I strayed behind the group as we walked along Tower Bridge. Casey took on the role of photographer as the pair of Halves took turns posing in front of Big Ben. The clock in question chimed thrice, and a deep sigh escaped me. We had been out since 9am, going on tours around the city. My feet were beginning to ache, and my brain was sluggish from absorbing information that I had heard twice before.
Why twice? Well, there's a simple answer to that.
Jupiter was a huge nerd.
Anything and everything to do with Britain was stored in that big head of his, and he made sure that I knew the information as well.
Chester Zoo, Tower of London, and Canterbury Cathedral all saw my tear-streaked face for a third time. Each place held unforgettable memories I shared with my older brother, that played as I passed by their spot of creation. Casey and Liza caught me crying a couple of times as I walked behind them, and fell back to comfort me until I shooed them away. They were supposed be be having a good time, not worrying about me, no matter how much I appreciated their presence.
After capturing some candid shots, we continued walking along the bridge, my eyes darting through the crowd of people for something; anything.
I had hyped myself up too much before we left this morning, and the crushing feeling in my soul made it hard to breath. Absolutely nothing. What an idiotic move; to hope.
My hands braced against the railing of the bridge, and I inhaled the air that blew off the river in deep gulps. My heart pounded heavily in my chest, so much that it was the only thing that I could hear. I didn't want to do it, but my God, it hurt so much. I broke into sobs, my arms shaking as they tried to hold me up. Pull it together, Ginny; come on.
Swallowing the sobs that wanted to rip through my chest, I inhaled deeply, gripping the railing tightly until I could feel the concrete biting into my palm. I raised my head, looking out to the Thames, where boats glided across the surface.
"When I find my Half, I'm going to convince her, or him, to move to England. And whenever we're free from work, we'll come here, and stand still amongst the mass of moving bodies, gazing into each other's eyes; like in those romantic movies Thera likes to watch." My head snapped to the left as I heard the words of Jupiter, spoken only two years ago; the last time we were here together. " 'Even as time moves on, my favorite thing to do would be to look at you' , I'd say, and we'd kiss and be content. Wouldn't that be nice?" His apparition looked at me, a kind smile tugging at his lips, and more tears spilled out of my eyes. My throat was clogged up and all I could do was nod dumbly at the apparition, who grinned and faced the Thames again, sighing softly. "Yeah. I can't wait."
"Ginny!" My head snapped right at the sound of Casey's voice. Worry was painted on his face as his eyes sought me out in the crowd. "Casey." I called out weakly, and he thankfully heard even in the noise. My face pressed against his chest as he pulled me into an embrace, his thundering heart just beneath my ear.
"God, Ginny. Don't scare me like that again." He murmured against my hair and I nodded weakly, clutching at his shirt as more pathetic sobs wanted to escape me. "I'm sorry." I whispered meekly, and he responded by squeezing me tighter against his tall frame. I don't know how long we stayed there, with me crying helplessly as my heart broke for Jupiter and myself, and Casey allowing me to, again, after a year, but when my tears finally dried and my hickups stopped, the sun was lower in the sky and the two pairs of Halves surrounded me. Liza was going to speak but thought better of it, and we silently walked to our final destination for the day.
It was one of the first places Jupiter had dragged me off to, to admire the works of artists and hope that their creativity rubbed off on him. Few people walked around the museum, talking in hushed tones as they gazed and pointed at various paintings. I inhaled deeply as I tore my gaze away from a couple who stood together with their hands intertwined. All around me, Halves enjoyed each other's quiet company and my heart began weighting heavily in my chest again. Casey looked just as somber as I did, and I picked up my pace to walk next to him. A smile bloomed on his face and he slung his arm around my shoulder, pulling me to his side, and we silently explored the museum until it was closing time.
A dead silence surround the house. The only visible light came from a street lamp outside. Slowly, I pulled the covers away from my body and stood from the bed, clad in black jeans and Jupiter's leather jacket over a band tee. I crept as silently as one could with boots on their feet, slipped out of the house and into the cold night. I filled my lungs with the crisp air, then turned left, beginning my trek to the familiar pub. As expected, it was packed, and patrons poured out, stumbling and laughing boisterously. Expertly weaving my way through the throng of drunken men and women, I finally plopped myself down on a stool at the bar, waiting to catch the attention of the bartender.
When he finally saw me, he did a double take and slung his rag over his shoulder. "Well if it ain't my favorite drink. Gin! 'Ow you doin' love?" I grinned brightly at Henry. "I'm not doing too good Henny, but I'm hoping you could fix that." A smirk pulled at his lips and he leaned over the counter, his nose brushing mine. "That so?" he murmured lowly, his grey eyes full of mirth, and something else I feel like I need tonight. "Yes sir." I replied, and Henry grinned, pulling away from me. "You've come to the right man, Ginny girl! Lemme take care of ya." He said, pulling out a glass and pouring whisky out of a half empty bottle.
"That's all I want, Henny." He placed the glass down in front of me and I immediately picked it up, raising the glass to him. "Cheers." The liquid burned as it slid down my throat, but I welcomed it, and slammed the glass down, waiting on Henry for a refill.
I'm not sure how many drinks I had before Henry cut me off. "Alright Ginny girl, that's enough for tonight. Where's Jupiter? You two should head home." I was surprised by the bitter laugh that escaped me. "Jupiter? Jupiter is dead." Shock painted his face, but the words continued to tumble from my mouth. "Yup. D-E-A-D. Took his own life the day before my birthday. How sick is that? Didn't even want to see me turn 23. Took the coward's way out and left me and my parents and my siblings. Didn't he know how much we fucking loved him? How much we cared about him? How we'd give up anything to help him feel just a tiny bit better? Yeah, you didn't find your Half, but we would have gotten through it; together. God, I hate him so much for doing this to me. Doesn't he know how much I'd miss his stupid face? And now, now the same shit is happening to me, but I'm gonna fight with myself if I even decide to leave my fucking family! I keep telling myself that I'm gonna go join him in the stars but fuck! I wanna see my nieces and nephews! I wanna see my baby siblings' weddings! I wanna be cool like my aunt Janice and tell the Universe to fuck off and suck a cock!"
Henry chuckled as he braced himself against the counter. "I'm so sorry to hear that Ginny girl." He murmured, looking at me with sympathy. "Oh, fuck. Don't give me that sympathy, Henny. What I do want, however, his hidden in your pants, and I'd like to have it in my pants." Henry looked at me warily. "My wallet?" I shook my head. "My car keys?" I shook my head again, giggling as I started to feel a bit dizzy. "C'mon Henny. You know what I'm," *hickup* "talking about. Why won't you give it to me?" Henry chuckled, shaking his head.
"No can do, sweetheart. You're drunk." I snorted. "You and I both know that I could drink you under a table, and that I most certainly am not drunk. So, the real reason?" I leaned on my elbows, my attention fully on him as my body rocked slightly to the music that played in the deserted pub. He sighed heavily, licking his lips. "I got no shame in saying this. I use people, and I let people use me. But you're special to me Gin. I don't want to do that to you." I snorted again, leaning further into the counter. "That didn't stop you last time." Henry grimaced. "I know that. I'm trying not to let it happen again."
I shook my head and stretched out my hand, my fingers brushing against his own. "This is the last time. I promise." I curled my pinkies around his larger ones. He stared down at his hands for a moment, until his pinkies curled around mine. "Last time." I smiled, letting out a girlish giggle as I swung my legs over the counter and wrapped them around his waist.
I let out a pained groan as sunlight streamed over my closed eyelids. Once I completely came to, another pained groan slipped off my lips. My entire body ached; a bit more between my legs. Everything was as clear as day in my head, even my 'last hurrah' with Henry. He dropped me off afterwards and we exchanged numbers. "I hope I see you again, Ginny girl. Alive and well." I smiled at him, tears blurring my vision. "Me too, Henny. Me too."
The door flew open, and Casey walked in, two frying pans in hand. "Don't you dare, Ca-" I was cut off when he knocked the pans together in the rhythm of a familiar song. I cried out, using the pillow in an attempt to muffle the noise, and turned on my side, facing away from Casey.
GINNY GOT DRUNK AGAIN!
IT'S TIME TO SING AGAIN!
DRUNKEN GINNY! DRUNKEN GINNY!
COULD BE WHISKY, COULD BE HENNY!
DRUNKEN GINNY! DRUNKEN GINNY!
EVERYBODY SING IT WITH ME!
COULD HAVE DANCED WITH A STRANGER, COULD HAVE GOTTEN IN SOME DANGER.
DRUNKEN GINEVRA, IT'S REALLY NICE TO MEET YA!
SOBER GINNY'S GONNA CRY WHEN SHE OPENS HER EYES.
DRUNKEN GINNY'S GONNA DANCE, AND SHE MIGHT TAKE OFF HER PANTS! YEAH!
I was sobbing from both the pain and from laughter. This song was one of the many fond family memories that I have. The first time I got completely drunk was for my eighteenth year, and my poor excuse of friends where the ones who pressured me to do it. That night, we found out just how well I could hold my liquor, and it was pretty damn well. The next morning I had sworn off drinking forever when the hangover hit me, and my family so lovingly helped me through it by singing this impromptu song at the top of their lungs while banging pans together. My first tango, however, was with cake mix wine one fine December day; which is why I "got drunk again" and "might take off my pants".
The house was filled with Stewie's and Collin's boisterous laughter along with Emeraude's and Eliza's cackles. The pillow was yanked away from me, and the blurry mop of pink hair leaned closer to me. "TOP OF THE MORNING TO YA GINNY GIRL!" Casey yelled as I cried in pain. "Fuck you, Casey." He chuckled, then leaned closer to me; I shrank into the bed, bracing for impact, only to be surprised when he whispered, "No thanks, but I'm sure Henry had a wonderful time with you." I gasped, wincing and groaning as a wave of dizziness and nausea hit me when I sat up too fast. "How do you-" "I took the liberty of tracking your phone when I woke up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and your bed was empty." Casey cut me off with a smirk, dangling his phone in front of my face.
"Once I found your location, I remembered a fun little story Jupiter told me about from the first time you two came here." I groaned. "How you drank much more than you could handle and had a little strip show for the patrons." I cringed, pulling my knees to my chest. " And, how when you suddenly disappeared, he found you getting frisky with a bartender named Henry." I whimpered, placing my head against my knees. "So, I figured that's where you went. I mean, after yesterday, I could understand that you wanted to be alone for a little while." He shrugged, leaning away from me. I nodded, wincing when pain lanced through my skull. "C'mon then. Liza made you breakfast. Well, lunch, seeing as it's two in the afternoon."
"Aw, seriously?" I whined as I planted my feet on the ground. Before I knew it, I was hunching over and a pale red waste bin was thrust into my hands as I spilled the contents of my stomach. I felt the bed dip beside me and hands sweep my hair away from my face. Once my body was satisfied, Casey handed me a bottle of water, then a paper cup full of mouth wash. "Thanks, Case." "You're welcome, Gin."
Casey helped me to my feet and to the surprisingly empty kitchen. I was about to ask him where everyone was when I heard laughter and the sound of the television. "I'll, leave you alone now." I hummed, glaring at the sheepish pink haired boy. "Love you Gin." He grinned boyishly before dashing off to the living room. I shook my head, facing the food placed in front of me. "Love you too, Casey." I mumbled, then stuffed my mouth with food.
The rest of the day was uneventful, apart from the constant teasing while we watched comedy movies and the pizza man flirting with Collin when he went to pay.
So, what were my lessons? Uh, let's see...
Apperitions of Jupiter reveal themselves in places where we have memories together.
There was a new exhibit at the museum.
Henry and the pub hasn't changed one bit.
Drunk women are awesome at consoling you when you're ugly crying over a margarita.
Never underestimate Casey and his ability to bring up cringy memories.
Eliza makes amazing food.
And, uh... oh!
Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman in her 24th year to have.
But I have it.
~ All hail Queen Mother Del Rey. ~