From the corner of her eye Gia watched her. Janie minded her own business, scribbling down the notes that the teacher wrote on the blackboard. For weeks, since school started, Gia had endured the nasty looks she got from Janie’s friends and pretty much half the school. Janie was kind of that type, you know, the one that is liked by nearly everyone she ever meets. But Janie herself hadn’t really even said anything to Gia.
Honestly, as weeks passed, Gia started to wish Janie would just explode and shout at her and blame her for breaking her and Lucas up. But there was nothing. Why not? Was it because they hadn’t really broken up?
Or, Gia thought, she might just be unnecessarily paranoid. Lucas wouldn’t do that. She was still wondering about this when she was washing her hands in the girls’ bathroom after class. Maybe her dad was right. Maybe Lucas was just another Ryan and was using her for sexual entertainment. Maybe he was still in love with Janie and just wanted to keep his options open. After all, pretty much every other sentence that Lucas spoke was somehow related to sex.
Oh, but that’s crazy, Gia realized. If he was going to have a purely sexual relationship, he would go for someone with bigger boobs. And besides, they hadn’t even done anything like that since getting back together.
She was broken out of her thoughts when a group of three cackling and giggling girls entered the bathroom. Cheerleaders. At the sight of Gia, they quickly stopped giggling and one of them whispered something to the other. They gave her very nasty looks until she had to leave the bathroom when she couldn’t take it anymore. They started to talk about her very loudly before she even got out of the door. It wasn’t just the cheerleaders; most of the school now thought of Gia as some sort of a homewrecker. Janie was very liked at this school, and the relationship between her and Lucas had been pretty much considered the ideal. God knows why, as they had basically nothing in common. Still, Gia got the blame for breaking them up.
At first she didn’t have a problem with it. When she and Lucas first got back together, she was so content about that she hardly even noticed the fingers pointing at her and the whispers that followed her in the school halls. But as weeks rolled by, it suddenly started to get to her.
It’s not like she wanted to be friends with them all so that they could sit in a circle on the grass and sing pretty songs about rainbows, but now she had began to really wish she was invisible again. The fact that she knew people were talking about her, and that she knew what they thought about her, that’s the thing she couldn’t stand.
“What are you thinking about?” Lucas asked, appearing suddenly next to her when she was opening her locker. Gia wondered if he could somehow know what she was thinking about.
“Stuff,” she replied with a smile.
“Oh? Does that stuff involve you and me skipping math and making out in the bathroom? Because that’s what I was thinking about.”
“I can’t skip math. And trust me, that is definitely not what I was thinking about.”
“Fine. I’m skipping, though. Danny bought the new controller for Wii, you know, since the other one broke last week when he threw it out of the window when he lost at boxing, so we’re gonna have a rematch. What?”
Gia had rolled her eyes. “Have you actually attended any math class since the term started?”
“What, I was there last week!”
“This is our final year, Lucas. How are you going to get into a college? And how do you think you’ll even graduate?”
“Oh please, plenty of time to think about that stuff later,” he said, shrugging it off. “You wanna hang out after school? We could get some chinese food and go to my place. Danny’s gonna be out tonight.”
“No thanks, I have to study. And so should you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
They parted ways before the math teacher could see Lucas, and he stared at her for a moment as she was walking away. He couldn’t help but feel that she was acting a bit strange. Well, stranger than usual, anyway. Then he shrugged, figuring that she was probably on her period, and left to have that rematch with Danny.
Gerard and Lindsey weren’t completely oblivious to the change in Gia’s mood. The girl ate less, stayed in her room to study, barely coming out to go to school and to walk the dog, and when she was required to watch over Bandit, she just laid on the floor and let the girl run around the house wild.
The situation was starting to get a bit alarming.
“I think she’s doing drugs,” Gerard said one day, when Gia got straight home from school and locked herself up in her room again, claiming she had a shitload of homework. Yeah, right. Gerard remembered high school, and no teen spent that much time on studying, not even the overachieving ones.
“Drugs? Are you serious?” Lindsey asked, looking away from Bandit and Jersey who were pulling rope: Jersey with his teeth, and Bandit with her surprisingly strong arms.
“Yeah, I mean she’s locked in her room all day. She doesn’t eat. And when she does come out, she looks like absent and it’s kinda creeping me out not having her yell at me daily that I’m ruining her life.”
“I don’t think she’s doing drugs... But you’re right, there is something going on with her. Maybe she has boy problems.”
“Ugh, I hope so,” Gerard groaned. “She and Lucas should break up. I hate that asshole.”
“That happens to be your daughter’s boyfriend. You should respect that. I also think you should go talk to her.”
“Me? What do I know about boy problems?” he asked, panicking.
“Honey, someday Bandit is going to have boy problems and I’d like to believe she can talk to her dad about them. That means you better start practicing now, got it? Because my Bandit WILL have a father she can talk to about boys, whether it’s you or not.”
“But I don’t wanna!” Gerard whined. “It’s so awkward. Can’t we just phone Frank to come draw some diagrams for her or something?”
Lindsey groaned in frustration. “Fine, I’ll go talk to her! But next time Bandit bites someone at the playground, it’s your problem to deal with.”
“Biting I can handle,” Gerard assured, and his wife left to find out what kind of monsters the hormonal teenager was harbouring in her mind.
Gia had the geology textbook open in front of her on the desk, but she had a hard time concentrating on the text. She was getting frustrated with having to read the same line over and over again before it sunk in, so it was almost a relief to hear the knock on her door.
In stepped Lindsey, carrying a plate with a sandwich and a bottle of Coca Cola. “Hey, I brought you food,” she said, setting them down on the dresser. “You didn’t come down for dinner.”
“Yeah, sorry,” Gia said, glancing at the clock. She had lost track of time. That seemed to have happened a lot lately. “I’m not really hungry, I ate at school.”
“That was eight hours ago,” Lindsey pointed out, sitting down on the foot of the bed. “Could we talk?”
Gia, not really in the mood to chat with anyone, said: “I really should do my homework...”
“I promise to be quick.” When the girl shrugged, she continued: “Is there something going on? At school maybe? Is everything okay with Lucas? It’s just that you’ve seemed a little bit off lately and your father and I are worried. He thinks you’re doing drugs. You’re not, are you?”
“No, I’m not using drugs,” Gia replied and couldn’t help rolling her eyes. The man was a drug addict for years and now he freaks out because she might be. What a hypocrite. “And I’m fine. There’s really no need for all this.”
“It’s either this talk or your dad is calling Frank to come speak to you.”
Well, that settled the matter. As awesome as Frank was, he was never very good with any solution. Only an escape. “I see. Did you know Frank gave me the sex talk? Although, mainly it was just drawings and complicated explanations of his favorite positions... I think he recited the entire Kamasutra.”
Lindsey thought she had found the problem. “Is that what’s bothering you? Sex? Lucas isn’t pressuring you, is he?”
“No, he’s not,” Gia answered. It was awkward talking about this with Lindsey. Then again, it would’ve been more awkward with pretty much anyone else...
Seeing the hesitation, Lindsey said: “You can talk to me, you know. Who am I going to tell? Gerard? Honestly, I think I’d rather not have my husband on death penalty for committing homicide.”
Gia, for whatever reason, decided to trust the woman. “Well... I guess he’s sort of talking about it a lot. Kind of. I don’t know. It’s not like we haven’t done it before. I would rather wait for now, though, but he doesn’t really agree. I suppose I’m not even entirely sure why...”
“Why what?” Lindsey asked when the sentence wasn’t continued.
The actual ending to that sentence was that Gia wasn’t sure why Lucas wanted to be with her in the first place. Instead, she said: “I’m not sure why I want to wait, that’s all.”
“Have you talked to him about it? He seems like a good boy, I’m sure he’ll understand and stop pressuring you.”
Gia promised to speak to Lucas, and Lindsey seemed to be happy with that because she left after reminding her to eat the sandwich. Having been left alone, Gia ignored the sandwich, abandoned the geology textbook and fell down onto the bed, face first.
So she hadn’t been completely honest. She hadn’t exactly lied, either. Lucas didn’t seem to be able to wrap his head around the concept of NOT having sex every second of the day. Gia, who had just a few months ago broken up with Sean, didn’t want to be in another relationship where everything was just about sex. Then again, the current arrangement, which was Gia trying to ignore Lucas and him nagging her to hang out and make out didn’t seem to work very well either.
The other reason why Gia refused to get intimate was fairly obvious: Janie. Was Lucas over her really? Was Janie over him?
Maybe it all happened a bit too fast. Maybe this thing with Lucas happened too soon.