|Set in Stone?
Author: Paper Lullabye PM
Mark's masochistic, April's an idiot, and assumptions are bad for you. The story is much more serious than the summary. [RogerApril, can be read as MarkApril. Oneshot.]Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - April E. & Mark C. - Words: 813 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-01-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3813997
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
If I was sick, I'd have gotten Roger sick, and Roger can't be sick, he doesn't deserve to be sick, he was so much more careful than I was and he can't be sick, he isn't sick so I'm not sick, we're not sick...
Roger's results read postive.
April didn't cry
She'd like to say this was the inevitable conclusion to her life. That there's a poetic parallel from the first moment she slid the needle into her arm, holding her breath as the sweet poison flowed in, and right now as she slides the box cutter down her arm, holding her breath as tainted blood flows out. She'd like to make mental poetry about the glorious red of her blood as it mixes with the bathwater, washing over her body in tiny waves as she rocks herself into a more comfortable position to wait for the end.
She wants to be able to explain to anyone she meets, in Heaven or Hell or Purgatory, that every day since she first shot up has just been bringing her a day closer to this. Or maybe it was set in stone earlier, she'd say (more to herself than her listener, paired with a half-sad, part-wistful, part-resigned look in her eyes as she gazed into the past, at the world behind her listener) -- it started when she moved into the Loft, maybe, or when she met Roger; when she left home with nothing but two notebooks, a pack of pens, a jacket, an extra pair of underwear, and a hundred bucks; when her father died and her mother suddenly became a slut obsessed with molding her daughter into the perfect wife; the day she was born. It was Fate, she'd conclude with a heroic sigh, and head off into her next life with absolutely nothing to her name.
She wants to be able to say all of this, but it's crap. Poetic, pretty crap that would sell, if she could hit on the right words and the right, sympathetic protagonist that was not too saintly, but not a devil. It doesn't happen in real life, though -- not in her real life, though she's probably only six degrees away from it, like she's six degrees away from her favorite modern writer (K. A. Applegate), or the guy who invented post-its, or a random person in Alaska. She's always been a big believer in the six degrees theroy.
In fact, there's probably only six degrees between her and people who are, at this very moment as she slides the box cutter down her other wrist, putting a gun to their head in their bedroom, popping pills in their kitchen, and hanging themselves from a tree in their backyard. And they, too, would love to say it was written into their DNA, a genetic flaw they couldn't escape.
Anyone who said that was fucking kidding themselves. Nothing in her blood said it would have to eventually come out in the messiest way possible. She'd just fucked up.
It couldn't be long now. So much blood had come out in the few minutes since she'd put down the blade. Or maybe it was seconds. Didn't matter much now. After everything went black, or whatever the fuck was going to happen, she'd have eternity to debate how long it took for her to die.
She still hadn't cried.
Mark didn't know why he was such a sucker for punishment. Half his scripts were about the exact subjects (love and religion) that hurt him most, almost all of them cast his girlfriend in roles where she kissed (or more) his best friend.
He'd always been like that, really -- watching movies he knew he'd hate ("research"), not looking away from things that made him physically ill, putting himself in situations where he knew his best hope would be getting scraped up a little. Sometimes, he really suspected he was a masochist.
Impulses like that lead to things like cleaning out April's old closet, rationalized by the thought that someone had to eventually -- he and Roger couldn't share a bedroom forever, he'd never get any sleep. Impulses like that lead to him digging in the pocket of her jacket when he noticed how full it looked; to him unfolding the paper he found among gum wrapped, coins, subway tokens, and pen caps.
April's test results stared up at him, somehow sinister, if a piece of paper could be sinister. He never realized before that the note she'd left had been on the back of Roger's results -- he'd never found April's.
April's results read negative.
Mark didn't cry.