Of Letting Go & Holding On

Disclaimer: Berlanti's and WB's. Not mine.

Do you know what it's like to just give up? To try and work and believe and pray for so long and so hard that it's gotten to the point where you just know that you can't any more? Have you ever just leaned back, took a look around, and realized, truly saw for the first time, that there was no conceivable way out. No way around your problems, no possible high ground. Have you ever given it your all again and again until all you had left was emptiness?

Because I haven't. I've obviously made mistakes (more than you'd care to know about, probably). I've had loads of occasions where I honestly thought that nothing, ever, could be okay again. I've been through the 'world hates me and someone out there is truly trying to make my life as tragically painful as possible' phase. I've hated myself and hated every one around me. But I've never let go, not like that. Even when my legs seem to have taken me to a path with a serious dead end, I've never just decided to make the path simply go away. Sure, I have sat down on said path and refused to move. Sure, I've walked around the path only to fall upon it again and again instead of finding an actual solution. But I never, not once, decided that it wasn't worth sticking around for.

That's what really eats me up inside, you know? I can't understand it. Literally, I'm at a loss for words, a loss for thoughts. There's a very large part of me that's fairly pissed at who I am and what I've done right now. I didn't see it. I didn't really try to see it. Absorbed in myself, I accepted the fake smiles on face value, never really delving into detail.

How could he have felt so completely and utterly alone that he did that to himself? He's got two roommates, two clueless roommates, and he never confessed to either of us just how badly he felt. He said he was consumed with overwhelming loneliness. But he wasn't alone. For him to believe that he was must mean that I truly did mess up. Maybe he isn't my responsibility in the respect that I'm not related to him, heck I still don't know him very well, but damn it I live with the guy. I'm his friend. Friends are supposed to be there for each other, they're supposed to tell each other when they're so hopeless inside that they don't see a way out.

You want to know what's worse? He did come to me, once. He laid down his stress, and I told him to consult a counsellor instead of trying to dole out advice myself. Seemed reasonable at the time. Then, of course, his counsellor told him he might be better off just giving up. Those words weren't exactly comforting, and he didn't go to anyone else for help.

Of course, I had no idea that my counsellor advice would lead to the giving up mindset, which led to the cheating, which led to the expulsion. Which led to his feelings of being alone and useless…

When I found him lying there with the empty pill container, I almost stopped breathing, almost forgot how to. How could I have no idea? What the hell is wrong with me?

I didn't find out about his expulsion until after he was already lying unconscious in the hospital bed. Even when I spoke to him there, he apologized to me for the discomfort of having to find him in the washroom. I didn't, I couldn't, apologize. I didn't even tell him that he wasn't alone…no reassurance, just numbness.

It's just so hard. I don't understand. I really, truly can't.

He was there, so still, the water from the shower still spraying loudly overhead.

What if I wasn't in a rush and hadn't knocked on the door?

What if I hadn't bothered to check if things were okay, assumed he was just taking a very long shower?

What if I hadn't found him?

Life is so fragile. People rip it away from themselves, willingly sacrificing it. It's the only thing that we have, that's ours, when nothing else is. And his was nearly extinguished by himself. And I almost let it happen.

God, this is physically exhausting. I'm trying to get it, trying to deal with it. But I began to think about what could have happened to him. I then wandered to the real fact that any one in my life could just…leave it. I have no idea what goes on in anyone's mind. Every laugh, every smile, it could so easily be forced and I wouldn't see it. I wouldn't know it. Someone I love could be on the brink of despair, and I'd be blind to it. I can barely deal with Reid. How would I be able to live with myself if I let something happen, if something did happen, to those that I care about?

There's a moment in every person's mind and heart when you just want it to stop. The pain, the suffering, the decisions, the mistakes, the repercussions. It never seems to go away. But I've never gone that one step further in actually going through with it. Something always, always pulls me back. Whether it's just one person saying one thing, whatever. I get pulled back to the safe emotions. Someone didn't pull him back.

You can't make the pain go away. It's part of living. You can't make the living go away, either. It's selfish, it's wrong…

Yet sometimes, only sometimes, I wonder how it would feel. I think about the release, the freedom. No more worrying, no more tears. No more days where you feel like someone kicked you in the gut and left you bleeding.

But something always pulls me back.

A/N: May add Reid's POV. Possibly.