A/N: This is my first fanfic on here and it was just something I thought of while I was reading Starclimber the other day
A/N: This is my first fanfic on here and it was just something I thought of while I was reading Starclimber the other day. Spoilers ahead for those who haven't read it yet
I just got the thought in my head of what would've happened if Matt hadn't taken Kate's engagement news that well? I was listening to some sad songs while I wrote it, mainly Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and Allison Krause, and I just rewrote what I pictured happening when Matt first found out that Kate was engaged. I switched some minor parts of the novel just to make it work a little better. Reviews are welcomed but not necessary.
"This is my ticket to outer space."
Her explanation hung in the air before it was engulfed by a suffocating silence. I couldn't tear my eyes away from the large diamond on her left hand. First, I blew my shot at winning a spot on the expedition and now I lost her for good. My world was falling apart around me. My eyes were clouding and I was getting dizzy. How could she? What went wrong? Surely she wouldn't promise herself to another man just to get what she wanted. Did I mean that little to her? I risk my life for her again and again and then once she gets a better deal, she ditches me for him. I refused to meet her eyes as I turned and walked away. "Matt! Please come back so I can explain!"
Her pleas were pushed to the back of my mind as I walked as fast as I could through the large oak doors of the building. It had started to rain during the ceremony and as I stumbled down the alleyway, I was drenched from head to toe. The burning sensation in my stomach that I had been forcing down finally won the battle and by the time I reached the end of the alley, I had lost all the contents that had previously resided there. As I reached the building that all of the trainees were staying in, I fumbled up the stairs to my room. I slammed the door and ripped off my jacket and tie as the tears cascaded down my face. My spirits were lifted somewhat when I glanced over at my previous roommate's bed. He had left within the first week and had always bragged about the whiskey stash he had under his bed. In his haste to leave, perhaps he had forgotten to take the bottles with him. As I felt my fingers close around the glass, I knew my suspicions were true. One by one I pulled out the five bottles of Jack Daniels from underneath the bed.
I'm not usually one for drinks but I wasted no time in ripping off the lid to the first bottle and downing three mouthfuls, one after the other. It burned my lips and throat but at this point, any form of physical pain was more welcomed than the emotional turmoil I was feeling. I staggered over to the bathroom and flicked on the light. I walked forward, placing the half-empty bottle on the counter and looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were red and bulging and my hair was plastered to my head from the rain. Disgusted with what I saw, I turned toward the tub, turning on the taps for the shower.
'No wonder she chose him over me. He's got the money and the looks. Why should she settle for third class when she could have the luxury package' I told myself.
I peeled off the soaked clothing and dropped them on the floor before dragging myself into the tub. As the shower poured down on me, I sat there replaying the last few years in my head like a movie. I thought we actually had something. She seemed happy enough when she was with me. Of course I knew that it was unlikely for a rich girl like her to even have the slightest bit of interest in a cabin boy but she always seemed eager to be involved in what I was doing. I was probably only a temporary form of entertainment for her until she got a better toy.
I'm not exactly sure how long I was sitting there but by the time I got out, I was shivering from the ice water. I put on some blue flannel pajama bottoms and a white V-neck t-shirt before grabbing the bottle and walking over to the chair by the window. I stared out at the street for several minutes before someone pounded on my door.
"Matt? You here? We're all going out for a night on the town. You wanna join?"
I couldn't remember whose voice it was coming through my door but I knew I had three days before the expedition left. Three days of sitting here in torture, not going out incase of running into Kate. Kate. Her name was like an acid being poured into my heart. I looked to the door as I called out, "No. I'm gonna turn in soon. Have fun."
I heard them grumbling as their footsteps retreated down the hall. I had no intention of sleeping. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could picture was the ring on her finger. Over the next 48 hours, I stayed in that chair, drowning my sorrows with the bottles of Jack Daniels, who was fast becoming my new best friend. I had dark, puffy bags under my bloodshot eyes and my hands kept shaking uncontrollably. My spirits were sinking quickly however with every thought popping into my head.
I failed at everything.
I failed to get a spot on the expedition.
I failed to make my family proud by being the first Cruse in space.
Most importantly, I failed to keep her.
When my mom came by to see me later in the afternoon, she slapped me hard across the face when she saw the state I was in. She thought I was only miserable about the space thing so I didn't bother bringing up Kate. She gave me a lecture about how alcohol solved nothing, and I was too busy disagreeing with her in my head that I was at a loss for words when she mentioned that we had been invited to the de Vries estate for another party. This one was to celebrate Kate being on the expedition team. Despite arguing for thirty minutes about me having other things to do, here I am now, putting on my black tie over my blue shirt and black suit. I looked like I hadn't slept in days, which I really hadn't and I was in serious need of a shave. I put on a pair of Aviator sunglasses to hide my eyes, but they would have to deal with the stubble. My hands were still shaking as we walked through the gardens of the de Vries home and I started to get nervous when my mother and sisters separated from me. I went to the far back of the property so I could avoid any chance of running into Kate. Just as I thought I was safe, I heard a soft voice from behind me say, "You've had me worried."
Knowing full well what I was going to see, I turned and looked into Kate's eyes for mere seconds before I glanced down at the rock weighing down her left hand. Seeing it was enough to make me spiral into further depression. I swallowed the large lump that was forming in the back of my throat.
"Matt, can you take off those glasses so I can see your eyes while I talk to you?"
As much as I wanted to decline her request, my hands had already made their way up to my face and I slowly removed the black shades. As my zombie-like appearance became visible to her, she made an audible gasp and her hand flew to her mouth.
"Matty…you look…terrible…" she stammered.
She surprised me by using the name she called me in private but I was already too far gone to make any comment on it. My voice shook as I said, "I need to know. I was aware somewhere in my foolish mind that I was not good enough for you. That you deserved better, and that's what you've obviously chosen. But I have to ask you. All of the things that we did together. The adventures, breaking the rules. Was I just a game to you? Some measly form of entertainment that you had until you found your Prince fucking Charming? WAS THAT WHAT I WAS?!"
It was a good thing we were far from everyone else, for my voice had been rising with every word. Kate actually looked on the verge of tears as she spoke softly, "Matt, you know that's not true at all."
"Was I so useless to you that you got engaged to some man just so you could have what I couldn't give you?"
"Matt no, not at all…." Her voice trailed off.
I couldn't take any more. She says she cares for me, yet she gets engaged to some older man because she gets a trip to space? What kind of love is that? I didn't want to hear anymore. Before I left, I had one last thing I needed to hear from her.
"Say you love me." I begged.
"Matt…you know I can't." she tried to reason.
"I need to hear it one last time." My voice was getting desperate, breaking a bit at the end of my sentence.
"Matt…you scaring me."
Tears poured down my face once again as I shook my head in disbelief. She couldn't even give me one last 'I Love You'. I heard her cry out my name as I turned and walked away from her once more. I was done. She had officially broken me for good. She might as well have taken a gun and put it to my head to get it over with. I had nothing. Her voice became pleading with every cry. It was too late now. I left without another word to anyone. As soon as I got to my room, I ripped off all of the clothing that were on my upper body. I flipped over the beds and tables as I cried out with all my might. I punched the walls, leaving fist-size holes in them before making my way to the bathroom. I stared at my reflection for what must have been ten minutes or more before throwing my fist at it, shattering it. I picked up a fair size, jagged piece and staggered over to the front door. I set my back against it and slid down to a sitting position. I kept seeing her face and her ring as I dragged the glass across both forearms repeatedly. To make sure I had no chance left, I drew it one last time across my wrist.
My world was getting dark. It was getting harder to see…to breath. The last thing I saw before my vision faded for good was Kate's face the night of her birthday when I gave her her birthday star.
At least I'm gonna fly again…
I was terrified. Beyond terrified. I couldn't get rid of the image of Matt's face before he took off. I knew I was to blame. It was a stupid plan and now Matt was suffering because of my greediness. I had to see him. I needed to know he was okay. I snuck out of the house and took a cab to where Matt said his mom lived. I trudged up the path to the door and raised a timid hand to knock.
I was not anticipating what was going to come next. Matt's mother opened the door with tears pouring down her face, sobbing uncontrollably. Right away I knew something was wrong. She grabbed me in a hug which threw me into shock and then what she said next destroyed my life entirely.
"He's gone. They found him this morning in his room, unresponsive."
I heard her muttering about how he had been extremely down about losing his position on the space expedition but to be honest, what she said to me after that was lost on me. All I was hearing besides the ringing in my ears was He's gone.
His mom blamed it on the expedition. I knew the real reason.
I broke off my engagement later that day.
I never went on the expedition. I had them give away my position.
I rarely left the house.
I sit here now in this peaceful graveyard, wearing the jacket he had lent me the night of my birthday when I had gotten cold. It still had his scent.
I stare at the stone that haunts my dreams.
I loved you Matthew Cruse.
You were never a game to me.
What have I done?...