A/N I don't even know what I'm doing right now I think this is just DUMP EVERYTHING I FIND IN MY DOCUMENTS INTO FICTIONPRESS. I'll calm down now though, promise. I am making myself stop until I decide what exactly I want to do with Flowers over there. Speaking of which. I seem to have a thing for dead people.
They tell me that he is dead.
It is a long time before I can bring myself to move.
It's funny, because the next thing I do is, I smile. Get up. Go home in some kind of stupor and I know everyone is confused because I can distantly hear them asking why I don't want to go see him, if I am okay, if there is anything they can do for me, but I go home, I go to my bed, I lay there.
I don't know how long I lay there exactly, but it must be a long while. Nobody bothers me though. Nobody knocks on my door or tries to come in or tries to call me or anything and it's kind of nice, being left alone.
But after some time – hours maybe, I don't even know how long – there's finally a knock on the door and someone steps in. I don't move, but the figure comes over to me, sits down on my bed. I can feel it. They put their hand on my shoulder and then they speak:
I look up at the sound of the voice and there he is, sitting on my bed, looking at me with a smile on his face. I sit up, lean over and check if he is breathing – check if I'm breathing and we both are.
He's looking at me kind of amused, like, what the hell are you doing.
"You okay?" he asks.
I nod and get up and he follows my lead
"You slept a long while," he says. "You need to stop doing that."
I smile a little, then abruptly stop.
"They told me you were dead," I say.
He stares at me. "Do I look dead to you?"
I smile a little again, and this time I don't stop.
We go to the park together. Don't do much, just walk around and talk and swung, swung even though we're eighteen years old because Julian loves the swings but it got late fast, so fast. I wonder how long I'd slept before and I tell Julian that I have to go back. He nods.
I say, "See you tomorrow, right?"
He nods again.
I go back home, back to my bed, and I lay there. Eventually there's another knock on the door and this time my mom walks in. sits on my bed, puts her hand on my shoulder, just like he had done before.
"Corin? Do you want anything to eat?"
I sit up and I nod and I walk out after her to the kitchen and I notice her giving me strange looks every once in a while, but I don't understand it. When she passes me a plate, she asks, "Are you okay?"
I nod. Why wouldn't I be okay?
I ask her that very question, and she just looks at me strangely again.
I eat, though. I eat everything on my plate, put it in the sink, go back to my bed. It's hard to fall asleep and I decide to take a pill after lying there for what seemed to me like hours. Then when he came over again, I wake up. We watch a movie this time but he has to leave so soon. Too quickly.
"Don't go," I tell him.
"But I have to," he says, and he leaves.
I go back to sleep and I wake up again for food.
My mom tells me, "They're holding off the funeral for a few weeks, Cor. His parents want to make sure all the relatives can make it."
I stare at her. "Who died?" I ask.
She gives me a funny look. Again. "Cor, if there's anything I can do to help – "
"Help with what?"
"Your father and I were talking," she says, and I can see the worried look in her eyes, "and – you've been sleeping so much lately – are you sure you're all right?"
"I only sleep as much as I usually sleep!"
"No, Cor, it's – "
"I'm going to Julian's." I push my chair back and I stand up.
"Corin." She almost looks scared. I don't understand.
She leads me to the couch and sits me down and she sits down next to me, takes my hands in hers. "Corin, you need to accept it. It's hard, I know, I get it, but – he's gone."
"Who?" I have no clue what she's talking about.
"You know who," she insists.
"Mom, I don't know what you're even talking about – "
"Julian. Cor, Julian."
"Julian and I saw a movie yesterday."
"Julian's – Julian's dead, Corin."
"We saw a movie yesterday."
My mother is crazy.
"It – it must have been a dream – "
"No, Mom. We saw a movie, and we went to the park."
"Corin, it was a dream. Or – this happens sometimes, when someone close to you passes away, you think you see them in all these places but they're – "
"What the hell are you saying?"
"It's not real, Corin. Julian is gone. You need – "
"You're insane." I shake my head and stand up. "I'm going back to bed."
"Corin, I don't think you – "
"I'm going to bed." My tone is firm and I grab a pill, a glass of water, and I lock my door, go back to sleep.
After, I go to Julian's house.
"My mom says you're a dream," I tell him. I make it sound like the idea is preposterous.
"What is a dream in the end, really?" he says. "I could be a dream. She could be a dream. We could all be a dream. What's real, anyway?"
I tell my mom that the next time I see her, and I tell her that Julian told me. She only looks sad.
I eventually begin to lose track of time.
In the beginning, my friends try to come visit me at least every once in a while. They always look at me funny and talk to me funny and I don't understand. And they always look sad whenever I mention Julian.
I don't understand.
Then they stop coming. I stop going anywhere except to Julian's house. I stop meeting anyone except Julian. Nobody comes to my own house except Julian. My whole life is sleep, Julian, eat, sleep, Julian, eat, sleep, Julian, Julian, Julian –
And I don't mind, because after all, those are my favorite things.
I don't ever know what day of the week it is anymore.
I haven't shown up to work or college in days, but nobody seems to mind. Nobody seems to care about me anymore, except Julian, and that's just the way I like it.
There's one funny thing though. Julian says every once in a while that "this" is real, but I don't even know what "this" is, and so I just go along with it.
He shows up every day, without fail, and I see him every day.
I start to lose track of when I'm asleep and when I'm awake.
My mom starts to get more and more worried about me but I don't understand. I'm fine.
I overhear her talking to my dad one day – something about a psychologist – I don't understand. I'm fine.
I tell Julian about it, and I see a worried look appear on his face for about a millisecond even though he does a perfect job of hiding it but then he laughs and says, "Cor, you're fine."
I tell my mom that Julian says I'm fine, and she says that he was lying.
I tell her: Julian never lies to me. And the next time I see him, Julian says: I never lie to you.
Then one day, after I stay over at his house for the night, Julian says something funny. He says that I have to wake up, and I just look at him and I laugh. I say, "Julian, I'm awake."
He stares at me, smiles sadly, says, "Of course you are."
Then I'm waking up in my own bed and I'm confused and where has Julian gone?
I call for him. "Jule?" There's no answer, and I call again. "Jule? Julian?"
My mom comes running into my room and I ask her, "Have you seen Jule?"
She looks like she's going to cry, and I'm confused. I want to go to sleep, but she says that I've just been asleep for over a day, and I tell her, no, I just stayed over at Julian's house, and then the tears escape her eyes and I ask her, "Are you okay?"
She shakes her head no, and she says, "Neither are you."
I don't understand: I'm fine.
I take another pill and I'm asleep again but then I see Julian and he says something funny. He says, "I thought I told you to wake up."
"I am awake," I say.
"Cor," he says.
I look at him.
"I lied to you," he says.
I frown. "You never lie to me."
"I love you."
"I love you too."
He comes over and gave me a hug, tight.
I hug him back, tight.
"Don't let go," he says.
I don't know how long we stay like that but I don't care. I want to stay like this forever and I tell him that and he says that he does, too, so we do, until he whispers into my ear, "Wake up," and suddenly I am hugging my pillow instead. Confused.
"Julian?" I call, softer this time, but nobody comes running into my room.
Julian never lies to me, but this time it seems like he had. I get up and leave my room, leave my house, go to his, but there's nobody there, so I walk around for a while aimlessly wandering until I reach the park.
Aaron is there, with a girl, and he sees me, waves.
"Corin! You haven't been out of your house in ages!"
I frown. "I just came here the other day. With Jule."
He stares at me. "Corin, I think – "
"Why is everyone treating me so weird?" I'm confused.
"Cor, I'm sorry, I – " Aaron stops talking. He walks over to me and gives me a quick hug. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." I look over his shoulder and I see the girl standing awkwardly, waiting for him, so I pat his back and say quietly, "Your girlfriend's waiting for you. Go on. I'm fine."
He leaves. Gives me a worried look and a wave, but then he's gone, so I check Julian's house again but still there's nobody there. I go back home and my mom gives me some food and I go to sleep.
Julian looks sad. "I'm sorry, Cor."
"You're not dead," I say.
"I'm not dead," he says.
"This is real. Everything else is a dream."
"Cor – "
"I never want to wake up," I say
He looks at me sadly, and then I just cry, harder than I've ever cried before and I keep crying and I can't stop and I don't know how long it lasts but my pillow is wet and my mom is holding my hand and I cry some more and I say in between the tears, "Mom, I'm sorry."
She hugs me, says that she loves me, asks if I'm okay, and this time, I shake my head. I say no. "No, I'm not okay," I say.
She cries with me.
I want to fall asleep again. I want to see Julian again, but falling asleep is hard, so I take more pills, and Julian is worried. He says, "Cor, stop it. You can't be sleeping all the time."
"I love you," I say, and he looks like he's going to cry. "I love you," I say again.
He wipes his eyes and gives me a hug and I hug back and I say, "I'm never letting go."
He doesn't say anything.
I pause, and then I say, "Jule. Jule, can I sleep forever?"
"No." A firm refusal.
"But – you."
"But – your mom, your dad, your friends, your – your life."
"You are my life."
"I love you," he says.
"Will the pills help me sleep longer?"
"Cor. Let go."
"For me. Let go."
So I do, and I wake up. I try to eat, I try to watch some TV, I try to take a walk and talk to my mom and to my dad and to my friends and to Julian's friends and to Julian's mom and dad and then I remember what Julian had said one time.
'Tell my mom I love her.' So I do, and she cries.
I go back home and I sleep again but this time Julian isn't there and I wake up crying, hysterical, and my mom comes running into my room, hugs me, rocks me back to sleep after I don't know how long and this time he's back.
"Sorry," he says.
"Don't do that ever," I say.
"I'm sorry," he says again.
We sit together for a long while, not saying anything, until I break the silence. "Jule, I can make this real."
"I know," he says.
"Would you let me?"
He looks at me sadly and I know that he wants to say yes. So I say it for him. "Yes."
"Cor. No," he tells me.
"Don't lie to me, Julian."
"You never lie to me."
Neither of us say anything more for a long while, until Julian whispers, "Yes."
And I wake up and the next time I go to my bed, I take too many of those pills with me.
Julian is there, just waiting. He smiles and I walk over and he says, "I missed you."
"I missed you too."
We look at each other.
"I love you," I say.
"I love you too."
I hug him tight, and he hugs me back tight, and this time.
I don't wake up.