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Reckoning

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They say people live as long as their names are still spoken.
Don’t ask Connor who the fuck ‘they’ are in this situation, it’s a universal ‘they’. Someone said it. He would have called bullshit, because a lot of the dead would be lurking around earth if that were the case. Shakespeare? Man would never die.
But as it turns out, someone was right.
Because Connor Murphy is far from gone, even though he should be. Wanted to be. This is worse. Being.. a ghost? Haunting? It’s worse than the life that killed him, because he has even less to make anyone notice him at all. At least his furious moments burned bright. At least his pain hurt and bled.
Now he was here, wherever that was, fucking, in between them the living the loud, and..
Well, he’d never been religious. But all things considered, he probably belonged in hell. People who killed themselves should. Certainly no one important enough called them to stay and haunt here. That was the whole point of leaving - he knew he wouldn’t be missed.
Thought he knew. Turns out while alive, Connor had assumed a lot of things.

#

His first new memory is watching his mom tell Evan Hansen that he is dead.
It takes Connor a bit to even remember the boy’s name. He’s fidgety, dark brown hair tousled, busy tugging at his striped shirt to keep his hands occupied. Until Mom says it. Then he stills completely, head snapping up to finally look her in the eye.
It’s the shirt that brings that day back.
“Hi Connor. Lovin’ the new hair length. Very.. school shooter chic.” Some asshole said. He's never been good at names, at remembering people. Being dead does him no favors. But behind the guy Connor deadpanned, “Oh, I’m laughing, can’t you tell. Am I not laughing hard enough for you?” was Evan, in that same blue and white shirt, silent and wide eyed.
Just like he is now.
“Evan? Evan Hansen?”
Connor’s mom is hysterical, clutching a piece of paper in her hand. He’s a little in shock at just how fallen apart she is. He feels guilty for being surprised, but.. part of it is that Connor’s never seen her like this. She looks awful.
Her hair is clearly unbrushed, thrown into a hasty ponytail. Her clothes are nice, for going out, but wrinkled and completely uncoordinated. There is a single dab of makeup on her cheek is if she had started to apply it only to give up immediately.
The worst part is her eyes. Holding back tears but, more than that, the turmoil in them and the dark bags look eerily like the ones that used to gaze back at Connor in the mirror.
And she looks at Evan like he is a lifeline.
His dad is reading the letter. Choking out the sentences, really.
Connor has no idea why.
The words march past him, meaningless, until his sister’s name comes up. Connor flinches, looking at Evan with eyebrows drawn. He appears stricken.
That’s where Connor had stopped reading, the first time. Obviously, Evan had been fucking with him.
.. Or, that’s what he’d thought.
He absentmindedly slips a hand into his pocket.
Empty.
He is dead. He doesn’t exist. Of course it was fucking -
“N- no, um, miss Murphy? I -” Evan was stuttering like mad, but no one was really listening to him.
“Connor’s letter is to you -”
“Do you know why?”
“Miss -”
Connor’s head is pounding. Everyone is talking over each other. His letter? He hadn’t left one. He sure as hell hadn’t addressed it to Evan Hansen.
“If he was your friend, did you - know about this?” His mom finally asks loudly.
The room falls silent.
Connor sinks to his knees. He's still buzzing. Why.. the hell..? Is he so faint? He looks up through his hair at Evan, waiting for things to be set straight.
“Maybe we can both pretend to have friends.” He had said that himself, but that was before..
“N- no. I didn’t know.. he was going to do this.” Evan finally said.
His father stands up abruptly. “Let’s go, Cynthia. It’s time to go.” Connor can hear his voice, steely like it used to be whenever he was mad at Connor, but his vision is fuzzing over.
He tries desperately to stay here, stay awake, because the realization that Evan didn’t deny their relationship is hitting him. Or it would be, if he could just fucking hold.. on….