Sequel to Fly Away, Dance on the Milky Way. Over a year has passed, and Gerard is reunited with his daughter Gia. She has a lot to hide, and Gerard finds that she has grown up and changed.
Gia looked thoughtfully into the small pocket mirror. The droning speech her airhead of a friend was making went in one ear and out of the other, and Gia’s biggest problem was whether to put her hair up or leave it down. The two girls were in Starbucks. They were in the middle of a shopping spree at the mall, and the two girls had gone to get something to drink. Gia used to hate coffee, but since she moved to Connecticut, she had picked up a few new habits.
“Gia? Are you listening to me?” her friend Katie asked, snapping her fingers in front of Gia’s face.
“What?” Gia asked, getting annoyed.
“I asked you if you’re coming to my party tomorrow night,” Katie repeated.
“I can’t,” Gia answered. She snapped the mirror shut and looked at her friend. “My dad is coming to visit.”
“No way,” Katie gasped. “Is he hot?”
Gia stared at her in shock. “Katie! You can’t ask that! He’s my dad, of course he’s not hot!”
“That’s what they all say. And then it turns out their dad looks like David Beckham. Is he married?”
Gia rolled her eyes. Katie only dated guys who were at least twice her age. “Yes, he is happily married. Get your dirty claws off of my father. And for your information, he looks nothing like David Beckham,” Gia snapped, and took a large sip from her coffee before standing up. “Now come on, you gold digger. I have to go get ready for my play date with Sean.”
Katie followed her friend out of the Starbucks with a large grin. “Oo, Sean? How’s it going with you two?”
“The usual,” Gia sighed. She would rather not think about Sean too much. Their relationship was more of the physical type. “What about you and Mr. Wilson?”
As usual, Katie got a dreamy look into her eyes when her hunky divorced 40-year-old man-friend was mentioned. “It’s going awesome. It’s a lot easier to date him now that I’m 18. He promised to pay for my breast enlargement.”
“I don’t understand why you want a boob job,” Gia said. If there was something her dad had managed to teach her, then that she should never change herself because she is perfect the way she is. “I mean, I wouldn’t want to fool around with the laws of nature.”
“Why not? You fool around with everybody else,” Katie pointed out with a sly smile.
Gia gave her friend a mean glare. “Bitch.”
“Oh come on, I was joking around! Gia? Okay bye, I’ll see you later! Tell your dad to give me a call!”
The blonde girl headed for the mall exit, leaving her friend to stand in the middle of the crowded mall.
The second she got outside, Gia dug out a pack of cigarettes from her purse and lit one.
The smoke instantly calmed her down. At first, when she started smoking, she had just enjoyed the smell, but with time she had started to become hooked on smoking itself. She still rarely did it, usually only socially, but she had found that in stressful situations or when she was nervous, she instantly started to crave for a lungful of smoke.
With the cigarette in hand and purse in another, Gia started to walk towards home. She didn’t particularly feel like going home yet, but it was better than hanging out with Ms. Gold Digger at the mall, and a lot better than going to Sean’s and have him actively try to get into her skirt – and the worst part was, Gia knew she’d let him.
So, she headed home. But unbeknownst to her, there was a pretty big surprise waiting for her there.
Gerard’s car pulled up at the house. He had driven there a day early so he could surprise his daughter whom he hadn’t seen in months.
The house hadn’t changed a bit. The flowerbeds in the front were in the same, perfect condition, the silver BMW on the driveway was looking as shiny as ever, and Gerard even recalled the soccer ball on the lawn being there the last time he had visited.
It was Saturday, so he wasn’t sure if his daughter would be home. Actually it would be better if she wasn’t, just so he would have some time to calm down. They hadn’t talked in a long time, and while he has absolutely ecstatic to see her again, he was still mildly nervous.
Because Gerard had planned this surprise together with Stella, Gia’s mother, the woman had expected him. Gerard was invited into the house, his stuff was taken upstairs to a guest room and he was given a cup of coffee to calm his shattered nerves.
“You look nervous,” Stella pointed out as they sat in the living room, waiting for Gia.
“I am,” Gerard admitted. “I mean, I haven’t seen her in such a long time.”
“Well don’t be, she will be so happy to see you.”
“How’s she been?” Gerard asked to change the topic. “I mean, has she behaved herself?”
For a split second, Stella’s smile quivered and she hesitated. Then, it disappeared as she quickly collected herself. “Oh, she is just wonderful. Good grades, no trouble at school, she has friends, and she is so polite and happy.”
Gerard nodded. He had no trouble believing that, but he still felt a bang of jealousy. The second she moves to live with her mother, she stops the rebelling attempts and becomes a good girl again.
“And, she even has a boyfriend. A sweet boy, he is. He is a bit older, but I’m not concerned at all. Sean’s mother is an active member of our church, and Gia and Sean hardly even act like a couple, they are so cute and shy,” Stella laughed.
She made it sound like the teens were a couple of 3-year-olds in a sandbox, but Gerard was a bit more worried. His daughter was dating an older guy? Actually, any guy near his daughter would give him a heart attack. Gerard smiled and nodded as Stella started droning on and on about something or other, but his thoughts remained on Gia and this punk she was with. Things were worse than he thought.
About an hour and five or six cups of coffee later they heard the front door open.
“Mom? I’m home!” Gia shouted from the door, and Gerard’s heart skipped a beat when he heard her.
“Will you come to the living room, dear? I have a surprise for you!” Stella called out to her.
Moments later the girl with blonde hair appeared at the open doorway. Gerard’s first thought was how much she had changed in appearance, but he had no more time to think of that. The surprise had just sunk into Gia’s brain.
Her eyes got wide, and her jaw dropped. “DAD!” the girl shouted and she dashed at her father, jumping on him.
Gerard hugged back. It was the same feeling as when he saw Bandit, but still different. It was funny, he loved both of his daughters so much that there weren’t even words to describe it, but the feelings were by no means similar. He had this obsessive need to keep both of his girls safe and protected, but because of the age gap, it was different kind of protecting. With Bandit, Gerard got heart attacks daily when the girl climbed on something high and then imitated Spiderman by jumping down, but with Gia… For heaven’s sake, the girl was almost an adult! It scared him how much she had grown.
“What are you doing here? I thought you weren’t coming until tomorrow!” Gia asked, releasing him from her death grip.
“Surprise,” he grinned. “Let me look at you.”
Gia smiled when her dad stepped back, still keeping his hands on her shoulders while looking at her. “Did you get taller?”
“One and a half inches since you last saw me,” Gia answered, rolling her eyes. “Yes, I still grow height.”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed about that. All Ways are late bloomers. Mikey didn’t stop growing until he turned 21. Then he just started getting wider. Lucky for us, I kept myself in shape.”
“Oh shut up,” Gia smiled. “What did you bring me? I know you were in Europe!”
“My stuff is upstairs.”
“Mom, we’ll be upstairs, okay?” Gia said to her mom before leading her father upstairs so she could get her presents.
“Do I smell smoke?” Gerard asked when Gia walked past him.
Instantly the girl panicked. But luckily she had become a much better liar. “I was with my friend Katie. She smokes like a chimney.”
Gerard shrugged it off, believing her word. Why wouldn’t he have? Gia sighed in relief, and realized that she wouldn’t be able to have a single cigarette while he was visiting. But that was okay, because she had something better now. Seeing him made her happy, and why would she need to poison her insides when he’s around?
Gia hadn’t been overly excited about her father’s visit when she had been told about it, but the second she saw him, she got excited about him being there. After all, it had become quite a rare occasion that she saw him these days.