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Earth, As it is in Heaven
By:  Roman Genesis

Chapter 24
The Beauty of Defeat

     I sat motionless, imagining I was far away from this place.  I was floating in an endless sea and Sebastian was right there by my side.  He was smiling and laughing.  I had never seen him look happier.  I wanted to reach out and hold him, to kiss him, to tell him I would never leave his side.  I opened my eyes slowly, hoping beyond hope that what had just happened was a dream.

     The room was empty.  There were no doctors or nurses, just me.  I slowly stood up, a wave of vertigo almost sending me right back down.  I lifted my hand to my face and I could feel that it was wet with blood.  I slowly began walking to the table that Sebastian was lying on, but stopped halfway.  He was completely still and his bare chest was exposed.

     Everything in me at that moment exploded.  "Sebastian," I screamed.  I rushed over to his side and took his hand in mine, crying like all hell.  My prince, my life, and my heart was dead and there was nothing I could do.  He was never coming back to me.  "Please god," I said through my sobs.  "Just one more chance."

     The doors to the room came crashing open and a flood of people washed in, every single one of them screaming and arguing.  It didn't seem real.  I turned around and saw Mrs. Reynolds screaming uncontrollably.  Mr. Reynolds was yelling at one of the doctors to do something.  My eyes finally fell upon Shannon, and she just stared back at me blankly.  Her whole body was trembling and it looked like she was going to pass out any second.

     I couldn't concentrate.  Mrs. Reynolds' cries were unlike anything I had ever heard before.  It was the sick, unnatural scream of a mother pushed to her limit.  I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to get away.  I stood up and darted for the door.  No one tried to stop me.  I just pushed through them blindly and began to sprint down the hallway.  I had no idea where I was going.  I just had to get away.

     I don't know why, but I began to see Sebastian in my mind.  I remembered the day he had strolled into my Algebra class and how I couldn't take my eyes off him.  I remembered every nervous encounter as I attempted to trick him into helping me study for class.

     I crashed into a nurse and I think she said something about my head, but I got up and kept running.  I didn't care about my injury.  I would have been lucky if I had dropped dead right there.  I had nothing left to live for.  Sebastian was everything to me and it wasn't him that had died back there on the table.  It was both of us.

     I remembered going over to his house the first time and hearing the music from his cello filling me with hope and love.  I remembered holding him in my arms out on the street and holding him tight as he cried into my shoulder and told me he was afraid he was falling in love with me.  I was living for these moments now.  I feared what would happen when I ran out of things to remember.

     I continued running and I was almost to the exit.  I got closer and closer and people stepped out of my way as I approached.  The doors slid open before I got there and standing just beyond them was Eric.  My despair quickly transformed into rage as I ran faster toward him.  He didn't even see me until I was a few feet away.  I slammed into him and we both went tumbling outside across the pavement.  The concrete crashed against my elbow, my shoulder, and then my hip before I finally rolled to a stop.  My head was spinning like never before now, but I found the strength to lift myself up and look over at Eric.  He was sprawled out on the ground now ten feet away.

     I remembered homecoming and the very first moment we had shared something we had waited so long to share.  Passion and love collided in that brief experience and nothing could ever get better than that.  We became the embodiment of a single person.  Our bodies, minds, and spirits came together in a beautiful union.  I remembered falling asleep in his arms that night, knowing very well that our bond had become too powerful to break.

     I got to my feet and rushed over to Eric.  I was going to kill him.  I would suffer any consequence as long as he paid for what he had done to Sebastian.  I grabbed him by his shirt and lifted him up.  "I'll kill you," I screamed.  I was possessed.  I lifted my fist up in the air to bring down and smash his face, but he said something that stopped me.

     "What the hell is going on?" he said.  He meant it too.  He had no idea what had happened.  Someone must have called him and told him to come down to the hospital.

     "You bastard," I said as I began to sob again.  "Sebastian's dead.  You fucking killed him."

     He began shaking his head.  "No, that's impossible."  He knew I wasn't lying though.  Just looking at me told him that his most horrible premonition was true.

     "You killed him," I said again.  "How could you do this."  I was crying uncontrollably now, tears running down the length of my face and wetting the dried blood that had formed.  "I'll kill you," I said letting go of him.  "I'll kill you."  I sat down beside Eric and cried into my hands.  Everything came tumbling down again.  Sebastian was never coming back.

     I looked up at Eric and I saw that he was to much in shock to cry.  He just stared down at the pavement as a look of horror crept slowly across his face.  "Oh god," he muttered.  "Oh god.  I didn't know.  I..."

     I couldn't listen to him anymore.  He looked and sounded just like Sebastian and it broke my heart.  I stood up and was about to leave, but Eric began pleading.  "I'm sorry Trevor.  I didn't know this would happen."

     After everything that he had done, he was still looking for redemption.  My emotions quickly switched back over to anger.  I leaned down and grabbed him by the collar again.  "I don't want to hear it," I said.  "I hope you rot in hell."

     He had become completely submissive and he hung lifelessly from my hands.  His will to survive had completely vanished and he probably wished that I would end his life right here.  I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction though.  "You have no one to blame but yourself," I said coldly.  "How could you do this?  How could you tell Sebastian that I was the one responsible for the weight room?"

     He began shaking his head as he remembered how cruel he was.  "I'm so sorry Trevor," he said right before he lost all control of his emotions and started sobbing like a baby.  I let go of him and he curled up in a ball, pleading with me to kill him.  I didn't want to look at him anymore.  I turned around and started running away.  I didn't know where I was going.  I just couldn't stay there.

     I remembered how we decided to take on the whole world and show everyone this thing we had.  Sebastian told me he wouldn't be happy until he could share this love we had with the whole world.  Our tiny piece of heaven wouldn't be complete until we had shared it with everyone.  The humiliation and the fights and the confusion that followed wasn't nearly as bad since I had Sebastian by my side.  He never really realized it, but his dream had been fulfilled. We had tasted victory, but perhaps the fruits of triumph were a little too sweet.  Perhaps I secretly never wanted to have it all.

     I continued running for the longest time, the cold burning my lungs and numbing my face.  Before I knew where I was headed, I found that I was running down Sebastian's street.  I don't know why I had gone there, but I glanced at his house as I passed.

     I remembered every time I had gone up those steps to be greeted by Mrs. Reynolds, Eric, Shannon, or if I was lucky, Sebastian.  I would probably never see the inside of that house again.  As I thought about those things I found myself quickly losing my cool again.  It was as if Sebastian's death was still not sinking in and only at certain times did I realize that it was all over.  Everything we had struggled so hard to build was now in ruins.  Once upon a time, I had built my life around a foundation of lies and it took Sebastian to show me the error of my ways and begin to build a new life on a foundation of truth.  It was all for nothing though, because that life too was now only a memory.  Everything was falling apart.

     I ran to the end of his street and found myself running through the woods.  It was getting pretty dark out now, but I crashed into branches and made a path for myself anyway.  I finally realized where I was going.  I don't know what I was hoping to find, but I was going to me and Sebastian's spot anyway.

     Running through the woods like this made me remember another time I had been running blindly through here.  It was after Sebastian had run away and I knew that if I was ever going to find him it was going to be out here in our tiny piece of heaven away from the rest of the world.  I could always find him here when things were going bad.  We always had a retreat.

     I was coming up on the rocks that led to the tiny stream and I came to halt as I stared at them.  Once I had gone over those rocks, I knew it was all over.  I had reached the end of the road and there was absolutely no where else to go from here.  Whatever I found was going to be what I had to live with for the rest of my life.

     I remembered a lot of things on that long run to heaven, but the thing I remembered the most was Sebastian.  Every little move he would make.  Every expression that ever crossed his face, from love to fear to pity.  I remembered them all.  I remembered the way his skin felt as my fingers were allowed to slowly dance across his flesh.  I remembered the way his hair smelled and the way his soft voice sounded.  I remembered exactly how his sweet lips tasted, but most of all I remembered the fragile and weak boy that had come so far from that road out on Lake Champlain.  His heart had been broken and the pieces had finally been put back together as I crawled into the stands after our State Championship victory and took him in my arms and kissed him with the whole town there applauding.  Yes, Sebastian was all these things and more.  He was a part of me and in a lot of ways he always will be.

     I crawled over the rocks and jumped down to the other side and stood there as still as I could as I looked around.  The place was like it always was.  The tiny stream endlessly flowed by and the skeletons of frost covered trees stood guard.  This was the end of the road and I was all alone.  Sebastian wasn't here and he would never come here again

     I remembered the day the little boy had appeared out of no where as Sebastian and I were sitting here discussing life.  He had looked at us rather oddly, but then paid us no mind as he began to try and make a snow man.  He tried desperately for what must have been fifteen minutes or more.  He never realized until it was all over that the snow was simply to dry and powdery to make a snow man.  It was falling apart as he tried ever so carefully to roll it up.  I could never figure out what Sebastian meant when it was all over and he had said, "The beauty of defeat," but I think I know now.  Just like that boy, it seemed that we were forever trying to build the perfect life for ourselves and we never realized that it had been falling apart almost as we built it.  Sebastian knew that this relationship could not go on forever.  He knew no matter how long the charade went on, it would always be just that.  A charade.

     Sebastian's beautiful life had crumbled like the snow that was to powdery to make a snow man before he ever had a chance to really live.  Life is not what happens to you when you are fourteen years old, but you sure think it is at the time.  No, the tragedy of Sebastian's death was not so much one of circumstance as it was with his very human nature.  These things that had happened to him could have happened to anyone and it wasn't Eric, me, or his father that was responsible.  Sebastian's life was now over because of Sebastian.  Perhaps he just wasn't cut out to live the life.

     But maybe, just maybe he had already lived his life and found no reason to go on.  Most people go through their whole lives coming to terms with their own mortality.  None of us are going to be here forever.  Sebastian came to terms with it long before anyone else did.  He had touched greatness for just one moment and maybe that was all he had expected from life.  He was never afraid to die because he had seen heaven and he knew more than anyone else what awaited him.

     I remembered my entire relationship with Sebastian out there in the forest, but suddenly I remembered something else.  I remembered his cold, inert body lying on the bed at the hospital.  I remembered him whispering that one word before I leaned down and kissed him our last kiss.  I don't know what made me think of it then, but what he had asked me was, "Why?"

     Why had I forsaken him and gone off with Eric to a place that was never meant for either of us?  I had asked myself the same question a thousand times and the answer I came up with every time was one that scared me to death.  The sad truth is, I absolutely couldn't stop myself even if I had wanted to.  When I saw those gray eyes flash and it suddenly dawned on me that this boy with me was none other than Sebastian's twin brother, nothing went through my head.  I told myself to forget it and to go ahead with it anyway.  We had achieved everything we wanted and maybe deep down I couldn't handle having it all.  Perhaps we came to close to heaven that day.  I was weak and now I would have to pay the price for the rest of my life.

     Sebastian was dead and I would never see him again.  This whole time I had imagined that this was just like before when Sebastian had run away.  He would come back any time now and forgive me like he had done before.  It finally dawned on me that that he wasn't coming back.  He was dead and so was I for that matter.

     I began crying uncontrollably as the realization sank in.  I had nothing left to live for.  I leaned up against a tree and cried harder than I had ever cried before.  Wave after wave of grief passed through me and I sat down in the snow.  I thought about his broken cello laying in his room.  It would never again be played by the hand of an angel.

     I cried for a lot of things out there in the woods that night as the bright, full moon looked down on me.  I cried for Shannon, who had lost her best friend and I cried for his parents who had lost their beloved son.  I cried for myself, but most of all I cried for Sebastian, the boy who had wanted nothing more than to make earth as it is in heaven.