Disclaimer: I do not own Degrassi. This story idea belongs to marieloveseclare. Thanks to arctic_grey for writing The Black Rose Season and being a writing inspiration.
Author's note: Well, here we go again. Prologue's short and may be a tad confusing, but it's because this is set in the future (of this fic). Chapter 1 is the true "start" of the fic. Will be posted on July 1st, hopefully!
Rated M for violence, language, mature situations, sexual content, drug use, infidelity, and all that stuff your parents warned you about.
"To me it just felt like six or seven seconds, but I guess we went coast to coast.
To me he didn't seem all that holy, but I guess he might have been that ghost."
Arms and Hearts | The Hold Steady
She can't cry anymore. Her eyes are dry and so is her heart, and there's nothing she can do about it. The betrayal is burning her alive and yet, she keeps looking at the photographs. Maybe she is a masochist.
Clare grabs one of the polaroids and sighs sadly when she sees Eli's surprised face looking back at her. He was caught off guard and the smile on his lips is incredibly genuine and Clare wants to laugh at the irony of it. Truth in a snapshot.
She tosses that photo away and picks up one where she is posing with Imogen, both of them sticking their tongues at the camera. Eli took this picture while intoxicated, so it's a bit blurry. But the happiness in Clare's face is noticeable, and Imogen looks thrilled, her arms wrapped around Clare. A photo of Drew and Adam kissing Clare on the cheeks, one of Zane smiling at her, one of Fiona unenthusiastically holding a can of Coke. They were her friends.
But now they're not.
"Everything is so messed up," mutters Clare as she stares at the pile of photographs in front of her, the pictures covering up most of her comforter. She's still wearing pajamas and she's aware that she looks pathetic, but the hurt won't let her get out of bed.
Another photo catches Clare's eye and she touches it with a heavy heart. Two eyes, one blue and one green, are staring straight at the camera. Clare remembers when she took that picture, her temple resting on Eli's. It was the beginning of everything, and also the end of everything.
Because she fell in love with him, and she shouldn't have. She never wanted this to happen, not like this. And when she got involved in this she never expected for everything to fall apart like it did.
That was her mistake, falling for him. She fought against it, she kept telling herself that it wasn't worth it, that she became Eli's friend to help Jake, but that went out the window the first moment their eyes met.
But it's the last photo the one that breaks Clare apart. Eli is kissing her in it, their lips fused and their cheeks flushed, and it seems like such a distant memory. Clare's hair is messy, and so is Eli's, and she can't help but think that the state of their hair mirrors how she felt when they took that picture. How she feels right now.
She tries not to think about Eli's lips on hers, about his warm skin against hers, and she certainly does not want to think about that night. She tries to forget how his fingers used to slide between hers, their fingers intertwined tightly, and the smirk that would follow.
Everything in the room reminds her of him, and she feels sick. Clare wants him to call her, to tell her that things were taken out of context, that he never lied, that he was honest. That they need to forgive each other. That they can make it work somehow.
But Clare knows that she's lying to herself, that Eli will never call her back because he never loved her, he only used her. Yes, she kind of used him too, but it was only to… No, there is no justification for the amount of betrayal that happened between them.
The tattoo on her wrist is almost scorching her skin, and she starts crying again. She didn't know that it was possible for her tear ducts to flow again, but then again, she doesn't know anything anymore.
There's a knock at the door and Clare wipes her tears away hastily. She told Alli to stay away, but she knows that she might be worried. She tries to push away the thoughts of Eli, and she gets out of bed slowly.
More frantic knocking, and Clare tries to fix her hair and clothing, maybe she can look a bit presentable. Not that she cares too much. The world can be a witness of her misery, go ahead.
Clare opens the door and a surprised gasp escapes her, not expecting this visitor. Cold eyes and a treacherous smile greet her, but Clare doesn't even have time to say a thing.
Because unexpectedly, suddenly, something hits the side of her head and darkness engulfs her.
"What does it mean? Why did you pick this?"
"Because it's infinite. It represents infinity. Forever."
"Do you believe in forever?"
He looks at her, his eyes warm, and he simply smiles.
"I do now."
Pain. Pain, pain, and more pain.
Clare can't see a thing. She's blindfolded, and she can't scream either because somebody stuffed a sock in her mouth. Her face is pressed against the cold concrete and her hands are tied behind her back, and she can't move. She's going to die, and she is scared.
Maybe she trusted the wrong people all along.
Clare wants to speak out, but she obviously can't. Her hair is soaked in something, and it smells like iron and salt. She knows that it's blood, and she wonders if the wound in her head is serious enough to kill her.
"This kid is going to end up fucking with your head." The sock in her mouth muffles Clare's hysterical giggle as she remembers Darcy's words, and the pain in her head increases.
"Clare Edwards, you look so pathetic right now."
Chills run up and down Clare's spine as she recognizes the voice, and she can't believe it. She wants to throw up, she wants to scream, and she wants to cry. But she can't do a thing. The smell of weed takes control of Clare's nostrils and she feels more nauseous than before.
"I would offer you some, but I know that you don't like it." A pause that lasts an eternity, and Clare feels even more afraid. "People trusted you. Fuck, they did. I never trusted you, though. I knew your game all along, but I just waited patiently until everything fell apart."
Clare hears someone coughing in the background, followed by a loud groan. The echo of footsteps is the only audible thing now, and Clare's heartbeats speed up.
"Fuck." The voice is so close to Clare, she can almost feel the body heat. "He's dying. Your man is dying. Oh, well."
Clare feels terrified at those words, because she's not the only one in danger. She just keeps hurting the people around her, and he might die because of her. Her stupid mistakes.
"When Sadie found out all this stuff about me, I freaked out." The cold laugh makes Clare's heart freeze but she keeps waiting for the confession. "So I had to kill her, obviously. It was very easy; she kept opening her big mouth… such a stupid dork. She kept making hints that she belonged to our lovely secret society and that kind of pissed me off. It didn't bother me at all, killing her. After all, I've killed before."
The truth at last, but it doesn't make things any easier. Clare is about to die, no doubt about it, and her last thoughts will consist of nothing but regret and guilt.
"Sorry, Clare. I don't want to kill you but I don't really have a choice. To quote good old Chuck: 'All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.' Well, you got boring, and I'm pretty much God right now. Goodbye."
Clare feels the barrel of the gun pressed against the back of her neck, and it feels cold and rusty. She wonders if it's the same gun that killed Sadie, and she can feel the tears rolling down her cheeks. She never wanted to end up like this. Her life flashes through her mind, and for some reason, the past few months are the most vivid moments.
And her thoughts stop in the exact moment when she fell in love with Eli Goldsworthy.