Disclaimer: I don't own anything. It's sad. I hope I'll be writing a book or something in the future and people can say this about ME. Haha, look for the day.
Alright, this is a little oneshot off the book Miss Misery by Andy Greenwald. I loved that book. Enough said. Anyways, this is an AU sort of fic, where David Gould (the real one) does not solve the issue of his doppelganger. This is after Cath describes his little episode over the party when he 'melted' a little, so to speak, but let's pretend neither one of the one was going to the Hague. Let's pretend instead that the real David Gould is still in his wrecked apartment, and David Gould number two is still out there and partying. Let's pretend Cath is still caught in between the two of them and their little identity crisis. Now that you've imagined that setting, read and enjoy. It's written in third person, focusing on the doppelganger. Sorry for the long author's note.
I'd Love To Fly
It was a party. And parties were meant to be loud, and crazy, and make you fucking numb, weren't they?
Up until then, he had believed it.
The apartment—he couldn't remember whose it was, presumably one of Cath's friend's—was immensely overcluttered and reeked of cheap perfume and vodka tonight. The sound of youths swigging their pain (and liver function) away dominated the cheaply rented place; the sound of sorrow was being rapidly washed away by a lone boombox near the kitchen, blasting something too loud and obscene to be identified. The all-around feeling was the same as always: teary, dramatic, and speckled with teenagers with nothing more of a life. They were defined by the scene, defined for the scene.
Dimly, in the back of his mind he wondered who would be complaining in the morning of the noise, how many houses they were keeping up. But then he let himself forget, putting his lips to his plastic cup and feeling the alcohol sting his throat. It was hardly even bitter any more, hardly had any taste—but it finished the job he had intended it to start.
Out of nowhere, she turned up, breathless and red-faced, a nearly empty mug in her hand as well, filled with the same colorless liquid. Something stung in his chest, something that was keeping him alive, seeing this girl. Seeing, and knowing what had been said before.
Nothing pertaining to that night showed in her face. Either this girl was hard-ass drunk, or just an extremely good actress. He'd guess both. Instead, her features broadcasted a sunny day in the city—all smiles and winks. "Daaaavid," she purred, "How's it going?"
He flashed a smile, a smirk, something of the sort. This was his game, though reluctant to play it tonight, he'd do it perfectly nevertheless. After all, he was the sexy, provocative one who everyone thought knew exactly what to do, what he was doing. This was their fantasy as much as his. He was in control. He could surely pretend. "Great. Hey, you got any coke?"
Cath's face fell from happy (a slurred-word, numb sort of happy, that is) to indignant. "No. Stupid fuckers used all of it up. All of it, can you fucking believe it? The whole new stash, and I didn't get freakin' any. Do the math."
"What stupid fuckers?"
She rattled off a long list of friends, pausing between each to look him in the eye, as if to make sure he was still there. And he was. Some version of him, anyways. He was, in effect, the purge of long nights and boredom, daydreams, and a handy online journal. Sometimes he wondered why, but most other times he shunned those unforgiving thoughts with more alcohol. This was what he existed solely to do.
"Hey, are you listening? And I thought since you were such a stalker, you'd hang on my every word or something!"
He looked at Cath; looked at the overexaggerated pout on her face. And his mouth twisted into another tainted smile. "Did you think that, babe? Maybe that was the other me, the one who was all confined with one love at a time. For me, there are many more foxy women out there, and for all I know they're calling my name."
Cath stuck her tongue out somewhat childishly and slapped his arm. "Dude, you can't even live without me! Wasn't that how you were 'created' in the first place? Out of boredom, and wanting to have a life as exciting—" she said that word sarcastically, "—as mine?"
"Don't tell me. Is that what he said?" David spat the word 'he' like it was a particularly nasty-tasting piece of food.
"You just insulted yourself, you know."
"He's not me anymore."
"Contrary to that train of thought, I believe that he is exactly that—you. You came from him, at least from his darker imagination. You're like, the same, but...different?"
He scoffed at this. "Why do we keep saying 'he'?"
"I don't know."
It was good enough of an answer for him. He'd had enough, enough of this talk about the real David Gould. It was uncomforting, and made him feel like he was fake, despite the fact he was so obviously here with his own mind.
Naturally, the first thing that occurred for him to talk about to Cath was Cath. "You're right, babe."
She batted her eyelashes seductively. "I always am."
"You were right when you said I can't live without you," he breathed, smiling maliciously. He was the tiger, relaxing before the kill. He was the cheetah, chasing his prey, with it so near in sight. Behind him, a throng of young punks with assorted body piercings shouted loudly and squabbled over the fridge—each hand felt around for that elusive bottle of something numbing, something special, promising forgetfulness.
"I know I was." Cath said simply, perhaps sensing what he was going say next.
He took a step closer. She didn't back away, or get into a fabulous warrior stance seen only in kung-fu documentaries, but her muscles tensed noticeably.
He'd have her this time though, he'd have her. He'd make sure of it.
"Damn right. Now, what do you say?" He made a brash and forward gesture to the bedroom. It wasn't even their own, but it would do.
Cath's cool glare suddenly turned red, fiery. "Fuck you," she said, suddenly angry, hitting his chest with more force this time. "Are you fucking deaf? Don't you remember what I said last time, when you were fucking about to rape me?"
David remembered. He remembered all too well, but he wasn't going to let her know. "Come on, baby," he muttered, already half-heartedly, "You know you want me."
Cath stared into his eyes for the longest time. All the while, all he was concerned with was that he didn't betray a thing but lust.
At last, she took her long-overdue step back. "You're wrong. Maybe that's what I wanted at first, but my priorities are different now."
"You sound like a fucking lecture hall, Cath. Like those people on Dr. Phil, or talk shows, talkin' about how they've changed and gotten all independent and everything." He found nothing in revenge or retribution, but he said the words anyways. It was so him now, this part that had matured and grown into monstrous proportions.
"Do I care?"
He didn't have an answer for that, so he retreated to another quick, oh-so-witty line to strike her with again, repeatedly. "You're siding with him? The other me? The lame-ass one who can't hold a drink for his life? You're actually fucking taking his side?"
The verbal blows fell heavy on Cath's shoulders, but it was all she could do to ignore them. He didn't let up.
"Tell me, Cath," he spat at her face, refraining from touching her delicate frame just barely, "Did you do him?"
Her facial features reacted as if she'd been punched, the reflexes were that sharp. "Excuse me?"
"Did you fuck him, Cath? Tell me, did you?" He raged.
Something in Cath hardened and rose up to meet David. "No, I didn't fucking fuck him, you creep! You know what? You're sick. You're sick. Fuck you."
"Gladly," he responded cynically.
She threw her hands up and disappeared into the giving crowd, which had done its best and worst at not overhearing the pair.
It was always like this, wasn't it?
The doppelganger turned around and retreated to the nearest bathroom, noting a considerable amount of white powder dusting one corner of the counter. He stared at it before abruptly turning around and shut the door.
He touched the powder. It was definitely refined cocaine. It took a lot for him to ignore it, but eventually he could quell the urges to snort it. Tonight was not the time, his veins sang, tonight was not the time.
With a sigh, David Gould 2.0 stared into the dirty mirror that doubled as a medicine cabinet for the bathroom. It was speckled with dirt. He put his face close to the looking glass and exhaled slowly before wiping away the resulting fog with his sleeve.
A battered, weary face greeted him, but at least it was predicted. It had been too long since he'd really looked at his reflection, how scruffy it was, yet how charming, he'd always thought. But there really was nothing charming about the man staring back at him. His face spoke of barbarian-like lust, raw and on the table. It spoke of long nights out and cheap drinks being poured liberally (and willingly) into cups. It spoke of lost chances and whatever other cliché emo phrases you could think of.
The doppelganger sighed again and turned away from the mirror. Sometimes he wished he wasn't here, this unpurified, unclean spurt of humanity. This freak of nature that never was supposed to be here. It was something he couldn't change, but longed to anyways.
He couldn't change it, couldn't bring himself to feel the guilt, but it was a life: his, by whatever force had created it. Sometimes it was hard to imagine his roots back to that struggling young writer sleeping the day away in his apartment. Maybe he was better off not existing as two people. It wasn't meant to happen and it never should have.
The doppelganger gave one last sigh before opening the door and disappearing back into the throng of strangers. Maybe this wasn't rightfully his life, but he had no choice but to live it as it was written out.
He pushed into another room and laboriously pulled out a pack of Marlboros. Another night out. Another heart broken, even if it was only his, even though it was only his.
And he knew it, he never could will the cycle to stop.