Cancer: I get it

I knew I should have brought my electric back with me, but I hadn't been bothered enough to bring the amp and the lead, so there I was, just playing Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down on an acoustic, when Gemme came down.

"Good morning, Luca," she smiles at me. But her smile shakes a little and she wipes sweat from her forehead.

"You okay?" I ask, standing the guitar against the end of the sofa.

"I'm just fine." Her lips twitch upwards into what I guess is supposed to be another smile, but I'm not fooled.

"You look terrible," I say oh-so tactfully. That's me. Mr Subtle-As-A-Brick-In-The-Small-Of-The-Back.

"Hmm, I bet I do." She brushes some of her hair behind her ear and sits in one of the armchairs.

"Bad night?"

"I've had worse, but yeah." I don't know what to say to that. I look from my guitar to the art things left out from last night awkwardly.

"Uhm... Oh. Sorry if I woke you up. I went to get my guitar. I wasn't in the mood to sleep." I glance at her sheepishly.

"No, its fine. What you gonna do with the money?" my mind snaps instantly to the small fortune hidden in the bottom of my bag and I guard my expression without even meaning to. Was she even awake? Maybe she went to the toilet or something and heard Leo handing it over?

"Money?" I enquire lightly.

"Leo's money?" she arches an eyebrow at me. I consider denying it for a moment.

"Was it that that woke you up?" I dodge around it a little, but there's no point in pretending I don't know what she's on about.

"No, it was something else... but when I sleep I have no control over my power, I hear everything around me. It influences my dreams."

"You're not the only one that needs to practice with their powers, then. I managed to stop moving things in my sleep a while ago," I laugh, half at the memory of lifting things in my sleep, and half at my weak, automatic attempts to move the subject away from the money. Gemme sighs and I'm sure she rolls her eyes.

"Look Luca, it's yours do what you want with it. I'm not bothered, I was just curious." She says eventually. I think for a moment, wondering what to say.

"Sorry. Habit," I murmur, wondering how I will indeed spend the money. A portion of the money pulls itself out of my bag and nudges Gemme's hand. "Go buy a new TV later." I say, wondering how much a TV is anyways.

"No. Shan't, it's yours Luca." She shakes her head, sitting back so she's leaning away from the money. I shrug and make the money tap her hand again.

"And I'm giving it to you," I counter. "I mean... would you rather I gave it to you to spend on a new TV, or if I went out and spent it on a bag of heroin to sell onto local desperados?"

"That's harsh." She sighs. Taking the money she places it on the arm of the chair and leans away from it. "You should spend it on getting out of here."

"There's more in the bag." I say. Now I'm confused. I thought she wanted me to stay, or at least take her with me. And now she's talking like she expects me to leave on my own. I mean, it's not that I mind being alone again so much, but she's contradicting herself. I don't mention that, though. "Leo is apparently rolling in it,"

"Exactly, take your chance while you have it and leave here Luca." She murmurs, sighing again as she gazes at the small pile of cash beside her. Well... still confused. But now I'm just a teensy bit hurt, too. It's like she's pushing me away.

"Thought you wanted me to stay?" I say, my voice even and probably a little cold.

"I do, I also want what's best for you. You'd be happier leaving. I'm sure. I don't want you staying here because you feel you have to." Her words make me feel weird, and my guitar lifts in the air, my things packing themselves into my bag, including the paper wolf. I nod and stand up.

"I get it. See ya," I mutter, my voice now thoroughly icy. I let myself out of the house, and walk out into the road, halfway down it before Gemme can even react, though I'm not running. I go back to the den. Nowhere else to go, really. Letting myself in, and ignoring the police tape which I rip down and throw out of the door into the hall way, I go to my room. I throw the Tanglewood down on the mattress, dump my bag on the floor and close the door, manipulating the lock without even turning to look at it.

Locked into my room, I lean back against the wall and slide down it to the floor where I sit with my knees hugged to my chest. I wonder whether the police left any drugs too well hidden for them?

The End

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