There was only an announcement over the speakers for five minutes to tell them that fateful information that David 'Dave' Karofsky had attempted to kill himself, and that they were able to talk to the counselor if need be at anytime. To say it put a damper on her day would be an understatement. The words that sounded too monotone and scripted hit something inside of Beth. The rush of emotions that all made her wish to cry bubbled to the surface and all she could do was sit there and hope that none fell. The scars on her stomach and high thighs burned with recognition. Suddenly, she wished the day was over and that Glee Club wouldn't be too much of a hassle today.
The group was sitting on the floor in a circular formation waiting for Mr. Schuester to start the meeting. When it did start, Beth was as unsure as the purpose to it as Kurt was. Luckily and unluckily, the lesson came to the surface and those feelings from that morning came to the surface once again for Beth. She tried to pay attention to what they were all saying while also shoving her tears and sobs into the deep recesses of her brain and figurative heart.
"The point is Rory just had a brand-new experience, something as simple as peanut butter." Mr. Shue answered before sounding much more serious. "You guys are young. I want you to promise me that, no matter how depressed you get, no matter how hopeless and alone you feel, you'll try your best to imagine all of the amazing experiences you have ahead of you."
That hit a heart string. The room began to seem too quiet and breathing became a hassle. This can't be happening was all she could think. We cannot be having this conversation.
Mercedes seemed to need to say, "Mr. Shue, look, I know we're a little dramatic sometimes, but I don't think anyone will ever consider taking their own life."
The tears were starting to rim her eyes, and her nose began to work against her desires of coming out of this conversation still in the closet about her self-harm and self-hatred. As every sentence in this conversation came out, it seemed one step closer to her eminent doom of confession. That is until Mr. Shue told his story of how he cheated and contemplated very briefly jumping. He started to tell why and how he is grateful he didn't. It was inspirational but it didn't make her feel any better about this. This was too close to home for them to be speaking so casually about in her opinion.
Then it seemed that he was trying to get some sort of response when he said, "But there's something... everyone has something that might take them up to that edge." He continued with why he was happy he didn't which included them and Emma. He then kindly demanded, "So, right now, I want you all to think of something that you're looking forward to. Big things."
Danger bells rung in Beth's ears as she desperately scrambled for any though of a big event she was looking forward to. It seemed everyone else was for a second before Sam started them off.
"Someday, I want to earn enough money to buy my folks a new place, so they don't ever have to go through losing their home again."
Mercedes went a different route and added, "Yeah, I'm looking most forward to meeting Rachel Berry's children."
That received a laugh from all that weren't concerned with finding a cover reason. The floor was not very inspiring to Beth at the moment, so she looked up at her smiling friends. They were all so much happier than her that it hurt. There was nothing to look forward to except death and that wasn't very conversation fitting.
Artie responded next, "I want to be there to see my kid's first steps." That one made her want to smile and cry at the hopeful irony of his situation.
Sugar was quickly after with, "I want to be there to see Sex and the City Part III."
Everyone was a bit surprised, but the revelation wasn't mood stopping. Mr. Shue even said a quick wow without meaning to.
Noah from his sheltered position softly contributed, "I'm sort of embarrassed to admit it, but I really do want to graduate high school."
Finn was soon after sounding much too hopeful yet serious, "I'm gonna petition the Army to change my dad's dishonourable discharge status to an honourable one."
Quinn came next with no hesitation to say, "I'm looking forward to graduating from Yale at the top of my class."
Santana sounded flat but the sadness could be heard when she commented, "I'm looking forward to the day when my grandmother loves me again."
Quickly Brittany spewed out, "I want Lord Tubbington to kick his Ecstasy addiction."
On a more serious note, Blaine accurately stated, "I am looking forward to marriage equality in all 50 states."
Mike with a satisfied look continued, "I'm looking forward to the first time I dance at Carnegie Hall."
There were very few people left and there was nothing she was looking forward to. She was not looking forward to answering this question.
Tina simply said, "I just want a song."
Kurt after a quick group chuckle stated, "I'm looking forward to watching my dad make a difference in Congress."
Rachel said, "I'm looking forward to being friends with all of you for the rest of my life."
The panic spread through her stomach and nerves so quickly she gave a quick spasm that no one noticed as all eyes went towards Rory.
Rory the last one before her said, "I know this sounds silly, but the peanut butter really is amazing, Mr. Shue, but do you know what I'm looking forward to? Winning at Regionals."
Everyone cheered briefly for his statement before looking over at Beth. They apparently expected her to have something to say, but all she could do was glare at the ground with her arms around her pant covered legs that she hugged to her chest. This couldn't be happening was all she could think. There had to be something.
Without looking up and attempting to keep a steady voice, she babbled, "Could I have a minute to think of one?"
Mr. Shue seeming to understand gave a nod and an affirmative. The pressure kept building inside despite that. She could feel the gazes of her fellow classmates and friends dig into her skin. They had to be so confused and angered. How could she not have anything? Something. Equal marriage? No, Blaine said that. What else? What else was there? Is world peace too cliché? Yea, too cliché. Besides, that wouldn't be happening anytime soon. The world was just too fucked up to do that. Was it even possible to be honest? No more starvation? Same problem. Sarcastic route and somewhat situation lifting route? It seemed to be the only option.
Looking up to see all eyes on her almost made her back out on her pick, but knowing it had to be done allowed her to say, "I am looking forward to no more public speakings without my knowing ahead of time."
That didn't seem to satisfy the group's hopes. Mr. Shue even dared to reply after a moment of silence, "I don't really think that fits, Elisabeth."
That phrase on that day in that moment, struck a chord in her. She had always been unable to take criticism well, but today really was not the day to hear it. She sat paralyzed with uncertainty of whether or not he wanted a new response or if they'd just let it slide. Considering no one moved or talked, they seemed to be unsure as well.
"Is there nothing else you look forward to in your life, anything at all?" Mr. Shue continued after a few minutes seeing that she was unsure. He also sounded like that one day when he listened in on the girls conversation about boy problems a year or so ago.
Instantly and without thinking she whispered, "Death."
There was an unwelcomed silence. Her eyes shut and her head tilted down. She knew she had messed up this time. One of two things could happen. One, he could think she was joking and become pissed because it wasn't a laughing matter. Or two, he could take it seriously, and all of the hiding she had done would be for naught. Either way, Elisabeth was screwed by her own instincts.
"Why?" broke the silence. She couldn't tell who said it and honestly didn't care. Why she hadn't left when this conversation started was beyond her. Now, she had told a dozen or so other people including an adult that she was looking forward to being dead. She pissed at herself for having fucked up this badly. She was also pissed at him for making them do this. Not everyone has a programmed future wish in them.
"Beth," a voice that seemed more cracked than usual said to her direct right. Blaine, she figured for he sat to her immediate right. "why would you say that?"
Could this get any worse was all she could think. She was nudged out of that thought when his inquiry was recognized in her brain. She had need to slice her skin open. She was desperate for it now.
"I said it because I don't have a dream. The only thing I really have to look forward to is sleep at the end of a long day. To escape this world of hurt and tiredness and sorrow. Death happens, I would know. Loneliness happens, I would also know. I just want a break from work and school and expectations, mine and others, and life and bullies. I just want a break and the only thing that seems to fall under each of those wants is death." Beth said each word with no emotion; and understandably, she still couldn't look at anybody. She needed to get out of here, but she wouldn't be able to without someone refusing to let her go alone. "Can I leave? I won't kill myself or anything. If I wanted to do that, I could have done it when I was forced to move here."
She didn't hear any objections, so she dashed for the exit not running yet not walking. As she expected, someone was accompanying her on her way out. They walked side-by-side to the exit closest to her direction home. Neither of them said anything until they were outside. Once there, she turned to see that it was Blaine.
"What do you want, Blaine?" it wasn't insincere but it was a bit emotionless and sounded a little annoyed.
Except he seemed to be in shock from her choice of statements. He kept opening and closing his mouth until he appeared to decide on his response. "I just want to know why. I also want to know if you're getting any better. I want you to be okay, and that is selfish of me, but I want you to be okay and alive."
"Why? Let's start from the top then. My four brothers along with two of my grandparents died within a month shortly after my birthday. Then, my mother's abuse became worse since she lost four of her punching bags along with her mother and father. My father was a lovely man that just couldn't stand up for himself or his children. The summer before my freshman year here, my mother kicked me out and relocated me here after a lot of convincing from my father. She pays for rent and gave me a limited credit card for food and water. I was bullied at my old school and am still bullied at this school. That gets to your head after a while. So, yeah. I'm messed up. I've suffered and suffered. Don't I deserve some happiness? So what if that is death? It isn't like I'm actually going to do it! I've had plenty of opportunities to do so if I was. If you call that getting better, then yes I have. I am alive and that isn't going to change by my hand anytime soon, so don't worry about it. Okay?" It all came tumbling out of her mouth and she somehow looked him in the eye the entire time. When it came to an end, she gave him a slight nod, a pat on the shoulder and then turned to walk home per usual.