Title: We Take

You're just one of those people

You really, actually care

"So, how's Nate?" Reese asked, brushing a stray piece of hair behind her ear. He soft brown eyes searched Alina's green-yellow ones.

Alina shrugged, suddenly becoming very interested in the contents of her locker. "Okay, I guess. He's mostly hanging out with Rosa."

"He's a jerk, Alina." Reese leaned up against her own locker. She always remembered to check on her friends old issues, to see if they'd been resolved. Alina's issues weren't that bad, just repetitive. Alina always seemed to make the exact same mistakes over and over again.

"You just don't know him like I do. He's over protective, that's all."

"Uh-huh. And you're every teacher's pet. Bullshit."

"Damn it, Reese, you know better than to curse. It's fucking bad for your health."

"Then you're half dead." Reese retorted, scowling. But inside she was worried. All she wanted to do was keep Alina from pain.

"So I am." Alina shrugged. "Is Pre-Cal due tomorrow?"

Reese raised an eyebrow. She recognized a subject change when she saw one. "Alina, I take Calculus AP."

"So you do." Alina said with a sigh and shut the locker door with a clang. "C'mon, we'll go to the comp lab to talk."

You give

And give

And we take

And take

Reese sat slumped in the plush chair of the school lobby. She was the only one in there, everyone else had joined in a made up game involving a soccer ball. It was after school, and no one had really noticed her absence. These days she felt really drained. Alina hadn't been kidding when she said that she was the group shrink. Between counseling Alina and lecturing Thomas for cutting himself, trying to get Sasha to snap out of her depression, and starting a relationship with Carson, she felt like she was running out of pieces of herself to give...

We're like leeches,


Take your love

Take your compassion

Suck all your hope dry

'til you got not more tears to cry

Thomas had found out about Reese and Carson. The guy always had a few screws loose, and it was only a matter of time before he lost it. Thomas had an obsessive love for Carson, but 'Arson was known for breaking hearts. 'Arson was dating Helen, but was in love with Reese, and couldn't care less how Thomas fit into it. Carson was straight and as he put it, Thomas was just "A creepy, disgusting little faggot". It happened after school, in the lobby where they all hung out. Thomas wasn't even supposed to sit with the group, since he had been thrown out of it, but he did anyway.

Carson and Reese were sitting next to each other on the steps to Madeline Hall; Alina was chatting with them about some inane subject. Sasha sat in a corner, doing homework while listening to her headphones.

Thomas came in, very casually, and no one bothered to dignify him by looking up. That is, until he walked over to Reese and shoved her back, hard. Reese's head went back, hitting the step behind her with a crack. Carson had shoved Thomas against the wall in a second, and once the others realized what was going on they quickly came to his side.

Carson had Thomas pinned, Sasha was yelling at him, and Alina kneeled next to Reese, picking the small girl up, easy as can be. She carried the dizzy girl to the girls' bathroom to clean her head, because it was bleeding. Once in the bathroom, Reese sat on the windowsill, crying with out tears or noise.

silly little girl,

stupid little child

If I'd was a kinder person,

I would've warned you

About people like me

Alina smiled faintly at her dresser across from her bed. Pill bottles lay scattered across it, some opened, with the multi-colored ovals and circles spilling out. A glass of water was in her hand. She'd taken so many of them, that she didn't remember which ones she decided to take.

Were they Mommy's blood pressure pills? Or Daddy's heart ones? Maybe Grandpa's painkillers? She had prepared for this. She had already gotten someone to fill in her position in the group. Her room was neat. A list of instructions for her death was on her dresser with her pill bottles. She stacked all her disks, journals, poems, and drawings in a corner so her parents could look through them.

A poem was held in her other hand. Her lips moved to its words, although she did not look at the paper.

"Vida, nada me debes. Vida, estamos en Paz…" she stopped, then softly repeated the last words. "En paz. En paz."

As she laid down for her long rest, she had one last thought: Reese was wrong. I wasn't strong enough. Not even close.

But I'm not...

Reese had gotten sloppy. This was the first time she had failed to bring one of her friends to the surface. Alina had slipped from her grip, and it was now painfully obvious what happened when she didn't pay enough attention to her friends. Alina hadn't come to Reese with her problems in weeks.

Reese attended the funeral, wearing royal purple because that's what Alina wanted. All her friends were in different colors, ones they didn't normally wear.

Alina had written notes to each of them, telling them not to blame themselves. But Reese knew that it was her fault. She had failed. Alina was one of those people that Reese had been fooled into thinking that they were all right. She was so stupid...

We don't care

anything about you

go ahead and rot in hell

it don't matter

Did anyone care about her? Yeah, they all told her their problems, but not one person offered to listen to hers. Yeah, for a while Alina had tried, but she hadn't been able to understand, and now even she was gone. Carson got scared when she tried to talk to him. No one wanted to hear that she had problems, because no one else wanted to bear the load of other's sins and secrets like Reese did for them. No that it surprised her; after all, wasn't she buckling under the load after only three and a half years? She could already see the fires right beyond the gates of hell.

You really didn't know,

did ya, pretty little lamb?

And now you're being lead to slaughter

We drank your blood dry,

Now we'll crack you bones

And suck out the marrow

Reese was tired. She barely had the strength everyday to put on a smiling face. She had been worn down. She really didn't have anything left to give. But still, she smiled at people and listened to their problems like she was their damn confessor.

Reese lost the smile as soon as she would walk away from the group. What did she care their problems? They were trivial, and just didn't matter. If one of them drowned in their misery, would it be a loss to the world? No. They hadn't impacted it enough for anyone to care. But they kept coming to her for support.

She told Sasha once that she didn't have enough strength to keep holding them all up. Sasha, always the caustic one, for once didn't give a snide comment. Instead, she assured Reese that she still had plenty more to other the group. She knew how important Reese was for them to continue functioning as a group. Reese sighed. She didn't say it, but she knew she had one last thing to offer.

You're too tied up

In everyday living,

trying hope for a

hopeless cause.

You thought you had saved us,

only to lose us

'cause we've all turned our backs on you...

Her friends had the habit to sinking to the bottom of a deep pool of stagnant water. Reese originally had dived in after one, but after bringing her to the surface, she found she was too exhausted to do any thing but drag her self on shore. Then another one went under, and she slid back in, pulling up this one too. This time Reese only had enough strength to cling to a rock next to the shore. The third time Reese refused to go under. She was busy trying to see if the others on the shore were doing fine. By the time Reese turned to dive under for this other one, the girl had drowned.

And so she cried, hating herself for her moment of neglect.

But when another dove under, she still questioned her sanity. Why dive under again and risk her life? But she knew these were friends, and she couldn't live with losing another to the gray water. So she let go of the rock, and she brought her friend to the surface, who quickly scrambled on shore. Her other friends stood along the rocks, waiting for them both to climb up. Reese couldn't pull herself out, though. She couldn't cling to these rocks forever either, because the current was pulling her under.

She reached out to her friends, waiting for one to grab her hand and help her out. None of them moved. She might pull them back under if they tried to help, they said. And she was covered in the dark filth of the pool, from jumping in so many times. She would pollute them. The girl she had just pulled out was cold and shivering from the water. The others did not give her something to warm herself with. They didn't want to associate themselves with her until she recovered. The girl looked from one to the other, pleading with her eyes. They all looked away. Finally she looked to Reese.

Reese had one only thing left to give. She reached inside herself, pulling out a dimming light. It had once been bright, but now flickered like a candle in a wind. The wet girl took it into her hands, thankful for its warmth. And yet the girl still did not reach for Reese. Reese, without that last bit of her strength, gave her self up to the pool's dark waters. The light had been all that kept her soul alive, her last bit of love, compassion, caring. It was what kept her human. So now she was swept along, a soulless husk of a human, drowning in dark waters. And she could see the fires beyond the gates of hell...

Too bad for you...

Too bad for you...

You've got nothing left...

We've taken it all...

Author's Note:

The lines between the story are lyrics from a San Antonio band, but were created by me.

Characters are fictional, but draw inspiration from real people.

The Spanish poem mentioned in the story is 'En Paz' by Amado Nuervo. It says, "Life you owe me nothing. Life, this is in peace. In peace, in peace."

Teresa is my best friend and muse; 'Reese' is loosely based off her during sophomore year.

This story used to contain more controversial material based on true life, but had to be changed due to readership and propriety.