The Lone Wolf Part 1
This is a work of fiction; some events are of my own history. Any characters with similarities to people are purely coincidental.
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I always heard people say they knew they were different from early on. I was one of them, but I was to na•ve to know in what form I was different. I was always a happy kid, but that didn't last too long. By the time I was 11, I'd begun the process of pushing all of my friends away and going for a life of loneliness. I felt like I had a virus that, and if I was near people they would catch it, or so I told myself. In reality, I think it was actually the fact that I knew it would lead to pain.
It all began 3 years ago when my last lifeline, my friend Ashley, was diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer. She was the only thing that kept me from completely shutting out the world. She was given 3 months to live. Three months came, and she was weak, but wouldn't give in, even in her last months.
One day, 3 months and 16 days into her death sentence we were alone in her room. She had just been sent home to die. That wasn't what the doctors said. We both disliked the bullshit the doctors spewed dancing around the truth. Anyway back to the moment and the subject that I'd hoped she would never bring up.
Ashley and I were in her room back in Scotland at 2:30PM when she decided it was time to tell me why she was holding on.
"Connor?" she asked in her faint voice.
I guess this is where I should tell you who Connor is. My name is Connor Austin Benner, people who wanna piss me off call me CAB, but Ashley likes to call me Con. Back when this all began, I guess I was cute, I don't really know. Girls just seem to follow me about, which I never understood to this day. I was 13. I had longish brown hair, big pinkish lips, and dark green eyes. Only a few people that had known me for a long time knew that when the sun hit my eyes they'd turn purple. Granted it was a genetic defect, but it didn't cause any harm and was fascinating to people around me. I say "Known for a long time" because in Scotland we didn't get a terrible lot of sun, so only a few lucky people got to see it. But enough about my eyes. I was tall for my age, at about 5.6 feet tall. I was also kind of lanky and thin, I didn't have much muscle, yet at least.
"Yea Ash?" I replied.
"When I am gone..." She was saying before I interrupted her.
"That's awhile off, you can't go just yet." I said.
"Con, I wish that was true, but we both know why I am at home and not in a hospital." She said simply
Even though we both knew this, it was the first time we actually acknowledged it. I couldn't speak, when she was told about her cancer we both didn't think about it. I guess by ignoring it, we'd hoped it'd magically disappear.
"Connor, you know I love you sweetie, as my best friend slash brother. I know everything about you sweetheart, even the things you won't tell me yet." She continued.
"Please Ash, not now, I can't do this," I said in tears.
"Baby its ok, I'm sorry, but we don't have much time left together and I have to get you to open up and move on before my time's up." Ashley said with her eyes watering as well.
"Baby I know this isn't right for me to ask, but I need you to move on. We both know that I am going to die very soon, and once that happens I need you to survive, for me." She whispered into my ear as I hugged her.
<I wasn't able to speak>
"Con, I need you to promise me, please honey." She pleaded, "I can't go peacefully if I know you won't have anyone to help you survive, and you've pushed everyone anyway." She was right, every friend I'd ever had since I was a kid, I'd pushed away in the last year.
"I promise, I'll try, for you." I told her, and that was the true. I did try; a key word is "try."
She passed on a month later. But I recognized her passing 14 days later when I finally realized I was alone. It only took 14 days for my attempt at fulfilling my promise to shatter. Looking back I realize now that the reason it didn't work was because of the open wound Ash's passing left.
I'm sure we've all heard this story before, I tired to hangout with my friends again and they were glad I was back. The problem emerged a few days into my recovery when I started having feelings for a boy who I guess you could say was my "second best friend." His name was Jason. He was sweet, caring, thoughtful, the whole nine yards. He helped me more than he could've imagined, but like I knew would happen; I fell in love with him. That was the real reason I had distanced myself from my friends.
Jason was the main reason for the distancing. From when I was 10, I had started to have intense feelings for him. Yes I know, 10 years old and in love? Well anyone who says that's not possible is full of shit. When you're a kid that's all fine and dandy, no one notices two 10 year olds hugging, because you're just a kid.
I didn't start to realize what those feelings were until I was 12, but it was too late by then. I'd spent too much time with him and I was soul crushingly in love. I decided to save myself all the pain. I would cut all ties to that aspect of my life and just grow up by myself. It almost worked, but Ash wouldn't have it, even in her last months alive all she thought about, was me.
10 Days after Ashley's passing.
I tried to do as she asked, I wanted to give her that. But, after hanging around Jason for a few days all the feelings game rushing back. I tried so hard to stop feeling as I did, it wouldn't work, the pain was excruciating. I become overwhelmed. The more I tried to stop feeling like this, the more he made me feel for him.
14 Days after Ashley's passing.
I woke up in my bed and did what I had done every morning since Ashley passed. I cried for a few hours. Every morning I'd woken up with the same thoughts of "why did she have to go," but the answers never came. To say I was depressed would be to polite, and, I was fucking pissed off. These were tears of sadness as much as tears of anger. I was mad at everyone: my parents for not even noticing how upset I was; my "friends" for not reacting to Ash's passing as I was; and Jason for being so fucking loveable.
Normally these feelings would pass, but today I couldn't shake them. I started analyzing my entire life and noticing a pattern, people would be the nicest person in the world to me, but when I truly needed just a person to listen, they were no where to be seen. Even Jason wasn't an exception to this; he'd hang around with me during the good times but when someone mentioned Ashley, and I went into one my of flash backs, he would be gone before I came back to earth.
Hell even my parents were users. I was a slave in this house: their personal butler, babysitter, cook... You name it I've done it at some point. This was around the time my mobile started to ring, it was playing the tone Ashley and I had made up over a couple of weeks. The ringtone was a mixture of classical Violin and Piano in an extremely dramatic tone. I called it Eternus Vita, which in Latin means Eternal Life.
Normally I would hear that tone and think of happy times but today it was working as a catalyst in my depression. It kept ringing and I just kept listening to the violins as they carried the melody. But it kept ending, so I turned on my computer and brought up the full version. It was 5:32 seconds in total; I took the heavy string area as my ring tone while Ash choose the Piano part of the song. I would say it was because the Violin is such a dramatic instrument if played correctly, it sent shivers down my spine when a certain cord was played just right.
I sat there for what must have been hours listening to it on repeat, after 10 minutes though, my screen saver came up. My screen saver was my photo album, which in itself was another great catalyst: The violins, the piano, and the pictures of a life that was gone forever, never to be relived by anyone but myself.
I couldn't handle it; I was in tears before I even knew what I was thinking about. I guess it was then I knew my life had ended before I was even 14. I watched as the years went by on my album, from each year, more pictures of Ashley and I flickered by.
In a big banner it hung above "2007-2008"
I saw pictures of Ashley me I seeing our favorite band live for the first time. My older sister had taken us both to see Paramore for the first time. Now don't get me wrong we're not Emo's or Goth's, we both don't paint our nails black or any of that shit, we were normal kids, we didn't have pink hair or sat around talking about how life sucked. It was quite the opposite with Ashley by my side the world was almost perfect, excluding the fact that I was hopelessly in love with Jason.
But those pictures went by, and the years were traced one by one, until it reached 2010-2011, then the album was blank. It was a metaphor in a respect; now that Ashley was gone, those pictures had finished forever.
The album started again and quickly reached the same year 2010-2011, once again finishing.
The album began again and hit 2010-2011 again as the violins strummed and the piano' notes flowed.
Again, and again the album replayed always stopping at the same year, everything was like another nail to my heart, the spiral was to powerful to break. It was as if every time the album started I had her with me for the next 5 minutes until it stopped.
Through all of this, I didn't notice my phone ringing off the hook and my dad banging on my door, and I didn't care.
I was reliving my time with Ash photo by photo. I clicked on Microsoft word and began writing. I think subconsciously I knew I'd already decided what I needed to do long ago. It just took this exact set of emotions to achieve the necessary reaction.
I knew it wouldn't solve anything, but I'd died the moment Ash was diagnosed. Trying to survive was never a thought without her. Without her, I was already gone. But she had made me promise to try. I did try, but without her I wasn't alive, she was my heart and soul. I may not have loved her as a girlfriend, or a wife or anything of a sexual nature, but she was life. I know to some people who read this would think, "That's pathetic, one person is his hole life." To them I'd say, "You haven't met that person yet."
I had finished my short explanation and letter to my family. It feels weird calling them my family; we've never been that tight knit or even caring really. My mother was the glue that held us all together when we really just wanted to give up. But Ashley was my voice of logic, and without her I saw no reason to give a shit.
But the time for thinking had passed; I needed an exit from all of this suffering. It's not like I a have a knife lying around my room, and my dad's still banging on the door that I'd locked, so I was left with one option. I'd been having a lot of backaches and headaches lately so I had a small cabinet in my room that held a bottle of muscle relaxers I'd gotten from my doctor, and a bottle of Tylenol for my head.
I knew a bit about overdose from what they'd told us "Not to do". Ironicly, it actually gave me a way to end it all. It was odd; my subconscious had it all planned out. The pill bottles were there, the door was locked (I rarely do that), my computer had been turned on for me to write the letter, I'd changed my phone ringtone back last night; everything was in place for one dramatic ending. I always loved the drama of movies, so why not live it for once.
I grabbed the bottles of pills and poured them out on my bedside table; I turned up the music and opened the window to my room. If I was going to do this, I wanted to be in a blissful state when I let life slip from my hands.
Getting the pills down was easier than I'd thought it'd be. The effects themselves were hard to feel because I was lying down. That was until the vision started to blur and I couldn't feel my arms or my legs.
As the effects increased I lived out Ashley and my life together, it was perfect. I guess at times there was pain and sorrow but looking back all I saw was the life I was going to miss. My thoughts were of what Ashley would have said if she was here now, looking at my body as I gave my life away.
I think it was the pills but I felt her presence nearby, that happy, strong aura of hers was telling me it'd all be ok. I started getting sleepy and decided to close my eyes for a bit.
After closing my eyes and opening them again I saw a woman standing there, it couldn't be? No... she can't be alive... but I had to ask.
"Yes baby, I'm here."
"But you died, you can't be here."
Ignoring my comment she said, "I'm sorry Con, this is all my fault, I shouldn't have passed yet. You weren't ready to be alone." She continued, "I thought you were ready, I thought you would be alright."
In anger I lashed out "You thought I'd be alright!? Ash you were my best friend and the only person who actually cared about me! How the hell did you think I would last without you? I have parents who don't even know I exist unless they need something; an older sister who only talks to me when my parents force her to do something for me; a younger brother who hates me; and I'm gay. Who the hell do I have to love without you... without you I'm completely alone..." I started angry but ended once again in tears as I thought about my life without her again.
"You're wrong Con, there is someone to love you, but you haven't met him yet. We found each other because we both were at our lowest, when nobody cared about us. I asked you to survive because someone does care about you, and I'm sorry baby but it isn't your time yet. You need to live for both of us, I died not experiencing the things we both wanted to do together, but now only you can do that."
"Nothing is worth experiencing alone Ash, it's not fair that I have to live alone because some idiot at a hospital!" I should explain: A week after Ashley was diagnosed and they realized there was nothing they could do, her father wanted to figure out how she got it. She was given a bone graft in her left arm's humorous (the bone that connects you're elbow socket to your shoulder socket). It was injured while we were white water rafting. The graft donated was cancerous, which the hospital didn't realize until a year later, which by than was too late. The bone cancer had spread from her arm to most of her upper body on the left side. Her dad went ballistic and sued the hospital and the company that provided it for everything they had, and he won. The company closed down a year later because no hospital wanted to take a chance with them, and the hospital barely stayed open, thanks to it being a government establishment.
"Con, being angry won't change what happened, you need to move on sweetie. I know it's unfair and a difficult thing to do, but if anyone can, I know you can. I'll still be around honey, remember I'm watching you."
<My vision was starting to blur again>
"NO ASH! PLEASE NO!" I yelled at the misty image
"I love you baby, remember that." A voice said.
The voice and image were fading and than they disappeared...
To be Continued...
Thanks for reading, if you liked it drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org I love feed back.
I have another story in Young Friends that I put on hold to write this, mainly because this story is a memorial to my best friend who passed away from intestinal cancer when she was 16. So I hope you like it and I hope I did justice to what an amazing person she was, and the lives she changed just by being a friend.
If you wanna read my story in Young Friends its title "In Darkness Love Will Save Us."
Also I want to thank my amazing editor Dave, who added changed some wording and made the story better overall J