This is it. The end. I'm rather proud of myself for how it came out. I tried to be as real as possible with this—to make it as close to reality as I could while still keeping the song theme going. I pretty sure I accomplished that, because the truth is this: reality isn't always riveting; most people are varying degrees of annoying, fake, and spineless; pretentious assholes exist; relationships don't always work out; hearts break; and endings aren't exactly endings (What I mean by that is real life doesn't technically end until you die, and no one dies in this story). So, yeah.
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Disclaimer - I do NOT own MIKA, or any of his songs. This is for fun, not profit.
Epilogue: The Boy Who Knew Too Much
Why am I here?
I've been trying to figure that out since I got here, but I'm not having any luck. All I know is that this is where my feet brought me when I went for a walk this morning. I don't understand it. It's not like I felt the need to come here because of what happened, or because I miss him. I don't miss him and, to be honest, the only thing I feel when I think about what happened here is an overall indifference, with just a hint of regret.
Regret that it happened in the first place, not because it won't happen again or whatever.
I glance around the clearing. It's a nice, sunny and warm day, and it makes this place look beautiful. It's quiet and peaceful, too. A really good place to think.
And maybe that's the reason I subconsciously came here. To think.
Unfortunately, though, all I have to think about is William. I'm not pining, nor am I going to think about him in good terms, because that's pretty much near impossible now. And I'm not doing it because I want to. It's just going to happen because, well…because he's William.
After I told him off on Monday, he acted cowed for maybe a week. He didn't walk around with the usual skip in his step, didn't wear that ostentatious clothing, and didn't look down his nose at anyone. Instead, he brooded and shot me incredulous and irritated glances. But like I said, that only lasted a week. Now, he's back to acting like he did before, as pretentious and attention seeking as ever, and has seemed to have decided to ignore my existence all together.
That last part would be fine, because what I said to him still holds true—I honestly don't care if I never talk to him again. It's just…it pisses me off that I what I said to him had absolutely no long-term effect on him. And to make matters ever worse, he has a posse now.
Wait—no. It's not a posse. It's more like a bunch of disillusioned people following him around like a herd of mindless sheep, attracted by his pretty clothes, his pretty words, and his pretty face.
Oh. And he's already found someone else to manipulate and use—someone from his little group of worshippers. I wonder if I should warn her about him, but I don't think I will. Let her find out and figure out what to do about him herself.
Besides, something tells me she wouldn't listen to me even if I did warn her.
A shadow suddenly falls over me. I turn towards the person, but the sun's brightness makes it's it difficult to see who it is. I squint up at the person, and for a second I fear that it's William. But in the next instant, whoever it is plops himself down next to me in the grass, and I see that it's definitely not William. I don't know who it is, though his face does look kind of familiar.
He looks at me with a neutral expression. I stare strangely back at him and say, somewhat awkwardly, "Um…hi."
"Hi," he says wryly.
"Uh…" I continue to stare at him, trying to remember where I've seen him before. But after about a minute, I'm still clueless and confused, so I give up and ask, "Who are you?"
The boy gives me a slight, lopsided smile and then shakes his messy black hair out of his eyes. "Louis," he says with an undertone of amusement.
"Oh," I say. It takes about a second more to click, then my eyes widen as I remember. "Oh."
"Yeah." He nods, obviously trying not to laugh. I blink at him a few times, kind of bewildered, and then look him over.
I see why I didn't recognize him now. He's looks normal, wearing a pair of jeans, a tee shirt, and a pair of sandals. He isn't dressed emo or scene or whatever today. I don't really understand, but it's still rather interesting.
Louis sees me looking him over and then sighs. "Yes. No skinny jeans or eyeliner today." He rolls his eyes before pining me with them. They're a shockingly bright hazel, and I find myself thinking they're pretty. "Sorry to disappoint you. But I like to switch it up every once in a while."
He sees the confused look I'm giving him and sighs again before explaining. "Wearing the same type of clothing everyday gets boring, and it's ridiculous how people are labeled by what they wear. We changed clothes everyday, so why not change style everyday too?" Louis abruptly grins at me. "You can't label someone who does that."
Huh. He's got a very good point. And with that kind of philosophy, plus the barely noticeable scathing and cynical edge to his grin, I can see why William was with him before.
"But, anyway," Louis says, pulling me out of my musings. "How goes it with William?"
From the way he says it and the look in his eyes it's obvious that he already knows how things are with William. Normally, I would probably be mad about that, but I'm not. And, for whatever reason, I still tell him. In fact, once I start I can't stop, and I end up telling him everything, even the things I didn't tell Alex. Why I do that, I don't know. There's just something about Louis; I'm not sure what exactly, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that he's been with William before and knows how he is.
Or…maybe it's his eyes. I really, really like his eyes. And they don't leave mine, even for a second, the entire time I'm talking. He just sits there, listening intently and silently, which is how you're suppose to listen to someone.
After I'm finished, ending with how William is back to acting like a manipulating asshole, Louis nods knowingly, not looking the least bit surprised.
"Several people have said the same exact thing to him—including me—but it never does any good," he tells me. "He'll think about it for a while, and then decides that he doesn't care, because that's the way he is and he doesn't think he should change. Or that's his excuse, at least. Which is really all he is behind the pretentiousness and lies."
Louis gazes suddenly sharpens. "William's whole personality and behavior can pretty much be explained by knowing a few things about him." He starts ticking things off his fingers. "One: his family. You know how many siblings he had, and I'm sure you can imagine that he didn't—and still doesn't, really—get much attention at home. That's why he's so overly flamboyant. To make it nearly impossible for people not to notice him.
"Two: his obsession with the singer Mika," says Louis, and I recall William mentioning that name once. "He takes the songs and their concepts more seriously than he should. It's defined his whole perspective on life—he's based himself and beliefs on them. And while I have to agree some of the songs are insightful and true, he's taken it way too far."
Louis drops his hands in his lap, shaking his head slightly as he sighs deeply. "And then there's the fact that he's terrified of himself."
"What?" I ask. I frown in confusion then shake my head. "No. Sorry. I have a hard time believing that with how he obviously thinks he's better than everybody else."
"Why?" Louis asks. "A person can be that conceited and still be scared of himself." He gives me a look that tells me I should have known that before adding, "In fact, I think William's narcissism used to be ruse to hide it."
"Used to be?" I question, the use of past tense not slipping by unnoticed.
"Yeah." Louis nods. "I think after a while of just pretending to be that way, he started to actually believe it himself, and now really is that way."
Thinking about it, I nod slowly. It does make sense. But there's still something that I don't quite understand.
"Why is he afraid of himself?" I ask.
"Well," Louis begins, picking a piece of grass. He starts tearing it up, looking up at the sky as he does. "One thing about William is that he knows people. Like, after talking to a person once, he can automatically tell how they work and think and all that. But he can't understand them. He has a hard time getting why people feel the need to fit in and be accepted and such. And when you can't understand someone, you can't connect with them." He finishes ripping the first blade of grass and picks another one.
"That's why he's scared," says Louis. "William's afraid he's never going to be able to do that. That he's incapable of connecting with someone. Incapable of loving someone."
Well. That explains a lot. But it's still a little bit shocking. I lean back in the grass, holding myself up with my hands, as I try to take everything Louis has told me in. And when I come as close to accomplishing that as I possibly can, I look back over at Louis with an impressed expression.
"You know a lot about him," I state. Sort of needlessly.
Louis nods, not looking all that happy about it. "I would," he says. "I was friends with him for about two years, and then with him for a relatively long time considering how long a relationship usually lasts with him." He rolls his eyes and looks bitter. "But knowing that much about him is what got my ass dumped. William can psychoanalyze anyone he wants, but when someone tries to psychoanalyze him?" He snorts, shaking his head. "Forget it."
"That's crap," I say, but Louis just smiles at me and shrugs.
Unable to do argue with him, I nod. He's right. And he's been right about a lot of things, even what he said the first time we met. But I don't regret not listening to him then. What I went through with William made me grow as a person, and that wouldn't have happened if I'd listened to Louis. I'm just glad he's not rubbing it in my face.
But as we keep talking—no longer about William; just things in general—I see that Louis isn't the kind of person who would do that. He's incredibly honest (almost to the point where you wish he wasn't), has this self-deprecating sense of humor that's oddly likeable, and despite his rather harsh way of looking at things, he isn't completely cynical. He's got the perfect balance of pessimism and optimism, which is extremely rare in a person when most are either more one or the other (I happen to be a bit too optimistic). And I like that. A lot. Just like I like talking to him.
He's more real than anyone I've met. More so than people at school. More so than William. More so than myself. But I'm working on that, and I think now it'll be easier after meeting and talking to Louis. He makes it impossible to want be anything except yourself, no matter how raw it is. There's something about him that demands complete and utter honesty from you, because that's how he is.
I tell him this, kind of in awe, and Louis just grins at me and says, "Well, duh. That's the only way anyone can ever be truly happy, so why not? Why be anything but yourself?"
And he's right.
He's absolutely right.