I hand wrote this first, and let me tell you, it was no easy task. 29 pages of pen on paper in four days. But I did it for you guys.
Background information: Rin and Len are complete strangers. They are OoC and this is a serious AU. There are mentions of suicide in this story, as well as drugs. It's late autumn, cold.
The story was typed while I was having constant meltdowns and debating on whether or not I should continue my own life or end it before my birthday. I still had some sense of control while actually writing it, but it was slowly lost over time. I was venting my feelings to paper and pens, not to pillows, people, or stuffed animals. Half my paper wasn't legible due to tears, while some pages were in fact stained with blood. I threw my nail filer out already; it was caked in dry blood.
I'm still having episodes. It's really getting to me since I have been told time and time again that I'm 'useless', 'unneeded', and 'a failure'. All said by my own family of course. I agree, which is sort of weird, I never thought that I would actually think I was not of need in anyone's life. I sometimes wonder that if I left, people wouldn't even notice I was gone. But I'm still wondering if there's an afterlife that's better or not.
Disclaimer: I do not own Vocaloid.
Just Over There with the Marigolds
She couldn't quite remember the last time she saw her friends. If she even bothered to care at the moment, she would, but her phone was even out of her reach. After the first few messages and voicemails, she shut it off, refusing to cry any longer. They could call and text all they wanted, the blond would never answer.
Why wasn't her head clear yet? It's been over a week since the accident, and yet she was still lying in bed, waiting for the management to kick her out of the apartment. School was out of the question, plus she already didn't do half of her work. She burrowed herself further into the duvet and let out a deep sigh she didn't even notice she was holding.
She then felt that urge to go to the bathroom, take one of her father's razors and 'experimentally' slide it over her wrist. She's had these feelings before, but she never actually opened the cabinet. Every step into the bathroom caused those thoughts to cross her mind. But she never actually acknowledged it. Slowly and unwillingly, she stood up, taking the blankets with her. Her hands began to tremble as she pushed the door open and let her bare feet hit the cold tiled floor.
Pounding on the front door caused her to quickly open the cabinet and hold a razor in front of her as a weapon. She was shaking violently now as voices blared through the door. There were people telling her that her time in this secure prison was over. Taking a final look in the mirror, she sighed, unwrapping her body from the blanket. The cold air hit her naked skin as she turned the tap on and leaned against the sink for support.
Would all these thoughts really make her feel better?
Len stared out the window, watching as soft white clouds flew freely in the sky. The teacher's lesson meant nothing to him; he was at the top of his class anyway. He usually waited for the bell to ring so he could drag himself out of the building and toward the flower shop. Of course, he had a few friends, and there were some bonds he swore were stronger than blood, but, after what had happened, he didn't feel to actually be with them.
The soft murmur of Miku's voice finally snapped back his attention, and he noticed he had drowned out the sound of the bell, and other students were already leaving or had already left. He ran a hand down his face and began packing his things up. "Len, are you busy today?"
Leave it to Miku to try and screw his plans over. But what could he argue with; it was painstakingly obvious that the teal haired girl had a thing for him. "No, Miku. I'm visiting them today."
The girl's smile fell. Now she understood. Miku stuffed her hand into her purse, before taking out a crumpled ten dollar bill. "Can you buy me a flower for them? I want to show them my respect," she explained slowly as the blond took the bill. He looked at it before nodding, taking his bag and walking out of the room.
It never took him very long to reach the florist's store, and whenever Luka saw him lately, she knew exactly what he had come for. Nothing too fancy, just some sad flowers—white carnations to be exact. Never anything else. When he walked through the door, she already had the bouquet wrapped and ready. "Can you add a forget-me-not as well?" he asked, feeling the soft texture of a petal. "A friend wants me to give them one."
The older raised an eyebrow. "I'll throw one in there; and just for you, the entire bouquet is free of charge."
"But Luka-san," Len countered, "won't you get in trouble?"
Her laugh echoed through the store. "Len, you are like a son to me. I don't care if something as petty as this gets me in trouble." With that, she handed him the flowers. "And I knew them personally.
Len felt those words stab him; stab him over and over again without an end. Everyone knew them. Just utter their name and there were stories of how many good deeds they had done. Some tales were about him but they were just anecdotes compared to the others. He bid Luka farewell and walked into the cool autumn weather, and down the street to the cemetery.
Kaito, the grave keeper, met his gaze and waved sadly to him. Len waved back, clutching the flowers a little harder. People were so nice. At the moment, to him, they seemed too nice. He made his way down the long path. From far away, he noticed a person standing by the gravestone he was walking to. His feet quickened, until he was standing right behind them. "Excuse me," he cleared his throat and a female voice was emitted from the person in the form of a gasp.
She turned, bowed her head, and ran up a small hill where a single gravestone stood under a dying tree. He let out a grunt and set the flowers down. "Weird. Definitely weird."
"Oh. You're here again today."
No awkward introduction. Len made sure he was at the cemetery early; in fact he avoided going to see Luka for flowers. He turned around and stared at the girl. She was wearing a long black coat about to mid-thigh with a maroon sweater beneath. Her black jeans were hugging her legs perfectly, and her boots seemed to camouflage . On her head was a white hat which covered most of her bright blond hair. Her eyes were a pale blue and practically lifeless.
"Yes," he said, looking at her. "Only without flowers."
"I see." Her voice was low. "Why do you come here to this grave almost every day?"
Len let out a snort, catching her attention and making her eyes go wide, as if she had never seen someone do that before. "Technically, it's none of a stranger's—like you—business, but it's my family's grave."
Maybe being a little rude would wake her up from her day dream. "Oh. I see."
No emotion. No pity resounded in her voice. It was just a plain, soft tone, practically monotone if you asked Len. It was still a surprise though. Usually people would be swooning over him by this time, apologizing and asked how he managed to live on his own. This was so…so different! He's never met someone like that. He noticed the orange flower in her hand. "A marigold?"
She looked into Len's eyes. "Yes. It means grief or sadness. Different from white carnations since the color is brighter, but they mean about the same thing."
"I never thought of it that way," Len mumbled, watching as she placed the flower down and turned around. "Are you leaving?" he asked her retreating back.
"Yes," she said over her shoulder. "It was a pleasure meeting you."
She walked back up the small hill she ran to yesterday and went behind the small tree. Len never saw her walk from behind it. "Weird."
She didn't have anywhere to go, to live, to stay. Her old apartment was probably already taken, despite the mess she made. She hoped they would enjoy it. She considered it their welcoming gift.
And considering there was nothing better to do, she began walking in the direction of the cemetery. That was her home now, under that already dying tree. It was the perfect little spot, nothing could reach her there. It was something like a safe haven.
Walking through the gate, a soft smile grazed her lips as she spotted a blond head so much like her own. Her steps quickened and she called out to him. "Good afternoon!"
She didn't even know his name. not that it even mattered to her. He turned around and lightly smiled back. He looked the same, with the usual carnation bouquet tightly held in his fist. She walked up to the grave as soon as he put the flowers down. "How long ago did they die?"
Touchy subject, he had to admit.
So he refused to answer. "Listen, you're a nice girl and all, but I won't tell you everything. In fact, I would appreciate it if you stopped coming to this grave."
He turned on his heel and left.
When he visited the cemetery the very next day, the blond stranger was again sitting in front of the grave. Len wanted to growl—no, to yell at the bitch's audacity at doing something inappropriate like this, but he caught sight of the bright flowers sitting around the headstone, and the single one that matched that she twirled between her fingers.
The crunching of leaves and dead grass make the smaller teen look up at Len as he approached, and she gave a small nod as a greeting. "I never mentioned this before," her voice held a mild tone of approval, "but blond suits you better than any other hair color."
Len chose not to respond to that as he closed in, coming to a full stop in front of the headstone. He stared at the names etched across the stone instead of looking at the girl sitting on the grass at his side.
"Why are you here?" the blond questioned since he knew that the girl knew nothing about his parents.
The smaller teen shrugged a bit as she huddled herself further into her jacket. She was wearing the same high priced garments that Len saw her in yesterday. "Oh. I don't know really. Just…I see you here almost every day," she explained as she started to pick off the petals of the orange flower in her hand. "You must have really loved your parents."
Len felt a sort of knot in his chest and tried not to listen to the past tense referral of the female's words. "Yeah," he said, "I really do."
"How did they die?"
Feeling the frustration bubble up from the hidden dam within himself, Len had to catch himself from spitting out another insult like the day before. Had to remind himself that the dozens of flowers that sat there, around his own family's grave, were set by this stranger. Marigolds, he remembers.
"Car accident," the blond answered briefly; straight to the point and no further explanation. He chanced a quick look at the girl, and saw her nod as if she understood.
"That really sucks," she said as she flicked a few petals into the grass.
They lapsed into a silence that Len dared to admit was more comfortable than awkward. He watched quietly as the other teen spun the flower between her fingers round and round, as she stared at the fresh grave before them. He couldn't see the smaller girl's face; just the top of her hat covered head from the way she had her head tilted down as Len stood over her.
"I know how you feel, you know."
Len just had to freeze and looked down at the teen properly. His words got caught in his throat as the knot in his chest pulled tighter—harder—and the stranger was only looking up at him with an unreadable expression. It almost looked pained.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Len said in response, and he flicked his eyes away from the other's pretty face.
The blond stranger looked back to the grave and gave a small shrug. "I lost my entire family in a traffic accident," she explained and Len had to swallow thickly as he listened to the other teen's words. "It was me, mom, my dad and another couple. I was driving and there was music playing…my dad was talking to me, and I wasn't really paying attention to the road." Her voice steadily grew softer as she spoke. "Mom and Dad died first, as well as the other woman, and her husband died in the hospital." She craned her neck so she could grin up at the boy with a smile that in no way portrayed happiness. "I got some pretty bad scars…but, I was the only one that survived."
It was the same as Len. They had both lost their families. All at once—just like that.
Only hers' was her own fault.
"Wow…" Len muttered and tried not to let it affect him in any way. "…how do you live with yourself?"
A small chuckle was heard. "You don't want to know."
"Then same with me." He continued to stare down at the girl. The blond sure was a blunt little jackass, but it was that very same honesty that had Len feeling something mirroring respect toward her. "So, why are you always here?" he asked.
"Oh." The same monotone voice as she pointed at the gravestone under the tree atop the hill. "My family is buried right there."
It became something of a mutual, unspoken agreement. Len started coming to the cemetery around the same time every day, school or not, and the girl would always be there waiting for him in front of the headstone.
It was an odd sort of acquaintance—the girl talked too much and too often for Len's liking, but she almost always brought marigolds for his family and would clear out the old ones before they started to rot. She said that the reason she was taking care of the grave was because she felt sympathetic. She understood what Len was going through; and that was the truth.
Conversation between them was typically one-sided. Len would sit next to the girl on the dingy grass where the autumn leaves would crunch under their combined weight. He'd sit—recently he took upon smoking—and smoke and stare at his family's grave and there—he found out she drank her problems away—she would drink whatever she'd brought with her while she played with one of the flowers she always took out of the bundle.
Kaito let the two of them stay for as long as they wanted so long as they didn't do anything to disturb any other graves; even if he knows they wouldn't dare to.
Len figured the girl had a high alcohol tolerance because she was always drinking yet she never seemed to get drunk. He couldn't even stop himself from wondering how long she had been like that—how long she'd been suffering the guilt of accidentally killing her family. The blond had a tendency to smile and grin and laugh even though it was obvious that she was hurting.
Philosophies and superstitions—existence and theories. She liked to talk about death a lot.
And, occasionally, the hole inside him wouldn't hurt so much as it scabbed, and he wouldn't pick at it. Sometimes he forgot that it had only been thirteen days since his parents died.
"Do you ever wonder what it would be like to die?" she asked him one day, and Len didn't bother to speak his opinion, opting more for a mere shake of his head, and his leg was staring to cramp and fall asleep from sitting for so long. "I mean, like…do you think about what happens after death?"
Letting out a sigh; his breath mixed with thick smoke, Len rubbed a little at his forehead. "You're talking about the afterlife, right?" he asked from his spot on the cemetery grass that was matted with dead leaves, arms propped on his bent legs. The girl in question was seated beside him like usual, like she had been for the past week.
"Yeah," the girl confirmed as she picked idly at the flower in her hands. She was pulling off the petals once again, but this time she was trying to slip them through the cracks in the dried out, dead leaves. "Personally, I'm an atheist. I don't believe in a God, heaven, or hell…I don't think there's anything after death. I think that when we die, we die. Mind, body and soul. I don't think that there is anything more out there." She had an open bottle in her hand, and it smelt a bit sweet. Seemed as though she was drinking rum this time. "What about you?"
"I don't really know," Len murmured in response. He'd learned early on to simply let the girl talk; his own opinion didn't matter much when it came to this sort of situation. What more, he actually liked listening to the other blond—even if she never seemed to shut up. She was a good distraction, and sometimes Len found himself really thinking about her perspective on certain issues.
The blond rolled her eyes a little with a tiny sigh and she turned back to the flower petals and leaves she'd been cross combining. "Right," she started by a way of musing, as if she'd expect a response like that from the boy. "You know…I wonder if I'll still be an atheist when I'm lying on my deathbed. Everyone gets desperate when they're close to death, you know. They want anything—no—will do anything to prolong their life. Even pray."
She dropped the leaves and petals to the grass in front of her folded legs, and leaned back on her palms so she could stare up at the dark, grey sky. "There is this aphorism, 'there are no atheists in foxholes'…and it pretty much continues on those lines. There is a long standing argument with that too. People have adapted it in several different ways, my favorite being, 'there are no atheists in a sinking ship'." She dipped her head a little so that her chin touched near the meeting place between her collarbones.
"Makes me think…if I was about to be faced with death, would I pray?" the girl said, her voice soft at the time. She was still wearing the same hat and jacket she had on when they had first met.
Len already knew the answer to that question, and he startled himself with the knowledge. No, he wanted to say, you wouldn't pray. He had learned over the past few days about the girl's character, just from listening to her muse about random and incoherent things.
When another silence reigns between them once more, Len didn't bother to fill it; he knew that she would break it soon enough. She always had, and she always would.
"Hey, have you heard of a 'death rattle' before?" the stranger asked at length, and this time the blond boy looked at her a bit while he held a new cigarette to his mouth, ready to be lit. He shook his head in response as he flicked with his lighter, trying to produce a flame. "It's that sound people tend to make right before they die. It's kind of like choking—saliva builds up in your mouth and you can't swallow, and all that comes out is some sputtering. Then, you kick the bucket.
"There are instances where—after you die—your body will twitch or move. They show that kind of stuff in horror films a lot and all, you know. It's pretty fascinating, well, to me, at least." She looked over at the quiet blond and offered him another grin. "You see, after you die…after your heart stops, your brain doesn't really process it. You might be dead, but your body still thinks it's alive, and you've still got electrical impulses. Your nerves will send them through your muscles and your arms and legs will twitch and jerk. Sometimes, it'll look like a corpse having a seizure if it's bad enough. But, if you sever the parametrical tract, then it'll stop the spasms. The brain won't be connected to the nerves anymore."
"That's fucked up," Len grumbled from his spot next to the girl.
She let out something like a small chuckle that sounded empty to Len's ears. "I wasn't sure if you were even listening to me," she said, and the boy puffed out thick smoke as he sighed.
"I always listen to you…" Crap, he didn't even know her name.
"I always listen to you, Rin."
"You seem really depressed. Well, I mean…more than usual," Rin commented as they were sitting in the cemetery again, like they had been for the past week.
Len made a small 'hnn' in response, picking at the grass with a thoughtful disposition. It was the coldest since the funeral, and his hands were freezing because he forgot to grab his gloves on the way out the door earlier that day. The blond next to him didn't really seem too affected by the cold; still bundled up in her dark jacket and white hat.
"You know…" Rin started, and she looked a little unsure about the subject she was about to bring up. That was not a good sign. "You said your family died in an accident, right?"
Len flinched at the word 'family', and he had to take a calming breath to keep himself from snapping at the other teen. Len dug out his cigarettes and tried to light one with slightly shaking hands. He told himself that his nerves were just jittery because he was pissed that his companion had the nerve to bring that up.
Early on, they had sort of made an agreement. Len was sensitive to the subject of his parents and had a tendency to lose his temper when they were brought up in a conversation. So in hindsight, neither would ask the other about the deaths. Every other topic could be approached with ease, but that was something of untouched ground; taboo—a sort of line they didn't cross. Ever.
"Rin…" Len started in warning, turning away from the girl as he took a few deep inhales of his fresh cigarette.
"This is—I just want your opinion on something," she said, and she wasn't smirking. There was no smirk or grin on her face as the blond boy watched from the corner of his eyes. A silent form of permission in a way. "Well…first, was the accident their fault or someone else's?"
Len suppressed the surge of aggravation that rushed through his veins at the question, and his fist was balled so tightly that he felt his blunt fingernails break the skin on his palm. "It wasn't their fault. They were passengers in a car," he finally conceded.
A glint in Rin's eyes that Len easily noticed. "So…essentially, someone killed your family," Rin said and she brought her legs forward so she could fold them Indian style. When her 'friend' offered no response, she continued, "when you think about it—really think—would you be able to forgive that person for murdering them?"
Len threaded his fingers through his hair as he lowered his head a little, cigarette still held at his lips as he thought. "No," he decided, "I wouldn't be able to forgive them."
Rin nodded with a tiny grin, as though she already expected that sort of answer. "Yeah, I thought so…I think that guilt is the hardest thing to live with, and forgiveness is the hardest thing to give away. It's sort of like a weight that stays with you until you eventually learn to accept it and adapt to it. It's kind of like missing a limb, or walking through your life with a blade pierced through your chest." She stopped for a moment to take a sip from the tequila bottle she held, and Len had to lower his eyes away from the action. He began to understand what the girl was taking about.
"I think that those are the worst sorts of pains you can ever experience. You do something incredibly horrible—maybe you wreck a car and kill your family…then it's your fault that they're dead, you know? There is no one else to blame, so maybe you let that guilt eat you up. Maybe…maybe you can't forgive yourself. Maybe you live on like you're half a person as you slowly rot away in your own mental prison." Rin's voice cracked near the end, and Len pretended not to hear, just like he pretended to not see the way the blond's eyes were much to wet. Pretended not to see the few tears that slipped and fell, unguarded, down paled cheeks.
"Yeah," Len found himself murmuring before he even knew it, "…I know how you feel."
He could feel it—lungs robbed of air as he stared up at the dark blue lines slowly waving above him. The weight was crushing him; pinning him down with a sort of forcefulness that made him choke and sputter but he couldn't open his mouth, if he did, it would be filled with the thick river water he was suppressed in.
The pressure was making his chest sink, pressing down in his lungs and making his limbs jerk and ache from the excessive need for oxygen. He didn't want to swim to the surface, not that he even could. That is what he wanted after all—he chose this, and, before he could even secondhand his options once again, Len opened his mouth and inhaled.
The water seeped into him and he twitched willingly under the river's surface, convulsing as he slowly drained himself of like and will and air, all the while telling himself that this was what he wanted. He wanted to die, and the river was pulling at him as though it wanted to be the one to kill him. A sort of silent agreement with nature.
Blood pumping harshly and on overdrive, he felt his pulse beat in every section of his body, thumping loudly in his ears. There was a silence in his head and it was almost like some sort of vacuum—sucking everything out of him and leaving the pain.
He wasn't trying to escape, because there was no escape. Just and endless black abyss that he welcomed with open arms because he chose it.
Len gave in, thinking, this is all right. This is fine.
Blue eyes snapped themselves open as he was severely disappointed to find himself waking up. To find himself laying on his parent's bed once again, staring blankly at the ceiling that was cluttered with glow-in-the-dark musical notes.
Disappointed to find himself still alive.
"What do you think about suicide?"
For the first time since they'd met, it was Len who instigated the conversation that time around. Rin didn't say anything for a moment, and he felt the blond's gaze picking him apart from where he sat at her side.
"I think about it a lot," Rin finally answered honestly, and the boy had to stop and look at her to make sure she was actually being serious. The teen had her head lowered to the ground and she was spelling out her name with ripped apart pieces of the orange and red marigold she picked from the dozen she always brought. "I really do," she said again, "it's not exactly easy to go on with life knowing I killed my family, you know."
Len nodded a little and he blew a hot breath into his cupped hands, trying to warm them up. He brought gloves this time, but his hands still felt like ice. "I've been thinking about it a lot myself," he admitted and turned to the blond. Rin had a small smile on her lips, and Len found himself returning it.
"If…" Rin started, and she seemed to be extra cautious of her words. "If you get ready to do it for real…will you let me come with you?"
A gust settled through the cemetery, scattering dried out leaves all around them, and the flowers of the graves shifted a bit. Len exhaled a stream of smoke that got carried away with the wind, and he looked at the girl with a sense of understanding. "…yeah," he said softly yet confidently. "…and if you want to go, I'll come with you."
Rin smiled a bit more; it was a real one, not the sad and bitter ones she typically adorned. "So…we can go together."
"Yeah," Len confirmed while he continued to smoke, and Rin went back to picking at the red and orange flower, as she usually did. A comfortable silence fell over the two of them for a few brief moments before Len broke it. "Why do you always bring those?" he questioned with a light motion toward the bundles.
Rin, who quickly erased whatever she was trying to spell with the petals, chuckled. "Didn't I already tell you? Marigolds," she said, "…they mean 'pain, grief and sorrow.' You always looked so sad, so…I thought they must have been extremely important to you." She watched the other blond for a moment, the petals long forgotten. "Hey, will you…tell me about them…?"
The silence was much more tense now as the boy gave a nod and looked away; chest tight again as he tried to articulate his thoughts. "They…um," he started, and had to clear his throat before he could speak again. "My family—I loved them. They're…I don't really have many friends…I've got a pretty bad temper, and I tend to snap and yell at people these days. I drive them away. My family…they were there for me—always—when I didn't have anyone else. They're the only people I've never snapped at, and…when I felt like I was completely alone…they were there to show me I wasn't."
"You haven't lost your temper around me," Rin noted softly, but the boy was still turned away, still continued on as if he'd never heard.
"I keep thinking about dying…about killing myself so I can be with them. There were…they are the most important people in my life," Len said, and his voice was much more choked than before, rough and drawn like it was physically hurting him to speak. "I've never felt something like this before…and before I met you, I didn't have anyone to talk about this stuff with. I have a few friends, yeah, but they're not the type of people I can talk to about it. I'm not close with any of them."
"Well, you can always talk to me. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you," Rin admitted, while she gave the blond one of her sadder smiles. "I don't have anyone else, either. So…"
Right then, Len didn't realize he was crying until he felt the wind slice against the wetness, his cheek feeling itchy from windburn. His breathing was calm and his heart rate was completely normal. He wasn't congested and there wasn't a limp in his throat or a knot in his chest—he was calm. He was perfectly okay, but it was something of a red herring considering that his eyes were too wet and he had to blink a few times to clear the blurriness.
"Shit," he whispered to himself, lifting a hand so he could quickly wipe it down his face, erasing any evidence of tears. He knew Rin saw the tears but didn't make to call him out on it, for which he was thankful. His cheeks were stinging from the wind pattering against his skin, and it was entirely too unpleasant. Len grounded his cigarette out on the bottom of his show before he crushed it up enough to stick it in his pocket without having to worry about burning a hole. He didn't want to litter inside a graveyard.
"Hey…" Rin said, her voice smooth and soft from where she sat at the boy's side. She didn't take her eyes off the headstone as she spoke, and there was no smile on her face. "Are we friends?"
Len felt his fingers itch for another cigarette, but he decided he'd had too many over the past hour he had been there. "Well," he thought, proud that he sounded strong even though he didn't feel anything like it. "We're going to die together, right?"
"So we have to be something to warrant that." The girl didn't respond right away, and Len tilted his head a little to see her better. He couldn't read his companion's expression; she seemed closed off.
"…how do you want to die?" Rin asked, leaning forward a bit so she could pick at the flower petals once more. She needed something to do with her hands while she spoke—a slight form of distraction.
"Drowning," Len replied almost instantly. He didn't need to think about it now because he'd already thought it out long ago, planned it in his head, all the scenarios and how he could go about doing them. It seemed to be the most fitting.
"Drowning?" Rin echoed, turning so she could read the other blond better, and Len merely nodded in confirmation. "Drowning…to be underwater and feel yourself gradually die; it's agony. You get to feel your lungs crash and your brain die—it's slow and it's painful." She narrowed her eyes a little. "Why do you want to die like that?"
"Because…I want to suffer."
"…me too," Rin agreed with a hollow laugh as she placed her elbow in her knee so she could rest her head in her palm. She had her attention fully focused on the boy even as her free hand picked at the flower petals on the ground. "If you want…how about we do it tomorrow?"
Len stared at her, blue eyes searching for some kind of back meaning in the girl's words before he simply repeated back, "tomorrow…?"
"Yeah," she said in accord, "you want to die with me tomorrow?"
Something about the simple request seemed so light, like they weren't talking about death—like they weren't talking about killing themselves in a rather specific and stated fashion. And yet, Len couldn't stop himself from admitting that he felt a great deal of respect toward the other teen. She was different, and he appreciated that.
"Alright," the blond concluded while running it over in his mind, the thought of finally ending it all.
Rin beamed at him, a smile that seemed more happy than usual and she finally got the petals to spell out her name on the ground. 'Rin Kagamine' was written in dark orange across the matted and slowly dying grass. Len felt an ache in the pit of his stomach for no apparent reason.
"So when you come tomorrow…we'll go and do it," the blond girl confirmed, making sure it was clear to both parties.
There was a soft air of acceptance that lingered around him and he wasn't really thinking anything. He was going to die today and he was more or less looking forward to it. It was cold again that day and he made sure to stop and get some homemade hot cocoa from Luka as well as one of his favorite sweet snacks (a slice of banana cream pie) before he started his trek toward the cemetery. There was frost clinging to the grass all around him, but it had yet to actually snow. Len thought that was alright with him—he didn't mind missing out on the first snow of the season because he never particularly liked it in the first place.
He sipped on his hot chocolate and enjoyed the warmth yet he felt completely empty. Blank. He knew he at least be feeling something—maybe eagerness to get on the suicide track, or maybe anxiety, hesitation? He knew he should feel something along those lines, but he didn't. It was almost like he was shut down, and it was fine. He was always an emotional train wreck anyway, so he welcomed the change.
Leaves crunched under his leather boots as he stepped into the large cemetery; it was about their meeting time and Rin was always there before him anyway. Len wound through paths of headstones of different varieties until he found himself in the correct row. He slowed a little bit when he didn't see anyone sitting in front of a grave and with a quick glance around himself, he didn't see Rin anywhere.
Closing in, Len furrowed his eyebrows as he processed the fact that the grave was completely bare and clean—there were no marigolds littered about it, new or old. Rin always left them there until they died, bringing in fresh ones every day. He didn't understand.
Something tugged inside his chest and he swallowed it down, thinking the girl was probably just running late. Maybe she needed to take care of a few things before she died. And, if he repeated that to himself a few more times, Len could actually start to believe it.
Taking a deep breath that made his lungs hurt since the air was too chilly—too icy, the blond lowered himself down in front of the grave so he was sitting in his usual spot. He dug out a cigarette and lit it up while he continued to drink his beverage despite the fact that it was still scolding hot. It made him feel warmer on the inside as well as out, so he dealt with it.
He was still waiting for his companion.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he thought, maybe Rin backed out. Maybe the blond decided she wanted to live after all—maybe…maybe she already went and offed herself before Len. Maybe she decided to break their woven pact in general.
Len was starting to feel insecure and cheated, and by the evening he had gone through all his cigarettes and the butts were piled into his empty Styrofoam cup. He was huddled up in his scarf and coat, pressing his arms against himself, while he kept his gloved hands clasped together. He thought about giving up and going home, or heading down to the nearest bridge and pitching himself into the water. Alone.
After four hours of waiting, it became obvious that Rin was not going to show up. The sun was already setting, the temperature slowly dropping. He felt rejected.
"Hey, Len. You gotta go home."
The blond looked up, startled at hearing another human voice after hours of silence. Kaito was a few meters away, slowly making his way toward him with a frown set on his face.
"What…?" Len grunted out, and it sounded too rough to his ears.
"You gotta go home, or you'll catch a cold," Kaito stated simply as he approached the boy. "You've been here all day."
"Yeah," Len said and he winced a little as he moved to stand. His limbs felt stiff and achy from sitting in one position for so long in freezing weather. "Kaito-san, you know that girl that I'm always sitting with when I come here? Have you seen her at all today?"
The older man tilted his head a little to the side. "Who?"
"That girl—blond, pale, skinny?" he explained and he was getting frustrated quickly.
"You're always alone, Len," Kaito remarked. "You come here and visit your parents. You sit and stare at the headstone."
The blond sighed in irritation, soothing out his hair in a calming fashion with one of his gloved hands. He wouldn't take his anger out on the older man; it wasn't his fault Len's suicide friend was a flat out fucking liar. "No, I'm always with another girl my age. Her name's Rin."
Kaito studied him for a long moment before he spoke, "…Kagamine, Rin?"
"Yeah, I know, same last name. But how did you know?"
"Rin died two weeks ago. She's buried with her family over there." The blue haired man pointed over to the same hill Rin had motioned toward once before. Len just stared at him dumbstruck, the words almost sounding like some kind of really bad, sick joke, and Kaito caught on. "Come, you'll see," he stated, and took the blond by the arm so he could drag him over to the tree.
Len nearly tripped over himself in shock when he saw two graves, one with a tombstone clearly marked 'Rin Kagamine'. Sure enough, the date said two weeks had passed, and the dirt looked fresher than his family's grave. When he flicked his eyes to the other headstone, he read the names of her parents, marked with the same date his parents. He felt his world come to a screaming, sudden stop.
"Kaito-san…do you know…how Rin died?"
The older man nodded, though the action was lost to the blond. "She got into a car accident and her family and friends all died. She was so guilty that one week later she killed herself by drowning in a river."
Swallowing thickly as it all fell into place, Len didn't want to even begin to believe it. Rin was the one driving when his parents died. It not only killed them, but her family as well. The girl killed herself out of grief—she was the one on the news…and…
Len looked back up—back in the direction of his family's grave, and noticed a lone figure with a white hair place a bright orange marigold in its place. And he got it. He understood.
'It's easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive yourself.'