Part 2. Izzy Stradlin comes in. Isabel and Axl move to California (with Gina)
The last few weeks have been hell. My dad decided if I wasn't going to tell the truth about what happened he'd have to ground me. So I was grounded. Every day, it was to school and back, up to my room, and I'd stay there. My mom put our dogs outside to make sure I didn't sneak out or Axl didn't sneak in. My little brother was banned from seeing Axl, but I don't think he stopped because he always looked a little guilty or uncomfortable when my mom asked if he'd seen him. He'd say 'no' every time, but I think he still saw him everyday. And I had to figure out how to use that to my advantage, and now was the perfect time. It was Sunday, my parents were out with their friends, and me and my brother were alone in the house. I opened my door slowly "Jimmy? Jimmmmy?! JIMMY!" I called from my door, he came out of his room "Yeah?" he asked. I motioned for him to come to me and he ran over "Have you been seeing my friend, Axl?" I asked outright, he looked down then up at me, then he ran to his room. At first I thought he wasn't gonna tell me but he came back a minute later holding something "What's that?" I asked, he handed it to me and it was a picture of him and Axl posing somewhere with a lot of people and holding cotton candy "We went to the fair," my brother said. I was confused "Uh, when?" I asked "Yesterday. I didn't do soccer...soccer practice," he replied. I smiled, now I knew he was in touch with Axl "Do you see him everyday?" I asked, he shook his head "Not everyday, and sometimes he comes looking really angry so I don't wanna play with him,". I was about to say something else when the doorbell rang, I ran downstairs and looked out the peephole, and to my surprise, it was Axl. I opened the door and smiled hugely "Axl...what...what're you doing here?" I asked. He looked at me, expressionless, "I'm leaving. I'm leaving here...I'm going to LA and I'm not coming back," he said. I was stunned "W...why? What? No Axl! Don't leave me!" I said, Axl looked up at me "I'm not, I want you to come with me," he said. "What? I can't leave my family, and my brother, I'm not done with school!" I said, panicking. "You're coming WITH me," he said firmly. I sighed "Fine, when are you leaving?" "Tonight," "TONIGHT?!?!" "Yeah, we're taking the bus, I got the tickets, I'll meet you at the station at 10:30 and that's that," then he turned and walked away. I stuttered for words...what had I just done? I just agreed to up and leave my family to go to California, thousands of miles away....in an hour. It was already 9:30. I slowly walked back upstairs, feeling sick and nervous. My little brother had gone back in his room, so I didn't have to tell him anything. I sat on my bed and thought about the pros and cons of going with Axl. The biggest cons I found were leaving my family and school. The pros were: I know Axl and he needs someone he trusts, I trust Axl, and this would give me new experiences. But was that really enough to leave? I could've sworn I heard a voice in my head say "Yes,". And with that I stood up and started packing a backpack of clothes. When I was done I decided to write a note to my parents, it said: 'Mommy and Daddy, I'm really, really sorry, but I'm leaving with Axl. I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me. But this is what I want. Love, Izzy.'. Now it was 10:15, the bus station was a while away so I should probably get moving. I went to my little brother's door and knocked on it, he opened it "Yeah?" he asked, innocently. I nearly broke down crying at him because I didn't wanna leave. What if I never come back? What if I never see him or my parents again? I sighed "Jimmy I'm leaving with Axl...and I'm probably not gonna be coming back for a while?". Jimmy frowned "How long? Can I come with you?" I shook my head "No, I'm going far away, and you need to be here with mommy and daddy so at least they have you. And I don't know when I'm coming back, but it's not gonna be for a while,". I don't think he fully understood how long I'd be gone because he said "Okay, I'll see you later,". I hugged him "I love you," he hugged me back "Okay," he said. I nodded and left his room, I walked downstairs and opened the door. And then I ran...I ran as fast as I could, I ran all the way to the station. When I got there it was 10:25. When Axl saw he me he smiled "You came," he said "I came," I replied and I hugged him tightly and he hugged me back. I let go of him and he handed me my ticket "Thanks," I whispered as I put it in my pocket. "Hey, uh, Gina Siler is comin' with us by the way," Axl said nervously. Gina was his girlfriend of a few months, she was okay, she was a year older than me. I shrugged "Okay? So?" Axl looked at me "You're not mad...or jealous she's coming?" he asked "No, I mean, she's your girlfriend, I see why you'd bring her," I said. Axl nodded "Good," In truth I was a little jealous, and I did have a tiny microscopic crush on Axl, but I knew it couldn't happen because he was so much older...but then again, Gina was 17...just then Gina ran over to us "Hey Izzy!!" she exclaimed "Hey Gina," I said "Isn't this soo exciting?" she said happily "Yeah, it is," I said. I suppose she wasn't that threatened of me because she thought I was just a kid, although she was one herself. Just then the bus pulled up "Well...here it is," Axl said as he walked toward it, me and Gina followed. I stepped on the bus and looked back one more time as the doors closed, 'Goodbye Indiana' I thought as the bus started driving away.
-December 11th 1984-
"This was the worst decision ever! I left the comfort of my home and family to come with you Axl okay? I left all that and this has been nothing but HELL!" I yelled at Axl. Everything was wrong. Everything. I living in a rubbish apartment by myself because Gina insisted that just she and Axl live in one apartment, I had a low paying, tedious job at McDonalds, Axl & Gina constantly fought, Axl's temper constantly got out of hand, and now Axl was insisting I let one of his bandmates move in with me. "I need you to do this, he's a friend of mine and my bandmate for months and he needs a place to stay," Axl argued back, trying to keep his temper under control, but it seemed to be getting the best of him. "I don't even know the guy! And he's not gonna help pay rent? I go completely broke paying the rent and I make about 7 bucks an hour!" I exclaimed. Axl scoffed "Well maybe, you should start working longer and stop taking weekends off! Or get a better fucking job!" I opened my mouth to defend myself but I noticed his eyes had gotten dark and he looked like he was about to snap and start destroying stuff. I was actually really afraid of Axl when he got like that, so I gave in. "Fine, sure, he can stay, he doesn't have to pay if he doesn't want to," I said, trying to sound happy. "Good. He's coming tomorrow so be ready. Goodnight," Axl said sternly and he walked out the door. I sighed and went to my room, I sat on the bed and looked at my photo album with pictures of my family in it. I started softly crying and wondering if I made a huge mistake. What exactly was I getting out of this? Axl was mainly here because he wanted to get into the music business, and it was going well, Axl and his band did record a demo, but things did seem to be getting kind of bumpy with the band... and Gina came because she was his girlfriend. But I...I was just like the friend that tags along just because. I flopped back on the bumpy, creaky bed and cried myself to sleep.
-The Next Morning-
I was woken up by loud knocking on the front door. I rolled out of bed "I'm coming! I'm coming!" I called I opened the door and a dark haired, short, somewhat familiar guy was standing there. "Uhh hey...are you...Izzy?" the guy asked, seeming a little confused "Yeah, yeah I am, I'm Izzy Kikx, Axl Rose's friend," I replied while I tried to flatten my hair down. "Heh, I remember you, little Isabel, Axl's friend...yeah, I'm moving in with you," the guy said "Oh okay, come in," I said as I stepped out of the doorway "And your name is..." I asked "Oh you don't remember me? I'm Jeff Isbell, Axl's neighbor and friend back in Indiana? Now I'm in Hollywood Rose with him...I've met you a couple times," I nodded "Oh yeah, I thought you looked familiar," "I moved here to LA in 1980, I go by Izzy now actually, Izzy Stradlin," "Really? That's cool. So you're in Hollywood Rose with Axl now?" I asked Izzy as he sat on the couch "Yep," he said as he looked around "Well looks like you got a slice of heaven here, complete with stained carpet and dead animal smell," he said. I rolled my eyes and snickered "Yeah...uh, a mouse died somewhere and I can't find it so I'm just using air freshener to cover the smell, but I ran out and I can't buy anymore because I'm broke... so for now we'll have to live with it,". Izzy laughed "I like you," I chuckled nervously, I didn't know what to say back "Uh...yeah, so...there's only one bedroom, but you can have it, I can sleep on the couch," I said "No,no, I'll sleep on the couch," Izzy said dismissively "Uh are you sure, I mean, guests come first..." "In this situation I think it's best you have the bed," "Oh okay. Well that's the kitchen and the bathroom is just over there. The tv works sometimes, so if you wanna watch tv you can try," I explained. Izzy nodded "Yeah, okay, sure," then he stood up "So Axl lives right next to you?" I nodded "Nice," he said. We stood in silence for the next few seconds, looking around "Sooo...you wanna go put some clothes on or something??" Izzy said, I laughed nervously "Oh man, yeah, sorry, I didn't expect you to come this early! Sorry!" then I ran into the bathroom, totally embarrassed. I took a shower and put my clothes for the day on, which were: a sky blue tube top, black skinny jeans, and my only pair of heels. I put a little makeup on, seeing as I only had a little and hairsprayed my hair up. I put in my nose stud and blue hoop earrings. Then I walked back out to see what Izzy was doing, he was in the kitchen eating a cold cut sandwich "Hey," he said as he chewed the sandwich "Hey," I said back as I started to make myself a sandwich. Me and Izzy got done around the same time and then Izzy announced he wanted to see Axl. "Okay, let's go over there," I said as I opened the front door, we both walked out and I pointed to the left "Right over here," I said. I knocked on the door repeatedly and a few minutes later Gina opened the door. "Oh, Izzy...aaaand Izzy," she said, sounding sour and depressed "Uh yeah, is Axl up?" I asked. Axl walked out next to Gina "Yeah I'm up," Axl said, then he noticed Izzy "Ohh Izzy you're here!" he said Izzy nodded "I'm here," he said. "C'mon in," Axl said, me and Izzy walked in and sat on the couch, Axl sat next to Izzy "Hey Gina you wanna go get us something to drink?" Axl asked, sounding more like he was demanding "No," Gina replied sourly "Giiiina!" Axl whined, frustrated "I'll get them," I said, standing up, but Axl reached across Izzy, grabbed the top of my pants and pulled me back down "No. I told Gina to," he said as he pointed at her. Gina sighed and walked to the kitchen and came back with two beers and a Cola, she handed the beer to Izzy and Axl and the Cola to me. "Thanks," me and Izzy said but Axl remained silent. After a while Izzy and Axl started talking about their band and after nearly 45 minutes I got bored and announced I was leaving "Where are you going?" Axl asked "Uhh, I don't know, out?" I replied "You want Gina to go with you?" Axl asked "Um sure, Gina, you wanna come?" I asked "Yeah," she said, standing up and walking toward the door "Okay see you guys later," I said "See ya," Axl replied as he waved. I walked out the door with Gina "So you wanna go shopping or something?" she asked "Uh, I'm completely broke, but sure," I replied "Oh yeah. Well I guess we could go to the mall and see if they're hiring anywhere," Gina said "Yeah, that sounds better," I chuckled. Gina tried to laugh along, but she looked sad. I decided not to ask her about it, because it was probably something about her and Axl and I didn't want to be inconsiderate by asking her about her personal life.
- 2 Hours Later -
"I can't believe I got it!" I happily exclaimed "I know, I know!!" said Gina said. I had just gotten a job as a secret shopper at Macy's and was overjoyed. "I'm happy for you," Gina said as she bit into a slice of pizza, we had stopped for lunch. "Thanks," I said. A few minutes went by of us not saying anything and then Gina cleared her throat and I looked up "Um, can I tell you something?" she asked "Yeah," I said "Sometimes...Axl gets really mad and he hits me...a lot. Has he...ever hit you?" Gina said. I put my pizza crust down "Uh only once, back in 1982, but he hasn't again," I said. She nodded "But why? Why doesn't he hit you? Is it because he cares more about you? Or does he care less about you and more about me and that's why he hits me? I just don't understand. That's why I insisted you live separately from us, I wasn't trying to be mean, I was just seeing if Axl being further away from you would help. It didn't. I try to do what he wants and be perfect but I just can't and I'm tired of always getting beat up,". I reached over and took Gina's hand "Well you must really love him because you've stayed with him all these years, right?" Gina sighed "Yeah, I guess. But I don't know how much longer I can put up with it,". I sighed and leaned back, I didn't know what else to tell her.