"What?" I ask, by some miracle flattening my voice enough to make myself sound calm.
"Don't go," she says and I just keep walking. "No!" her voice turns whiney and I grit my teeth.
"I have to see Izzy. It might not technically be a job, but it's still some kind of income," I mutter, still managing to sound calmer than I am. Okay, so that was a pretty lame excuse to get out of the house, but still.
"We have income! Please, don't go."
"Why not? Am I not allowed to leave the house anymore?" I snap, my mood showing through for a second.
"No, I don't want you to leave. I fear if you leave you won't. Come. Back." The end of her sentence gets broken up and it turns into a whisper.
This annoys me more than it should.
"So you'd rather have a wound up psycho stuck indoors than letting him go calm down?" At this point, Benny walks down the stairs, a tissue held to his lip where I split it and stands just behind Gemme.
"Just let him go, he'll come back. Not like he's got anywhere else to go," he says to Gemme. Maybe three broken ribs wasn't enough for him? ‘Cause he's sure going the right way to making it a lot more. Gemme just nods and mutters an "okay" in this sad voice that I think is supposed to make me feel bad.
It just makes me even more irritable.
Noise bubbles up in my head through the blankness as I walk away, but it's like I'm looking at it all through a window. In my head, Emily is whispering something to Gemme, but she can't be heard over the angry noise around her. At least, I can't hear her. I dunno why I can see Emily warning Gemme. It's not like I stayed and beat her up like I could have want to.