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!! This chapter contains self harm !! If you're not comfortable with it, I will put a warning where you can skip it !!

- J O S H U A -

I came to school to get hurt again.

Mark came to my locker just to push me to it and a quick punch to the stomach for good measure. There's nothing new to it.

During lunch, I would just stare at my best friend's locker. As if she'll come back.

Stare until she pops in my head.

Stare until our memories are fresh again.

Stare only to be met by reality that it's my fault she's dead.

I went outside to the field for some time to think and fresh air but I'm greeted with nothing but rain and cold wind.

Guess I'll go to the library then.

As I walk to the library, I stopped in my tracks as I saw those pair of eyes again. That specific pale green pair of orbs that seem to be staring right at me.


"Glad to know you're fine."

"Thank you." I mumble quietly then quickly side stepping to go straight to the library.

I thought it would be a peaceful time but instead, she makes her way beside me and walk with me to the library.

"You never told me your name." Quoting what I said yesterday, I shrugged.

"It's not really important." I said then entered the library with her not following anymore.

- x -

"You really have to clean your room, Les. It costs me two oxygen tanks just to be in here for half an hour." She said as she entered my room.

I remove my shirt, tossing it on the pile of clothes I never bothered to pick up.

"What's the point of cleaning it when it'll get dirty again?" I shrugged, preparing my PS4 for us to play.

"Are you trying to make a house for pests or something? Look at this, this was the pizza box from two days ago!" I winced as she exclaimed.

I groaned, leaving our game untouched as I started to clean up with her. She could be such a mom sometimes, but nevertheless, she's always right.

After we cleaned up my room, we rest in front of my television, playing a gruesome game we both like.

"When are you ever going to get a girlfriend?" She asked without pausing the game.

Whereas I stopped clicking on the controls to stare at her concentrated self. "Lis, I'm focused on studies right now. You know I don't have time for that."

A sudden emotion passed through her face, as quick as it passed, it was gone. But, I never miss such things around her.

"What is it?" I asked, completely forgetting the intense game we're in.

"What is what?" She doesn't stop clicking, in fact, she looks more intense in the game.

"You're off."

"I'm on, you dumbass. Now continue playing, we're dying here." I paused the game, receiving a shocked look from her.

I gave her a knowing look. She tried to resist it but we both know she can't. We can't resist it. "Fine." She put the controller down, facing to look at me directly.

"You have to stop looking out for me. I'm fine on my own, I'm almost 18, Les. You know I have to learn to live without you by my side somehow. I'm moving out for college, Les. You can't always be there for me." She blabbers.

Honestly, I don't get what she's saying but I realize her point. "You think I'm going to leave you?" I said, not even bothering to hide my hurt.

"No! No, honey. I mean, you have to stop focusing only on us and go out there, find a girl so you can do the things you always talk about." She said, scooting closer to me. She runs a hand through my hair and I put a hand around her since we ended up sharing my bean bag.

"Lis, I don't want a girlfriend yet okay? I will get one in the future, but for now, I'm fine with having you by my side. Bros before hoes right?" She sighed, yet smiled, giving me her sweet smile that I love.

"Bros before hoes."

- x -

A tear drop fell from my eye, and following more as they practically cascade down my face. I remove my shirt, seeing my bruises from the kicks and punches they give me through my reflection.

I stare at my arms, the fresh cuts I made from yesterday. It hurts but it's true. The devil in my head was right.

!! Warning !!

I pick up the blade I've been using and wash it clean from the dried blood I left. I stared at it. Instead of throwing it, like I should, I cut myself.

Again, and again.

Until I can feel no pain course through me.

Until I'm satisfied with work I made on my body.

No correction, until the devil inside me is satisfied.

!! You can read now !!

I never wanted this.

I'm sorry for letting you down, Lis.

I'm sorry for letting the demon take over.

I'm sorry for listening to them.

I'm sorry for not listening to you when I promise I would.

This is all my fault.

This is all my doing.

I'm sorry.

- x -

"Mom, where can I get a job? I really want to help here."

"You can help here by doing chores." My aunt said with my mom agreeing to her.

"But I don't get paid here." I almost whine, picking at the marble potatoes.

"What do you even need the money for?" Mom asked.

"Clothes." I mutter quietly and put a large spoonful of mixed veggies.

"You can have your father's clothes." Mom said but she stiffened immediately, the incident flying out of her mind for a millisecond.

My aunt, noticing the tense aura around the dinner table, cleared her throat to speak. "Here's a deal I'll make with you. You do the chores around here everyday and we'll go shopping every two weeks. Sounds good?"

I smiled, a thankful smile but not the one that reaches my eyes. "Thank you. That would be a good deal. I'll start tomorrow when I get home."

After the conversation, the entire dinner wasn't composed of good laughs like it should but small conversations and the sound of the utensils connecting to the plate.

I went straight to my room, locking it, just in case my mother walks in on me with no shirt on.

I remove my shirt, settling on my sweatpants, I reached for my phone which had close to nothing contacts. The only numbers here are mother's, father's, Lis', her parents', and my aunt.

Somehow, I ended up looking at our photos in my phone.

I cried myself to sleep that night.

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