"Come on Carls, it'll be fun." Sam Puckett implored her best friend to get out of bed and actually leave her bedroom. "This is the last night the carnival is going to be here."
"You go on without me Sam. I'm not really feeling up to it." Carly's voice was tired and still a little sad.
It was the second week of July, July 10th to be exact, and Carly had barely left her bedroom in the last two weeks since she had broken up with her last boyfriend, Derek. She had been dating him for two months and things seemed to be going very well. Besides being quite handsome; Derek was polite, kind and generous. Spencer and Sam adored him. Freddie was a little standoffish at first, but before long even he came to like Derek as well. Derek understood that Freddie had had a crush on Carly which may have still been lingering. Instead of being threatened by Freddie or condescending towards him, Derek took the initiative and won Freddie over as his friend.
It was a shock to everyone when Carly said that she had broken up with him. She hadn't given any reasons, just announced it to Spencer, Sam and Freddie in the loft when the subject of Derek had come up. Since then she had spent all of her time holed up in her bedroom. Sometimes she came downstairs to get something to eat; but she immediately took the food right back upstairs. It was obvious that she wasn't doing it often enough, however, as she seemed noticeably thinner to Spencer when he did see her.
Spencer knew that breakups were hard and he wanted to give Carly space and time to grieve, but he did grow concerned. He stopped relying on her to feed herself and brought her meals to her. He always found her under the covers of her bed, her comforter pulled up close to her chin, almost as if she were hiding from something. He tried to engage her in conversation, especially about the breakup, but she didn't volunteer any information. She just replied that she had to break up with him in the same flat monotone she used to reply to all of his entreaties.
Eventually Spencer gave up and turned to Sam for help. He thought that maybe Carly would be more willing to talk to her best friend than to her older brother. Sam, for her part, was willing to take up the challenge; thus Sam's attempt to get Carly to go to the carnival.
"You don't seem to be up to doing anything. Come on Carly, you've got to leave this room sometime. The Summer is wasting away."
"I'll live, besides I don't feel like having fun right now. I only just broke up with Derek."
"You broke up with him two weeks ago, and by the way, you still haven't told me why you broke up with him."
"I don't want to talk about it." Carly's voice was flat now instead of sad.
"You should talk about it Carls, at least with me, your best friend. What happened? Did he do something I need to beat him up for?" Sam was joking about that last part, trying to get Carly to cheer up at least a little bit.
"No, you don't have to beat him up."
"Then why did you break up with him? Keep in mind that I am not going to give up on this. I am going to hound you day and night until you give me the info that I want."
Carly sighed, she really didn't want to talk about it, but Sam could be quite the pit-bull when she wanted. She realized that Sam would hound her until she told her. Carly exhaled and began, "Derek and I had only gotten to second base in our relationship. I wasn't comfortable going any farther. Derek wanted to go further than I was willing. He was going to force me to..to go all the way. He was going to hurt me and make me…" Carly's voice trailed off.
"He was going to rape you?" Sam interjected. She was stunned beyond belief; Derek didn't seem like the kind of guy who would do that to anyone, let alone Carly whom he seemed to adore. "Are you sure about that Carly? How do you know?"
"I overheard him telling someone about it. I was scared to death, I told him it was over and that I didn't want to see him ever again. I ran out as fast as I could and have been here in this room pretty much ever since."
Sam was flabbergasted. This is the last thing she would have expected, the absolute last thing, no wonder Carly wouldn't come out of her room. "Are you ok? Do you need a hug, do you need to cry?"
Carly's voice was still rather flat and emotionless, which seemed a little odd to Sam now that she thought about it, considering what Carly had just told her. "No, I just need to time to get over it."
"Cupcake, how about coming with me to the carnival? If you're afraid of seeing Derek I promise to protect you. Who could make a better bodyguard than an invisible ninja?" Sam smiled over at Carly. She was relieved when Carly returned her smile, the first real emotion she had seen in her since asking her to leave her room.
"Well, if you promise not to leave my side it's a deal." Carly pushed the covers off of her and swung her legs around the side of the bed. She would need time to take a shower and do something with her hair. Her body odor was quite rank, she couldn't remember when she had last taken a shower.
"Great, but you have to promise me you'll take a good shower first. Invisible ninja or no, you smell terrible."
Sam was flipping through one of Carly's fashion magazines in the bedroom waiting for Carly to finish with her hair in the bathroom that was adjacent to her bedroom. She heard Carly say something to her as she turned off the hair dryer. "What was that Carls? I didn't hear you."
"I asked you to repeat what you said to me, I couldn't hear you over the hair dryer," Carly called back.
"I didn't say anything. You must be hearing things."
"I suppose." Carly said as she came out of the bathroom wearing just her bra and panties.
Sam looked over at Carly and was surprised at what she saw. The last time she had seen Carly without all of her clothes was in their last gym class of the school year maybe five weeks earlier. She looked considerably skinnier than she had then. She wasn't quite emaciated, but Sam was a little concerned. As Carly started putting on a pair of skinny jeans and a penny tee, Sam remarked, "No arguments, you are eating a ton of junk food tonight. Even if I have to pay for it myself."
Carly finished getting dressed and put on a pair of sneakers. "Is something the matter Sam? You can tell me anything." Carly's voice was quite concerned.
Sam was surprised by Carly's tone. "No, why do you ask?"
"I can't remember you ever offering to buy someone else food. I just thought maybe you were dying or something." Carly started smirking.
Sam got the joke and started laughing. "Keep it up with that razor-sharp wit Shay and see what happens. Come on let's go." She led Carly out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the first floor.
"Is Freddie coming with us?" Carly asked.
"You've been out of it for a while, haven't you? Freddie's been at his aunt's in Idaho all week. I think he's supposed to come back tomorrow."
The girls passed behind Spencer who was spread out on the couch watching the latest installment of Elephant Love. "Catch you later big bro, me and Sam are going to the carnival."
"Cool. Here," Spencer grabbed his wallet and went over to the two girls and gave them each twenty dollars, "Grab some high-calorie junk food on me, and have fun. Be home by 11:00, ok?" Carly and Sam left and Spencer sat back down on the couch feeling much better about things. It was good that Carly was getting out of the loft, let alone her bedroom, and some junk food might actually do her some good. She was looking way too skinny.
Carly and Sam arrived at the carnival and debated what to do first; eat or go on rides. Sam was hungry and wanted to eat; Carly was being a little more logical and wanted to go on rides first. She didn't want to deal with a vomiting Sam. Carly's logic won out and they got into the line for tickets.
Sam was determined to start breaking Carly out of her funk. She knew Carly really liked Derek, but it had been a few weeks and she couldn't mope forever. Sam scanned the area while they were waiting for their turn. She spotted a couple of guys she thought were cute and pointed them out to Carly. "Those guys are cute, aren't they? Want to go say hello?" They noticed Sam motioning to them and smiled back. Sam returned their smile, but Carly just looked down at the ground.
"No Sam, we don't know them. It's too soon." Carly continued looking at the ground. "I know, I'm being careful. I won't let them."
"What Carls?" Sam wasn't sure what Carly was saying at the end there.
"It's nothing Sam. Look, it's our turn." They had gotten to the front of the line.
After purchasing enough tickets to go on a few rides apiece they made their way over to the nearest stomach-churning ride. Carly was a little nervous, as usual, but Sam was like a little kid on Christmas. She loved the carnival and any kind of amusement park ride.
They waited patiently for their turn on the ride. Carly spoke up, "Sam, the guy that sold us the tickets, did you get a creepy vibe from him?"
"No, not really, he just took our money and gave us our tickets. Didn't seem unusual to me."
"I didn't like the way he looked at me." Carly's voice was getting flat again.
That man wants to hurt you. He wants to rape you. He wants to kill you.
Carly couldn't get the thought out of her head. It was like someone was speaking right into her skull. Eventually their turn came and the thought left once the ride started. She enjoyed the thrill of the ride somewhat, while Sam of course screamed her head off. As they left the ride the operator smiled at them and wished them a good night.
He is going to hurt you. He is going to rape you. He is going to kill you.
Same wished him a good night back while Carly turned and walked away quickly, not daring to glance back at the man. Sam caught up with her. "What's the matter? Everything ok?"
"No Sam. The ride operator, he..he is not a good person. I think he wants to hurt us. I don't trust him." Her voice was slightly panicky.
"Carly, the man is in his early 60's and has been giving everyone a friendly smile and gesture. What makes you think he wants to hurt us?"
"I..I just know. Come on I want to get away from him."
Sam sighed, she thought Derek must have really done a number on Carly. "Let's get something quick to eat. Maybe your blood sugar is low."
They each got a funnel cake, with extra powdered sugar on Sam's of course, and sat down to eat. They chatted about this and that when the two boys Sam spied in the ticket line approached. Sam looked up and smiled, Carly just looked straight ahead.
"Hi, my name's Jason and this is my friend Donny. We saw you earlier in the ticket line."
"I'm Sam and this is my friend Carly. Do you guys live around here?"
It was Donny who answered, "No. We go to Seattle North High. We just finished our Junior year. What about you?"
"Me and Carly live in the neighborhood, We're going to be Juniors next year at Ridgeway."
They are going to hurt you! They are going to rape you! They are going to kill you! They are going to hurt you! They are going to rape you! They are going to kill you!
They voice was screaming inside her head now. She looked at Jason and Donny and panicked. It was true; they were going to rape and kill her. She got up quickly and ran away as fast as she could.
Sam got up and quickly apologized, "Carly's not well. She just went through a rough breakup. Maybe we'll see you around." She took off after Carly who was running away as fast as she could. She finally caught up to Carly, out of breath, about a block away from Bushwell Plaza. "What's your problem Shay?" Sam managed to eke out between gasps of breath.
"They were going to kill us. Didn't you hear?" Carly took off again for Bushwell. Sam caught up with her again outside the front doors.
"Carls, are you ok? Be honest, please." Sam was really worried now.
"I need to get upstairs where I'm safe. Please let me go upstairs, please." Her voice was pleading now.
"Ok cupcake. We'll go upstairs. We can watch a couple of DVD's. How does that sound?" She was trying to keep her voice as calm as possible.
The girls made their way upstairs and back into the loft. Spencer was surprised to see them back so early. Sam explained that they decided to stay in and watch a couple of movies. Spencer didn't protest as Sam picked out a couple of movies and Carly made punch and popcorn.
As they waited for the freight elevator, Carly called over to Spencer, "We'll be in the studio if you need us."
Sam woke up the next morning in the iCarly studio. They had laid out sleeping bags to sleep in before the second movie. Sam glanced at her cell phone, it was a little after nine in the morning. She didn't see Carly in her sleeping bag. Thinking she must have already gotten up, Sam took the stairs down to the first floor after a quick bathroom break.
She found Spencer at the kitchen computer drinking a cup of coffee. "Is Carly down here?"
"No, I haven't seen her yet. What happened last night, you two came back from the carnival awfully early?"
"I wish I knew. I guess Carly wasn't ready yet. I'll go try and find her. Maybe she went back to her room to sleep." Sam headed back up the stairs.
She entered Carly's room; she noticed Carly's bed was still in the same shape it was in when they left. She didn't think Carly had slept there. She peeked into the bathroom and saw it was empty; she was about to leave when she noticed Carly in the corner of the room. There was a gap in the far corner of the room that was formed by Carly's dresser and book shelf. The opening wasn't huge, but there was enough room for one normal-sized person to fit inside. Sam came around to get a better look. Carly was there now, sitting on the floor with her knees drawn up to her chin. She had fallen asleep in that position; her head was resting against the side of the dresser.
Sam knelt down in front of Carly and gently shook her shoulder to wake her up. Carly awoke with a start. "Where…what…" She looked around confused. "Did I sleep here?"
"I don't know when you came in here. You fell asleep last night in the studio with me. What's the matter Carls? You're worrying me."
"I'm so tired. I need more sleep. Please let me sleep." Carly's voice was tired.
Sam stood up and held out her hand to help Carly up. Carly took it and let Sam lead her over to the bed. Carly got in and pulled the covers snugly over herself. Sam lied down next to her on top of the covers. She thought that, right at that moment, Carly looked so sad and pathetic. She stroked Carly's hair and started to sing her a lullaby. Within a few minutes Carly fell sound asleep; Sam put her head down on the pillow and fell asleep with her.
It was almost one in the afternoon. Sam and Carly came down the stairs together, both freshly showered and dressed. After last night and the episode that morning, Sam considered it a minor miracle that she had been able to get Carly up, cleaned and dressed.
Spencer was chopping and cutting vegetables for a soup he was going to make for dinner that night. He put the large knife down when he heard Sam and Carly. "Rise and shine ladies. How are we feeling today?" Before they could answer Freddie walked into the loft.
"Hey Spencer, you ready to bring that stuff up from your storage space?" Spencer had called Freddie earlier after he had returned home to ask for his help moving some things up to the loft. "Oh, hi Sam, Carly."
"How was Idaho, Frednub?"
"It was fine Sam. How was your week? Did you manage to stay out of Juvie?" Freddie smirked.
"I did, thank you for asking. Tell you what, why don't I go down with Spencer and help with that stuff. I'm not sure you're strong enough to handle it." In truth, Sam wanted to talk to Spencer about Carly without Carly present. She gave Freddie a look that said not to argue. Freddie took the hint.
"No problem. I don't want to get in the way of you doing some actual manual labor. I'll hang out here with Carly."
Spencer and Sam took the freight elevator down to the basement. Carly asked Freddie if he wanted some juice. He nodded yes and Carly got the pitcher out of the fridge while Freddie got a couple glasses. They stood next to each other drinking their juice silently.
Freddie is going to hurt you! Freddie is going to rape you! Freddie is going to kill you.
The voice came back into Carly's head. She didn't want to hear it; of course Freddie wasn't going to hurt her. He was one of her two best friends. "No he's not. Shut up." Carly argued with the voice.
FREDDIE IS GOING TO RAPE YOU! FREDDIE IS GOING TO KILL YOU!
"What's that Carly?" Freddie was puzzled and confused.
Carly started to tremble slightly. She braced herself on the kitchen island with both of her arms. She tried to ignore the voice in her head but it became more insistent.
FREDDIE IS GOING TO RAPE YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO KILL YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO RAPE YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO KILL YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO RAPE YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO KILL YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO RAPE YOU FREDDIE IS GOING TO KILL YOU
"No he's not." Carly started to cry. Freddie continued to watch her, unsure of what to do.
KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU. KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU. KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU. KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU.
TAKE THE KNIFE TAKE THE KNIFE TAKE THE KNIFE TAKE THE KNIFE
KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU KILL HIM BEFORE HE KILLS YOU
The voice became a drumbeat inside Carly's head. She couldn't escape it. She tried to fight it, tried to ignore it. She started shaking more violently. Freddie reached over and put his hand on Carly's left shoulder.
HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU! HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU! HE'S GOING TO KILL YOU!
Freddie's touch scared Carly. At that moment she was sure Freddie Benson was going to kill her. She grabbed the knife Spencer had left and swung it up and into Freddie's abdomen. The knife entered him all the way to the handle; Freddie started to double over. Carly pulled it out and swung it again in and upward arc; the blade tore a huge gash in Freddie's stomach close to the first wound. Freddie collapsed on the kitchen floor, blood pouring out of his wounds.
Carly stood over him for a moment; Freddie looked up at her with confusion in his eyes. She then took off and ran up the stairs. Freddie tried to crawl over to the phone, but couldn't move, he was losing too much blood. As he was losing consciousness the last thoughts he had were about why Carly would want to hurt him. The very last thought in his mind as everything grew dark around him was, "Why?"
Author's Note. This story will be much more open-ended than my first. Bragging rights go to the first person who can guess Carly's ailment.