Disclaimer: You know the drill… I do not own Hey Arnold or any of the characters. (It would make an awesome birthday gift though)

Author's note: Okie dokie, I actually wrote something :) Well, I mean… something new. I decided to definently just finished OPSAWL to my orginal conclusion, I'll make sure to leave closure but also room for a sequel if I decide to write one. I have so many ideas that I want to write out, and my schedule seems to have over booked itself. Damn job… SO… I want to have finished OPSAWL by next week. I think I can do it.

I wrote this last night, I had time before work and I just sat down and began writing. The words were flowing like crazy. I was in shock. It's first person point of view (I could always change it, if it's easier for you to read thrid person) But I wrote it like this because it helps the reader feel what the main character is feeling. This is simply a set up chapter, so it'll be confusing an awkward, because you won't know what's going on. Next chapter will be much more smooth. It's not hard to tell who's point of view it is, so don't worry. I must say that it's a morbid/dark story. The quotes, seperating the scenes, have very little with anything to do with the scene. It's a scene breaker. Nothing more. They don't reveil any type of secret I'm trying to hide from you.

Ok… enough ranting Read, tell me what you think. I like getting feedback ((There WILL be grammar mistakes, I can personally only catch so many and the computer I truly believes adds them sometime, during spell/grammar mistakes)) So feedback about grammar is already known and thank you for telling me again in advance. I really do try to make it was smooth as possible. The reading that is. If you want to see something happen, or want me to change the p.o.v. of the sotry, just Review ((Or email or harrass me while I'm aim)) And I'm sure we can come to some aggreement :)

Jeez I wrote a lot… sorry… Ok Hope you Enjoy! Next chapter will be better :). Look for a chapter to OPSAWL maybe tomorrow night? Hopefully… we'll see :) R&R!

(Remember fairy dust? When did that stop working?)

She was coughing again.

I was slowly going out of my mind. There couldn't ever just be a day where for once it was a good day.

I heard my mother rushing up the staircase. I imagined her arms full of medicine and water as she ran passed my closed door.

I sighed as I pulled the pillow closer around the sides of my face, staring at the white ceiling.

I had to get some sleep. I had three tests tomorrow, then a newspaper meeting, and finally I had to rush to my job and work until eight, only to come home and spend half the night helping my mother and half the night doing whatever homework I couldn't get done during school.

There were days where I was surprised the school nurse wasn't calling me in and asking me straight out if I was on drugs. I wouldn't blame her if she did.

Silence filled the second floor of our townhouse. I lowered the pillows and basked as I heard the soft sound of cars driving slowly down Veranda Street.

It didn't last long. It never does. Her throat erupted with dry coughs, each more bitter then the last.

My body tensed up, I suddenly felt extremely hot. I looked around as the room became blurred. I desperately began rubbing my eyes as hot tears stung brutally. They rolled down my face as I stared at the ceiling.

It always got like this. Late at night, when I couldn't sleep because she was in the room next to me, slowly dying. It shouldn't have hurt this badly. Blood is always thicker then water I suppose.

It seemed almost endless but soon her coughing died down. I hoped for good, tonight. The medicine was stronger then her last, usually it worked through out the night.

I continued to wipe my eyes until the tears ceased and I was able to clearly focus on my ceiling again. Waiting for the next thing to happen.

I was soothed by the sobs that erupted from my mother's bedroom. I shouldn't have been, but I was. Sobbing meant that at least my mother was ok, that she was still alive. Sobbing meant that it wasn't all right but that didn't mean it wouldn't get better.

Even though we both knew it wouldn't.

Sobbing was the end of the ritual. She had stopped coughing for now and my mother was safely tucked into her bedroom. All it meant was I could go to sleep and have dreams and nightmares alike.

I think it was sixth grade that I stopped having real dreams.

That sounded right, sixth grade. I rolled over and faced the curtained window.

It had been four years. That didn't seem like a lot. Maybe it wasn't.

I fell asleep counting how many times she had kept me up through out the night coughing.

It was my counting of sheep.

I'm that screwed up.

(And in a world gone mad, you were my pillar of saneness…)

I sat in my fourth period class trying to pay attention to the board. Trying is the main word. My thoughts wandered off to what was happening in my house as I sat in school. My safe haven it seemed.

I thought something could have happened. Maybe she had to go to the hospital. What if my mother woke up and found her dead? What would happen after that?

Common sense took over and assured me that if anything happened the nurse would call me down or better yet, I was allowed to take cell phone calls. I had the power to grab my ringing cell phone walk out of the class and answer it. This seemed to calm my nerves.

I can't remember when I had learned to care. Maybe it wasn't learned. Maybe I just decided it was time. One might never know.

Distantly I heard the bell. I gathered my books and walked out of the class.

I watched the familiar faces talk in their cliques, laughing and giggling.

My locker was on the East Side of the high school. It took five minutes to walk there and then five minutes to walk to the cafeteria. I found this to be useful information.

I felt my lips move into a smile as I saw my best friend leaning against my locker. She smiled back warmly, pretending that we both were having good days. Scratch that, good lives.

"Hey." She said, her smile never faltering.

"Hey." I said, though my tone was not as smooth as hers was. Somewhere during the game I lost my ability to shield my feelings and emotions. Four years ago sounded about right though.

She began talking.

I turned and took her in. Her raven hair was up in two buns on either side of her head. She was wearing jeans and red turtleneck. She had gotten taller maybe two or three inches under my height of 5'7". She looked happy, content, almost perfect, I mused. She always tried to smile for me. I don't know why though. I wouldn't have smiled for me.

It took a few seconds but I no longer heard her voice in my head. I looked to see her smiling brightly, staring past me; she was slightly blushing, and was waving shyly.

I turned my head quickly, my long blonde hair raising from my shoulders. I looked to where she was staring at and saw two boys walking down the hall. I hadn't noticed how tall they had gotten until now. They had to be at least 6'2", if not taller.

One of them, the blonde one, was simply known as the obsession. The boy walking next to him was his long time friend, as well as my best friend's boyfriend of four months. They smiled back at us, well at her, and even went so far as to wave. I nodded my head in acknowledgement but turned quickly back to my locker.

I felt the need to cry. But I wouldn't dare, not in school. She turned and looked at me. Scolding almost.

"What?" I heard myself ask.

"Nothing." She said, a small sigh escaping from her lips.

I gently closed my locker door and we headed to lunch. I could hear her thinking, trying to figure out what to say next, whom to bring up.

Last year I had figured out that I had become a social outcast. Only dealt with by my closest and only friend. I don't know when it happened, slowly I guess. There was only three people in school, mostly, who went so far as to say more then five words to me. My best friend, her boyfriend, and the obsession. Other then the casual others who tried to limit their sentences to me ten words or less, no one else bothered.

My teachers talked to me, mostly to say how they admired my work and congratulate me on my superior grades. Second to only one or two other people in the grade (my best friend included).

Personally, I didn't like talk. I didn't like answering questions or being constantly asked if I was ok. So the fewer the people who tried talking to me, the happier I found myself at the end of the day.

"There you are!" The obsession's friend said, coming up to us, taking her in his arms.

"Gerald!" She said, giggling. On some level I hated them, because of this little display and all the emotions attached. Yet, I was happy for her.

It's one hell of a web I weave.

We walked to a table near the cafeteria doors. They sat there for me. I enjoyed watching the cool breeze of January sweep along the barren trees.

I sat down and began staring into the chilling day. It was around fifteen degrees they were predicting snow. I love snow. However, snow means issues for her, it's harder to run out and get medicine in the snow. Last year our heater broke, she had to go to the hospital, I had to stay with my father, and my mother had rented a hotel room a block away from the hospitable. Winters were always my favorite season. It was just inconvenience now.

"Aren't you going to eat?" I turned and looked at the obsession. He was still trying to break through my walls, after all these years.

"I'm not hungry." I said. I really wasn't, not after watching her throw up almost everything that touched her lips.

"You should really eat." I heard him say.

"I'm really not hungry." I repeated a bit more forcefully. This however didn't bother him. He was so use to my tones that it no longer made him flinch.

"You're going to cause yourself an early death with that attitude." He said, his eyes slightly narrowing.

My heart stopped as his words processed into my mind. I felt the need to begin screaming at him, hysterically crying about how he was a selfish asshole. How his life was perfect.

I think all I did was stare at him.

"Screw. You." I said, ice clinging to my words. I had no real reason to get mad. He had no idea what was going on with me. He never has.

I grabbed my books and pushed open the large cafeteria doors.

It felt refreshing. I was numb enough not to feel the icy hands of Mother Nature.

Somehow, I think I felt alive.

There was a bench not to far from the doors. During spring and the beginning of summer we could sit outside and have lunch.

We'd also read and have group sessions on which president would screw our country further into the ground. Well, I at least did these things.

I stared at the barren trees that sat in the back of the school. I enjoyed sitting out here. I had stopped getting colds and the flu when I turned ten. I could safely play in the snow without a care in the world. Where as, if she even opened the window we could probably begin writing her obituary.

It never used to be like this.

I heard the cafeteria doors open. The obsession was walking towards me. He had on his lettermen jacket. Leather sleeves and interior. His name scribbled in the corner. His hands were pushed into the deep pockets as he sat next to me.

"I'm sorry, for whatever I said." He said, smiling slightly.

I took him in; I began doing that a lot lately. He's green eyes were clear and comforting. His lips were full and almost inviting. He had an olive-ish skin tone, making him tan well in the summer. He had thick blond hair, cut short with a few strands falling into his face. He was no longer the oddball in the head department. His face had grown longer, making his head decrease in size. He smelt of eucalyptus. Clean and fresh.

"It doesn't matter." I said, my voice almost emotionless.

"What's going on with you?" He asked right away, seemingly ignoring my somewhat acceptance of his apology.

"Nothing." I said, looking at him, his comforting eyes.

"I want to help." He said.

There have been two times since I found out about her that I almost told him everything. Two days after my mother had told me what was happening. And last year when he had called me a bitch and I hit him. Common sense would not allow me to tell him what was going on. He could never help, no mattered if he died wanting too.

"You can't." I said shortly, taking my time to answer his statement.

He looked away from me and then back at the cafeteria, shaking his head.


I nodded my head slowly, hurt by his resignation. It was my own fault.

Upon reaching into my bag, looking to see if my mother had called and I had missed the ring, my hand pulled out my camera.

I was school photographer for the newspaper. I discovered in seventh grade that I liked photography and according to my teacher, I was good at it.

He was staring at the school; I had a shot of his side view. I took my camera and aimed it, making sure to turn on the flash.

"Don't move." I whispered. My finger pressed down on the button, he didn't move until the flash had gone off.

"Why'd you take a picture of me?" He smiled softly. He had already forgiven my harsh tone from earlier.

"How could I not?"

(It hurts to smile, yes, but only when I think of you... always when I think of you.)

I worked at a candy store. Seven dollars an hour, for ten hours a week. Tuesday and Thursday, four to eight and Saturday, one to three. I made enough money to buy groceries for the week.

I feel this is an accomplishment on my part.

My mother works at a small store down the block. The owner is a guy she went to high school with. After explaining our situation to him, he was more then happy to help my mom out.

I walked into my house at eight twenty. I shut the door and locked it. As I turned back around I saw my mother standing at the bottom of the staircase.

She looked fatigued. Yet, she looked almost pretty. Her hair was pulled back in a messy bun. A few strands had fallen over her face, making her look almost tranquil Her skin was pale but gave her a porcelain look, it helped that her cheeks were flushed and her blue eyes were clear. She was wearing jeans and a purple sweater; she still had a somewhat young figure.

I smiled as she stepped down from the last step and sighed heavily.

"Can you bring your sister a glass of water? I just don't think I can make it back up there." Her voice crack in the middle of her sentence.

I knew what she meant, what she was really thinking.

She couldn't bare to go back up there, not so soon, not when she was paler then a piece of paper.

"How is she doing?" I asked, losing my own voice. I walked to the kitchen and poured her a glass of water. Honestly, I didn't want to go up there either.

"She's ok." For now. I finished for her.

Nodding my head and gently taking off my jacket, I began heading to the second floor.

Her door was to be kept shut at all times. I couldn't stay in there longer then a few minutes. In my mother's mind she was the only one truly immune from my sister's "sickness". I wasn't even sure what was actually wrong with her. No one ever told me.

I walked in and placed the water on the nightstand. She was sleeping, fitfully. She was very pale; she had never been this pale. Her hair was still short; she had always liked it short, so once a month my mother would cut it. I gently felt her head. Her body was extremely hot, but her hands were like ice.

It never used to be like this. Not before.

I gently slid out of the room and into my own. I walked over to my desk and began looking at various photographs that I had taken.

I smiled as I looked at the one I had taken of my sister two years ago. She had been outside, just sitting on the stoop. She looked so calm, so peaceful. She had no idea the camera was on her. Those made the best pictures.

As I moved away from the desk and laid in my bed, I thought about that night.

It was a Sunday night, about four years ago, I had come home from an afternoon of baseball with the "gang" and a pizza party. It was past nine o'clock.

I walked into the living room where my mother sat on the couch, crying.

She looked at me and stopped the sob that was about to escape from her throat. 'You're sister is sick.'

I looked at her. I couldn't understand it. She had been hugging me mere hours ago. 'Is she going to be ok?' I remember asking, already knowing the answer.

The sob my mother had been trying to hold in fell from her lips, answering my question.

I then asked if my father was here. No, those weren't the words I used. I think I asked if he was here, in our home. I said it distastefully, as if I had just eaten something bad.

My mother shook her head, tears rolling down her cheek.

He had left us about half a year at that point. One day he just came home packed his luggage, and off he went. The divorce was made official when I was in eighth grade, a year after she was said to be "incurable".

I had gone to my room not asking anymore questions. I knew then everything, everything, would be different.

I remember what my first two real thoughts had been. I was never going to get attention from my parents, ever. And if she came back home, was I going to get her sickness and have to suffer as well?

Yes, I am that screwed up.