There’s one thing you need to know about me. Well two. I can be incredibly protective. I can also be incredibly possessive. Sophia saying that to me made me feel both of those at the same time. It was a strange feeling. I wasn’t sure I’d actually ever felt it before.
I pulled her towards me with my good hand, giving her a one armed hug. She threw her arms around me, nuzzling my neck. I stayed quiet, letting her cuddle for however long she wanted. See? I have my good moments. Usually when I’m high. Like I was right then.
“I love you, Luca,” she said it into my shoulder, so it was kinda muffled and I’m not sure that was actually what she said. I just kissed the top of her head in response, not too sure what else to do. I could hardly say it back. How can you love someone if you still don’t know if you trust them or not? She pulled back, smiling. “I’m sorry we argued.”
“Probably my fault,” I told her again with a shrug, “usually is.” Or seemed to be, anyway.
"No, I should have handled it better," she insisted.
"You said that before, but I should've expected a reaction like that,” I flashed her a tiny smile, "I forget not everyone can deal with that sort of stuff so easily.”
She pressed her lips to my forehead. "I promise we'll be okay now. I don't care what you've done or what you do in the future. I'll deal with it."
"I'll hold you to that if you ever get any more about my past out of me."
She giggled, "okay. We can stop if you want."
"I get a lot more honest after a joint. Maybe we'll find a weed plant somewhere,” I laughed, not sure why I told her that. Knowing my luck, the next place we stay will have a cannabis plant just casually hanging around.
She rolled her eyes with a laugh, "maybe,” she said, kissing my neck softly.
She shrugged, "I wasn't exactly the most innocent person in the world,” she winked. That made me laugh. She did look like the innocent type. You know the ones. The ‘butter-wouldn’t-melt’ ones. She smirked at me. "Why? You think I was a little catholic school girl?"
"Wouldn't dream of it."
A smile played on her lips. "I went through a rebellious stage for a while. Weed, fags, drink. I was just careful not to get hooked." It took me a moment to remember that 'fags' means 'cigarettes' in England.
"Well I wouldn't recommend being hooked,” I grimaced almost involuntarily.
“I was an addict, yeah. You saw the state of my veins before.” She nodded. I wondered whether what I was thinking of saying next was something that should be said. I took a moment while she leaned into me, cuddling up close. Her fingers were playing with a belt loop in my jeans. I closed my eyes. This wasn’t totally new, not really. I could trust her with this, right? Just this little thing. “I’ve been an addict since I was a kid,” I said tentatively.
She pretended like it didn’t really bother her, but she was hardly fooling me. “What did it start with?”
“Weed. I was twelve, I think.”
She gave me another nod. “I didn’t hit that til I was about fifteen,” she told me, her fingers abandoning the belt loop. They drifted to the top of my hip, her skin brushing mine.
I leant my head back on the wall, fixing my eyes on the ceiling so I could talk to that instead of her. I didn’t wanna see the judgment in her eyes. "Then someone introduced me and Rayn to coke in Vegas. Not all the casinos turned us away because we were underage, y'know? Rayn would go around and cheat at the games, while I bought drugs with the money he made. They'd always rip him off, but no one fucked with me, even when I was fourteen. Anyway, one of the dealers decided he wanted to make a bit more money out of a kid that clearly had nothing to lose and offered me some cocaine. It was shit quality, but we didn't know any better back then, and it was just as addictive,” I told the ceiling. It was easy talking to the ceiling. I should do it more often.
I’ve never talked about my past with anyone before. Maybe it was about time I got some of it out. Rayn was there for nearly all of it – there was no point telling him what happened.
Sophia stayed silent. I didn’t know what to make of that. She rested her head on my chest, her skin pressing against those years of scars. I wondered whether she was beginning to think less of me yet. Or if she was regretting pushing me so hard to tell her about all this shit. I shut up. Maybe she didn’t want to hear this anymore. I wouldn’t blame her. I didn’t like thinking about it.
She shifted so she was lying with her head on my lap, looking up at me. “What happened with your parents, then?” she asked. She caught me off guard with that one.
“What d’you mean?” I asked a little cagily.
"Well you moved to Vegas with Rayn? What happened to your parents? I mean you were still pretty young."
“I... they died in a car crash when I was ten,” I told her. Well it wasn’t exactly a lie, was it?
“Sorry,” she said. I could tell she knew there was more to it, but thank fuck she didn’t push it.
“Don’t be,” I might have said it a little too sharply. She glanced up at me, looking hurt by my tone for some reason. Fuck knows why. How would my relief knowing my parents were long gone hurt anyone else?
"My parents got killed by my sister, she got turned.” I didn’t know what to say at all.
“That can’t have been fun,” I said weakly, no idea if that was the right sort of thing. Maybe I should’ve stuck with ‘sorry’. Never understood why you apologise for someone else’s upset when it’s not your fault.
"I wasn't there. Not for my parents. But I found my sister, we were playing hide and seek... She was already dead when I found her." She swallowed, looking determined not to cry, but I could see the tears were there. "All those years of saving her from my dad... And I couldn't help her when she needed it most.” I lifted her up again for another hug. Her head pressed down into my shoulder. She shook with her silent crying. I stayed quiet, not wanting to say something that would make me stick my foot in it somehow. I know my luck.