I've always needed to feel like I'm a good person. I always needed that reassurance, that reminder that at the end of the day, I was making the right choice. I looked at my good grades for that, at Dad's affection, at the way the kids at school (the ones that weren't just looking for a nerd to pummel) treated me. I needed to remember that I wasn't a bad person, because if I didn't have that I just felt guilty whenever I did something wrong, like littering or laughing at a mean comment.

But now I was stealing a ghost's girlfriend. It sounded like one of those dumb fantasy soap operas, only I knew that Henry was only in my head. I also knew that he was never going to leave.

I started to text Maggie before I left the house, to let her know that I was sorry for everything and that she was an amazing human being and deserved a happy ending, but I stopped before I sent it. How could I justify or even attempt to explain what I was about to do in a text? It was asinine, ridiculous, as if my apologies and my lamenting were worth nothing more than a few swipes of my thumb and some abbreviations. LOL. I tossed the phone back onto the counter- I wouldn't need it- and shut the front door quietly so as not to wake Dad.

While I was stepping up into the Iron Maiden, I thought about guilt, about truth, about love or whatever it was that was floating tenuously between me and Maggie. Ghost Henry stood a few feet away and watched me silently as I jerked on the lever and settled my spine against the cold metal of the contraption. I couldn't tell if he felt anything staring upon me in my darkest hour. Sure, he was just a reflection of my inner shame, but I at least thought that he might have some comment, even if it were just a rerun of the strange things that had come out of his mouth when he was alive. I wondered if the ghost judged me, if he was glad I was making this choice.

And then, somewhere within the last minute of my life, he disappeared. I scanned the DOUM rooms, but my hallucination was nowhere to be found. Finally peace and quiet. As the seconds ticked by, I started to wonder about my decision. Somewhere deep within me, I knew this was wrong. I knew that I wasn't really at fault for Henry's death, and I knew that he would have wanted me to be with Maggie. I knew that I was completely in the right when I kissed her. I knew that I wasn't responsible for anything that had happened to either of them.

But I also knew that the guilt, the agonizing paranoia that tore apart my brain and my gut, the feeling that I was always going to be living with this tragedy, that I was never going to feel light again, that it would always be a weighted stone in my chest, slowly seeping through my bones and turning me into a statue, that was never going to leave me. Even if it wasn't justified, it was there and always would be. As the spikes swung towards me, I felt a bit saddened that there was nobody there to tell Maggie that I loved her. I guess that's okay. I probably didn't deserve it anyway.


A/N: Well, that was tragic. But hey, that's the genre.

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