Chapter 1

"Phil?" I called from the front door of our apartment. "You here?" I look in the kitchen, and he's not there, as expected. He hasn't been eating much lately...should I be worried? "Phil?" I called peeking into the lounge. No sight of Phil sitting on the beanbag or the couch like normal. My breathing started to increase. I checked in his room. No Phil. Panic floods over my body. Where is he? He never goes out without telling me. Think, Dan, think. He's gotta be here somewhere. I check in my room, maybe he's just editing a video that I didn't know about.

I walk down the hallway to my room and creak open the door. Instead of finding Phil laying on my bed or something, Microsoft word is up with 3 words written on the screen. I'm sorry, Dan. What does this mean? Where's Phil? What has he done? "Phil!" I start to scream. I can feel a hot pool of tears surfacing under my eyes. I have to find him. Where's the one place I haven't checked? The bathroom.

I rush out of my room and dash to the bathroom. I hesitate to open the door. What am I about to see? I push open the door calling, "Phil?" softly under my breath. My eyes widen at the sight. Phil's lying on the bathroom floor, blood gushing out of his wrists. Scars. So many scars line his body. How have I never noticed them? He wears so many jackets- I wasn't even suspicious! I'm an idiot! I'm stupid! "Phil! Phil! What have you done, you bloody idiot!" I sink down to my knees and reach for his neck. I feel a faint pulse through his skin. "Oh, thank God." I breath a sigh of relief. I need to call 999. "Phil? I need to leave for a moment to grab my phone to call 999, okay? Will you be okay?" I stand up about to go grab my phone from the kitchen when I hear some. A voice.

"No, Dan. Leave me here to die."

"Phil, no. Why would I do that? Hang on for dear life, okay? I'll be right back."

"No! Let me die already!"

"No! I'm NOT GOING TO DO that!" I haven't realized it, but I've begun to cry. "YOU'RE MY ONLY FRIEND PHIL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO LOSE YOU!" I was yelling at him now. "If you were gone, I'd have to kill myself, too." That last part. I didn't even realized I thought that way. I stormed out of the room and sprinted to the kitchen and grabbed my phone, dialing 999 and I made my way to the bathroom.

"999, what's your emergency?" The lady asked me in a calm tone.

"Y-yes," I said, trying to choke back sobs. "M-my friend. He tried to kill himself, he cut to badly. He's loosing blood, fast. Please, hurry." I tried to be as calm as I could. After I gave her my address, she said the paramedics would be here soon. I bent down next to Phil. "Phil, if you are going to die today, which I hope to god you aren't, tell me one thing: why have you done this to yourself, and how long?" Tears slipped from my eyes and onto his cheek.

Phil was pale, which isn't a surprise, but he's paler than I thought humanly possible. I could see the life slipping away from his grasp, and fast. It took a while, but he finally answered," Because, I'm the second choice Dan."

"What's that supposed to mean you idiot?" Second choice? What the hell?

"It means," he sighed, trying not to cry himself. "Everyone loves you, not me. I'm the second choice. They pick you!" At this point he was bawling.

"You're an idiot. I'll prove you wrong." I grabbed my phone and called the familiar number I've known my whole life. Rose. I am going to call Rose. She was my best friend all through school, and stayed with me through my good and bad times. She only lived 3 doors down from us.

The phone ringed 3 times until she answered. "Hello?" Came her calm, distant voice through the phone. I put it on speaker.

"It's me."

"Oh, hey Dan. What's up?"

"It's an emergency. Get here, and quick. We're in the bathroom." I was trying not to let her hear me cry.

"We? As in, you and Phil? I didn't know you were gay."

"That's not what I-just get over here! And hurry! Please!" I was begging her now. I couldn't just stay here alone with my dying Phil. I needed to prove to him that he wasn't the second choice.

"Rose?" Phil asked. I don't know what he was asking exactly, but I nodded. Phil turned his wrists, making the blood leak on the carpet.

I heard the door open and close. "Dan?" She called.

"In here! Hurry!" I called, my sobs flooding my voice.

"Dan, you sound aw-OH MY GOD, PHIL! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" She screamed at the sight of the paler-than-usual Phil, also starting to cry. "Did you call an ambulance? Why did he do this? Phil, hang on! You'll be okay! I promise." He voice that was filled with panic was calm, soothing. Her blonde hair hung from her head in soft curls, and she was beautiful. I didn't like her in that way necessarily, she was the 3rd part of our trio.

"Yeah, I did. They should be here any minute now." I turned to Phil. "Tell her what you told me."

"I don't want to. She's too nice. I don't want to ruin her life."

"Tell her, you idiot. You won't ruin anything." He sighed.

"Fine, I'm the second choice. Are you happy now?"

"WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING TALKING ABOUT YOU BLOODY IDIOT?!" She screamed at him. This was why Rose was good. She was encouraging at times, but she could also knock some sense into people. "You are not a second choice, whatever that means. I like you better than Dan, to be honest."

"Hey!"

"Joking!" She called to me. She started stroking Phil's hair. "Why would you think that Phil? You know we love you."

"I don't know. No one likes me for one thing. And you guys always tease me and you know I hate it. And-" He was interrupted by Rose's lips meeting his. They pulled apart and started into each other's blue eyes for a moment.

"Was that enough proof for you?" She asked, pleased with herself. Phil just sat there, smiling like an idiot. Of course I knew Rose had a crush on Phil, she told me the first time they met. I knew this would happen.

Then, spoiling the moment, the paramedics came in and scooped Phil onto a stretcher. He was still fading fast. Me and Rose sat in the ambulance next to Phil, both of them smiling feeling proud of themselves. Rose then whipped out her phone and started texting. When she locked her phone, my phone buzzed.

Thank you. I don't want to say this in front of Phil especially in this state,but I've been seriously depressed,too, and for the same reason. I can't tell if it's gotten better, but I have stopped cutting.

-Rose

When I looked up from my phone, she lifted up her sweatshirt sleeve to reveal 10 or 15 healing scars.

"Rose," I breathed in shock. "Rose, why?"

"There never really was a reason, I was depressed from every little thing. An argument with my friend, someone not saying hello to me in the halls. I still am, really."

"You should have told me."

"I would've, but nobody seemed to care."

"I do." Tears started to pool in her eyes recalling the memories. She leaned her head on my shoulder for the rest of the ride to A&E.

Phil fainted in the ambulance, so he couldn't talk to anybody about what happened. When we finally reached the hospital, they took Phil to a room and we were instructed to stay put in the waiting area, so they could stitch him up. "Why?" I asked suddenly, turning to my best friend, who I thought I knew everything about. She sighed. "I mean, why didn't you tell me?"

"I don't know. Nobody seemed to care, so why should you?"

"I'm your best friend, and I care about you, that's why. I always stuck by your side. Even when I went to that party without you, and you seemed super sad. I came home just to be with you."

"This isn't one of those moments where we kiss, is it?"

"No!" I said, turning slightly pink. "No, no! That's not what I meant! Remember though? I was hanging around with my friends without you, and you called, and you sounded heartbroken, I didn't know what to do. You wouldn't tell me what was wrong, but I came anyway. Remember?" That was one of my favorite memories with Rose. I was at a party with my mates, having a good time. Then I got a phone call from Rose, and she was crying. She sounded terrified. I asked her frantically what was wrong, but she wouldn't tell me. 'It's fine,' She said. I could tell it wasn't, why else would she have called me? So I explained to my friends what had happened, and I came to her place, and we watched the Lord Of The Rings series until she fell asleep on my lap and I carried her to bed.

"Yeah, I remember."

"Will you promise me if you ever feel sad again, to call me?" I asked.

"Yes."

"Pinky promise?"

"What are we, five?" She asked sarcastically. I looked at her with my bug chocolate brown eyes and did my best pouty face, knowing it will always work. "Fine. I pinky promise." She reluctantly joined our pinkies together.

The door to the waiting room burst open. "Mr. Howell and Miss Jones?" The doctor called to us in a deep voice. "You can see him now."

On that last syllable, me and Rose sat up in unison. We hurriedly asked him which room Phil was in and rushed towards room 221 B.

After about 5 minutes of frantic searching for my best friend, we finally found his room in the deserted corridor. I knocked on the door lightly 3 times, because that was our secret knock. "Dan?" Came a hoarse whisper when I walked in.

"Yeah. And Rose." I responded.

"Hi," She called to him from the doorway, unsure to come in. She was always scared of annoying people, so she tended to stay back. "Can I come in?"

"Of course, why couldn't you?" He called back.

"Oh-um... no reason." She said shakily. I sat down next to Phil and looked around the room. It was painted a dull yellow, and you can tell the painters were trying to make the room more happy. "How're ya doing?"

"Fine." He said, his eyes drifting to a close. He still looked awful- his hair was tousled, he was still horribly pale, he had dark black circles around his eyes, and worse of all, he had fresh scars.

"Oh, no ya don't!" I announced, lifting up his eyelids. "You are not going away from us today, buddy."

"Lemme sleep, Dan." He said mumbled. I could tell he was tired.

"No. Not before you do one thing."

"What's that?"

"Promise me."

"What are you going on about, Dan? You sound like you're telling me you're gay or somethin'."

"FOR GOD'S SAKE I'M NOT GAY!" I yelled frustrated, which caused some nurses to peek through the door to make sure everything was okay. "No. Promise me that when you're feeling sad you'll talk to me, okay?"

"Fine. I promise."

"Pinky promise?" He sighed. We've done this before.

"Pinky promise." He said as we interlocked our pinkies.

2 weeks later

"Hey, Phil. Your arm any better?" I asked as I strolled into Phil's room, handing him some tea.

"Yeah, loads. The stitches are kind of itchy, though." He replied, picking at the scars.

"Don't touch them! You bloody idiot!" I pulled his hand away from his arm and sat down next to him on his bed. After about an hour or so of talking about random things like lions and llamas, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I dig in my pocket and grabbed my phone. I looked at the number the phone displayed worriedly. Phil must have noticed because he said, "Who is it?"

"Rose." She hasn't called me since the hospital. I touched the talk button and brought the phone to my ear.

Before I could even say hello I was greeted with sobs. "Dan. I need help! Help me, please!" She begged. I put it on speaker.

"What's wrong?" I asked trying to sound brave. What had she done to herself? Was she in trouble?

"I kept my promise! I made a mistake! Help me! Please! Dan if you only save me once in my entire life that time is now!" She was choking back sobs, but didn't do it to successfully.