Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Hello, friends, this is Kaya. This isn't really a news post. It's more of a conversational, thinky post. I talked to Gia today, and I think I understand a little better why she made the choices she made. That understanding means I have a lot more sympathy for her.
Today I was home doing my online classes (I have co-op classes with other students two days a week,) and when I took a break to get a glass of water, Gia was in the kitchen, supposedly marking assignments but more like just staring out the window. She looked pretty lost in thought, so I asked if she was okay.
I have to admit I felt a little weird about it. I care about Gia - we all do - but we also just found out that she'd been working for the evil vampires, and that she got to know us under false pretenses to spy on us for them. I wasn't sure if it was better if we talked about stuff, or if we avoided talking about stuff.
"Hello, Kaya," Gia said with a smile. "I'm doing alright. Would you like to join me?"
Technically, I needed to get back to my schoolwork, but I figured sitting with Gia for a few minutes wouldn't hurt. It seemed like she needed somebody to talk to.
"Sure," I said, and I took the seat beside her. For awhile, we both just looked out the window. Gia was toying with her sleeves, and for the first time I noticed that she had scars from cuts on her forearms. I wondered if it was a suicide attempt, or self-harm. Some of the kids I knew when I was in foster care did that, although I never have. I realized I'd always seen Gia in long sleeves, which wasn't strange because the weather is still really cold, and has been cold since I met her. I'd never seen her arms before.
"Did you ever get counseling about that?" I asked, pointing to her arm.
Gia looked surprised, and said, "What?" Then she realized what I meant, and she said, "Oh, no, I didn't do that to myself. I lived with vampires. They needed blood."
"So you gave it to them?"
She shrugged. "I didn't have much choice. It was my blood or my life. I was more willing to lose the blood."
"I thought vampires bite people?" I asked, wondering if this was totally rude, but Gia didn't seem to mind the questions.
"They do - if they want the person to die or to become a vampire also. The Elders didn't want either for me. I was useful to them, but my primary use was as a human. For example, I can go out during the day, which is immensely helpful to people who can't."
"How long did you work for them?"
"Three years," Gia replied, and I was surprised by that answer. I figured she would say a couple of months. She and Maia started dating in December. I guess what she said before was truer than we realized - she was in deep long before she ever heard of us.
"Were they good to work for? Besides the blood?"
Gia's eyes grew distant, and the muscles in her jaw tensed. For a moment, I could feel her fear without even trying to sense her emotions, then she calmed herself down.
"No," she said simply.
I reached over and put my hand on her arm, and she smiled at me. "It's going to be okay now," I said.
"I hope so," Gia replied. "I'm safe from them now, but..."
I nodded. I knew what she meant: But really being okay depends on how things work out with Maia.
Gia smiled sadly. "I know you must think I'm weak. In fact, I agree with you. I am, especially in comparison to your family. You're all so brave. I just... it's hard to convey in words how bad those years were. At first, I thought I was working for the heroes, but things quickly went badly. They were... very rough with me. I got used to bruises. I got used to being afraid for my life."
I was shocked. "They hit you?"
"Yes, among other things. They were very cruel. I was punished harshly for the slightest mistake, and they constantly reminded me that any misstep might be my last. I regret now that I ever agreed to help them work against your family. At the time, though, it seemed... almost harmless. I didn't see how anything I told them would actually do any damage. They already knew where you lived, and had a good idea of your routines. They knew you were sheltering Clare, Tabitha, Cécile, and Marie-Grace. I'm still not sure how much of what I told them was information they didn't already know."
"You seem to feel pretty terrible, for not telling them anything that bad," I said. I already knew the reason, but I thought it might help her to talk about it.
"What I regret most is all the lying," Gia said sadly. "It was awful, not telling the truth. At first it didn't matter, but then I started having feelings for Maia - big feelings - and then it got really difficult. She's so smart and funny and kind. The more I got to know her, the more I wished I was what I pretended to be."
"But you are," I told her. "You're a good person. You care about Maia. You were just terrified of evil vampires, too."
"Can you ever forgive me, Kaya?" Gia asked. "Will your sisters ever forgive me? Will Maia?"
"I already do," I said. "I understand now. I understand what happened to you, and I feel bad for you. Your family died suddenly and violently - you must have been grieving horribly, and you were all alone. Then these superpowered beings come along and say they'll fix it, and everything is great for awhile, and then they start hurting and terrorizing you. Could I really blame you for making some bad decisions at that point?"
Gia smiled sadly, and said, "Thank you. Your understanding means more than I can say."
"My sisters will understand, too," I assured her. "They'll forgive you. And Maia... she's hurt, but she loves you. Just give her time. It'll be alright. But... can I give you some advice?"
"Of course," Gia replied. "You're wise beyond your years, Kaya. I'd like to hear what you suggest."
I totally blushed at the compliment, but I said, "I think you should tell Maia what you told me. How they hurt you, and how scared you were of them."
"Do you really think so?" Gia asked. "I didn't want to seem like I was making excuses, or acting like what I did was right."
I shook my head. "No, what it does is make it clear this happened for a reason. You didn't just wake up one day and decide to mess with Maia's head - or her heart. You need to tell her, so she'll realize why you did what you did. I think once she knows, she'll understand better. She'll know how much she matters to you."
"Thank you, Kaya," Gia said. "You've given me a lot to think about, and... you're right. I should take your advice.
"You're welcome," I replied. "I should get back to my schoolwork."
When Maia got home, she and Gia talked upstairs for a long time. I think Gia must have taken my advice like she said she would, because when they came down for supper, they seemed a lot more relaxed. Maia was smiling again - a real smile, not a faked one - and she took Gia's hand at one point. It was kind of touching how relieved Gia looked. The atmosphere was less tense than it had been since Gia admitted the truth, and the conversation flowed more naturally, like there wasn't an elephant in the room anymore.
Yep, I think everything will be okay. :-)