Over this life there are many things that Stephen has come to learn. The first being this: everyone dies. There is not happy ending, there is no happy ever after. Everyone just die. Stephen knew that life on here was limited, he just- he never expected her life to end so soon. To his parents, it was just another day, but to him it was a day he wanted to forget so badly, but knew he never would.

He remembered that day so well. Only days before did his father leave for a business trip taking their mother along with him. His sister, Anastasia, promised him that she would be home before 12:30. Which for his sister was a reasonable time. So that's how he spent his night. Waiting up re-reading a rather worn out copy of The Canterbury Tales. At this point Stephen knew fairly well that he sister never came back home in the best state. Usually when he awoke in the morning he'd find her laying on the living room sofa hungover from the previous events of the night. But the two were each other a support. Their parents had practically abandoned the two since they felt that Stephen was able to stay at home by himself at the age of 6. Sure the house keepers were there, but it wasn't normal.

As the grandfather clock struck 2:30, Stephen retreated to his room knowing his sister would be back in the mornings. Only she wasn't. And she wouldn't be. He allowed himself to sleep in for once, something that he normally wouldn't do, but due to going to bed so late he needed his rest. So when he walked down stairs for breakfast at 9:45 (he considered anything past 8:00 sleeping in) he wasn't expecting the news that awaited him. Ingrid, the house keeper, was sitting at the kitchen table. Her head was bury in her hands and looked up upon Stephen entering the room. The first thing he noticed were her wet cheeks.

"Is everything alright, Ingrid?" He asked

"You should probably sit down Stephen." She told him. He took his usual seat at the table. "I've received some bad news."

"You can wait to tell me until Annie comes down." He announced. He should have noticed then. The way that her hand tightened around the handkerchief, how her eyes watered, the way she looked in pain just by saying those ten words.

"Stephen, it's about Annie." He looked at her waiting to continue. "I don't know how to tell you this Stephen." She informed him

"You always told like a band-aid." He reminded her.

"This isn't one of those times." She shook her head.

"What happened?"

"Your sister, she didn't make it home last night." Stephen felt his heart drop as he heard the words, he didn't know why. She was probably staying the night at one of her friend's house. "Apparently she was found this morning in at one of her friend's house. They- they said it was an accident."

"What was?"

"The overdose." There was silence as Stephen took in the words, trying to digest them.

"Do this mean-?" He couldn't finish the sentence.

"I'm afraid so."

"I'll be in my room." He announced, standing up from his seat thinking she couldn't be dead, because she promised.

He doesn't remember crying about his sister's death. He was, basically, in denial for a few years after it. And as he hit seventeen and almost out of Sixth-form he moved into the other stages of grief. He hardly remembered the anger and the bargaining, but those two happened so quickly that they were tied in with the depression. He remembered the depression well. This lead him to the second lesson.

The second thing Stephen learned was that somethings that he had been taught were untrue. For example; he often heard that sleep was for the week, depressed, and socially incompetent. Yet here he was, depressed out of his mind and still awake at two in the morning.

For the past few days Stephen did nothing but think which caused him nothing but pain. He wondered why his parents did nothing about her death. Their own daughter. They just left her again. He had never thought about it until now. But he never gave himself time to. When he found out the news he carried on with his life as if she was still there. He studied, read, rowed. It was like she was never gone. But quickly she slowly faded to the back of his mind. He didn't carry on with his life as if she was there. No, he carried on trying to forget she wasn't. It was all a distraction. Something to occupy his thoughts, to keep him busy. Maybe if he got into Cambridge his parents would call to congratulate him or something. He hasn't seen or heard from them for a while. They cared about their living son as much as they cared about their dead daughter.

It was half way through the week that he decided he had enough. Stephen didn't want to get rid of the pain anymore, he needed to. It began to feel like stones weighing him. Each a different thought or feeling pushing down on his chest, suffocating him. So that's why he laid awake in his bed. It wasn't because he was continuously going over a speech or re-reading a parts of a book for a test. No, school wasn't the problem anymore. It was the pain that kept him from falling asleep. It was at that moment Stephen knew he had to get rid of this pain. He just didn't know how.

His first thought was an overdose. He could go out this world like his sister, only this wouldn't be accidental. However, that thought soon left his mind as fast as it entered. One reason being that he couldn't follow that same path. The other simply was that he had no idea to get anything to overdose on. All pain killers and medication was left in the infirmary. As for any other non-medical drugs, well, he didn't know where exactly to get those. He might be smart, but he was completely clueless on things like this.

His next thought led to a blade. He heard that people tend to inflict pain upon themselves as a form of release. Maybe he didn't need to kill himself in order to rid pain, he could just cut himself. He could do that. Or at least that's what he told himself as he got up out of his bed to retrieve his razor bald. He didn't know exactly what to do so he just dragged it across his left wrist. He didn't think the cuts were that deep, but blood bubbled from them. There was a sting as he pressed his finger to the self-inflicted cut. He felt that with each cut the pain washed away. It was nice, that the stones no longer sat upon his chest. That he now had a chance to breath. He eventually stopped cutting and waited until the blood was dry to go back to bed. He hadn't known how tired he was until his head hit then pillow and he went to sleep. It was only an hour later and in his sleep could he feel the pain reappear. At 2 am did he awake. The pain smothered him. Stephen knew, looking down at the many fresh, two hour old cuts, that he did not want to continue this. It would be a hassle, inconvenient. In no time he body would be covered with self-inflicted wounds. How would this work, surly someone would notice. He needed something more convent, more final.

Then he decided, he knew how to end it.

He sat up in his bed, quietly picking up his glasses and keys on his desk. He slipped on a pair of shoes and headed to the boating house. There was no note, nothing to explain his actions. No one would care. He just needed to stop this pain. It was here that Stephen knew everything could end. He knew exactly what he was looking for as he unlocked the doors to the boating house. The rope was in the same place as always, coiled in a pile on the floor. He began to make the rope into a noose and then tie it around a wooden beam. As he did this he remembered what he promised to Annie on that day. He swore he wouldn't do anything stupid. And, up until this point, he hadn't. He could break it though, after all she did break hers. He was too caught up to notice the difference. So he placed a chair directly under the rope and slid his head in. He kicked the chair under his feat and felt the rope tighten around his neck.

The pain was unbearable. He didn't know that there was a pain worse then making you wanting to kill yourself. But Stephen was wrong. There was the pain of killing yourself. He wanted to struggle, to get out of the bloody rope, to get down and live. He was only a few seconds in and knew he made a mistake. He needed to accept his fate, who would still be up at this time, who would think of going to the boat house? He didn't have the option to live anymore, so he should learn to accept his mistake and die. Yet he still swung his legs back and forth, begging something nonexistence for help.

The seconds felt like hours as he hung from the ceiling. It felt like the rope was cutting his through, slicing it in half. No one ever mentioned this. Not once in history or in books did it mention the pain that came hand in hand with a rope. But as his feet dangled in the air he knew why. They killed the man before hanging him. None had to suffer the same fate as him. His mind was slowly going. How long had he gone without breathing? How much longer did he have to suffer?

Then he saw someone. He knew it was a student from the way he was dressed in their uniform. He never questioned why a novice, dressed for the Fourth of June, was up this late.

"You can see me, huh?" He didn't have the energy to reply, not that he could or anything. His eyes drew heavy. How could he not see him, he was alive. More alive then Stephen was at the moment. The next thing Stephen knew was his feet touching the chair. He couldn't get the rope off faster and soon he could breath again.

He turned to the him, wanting to learn his name, to say his thanks, but he was no where to be found. Maybe he should be thankful, for that. Not having to put up with the embarrassment or talk about why he tried to kill himself and what changed in those seconds that made him want to live.

He couldn't think straight, in fact, he was surprised that he was able to get back to his room that night. But he did. He didn't stay awake for very long after reaching his bed. As his head sank into his pillow he decided his fate. He wouldn't try anything like again. He tried and failed or got interrupted or whatever. He could accept the depression if it meant he would live. At this point he didn't care how he lived as long as his heart still beats, his eyes still blink, his body still breathes. This pain wasn't horrible anymore, not to what it could be. And this time, he would keep his promise. He wouldn't do anything stupid anymore. Life was too short to do stupid things, he did almost die.

He could accept depression. Accepting his sister's death on the other hand, well, he didn't know if that would ever be possible.

A/N:

I hoped you like it. There might be like two more chapters going along with it, but *shrugs* I don't know.

-acciodana