Someone was watching her. She was still partly unconscious, but she felt the eyes on her. At first she wanted to ignore it, go back to sleep and be alone, but then it hit. That horrible, queasy feeling in her stomach, and the terrible feeling and taste of acid in her mouth. She turned to her side and leaned over to where she thought the floor was.
The horrible stench of vomit filled her nostrils as she emptied the contents of her stomach into the bucket placed next to her. The smell only made her hurl again. She felt the hair be removed from her face as she leaned over once again and felt the mix of alcohol, acid and god knows what else drip from the side of her mouth.
“Here,” she heard a deep voice say, and the person who was holding her hair handed her a tissue.
Gia cleaned the side of her mouth and threw the tissue into the bucket. She rolled onto her stomach and groaned. She felt like there were tiny people inside her brain, beating on her skull with sledgehammers. She felt this constant pain that was ripping her head open.
“Do you want some painkillers? I’ve got aspirin,” the voice asked. It sounded more clear to her now, and her eyes started to see better as well.
Gia saw that she was in a room. It was rather dark, which she was glad about. The bed she was laying on was messy and unmade, and the pillow smelled of cologne and cigarettes. Now that she got a better look of the bedroom, she saw that while it wasn’t in such a terrible shape, it had clearly never been cleaned up. There were dirty clothes on the floor, as well as empty beer cans and god knows what else.
And that’s when Gia realized. She was in a strange room with a man whom she didn’t recognize. Panicked, she sat up, but the man had just crouched over her to see if she was still breathing, and her forehead collided with his jaw. She wasn’t sure whose head made the cracking sound, but the man cursed loudly in surprise and held his jaw.
“Oh son of a bitch,” he groaned, moving his jaw to see if anything was broken.
“I’m sorry,” Gia apologized. The man was a complete stranger, at least at first. Slowly she started to see a resemblance to someone she might’ve known, but she couldn’t quite put a finger on it.
“It’s okay,” he answered once he was certain his jaw was still where it was supposed to be.
“Who are you?”
The man chuckled. “Yeah, you probably don’t recognize me. I’m Blake. I sold your dad drugs a few years ago.”
The memory of him hit Gia like a ton of bricks. Blake had been her father’s drug dealer a few years back, and he had supplied her with some drugs as well when she had decided to experiment with them. One day he had simply disappeared, and she found out he had gone to jail. Since then, she hadn’t given him much thought, and for sure she never expected to see him again.
But there he was, standing next to the bed where Gia was sitting. He looked a lot different. She realized how much the drug abuse had affected his appearance. Back then he looked frail and weak, he was always unclean and he went weeks without shaving his face. Now he looked healthy. He had gotten some muscle, his hair had that healthy shine and although his skin was still prematurely aged, he had cleaned up really well.
“Blake?” she asked in disbelief. “But… You went to prison.”
“Yep, that I did,” he answered, handing her a glass of water and a white pill from a small orange jar that he had on the night stand. When he saw Gia look at the pill suspiciously, he chuckled. “Don’t worry, it’s not drugs. It’s just aspirin for the hangover. You were pretty drunk last night.”
“Why am I here?” she asked, taking the pill. She decided to trust him because hell, if it was something else than simply a painkiller, it’s not like her parents would miss her if she died.
“I saw you at the bar when you were leaving last night. You could hardly stand up, let alone walk straight, so I brought you here. I couldn’t find a phone on you and I did go to your house but I guess you moved. So I had no other choice,” he explained. “I couldn’t just leave you there. You would’ve gotten raped and killed. It’s not a good place to drink alone at, especially if you’re a hot young woman, it’s really not a great choice.”
Gia’s face got slightly red from what he called her. “Um… Thanks, I guess. And yeah we did move. I’m sorry I threw up.”
“It’s okay,” he laughed. “You got most of it in the bucket.” He sat down on the edge of the bed and Gia edged away from him by instinct. He immediately looked apologetic. “I’m sorry, too close for comfort?”
“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s up with the whole bar adventure?”
Gia shrugged, feeling embarrassed. “It’s nothing.”
“Really? You just decided to get drunk alone and make out with a bunch of guys for nothing?”
“What guys?” she immediately asked. She didn’t have many memories of the events of last night, and swapping saliva with anyone definitely wasn’t in her memory circuits.
“Look, I can tell there’s something wrong but if you don’t want to talk about, it’s fine.”
“It’s just, life has gotten pretty complicated and I needed some release. Alcohol’s worked before so I figured why not.”
“Is it your dad?”
“Some of it. My parents just want to get rid of me because I’m not exactly the daughter they imagined.”
Blake nodded, although he clearly doubted her words. “What did you do, then?”
“I got pregnant.”
His eyes nearly popped out of his head. “You’re pregnant and you decided to drink?!”
“No, I miscarried when my stepdad hit me in the stomach.”
Gia shook her head. “Look, just never mind. What happened to you though? You look… Clean.”
“Yeah, I guess so. After I got out of jail, I got out of drugs, got a job, took a shower… Unfortunately my house didn’t get the memo,” he added, looking at the messy room.
“I’m happy for you,” she smiled. The painkiller had surprisingly worked, and the headache was starting to fade. She didn’t feel at all nauseated anymore either.
“Thanks. So, do you want me to drive you home?”
“No, you’ve done enough. I can walk.”
“Please, I really don’t want to take the risk of you ending up in a ditch somewhere and die.”
Gia’s protest was not successful, and it was decided that Blake will drive her home. With luck, Gerard won’t be home. If he saw her with Blake, it would be the last straw for sure. After all, who would want a daughter with a drug problem? Gerard would never believe that she wasn’t doing drugs if he saw her with a man who went to prison for selling drugs.