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The Night

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Sometimes, Chloe tries to think back to a time when she felt last felt happy. Genuinely happy. She was on top of the world at some point, that much she does remember. She doesn't remember how it felt, but Chloe knows she once knew what it was like. There was this light at the end of it all, like there was some meaning to life, there was some purpose. There was so much to look forward to, so much to hope for. College, freedom. As the days pass, it becomes harder to think of what it was like, to feel happy. Or just to feel. Feel anything really. It’s like there’s this black pit in her chest that sucked up all the good feelings, the memory of emotions.

 

She just feels numb.

 

The cool breeze of the midnight air gently caresses her face as she looks at the stars, identifying all the different constellations, a bottle of pills clutched in her hand. She's shaking. From the cold or anticipation for what she's about to do, Chloe can’t tell. Is anticipation the right word? She wouldn’t necessarily call it dread. She's not dreading this, hasn't been. She's been planning this for almost a year. Do you ever just stop what you’re doing and wonder, how did I get here? Not really the physical place you’re at, but how you are inside. Mentally, I guess. What happened that led me to this exact moment?

 

Why am I doing this?  She quickly scolds herself, shaking her head.

 

You have to do this, you have to,  the words repeat themselves over and over again in her head, like a ringing gong. I'm being an idiot. There’s no use wondering why I’m here. Just accept that you’re fucked up and move on.

 

Slowly, Chloe releases a shaky breath, twisting the cap off the bottle and emptying the contents into her hand and lets it go, watching the empty bottle bounce off bench and fall to the ground. Chloe looks out again, watching the town of Arcadia Bay, completely oblivious to what she's about to do. She pauses again.

 

Am I doing this? Am I really doing this? The timing was right; no one would be able to stop her from completing her plan. Tonight had to be the night. She had to do it.

 

I have to do it .

 

She swallows the pills one at a time. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty. She counts them out as she places them on my tongue. After sixty, she stops counting, it’s lethal enough. Chloe shuts her eyes as she swallows the last of the pills, her hands tightly clutching the bench. There’s no going back now, might as well enjoy the view. It is a beautiful view. More beautiful than she had allowed it to be before. This is one of the things she’ll miss, she thinks, watching the night sky, the wind filling the silence like no words ever could. Chloe yawns, reminiscing her time watching the sky, and she should have paid more attention to it before--she yawns again. Wow, I’m tired, she realizes with apathy. 

 

It’s such a beautiful night out.

 

Everything looks fuzzy and the wind’s not as loud. All her senses have been dulled, like she's underwater, everything sounds distant, everything’s slowly fading, fading into darkness, into nothingness. If this is death, maybe this isn't such a bad way to go.

 

A voice calls out from behind Chloe, but she can't make out who it is, what they're saying. It feels so far away.

 

Gentle hands grip her shoulders and pull her towards the voice. 

 

"Rachel?" she barely gets the word out, her tongue feels all rubbery.

 

"Chloe, what are you doing out here? I called you like five times," her eyebrows crease, her hazel eyes full of worry. 

 

Darkness eats away at the corner of Chloe's vision, and suddenly she's falling. Strong arms wrap around her, gently easing her to the ground. She looks up and Rachel's face is so much closer now. She can feel her breath against her face.

 

"Holy shit Price, how high are you?" Rachel attempts to laugh, but her face betrays her emotions: fear. As good as she was at acting, she could never hide how she was feeling from Chloe. Most of the time, at least. Chloe struggled to keep her eyes open, to memorize every last detail on Rachel's face. She was so tired. All she wanted to do was sleep. Her head lolled to the side, but Rachel held her face in one hand, the other tightly gripping onto her sleeve.

 

"What happened Chlo, what did you-" Rachel's eyes drifted to the side then widened: the pill bottle. She turned to face Chloe again, her eyes frantically searching her face. "That-that's not funny. Wha-how many did you take? How many, tell me!" Chloe couldn't respond, even if she wanted to, she wouldn't. The pain in Rachel's eyes was too heartbreaking. Chloe averted her eyes, looking at the stars again. They were a lot blurrier than she remembered.

 

She was so tired. Chloe felt herself start to drift off again when the back of Rachel's hand connected with her face, leaving a red mark on her cheek. "Don't you fucking dare close your eyes on me, you understand," Rachel growled, her voice full of anger and desperation. "Just, just keep your eyes on me, focus on my voice, ok?" Chloe weakly nodded, suddenly aware of how numb her body felt.

 

"Hey, you remember the first night we met, right?" Unshed tears glistened in Rachel's eyes as she weakly smiled at the memory. "God you were such an idiot, acting like a smartass even when those douchebags-Chloe?" Chloe's head fell to her chest, her breath slowing down. The world was growing darker.

 

Darker.

 

"No no no no, stay with me," Rachel took Chloe's face in both of her hands. They were cold. Tears were freely streaming down her face. All Chloe wanted to do was sleep.

 

Sleep.

 

"CHLOE!"