There was no fucking way Richie was going to let go of Eddie. It was just a thing that was not going to fucking happened. He could feel the other losers pulling at him, hear the cavern start to break around him but letting go of Eddie was not an option. It was never a fucking option.
we can still help him
“Either you help me bring him away from this fucking cavern or just leave me down here!” Richie screamed. He feels a small pang of guilt wash over him for yelling, but this was Eddie for god’s sake! He can't..he can not leave him down here to rot under fucking neilbolt! He’s not dead, he can’t be dead damn it, why won’t they help???
With tears streaming down his face, throat raw from screaming, finally, finally Richie sees Mike and Ben come around and grab Eddie. The cavern is really starting to come down around them now, and they were running out of time.
How the hell they managed to get out of there, Richie couldn’t tell you. He was running on pure adrenaline and fear. He wanted to help bring Eddie up but just knew he would get in the way, and slow things down
That’s the last thing he wanted to do. They all had to make it out, they had to. They finally make it out of the well, and everything is falling down around them. It seems with IT dead, that which was associated with him is crumbling as well. Pieces of wood fall on all of them, piercing their shoulders, dropping on their heads, but they had to keep moving, they were so close.
As soon as the sun touched their skin, the rest of Neilbolt collapsed behind them. Bev was holding onto Ben, while Bill watched the house collapse. Mike gently set Eddie down, and immediately Richie was at his side. “Eds, buddy hey we made it!..” Tears were streaming down his face. Eddie was still just as lifeless as he was in ITs lair. He was pale and clammy...
“Eds, please..you can't die! I just got you back damn it!” Richie pulled Eddie into his arms and sobbed into his neck. A stream of please , no , and damn it left his mouth on repeat. His tears soaked into Eddie’s jacket, he could feel his blood drying on his skin.
“Honey...we need to call the police Richie..we can’t leave him here.” Bev gingerly put her hand onto Richie’s trembling shoulder, heart aching for her friend. No one needed to be told what was going on when it was obvious, and they all always suspected so. But hearing the heartbreak in Richie’s voice was telling enough.
Eddie was dead. There was nothing they could do about it, as much as they so wish they could. No amount of believing could change this outcome. What is written is what will be. The turtle couldn’t help them, not with this.
Richie didn’t respond, he couldn’t. He was too busy still crying into Eddie’s neck, desperately wanting to feel a pulse. Just a slight pulse to give him some sort of hope, but nothing ever came. Just more tears and profanities. Profanities aimed at anyone and everyone, god, that damn fucking clown, himself for being a god damn coward. That’s what Richie thought he was, a fucking coward who never got to tell the love of his life how he felt. How he feels damn it.
Loving Eddie was a part of his core. It came to him like breathing. It was what always made sense. Everything else was confusing, but his love for Eddie was not. It was the only thing that made perfect sense in this fucking town growing up. It made sense even when he couldn’t remember him. A gaping hole in his heart that was finally filled after seeing Eddie in that Chinese restaurant. This “oh there you are” moment when everything finally made sense again.
Eddie...Eddie was so brave. And Richie was just a goddamn coward.
He faintly heard sirens in the distance and sobbed harder. This was not how this was supposed to end. They were all supposed to kill this damn clown together. Eddie, Stan, all of them! Richie had no idea what he was going to do after they defeated IT, but this was definitely not in the plans.
Eddie was married, Eddie lived in New York, Eddie was...Eddie was so out of his league it wasn’t even funny. But he was not going to give him up now that he remembered him again. Just being able to be his friend , to be in his life again would have been enough for Richie. It would have hurt but he would take that hurt over this heart aching, gut-wrenching pain any day.
“Eddie... I...I love you Eds. I love you so goddamn much. I’m so fucking sorry Eds...I love you and I’m so sorry” He sobbed into his hair. Fuck that clown, he didn't get to hold this over his head anymore. Richie Tozier fucking loved Eddie Kaspbrack.
The fellow losers all had tears in their eyes. Over losing Eddie, Stan, from seeing Richie in absolute disarray. They all knew there was nothing they could do at this moment to ease any of Richie’s heartache.
When the ambulance and the cops finally arrived, Ben and Bev sat with Richie, speaking soothing words into his hair as he cried. Richie knew he couldn’t fight the paramedics, that they were going to take Eddie on the stretcher, and zip it shut so no one could see his lifeless face. So he just went limp, falling into Bev. The tears did not stop. Of course, the cops wanted to question them. Why were they in the Neilbolt house? What happened in there? Why is there a stab wound in that young man's face? Are you aware of the murder that happened in the library?
For a town that never seemed to give a shit about what went on, they sure do seem to care a lot now. Maybe that was part of ITs clutch on the town, and it was finally being freed. This black mist clearing from everyone’s eye.
But they, of course, did not care about the emotional distress all the losers were in. Nor their physical state. They all had to go down to the station for questioning which was the last thing Richie wanted to do. He wanted to go back to the shitty townhouse, get pissed drunk and act like the last hour never fucking happened. He then wanted to wake up and get the fuck out of this shitty ass town. What’s the point of staying? Richie could not tell you a single one.
Richie wasn’t allowed to leave Derry until a week later. Same with Mike due to what happened in the library. All the other losers were able to file out. Bill went back first. Ben and Beverly left next. And Richie was going to go back to California..he really was until he saw Eddie’s obituary on Facebook. Myra must have pretty shit privacy settings because it was the first post he saw when he finally succumbed to his urges and looked for her profile. It wasn’t that hard at all to find. And the very first post was Eddie’s fucking obituary. Along with it was the date and time for his showing and funeral. And fuck... fuck .
So Richie purchased a fucking ticket to New York. The address of the funeral parlor stored in his phone. He threw up twice before even getting on the plane, and once when he actually landed in New York. He felt like he was actually going to die.
He looked like shit, he knew he looked like shit. Richie hasn’t gotten any sleep since...well you know. Every time he closed his eyes, all he saw was Eddie. On repeat, it was just Eddie getting fucking stabbed. Eddie saying ”Richie?" Eddie's blood spraying all over Richie’s face. On constant fucking loop and Richie feared it would never stop. That for the rest of his life, all he would see whenever he closed his eyes was Eddie dying. Over and over and over again.
So when Richie showed up to the funeral parlor, he wasn’t shocked when people looked at him with disgust shown upon their faces. His jeans were crinkled to all shit, his hoodie had seen much better days, and the darkness under his eyes was very prominent. The funeral director showed him the way to where Eddies showing was with sympathy etched onto his face. He walked down the hallway with his head down until he noticed the sign signifying Eddie’s room was down the hall.
At the doorway into the room was none other than Myra Kaspbrak. The name like vomit in Richie’s mouth. She really was a fucking carbon copy of Eddie’s mother. The fact that IT fucked the losers up so much, that Eddie married his mom was a punch in the face. For a second Richie wonders what would have happened had Eddie lived. If he would have divorced Myra? But he shakes his head quickly. Going down the road of what-ifs is not good. Richie starts to spiral and then he’ll have another fucking panic attack, and he really did not want to have one in front of Myra of all people.
He tried to just walk past Myra, he really did. But of course, that’s not what happened. And that’s not even a jab on the women’s weight blocking the doorway.. Before he could even pass the threshold she grabbed onto his arm and yanked him back.
“I’m sorry, who are you??? This is a private funeral!” Myra sneered at him. She looked him up and down and frowned in disgust. Richie bit his tongue, now was not the time nor the place. He looked at the hand that had an iron grip around his bicep, and then at Myra. “I’m a friend of Eds..of Eddie,” Richie stated staring into Myra’s cold eyes. She just seemed upset at that answer, eyes wide with anger. “You are not a friend of Eddie! I have never seen you once in my entire life. He would never be friends with someone as filthy as you anyway! Now leave before I call security!"
At this point Richie could feel himself start to get angry. Who the fuck does this women think she is? She doesn’t know a goddamn thing about him or Eddie. “Listen, I am an old friend okay? We recently reconnected, and I would like to say goodbye to him. I’ve earned that, I’ve known him since elementary school. We were best friends .” Richie stressed the end of that sentence. Needing Myra to let go of him before he went into full-blown hysterics. This could not be happening, she really could not be stopping him from even entering the goddamn room.
Myra’s eyes opened in recognition and then snarled at Richie. “You were there! You’re the reason my Eddie-bear is dead! It’s all your fault! He went back to Derry, and wouldn’t tell me why! Just that he needed to go, that his friends needed him! I told him not to go that it wasn’t safe and he didn’t listen to me! And now he’s dead and it’s all your fault!” She screamed at him. Everyone in the parlor turned towards the door, all in shock watching the scene that was taking place in front of them.
And that’s what made Richie crack. Tears streaming down his face he yelled back. He knew he shouldn’t have, that it was going to get him kicked out. But hell go kicking and screaming damn it. “You don’t know a damn thing! Eddie is the bravest person I’ve ever known, and he never, ever needed your protection! Do you ever stop to think why he didn’t tell you? Hmm, maybe its because you’re a controlling bitch and he finally realized that he’s worth more than that! That he deserved more than that! And now he will never get to live a life where he’s in control. First his mom, and then you! You’re just like her, did you know that! Eddie deserved so much more than you! He deserved the fucking world you-!” by this point in his rant he was indeed being dragged away from the parlor. His words died on his lips the further he was pulled from the room and the stunned Myra.
Trying to regain some of his dignity, Richie escaped the hold of the two men holding him by his arms and left the parlor briskly, not looking back. The cold New York air stung his face, where the tears were still falling. He knew coming here was stupid, was hopeless. But Eddie was to be buried six feet under and Richie just did not know what to do with himself. He was so lost. He almost wishes he never remembered at all. There would be no memories to haunt his every waking moment. He would be empty yeah, and have the phantom ache but not this. This was hell, a modern-day hell he couldn’t escape.
The next day, when Eddie was to be buried, Richie waited a couple hours until after he knew the service would be over. He couldn’t risk Myra seeing him again. Not being able to see him at the showing already sucked but maybe it was for the best. He didn’t want to see Eddie like that..did he? He knows they try and make them look..peaceful..but it never fucking turns out that way. They look lifeless, and sad, and out of place and thinking about it now, Richie doesn’t think he could have handled that. He would have broken down at the casket, in front of a room full of strangers.
So he drove into the cemetery and then realized finding Eddie’s marker was going to be harder than he thought to think of. Thankfully, he was able to find the fresh mound of dirt fairly quickly, covered in a couple of bouquets. Putting the car into park, he slowly got out of the vehicle. The tears already started streaming down his face.
Richie sat next to the headstone, leaning his head on it.
1976 - 2016
But of course, it was a shared headstone, as on the other side Myra’s named was etched. Just waiting until the day she kicks the bucket so she can lie next to her. ..husband .
Richie cleared his throat, “...Hey, Eddie Spahgetti...so uh..this fucking sucks man. Like..this sucks so much.” Taking a deep breath he continued, “I..I miss you so fucking much. I think I always did? Even when we forgot each other..but now it’s just amplified. Knowing what I lost…what you lost. You uh..know how in the deadlights Bev saw us die?? For me..fuck for me it was just us. Every memory of us. At the quarry, in the clubhouse, the hammock. The movie theatre, school. Getting ice cream..” A sobbed racked through Richie’s body. “He fucking knew..that clown knew man and he was just fucking with me. It wasn’t enough to taunt me in the park. Which he did by the way while getting the stupid token. Which didn’t even work? But..yeah it was just...us. And then you uh..died right in front me. What the fuck Eds...you know I was kidding about the human sacrifice bit right?” He sniffled and brought his arms around his knees. “I don’t even know why I’m doing this, to be honest. If ghosts even existed why would you just be hanging around here, you would hate being in this place, being underground..” Exhaling one more time Richie knew it was time to go. More tears fell down his face and he stood up from the ground. With one last look at Eddies’ resting place, Richie turned to walk away.
He took a few steps before turning back.
“I love you, Eddie. I’ve always loved you.”
The wind picked up around his feet as Richie got back into his rental. His heart still heavy, and tears streaming down his face, he pulled out of the cemetery and drove to the airport.
When Richie got back to California, he made an effort to keep the remaining losers updated on what he was doing. Every now and then they would call and check up on him. Make sure he's getting enough rest, eating. And Richie is so thankful for the support system that he has. He knows that they all went through something utterly horrible, and wishes he could be more of a support beam for them, but Richie's just been a right mess. They are all so understanding, he doesn't know what he would do if he didn't have them.
Ben and Bev are taking a much needed vacation and send pictures consistently and constantly to the group chat. Same with Mike, sending various pictures from all the new cities he has visited. Bill send them drafts of a new book he is writing. It all keeps Richie grounded.
Richie knew he couldn't mope around forever, that he had to live. To be truthful, he doesn't want to. Not really. But Bev told him that sometimes it's okay if you stay alive for something other than yourself. So that's what Richie is currently doing. He's staying alive for Bill, for Mike, Ben and Bev. He's staying alive for Stan. And most importantly to him, he's staying alive for Eddie. He will be brave and face every goddamn day for Eddie until he can finally live for himself again.
After about a month, Richie finally musters up the courage to talk to his manager, who thankfully hasn't fired him. Then again when Richie first arrived home he sent him a short text, saying that two of his closest friends died and that he really just needed some time.
He gets his manager on bored to fire his shitty writer, and gets the go ahead to write his own material. His own material for a comeback special. It is to be aired on Netflix and Richie is currently throwing up in the waste basket that sits next to his manager's desk.
He sends the good news in a text the losers group chat, getting multiple texts back congratulating him, saying how proud they are of him, and that they want front row seats. And Richie does just that. The night the special is being filmed, the losers are all in the crowd. He doesn't think he could go through with it if they were front and center, no. But they are there and it makes Richie's heart warm. Next to them are two empty seats. Richie had to fight with his manager and the venue to make sure those two seats were not sold. He really shouldn't have to explain himself, his manager should have caught on. Thankfully they let up and agreed.
"5 minutes Mr. Tozier."
Richie acknowledged the stage crew and went to get into position. This would make or break his career honestly. He could already see the headlines now, everyone's conspiracy theories on what happened, where he disappeared too, all being boiled down to tonight's show where he plans on coming out. Nationwide, on a fucking special that will be on Netflix. We all know Richie is one for theatrics, that's for sure.
His heart feels like it could beat out of his chest, and he can feel the sweat starting to build on his forehead. But he can do this, he has to do this...for himself. He can't continue to live and not live authentically. He spent 40 years repressing who he is, hiding his secret . But it's not dirty, and there is nothing wrong with him and it's time he stopped hiding who he was. The house lights dimmed, and Richie could hear the crowd cheering loudly. It was now or never. He walked out onto the stage, spotlight following him to the center where a mic and water bottle was waiting for him. He took a deep breath...
"My name is Richie Trashmouth Tozier….."