Title: Staying Buried
Warnings: serious AU, probable OOC, angsty/depressing, yaoi later on
Notes: I swear to all who come across this that it is indeed a GW fic... it may not seem that way at first, but trust me it is. So if you continue reading and find the g-boys somewhere, thanks a bunch for sticking with it!
Feedback: yes... yes!... YES!!
The cab pulls to a stop. My shoulders slump and I issue a tired sigh. The driver steps out and lumbers to the trunk for my suitcase. I follow him mechanically. At his expectant look I hand over money for the fare and a generous tip. It's the holidays, and it looks like he could use extra cash; something tells me this is his second job, and I could care less where my money goes right now. He wishes me a Merry Christmas and I give him a forced smile.
I follow the cab with half-closed eyes, watching as it speeds away to another destination, another tired traveler, just another fare to him. Those same tired eyes finally survey my surroundings. Nothing has changed, only perhaps the cars in the driveways. The same wide boulevard with the towering oak trees spaced evenly apart, giving the street a dark appearance, not helped by the winter clouds. The same stately lawns separating the same stately mansions, each one prideful of its unique appearance.
The neighborhood is devoid of people, the chilling cold keeping everyone shut indoors in their spacious homes. I only realize it's cold because I can see each sigh as it rushes from my mouth, the white clouds dissipating before me. I'm too numb to feel anything, not the cold, not the loneliness of my old neighborhood, not even the dread of trekking up the sidewalk and facing my childhood demons.
I don't feel anything anymore. I live my life as an empty shell, just waiting for the day when death will finally catch up with me.
I finally turn towards my destination. The same. My uncle's house hasn't changed in the seven years that I've been away from it. It stands like a noble monarch clinging to the traditions of the past. Nothing about its brick exterior exudes comfort and contentment, only a feeling of severity that I wish I could forget. I resign myself to my fate and turn to pick up my discarded and heavy suitcase. I packed enough to stay for a week or two, but it's just a pretense, I know I won't be here long, if I want to stay out of the asylum.
I shove my free hand into the pocket of my overcoat, finding and fingering the reason for my return home, if I could even call it home. A letter from my uncle's wife Pauline, written in perfect cursive on pristine stationary that smells faintly of her lavender perfume. I wonder yet again as to why she wrote a letter to tell me my uncle was dying, instead of calling me. Not that I would have come here any sooner.
I don't believe my uncle ever loved me, not even a natural gravity of a creature towards a child. I know for certain I never loved him. I remember having a distant respect, but it lessened when my father died and became non-existent the day my mother died. I'll never forgive him for killing her. Not in the direct, gun-to-the-forehead-way, but a subtle wearing down of her energy and life. She was a prisoner in this house, his house, and was so surrounded with a sense of archaic morality that it never occurred to her to leave, to escape the parasite that left her in a grave.
I climb the steps to the expansive porch. The slight creak of the boards and exactly placed wicker chairs bring out more memories. I look to the swing at the left end and can almost see the apparition of my mother, sitting serenely, knitting away without a care in the world. I shut my eyes, I don't want to see, I don't want to remember. I hear the heavy front door click open and close off my thoughts. I force my eyes open and turn to face my aunt. She's dressed in a pristine black knee-length skirt and matching black blouse, complete with a small sympathetic look, as though she presumes to understand my anguish over my uncle.
Anguish, what anguish?
"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry," she says and comes forward to envelop me in a lavender scented embrace. I say nothing in return, allowing her to think I'm actually mourning. She pulls back, her bony hands still attached to my upper arms, and surveys what time has done to me.
"You must be tired, dear. Come inside and let me make you a cup of tea." I nod my head in acceptance and once again pick up my suitcase to follow her inside. She smiles slightly and we both cross the threshold.
I fight the urge to promptly turn around, leave, and never look back. The inside of the house is just as the outside was: the same. From the same antique furniture and wood paneling to the distinct smell of pipe tobacco that always permeated my nostrils the moment I stepped foot on the tapestry covering the foyer floor. I drop my suitcase unceremoniously on to the wood floor, an action to which my aunt gives a slight frown.
"Why don't you take your bag up to your room and get yourself settled? I'll call you when the tea is ready." I can almost taste the sugarcoating on her words.
I drag myself and my load upstairs, turn left at the top; second door on the right. I turn the faux bronze knob and wait for the memories to hit. My old room looks as though it hasn't been touched during these seven years, save for the pristinely made immense four-poster bed. I hated all the furniture in here, and still do, none of it was ever mine, always my uncle's choice as to what would look good and where. There is little left here that is actually mine, just a few posters, a stack of old comic books, and a few knick knacks scattered here and there; I had taken most of what was left and burned it in a funeral pyre to my childhood the day I left; driven from this sanctuary as a rebelling teenager and returning as a drained adult.
I once again drop my suitcase on the floor, not bothering about how it lands, and feel grateful for the lack of a disapproving look from a meddlesome aunt. A huge yawn threatens to split my jaw and I eye my old bed; I feel it staring right back at me. Because of my battle of wills with the bed, I don't hear the ever-so-polite knocking on the bedroom door. I still don't notice as my aunt lets herself in and stares at me as I stare at the bed. She doesn't see what I see, could never see.
"Are you alright, dear? The tea's ready." Her prodding brings me out of my daze, my thoughts returning to the present and I cringe at that question: "are you alright?" I've always hated that question because it makes me lie right to someone's face.
"Yes, Aunt Pauline, I'm fine. I'll be down in a minute." My response is dripping with false cordiality, something she doesn't seem to notice. She gives me another sympathetic smile and backs out of the room, gratefully closing the thick door behind her. I listen absently to the clack of her heels on the floorboards and return my attention to the room that encases me in the past. Remember how I said I couldn't feel anything anymore? Well, I hate to admit that I was wrong. This place is the core of my emotional existence; the place where it started and supposedly ended. But right now, I don't want to remember, I just want to curl up in the bed and say "fuck you" to the world, my aunt, and especially my uncle.
I hasten downstairs for my obligatory cup of tasteless tea before my aunt decides to go in search of me again. My journey takes me through the living room, a crackling fire doing nothing to warm the space. A large decorated spruce stands in the corner, the only sign of Christmas in the whole house. I get the sudden urge to take the tree and throw it onto the fire, maybe that would warm up the place. Instead I turn towards a hallway that takes me to the dining room and through to the kitchen. I see Pauline there, busying herself with the tea set. I dread the inevitable questions on what I've been doing with my life, I'm sure that all she knows about me now is my address, and even that came from a tidy little book.
I put up a cordial façade as I enter the expansive kitchen, just as everything else in this house is expansive. I spot the first noticeable change in the house, the floor is now tiled here, but the rest remains intact. She looks up as I enter; another one of her damn sympathy smiles. Oh how I wish I could violently erase those from her face. She hands me the tea in a delicate china cup, dainty painted flowers and all. I itch for something to spike it with, to dull the headache I can feel coming. I set it down without drinking a drop and massage my temples. I can feel more than see my aunt open her mouth to say something about how she understands what I'm going through.
"I understand what you're going through, dear. I know this must be hard on you. Losing a loved-one is never easy."
My insides constrict into a painful ball of hatred. My head screams, "What the fuck! 'Going through'? 'Loved-one'!?! This should be the happiest day of my life!" I remain silent on the outside, but a stream of every cuss word I can think of flows through my thoughts. But she can't hear me, and so her stupidity continues.
"I'm sure you'll want to be going to the hospital as soon as possible. We can go as soon as you feel you're ready." That small smile again. That one statement has become the focal point of my entire bottle of suppressed rage. I imagine taking her by the throat and screaming to her face all the profanities that went through my head. This thought brings a smile to my face. My aunt looks distressed, probably thinking of how I could be smiling at such a time like this. I suppress a bitter chuckle.
"Are you alright?" There she goes again. But this time, I relish in having to lie to her face.
"I'm fine. Just let me get my shit together and we'll go." I promptly turn around so I don't have to see whatever reaction she decided to give. I head back upstairs, pausing to give the tree another glare, moving silently to the private bathroom connected to my old room. I search through the medicine cabinet, willing it to contain a bottle of painkillers. Success. I swallow four of the comforting white caplets, not caring about how old they really are. My gaze settles on the mirror. If I were a vain person, I'd realize that I look like hell; the dark circles, the hollowness of my cheeks, evidence to the fact that I don't sleep and barely eat. I don't think I even recognize myself anymore, maybe I never did.
I pull my fist back to make contact with that reflection, but hesitate. I know better than to be on the receiving end of my aunt's wrath. The fist drops to the faucet and turns the cold tap on full. I throw handfuls of frigid water onto my face, and reach for a nearby towel. The cold on my skin reflecting the cold in my spirit. I avoid the mirror as I replace the towel and leave the bathroom, grabbing the overcoat hastily tossed on the floor, not remembering having taken it off.
My aunt is all bundled up and waiting for me in the foyer. We exit the house and she immediately burrows farther into her coat, shivering, and complaining about the cold. I didn't even button my coat, the drastic change in temperature having no effect on me.
"You'll catch your death if you don't fasten your coat," she says. Don't tempt me, I think to myself and ignore her concern for my well-being. If I don't care what happens to me, why should anyone else?
I know without having confirmation that she wants me to drive. Good. Driving has always been an outlet of frustration for me. I drive like a maniac, something my aunt obviously doesn't know. She will soon enough.
We get to the hospital in one piece; my aunt is predictably shaken, the knuckles on her right hand are white from grabbing the door handle. I can't begin to count the number of gasps that came from her mouth, but lucky for her she didn't voice any complaint. Passengers who comment on my driving only make me drive worse. I blame my bad driving on my death wish. Every time I get into the driver's seat, I hope that another maniacal person behind the wheel will find me and together we'll be sent to hell. Ironically, my record is squeaky clean, not even a parking ticket.
We approach the hospital on foot. I'm one of those people who have always hated hospitals. The blindingly white walls, the putrid stench of cleaning supplies that desperately tries to cover up the putrid stench of patients. I think of hospitals as a place of death, not life. People come if they think they're going to die, or have some illness that will kill them if untreated. The rest of us come to console the sick and dying. That's the part I hate the most. I'm not here to console my uncle. I'm here to make sure he actually dies.
My aunt leads me to his room in the intensive care unit. He's managed to secure a room to himself. We enter. Thankfully he's asleep from some drug injected into his ailing body. I walk to his bedside and stare at him. He's still recognizable through the myriad of tubes coming in and going out, keeping him alive. This face makes me forget all the other little things I despise. This dying man is where all my deep-rooted anger, hatred, and loathing are directed.
I continue to stare, feeling nothing but rage, but no emotion shows on my face. My aunt presumes that I want to be alone, to not have to show my "grief" to others, and leaves the room, quietly closing the sterile door. I don't care about her presence at all, hell I don't care about her.
My gaze travels to an inconspicuous looking outlet in the wall, to the plug in control of my uncle's continued existence. It's not a question of whether I have the guts to pull his plug; I just want him to know for the rest of eternity that I'm the one who finally killed him, something he can't do in his current state.
"You know, uncle, I don't give a fuck if you can hear me or not. If you can, that only makes this so much better." I pause and a smile plays around on my face. "I hate you. I'm here to watch and rejoice as you die." I want to laugh at this situation. A dying man having his only nephew telling him on his death bed that he wants him to die.
I've waited practically all my life to say those words to my uncle, but having said them, I know nothing has changed. I still feel only emptiness. I turn away from him and exit the room, not being able to stand the closeness to him. My aunt is sitting across the hall, on an uncomfortable looking bench. She gives me an expectant look, like somehow he's miraculously gotten better.
"He's still dying," I say curtly while moving off in search of coffee.
Probably a bad place to end part 1, I know. More to come soon, that is if anybody wants to read more... *cries knowing everyone will hate it*