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Thirty Days of Hope; One Minute of Despair

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Kenny McCormick was used to death.

Living in the poorest part of town, he’d grown up watching countless of homeless people freezing in that never-ending winter that was ruling over South Park; hearing all the drug addicts overdosing and dying in their own shit and vomit in the darkest corners of the alleys. He’d seen so many car crashes he couldn’t even tell. So death was definitely nothing new to him.

Kenny McCormick was also used to dying.

Having been shot, decapitated, stabbed, impaled, infected with various diseases, he knew how it was like to die. He’d been dying at least twice a week since he’d been a kid. He’d even killed himself a few times, in hopes that would change anything. It hadn’t. At least not to him.

Kenny knew all that, death wasn’t surprising or scary to him, not anymore. People would just come and then, eventually, they’d go, disappear like that and no one could do anything about it. His own death was more of a nuisance at this point, too, forcing him to skip school days or sabotaging his plans.

There was one thing he hated about death though (apart from his pain while he was dying). Funerals. Whenever someone in that little town of his would pass away, all the other townspeople would go around preparing that gross event of theirs. That awful, shitty festival of self-pity and showing off. It wasn’t about the person who’d just died, no, it’s never been about those poor souls. It’s always been about who’s been crying the loudest and whose bouquet has been the most expensive. Oh, and also who could tell the most lies about the deceased in the least amount of time.

Besides, looking at the rows of tombstones, each one with his name on it, hurt all the same every single time, reminding him of his curse and the fact that nobody cared. Even if he already reached the age of eighteen, thinking of his friends forgetting about him dying was still infuriating for him.

So when they all heard from Butters, while sitting in the cafeteria, that Craig Tucker has found himself in the hospital after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, Kenny just shrugged his shoulders, not really interested in the news. Yeah, he didn’t like that asshole but whether Craig Tucker had been successful or not, it wasn’t Kenny’s business.

But his friends seemed curious enough to start gathering more info on the topic so the blond learned more anyway. He could always try to stop them if he cared enough. He didn’t. He was okay with just being an observer who unwillingly gathers information.

His friends’ motives were interesting for him though. Kyle, as he was, thought it’d be a good idea to learn why Craig had tried to take his own life and maybe help others like him by helping them with getting help. He was truly a good student and an excellent vice president of their school’s student council.

Cartman was just Cartman. The fatass just wanted to feed his own curiosity and find a reason to make fun of Craig. Once he was locked on a target, however, there was no stopping him. And his plans would usually backfire against him anyway so Kenny wasn’t even bothering to check on Eric.

Stan on the other hand was less curious or willing to help and more pressured by Wendy and her female friends. Kenny liked Wendy, she was smart and liable, her and Kyle doing a good job to keep the school in one piece, but her love for gossip was beyond his understanding. The girls just wanted to know and he was kinda getting that; half of the school wanted to know. He just didn’t approve of their method of gathering info. And he didn’t like when someone was using his friends for their own benefits.

Even if he didn’t want at the beginning, Kenny started looking for info on his own, just so he could stop his friends if necessary. Whatever drove Craig to that suicide attempt must’ve been a serious and delicate matter and if Kenny could help it, he was going to do everything in his might to stop the rest of his group from making things worse. It was okay when he was suffering because of his friends’ stupidity. It wasn’t okay if they were gonna kill someone else with it.

_____

It didn’t take him long to learn everything, Karen was friends with Craig’s little sister after all. He didn’t even have to pry or force out of this sister. The girl just came to his room in the middle of the night, her eyes glossy and her cheeks stained with tears. It’s been the fourth or fifth day since Craig’s ended up in hospital and one look at his sister’s face told Kenny that things weren’t really better. Karen and Ruby Tucker were best friends since they’ve been little and everything that was bothering Ruby, was also bothering Karen.

Kenny just let his sister crawl onto his lap, locking her into a reassuring embrace, and allowed her to speak, while drying her face from tears with a tissue. It took Karen a moment to collect herself but once she was able to speak without hiccupping, she looked him in the eyes and told him everything.

Ruby’s been worried about her brother for quite some time. No one really knew but Craig had been diagnosed with depression after Tweek Tweak, the one person Craig truly cared about, left him saying that they both needed to move on. It was clear from Karen’s words that Ruby hated Tweek and Karen hated him too. Kenny didn’t know what to think about it, he was only aware that the two had broken up at the beginning of the last year and that Craig had chosen to isolate himself from his friends, Clyde Donovan being the only one still trying to talk to him.

Karen also said, swallowing her tears again, that Craig’s been struggling for months, mostly sleeping through his days apart from going to school. And that a week earlier Craig’s pet guinea pig had died. Kenny hummed while petting his sister’s back. The death of Tucker’s pet must’ve been the final nail to the coffin for him.

The blond started feeling bad for the boy, wanting to help him in some way. He didn’t know what to do though. He might’ve been used to death but he wasn’t familiar with depression. People in South Park were too stupid to even think outside of their little TVs and monitors, he’d never think one of them struggles with life so much.

But then, it was Craig Tucker. That boy wasn’t like the other people in their town, he was similar to Kenny in some ways even. The blond realized he didn’t want Craig to die.

He needed to talk to him first, at least.

He assumed starting with Clyde Donovan would be the easiest. Armed with the knowledge his sister had provided him with, he approached the brunette exactly on the seventh day since Craig has tried to end his life. Kenny had wanted to do it earlier but he’d been beaten to death by burglars the day before and therefore wasted some time.

Clyde Donovan was everything Kenny could think of recalling his name. Tall but not the tallest in school, slightly buff from playing football but with a childish face and big doe eyes. Kenny could notice dark circles under the other boy’s eyes and assumed Clyde wasn’t sleeping because of his friend. Well, that and the brunette had looked like he was about to cry for the entire week.

“What do you want?”, he growled glaring at the blond but Kenny wasn’t amused. Not even bothering to take his hood off, the orange parka still being his barrier of comfort, he simply asked if Clyde knew whether Kenny could or could not talk to Craig.

Clyde didn’t answer at first and for a moment Kenny was unsure if the other boy had understood him or not but Clyde’s wide eyes and the watery look he gave the blond proved otherwise. Donovan covered his mouth with his hand, trying his best to not burst into tears so Kenny had to wait for the answer. He started shifting his weight into one leg and then another and looking around while the brunette tried everything to calm himself.

“I’ll.. I’ll help you reach him, ”Clyde finally said, although quietly and unsure. Kenny blinked twice, completely caught off guard by that. “Maybe you’ll be able to help him ‘cause I can’t.” The boy added in a broken voice and Kenny felt bad for him as well. It sucked not being able to ease your friend’s pain.

Even more than not being able to ease your own.

_____

It took Clyde three days to convince Craig’s parents to let Kenny visit the Noirette. It allowed the blond to study a little more about the depression. He’d used Kyle’s help and computer for that, the redhead being a very good teacher. Kenny only hoped that Kyle wouldn’t get suspicious.

So when Kenny came to the hospital, he felt a little prepared. Craig’s mother was sitting in front of her son’s room, looking a little messy and tired but she was still kind enough to greet Kenny with a smile. Instead of saying anything, she pointed at the room with her head and tried to adjust herself to sit more comfortably in the plastic chair.

Kenny took his hood off, breathed deeply a few times and entered the room. The little Ruby Tucker was there, sitting beside her brother’s bed and reading him a book. Craig was sitting still, his eyes focused on the wall in front of him, his face tired and pale. Kenny didn’t like that.

When Ruby noticed him, she stopped reading and closed her book. When she got out of the chair and walked past him, she gently patted his shoulder, making Kenny think that Karen told her about Kenny’s interest in helping Craig. Nothing could’ve slip past his younger sister.

“Hey, Craig,” he started, giving the Noirette a shy smile. When he didn’t receive an answer or even a glare from the other boy, he sighed but still decided on smiling. He sat on the same chair Ruby was previously using and looked at Craig’s wrist with the IVs hooked to them. Kenny was kinda glad he couldn’t see any bandages. Apparently Craig used pills his mother kept in their house.

“Heard what happened to ya,” he tried again, trying to keep his voice gentle and calm. “I know we’re not friends, not exactly but.. I was kinda worried and decided to visit you,” he smiled again. It felt like talking to the wall but had to have hope. The hope that Craig would answer him eventually.

“Ya know, you’re one of the people here that don’t suck, hah, really,” he giggled to himself. Even if he was starting to feel stupid, he was too stubborn to give up. Besides, he didn’t want Clyde to cry his ass of if the boy found out the blond had failed.

“That may be selfish as fuck and you probably won’t agree with me but.. I don’t want you gone, dude. It’d be so boring without you around. And you’re the best at punching the shit outta Cartman too.” Kenny grinned. “So I’m gonna bother you and talk to you a lot, alright? And if you feel like it, you can talk to me back.”

Of course, Craig said nothing to that. But Kenny kept talking anyway. About school, about his stupid friends and the things they’ve done, about Karen too. All that while trying to stay away from the topic of Tweek.

_____

Craig was released from the hospital the next day. To make him feel better, his parents invited his grandmother to stay with them for the time being. Kenny could only assume they did so that at least one person besides the Noirette would be always home.

She was a nice old lady, she greeted him by the door when he came to visit after school three days later, exactly two weeks since Craig’s suicide attempt. At first she was surprised and confused if she should even let him inside but Laura Tucker was there, eyes filled with hope and tiredness locked on Kenny, explaining to the older woman that Kenny’s a friend that tries to make Craig come out of his shell.

The two women were kind enough to offer him a drink and even some snacks before they led him to Craig’s room. He despised being treated like a charity case but that time it wasn’t like that. They were just clinging onto the hope that he could help them, help Craig, and they were trying to make him feel as welcome there as possible. So the blond simply agreed on a cup of tea and some sandwiches after he took his hood off.

Craig’s mother has led him to the Noirette’s room and Kenny knocked a few times before entering. He wasn’t surprised by the lack of answer but he decided to go inside anyway. The room was spacy, with blue walls and dark wooden floor covered by one navy blue fluffy carpet. The walls weren’t covered by any posters. Looking at a big pile of colorful paper, Kenny assumed Craig had torn them all down some time before. Tucker himself was laying on his bed, wrapped in a Red Racer blanket, staring blindly at his ceiling. The blond looked at it as well.

There were small plastic stars glued into it. Cute.

“Hey, dude,” he smiled, grabbing himself Craig’s desk chair and moving it closer to the bed. “I’m here again, hope ya don’t mind.”

He was getting used to not receiving an answer so he only took his bag and opened it, getting a small plush guinea pig from it.

“Clyde asked me to give it to ya. He’s worried sick, ya know?” He said sadly, carefully observing Craig’s blank face. “He wanted to come over too but we all know he’s just gonna cry if he sees you now,” he added, putting the little plushie on the boy’s nightstand.

A few knocks to the door and Laura Tucker came inside the room, carrying a tray with two cups of tea and a plate of sandwiches. Kenny took the tray from her hands, smiling and thanking her. Offering him a kind smile and her son a worried look, the blonde woman sighed quietly and left, leaving the door slightly open. Kenny assumed it was only fair; they wanted to be able to hear if anything was to happen.

“They all love ya, Craig. Your mom, your sister, grandma, Clyde.. They’re all so fucking worried, man,” he pointed out looking at Tucker again. “I know you feel like you’re all alone against the world but that’s not true. You’re surrounded by people that care. All ya gotta do is open up to them a little.”

Kenny closed his eyes for a second, the feeling of anxiety and loneliness washing over him for a quick moment; he squished it down before it began forming into something worse. He wasn’t the one in need of help, Craig was.

When the blond opened his eyes again, he almost jumped in a surprise. Craig Tucker was looking at him, instead of at his ceiling, his navy blue eyes hollow and blank just like his facial expression. The boy looked completely dead inside but it seemed like he was finally paying some attention to Kenny. The blond couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

So instead of blabbering like in the hospital or talking about shitty stuff, he talked about his own fears. Not necessarily naming his curse or touching the subject of it but explaining every one of his own demons, complexes, nightmares. The feeling of loneliness, the pain of being forgotten, of being in the background.

He wanted Craig to understand. He thought it’d be the best way to make the boy trust him.

_____

Craig was a good but a silent listener. Every day, Kenny would come over after school to visit the Noirette and every day they would spent hours and hours, Kenny talking and Craig listening. Sometimes the blond would just stop at the trivial subjects, like school, their friends, the stuff they had done in the past. But the other times he’d start talking about thing he’d never talked about with anyone else – his family, his plans for the future. Even his curse in some way, he chose to explain it as nightmares he’d been having. It wasn’t far from the truth but far enough for Craig to believe him.

So Kenny would talk to him and Craig would listen. Looking at his with that dead stare and not saying anything but still listening. Even if sometimes Craig would go back to looking at the ceiling, Kenny knew the Noirette was still paying attention and his words were actually going somewhere.

Kenny was content with what he’d achieved in such a short amount of time, he wasn’t expecting anything more any time soon – he wasn’t actually a doctor, only a person willing to spend some time with Craig. He was more happy to do what he could, though.

It was the eighteenth day since Craig has tried to kill himself (Kenny has been counting that for a while already). Kenny was sitting beside Craig’s bed and talking about Cartman’s latest plan, which was as stupid as ever. Craig has been staring at his ceiling for most of the story but when Kenny was quietly giggling to himself because of something he remembered, the Noirette looked at him, a peck of light flickering in his eyes.

“Ha..” he started, his voice hoarse and strangled from all that time spent without talking. He cleared his throat, catching Kenny’s attention. “Have you.. ever thought it’d be better for everyone if you haven’t been born?” He asked, looking at Kenny carefully. The blond wanted to say something witty, to reassure him it’s not true in his case but all he could do was stare in his eyes, those eyes that were finally coming back to life, and nod. It was true for him after all, he did think that.

Craig smiled a little, it was a sad but still a beautiful smile. Kenny couldn’t help but blush at that. He’d never think Tucker’s smile would be beautiful for him but after looking at the boy’s blank face for so long, every other expression was an amazing and welcome change.

“Your dreams..”, Craig spoke again, carefully picking words. “I’d remember if you died, Ken.”

That was all Craig had spoken to him that day. But that was more than enough.

_____

From that day, Craig’s been talking to Kenny more and more, looking less and less as if he was dead inside. They’d go over Kenny’s ‘latest dreams’ as they’d been calling his deaths, they’d discuss their favorite shows or bitch about the people they knew. From time to time Craig would smile too.

His every smile felt like the greatest achievement Kenny could and would ever get.

Sometimes Craig was even feeling like going out of his bed and they would go downstairs to watch some TV or play some games if that was the case. Kenny could see Craig’s mother in the kitchen then, watching over them with a big smile on her lips.

Other times they’d just stay in the Noirette’s room, with Craig helping Kenny out with his homework or them just talking and talking until late at night.

Kenny didn’t realize how much he loved those afternoons spent at Craig’s until Stan confronted him about them. Marsh just simply asked him what Kenny had been doing recently and when Kenny told him the truth, the Noirette looked shocked and a little offended by that. As if in his head, hanging out with Craig Tucker, especially in his current state, was something bad.

In Kenny’s head it wasn’t. It was the highlight of his every day and he didn’t care if any of his friends disapproved or some shit. He was his own person after all.

It still annoyed him a little and when he came over to Craig, he wasn’t surprised that the Noirette quickly noticed his mood. He didn’t want to tell him the reason of it because he didn’t want to upset Craig more and Craig, thankfully, didn’t pry. He just smiled at Kenny, making the blond feel better already.

“You’re always talking so much, Ken. Let me do the talking today, alright?” He asked and Kenny wouldn’t deny him that even if he could. But looking at him, at that sad smile and those beautiful eyes, he couldn’t bring himself to disagree.

It was the twenty-seventh day since it all began, with Craig in the hospital. And it was also the day the Noirette decided to tell Kenny about Tweek.

It started just like Kenny knew it would – with that story about the two boys being forced to be together by the crazy town. Kenny knew that very well, he’d been there when it’d happened. Craig talked about those memories with a smile, less sadder than those he’d been giving Kenny and more.. affectionate. It was a shame those smiles were for Tweek.

Then, after the boys had begun their pretend dating, the feelings they had had for each other had slowly grown into something beyond friendship, at least for Craig. Deep down inside the Noirette always knew he wasn’t viewed by Tweek as nothing but a friend but it hadn’t stopped him for hoping.

There’d been kisses, hugs, hand holdings, every gesture, even if only a part of the pretend for Tweek, had been everything Craig could ever hope for and so much more. But Tweek would eventually grow tired of the act, only wanting more to end it with passing time. And Craig wasn’t stupid, he’d noticed it very soon.

It’d been in that time when he had started feeling worse mentally, crying himself to sleep or not sleeping at all for longer periods of time. His friends, especially Clyde, had started noticing things and saying that they’re worried but Craig had shunned them all, only focusing on being the support for Tweek and Tweek’s goals. Even if he’d been the one in need of help.

But all that sacrifice hadn’t stopped Tweek from giving up on Craig.

“I can’t be mad at him, you know?” Craig said it with a small smile still plastered on his lips, his voice breaking a little and his eyes watery. “You shouldn’t force yourself to be with someone you don’t love, it’s not healthy for you and for that other person too. But.. I just wish he’d loved me. I just wanted him to love me so bad, Kenny. He’s the only person in the world I wanted. I didn’t care about nothing else,” he sobbed, tears flowing through his cheeks. “I’d be perfectly happy with only Tweek around. But I can’t have even that, can I? God, I’m so pathetic.”

“You’re not, Craig,” Kenny said that with a sad smile, giving Craig a tissue to wipe his face with. “It’s nothing wrong to love someone and want them to love you back. And I know it hurts when they don’t but.. just because he didn’t want you doesn’t mean no one does. People do love you, Craig. You just have to let them care about you and then you’ll notice it.” The blonde added, petting the Noirette’s back while he sobbed.

He believed in his own words. He believed them with his whole heart. Just like he’d pray with all his heart to all the gods that were there for Craig to talk about someone else with so much affection as he was talking about Tweek.

He’d pray for that, trying not to admit to himself that he’d love to be that ‘someone else’.

_____

When Monday has come, the twenty-ninth day of Kenny’s little calendar, Craig has returned to school. He looked thinner and paler than everybody would recall and that was enough to make Clyde Donovan cry at his presence.

Craig had to spend twenty minutes just reassuring Clyde that he’s okay and he’s definitely not dead. Kenny was a witness to that, having had his locker quite near them. He couldn’t help but smile.

His smile wasn’t left unnoticed by Tucker who smiled back, even if a little shyly. Kenny tried very hard not to blush at that.

Spending so much time with the Noirette and helping him through the toughest moment of his life had left Kenny with one big realization – he’d developed a crush on Craig Tucker. He wanted to help the broken boy even more, to become his friend and someone Craig could count on. And maybe, in the future, if he had a little bit of luck, to be the reason Craig smiles and laughs again. Kenny wanted to take Tweek’s place in Craig’s life, especially since Tweek didn’t want it. Kenny was more than willing to give the Noirette all the love and affection he hadn’t received from his ex-boyfriend.

But there’d be time for everything.

Of course, Craig wasn’t fully recovered yet so Kenny was still hanging around and if he couldn’t be near Tucker, he’d asked Clyde to look after him and message him immediately if something was bad. The blond preferred to be overprotective than let something bad happen.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t a clairvoyant.

Everything was going smoothly until lunch rolled around. Kenny made sure him and Clyde were sitting beside Craig, trying to entertain him with talking and stop the rest of the boys from making fun of him or being nosy but neither of them was prepared for that.

No one in school was prepared to see Tweek Tweak, one of the school’s biggest freaks, calmly talking and even flirting with Heidi Turner, Cartman’s ex-girlfriend.

Cartman, of course, got all pissed immediately, grumbling something about ‘a pact between them that said they’re not supposed to date each other’s exes’ and that ‘Tweek’s a fucking cheating bastard’ but Kenny couldn’t care less. As soon as he saw it happen, his eyes glued themselves to Craig.

Craig who was looking at the couple with the saddest smile Kenny had ever seen on his face. For a moment the blond thought he even saw something like resignation in those eyes that he loved looking into so much but then Craig just squeezed his hands and smiled at him.

“It’s okay,” was the only thing he said, Kenny wasn’t sure if it was supposed to reassure him or Craig himself.

The Noirette didn’t go to any other classes that day, choosing to go home immediately after lunch.

_____

Craig didn’t come to school the next day. Kenny was worried and he texted him but the Noirette simply answered that he hadn’t been feeling well last night and needed some rest. The blond could live with that but he still promised his friend he’d visit him after school.

The day at school felt even worse than hell Kenny couldn’t help but count minutes he had left. All he wanted to do was to leave the building and just sprint right to Craig’s house, to make sure the Noirette was at least semi-okay. He hated not knowing what was happening with his friends.

He finally gave up during lunch, deciding he’d rather skip the rest of his classes and face the consequences later than try to live through them with the constant worry on the back of his head. As soon as he was able, he just darted through the corridors, not caring about other students or teachers, and then ran all the way to the Tuckers’ residence, praying for all the good in the world so he wouldn’t be hit by a car or something like that on his way over.

When he arrived at the door, he knocked a couple of times but no one answered. Even more worried than before, he knocked again but when there was no reaction from inside again, he just tried to open his door, justifying it in his mind as he did so. To his surprise, the door was open and a dim sound of TV came to his ears. When he went inside, he discovered grandma Tucker sleeping on the couch, a soup opera or something like this playing on the screen. Moving as quietly as he could as to not disturb the sleeping old lady, he went upstairs.

Craig’s parents and Ruby weren’t in the house, as Kenny noticed, they were probably still in work and Ruby in school. He hoped he wasn’t going to weird them off with him being already in their house. Oh well, he could explain everything later.

Standing in front of his friend’s door, he took a deep breath in and then exhaled, knocking at the same time. When there was no answer, his hands began sweating. He knocked again, more rapidly that time.

“Craig? Craig, are ya there, dude? Can I come in?” He asked, his voice strangely strangled as if he was about to choke on something.

Probably on his own heart.

“Fuck it,” he muttered to himself and then slowly opened the door. “Craig?” He asked again, more and more scared. The whole room was dark, all the windows covered and lights turned off. It took Kenny a moment to find the light switch but when he did, he immediately flipped it on.

Although he wished he hadn’t. He so wished he hadn’t.

When the room lit itself and Kenny was finally able to see, for a second or two he didn’t even register what he was seeing. He didn’t even notice anything out of the ordinary. But when he did.. all he could do was scream.

Funny. If he’d been asked before that day what’s the scariest thing he’d ever heard, he wouldn’t be sure if he should say ‘the sound of a gun shooting in your direction’ or ‘the voice of the junkie that’s going to stab you for five dollars’.

On the thirtieth day of his voyage to rescue Craig Tucker, Kenny McCormick learned that the scariest thing he had ever heard in his life was his own scream. His scream while he watched his friend and crush hanging from a chandelier.

Kenny didn’t even know when he stopped screaming and started doing something. He took a pocket knife out of his bag (he was keeping it from protection) and immediately rushed to Craig to cut him off. As soon as he did that, he lay the boy on the floor and checked if Craig was breathing.

Not sensing any breath or sensing the pulse, Kenny pushed his panic away and started performing CPR. He wasn’t about to let Craig die, not if he could help it somehow.

His screaming had woken up grandma Tucker upstairs and the old woman appeared in Craig’s room holding a pan. She screamed when she saw her grandson unconscious on the floor and Kenny yelled at her to call for ambulance while he was performing the resuscitation.

He didn’t stop until he was pushed back by paramedics and then he could only stare at them trying to bring the Noirette back to life. He knew what they were doing, he was on the receiving time too many times. He was hoping it would end differently for Craig than it had been always ending for him.

He still had some hope left even if with each passing second he was closer and closer to crying.

His prayers weren’t answered that time. After few minutes the paramedics just stopped and turned off their machines, shaking their heads to one another. Kenny wanted to scream at them that they couldn’t give up, to push them back and try for himself, to do something. But all he could hear was their muffled voices and grandma’s convulsive sobbing; all he could do was stare at Craig’s lifeless body.

On the thirtieth day since his first suicidal attempt, Craig Tucker has tried to kill himself again. And he succeeded. He hanged himself with a cable noose.

And Kenny knew that unlike him, Craig wasn’t coming back.

_____

Kenny McCormick had been sure he was used to death by now.

He was for sure used to dying. In fact, he’d do anything, everything right now to die and never come back again. Even the most painful death he could imagine was better than.. than that.

Better than watching Clyde Donovan’s hysterical and uncontrollable sobbing while he was saying goodbye to his best friend in the world. Better than looking away from that and seeing Ruby Tucker with her eyes all red, wrapped in arms of Karen McCormick, who was sheltering her from the sight of her older brother’s coffin.

Better than being a part of Craig Tucker’s funeral.

Ever since Craig’s death, Kenny had been distant. He’d been blindly going through his days, not really processing what was going on around him. The one time he had regained control over himself was when he had spotted Tweek and launched himself at the smaller blond, beating the crap out of him, crying and yelling “Give Craig back” over and over again.

It should’ve earned him detention but even the teachers had been sensible enough to just leave him alone so he could grieve in peace.

The worst part of funerals was when everyone would just pretend how much they loved the deceased one while they were talking about them in all superlatives.

The worst but also the best part about Craig’s funeral was that no one was lying there. Not a single person that decided to speak about the Noirette has told a lie.

His parents didn’t allow the school or any of the student council’s representatives to speak. They decided that only family and closest friends have the right to talk about their son. It ended up with only them, Ruby and Clyde taking the floor before they all turned towards him.

Someone pushed him forward until he arrived by the podium. Someone else handed him the microphone. He looked at the crown before him but he couldn’t see anything. And for a long moment he couldn’t even say a word, his throat strangled by all the tears he’d been swallowing.

“I.. I wanted to help Craig get better,” he said finally, his voice small and strange even to him. “I wanted to become everything he needed. I wanted to become his support. I wanted him to know that I love.. loved him. But now he’ll never know,” he couldn’t say anything else, sobbing cutting any other words.

Someone led him away and tried to comfort him but Kenny couldn’t care less. There were only thoughts about Craig that he had on his mind, but they devoured him completely and he wasn’t able to think of anything else, not anymore. He wished for the times when he’d thought he was used to death.

And it’s been thirty-three days since Craig’s tried to kill himself for the first time. And three days since he succeeded.