Author Mentions: First Degrassi Story. I took liberties with all three back ground character stories to make the story round out better. The Lyrics and Title are from The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot by Brand New
Disclaimer: I am rather fond of my dog, bookcases, and my hair. I own all those things, but I don't own Degrassi.
You are calm and reposed
Let your beauty unfold
Pale white like the skin
Stretched over your bones
5 hours before
There wasn't a house to come home to, for starters. Not in his opinion, anyway. There isn't any loving mother to dote on when he finds himself feeling low, or a little sibling to remind him how innocent things still exist, and there certainly it's a father to play catch with him outside.
No, instead, his mother is distant and she smokes too much, and her studio walls are stained yellow from all the tobacco. There isn't any art work on the walls and there aren't any pictures of his childhood, no metamorphosis to explain what exactly happened somewhere between naïve boy child to remorseless, empty, young man.
He has, according to almost anyone who would arrive at his house, everything anyone could ask for. Giant movie screens, nice clothes that look worn, rooms the size of gymnasiums, unlimited food, alcohol. Any amount of money he could ever ask for. But these are just things. When he was eight, his mother (back when she was still married to husband 2) brought him to a child psychologist.
"He has problems relating to other children at school," he remembers her saying. Then she slipped a bill across the counter. "Perhaps we could get something to make him more approachable."
This was when his mother thought drugs could solve anything. And it wasn't bad to abuse them, either, as long as they were from a script of something ritzy, over-paid doctor. Nothing is ever wrong when it doesn't look wrong. So for three long hours he sat in front of a woman in her mid-forties with curly brown hair, answering questions and staring apathetically at the pictures behind her.
Socio-path, the unconfirmed conclusion was. She couldn't make an actual diagnosis since he was under eighteen, but she was sure. No remorse, no interest in anyone but possibly himself. He'd never function properly.
Of course, he had heard this in the hallway with his ear pressed up against the door. Anything they had to say about him, he could be interested about. He wasn't sure at the time what a socio-path was, but he could deduct from their tone of voice that it wasn't a good thing. He wasn't a good thing. His mother, being the self-important rich bitch that she was, refused to accept this information, asked for a prescription for Ritalin since he apparently developed ADHD in a matter of minutes, and then left, pulling his wrist along the way.
It wasn't mentioned again.
4 hours 20 minutes before
He wishes there was more for him at home.
But there isn't, and it's horrifyingly crushing to realize that his mother has moved on to another man and they're going to have a child together. He doesn't feel like anything anymore when he's there, in that house, trying to breathe. His mother is as doting and wonderful and completely oblivious as always, and he misses, truly misses when it was just him and her, together, striving to make it better for themselves.
His father was a bad man, and he can accept that. He doesn't doubt that his dad pushed his mother around a few times, or more than few, and drank all day and was constantly fired from his jobs. He doesn't doubt that his dad treated him like shit, either, like he was a complete and utter failure, because his step dad is exactly the same.
He can barely understand why someone as compassionate as his mother can be so intertwined with these cruel, lowly, men. And up until eight months ago, he was head of the house. He took care of his mother and made sure the check book was balanced and that the macaroni didn't burn. He told his mother goodnight and good morning and have a nice day at work. They were a team, she and him.
Now, his mother has quit her job because she has too many bruises to keep up and track of. Paul, his new step dad requires that he is to be called Sir at all times, and if not, well, a belt lash to the back is always optional. His mother is four months pregnant and he's scared that if he doesn't take the brunt of it, his new sibling will. It's a thought that makes him cold with fear.
A few hours each day he's able to escape at school, to stare at Clare and watch as everything she touches turn to pure light. He's not trying to be morbid, or over emotional, but the last person he saw that glowed like that was Julia, and she's dead now. There's too much darkness in his life, a shadow that encases his vision and a fog that covers his ears.
There isn't a lot of hope for him, but he knows it when he sees it and all he can see is Clare.
3 hours 2 minutes before
It's hard to be at home when it doesn't look like home anymore. She looks around her new room and she's can't even imagine what it's like to feel comfortable. She misses her green walls, and her bible study friends and their pictures plastered all over, and the knowledge that her sister Darcy was right next door, breathing, living, laughing.
The new house was apparently the best step for her and her father after he divorced her mother. And it wasn't a they divorced each other, but more of a he's divorcing her and taking all that's left. All that was left, apparently, was her, because Darcy is far away at college, and even then, she's barely what she used to be. After Darcy was assaulted, her mother went from an accepting and intelligent Christian woman to a unstable religious fanatic. This was where her life started to tip on it's access, and she realized how everything really was completely fragile.
Her father is never in the same room with her, let alone the same city. She has no idea why this house was bought when she's the only one living in it, and even though it's larger than anyone needs, the loneliness is almost suffocating. The stagnant air sits on top of her, wherever she is the house, making her cough, sneeze and huddle tightly under her blankets. It takes a lot for a life to be perfect, she realizes, and it's too much to get back when everything is ruined.
So it's almost too perfect when Eli Goldsworthy turns out to be the only stable thing in her life. It took a slow and unsteady path to get there, but when he holds her hand she's can't seem to think about her lost faith in God, her wallowing, self-righteous mother, her absent father. She doesn't think about how she is practically an only child, that she has a family in devastation, that she's more alone than she's ever been.
But there is a lot she doesn't know about Eli. She hates herself sometimes for putting so much faith into a boy who can't tell her anything about himself. She knows he doesn't lie often, but he's good at evading the truth, and keeping secrets, and she knows that he holds so much on his shoulders that his feet are sinking into the ground. She knows he loves her, too.
So she goes to school everyday, and part of her wants to admit that she only goes just to see him. She wants to be in his world twenty-four seven, she wants to hear what he has to say about books and music and that dumb movie last night. She wants to know his favorite foods and want it's like to wake up next to him, what it's like to be held for hours and not want to move. She wants to know these things about him, and him only.
But she doesn't know how to ask.
2 hours 52 minutes before
He can't seem to place his anger for Eli Goldsworthy, but he knows that the kid needs to pay. It's a little much to be so insulting to someone so much more powerful than him. It was fine for a while to play back and forth; he hasn't been this entertained in anything for a few years.
He could feel, however, that the clock was ticking and it was getting old fast. The split lip he gave Eli wouldn't justify, either, unfortunately because he knows that what he has in store for later is even worse. And in away, it's almost exciting planning his attack, and just thinking about gets the blood in his veins running. He hasn't feel this warm - or full, since he has accidentally dropped a brick on his neighbor's cat and watched it die. It was like he could feel himself move. He was breathing.
Instead of paying attention to his classes, he passed around through the day in a stupor. Details and expectations and gratification were coursing through his head, and he had a hard time focusing on anything else but Eli. In the short amount of time the kid had decided it was going to be a problem, Eli had shifted the focus on his whole life and onto it's side. For a second, he could see clearly. And the future wasn't filled with acceptance, gleam, and happiness.
But he preferred it that way.
In the short few hours that he has made these plans, he knew that Eli wasn't going to go home after school for whatever reason; instead Eli would be in the empty field behind the old power plant, which he had overheard from the transgender kid earlier. This made his execution easier and his plan even more exciting: there was very little chance at getting caught, and he would be able to finish what he was set out to do.
He took little moment to examine what was running through his mind; instead, he focused on Eli and the way his lips were shaped like tiny bows and his eyes were wide and sometimes, he held his hands together like they were shaking. His own fingers were shaking from anticipation.
In a way, he's showing Eli what men are truly capable of - he's passing on the knowledge, giving a gift that can keep on giving for years. He's instilling truth into Eli's brain, and he wants to make sure the memory stays burned in his head forever. He wants to make sure that Eli wakes up in the morning and it's the first thought that comes to mind. He wants to know that whenever Eli can close his eyes and fall asleep, it's the last to enter his brain. He'll do exactly what was done to him because Eli should know.
It's a favor, really, and he can hardly wait.
1 hour 40 minutes before
He's having lunch with Clare against his locker and the conversation falls to nothing. Soon, they're silent and he can't help but look at her, the freckle on her neck, her blue sweater. She's smiling slightly and there's a dimple in her right cheek. Clare is not looking at him but straight ahead when she takes his hand and wraps her own around it.
"What exactly are we?" She seems to hold her breath in as she speaks and her face turns, her blue eyes staring at him with such an intensity that he keeps drawing blanks.
"What do you mean?" He asks, because it's all he can keep from telling he's in love with her.
It's quiet again, and he can't hear anything. Someone walks by, hitting the lockers as they go, but he can't get himself to look up at the disturbance. When Clare speaks again she's almost whispering.
"I mean, you're kind of, sort of, my life now."
His heart jumps into his throat and he knows that if he opens his lips it will spill out and in between them, pumping blood and thumping up and down. He kisses her lips, and they're soft, and so, so, sweet. He's not sure he's good enough for this, and his insides cringe at the thought that she'd be involved in anyway with his home life. He's so embarrassed that he lives with someone like his step-dad, or he has a mother like the one he does, because Clare is so proper, so perfect, so light. She'd never know what it would be like to not have a home, or to be depressed or alone.
He whispers that he loves her between kisses, and she whispers it back.
47 minutes before
Eli Goldsworthy is in love with her ands she can't seem to get her head on straight.
Because she's in love with him too and for a moment, a moment that stretches on for hours and then only lasts seconds, she feels warm and completely full. It reminds her of an early Christmas Eve, or her first Halloween, one of her sleepovers with her sister. It's this completeness, this nothing is wrong, at all, ever, feeling. She can't let go of it.
Eli said that he would meet her later that night at her house, and she's aching to leave her last class, taking notes but barely realizing what she's writing. The time ticks by slowly, and all she can think of is how his hair curls around the back of his neck slightly. She imagines his torso, pale and flecked with small moles, and his shoulders, lean and straight when he stands; his hair falling back from his forehead when he lies down.
She pulls her hair back from the nap of her neck. It's gotten longer, and she wears it straight now. She feels older and thinner and taller and nothing at all what she used to be. She used to miss her old self, used to lie awake at night and wondered what happened to the girl that could pray at dinner and look up to her sister and go on family outings without a doubt. The girl who was slightly pudgy but wasn't bothered by it, the girl who liked game night and actually had faith in god.
But now, she can't even imagine being that girl. She isn't that girl anymore. She's different, and in her bones she can feel it.
She knows Eli can feel it too.
22 minutes before
He walks slowly to the spot in the field, and sits at the base of a tree, hidden from view and waiting. Truthfully, he's never felt more alive, more human. He imagines himself turning to stone sitting here and waiting for Eli to show up, and then upon seeing him, having the strength of an unbeatable rock.
He waits, but he can barely take the anticipation.
8 minutes before
He can't understand why every thought is diluted with Clare. Her face, her hair, her lips, the apples of her cheeks and her bird-like wrists. In most ways, he's terrified, because he might need her, and he knows he wants her. The desire is overwhelming, and the fact that not all of it is physical even more unnerving.
He lies in his field, the only constant in his life after Julia died, and he tries to calm his nerves.
6 minutes before
She looks at herself, naked, in the mirror after a shower. She's lost weight since freshman year, and even more after KC. She feels airy, filled with fluff. Her new room is beige, and behind her she can see her beige bed in the mirror. She slips on her underwear, and she thinks of Eli's hands on her thighs.
4 minutes before
He removes himself from the spot at the tree and walks towards Eli, who's lying down at can't see him approach. There's a gun in his pocket and it feels hot against his skin. The autumn sun is barely reachable on his back, and the long grass mutes his steps. His heart is racing, and he can feel a smile curving up upon his lips. It's like he's been meant to do this.
2 minutes before
There's a shadow above him, and he's displeased to see it's Fitz. He doesn't need that asshole to ruin his mood, and tarnish his newly branded thoughts of Clare. He props himself up on his elbows, glaring at the standing figure in front of him.
Except Fitz doesn't exactly look like Fitz - he looks - he looks apathetic, and his brow is furrowed, and there's this slight craze in his eyes. Fitz stands there, before pulling something out of his pocket and showing it to him. It's a black gun, and it's small, and it seems like it has always belonged in Fitz's fingers.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" He can't help but yell, and he can hear the panic in his voice rising.
"Stand up. Now! Stand up." Fitz's voice is a mixture of excited and cruel.
He stands up slowly before Fitz hits him with the butt of the gun, right on the temple that Clare had kissed earlier. He can feel her on his lips, on his skin, and he doesn't want to picture her right now but he can't help it. He falls back down, and Fitz lands a kick to his abdomen, two, three kicks, before bending down and slapping him with his gun hand again.
He took the opportunity to reach down and grab Fitz's shirt, pulling him down and landing a punch, though he can hardly breath with the blood spilling from his nose into his mouth. He heaves a shaky breath before trying to roll over. He had leave before this got ugly. He had leave now. As soon as could move to leave, he feels Fitz's hand on his hair, and his face is pushed into the dirt and flowers.
"Stop this, Fitz. Stop, now." He resorts to begging, because he can feel the gun being pressed to his head and he can't - he can't even think of -
"No one will believe you." Fitz says. "No believes anything you say, Eli. You're worthless. You'll never fit in. When you say something, they'll listen, but they won't hear you. You'll won't ever function, because you're screwed up. Something went wrong. You'll never be okay."
Fitz isn't even talking to him, but to himself.
A different kind of terror erupts in his abdomen when feels Fitz straddle his thighs. He can the feel the long fingers reach around to undo his belt buckle, and the button, and the zipper. He tries to move, to leave, to get out, but as soon as he squirms he receives another hit to the back of the head, and his vision is hazy, but his mind is clear, and this can't happen. This can't be.
His jeans slide off, and the dirt smells slightly like the dirt did at the second apartment his mother and he lived at before she met Paul. It was chilly, and he could feel the wind shuffle through his hair and across his forehead. He tries not to think, tries to block everything. He wants to sink into the ground and become the earth, so large and expansive that no one can do this to him.
But he's here and this is happening.
32 seconds before
She turns the heat off in her house, even though it was cold enough to turn the heat up and wear a sweater. Instead she's lying in her t-shirt and underwear in the middle of her room, stacking her books one by one up to the top. She finds a lot of her sister's things in her box, which were hastily packed when her mother had been asleep in the other room. One of them was a journal, red with a metal spiral.
She opens to the second page, reading, everything looks different after something has been taken from you
There was nothing else in the entire journal, and she puts it back in the box for it be recycled.
3 seconds before
He's look at the back of Eli's arms and lower back, which are covered in goose bumps. He realizes that it is cold after a moment, but can't feel the wind, he can't feel anything. He's invincible, and he can feel Eli shaking underneath him. He undoes his jeans and slides them down and the excitement has given him such a intense hard on that he's almost dizzy.
He almost doesn't hear himself speak. "You deserve this."
When he slides inside of Eli, it's exactly what he anticipated and more - it feels so good, and he can feel Eli start to quiver. The sky is getting darker, and he can't seem to fill his head with anything except how human he feels, how good this feels. His finger nails draw blood from Eli's hips, and as he thrusts harder, rough, animalistic, Eli goes completely still, like a corpse.
But he wants Eli to feel it, to remember it, and he hopes that his finger print bruises on the boy's arms will last longer than forever. His breath started to come out in huffs, and he felt himself close, closer than he'd ever been when he'd fucked girls before. This was better. This was Eli Goldsworthy.
When he comes, he spills inside of him, to make his mark permanent.
It's over, now.
3 minutes after
There are no words.
22 minutes after
It's completely dark and raining now, and she's got a pot of soup cooling on the stove. Her eyes drift towards the front window in the living room showcasing the neighborhood street, looking for Eli's hearse. Her father, who left a message on the machine for her, won't be home until next week due to a work complication. Normally, she would be upset because for her, family being home and together and spending time with each other was normal. Now, that type of normal closeness feels far away and hazy. It's not abnormal for her to be here, alone.
She wishes she wasn't so used to that.
Half way through a movie in her bedroom when she hears someone step on the concrete patio, and then a knock. Her feet are skidding on the hardwood floors, her naked legs suddenly cold. There's no hearse outside, but she realizes that too late when she opens the door.
Nothing is what she expects. Eli is standing there, and his nose is bleeding, and he's leaning heavily against the doorframe. He seems to be speaking, or trying to speak, but he can't manage most of the words. She's never seen him like this, so lost, and she can hear herself talking away and she pulls him inside. He's missing a shoe, she realizes, and his sock is muddy and covered in dirt. She subconsciously pulls him into the bathroom, where he sits on the closed toilet seat. He's eyes are wide, red, and smeared with purple bruising.
"Eli," She says, and she doesn't like how urgent her voice sounds. She cups his face in her hands. "Eli, what happened?"
He can't seem to find the words, and to her horror, he started to weep, air making it's way soundly down his throat in heavy, scared gulps. "I'm sorry," He says, but she has no idea what he's sorry for.
"You're covered in blood, and you're sopping wet. What happened?" She pleads, but he shakes his head, shivering and trying to give one of those smiles that makes her heart flutter. Now, as he tries to stop shaking and wipes his face of tears and rainwater, it makes her stomach drop. She turns her back from him to start the bath water, partly to hide her face. Eli has shied away from her before, but it was nothing like this.
The bath filled to the top with water. It was still, expectant.
"Eli." She said. "Stand up. Take hold of my shoulder and stand." He didn't touch her shoulder, but put his hand against the wall and stood up. Her fingers felt cold, and in a moment of embarrassment she realized how naked she looked. She pulled the button down from his shoulders, pushing it down his arms and onto the ground. Then his t-shirt, above his head. She didn't look at his abdomen, but kept her eyes trained on his face, looking into his eyes. They're green. She finds his jeans, and slides them off, then his boxers.
Her face is hot, she knows, and Eli stands there before she gathers up the clothes and shuts the door behind her. The clothes are sopping, she feels, and she transports into the laundry room, starting the wash and putting them in, one by one. None of this was making sense.
She's transfixed on the stain on his back of his underwear, dark red and stickier. The worst was running through her mind - and she cringes, placing her forehead in her palms and breathing before putting his underwear in the wash, setting it on high, and listening to the water erase everything inside of it.
There's a new kind of blood tracking it's way through her veins, and a sorrow fills her heart, a heaviness takes control of her head and her limbs and she can barely find her way back because she knows, she knows, and god, she wishes she didn't.
The bath water is still running with she walks back into the bathroom, the door shutting behind her with a click.
She wants to cry, or curse, or gather him up in her arms and protect him. He's sitting with his knees bent and his long arms wrapped around them, his hair slicked and pushed back from his forehead. There's a cut on the side of his temple, and his eyes are droopy, a grotesque yellow bruise blossoming under his right eye. She pulls her t-shirt over her head, and she watches Eli as he watches her. Her fingers feel full of fluff or that pink installation stuff as she reaches back to unclasp her bra. She feels the straps fall down her shoulders and she pulls her underwear off, too. His eyes don't leave hers.
She steps in the bathtub, and the water is too hot, but it's real, and she stays on her side. She knows he won't tell her want happened, not yet. So she looks him straight in the eyes and says, "Eli, I love you."
48 minutes after
It's like his body is breathing, or something, and he's buzzing with the aftermath. Every memory is lively and real to him, and he's soaring on cloud eight, or nine, or fucking ten, fuck he can't even remember. His eyes aren't watching the sidewalk as he heads home, but he sees Eli's pale thighs, and the sound of his cry afterward. They were slow, soft whimpers, too timid to make any real noise. The sound of giving up. The grass was damp and he could still feel the warmth around him, incasing him, and he's never felt so full.
His home is over eight thousand square feet and not one of the lights are on. He lies down in his bed without anything on, and closes his eyes. For the first time in a long time, he can sleep without thinking.
Nothing's ever felt this good before.
57 minutes after
He just wants to be lost.
He doesn't want to think, or feel, or do anything. He feels like he hasn't sleep for days on end, his eyes focusing and unfocusing. He can feel himself breathe, but it isn't emotional anymore, it's physical, it's a movement he's aware of. He isn't feeling - he doesn't to feel. He doesn't want. He doesn't want anything but he needs everything. He needs Clare but he can't even look at her because she's glowing so brightly he can barely open his eyes.
It's like everything looks different now that everything has been taken from him. The water turns cold but both of they are silent as they stand up together. Clare walks thought water towards him and puts her arms around him, pressing herself against his body. She smells like Clare, but stronger, more precise, and she feels like Clare, except she isn't focused on one spot. She's everything; she's the air and light and the ground before him. Surrounding him. He can pretend he's safe and that nothing is awful and horrible and changed.
She wraps a towel around him, before giving him a set of old shorts. There soft in his hands, and he slips them on. She's still naked, wrapped in a towel, and he feels unreal, unbalanced. Being with Clare has sifted on it's axis, too. "It's all I had here." She explains the shorts, but he just nods.
She pulls on her clothes, and they brush there teeth in front of the mirror together. His thoughts kept fading in and out, and the walls would move around him, shifting. He didn't want to see himself. He doesn't want to look at himself. He doesn't want to be real except for this moment, as Clare takes his hand and lies him down in her bed. The room is plain, painted a white color, and he can't lie on his back.
Clare realizes this and gets into the bed behind him, careful not to touch his back side. With panic budding in the side of gut he realizes, she knows, she knows. Self-hatred, or something thick and white-hot like it sizzles inside of him and he has to remind himself to close his eyes. Her hands are milky and warm as they slide up his torso. She avoids every bruise, every scratch and cut like she had a personal map of his body. He realizes then that he's freezing, freezing, and he can't stop shivering.
Clare is whispering to him, so quietly it's almost beyond inaudible; he realizes the familiar tone of what she's saying, one thing, repeated a thousand times over: I love you, I love you, I love you.
4 hours after
She can't sleep. The word rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, is lapping circles around her brain and every single time she thinks of the word her heart skips and she has an urge to ring her hands. It's getting close to morning, now, and she knows she should try and close her eyes but she doesn't want to - she's scared he'll awake.
Eli's fast asleep, his head tucked between her shoulder and collarbone. She could feel his exhale on her skin. Her right arm was nudged underneath him, sore, and her hands enclosed so that he's closer to her; she's keeping him. She felt as she was holding him together.
Eli mumbled in his sleep, and she could feel his lips brush against her skin. The sun would be rising soon, and he'd have to face a new day. And she would face it with him.
Spring keeps you ever close
You are second hand smoke
You are so fragile and thin
Standing trial for your sins
Holding onto yourself the best you can
You are the smell before the rain
You are the blood in my veins
A review, some thoughts?