Disclaimer: Well, I do own the soundtrack, script, companion, and hopefully tickets to a second tour showing, does that count for anything?

Notes: Sorry for the lapse in updates. This one's not even that long, either. But Moritz probably doesn't need any more angst right now. (Because next chapter… let's just say he gets traumatized for life… or death, whatever…)

I don't follow him. Not right away. Because I always follow him, and for once, I'd like to see how he followed me.

His diary's closed, like my life. Hell, it was my life, the life I should have led. So appropriately, it's beyond me. No happily ever after; that's all Melchior and I have in common right now.

Oh, we had so much more…

But he can't follow me anymore, except to the grave, so the only way I can find out how he follows me is by following him. To his grave, perhaps.

"It would seem, young man, that all roads end in you," Herr Knochenbruch is saying. He doesn't know how right he is. He thinks he's arrogantly right and yet lying. "You do know what I mean?"

Melchior knows everything. Yet, he seems to realize that's not such a gift. "I'm afraid…"

God, was everyone?

"As well as one would be," the headmaster continues. "Two days after his father learned of the young, uh…"

Oh. My. God. They've forgotten my name already. Two days it took to forget me; and I still haven't forgotten. Maybe if I'd killed them instead, I'd forget about them. They might as well be dead, if they're going to haunt me anyway.

Fraulein Knuppeldick has to read from a list, which can only supply the name and not the person. "Moritz Stiefel."

Melchior already looks angry. Did my name always make him angry?

"…Moritz Stiefel's death, he searched through the boy's effects and uncovered a certain depraved and atheistic document which made terribly clear…" Herr Knochenbruch drones on.

"Terribly clear," Fraulein Knuppeldick supplies, and though I disagree with her, I agree with the statement.

"…the utter moral corruption of the young man," Herr Knochenbruch continues. "A corruption which, no doubt, hastened the boy's end."

That I want to disagree with. But I can't. Because no one would hear me anyway, and because it's true.

But I would have shot myself anyway, so in the end, did the timing matter? Melchior was only trying to help.

Help me kill myself, that is.

"Without question, Herr Knochenbruch," the woman agrees.

"I am referring, as you may know, to a ten-page essay entitled, coyly enough, "The Art of Sleeping With"… accompanied by- shall we say- life-like illustrations."

I never did ask where he got the illustrations. Based on Melchior's expression, I don't want to know. Because I do know.

"Herr Knochenbruch, if I could…" Melchior tries.

"Behave properly?" Herr Knochenbruch suggests. "Yes, that would be another affair entirely."

"No, no, no…" I moan as Fraulein Knuppeldick mindlessly repeats the man's words. "Don't make Melchior me! He's not me! He's not…" I trail off. He's not what? Guilty? He knows he's a guilty one.

Because he knows everything. And he tried to teach me.

Now they're telling Melchior everything he already knows, all the guilt he's already gathered. They don't really care about me. I didn't think anyone did, and I was wrong, but I wasn't wrong about them. So why take it out on the one of the only people who did care?

Because they truly didn't care.

God, even when they're telling the truth, they're lying. Yes, the document terrified me, but the nightmares, perfectly natural according to Melchior, did as much. And yes, it looks uncannily like Melchior's writing, but didn't their God write it when he created us?

If I'm standing up for sex, then it's got to be pretty damn good. From what I hear, it's supposed to be, only you're supposed to lie down for it, not stand up…

Of course, being me, Melchior acts like me: stupid. "Sir, if you could show me only one obscenity…"

"That's not the point, Melchior! Don't miss the point!" Not like me, unless you're shooting yourself. Then, failing still isn't passing, but it's viewed as morally righteous.

They censor him more. "Yes or No," they say.

"No!" I shout, but they've censored me completely.

"Melchior Gabor, did you write this?"

It shouldn't take this long to answer. He knows the answer, and they know it. I know the right answer, for once.

"Say no, Melchi," I beg. "Write" could actually be "right," in which case, no, he wouldn't be the one to right the act.

If I can't live, maybe he can.

Yes, Melchior knows how to lie. But not in that way.

I'm always wrong. "Yes!" he shouts, proud.

All I had to do was say yes! I remember. All he had to do was say no.

Now, those words have killed us both. They don't need any more words. Just more nonsense.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Then, they start to take him away for me, as if I hadn't done a good enough job of that myself.

"No!" I cry. "No, no, no!" For God's sake, all he had to do was say no!

But Melchior didn't say no. He met challenges. He went where no one would. And now, he surely would, to some reformatory for criminals.

He didn't kill anyone; I was the killer. But they'll kill us both. Two birds with no stones.

If I'm a bird, how come I didn't get my angel wings?

I turn to face the teachers, since I never could when I had a face. "Bastards," I grit, the bitter taste lingering in my mouth. I'd never been so dirty before; but, now that I'm surrounded by dirt, cursing can't hurt. "You don't have any clue what you're doing."

As if to demonstrate, they send each other wicked grins as they drag Melchior out of the room.

"I can relate, of course," I continue, glaring at them. "But at least I know when I've done enough damage." They're not listening; they wouldn't even if they could. Slowly, I meet Melchior's eyes, and decisively, I flip them the finger. That finger. "I'm glad I was your downfall."

Melchior's eyes widen, and for a second, I wonder if he sees me. But no; it's got to be Wendla Bergman he's staring at, whose looking right back at him. Through me. Figures that death separates them.

Maybe it's my imagination, but it looks, inexplicably, like everyone's copying my gesture. They should know not to copy from me: I'm always wrong.

But, at this moment in time, they want to be wrong.

"You'll regret this someday," I tell the teachers, haunting their tail. "The day you'll need to think. You'll need people like him, but you'll have killed them all." For once, I imitate them and grin at failure. "And it'll kill you."

They're sending him to the attic now, where Melchior will disappear above them. I strain to meet his eyes, but he doesn't look down. Even now, I'm beneath him.

I got him into this mess. He probably blames me. Well, good. Maybe he won't be the only one. "And when the days comes, you remember Moritz Stiefel, the boy who ruined it all."

My father said something of the like once. It upset me at first, but now, I can live down the reputation.

Except I won't; I'm dead.

I know they won't remember me, since they didn't know me to begin with.

I wish I could say the same. Now, I know them too well.

No, I can't haunt them. Even though I'm the ghost, they'll always haunt me.


I'm sure this makes everyone returning to school shortly feel even better about their teachers. *sighs* I'd totally brave the teachers if I could have the characters in my classes, though. Review?