Go Away Daniel…

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My only friend in the world was in my room when I came up from dinner. “I know what happened,” he told me. “It’s not your fault.”

“Oh really?” My voice was hollow.

“They kept yelling. What did you think was going to happen?”

“Something that didn’t involve me trying to smash a plate in front of them?” He tried to speak but I didn’t give him the chance. “Daniel, normal people don’t just…snap like that. There’s something…very, very wrong with me, you know there is.”

“I can’t say there isn’t,” he admitted. “It’s not your fault though-”

“That’s a lie,” I interrupted. “If I did the work my school wanted me to, I wouldn’t be falling apart like this. I wouldn’t be such a fucking nut-”

“You couldn’t do the work!” Daniel exploded. “Cat, you’re not well. You’ve never been well. But that’s the only reason why you’re not doing the work. And you can’t control that.”

“But what if I could?” I retorted. “What if this whole thing in my head is just an excuse? I always make excuses for myself. I’m not feeling well, or I’ve missed that lesson, or Things are bad at home. I’m always ready with them. There’s literally nothing stopping me from keeping up, only my stupid fucking excuses!”

“They’re not-”

“They are Daniel.” I was shaking, but there weren’t any tears this time.

He reached for me. “No,” I told him. “Don’t.”

“Cat, please-”

“No!” My chest felt like it was about to burst. “You can’t help me…”

“But I want to.”

“But you can’t,” I croaked. “I’m sorry. But you can’t save me. I’ve already destroyed myself, and there’s nothing left of me.”

“There is,” he insisted. “You can push through this, you’re strong enough to push through this.”

“I’m not. I don’t push through it. I lie there and let it consume me. That’s the only way I survive it, if I can really call it surviving.”

“You haven’t lost to it though.”

“I have.” I looked up at him. “You seem to think that ‘losing’ is when you kill yourself. The only reason I haven’t done that is because I’m too scared to die. And now look at me. It’s almost funny.” I smiled crookedly, my stomach aching with the effort. “All I can do is lie there. My emotions have eaten away at me, and I’m just this hollow shell. I’ve still lost, Daniel. I haven’t killed myself, but I’m still dead.”

“No…”

“Please go,” I begged him. “Leave me alone.”

“I can’t…”

“Go!” I gasped. “There’s nothing for you to do. I’m already dead, why the fuck do you think that I can be saved?!”

He looked away. “That’s right. There’s no reason for you to keep counting on me. I keep saying I’ll be fine, and then I change my mind and lie there, because I’m too lazy to try and make things better for myself. Just go already!”

Daniel’s eyes were bright green and shiny with tears when he looked back at me. Were my eyes the same? “If I go, will you kill yourself?”

“No.” I meant what I said. “I don’t have the energy. Nor the courage.”

“Never say that,” he told me fiercely. “Never say that suicide involves anything like courage!”

I said nothing. “Please…” he sobbed. “I don’t want to watch you die…I don’t want to lose anyone else…”

“Then go,” I whispered.

He stared back at me as if I just stabbed him. “I’m not going to do anything. I promise. But I’m dying, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. There’s nothing left of me to save.”

Daniel gulped. For a while, it looked as if he wasn’t going to do anything, but then he turned away and went for the door. He looked back with his hand on the handle. “I know what you want me to think,” he said softly. “And this would be so much easier if I did think that. But I don’t. You’re worthy of love, worthy of living. You deserve so much more than what’s in your head. And I’ll keep believing that, no matter what.” With that, he closed the door behind him.

I could finally cry again. Because I had hurt the person I loved the most. The one thing Daniel wanted was to redeem himself, to save me, and I had thrown that away. I didn’t care anymore, about living. Nothing was worth trying to survive.

I was the most despicable human in the world.

Scarlet Cough

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Last time, on TAOCM…

“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWR!”

“…feeling better?”

“Much, thankyou.”

And now, the epic journey continues…

_________________________________________

“Daniel?”

I’ve just woken up in Delirium, once again. My last moments in Reality were spent on the run from another shadow, until he had thrown a bar at my head. The last thing I was thinking was that my friends were going to kill me. I had deserted them, again.

“Fuuuuuck,” I rolled over. Rock, cool uncomfortable rock. But there’s light, so I’m not a prisoner, thank god.

I hear footsteps, and I brace myself. When Daniel comes into view, I’m relieved. But then I see his face, and the man behind him.

I snarl. “What do you want?” I demand.

“I wasn’t aware she was part animal,” the fat man muses.

“I’m human,” I retort. “Isn’t that the same to you?”

“Temper, temper,” he says in what I think he intends to be soothing. Or he’s deliberately trying to rile me up even more. If the latter is the case, I don’t give him the satisfaction, but I glare at him, making it clear that he isn’t allowed to step one foot from where he is towards me. “I only want some questions answered.”

“I’m sure you do.”

“And are you going to answer them?”

“Will you give me a reason why I should?”

He smiles, and says in a dangerously low voice, “Mutts and freaks aren’t meant to be running around, my girl.”

I glance at Daniel, who inclines his head towards the fat man. I just sigh. “Ask what you will.”

He begins. “How long have you been acquainted with your friend Kaya?”

“We are not friends,” I say. “But I’ve known her since the beginning of last year. Perhaps longer.”

He raises an eyebrow, and when I don’t elaborate, he moves on. “And what do you know about her death?”

“As much as you would,” I reply.

“Which is?”

“Very little.” He flinches when I look at him. “But I do not blame her for wanting to die.”

“Why ever not?”

I raise my hand, the one with the scars that read FREAK. “There is little sympathy for us in this world,” I say.

The fat man recovers, and clears his throat. “May I say you speak eloquently, my lady. It’s hard to come by these days.” He looks meaningly at Daniel.

I refuse to accept the compliment. “I am not a lady. Do not address me as if I am royalty.”

“Many would relish that title,” he points out.

I raise an eyebrow. “Kaya was a lady,” I told him.

He moves on. “Would you care to give your insight on the incident with Kaya’s murderer?”

It wasn’t murder, I nearly spit out. I wonder if he hears my thoughts. I wouldn’t know by his face. It shows nothing. “I wouldn’t know what to say.”

“Say what happened.”

“But I don’t know what happened. Not really.”

He looks at Daniel, and he returns to me with a smile on his face. “I have just one more question for you.” When I say nothing, he continues. “How many times have you experienced death?”

I shut my eyes and count. Fire, Drowning, Stabbing, those horrible treatments, and all those times on the Lake of Ghosts…. “A lot.”

“So why are you still here?”

I scoff. “Do you really think I have an answer?”

“I’m merely curious.”

I sigh. “As far as I’m concerned, this world is only in my head. When you die in a dream, you wake up in Reality, correct?”

“So why do you continue to return to the dream?” His tone is somewhat disproving, as if I was doing something wrong. Maybe I am. But it’s not as if I have control of it, do I?

“I’m not sure. Maybe I’m meant to do something in the dream. Maybe it’s not a dream. I keep asking myself that,” I muse.

“Do you believe we are merely a figment of your imagination?”

“I don’t know what to believe,” I confess. “But in all honesty…” Something you are far from capable of… “I think this world is too real to be a mere hallucination. I may think differently later, but that’s what I believe.”

He nods. “I’m interested in these…resurrections of yours. If you don’t mind, I’d like to do an experiment.”

The word experiment automatically unsettles me. “Don’t you dare…”

Daniel, who had been quiet this whole time, is suddenly in front of me, a blade raised in front of the fat man. “Don’t be so stupid Daniel,” he sighs. “I wouldn’t be as foolish to give her to them…”

Then I feel cool steel against my neck. “I can see it happen for myself, without their assistance Daniel. Don’t worry, if it is as you say, she’ll be back soon.”

Daniel flips around, horrified, and when the blade pierces my throat, he screams out.

I woke up in Reality. I wondered why I still had the taste of blood on my lips, even though Delirium was a world away. Then I coughed, and realised the taste of blood on my lips was actual blood.

I had been coughing up blood.

And then I saw him. He was a shadow, but somehow I knew it was him. “Get away,” I snarled.

He merely grinned, and slammed into me. “Ah!” God he’s fat… All of it overwhelms me; the events in Delirium, the sudden body slam from a man as large as a Snorlax (yes, that’s the only way I can describe it), and now, Kaya’s voice screaming in my head at the man, who is now climbing out of the bathroom, through the roof. Let me have control, she begged. I can take him, I can kill him, I can end him!

I nearly refuse, but I’m too weak, and I don’t want to feel the pain anymore. I let Kaya carry the taste of blood and my aching limbs.

She didn’t end up killing him. She was me, and I was weak. I wish to god I wasn’t. I wish that somehow I had some measure of strength in me.