Let's take what hurts and write it all down
On these paper walls in this empty house
And when our ink runs out
We'll burn it to the ground

-Yellowcard, Paper Walls


kiss them all goodbye.

Victoria Reynolds, may you rot in hell, bitch. Deidre wrote on the wall with a thick red marker. Theo stood behind her, smirking.

"You ever going to get over your grudge?" he asked her. She turned to glare at him, her mouth set in a small frown. He chuckled and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing the top of her head. Deidre leaned back into him and turned back to look at her handiwork in satisfaction.

"Give me that," Theo commanded, taking the marker from Deidre's hand. He walked to the wall and began writing, expressing all the anger he'd been holding in since he'd found out Landon Briers had tried to get her into bed with him. Deidre smiled fondly at him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before taking a seat in an old stuffed chair in the corner.

-

Alec stood staring at the wall, stumped at what to write next. He'd written on nearly two-thirds of it, already. It'd been fairly easy.

He'd written about the time James got busted for smoking weed at age eleven and the time Blythe came home to find her mother being fucked by a perfect stranger on their kitchen table. He'd written about the time Zach ran away from home after his father had hit him while he was drunk and the time Theo caught his sister masturbating in his bedroom with his porn. He'd written about the night Addy had her first episode because she'd refused to take her meds and the time Rory had tried to kill herself by slashing her wrists open. He'd even written about his first time having sex. He described exactly how Deidre had felt during that intimate moment, detailing how her breasts felt pressed up against his chest as he slid in and out of her.

He'd written all their dirty secrets out on this one wall, in the most poetic way he could.

With a sudden bout of inspiration, Alec pushed his bangs out of his eyes and resumed writing in the empty spaces.

-

James sat at the abandoned baby grand piano that had been found with the Brickwell estate, stroking the keys gently. Blythe sat behind him on a red loveseat, staring at the wall that she'd just finished scribbling on.

"Do you think anyone ever found this place?" Blythe asked quietly, turning to look at something that'd been written who-knew-when by who-knew-who.

James paused, his fingers hovering over the keys of the piano.

"I don't think so," he replied carefully. "Someone would've said something, don't you think? Or at least, left a trail behind them," he reasoned with her. Secretly, he'd always wondered the same thing. Glancing at the desk behind him, he saw some crude pictures involving Theo and Rory from nearly three years ago and silently prayed that no one had been across here to see such things.

"You're right," Blythe said with certainty. James watched her stare at the wall, her eyes glazed over slightly. Turning back to his piano, he began playing her favorite lullaby.

-

"You almost done with that?" Addy asked curiously, taking a drag from her cigarette. Rory turned to look at her, then looked back up at the portrait she'd been painting on the dining room wall.

"Almost," she answered. "Just need to finish some of the details."

"It doesn't need to be perfect. It'll be gone in a matter of hours, anyway," Addy reminded her.

"Zach brought his camera. He said he wanted to take pictures before we did anything," Rory replied, turning back to finish painting Blythe's blue eyes.

Studying the portrait for a bit, Addy said, "It looks good, Ror," before stomping on her fag and walking away.

Rory allowed a small smile to play on her lips, proud of her artwork, before getting back to work.

-

Zach sighed, taking care not to touch or step on anything just yet. He tied his long blonde hair back in a ponytail, pushing the loose strands behind his ears, and picked up his beloved camera.

As he walked through the rooms of the old rundown house, he took snapshots of everything – the vandalized walls, the drained alcohol bottles and empty baggies of drugs and cigarette butts strewn across the dirty floor, the ceiling that was growing mould. It all represented memories they cherished. Every word written, every picture taken, every crack in the ceiling, every hole in the wall, every bottle of rum, every pack of cigarettes – it all held stories from a time in their life that was now over.

-

A few hours after having arrived at the house, they met in the foyer. They stayed silent, speaking with their looks. After a silent agreement, they each grabbed a bottle of gasoline and, without a word, went their separate ways to different rooms of the house.

They made sure to throw the gasoline everywhere – the walls, the floor, the furniture – to make sure nothing would be salvageable.

Once everyone had run out of gas, they met outside the front door, as planned. James took a pack of matches out of his pocket and handed them wordlessly to Addy.

As the rest of the group started slowly making the trek to the hill that lay to the side of the house, Addy walked to the front door. She stood at the entrance, looking around one more time, before striking a match and throwing it into the house. Shutting the door behind her, she began making her way to where her friends stood.

-

They stood on the grassy hill watching as the old Brickwell estate slowly collapsed, engulfed in flames.

For the past ten years, that abandoned house had been their hideout, so to speak. It was theirs – their safe haven, their sanctuary. But what would be the use of the house now that they were leaving this town, going off to university? They'd rather see it go up in flames than let anyone else ever enter it to see all their dirty secrets laid out so bare – evidence of their rebellious youth.

"I can't believe we actually did it," Blythe said in disbelief after a long moment of silence, falling ungracefully to sit in the grass.

"Well," Theo said with a heavy sigh. "Kiss it all goodbye, guys," he told them, bringing the bottle of vodka in his hand to his lips and taking a generous sip.

"Think of it as a fresh start," Alec told the group. "The burning of the house represents burning everything bad, everything that's ever hurt us. We can start over anew now."

"Always the philosophical one, aren't you?" James said teasingly. Alec smirked at him, watching as Rory lit a fag and offered it to James before quietly sitting down next to Blythe.

Addy smiled up at him briefly, before turning her eyes back to watch the blazing fire. Alec grabbed her hand and entwined their fingers, rubbing his thumb across her knuckles.

Zach was squatting down in front of his friends, his camera glued to his face, snapping picture after picture of the beautiful destruction they had caused.

"Get anything good?" Deidre asked as she sat down next to him, arms wrapped around herself. Zach turned his camera towards her and took a few shots before taking the camera away from his face.

"Plenty," he replied, his eyes shining brightly. She smiled at him before putting her head on his shoulder and leaning into him. He smiled back at her before turning to watch the flames slowly dying out.