Never the Same
Dedicated to and inspired by EverlastingBlaze
A follow-up to "I Cursed the Sky and Begged the Sun."
I stared at him from the doorway. So many times I've done this, watched him like this. It always makes me so miserable and nauseous to do this, but I must. I look at him sitting in that overstuffed chair, leaning to the side slightly because he can't sit normally ever again, and force myself to think about the horrors that happened to him. I watch him, my baby brother, and wish to God that I could find the people who did those things to him. I would give anything to be able to kill them myself. Even if I did, it would bring no assistance to us. To him. Maybe he'd smile at the thought of them suffering by my hands. Maybe he'd be horrified by the things I would do to them. In the end it would do no good. He would still be scarred. He would still not be Jeff.
I remember the day he disappeared…
"What do you mean you quit!"
"I quit! Plain and simple! I can't take it anymore!"
"You're not a quitter! You're Jeff Hardy! My brother! You don't give up! You've never given up!"
"I'm not giving up, Matt! I'm saving my life! I'm dying! This is killing me and I can't do it anymore!"
"It's not the business killing you! It's those damn pain killers! You're a fucking addict and you need to get off of them!"
"I can't get off of them when I'm constantly in fucking pain! I can't handle the pain anymore! I know I'm addicted! I'm leaving because of it!"
"What about your other addiction, Jeff? What about the addiction to the fans? To the wrestling? To being a God damned superstar worshipped by millions? What about that addiction?"
"That is not my addiction, Matt! It's yours! You're the one that can never stop because of those people! People you don't even know! People who are nothing but mindless cattle being spoon fed by this elaborate façade that they dare to call a sport! They don't love you! They love a wrestler! They love a fucking tool of the company! And they control you! They dictate every single thing you do! And I won't have it anymore!"
Matt stared at him in utter shock. How could he say such things about their fans? Those people only adored him, loved him, and would give up everything they had to be him or to be with him. And he thought so lowly of them? How could he? He slowly closed his mouth, which had gone slack in the middle of Jeff's outburst, trying to stop gaping at him. Jeff only continued to look at him, snarling, viciously angry and ready to fight if necessary. Matt only backed away from him a few steps, then turned away and headed for the door.
"Fine, Jeff. If you're really so miserable then maybe it's better for you to leave. Maybe it's better for you to crush the dream I thought we shared. I hope your broken body heals better now that you've broken my heart in exchange."
"Matty… Wait, I didn't…"
Matt closed the door behind him quietly and then ran down the halls as fast as his legs would carry him. He had to get away from Jeff. He knew that if he had stayed he would've broken down, bawled like a child, and it would've only made things worse.
I didn't see Jeff for a week after that. That's one week of time that I'll never get back. One week of his life that was lived in utter torture and hellfire, leaving him broken and battered, and forever changing him. He's never been the same since. No one could possibly be the same after such a horrid event. The suffering he endured. The things they did to him. The violation… That was the worst of it, of course. He would've been okay if they hadn't gone that extra step to ensure that he was a broken man beyond all repair.
I remember the day he was returned to us…
Matt hauled himself up off of the couch wearily, looking around to see that he was alone for once. This entire week he had been surrounded by friends, family, police officers, and detectives. Never alone. Always being watched to ensure that he wouldn't be the next to be abducted. It seemed as though they had finally left him alone to sleep for once, though, it seemed very short lived. He looked at the front door, unsure if he had even heard the knocking, but forced himself to his feet to answer the door. He opened it and looked around, seeing no one, but then looked down. There was a large black duffle bag at his feet. He frowned and kneeled down next to it. He noticed that he was trembling. He didn't understand why, but fear was choking him, cutting off his breath and making his hands shake as he reached for the zipper. He pulled it back slowly and parted the flaps. The item inside caused his eyes to widen beyond their normal limits. A scream tore from his throat without him even realizing.
A second later he had his brother in his arms, pulling him from the tight confines of the bag, using brute strength to snap the plastic ties that bound his ankles and wrists behind him. He clung to the unconscious man as tightly as possible. He wailed in agony and relief, overjoyed that his brother was with him again and alive, but in pain at the sight of what had happened to him. His face was swollen and bruised, same with his sides where he had obviously broken ribs. The remainders of his clothing were covered in grime and blood, torn to shreds in most places, and his pants were completely missing. His boxer shorts were sliced from the waistband in front down between his legs all the way the back up to the waistband again. More blood covered the back of the shorts, looking fresher than the rest.
"Jeff? Jeffro? Wake up. It's me, Matty. Please, wake up." He sobbed and pressed his face into the curve of his neck. "I'm so sorry, Jeff. I'm so, so sorry. Please, baby brother. Open your eyes. Say something. Let me know you're alive."
There came no verbal answer at that moment, but Jeff's body tensed in his hold. He squirmed slightly and then shoved at him violently, smacking at him as hard as he could. Matt tried to make him stop, grabbing at his wrists, and yelling for him to stop. He told him he was safe, repeated over and over that he was home. Jeff heard none of it. He barely opened his swollen eyes and stared straight at Matt, starting to scream in terror. He screamed for Matt to let him go and not hurt him anymore. He'd do anything as long as Matt didn't rape him again. As soon as those words hit his ears Matt let go and drew back. Jeff curled into himself and sobbed, whimpering in fear.
"Please… Not again, Matty… I won't leave… I won't quit… Just don't fuck me again… Please…"
"I won't, Jeffro," he muttered quietly. "I won't ever hurt you ever again."
As soon as authorities had arrived Jeff had been rushed to the hospital. He had broken ribs, damage to his left hip bone, and his eyesight will never recover completely. He has to wear glasses now, which he despises. They didn't have to tell me the other injuries done to him. I knew. He had been raped, so violently that to this day he can't sit quite right and no matter how soft the chair he can't stay sitting for long. He'd gone through surgery to repair the tearing that had been done to internal areas, lucky that he'd gone for a week without food because otherwise his whole body would've been contaminated with waste.
The physical side effects have all healed now. It's been a year since the nightmare that had taken place in this family. The horror of what happened to Jeff. Yet he still is not the same. He never will be. The emotional and mental effects of that week may never ever be undone. It's torn him away from me. His rapist looked like me, with long dark hair and a black goatee like mine. The only difference had been the blue eyes. It was my only saving grace that had convinced Jeff I wasn't the one who'd hurt him. It's the only thing about me that comforts him. He can look me in the eye. I'm the only person he can still face that boldly. Yet I can never touch him. I can't hold him when he cries, I can't run my hands through his hair when we watch TV together, I can't even pat his arm when he says something funny. He jerks away from me and his face gets this expression of repulse. Then he seems to realize what he did and he looks guilty, whispering an apology to me. I forgive him every time. I know he's trying to come back to me. Slowly but surely. Someday I hope that I can open my arms and he'll come rushing into them like he always used to. Part of me doubts that I'll ever hold him ever again. It'll never be the way it was. Jeff will never be my brother again, only a man with whom I was once very close. Because the man I'm staring at with tears coursing over my cheeks is not Jeff Hardy. He is not the brother I knew.
My brother was murdered last year…
And I died along with him.
Legalities: Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and any other mentioned characters are property of World Wrestling Entertainment. I claim no knowledge of each of the characters sexual preferences or lives. This is a story of fiction, none of these events are real. I received absolutely no profit from this story.