I do not own The Clique, nor do I own the 1986 film Labyrinth or any characters/songs involved.
For some reason...I love this story. I think it's one of my best.
World Fell Down
Derrick Harrington shoved his ice-cold hands into the pockets on his Perry Ellis blazer. The wind was cold and biting at his skin, a bitter touch to an even more bitter day. A crowd of people that rivaled any major concert or function congregated around the hole in the ground, the soil darker and more uninviting than any soil should be. The sky was gray, dark, dark gray, and the early warning signs of a storm were quickly making themselves known.
The familiar stinging sensation settled itself behind his caramel eyes, and he rubbed his shoulder to his face in an effort to keep the tears from coming. The muffled sobs and nose-clearing sniffles rounded throughout the group, those who were usually the county's most sophisticated and elegant residents were broken down, facing reality in all it's raw power.
Death was the great connector of the world, he mused, as he reached into the pocket on his Armani trousers to pull out a midnight blue handkerchief. No matter who you are in the world, death effects you; anyone can be smacked in the face with unexpected tragedy, whether as a harm unto themselves or their loved ones. And, fittingly so, everyone dealt with it in their own ways. Lifting his eyes upward from the yellowed grass, his gaze met another man's. He was an older man, early-fifties, bald, tall, strong. A younger woman, maybe mid-forties, clung to the collar on his trench coat and shook, sobs racking her small frame.
His mind drifted back to her birthday, four years ago. They had been sixteen then, and she had been sitting cross-legged on her duvet, a small, portable DVD player resting on her lap. He remembered it all perfectly; from the way she had lazily pinned her hair up, her cherry-flavored lip gloss, the Briarwood jersey of his she wore, and the dark wash skinny jeans that accentuated her ballerina legs and made him go wild. Her feet had been bare, pedicure free, and her amber eyes were sparkling, her smile carefree. He remember carefully opening her door, making sure to hide the small box he held behind his back. He had made his way over to her, slowly, gently sitting down next to her. He rubbed her back. Asked what she was watching.
"Labyrinth," She had replied, flashing him a dazzling smile, before returning her gaze to the small screen, "It's my favorite part of the whole movie; the ballroom scene." She had adjusted the DVD player so that he could watch it as well. She had chuckled a bit as his arm slid around her waist, his other still behind his back, and they both watched the movie. Derrick wasn't about to admit that Labyrinth had been one of his favorite movies, and he would die before admitting he slightly envied David Bowie in that movie; the cool, easy-going attitude the rock star had in that role of the Goblin King.
"It's a great song, isn't it?" She had asked, regarding the song playing in the background as David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly danced. Derrick had nodded a bit, resting his chin on his girlfriend's shoulder. "As the world falls down..." She had whisper-sung along with the music, before pausing the movie and closing the player shut. Turning to her boyfriend, she had smiled that beautiful smile again, tilting her head to the right. "If my world fell down, would you be there for me?"
"You know it," He said, running a finger down her face, across her jaw line.
"Even if we weren't together anymore?" She asked then, her face and eyes a bit more serious.
"In a second," He had replied without hesitation, not needing time to think on whether he would always be there for her or not. It was a simple question with a simple answer, he had thought at the time; he would always be there for her. Always.
The priest was in the midst of reciting the final lines of the prayer, and Derrick took the time to look over the crowd once more. Her best friends stood to the left, his best friends behind them, comforting them the only way they knew how, especially when they needed comforting themselves. A small dog, black and soft, stood at the ankles of one girl, a girl with long, raven hair. The dog was whimpering; she knew what was going on. A shine on the dog's collar brought back more memories, and he fought the urge to smile.
It had been that same afternoon, her birthday, four years ago. He had given her the small, white box, velvet, and she had opened it. A necklace, gold like her charm bracelet, twinkling with diamonds, and a key on the end of it. She had looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"You're finally sixteen; you're going to get your car soon, but I thought this would do until then," He said, slipping his hand into the pocket on his shorts, "And," Another box, the exact twin of hers but smaller, "I got one for Bean, too." A golden key, diamond encrusted, small enough and with a clip so that it could hook to a collar. She had kissed him then, and they had spent the day together.
Fast forward to Octavian Country Day senior graduation. They sat in his car, he at the steering wheel, she in the passenger seat. The necklace was around her neck, resting just below her collarbone, tanned skin underneath and contrasting the vanilla-silk Chanel dress she wore under the graduation gown. Her hair had been cut shorter, grazing her chest, naturally lightened by the summer sun. Birds chirped, sun shined, flowers bloomed. But it was not a happy day.
"I'm moving," He had mumbled, resting a hand on her bare knee.
"I know," She replied, placing her small hand on top of his.
"This is going to sound stupid and selfish, but I don't want to tie you down," He sighed, turning his whole self so her could look at her properly. She was truly gorgeous, but her heavenly face was being marred by heartbreak. Heartbreak caused by him. "You're amazing, Block, and with me moving, we'll hardly see each other, and I want you to be happy." He paused, she nodded. "It's breaking my heart, but I think you should see other people."
"You think I should see other people?" She asked, eyebrows raised, "What about you?"
He chuckled, "You're the only girl I'll ever love."
She smiled, kissing him passionately, before reaching for the door handle. Just as she stepped out, he called to her.
She turned, "Yeah?"
"I'll always be there for you, if your world falls down."
She had smiled again as he turned the key in the ignition, "I love you, Derrick."
"I love you too, Block."
He was two weeks into his first year at an Illinois university when a call from Cam ruined his year. Massie's heart had been taken by a new guy in town. A real jock; ladies man, mother's boy, intelligent, handsome. The works. He treated Massie like a princess and she was head over heels. Derrick had sighed then, but reassured Cam that he was fine, just fine. He always was a good liar.
A year later, Massie and Jock-Man were still happily in love. Derrick mentally chastised himself every time the biting tinge of envy tugged at his broken heart. He was the one who had ended it. She was finally happy again and therefore so was he...Right?
It was when Cam and Claire had driven out to see him that he began to worry.
"His name's Austin," Claire had said, rolling her eyes, "And he's a real asshole. Controlling, constantly bitching at her. Love Massie to death, but she's a terrible cook and he's always on her about it."
"But that's it, right? He's not, like..." Derrick had stopped when Cam and Claire exchanged glances. "No way. No fucking way! He's hitting her?" Enraged, Derrick had slammed his closed fist against the wall, then sunk to the floor in pain.
"Well, no-" Cam had started, but Claire cut him off.
"Forget it, we never said anything." And they left in a huff, Derrick still on the floor, cursing himself and his stupidity.
Back to reality, Derrick saw a few of the funeral-goers starting to leave, and he realized with a heavy heart that the service was over. He looked at the lilac in his hand-her favorite flower. A pile of them were on the coffin's top, now six feet under, awaiting the workers to come and fill the hole with dirt. Lowering himself, he kneeled in front of the grave, staring down in the darkness.
"She always wore that necklace, you know." Snapping his head up, Derrick found Mr. Block standing on the opposite side of the grave, his hands jammed into his coat pockets. "Even after you left her, even when she was out with Austin. Shit, I think she even showered in that thing." Kicking a stone, Mr. Block looked up with squinted eyes at the darkening sky. "I remember one time, one of the diamonds must've fallen out, and she spent three hours on her hands and knees looking for it. She found it, and sat at the jeweler's for an hour waiting for him to fix it." Derrick chuckled grimly.
"She really loved you. Austin was a filler. A bad one, but a filler none the less. Believe me, if I had known what he was doing to her, he'd be the one in that grave." Mr. Block had lowered himself to the ground, and he looked at the grave marker solemnly. "Son of a bitch's reckless, drunken driving killed my only baby. You wouldn't of done that. You really loved her." When Derrick didn't respond, Mr. Block lifted himself up. "You really love her."
With Mr. Block walking to the cars, a heavy rain picked up, and lightening cackled through the sky. The ground now wet and muddy, Derrick regarded with bitter humor that the knees on his pants were getting dirty, and with even more bitter humor, he regarded the fact that he was wearing pants, not shorts. Pants. Not shorts. Pantsnotshorts.
He went back to that day, that moment, that second; If my world fell down, would you be there for me?
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Derrick let his salty tears mix with the rain pounding down on his face. He screamed, he shouted, he groaned, shaking his head, slamming his fists against the ground in fury, calling her name again and again in a vain attempt to bring his Block back to him.
Her world fell down. And he hadn't been there.