Chapter 8: Scars Of The Past Pt. 2

Warning: Contains dark themes of self-harm, rape, and attempted suicide. Readers discretion is advised. Please skip to ending of Gaz's flashback if needed.

Zim was looking in shock to see Gaz's arms so messed up. Cut marks and something that seems long to pierce through the skin. It was horrifying as he was wondering how this had happened to his friend. It was horrifying to watch as Zim became utterly speechless to even say anything. Gaz got up from him and moved closer to the lake. She folded her arms and kept letting out tears to know that he will probably think of her as a freak.

The former alien found his voice and asked, "Gaz...what happened to your arm?"

Gaz was still looking away, but didn't reply as she wiped her eyes. She didn't want Zim to think she's going weak as she had to reveal her scars in front of him. It was going so well until she wanted to let her scarred arms drive Zim away, but he was there and hoping for an answer.

"Please, Gaz. I need to know if you are okay. How did you get those scars?" Zim asked with concern, but more caring to see what made her hide her marks.

"No...I-I'm...I'm scared…" Her voice was trembling a little as tears continue to fall freely.

"Scared of what?" He replied.

"That...if I...tell you...you'll n-never...be with me...a-anymore." Gaz spoke softly as she was looking down with shame.

However, Gaz was turned around by Zim as he held on to her shoulders and had her look at him. Gaz gasped softly to see nothing but care and concern in her friend's eyes that she couldn't say more since Zim stood around to comfort her.

"I will never leave you, Gaz. Not after you are doing so well today that I'm proud to see you smile again. But don't ever think that I will leave you or think of you differently. Just tell me how you got those scars. I need to know. Please?"

His words were sincere and calm that it made Gaz stopped her trembling to relax herself. Her heart was steady and she got a chance to breathe before breaking down. The goth girl collected herself and stared at the ground. And when she did, Gaz spoke, "Zim...the reason why I got these scars...was because...I was raped."

The moment she said that, Zim was horrified with his eyes wide. "What…?

Gaz took a deep breath and said, "I was raped. On my 14th birthday."

"But...how..?! Why would someone lay a hand on you like that?!" Zim shouted. "And on your birthday?!"

"Sometimes I'm not always tough in situations like that." Gaz answered with a sad look. "But...how do you know what that word means?"

Zim looked away with a frown and replied, "Someone I knew...was in that situation before. Her life wasn't the same as she was no longer an invader. She...detonated a self-destruct switch on herself a few days later." Zim's fists clenched and anger was slowly rising. "The Tallests did nothing, but I saved her. However, the damage was done and…"

Suddenly, he felt a hand on his fist as he looked to see Gaz with tears in her eyes. His anger was vanishing and he was feeling concerned for her. But it seems she needed to calm her friend down. "I'm sorry to hear that. Your leaders were bastards."

"I know." Zim sighed and spoke to her softly. "But...what happened? What made you get those scars? Is that why you wore those long-sleeved shirts all the time?"

Gaz nodded slightly and replied, "For two gruesome years, I had nightmares about that night. I kinda blamed myself for just leaving the house without anything to protect myself with. Sometimes I would wonder if I wasn't so mad that day…"

-Flashback(Gaz's POV)-

Another day and another birthday ignored because dad and brother couldn't even bother to check up on me and wished me a happy birthday. My dad was still working on his 'so-called' inventions to make goddamn toast and my fucking brother was on the computer trying to please these nut jobs about aliens existing. I thought they would bother to remember...but they didn't. And I was super pissed about it since I hated them for it. Since Dib was distracted, I decided to leave the house for a bit to get something to eat.

My dad barely shows up to make sure I stay safe, but what do I care? He was never around and he left me and Dib by ourselves for years. I was fine by myself and had enough money to get some pizza at Bloaty's. It wasn't far and I needed the air. Besides, I needed to make sure I get my stuff and head back home before my brother realize that I left the house. I made it to Bloaty's and I made my order. I waited a few minutes more until my order was done. I picked it up and went straight back home. Knowing the street lamps were coming on, I knew I needed to hurry back before I get into trouble. I never had a problem with walking at night because I knew how to protect myself.

But on that night...it changed.

I decided to get a bus ride back home so I don't have my pizza getting cold. The bus was almost to its pickup spot in five minutes and I had plenty of time to just walk there. And from that moment, a hand suddenly grabbed me from the shadows and pulled me in. My pizza dropped as I struggling to fight back. Normally I would handle it easily, but something was placed on my mouth and I started to become dizzy. My body was numb and I had little resistance against my attacker. And just like that, I was out cold…

Whatever the attacker put over my mouth had lost its effect and I was starting to wake up. It was fuzzy at first, but I was starting to see my surroundings. I was in an abandoned house that was in the city. Although I wanted to leave, I was tied up by some rope and had a hard time getting out. No matter the struggle, I couldn't get freed. Suddenly, I heard footsteps and I feared the worst as the door slowly crept open.

I was now staring at the person who took me to his lair and spotted him with a bag in his hand. He was heavyset and had shaggy brown hair. But the disgusting part was that he was downright naked! He looked like in his 40s, but that was the least of my problems. He was walking up to me with a sick smile and a sadistic gaze that I was a bit scared. But I threatened him to not have him touch and spat on him. Worst mistake on my part.

Out of nowhere, I was punched in the gut; feeling the oxygen leaving my body. Then he slapped me when I nearly lost my vision. He laughed at my pain and went back for the bag. Once he was done searching, he pulled out a ball gag. I knew what they were for and I started to panic. Before I would scream, the gag was latched on my mouth. I tried to move again, but the ropes were too tight. It became worse as my clothes were getting ripped apart by his knife. Once he was done, my attacker was coming closer as my eyes were forming tears and I tried screaming. No one couldn't hear me.

And on that night...my innocence was shattered.

Five hours. Five hours I have been with that freak. Five hours of my virginity forcefully taken away from that asshole. I...I was dead inside. I've lost a piece of myself that night and he wouldn't stop. It was because of some enhancement drug to increase anyone's stamina and other stuff like that. The same drug that my own father created. The bastard soon had one more go in him and I felt weak. I couldn't take anymore and I might be dead before help arrived on time. That monster was about to end me and I was about to expect my last hour living and dying from all I've went through.

But suddenly, something was broken and the guy was sent falling on the other side. My vision was fixing up a bit as I saw some random girl with a broken bottle while wearing a nightgown with cuts on it. I didn't know where she came from, but she helped me out from the bed and snapped the ropes. Unfortunately, my legs were unable to move because of that man. But this teen boosted me up with the drug with little usage. It was a fresh one and I was feeling my legs again. I wrapped the sheets around me and we escaped. And by the time we've left the abandoned house, the police were coming up to surround the place.

[NF - Can You Hold Me]

The nightmare came to an end when they caught him and he was NEVER seeing the light of day or a trial because he was wanted for rape, murder, kidnapping, and human trafficking of underage female minors. The victims were found but a few didn't make it. And the one who saved me? That was Mira Rose. She was there the longest and suffered worse.

Doctors gave me medicine and more to make sure I didn't contracted any diseases and the police wanted to call my father about the incident. But I declined and told them that it would be a waste of time. Like my father would care about what I do and just punish me for being out late. The doctors fixed me up and the police escorted me home.

The moment I arrived, I went straight for the bathroom and took me a shower. Once the water hits me...I fell on my knees and cried. My birthday was hell and I had to suffer for it. I was so dirty and scarred like that as I couldn't sleep well as I kept thinking about it. I was all alone in the house since my brother went somewhere at the last minute and my asshole father was at work; never taking phone calls from his own children!

But...the pain was worse when the nightmares came and I could still feel that monster's touch. I needed to end the pain. So I found something sharp. Some small blade that I found in the garage while getting some air. At first I wanted to make a wound to my neck, but I didn't want to make it more painful. So...my arms were canvas, and I made my own kind of artwork.

It's been like that for months and the nightmares were slowly going away. But I was alone and Dib kept asking me to spy on you for dumb reasons. And on one night, dad called to say that Family Night was postponed this year as he was going on a three-month trip in Europe for a convention. Money was sent to our accounts and Dib sighed in disappointment to have Dad making last-minute decisions.

Me, however, I just punched the screen and shouted so much swear words that Dib backed away to not feel my wrath. My brother left that night and I was alone again. I wanted to keep myself composed from crying, but it was so much I can take. So much to happen in my life: Mom's death, dad abandoning his own kids for science, my anger, Dib's paranormal obsession, getting raped on my birthday, and self-harm. My life was fucked up and my heart couldn't end the pain.

So I did so. Everyone wasn't around and I couldn't take life anymore. I took my sheets and made something out of it. I grabbed a stool and positioned it right by the ceiling lamp. Once I did that, I cried my last tears away and got into position as I wanted to end it all. 11 years of pure hell and nothing good came out of it. Before I would drop, I told my mom that...I'm sorry. And hoped that she would forgive me.

But fate got me out of my first-class ticket to Hell as something snapped the noose. I was coughing harshly that I looked to see that something blasted the sheets and I looked to see who did it. They were gone...and so was my suicidal thoughts. I wasn't thinking straight and knew that I didn't need to take the coward's way out. So I cleaned myself up and decided to take the medication my doctor gave me. And at that day, I wondered to who would save me that day when I was about to commit suicide…

Flashback Ends

After explaining her story, Zim and Gaz were sitting on top of the boulder by the lake as Gaz was clearing up her face from the tears. Zim, however, was speechless to how much this poor girl has been through. It was so tragic that she went through that torture and her own family wasn't there to comfort her. No one, especially Gaz, didn't deserve that treatment; never to be alone and letting her getting hurt from that.

'Poor Gaz…' Zim thought sadly.

Once her face was cleaned up, Gaz looked at her friend and asked, "You saved me?"

The former alien looked back with confusion. "What?"

"That night when I was about to end my life. You saved me, didn't you?" The goth girl stated with pleading eyes.

Zim knew what she meant and sighed deeply. "Yeah. It was me."

"Hmm." Gaz was a little surprised to why Zim would do that. "But...why? You hated humanity."

[Yungblud - 11 Minutes ft. Halsey]

Zim did nothing but stare at the lake and took a deep breath to explain himself. "The human race is a strange one in my book. I see nothing but wars, violence, racism, gluttony, peace, and more. Stupidity is on the top of my head as I don't get why people hurt each other. Irk was always about proving superiority to others, but...it's strange how Earth was similar to my homeworld.

"But there was something I never wanted to see in my life again: Suicide. The Irken I told you about? Her name was Nikita and she started out as an Invader. She completed three missions by herself and gave it her best to prove that she can be the best. However, the Tallests gave her a mission to determine her status and Nikita accepted it. But it went downhill when she was captured and tortured on Planet Korg: home of the warthog-like barbarians.

"She spent more than three weeks there and she was beyond broken. Fortunately, I was assigned there by Red to locate a fake item; another way to get rid of me. While I was searching around, I heard screaming and decided to check out the place. Once then, I was horrified for what I looked inside. Nikita...she...had so potential. Gone by that heinous act they did to her. I was blinded by rage that I struck them all with all I had. I rescued her and her mind was fucked up from the horror she went through.

"Doctors couldn't reverse the damages, but they tried to heal her wounds. She was the best and kindhearted Irken to suffer like that. And my former fucking leaders didn't even try to address the situation! So I did and I went to Korg and did my own invasion as a one-man army. I made them all pay until the planet was burning in my sight. The Tallests didn't take too kindly of my actions and punished me with lashes, blades, electric wires, everything. Before I had this human form, my scars were a sign of my rebellious treason."

"But...what about Nikita?" Gaz asked with concern.

Zim looked down with regret and pain. "She...She had a breakdown. A huge one that I had to hurry up and calm her down. Nikita was physically and emotionally scarred that she couldn't live with the pain again. She activated self-destruct mode on her wrist and I needed to save her. But in those five seconds...I was too late."

Gaz heard sniffling and looked at the tears coming down Zim's face. She was shocked to see him like this and thought it must've been hard to lose someone. Whoever Nikita is must be someone Zim cared about. Silently, the goth girl came closer and placed his head on her chest. Zim was too sad to care and kept crying while Gaz was petting his hair. Soon after, she had tears coming out as well to know the pain.

And at that moment, Gaz began to softly sing to ease him up and recover from the memories.

Please, please forgive me,
But I won't be home again.
Maybe someday you'll have woke up,
And, barely conscious, you'll say to no one:
"Isn't something missing?"

You won't cry for my absence, I know
You forgot me long ago.
Am I that unimportant?
Am I so insignificant?
Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?

Even though I'm the sacrifice,
You won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,
I'm all alone.
Isn't someone missing me?

Please, please forgive me,
But I won't be home again.
I know what you do to yourself,
I breathe deep and cry out:
"Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?"

Even though I'm the sacrifice,
You won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,
I'm all alone.
Isn't someone missing me?

And if I bleed, I'll bleed,
Knowing you don't care.
And if I sleep just to dream of you
And wake without you there,
Isn't something missing?
Isn't something

Even though I'm the sacrifice,
You won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,
I'm all alone.
Isn't someone missing me?

Both teens were in that position for a while as the cool autumn air blew around them. It was like they needed to let all their emotions out and suddenly find closure and a small way for recovery. Zim's sobbing ceased and Gaz pulled his head up to see how he is right now. His eyes were puffy red and his cheeks show dried tears. He felt like a mess, but Gaz thought differently as he was sincere and caring.

"I look like a wreck." Zim said softly.

"I don't think so. You look handsome in my eyes." Gaz replied with a smile. "And, Zim...I didn't get a chance to say thanks."

"For what, Gaz?" Zim asked.

"For making sure I kept on living. Preventing me from taking my own life. If I would've died then, I wouldn't have changed for who I am in the process. And I can finally feel free to do what I've should've done and made friends. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Zim." Gaz said with a gentle smile.

Zim was stunned from Gaz's words that he felt his heart beat in a exciting way. Because of his actions, the goth girl was truly becoming a new person. Zim absorbed all this in and smiled softly. "Well...it's no problem, Gaz. I just wished my sis was alive to meet you. You would've been close friends."

Gaz gasped softly. "Nikita's your sister?!" Zim nodded softly. "Oh. Zim, I'm sorry."

"It's fine. I believe she's watching over me and proud to see how I've overcome my demons." Zim smiled. "But you know, I think I figured out why your mother named you."

Gaz pondered, "Why's that?"

"Have you ever wonder what the first letters of your name stands for?" Zim asked and Gaz shrugged her shoulders. "I think she was calling you her GEM."

"Gem?"

"Gazlene Emilia Membrane: GEM."

The goth girl thought about it for five seconds until her eyes were widened to what he meant by that. "Wait, how did-"

Zim continued for her. "Your mother must've named you that for when you become fearless to others and stayed your ground. An attitude to know that you are strong and brave against people to don't understand you. And I think that you are loved and caring that it takes time to show that to that one person who will stand by your side. A flawless, unbreakable gem with a smooth calming feature to face the world."

And before Gaz could say anything, Zim wrapped his arms around her waist and brought her closer to a hug. She was unable to do anything but feel his warmth. Soon after, Gaz rose her head up and suddenly felt his hand on her cheek. She was glowing pink and Zim continued on.

"Gaz...I-I...I wanted to say this to you, but...I was nervous and didn't want to end this friendship we've started. But I thought it might be the time to say it and let you decide."

"Like what, Zim?" Gaz spoke softly as she placed her hand on his that was caressing her cheek.

Zim took a deep breath and exhaled with a calm attitude. He looked straight into her eyes and said, "I like you, Gaz Membrane. I've...I've kinda had this crush on you ever since you've saved your brother. You looked so beautiful and fierce that I wonder how you actually be sane around your family and keep yourself calm. You were cute, awesome, shared dark humor, and didn't take crap from no one. I know you can handle yourself, but I feel like I wanted to protect you and your smile from anybody that messes with you. Your laugh is adorable and your hairstyle is unique. You have the most lovely eyes because when I look at you, I see an angel. But right now, it's your decision on what you want to say. I really like you, Gaz, and I want to see how things go between us."

Upon hearing those words, Gaz was on the verge of tears. But instead, she smiled softly as she quickly wiped away the tears. "Zim...thank you. To be honest, I...I-I have a confession to make as well."

"I'm listening, Gaz." Zim stated.

"I like you, too." She blushed pink as she continued. "I was wondering why I had these feelings, but I felt them as a small crush. As the months go by, it started to grow and I was curious to how your plan on taking over Earth would succeed. After that Florpus incident, I was kinda impressed. I didn't care that you were an alien and I wanted to know if you were able to make friends. You were handsome and cute without your disguise. But now…" Gaz rubbed his cheek as he blushed red. "You look so amazing and more."

"Y-You really think so?" Zim asked.

Gaz nodded her head. "I know her. And for the dating part: let's see how this day goes. And if things go well...I don't mind you taking me out to dinner. Besides: I kinda prefer dating different species than a human anyway."

Zim chuckled softly and kissed Gaz's forehead tenderly. She soon hugged him around the waist and laid her head down on his chest. Gaz could hear his heartbeat calmly like it was a quiet lullaby. Zim enjoyed it and both teens were feeling peace while in their secret spot. Holding each other and enjoying the sound trees rustling. All was great.

Until…

[SFX: Phone ringing]

Zim and Gaz were out of their relaxing moment when Gaz's phone was ringing with a song by Yungblud. Gaz groaned, "So much for the moment. Sorry, Zim."

"It's okay, Gaz. Maybe next time." Zim smiled as let go of the goth girl so she can answer her phone.

"Hello," she answered. "Hey, dad...No, I'm just relaxing with a friend...Well at least you've noticed...Wait...Meet you at your job?...Um, sure...And bring my friend?...Fine...Whatever." Gaz hung up her phone and put it back her pocket.

"What's wrong," asked Zim.

"Dad wants me to show up at his job. And I bet that Dib is going there as well. He said it was Family meeting or some crap, but it's best to check it out." Gaz said with an unamused look. "Besides, I need to have a talk with both of them. And today is the day I will."

"Okay, Gaz." Zim replied. "Let's go. I'll ride."

"Um...isn't your Voot cruiser still need repairs?" Gaz stated.

Zim turned around with a sly look. "Who says anything about taking the ship?"

Gaz raised an eyebrow to figure out what he means, but thought fast as she caught what appeared to be a sports helmet. Gaz looked up and was surprised to see Zim with a helmet on and his own skateboard with the design of the eclipse.

"I'll drive," Zim said. Gaz knew where this was going and smiled at her friend. Her day just got interesting, but more is going to happen at her dad's job.

TBC

Finished right before the holiday ended. And now, this was sad and hurtful to write as Gaz is close to finding closure in her life. Zim, however, was able to end his demons and confess to Gaz about his feelings. It's close to ZAGR, but soon. However, it's time to have a family chat with the Membrane family as Gaz was ready to confront the two crazies-I mean, loving family members. Also I don't own the songs, but you can guess the one that Gaz was singing. Get it right...TACOS FOR ALL! Anyway, next chapter coming up soon and Happy Thanksgiving to all!