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Maybe We're Not Alone

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The day that Connor Murphy planned to kill himself, he painted his nails bright purple.

 

His black nail polish was old, chipped, and not what he wanted his nails to look like when he was dead. He didn’t know if he believed in an afterlife, but if he was going to look like this forever, he wanted to look decent.

 

He had on a grey denim jacket with the sleeves ripped off, and a black button-up t-shirt on underneath. His ripped jeans were tucked into the hiking boots he wore. He had his hair pulled into a bun. And he climbed a tree.

 

He hadn’t wanted any of the last people in the park to notice him while he tried to write his note. The color of the pencil and the notebook both matched his nails. The page had more words scribbled out than words that had been accepted into the final draft. Of course, he’d have to rewrite it so it didn’t look like his final words were written in some unbreakable code, since his vision was blurred by tears and his handwriting was undoubtedly messy. Not to mention the fact that his hands were shaking.  

 

It was cliché. He wasn’t sure how else to write it. He didn’t apologize to Larry, since he had absolutely no reason to. He apologized to Mom and Zoe. Not for what he was planning to do.

 

I’m sorry for being such a fucking asshole. I’m sorry that I was a fucking monster to you. I don’t have a fucking excuse, I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve it. You never deserved it.

 

A snap came from a bit farther down the path. Connor wasn’t startled easily, but that sudden change from nothing but the sound of the animals in the woods and the occasional breeze was enough to nearly send him falling to the ground from his perch about ten feet off the ground. A curse slipped through his lips as he just barely caught himself, his pencil and open notebook falling to the ground.

 

He pulled himself back up onto the branch, waiting for the footsteps to keep moving past him before he retrieved his fallen items. It took a few seconds of silence for Connor to realize whoever it was had stopped, and then they resumed. Connor quietly sighed in relief, assuming they’d think the fallen objects were some animal and leave.

 

It wasn’t until he saw them underneath his perch in the tree that he realized that was not the case. A familiar white cast reached out for the notebook on the ground, and it took a moment for Connor to recognize his name scrawled in black Sharpie on the cast.

 

What the hell was Evan Hansen doing here?

 

Connor was barely breathing, out of fear that Evan would hear him. He pulled his legs to his chest and pulled his arms in as tight as he could, trying to make sure that he wouldn’t be seen from below.

 

He watched as Evan looked over the blank page that was upright when the notebook had landed, before flipping it over to see the note. It was almost done, Connor had almost finished it. Two sentences to go, and a signoff. Then he just had to rewrite it so it was legible. So fucking close.

 

Turns out that it was legible enough for Evan. His shoulders tensed up as time passed, and after about ten seconds, he called out.

 

“Hello?” His voice was frantic. “Uh, is someone, uh, where are you? Please come out. Please don’t, don’t do what you’re planning on doing, please.”

 

Connor knew Evan would deduce from the times Connor used Zoe’s name in the letter that it couldn’t have been anyone but Connor. Yet, he was kind of glad he wasn’t calling out Connor’s name. That would’ve felt weird. It would’ve made this all feel real.

 

“Please- please don’t hurt yourself. Please come out. Please come out.”

 

Connor feels a sob building in his throat. He forced it down, refusing to make any sound that would tell Evan where he was.

 

“Connor. Please come out. I, I know you’re the one here. Please don’t hurt yourself.”

 

Tears were welling up in his eyes again, his nails digging into the tree branch. No. No.

 

“Please come out, Connor. Please. You matter. You matter.”

 

He’s lying. He’s lying. He doesn’t even know you. You have never done anything to matter.

 

The tears were falling now. He wanted to scream. He wanted to scream and punch something and bleed.

 

So he does. He shouts, and he twists his torso to punch the tree.

 

Evan looks up at the shout, and the sound of Connor's fist meeting the tree.

 

"Connor-"

 

"Fuck off, Hansen." He didn't look down at him.

 

"C-Connor, please just-"

 

"Don't give me a bullshit speech about how it'll get better, asshole. It hasn't in the past fucking... ten years, it's not gonna magically start getting better now just because you fucking found me about to off myself."

 

"I, no, I wasn't, I wasn't going to give a speech or, anything like that, just. Please don't do it tonight? Life is, uh, life's shit." Connor looks down at that. Evan's hand is rubbing his cast, his head is turned downward. "But, please don't. Please don't, kill yourself, Connor. Not tonight, at least, uh. Can you, do you have a therapist?"

 

Connor scoffed. "I had one for a goddamn month in like, eighth grade and my fucking... Larry decided it wasn't going to work and pulled me out of it. They've tried sending me to rehabs, summer retreats, all that fucking bullshit. It doesn't work."

 

"Can you, do you think you could convince your parents to get you a new therapist? Please? It's, I'm not going to say it gets better immediately or, anything, but, therapy helps. If you, uh, if you're there long enough. And if you talk to them."

 

"Yeah, no fucking shit, Hansen. He pulled me out of therapy because I fucking threatened to kill myself. And to Larry that means I just want fucking attention. He fucking hates that I'm fucking, that I'm mentally ill and shit. I'd fucking love to convince him to get me another therapist but he won't fucking listen. He never has."

 

It was silent for a few seconds.

 

"Give me my notebook and my pencil back, Hansen."

 

"Can you- I'll give it back if you uh, if you come down and promise, to survive tonight. And to go home. And talk to your parents. Please?"

 

Connor laughed. "Why the fuck do you care so much?"

 

Evan froze. "B-because- I uh, I just don't, I don't think it's the only solution. I don't... I don't know. It's not like, I don't think you're selfish or anything, for being tired? Of life? Or whatever brought you to this?"

 

"The fact that I don't matter?"

 

"But- Connor, you do."

 

"Bullshit. But fucking... whatever. I'll come down and go home if you fucking, give me my goddamn notebook and pencil back and don't fucking tell anyone about this shit."

 

"Okay. Alright. Deal. Just, stay safe. Please."

 

Connor was barely careful while he swung down. He held onto the branch by locking his elbows over it first, then moved down to his hands, and then dropped to the ground. He turned to Evan, who held out his notebook and pencil. Connor pulled them from his hands, turning down the path towards the parking lot.

 

"Wait- Connor!"

 

He stopped and turned.

 

"Can I, uh. Maybe we could, trade phone numbers so, uh, if you, need to talk or, anything you can message me? Or we could just, not have to pretend to have friends?"

 

He was silent for a few seconds.

 

"Yeah, no, I'm good. See you later, Hansen."

 

He didn't wait for Evan to argue. He just turned back down the path and headed to his car, hopping in and pulling his keys from his pocket. He shoved them in the ignition and started his car, leaning back against his seat and just sitting there for a few minutes.

 

He'd just run into the asshole that wrote a creepy letter about his sister to make Connor freak out, probably. And said asshole had just talked him out of suicide for the night. And now he was about to go home to his asshole family and probably snap at his sister and make Larry snap at him and make Mom sad and. Yeah, alright, sure, that was definitely worth living for. What the fuck was he doing.

 

He didn't let himself think on it any more. He pulled out of the parking lot, driving home by muscle memory while his mind wandered a bit. Thinking about anything but what had just happened. Maybe he could self harm or get high once he got home. That'd help. At least for a bit.

 

The drive was short, and he was home in about five minutes. He grabbed his notebook and pencil from where he had tossed them on the passenger seat, opening the car door and heading inside.

 

He was greeted by Zoe watching TV in the living room. Or, more texting someone on her phone than watching it.

 

"Where the fuck have you been?" she asked, no concern in her voice. It was more that numb, Mom was ready to call the fucking police again, Connor, can't you do one thing right and not scare her like that? voice.

 

"Out. Why are you acting like you give a fuck?"

 

"Because you don't normally disappear this late at night for that long?"

 

"How do you know how long I disappear for when? You never fucking pay attention, Zoe."

 

"Actually, it's pretty fucking hard to not pay attention when Mom freaks out whenever you're gone for more than like, an hour in a half or something--"

 

"Connor!"

 

He looks up to see his mother coming down the stairs, relieved tears in her eyes. Goddamnit. Not again.

 

She rushed over to him, reaching up to cup his face in her hands.

 

"Where were you! You know you're not supposed to go out this late, sweetie, are you okay?"

 

"I'm-- Mom, I'm fine. Calm down. It's not like I don't do this every other day."

 

"I'd be more okay with it if I wasn't worried you were out, doing drugs or something. Where were you? Why didn't you respond to my texts? Why was your phone off?"

 

Because his phone was turned off before he even reached the park so that no one could call him and interrupt his plan to be dead by the time the sun rose? Which didn't even work because some asshole found him and read his note and made him go home?

 

"I was at the park, Mom. My phone died. I'm fine. Can I go, please? I'm tired."

 

Cynthia frowned, letting her hands fall from Connor's cheeks.

 

"Alright. Are you sure you're okay? Do you need anything before bed?"

 

"I'm gonna take a shower. Is that alright?"

 

"That's perfectly alright, honey."

 

Connor moves past her, walking around her instead of pushing her aside like he usually does. He planned to die today. He doesn't have the energy to be an asshole to his own mother.

 

He was halfway up the stairs when Cynthia grabbed his attention again.

 

"Connor?"

 

He turned his head. "What?"

 

"I love you, sweetie."

 

He was silent for a few seconds. "I love you too."

 

He noticed something was off before he was even fully up the stairs.

 

He headed towards his room to grab pajamas before he showered. He hated going to get them with nothing but a towel. It meant his scars and cuts were out in the open for anyone to see. And he didn't want his mom to see that.

 

He had already half-stepped through his doorway when he noticed what was off.

 

His door was gone.

 

His fucking door was gone.

 

What the hell?

 

In the moment, he forgot all about taking a shower and just going to sleep so he could wake up tomorrow and probably skip school. He rushed back downstairs, nearly falling down them, and planted his feet at the bottom.

 

He didn't even look up to make sure someone was there that he was talking to.

 

"Where the fuck did my door go?"

 

Cynthia's voice was the one to respond.

 

"Oh, Connor, I should've warned you, your father thought that it would be good to keep you from sneaking out. I'm sorry, honey."

 

"What the fuck! 'I'm sorry' doesn't fucking... Give me my fucking door back!"

 

Cynthia was silent for a few seconds. "I can talk to Dad in the morning, honey. For now just... shower and get ready for bed, alright? I'm sorry."

 

Connor scoffed, but he knew he wasn't going to get any further with that conversation so. He turned and headed upstairs, to his doorless room, grabbing clothes and heading to the bathroom to take a shower.

 

He ended up having a nice, normal, shower breakdown. Which was fun. But at least he didn't have the motivation to self harm or anything beyond scratching at his arms. That was fine, at least it didn't mean any more scars.

 

He collapsed onto his bed as soon as he was back in his room and his phone was plugged in on his nightstand. He was drained. Today had been a really long rollercoaster and Connor was ready for it to be over.

 

He knew he wouldn't be asleep for another few hours, probably. But being in bed meant the day couldn't get any worse.

 

So, he shuffled under the covers and just. Laid there.

 

He realized after about a half-hour that music would probably help. Then remembered that his door was gone and that he'd probably annoy everyone else. So he let himself sit there in silence while he tried to slip into unconsciousness.

 

When he finally managed to sleep, he accepted that with open arms.

 

Tomorrow was probably not going to be better. But whatever. He'd survived seventeen years so, fuck. Apparently, now he had to survive at least a few more days.