Duncan's ninety percent sure that there's nothing actually in his antidepressants; that they're meant to be placebos, sugar pills. “Sugar pill” seems inaccurate, as that would imply at least a little burst of energy from the sugar even if there's no drugs, and that doesn't happen at all. The Placebo Effect simply doesn't work for him, and he really wishes it would.
He remembers once when Lilly was maybe twelve, she had dropped in with a piece of trivia. You know, Donut, antidepressants lead to higher suicide rates? It's true. Lilly had been so proud of her little fact, but Duncan had just shrugged it off.
Yeah, I know. It happens because the first symptoms antidepressants clear up are the lethargy and stuff. Gets the depressed to actually do something about it, he had said. Lilly had pouted and whined about the “alien knowledge dump” in his brain. He had laughed, and so had she, and that was that. Nowadays he kind of wishes he had just let her have her gloating moment, even if that wouldn't really have changed anything.
He knows he has to get up and take a shower at some point, but at this moment, it just seems so hard. It's just a fucking shower and it shouldn't; even if everything he's ever cared about has been ripped away, turned into forbidden fruit, or is now barely hiding the cracks and he can't get any closer without smashing it; the little things are meant to be just that – little. Easy. The monotony that keeps him sane; even if it doesn't at all. Lethargy and helplessness; they aren't clearing up at all.
He wishes he could say it is all about Lilly; and maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Maybe it started years before she splattered across the pavement; maybe it started months later. He can't bring himself to remember, even when he tries to, when he tries to want to know. He wonders how everything got complex and out of sequence; he wishes he could go back, back to Logan and Veronica and Lilly and him, back when he was a real boy and “happy” meant anything at all.
Duncan misses his sister; but he can't say it hurts. He can't stand it; but it's not the sting it used to be, not the ache Logan – bright, bursting, wild Logan – feels every second, drowning in booze and bitterness. No, Duncan would rather characterize it as an... itch, he guesses, unscratchable; if he could turn around and see Lilly laughing at him once more, that could be the run of fingernails on his skin; he could stop squirming for relief from the movement under his skin. But Lilly is gone and he's never going to see her again.
It doesn't make sense; Lilly shouldn't be dead. Duncan watched enough TV; read enough books to know that. He was always the favorite, the younger one, and that's the one who should be ripped away in tragedy, devastating the family and leaving them to pick up the pieces. But Lilly was always like that; she had to have everything, so the message muddled; the plans God Has For All Creatures mixed up; and Lilly was the one who got some peace lying in her coffin, brains oozing out the top of her head. He laughs with the irony – what use did Lilly Kane ever have for peace?
Sometimes Duncan wonders if that's the explanation; if he feels dead because he is dead, it's just reality hasn't caught up yet? Everything around is busy and bright; so light it hurts his eyes to see their pain, their grief. He wonders if any of them would act the same if the blueprints were carried through properly, if he was the one caught in rigor mortis – he expects they would, and maybe he hates them a little for that.
He'd say he wants to feel anything, but that would be brutally inaccurate. Maybe he should thank Veronica; something there and tangible and real in his emotions. Except he can't even think about her without feeling wrong and sick and evil; without feeling warm and safe and loved. He remembers how she looked that night, under the sway of far too much tequila. Gentle and sweet, inviting and open. She didn't look like him, and he hates the fact that was all it took to make him forget the truth. She was perfect in that moment, and so was he, and he wants to go back to the one night he could believe the lie again; he wants to remember, or maybe forget, there was ever a time where he wasn't her brother.
He pulls himself out of bed and manages to stumble into the shower; it's almost like he's trying to wash it all off; all blood and sluggishness and fucked up love, except he knows what a cliché that would make him. It's just a shower, and the water pressure sucks too much for symbolism and meaning. He tries to keep it reasonably short; but it seems so hard to do anything but just stand there forever. He wonders if things could be different; if it was Lilly's fault and Dad's fault and Mom's fault and Veronica's fault and Abel Koontz's fault; but maybe this web he's caught it is all just him, maybe it's the side effect of being dead, and that thought scares him.
He gets out the shower and doesn't pay much attention to how he dresses himself. He wonders down the stairs and Dad is already gone; off to work, off to ruin his children's lives. Mom frets and fusses; she says “Good Morning” and he hates her for lying. Because it's not good and his mother isn't too stupid to see that; he wants to make her admit it; he wants to scream and rage and hurt like the kind of person he's never been; he wants brains splattered over the pavement like Lilly's were, because unlike Lilly this is their fault; he wants to hurt them all for what happened and scratch the fucking itch until the blood pours all over his skin like it did from Lilly's head; until he feels a fucking thing at all.
But Duncan's not that boy. So instead; he takes the sugar pill with a glass of water; he tries to forget, or maybe remember, what it once felt like to be alive.