For Better or For Worse

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The following day, Sasuke begins panicking on our way to school. I can sense it before he even gets the words out. His breathing pattern changes. It gets loud, heavy... like he might have an attack. "Stop the car," he suddenly murmurs.

"What...?" I ask. "Why?"

"Just do it," he says.

"Gimme a sec," I mutter.

"Pull over!" he shouts frantically. "Pull over now!"

"Fucking chill," I shriek back, skidding onto the side of the road and feeling my adrenaline rising the more panicked Sasuke gets. Once the car stops, Sasuke flings the door open and exits the vehicle. He begins running as fast as he can and I don't hesitate to chase after him. "Fuck," I mutter to myself as I force my legs to carry me down the street, past the park and into a nearby forest. "Wait!" I shout at him. "Damn it...!"

Nonetheless, he doesn't stop so I keep chasing him, even after my legs start to tire. Once we're deep in the woods, he finally freezes. He begins laughing before being overcome with a wave of sobs. He sinks to the ground, clawing at his chest and hyperventilating.

When I finally catch up I'm at a loss of what to do. "Should... Should I call someone?" I ask shakily.

Sasuke doesn't answer. For a moment, it's quiet – too quiet – and then Sasuke starts to scream. I cover my ears, heart palpitating with shock at the sound he's emitting. I take a breath, lowering my hands. I kneel in front of him, but it doesn't even look like he sees me. I reach forward and put a hand on his shoulder and he finally stops. He takes in a ragged breath, raising a hand and hitting me in the chest. It's a pretty tired hit. He does it again and again. The hits are all half-hearted and they don't hurt, so I don't stop him. Soon, he pauses and shudders. He stands up and begins laughing again – laughing and shaking and crying.

"Sasuke...?" I say his name. I feel like I'm watching him descend into insanity. I don't know what to do. I know I can't bring him back if it does happen.

He lets out a sigh, sniffing and wiping his eyes. Then he starts running again. This time, it's harder to keep up because I'm still tired.

Eventually, I lose him and I get angry – at him and at myself and at this damn forest for being so fucking confusing. I close my eyes and take a deep, calm breath. I don't want to get angry. It doesn't solve anything. Shit just gets worse.

"Sasuke!" I call his name.


"Sasuke!" I try once more.

Again, nothing.

I'm getting worried. Who the hell knows what he'll do out alone in the woods? I take my cellphone out of my pocket. I guess there's nothing left to do now but call the cops to send a fuckin' search party for the both of us, 'cause I don't know how the fuck I'm getting out of here. I unlock the screen, only to find that I have no signal. Fucking great.

Fuck! I feel my throat constrict and the anger is coming back. I feel is throughout every inch of my physical and mental being – in every limb and every thought.

I continue walking around the forest, calling his name. I don't know for how long. It's quiet, though. Just the sounds of nature – sounds I'd usually find nice, but it's all pissing me off right now because these aren't the sounds I'm searching for. I just want to hear a voice – Sasuke's voice. Then I'll know he's okay and that he didn't do anything bad.

I check my phone again. An hour went by and there's still no service. I've never been in this forest before, so I don't even know how big it is but clearly it's pretty fucking big if I'm this lost.

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