10. Turn it off

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They turned off the music. They bought the cigarettes they wanted so much. They used the ID card of someone's uncle and they parked the car where it's not allowed to park. Dizzy and tired, I wished we could just go home and sleep, but Dario dragged me out of the car and made me sit on the bench with the rest of them. The cold breeze made me shiver and crave for a warm bed with a soft blanket, but then Dario put on his angry and loud playlist and the girls blew clouds of smoke into my face. Sleeping became my last priority at that point.

With eyes fully open, I realized that the view in front of us was pretty dope. We were in a higher area of Genoa and from that bench we could see the sparkling downtown and the moonlit beach. Maybe I would ignore such a place in daylight or at any other moment of my life, but on Saturday 14th of October 2016 at 3am, I couldn't think of anything more beautiful than my city.

Ectoplasmi started playing on Dario's phone. He mostly listened to two types of music: angry rappers, because their poetry expressed the burning feelings we couldn't put in words, and dubstep, because sometimes all we needed was to dance those feelings away. Ectoplasmi was a rap song by Mezzosangue. It was his favourite song. I knew it because he whistled the melody all the fucking time. I looked at him and he looked at me and then boom he just started rapping along.

The others cheered and laughed and clapped, and at first I was one of them. But then I noticed something, something in the way he spit out those words, all the energy he put into them, all the anger. Sometimes you see people who are talented and you can't help but scream and cheer for them. But with Dario, you couldn't do to that. You just had to shut up and listen. Because no one raps like that without feeling those words in their bloodstream. That kind of rawness is not for the applause.

I could tell that Dario didn't want this to go that far. He just wanted to joke around as always, but his emotions escaped and started a fire. The words just flew out of his mouth and he looked like he had no idea what was going on, but his voice gained more and more energy and his hands enhanced every beat of the song. Once it finished, he was almost out of breath. Everyone cheered loudly and high fived him and Stiff even hugged him and told him something like 'that was amazing, bro. You're gonna be a legend one day!". And me, I just sat there and didn't know what to do because my best friend was talented, but my best friend was also in a lot of pain. I hoped he understood what my silence meant.

I clapped my hands and whistled, until someone snatched the grey beanie off my head. It happened so quickly, I didn't know how to react. I saw Gaia running away and so I chased her. She was really fast and I was really drunk. I could hear her laughter as she managed to escape from my hands each time I almost had her. Almost, but never entirely.

At the end she just stopped. She did it so suddenly I bumped right into her. She was still laughing like a little child. I had never heard her laugh like that, not when she was sober. We were already far away from our friends. We couldn't hear their voices nor the music. It was just us now.

''You'll never stop running after me, will you, Pit?''

She wore my beanie as if it had always belonged to her. I thought of taking it off her head, like she did with me a few minutes ago. But then I changed my mind. It looked much better on her anyway.

''You took something that belongs to me,'' I said.

''What? Your heart?''

She looked straight into my eyes, with an amused expression on her face. She smiled maliciously and played with her hair. I hated it when she was like this. I hated the drunk Gaia. She had no limits, unstoppable and unpredictable. Cruel, in her own special way.

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