Amy battles anorexia and attempts to get Beth Lynn and Vince back together again.
I nodded. Of course I was listening. How could I not be listening? Izzy continued, "Anyways, this pretty, little stripper girl came over to me right after Axl and Erin left. I had noticed that she had been eying me the whole night. I guess she was afraid to make her move until she was sure that Erin was Axl's girlfriend and not mine. She came over and asked to sit by me. I said yes. After all, she was quite beautiful and she seemed nice at first."
"What do you mean by 'at first'?" I asked curiously. To tell the truth, I was already very jealous of this Shelia. I tried to my tone casual and act like I didn't really care though. Izzy didn't need to know just how much this was hurting me.
"You'll see," Izzy replied to my question. "So the two of us sat around and talked for a while. Shelia kept buying us drinks and before long, I was even more drunk than Axl had been." Izzy shook his head sadly and I could see the remorse in his eyes. I figured that if he was given the chance to redo his actions that night, he would certainly redo them.
"By the end of the night, I had pretty much lost my mind. I don't remember what I said or did, but I probably acted like an insane drunkard. As soon as the club shut down, which was around three am, Shelia pulled me outside with her and pleaded to come home with me in this sweet, innocent voice. I wanted her and she wanted me, so I agreed and brought her home with me that night. Of course, the only thing she wanted from me was satisfaction."
Suddenly, loud footsteps sounded in the entryway of the kitchen. They stopped abruptly at Izzy's words. I had no doubt in my mind that it was Axl eavesdropping on our conversation. Izzy must've thought the same thing because his next words were, "Axl, what the fuck? Can't a person have a little privacy around here?"
Axl strolled casually into the kitchen yet with a wide grin on his face, "Not really since this is my house. I don't think I've heard this story before so I might as well stay and listen to it too." Axl pulled back a chair and started to sit down, but Izzy grabbed the chair and firmly shoved it back in, looking like he was about to blow up.
"Axl, you said you were going to leave until we got the problem worked out. I'm not really comfortable discussing this with you around so leave, will ya?" Izzy pleaded. I had never seen Izzy look this uncomfortable before. He kept wringing his hands in his lap and there were small beads of sweat on his forehead.
"Fine, but hurry up!" Axl agreed, sensing Izzy's discomfort. Axl trudged back out of the room to leave Izzy and me alone together once more. Izzy waited until Axl's footsteps were no longer audible before continuing, "Back to what I was saying. So I fucked Shelia that night...and the next night and the night after. It sort of became our routine. I would go to the club, she and I would get drunk, and then we would go back to my house. It took me a few weeks before I realized that I didn't want to live this way. I wanted to find a girl who wanted me around for something other than sex. Plus, I figured it probably wasn't good getting drunk every night."
"Obviously," I replied. I was having bad visions in my head of Izzy lying on top of a pretty bleach-blonde stripper in that big, burgundy bed at his house. My face was probably turning slightly green with envy at this point. I would trade pretty much anything to trade lives with Shelia. She had all I had ever wanted; Izzy.
Izzy had paused and was trying to decipher my reaction to his news, "What are you thinking? I can't read you." That was good. Apparently, my expressionless mask was working. I shook my head and refused to tell Izzy anything, "I'll tell you at the end. Just finish your story first, okay?"
Izzy kept running his fingers through his hair nervously, "Um, okay. So I stopped going to the club every night. It was hard at first, but I figured out I was better off without all of Shelia's shit. Unfortunately, I had made the mistake of giving her my phone number. She called me that night and I had to confess that I wanted to break up with her. She was upset...very upset. But there was nothing I could do. I wasn't going to live my life the way she wanted me to."
I was starting to feel a tad bit sorry for Izzy, but I did my best not to let it show. Instead, I kept my mouth shut as he continued, "She finally left me alone after a week. The week after that was the week I met you. I wanted you to be mine from the start. I did my best to put my past behind me and start over with you."
"But you fucked her again anyways?" I cut in. Izzy looked puzzled, "I never fucked her again after I met you. But I'm not done yet, so just listen for a few minutes." I bit my tongue to keep my questions from spilling out. Suddenly, I felt really foolish. For some reason, I had automatically assumed that Shelia and Izzy had sex in the last week or so. I had been wrong...very wrong.
After making sure that I was still listening, Izzy went on, "Shelia called me again a week ago. She tried to get me to come to the club again, but I refused. Then she got really angry and told me...uh...told me..." Izzy trailed off without finishing his sentence. He was biting his lip hard and I could see he didn't want to let me know the rest of the story.
"Told you what?" I asked in a soft, gentle voice. All my anger at Izzy had completely vanished and was replaced by sympathy. I felt so bad that I had accused him of cheating. He hadn't cheated. It was just that he had a rough past with a stripper as a girlfriend. I resisted the impulse to run over to him and throw my arms around his neck.
Tight-lipped, Izzy looked at the ground and finished the sentence, "She told me she was pregnant with my child. I didn't know what to do, but I did know that I couldn't go back to living the reckless life of a drunkard with Shelia at a strip club. She cussed me out after I refused to have anything to do with her and the child. She said she'd get it aborted and that it was all my fault for having sex with her in the first place. When you called me, I figured it was her again. I'm so sorry, Amy."
Izzy finally lifted his head to meet my eyes, "I know this all sounds pretty bad, but I've changed now. I don't go to clubs anymore looking for girls to sleep with and I'm not going to have anything more to do with Shelia. She just a lying bitch who needs to get a life. Honestly, I don't even know if she knows for sure if the child she's having is mine. I'm sure she's slept with several guys in the last month. But anyways, enough of that. All I can do is offer my apology to you for having to hear about my past. If you want to break up with me now, I can understand it. But maybe you'll be able to find love for me somewhere in your heart?"
Izzy was searching my eyes earnestly. He had bitten his lip so hard that there was a thin trickle of blood dripping from his lower lip. I felt really angry at myself. I should've known better than to have thought Izzy would've cheated on me. I should've trusted him like he had trusted me. Suddenly, my heart sank; I still hadn't told him about what I had done with Mick.
He really did deserve to know. He had just told me about the hardest moments of his past and now I needed to confess. I glanced away from Izzy's beseeching gaze and murmured quietly, "Izzy...there's something I need to tell you." Izzy froze and his eyes seemed to glaze over, "You're interested in someone else?"
"No, no," I quickly reassured as I tried to figure out what I was going to say next. It was much harder telling him that I had cheated than I had thought it would be. Izzy was staring at me quizzically now, "What is it then?"
In a rush, I blurted out, "I...cheated on you the other day. Mick came over and he wanted to get back together with me. He kissed me and I, uh, kissed him back. I didn't know what I was doing. It didn't mean anything..." I nervously glanced back up at Izzy to see how he was taking the news.
"So you want to get back together with Mick then?" Izzy asked, trying to keep the chagrin out of his voice. "If you want to, you can. Don't let me stop you." Izzy's voice cracked at the end of the sentence, ruining the mask of impassiveness he had managed to hide behind during our whole conversation.
"No, of course not!" I exclaimed. I had expected him to give me a dirty look and call me a slut or a whore. But instead, here he was worried that I wanted to get back with Mick. I continued, "I don't love Mick in the same way I love you. I can't stand this tension anymore; do you still want me after everything I've done?"
Izzy blinked, "God, Amy, don't be silly. Of course I still want you. Mick kissed you so it wasn't your fault that you kissed him back. So you're not mad at me for what I did with Shelia?" All the tension that had built up in me was relinquished. I took a deep, relaxing breath and answered, "Not at all. You should be angry at me though."
Izzy shook his head, "Angry with you? I'd have to be pretty fucking crazy to be mad at you." We both smiled at each other for a moment before we both stood up at almost the exact same second. Izzy opened his arms to me and we embraced tightly. He put one hand on my lower back and tangled his other hand in my long, brown hair. I pulled him close to me and wished I would never have to let go. Pressing my cheek against his chest, I inhaled deeply. Izzy always smelled good. He smelled like...Izzy. There wasn't really a way to describe it.
"Ah hem," a voice interrupted us from the doorway. I could hear a chair scraping against the floor as Axl sat back down at the table. Izzy ignored Axl and refused to let me go. Axl allowed us to hug for another minute before he said, "Okay, guys, you've made up and everything's good now. So can we discuss the band now?"
Izzy untangled his hand out of my hair and slowly withdrew his hand on my back, "Yeah, I guess we've kept you waiting long enough for us. So tell us more about this new band of yours. What's it going to be called?" Izzy plopped back down in his chair and I started to return to mine, but stopped when Izzy grabbed my hand.
He pulled me over to him and pulled me onto his lap. A tingly sensation ran through my body and a slung an arm around Izzy's neck. Everything seemed to be right with the world now. Izzy had forgiven me for cheating him, I had learned that Izzy hadn't been cheating me after all, and now I could just enjoy the rest of my afternoon with my lover and an amazingly attractive guy.
"I'm calling it the Hollywood Rose," Axl replied. Izzy scrunched up his nose at the band name, "Aw...did you have to only put your name in it? Couldn't it have been the 'Hollywood Rose and Stradlin' or something?" Axl frowned and shook his head, "No, that doesn't sound as good. Besides, I was the one who formed the band. If you had put the effort into forming the band, then you could've named it. But since you didn't, I get to name it."
Izzy nodded reluctantly. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see eying the two of us with a look of resentfulness in his dark brown eyes. I was wondering what was wrong when Axl said, "I wonder where Erin is. I called her earlier. It would be nice to have another girl in the house." Ah, now I saw the problem. Axl didn't like watching me with Izzy when he didn't have a lover by his side.
Izzy's brow furrowed, "You can survive without Erin for a little while! I have to put up with you and her every single fucking day! It might do you some good to have some time away from her." Axl opened his mouth to retort, but I attempted to change the subject to avoid a fight, "What are the other members of the band like, Axl?"
Axl quickly told hold of the new subject and started telling us all about the band members. I quickly lost interest in the subject and looked for something to do. It wasn't that I wasn't interested in the new band, it was just that after hearing Axl drone on and on about it was starting to get rather repetitive.
As a diversion, I played with a lock of Izzy's dark hair. I twisted it around my fingers and noticed the way it shone in the sunlight. Then I stroked the side of Izzy's neck tenderly with two fingers. Izzy sighed with pleasure and wrapped his arms around me in a protective manner. I started to bury my face in his hair when Axl shouted my name without warning, "Amy!"
I jumped in Izzy's lap and whirled around to face Axl, "Huh?" Axl frowned at me disapproving, "Damn, can't you keep your hands off him, Amy? You keep distracting him. Izzy has been cursed with a short attention span, having you, Iz?" Izzy didn't answer because he was staring up at my face like he was staring at the face of an angel.
"Shit," Axl muttered under his breath. Then in a louder tone, he suggested, "Why don't you get us some drinks, Izzy? I'm really thirsty and I'm sure Amy is too. Right, Amy?" Axl shot me a meaningful look which implied me to agree that I was indeed thirsty. Izzy still didn't answer, so I took the task at hand upon myself.
"I can get them," I stated and stood up. "What does everyone want to drink?" Axl shrugged, "I don't care. Just whatever is in the fridge I guess." Izzy jumped up from the chair to help me. I opened a wooden cabinet and selected three dusty glasses. After setting them on the counter, I joined Izzy at the fridge to select something to drink.
Izzy was pulling out some sort of alcoholic beverage. I frowned at it and searching for something nonalcoholic to drink. I found some limeade in the back of the fridge and decided that would be my best option. As I set the limeade down on the counter, I accidentally elbowed one of the glasses. Izzy and I both lunged for it before it could smash on the floor. I grabbed it just in time and replaced it back onto the counter. It was then that I realized that Izzy was pinning me against the counter.
Izzy colored slightly and began to pull away, but I took hold of his one of us hands to make it obvious that I wanted him close to me. Axl was coughing loudly in the background, but Izzy and I both ignored him. The look we were exchanging was avid and full of desire. Finally, neither of us could resist any longer.
I eyed Izzy's mouth before I tilted my head slightly to the right and closed my eyes, giving Izzy easy access to my lips. It didn't take long before I felt his lower lip lightly skim across mine. We drew apart no more than three centimeters to smile at each other. Then Izzy was going back for more. This time Izzy kissed me harder, bringing my lower lip inside of his mouth.
I closed my eyes again and leaned against the counter, allowing my whole body to relax. Izzy's lips were so soft and gentle in between mine. I just wanted to live in this moment forever. Actually, that wasn't quite true. I wanted to be kissing Izzy like this in his bed. If he had fucked Shelia, a stripper he barely even knew, than surely he would want to make love to me soon, right?
"Fuck," Axl complained from the table. I was getting a feeling that Axl didn't like public displays of affection. Or maybe Axl was just jealous because he didn't have someone to kiss him in the way that Izzy was kissing me. I figured that was probably it since he didn't seem to mind kissing Erin in front of us. From what seemed like miles away, I heard a ding dong coming from the front door.
Relieved to have an excuse to escape, Axl hurried out of the door, his cowboy boots clicking on the floor behind him. The front door clicked open and Axl exclaimed, "Tommy! It's great to see you. Do me a favorite and get Amy the fuck out of here before I have to throw her out myself!" I felt Izzy smile under my lips. Some people might have taken offense to Axl's words, but after knowing him for a while, you realized that it was just part of his personality.
I was rather annoyed that Tommy had come back already. It felt like I had only been here an hour although the clock said I had been here for three hours. The clunking of Axl's boots became louder and in a minute, he and Tommy were standing in the kitchen doorway with their hands on their hips.
"Amy, it's time to go," Tommy told me a-matter-of-factly. Izzy let go of my lip and turned around to face Tommy and Axl. Not wanting to leave just yet, I protested, "Aw, come on, Tommy! I just got here. Can't we stay for another hour or two? You can talk with Axl in the living room or something. Please?"
Tommy shook his head and blushed, "I'm sorry, Amy, but I'm bringing Candice back to my house so we can't stay. She's waiting in the car for us right now. I can bring you back her in a few days when I drop Candice back off, alright?" Tommy did look truly sorry that we couldn't stay any longer, but Axl looked relieved.
I was feeling angry at Tommy. I wasn't sure if he knew that I disliked Candice or not, but I didn't appreciate the way Tommy had just invited her to ride back to his house in my car. He should at least ask for permission before inviting random people to ride in my car. Scowling, I made no move towards the door and stayed right where I was, leaning against Izzy with his arms wrapped around my waist. I noticed Tommy and Axl exchange glances.
"Amy, please don't make this difficult!" Tommy complained and motioned towards the door. "It's rude to keep Candice waiting and you know it. Come on!" In a low voice, I muttered, "It's even ruder to invite a bitch to ride in my car without asking me first." Tommy scowled from across the room and snapped, "What did you just say? You better not say anything against Candice."
I made a face and waved Tommy towards the door, "I didn't say anything. I'll be ready to leave in a minute, okay?" Tommy nodded and stayed rooted to the spot where he was standing. Four pairs of eyes stared at Izzy and I in anticipation. Apparently, Tommy hadn't taken the hint that I wanted to be alone.
"Geez, guys!" I exclaimed after they continued to stand in the doorway, watching our every move, "Has anyone ever explained the meaning of 'privacy' to you?" Tommy hesitantly turned towards the door and started walking out. He called over his shoulder, "I'll give you five minutes, but after that, I'm coming in to get you no matter what." Axl followed Tommy out to the living room. It only took them a few seconds before they were deep into a conversation about Axl's new band.
I turned back to Izzy and stood on my tip toes so I could look into those beautiful gray eyes, "I really don't want to leave." Izzy nodded understandingly, "I don't want you to leave either." I leaned back against the comfort of his chest and felt his fingers comb through my hair affectionately. In a low voice I added, "Damn Tommy's nerve! I can't believe he just invited Candice to drive with us on the way home. That girl is just...something else. You know what I mean?"
Izzy didn't answer and I felt his fingers stop stroking my hair. I waited a moment longer for him to answer, but he did not. Wondering what his problem was, I took a step back and said, "What is it Izzy?" I noticed he was looking at something in the palm of his right hand with an incredulous expression. Getting a little nervous, I persisted, "Izzy?"
Izzy finally looked away from whatever he was looking at and peered down at me with a half angry and half sad expression. He didn't speak, just looked at me with solemn eyes that seemed to have gone from gray to black within seconds. He was really starting to scare me now. Why wouldn't he talk to me?
Deciding to take the matter into my own hands, I reached up and pulled his right hand forward to see what he was looking at. Izzy didn't resist and let me pull his hand into mine. Revulsion pounded through me as I say what was in Izzy's hand. It was a big, thick chunk of my hair. It seemed to just have fallen out while Izzy was playing with my hair. I frowned; that wasn't normal. People's hair didn't just randomly fall out. I gazed closer at the limp strands in Izzy's hands and wondered what he was thinking.
Izzy broke the tense silence and said, "You do know why that clump of your hair just came out, don't you?" I shook my head, "Uh, not really. My hair breaks easily I guess." Seeing Izzy's frown deepen, I tried to lighten the mood, "Well, I guess it's good I have thick hair then, hm? I wouldn't want to be bald obviously."
"Amy, this isn't exactly a laughing matter," Izzy replied without smiling. "Haven't you ever wondered why you're always so tired? Or why you're constantly getting hurt?" Truth be told, I hadn't ever wondered about these things. But now that Izzy reminded me of it, I realized that he was right. I was tripping, falling, or breaking bones almost all the time. And unfortunately, I was always fatigued. It explained why I passed out so much.
"Maybe I'm just clumsy?" I suggested in an attempt to answer Izzy's question. Izzy shook his head firmly, "No. You have brittle bones because you don't eat. It makes it so easy for you to break bones. Plus, you never have any energy since you don't eat. And now, if you're not careful, the rest of your hair will start falling out because you're not getting the right kinds of nutrients. I've seen anorexic girls at this stage before, Amy. Once their hair starts falling out, the rest of body starts breaking down and before you know it, they're...um..."
Izzy didn't need to finish the sentence. I already knew what he was trying to say. He was saying that if I didn't start eating like a normal person, I would end up dead. But wasn't it better to die skinny versus live the rest of your life as fat? I didn't like food. Even the thought of eating sent shivers up my spine. But what about the losing your hair thing? I hadn't heard of that before, but it did seem quite likely. Losing my hair was something I couldn't live with.
"I don't want to eat though," I complained to Izzy, still staring at the lifeless clump in his hand, "It will make me fat and then I'll be ugly and then nobody will want to be me friend anymore because they won't be able to stand looking at me." Izzy let the hair fall to the ground and grasped my shoulders a little roughly, "Amy, shut the fuck up and listen to me! Of course people will still like you. Besides, isn't gaining a few pounds better than losing all your hair?"
I shrugged without meeting his eyes. Neither of the ideas seemed like good options. Spontaneously, my eyes wandered across Axl's kitchen counter for a knife. Izzy followed my gaze and his eyes narrowed, "Amy, look at me, goddamnit!" I stopped searching the counter and slowly brought my eyes up to meet Izzy's.
"You're weak," Izzy stated in a monotone. "You've lost control of yourself. I can see exactly what you're thinking right now; you'd rather be dead than have to start eating again or lose your hair, am I right?" I didn't answer. That wasn't exactly the way I was thinking of it, but it did seem like a nice option. I had accomplished enough in life and I most likely wouldn't accomplish anything else in the years to come. The only thing that would suck now would be dying a virgin. But maybe Izzy could help me with that...
"Okay, you've had at least ten minutes now," Tommy grumbled as he wandered back into the kitchen. He immediately stood at a stand still when he saw Izzy shaking my shoulders violently. Without glancing over at Tommy, Izzy snapped, "Just give us another minute, will you? I'm sure your girl can survive a few more minutes in the car."
Tommy backed up slowly and retreated from the room. Izzy turned back to me and demanded, "You're not going to die, Amy. I won't allow it. You're going to start eating again whether you like it or not." I glared at him. I hated the way he was making decisions for me. It was totally up to me whether or not I would start eating again, just like the date of my death.
"But I don't want to," I told Izzy for the third time. "Haven't you been listening to me? I've been trying to keep myself thin for years now so someday a guy would notice me for my body. True, it hasn't worked, but I'd rather die now than get fat and stay single for the rest of my life." Izzy shook his head dismally, "I hate to say it, but you're being really paranoid right now. Whoever said that gaining a pound or two would make you fat? Also where the hell are you getting the staying single for the rest of your life thing from? I don't care if you would gain ten pounds. As a matter of fact, you'd probably look better if you did. I can feel every single bone in your body and god, your ribs jut out so far..."
I whipped myself out of Izzy's grip and glowered at him, suddenly defenseless, "Are you calling me ugly or something? If you don't think I'm pretty, just tell me for god's sake!" Izzy took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down, "Amy, you're being paranoid...again. I love you and I'll stick with you through this. But you are going to start eating for my sake, aren't you?"
I contemplated the idea. Eating again would hurt. It would cause countless stomach aches and episodes of me crying myself to sleep because I was "getting fat". But it might be worth it if Izzy promised to still love me no matter what. Coming up with a solution, I said, "I suppose I will...only for the sake that I don't want to lose my hair. But you're going to have to promise that you're still going to want to be with me..."
"I'd like it if you quit it with the paranoia too," Izzy added, "But yes, I promise. I wouldn't ever want to be with another girl except you. Happy now?" I nodded and suddenly felt worn out from all this arguing. It would be so nice to curl up and take a nap against Izzy right now. I leaned over to the counter and took a long gulp of the limeade.
"Yeah, I guess so," I replied reluctantly. "And Izzy...my hair won't keeping falling out if I start eating, right?" Izzy nodded, "Yeah. But tell me, when was the last time you ate?" I rifled through memories of the last few days and tried to remember if I had eaten or not. Finally, I said, "Um, five days ago."
Izzy lifted an eyebrow, "Hm. And what exactly did you eat?" My face flushed and I replied in a quiet voice, "An apple slice." Izzy frowned, "No wonder you look like a skeleton." I grimaced at his words. Being called a skeleton wasn't exactly a compliment. I wanted to look skinny in a sexy way, not a skeletal way.
As if reading my thoughts, Izzy quickly added, "Forget I said that. Anyways, you should probably head out to the car with Tommy. We've kept him waiting long enough." I took one footstep forward. Izzy was right, but I didn't feel like leaving. Instead, my eyes lingered to a room to the right of the kitchen where a cushy, dark green bed was arranged.
It seemed so inviting, as if it had been made just for me. For a moment, I closed my eyes and let my fantasies run away with me. I imagined Izzy kissing me fiercely as I wrapped my legs around him. We tumbled onto to the bed together without breaking our kiss. Izzy's hands caressed every part of me and slowly our legs tangled together...
"Amy?" Izzy jerked me out of my reverie. "What are you thinking about?" I blushed tomato red and was very thankful that Izzy couldn't read my thoughts, "Oh...nothing." Izzy didn't look like he believed me, but he didn't press the subject. Just before we reached the living room, I took Izzy's hands in mine to bring him to a halt. There was a question I was just dying to ask him.
Izzy turned to me with quizical dark eyes. Before I could lose my nerve, I quickly blurted out my question so that all the words seemed to string together as one, "Did you like sleeping with Shelia?" Izzy took a step backwards from me and jammed his hands in his pockets, "That question came from nowhere. Um...I don't know how answer you. I guess it was alright. Honestly, I don't remember it much because I was so fucked up at the time with booze."
"Oh," I commented. A little part inside me felt slightly happier. Having sex with Shelia must not have been too good if Izzy wasn't even able to remember it. Two minutes later, the two of us emerged in the living room. Axl, who was lounging on the couch, turned to face us with a concerned expression on his face, "Hey, is everything okay? I heard you guys talking in pretty loud voices."
"It wasn't even loud compared to the way you and Erin argue!" Izzy retorted, lightly. Tommy stood up from the couch and grabbed my hand, "We've kept Candice waited long enough. She probably thinks I've died in here or something. Let's go."
Just before Tommy dragged me out the door, Izzy leaned forward and skimmed his lips over mine and whispered, "I'll visit you soon. Just...try to get better. You promised." I nodded and whispered back, "Yeah, I know. And Izzy, thanks for not being mad about the thing with Mick." In a louder voice, I called to Axl in the living room, "Thanks for letting me come over, Axl!"
I heard Axl's voice shout from a distance, "No problem. You're welcome here anytime." The door swung close with an earsplitting squeak. Tommy hustled me over to the door with a curious expression on his face. I could tell the conversation I had at the doorway with Izzy had confused him.
Just before we got to the car door, Tommy asked me, "What happened with you and Mick?" I had no intention of talking about that right now. I quickly hurried over to the back seat and replied in a casual voice, "Oh, nothing." Tommy frowned, unable to pursue the topic now that we were in Candice's presence.
As soon as Tommy had slammed the car door shut behind him, Candice immediately started bitching, "What the hell were you doing in there? I was about to come see what you were doing for myself. I thought you had abandoned me or something!" I could hear Tommy kissing Candice lightly on the neck from the front seat, "I could never forget you, sweetie."
I didn't bother to listen to anymore of their conversation. Luckily, Candice didn't speak to me at all on the way back. I was probably too distracted to notice if she had anyways. My thoughts kept wandering back to my conversation with Izzy and the image of my broken off, dead hair kept haunting my mind. Right then and there, I resolved to make two goals for the future. Firstly, I would do everything in my power not to lose any more of my hair and give eating again my best effort so I could be a "normal girl" once more. Secondly, I was determined to get Izzy in bed with me by the end of the year.
The first thing I did when I arrived home was head to the kitchen. Feeling brave, I pulled open the refrigerator door and look for something to eat. I scanned the shelves briefly. Nothing looked good. I was about to slam the door shut again, but then I remembered my promise to Izzy...and the clump of hair. With more determination this time, I reopened the refrigerator door and took out a bowl of chopped up fruit. Hopefully, it wasn't too old.
After retrieving a fork from one of the kitchen cabinets, I settled down at the table and reluctantly made myself eat a piece of watermelon. Even though I wanted to spit it back out, I forced myself to chew and swallow. My stomach started to churn, but I ignored it. Every normal person ate. I would try to be normal and eat too.
A little, white piece of paper on the far side of the table caught my eye. I wondered what it could be. My mom was a neat freak and never let pieces of paper just sit on the table. She always filed them away neatly or put them away in drawers. Glad for the excuse to stop eating for a few minutes, I stood up and walked around the table until the piece of paper was within reach.
I was surprised to see my name scrawled across the top of it in hastily written letters. Why had my mom left me a note? She never left me notes. What if something was badly wrong? With an ominous feeling, I quickly unfolded the paper and skimmed the note earnestly. After reading it, I slumped backwards against the table and let out a long sigh.
The note had told me that my mother had taken Beth Lynn to the hospital. I had been so caught up in my own affairs that I hadn't realized that Beth Lynn was so close to having her baby. Leaning against the table, I thought about what to do now. I remembered swearing to myself that I would try to get Vince and Beth Lynn back together before the baby was born.
Without any further thought, I resolved that I would go to Vince's house immediately and do everything in my power to get him to apologize to Beth Lynn and promise not to abuse her again. It was the least I could do for the couple. I stuffed one last chunk of pineapple into my mouth before heading to the door.
I made a face as I slung my purse over my shoulder and popped the door open. The slimy texture of the pineapple sliding down my throat gave me the shivers. I quickly swallowed it and wasted no time before getting into the driver's seat of my jetta. The engine growled loudly as I started up the car and pulled out of the driveway.
Uh oh, that didn't sound good. The last thing I needed was for my car to start breaking down. My jetta wasn't that old. I had only had it for five years. Weren't cars suppose to last at least ten years? I made a mental note in my head to ask my dad to take a look at my car when he was home next.
It only took me five minutes before I parked by the side of Vince's driveway. I pulled off my dark sunglasses and placed them into my purse before taking a step out of the car. The bright, sparkling sun was a shock to my eyes. Squinting, I made my way up Vince's driveway to the front door. I noticed that two other cars were already parked side by side in the parking lot.
I didn't recognize either of them, so it couldn't have been any of the Crue members. My stomach starting lurching violently; what if Vince was having some of his girlfriends over? There was no way I could lecture him about his pregnant wife if he was flirting with girls. Vince had absolutely no patience for that kind of thing.
Crossing my fingers behind my back, I pounded loudly on the front door. Immediately, a chatter of voices arouse from inside the room. I waited, but no one came to answer the door. Vince had better not be ignoring me! I leaned forward and slammed my fist against the door as hard as I could so Vince couldn't pretend that he didn't hear me knocking.
A scramble of footsteps sounded from inside the doorway and the voices continued to talk in low whispers. Annoyed and befuddled at why Vince would be ignoring me, I yelled at the top of my lungs, "Vince, it's me, Amy! What the hell is going on? Let me in!" There was a loud slam and cracking noise from inside.
I was starting to get suspicious now. What the fuck was Vince doing in there? Finally, the door opened up and Vince stood in the doorway with a genuine smile on his face. I took a hesitant step into the door and did not return Vince's smile. My eyes skimmed around the room to see who was keeping Vince company.
Nikki was slouched on the couch with his arm in a sling. When he saw me, his eyes lit up and a wide grin spread across his face, "Hi there, Amy! I didn't expect to see you here. What's up?" Nikki shifted slightly, and in that moment, I noticed a small droplet of blood dripping from the underside of his arm.
Without greeting anyone in the room, I pulled off my boots and walked directly over to where Nikki was sitting. His smile faltered and he tried to jerk back when I grabbed his arm, but it was too late. I could see that Nikki had cut into a vein in his arm. But why would he want to do that? I didn't think Nikki was a cutter.
Turning Nikki's arm over for everyone to see, I asked severely, "What have you guys been doing? Why have you cut yourself, Nikki? You haven't become a cutter, have you?" Vince and Nikki exchanged nervous glances and Vince slowly walked over so he was standing right in front of me, looking me in the eye.
"Amy, you know that Nikki is in pain from his injury right?" Vince asked, searching my eyes, "You would want him to do anything that would make him feel better, wouldn't you?" I didn't quite understand why Vince was asking me these questions. Nevertheless, I shrugged and nodded my head ever so slightly, "Yeah, I would. But what does that have to do with any of this?"
"Uh..." Nikki stuttered and looked at Vince for help. Vince looked at the ground and murmured in a low tone, "Nikki's been taking heroin. It really helps with the pain. Now please don't be mad, Amy. Nikki's being very careful, aren't you, Nikki?" Nikki nodded almost a little too quickly. I had a quick intake of breath; Nikki had been injecting himself with heroin when I had arrived. No wonder it had took Vince so long to open the door.
"Nikki, you do realize how easy it is to get addicted to this crap, don't you?" I asked him nervously. "I mean, I want you to feel better and I don't want you to be in pain, but there's got to be another way. Drugs aren't the answer. Please don't take any more of this dope, please Nikki?" I pleaded with Nikki as gently as I could, but I could already see the answer in his eyes.
Nikki slid over on the couch to give me a seat between him and the stranger who I had noticed for the first time in the room. I had never seen this man before. He had curly, dark blonde hair and brown eyes. I returned my thoughts back to Nikki when he started to speak, "I'm not going to become an addict. I'm not stupid. It helps the pain so much that I can't stop right now though. It numbs it completely so I can't feel any of the pain at all."
I glowered at him, but said nothing. I felt rather helpless in this situation. There wasn't anyway for me to force the heroin away from Nikki. It was going to be his own choice if he wanted to take it and there was nothing I could do about it. Trying to get rid of the image of Nikki's bloody forearm, I turned to the stranger on the opposite side of the couch, "Who's your friend?"
I could see relief in Vince's face at the new subject. He obviously didn't want to argue about Nikki taken heroin with me. Nikki answered me, "This is Robbin Crosby. He plays for Ratt. You know the band Ratt, don't you?" I had heard of the band Ratt, but I had only heard the name. I didn't know any of the members or any information about it.
Robbin extended his hand to me, "Hey." I shook his hand. It was large and rather sweaty. I didn't think I really liked this Robbin Crosby. Anyone who was sitting up locked inside a living room smoking heroin couldn't be a good role model for my Nikki. After we shook hands, Vince returned to the topic at hand, "So what are you doing here, Amy? Usually you at least call before you come over. Is something wrong?"
Now I had wished I had called before coming over. Knowing that Nikki was taking heroin was only going to increase my worries. Remembering why I had come to Vince's house in the first place, I answered, "I need to talk to you about something, Vince. But I would prefer if it was in private." I gave a meaningful look at Vince.
Vince shrugged and agreed, "Okay." Then he pointed at the door, "Why don't you two go disappear for a little bit while I talk to Amy? It's a pretty nice day outside." Nikki reluctantly followed Robbin to the door and grumbled under his breath. He gave me a sad, puppy-eyed look before shutting the door behind him.
Now that we were completely alone, Vince slouched onto the couch next to me. Even though the couch was wide enough for three people, Vince choose to sit right next to me so that our thigh bones touched. I knew I should pull away or stand up, but I did kind of like Vince touching me. Sitting close together didn't mean anything. It wasn't like we were kissing or anything.
"Vince, we need to talk about Beth Lynn," I replied grimly, looking him straight in the eye. Vince looked back innocently at me, "Oh? What do we need to talk about her for?" A scowl automatically formed on my face. I hated it when Vince played these games. He clearly knew that I wanted to talk about Beth Lynn and the baby.
"You fucking know what we need to talk about her for!" I lashed out, unable to keep my anger inside. "Have you forgotten about your poor wife altogether? Don't you know how much pain she's been in or how much she's missed you? Do you even give a shit about her feelings anymore?" I was breathing hard when I finished my sentence.
A guilty look was crossing Vince's face. I hoped I was making him sorry for all the pain he had caused Beth. It was about time he actually started thinking about someone besides himself. Vince replied, "I remember her, of course I do. I haven't talked to her because I didn't think she'd want to talk to me after I...I..."
Vince trailed off, clearly unable to admit the fact that he'd abused her. Still glowering at him, I shot back, "Vince, open your eyes for god's sake! Your wife is having a child. There's nothing more she'd like than to have you there at the hospital by her side for support." I took a deep breath and continued my rant, "But oh no, you won't want to spend any time with her in her time of need. Instead, you sit around smoking heroin and having a good time with your buddies."
Vince's face had paled, "She's at the hospital having the baby? Right now?" There was a wild look in those turquoise blue eyes now and I noticed that all the muscles in his face had tensed. Frustrated, I replied, "Yes, she's at the hospital right this minute having your child! If I were you, I'd get in my car right now and drive over to that hospital to see her. First, I'd apologize for what I had done to her. Then I'd plead for her forgiveness and tell her how much I loved her."
Vince had already jumped up from the couch and was struggling to get his black coat on, "I'm going right now. I hope she's okay. How was she last time you saw her?" Vince paused on the doorstep, waiting for my answer.
I was relieved that Vince was finally going to see Beth Lynn, but I was still angry that it had took him so long. Any man in his right mind would apologize immediately after physically abusing his wife. Apparently, Vince was not in his right mind. I snapped back at him, "How should I know? She's not my wife. I was over at Axl's house with Izzy earlier today."
Vince stopped midstride and turned back to me with a curious expression on his face, "Wait, you were at Axl's earlier? You're still seeing Izzy Stradlin? I don't like him, Amy. He's not good for you-" I cut off Vince midsentence and shoved him out the doorway, "Vince, I don't give a damn about who you think or who you don't think I should date. It's none of your business. Now get into that car of yours and go apologize to your wife."
Vince half stepped, half stumbled out the door as he ran over to his car. After he had left, Robbin and Nikki returned inside. Nikki cocked an eyebrow at me as he returned to his spot on the couch, "What were you talking to Vince about?" I turned around from the doorway to face Nikki and sighed, "Beth Lynn. She's at the hospital now."
Nikki nodded understandingly and motioned for me to sit next to him again, "Come on and sit by me, Amy. I don't bite." Robbin laughed gruffly from next to Nikki. I hesitated, unsure of whether or not I wanted to go sit by Nikki. Part of me wanted to talk to him and catch up on recent events with him, but the other part wanted to get away from this place right away.
I didn't like Robbin at all. He was giving me the creeps for some reason. I could always talk to Nikki later when we were alone. Making up my mind, I smiled apologetically at Nikki and said, "Sorry, I think I'm going to head out now. I've got some...erm...stuff to do at home. We should get together at my house sometime soon." I put emphasis on the words "my house" to hint to Nikki that I wasn't a fan of hanging around other druggies like Robbin.
Nikki frowned and I could clearly see sorrow in his eyes, "I'm sorry you have to go do...'stuff.'" From the way Nikki said "stuff", I could tell that he knew that I was lying and that I didn't really have stuff to do. God, why had I always been such a bad lier? Face flushing, I opened the door and called, "See you guys later!", before stalking over to my jetta. Why couldn't Nikki just behave and be a good boy for once? To hell with all the heroin and shit!
Two hours later, I was still sitting at the table. The bowl of fruit was sitting in front of me, reminding me that I was suppose to be eating. Making a face, I speared an orange slice and popped it into my mouth. I tried to ignore the taste of it as I chewed it around slowly. I wished there was something to do. Sitting around bored wasn't exactly fun.
Ding, ding, ding! I jumped up eagerly at the sound of my phone ringing. I left the fruit bowl sitting forlornly on the kitchen table and skipped lightheartedly into the living room. After picking up my phone that was lying on the coffee table, I flicked it open without looking at the number and answered cheerfully, "Hello!"
"Hey Amy. I know you just saw me a few hours ago, but I'm calling you again already. Can you chat for a few minutes, or are you busy?" Izzy's voice came from the other end of the phone. My heart jumped for joy in my chest. There would never be a time that I would ever be too busy to talk to Izzy. Izzy was the number one priority in my life right now.
"I'm not busy at all," I replied. "I love talking to you. So what's going on?" I flopped onto my stomach on the couch to get comfortable. Izzy and I had been known to talk for hours at a time on the phone. Izzy answered me in a casual voice, "Hm, not much. Actually, I've been playing around with my guitar while Axl and Erin make out in the other room. Fun, fun."
I could hear the sarcasm in Izzy's voice and let out a laugh. Just hearing Izzy's voice lifted my spirits. Izzy continued, "So what have you been up to?" I thought for a minute before answering him. He didn't really need to know about Beth Lynn and Vince. That was personal, and Izzy already disliked Vince. There was no need to make him hate Vince anymore.
"Oh, not much," I replied, hoping that Izzy couldn't detect my line from the cell phone. "I've been trying to eat some melon though." I grimaced at the thought of the almost-full bowl of fruit still sitting on the table. Izzy's voice sounded approving, "Good for you, Amy. I knew you could do it. Hey, I wanted to invite you over to this club with Axl and me in two weeks. He's taking me there to get to know the new band members of Hollywood Rose. So what do you think, want to go? I don't like going to clubs alone because...I...um..." Izzy didn't need to finish his sentence because I already knew what he was thinking. The two of us both knew full well just how hard of a time Izzy had being single anywhere. Women tended to be attracted to him, and he tended to be attracted to them. That much was obvious from the scene with at the restaurant where Izzy had snagged a waitress and brought her back to the hotel room to fuck.
"Of course I'll go," I said into the phone, excitedly. "So what is the name of this place? I'm gonna need directions to it. I don't go to clubs often. The only times I've been to them is when I've been with the Crue.