Part 31 The Payback
21st August 1995
Laughing and crying.
Hot long Days, Short Nights.
Sun and Storms. Visiting and Traveling.
Meeting and Greeting. Smoking and Drinking.
Never much Writing nor Thinking.
Kissing and Heartbreaking.
10th October 1995
The class were on their autumn school trip. The days were short, wet and gray. The ground was damp and rotting leaves scent was mixing with smoke from the town chimneys. They were painting and sketching the foggy landscape, or wet trees. Cold stiff fingers struggling to hold pencils and brushes. Darting eyes from landscape to paper. Concentration, frustration and finally release with the finished work.
They weren’t far from the village of the mounting guys Gia and Silvi met in Italy. Gia travelled there with Silvi to visit her new boyfriend several times during the summer. Gia too felt some connection to one of them, but he was taken, and confused himself.
“Why, why, why can’t I be happy for once?” thought Gia. Another Taurus, just like Lokie, that is supposed to be a perfect match for Gia, but for one reason or another it never works out with Tauruses for her. Never mind, she is not thinking about this new guy much, besides, they were on their annual trip now, and Gia’s head was still full of Lokie.
Despite the dreary autumn weather, the explosion of colour in the leaves of the mixed woods was quite exquisite. Rumours of an escaped prisoner called Heisenhoffer, hiding in the woods only added to the sense of adventure amongst the classmates. They amused themselves with Heisenhoffer jokes, and rumours all week.
If something went missing. “Oh, Heisenhoffer took it!” A loud noise in the darkness. “That was the serial killer, Heisenhoffer!”
“Look, there he is!”
“Never mind, it was just a caretaker!” joked the boys.
Although it was amusing, they were a little worried about it, especially when they were spending all day in the woods sketching or painting. What if he was dangerous? They made sure to stay close to camp and in groups.
Gia and Anna were assigned the same cottage as Lokie and Peter. It had two rooms with separate entrances and a shared porch. Gia was happy and scared to death at the same time to be so near Lokie. More opportunities for them to meet, but also more opportunities to f**k up. Nothing much was happening at first, except for the occasional bang on the wall to turn the noise down.
The dividing wall between the rooms was quite thin, so you could hear people talking easily. Gia and Anna had to be extra careful, what they were talking about. Of course they still talked about boys, like Anna’s boyfriend or Gia’s mountain guy, but never about Lokie. Not out loud anyway.
It was so cold, Gia and Anna took sips of Rum to get some warmth into their bones. Then one lazy afternoon someone knocked on the wall. Gia knocked right back. Two knocks returned. Gia sent two right back. A pause. Then more complicated rhythm followed. Gia repeated it exactly knock for knock and waited for a new pattern. The knocks that came next were deliberately impossible to repeat. Gia tried anyway, but as soon as she made a mistake, a roar of laughter came from behind the wall.
The girls laughed too. “I bet, it was Lokie.” said Anna.
Gia was a little disappointed, that they still haven’t spoken with Lokie, being so close yet still so far, the invisible wall between them seemed unbreakable. She was glad however, that they settled into a routine, and that she hasn’t embarrassed herself yet! In this case nothing happening was good for Gia.
But soon she was too busy to think about that, because Leni came a few days later just for a night, and camped with the girls. And Gia hated it. Typical Leni, with her big embarrassing mouth. When the girls were bringing her stuff into the cottage, right there on the porch Leni started asking question in a a really loud voice.
“Who is staying here with you guys?”
“Ah, just Peter and Luke.” said Anna.
“Reeealllyyy?! So, Gia, what’s happening between you and Luke?” Gia glared at Leni. Mortified. Somebody kill her please! Anybody? Heisenhoffer please take Leni away, she is trying to ruin me! What if he heard it?
“Shut up, Leni. I don’t know what you are talking about!” said Gia pushing Leni toward the door and inside the room.
Oh my God! Leni is just impossible! She only just got here, and she is already causing trouble. Later in the evening, after the girls pushed the beds together and settled down, Leni was telling them about her love life in great detail, in her typical loud uncensored voice. Boys next door must have had an exciting evening!
The next day the girls painted in a forest behind the camp. Leni was being over dramatic about the escaped prisoner Heisenhoffer, squealing in terror every time a bird flew by, or some other animal rustled in the bushes. When Leni departed later that afternoon, Gia was relieved, that she didn’t cause any more damage.
In the meantime something a little strange was happening next door. First of all Lokie kept playing some dreary classical music really loudly. Which Gia interpreted as: ” Gia, I am different and interesting, I am listening to classical music, and you Gia, you are still just a kid listening to angsty metal. I am so sophisticated and intelligent and you are just a stupid kid. AND we do not have music in common any more!”
It was getting on her nerves. Whatever, Lokie! The other weird thing was Lokie’s constant coming and going. In an out of the cottage any time of day or night. Gia heard him talking to Peter one morning about his difficulty to sleep. Sometimes Gia couldn’t sleep either, as she laid there listening to the commotion on the other side of the wall. But why was Lokie doing that? Some kind of trouble? Could it be because of her? Maybe. Probably not.
One night Gia decided to try talking to him one more time. It was their fourth and final year of art studies. So this would be one last shot, and if nothing came of it, that would be it! Lokie was in his restless mood that evening, and Gia decided to smoke a cigarette on the porch. Last quick look in the mirror. She brushed her now very long dark hair. Next she added just a dab of a dark eye shadow. It made her green eyes pop out more, not that it mattered for standing in the darkness. She was ready, she took a deep breath, heart pounding and walked outside. Sure enough, Lokie came out almost immediately.
Gia was leaning on the banister smoking. “Why the heck do you keep going in and out all the time?” she asked, sounding more harsh than she intended.
Lokie looked up briefly, as he walked past Gia. “F**k off!”
Gia cheeks started burning with shock and anger. She couldn’t believe, what he said to her. She immediately thought of the time when she said the same thing to him years ago. It was definitely a pay back.
She wasn’t able to respond at all. It was like a slap to her face. He saw her reaction and started backtracking. He laughed and said. “Nah, Sorry, Gia, it’s just….Um.”
He came around the side of the porch, and he was now standing below Gia. He was telling her something, but she couldn’t hear him. As if her ears got blocked by a fog, all she heard was and echo f**k off, f**k off, f**ck off…..
“I am just going to the bathroom…..”
She couldn’t hear much of anything he said, she was so pissed off. Million thoughts running through her head. Even if it was a pay back, and he didn’t mean it. That’s it! That’s it, Lokie! This ends right now. I tried, and I cried, I loved, and suffered, I tore my insides, caring about you, wanting you, wanting help and wanting to help you…But not any more, do you hear me Lokie, how dare you? I am finished, dude. Done, I want out. I hate this. She was furious inside, but unable to open her mouth and say anything.
So she just stood there nodding her head, and after a moment of uncomfortable silence, he left. She didn’t care any more. She didn’t want to care any more. Numb and hollow. Feeling the love breaking, crumbling. She will carve him out of her heart with a knife if she has to, but this will stop right now. No more of your games, Lokie, no more stupid euphoric eye locks. I am done.
A few minutes later Gia was almost finished with her cigarette, when Lokie came back. Gia was just staring into space.
“And you stop smoking!” Lokie uttered toward Gia, as he disappeared inside.
She didn’t respond. Done with her cigarette she wiped the solitary tear from her cheek. She was mad, and determined, just wait Lokie I will show you, that I can do this, I will not care about you any more! She took a few deep breaths, and walked into her room.
“Anna lets go to the pub!”
Photo by Gia.