I'm back wooohooo! This was my hardest quarter in school EVER and I got the grades I wanted out of all my classes! Oh man, it was such a rough quarter but I'm done and it's over and it's time for me to write all these stories! Please enjoy this chapter, wrote it while I was watching a very sad show.
Thanks commandravage for the positive message you sent I very much appreciate it! Gave me the kick start I needed to finish this chapter up!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or the show, but it's all semantics anyways.
Kenzie stood and endured as the nurse spoke with her and Allen's parents about what had specifically happened to his body to lead to his heart stopping.
About why he died.
She wasn't listening; her senses dulled to everything around them. All she could think about was the last time she talked to him. Trying to remember every conversation she had and every nuance of him as a person. Though she tried her hardest, it wasn't happening, only a faint outline of his face could be found in her memory. The rest was dark depressing thoughts of how she would no longer see him ever again.
"I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you about your boyfriend." The nurse spoke somberly, looking at her as she stared at the ground.
At the mention of a boyfriend she looked up and spoke. "Oh, no he wasn't my boyfriend the one running around the hospital last night was…" She had already heard about Eddy's antics, of course she didn't judge him for it. He had been there, seen Allen slip away and couldn't handle it. If she wasn't so hurt herself, she would try and be there for him.
"I understand why he acted the way he did, he's been visiting Allen for close to a month and a half now. They must have been very close."
What she had said caught her attention, her eyes snapping open to fully stare at the women. "A month and a half?" Her words were barely whispered but held a tinge of anger that no one seemed to catch. She quickly excused herself and marched towards Eddy's location.
Currently, he was sitting down by himself in another section of the hospital. After he had calmed down they let him walk around freely. It wasn't like he had anywhere else to go though, his gaze was just fixed on the wall in-front of him. He just needed to be alone to try and think but nothing came to mind. It was all completely blank. He didn't even know when he had last blinked, not that he really cared. He didn't care about anything at the moment. As he continued to stare, something blocked his view of the off-white wall.
It was Kenzie, he didn't even have to look at her face to know she was extremely angry. She exhumed rage that he could feel from his chair.
"You knew that Allen was sick and you didn't tell me?" She hissed, her tone sounded more hurt than angry. "I could have had so much more time with him if you would have said something!"
"He told me to keep it a secret."
"You could have told someone, could have given us more time to be with him. You could have done something!"
"But I promised…"
"I don't care what your excuse was! Nothing you'd have to say would be good enough to warrant you lying to me. Keeping that away from me to what? Protect me? Guard me from my own best friend?!"
"I wouldn't do that, I wanted to tell you most…"
"I can't with this anymore Eddy…" Her voice was wavering now, almost weak. "I can't be in a relationship right now. It's over…"
That's when Eddy looked up at her reddened and misty eyes. His brown met her blue, and there was nothing left to be said. It was over, their almost three-year relationship ended now.
"Please don't go, not now."
But nothing came out of his mouth, nothing could. He was just too hurt, too pained to let anything slip out that would make him cry.
He just couldn't.
He was just so done with it all.
As she walked off he watched her. What saddened him most was that it wouldn't be the last time he'd see her. They would meet up with their mutual friends, or at school, or just passing by outside. He knew he would continue to miss and love her with each glance.
But it was over now.
He took a deep breath and covered his face with his hands.
He needed Ed and Double-D.
The plane couldn't have landed soon enough; they both rushed out as quickly as possible and sprinted out of the airport. Thoughts of Eddy on both their minds as they got into a cab and got a lift over to the Cul-De-sac. They were at least a couple days late, already missing the ceremony but they could at least be there for their friend. Each passing minute was a reminder that Eddy was sitting in his own sorrow for that much longer.
Once they got to Edd's home they rushed in, looking everywhere to find him because they knew he would be there. When they finally saw him, he was sleeping on Edd's bed, curled up in a ball and breathing slowly. Neither of them woke him up, they didn't want to take him out of his one peaceful moment. His life had been hectic recently so they quietly closed the door and sat down on the couch.
"…He's gone." Ed finally spoke up after sometime and it hit Double-D more than he had anticipated.
The whole time they had been worrying about Eddy they didn't take in the fact that Allen had died, that he was no longer with them. Usually it would be the other way around but it was Double-D that leaned on Ed and started to cry, low hiccups escaping him every now and again in the otherwise quiet room. Ed had his head downward and just let his own soft sob escape him.
Eddy sat down on the top of the stairs and rose once he heard them crying, walking back into the bedroom where he had pretended to sleep and escaped out the window. Pacing aimlessly through the Cul-De-Sac until he stood on the old soccer field, right by one of the rusty goals.
He had been here every day since Allen's death. Staring off into the forest to his left, pointlessly thinking about things that popped into his head. He kept trying to remember something else, try to let his head wander but his thoughts weren't enough to distract him from the crushing pain. His eyes went from the lush green forest to the dying brown grass in front of his feet.
There was this feeling that he should be crying, that he should let the emotions he had capture him and lead him to the dry sobs that he knew would help process the pent-up feelings inside him. He just couldn't, and it had nothing to do with his father, brother, or life in general.
He honestly just couldn't.
"You're so dramatic, man." Someone spoke from behind him, it sounded so far off but held a closeness to the very core of him.
The voice was incapacitating, stopped him from any momentary thoughts.
Eddy turned around slowly, eyes searching for something he knew wasn't there.
But right in front of him was none other than his friend.
His very dead friend.
The air was trapped in his lungs, his whole body wracked with the overwhelming surge of emotions. He wanted to scream but he had already done that before, now was time to just wallow in his shock.
But like a kick to the gut, the air finally escaped him and the slow realization of the cruel cruel world caught up with him.
"You're dead…" And it hurt to say, ached him to even pronounce those words.
Whatever was in front of him smiled, which seemed to rip through his heart completely. "Truth, but I had to come back for a little bit to help you out."
Eddy couldn't tell if he was getting angry or losing himself. "I must be crazy, I gotta be if you're in front of me." He frantically ran his hands through his hair to try and wake himself up but Allen was still there, standing with more life in him then Eddy could remember from before.
"Really? Looks like you're a little blue there." He motioned to all of Eddy with his outstretched hand. He thought about reaching out and touching it to see if he was actually real but didn't want to entertain his crazed illusion.
Eddy blinked slowly, trying to calm his mind but it just wasn't working. "You shouldn't be here…You aint him, don't act like it." His sadness was beginning to convert to extreme anger at whatever the imposter was, whatever the delusion was pretending to be.
It was the first time he had seen the ghost's expression change. It was more somber than before. "You of all people should know this is me…" He gave Eddy a sad smile and pulled at his own shirt. "I'm your friend."
Eddy tightly held onto the goalpost and didn't let go, it was the only stable thing that could support him. "Course you are." Eddy finally spoke up, his voice horse and unusually quiet, his eyes finally met Allen's.
He smiled up at him and pretended to wipe his brow. "Whew, I didn't want you forgetting about me yet."
"I never could you idiot." Eddy's voice remained quiet, but had a tinge of his old self in it. Something popped into his head and his grip loosened. "So how'ya plan to help me then brainiac?"
Allen took a couple steps forward towards him and smiled brightly. "Well, I was thinking first thing first you go talk to Ed and Double-D. They need you man."
Eddy breathed out, he had known that this entire time but refused to even try and speak with them. Talking to them about Allen was like trying to talk with them about his parents. The emotions were trapped deep inside him for a reason. They were so terrible that he couldn't let them out without it hurting.
And boy would this one hurt.
"You weren't supposed to tell me things I already knew." Eddy groaned, putting his head in his hands.
Allen shrugged and laughed loudly. "I mean, it's usually the job of the sensible friend."
Eddy smiled for what seemed like the first time in forever. "When were you ever the sensible one?"
Ed, was of course the first one to hug him tightly. Probably feeling like this was a step in the right direction for Eddy when in reality he was him probably going more insane. Edd stood up tentatively, scanning his face for a telltale sign to see if he was ok or not. If anything, it reminded Eddy of how caring his brothers really were. To worry more about him than themselves, he knew for a fact Allen's death had affected them. Probably more than they were letting show at the moment and that might be why they sought so strongly to help him get over it, so that they could as well.
Because if Eddy could do it, he could lead them through it.
But as he looked through Ed's arm at Double-D staring him down he noticed Allen sitting on the couch behind him and realized how he was still very hurt. Allen stared over at the TV and Eddy wished with all his heart that Edd would turn around and be able to see him as well but his eyes were glued to Eddy's expressions. There wasn't one though, he was blank, listlessly staring off into space.
Allen turned towards him and smiled.
The life in Eddy's eyes briefly returned then and he met Edd's gaze.
"Ya'both look like you've been up for days." Eddy commented, looking over at the bags under Ed's eyes.
He looked down at him and poked under his right eye. "You look the same too, Eddy."
Though it was a simple response it was also a realization for him. How long had he been up? And when was the last time he actually got a good nights sleep since Allen's death?
He looked over at the ceiling, trying to figure it out. "I guess you're right. I need to catch some Z's." It wasn't until he said it that he yawned loudly and stretched his arms upward. His body was very heavy all of a sudden but he kept his eyes open and sat next to Double-D who was resting as well.
"Hello Eddy, how are you feeling?" Edd was nervous, obviously trying to figure out how he could be most helpful.
Eddy didn't have the heart to tell him that by just being there he was doing more than enough. "Tired, feel like I could sleep for days." Eddy scratched his head and looked around the room. Even though nothing had changed it had a more somber feeling to it. Or maybe it was just his mood that was affecting his vision of things. With that in mind, Eddy was still looking for Allen, but couldn't see him anywhere.
Edd stared at him and ran his hand through his own hair. Obviously, his answer wasn't as straight forward as it should have been. Eddy reached out to grab his arm before he could go all the way through his scalp.
"I'm fine Double-D, I'll get through this." It was the fact that he had said those words that instilled hope, even within himself.
There wasn't anything else either of them could say after that and the worry stricken boy just nodded in appreciation for his answer. Ed sat down next to Eddy and leaned against him, his hulking mass was enough to slowly push Eddy onto Double-D who then leaned against the end of the couch. At first, Eddy was going to yell at Ed for getting into his personal space, but he was just too tired to even try and shove him off. Instead, he leaned more into Edd and closed his dreary eyes; a small smile from Allen who was sitting on the chair farthest from him was the last thing he saw. It didn't take long for all of them to fall asleep for what felt like an eternity.
When Eddy woke up again he felt energized, drowsy, and comfortably warm. If it weren't for the fact that Allen was still sitting on the chair staring at the ceiling he would have gone back to sleep, but instead he secretly moved himself from between his brothers and walked towards the door. Motioning for his ghost friend to follow.
"So what else?" Eddy kicked a rock towards the sidewalk. It skipped away and he wondered if he should play soccer anymore now that Allen wasn't there to pass to.
Allen watched the rock skip by and turned his head questioningly. "What do you mean, what else?"
The ever-patient Eddy snapped back. "Where else are'ya gonna lead me?!"
Allen blinked back at him in a sense of innocence. "That's not what I'm doing man. I only have one mission for you."
"Then why am I seein' all this?" He motioned to Allen with his hands, still slightly annoyed.
Allen sighed, closing his eyes for a brief moment before answering. "So I wanted to see you one more time. Maybe talk a little before I went, sue me huh?" Though the answer carried a deep sense of sadness, there was a trace of agitation that mirrored Eddy's.
He wanted to snap back at him with a flurry of insults custom made in the confines of his brain but when he turned around to say something his tongue froze in his mouth. He just couldn't be mad at him; he was just too hurt to feel anything but pain again.
This wasn't helping.
Him being here wasn't helping Eddy heal, how could he when every time he looked up he saw him wandering about somehow.
Instead of saying that though, he asked another question. "So what's this mission you got for me then?"
Allen's smile returned and he nodded to himself in confidence. "I need you to get a soccer ball from my house."
Just the mention of his home made Eddy's heart ache. It was a physical representation of who Allen used to be in life and seeing his parents again in the state they were in was not a good idea for Eddy.
He turned his head away from Allen's eyes.
"Oh come on, they're my parents and they love having you over." Allen calmed, shaking his head quickly like it was no big deal.
He kept looking at where the rock had skipped, Allen's sentence going over his head completely even though he had heard it. "That aint what I'm worried about."
Allen looked in the same direction as Eddy, but with a smile on his face. "And I also wanted you to check up on them. They need someone to go look after them now that I can't."
He turned towards Allen to ask him why he had gotten so serious but there was just empty air there.
He felt very alone all of a sudden.
Then he snickered lightly to himself. "I gotta be crazy…" He mumbled as he started to walk towards his best friend's house.
He didn't wait to knock on the door, he just knocked. Standing with his hands in his pockets and wandering eyes, looking for someone that wasn't there.
His parents opened the door a little before they saw him. They both looked lost, but not from their body language or their facial expression, but their eyes. It was when they stared at him and he was able to look into the almost soulless eyes that he saw how lost they were.
And wondered if he looked the same.
"Oh Eddy, come in." They both looked surprised to see him, opening the door quicker than expected. Their smiles were forced and he knew it.
He smiled back to be polite and took a couple of steps inside. Immediately regretting it when he smelled that familiar scent of the house that he was so used to seeing Allen apart of. Though his legs were tired he refused to sit on the couch. It seemed as if everything in this house held a different kind of memory that he couldn't remember at a time like this.
He just couldn't.
So, he awkwardly stood while Allen's mom and dad sat down on their respective chairs and looked at him expectantly.
"I was thinkin' I'd come down here to…see how'ya both are." He started, his hands still in his pockets, balled into fists because he was already angry at himself.
Why had he decided to actually come here? This was the worst possible time and they probably hated him for not going to the funeral service. He wouldn't blame them either and that was the worst part, even in his mind he couldn't weasel out of the responsibility that he should have filled for his best friend.
They took his question in stride as if answered a hundred times. "We're coping as of right now…it's just been so quiet in the house is all." His father answered first, his chin was rested on his palms and his eyes showed a small hint of life after he spoke.
"It's so weird to not hear a soccer ball bouncing upstairs in his room." His mom somberly laughed, nodding to herself. Eddy didn't know if she was speaking to him or Allen's father.
Eddy opened his mouth to say something but the dad spoke up.
"That boy could never stop playing that game, he never gave in. No matter what they said about him." There was an underlying tone of guilt that was held in every word he spoke, and it killed Eddy to hear.
His mom nodded again, talking to the wall this time when she looked over to the side. "We shouldn't have had him in soccer this long…he could have been with us…s-so much longer." They were both spiraling into something, the black tar of guilt that they now found themselves trapped in.
His father blinked back tears and looked back up to Eddy. "I'm sorry Eddy, didn't mean to get that emotional. We're very happy that you decided to come and visit." There it was again, those dead eyes that he saw at the beginning. And through the reflection of them he saw his own, which were just as lost.
He could have gone the easy rout with his response. Acted like none of it ever happened and gone down his own rabbit hole until he lost himself in the guilt and sadness. How easy it would be to let go and allow his emotions to take hold of him and control him like they did when he saw his brother.
But he never did easy. If he did he would have never made friends with the Cul-De-Sac kids, never built a relationship with him mom, and he darn well wouldn't have talked to a dying friend.
He took a deep breath so he could feel again. "He told me that he loved every minute of every second of that sport. And he respected and loved both of'ya for doing that for him. Taking soccer would have killed him quicker, even if he were still alive today." He met their gazes one after the other with a strong determination in his eyes. "Thanks for keeping my friend alive for as long as'ya could."
Both of their eyes watered at his words. He'd be lying if he said his weren't the same but at least they were full of life instead of lifelessness.
Then out of nowhere he remembered something and looked back at them in his usual way. "Oh, can I take a soccer ball too. I just want a lil keep sake from him."
When he walked out of the house with a very worn soccer ball that looked more familiar than it probably should have he began his trek towards the clubhouse, the place where he thought it would be best to leave the shrine. It was where he and Allen had hung out the most, the place that was built and molded by friendship.
That would be the perfect spot to leave his friend.
"There isn't anyone who can help people like you do. What kind of magic do you use man, it's crazy!" Allen jumped from behind him with his hands behind his head.
Eddy reached out to punch him but Allen moved out of the way with a smirk.
"You almost gave me a heart attack!" When the words escaped his mouth, he realized he had said something very wrong.
Allen lead the way while walking backwards and smiled at him. "It's alright Eddy, don't let me stop you from who you are. Crack jokes and all. I'll always laugh at them, you know that." His words were genuine and also in a way, wise. He pointed to the ball and his smile grew. "You know what ball that is right?"
Eddy kept following him and looked at it. "A dingy thing you found in your gutter?" That was honestly the first thing that had come to mind when he looked at it. That his best guess at that moment.
Allen shook his head and laughed. "It's the ball we played with when I first met you all. I kept it, one of my treasures."
The ball felt heavier after he spoke. It held memories that Eddy himself had forgotten years ago. He gave the ball a small squeeze and spoke. "I'll sell it back to you for a quarter."
Both of them laughed as Eddy continued to walk behind Allen. They talked about all the old things that they used to do and most of the good memories they shared during and after school hours.
"Man I hated Mrs. Snider, when you told me her and Kenzie were related I flipped my lid!" Allen laughed as they shared another joke amongst each other.
Eddy let out a halfhearted chuckle. "Yah, back in the good ol'days when Kenzie could look at me without tearing up…" He hadn't even thought about the breakup until that moment. All the rushing emotions he should have felt washed over him in an unbearable wave.
Allen turned to him. "I'm sorry about that Eddy…I wanted you to know that I didn't mean for that to happen. If you ever get the chance to tell her the truth, do it man. I can't imagine a world where you and Kenzie don't end up together."
Eddy waved the comment aside along with his emotions. "Pfft, would'a been helpful to know this morning." They both laughed at his morbid tone and he continued to talk. "Nothing we can do about it now. Just gotta drop this off at the clubhouse and exorcise you or something."
Allen laughed so hard at that joke he held his stomach. "What kind of ghost haunts his best friend?"
"A bad one, I never said you were good!"
That got another roar of laughter from both of them until they were sitting on the hard ground.
"Aw man I'm going to miss this Eddy." Allen wiped his eye, trying to catch his breath.
Eddy nodded slowly, looking at his friend. "Me to Allen…me to…How am I supposed to get through this?" It was his first moment of true emotion with Allen, heartbreaking reality was setting in and he couldn't control it. "I can't get over your death Allen…I just can't."
"You have to Eddy," Allen was serious as he spoke, looking at Eddy's distressed eyes. "You'll mourn, but then you'll get through it because you have to…because it's what I would have wanted. You are the strongest guy I know; I came all the way from death to tell you that."
Eddy ran his hand through his hair and nodded, trying to find the reason behind his words. "I don't wanna lose you Allen…" His words were hurt, and behind them was the crying boy that should have been at the funeral, that should have mourned when he saw his friend dying instead of holding stout and strong.
He couldn't do it anymore, he just couldn't.
"I'm sorry I left you Eddy, I really am. I'll be looking out for you though, not even death could split up this duo." He smiled, holding his fist out for Eddy to hit. "I wasn't ready before, but now I am."
A tear rolled down Eddy's face but he looked up none the less. "You better mean that." He reached out and hit his fist but he didn't feel anything. He rose slowly and pat his butt a couple times to get the dirt off him. Wiping his eyes frantically with his sleeve. "Now let's get your shrine down by the clubhouse and remember all those good times." He spoke a lot quicker than he usually did, almost forced.
Allen didn't rise when Eddy turned around to walk away but instead spoke softly, almost as if he were talking to a child. "Tell everyone I said thanks. And thank you for being my best friend Eddy. I better not see you again for a long long long time, man." Every word felt like he was saddened to say it, but held so much truth that Eddy didn't turn around.
Then he spoke once more.
"We're here…" Allen's tone was a gently and happy one, something so pure and joyous that it warmed even Eddy's bleak heart.
Eddy turned to him and spoke up. "No, we're not even close to the clubhouse, I still gotta put this thing somewhere. You can't go until I get this thing down and we talk some mo…!" It was then that Eddy's voice halted and he realized where he was.
He was at the cemetery; only a few feet away from his headstone. Allen wasn't there anymore.
He stared at the grave for a very long time. Not saying a word as he held the ball in his hand. In the hours, he stayed still it felt like years, and in that time he still couldn't find the correct words to say to that grave. He wanted to walk away, go back to his broken ignorance and seep back to the times when he didn't have to feel, but that wasn't fair to Allen's memory and he realized that after hanging out with him all day.
So, as he pilled rocks together and placed the ball on top of it he smiled to himself and began to let his emotions spread from his chest. Let himself feel his sadness and remember his dead friend.
He hung his head and started to cry. He knew he needed to, he knew he had to.
And in that moment, that one moment.
Alright! Next chapter is the end of junior year. It's so close you all! There's progress so far and I want to try to end senior year and this story by the end of summer. I'm gonna try my best!
Commandravage: I know, writing that chapter hurt me! This story has actually been getting emotional! It's fine though, once Senior year starts it'll get lighter! I appreciate the review
Futureshock: I was going for intense at the ending, trying to pull at the heart strings. Ended up doing it to myself too! Thank you for the review.
Writer-person2: Thank you so much for this review. It was very difficult for me to write that chapter and at the end I almost just scrapped it and wrote another one where he lived. I couldn't do that though; in this story, it needed to happen. So, I pulled up my sleeves and finished it.