Update after forever. Thanks for the follows and favorites!

I love self-harm and suicide topics so beware for one.

The Silent Breakdown

Disclaimer: Free! is not mine.

Written for Wolfingsmeier.

Chapter 6: I'm sorry

"Nagisa-senpai, I am aware that this relationship is not really something that you want."

I looked down to the asphalt, not denying any of his words.

"…And I'm aware that I am not someone you seek either."

"I'm-"

"You didn't need to apologize, Nagisa-senpai. I was a fool to think that I can win over your heart from Makoto-senpai."

I widened my eyes, as I was very surprised that he knew.

He always understands me… and yet, why can't I avert my eyes from Mako-chan? I want to love him…

"I want to love you, Rei-chan… but…" I bit my lips, as Mako-chan's face comes back to mind.

"I know," he smiled understandingly, "I know."

The way he repeated it made me feel even guiltier.

"We're both heartbroken, so we're even," Rei-chan's lifting the bridge of his glasses, attempting to hide the tear which almost escaped his eye. He wiped them off with his thumb, pretending it never happened.

Why…

"Then, Nagisa-senpai, this shall be the end of our relationship. I shall go home before dark," with those words, Rei-chan left me. Without even looking back.

Somewhat, I felt so lonely.

Mako-chan never looked at me. Rei-chan left me. Haru-chan got in the way.

And then I was just here, alone and sad.

Heartbroken and guilty.

I walked to my house, without even bothering to say 'tadaima' and just went straight to my room.

What the hell…

I never thought I'll resort to this again.

"Maybe, a real farewell?" I whispered to the thin air, which no one answered. I took a key from under my bed, and unlocked the box I've been keeping under my clothes for years.

"Rei-chan will scold me if I dare to end it all," Nagisa smiled weakly, "and if he finds out, too…"

But just a little…

Just a little bit, so he won't notice…

Just a little bit, so I can relieve this pent-up stress…

Just a little bit…

I took the cutter from the box, a cutter that has been stained with dried blood.

"It has been a very long time," I muttered. The last time I had to resort to that, and when I was introduced to self-harm, was actually during the middle school. I was bullied, as I was too straightforward. And apparently people disliked that, so I turned into a quiet little boy.

But when I saw Mako-chan again, I was afraid.

I was afraid that Mako-chan will find out.

I was afraid that Mako-chan will hate me.

This Nagisa was not the same Nagisa he used to know.

This Nagisa was not positive. Was not cheery. Was not happy.

And was not hopeful. Depressed and suicidal, even.

So I forced myself to be that ol' Nagisa. Happy, energetic, and cheery.

Even though I was scared to death when other people stare at me.

If Mako-chan was beside me, I have nothing to fear.

But if Mako-chan himself was the one killing me,

What should I do?

I took a long time in staring at the cutter, lots of thoughts going around in my head and I couldn't even sort it out. It was too much for me to handle, and I was about to vomit when I heard a knock.

"Hey, we're going out. Are you going to go with us?"

"No, I'm fine. Takeaway?" I replied with a surprisingly cheery tone. Maybe I've adapted to this personality too well.

"Alright," and the fading footsteps let me take a breath. I must be too focused that I couldn't even hear the footsteps.

Do it?

Or not?

Holding on?

Or fall?

Which one is the best?

I closed my eyes, and lowered the cutter on my arm. Not on my wrist, because that would be too obvious.

It slit my skin open, and the familiar coppery smell somehow soothed me.

"Just a little, I'll just say I got scratched," I mumbled. "This will be the last time. Everyone will notice if there's a second one."

Too bad, I couldn't keep that.

To be continued.