Disclaimer: So, yeah, Degrassi isn't mine. If it was, Clare would have been Eli's first girlfriend. Also, the title is a song by the band Dir en grey. They're an awesome Japanese band.
Okay well. Everyone else was doing it, so I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and write my own take on the 'This is where I killed my girlfriend' scene. I incorporated every EliClare scene in each promo, so, spoilers. Be aware and proceed with caution. Also, I didn't give Eli's dead girlfriend a name, because I didn't wanna make it up, LOL. I hope this turned out okay. It's the longest story I've ever written for these two.
I used to like the thought that as the world falls down, crashing around me, I would be standing by myself, admiring the chaos. Bathing in the screams of everyone as they die. I envisioned watching the whole world die, burned by the sun, suffocated by the atmosphere. I didn't like to consider anyone to be my world. Didn't much consider anyone falling into my arms and praying, begging for me to save them as their own loved ones died. I refused to become attached. I'd made the mistake once, and where did that get me? Nowhere. She's dead now. I couldn't save her.
I've done good so far. Ignored every amount of contact any human being tried to force upon me. Everyone backed off eventually. It was easy. No one intrigued me, no one pulled me in with their radiance. There were no distractions. I kept to myself. And that's what I kept reminding myself: stay away and no one gets hurt. All I am good at is hurting people. I've accepted it, and at this point it's saved at least three other people. If I don't give them a single glance it won't hurt. It's not hard at all when the people surrounding you are plain, stupid, and boring. Can't hold a conversation. Don't understand the poetry of my alltime favorite poet and man I idolize. Edgar Allan Poe. That man changed my life.
I was perfectly fine, doing wonderful at Project Human Evasion. That is, until I met her. Clare Edwards. She was the only exception. I couldn't keep away. And I let it go too far. I should have only admired from a distance, should have kept driving when I saw who was standing next to Morty when I heard the crunch sound. I should have known then and there that those eyes, so blue it was alarming, told so many stories; stories about her parents, about her ex-boyfriend - some guy named K.C. who broke her heart for some cheerleader - and about the crush she'd had on our school's vice president's boyfriend and how she'd written stories, detailed stories, about him biting her neck. I should have known by the look in her eyes that she'd be just as intrigued by me as I was by her. And I should have kept my distance, like I'd promised myself.
But we all know that if there's any intense level of attraction it's hard to just stay away. And stay away is exactly what I didn't do.
I didn't consider her my girlfriend, no, because that title would mean a tragedy. I simply considered her mine. And I wasn't one to share, not with anyone. Those deep blue eyes, mine. Her beautiful smile, mine. Every curve of her body, mine. Her enchanting laugh, mine. Those small wrists, dainty hands, mine. She was mine to hold, mine to keep. Everything about her was just for me. And I figured it safe to keep it that way. There was no love. No love, no loss. That's how I saw things. I wasn't attached... I was inspired. I was intrested, intrigued. But I was also thwarted. What would a perfect Christian girl want with me? But now that I had her, now that she's mine, I couldn't dwell on it anymore. I wasn't going to give her up, not for the world.
She's the one I'd like to hold as the whole world dies.
I didn't think I was at fault, making her mine. I thought everything would be okay. That I wouldn't have to worry about losing her, because I wasn't attached. It wouldn't hurt as bad because I didn't love her. I didn't think anything would be as bad as or worse than when I lost my girlfriend to death. That was what happened when I loved her. I finally told her, and then the accident happened. And I lost her, for good. If I don't love Clare she won't die. If I don't get attached to Clare, nothing bad will happen to her. At least that's the lie I told myself daily.
"Eli," she said, eyes intent on the paper in front of her on the picnic table. "Look, we need to talk about Clara Edwin," her voice was stern. "This girl, this floosie that she is -"
"Ingénue," I corrected, rolling my eyes. If she realized who Clara was based off of she'd think twice about calling her a floosie.
"Whatever she is," she huffed, "I don't like her."
I was getting tired of this. Sometimes I wished she'd just shut up and read between the lines. Elliot and Clara. Eli and Clare. Does she not see where that story's going? I sighed and took a quick sip of my Coke, further ignoring her statement. She was getting annoyed, I could tell, because she pushed herself up from the bench and sat atop the table right next to me. My paper shoved in my face, she read a small bit of dialog between the two, but all I could see was how her lips moved when she spoke, and how wonderful it might be if I finally kissed those lips, claimed her for real.
I didn't realize that I had actually done it until I felt fingers threading through my hair. My hands subconciously rubbed up and down her arms, keeping her in place. Something in my stomach constricted and it felt as if something had a violent grip on my heart and was pulling it from my chest.
It was then that I realize that I had been lying to myself. It was then, when her arms looped around my neck and my tongue slipped into her mouth, that I realized that I was in love with Clare Edwards.
I pulled quickly back from her, gasping, and grasped her wrists, forcing her hands from around my neck. She looked confused, and hurt, her blue eyes bright in sadness. I felt another pull on my heart. I had to end this now. Grabbing my paper and my bottle of Coke I got up and walked away without looking back, without letting her say one thing. It's so much better this way, Clare, I promise.
So why couldn't I sleep that night?
"What do you mean you walked away from her?" Adam practically shouted in my ear and I cringed away from him from where we were sitting on the floor against my locker. I sighed and rubbed my temple. It's hard to explain something to Adam about how I can't possibly be with the first girl that actually accepted him. He was getting emotional, and angry. And I didn't want to hurt two people... but this was almost impossible. My little friend here had a soft spot for Clare and although I was the first person to be close friends with him, I think he'd choose her in a heartbeat. Not that I'd complain; that's two less people to get hurt by me.
But you're already hurting them, a voice came from deep inside my mind. Great. This is one of the first signs of schizophrenia.
"Exactly what I said, Adam." My voice was calm, cool and collected. I couldn't show any weakness, I might lose my resolve and tell him how I was feeling. As long as my feelings stay deep inside and never surface, Clare will be just fine. I promised this to myself over and over again. It has to stay true. I have to pull back now and hope her feelings for me that I know are there go into remission, stay dormant, and never resurface. Then I'd be alright knowing that as she looked at me she'd feel nothing and hopefully move on, maybe even be angry at me forever. Because then, I won't try to pull her back in unintentionally. Though I make no promises.
Adam opens his mouth to speak, but closes it immediately. His eyes are locked on something to my left and, slowly, I turn my head. There's Clare, rushing by when she notices that we're sitting here. I can see from this distance the redness around her eyes. I made her... cry. Biting my lip, I willed her to look at me. But she didn't even spare me a glance.
Once she was out of sight, Adam spoke up, "Dude," he said. "If you didn't think that she'd be upset, you were so wrong."
"Shut up, Adam, please," I mumbled, hiding my face in my knees. I heard a soft 'clink' and the lockers behind my back rattled a bit from, what I'm guessing to be, Adam's head leaning back against them. I willed the sadness to go into recess in the back of my mind and moved to sit up. "We'd better go. Homeroom's about to start." A small hand on my sleeve stopped me.
"Eli," he said. I looked at him. Adam already knew. I told him before. He knows what's going on in my head. He knows how terribly I feel about her, and how tragic it was when I lost her. I can't even say her name, not even in my head anymore, for fear of going crazy. For fear of crying. For fear of feeling. I'd cried so much over her that... I'm not sure I have a single tear left anymore. "Can't you just tell her?"
The question startled me. Tell Clare? About my dead girlfriend? I could almost laugh, but instead I leveled my meanest glare at my best friend. "She doesn't need to know," I said with the most venom I'd ever used, then quickly stood up, grabbed my bag and walked away without another word. The only thing I could think about was, English class is going to be the worst...
I breezed through the day, didn't talk to anyone, aside from Adam during random intervals of the day. Any other day school would go by slow, because I want it to be English class, but not today. It went by so fast that I couldn't catch my breath. Every time a pair of stunning blue eyes passed me, the wind was knocked out of me.
For once I made it to class early, figures that I worry about punctuality when I least wish to be on time. I was the second person to make it to class. The first? Why, none other than bookworm Clare Edwards, leading actress in my worst nightmare, Love. Why can't I shake this feeling? It's gnawing at my insides, tugging my heart, every time I lay eyes on her. She's so beautiful, but...
No, Eli, don't do this to yourself, to her. You're killing both yourself and her.
Taking a deep breath I made my way to my desk in front of hers, dropped my bag down nonchalantly and sat down, being as discreet as possible. It seemed like an impossible task when your heart was beating, thrumming roughly against your chest, threatening to pound right out and run off. My heart came close to doing what I wish I had done: fled. If only I could. If I ran for it, told my grandfather that I wanted to leave Degrassi, to start anew in a town, in a school without any beautiful, intelligent eleventh grade advanced class-taking sophomores, and never come back, would it be easier? Would my heart stop aching the way it is now? This pressure is unbearable. With every breath she takes, my lungs constrict in my chest and it gets harder to breathe.
Clare, you're making this so difficult for me.
You're making it difficult for yourself, that voice was back, taunting me, provoking me, trying to get me to give in, to steal her away. The worst part was that I really wanted to steal her away, to grab her by her wrist, wrench her from her seat and run for it, out the entrance to the school and towards Morty. But I couldn't risk putting her life in danger, no, not after I began to harbor these horrible, terrible, amazing feelings for her. When those deep blue pools look at me, see into my very soul, my throat gets dry, my palms sweat, and my heart beats more frequently, violently. She brings out another side of me that not even she could.
Ms. Dawes' class went by so painfully slow, I could feel the tension radiating from behind me. I could feel the angry flush on Clare's face when I answered one of Ms. Dawes' questions. Despite the fact that I looked unfocused, looked like I wasn't paying attention, I was still there, about to answer at the drop of a hat. It was a skill which I was sure pissed Clare off, more than she'll ever admit.
I need to stop thinking about her. I can't ever have her. I just need to give it up now, to save her from me.
Although I was there, aware in the classroom, it still shocked me when the bell sounded and the halls flooded. Clare was the first to leave - first in, first out, I guess - when usually she was the last. I'm supposing it has something to do with the fact that being near me could very well be revolting. She probably thinks she did something wrong to deserve what I did. If only she knew.
Adam caught me in the hallway and fell into step with me. "So, dude, I ran into Clare," he said, adjusting his backpack as it began to slip off his shoulder. "She looked so mad. Probably thinks I'm on your side." I was startled to hear his laugh.
"You're not, are you?"
"Look, I love you, man," his hands rose in defense, "In a brotherly, totally non-homo way but... Clare understood me, Eli. She took me into her arms, became my friend, told me I didn't have to change for anyone, and had my back. You did too, yes, but she... she was there, you can't expect me -"
I sighed and raised my hand slowly, "I know, Adam, don't worry. I don't want to force you to choose my side." My hand fell back to my side and I watched the floor as we walked. "I'm the one at fault here. So go patch things up with Clare," her name hurt me to say, because I wouldn't be able to be anything with her, I'd have to watch from the sidelines as she looked for the right guy - the guy that should be me - and go through plenty of complete assholes before she found the one. "I'll talk to you later."
"See ya, dude." His wave was the last I saw as he melded in with the other students trying to get out of school as fast as possible.
I didn't feel like going to my locker, didn't want to have to deal with another human encounter. Today just needed to end, and fast.
Unlocking Morty's doors and getting in, I basked in how comfortable it was being in a familiar place, being with the only thing that would never betray me. Managing to smile for the first time today, I slipped the key in the ignition and turned and -
I groaned. Maybe Morty wasn't even capable of not betraying me. If I could at least get him to start and get home, it'll be okay. I've known for a week or so now that my starter was going, but I was hoping it would happen when I was leaving for school, not trying to go home. I'd love an excuse to not see the betrayal in her eyes, the pain.
I stepped out of the car and went to the back to grab my tools and a rag. Sometimes I think I spend more time fixing Morty than I do driving him. I popped open the hood and rolled my sleeves up. I used the wrench to finagle with the starter, and hopefully that did the trick because she was right there. Before I could clean up she was here, eyeing me with such anger. I mirrored her gaze. "Need something?"
"Yeah, I do," she said, voice laced with something hostile yet sad at the same time. "I want to know why."
"I asked what you needed, not what you wanted," I retorted, smirk spreading across my face.
She angrily placed her hand on her hip and tapped her foot. "I see nothing funny about this, Elijah. You know what I mean."
I put the wrench down and took a step closer to her, she stepped back. Losing your resolve, Saint Clare? You seemed so strong just a moment ago. "Maybe I find this situation hilarious," I said, tone dark and menacing. "Maybe I find your pain amusing." I watched as she bit her lip, eyes beginning to tear up. "Or maybe I just don't care. Have you ever thought about that?"
"Then why did you kiss me!" The way it came out, it sounded more like an angry statement. All I could do was shrug. "You're a real piece of work, Goldsworthy. I thought there was something there, you -" A sound I've never heard came from her throat, a kind of choking sound, and I tried not to look at her in alarm. Don't cry, Clare. Hold strong because if you don't hold strong, I can't either.
I closed my eyes for a moment, preparing myself for what I was about to say next. Steeling myself, hiding my emotions I said, "Well I'm sorry I led you on." It was the coldest my voice has ever been towards her and it pained me more than anything else in the world. I don't think losing her felt as bas as completely lying to Clare, breaking her heart.
I didn't expect her response, though.
"Wow!" she laughed. She. Fucking. Laughed. "I don't get you, Eli, I really don't." She shook her head, holding strong to her resolve. I was proud but shellshocked. She was standing up to me. I didn't realize how much of a bad influence I was. Or maybe it was good because she's not crying, she's staying strong. "If you knew this was going nowhere fast," she said, voice quiet but still so angry, "You should have ended it before it even began. Before you kissed me. Before I -
"You know what, nevermind. This is a pointless conversation because you're not going to explain your motives, or why you chose to get me going then just drop me. Just like -" K.C. lingered on her tongue, unsaid, but I know it was there. She closed her eyes for a split second, and when they opened they were as blue as ever, intent. "Goodbye, Eli."
I wanted to stop her as she walked away, but... nothing good would come of that. I'd only hurt her further, hurt myself. It really is for the best.
Closing the hood gently I put the tools back in Morty's back hatch, shut the door and climed in the driver's side. I held my breath and turned the key. He started without a problem.
I lay in bed, completely ignoring the assignments I was supposed to be doing, ignoring my computer that has FaceRange IM on it, that's taunting me to sign on and Instant Message her. I want to talk to her, to make everything better, to make it work. I want to go back to when she was mine, when I'd dare her to scream at the top of her lungs in a public place, when I'd convince her to take risks and talk to her mom. I don't even know how things are going with her parents, don't know if they're okay now, if she's going to be okay. I suppose I won't ever know, because she's never going to want to talk to me again.
A sudden noise from across my bedroom startled me. Dead Hand was blaring from my phone. I rolled my eyes, Adam was calling.
I forced myself out of bed and flipped my phone open. "Hey."
"You told her you were leading her on!" he squealed and I had to hold the phone at arms length away from my ear. "Eli, what the hell are you doing!" Nothing Adam was saying was a question. They were supposed to be, but they weren't.
"Adam, I really can't deal with this right now -"
"Get your stupid goth butt to my house right now, we're talking," he seethed and before I could respond I was met with a dead line. I sighed and grabbed my keys. It's hard to say no to Adam.
Once I got to Adam's his front door opened and he ran out, sliding into the passenger's side immediately. "Okay dude," he said, out of breath. "Look, you need to tell her." I opened my mouth to protest but he held his hand in front of my face. I raised an eyebrow. "I know, I know, it's your choice and all that, but dude. Clare is the best thing in your life!" He said it as if I didn't know. "And the best in mine, you both are. I want to be able to hang out with both of you, at the same time, all the time. And," he paused, rolling his eyes dramatically, "As much as it grosses me out, like, totally dude, come on, I want you two to be all lovey-dovey, you know? Or at least bickering like the lovebirds you know you are. So come on." He grinned the widest grin I'd ever seen on his face.
"I'll consider it," I said, a smirk on my face. But I already knew that I was going to do as he asked. And he knew, too. Adam was too smart, too observant for his own good.
"Sweeeeet," he grinned right back. "See you tomorrow!" As soon as he came, he was gone and I was left in a pleasing silence.
School wasn't as painful this time, because I had a reason to make it through. I was going to tell her. She was finally going to know about me, and I was scared but... it had to be done.
Adam jogged up beside me. "So I talked to her." He tugged his hat further down on his head. "She's like, raging or something. You might want to proceed with caution. She's got Sav's little sis as a bodyguard or something, so -"
I groaned, "I should have known she'd tell Alli..."
"It'll be okay. I'll talk to Mister Prez," he said, shrugging. "Oh wait! Or better yet, I can get Drew in on this."
Before I could respond he was gone. He never waits for responses, does he?
I sighed and resolved myself to actually try to survive today, not that I really wanted to make it out alive. Clare might chew my head off if I even get near her. Hopefully Adam and Drew pull through.
After my short conversation with Adam, the whole rest of the day went by so slow, it was unbearable. I need to get this over with, and taking her there was the best way to do it. It was the only way to explain it. She has to know eventually and, although I hate admitting it, Adam is more right than he'll ever think. He's like the bonding force that holds everyone together. And he's certainly the one that will stop at nothing to get me and Clare together and happy as can be. But it's still the worst idea possible. I'm only doing this so she knows my reasoning, so I don't further hurt her. I just hope we can stay friends, and not be any more than that.
Adam and Drew pulled through all right. Drew got Alli away from Clare and took her to the Dot for a surprise 'date' A.K.A. give-Eli-a-chance-with-the-girl-of-his-dreams. I rolled my eyes and waited at my locker, hoping Clare would come. After ten or so minutes, Adam came up, panting. "Dude..." he tried to catch his breath. "She's walking home. But -"
This time, I didn't let him finish. I was out the door and halfway across the parkinglot before he could even say 'BOOYAH'. Morty started without a single cough and I was speeding towards the street she takes on her way home. Once I spotted her, I pulled alongside her and rolled down my window. "Clare!" I shouted, but she wasn't fazed, only picked up her speed. I inwardly growled, threw it in park and jumped out, car still running. I caught up to her and grasped her wrist as gently as I could. "Clare," I pleaded and she finally turned to me. She wasn't mad, she looked... so miserable.
"Look, Eli," she said, her voice was the quietest I've ever heard it. "You don't have to explain yourself, I understand. You never liked me, I get it. So just leave me alone so I can move on." She tried pulling her wrist away but I tightened my grip. "Let go, please." She was calm, polite, even through her pain. I admired her strength, but I wasn't going to give up.
"Clare," my voice softened, "Please come with me. I want you to understand."
"I already told you I do. Don't worry about it. And no," she said, looking away. "I didn't tell Alli what you did, so don't worry. She just automatically assumed you hurt me, but I didn't confirm or deny. I don't want to display any information about anything anymore."
"I trusted you, Eli," her voice was so forlorn, so miserable, it hurt to hear it. "I told you about me, about my home life, my problems. I told you things that I haven't even told Alli and she's my best friend. I can't even go back to being friends with you - just English partners - because I can't trust you anymore. So let me go."
"No," I said, stern, and pulled her towards Morty. She struggled, other hand trying to pry mine from her wrist. "I need to show you something. I really need you to understand. From there you can judge, just hear me out, okay?" My eyes pleaded with her and she nodded, chewing her bottom lip. I couldn't help but think how so very gorgeous she was, all the time. I opened the passenger side door for her and she climbed in with little hesitance. I could clearly see that she was beyond curious. I shut the door softly then went to my side and we drove off.
She was quiet the whole ride, and so was I. No music was playing. I couldn't even bring myself to turn the radio on, or play a CD. This silence was sickening yet comfortable. And I didn't want to break the trance of her breathing, of every beat of her heart. I wanted to savor this moment, probably the last moment she'll ever want to be in a car with me, or even a room. She might never want to look at me again once I tell her...
We were almost there when she spoke, voice raspy. "Eli, where are we?"
"Almost there," I said, and she offered nothing else.
I pulled to a stop at the side of the road and killed the engine, removing my seatbelt. She removed hers too. She wasn't familiar with this place like I was. I let out the breath I wasn't even aware I had been holding in. I needed to think of a way to say it, a way that won't send her running away screaming. But there was no such way to speak the truth. It had to be blunt honesty, cutting the silence like a knife.
"Eli," she said, eyes never leaving my face.
I gripped the steering wheel tight, faced forward and let out another quick breath before, "This is where I killed my girlfriend." I couldn't bring myself to look at her. I couldn't even imagine the look she was probably giving me; shock, terror, confusion... there were so many to choose from, but I was - to be honest - a little bit scared to look. I was afraid of the judgment, of the heartbreak that might be forced upon me when my words sink into that beautiful skull of hers. I was afraid she'd run. Afraid I'd never see her again. And even though I thought that that would be for the best... I've come to realize that I need her. I need to keep her.
After what seemed like an eternity, I heard a quiet voice, beautiful, whisper, "You... why, Eli?" It wasn't judgmental, it was simple curiosity. She was scared, I could tell, but she didn't want to flee. In Fight or Flight situations, Clare Edwards was definitely a fighter, and a strong one at that.
My grip on the steering wheel tightened. "I- I didn't mean to," I whispered back, terrified that if I said it loud enough she would hear it. I didn't want her to hear. "It was an accident. It was raining. So late at night, all the lights from houses and stores were off, and the rain was so heavy I couldn't see the road well, the streetlights were just blurs. Another car," I stopped to catch my breath, "They didn't even have their headlights on, I couldn't see it. They were on my side of the road, for whatever reason." By this point, I was blinded by tears, everything was a blur, just like that night. A small, warm hand on my forearm startled me and I blinked the tears away. I sighed. "I cut the wheel to the left when I finally noticed them. Thinking about it now, I should have cut the wheel to the right," I murmured, hoping she wouldn't have heard me.
"Why didn't you cut the wheel to the right?" she asked so quietly I was almost sure I imagined it. I couldn't help myself. Despite my better judgment, I laughed.
"Because there was no road to the right, we would have flipped. I was trying to think logically, but I went about it all wrong..."
"Why?" her curiosity was going to be the death of me.
"If I cut the wheel to the right it wouldn't have mattered because I noticed the other car too late but, had I went to the right, I would be the one dead right now. Not her." I bit my lip, feeling a constricting, painful feeling in my heart. It was all my fault. "I should have been the one to die, Clare. I was driving. I should have- I should have..." I gasped as a thin arm landed on my shoulders. "If I didn't cut left, she would be alive right now."
Clare's hands rubbed softly along my shoulder blades, glided across my back soothingly. She whispered in my ear, "Don't you think that your girlfriend would be so sad if you died?" From the roughness of her voice, she might have been... crying. I was too scared to look. "Don't you realize that it isn't your fault, Eli? Don't you think that she'd be upset if she looked down on you, sitting here with some sophomore she's never met, crying about how you blame yourself and should be the dead one?" Her head rested on my right shoulder and I felt something wet my shirt. If she wasn't crying before, she is now. "I'm sure that if she was dating you, Eli, she was a wonderful girl and would only wish for you to move on and find happiness."
I was forced to look into those amazing, entrancing pools of deep blue when a soft hand grasped my chin and turned my head. She was smiling through her tears. "You may not want to be with me, because her memory is so strong in you, in here," her hand left my chin and pressed against my chest where my heart is. "But Eli, I promise I'll be your friend for as long as you want me."
Her words were so reassuring that, even though she thought I didn't want to be with her, I fell even more in love with her. She didn't protest when I wrapped my arms around her neck and pulled her to me, as close as she could be with the center console keeping us apart. I kissed her tears away and she gasped, fingers clutching my blazer for dear life. My lips trailed down her face where I kissed the corner of her lips, lingering for a moment, tasting the salt. "Clare," my voice whispered across her throat and I placed a quick, gentle kiss there. "I think I love you."
She didn't say anything, she didn't need to. I could feel every emotion coursing through her veins when our lips touched. It was hard to say goodbye, but sometimes the best things in life come from a tragedy. Surface from pain. And her death was most certainly a tragedy, but that tragedy brought Clare to me. That tragedy changed me into someone I wasn't familiar with, someone obsessed with the very thought of death. That tragedy was the very thing that made me realize that I did have something to live for. And that was what I was holding in my arms.
Thank you, I smiled up at the sky, chin resting on the soft crown of Clare's beautiful bouncy curls. And I knew that somewhere, in that vast endless blue of the sky - the very sky I see in Clare's breathtaking eyes - she was smiling right back at me.
Um, I butchered Eli in this one. Sorry guys. D: It didn't turn out how I wanted it to... Review? Your thoughts help me improve.