Title: "Maya"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: General Hospital
Rating/Classification: PG, second person, Gia, angst.
Disclaimer: Don't own her, nope.
Summary: A strange little ficlet born from the tangible shift in Gia that occurred when Andrea Pearson took the role that Marisa Ramirez had originated.

You think you wore another face when you were an Almost-Cassadine. That your cheekbones were higher, your eyes wider, your lips fuller, under Nikolas's fingertips and Stavros's mouth.

Were you taller? Or just tottering in impossible heels that matched your Dolce & Gabana gowns and perfectly manicured nails?

You don't remember your hair being so short, so frizzy and nappy, snagging on your brush in the morning as you get ready for class.

Funny, but you're not even sure you finished college in that other Gia's skin...fairly certain that you dropped out of Columbia your freshman year in favor of motel parking lots and alleys and raves...but now you're taking Con Law and Torts and have a closet full of off-the-rack suits in muted earth tones and demure pastels. Things you wouldn't have been caught dead wearing when Lucky snapped your pictures and Elton stacked the proofs into neat, color-coded piles.

Now, when you touch your brother's arm, there is electricity between your palm and tweed and he feels like a handsome stranger...not someone who must've yanked on your corn rows and bullied the first boy you ever brought home.

And the man you almost married is a shadow on the sidewalk. A blurry memory with lighter hair and sadder eyes. He, too, must have a different face.

Because you recognize him even less than you recognize yourself.

The only thing that remains familiar, the only person, is Zander Smith.

So, you hold on to him, dig your blunt nails into the sleeve of his leather jacket as you laugh at his dumb jokes, and instinctively step in front of him when Marcus or anyone else moves forward to give him trouble. You listen to him talk about Emily, how much he loves her, and his voice anchors you to now...to *then*. To *here*.

You met him at a rave. Saw him strip Emily and put her next to a dead narc. He was an accessory to a crime and you were a blackmailer. That's how you began. And you can sit next to him on the Elm Street Pier, eat ice cream, bitch about school, and not care about the years in between that aren't quite in focus...that seem like the "Before" picture in a cosmetic surgery infomercial.

You believe in him.

Because you have to.

Otherwise nothing is real.

And all you have is the illusion of a Gia Campbell that once was.

And she's not enough.



May 9, 2003.

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