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.
Chapter 13: Pain
The tiny girl laughed hysterically, her face formed in a gleeful smile that reached all the way to her ears, and she ran with wobbly steps through the house. Her laughter filled the whole two-story house, and she didn’t stop running until she reached the kitchen where her parents were peacefully drinking their morning coffee and chatting about their plans for the day.
“Mommy!” Bandit screamed out in joy and grabbed a hold of her mother’s leg.
Following her into the room, Gia felt just as happy as the younger girl did. Her cheeks were crimson from laughing and running and rolling on the floor, playing with her little sister.
“NO!” Bandit shouted, but cackled out a laugh when Gia bent down on the floor and started tickling her.
“Go easy on her, Gia,” Gerard said, looking at them over his steaming cup of coffee. “She’s breakable.”
“This chick? Breakable? No way, have you even met her?” Gia asked, laughing as she struggled to keep her grip on the squirming girl.
“She’s right, you know,” Lindsey agreed. Bandit was indestructible.
The tiny brunette girl managed to break free and dashed out of the room with Gia right at her tail. “Bandit! Get back in here!” she shouted at her sister as they rampaged up the stairs.
Bandit ran straight into the first room that had an open door and slid under the bed to hide. Gia entered the room, and looked around, trying to spot her little sister.
“Bandit? Where are you?” she asked, and heard a stifled giggle from under the bed. However, Gia decided to play along. “Oh no, where on earth could she have disappeared to?”
“Is she in the closet?” Gia wondered out loud, and checked into the closet where Gerard and Lindsey kept their clothes. “Nope. What about under the desk?”
Gia went to the desk, but froze before she could check under it. On the wall next to the desk there was a framed drawing. She looked closer at it, and recognized it as the one drawing she drew the day before she left Belleville. In one last desperate attempt to spend time with his firstborn daughter, Gerard had taken her to his art studio a few blocks away. He had asked her to draw something for him, and she had drawn this. It was a picture of Gerard holding baby Bandit, face to face, their noses almost touching.
Apparently he had thought it to be so important that it was worth framing and putting on his bedroom wall.
But as strange as the gesture was, it made Gia smile. She hadn’t even remembered the whole drawing, but apparently it had meant something to her father.
Before she could think about it any further, however, she screamed out in surprise as a little girl dashed at her from under the bed, and the impact knocked her off from her feet.
Later that day the mood had gone steadily downhill. Bandit had gone to nap a long time ago, having used all of her energy, so the house had quieted down.
Gia laid down on the floor, face down. Her arms were used as pillows under her forehead as she had placed the actual pillow which she stole from the couch, under her stomach. She had the worst stomach ache in the world. Being a female sucked.
She had been feeling queasy for a few days, but only about an hour ago all of that discomfort and feeling of impending doom had condensed into one huge ball of pain and agony. And this misery could not be fixed with simple pain killers like she had done until now.
“Why are you on the floor?” Gerard asked.
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” she mumbled.
“Are you okay?” he then asked, getting worried. “Are you sick?”
“I’m menstruating,” she answered.
The m-word produced instant shivers of disgust. “Oh that’s gross! Don’t tell me stuff like that! Why didn’t I have boys?”
“I feel icky.”
“I bet you do. Do you have any medicine you could take?”
“They’re all at mom’s.”
“Want me to ask Lindsey?”
“No, I’ll be fine,” she sighed. But the thing was, the pain was worse than it had ever been. Then again, every cloud had a silver lining. At least her dad didn’t have to kill anyone for making her pregnant. Most girls dreaded ‘that time of the month’ like it was their execution day, but Gia was different. She was actually relieved every time she got it.
For the past two hours she had rolled around on her bed, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Her forehead and hair were drenched in sweat, she had kicked off the covers a long time ago. Her stomach was on fire.
She had never felt sicker. It was like all the diseases in the world rolled into one, and she happened to catch this particularly nasty super-disease. That’s how much it hurt. The black plague had nothing on her pain.
Gia groaned, rolling over to her stomach for the fourth thousandth time, and instantly felt like hurling because of the pressure on her stomach. So she turned once again, and as she did, she happened to glance at the clock. It was almost 4 AM.
For a moment she considered having a shower, and dragged herself out of bed, but instantly decided against it when she nearly collapsed on the floor.
Taking support from the wall, she picked herself up from the floor and started her long journey. Just a single step was enough movement to make her double in pain, but she eventually managed to make her way to her destination.
She almost felt bad for her dad and Lindsey for waking them up, but her discomfort and pain was more important than their sleep, at least to her.
“Dad?” she said with a quiet voice, peering into the dark room. She got no response, so she repeated with more volume.
This time he stirred from his sleep and rose to sit. “What?” he asked, his voice groggy.
Gerard groaned. “Gia, go back to bed. I might not be a woman but even I know that the bleeding will pass, you should have learned by now. Good night.”
“Dad,” Gia repeated, now nearly in tears. “It hurts.”
Sighing deeply, Gerard reached over to the night stand and turned on the light. When he saw his daughter, his eyes popped in shock. She really did look like she was sick. Her hair was matted, her face was nearly white and there were visible shadows under her eyes. Her bottom lip quivered which indicated that she was about to cry, and the hunched way she stood made it clear that the pain was in her stomach.
“What’s going on?” Lindsey asked, waking up due to the bright light.
“Gia’s sick. You’re a woman, do something!” Gerard said. He got out of the bed and rushed over to his daughter in panic. “You need to lie down,” he told her.
“No, it hurts,” Gia said, shaking her head.
“Where does it hurt?” Lindsey asked, getting out of bed also.
“Are you on your period?”
Gia nodded. “But it’s really bad, it never hurt this much.”
“Do you have anything you could give her? Like lady medicine?” Gerard asked, not really knowing what to do in a situation like this. Earlier that day it had merely been awkward, now she was really hurting and he couldn’t help but get panicked. All he knew was that he couldn’t stand to see his daughter in pain.
“I don’t have anything. You should take her to the ER, maybe they can give her something for the pain.”
Gia was too weak from the crushing pain, so she had no other choice but to follow her father downstairs and to the car. The drive was pure torture, and at this point she would’ve done anything to make the pain stop, even cut out her own stomach if that was an option.