Disclaimer: I do not own Degrassi. Or Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Author's note: After reading all the "Eli is a psycho" comments after Jesus, Etc. I just had to write this. Depression is not "creepy," it's an illness that can destroy you. I have struggled with it all my life, and I identify with Eli, maybe a little too much. I feel sorry for Clare, because people who have dated me have gone through what she is going through. Dating someone who is depressed is not fun and games. If you're currently going through depression, seek help.
You are not alone.
She jumped as a cold hand closed around her wrist, a soft gasp escaping her trembling lips.
"You scared me," she said breathlessly as she turned around to face her boyfriend.
"It seems that I've been doing that lately," said Eli plainly, his eyes flickering with hurt. He blinked and the emotion was gone, leaving Clare feeling uneasy.
There was an awkward silence between them, the tension in the air almost suffocating her as Eli looked inside his backpack, searching for something. "I can't stay long," said Eli distantly. "I need something from you."
Clare held her breath as Eli pulled out a binder from his bag and handed it to her. What did she expect? For him to pull out a knife and-?
"S-sure," stammered Clare.
"I know that you edited Stalker Angel…" he started, biting his lower lip anxiously. "But I was wondering if you could go through this new story I wrote."
"Yeah, of course," said Clare, taking the binder in her hands. She was still trying to forget about the other story, about how Eli's erratic behavior was scaring her. She looked at him and noticed that he looked severely glum, as if something was going through his mind that he wasn't able to share, and for the first time, Clare was grateful that he wasn't saying a word.
Eli's intensity had been quite appealing at the beginning, but his overall dependency was starting to push her away. She couldn't breathe whenever he talked to her, whenever he told her how much he loved her and how much he needed her. Clare felt that she was being a horrible human being, but she couldn't help feeling that way.
"I have to leave," said Eli suddenly. "Don't read it until you get home, okay?"
"Um, are you skipping class?" asked Clare, hoping that he wouldn't ask her to accompany him. She needed distance.
"Yes," he said coldly, and Clare wanted to cry at the awkward atmosphere between them. It was as if a void was opening between them, and she wasn't sure if she wanted to reach out.
"Okay then," she said, closing her locker and she started to walk away.
"Wait," he snapped and grabbed her by the wrist again, pulling Clare closer to him. Clare swallowed hard as Eli leaned in and crushed his lips on hers. She wanted to push him away but Eli's tongue invaded her mouth brusquely and she gave in, kissing him back fervently.
Eli pushed her gently against the locker, his kiss almost desperate and filled with anxiety. Clare winced as Eli's hands dug in her waist, expecting to get caught. Eli finally pulled away, leaving Clare gasping for air. There was something in his eyes that she couldn't really identify… a mix of profound despair and irreversible damage.
"What was that?" she gasped, trying to appear annoyed.
"I don't want to die without a few scars," said Eli, emotionless. Clare blinked at him, feeling confused.
"Bye," he said, and walked away. Clare held on to the binder, watching Eli walk away, and knew that their relationship was doomed.
Clare sighed as she finished her Algebra homework and glanced at her backpack, noticing that the binder Eli gave her was sticking out. She sighed again and grabbed the binder, placing it on her desk. She took a red marker from her pencil bag and opened the binder, ready to start editing.
"No title," she muttered as she scribbled on top of the page, and started reading.
This is not a love story. It was never meant to be that way.
This is the story of a monster.
When Ethan met Cailee, their worlds collided without warning. Beautiful, utter chaos.
Ethan was looking for salvation and Cailee just wanted to forget. The day they met he broke her glasses, just proof of his unavoidable nature. Because Ethan destroyed everything he touched.
Clare stopped reading, twirling the red marker nervously with her fingers. Eli's short story wasn't a work of fiction… he wrote about them. She wasn't sure if she wanted to continue reading, but curiosity got the best of her and she focused her eyes on the paper again.
Ethan tried to keep her away, but every time Cailee smiled at him his heart would stop beating. He knew that he would make her miserable, that his pain would blemish her purity. But Cailee didn't pay attention to the warning signs, Ethan ignored the voices in his head and so their story began.
He stopped sleeping the night after they first kissed. He lay on his bed, terrified of his feelings, terrified of what would happen if he lost her. Ethan had many secrets, and he knew that his darkness would end up pushing her away.
"Oh, Eli," said Clare, tears stinging her eyes.
Cailee tried; oh, how she tried to save him. She was patient and loving, expecting nothing in exchange, except perhaps a little love. Ethan tried to be the best boyfriend he could possibly be, and he seemed to succeed for a while. Pills and therapy helped, and he thought that he was cured.
But his demons were stronger, and they kept lurking in the back of his mind. They whispered tales of wretchedness and despair. They kept telling him how unworthy he was of Cailee, and he knew they were right.
The sleeping pills stopped helping, so he stopped taking them, shoving the bottle in his drawer. He started skipping therapy, but told no one, keeping his secrets bottled up. He sat on his bed instead, looking blankly at the floor, feeling nothing. Depression consumed his heart, he wanted to stop breathing and just… leave.
Cailee started to notice the change in his behavior and Ethan knew that she was slipping away. He tried to hold on to her, his need for her affecting his mind. Cailee didn't understand, she didn't understand that without her, Ethan had nothing, that life was worthless without her smile. He became a monster.
He wanted to tell her that he was feeling depressed, that life made no sense anymore, but he couldn't speak the word to her.
Depression. Such a beautifully constructed word, such a death sentence… sometimes.
Ethan was selfish, trying to keep Cailee next to him, and it hit him. He had to let her go. He had to disappear.
He woke up one morning and wrote a short story for her, hoping that she would be able to forgive him one day. Hoping that she would understand that nothing was her fault-
Clare's phone started ringing but she ignored it as she wiped her tears with her sleeve. She had been blind to Eli's need, she judged his behavior as scary and yes, even creepy… but she had no idea that he was feeling that depressed.
He walked over to her and noticed how beautiful she looked, even if she was wearing the horrid uniform that they were forced to wear because of the mistakes he had made. Always his fault.
Ethan gave Cailee the story and noticed how scared she looked when he approached her, and knew that he had made the right decision. He gave her a last kiss, the last kiss they would ever share. Ethan quoted Fight Club, hoping to bring back memories from better days.
He left her standing there and didn't look back… he would never look back. He got home and made sure that his parents were not in the house before walking silently to his room. He pulled out a soda bottle from his backpack and tried not to cry. Ethan opened his drawer and saw the pill bottle, smiling sadly.
No turning back. His last thoughts would be of Cailee, of how she tried to fix him. But his broken mind wasn't something that could be fixed. He had crushed the pills the night before and poured them in his soda, gulping the drink down fast.
The end of a monster.
This wasn't a love story. It was never meant to be that way.
Clare tossed the paper aside and started sobbing, reaching for her phone. She had six missed calls from Adam and she panicked, not wanting to know what the boy wanted to tell her.
The phone rang again and she started shaking as she answered, wanting to scream.
"Clare… CeCe just called me…" Adam's voice broke, and Clare knew that Eli was dead. "Eli… he… they… oh, God, Clare…"
Clare dropped her phone as the room started spinning around her, not able to hear the piercing scream escaping her mouth, and she saw no more.