Author: Rakal PM
It's really funny, you know? You almost die a couple of times and nobody cares anymore, but then you almost die in a different way, and suddenly everybody's flocking around you and not letting up. [Kyle's POV.]Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Drama - Kyle B. & Stan M. - Chapters: 30 - Words: 163,219 - Reviews: 263 - Favs: 68 - Follows: 41 - Updated: 04-07-07 - Published: 12-18-05 - id: 2708938
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(By the way, in case you never caught it before, I've been dropping references to the end of Cartman's Incredible Gift throughout a good portion of this fic.) And new South Park episodes are still absolutely incredible.
And with one chapter to go, my weekly updates end. Sorry guys, I don't even fully know what's going to happen in the last chapter, or how long it's going to be, or how it's going to end. So in the mean time… enjoy the last cliff-hanger! It's that one bit that's kept me going for quite a while now.
Really, I wonder what happens to you when you die. Just… Does everything stop, then and there? Is that the end, no returns, no epilogue? You simply cease to exist and that's it? The fact that life itself happens only because of a bunch of great coincidences… Is that, in itself, even true?
What happens? It'd be so much nicer if people could know where their loved ones went, though I guess we don't have any real reason to know the answer. Since it's like that, the case is, most likely, that there's nothing after life. As nice as it is to think of an afterlife, it doesn't seem possible, and the logistics behind it are ridiculously poor. Why even bother with life, then? Besides, we should know if there is something else, shouldn't we?
But absolutely none of these are definite, so I have no idea. All I can do is speculate on it and wish that my mind would numb faster until I finally succumb to the cold.
I'd speed the process up if I could, but I have nothing to do that with.
It's… This is completely absurd. Obviously, I'm overreacting. I'm sure this can still be worked out. I mean, Cartman doesn't even hate me that much anymore. He's my only friend that didn't just hurt me, yet I got frustrated with him for no apparent reason. It's just… He, I, well, I can't tolerate it, this, or him. Everything he does drives me insane and I'd like to strive to prove him wrong each time, because he should be wrong each time. But he never is.
So he can do nothing and even then I'll end up just storming away from him. So I'll get pissed off, which will lead me to irrational decisions. Like the one I'm partaking in right now.
Kenny hasn't even given me his answer yet, and I'm sure it could go either way, but he'll probably just end up forming some kind of a compromise. I don't want a compromise. I want Cartman to just suffer, miserably, friendless and alone, because that's what he should get. I know that it's Kenny's choice, and Kenny's choice alone, but I'm not sure how well I can live with whatever he chooses. It's fucking stupid, but hey, whatever.
After all, where would I go back to, exactly? My home? My parents? My family? Yeah, right. They… I don't know what I would do back there. After all, I told them, right to their faces, that I'm basically a murderer, any way you look at it. How are you supposed to live with that? You're there, trying to tell your kid that he's still a great person, and then he pulls that on you. I've already started enough shit with them. I've… it would just be better.
Wow, this really isn't like me at all. I guess that's just further reason to do this. I just wish it didn't have to take so damn long. But after all this crap that I've done, I deserve no less.
Funny thing is, though, that it doesn't hurt. It's not agonizing and the wait isn't suspenseful. I'm just bored. I have very little to do right now and I'm just… bored. Cartman went through something like this once before, didn't he? Although he had a completely different, and, arguably, much more retarded, reason. And if what he said was true (which may or may not be possible, since you can never tell with that kid), it took him almost a whole day to work.
And I know that someone has a view. I made sure to hide behind the trees this time, so that the view wouldn't work. So that I could be clearly hidden and nobody would be able to stop me, because they wouldn't know where to find me. I just wish that it didn't have to take so much time, but this is the best, as well as the closest option available for me.
At least it's a nice night.
People have all kinds of different ideas on what death is like, but I wonder if they actually follow through with their ideas and truly believe them in their final moments. Whether those final moments are calm and planned, like mine are, right now, or whether they're a sudden shock. It doesn't really make a difference in the long run, though.
But I'm sure the actual moment itself doesn't hurt. It just happens. Nothing has to be for only the good or only the bad. Neutrality is a pretty common occurrence in day-to-day life, but nobody ever recognizes it because it's the least recognizable. A good deal of the time, people don't even consider it as an option. You just have to take a side.
Of course, that's not true, though. But I don't feel like even attempting to take sides in whatever mess this is. It's selfish, and it's an incredibly fucking retarded thing to do, and this is a fine example of being over reactive, but it's the easiest way out. I don't feel like going through this mess I've created. How I've destroyed my future, devastated my family, broken up my group of friends, and nearly allowed the one person more important to me than anything else in this world to be killed while standing on the sidelines and not doing all that I could to save him.
Giving up my life could have shocked both of them into stopping the fight, or it could've given Stan time, or just… Well, I wouldn't be in this situation right now. At least, if I had done that, it would have been quicker. But no, of course not. Naturally, I'm going to be restricted by human limitations and basic human desires: the animalistic ones. Survival of the fittest; the need, and desire, to continue living. It doesn't matter who else gets killed, just as long as it's not me.
And then emotions kick in, resulting in petty, pseudo-suicides like this. Because of the four things that I listed off, the final one is the one that hurts the most. No wonder he wouldn't respond to me. I let him down in some of the biggest ways possible. It's disgraceful, and despite what I've been saying regarding the last time the two of us were together… it was not neutral. It wasn't. It was completely negative in every way. In every way possible, I destroyed him. I let him reach near-death (and who's to say he isn't dead right now?), and because of that, he can't act like himself, because he has to focus all of his energy on simply staying alive. So he can't think clearly. So he can't be him. So he can't respond properly or do anything right.
So I'm out here for him. Maybe our bond is too strong. Maybe everyone was right. That it's not right, not natural, to have a bond this strong. We proved that it did, in fact, end up exceeding friendship, but then it just continued. The damn thing… I don't know how it's possible. It's probably not and simply in both of our heads; and if not Stan's, then at least in mine. It's a ridiculous dependency.
To the point that it comes down to two points. If Stan is still alive, the first point, then my death is only justice. Ever since I first landed myself in the hospital – the first time that wasn't for some kind of disease – Stan got messed up. Then he outs himself to me, and we hate each other. Then we get back together, then I devote all of my energy and attention to fixing myself. And now I'm in better shape than him. So my dying would set things right, if there's even anything to set right to begin with.
The second point relies on Stan having died already. This one's way simpler. After all, if our bond is that strong, and my dependency is this pathetic, then how could I live without him?
So, fucked up as it may be, I'm doing this for the two of us. I'm trying to kill myself for both myself and Stan. The reasoning makes no sense, and I don't expect it to, but it works for me, and that's all I need. It's one final bit of comfort I can take from this whole thing in stride.
I don't know why I feel the need to set this right. I just do. If only for the people that I care about, then to just make myself feel better about it. Especially since I know that people are just going to end up being hurt by this decision, no matter how much I think it's the best for everyone. So really, I'm just doing this for myself, I guess. And I'm pulling up a guise at the same time, trying to trick myself into thinking I'm doing it for everyone else close to me, too.
I don't know if I'm fooling myself or not, so I continue to sit here, just waiting to die and making sure I yell at myself the whole time, all the while trying to figure things out.
It's not very fun.
I wonder what Stan's reaction would be to this if he was fully awake, conscious, and himself. If he wasn't stressed out or about to die or anything. Granted, if he was in that situation, I probably wouldn't be in this situation myself, but hypothetically. I'm sure he'd be devastated. Recalling on past times when I was approaching death, he'd freak out and pull all the stops to try to save me. He'd drop his life for my own. The reverse has never been true.
So what would be up if I wasn't here right now, and if Stan wasn't the way he is right now? I'd still be dying, just in that different way. I'm not myself. Honestly. Killing people? Questioning reality – to this extent? I've been freaked out over what's real and what's not before, but it wasn't in a situation anywhere near this bad.
But throughout this whole thing, and right from the start, I've let my grasp on myself slowly slip away. It's been going on like that how long, now? And all it took to finally let go was one little action: that huge cut across my arm speaks for itself. It's still there. I can still see the scabs, now, as I raise my arm and pull back my sleeve to look at it. It's starting to fade, but it's still there.
And that got the whole thing set off on a snowball. This one incident had just enough force to push the snowball over the edge. Naturally, it was just going to collect more snow. And standing on top of a mountain… there's a lot of snow to collect.
Am I finally reaching the foothills, now, then? Because it doesn't look like anything is about to intercept my pathway and stop me.
But the situation isn't entirely like that. So based on how things actually are, I wonder if Stan will actually care if I die or not, now. If he pulls through and keeps living, how is he going to remember me? That so called 'best friend' who completely screwed him over? He's going to remember me with hate, isn't he? The guy he nearly gave up his own life for to save, while I could do nothing but stand by the sidelines, only for me to end up killing myself anyway.
I doubt he'd even cry. I wouldn't.
Though I'll probably never even end up knowing the real result, because, of course, I'll be dead. And even then, who says anyone's gonna find me?
I can still see those remains near by. They're starting to become more and more clear, and at the same time, they're starting to fade away. I wonder if this just means that I'm approaching death. With death, do answers come? I'll find out what they mean, finally? Or is it just a retarded hallucination on my part, my mind speeding up and slowing down and trying to occupy itself with something else? That's kind of working right now.
I wonder just how well I'll be preserved, if at all. That is, assuming… Well, I still don't know how things are going to turn out. It looks pretty obvious right now, but something easily unexpected could happen. Somebody could come (yeah, right), or I could find a weapon of some sort in order to speed up my death. It'd be more painful, but less boring.
Actually, I wonder if, while those remains are still here… I wonder if I could take one of the bones or something, probably a femur, and use that. If it's still somewhat real to me, would it work? Would it be worth it? Maybe a big branch from a tree is more plausible, but that's gonna be way harder to get.
Although oddly enough, I don't even feel all that weak or frozen right now. I can still move perfectly. It's just kinda cold. I'm sure I'll never be warm again, and what I leave behind will never be warm again, either. I'll cease to produce heat because I won't be able to because I'll be completely dead.
And I won't be happy. I won't be sad. I won't be pissed. I won't be anything. That's what it is afterwards. Just… nothingness. Though really, I should NOT be thinking these things, because I don't know this for sure. And who knows what consequences there may be afterwards? After all, if there's one thing that religion's done right, it's portray whatever god there is as an incredibly cruel, sadistic, over reactive being. So if that's what it's like, then I'm probably just further screwing myself over.
Though I can't say that I don't deserve it. Although it probably isn't even up to me to begin with, to decide what it is that I deserve and what I don't.
But I'm making it my choice. It's the last one I'll ever make and I'm comfortable with that.
But fuck, is this taking a long time. I wouldn't care so much if it just wasn't so fucking boring, but sadly, it is. I have… fuck.
I feel the irresistible urge to beat the shit the shit out of something, so I stand up, turn around, and punch the tree trunk in front of me as hard as I can, both my body and expression fairly rigid in anger.
But once my fist connects with the wood, my body softens and ceases to be as strong. My feet skid back a little, and my eyes widen slightly at the jolt. My mouth is left open a little bit, and my fist suddenly feels much warmer as it starts to burn a little in pain. I pull back and hold my wrist in my other hand as I inspect my fingers. Aside from the nasty scar on the index finger, still there, right from back when that knife was thrown at me, they look clean. Nothing's swelling, and nothing is broken. I flex them and no additional pain springs up.
I continue to stand there stupidly for a moment, and then turn my head to look over at the corpses again. Two of the four hands – one each from a different body – are fucked up in some way, though I can't tell if it's the right or the left ones, or one of each. It doesn't really matter, but looking over every single injury and inspecting them all would give me something to do.
But I don't want to do that. I sit back down with my back against the tree trunk, effectively blocking the view of the deceased (that are still fading away, surprisingly enough), having only taken one more quick, fleeting glance over them. That's the last I want to see.
Because one of those hands was broken.
Sighing, I throw my head back and look at the world and the sky up above me. The snow is falling down, thick globs of white making their way through already-white air. Well, the air looks more milky and foggy than anything else. The trees loom up above me, like in those cliché, stereotypical pictures that so many photographers take; the pine needles spreading out overtop of me, providing a poor shelter as I can still see the night sky peeking through them.
The night sky, itself, is completely dark and black. I see no stars. The moon is not visible. I'm sitting in snow-covered ground, my ass cold and wet from the snow built up all around me. Aside from my own footprints – and they are not many – it's pure and clean. The white sparkles a little bit in a few select places, but I'm not sure where the light is coming from. It can't be coming from the other bits of snow that are still falling.
It's a very winter-y setting. I wonder just how many car accidents there may be out on the road right now, or how many there will be tonight, in general. How many will there be all night, or all day tomorrow? How many deaths are gonna happen?
Providing that I'm lucky, I'll be among them – just a much less gruesome, despairing scene.
I'm starting to feel dizzy from just looking up. The trees only cover half of my vision, and the rest of it is just air and sky, but still. They're in a circular format, and just looking at them is kind of dizzying. I can see the different layers of the pine branches, and the trunks themselves. They're all so cold and stable and rigid and unmoving and unfeeling. And I'm going to be like that, too, aren't I? Or am I already? Not quite physically yet, but… it'll happen. It'll definitely happen. And if not today, some day.
But god, I hope it is today. I… I can't go on like this. I just, I just can't.
Thoughts start flying through my mind at an incredible speed, but I can't even make them out. It just… it just… oh, fuck, fuck, fuck. I… I… It won't, they won't… Fuck, fuck, fuck… I… They… I can't even…
I can't form a single goddamn comprehendible sentence in my own mind. I… Shit, shit, shit. I can't… why? Why am I suddenly feeling this coming on now? My head honestly burns with pain from this. I'd slam it back into the tree but I know that that's only going to make it worse. Way, way worse. It's just… I mean, the tree trunks aren't even exactly smooth. They're rugged and crappy pieces of shit. They're bumpy and nasty all over, and who knows what's been on them?
Oh, this is rich. I'm worrying about the cleanliness of nature as I'm waiting to die. What the hell is that? The air is dirty, too. It's not clear. The sky is dirty. It's clouded up in a mixture of dark greys. That's it. Dark greys. No lights, no black, no blue. It's like both the sky, the clouds, and the air are all trying to conspire against me to make everything feel dirty…
Oh, what the fuck am I saying? That doesn't make any goddamn sense! Great, now I'm going through… Shit, I don't know what I'm going through. This can't be a part of going through death. Not when you're nowhere near it yet and when you still feel perfectly warm and functional. I've still got hours to go. I can still move so, so freely. This is not a part of death yet.
Then why the hell am I thinking up all of this nonsense?
Okay, okay. Focus on something else. My head still hurts and my brain is in complete agony, so I'll focus on something else. The snow. The snow looks great. The little bit of wind that there is is tossing the pieces falling from the sky around gently. And geez, the pieces are so big. But they aren't too numerous, so I can still see ahead of me just fine. I don't think that's a good thing, though. This might go faster if there was more snow falling. And it would reduce the chances of anyone finding me, too.
Although that's not going to happen, of course. Nobody would bother looking for me now.
Although if they were, this place would be the obvious one where to look, wouldn't it? The place where I first tried to end my life. Why the hell did I come here, then? It's so fucking obvious. I shouldn't be making these kinds of assumptions just because I don't think that what I don't want to happen isn't going to. It still could, easily. A much more sensible place to go would be deep into the woods. They're right in front of me.
… But the last time I went in there…
I could have killed myself the last time I was in there, but I had a weapon at that time. I used it, didn't I? Damnit, why didn't I do anything good, then? Did I think that things were going to be fixed then? Is that why I didn't finish myself off?
Or is it just because I can't? I'm relying on nature to do this for me and it's going to be a while. My mind could easily change in a while and I'll end up going back to town, crawling like the pathetic guy that I am, stumbling my way through life at the moment and desperately clinging on to the hope that things are going to end up working out in the end. They won't. But I'll still end up hoping anyway. Like a complete and utter fool.
That's all I am. That's all I fucking am. And yet, I'll do it. How many times have I done this now? It's time to end. I just wish that I could actually act out a rash decision of this magnitude when I have the right mind, and materials, to.
My mind has actually calmed down a bit, though now I'm just completely unsure of what I'm doing.
This snow is deep, but not too deep… What am I doing here, exactly? Okay. Okay. I came out to the place where I first tried to kill myself in hopes of killing myself once again. There's way more stress this time than there ever was the first. This time I actually do have my life pretty screwed over. Which is why I'm trying to get myself killed by freezing to death.
And when I'm gone, those bodily remains right by me should be gone, too. There will be nobody left to see them. The falling snow is covering up the pit that Stan and I dug. Even better. I won't have to see them, my own mind mocking me, when I die.
If I die out here. If. I don't trust myself.
I mentally slap myself around. I'm such a coward; I'm such a callous, uncaring person. I'm worthless. I take and take and take but I never give, and my attempts at giving do more harm than good, I'm sure. Not even Stan, my best friend for years on end, could like me. He… I…
Why is it that I can express my thoughts and feelings so clearly in my mind but I can't show them right now? I… I expressed a bit of anger, I don't know how long ago. I… don't know how much time has passed, it's impossible to tell. But I feel like I've exhausted all my thoughts and my emotions there already. Like there isn't anything else for me to do.
Except fucking show it for once. Why won't I do that? I'll be panicked and rushed in my mind and have a blank, apathetic expression on my face on the outside and just be slouched over. Why do I let that happen? Why does that happen? It… I… I…
I throw my head forward and bring my knees up to my chest. The sight of the trees, the sky, the clouds, the air, the snow, the everything leaves my vision as my pants enter it. I bury my head face-first into my knees and grit my teeth just slightly as my facial features narrow in. I squeeze my eyes tightly shut as I finally cry. It's not exactly cold enough to the point where my tears will freeze. It's not that cold at all. I wonder if I'll even be able to die out here in this temperature.
But I'm finally doing it. I'm… I'm completely broken, I know, but now others can see that. Too bad that the one time where I'm not acting cool and confident is the one time that nobody is going to see me. I'm finally showing myself that I'm weak.
And I have nobody else to show this to. Nobody else is around, for chrissake. It's only me. And that's how it's going to end. Only me.
I remain frozen in this position for a bit, although I'm not actually frozen. Shame. But after I don't know how much time has passed – maybe a lot, maybe barely any at all – I finally raise my head. My arms are wrapped around my legs, pulling them in against my chest rather forcefully, but I'm not forcing my head into anything anymore. I look out, to the side; away from where the corpses would be, assuming they were real. Maybe Stan's the crazy one, not me.
… That's a laugh.
I look away from the area in general, not crying anymore, but still feeling the tears on my cheeks and knowing they're there. I wonder how ugly I look right now – I haven't seen my reflection in a while. But there's gotta be cuts and scabs and dried blood all over. How appealing is that, huh?
How much longer is this going to take? I know that I said before that there was no suffering involved in this, but right now… I have never wanted to reach something so badly in my life. I've fucked up, big time, and I can't tolerate it anymore.
I sniff and fall over on my side. Sighing, I push myself up, and brush the bits of snow off of me. It's still cold, though. This is… I'm miserable. Honestly, why did this happen? How did it? How did this really…
I start to shake, though I don't know if it's from the cold or just how awful this feels. I don't know where this sudden influx of emotion came form, but it feels good to be acting it out, even though I'm still miserable. I'm a pathetic sight. I should not be alive right now, I really shouldn't.
I cry out, just a little – like a little bit of a whimper. It just escapes. But I'm already here, just sitting, shaking, and I don't know where this came from at all. Out of nowhere, I guess? Why am I suddenly so much more torn down? I approached this completely calmly before. What the hell sparked this breakdown?
I can't even express my own feelings. I can barely show them. Either you know what it's like or you're lucky.
I thrash about violently, just a little bit, and end up slamming my back right into the tree trunk. At first I grit my teeth and mutter curses, as more tears, this time of pain, spring to my eyes, and I just don't know what to do. My swears increase in volume quite quickly until I finally yell it out.
"God DAMN IT!" I scream. Instantly, I clap my hands over my mouth, my eyes widened and looking about in fear. I hope nobody was anywhere near here, but who am I kidding? This isn't too far from the town, and the sound fucking echoes. I'm surrounded by mountains. It's going to fucking echo.
I should move.
So I get up and walk out and away from the small patch of trees, limping slightly. I don't know why I'm limping, though, since I didn't even hurt my leg. I still continue to clutch my right wrist, which is still a little sore. I move out and into the open, surrounded by only snow, and look around, trying to decide where I should go. I'm a bit hesitant to enter the forest again, and I shouldn't move any closer to my town.
Maybe, if I go through the forest, I'll reach the other side, somewhere far away, with nobody else around, and there I can—
I whirl around to see Stan standing right there. His hand is clutching his left shoulder, and he's got a bit of a limp himself, I can see, as he stumbles right towards me. My legs spread further apart suddenly as I lower and come closer to the ground, but only just slightly, and I lose feeling in my arms and let them drop simply to my sides. I stare at him, mouth open only slightly, and I have no idea what to think or feel. I stop crying immediately, but don't brush away the tears. I can't.
I right myself by getting better footing, but I still can't react. All I do is stand here, dumbly, without a single real thought in my mind. I don't know what I should do. What's he here to do, anyway? What's he going to do? This isn't going to go well, is it? Of course not, but… ahh…
I don't even try to say anything. I just stare at him. He doesn't approach, but stares right back at me. I can't read his expression at all. We're too far apart. "What the hell are you doing?" he calls across, covering the distance between us rather easily with his voice. And again, I'm not too sure what to say.
But I feel ashamed, so I turn my gaze away from him. I've been doing that a lot lately. I guess I just have a lot to feel completely awful about… But I don't even know why I feel bad right now. I don't even know what he's doing here. Maybe it's just simple curiosity—
What the fuck am I saying? He wouldn't randomly come out here on simple curiosity. But would he come out here if he was incredibly pissed at me, then?
"… Stan?" I call back out, uncertainly. I start to back up a little bit.
"Kyle, what the hell are you doing?" Stan repeats, taking a few more steps forward. "What are you doing out here?" He's half-falling over. He's somewhat stumbling towards me, still clutching at his shoulder, his right side higher than his left. I stand stock-still. It's not that I can't move, it's that…
"I—" How do I finish that sentence? Do I actually answer him? Did he come out here because he actually cares about me, or just to yell at me some more? What the hell is he doing out here, anyway? How did he get out here? Okay, so, obviously, he's still visibly hurt, but…
I can't even discern his tone. I have no idea. "What the fuck are you doing out here, Stan?" I demand, calling across the distance separating us. Take the attention off of me and onto him until I know exactly how he'll actually react to his best friend trying to kill himself. Because I can't even tell what mood he's in right now.
"That's not important!" he calls back, not falling for it. "I came out here to look for you – what are you doing out here, Kyle?"
This is just going to end up going in circles. I should leave while I get the chance; he can't catch up to me. So I just turn around and start walking away, my limp gone, now. Good. "Stan, this isn't going to go anywhere. I just… I just need to go, okay?"
"Go where?" he shouts.
"Go…" Do I lie? Do I even finish the sentence? I stop walking and turn back around. I'm not sure how far away Stan is, but the snow is obscuring my vision. I take a few steps forward, towards him, this time. I see no change in Stan's body language, although I'm having a hard time actually seeing him right now.
I simply let my voice trail off. "Kyle?" Stan calls back out. He stands there, uncertainly, I think. "What is it? Look, dude—"
"Stan, why are you really here?" I snap out as it finally sinks into me that he isn't really here to just look for me. There's no way. He has got to hate me. "You don't care how I'm doing, do you? I mean I—I almost got you killed, dude. Just… Just leave, would you? I've fucked everything up, and I've completely lost you now, haven't I? Let me fix these done deeds in my own way. Alright?"
"Kyle!" Stan calls back out, his voice taking on a slightly more desperate tone than before. I take another few steps towards him, and now, I'm starting to see him in a bit more clarity. "Look, dude, forget about last night! I'm… I'm sorry, Kyle! I couldn't have—You don't know how hard it is—Kyle, come here, please!" He limps forwards a bit more.
I stand there, dumbly, for a moment, before rushing forward and helping him keep his balance. He looks like he's going to topple over. I don't know if it was what he just said, or if I still care for him too much. It's that pathetic strong fucking dependency again, isn't it?
I support him and we move back over to the spot where I first was – right by the trees. Stan winces as I let him go, and he clutches at his shoulder in an even tighter grip. I rip his hand away from it and shove him backwards. "Really, what are you doing out here?" I'm so convinced that he despises me. Who wouldn't by now?
"Kyle, shut up!" he bites out at me. "Seriously! Please, just, last night… I'm sorry, Kyle! How many times am I going to have to say it? It's already bad enough for me that I tried coming out here—"
I stop listening right at that moment. So then, wait… He really is sincere about this? He came out looking for me, just to apologize? No way. I mean, I'd have thought that…
I still mean something to someone? That's amazing, but where do I go from this? I still can't go back anywhere. I'm still completely screwed.
I finally wipe away the tears that had been sitting there for a while. Stan, wearily, reaches for his shoulder again. His eyes are shut and his teeth gritted as he hisses through them – he's in pain. "Stan, you should go back," I say. "You shouldn't be out here. How the hell did you get out here?"
"I… snuck out of the hospital," he says. Noticing the look on my face, he continues. "Yeah, don't worry, though. I managed to find you, so we can go back now."
"Go back where?" I snap out, yet again, unable to control my temper.
Stan blinks in confusion and looks up at me. "… Home, Kyle," he says. "We can go back home. To South Park. Kenny and Cartman visited me in the hospital, and I think we've got everything under control—"
"I can't go back home!" I snap out. "Look, it's very nice that Cartman and Kenny are feeling better, but where am I supposed to go, Stan? I've gone beyond all of you guys. I've killed people. My parents know this now. Where do you want me to go, huh?"
Stan blinks again. "Well… home," he says. "You go back home. Your parents will be fine. I'm sure they still care about you, dude. What happened to counselling?"
"You're missing the fucking point!" I hiss back at him. "So what, I'm not going to be punished for killing three people?"
"One of those people was Kenny!"
"Okay then, two people that will actually stay dead and never come back."
"… Two? I thought there was just that gothic chick—"
"Yeah, well, guess again," I snap. "That's not how it turned out. And you're telling me that I should go back, and try to get everything sorted out for myself? Me, me, me? Is that it, Stan? I should just focus on making myself happy and pretend that none of this ever happened? And where is the justice in that?"
Stan blinks, yet again, although this time some snow has gotten into his eyes. He rubs at his shoulder lightly. "And coming out here and running away was going to be justice?" he asks.
"I wasn't out here to run away. I'm trying to die," I flatly respond, finally fessing up. Before he has the chance to truly respond and do more than open his mouth, I continue, right away. "I can't handle this anymore, Stan. I've screwed up way too badly and this isn't going to be fixable. So I'm going for the quicker, easier solution. I know it's stupid, but I just can't stand my life anymore. There's nothing wrong with life itself, just… mine…"
I drop back down to the ground and curl up in a ball, leaning against the tree trunk. "Just please, go away dude, and let me do this. I'm doing this for you, too."
Stan kicks snow in my face. "What the fuck are you saying, Kyle? You… don't do this! Get up." Obviously, I don't. "Get up!" Stan shouts, coming down to eyelevel with me. "Honestly I'd pull you up right fucking now if I could but I can't. Kyle, I am not letting you talk like this and I am not letting you believe this shit. How in the hell are you doing this for me when I want you to fucking live."
"You were in the hospital, weren't you?" I mutter. "You were in there. You were near-death, while your injuries haven't been anywhere near as great as mine. I've gotten hurt way more than you and yet nobody said I was 'near-death'. Nobody ever mentioned that I'd be as bad off as you seemed to be. How the hell is that fair? I've gotten away with too much and I just don't deserve life."
Growling, Stan lets go of his shoulder to push my head up so that we're staring directly at each other, eye-to-eye. "That's bullshit and you know it. I'm not that bad off. It's just hitting you way worse because you happen to care about me more than you care about yourself. Don't do that, dude. Keep yourself alive—"
"Who the hell are you to be lecturing me on this?" I lash out again, suddenly, and close the gap between our faces so we're pretty much breathing right on each other. "That fight we had, with Cartman. You were all over the place and trying to save both of our asses, while I was only looking out for myself. How the hell does that fit into what you're saying, huh? You cared more about my life back there than you did for yours, didn't you? Why?"
"Because I fucking love you!" Stan snarls, and I'm sure we both catch on to just how badly the words and the tone clash. "Get it out of your head that nobody likes you! Even if your family won't take you back, even if Kenny was lying and hates your guts now, I will not abandon you just like that. If you're dying out here then I'm going with you."
I roll my eyes. "You're being a fucking idiot."
Stan simply gawks at that. "Look who's talking!" He finally pulls away from me. "You don't even care how much this is hurting me right now, do you?"
"And vice versa!" I lash right back. "I don't appreciate your false words!" I slap Stan after saying that. I pull back and away from his face and slap him right on it. My hand stings and I'm sure his cheek stings, and my wrist is more sore, now, since I did just slap him with my right hand. All it does is hang there limply now, and I'm too scared to try using it again.
"What the hell?" Stan cries out, making direct eye contact with me. "What the fuck was that for? I'm not lying, Kyle! I don't appreciate your disbelief and distrust! For the love of god, would you stop thinking about yourself and only yourself? Consider someone else's feelings—"
"How the hell could you still—"
"I just fucking said—"
Stan cuts himself off at that point. We both simply stare at each other, breathing a bit heavily, nostrils flaring and feeling the cold all-too-well on our faces. Nobody says anything. It's completely silent except for the bit of the icy wind whistling through the air. Finally, I stand up and start to walk away. Not into the forest, not towards South Park, just… away.
"Kyle," Stan calls out after me, rather flatly. I hear him struggling to push himself back off the ground behind me. I want to just not turn around, and to just keep on moving ahead without a second thought, but… I still do love him. I want to at least look… So I turn back around to see him just barely succeed in standing as upright as he can, although his right side is still higher than his left. "I don't care what you've done. I don't care what you will do, just as long as you don't separate us again."
Again. We both know what he's getting at. When he first confessed to being gay. And we fought then, and what it took to get us back together was an extreme hallucination on my part.
Maybe I should believe him. He did come out here, despite his current state, as well as these weather conditions. The only thing he's yelled at me for is not believing that he's being completely sincere in his words. The integrity, the honesty, the sincerity in everything about him. It's gotta be…
I sigh, and rub at my temples just a little, and start to shake with somewhat calmed, hysterical, dry sobs. I've been such an idiot.
"But dude, I still can't go back," I say, speaking up again and hoping that he'll catch on and just follow along. "So I mean something to you, but my parents… No way. I can't go back there. Even before I told them that I'm no better than a common criminal, I was still terrified of living there. I don't know why, since they haven't done anything to me." I lower my hand and allow Stan to see my face in its entirety. If he still loves me, even with this… "I can't live there if just the thought of it horrifies me. I just can't."
Stan remains where he is, but looks over his shoulder, back at South Park. "So what do you want to do, then?" he asks. "I can't just up and leave my family, I can't just ditch like this."
"So then… Maybe some day, in the distant future, we'll cross paths again?" I grin, weakly, and shrug. Stan just pinches the bridge of his nose and shakes his head.
"Kyle, if you're going to end up killing yourself, then that's not what's going to happen. And even if you don't… You are aware of how retarded that sounds, aren't you?"
"… Yeah, I am," I answer, kind of blankly. "Sorry." This scene is so awkward. Stan's right, what do we do? He doesn't want to die. I want to die. Yet we don't want to be separated from each other.
Stan lowers his gaze and stares at the ground, kicking up little bits of snow. He doesn't say anything, but he's thinking. I don't know why he's bothering, though. No matter what happens, the two of us aren't going to end up getting all that we want out of all of this. It's hopeless. It's just… not going to happen.
Suddenly his kicking stops, but he remains standing there, completely motionless. "Stan?" I ask quietly. "I'm sorry…" My voice trails off a little, and I let it fade out. Silence overtakes the scene once again.
"Shut UP!" Stan suddenly shouts. I blink and take a small step back, a little taken aback by this sudden outburst. "Just shut UP!" he screams again, and I wonder what's up with that slow reaction time. What was he thinking about after I told him that I was sorry? Is it that bad? Am I the one being that insincere?
He's been facing the ground this whole time, but now, he finally raises his head, his face, and stares me directly in the eye. I can see the tears present on his face this time as his arms spread themselves wide, too. He chokes on his breath for a second, and I'd move to help him, but I don't think he wants that. "Shut UP!" he shouts again, "You don't mean a DAMN thing you're saying, so just shut UP!"
"W-what?" I question, almost afraid to do so. Just when I'm ready to talk civilly with him, he turns around on me.
"All… all this!" Stan continues, still staring me dead-on. "You don't mean any of it! You've repeated your exact same mistakes over, and over, and over! How the hell could you possibly be sorry and mean it? What the fuck possessed you to say such a thing? And do you honestly think that lowly of me that I'd actually believe you?"
I don't give any form of a response. I don't know what to say. Really. This was… After Stan came to me so tearfully just minutes ago, begging my forgiveness, and now, he's suddenly lashing out at me. The shock is starting to wear off a bit and I'm starting to get pissed in its place. I don't exactly have a very long fuse. "What the hell are you talking about, Stan?" I answer, a small tinge of hostility now in my voice.
He stays exactly where he is, but his tone gets a little harsher. "It's all been about you! You and only you! Everything that's happened for the past month? You. You, you, you. Kyle, Kyle, Kyle. That's all you've cared about, yourself. You've completely neglected the feelings of those around you—"
"What the fuck do you think, Stan?" I snap, cutting him off, not willing to take a straight line of abuse. "Who else am I supposed to think about, huh?"
"Spoken like a truly selfish man!" Stan snarls right back. "Nobody else matters, just as long as I'm okay! So that's ground enough for you to ignore everyone else, huh? Everyone else's woes? And everyone else is the bad guy, never you! No, it couldn't possibly be all of Kyle's fault! Let's ignore the fact that he's the one who's destroyed his own life, nobody else, and hey, how about he destroys the person closest to him, too! Huh, how about that? Let him break up a group of people who have been friends since pretty much birth, and let him blame somebody else! Because Kyle's perfect! He's definitely the good guy here!"
I don't know how to properly respond to all of this mocking. I honestly don't. But I take a few steps forward, raising my fists in anger, just about ready to kick Stan's ass. But not just yet. He can blow the rest of his steam off, and if he's still angry by then, well… Who cares if he's hurt? I'm hurt, too. That's a fair match.
"So what the hell are you getting at, then, Stan? What do you want from me?"
"What do I want from you?" he snaps right back, raising his own fists as well. "What do I want. Well, now, it's hard to say. But I do wish that you could just go back in time and recognize what you're doing to other people. Causing them to worry about you—"
"Look, who are you to judge how I should treat my family—"
"It's not all about your FUCKING FAMILY!" Stan screams once again, and I nearly back down. It's a little… frightening. "They're not the only ones who have the entitlement to be allowed to worry about you, you know! I did! Right from the moment you got in the hospital! I didn't know you had been sick. So when I figured out that you were there, I went there. And naturally the first thought I was going to have was that you did that to yourself. You refused to go into any details. I didn't think it was like you, but you never actually said anything. So I did what any good friend would have done. I worried. I wondered why you had done something like that. If I hadn't been a good enough friend, or… what? Was it my fault that you had cut yourself? Was it something else? But you weren't even willing to fucking admit it. So I questioned myself right from that point, and from then on, it spiralled completely out of control for me. And the other shit you were pulling at exactly the same time, while I was having a mental battle with myself, didn't help much, either. But of course, you were able to overlook the frustrations I had, and you were able to easily block out anyone else's problems and substitute your own in their place.
"And then you attacked me. Honest to god, we were talking about our current problems, and I felt that, finally, I could get you to listen to me and what was on my mind. That maybe then this would all stop for me. But no, you had to go and attack me instead. We fought. Then things got resolved. Then you went missing, then you randomly showed up, then I nearly died, and here we are.
"And what do you think happened to me during those periods of time? Not you, me. What do you think I did? I guess I'm a little too emotional, huh? That I just need you that badly. Sure, it was only a couple of days. Sure, I was able to tolerate it in the first few. But after this shit kept on happening, what do you think I did? Guess how many times I attempted suicide, Kyle. Guess. Let's see if you can come anywhere near the correct number."
I look directly into his eyes, trying to figure out just what he's getting at. "Don't tell me that you're expecting pity from someone who's tried to kill himself before."
"I'm not," he says. "I'm not expecting any pity from you. After all, I'm sure that what I went through isn't anywhere near as horrifying as what you've been going through." That tone in his voice, the exceeding amounts of sarcasm, they're really starting to piss me off. I raise my fists again and take on a more aggressive stance as he continues his berating me. "I'm trying to see if you can guess how much our friendship really meant to me."
"Some of those things were completely out of my control!" I yell at him.
Stan shakes his head and takes a step forward. "Not all of them, and even then you fail to recognize somebody other than yourself. It's not too hard to ignore a sideline, is it, Kyle? This whole time, I was worrying about you, and I had myself to worry about as well. You were dying on me so many times and I couldn't do anything about it. That hurt."
"So what was the number?" I snap, closing the gap between us and finally hitting Stan right in his shoulder. I've been wanting to do that for a while now. I am not going to listen to somebody talk down on me that much and do nothing about it, especially when they won't even listen to me.
Stan cries out and completely lets go of his shoulder. "What the fuck, Kyle!" he snarls, and raises his left hand. And I finally see what he has. He's got my knife in his left hand. He switches it over to his right hand and points it right at me. "Seriously, what the fuck."
The sight of the weapon doesn't put me off too much, since I've seen it – and been hurt by it – numerous times already. But that still doesn't quite explain, "Why the hell do you have that thing here?"
"Coming out into the wilderness? It helps to be a little prepared," he says, raising his hand and looking directly at the still blood-stained blade. "Though of course, I guess it has another use out here now, huh?" He points it right back at me.
And then suddenly he lunges forwards, and catches me, right on the arm. The right arm, to be specific. The one with that huge, long cut, right on it. And he nails it, exactly, reopening the wound and causing it to go deeper than it ever has been before. The blood starts coming out fairly quickly as I gawk. He got it exactly.
"You want to die, right? That's the first way you tried it, right? So is this what you want?"
The pain is incredible, but this is a whole new fucking level of betrayal. This is fucking—I can't even form a proper opinion on it. But I'm blinded by rage, and I don't think clearly. I reach out with my left hand and grab at the knife before Stan can do much else with it. The blade digs into the palm of my hand and a nasty, new cut opens up, with more blood rushing out, but I don't care. I notice it, but right now… shit. I switch the knife over to my right hand and go for Stan's neck. Unfortunately, I'm a little dizzy already, so I end up missing and going a bit higher than expected, slashing Stan's right cheek, starting just below his eye. I just barely missed it.
I stand in position for a bit and sway, blood gushing rather steadily from my arm and my hand. I try to shake it off, but before I can, Stan – with way faster reflexes than mine – kicks me in the gut and uses my short moment of being stunned to get the weapon back himself, punching my own face at the same time. He actually takes it by the handle, and makes another jab at me. I earn a deep cut on my right shoulder, and my arm flops down. My eyes flick over to my right side and I swear I can see a bit of the bone.
This knife is fucking sharp.
I take a few steps back as Stan takes a few steps to the side, and we circle each other a bit. I'm already feeling really woozy, so now he's doing way better than I am. And this angers me to an insane extent. Just as Stan lunges for me, I dive right under it and tackle him to the ground. I manage to grab the knife back, but I'm forced to use my left hand now, which is bleeding. If I'm lucky, the blood will act as an adhesive, and I'll be the one stuck with the knife.
I stab Stan's right hand with the damned thing, digging straight into the back of it, and then kick him over and slash the knife a few times across the back of his knees. He kicks out with one and muffles a cry of pain, but it succeeds in knocking me off of him. I fall on the ground myself as he turns over, but doesn't stand up. The snow is nowhere near as clean as it was before: we've been stepping all over it, and now, it's red with blood.
A lot of blood. From both of us.
I feel like I'm going to pass out, so in a move of a bit of desperation, I throw the knife at Stan. It cuts right through the air with its point landing only about an inch or so from where Stan's heart must be, and keeps itself there. Stan stares at it as blood starts to show itself form the area, and then retaliates by pulling it out. The blood flow increases, but that is ignored as he slashes at me. We're just close enough that all he has to do is reach forwards and he traces the exact cut on my neck.
"Did you do that one to yourself, too?" Stan asks, his tone no longer all that harsh. It's much more weakened. I open my mouth to respond but only end up coughing blood.
I'm really, really dizzy now. I'm gushing blood, and the wound on my arm, in particular, is hurting the most. He got it exactly. What the hell does that even mean?
Both hands were fucked up.
I reach for the knife again and manage to get it with my left hand. I lunge in desperation, and hit a spot closer to Stan's heart, though I don't actually hit it, as far as I know. We struggle for a bit, and end up tossing the knife away. I look at it and realize that I'm not going to have enough strength to retrieve it. Neither is Stan.
Two corpses out here. Two.
I glance around at all of the snow as my vision starts to dim. The snow falling from the sky is still clean, sure, but around us, it's sprayed red. And under us, it's completely concentrated. We're both lying in pools of our own blood, unable to really get up. I'm unable to actually say anything, and if Stan can, well, he isn't using that to his advantage.
You thought that you knew the identities, but at the same time, you couldn't place your finger on it.
I stare up at the sky. It's unyielding. It's still a dark, stormy grey.
But they were still familiar to you. You probably just couldn't fathom who they could possibly be.
I take one last, desperate glance over to the bodies. They aren't there. We're not in their exact spot – actually quite a bit of a distance out from them – but I should still have a clear enough view. But I can't see them.
I try to look over at Stan. He's still sitting up, although he's breathing heavily. Actually, I am too, now that I think about it. My breaths are getting more and more strained, and my vision is fading faster than ever. It's not the blindness I'd be randomly hit with before, though, and it certainly isn't blood getting in my way. Looking at Stan's eyes, they're looking a little glassy.
He looks down at me and I look up at him.
And what about those other things you somehow knew about, huh? Why'd you give Stan that gun? What was that feeling you had?
We don't break our stare. It's hard to read each other's expressions, and we can't actually say what we feel. Or at least, I can't. Maybe I just can't hear. Come to think of it, I can't hear the wind anymore, although I can still feel it.
Or maybe that's just a general coldness.
But the bit I still can see are definitely Stan's eyes. I can't break the stare. Kind of like with…
Do you recognize them now?
I do. This shit that's been going on… I guess I knew it was going to happen. No wonder those corpses seemed so familiar to me. It's kind of hard to not be familiar with yourself in at least some way. And now that I can actually believe, and understand this… Yeah, I was one of them.
I don't even feel how cold it is from the wind now. I don't feel the snow beneath me, even as my body gives out and sacrifices all of its strengths and I flop down. All I can do now is gaze out at the snow in front of me; some parts red, some white. I stare out at that for as long as my sight stays with me, which isn't much longer. Things fade to black, and I feel nothing.
I guess that's what life is. It's just a big story for each of us, and once it's over, that's the end. Even if there are things that haven't been resolved, and have yet to be tied up – death doesn't care. Once it strikes, that's the end of the story. And there's no epilogue.
I hear a soft thud beside me and that's it.