"Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a great day and here's why... You can write one of those every day for the next two weeks until we have another appointment, then we'll discuss everything together. It's a great way to be more outgoing and talkative, even if it is just to yourself. A few months of writing these and you should feel way more comfortable talking and interacting with people. How does that sound?" Evan's mom grabbed his hand, a wide smile on her face. It'd been her idea to take Evan to his therapist for the first time in a while, and she seemed happy about his suggestion. Writing letters to myself? That is the lamest and most embarrassing thing I've ever heard of in my life. Evan thought, though he nodded his head and forced a smile. His anxiety had been getting really bad lately and he knew seeing Dr. Sherman would be a smart idea, but it never really seemed to help him. Not one hundred percent. His meds only really helped with the anxiousness he felt physically -stomach pains, headaches, dizziness...- but not at all with how uncomfortable he felt with himself and how he constantly stuttered and mumbled and rambled on if anyone would ever try and approach him. He was an awkward mess that couldn't seem to do anything right, and the pills didn't help with that. Evan hated taking them.
"Uh, sure I guess..." He muttered. Evan really wasn't into the idea of writing letters to himself. He was already a huge loser, so imagine what could happen if somebody found out about this... He'd be made fun of, ridiculed, laughed at... Evan couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities. He was already spiraling and it wasn't even one o'clock.
"That would be a great idea, honey! It sounds fun!" Evan's mom seemed way too happy. Did she honestly think this was best for him? Evan knew she was just looking out for him, for his best interest and yadda, yadda, yadda. But this was the least 'Evan' thing she could possibly make him do.
"We'll do it." Evan's mom interrupted before he could even finish his sentence. For once in his life he felt like he should speak his mind, the one thing she'd always wanted him to do, and she interrupted him. He wasn't surprised though. It was something that happened quite frequently, people stopping him from speaking his mind. He was used to it by now.
"Amazing. Now I'll remind you that this all must be open and honest. Nobody's judging you here, Evan. Also, make sure to make 'em positive. Pump yourself up for each day. These problems are easy to change if you give them your full attention and effort." Evan nodded and his mother continued smiling. The woman seemed more hyped for this than Evan did himself.
"That's about all for today. Oh, and Evan? Are you all good on refills?" Evan nodded without a word as he packed up his things to leave. His mother grabbed his shoulder and shook him. She still had that out of place grin plastered on her face.
"I really think that's going to help. Oh, Evan, it'll improve your writing skills too! If they can be improved anyways." Evan rolled his eyes when she pulled away. His mom always prided herself on his writing, which he thought was mediocre at best. They said their goodbyes to Dr. Sherman and finally exited his office, into the parking lot an to their old, too small Volkswagen.
"That man is always full of great ideas. I would've never thought of writing these letters!"
"Yeah... It's a- uh... A cool idea. So I need to write one every day?"
"Of course! That is what he said, right?"
"Mm." Great. This was going to take Evan most of his free time to finish. He wouldn't be able to have a freaking social life because of these dumb things! Well... It wasn't like he had one to begin with... Evan pushed his thoughts aside and tried not to focus on the negatives.
"Oh, honey, I almost forgot. School is starting in three weeks! Are you excited or what?" Right. School. Another thing Evan really wasn't looking forward to.
"Yup. Real excited Mom." He lied. Evan always lied to his mother. He had to. She already thought he was messed up, and if she saw his real self? She'd flip. She'd probably send him to a mental hospital or something. His anxiety right now wasn't even that bad and she constantly freaked out about it.
"Well... Do you have work today? Want me to give you a ride?" Evan shook his head. He had gotten a job at a place called Ellison's State Park a little ways away from his home as an Apprentice Park Ranger and would help on tours and knew absolutely everything there was to know about the trees that few there. He was obsessed with his newfound forest expertise, and loved the job. It was definitely a highlight of his kinda okay summer break so far. His mom always offered to drive him, but he soon found out she wasn't usually able to keep her promises. She had work every day and classes too on Sundays. She didn't have the time to drive Evan anywhere, and to be completely honest he liked the walks to the park. It was quiet, peaceful even.
"I'm good mom. The park is only a few blocks away and I'll have lots of time. Don't you have class today anyways?" They pulled into the driveway of their home and Evan's mom sighed, slapping her forehead. Today was Sunday and she had scheduled early classes and worked after hours.
"Right, right. I'm really sorry... Are... Are you sure you'll be okay walking? I can take a little detour on my way to class, surely they'll understand." Evan shook his head again and stepped out of the car.
"I'm fine. I'm gonna go inside and grab my stuff and head out early. I'll probably help set up for tours or something..."
"Yeah, good plan. I'll see you after work tonight okay?" Evan's mom smiled. She still hadn't left the car and was now fiddling with the keys which hung in the ignition.
"Mhmm. Are you leaving now?"
"Thought I might as well get some groceries before I leave for class. Make yourself something when you get back, and be careful on your walk. I love you, sweetheart."
"Love you too." Evan waved as his mother pulled out onto the road once again and drove away. Once she was out of sight he dropped his head and sighed. He only had work for four hours today -maybe five if he included overtime- and he'd have to return home afterwards. Alone. Stuck with himself and his thoughts for hours on end. He tried to ignore his own brain as he showered -for the second time that day- and put on his work uniform. He decided to let his hair air dry and push it to the side. It wasn't very long, he could manage it. After throwing a few water bottles and a granola bar in his backpack Evan left the house, locking the door and stuffing the key in his pocket.
After a boring five hours of telling people things about trees that he'd already said a million times before, Evan was free. He had nothing to do for the rest of the day. He didn't even have one friend he could hang out with. Evan decided to walk instead of going home, walk until he had no idea where he was going. Walk until his legs burned and the sun was beginning to set, and he did just that until he ended up at an open field scattered with trees. He looked around, trying to figure out where he was and saw a giant sign hanging not very far away from him. Most of the paint was peeling off of it, but from what he could make out it was an apple orchard, an apple orchard that really needed some repairs. The small building that stood not too far away from Evan looked like it was about to cave in and the paint job on just about everything was peeling and chipped. The only thing that Evan might have considered 'astounding' about the place was the trees. They were truly mighty trees, growing high up into the sky where it seemed like the light would never fade, the trunks larger than any he'd ever seen in his life and the branches seeming to hold their ground well, like they could never snap or break. Evan felt himself being drawn to one in particular, the largest one he could see in the whole orchard. It was perfect for climbing. Evan grabbed a branch above him and pulled himself up off the ground, and from there he kept climbing, higher and higher and the tree didn't once seem to loose it's grounding. The branches were strong the whole way up. Evan couldn't seem to stop climbing, it was like he was slowly moving farther and farther away from his problems. They were way down there on the ground, and he was in the sky. The foliage began to grow thinner and Evan still didn't stop. Not until he was almost at the top.
When he finally did stop he sat on a branch and looked at the sun that was setting lower than before. It made the sky different shades of red and orange and yellow like it had been lit ablaze by the sun's light. The ground seemed miles away. Evan was amazed by the whole scene. He sat there alone and thought about everything and nothing. He looked everywhere, he could see the whole town from up there. Everything was absolutely perfect from up here. Until that is, he let his brain take over.
He started thinking without a filter, possibly the worst thing he could do. He was worthless, couldn't talk to anyone without almost having a panic attack. He didn't have enough courage to keep friends, didn't have the courage to even approach Zoë Murphy after her jazz band concert when all he wanted to say was that she played incredibly. Zoë Murphy... The one person that meant everything to him, and she probably didn't even know who he was. It seemed like he was always just behind a window. He waved and screamed, trying to get someone's attention because all he wanted to do was tell somebody, anybody how he truly felt on the inside. How he hated himself so much and wanted so desperately for someone to love him for him, despite his flaws, and how he hoped they wouldn't see everything he saw and hate it too. He looked at the ground again. So far away. So... So Welcoming. He slid down a bit from his branch, hands holding it tightly and tips of his shoes brushing the one beneath him. Maybe... Maybe he should just let go. He knew no one would notice if he was gone. Evan Hansen deserved to be forgotten, he deserved to disappear. He closed his eyes, a hot tear running down his cheek, and he let go.
He fell from the tree without one single word, without a scream. Evan truly had no regrets. It felt like only a second until he hit the ground with a thump. He'd landed stomach first on top of his arm, knocking the wind out of himself. He took a sharp breath that stung his lungs. His arm was numb. He was numb. He was alone. Everything around him was silent. Then until he heard someone yelling. It was a male voice, coming from somewhere above him. Maybe in the tree? Evan doubted it, maybe he was just imagining it to make himself feel better before the sweet release of death could hit him. Then he heard another thump near his body and saw a black pair of boots in front of his face. He looked up and saw a boy, probably around his age. His features were blurry but from what Evan could see he had fair skin, light brown-red shoulder length hair, and a deep set pair of fuzzy blue eyes. The boy leaned down, shaking Evan by the shoulder like his mother had done to him earlier. Through the ringing in his ears, Evan could hear the faint sound of this boy talking to him.
"... Are... Alright? Wha... How'd...?" Evan wanted to reply, but he couldn't. He was slowly drifting in and out of consciousness. The boy hauled him up to a sitting position.
"Please... Name...?" Evan struggled through the darkness that began to cloud his eyes. He felt tired. He wanted to sleep.
"...Evan," He coughed. It was really hard to speak after knocking the wind out of yourself. Hard to breathe too, Evan thought, as he forced another breath.
"Evan? Evan wha..."
"Han- Hansen." Was all Evan could force out before he passed out in the arms of this boy whom he didn't even get the name of. He felt relaxed as the darkness of sleep finally overtook his body. Evan was just tired. All he could see was black.
here's my twitter and tumblr if anyone has any suggestions or just wants to talk:
Chapter 2: dear connor murphy
hello frens! i'm sorry this update was a lil later than one might have expected, but i just wanted to shape Con's character perfect aaand this is the fourth re-write i've done xD
i'm also super sorry, this chapter was mostly filler at the start but i just wanted everyone to see my version of Con and yea. i don't know.
also***** HOLY MOLEYS THIS ALREADY HAS OVER THREE HUNDRED HITS!!! i am so grateful for everyone that took the time to read, comment, kudos, even just click on this fanfic. it makes me really happy and gives me the courage to continue writing and post aswell. so uh, awkward jamie (me) is very thankful.
whelp, this is also a sad 'un.
enjoy frens ❤
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Connor awoke around four o'clock in the morning, completely and fully alert. That had been happening a lot lately. He'd wake up at an insanely early hour of the morning in a cold sweat and an emptiness in his chest. He always felt a little less himself when he woke up, like he was slowly losing pieces of his former self that he could never get back. It felt like he was drowning, and every day he sunk deeper into a deep ocean of depression. Each morning he'd feel scared and terrified to see what kind of a person he was becoming. He was a disappointment, a psycho, a monster. He was everything everyone had always called him and made fun of him for. Connor would lay in his bed for what felt like an eternity, letting everything suck the life out of him and right when he felt like he was going to break, he pushed it all away. He couldn't let himself cry or breakdown, Connor didn't like to cry. He didn't like to feel at all, so he didn't let himself. He would try to go back to sleep but was always unable to, so he'd spend hours on end by himself on his bed. Whether he was laying there in silence, picking at the scabs on his fists from whatever the hell he had punched in a fit of rage earlier that week, or read a book he knew he'd read a million times but still didn't remember the plot or the characters or anything he would always stay in his room. He couldn't bare to see the expressions on his family's faces when they looked at him. His mother's pained expression that she hid behind smiles. His sister's annoyed one where if you looked really close, you could tell she was scared of Connor and what he might do to her. Last but not least, his father who always looked full of disappointment, when he did bother to look at Connor anyways. His father looked at him like he was garbage, like he couldn't do anything right even though Connor had tried so many times to please him, and it felt like a punch in the face. It was the one kind of pain Connor couldn't hide away, and so he switched it out for anger, and once he was angry everything went downhill.
Connor was scrolling through his facebook feed mindlessly when he heard his mother calling him for breakfast. It was 7:30, earlier than usual. Connor's mother always insisted that the family have a meal together in the mornings, that it was the only time they got together all day and it was healthy for everyone. That had made Connor laugh. His family couldn't stand each other. Every morning he was proven right when somehow it would all go up in flames and be blamed on him. Connor searched through his dresser drawer and found a pre-rolled joint he'd set aside earlier. The only thing that could keep Connor sane during these breakfasts from hell was the high. It clouded his mind and helped ground him a little bit. Just a little bit though. Connor rolled his eyes as his mother called him again, stubbing out the end of his joint that was left and stuffing it in his dresser for later. It was barely anything, but he was all out of pot. He'd have to buy more later. He pushed his hair out of his face and headed downstairs to the kitchen, putting his head down on the table and covering it with his arms as soon as he sat down.
"You smell awful." His sister, Zoe said. He could imagine her wrinkling her nose with a disgusted look on her face.
"Shut up." Connor shot back as loud as he could with his sleeve muffling his voice. Zoe always had to put her two cents in on everything. Nobody cared that Connor smelt like weed, everybody knew already and thought nothing of it at this point. It wouldn't've become an issue, or even a conversation topic if she hadn't brought it up. Connor heard his mother sniffing the air from behind him. He raised his head for a moment, and she looked at him.
"Connor, don't be rude to your sister and Zoe, keep your opinions to yourself, please." Connor groaned and slammed his head back onto the table causing the utensils around him to jump.
"You'd better not be starting right now, Connor." He groaned again. Why did his mother need to pick apart every single little thing he did? Connor's mother constantly nagged him over everything, and his father was even worse. He grounded him and took away his phone and laptop for two weeks once when Connor got punched in the face by one of his dealers. He hadn't even done anything but show up to meet with him, and the guy hit him and took his money. The bastard had left Connor with a nasty bruise on his cheek and a fat lip, and he got in shit for it.
"He doesn't listen! Look at him, he's probably high." His father said, his voice laced with annoyance.
"He's definitely high." Zoe pitched in. Here came this morning's argument. Once again caused by Connor, and once again proving his point that this together breakfast thing was stupid and useless. Connor used his elbow to push his face harder into the table. The dull pain distracted him a bit from everything going on as he waited for his high to cloud everything. It'd only been ten minutes since he smoked and the effects of the marijuana still hadn't fully kicked in. Connor's mother dropped a plate across from him on the table, presumably for Zoe, and sighed.
"I thought you said you were quitting! School is starting in less than three weeks and I do not want you showing up on high on the first day!" She fretted. Connor pulled at his hair, irritated. He had already told he that there was no way in hell he'd be going there on the first day. Second day? Maybe. But definitely not the first. Ever since he was little and people noticed he was different from him they'd hound him over everything on the first day. It made him angry and throughout the whole day he's want to punch something to relieve himself. He often took the stress out on others, then hate himself for the rest of the day. People were scared of Connor Murphy. He was the class freak. Connor hated school in general but the first day always seemed to end up more terrible than he could imagine. He honestly didn't give a fuck anymore about that place and wasn't going to be forced by his mother of all people to go.
"I already said I'd go on the second day, mom. I'm not dealing with that shit this year."
"What shit? Beating people up in the hallway because they joke around with you? Maybe that's the reason nobody likes you."
"No, no. She's right. Nobody likes me because I'm a freak who can't seem to take a joke." Connor interrupted. He was done with this morning already.
"I'm just a fucking freak."
"Connor," His mother started, touching his arm. He jerked away. Connor hated contact. Absolutely hated it.
"Don't fucking touch me!"
"I think you should go now, Connor." His father said. His face was still hidden behind his newspaper. Once again he couldn;t even bother to look at his son.
"Yeah, maybe I should leave Maybe I should just leave this stupid place and never come back because, why the hell not? I'd probably be much more content away from here. On the fucking streets... Maybe I should off myself now so that I don't need to wait to starve to death because I spent all of my money on drugs? That's how I'm gonna end up anyways, right dad? As a junkie?" Connor threw his chair away from the table in anger. It slid across the floor and hit the wall, one of the legs leaving a dent. Connor stomped away, the yelling and screaming of his parents only muted by the ringing in his ears. He climbed back up the stairs and to his room, shutting the door as hard as he could and pushing his dresser to block it for good measure. He continued to ignore the constant yelling and banging on his door by focusing on the ringing. It felt like his skull was about to shatter and Connor sort of hoped that it would. What he said downstairs may've just sounded like an empty threat, but Connor had been thinking about it for a while. Killing himself. Why shouldn't he? He wasn't ever good enough for his family, his peers, anybody. No one cared about him, no one loved him.
A few minutes later the yelling stopped and everything was quiet. Connor was sitting on his bed fiddling around with his hair and trying to calm himself down a bit. Trying, but failing. His room felt suffocating and even after opening a window it still felt like his walls were closing in on him, about to crush him to a million pieces. He decided that he should leave. He couldn't stand to be in this place any longer and he was extremely in need of a break. It was the summer holiday and it felt like Connor had never had any time to himself. He was constantly surrounded by his stupid family and it was driving him insane. After throwing on a pair of black jeans, an old t-shirt, his worn out grey sweater, and his way-to-big-for-him jacket Connor slipped on a pair of black boots, grabbed a brown shoulder bag with his phone and anything else he'd need, and climbed out his window and onto the roof, trying to be as quiet as possible and climbed down the tall tree that his dad hated was growing right next to their home. He hopped down, a few feet away from the ground and took off in a sprint just in case anybody saw him. Connor knew exactly where he was going.
About an hour and a couple miles went by, Connor was there. The only place he felt safe. He stood at the entrance of an abandoned apple orchard that was yet to be barred or fenced off from the public. This was his favourite place to go when he was little. Back then, his family was normal. They'd come here in the summers to pick apples and play on the trees and afterwards they'd grab a scoop at a small ice cream shop down the street called A La Mode. He and Zoe would always climb the same tree together, it grew right in the middle of the orchard and was much taller and more stable than any other ones. Since they were only 7 and 8 at the time their dad had to help the up to the first branch, and then they'd climb as high as they could. Connor would shout that he was the king and Zoe was the princess, and they'd pretend they ruled the whole town as their mother and father smiled at each other. They were happy. Everyone was happy. The orchard closed in Connor's sophomore year, a year after he'd stopped going there with his family because things started getting bad. His parents started fighting, she started getting angrier, and he and Zoe began hating one another. With a sigh, Connor stopped his daydreaming. He didn't want to think about all the shit that happened in his early years of high school right now. Connor walked over to his tree and slid down the branch into a sitting position. He put his bag on his lap, searching through it for the small baggie of pot he'd hidden in there a few days ago. The bag was almost empty, there seemed to only be enough of the plant for maybe half a joint if he could pack every single bit of it in the paper. After making sure nobody was around he smoked the neatly rolled joint and decided to climb the tree after he put it out. He only went a few branches high, not in the mood for any more exercise at the moment. He had hidden behind the thick foliage of the tree, leaning back on the trunk and letting his legs hang off the side of the branch he sat on. For the first time all day Connor felt relaxed as he waited in the tree for his high to intensify.
As Connor was reaching in his bag for his phone and earbuds he heard some rustling in the leaves below him. At first he thought nothing of it. It was probably just a squirrel and Connor honestly wouldn't really mind a stupid little tree rat innocently clambering up the trunk that just so happened to be by him. But Connor grew a tad bit concerned as the rustling grew louder and closer, and he saw a pair of hands gripping a branch on the other side of the tree. He tried to keep quiet as he checked to see what was going on. Connor looked over, seeing a boy with short dark blonde hair, matching dark green pants and a shirt -maybe a uniform of some sort?- and a pair of old, worn-out looking sneakers. He watched with astoundment as the boy climbed the tree, higher than Connor had in his entire life. While Connor was surprised by the kid's ability to climb so high and never seem to tire, he was also confused as to where his determination came from. Connor would never be able to do an activity for that long, he always got bored after only a few minutes. He watched until the branches stopped moving and the rustling, it looked like the boy had almost got to the very top. From there Connor went back to his former sitting position and went back to looking for his phone and when he found it he popped in his ear buds, listening to his songs on shuffle. Everything was peaceful, and for some reason Connor didn't feel as alone as he usually felt. It seemed like he and this guy who was practically forty feet above him were sitting in comfortable silence together. It was... Nice.
Until it wasn't. In the middle of the tenth -maybe eleventh? Connor had stopped counting a while ago- song he saw something in front of him and felt a huge thud from the ground below him. He unplugged his earbuds and pulled them out of his ears, cramming them back in his bag and putting his phone in his pocket. What the hell happened? He stayed in his spot for a moment, waiting to see if everything was safe and okay. Connor listened carefully and heard the quiet hyperventilating of something below him, and immediately know what had happened. He threw his bag on the ground and climbed down, seeing the boy from earlier laying flat on his stomach. He was trembling. Shit, shit, shit. Connor stepped in front of the boy and crouched down. His eyes opened. Thank fucking god.
"Hey dude, what happened? Are you alright? What- How'd you fall?" Nothing came out of the kid's mouth except short breaths. Shit, what if he chokes or something? Connor really didn't want to be in shit if this kid died. Fuck. What if he does? What the fuck am I gonna do then? Connor kneeled down, trying to be gentle as he flipped the boy over and pulled him up so he was sitting almost in Connors lap. He had to hold his shoulders to keep him from falling back. The contact freaked him out a little but he had to ignore it for the kid's sake, and he needed to call the police, an ambulance, something. He picked up his phone and dialed the number, explaining to the operator what he had witnessed.
"We'll have somebody down there within the hour-"
"Within the hour? He needs help right now. What am I supposed to do if he- If he fucking dies? You need to hurry the fuck up, lady."
"They'll be to your location as soon as possible, sir. In the meantime make sure the boy is sat upright and continuously check to see if he's breathing properly. If for some reason his breathing stops try CPR or mouth to mouth right away." Connor hung up his phone and threw the stupid thing down. An hour? A fucking hour? There was a hospital not too far away from here, it would take at the very most twenty minutes to drive here from there! If Connor had just taken his fucking car then they probably would've already been to the hospital by now. Connor took a deep breath, pushing his anger aside. He could focus on that later, right now he needed to focus on the barely conscious kid in his arms.
"Please, can I get your name?" That was another important thing he needed. How could he sign the boy into the hospital if he didn't even know his name? How could somebody call the poor kid's parents to tell them what had happened? He noticed the boy's breathing slowing and for a second he was worried, but then he took a deep breath.
"E-Evan..." He coughed. His voice was raspy and he seemed to curl into himself even more after speaking.
"Evan, good. Evan what?" Evan's eyes blinked quickly, then began to close slightly. His breathing seemed pained.
"Han-Hansen..." Evan Hansen. Good. Great. Amazing.
"Okay. Good. Um, just... Just... You'll be fine, okay?" Connor reassured. He tried to keep calm but he was internally freaking out. If Evan died he'd definitely be blamed. No doubt. God, Connor needed a hit really fucking bad. But he couldn't when there was about to be an ambulance, maybe even police here. But shit did he want a fucking hit.
"Evan?" He didn't react. Oh no. This was not good. Connor leaned over Evan's face to listen and see if he was still breathing. It was very faint, but Connor heard the inhales and exhales coming from his nose. Christ.
Half an hour later Connor could hear the faint screeching of an ambulance and sighed in relief. The vehicle pulled up to the entrance of the orchard and Connor searched around for his phone so he could shine a light and let them know where the two were. When Evan fell the sun had been setting, now it was completely dark. Connor felt it about a foot away from him and picked it up, trying to keep Evan's body stable with one arm as he turned it on and started waving the light frantically toward the direction of the flashing blue and red lights.
"Hello?" Somebody yelled.
"Yes, hello! Over here!" Two paramedics raced over to the two boys with a gurney and helped Connor lift Evan onto it safely.
"What happened?" One of them asked as they loaded Evan into the ambulance.
"I'm pretty sure he fell out of that tree we were under. I noticed him climbing, and then he was on the ground." The man nodded and stepped into the back of the vehicle with the others. He looked at Connor questioningly. He raised his arms at the man, not sure what he wanted from him.
"Are you coming?" Oh.
"It would be a wise idea. I'd assume you were the only witness, correct? The nurses might need you to explain everything that happened." Great. Connor was already involved in this mess more than he wanted to be, now he was being sucked into it even further? He didn't even know this kid. All he wanted was for him to stay alive, which he had accomplished, and now Evan was in safe hands now, he wasn't needed. Before Connor could respond he was being pulled into the ambulance and driving away from the orchard. He jerked his arm away, flinching at the physical contact.
"What the fuck! Don't grab me! God fucking damn it!"
"I'm going to need you to calm down. We need somebody to explain everything to th-"
"Dude, I already told you everything!" What the hell was this guy doing? Connor hadn't said he was coming and he shouldn't have needed to explain everything. This wasn't his drama. Connor could hear the faint ringing in his ears again and closed his eyes. Something was clouding his hearing, his thoughts, his judgment, and this time it wasn't the pot.
"I am going to need you to-"
"Just stop fucking talking!" Connor focused on the ringing again as he pulled his legs up to his chest and dropped his head. He needed it to stop. He needed everything to just fucking stop.
Connor was silent for the entire ride to the hospital and ignored everything the paramedics said to him. When he got inside he sat in the waiting room for a nurse who said she'd like to speak with him. There were so many people and everyone was squished together. Connor decided to sit on the wall rather than in between two people he didn't know and risk the chance of any physical contact that he didn't want.
A few minutes went by before a kind looking nurse beckoned for Connor to go over to her, and he explained what happened for the third time.
"He was climbing and just kinda fell. That's all I saw."
"Alright, thank you very much. All he has is a broken arm, and some trauma, the boy'll be fine." Connor nodded. That was good. He didn't know how he'd feel if he had actually died, Jesus fucking Christ.
"One more thing?" The lady asked, giving Connor a smile. He nodded.
"Could I get his name please? Or maybe a parent's phone number..."
"Yeah, yeah sorry. His name is Evan Hansen. And I uh, don't know his parent's numbers."
"Hansen, alright. Would you like us to call you when he wakes up?" Connor shook his head. That would be biting off more than he could chew. Connor was not going to have anything to do with Evan Hansen.
"No, I'm... I don't exactly know the kid..."
"Yes, of course. Thank you very much for the help."
"Yeah." Was all Connor said as he walked away from the nurse and out of the building. He needed to get his fucking bag from the apple orchard before he could go home. Go home... Connor didn't even want to go home right now, he was still pissed about the bullshit that morning. He'd figure it out when the time came.
Connor located his bag when he got back to the orchard and checked to make sure nothing had been stolen. Thank god. Everything seemed to be where he left it. Connor was deciding whether he should go back home or not when he checked his phone for the first time in hours. No texts, no calls, no emails, no nothing. Nobody cared that he was gone. They were probably fucking glad that he left in the first place. Connor stuffed his phone in his pocket and started walking over to a small building that used to sell baked goods and pre-picked apples, pulling on the handle of the door. It was locked. Connor pulled an old library card out of his bag and slid it between the door and the frame until he heard a click, and the door swung open. It was dark and empty and the air smelt of dust, but it was a building with a roof and a locking door. Connor decided staying here tonight would be much better than going back to his family. He'd probably just get grounded for staying out late to help this kid who'd fallen out of a forty foot fucking tree. Connor threw his bag to the corner of the room and lay down on the dusty concrete floor, closing his eyes. He knew he wouldn't be able to sleep for hours -if he even slept at all- but he didn't move. He just stayed in the same position for hours, and when his eyes opened it was light outside. He still didn't move. He'd rather stay in here, where the only person who could hate him was himself.
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Chapter 3: i am not as fine as i seem
holy. fucking. shit. how the hell had this gotten over 600 hits since the last chapter? and now over 100 kudos? i think i’m going to fucking cry. it makes me so happy to see how well people’ve liked this so far, and literally every comment, kudos, hit, bookmark, and subscription gives me life and encouragement. fucking... thank you all, for literally everything.
now, reasons [excuses] as to why this is late;
1. i would’ve posted yesterday but good ol’ momma decided it was a good idea to cut off the wifi, so, i’m dying
2. Fucking. Writers. Block. it was so hard to write this chapter for some reason ??? i wrote most of it yesterday, probably more than half. so like, writers block fucking sucks
3. i was in this play and have had all day practices for the last week ish so, barely any time
4. i just needed a bit of a mental health break because anxiety is a bitch when partnered with school
now, i hope everyone enjoys chapter 3! it’s much longer than it’s predecessors so, be prepared for that.
Enjoy frens! ❤
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Evan opened his eyes, breath catching in his throat. The ceiling he saw wasn't his own. It was coloured a shade of bright white that stung his eyes and almost directly above his face hung a spinning fan. What the hell? Evan sat up, wincing as a stinging sensation overtook his left arm. He tried to lift it but it felt strange and too heavy. Almost… detached from the rest of his body. Looking to his side, Evan saw a bulky white cast covering his forearm and stopping right below his elbow. He could feel his gradually quickening heart beat in his throat.
Everything hit him like a slap in the face.
He remembered walking to some beaten down apple orchard, climbing a magnificent tree practically to the top, the beautiful sunset that reminding him of flames, the incredible view... He could also remember the moment his thoughts took over, telling him he was a waste of space, that he was useless and a burden and he was so alone, and-
He let go.
Evan remembered the short fall, seeing yellow grass grow closer and closer until he lay flat on his stomach. He remembered the numbness, the silence, and then he remembered the hazy view of a boy, some broken sentences, and darkness.
He must've been taken to the hospital.
Oh no, no, no, no... He couldn't be in the hospital right now. He was probably running up a huge bill that his mother would have to pay but she wouldn't be able to afford it so she'd have to drop out of class to get a second job because she still wouldn't have be enough to pay off the thousands of dollars Evan was costing her, then she wouldn't have enough money to pay rent and they'd lose the house and it'd be all Evan's fault because he couldn't even kill himself right and, and, and-
Evan was already spiralling. He was going to have a freaking panic attack.
"Evan, sweetie? Are you awake?" Evan looked toward the voice he heard, seeing his mother standing there with a worried smile. She was worried again and it was all his fault, as per usual.
"H-Hi..." What time was it? Was his mother missing work because of him? She couldn't afford to miss a single day. She could lose her job and be in debt because of this stupid bill -
Evan's thoughts continued to spiral into a web of what if's . He just wanted to go home, his entire body ached and he felt like he was going to have a panic attack if he was here any longer. Evan's mother walked inside of the room, sitting on a chair that stood right beside his hospital bed. Had she been there earlier too?
"How- How long have y-you been here?" Evan winced. Why was he stuttering so much? He'd been working on stopping it all summer, even seemed to be getting better at formulating full sentences without stammering like an idiot and embarrassing himself that bad. Now all of his progress appeared to have been thrown out the window.
"An hour or so. I found out you were here last night when I was on my shift, it’s too bad you weren't put on my floor… I just stepped out a few minutes ago to grab lunch, you haven't been up long have you?" Evan shook his head. So he was at his mom's hospital? That was sort of a good thing, she wouldn't need to drive over to visit him, which he would've objected to, but she would insist and come anyways because she felt bad for him being alone, and Evan would feel terrible for making her waste gas on him because he was okay. He hurt his arm a bit, so what? It happened to people all the time. Evan wanted to pretend to be okay like he’d always done. He was trying to just shake the whole situation off like it was nothing, but inside he wasn't at all okay. Not in the slightest. He had never been, and probably never would be. He was messed up and couldn’t fix it. Not even by suicide , because he’d messed that up too.
"What happened exactly, hun?" His mother interrupted his thoughts. Evan swallowed. He hadn’t thought of a way out of this yet…
"I was, was climbing a really b-big tree at- at work and I... suddenly the, uh, the branch gave way and- and I fell." Jesus, that had to have sounded like a lie. Evan’s hands shook, he stammered and the sentence came out more like a question, but he had to stick to it. He couldn't tell his mother what actually happened. There were a million and one things that could happen if he did, and none of them seemed to end well for himself. Maybe if Evan just, ignored the truth, then he wouldn't seem so- so crazy and he could continue to live a semi-normal looking life without ending up in the nuthouse. She nodded, stroking Evan's good arm, an attempt to comfort him.
"I told you to be careful climbing so high honey... Maybe working at that park isn't such a-"
"No! N-no. I actually, I really like Ellison's. I like the trees a lot and everyone's nice and it- it's fun and... Yeah ..." His mother nodded, taking in what he said. She believed him.
Evan was glad she didn't push him, well not exactly , but he was about to start spiraling again and it was one thing to do that in his head, but aloud? Not a wise idea. When he'd think in circles it was completely without a filter. If he spoke those things aloud, people would think he was even more of a freak than they'd ever imagined. It’s not like she totally flip if he casually said; “WellactuallyItriedtokillmyselfatsomeorchardplaceandIknowI’mafreakbutpleaseletmeworktherestillsoIkindaseemnormalplease?”
"Alright, alright. But you need to be more careful next time, Evan… What if you were alone and nobody brought you here? You'd probably have much worse than a broken arm." Like what? The worst that had happened was his arm breaking and him passing out. It's not like he'd freeze to death in the warm summer weather, and he doubted there were any dangerous animals in that area that would like, eat him or something. He would've simply woken up and walked home in pain, waiting until his mother was home to tell her because he didn't want to make her worried in class or at work. Then she'd take him to the hospital, and he'd be in the exact position he was in right now. He didn’t fall from high enough to cause anything worse than a broken bone.
"Yeah... yeah. Good thing someone found me, I guess…" Evan mumbled. He was actually surprised that somebody had found him, and that quick too. The person must've already been in the orchard, maybe they just so happened to be walking by when he fell . From what Evan could remember though, or at least thought he could remember, there was a big thump on the ground near him right before that boy appeared in his line of sight. Did they jump to him? Were they generally a loud person who stomped everywhere? Could they've been in the same tree as him...? Evan had to suppress a laugh at the irony of the idea. The chance of him being in the exact same tree as Evan out of what could've been a hundred trees in that orchard, and at the exact same time seemed so low that in his opinion was humorous.
"Yes, and I'm glad. Do you remember who it was? I know you lost consciousness, but..."
"Yeah! Erm- I do actually. My b-boss found me after I... fell. Uh… He drove me." Evan bit his tongue. He didn't want to make anything else up, didn't want this stupid thing to spiral out of control to a point where he wouldn't be able to have a grasp of the truth anymore. That was one of Evan's worst fears, his lies catching up to him. Yet there he was, making up lie after lie to his mother's face. She moved a bit closer and patted his leg.
"How are ya' feeling? You alright?" She said, lips forming to make a slight smile.
No. He was not alright, and he wanted to scream it at the top of his lungs until he his throat burned and his rocal cords ripped. But he wouldn’t say anything. Couldn’t say anything.
"I, uh, well-" Evan was cut off by a faint 'ding' coming from next to him. The corners of his mother's mouth dropped as she reached into the pocket of her scrubs for her phone. Evan felt slightly agitated, but he knew how she was probably feeling. More than anyone else. Evan bothered himself by simply existing , so how hypocritical was that? To be even a bit irritated by his mom finally having an excuse to ignore him. He would kill for that.
"Shit, I have to go. Elaine needed to leave early and I’m the only one available to take over her shift." Evan's mother stood up, brushing off the front of her pants and exhaling.
"No, it's fine. Don’t worry about me." Her smile returned a bit as she leaned down to kiss Evan's forehead, shaking his shoulder a bit.
"Okay, yeah, that's good. I'll be right upstairs, if you need me just let someone know okay? I can check you out of here in a few hours and maybe we can go out for burgers or something for a change? I’m kinda sick of pizza to be honest." Evan hummed a response, saying goodbye and watching as his mother exited his room, heading to her own floor to cover Elaine’s shift and leaving him by himself. Evan closed his eyes, taking in a few deep breaths because he needed to calm the hell down. He wished he could leave now, slip out the back so nobody would see him. Evan couldn’t bring himself to go to the receptionist alone. Every single time he'd have to sign in or out at therapy, or even for school he'd get horrible anxiety, scared that he'd say the wrong thing and embarrass himself. His palms would probably sweat a lot, too. Yeah, definitely. Then he'd be stuck there like an idiot, continuously wiping his palms off on his shirt, but the sweat wouldn't go away and surely somebody would notice him and that would just be a complete mess.
Evan sighed, squeezing his eyes shut as hard as he possibly could, watching stars and little patterns form behind his eyelids. He decided to sleep instead, at least for a few hours. He felt exhausted and achy and since he couldn't seem to find his phone, he had nothing better to do. It only took a few minutes until the hustle and bustle of the hospital lulled him to the calm depths of sleep.
Evan awoke a while later -he wasn't exactly sure how long- to somebody knocking on the door of his room. He wiped his eyes with a yawn, sitting up to see who it was. At the movement a small lady, probably his nurse, walked in with a smile.
"Hello!" She seemed too cheery for a woman constantly working around people who were hurt. Evan waved back awkwardly, a weird side smile on his face. He cringed. Can't even say 'hello' without looking like a weirdo.
"I’m Debbie. Evan Hansen, right?" He nodded, dropping his (good) arm. His voice didn't seem to be working right now, it felt like he had a block of his ice in his throat, blocking any words from coming out.
"Well Evan, your mother just came down here and signed you out. You're free to leave as soon as you're ready!" Why was she so happy? Was Evan that big of a problem that they were glad to finally him out already?
"T-thank you." Evan managed to force out, but it sounded like a question and his voice seemed to come out an octave higher than it was supposed to. The woman waved at Evan as she exited his room and he felt his face flush in embarrassment. My god, I can't do anything right. Not even-
Not the time for those thoughts right now.
Evan shook his head, pulling the itchy hospital blankets off of his legs and of course. He was wearing one of those stupid hospital gowns that was split at the back. Why? He didn't understand, did this place hate him for some reason? All he'd done was break his arm, what was the purpose of a gown? Evan quickly yanked the blanket back up, looking around for something else he could wear, there had to be something in here. He looked to the side, and sitting on the chair where his mother formerly sat was a perfectly folded set of clothing. A striped blue polo that Evan swore he had a hundred of because they weren't too expensive and he just- liked them...? And a pair of khakis.
Evan sat up in the bed, trying to cover himself as best as possible while he pulled on the clothes. He was glad that he hadn’t been sharing a room with somebody because that would’ve been a disaster. As he shuffled his pants up he noticed his phone nestled in the pocket. The thing was small enough to fit in there with ease, it was some weird, off-brand flip phone that may've been popular in the early 2000's but definitely wasn’t now. It could barely take pictures, and texting was a pain, but at least it functioned.
It was better than nothing.
Evan opened the phone, the screen displaying his notifications. Evan felt his heart race a bit as he saw that he had five texts. It wasn’t a lot, but that many were kind of overwhelming for Evan.
He hated texting.
Evan could never tell what tone a person was speaking- typing in, and he never knew when he should stop messaging. What about emoji's? Acronyms? Grammar and punctuation? Jared had made fun of him once because he texted him in full, grammatically correct sentences which apparently was weird.
He opened his messages, sighing as he realized that they were all from his mother. Two were from last night, asking how work was and if he'd successfully ordered food, one from even later wondering why he hadn't replied -Evan never ignored his mom's texts, he'd hate to stress her out any further than she already was- one from early this morning telling Evan that she knew he was there and she'd come visit him in a few hours, and one from about an hour and a half ago letting Evan know that she'd found his phone and that she was working late so he'd have to take the bus home.
The bus, really? Evan's mother knew he couldn't take the stupid bus. There were too many people who stared at him and judged him and everyone sat way too close together, and Evan would need to sit with his knees to his chest at the very back corner because he was terrified that he'd accidentally trip somebody, but he got even more anxious when he realized that someone could come over any second and squash him against the window, then he'd miss his stop and wouldn't be able to say anything because everything was so overwhelming and then he'd probably cry in the corner until the driver had to peel him off of the seat, then he'd need to apologize profusely because why didn't he just ask nicely before to get off at his stop-
Long story short, Evan Hansen could not, under any circumstances take the bus without having a nervous breakdown.
Evan shook his head, letting his mom know that he was heading out and he’d see her later :). He then stuffed his phone back in his pocket and checked around for anything else he might need. Nothing. He must not have had much with him, at least he couldn’t recall having anything with him after work other than his uniform which.
Evan didn’t think he’d be going back to Ellison’s in a while anyways, what with this stupid broken arm and all, so he didn’t really care about what happened to his work clothes. They had extras anyways.
With that he was out of the door, moving as quickly and quietly as he could to avoid as much social interaction as possible. He knew this place all around, since he had to come with his mother to work pretty often after his father left. Until he was nine at least . Before she met Mrs. Call-Me-Barb Kleinman she couldn’t afford a babysitter and had nobody to watch him. Since she knew Evan was a quiet, well-behaved kid and so did everyone else, they’d let him play by himself in vacant rooms around the building. He’d learned this place front to back.
The weather wasn’t terrible outside, so Evan decided to walk rather than take the bus. He probably would’ve walked even if there was a hurricane outside right now. Public transportation was completely out of the question.
Forty-five minutes later, Evan was home. On his walk, he’d learned a few things about having a cast.
One, that his arm felt like it was being squished and he swore his fingers were turning purple, so he checked over and over again, just to make sure, but they never were. They actually seemed pretty pale.
Two, this cast was way too big. He had to keep his arm against his stomach to ensure that he wouldn’t accidentally knock something over, and he was one hundred percent sure he wouldn’t be able to use a computer anytime soon. At least not without putting up a fight.
And three, the thing was freaking heavy. Right now Evan couldn’t lift his arm up on his own, so he had a sling attached that went behind his neck to hold up the cast so the bone would heal properly. It felt like his neck was about to break when he stepped inside. It was as if the stupid cast weighed a thousand pounds, and his spine was definitely going to collapse if it had to bear the weight any longer.
Evan shut the door as he walked inside of his small home, making sure to check three times that it was locked because he didn’t just want some random person walking in without permission. With his luck, Evan wouldn’t be surprised if some insane murderer broke in and killed him because he forgot to lock the door one time. But, at least that would be easier than doing the deed himself. It would’ve been definite, and his mother wouldn’t be so disappointed in him if she found out. Evan pushed the thought away.
He was tired, even more so than before, and was genuinely sick of thinking about death. It was kind of making him nauseous, and Evan had a thing with throwing up. It was always a really embarrassing experience and throughout the whole process, Evan worried that he would choke on the puke, which gave him anxiety and made everything ten times worse.
Taking a deep breath, an attempt to silence his thoughts -a weak one at that- Evan started off towards his bedroom. His laptop was there, and even though it might be a bit of a hassle to use Evan had nothing else to do. He could at least try to use his good hand to go on Netflix or do some mindless scrolling on social media until he fell asleep again because, why not? At least then he wouldn’t have to think or feel for a while, he’d done quite enough of that for today.
He passed the kitchen, seeing a note from last night from his mother with a twenty dollar bill attached. It probably said something about ordering food which was not happening anytime soon. The mere thought of food right now made Evan feel queasy. He ignored the note and continued moving to his room.
As soon as Evan stepped in he pulled his shoes off, leaving them beside his bed, and lay down on the comforter. He sighed as the weight on his neck was reduced, stretching his spine and reaching for his laptop that sat on his bedside table. When he opened it, his tabs from earlier were still open. Facebook, Twitter, and Google doc that only had the title of ‘ Dear Evan Hansen,’ . Right. The letter for Dr. Sherman. Evan pulled the computer close to him, despite not wanting to, and started typing.
“Dear Evan Hansen,
Today is going to be an amazing day, and here’s why. Because, well because today all you have to do is just, be yourself.”
Good. Great. That wasn’t a terrible start to the letter, Dr. Sherman would think it was positive, optimistic, and all of the things he wanted Evan to be that he just… Wasn’t. It seemed like a pleasing beginning to his first letter. He continued.
“...and also confident, that’s important. And interesting, like, easy to talk to, approachable. But mostly be yourself. That’s the big, like, that’s the number one thing just. Be yourself. Just, be true to yourself…”
“ ...and also confident, that’s important. And interesting, like, easy to talk to, approachable. But mostly be yourself. That’s the big, like, that’s the number one thing just be yourself. Just be, true to yourself…
Also, don’t worry about whether your hands are going to get sweaty for no reason because you can’t make it stop no matter what you do. Because, because they’re not going to get sweaty so I don’t even know why you’re bringing it up because it’s not going to happen because all you have to do is just, is just be yourself .”
Evan didn’t understand. This was such an easy task, so why couldn’t he write his stupid letter? Maybe, it was because he was lying. Today wasn’t going to be a good day. It wasn’t going to be a good week, or a good year either because, why would it be? Yesterday he had been so low, so unhappy and alone and done with this stupid life that he literally tried to kill himself. Things weren’t going to get better, there were no good days because Evan was a stupid freak who couldn’t be normal for even a second. How could nobody see that? How did his own mother just accept his lies without a single question? Even his own goddamn therapist couldn’t see how bad it was. Thought Evan was something better than these, these broken parts. Didn’t see what a mess that he was. He was so tired. So tired of pretending and lying and-
“Dear Evan Hansen,
Today isn’t going to be a good day. Neither is tomorrow, or the next day, or ever. There isn’t one thing that would make my waste of a life better. I have nobody, I am nobody, and it’s never going to change. I’ve come to the point where I have to fake every single little thing I do. Pretend I’m something other than who I really am. At least that way, I don’t have to look at it and no one gets to look at it because if everyone saw, if they knew how screwed up I really was? They’d hate me just as much as I hate myself.
I wish all of this would just go away. Forever. But it won’t. I’m stuck, trying to please people who don’t really care for me. People who wouldn’t even notice if I just suddenly… Disappeared. I can’t just keep waiting to be seen, for someone to notice that I’m here, and frankly I’m not okay. And I don’t think I ever will be.
Will I ever make a sound?
Sincerely your best and most dearest friend,
Evan felt tears stinging his eyes as he re-read the document. There was no way he was giving that to Dr. Sherman. He closed the tab, not caring if it saved or not, and wiped his eyes. Evan was about to close his laptop, when it made a sound. A notification, which was surprising because he rarely got any of those. Blinking away the tears that clouded his vision, Evan clicked the tab with the ‘(1)’ beside it.
Facebook? What the hell?
Glancing at the screen, Evan saw that he had one message. He clicked on it curiously and- whoa. It was from…
Threw a printer at Mrs. G in grade two because he couldn’t be line leader Connor Murphy?
This had to be some sick joke.
Evan clicked on the message cautiously, like Connor would jump out at him or something if he didn’t, and he felt his breath catch. His heart stopped.
What the fuck.
“hey, i kinda saw you in the hospital last night. you seemed… hurt?"
"or, fucking, duh you were hurt because you were at the hospital.”
“jesus christ, this is super fucking weird but, uh… you alright?”
Breathing? That was a funny joke.
How did Connor Murphy of all people know he was at the hospital? Why did he want to know if Evan was alright? Evan couldn’t calm down, couldn’t stop thinking. How was he supposed to breathe again? He was definitely having an anxiety attack, and a bad one. With shaky hands, shaky everything, Evan shut his computer and reached over to the chest on the table beside his bed. He opened it, glad that there wasn’t a latch or a lock or something on it because Evan wouldn’t've been able to open that right now. Inside was a half full bottle of Xanax. Evan struggled with the cap because how did these stupid caps work again? After a few tries, Evan got it open and shook a pill into the palm of his hand, dry swallowing it and putting his head in between his knees, shutting his eyes tightly. He just wanted this to stop. There were tears streaming down his face and snot coming out of his nose, but he didn’t care, he just tried to breathe. Breathe. Breathebreathebreathe.
Eventually, Evan’s breathing and heart rate slowed down, and the exhaustion he usually got after a panic attack hit him. He lay down, pulling his comforter over himself and practically curling into a ball. He wiped his face off, embarrassed at how bad he’d been crying. In what felt like only a few seconds, Evan was asleep. The dark comforted him.
Evan didn’t respond to Connor’s message in the morning. He stressed over what he should say for over an hour but just decided to delete it. It must’ve been a joke. Connor didn’t care about him. Evan was pretty sure Connor didn’t care about anyone, from how people talked about him. He’d heard Connor’s own sister , Zoe Murphy call him a monster. Connor wasn’t the kind of guy he wanted to be around. He sort of… Scared of him. But in his messages he seemed at least semi-nice. It didn’t sound like he wanted to chuck a printer at Evan. But still. He didn’t know the guy, and would rather be safe then sorry.
A week later, Evan thought of Connor’s messages again. Should he just, say something? Get it over with? Then at least Connor wouldn’t think he was an asshole for not replying. Evan tried, he really did, to think of something to say to Connor, but he couldn’t. He didn’t know why but whenever he looked at the screen his mind went blank. What if he said something wrong? From how Jared talked about him, Connor seemed like he wound hunt Evan down and kill him with his bare hands. He was already stressed as hell with school coming up in a few days and didn’t want to have Connor Murphy pissed off at him along with that. He’d have a nervous breakdown, have to go to the hospital like last year when he passed out during a speech in English. Jared still wouldn’t let him live that one down. Once again, Evan decided to ignore it. He’d rather say nothing than something that would make the other boy mad.
The first day of school, as Evan stood beside Jared in the hallway, face flushed because he decided to greet Evan with a casual;
“Is it weird to be the first person in history to break their arm from jerking off too much? Or do you consider that an honour?”
Then, when Evan was too flustered to formulate a proper sentence, too embarrassed because somebody had to have heard that and now everybody was going to think he was some creep, Jared added;
“I’m painting the picture. You're in your bedroom, you’ve got Zoe Murphy’s Instagram up on your weird off-brand cell phone…”
Jared was laughing, and Evan felt like his face was on fire. It had to be. As Jared made some more jokes about Evan’s misfortunate life, Evan noticed the front doors of the school fly open, smashing into the walls. He automatically spun around. He knew that face, that person. It was Connor Murphy.
Evan was going to die.
He still hadn’t replied to that stupid Facebook message, and Connor was probably coming over to kick his ass.
“Hey, Connor! Love the new hair length, very school shooter chic. ” Oh. My. God. Great, now Evan had to deal with Jared and his asshole comments to Connor and they’d both be killed and-
Evan’s body had turned back around somehow, and he was making direct eye contact with Connor.
His eyes were bloodshot.
Evan had heard other kids in the school calling Connor a stoner and a pothead , but he never knew if they were telling the truth, and it didn’t really matter to him.
He’d also heard people in Zoe’s circle -not at all because he was a weirdo with a massive crush who liked to hang around the music room to get a glimpse of her and see that smile when she practiced and the way that her tongue stuck out a little bit when she was concentrating and her voice that was absolutely perfect in every way possible- say that Connor was aggressive when he was high.
He hoped that wasn’t true.
Evan shook his head, watching as Jared walked away from him.
He was alone.
He was dead.
Evan fumbled a little bit with the hem of his shirt, standing awkwardly as the hallway cleared. The bell must’ve rang when he was zoned out. Connor was standing a few feet away from him, just looking at him. Evan didn’t know what to do, he felt like he was either about to laugh or cry. He looked at the floor, playing with the strap of his backpack, and let out a short, breathy laugh. Connor stepped forward.
“What the fuck are you laughing at?” Evan’s head jolted up, staring Connor in the eye. Evan had made the wrong decision, and Connor looked angry. He was also definitely high.
“Stop fucking laughing at me!” He moved in closer, and Evan knew he should’ve just said something to Connor two weeks ago when he was being nice and asking if Evan was okay. Instead, he chose the dick move and ignored him completely. He was screwed.
“N-No I’m not-”
“You think I’m the freak?” Evan couldn’t move, his legs weren’t working.
“No I-I don-” Closer.
“I’m not the freak!” Closer.
“But I-I wasn’t laugh-” Closerclosercloser.
“ You’re the fucking freak!” Connor was right in front of him, probably about to break Evan’s other arm, when he stopped. He dropped his hands and for a moment, the crease between his eyebrows disappeared. Something flashed in his eyes. Something Evan knew all too well.
Connor must’ve actually felt bad… maybe…? Or Evan was just an idiot and Connor did this before he murdered all of his victims.
But he also saw something else.
“C-Connor, I’m r-really sorry about my fr… er- family friend Jared I d-dunno what he said but he’s a dick sometimes and I wasn’t laughing at you I’m really sorry just pleasedon’tkillmeplease?! ” Evan said it all too quickly, stumbling over words, voice cracking majorly - ...but HE’S a dick someTIMES… - but somehow he managed to force out the words. Connor looked Evan down, stopping at his cast for a moment. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself, shaking his head and looking back up at Evan’s face.
“Whatever.” Connor shoved Evan away, but not to the point of him falling, or even really being hurt. It was more of an aggitated nudge. Evan sighed. So much so that he felt a little bit dizzy. He had no idea what had just happened, but was kind of glad he didn’t get slaughtered. He was also surprised since Connor had the perfect chance to punch him in the face, or shove him to the ground, but he just left him. Anyone else would’ve been glad to beat up Evan Hansen.
But he didn’t.
the title of this chapter is from a twenty one pilots song, Migraine, if some of y’all’s didn’t catch that
here's my twitter and tumblr if anyone has any suggestions or just needs to talk. my dm's are always open;
Chapter 4: somebody catch my breath
GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF A SUICIDE ATTEMPT
sorry guys, leave for five months and I'm back at it with the angst. hope y'all enjoy!!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Connor didn’t know what the hell he was doing.
He was sitting on his bed with his laptop, music playing from one tab and Facebook on the other. It had been a day since he slept in the orchard, and apparently this weekend his dad was out of town for some business trip, so he hadn’t found out yet and grounded him. And when he came home earlier that afternoon his mother was just sitting at the kitchen table, head in her hands. When the door creaked open she lifted it and shot him a quick, “Where were you last night?” to which he replied “Out.” and walked up to his room without another word. And she apparently had nothing to say either.
Well, here he was now, a few hours later, cruiser lingering on the search bar on Facebook. He knew what he was thinking of was dumb, but… Connor just kind of wanted to see that Hansen person who he’d kind of like... saved yesterday. Sort of. Which was probably creepy or whatever. But the kid did look kind of familiar he’d realized once he was sobered up, and he couldn’t stop thinking about him, thinking about what the fuck had happened.
With a short breath - more like a sigh - Connor typed in the name.
About a million profiles showed up with either the same or similar names, and Connor scrolled through until he saw one profile which had the same high school he went to underneath, and also the same town. Connor doubted there were a bunch of Evan Hansen’s prancing around in the small ass place, so he clicked. And the profile picture was…
The cover photo was also a bunch of trees. Not even like, artsy pictures of artsy trees. Just regular ones of pine trees and oak trees and all of the trees that surrounded the town.
Seems like the kid had a thing for trees.
As Connor looked through the profile - admittedly confused - he came across a handful of pictures of trees behind the Ellison Park sign. He recognized the sign from when he was a kid, when he and Zoe had had this weird nature phase where they caught bugs and kept a dumb scrapbook with pictures of birds and bugs and plants from anywhere they could find.
He bit his lip.
And hovered his mouse over the message button.
Why was he doing this, really? For some sort of… gratification? For a thank you? Because he really didn’t give a shit about those. He knew what the guy would think when he got the message anyways, ‘wow, scary stoner kid Connor Murphy messaged me? Big whoop,’ He wouldn’t react any differently if he knew Connor had helped him either because he was… well. Connor. He’d probably laugh about it with his friends. Maybe even send a message back for shits and giggles. But what Connor really wanted to know was…
The story he’d known was that Evan fell from the tree because… that’s what he saw. Evan just fall to the ground. But there were some things that kind of didn’t add up… like the fact that no branches had rustled before he was on the ground, hell, the tree barely moved. And also that Evan hadn’t made a sound when he fell. It was a silent fall. And before he’d passed out he didn’t even call for help or anything. In the middle of an abandoned orchard, Connor doubted he was just waiting for someone to help.
Or maybe he didn’t want the help?
Maybe he’d… done it on purpose?
But then again, Connor’s brain was a fucking mess. Of course he’d assume the worst of the situation. This was just a regular kid, he was probably happy with like, good friends and a girlfriend and stuff. Not like Connor. He didn’t have any cuts on his arms. He didn’t have bags under his eyes from days of not being able to sleep, he didn’t starve himself as punishment for existing. He looked healthy. He looked fine.
Connor shook his head and typed out a quick message to Evan and shut his computer before he could somehow find a way to fuck it up any worse. It was obviously something dumb, but… it was something at least. And at least he had it sent before his father’s voice boomed through the hallway.
"Zoe, c'mon, you can't even just drop me off here?" Connor asked, both his eyes and voice pleading. Zoe scoffed, tightening her grip on the steering wheel. It was the first day of school and their parents had Zoe drive Connor because they weren't able to trust him to get there on his own - and they were correct. He had spent weeks, months begging his mother not to make him go until the second day, and had been so close to finally getting what he wanted when Larry stepped in, insisting he go. His mother tried to argue, and then Zoe let herself in as well, taking their father's side of course. Then Connor started yelling too, which resulted in him being grounded and not getting his way.
Jesus, he sounded like a child.
'Not getting his way.'
"The only place I'm dropping you off at is school. I really don't want to get in shit because of you today." Zoe said, eyes still on the road, knuckles white. She was obviously irritated at him. She didn't want to drive him, but their mother had some hot yoga thing and there was no way in hell Larry was driving him.
Why would his own father want to drive him? Be stuck in a car alone with the world's biggest disappointment for fifteen minutes? Not happening.
"Okay, fine. Twenty bucks. Final offer."
"No! Mom and Dad would kill me."
"Who says you need to tell them?"
"Connor, I'm running on three hours of sleep and didn't have a chance to get coffee because of you, and-"
"Okay, fine. Jesus, I'll stop." Zoe sighed and shook her head slightly, keeping her eyes trained to the road. She stayed quiet for the rest of the ride, giving Connor the perfect leeway to stress about how the day was going to go. He had read this book a few years ago with this guy who had two rules he abided by to avoid screwing shit up. 1) don't care too much, and 2) shut up.
If Connor managed to follow those rules, maybe the day might be semi-tolerable. Or, like usual he'd probably completely forget about his plans and as soon as the usual ridicule got to him, completely fuck everything up. Connor took a deep breath, pushing away the anxiousness in the pit of his stomach. He wasn't in the mood right now.
As Zoe pulled into the student parking lot, Connor slumped lower into his seat. He figured that maybe, if he tried hard enough he might be able to blend into the seat, stay in the car until his sister was out of sight. Then he could leave and go somewhere, anywhere else but this hellhole.
Or not, because she stopped right before shutting the door, rolling her eyes at Connor.
He'd been spotted.
"Oh come on!" He ignored her, still trying to become the seat. Zoe cursed under her breath, pulling the straps of her backpack over her shoulders and shutting the door. He noticed her walking around the car, and thought he was safe until she was moving to his side. Before Connor had the chance to lock the door on her she was yanking it open. Connor crossed his arms because he was literally five and didn’t move out of his seat. Zoe sighed, and then Connor was pushing himself as far away from her as he could because she was about to touch him which she knew he hated. She flinched back and for a second looked apologetic, but the emotion was quickly replaced with a look of annoyance. Impatience.
"Get out of my car. Please." Connor looked away from her and shook his head.
"I'd rather not, but I appreciate the offer. I might consider it."
"Connor!" Zoe was getting louder, and a few people were looking at the pair now, which seemed to bother her a bit. She was looking at him, eyes practically begging him to cooperate, but he didn't give a shit. He knew the moment he stepped out that people would stare daggers at him anyways, so why delay the inevitable? Zoe stomped her foot on the ground, rolling her eyes and grabbing her phone from her pocket.
"I'm calling mom an-"
"Jesus Christ, I'm getting out." Zoe smiled, seeming proud that she overcame the impossible task of getting Connor out of the fucking car. He wasn’t even afraid of her stupid threat, just wasn’t in the mood. If she did call their parents he’d get in shit, and he was already grounded because of the orchard thing a couple weeks ago...
And for being caught smoking in his room a few days ago, but that reason was just pretty stupid. He was only smoking a cigarette anyways.
He exited the vehicle, already wearing his shoulder bag that people made fun of because it had buttons on the front. Some douchebag last year asked if he got them from Hot Topic, which apparently was so fucking hilarious that the entire hallway of people laughed. Connor didn’t remember much after that though, only that he’d been suspended for a week and fucked up his hand somehow. He found out later that he’d beat the kid up and punched a locker so hard that it left a dent.
As Connor - barely - moved toward the doors, Zoe migrated to her own friends. He was pretty sure he heard her say something along the lines of "My brother is such a psychopath." which caused the group to break into a fit of giggles. Connor didn't bother to look their way and tried to tune out the sound of their chatter. Of everything around him. Don't care too much.
When the bell rang, about five minutes after they'd pulled into the school, Connor pretended to ignore the fact that he was supposed to be heading inside and focused on the chipping black polish on his nails. He didn't mind when they were that way, but loved to see the look on Larry's face whenever he repainted them. Connor lifted his head a few minutes later, and there was barely anybody in the parking lot anymore. Only about a handful of students were outside, and heading to the door. He was in the clear. He could ditch and maybe he could hang out by the bleachers where he could smoke a joint in peace before even considering going to class. He'd love that clouded feeling right now. Something to distract him from everything else.
"Mr. Murphy! It's wonderful to see you!" Fuck. There was a teacher peeking out of the front doors, a smile plastered on her face. Connor hated her. Mrs. Hemming. Once she'd caught Connor smoking behind the school and told him that taking up a hobby would keep him from wanting to get stoned. As fucking if. Connor nodded at Mrs. Hemming, not at all wanting to speak to the woman, and waited until she was back inside to make his way into the school. He couldn't leave now with her watching.
"Fucking hell." He muttered before swinging the doors open to let himself in. They slammed against the walls, making the shrinking group of people quiet down for a moment. Then, everyone was whispering. And laughing.
Of course he was making a goddamn scene on the first day of school. Even if he hadn’t fucking tried to.
Connor kept his head down as he walked, digging his nails into the palm of his hand and concentrating on the pain that it caused. It was nothing compared to pain he’d inflicted in the past but... at least it diverted his attention from the ridicule for now. As the shoes around him cleared, Connor moved quicker, heading toward his locker. When he lifted his head, he immediately regretted it as he caught eye contact with some kid from across the hall. The kid was staring at him, not seeming to notice that he was doing so. Until Connor shook his head slightly, which made the kid's eyes widen before he spun around, probably talking to his friend standing with him about how weird Connor Murphy was. After a second, Connor heard a faux-shocked gasp from the pair, and the person who Connor hadn't made eye contact with turned around to face him.
Jared. Fucking. Kleinman.
"Hey, Connor! Love the new hair length, very school shooter chic." Connor was glad not many people were left in the hallway. He didn't need the entire school laughing at Jared Kleinman's shitty jokes right now. He looked Jared in the eye, ignoring the comment. Shut up. Don't care too much.
"I was just kidding… It was a joke?" Fuck it. The rules were fucking stupid anyways, why had he even tried to follow a dumb book he’d read in like, ninth grade anyways? It was stupid. An idiotic decision. Like any that he’d ever made.
"Yeah, no it was funny. I'm laughing, can't you tell?" Connor said, face completely emotionless and tone laced with sarcasm. Jared was looking around now, still smiling slightly. But it was fading.
"Am I not laughing hard enough for you?" Connor took a few steps forward. He could hear the ringing in his ears. Just barely. Connor glanced from him to his friend. He was looking at both of them, and seemed scared. Anxious, too.
"You're such a freak." Jared said, dropping his hands to his side and walking past Connor before he could do or say anything else. Connor looked back at him, glaring, and returned his gaze to Jared's friend. He looked from the left to the right, then straight at Connor. His gaze then dropped, and he laughed. He laughed. Connor had seen this kid with Kleinman before, and people would laugh at them all the time. Neither of the two had the fucking right to patronise Connor. Their social position was barely different than his. The only difference being that Connor had no friends at all.
"What the fuck are you laughing at?" The kid looked up, inhaling sharply. His hands reached for the hem of his shirt. He mumbled something, but trailed off. The ringing grew louder.
"Stop fucking laughing at me!" The ringing was so loud in his ears now, he couldn't even make out what he or the other kid was saying. Then he was moving up closer, closing the space between the two. Connor was backing the kid into the wall, about to shove him down, when suddenly the ringing stopped all together. The boy was holding his arms out in front of him, his eyes closed tightly. Connor noticed, then, he had a cast on his arm. For a second, his heart felt like it stopped. It can't be. He looked closer, noticing his short, brushed back blonde hair, his overall appearance, and shit. This was the tree kid. The fucking kid who fell out of the tree who Connor had to bring to the hospital. This was Evan Hansen. Evan, who he'd texted a few weeks ago like a fucking idiot, and got no response.
Right in front of him.
There it was again, the ringing in his ears.
He wanted to punch him, scream at him, make him feel like complete shit because that’s what he’d done to Connor and it a twisted, fucked up way he knew it would make him feel better. But then, only for a second Evan opened his eyes, and their gazes met again, but something was different. Before the boy squeezed his eyes shut again, he caught the fear in his entire face. But also, acceptance, like he knew what was coming. Like he deserved it. Like it didn’t matter that Connor was pushing him around and being a complete dick, throwing insults at him even though he did nothing.
He did nothing.
Evan didn’t fucking laugh at him.
"Whatever." Connor muttered, pushing past the boy and toward the other set of doors at the end of the hallway. He didn't dare glance back, couldn’t bear to see Evan’s reaction. His chest hurt. A lot. And it wasn’t going away.
Connor didn't return until after lunch - and a few blunts. He figured he might be able to properly function with his thoughts foggy by the marijuana. After he left, all he could think about was Evan. Connor knew he was obviously being too over sensitive, being so angry at the fact that the other boy hadn't replied. But he didn't have to. Yeah, it was kind of a dick thing to do, but he didn't have to reply at all. Who would? This was Connor Murphy they were talking about here. The poor kid was probably just scared.
And then there was the fact that Connor almost beat the kid up for not laughing. He kept thinking back to the moment, trying to remember Evan’s laughing to justify his response, but he couldn’t. What he could remember was Evan standing there, left alone with Connor in the hallway after Kleinman’s stupid fucking joke about his hair of all things. He looked anxious. Which made sense. Evan was probably terrified to be by himself with a school recognized psychopath.
Maybe he should… Apologize? Or something? But when did Connor ever apologize?
Fuck. He didn't know what he should do.
After awkwardly standing by the door for a few minutes, Connor decided to go to the computer lab. He could stop at his locker and grab a book or something first, too. The lab was the quietest place in the school usually, as most classrooms already had their own laptops and printers, so not many people had any use for the too-old monitor computers that didn't even run on Windows 7. He also had to be at school for at least the last period of the day. Zoe was driving him home too and if Connor didn't show he'd be in shit. Hell, they'd probably threaten to send him to military school like they had when he was in sophomore year. Never happened, but he'd rather not increase the chances.
Connor slipped into the school, taking out a book from the top of a stack he'd been accumulating over the years - Connor had the same locker every year, since he was a freshman. Nobody else took it, either because it was located at the back of the school, they knew it was his and his only, or maybe because of the huge unsightly dent right in the middle of the door from when he'd been pissed and punched it as hard as possible. Connor was pretty sure that had broken his hand but.
He snuck past his class that period and to the lab, sitting at a desk in the corner. Somehow, Connor hadn't triggered the motion lights when he entered, so he had to read from a dim ray or light that came from a window above him. It was better anyways, he thought. He had a lesser chance of being caught if nobody could see him.
A little while after the bell for last period rang, Connor heard the door to the lab open, and the lights flickered on. Shit. Somebody was in there. Connor kept his eyes glued to his book, not really paying much attention to the words, and only on not being seen. Whoever had walked in was at a computer now, and Connor assumed he hadn't been spotted. He heard the chiming 'logged on' noise and kept his eyes trained down, counting the dark flecks against the off-white paper of his book. He heard typing for a few minutes - whoever was typing was also sniffling and sighing the entire time - and then the printer went off. The printer, that was sitting on a table right fucking beside him. Connor had no chance of hiding anymore, and with slight hesitation grabbed the freshly printed papers beside him. His intent was to kindly hand it off to it's proper owner and kindly ask them to fucking leave, but Connor froze as he turned around. The other person in the lab was Evan Hansen, the person Connor almost fucking scared to death this morning. Wasn't that just fucking peachy.
Evan was still at his seat, staring at the computer screen. Apparently he still hadn't noticed Connor, who's chair had even scraped on the floor a bit when he got up to get the paper from the printer. Connor stood back a little, waiting until the boy noticed him, but not trying to seem like a creep at the same time. He didn't know if he should like, say something? Could he even say anything without scaring the shit out of the poor kid or something? Evan stood up from his chair, wiping his face off with the side of his cast. Was he… crying? Jesus, Connor hoped not. He didn't know how to deal with that shit. The boy took a breath, causing his shoulders to rise and fall, and then he turned around. For a second, he must not have noticed Connor, because he walked past him, toward the door and almost leaving his paper behind. Connor stepped forward, causing Evan to jerk back and look at the floor, his hands going straight to the hem of his shirt and his eyes looking away from Connor's own. He looked nervous.
"Um, hey. Just kinda wanted to say… Sorry? For the thing in the hallway…" Wow. Amazing with words. Connor tried not to shake his head or roll his eyes at the fucking terrible attempt at an apology. He didn't usually apologize, probably hadn't since he was a kid. He wasn't exactly used to it. Of course, that wasn't a fucking excuse for the half assed apology. Evan looked up for a second, but darted his eyes away as soon as Connor caught his gaze.
"I- uh, it's not… I shouldn't've, it was rude to laugh." When Connor didn’t say anything, Evan continued. “Just. Erm, I wasn’t really… listening? To Jared, that is, I-I wasn’t. I didn’t. Shouldn’t have- have laughed because that was kind of a- a jerk move- uhm. Sorry. I- uh, just. Sorry…” He trailed off. Connor didn’t respond, didn’t exactly know how to. He was the one who was such an asshole, if anything Evan was just laughing among the crowd. Like anyone else would have. None of them apologized, ever. So maybe. Did Evan feel bad for him?
That was new.
“So um, what happened to your arm?” Connor already knew, obviously, but he asked anyways. An attempt to drop the previous subject and awkward apologies. Evan looked surprised a bit, which made sense. Why would Connor, of all people care about his broken arm? Evan must’ve just fucking laughed when he’d gotten Connor’s message a couple weeks ago. Why Connor had sent it? He didn’t really know. He just felt kind of. Compelled to, since he’d been somewhat involved in the situation. Even if Evan didn’t know that.
“Oh I. Um. Fell out of a tree, actually…”
“Fell out of a tree.” Connor pretended to be nonchalant about it, like oh yeah, I had no idea. What else would he say? ‘Oh, I know. I kinda saw you and called the ambulance and waited like a fucking weirdo afterwards because I wanted to see if you were alright? Y’know, even though I don’t actually, like, know you or anything.’
“Yeah…” Evan mumbled, mostly to himself. He looked down at his shoes.
“Well that is just the saddest fucking thing I’ve ever heard, oh my god.” Connor said awkwardly, trying to lighten the mood a bit. Since when the fuck did he do that? Evan laughed uncomfortably.
“So. Nobody’s, uh, signed your cast.” Connor was a little taken aback as the words left his mouth. Why wasn’t he taking his normal don’t-give-a-shit-about-anything route? The fuck happened to not caring too much and shutting up? Well. He didn’t exactly know. Like when he’d texted Evan, he just.
Maybe he did care? And after seeing his eyes, his absolutely defeated expression, maybe. Maybe they were. Alike? At least in some ways.
“Oh, I know.” Evan said knowingly, fingers fumbling with his shirt. He seemed embarrassed. But also, like he knew damn well nobody had signed it, and wasn’t expecting them to in the first place. Or maybe it was all in Connor’s head. He was just making it all up to make himself feel better. The look, the emotion…
“Well, I’ll sign it.” But he tried anyways. What was Connor losing? His friend count was practically in the negatives. Maybe, he was right. And maybe he could use a person who he could possibly relate to. Someone who was just as defeated as him.
“You don’t have to do that…”
“Do you have a Sharpie?” Connor ignored the boy’s protests and asked anyways. The corners of Evan’s mouth lifted for a moment, and he reached into the pocket of his khakis and pulled out a black Sharpie, handing it to Connor somewhat hesitantly. Evan barely lifted his arm, so Connor did it himself, grabbing by the wrist area and raising it to a level he’d be able to write on.
“Ow,” Evan winced. Shit. The kid had a fucking broken arm, obviously he needed to more careful. Connor didn’t say anything as he scribbled his name across the entire cast in big, messy letters. Yeah, it was kind of an asshole move, Connor knew, but at least people would be able to see that the cast wasn’t blank. Evan looked at the name and kind of. Smiled.
“Oh, um, thanks.” In any other circumstance, Connor would’ve automatically knew he was lying, just trying to get Connor out of his face already, but the slight smile on his lips hadn’t left. Connor felt the corners of his own mouth turning upwards. Barely, but he still felt it.
“Yeah. Well now we can both, pretend we have friends.” They stood in silence for a second, awkward fucking silence because apparently nobody knew what to say, really. At least, Connor knew he didn’t. The whole ‘being more nice’ ordeal was kind of strange to him.
“G-good point…” Evan mumbled, turning to walk away because there really wasn’t anything left to be said. He walked towards the door, not even looking towards the printer even though only a few minutes ago he had printed a couple sheets of paper. Ones that were now being held under Connor’s arm.
“Are these yours?” Connor rushed, before Evan was out the door. He turned around, looking at Connor somewhat expectantly.
“I found them on the printer,” Connor looked at the first page, eyes glancing at the first sentence. “‘Dear Evan Hansen’, that’s your name, right?” Evan’s eyes widened, and he was rushing towards Connor, who looked over the page, eyes catching on one word. ‘Zoe’. He read the phrase, over and over, seeming to blur out everything around it. It was like there was a big red circle around the sentence, a voice yelling ‘that’s your sister he’s talking about!’
“Because there’s Zoe?” Evan was practically on him now, babbling excuses and trying to rip the papers from Connor’s grasp. Connor lifted them above his head, where Evan couldn’t quite reach because Connor had a few inches on the boy. His hand was clenched around them, probably wrinkling the paper, but Connor didn’t give a shit. How had he even thought, for a millisecond that someone was like him? That somebody cared. He should’ve known better. Should’ve fucking known better. Always getting his hopes up, only for them to be shattered. What the hell was wrong with him?
Connor was yelling now, he knew because of the feeling in his throat, the rough, burning sensation. He didn’t know what was coming out of his mouth anymore, everything being silenced by the ringing that had returned to his skull. It was louder now than Connor had ever remembered.
He was so stupid, so fucking stupid.
Next thing he knew his legs were carrying him away and his mouth was shut. Connor felt detached from his own body, everything just running on autopilot.
Why had he even tried? All Evan wanted to do was get a laugh, a story to tell fucking Kleinman so they could just laugh together at him because he was Connor Murphy! Because he was just insane and obviously a fucking moron if he thought anyone would be his friend.
Connor was in his car, speeding away from the school. He didn’t exactly know where he was going, but he’d figure it out. The ringing still echoed in his head but things were starting to become a little clearer, like he wasn’t fucking blinded by the anger he felt.
Connor was an idiot. An absolute fucking idiot.
A few minutes later, Connor pulled into the driveway of his house and was glad to see no other cars parked there. He stepped out, slamming the car door shut because he honestly didn’t give a single fuck, and retrieved the house key from under the welcome mat. It was a fucking dumb place to hide it, Connor had always thought, but he was glad for it now. And anyways, who cared what Connor thought in the first place? If he was stupid enough to think that someone might actually tolerate him, then obviously he must be stupid about a lot of other things.
When Connor was inside he trudged up the stairs to his room and kicked the door closed.
Fuck, why had he been so stupid?
Connor’s stomach ached. Badly. Both nausea and anxiety hitting him at the same time. He took a breath, closing his eyes and waiting for it to fizzle out because it always fizzled out it always-
It wasn’t going away. Fuck.
He did the only thing he could think of at the moment through his blurred mind, grabbing a box from under his bed that held a few pre-rolled joints. With shaky hands, he got his lighter, taking longer than usual to light the fucking blunt. It wasn’t that hard, just hold the flame against it…
After a few tries, he got it lit, immediately bringing it to his lips and taking a long drag, holding it in his lungs until the burning was unbearable. When he exhaled, it felt like his feelings were suddenly multiplied by a thousand, the opposite of the usual effect the drug had on him. It wasn’t working. It wasn’t working.
He needed something harder. Something like those pills he’d swiped from the medicine cabinet a year ago. Something that would just make it all go away goddammit-
But he didn’t have that anymore. His stupid parents had gotten rid of all drugs in the house after the incident where he passed out in the middle of the park, high on oxy. Now they even kept the Nyquil locked up somewhere Connor couldn’t find, and it was damn irritating.
They obviously didn’t give a shit about him- hell, his mom was practically scared of him at that point. So what was a little high?
He groaned, voice coming out shakier than expected. God, he sounded terrible. He felt terrible. Everything was so terrible and he couldn’t stop it this time. All of his bottled up emotions seemed to be hitting him at once, because of a stupid confrontation with Evan Hansen.
He balled up a fist in his pocket, feeling the stupid note that had set this entire thing off in the first place and choking out a dry laugh. He supposed he should actually read it or some shit, seeing as it was going to be his demise, anyways. He wanted to see what Evan had written, so maybe he could deck him the next time he saw him at school. He assumed he was pretty close to an expulsion at that point, maybe beating the living shit out of somebody would finally set the teachers off. He thought that maybe getting expelled would probably finally make Larry kick him out of the house already. Then he could just smoke his shit in peace.
He snubbed out the joint, throwing it down onto floor. It wasn’t helping him, so what was the goddamn point in finishing the thing? He felt his breath growing quicker as he sat there, fingers thrumming on his knees, which he’d pulled to his chest.
Jesus fucking Christ, he was going to have a panic attack. Which he really wasn't in the mood for.
He curled his fingers around the scrunched up ball of paper, squeezing it tightly in his fist. This stupid note… this stupid kid somehow brought him to the point of breaking down. And Connor hadn't even had a panic attack since sixth grade. How in the hell had one little thing about his sister set him off?
Maybe because he cared so fucking much about her. He just wanted to be her brother, to protect her, because she was everything to him. But, he'd fucked their relationship up a long time ago. She hated him, she didn't want him around. Because he couldn't not be an asshole for five minutes.
“I'm going to fucking kill you!” Connor banged on the door, his vision hazy and a squeezing in his chest. “Open the goddamn door, you fucking bitch!” He couldn't even hear his own voice at that point, or the cries of his sister, screaming for their parents.
He'd made his own sister afraid of him. The one person who's ever cared for him. And now he had nothing. Nothing at all.
Connor took a deep breath, chewing the inside of his cheek as he squeezed his hand tighter. What else had Hansen put in it to get a quick laugh? Probably something stupid about how much of a bitch he was, or most definitely calling him a stalker for the Facebook message. Jesus Christ, what had be gotten into?
Fuck it- He thought, pulling his hand away, along with the note. Just read the fucking thing. Get it over and done with. Why the hell not?
Connor unfolded the paper… note- thing, whatever it was that Evan had written.
There were two papers, like how he'd noticed before. One half full of the black inked letters, and the other practically bordering on a second page. He tried to ignore his shaky hands as he read through the first one, the words seemingly floating in front of his eyes. As he went on, his stomach dropped, chest tightening further.
Connor really was an idiot.
He was a selfish, messed up, idiot.
Evan’s letter wasn't addressing him. Not in the slightest. And the comment about Zoe wasn't messed up or pervy… he just wanted to talk to her. Hell, the worst thing was probably that he had a stupid little crush on her. And those words… fuck, he knew those words. So well. The kid felt alone… felt bad.
Jesus fuck, he probably just added on to it. With his… stupidity. Connor was such a stupid person. A complete idiot. When it came to anything he did. Evan Hansen seemed to have at least some sort of issues… and he made it worse.
What a fucking asshole he was.
Connor’s breathing was rough, his fingers digging into the papers so roughly it tore holes. This wasn't helping. This wasn't helping. He was getting worse… his mind was slipping and-
Fuck, were those tears running down his cheeks?
“How goddamn pathetic, Cyn. Look at him! He's thirteen years old, he shouldn't be crying over a ‘bad day’. Everyone has bad days, Connor. Get over it.” The words rang through his ears, causing his head to ache. Of course Larry had made it into his thoughts right now. Perfect time to make him feel like shit.
He hadn't been to the point of tears in four years… he was pathetic. A pathetic little bitch. God, at least nobody was-
“Connor?” The voice rang through the house, coming from downstairs. He could hear the door swing shut, his mother's disappointed voice louder than usual.
“Connor. Are you here? I got a call from your school.” He heard steps coming up the stairs, and recoiled into his spot on the ground, taking deep breaths. There was a knock on the door, causing him to snap, voice down to the usual roughness, the only emotion showing being anger.
“Get away from the fucking door,” He spoke loud enough for her to hear, noticing the knocking ceasing. He wasn't dealing with this shit right now… no goddamn way that was happening.
“Connor,” He heard, the voice soft. Though he could hear the fear laced through it, causing him to scoff.
What was he going to do, hurt his mom?
He wasn't that big of a monster. Or… was he? Probably. He'd hurt Zoe before, and he'd caused his mom enough stress to last a lifetime.
“Jesus Christ, just leave me alone! Goddammit-” His voice came out harder than usual. Huh, he even sounded like a monster. A psychopath. Enough apparently, that his mom padded away from his room, completely silent.
Hm, she didn't even try this time. To get mad, or sad… she just. It was like she didn't care at all. Well, obviously she didn't, but it seemed like… like more than usual. Somehow. He was breaking down, and she didn't even bat an eyelash. Just went downstairs, where Connor could hear the TV being flicked on.
Well… fuck her. Fuck everyone. Jesus, fuck himself. Nobody gave a shit, and he didn't want them to. He just wanted… he wanted to go away. Away-away. Moreso than usual. His stomach ached, his thrust burned, and his wrists were itching. Badly. Like… like the television static in his brain was going through his veins, and he was choking- choking, couldn't breathe-
Connor shut his eyes tight, wheezing. It felt like he'd taken a drag of a cigarette for the first time, just retching and coughing and so much hurting Jesus fuck-
When he finally chose to open them, he was graced with the sight of good-old Evan Hansen’s notes to himself. The second one- which he hadn't read- was was practically ripped at every edge, his fingers tearing through the pages and smearing the ink slightly.
It was a mess. But… what was the sense in not reading it? What did he have to lose… he was definitely at the bottom now, he doubted anything worse could come.
Well, Connor was wrong about a lot of things.
Shit… it seemed as if this boy summed up all of his feelings on a single sheet of paper. He… he wanted to disappear. To just… fizzle out and fade away. And fuck, did that seem like a good thing to do right now.
It was goddamn appealing. Very, very appealing. That… the words on that page- smudged or not- were so… so true. For him. And the thought of what he did to Evan?
He was more than an asshole. More than a prick… more than any of those shitty names. He almost pushed the kid in the hallway… probably scared the living shit out of him because he was that guy. He just… nobody deserved that. But he couldn't stop. And he just kept messing up and messing up-
He couldn't do it anymore. It was too much. Too much toomuchtoomuch fuck-
His mind wouldn't stop going in circles, from Evan, to Zoe, to his parents, to every person he'd hurt. And then to the venomous words he'd heart directed toward him, the ones he'd thrown at people… god. He was-
He was a monster. Who hurt innocent people with his mere existence. Look what he was doing to his family? Well, he wouldn't even necessarily call them his family, seeing as how they all despised each other-
No, it was Connor they despised. Connor was too far gone… to fucked up. If he stayed around he'd just keep hurting- so many people, shit-
Connor stood up, his lanky legs wobbling underneath himself. God, he felt like he was going to throw up… or pass out. Or both. He dug his nails into his arms to try and steady himself.
It worked for the briefest moment, his mind clearing enough to look around his room for something. He'd attempted before by slitting his wrists, which failed miserably. He almost cracked up at the memory. He was fifteen, and didn't even cut deep enough. Or in the right spot. It was almost humorous… and he wasn't going to make that mistake again…
He looked up, noticing a support beam on his ceiling. Huh. He'd never noticed it before. He grabbed a chair from the corner of his room, his heartbeat all the way in his ears. It seemed as if this was the only thing he could focus on. Like he had tunnel vision, and everything ceased. The tears, the feelings… everything. He was blank. And he was settled.
He moved the chair under the beam, standing on top of it. His height- something he absolutely hated about himself- seemed to actually come in handy for once, seeing as how he reached the beam perfectly. All he needed was a way to…
He looked down, eying the buckle of the belt that was looped around his jeans. Would a belt hold his weight long enough to suffocate him in case he didn't break his neck first…? He had no idea. But hey, it was worth a damn try.
He carefully removed the belt from around himself, noting how his hands weren't shaking anymore. He felt… oddly calm. Especially for someone in the process of offing himself. It was like some big stupid joke to him, and he wasn't too far away from breaking into laughter. Desperate, maniacal laughter, because he was fucking insane.
He brought the belt around the beam, fastening it in a way that held his weight when he gave a few experimental tugs, and that had enough room to fit his head.
It felt like everything was silent. Like it was all just… falling away. And there was nothing but himself, putting his full attention on foolproofing his idea.
He was gonna go for real this time… it was the right thing to do. For himself, for everyone… and he'd really never expected to be so… empty. Clean slated.
The funny thing was, Connor was pretty much killing himself like his life depended on it… oh the irony.
He felt calm in this state, pushing his head through the makeshift noose-
Until, he heard something.
Voices, downstairs. They were muffled, but they grew louder as the time went on, soon shifting to the pattering of feet on the floor, to his room and-
He needed to move quicker. His mom was probably gonna find him like this, and try and help him or something… which he really didn't want.
Connor frantically moved his head so it was hung in front of him, applying pressure to his throat by lifting his legs slightly. It felt like it was being crushed. And the not-breathing thing really wasn't a joke.
The steps soon turned into knocks, Connor hearing his name from whoever was at his door. He honestly didn't care, and he didn't have the strength to tell them to fuck off. As the door creaked open slowly, he shut his eyes, clenching his fists as he desperately kicked the chair out of place, hanging limply.
His vision turned to black, just in time to miss the wide eyes of one Evan Hansen.
this chapter title is, unsurprisingly, another lyric! from a song by twenty one pilots; Goner.
also, I completely forgot to mention, thank you for all of the love this fic has gotten so far! every comment makes my day, and every hit or kudos just warms my heart. seriously, it means a lot! also, 2,300 hits is a huge milestone for me, and I am so, so ridiculously thankful that people have taken the time to read this!!! y'all are amazing!!
here's my twitter and tumblr if anyone has any suggestions or just needs to talk. my dm's are always open;
Chapter 5: not an update
i just wanted to formally apologize to anyone subscribed to or following this fic, for the lack of updates. i know not everyone reads th comments, so i just felt the need to explain.
this story was written during both a very hard time for me, and a time where i felt dear evan hansen was something i could use to vent. basically, the reason why the first three chapters were up so quickly. since then, a lot had happened, and i've drifted away from this fandom a bit, and have found it harder to write the characters the same as i did previously. not to mention, i'm in a completely different atmpusphere, as well as headspace than i was before, making it harder and harder to write and remember how this was styled as the time goes by.
and, also, this fic was written during a time where school wasn't as important, and i didn't have as much stress or anxiety that high school never ceases to provide. sounds cheesy and cliché, i know, but it's true. it's difficult to write the plot and storyline i'd planned properly and fluently when rushed, or overly stressed. and i'm sorry about that.
now, that isn't to say that this fic is discontinued. on hiatus would probably be a better way to describe it. i've recently picked up the fifth chapter once more, and am trying to write that so i can put it out there, and hopefully soon.
i deeply apologize to people who've kudosed, or left comments of dissapointment. this isn't finished, just paused.
and, as a final note, i'd just like to thank each and every one of you for reading this, for giving your input and your likes. it really makes my day. and if you feel the need to tell me anything about this personally, critique, suggestions, etcetera, feel free to send me a dm on my tumblr, smokingthedrugs.tumblr.com
i'm usually active, and always open to comments.
thank you all!!