the hero dies in this one

pairing: jal/chris.

summary: Her name is Jal and that's the only thing she knows.

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Her name is Jal and sometimes she thinks that's the only thing she knows for sure.

Hello, my name is Jal.

- -

(she used to know more than that, used to be able to say, hello my name is Jal and this is what I am like: and could list things off like clockwork, like she was reciting from a piece of paper. Hello, my name is-

But that was before everything went fucking upside down and topsy-turvy and now the only thing she's sure of is her name: Jal. Spell it out.

J.

A.

L.

Jal: a girl who doesn't know anything but her name, a girl who is so lost she might wake up someday and be completely different, might wake up someday and just be someone else.)

- -

She plays the clarinet for six hours straight the day after Chris dies, stands in front of his grave and plays until her fingers ache. She doesn't know what else to do.

This is all I can give you, she says, so take it because I don't know what else you'd want.

(she does know what he'd want though, and if Jal could bring herself to she would go out and buy bowls of gold and orange fish, pour mountains of sugar cubes on top of his grave, pull out packets of pills and crush them on the cold marble.

Here, she would say. This is all you would want.)

- -

(and afterwards, she would stand there and whisper, and me, right? You'd want me? But there would be no answer.

Tombstones can't talk.)

- -

Instead she plays music and it seems like she'll never stop, her fingers just keep going, even when she's too tired, even when it gets so dark she can't see the notes, her fingers dance upon the keys and the music shatters the silence, cracks the night wide open.

(she remembers so much about him right then, the way he would say her name just to say it- jal, jal, jal, the way he whispered ifuckingloveyou against her skin, the way he clumsily tangled his fingers with hers. Sometimes, she misses him so much she thinks it will kill her, too.)

- -

She remembers Michelle telling her about how she asked Sid, you love me, right? You really, really love me?

She whispers those words after six hours of playing an out of tune clarinet and she stands there, shivering with the fact that she'll never know the answer.

- -

(She drops her clarinet on top of the gravestone and it shatters the silence, shatters her heart into a million pieces she'll never pick back up.

You love me, right? You really, really love me?)

- -

Her name is Jal and that's the only thing she knows.