Sorry guys. 8D I'm really, really sorry. I don't think I can live up to the I'll-reply-to-every-review thing. :/ 'Cause I'm not on half of the time. Occasionally I check my stories, but always go, "Meh, I'll reply later." But I don't want to disappoint you by making a promise I cannot fulfill.
- Peanutthatbutter

P.S. Enjoy the very depressing read! :) And if you don't want to dislike Lyra/Ethan, you should probably not read it! :o Please review on my first attempt at a non-romantic story! Ha-ha.

Two and twisted.

We fought a lot. "Too many times to count," our mothers will say.

"We'd began to think you guys used your nails and fists to talk with each other."

Laugh inserted here.

"Oh," I'd say.

Four and fainting.

He was my neighborhood playmate. Or at least, that's what the other kids on the block would claim.

Our hand still did the talking, though. The proof was on our arms, our legs, our faces.


Oh—wait, wait. It's five and fainting.

My bad.

The doctor said I had a condition. My parents wouldn't tell me what.

They started getting more worried as I started to get more and more frequent blackouts.

They started getting more frenzied.

More easily angered.

Six's for my saint.

My parents divorced.

Too much tension, stress.

My bad.

But I didn't faint as much.

As much.

My temporary saint.

He, Ethan, that is, stayed by my side…

through both the sevens and eights.

My mom remarried. The guy was decent. I allowed him into my life.

My life. But nothing else.

My heart? It was frozen.

It only allowed two people to thaw it: My mother and Ethan.

My nines and tens… I mean, our nines and tens.

He was so nice, so nice.

So caring, that Ethan.

So caring, so careful.

Too careful.

He was scared.

Already? Well, that was fast.

Eleven and epileptic.

That was the kid next to me. He twitched every now and then. A raspy breath would reach me once in a while, sending shivers through my bones.

I basically lived in the hospital.

My home. Clean white sheets, nice, polite nurses, my understanding doctor.

Not that he understood anything at all.

Ethan would visit often, bringing flowers.

Tulips, carnations, roses…


Twelve and too tired to make another word up to go with it.

My illness, disease.

Was getting worse.

I never remembered the name of my condition.

It was probably too long to remember.

Or maybe I just didn't want to remember.

That simple, short name to label me with.

I didn't want to.


My mom was thinning ever since I moved into the hospital. I tried to ignore it, reassuring myself she wouldn't end up as I was.

Confined to a bed nearly 24/7. To a prison. And worse: A clean prison.

I prayed for her, prayed so goddamn much.

Ethan did so as well. He would be at my bedside holding more flowers.


I frown.

Not that I was smiling.

Fourteen and still fainting.

My mom was now in a room just like mine.

In the west wing of the hospital. I was in the east wing.

"Cancer, huh?" I said to the doctor of hers. She was forward and unflinchable. She was my role model for a short time.

I wanted to show her I could stand the news.

That I had been dreading for so long.

As the doctor left, Ethan entered.

I wept silently as he patted my back, whispering words of courage in my ear.

They were supposed to be words of courage, but all I heard was, "Die now. How long does it take you?"


My mother left me with a smile on her face.

I saw it. I almost smiled back until I remembered.

How not to smile.

Tears fell.

I heard: "How about now?"


Ethan got a girlfriend.

But it's not like it was him who told me.

It was his phone.

They'd been together for three months.

She was pretty conservative, it seemed. She put proper punctuations and capital letters in the beginning of her sentences.

Even in texts.

No overuse of any word or any punctuation. Just right.

They took a picture together. Actually, many pictures.

She looked well thought out, a healthy girl overall.

So much healthier than me.

It was probably wrong of me, but I had no regrets. I acted no differently than any other day.

My fake smile.

Our fake smiles.

My genuine friendly punch. Hard and fast.

His fake punch. Cautious and soft.

So careful, he was.

"Living is hard. Consider it, yeah?"


My step-father didn't even visit me. But it seemed he still paid for the hospital bill.

If he had just visited once…

I'd have said…

"Don't anymore. I'm fine."

"You're not," Ethan would say, concerned eyes implanted almost permanently whenever he was around me.

"But it's ok. We've all already let you go.


"So, I have a girlfriend."

He finally told me.

"Cool," I said, "She nice?"

He nodded. "Mhm, pretty nice."

You guys are already a hardcore couple. Official. Healthy.

Two long, fucking years Ethan.

And you're telling me she's "pretty nice"?

…is what I thought.



Death is my boyfriend. My polite boyfriend.

Cautious. Just like Ethan.

He always approaches my front porch, about to cross that line, but he only escorts me that far.

Won't you ever meet my mom?

"Oh, I will. Just wait."


"I'll introduce you to my girlfriend tomorrow."

That would be my birthday.

Ethan. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You should've done that four years ago.

"She's great."

I know, she treated you to sushi yesterday.

"You guys will get along just fine."

Exactly. Just fine.

Nothing more.

"Okay then, I'll be looking forward to it."

My death, that is.

Ethan, you don't know how much you kill me.

Ha, ha.