"I promise Andrew. I'll be back before you know," Steven Lim says to a silent Andrew Ilnyckyj as he carries his luggage and smiles wide as his flight was soon to depart. Seeing the sun shining from Steven's face made Andrew smile, a small, barely-there one, and his heart clench. Why? Why couldn't he just tell Steven? Why does he have to suffer knowing that he was never enough in the eyes of his best friend? The man he fell in love with? How could he ever live knowing that there could never be a chance between them?
Steven disappears out of sight and Andrew knows it's time for him to go, but he can't. Can't live without remembering his every moment with Steven, from the videos that they made for Worth It to the stolen moments where Steven somehow peeled every layer he had with a bright smile that made Andrew fall in love with him even more. Can't exist with knowing every little quirk Steven has, every thing that made Steven, well, Steven. And somehow the feet find themselves moving, stopping at the door of his car as his hand blindly opens the car and his mind screams at him to move, move you bastard and his hands settle on the steering wheel as he will his tears to go away as he drives away from what might be the last place he'll ever see Steven. It's a miracle he reaches the inside of his apartment before he feels his back his the door and his body collapses in itself in a mass of anguish and heartbreak.
He was just tired.
At 2:06 in the morning, Andrew Ilnyckyj has his heart broken as his best friend Steven Lim left him behind.
First came the denial.
He just couldn't shake of the numbness in his bones, and so he found himself hoping for Steven to barge through his apartment door with a smile on his face and bagels in hand like he often does. Or Andrew imagines him walking into the office with a calm bravado and his caring demeanor. Andrew convinces himself everyday that Steven will come back, Steven will return, and all of this is just a dream, but Steven never comes.
And that is where the anger sets in.
Andrew didn't know who he was angry with. With Steven, with himself, the line blurs for him as white-hot rage surges through his body and he starts being irrational and destructive. Not a day goes by that Andrew thrashes his bedroom until he comes to his senses, falling to his knees and cries. He just doesn't know what to do, and its so frustrating that he manifests his sadness to rage and it hurts, so much, that he starts bargaining.
He can't help but want Steven. Want his smile, his warmth, his smell, his everything. He knows it's selfish to want something so pure as Steven's love for someone as dirty and broken as him but god damn it does he want more. Steven's loving caress, his smile so warm as he-
And that's where the depression kicks in. He can't help it. The only reason that he lived for isn't there anymore. He succumbs to the antidepressants and the razors that he couldn't be him any longer. The looks he gets from Adam and Niki every time they see him is supposed to make him feel regret but- Nothing. He feels nothing anymore. The smiles he uses to hide what he really feels are just so cold and stiff and yet that doesn't stop him from using them as he tries to just live with the anguish.
It takes him three months to realise that it's all over. He accepts that Steven could do so much better than him and yet it still hurts. Andrew knows that it was his fate from the beginning to be left behind but he still can't handle it.
He finds himself staring at the dark blue waters of the Golden Gate bridge as he gives up. Gives up from hoping. From living.
At 2:07 in the noon, he crashes.
Fuck. His head hurts.
Andrew wakes up in a hospital bed wearing his grey sweater, denim jeans, and rubber shoes. He tilts his head to the left and sees a male figure, with black hair slicked back, formal attire donned on his lean figure, and soulless grey eyes staring at him.
"That doesn't matter, at least not right now." The man gives him an easy smile. "You only have two options- one is two stay here, fall asleep, and wake up to where you really are. Second is to go outside and have what you want. Though I advice you not to take the latter. There's people who still love you, you know."
He doesn't need to think twice.
"I'll take it. If it's the only thing I'll ever have."
The man purses his lips. "Very well," he nods and the door click open, showing a tiny sliver of what's outside. Andrew plants his feet on the ground, walks up to the door, opens it, and sees-
Andrew doesn't hesitate to run up to Steven and tilt his head to kiss the man that he loved on the lips, and it's in that moment that Andrew Ilnyckyj let's go and forgets.
At 2:08 in the morning, Andrew heals from his burns. From everything.
At 2:09 in the morning Andrew Ilnyckyj dies in his coma with tears in his eyes yet a smile on his face.