A/N: ... I really have nothing to say. No, really.
Constructive critisism and grammatical corrections would be much appreciated, as English is not my native tongue. Thanks for reading in advance!
Disclaimer: I do not own South Park or any of its characters; they belong to their rightful owners Matt Stone and Trey Parker (who would probably be horrified to see what I'm doing with their creations).
by eishi (2008)
There is a place for everyone in South Park where they like to go when they're depressed. For others, that place is Stark's Pond – calm, frigid place that is always covered up in snow. It's a private place, because there are never footsteps to reveal who has been there and who hasn't. The silence there is eerie, as if the place is frozen in time; that is why many people go there when they need privacy.
Others prefer the church. The only person who goes there regularly is Father Maxi, and even he stays mostly in his office. The silence in the church is completely opposite of the Pond's: it's a peaceful, harmonic silence that reflects the waving thoughts of those who like the sit in the wooden benches and think.
Few of the townspeople like to go to the synagogue, because no one hardly ever goes there, and it's always empty. Even those who do not know anything about Judaism or do not even really care like to stand there in the dim light. The air in the synagogue is always moistly warm, as it is heated throughout the year, be it necessarily or not.
These three places are really not comfortable for everyone, nor does everyone like to go to these spots. But people always come back to them, because they are always there, empty, awaiting for returning, miserable souls. They are always empty.
It is at one of these places where a pair of friends first come to realize what is so twisted and strange about their dear mountain town. Things never change there.
Stan voices it aloud first: his parents never get divorced. They have tried numerous times – have even gone as far as to live separately – but somehow, someway, they always seem to settle things and go back to the way they had been.
Kyle continues by musing that Ike never learns to talk properly. There have been several times during which he has learned new words, even formed complete sentences; the next day, this gift is gone and his brother is reduced to the level he ever was, unable to say a comprehensible trio of words.
The blowing wind is freezing and reaches their deepest bones underneath the layers of clothes, and they notice how the snow never ceases to fall. The ice is thin on the pond, but it doesn't break when they slowly walk on it.
The snow never stops falling.
As time passes and they never age, they start to wonder why is it that their minds keep growing older and older but their bodies don't. They have seen a lot of things, probably a lot more than an average nine-year-old, and yet their bodies remain fragile, shivery and short, hands can never take a good grasp of a hockey stick and feet have no power to jump to reach the hoop at the basketball court. Stan's parents are still married, none of Cartman's diets seem to work, Kenny never dies. Things keep moving and something is always happening, but nothing ever really seems to change for real.
The light of the candles seems unreal compared to the harsh, white ceiling light. They sit side by side in a silence, neither caring of the hardness of the benches. Kyle goes first.
He silently confesses that he is scared. No one can never truly leave the place, because no one is really ever there. Kenny always comes back, and each time he wishes that he would have gotten to stay in Hell. People they haven't seen in years – because what they really feel passing are truly years, not days, not months – mysteriously appear, claiming to never have been away. Kyle himself has only once seen what life is outside South Park, and even if he was anxious at the new place, he never wanted to come back.
Stan is silent for a moment, and then nudges Kyle's side. They press their bodies together, as if the emptiness of the hall is causing cold shivers to them.
He silently continues that he, too, is scared. No family is happy in the place. Kenny will regret forever for once wishing that he wouldn't have another sibling, because now his mother has to endure miscarriage after another. Mr. Slave and Big Gay Al are always scared that their marriage will fail and they will go back to their previous lives. Garrison is always unsure of his gender and sexuality, going around in circles, always coming back to the same conclusions. Stan's own parents can't get divorced, and his sister never learns to love him. Relations keep twisting, changing, and going back to the way they always were.
Kyle asks is that why Stan always goes back to Wendy, or the other way around. Stan nods, not eager to analyze that strange pulling feeling in his heart every time he and Wendy have broken up again and pass each other at the hallway. They keep getting back together, even if they both have realized ages ago that they are together because of fear – not because of happiness.
The whiteness of the walls is unnerving, and the cold light of the lamps only makes it worse. The candles have burned out long ago, but no one has bothered to come check on those. They sit in silence, relying on the other's body warmth rather than the heaters.
The ceiling lights never go out.
In time it becomes clear that there are no other people they can rely on but each other. The new friendships they make keep falling apart, and they have trouble keeping in touch with the former ones. Their parents treat them the same way as ever, even if their knowledge has only grown and grown and they are both sure that they know a great deal more than any parent in town right now.
They wait. They want to see if their silent home is really unchanging, if nothing can stray away from its domain; but Chef never comes back, nor does Mrs. Chokesondick or Mrs. Crabtree. They wonder if death is the ultimate way out, but Kenny keeps proving their theory wrong.
It's unfair – others get the easy way out, and they are forced to spend the rest of their lives in this never-ending circle. Life is too good to be thrown away, but at the same time, living in the invariable is insufferable. It seems like they have the eternity to spare, but what do you do if you have no one to share it with?
The room is shadowy and uncomfortably warm, and the moistness of air creates an ironic contrast to the air outside.
Kyle is deep in his thoughts when Stan finds him sitting there, staring indifferently at the wall. Stan goes to stand by him, not daring to sit down. Kyle doesn't acknowledge his presence at all, but starts to talk in small, lifeless voice.
He wonders why some things change and other doesn't – or has that odd, bubbly feeling in his chest been present the whole time he has been friends with Stan, and he just hasn't been aware of that before? Stan looks at his feet and mumbles that he's wondering the same thing. The silence they share and the fact that they don't look into each other's eyes confirms their suspicions, but they are unsure of whether or not to act upon it.
Finally, when the outside dusk starts to match with the darkness of the room, Kyle stands up and lets Stan take his hand.
The room never lights up.
They really try – they try each and every day, spend their days together, part with fear in the evening only to discover the next morning that nothing really has changed between them. Every morning they wake up, search for the marks they have left of their confessions – notes, writings on their palms, backs, legs, missing pieces of hair, even black eyes and cuts on the skin – but every single morning those evidences are gone, as if they had never even been real. Stan keeps getting back together with Wendy, his mind rapidly sending him pictures of Kyle instead. Kyle tries to comfort his best friend each time they break up, his brain screaming him different words but mouth using others.
They confess their feelings publicly, hold hands during class, reluctant to let go because they fear that the other might disappear. They become paranoid of other people, because no one can see what they see every day: nothing ever really changes in South Park.
They keep trying, time passes, but they still try. If notes and pictures are not real, words are; but even repeated confessions of their love mean nothing, if they can only remember those vaguely, like in a dream. They try to escape, only finding themselves back in their houses the next morning – and in time, they stop trying. Nothing will ever change, they will never be together for real, they will never grow old, but the hold of their hands is more real than anything they will ever experience.
The cold places are still empty, because no one ever really goes there.
They may be cursed to stay in the same situation forever, forced to only watch from afar; but in the end, that festering feeling they like to call love is just as endless and unchangeable as South Park itself.