Chapter 35: You have a friend in me
Gerard had been busy as a bee with the new album, but right now he had managed to find a few hours of peace. If only his daughter would allow him to relax.
“Dad? Can I talk to you about something?” Gia asked, peeking around the corner. She was afraid he might snap at her and yell. Lately he had looked quite homicidal.
“What is it?” he sighed.
Since his tone of voice wasn’t similar to a crazy serial killer’s at the moment, Gia thought it safe to approach him. She sat on the arm of the couch which he was sitting on.
“I have a problem.”
“Is it a female problem?” he immediately asked. “If it has anything to do with tampons, I don’t wanna know.”
“No! That’s disgusting. As if I’d talk to you about that stuff.”
“That’s comforting to know. So, what’s your problem pumpkin?”
“It’s about Lucas. I’m really worried.”
“Did he get you pregnant?”
“Then there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Dad!” Gia groaned. “Listen to me. Okay, for a while now he’s been really distant with me. Like ignoring me and stuff. And the other day we had a fight, which was so weird because we never fight. And I don’t even know why he started to act all weird in the first place!”
“So basically you’re not hanging out with him anymore?”
Gerard’s face spread into a gleeful grin and he threw his arms in the air in victory. “YES! I’m not gonna be a grandpa at 30!”
“I hate you dad,” Gia hissed, and stood up.
“I love you too, sugarcube. Look, don’t worry about Lucas, he’s just probably on his manperiod. Maybe you should have the tampon talk with him?”
Gia stared at him for a moment in disbelief. “When’s the last time you slept?”
Yeah, that would explain the crazy talk. Seeing that her father was absolutely no use right now, Gia left him alone.
She had no other choice. She had to know what was going on with Lucas.
It was already six o’clock, so it was getting late, but Gia figured that she could go over to Lucas’, demand and receive and explanation, and come back home before her dad notices she’s gone.
The cars weren’t on the drive way, so Lucas’ parents were most likely out somewhere. But the light coming from the upstairs window gave her hope. Gia went to the door and rang the doorbell and knocked on the door repeatedly until it opened.
“What?” Lucas asked, looking very frustrated.
Gia hadn’t planned this far, so she had no idea what to say. All she could do was look miserable and shrink under his glare.
“Go home, Gia, and leave me alone”, he said and slammed the door shut.
Gia’s eyes started to get wet, but she wiped the tears away and in sudden determination to fix things, she went to the other side of the house.
Lucas could only blame himself. He had taught her how to open locked doors, and for sure he was regretting it now. And coincidentally, it was the backdoor of Lucas’ house that they practiced on, so opening the door with a pin from her hair was child’s play.
The house was dark, but she had gotten to know it well enough not to crash into any of the furniture. She headed straight upstairs.
Lucas was lying on his bed, facing the ceiling. But there was something very weird about the room. There were cardboard boxes in the corner, and all the junk from the floor had disappeared.
“What happened here?” she asked, making Lucas sit up in surprise.
“How did you get here?!”
“I came through the backdoor. Lucas, we really need to talk.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
“But you have to! You can’t just suddenly start talking to people and become their best friend and then get all weird and ignore them!”
He didn’t answer. He just lay back down with a frown on his face. Gia sighed and sat down on a chair, facing him.
“What’s going on?”
“Doesn’t seem like nothing.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not gonna tell you.”
“That’s not an option. I’m losing my best friend here; I think I have the right to know what I did wrong.”
Lucas sat up again. He sat cross-legged on his bed and gave Gia a glare. “Fine, you wanna know what you did wrong?”
“Yes I do.”
“Nothing. You did nothing wrong. It’s not what you did. It’s just…”
“What? Why did you start ignoring me then, if you weren’t mad at me?”
He sighed, and looked very hesitant when he started to speak again. “Okay, I really didn’t want to tell you this. I guess I thought it would be easier if I didn’t, because then you’d hate me and you wouldn’t have to miss me at all… So I figured that you’d be mad at me or something, and I just thought that…”
“Better fighting than nothing”, she finished for him. Perhaps she had spent too much time with him, but she understood what he meant. She wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.
“Yeah”, he nodded. “And I don’t know, it seemed like a good idea then but now I see that it’s not so great after all, and I really don’t like how things turned out.”
“Huh?” Gia asked, totally confused.
She gasped, bringing a hand to cover her mouth. “No! Tina’s making you move?! Now I’m starting to hate her too!”
“No no, dad and Tina are staying here. But they’re letting me go live with my mom. Remember when I told you like ages ago that they were considering it? And… I really wanna go.”
For a long time, Gia was too shocked to response. He couldn’t leave her. He was her best friend, her only friend, and she needed him in her life.
“Please say something”, he begged.
“Um… This is kind of surprising”, she finally mumbled, avoiding his eyes. How could she look at him now?
“I’m sorry. I never wanted to live with dad, so I’ve wanted to go live with mom ever since the divorce. You know that. I have to take the opportunity.”
“I know”, Gia sighed. “I’m just really going to hate it. And I’ll miss you, like you have no idea.”
“I’ll miss you too.”
Suddenly, Gia smiled and picked up a pen from the table behind her and threw it at him. It collided with his forehead. “But it’s still no excuse to be horrible to me! You jerk!”
Holding a hand on the spot that the pen hit, he smiled back. “I know, I’m sorry. But I can’t help it that it was the best I could come up with. Blame my brain.”
“Oh, I do.”
“So… Are we good now?”
“No, we’re not good”, she laughed and rose from the chair. “But we are better.” Gia went to him and sat down next to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
Lucas started feeling a lot better too, and hugged back as tightly as he could.
“All this time I thought you were just angry with me. It’s been a living hell.”
“I made your life hell? I’m sorry, I didn’t think that you would wallow in it so much…”
Gia shrugged when they broke the hug. “It wasn’t just you, really. I’ve just been really lonely. But when are you leaving?”
“Right after school ends, hence the boxes. I hate packing, so it’s slow. I had to start early. But, what do you mean it wasn’t just me?”
The girl sighed. She didn’t really want to talk about her dad right now. “A lot has happened”, she finally said.
Lucas listened to her tell about the past few weeks, and her story made him feel worse about treating her like that. She really could’ve used a friend. By the time she was finished, they were both lying down. She was lying on her back and he was on his side, picking at a loose thread on the blanket. It was like they had been best friends all along, that they didn’t have a fight and that everything was normal again.
“I still think it’s strange that your grandparents showed up. Even if they’re nice”, Lucas said.
“Yeah, I think it’s kinda odd too. But I’m just happy to have met them.”
He nodded. “I would be too. How long are they staying?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Well I wanna meet them, of course!”
“They’re staying until Friday, but then they have to go back to Cali.”
“Right. So there’s plenty of time”, he said, and then he was silent for a moment. “They live in California?”
“I have an idea.”
“Oh no, will it get me in trouble?” she asked, instantly getting worried.
“Not unless we get caught.”
In all its simplicity, Lucas’ plan was brilliant and exciting. Gia immediately agreed, even though the plan required a lot of lying, which she didn’t really like. But the outcome, if everything went according to plan, would be awesome.
When Gia returned home at around midnight, the plan was going through her head. It made her so concentrated that she totally forgot about her dad.
“Where the hell have you been?!” he demanded to know the second she stepped in through the door. He still looked tired, now even more so, and angry as a bee.
“Out”, said Gia, and headed upstairs.
Gerard just stared after her. He had a whole speech prepared to scream at her, and she just walks past him like he’s air. He would have told her to come back down to be yelled at, but since he had been so caught up with work lately, he decided against it. He would yell tomorrow. But now was time to sleep. For both of them. It’s been a long few weeks.