Part Four: No time, no time for you. I got no time, baby, got lots of better things to do.
"What's wrong, Mick?" Autumn's voice was sleepy—she was starting to doze off on Peter's shoulder. The game had been called after Micky left, with Mike winning 75 to 64 and 36.
Micky shook his head.
"Where is Gia?" Autumn sat up and spoke clearly, now fully awake.
Micky shrugged. That was a good question, considering she no longer had a home to go to. "Where ever it is that she's staying."
"Why isn't she coming back?"
Micky shrugged again.
"Don't tell me she broke up with you."
"Okay." There was a long pause.
"She did?!" exclaimed Mike.
"You're awfully quiet. Are you going to tell us about it, or would you rather talk to someone?" asked Autumn
"I'll be leaving in a few minutes, unless you'd like to talk to me."
Micky shook his head.
"Okay." Autumn gave Peter a kiss good-bye and exited through the front door. Olivia disappeared out the back, and Mallori and Davy weren't there when Micky had walked in.
"So, Micky, what happened?" asked Peter.
"Gia . . . Well, at the fire this morning, I didn't hug her or anything, and that upset her—"
The front door opened and Autumn walked in. "Sorry, Mick, I just wanted to leave my phone number here with Peter." She handed Peter a slip of paper. "I'm in room 305. Micky, if you want to call Gianna, she'll be in room 304. Be good, boys!" she called over her shoulder as she walked back out the front door.
"Anyway . . . ?"
"Anyway, she was upset about that. She wanted to know why I didn't hug her, and I couldn't explain it to her."
"I didn't know how . . . and I'm not sure that I want her to know."
"Can you tell us?"
"Well . . . I came close to losing her this morning, and I like her a lot more than most of the other girls I've dated . . . and I'm afraid . . . that I'll lose her, y'know, and then it'll hurt, and I don't want that kind of greif, so I figured that I could give a little distance . . . so that . . . when she does go . . . it won't be so . . . painful."
"Oh, Mick," Peter began comfortingly, but Micky held up his hand.
"It may be better this way. With Gia hanging out with Autumn, they're bound to get themselves killed or hurt sometime."
"Hey," protested Mike. "I don't like that kinda talk. Nothing's going to happen to Gia or to Autumn, and you know it. Is that really the reason that you and Gia aren't together?"
"It's the only reason I have."
"I can see why you wouldn't tell her, then. What did you tell her?"
"Something about turning the evening news into a supermarket tabloid."
"You don't think that's what it seemed like, is it?" asked Peter, astonished that he and Autumn could be interpreted as tabloid material—even though, unbeknownst to Peter, they already were.
"Oh, no, I just made that up to try and appease her. It just scared me so bad, thinking about almost losing her—do I sound like I'm in love?"
"You sound like you were," said Mike. "But now . . . now, that you've told us about not wanting to get hurt . . . you know that's pretty selfish, don't you, Micky?"
"I hadn't thought about it like that. I guess it is, but when she's gone, I'll be all I'll have."
"That's not true, Mick. You'll still have us, and all the rest of your friends."
"I guess I hadn't thought of that, either."
"It didn't sound like you did."
No Time Part Five
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