Carter nodded but remained silent, taking Marcus in his arms. He pet his head and made soothing noises as he began to cry. Carter loved helping people. Maybe he was just benevolent, or maybe it was because no one ever helped him. Regardless, he wanted to help the freshman as much as he could.
As Marcus’ crying grew more intense, Carter pulled his head back to try and look at him. He widened his eyes. Oh my god, this kid was mental. But Carter couldn’t judge him. No one chooses to have a mental illness. Carter sure didn’t. “I won’t, I won’t, shh…” he whispered, holding Marcus tighter. He felt like he was the little brother Carter never had. Yes, he had a little sister, but they didn’t exactly get along, for his eldest sister seemed much more connected with her. Carter liked the idea of protecting Marcus. It would distract him from any of his problems.
Marcus kept his grip on Carter strong, but felt his muscles relax and his energy drain. His breathing slowed down, and his tears slowed to a stop. He looked at Carter with sad eyes and felt his eye lids get heavy. He pulled the male closer to him, but also leaned back onto the bed. He smiled softly and breathed out a slow, “Thank you..” He kept his eyes open for a while, looking at the male next to him, a small smile on his lips.
Then his eyes finally closed, and he couldn’t help but feel wanted. Wanted from Carter, and not in a sexual way either, like a brother way. He felt like Carter could actually protect him. Maybe he wasn’t crazy, like Carter put it, maybe it was just a disorder, but to Marcus it still felt like he was a psychopath, but he had Carter. So it would be okay. Carter will be there for him. Carter will help him with his recovery. Carter likes him. Carter…
Carter grinned as he hugged Marcus, and rubbed his back sympathetically as he did. Then, he sniffed sadly at the boy’s story. Ah, the classic struggle of sexuality. That was bound to fuck with your head. Even if Carter himself had never experienced it, he knew some people who had. It really ruins you. Marcus was proof.
“Well, that makes sense,” he nodded almost defensively. “You wanted Jared from the beginning, so if he came back around, of course you’d jump straight for it.”
He felt so sorry for Marcus, mainly because he understood him. He knew how it felt to mess things up, and to feel so empty you just want your life to be over. Just over a week ago, he was there. But he was determined to make sure Marcus never felt that way again.
Carter needed to save someone. Even if he couldn’t save himself.
“You aren’t crazy,” he growled, trying to show that he was on the boy’s side. “You have an illness. And I don’t think that. Okay? You don’t have no one. You have me, kiddo. You’ll always have me. Even if we’re strangers, we can recover together. I promise, okay?”
Marcus got chills when Carter said they could recover together, and a strange warm feelings fluttered within his body. It was strange, but Marcus enjoyed it. He looked at the male and furrowed his eyebrows, “Thank you, Carter, I mean it, truly.” He felt his face relax, and then he smiled softly at the male, hugging him again. His arms went around the males waist and his head was pressed up against the males chest. He closed his eyes tightly and felt more tears pour from them.
As Marcus sobbed, he felt his heart beat increase, and his breathing accelerate. He was gasping for breath, crying out when he could. Tightening his grip on the male, he felt a strong connection between them, even though they were practically just strangers. He held onto Carter tighter and let out a cry, “Please don’t leave me, Carter, please!”
Carter’s lips parted slightly at all of Marcus’ questions. He wasn’t entirely sure if he was being a sarcastic little shit or if he was genuinely interested. Regardless, Carter came here to help, and he wasn’t going to leave before doing so.
“I, uh, got drunk and crashed my car,” he choked out, rubbing his eyes. He had done so much talking about the incident since it happened, mainly to his parents so they could discuss therapy and medication and whatnot. Carter couldn’t stand all the drama. “Because… I just couldn’t deal. I fell in love with a girl… well, I thought I loved her, but I didn’t, I loved the thought of loving her. And then, she got raped. God, that sucked. But when she wouldn’t say she loved me back, I left her. Then I tried to move on with this… amazing girl…” Carter didn’t even care anymore. He was ranting and he didn’t realize it. “But I took advantage of her. Not to mention, my ex and her rapist ended up falling in love… and I felt so betrayed. He hated me so much for hurting Brooke, even though I wasn’t the one who raped her! It didn’t make sense, god, it still doesn’t make sense. But then I tried to get back by spreading rumors about them… and I guess I was sick of fucking up.”
Carter shook himself out of his thoughts, widening his eyes as he realized they were stinging with tears. “Sorry,” he whispered, dropping his gaze to his lap. “But… I came to tell you that… I’m here for you.” He looked into Marcus’ eyes again. “And not like everyone else says they will be, by putting you on pills and sending you to therapists. You’re so young, Marcus… yet here you are, in a similar place I was just days ago.”
He bit his tongue to give Marcus a chance to speak.
Marcus let the male finish, and was honestly speechless. From his own point of view, Carter had a pretty fucked up life. Marcus sat up and held his arms out, confused but going with his actions, he wanted to hug Carter. Though he did whisper something real quick, “I swear, love can make someone kill themselves.”
Marcus sat back and started talking mindlessly, explaining what happened to himself. “I guess what really made me want to end my life was all that lead up to well, the attempt. There was the death of my mother, I was really close to her,” He could tell that his face was emotionless because he felt so relaxed, “Then my dad remarried, which I guess was okay, but then I got enrolled into Degrassi.” Marcus smiled softly but continued, “And I met this wonderful guy, and me and him became best friends. My feelings for him got really strong, and it confused me, so I decided to test them out, so I kissed him.” He looked down at his lap and took a short breath, “He freaked out and left, and I guess I sort of got a rebound, this one other guy names Jaxon.” He shook his head and laughed.
“I started to love Jaxon more than I wanted, and then me and Jared started talking again which was very good for me. I thought everything was good, but then my dog died. That was a downer.” He looked at Carter, “I don’t know how the next part happened, mostly because it just happened, but next thing I knew was, was that I was cheating on Jaxon was Jared.” He sighed and leaned back, a small voice in the back of his head calling him a whore. He shook his head and continued talking, “Everything was well, and I wanted more, but I guess all I had was all I was going to get, but It turned out I only lost both of them.”
“They found out and left me, and so far they haven’t spoken to me, except for the time Jared told me I had no one, and I believed him, I still do..” He felt a tear slid down his cheek; the first one in forever.
“Now I’m crazy, every one thinks I am, I think I am. I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and depression, I’m fucking nuts!”
Carter swallowed the lump in his throat as the younger boy seemed utterly uninterested with him. He knew how that felt. When other students sent him gifts and whatnot, he was annoyed. They didn’t care about him during his downhill spiral, they only cared when it was almost too late. If Carter’s attempt had worked, he could imagine how many people would attend, just because they felt sorry for him.
At Marcus’ demand, Carter jumped back in surprise. He didn’t think the kid would respond so violently. “I-I’m Carter…” he stuttered, pulling up a chair and sitting beside the bed. “I go to Degrassi with you, I’m a junior…” His voice was cracking, tears stinging in his eyes. Marcus was so young and already so damaged.
“I heard what happened…” he whispered, looking around at the machines and rubbing his hands together nervously. “The suicide attempt? And I just came to tell you that… well… I just got out of this place for the same reason.”
Marcus nodded his head at Carter, and listened to what the male had to say. He wasn’t paying as much attention as he should, but when Carter finished talking, mentioning he also tried to commit suicide, Marcus’s head snapped up and his attention was full on. The male scooted over closer to hear more of what the male had to say, more questions surfaced.
“How did you try to kill yourself?” He spoke without processing it, and when he realized what he said, he didn’t know whether to take it back, or keep it out. Another Question. “Why did you do it?” They kept coming out, and Marcus let them. Questions just swam around in his head, and he wanted answers. He urged the male on.
“Why are you even visiting me? Besides the fact that you also tried to end your life..”
The hospital felt all too familiar to Carter. Just days ago, he was in there for a suicide attempt. God, did he hate it in there. It was always cold and bare. He always thought they should make hospitals more lively to distract the fact that they were full of dying people. No one seemed to think about that besides him.
Not many people did think like Carter. He was an odd one. Sometimes, more like all the time, he questioned his own thought process. Why was he visiting someone he had never even met before?
Because the kid was much younger than him, but going through the same thing as him.
Rocking back and forth on his heels nervously, Carter reached for the door handle, but it was already opening. A tall, think, gothic-looking girl ran out of the room with the most confusing of facial expressions. He hoped that she hadn’t fought with the kid. After all, suicidal people did not like tension. At least Carter didn’t.
Stepping into the room cautiously, Carter squinted and looked closer at the boy. He looked like he had pictures; small, tired, and impassive. Carter imagined that was what all hospital patients looked like, even himself.
“Uh, you’re Marcus, right?” he called out loudly, trying to talk over the sound of blaring music he assumed was coming from Marcus’ earbuds.
Marcus yawned slowly, enjoying the noise filling his ears, and when he slowly opened his eyes, he saw a male standing in the room and his mind instantly raced. He’s never seen him before, so maybe he was a doctor? No, he wasn’t wearing professional clothes. Marcus furrowed his eye brows and took his headphones out of his ears slowly, hearing the small white noise from the headphones, but turned it off because he wasn’t going to use them; he wanted to know who this male was.
Marcus nodded though, when the male asked if he was who he thought he was. Then it clicked, he was probably a person a school who felt sorry for him. The male instantly looked at the TV, not wanting to deal with another person. The tension between him and Esther still obvious in the room. He squirmed around in the uncomfortable bed.
But like always, when he was about to do something, questions surfaced in his head, and he just had to ask them. “Who the fuck are you?” His voice was small, but he could tell the language made hims seem more, stronger and more defensive, which was good.
Laughing at herself, Esther shook her head, crossing her arms again. She didn’t even care anymore if it bothered him. This wasn’t about what made him happy anymore, it was about why he wasn’t happy anymore. He was the complete opposite. He was insane, utterly bonkers and everyone was just letting it happen. Surely his parents had seen a change, or his friends, or even his boyfriend. Was everyone just too scared to admit it?
“You’ve lost more than that, Marcus…” she whispered, looking at him with empty eyes. Her stomach churned, chills lining her skin. She couldn’t exactly empathize, for she had never lost anyone important to her. She never had anyone important except for Amy and James. Her real parents had given up on her, and she waited, sad and alone in the orphanage for years before they saved her. And she was lucky to still have them.
“You’ve lost yourself.”
The three words the girl muttered made Marcus smile, and he leaned back on the bed and closed his eye. Grabbing his IPod, he turned it on and breathed out slowly. He felt everything numb. He couldn’t properly think, but he kept hearing echos of Esther speaking, You’ve lost yourself. Marcus felt his face relax into an emotionless state and the words bounced off all around him, and his heart started beating slower, his breathing becoming more soft.
He whispered to himself, only feelings himself in the room, he wasn’t sure if she was still there, “Well then,” he let out sigh, mindlessly putting the headphones into his ears. He pressed play and music blared, treating to make him deaf.
He breathed in and then out again, but making sure a word escaped with his breath, “Geronimo.”
Dropping her jaw in surprise, Esther covered her mouth with her hand. She was never one to get upset, ever. She wasn’t allowed to have feelings, that’s just how her life was. If she was impassive, she couldn’t get hurt. But seeing a once happy person in this situation… it was too close to home. Only instead of trying to end her life, she had gotten involved in drugs and prostitution. She wasn’t just disgusted with Marcus in that moment. She was disgusted with the entire world.
“Yeah, well, at least it’s not self hate,” she spat, uncrossing her arms and resting them by her sides. “I don’t know what happened to you, Marcus. You were so happy. You were so full of life. You smelled like cinnamon and sawdust, and now you just smell like… like death. That’s what’s repulsive, hon, not me.” She knew she was going on a tyrant, but she couldn’t help it. The words burned against her teeth, just begging to come out. “You’re going psycho and you don’t even give a damn. And then people try to help you, and you don’t let them!” Esther let out a pitiful laugh. She’d give anything to be saved, and he was taking it for granted. “You’re selfish, Sunshine, selfish.”
And then, she said the five words she instantly regretted.
“Your mother would be ashamed.”
The words pouring from the girls mouth seemed to saw down at his skin, and it hurt, but it only made Marcus sit up straighter and keep a straight face. He put his hands into fists and let out a frustrated sigh, but continued to stay quiet as she spoke. But everything she was saying, how he was acting differently, how he was so happy, and even his scent, that was all true, and Marcus knew it. He was completely different, but he’d rather have changed then be stuck trying to pretend everything was okay.
Then the last thing she said, made his eyes widen with anger. His whole body seemed to light up with rage, but then tears brimmed the edges of his eye lids and he felt himself grow lightheaded. “What can I say?” His voice was mono-toned, and strong, but when he listened to it closely, he could hear weakness; he sat up straighter. “Death seems to like me, huh? That, and loss. I mean come on! I lost my mother, my dog, my boyfriend, my best friend..” His voice trailed off, “No wonder why I smell like death, I can’t help it, It practically rides on my shoulders where ever I go!”
Esther felt absolutely disgusted by his attitude. She tried to cool the blood boiling in her veins by thinking from his perspective. Hopeless. Sad. Confused, even. Whatever emotions drove him to jumping off the roof she tried to feel herself. It was overwhelming.
Now, suicide always seemed pathetic to Esther. If you couldn’t face your issues, you were a weak person, and life was survival of the fittest. But even as she tried to think those things, a little part of her felt sorry for Marcus.
A little part of her was glad the fall didn’t kill him.
She continued to dig her long black nails into her skin, not wanting to blow up on him. Anger was not something a suicidal person needed. But Marcus already seemed full of it; his swearing made that obvious.
“Why would you think that?” she hissed, crossing her arms and leaning back in her seat. It really did puzzle her, even if she intentionally gave off the impression that she hated anyone. She never thought people, especially not Sunshine Martin, would pick up on it.
“Do you not see yourself?! You’re oozing hate and its, repulsive. I swear to god!” He let out a sigh and leaned back onto his bed. Shaking his head, he flew his arms up in the air and let them collapse on the bed beside his body. “And stop crossing your arms, its irritating.” He looked at her with a cold glare, “If you got something to say just say it, and if its about me being a little bitch,” he let out a soft chuckle, “Go ahead and go off, I’m probably thinking the same thing!”
He could tell he was acting differently than he used to, before the attempt, but now the way he was being, he felt loose, not so stressed and tightly held. He felt like he could say anything on his mind, and it felt amazing. He could yell, and scream! He was also a little bit relieved he couldn’t feel the feeling of craziness, if that even was a feeling, it was definitely one to Marcus. He couldn’t describe it, but it wasn’t a good feeling.
He still felt like killing himself though, and Marcus was sure he would always feel like correctly finishing the task that failed.
At Marcus’ reaction, Esther hopped backwards, widening her eyes in surprised. He certainly wasn’t sunshine anymore. The last time they had spoke, he called her a bitch. It was the first time he had even cursed. Now, he seemed to do it a lot.
She blinked her eyes a few times, cautiously taking a step into the room as she closed the door behind her. “Relax,” she whispered, pulling up a chair and sitting down, but still remaining distant. “I’m not going to hurt you or anything. All that shit before, they were empty threats.”
Her gaze dropped down to her lap. Suicide. It was such a foreign topic. She had never been depressed enough to cause herself any kind of harm; it was weak. And she was anything but weak. She let out a heavy sigh and met his eyes again. “I heard what happened, and I just…” she bit her cheek and looked around the pale room, not exactly sure why she was bothering.
Marcus kept his eyes locked onto the girl with a strange feeling of distaste. He moved slightly in his seat and let out an impatient sigh. Marcus listened to what the girl was saying, never keeping his gaze off of her, and couple of things she said made him laugh. Of course they were empty threats, as far as he knew, no one would ever think to hurt ‘Little Martin’. He shook his head softly and laughed with amusement.
Then when the girl trailed off, Marcus moved his head forward to motion to her to keep going, but she didn’t, so he decided he should just fill it in. He smiled widely and flipped his hair, trying to act like her, “Let me guess, you just had to see me or else you’d just die.” He then got to a straight face and went to look back at the tv, “I’m seriously not in the mood for this bullshit.”
He bit his lip, and started tapping his foot, but couldn’t help but say a question that floated to the top of his mind, “Besides, I thought you fucking hated me?”