Authors' Note: Right. I've just finished Airhead and I had to write something from Christophers' point of view. Never mind that I have an ongoing Percy Jackson and the Olympians romance whose chapter five has been stuck in my head for eight months or so. And at a point where the protagonists have just finished meeting. Meh. Sorry, but really. You try writing a decent Salleidon, there's so little to work with.
Back to this drabble, excuses if it sounds like a little too much, but I didn't have the patience to do anything less dramatic than a wandering drabble. And of course, all rights to Airhead goes to Meg Cabot, and Macmillan. I just hope she hurries up with the next two books.
Everything was back to normal.
That was what galled him, how the world went on. Sure, people had been awkward the first couple of days. Even Whitney whatsername had been more subdued than usual. The teachers had given him sympathetic looks, a couple of them even had more brightness in their eyes than usual. They'd known her, after all. How smart she was, how funny, how utterly and absolutely willing to go along with anything…
Emerson Watts. Was.
She'd been sixteen. Sixteen years, six months and twenty seven days, to be exact. People did not get crushed to death at that age, not here. Maybe in some godforsaken war-ridden place somewhere out there. Not here. Not his friend. Not now. Not her.
And there wasn't even a point to what he was feeling, was there? She was dead. Everyone died sometime. It wasn't like people could go switch into a newer, younger, healthier body whenever their old ones gave out. All the rage he felt was obscured by much heavier doses of helplessness. There was nothing he could have done.
Except maybe pull her back. He'd been there, hadn't he? All he'd had to do was grab her, hold her back. Or maybe pushed her sister away himself; he'd have survived. Probably. He was faster than she was, at least.
He could have done something. But he'd been drooling over some supermodel. Normal maybe, but if he'd known this was going to happen, if he'd as much as had a pint-sized premonition…
If he'd known this was possible, he'd have locked her in her house and thrown away the key, only letting her out after he'd managed to vandalize that place to the ground. And he was actually being serious. Whatever trouble he could get into over something like that was quark-sized compared to what he was going through now.
He hadn't cried, not like Frida or her parents had. He hadn't even choked up over her name like some of the teachers had. He hadn't even had telltale brightness hanging around his eyes like his father did. He'd been calm, composed, completely in control. And he'd been like than even when he was alone, showering or sleeping or shut up in his room.
He hadn't laughed either. Or smiled, as far as he could remember. He hadn't felt anything. Not even when he finally broke through level forty-five on Journeyquest, which had pretty much been his ultimate ambition. He just didn't have the energy to celebrate. Or even to continue with the game he'd been obsessing over for years. He talked. He ate. He breathed. He couldn't have cared less if a meteor dropped from the sky and flattened the state.
Emerson Watts. Dead.
So was he. It was just that he was walking, too.