Note: I’m not a native english speaker, so there might be some errors and mistakes. Nevertheless I hope you will enjoy my little “Life is Strange” fan fiction. The story takes place after William’s death, right before Max leaves for Seattle.
Max was tired. She hadn’t slept much the past few days. Too much was going on in her life right now. It had been only a few days since William Price, the father of her best friend Chloe, died in a horrible car accident. It shook Max almost as much as Chloe, as Max had spent so many time at the Prices’ house and knew William so well. William was such a kind and gentle person and was almost like a second father to her. And now he was gone. William’s death was hard for Max, but for Chloe it was too much to take. His death had torn apart Chloe’s heart. She was totally devastated and didn’t stop crying the last few days. Max visited Chloe as often as she could and tried to comfort her best friend, but to not much avail. Chloe simply couldn’t come to terms with this tragedy.
And now things were getting even worse. Max’s parents had decided to move to Seattle. To leave Arcadia Bay. To leave Chloe. They already had bought a house in the suburbs. And the worst of it: it was only a week until the scheduled moving day!
It came as both a shock and a surprise to Max when her parents revealed their plans. The timing couldn’t have been worse. When her best friend needed her the most, needed her support and friendship, she had to leave her. Possibly even forever! Max felt so sick. She was so angry at her parents and felt ashamed and guilty that she had to leave Chloe.
The whole situation troubled her mind and she just didn’t know how to tell Chloe the bad news. She was too afraid to tell her as she didn’t want to hurt Chloe even more. So Max postponed it until the day before moving day. Max was still anxious and still didn’t know what to say but she knew she finally had to tell Chloe. She couldn’t sneak out of town like a ninja. She just couldn’t leave her best friend for good without a proper farewell. Not after all these years. Max owed it to Chloe. They went through so much together. She was her best friend after all.
It was late afternoon already, when Max decided to go to visit Chloe, to say goodbye to her. She pouched a sheet of paper into her small bag and hung the bag around her shoulder. “I hope Chloe will not be mad at me and enjoy at least my little gift”, she thought to herself, while she walked down the stairs from her room.
“Dad, I’m going to say goodbye to Chloe. I’ll be back soon.”, she said to her father. “Okay, honey. But please don’t stay too long. It will be getting dark pretty soon and we have to get up early tomorrow.”, he answered. “Don’t worry, Daddy. I will be back in an hour or so. I promise.”, Max replied and left home.
Since William’s death Chloe hung out near the old lighthouse a lot. So it was not difficult for Max to find her friend. It was already sunset – the “Golden Hour”, as photographers called it – when Max arrived at the small path that led up to the lighthouse.
A bit nervous and anxious, Max slowly walked up the small path through the woods. She had always enjoyed the surroundings of the lighthouse. The melodic chirping of the birds, the evergreen trees swaying in the wind and occasionally you could even spot a deer running by. But right now Max was more concerned about Chloe’s reaction than the wildlife of Arcadia Bay.
As usual Chloe was sitting on the bench beside the lighthouse, watching the golden sun setting into the ocean. It was an extremely beautiful view and despite all the bad things that had happened the last few weeks, that moment felt so peaceful and calm. Max wished she could take a picture of this scenery, to capture this moment forever. For a short moment she almost forgot about all her trouble, but then she remembered why she came to the lighthouse in the first place. To say goodbye to her best friend.
Still a bit nervous and troubled, Max took a deep breath and gathered all her courage when she approached Chloe.
Chloe turned around and gave Max a bland smile. Her eyes still red from crying.
“Hey Max! Take a seat!”
Max sat down on the bench next to her friend. She was staring at her own feet, trying to avoid eye contact with Chloe. Her heart was racing as tension rose.
“So…uhm…how are you?” Max stammered.
“Seriously, Max? You’re asking me how I feel?” Chloe answered enraged. “My dad is dead! How do you think I feel?”
“I’m sorry Chloe.”, Max replied a bit ashamed. “I didn’t want to upset you. I know that it sucks. I loved William too and I really miss him. I was just hoping you feel a bit better today. You see, I’m just worried about you.”
Chloe seemed to calm down a bit. “I…I’m sorry Max. I didn’t want to blame you. I know you just care about me, it’s just that I miss daddy so much. Please accept my apology.”
“It’s okay, Chloe. Don’t worry!”, Max replied. “I understand.”
They both sat quietly on the bench for a few minutes, staring at the sunset.
“Come on…tell her. She needs to know. Don’t be shy, Max. Don’t be a coward!”, Max thought to herself. She could almost hear her own heartbeat, as it was racing faster and faster. She had to let the cat out of the bag. That’s why she came here.
“So…why did you come here? Is there anything you wanted to talk about?” Chloe asked, breaking the ice.
Max gasped. “Busted”, she thought to herself. She turned her head away from Chloe, still avoiding eye contact. “Yes…uh…there is one thing I have to tell you, Chloe!”, she stammered again. “I’m afraid you will hate me, if I do so.”
“Come on, Max! I’m your best friend. You can tell me everything. I won’t hate you. I promise.”, Chloe replied supportingly, carefully touching Max’s shoulder.
“I…we…I will leave Arcadia Bay and move to Seattle…Tomorrow.”, Max was close to tears and could barely speak.
Chloe’s face turned almost white. This came as a big shock. She was prepared for anything but this!
She jumped off of the bench, screaming furiously. “No way! This can’t be happening! Not now! Are you hella serious?” Full of anger, Chloe grabbed a small stone and threw it over the edge of the cliff at full tilt. “Damn it.”
Max had never seen Chloe this enraged in her entire life. She felt almost like a completely different person. William’s death surely had a bigger impact on Chloe than Max would have imagined.
“Unfortunately, yes. I am serious. My parents bought a small house in the suburbs of Seattle. I’m so sorry Chloe. I don’t want to leave you.”, Max sniveled as she got up from the bench too. She gently touched Chloe’s hands, trying to calm down her friend, but to no avail.
Chloe pulled her arms back. Furiously enraged she ran up and down, screaming at Max. Her eyes in tears. “Why are you doing this to me? I thought you were my best friend? Shit, I need you Max! Don’t you see that? My dad is dead and I need my best friend to support me. I loved daddy so much and now he’s gone. He only died a few days ago and now you are telling me that you are going to leave Arcadia Bay forever! Every person I love is leaving me. First daddy and now my best friend. Does the universe hate me this much?”
Chloe brushed away the tears and ran away. She tried to run away from the person, who she thought was her best friend. But apparently Max was not her friend. A real friend would not abandon her when she was needed the most. Chloe just wanted to get out of there. She wanted to be alone, so she could cry forever. But she didn’t even reach the path that led down towards the beach.
Max had grabbed Chloe’s arm and pulled her back. “Leave me alone, Max!”, Chloe screamed at her, trying to break free.
“No! I will not!”, Max replied. She seemed a lot more confident than before. “Chloe, listen to me, please! Let me explain!”
Chloe seemed to calm down a bit and took a deep breath. “Okay, Max. I’ll give you five minutes.”
“Chloe, I don’t want to leave you. I don’t want to abandon you. You are my best friend. I know everything is collapsing around you right now and you need my support, but it wasn’t my decision to leave Arcadia Bay. It was the decision of my parents. The timing is very bad, I know, but I am only thirteen years old. I can’t stay here while my parents move to Seattle. You have to understand.”, Max tried to explain, still sniveling.
Chloe was staring at Max. She still had some tears in her eyes, but she calmed down now and she did understand. She was nodding her head. “I guess…I guess you are right Max. It’s not your fault. I’m so sorry that I got so upset and blamed you…again. It’s just my whole world is breaking apart and I don’t know what to do. I feel so lonely.”
“Well, you still have your mom, Chloe. You are not alone. I bet you will find some awesome new friends and I’ll try to stay in contact with you, if I can.”, Max explained. “I hope you are right, Max but I wouldn’t bet on it. My life is going downhill fast and I don’t know if this will ever change.”, Chloe replied frustrated.
“Uhm…I…I have something for you to cheer you up. Well, at least a little bit.” Max grabbed into her bag and pulled out the sheet of paper.
“What’s that, Max?”, Chloe asked curiously.
“This is my farewell gift for you, Chloe. It’s a page of the “Power Girls” comic we drew last year.”, Max explained. “I want you to have it. So you will always remember the great times we had together.” Max handed the comic over to Chloe.
Chloe took the comic and looked at it. A tear was running down her cheek. But this time it was a tear of joy.
“Yeah, it was great fun to draw these. We drew our last comic the day daddy died. Do you remember? Whenever I look at this, I will remember you and daddy as well. Thanks, Max.”
“That’s the least I can do.”, Max answered a bit embarrassed. “But…I could do so much more for you, if I wouldn’t leave town tomorrow.”
“Yes, I know you would do a lot more. But nevertheless, I really appreciate your gift. I will keep it safe. I promise.”
Chloe pouched the comic into her pocket. Then she noticed the old tree trunk nearby with the carving “Max & Chloe BFF Pirates 2008”. “And hey, I’m so glad we left our mark on that old tree trunk the week before daddy died. It will be another great memory of our pirate adventures, another great memory of us. Whenever I come here, I will be thinking about you.”, she said with a sad voice, while pointing at the trunk. Then she started crying again.
“I’m so sorry Max. It’s just too much. The death of my father, you leaving town and all those memories around.”
Max wrapped her arms around Chloe and gave her a big hug. She wanted to comfort her friend, but instead started crying herself.
“I’m so sorry for you, Chloe. I hate that all this is happening right now. I wish I could travel back in time and prevent your father from dying. But I can’t. I’m not a real life superhero like in our comics. I wish I could do anything for you. It sucks that I’m leaving town tomorrow. I don’t want you to go through all this without me, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“I just hope I will be strong enough without you.”, Chloe replied.
“You will be, I know. And Chloe, I promise: One day I will come back to Arcadia Bay. I will come back to you. No matter what happens, no matter how long it takes, I will come back. I won’t leave you forever. You’re my best friend. You always will be. In the meantime be strong and don’t give up!”, Max said crying, while she was embracing Chloe.
“I’ll try, Max, but it will be hard without you. I know it. Arcadia Bay will not be the same without you. I will not be the same without you. Everything will change from now on. This is where we part company. But even if you won’t come back to Arcadia Bay ever again, please do me one favor, Max: Don’t you forget about me!”, Chloe said, with tears in her eyes.
“Never!”, Max replied.
The sun had already turned from a golden color to almost red, while slowly vanishing into the ocean. The two girls just stood on top of the cliff in each other’s arms, weeping bitterly. Not knowing what the future would bring or if they would ever meet again…