Didn't Know I Cared
By Breech Loader
Me: I know I didn't finish the story properly, but I'm on this THING where I feel this need to deal with my old chapters. Also, I've been kind of sick too.
I wrote, or started writing this, while thinking about a time in my life when I was SO FUCKING MISERABLE. I wanted to kill myself. And then after I told somebody that I wanted to kill myself, the motherfucker had the wastrel qualities to say "God, you're weak", for being suicidal. Assmunch.
Stan looked at Butters. The blond was, as Cartman had predicted, still unconscious. And he was hooked up to a couple of machines; the ECG, the drip, and an oxygen mask over his pale face. His parents had gone home to sleep, which showed just how much of a shit they gave about him.
"He looks like shit," Kyle said finally.
Stan mentally agreed. They'd seen Butters in hospital before and he hadn't looked this bad, even after a savage attack from Trent Boyett, "So he's 'stable'," he said gloomily, "How fucking useless is that? Dead is stable!" He remembered he'd gone through some major misery a few years ago. Thank god he'd gotten over it and things had gone back to normal, but he still remembered it as being six of the most miserable months of his life.
"I can think of plenty of reasons I'd want to die if I was living Butters' life," Kyle commented, "I just... never even considered that he might do it," he sat down next to the bed. He felt dumb talking to somebody who probably couldn't hear him and certainly couldn't talk back, just like Cartman had predicted, "Butters, thanks to you we had the dumbest ever mascot come in and tell us bullshit about depression in teenagers. And you know what? I figure everybody in the fucking world is depressed and they're all going to kill themselves in like, twenty minutes. At least according to Willy Jump, the Worry-Free Wildcat."
"What're you doing, Kyle?" Stan asked him.
"I'm just... telling him what happened at school today," Kyle explained. He continued to Butters, "I don't know if we should have seen this coming but it's kind of... I dunno... You know, people did notice you were gone."
"And meeting Willy Jump meant we missed a history lesson and Algebra," Stan continued, "So you need to wake up so that we can thank you properly."
"(Do you think he can hear us?)" Kenny mumbled. He poked Butters gently. The blond didn't stir. All this immortality and I can't give even a little bit of it to help others, Not for the first time Kenny cursed his state of immortality. He had seen Heaven, and he had seen Hell, although he'd never been allowed to stay long in either one. And he did fear dying. Ever since he'd had muscular dystrophy and died for ages, he'd been scared that maybe he only had a finite number of lives, and they couldn't be wasted.
And God but he hated hospitals. Hated them with every breath in his body. Part of him felt fine about Butters being there; he was certain that the kid would get into heaven now that non-Mormons were allowed in, and he'd be able to stay there. On the other hand, he'd never see him again. Well, maybe in passing...
"(Butters, you're a good friend...)" he murmured, taking the other blond's slim hand and squeezing it, "(Don't give up just yet...)"
Was it pure imagination, or misguided hope, or did Butters just-
"AY!" a loud, obnoxious voice rang out through the room. The three of them turned to the door. Cartman was standing there, bloated with self-importance and fat, "What're you guys doing here? You said you weren't coming to see Butters!"
Kyle caught hold of himself, "No, you said you weren't coming to see Butters. Then you said that if we were smart we wouldn't bother either. It's just that not everybody thinks as selfishly as you do."
Cartman ignored him, hovering in the doorway, not sure whether to leave again now that the others were here. He didn't want them to think he was weak. Eventually though, he came in and took a seat, just watching.
He hated this. Listening to Stan, Kyle and Kenny just talking to Butters like the kid could hear them. But he also... hated the way they felt they were allowed to show their weaknesses and he knew better. He'd wanted to be the one to talk to Butters. He couldn't ask the others, but he could ask Butters. All the better that he couldn't answer back. He couldn't ask with them in the room. But maybe if they went away...
"Guys, he's not gonna wake up just because you're talking," he rasped.
"(Unlike you, sometimes we need to hope,)" Kenny pointed out.
"Yeah, and I can hope that ice-cream will come out of my ass, but I don't shit hot fudge sundaes," Cartman sneered, pulling off his wool hat. He just felt so misplaced right now. He was used to having Butters hovering around, and making the other boy take part in his schemes and when he didn't have schemes, occasionally humiliating him. Now he didn't have anybody to take advantage of.
Stan, Kyle and Kenny went back to talking to Butters for a minute, before Stan finally made the loaded statement.
"You saved Butters' life when you brought him to the hospital, Cartman," he told the brunette, "That was... well, pretty selfless. And responsible. And the right thing to do."
"I know," Cartman looked a little like a peacock puffing itself up.
"What I'm saying is, it's not like you at all," Stan interrupted.
"Wait, what?" Cartman snapped out.
"(Yeah, why'd you do it?)" Kenny asked.
Cartman floundered for a moment. Then he caught himself, "Any decent person-"
"You're NOT a decent person, fatass!" Kyle snapped, "You can pull that bullshit around the grown-ups, and hell, maybe you can even lie to yourself, but we are not going to fall for it! We know you wouldn't put a shit's worth of effort into helping anybody if there wasn't something in it for you! So come straight out and say why you did it! Because if you don't, we'll find out when Butters wakes up!"
"How the HELL do you know that soft, yellow, dweeb is ever gonna wake up!" Cartman returned violently, his pudgy round face red with anger as he stood up sharply, "Suppose he just lies there with his empty little head in the clouds and lying there like he's dead forever?"
"And you care, why?" Stan asked him again. Cartman was trying to dodge the question.
"I don't care; why the fuck would I care?" Cartman spat, stamping towards the bed, "Look at you guys, fussing over him like a bunch of pussies; you act like he's important when there's a million chumps just like him in every city in the fucking world!"
"What do you-"
"He's nothing special! He's replaceable!" Cartman continued loudly, "Hell, I'll prove it; I'll find another one right now! So screw you guys, I'm going home!"
There's something wrong... I feel like I'm underwater, but I can hear things. My stomach hurts like nothing I've ever felt before; I'm all twisted up and I wanna scream. But I can't make a sound. There's machines everywhere, and people; I can hear people, but they can't hear me, even though I'm shouting, shouting as loud as I can.
Oh jeepers... Somebody just took my hand. I grab it and hold it as tight as I can, but they're just touching me lightly. Then there's a shout; a familiar voice, and they let go.
Don't let go, don't let go, oh hamburgers...
They're shouting, but they're not shouting at me. It's like I'm not in the room at all. They're shouting at each other, I'm shouting at them but they won't listen...
Eric? Don't go...
The water machine is coming again, and everything's going wrong... I was going to die. I wanted to die. I remember that much. It's all... fuzzy. Eric was there too... There was more... so much more... but it's all trying to hide, trying to make me forget my memories. Maybe that's a good thing...
They're saying I'm dead, I'm sure of it.
I just want to show them I'm here. Get them to look... get out of the water. I can't speak, I can't make a noise or even grunt. I can't even swallow; the doctors came in with a tube and took out some of the spit in my mouth cus I couldn't swallow it. I focus every ounce of my strength into doing something, anything... anything to make them stay with me a little longer.
Mom and Dad went. I don't want to be alone again.
I don't want to die...
Didn't know I cared...
Kenny watched Cartman leave the hospital room. He was on slightly better terms with Cartman than Stan or Kyle – although not that much better; he still acutely remembered dozens of times Cartman had been responsible in part for some of his agonising deaths and flat out being an asshole, and though he still knew better than to trust the fat boy on anything he did, he could also guess when something was seriously wrong. But then he looked back at Butters.
Butters being comatose was the real problem, not Cartman throwing a bitch-fit.
"(Guys, I think he can hear us a bit…)" he spoke calmly.
"Huh?" Kyle turned to look at Butters. He still wasn't moving, "Are you sure, Kenny?"
"(No,)" Kenny admitted, "(But it feels like he can…)" Indeed, for half a second there he was almost sure he had felt Butters tense up.
"Butters?" Stan asked, "Are you in there?"
It was a whisper on the wind but it existed as a conscious movement, "…"
"What?" Kyle asked frantically, "Butters, we're gonna call your parents and-"
"Fuck them…" Butters slipped back into his unnatural sleep again, exhausted by the effort of speaking two little words.
The three boys looked at each other. Butters didn't want to see his parents. That wasn't really all that surprising; just like every other adult in South Park, they too were a couple of assholes. Sure, they hadn't killed anybody as a result of sheer stupidity or opened up the gates of Hell…
Well, so far as they knew, Kyle reminded himself.
Still, he knew he'd still want to see his parents. But then again he'd never actively tried to kill himself before, "Why'd you do it, Butters?" he asked, wondering if the smaller boy could even hear him.
There was no answer, no response at all, even when Kyle experimentally pinched him. It was like Butters had turned into a vacant space, and he wasn't even moving now. Kyle wondered what would happen if he didn't wake up again. Would they notice him gone? Yes, they probably would. It would be like somebody had just torn the sun out of the sky.
"Come on, Butters," Kyle mumbled, "Nobody wants you to just give up… you never did before. Besides… we wanna know what really happened…"
NOTE: Yeah, I'm still dealing with stuff. Review, please? But yeah, I know what it feels like to seriously think about killing myself. And yet not do so, and the reason you don't do it, isn't because you've suddenly gotten a big dose of Joy to the ass, but because you suddenly don't dare to.