Cancer: money.

I don't go up to bed when Gemme does. More out of habit than anything else, I stay downstairs. I sit there with that paper wolf for a while in my hands, considering it, and how much bigger it needs to be, and what adjustments might need to be made before it can be drawn out on my skin and all the other considerations that go with getting a tattoo. There're a few sheets left in the pad of paper, and I figure I may as well practice my telekinesis while I'm awake.

I can't do art to save my life when I use my hands, but I've learnt that telekinesis does more that destroy, over the years. I can come up with a vision of an art piece I want to do, or some kind of outline and without using my hands, I can get a rough idea of what I want down on paper. It's way easier than using my hands. It's not real artistic talent, like Gemme's, but it looks half decent, I guess. So anyways, I think about what I want to draw and the pencil starts moving, enlarging the wolf. I like that bird one she drew as well. Maybe that'll be the next piece.

The pencil drops to the floor when I see that the sketch is going wrong. Even using just my mind, I'm nowhere near as good as Gemme is. I think I'll stick to music. At least I can make my hands do what I want with that. Leaning back into the sofa, I close my eyes and sigh, tidying up the mess of paper and pencils. There's a loud knock on the door and my eyes snap open. Well, at least it won't be any trigger happy loons. They wouldn't bother knocking.

I don't even think about opening the door, it opens by itself. That happens when I practice telekinesis. I really need to make it stop doing that. Getting up, I go to the door and see Leo. That one that burnt all my drugs? Y'know, the ones I was going to sell? Anyways, I can't help but make a sarky remark, and I think if I hadn't been standing in the way of the door, it would have slammed shut on its own. But it doesn't and she gets to say what she came here to say.

When she pulls out a wad of money that is definitely more than $100, I feel my face light up, but I try to hide that. I don't want her to think she can bribe me, or use it to persuade me to join their little gang thing again. She tells me how much is there and I think my jaw drops just a little. Ten grand. More than I'd have got for the drugs she burnt, no matter how hard I pushed for a higher price.

Kind of shocked, I watch her disappear, and slowly make my way back to the living room. ‘Just a bit of money,' she said. Just money? She has no idea. I feel just a little bit slighted as I think about it. I'm not a charity, and I prefer to make my money myself, but... ten grand! I won't complain. She must be rolling in it if she can just give me money like that. I know now that I'm not going to get to sleep. Instead, I end up counting through it. Ten grand, down to the last dollar is there, just like she said. They're not even fake notes.

Instantly my mind is turning over, thinking of all the places I could go to with this. The temptation to just leave now is almost overwhelming. I consider leaving Gemme a part of the money and a note, but... something stops me. The thing is, I'm practically craving the return of normality as I knew it, as crazy as that sounds. On my own, or maybe running wild with Rayn, selling drugs, hiding in a new den somewhere, or maybe even the old one. As much as I liked Si, his death doesn't really matter to me. He was just another addict as far as I'm concerned. I want to go back.

But I can't make myself do that. Gemme doesn't deserve that. I just... I don't want to end up hanging around her just because it makes her happy, either.

In the end, I hide the money in my bag, taking a $100 bill with me and go for a walk. I end up at the school. I've broken in here several times, it's not hard. You go round the back where the fence is kinda broken at the far end of the field and crawl under. The blind spots of the CCTV cameras are plentiful, certainly enough to give you a chance to cover them with something. And telekinesis makes it possible to get in pretty much anywhere, if you know where the alarm system is.

So anyways, that's how I end up in the music block, my hand on one of the acoustic guitars. Most of them are mine, or Rayn's. It's not like you can keep a guitar in a drug den and expect it to stay intact. I end up picking out the Tanglewood I got last year and I grab my electric tuner, before leaving the school with it again, wondering, as I walk, what I'm going to do with that money. A new guitar, maybe, I think as I look down at my battered Tanglewood. After that, I wander back to the house and sit in the living room with it, playing til Gemme comes down for breakfast.

The End

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