‹ Prequel: Dystopia
Sequel: Seniors
Status: Comments make me happy


Part 4

I don't want to focus on what happened after that.

Because it took a long time for Alex to smile again after that.
Because I hated every minute of those days.
Because being physically okay doesn't mean anything about mentally.
Because I want to forget.
Because I'm doing this so I can forget.
Because it sucked.

Doctors came in and came out. Alex barely spoke, answering in one worded replies. He seemed to simply hide inside his mind, to ignore it all. He spoke quietly and precisely to everyone, but it didn't feel like he was alive.

Doctors talked about how rare it was, how incredible and miraculous, how they'd never seen anything quite like it. Somehow his mind was completely unscathed. It was as if his brain just decided to take a thirteen hour break from life, before coming back.

It went slowly, from 5 minutes of consciousness, to an hour, to seven hours. No motor, verbal or brain damage. In those moments of consciousness, he was alert and completely aware. No confusion or bafflement. The doctors were awed.

I knew it had to be okay. If Alex's body was half as stubborn as he was, there was no way he'd leave without a fight. I also knew it couldn't be that cruel. The only thing worse than failing a suicide attempt would be to lose your mind but keep your body.

He didn't have any injuries, apart from his arms. He'd have those scars forever. But his mind was okay. Those were the greatest moments for me.

How many people get a second chance at life? A new chance. A chance to receive again everything he threw away. I was overjoyed. I wouldn't make the same mistakes. I would make sure everything would be okay. I would help him, fix everything I couldn't last time. That's what I hoped.

The doctors declared him stable, only a week after he woke up. No more risk on his life. That's when things went downhill.

Because the hospital's protocol said that it couldn't release people who'd attempted suicide until a psychologist deemed it okay. Until a psychologist said the threat was over, that there would be no second attempt.

It didn't take a psychologist to realize the threat wasn't over, that a second attempt was fearfully close. He didn't seem like himself, like the person back in his black room, like the person I'd talked to for hours on the phone.

In those rare moments I got to talk to him, he seemed detached and just, in a simple word, sad. Something had died that day. He may have been physically alive, but that didn't mean he was alive in any other way. Everything seemed so rocky, so unsure.

After a long argument with his mother, who seemed to decide to ignore the suicide attempt, and an even longer discussion with the therapist, it was decided he'd stay in hospital, in the child psychiatric wing, until things could be better.

I'm done talking about this.

I promised I'd tell the story of us.

I said it was a story worth telling.

I know this is what you wanted.

I didn't think it would be this hard.

I never ever want to think about this again.

You were always so much better at words than I am.

I don't know what this is. I'm a mess. I knew you were miserable at that place.

I didn't get a lot of time with you, once you moved to the hospital wing. They checked on you every minute of the say. They barely allowed visitors.

They caught you once cutting yourself with the end of a pen, something I didn't know was possible. You insisted it wasn't another attempt, but no one believed you.

I remember the sound of your voice, frantic and sad, as you told how many times people check on you, how suspicious and worried everyone is. No shoelaces, no razors, nothing even slightly dangerous.

And white. So much white. You said it scared you, that white was reckless and blank, the sickest of all colors. It didn't even deserve to be a color. It should be ignored. There's a reason everyone hates the useless white crayon.

I argued that on a black paper, the white crayon becomes the most useful, and you simply said you wished the room was black and that you could draw with that white crayon on the black wall.

I don't blame you for how you acted. It's easy to blame you. I know everyone else did. I'm not going to. I want to understand you. Blame is easy. I want to understand you so well, I'd act the same in your place.

I don't know what it was like in your mind. I don't know what made it so intolerable. I don't know what happened. I don't know who was the one you said should feel guilty, in that journal entry, that one person who you said you should blame. I don't know if it was Drew or someone else. I don't know if I'll ever understand.

I do know I won't blame you. You did try. In your own way, I know you did. You said you'd try and get better and I know you did. I know you argued a lot with everyone. I know you fought with your therapist a lot. I know you were miserable in that place. I know you wanted to die. I know each day didn't make it better.

I'm not supposed to write this to you. I'm supposed to be telling a story here. I see your face. I'm telling our story. I can't stop seeing you. But I'm trying.

Somehow things got better. He got better. It started with one smile. It continued with asking for paint and creating again. He didn't speak about the suicide. He asked his mom for forgiveness. He was slowly fixing his life, and I was proud to be a part of it.

One day home became two and three and four and five and six. Finally he was spending every day home, going to the hospital once a week for therapy.

Maybe the pills were doing something.

He was excited for life. He was looking forward to wake up. Not every day. But most days.

Some days were bad. Some days were horrible.

On most days he was okay.

I thought this was how we'd stay.

He moved schools and seemed to make loads of friends. Everything seemed perfect. We spoke a lot. I loved it. I enjoyed every minute talking to him.

I don't want to use the word love. I don't know what love is. I do know that I cared. That I would do everything for you, Alexander William Gaskarth.

I do know that it was a crush.
I don't know when it started.
I do know that I was sure it was one sided.

Now that he seemed okay there was no way I'd start messing everything up with a relationship. I was sure everything was okay. That we could put all of this behind us.

You seemed happy enough. You were alive. You were animated. You were free. You lived.

You invited me to a coffee shop, right next to that big bridge in town. It was an amazing place. You, well, he was there already when I arrived. We bought coffees, staring at the sun set.

I can point out the exact moment when things got bad.

Alex gave me a sad smile. “Thank you Jack. For everything. For just caring.” I shrugged.

“I couldn't lose you.” He visibly shuddered.

"I'm sure you'd be okay." He said.

"I'm sure I wouldn't. You're a huge part of my life." Somehow the sentence felt fake as it slipped through my lips. I looked into his eyes and said what I really wanted to say.

"I love you. I don't know how. I know you don't agree and I know you won't feel the sam-"

He smiled, a big smile that reached his eyes. With a slightly devious look, he leaned forward, a questioning look on his face. He slowly pressed his lips to mine. Our lips touched, feeling absolutely amazing.

It was everything we'd been through, all those difficult months. It was the rare smiles. It was the miracle that Alex got. It was the fear and pressure of those months. It was your sadness, my imperfections. It was Alex's laugh. It was life and feeling alive and feeling okay and feeling like you'd found a place, and being happy and being sad and being alive.

It was us.

I wish it was enough.

His hand ran through my hair, his lips tasted amazing. It felt right.

I couldn't believe this. It was mutual. It wasn't one sided. This was everything I've ever wanted, more than anything I thought I'd ever get. I loved him. I was filled up with hope and anticipation for the future. My heart had wings.

Then suddenly without a warning, he reached out one hand and pushed me back.

I fell back to my chair, not understand what happened.

“I’m sorry.” He said, and started running.

I stood there in shock before running after him.

The waitress yelled at me to pay. Dumping a 50 dollar bill, the only money I had, more than enough to pay for the coffees, I started to run after Alex. It felt like a twisted game of tag, where losing could be disastrous.

He was running to the bridge. I chased after him.

Panting, I wished I’d payed more attention in gym.

He disappeared. I couldn't see him.

Panic climbed up, traveling everywhere. I found myself looking anywhere for him.

That's when I saw him.

He was standing on the other side of the fence, only a step away from the rushing water.

“Alex! What are you doing?!” I screamed, running to him. He turned around. His eyes met mine. “Alex, come back here. Don’t-”

“Stop.” He said sternly, in a completely calm voice.

“Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do. I need to do this. I can’t stand this anymore.” He sounded frantic.

“Alex we can fix this. Please! Don't leave me.” I talk a step forward, wanting to reach him.

“Don’t come closer. Go away.” He said. I froze. He looked at the water quizzically, like a potential buyer at a house. It was so high up. I had to stop him.

“Alex, there is so much more to live for. You told me you wouldn’t. Come on, come here, climb back. Please Alex.” My voice cracked, this couldn't happen.

Alex opened this mouth, a defiant look crossing his face. “Young man! That is illegal! You are not allowed to climb over the fence.” An authoritative voice echoed. “Climb back!” Alex jumped slightly, looking at the guard that was walking near us.

“Jack this is my only chance. You don't understand. I can't pretend anymore. I should have died. I may be selfish for wanting to die, but you are selfish for wanting to force me to live.” He said pleadingly.

The guard was coming closer, yelling at Alex to come back.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered.

“But not enough not to do this.”

With that, he turned around and jumped.

I lunged forward.

I want to tell you that Alex was okay. That everything is fine. That another miracle occurred and he survived. That nothing was broken. That someone managed to catch him. That he’s happy now. That he’s married with a job and three children. That he grew up, grew out of it. That he spread his wings and flew. I want to give this story a happy ending. But that’s not what happened.

The truth was that Alex silently jumped. He didn't fall gracefully.

His body stumbled through the air.
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Well. Um. So. Tell me what you think? Don't kill me? Sorry for taking forever. I'll put the last part up sometime this week (who knows, maybe commenting will make it faster, no pressure though (COMMENT OR I WILL CRY)).

The mess that is this part will make sense next part. I await for the genius who will say something about the you/him differences.