This was like 7-8 pages on Word.
Ehh, I probably should also apologize for the fact that this story is dragging. I just can't write anything short. Size does matter. And I enjoy it big. That's what she said. She being your mom. Last night, that's when she said that.
Chapter 25: Danny
Once again, Gia was sitting on that black leather couch, staring at that man scribble on his precious little notebook. She had handed Dr. Watkins her therapy homework just moments ago, so she guessed he was writing down something concerning it.
"Alright, let's talk a little bit about this," he finally said, looking at the circle. "Why don't we begin with family? Bandit is your sister, am I right?"
"Yeah. She's now two, almost three. She's really... Sassy. And loud. But she's a cool kid."
"I notice you haven't placed your stepmother in any of these categories. Let's talk about that."
Gia didn't particularly feel like talking about Lindsey. But she had learned that once this guy decided to yank some information out of her, he somehow manipulated her into it. It was simply easier to co-operate voluntarily. "Honestly, the only connection between Lindsey and I is Bandit. I don't understand why I should get along with her. I know I should, I just don't know why. Lindsey's just kind of there. She married my dad and now they have a new kid, but that's no reason for me to talk to her, right? And anyway, she only wants me to like her because she's scared my dislike towards her will somehow change the way dad feels about her. Which is ridiculous. It never mattered if I liked her."
"How does that make you feel?"
Gia shrugged. "I don't know. Kind of like an outsider, I guess. It's like dad has two different families, one with me and one with Lindsey and Bandit. I mean at first I didn't even think she'll stick around for long. Dad's former relationships were usually about the length of an orgasm. I wasn't very worried. Then it got scary when he told me they were getting married. Next thing I know they're married and have a baby on the way. I suppose I sort of blamed her for me ending up in the sidelines."
"Did you ever talk to her or your dad about it?"
"Not really. I mean I did fight about it with dad, and we agreed that Lindsey is staying and I should suck it up and deal with it. I know I shouldn't blame her for anything, and it's not that I don't like her, but...
"I suppose I wish she wasn't around, that's all. But... I know how dad feels about her. And she makes him happy."
"What I'm gathering is that you don't resent her, just the idea of her. Try viewing her not as the woman who you have to share your dad's attention with, but as simply a woman. The negative feelings you have towards her aren't actually for her, but her presence."
Dr. Watkins continued to speak, but Gia already knew what she had to do. Forget the fact that Lindsey stole her daddy. Instead, do what she was supposed to do in the very beginning. Get to know Lindsey as Lindsey, not the man-eater Gia had imagined her as. This information wasn't exactly new to her, but every time Gia had made the decision to get along with Lindsey and to make an effort, she could never go through with it. However, she also knew that if this continued between the two of them, eventually it would start affecting their relationships to Gerard. And after all, Gerard was who this whole dispute started with.
Sometimes Gia wondered if every two year old was this energetic. Bandit was an endless supply of energy, and she didn't stop rampaging until someone forced her to go to bed. Everything was extreme with that girl, even eating.
"Bandit, no," Lindsey said firmly and tried to put a spoon in Bandit's hand. "We eat porridge with a spoon."
Bandit, who had shoved her whole face in the bowl of gooey white rice porridge laughed manically and jumped up and down on her chair, porridge dripping from her face. Thank god it wasn't very hot. To help Lindsey, Gia reached for a towel and started to wipe Bandit's face. That of course was easier said than done, because the girl could hardly even stay put for more than two seconds.
"I think she's done eating," Lindsey sighed. "At least the porridge is gone." She wasn't lying. The bowl was empty, but maybe two or three spoonfuls had found its way into Bandit's mouth and the rest of the porridge... What hadn't ended up on Bandit's face or shirt had flown all over the kitchen cabinets and floor.
"We really need to get a maid," Lindsey continued. "At least until Bandit's house trained."
Bandit had gotten bored of sitting by the table, so she jumped down from the dining chair and had run off in a flash. Knowing that Lindsey would have her hands full in the kitchen, Gia followed her hyperactive little sister to the living room. She found the toddler climbing the cushioned stool that was positioned at the piano. What a better way to finish a meal than to enjoy some light music after it. If you can call Bandit's piano playing music, that is.
"Move over, muffin," Gia said and picked the girl up. She sat down on the stool and set Bandit on her lap. Bandit's chubby little fingers immediately found their way on the keyboard. Sometimes it surprised Gia how much strength this little girl had; the ruckus Bandit was making was breaking the eardrums of everyone within two miles.
"Play!" Bandit commanded. That's how she communicated. Bandit didn't speak much, even though she was perfectly able to, and preferred to act rather than waste words. However, the small amount of words she did speak were usually one-word commands. It was no question who was the queen in this household, as Bandit's demands rarely were ignored. As commanded, Gia began to play one of the songs she'd been forced to repeat over and over again in piano class. While Gia played actual music, Bandit attempted to play for real as well, but failed miserably. Bandit's music wasn't exactly graceful, unlike the tune Gia was playing, which is why Lindsey and Gerard were convinced Bandit was going to be a rock star once she grew up.
Gia hadn't played the piano in a long time. She hadn't even touched the instrument since she quit going to her piano lessons, and quite frankly, she hadn't missed it at all. But now that she was actually playing it, she started to wonder why she ever stopped. It had been unpleasant then, but only because she wasn't playing it by choice. Gia didn't even need to make an effort, the notes just came naturally and eventually she realized that Bandit had stopped hitting the keys with her tiny fists. The girl just sat on her lap, listening to the music. When Bandit's body went limp and she began to make a cute sniveling sound, Gia realized that she'd fallen asleep and stopped playing.
"Oh my god," Gia heard Lindsey gasp, shocked by the sight. "Is she... Is she asleep?"
"It's eight o'clock. She's never been asleep this early. So this is what silence is like."
Gia would've laughed if she wasn't afraid she might wake up her little sister. She rose from the stool, picking up Bandit, and carried her to her room. After tucking the girl in, lighting the nightlight and turning off the other lamps, Gia returned to the living room where Lindsey was sitting by the piano. When she heard her return, Lindsey looked up.
"I liked what you played," Lindsey said. "Why did you stop playing piano?"
Gia shrugged. "I just didn't like it anymore. I only played it because dad liked it, anyway, so there was no point in continuing when he told me I could quit."
"It didn't seem like you didn't like it."
"Well it's been a while since then."
Lindsey nodded and decided to drop the subject. She saw this as a pretty good opportunity to talk to her step-daughter and was more than happy to take it. "How's the therapy going?"
Gia crashed down on the couch and put her feet up on the low couch table. Again, she shrugged. "I don't know. Fine I guess."
"Gerard told me you're having your first session together next week. Are you nervous?"
"Not really. I mean it's going to be awkward but hey, I figure he's going to do most of the talking anyway."
Lindsey nodded, understanding what she meant. When Gerard once opened his mouth, he couldn't shut it. "Any news on the Lucas deal?"
Gia raised an eyebrow suspiciously. Girl talk? This reeked of Gerard.
"Don't worry", Lindsey laughed. "I'm not a spy. I'm not telling your father anything."
Satisfied by this response, Gia decided to actually speak. After all, she had made a promise to herself and her therapist that she'd at least attempt to make an effort with this woman. This seemed to be the time. Gerard was nowhere to be seen so he wasn't there to input his sarcastic comments, and Bandit wasn't running around and gnawing on furniture, so it was a pretty good time for a chat.
"I don't think Lucas and I are going to work out," Gia admitted. "I mean I do still like him, but it's just... It's too difficult, you know? I'm just a huge mess that no one should get involved with and he has a girlfriend anyway so it doesn't really matter."
"But you do want to be with him?"
"Well of course. Sure, he's weird and way too much into comic books, but he's the first guy I ever liked. First guy to pay attention. Let's just say there are a lot of firsts involved with him. If you know what I mean."
"I think I do," Lindsey answered, although it did make her a bit uncomfortable. She kept waiting for Gerard to pop out from somewhere and start bitching about these 'firsts'. Sure, she knew Gerard was all the way across town, but damn that guy and his Vulcan hearing. "Maybe it'll work out somehow. If it's meant to happen, it'll happen."
"No offense but I don't really believe in that destiny crap," Gia said.
"Me neither. All I can say is that when I first met your father, I instantly liked him. And what's not to like? He was good looking, smart, artistic, funny... The only problem was, he was an alcoholic and a drug addict."
"And you still liked him?" Gia asked in disbelief. She also doubted all those qualities Lindsey listed. Artistic, sure, but funny? Smart? Good looking? No way.
"Yeah. In my profession pretty much every guy you meet are either drunk or high. Anyway, it took me about four years to finally even talk to him. But you know what? I'm glad it took so long. During those four years he sobered up. Who knows how far we would've gotten if we'd started dating when we first met. It might've not worked then."
"I'm sensing there's some kind of a lesson in this story," Gia said.
"All I'm saying is, when I first met your father, he wasn't the person he is now. We both grew up and it all worked out in the end. Just because you and Lucas aren't ready for each other now, wait. It'll work out somehow if it's meant to."
"So you're saying I should sit at home and wait for him to grow up?"
Lindsey laughed. "No, of course not. I'm saying don't give up. But don't put your life on hold either."
"Good," Gia said with a smile. "I was hoping you'd say that."
Lindsey had figured this was a pretty good talk. She was happy it was going so well. But now the smile on Gia's face made her nervous. "What do you mean?"
"Well, there's just so much on my mind... You know, it's so stressful to deal with all this. And not just Lucas, but dad and the whole therapy thing... It would be nice to go out and do something fun for a change. The problem is, dad's pretty much ready to lock me up in my room and put bars on the windows again."
"Long story. Anyway, could you maybe convince him to let me go out for one night? Just for a few hours? Please, it would mean so much to me."
Lindsey got the idea that Gia was just using her to get what she wanted, but then again... This would surely put her in Gia's book of awesome people. If only it was so easy. "I don't think your dad's head can be turned on this one. Since Blake, he's been pretty concerned..."
"Oh come on! You're his wife! I'm sure there's something you can do."
Lindsey wasn't sure what she was hinting at, but nodded anyway. What's the harm in trying? She just hoped Gerard won't go insane over the two of them ganging up against him.
Gia knew it wasn't a good idea, in fact she was very aware that somehow it would end in a disaster, but she still convinced herself that Hazel's house party would be just what she needed. With the therapy and Lucas and especially with Gerard being the suspicious father he was, Gia really wanted to do something to let off the steam. So, when Hazel had phoned and told her about this little get-together, Gia had jumped at the chance to destroy some brain cells. And once Lindsey had managed by some act of magic convince Gerard to let her go, Gia didn't think twice.
Gia looked at herself in the full-body mirror and pulled on a tight shirt that was very generous with the cleavage. She then proceeded to cover it with another shirt, knowing Gerard would check, and covered that one with a black jacket. While she had been hesitant to say yes to the invitation at first, now she found herself actually getting excited. After just few sessions of therapy, she could've killed for some alcohol.
And as she got downstairs, she found her premonition to be true. Gerard was waiting there with his arms crossed and wearing that all too familiar glare. "Open it," he commanded, and knowing what he meant, Gia opened her jacket to show the shirt she was wearing underneath.
With an approving nod, Gerard continued his inspection. "Pockets?"
"Just a pack of gum," Gia said, turning the pockets of her jacket inside out.
"Gum?" Gerard asked, taking the packet, and gasped. "And it's minty! No! I'm confiscating this!"
If Gia hadn't been worried that he'll actually lock her up in her room, she would've rolled her eyes. However, now all she could do was allow him to take the gum. She knew what he thought it was for, probably to have minty fresh breath for some insanely sexy kissing orgy, but in reality it was to hide the stench of cigarettes which Gia knew he'd sniff out somehow.
And speaking of Gerard, he had found her purse and was going through it with interest. "Makeup? Okay, I can live with that. What's this?"
"That's a mirror, dad."
"And what is this? Some kind of a kinky sex toy?"
"Dad... That's a tampon."
Gerard dropped the item in disgust and wiped his hands on his shirt. "Okay, you're clear. You can go now. But remember, drinking age is 21 and I will kill you if you do something you shouldn't be doing. Have fun."
"You worry too much," Gia said, repacking her purse.
"Well I don't want you to come home in the morning with a 25 year old ex-convict who used to sell us drugs," Gerard pointed out.
"Don't worry, dad," Gia laughed. She kissed his cheek and smiled. "You'll just get wrinkles."
Gerard gasped, and while he was checking out his skin on the mirror, Gia slipped out through the front door and ran away fast before he could change his mind. Once he was certain he wasn't aging prematurely, Gerard noticed that his firstborn daughter had run off, and went to the door that had been left open. Gerard couldn't help but worry. He didn't want Gia to go to parties and having fun. Fun always led to trouble, and lately Gia had been attracting way too much of that. She was like a magnet. First Thomas, that bastard, then getting pregnant, by that son of a bitch Sean no doubt, then she went and hung out with a known drug addict? No, it was not looking good.
Gerard was woken from his bothering thoughts when he felt a tiny hand slip into his. Bandit was looking up at him innocently, a wrecked and bald Barbie doll in her other hand.
"Daddy?" Bandit asked, her eyes gleaming. Next to Gia who was pretty much ruined, seeing the unspoiled Bandit was like seeing a little angel.
"What's a sex toy?"
At that moment Gerard swore he got a thousand wrinkles on his face, and to top it all off, a gigantic heart attack. In panic, Gerard knelt down and said to his daughter: "Something that we are never, ever going to mention to mommy, okay?"
Bandit nodded, and ran off. Gerard sighed in relief. If Lindsey found out Bandit had heard that word from him, she'd attempt to murder him in the most cold hearted way possible and Gerard would be forced to flee to Mexico to avoid the wrath of the enraged woman.
Once you’ve been to one party, you’ve been to them all. And after going to a party every weekend for over a year, Gia began to see some patterns. There was always that one guy who swore he wasn't going to drink, but an hour later he'd be running in the streets naked. There was always a girl with some random daddy issues who was prepared to fuck any guy who was willing to do her. Two scared looking sophomore boys hoping to pick up some girls and lose their virginities are usually stationed on the couch while a couple is sucking each other's faces right next to them. There were always the keg stand guys who hardly moved away from the keg area, and the girls who traveled in packs and shouted 'whoohoo' every time something mildly exciting happened.
And while Gia always knew who was going to end up doing what, she still loved the cigarette smoke filled rooms, the unlimited supply of alcohol and the fact that her self esteem skyrocketed when drunken guys attempted to put their dingdongs in her hoohaa. She had had a couple of cups to drink, but she wasn't nearly drunk enough to do that. Yet. So far it had been a pretty standard Friday night house party. She'd danced with a couple of guys, chatted with people Hazel briefly introduced her to and most importantly, drank. While she wasn't exactly drunk, she still definitely felt the effects. Things with Gerard and Lindsey and the whole therapy thing were so stressful, it was nice to let go for a moment.
"Can I get you a drink?" a guy slurred, shoving his face so close to Gia's that she could smell the alcohol he had consumed.
"Sure," Gia answered. While she had no intention of giving this guy what he was clearly after, that didn't stop her from leading him on and allowing him to bring her things while she's at it.
The guy strutted off and returned a bit later with a red solo cup full of beer. Gia took it and smiled. "Thanks," she said.
"Hey, you wanna go upstairs?"
Gia nearly felt bad for him. Of course, that didn't change the fact that he was a drunken idiot. "Maybe later. Hey, what's that!"
As the guy turned to look at the direction Gia was pointing at, she quickly slipped away. As she walked through the crowded room, looking for someone to bum a cigarette from, she took a sip from the cup and immediately felt a tap on her shoulder.
"I'd spit that out if I were you," said a strangely familiar voice. At first Gia didn't recognize him. Last time she saw him he had looked quite different. His hair had been a bright red mohawk instead of the faded blue mess with brown roots that he was now sporting. He had exchanged the black leather jacket to a hoodie, and his whole being just screamed the need for a shower and a shave.
"Danny?" she finally asked, not quite certain it was really him. Gia and Danny hadn’t exactly been friends. Sure, they got along, but he was too creepy and scary for her to hang out with and for him, the lack of boobs was a huge deal breaker.
A few minutes later the two of them were sitting outside on the grass, and Gia had finally gotten the cigarette she'd been craving for.
"Lucas told me you were back in town," Danny said. "Are you back for good?"
"Yeah. I can't live with my mom anymore."
Danny nodded. "He also told me you two fucked."
"Of course he did," Gia sighed. They sat in silence for a while, not really knowing what to say. Then finally she decided to speak. "So you're sharing an apartment now? How did that happen?"
"My parents kicked me out when I dropped out of high school. It's cool. I had a job for a while but the whole showing up in time and taking orders thing, it's not for me."
"Sounds like you're really going places," Gia said with a smile.
"Oh fuck off. It's not like you're any better. I heard you got knocked up."
That comment took Gia by surprise. She had been very careful on not telling too many people. "How did you know?"
"Everyone knows. You told Hazel, didn't you? She told her boyfriend and next thing you know, it's everywhere."
"Oh great," she sighed.
"So who was it? The dad, who is he?"
Gia flicked the ashes from her cigarette and took a long drag from it before answering. "His name is Sean. He was kind of my boyfriend in Connecticut."
Gia thought about it for a moment. Was or is? She wasn't sure. "It's complicated."
"Well he sounds like an asshole," Danny said.
"You sound like my dad," Gia smiled. "Sean's a nice guy. I mean, our relationship was mainly physical but I liked him. Just... In a different way than I liked Lucas. I miss him."
"Lucas," she said. "But I know it's not going to happen."
"He has a girlfriend. He just doesn't like me anymore."
Danny scoffed. "Oh please. You're the first girl to touch his dick. Just by that alone, he's never going to stop worshipping you. And besides, that new girlfriend of his, Janie. She's a bitch. And she hates Star Wars, and you know how big of a deal that is."
Gia couldn't help but smile. Why was she ever scared of this guy? "Thanks."
"No problem. You wanna go back inside?"
" Yeah I guess. I'm not sure if I should drink anymore, though. I swore to my dad I'd never drink again. He'll kill me."
"He doesn’t have to know. You can come to my place for the night."
Gia raised an eyebrow and glanced at him suspiciously. "I'm not going to have sex with you."
"Oh please, you're not my type at all."
"Oh, you have a type?"
"You wanna crash on my couch or not?"
Gia considered it. She really didn't want to go home. Her dad would be able to smell the alcohol and she wasn't sure if he was just kidding about the whole killing business. And besides, it was late anyway. But there was still one problem.
"Is Lucas there?"
"No, he's at Janie's house for the night. He's not coming home until tomorrow afternoon."
"I guess it's okay then," she said, shrugging. What harm could it do? "Now let's go get something to drink."