Hazel lived across town, so it was a long way to walk. But it gave Gia a lot of time to process everything that had happened. She really needed some time to just cool off, and by the time she'd reached the street Hazel lived on, the anger had disappeared for the most part.
After finding the house, Gia took a moment to check her cell phone for any missed calls or texts. None. Good, so they hadn't noticed that she had left. Gia planned on going back home in a few hours, unnoticed if possible. But right now, she just needed to get out for a while.
The house was a nice one, even though it was kind of small. Gia knocked on the door nervously. It had just occurred to her that she might have to meet Hazel's family, and that made her want to run away. She wasn’t feeling particularly social, but she still needed someone to vent to.
Once she had rung the doorbell, she heard a dog start barking loudly and a boy yell something. Then she heard Hazel clearly yell that she would get the door, but when the door opened, Hazel was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, there stood a boy, a few years younger than Gia. The boy did nothing but stare at her, while a small Yorkshire terrier barked at Gia furiously behind him.
"Mason, didn't I tell you to go to your room?" asked a woman who had just came from another room. The woman smiled warmly to Gia after shooing off her son. "You must be Gia? I'm Hazel's mom, Liv. Come on in. Hazel! Your friend is here!"
"I know, you don't have to yell," Hazel said, rolling her eyes. "Come on, let's go to my room."
Gia followed Hazel, but she was very aware that both Liv and Mason were staring at her. Hazel shut the door to her bedroom after Gia entered the room.
"As you can see, I don't have many visitors," Hazel said with a smile. "Those were my mom and little brother. My older brother Max is out."
"They seem nice," Gia said to be polite. "Where's your dad?"
Hazel shrugged. "Well, he went out to get cigarettes ten years ago, so we're expecting him back any minute now."
Gia's eyes widened and she instantly panicked. "Oh god, I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."
"It's okay. He left such a long time ago that I've gotten over it by now - for the most part, anyway."
Gia didn't really know what to say. It was all awkward now, and she regretted coming. She should've just gone for a walk and not call anyone. "Um... You know what, I should probably go."
"No, you don't have to go!" Hazel said. "It's fine, really. And besides, you look like you'd jump off of a bridge or something if you left now. So, sit down. Do you want something to drink? Coffee? Tea?"
"Tea would be nice, thank you."
Hazel left the room, and once Gia was left alone, she started to look around the room. It was nothing like her own room, but then again, it was much nicer than Lucas'. There were lots of posters on the dark purple walls, and in the shelf there was a huge collection of books and DVD's. She noticed a violin case in the corner, and a bird cage which was covered with a piece of clothing for some reason.
When Hazel came back, she asked her about the cage.
"If the cloth wasn't on it, she would scream all the time. I'm serious, you do not want to hear the screeching. Her name is Tweety Bird."
Gia, who got very nervous around birds, took some distance to the cage and sat down on the bed. Hazel gave her the cup of tea and sat down as well.
"So, what brings you here?"
Gia wondered if she should tell Hazel everything, or was it not a smart move. How could she know that she wasn’t just pretending to be her friend in hopes of scoring some concert tickets? Then again, Hazel had been nothing but nice to her so far, so why shouldn’t she trust her? No one else in that school had treated her even half as nicely as Hazel had.
As if sensing the doubt, Hazel smiled to her in a comforting manner. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. But you can trust me.”
Gia nodded. Of course she would say that, she wouldn’t want to blow her cover. Alas, as soon as that thought came to her, Gia noticed how paranoid she was being. One of the many wonderful qualities she had gotten due to Gerard’s incredibly parenting skills, no doubt.
“Okay, well... You know how I went out with Ryan today?”
Hazel nodded. She had been there when he had asked Gia out, after all. Hazel listened intently as she told her about everything that happened that night, about the date, and the fight, leaving nothing out.
Once she had finished her story, Gia took a deep breath. “So yeah, that’s when I decided that I had to get out and called you.”
“Wow. Just... wow. I’m sorry, it’s just that I knew he had had problems, but I guess I didn’t really think about how much they would affect you. To tell you the truth, it hasn’t still really sunken in that your father is Gerard Way.”
“Well, he is. Unfortunately,” Gia added, her tone of voice bitter.
“So...You’re not running away, are you?"
"No, I'm going back as soon as I've cooled off - and when I can be sure that dad has cooled off too."
"And you never got into that much detail about Lucas?"
"He’s my best friend, as you know. He moved to California this summer, and dad never really liked him..."
"Does he have a reason not to like him?"
"No! That's the strange part! And dad refuses to believe that we are just friends," Gia said. By then she had finished the tea and was considerably more comfortable being there. Hazel had gotten them a bag of candy, which they were passing to each other. "I think that he feels so guilty because of everything that he's done - or didn't do, for that matter, that he's trying so hard to do everything right now, that it's just... driving him crazy that he can't do that."
"Well, that would explain it."
"Yeah. I just wish that he could stop trying so hard and just... let me be. You know? I mean sure, I did go out with Ryan because I knew it would make dad angry, but I didn't except it to make me angry too. It's still his fault!"
"I don't know, I wish... I wish it was different."
They were interrupted by a knock on the door, and Hazel got up from the bed to open it.
"I heard you had company," said a deep voice, but Gia didn't see the speaker.
"So I came to say hi, obviously." The door was pushed open, and a boy with a striking resemblance to Hazel pushed the door open. "Hello! I'm Max, Hazel's brother."
Gia guessed that he was about 16, and since he didn't look that evil, she didn't get too nervous. "Hi, I'm Gia."
"You just got home? It's 10 PM," Hazel said in a scolding manner.
"Yep," Max grinned. "Though, I just came home to change. Kyle is having a party and I'm heading out there. Do you guys want to come?"
Hazel glanced at Gia. "You want to go to a party?"
Gia shrugged. She didn't really feel like it, but she would have to leave soon anyway. She could stay for a few minutes and then go back home.
"Okay, we'll come. Now leave so we can get ready."
Max left and Hazel headed to her wardrobe. Gia looked down at the clothes she was wearing. She hadn't bothered to change after the date, so the clothes she had on would do. They spent about fifteen minutes finding Hazel something to wear, and after she'd changed, Max was already waiting for them impatiently outside of the room.
Before they were able to leave the house, Hazel's mom spotted them and narrowed her eyes in a very similar manner to how Gerard looked at Gia when she was about to do something he didn't like.
"Where are you girls going?" Liv asked suspiciously.
"We're just going to go get more candy and then to Gia's," Hazel said, obviously lying her ass off.
After thinking for a moment, Liv sighed. "Fine. Will you be staying the night?"
"If I'm not back by midnight, then yeah. Max is driving us."
"Be careful. And Gia, it was very nice meeting you."
Max was already yelling at them from the car that he didn't have all night, so after Hazel assured her mom that she would not die, they ran to the car. Gia much preferred being in a car than on a motorcycle, but still, she didn't know Max. He could be a horrible driver for all she knew. Luckily, they didn't crash and burn on the way to the party, but Gia was still glad to get out of the car that sounded and looked like by all laws of physics, it should not move an inch.
The party was the typical house party in an otherwise nice, normal looking neighborhood. Even in the dark evening, Gia could see two people making out in the bushes and she couldn't help but look at them disapprovingly. The music coming from inside was far too loud, and there was light in every window of the house. Gia started to get a bit nervous once she realized how many people were there.
“You wanna go get a drink?” Hazel asked Gia when they got inside and linked arms with her so that they wouldn’t get parted.
“Sure,” Gia answered, glad that she wasn’t alone in this place. The people around them were crazy. Screaming, laughing, drinking, jumping, dancing, and Gia saw a girl who was running to the bathroom, holding her hand on top of her mouth like she was going to hurl. Disgusting.
“Hey, before you go,” Max said, grabbing his sister’s arm to stop her from disappearing. “Don’t do anything stupid. And don’t drink too much, okay? Have fun, but stay alive.”
“I’m not a kid,” Hazel said, rolling her eyes and freeing her arm from his grip. Max shook his head, but gave up and went to find his friends while Hazel and Gia headed to the table with the drinks.
“Well hello ladies!” shouted an incredibly tall girl dressed in only jeans and a party hat. She was standing on the other side of the table, mixing herself a drink. “Having fun?!”
“We just got here!” Hazel answered him, taking two beers from the cooler.
“Awesome! Take some jello shots, they’re good!”
Gia had never had a jello shot before, and after Hazel explained to her that they were basically just jello made of pure vodka, Gia wasn’t so sure if she wanted to try one. So, Hazel had a beer in one hand and a shot in another, while Gia was perfectly happy with just a beer.
“Well, bottoms up,” Hazel said and downed the beer quickly, and immediately after that took the jello shot and grabbed another one. “She was right, they were good. Aren’t you going to drink that?”
“I’m not sure if I should,” Gia said, staring at the beer.
“Look, one beer won’t hurt you. And besides, isn’t the whole point of coming here so you would get something to think about? Well, now you have the chance to think about nothing at all!”
Gia wondered how she always ended up friends with people who manipulated her into doing the exact opposite of what her brains tell her to do, but she pushed that thought aside and took a sip from the beer. Hazel smiled to her and grabbed another shot for herself.
“Do you want to go mingling?”
Gia shook her head. “No thanks.”
“Well, I’ll see you in a bit then. Try not to die.”
Gia stayed by the table with the drinks, and before she realized it, she was too drunk to walk straight. Her cheeks were rosy red from giggling so much, and she was having trouble standing up so she was leaning on the wall.
“Hey, how you doing?” Max asked with a grin, coming over to check up on her.
Gia, too giggly to form a sentence, burst out into laughter and lost the wall she was leaning on. So, she fell over but before she fell to the floor, she was caught by someone, who fell over from the surprise and ended up under her.
“Okay then… I don’t suppose you’ve seen Hazel, have you?”
Max got a loud, drunken laugh as a response, and so he shrugged and continued on his search to find his sister. He hadn’t seen her in a half an hour and he was getting worried. He wasn’t so sure anymore if he should’ve brought his sister along. He had thought that there wouldn’t be so much drinking, but obviously he was wrong.
Just as he was about to go back to get Gia so they could search for Hazel together and then go home, he noticed that she had disappeared, and so had the guy she had fallen on.
“Oh, fuck my life,” Max groaned and cursed the day that teenage girls discovered alcohol.
Looking around the room, he spotted his sister who had just came back from outside with some guy that he didn’t know. Max walked over to his sister who looked pretty much ready to start making out with this guy.
You see, Max and Hazel have this… problem. Hazel likes boys and alcohol. Also, everyone knows that they can talk to Hazel… As long as Max is not around. Max took the ‘big brother’-role seriously, and would kick some ass if his sister was doing something he didn’t want her to do with some guy. Like now, for example.
When Hazel saw her brother, her eyes widened in shock and she separates from Gary, the guy she has been talking to the whole night. She wasn’t that drunk yet, but then again, she had only had a few drinks so far.
"What the hell Hazel! Why the hell are you all over this punk?!"
"You can’t talk to me like that! Don't treat me like I'm your daughter, Max! You’re not my father."
"Just shut up and help me find your friend. Last time I saw her she was so fucking drunk and couldn’t even stand up. I swear, she is gonna get raped and killed."
Hazel reluctantly went with Max to find her friend. Since Gia couldn’t be out late, Hazel was hoping to take her home early and then return to the party and ditch her brother so she could have some fun. No offense to Gia or anything, but she was kind of a goody two shoes, and this party was probably too much for her. That’s why Hazel believed that Max was exaggerating with the ‘drunk’ thing, or it wasn’t really Gia that he saw. The girl didn’t seem like much of a drinker.
But, Hazel was proved wrong.
“Hey, there she is!” Max shouted over the music, as they were right next to the speakers, and pointed to the door.
Gia could barely stand up, but the guy she was with was supporting her with his arm firmly around her waist. She was looking like she had no idea what was going on, while he just looked pretty happy.
“Oh no, she can’t leave with him!” Hazel panicked, and pushed people out of the way so she could get to the door. Alas, she was too slow, and by the time she had reached the exit, the girl was already gone.
“Crap. What are we going to do?” Hazel sighed.
“Pretend we don’t know her when she gets knocked up?” Max suggested with a nonchalant shrug.
“Oh, shut up!”
Gia’s mind was working wonders. The last thing she wanted to do now was to go home. She wanted to stay there at the party, with the incredibly cute gentleman that had just caught her.
“You’re a bit drunk, aren’t you?” the guy asked, standing up and helping Gia up as well.
After giggling for a few moments, Gia’s eyes managed to zoom onto his face. “Noooo, I’m not drunk!” she giggled, slapping his arm playfully and ended up having to balance herself by grabbing his arm tightly. “But you’re really cute!”
It was surprising how well the guy understood what she was saying, because her speech was pretty much just a drunken slur.
“I think you are drunk. Your tongue is all green. How many jello shots did you have?”
Grinning like a madwoman, Gia put up one finger and giggled: “Just one.”
“That’s a lie, isn’t it?”
“Yeah!” she laughed, now playing with her hair. The guy must’ve been at least 18, but she was too out of it to notice.
“Let’s go get you another drink, okay?”
“Nooo, I want to dance! Will you dance with me?”
“I’ll dance with you after we’ve gotten you a drink, okay?”
He led her back to the table, and Gia didn’t protest anymore. The guy poured something into a cup and then handed it to her. Gia drank it quickly, enjoying the burning feeling in her throat.
“That was sooooo good!” she announced after she’d finished her drink.
“Yeah? You want to get another one?”
Gia smiled sweetly and with a loud giggle, wrapped her arms around his neck, half leaning on him, half hanging from him. “Only if you kiss me first.”
He shrugged, and without thinking twice, snaked an arm around her waist. He pulled her body tightly against his and kissed her roughly. Gia closed her eyes, the alcohol clouding her mind, and willingly lost all of her thoughts as the kiss progressed. Before she knew it, he had pushed her against a wall and his cold hand was under her shirt.
Once he pulled out of the kiss, Gia was out of breath and her head was spinning. She wasn’t sure if it was because of the kiss or the alcohol, but it didn’t feel too good.
“You want to get out of here?” the guy asked, and without waiting for a response, took her hand and led her towards the exit. On their way there, Gia looked around the room and saw Hazel and Max bickering and looking pretty mad. The last thing Gia realized before she was swept into the chilly air outside was that Hazel and Max just looked to her direction with panicked looks on their faces.
With the alcohol clouding her judgment, Gia would have blindly followed the guy anywhere. So, when he led her to a car and opened the door for her, all she could do is smile and go in.
All the horror stories of kids who went into strangers’ cars didn’t have a place in her memory at the moment, and she couldn’t care less of the warning bells that were going crazy in her head.
His car was parked in a close by parking lot behind a movie theater, and he helped Gia get inside. The minute she sat down, she started jumping up and down on the seat, reaching to play with the buttons and the steering wheel, and generally just trying to keep herself entertained.
“Would you please just sit still?” the guy asked, getting a bit irritated. He was trying to drive, but she was making it very difficult.
“Where are we going? You’re not taking me home, are you?” she asked him, slurring over the words a bit.
“I’m taking you to my apartment. Don’t worry, you’ll like it.”
Gia gave him a sweet smile and leaned over to him. “Okay good,” she giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck, not realizing that he was driving, and kissed his cheek.
“Okay, save it for later okay?” he said, trying to shake her off. When that didn’t work, he reached for the backseat and took out a bottle half full of clear liquid. “Look, you can have this. Enjoy.”
Gia took the bottle happily and opened it. The liquid burned her throat as she drank it, but she didn’t care. It only made her slip deeper and deeper into her own world.