Give It Another Shot [Chapter 8]
Chapter 8: Shattered” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:24|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%20Condensed%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”]
It always had been a little windy at the cliff. The sun was setting, painting everything in gold and orange, making the metallic point of the lighthouse shine. As the sun went down, the orange became red, dying the blue ocean in a bloody tone.
Chloe didn’t remember how she ended up at the lighthouse. She just was there, looking at the bright sky as the clouds came in, slowly covering up the sky above her.
She approached the edge and looked down, where the waves crashed softly with the dark rocks, splashing against them. That wasn’t her first time on that cliff, looking down, wondering…
She felt empty, betrayed, abandoned… but she couldn’t remember why exactly, even if she tried. She just knew she was all alone, that nobody cared. It was an awful feeling, unbearable, like someone had ripped her heart from her chest and left her there to bleed out. She wished she was dead, because at the moment, she felt so fucking alive that the pain would overrun her, shatter her, destroy her in every way possible. She was done suffering.
A soft voice in her head was begging her to stop it, to put an end to that sorrow and loneliness.
She gave a step forward, extended her arms and was about to leap… and this time, there wasn’t anyone going to stop her, to ask her why she was doing this. No Rachel to convince her to back down, no Max to rewind and save her, no William to comfort her.
She just lost her balance and fell from the cliff. It wasn’t like in the movies. Her life didn’t flash in front of her eyes, the fall wasn’t so long… She was spinning furiously, wishing the final blow against the rocks didn’t hurt too much…
Chloe woke up suddenly, right before her alarm clock rang. She needed a couple of seconds to realize she was in her room, shaking and breathing fast as the last remnants of the awful nightmare vanished. A single tear was running down her cheek and she was drenched in cold sweat.
“I’m not alone” She whispered to herself. She wiped away the tears and got up, trying not to think about that dark day in her past. “I didn’t jump. I wasn’t alone then, and I’m not alone now.”
As usual, she took a joint from her stash and lit it up after opening the window. The sky was clouded, menacing. Rain would start falling soon over Arcadia Bay.
After a couple of drags of her joint, she extinguished it on the ashtray and got dressed. She didn’t need to be high in the past weeks. Max was her distraction, even after learning about Rachel’s fate, all that crazy time travel and the insane teachers. But that nightmare, going back to that day was… too much to bear at the moment.
She could hear the usual movements on the floor below, while Joyce prepared breakfast and David returned home after a long night at Blackwell. She gave a glance at the Two Whales apron hanging over the chair, over a pile of half dirty clothes.
“Way to wake up on your first day, huh?” She teased herself mentally, while taking her phone from the night table.
There was a message from Max, wishing her a nice day. Chloe couldn’t help but smile, even if she still felt odd and awkward because of her nightmare.
“I’m not alone.” She repeated, more confident this time. But the strange feeling that something ominous was going on out of sight didn’t go away.
She grabbed the apron, and her cigarettes; then went downstairs, inhaling the delicious scent of breakfast coming from the kitchen.
Chloe left the Two Whales almost past two in the afternoon. She was exhausted and a little frustrated, but deep below that she felt some realization. Even if her hands hurt like hell, even if she felt sweaty and itchy, even if knew cleaning dishes wasn’t the most glamorous work, she felt kind of proud. She was finally doing something for her future, instead of being a leech to her mother and her step-father. Next step would be get back to study, but one thing at the time.
She liked that feeling, it was like a bubble of hope in her chest. But even with that warm feeling, she couldn’t wipe away that odd feeling she had after the nightmare. She tried to ignore it while working, and now, trying to focus on the good stuff around her. The fact that she’ll be seeing Max shortly, but all her attempts to eradicate it were in vain.
She went home, took a shower and departed to the hospital immediately. Even if she knew the visiting hours were later, Chloe assumed she could sneak in anyway. The nurse seemed to be okay covering for them. Even if she knew she was disobeying the rules too often, Chloe couldn’t help to take advantage of that. Deep inside her, she knew she wanted to see Max not only because the obvious reasons, but because maybe her presence would kill off that awful feeling.
She parked her truck on the same spot as always and got into the hospital, trying not to drag too much attention to herself. That was the hardest part, of course. There was no way a blue haired punk-girl could go unoticed. Chloe managed to get through the hallway and to the room 203.
As she approached the door, she could feel that usual smile spreading on her face. She touched the handle but then she froze, listening to the heated voices inside the room.
“It’s too early to have visitors.” She thought, leaning near the door, trying to hear what was happening inside.
A low male voice, that Chloe recognized as Ryan Caulfield’s voice, could be heard through the door. Another voice, female this time, surely Vanessa’s, answered Max’s voice in a heated tone. None of them seemed happy at all. Chloe leaned closer to the door, trying to figure out why they were arguing.
“… and we are supposed to deal with this, Maxine?” Said Vanessa, her voice trembling. Chloe could imagine her face of indignation.
“Yeah, you are.” Replied Max. “You’ll have to, eventually. This is not a phase or something stupid like that. This is real.”
“Vanessa, calm down.” Said Ryan, his low voice filled with concern. “It’s not the place to have this conversation. Max, please…”
“I’m done talking, dad.” Replied Max, furiously.
“At least consider what we told you, dear.” Said Ryan. “You’re in no condition to stay here on your own and I really need to go back to Seattle as soon as possible. I have no more days off.”
“I… I’ll think about that. I need to talk to Chloe if I’m gonna do this, at least.”
“You’ll be good to go tomorrow, as the doctor said.” Said Vanessa with a sharp tone, still on the defensive. “Whatever this is, you’re coming back home with us. This is your future we’re talking about, and your health.”
Chloe didn’t need to hear the rest. She just stepped away from the door, shaking and sweating, with that ominous feeling finally taking over her. If she could find her voice, she’d have screamed.
“She’s leaving.” She thought, feeling how her throat started to close, little by little, feeling how the air in her lungs became a solid mass, preventing her from breathing. “She came back, saved me… and now she’s leaving me again. I was alone after all. Fuck! FUCK!”
“Miss, are you alright?”
The nurse. The young black haired woman was looking at her with a worried expression. Chloe just shook her head and almost ran to the exit, forcing herself not to cry, at least until she reached her truck.
“Why? Why she’d do this to me?” She thought in desperation. “I was an idiot. How could I think this was going to be any different? This shit pit has taken everyone I ever loved! I’m cursed. I was right, I always was! Why does everyone leave me?! Why?! What did I do to deserve this?! I feel like I’m being punished by the universe!”
She drove, without a clear destination, as fast as the old truck could stand, the tears streaming from her eyes, never stopping. Not even when her phone rang for the fourth time since she left the hospital. She almost crashed twice, victim of a road rage without precedents. She didn’t remember the last time she felt like that, overflowing with anger like she was about to explode, but at the same time so full of sadness she couldn’t even breathe. So hollow, so in pain…
She didn’t feel surprised when she realized where her body was taking her unconsciously. The road to the lighthouse was clear, the wind making the leaves of the trees around her play their music as she stepped out the cab and started walking uphill.
She sat down on the bench, looking at the sea crashing against the rocks at her feet. She watched the sun getting covered by clouds as minutes passed. She felt her phone blowing up in her pocket but ignored it.
“Why? If I knew I was going to feel like that again… This pain, this… fucking awful feeling… Why the hell did she save me if she was going to abandon me again?!” She snapped, hugging herself to fight the chill running down her spine.
“I should have died. I’d rather die in that fucking bathroom than feel like this again… Just now when I realized that I loved Max for the entirety of my fucking life, she betrays me. Again?! Damn it! Why the fuck do I have to love you of all people? Why you? Why like this? So… overwhelming, so uncontrollable, so different from anything I had felt in my entire life. And I thought… I really thought for a moment you loved me too, goddamnit! That what you said in that bathroom… all the hints in the journal… How naive and stupid can a person be?! I believed all that bullshit written in it. I… You said me you loved me in that bathroom while you were… fucking bleeding out! Why?! You just saved me from dying to destroy me yourself?!”
Her phone rang again. She pulled it out and looked at the screen, where she had her picture with Max as a wallpaper. Looking at that lovely photograph, both of them so happy and sleepy, together, just made her heart break again. Of course, Max was the one blowing up her phone with texts.
[Max: 15:58] – Running late, sneaky ninja?
[Max: 16:15] – Chlo? u there?
[3 missed calls from: Max Caulfield]
[Max: 16:42] – This is late, even for you. Where are you?
[5 missed calls from: Max Caulfield]
[Max: 16:50] – I need to talk to you, sidekick. U alright? I’m getting worried.
“The fuck you do” Said Chloe. “I bet you need to talk to me. To tell me to my face that you’re leaving this shithole without me. Again. Go right ahead! Go to fucking Seattle, get better, get a fucking degree, get fucking married and have a bunch of stupid kids and a stupid dog. Just… leave. Leave once and for all and just… let me die already. You’re just another person that shits all over me. The only exception is, you did it twice.”
She felt empty, betrayed, abandoned… She just knew she was all alone, that nobody cared. It was an awful feeling, unbearable, like someone had ripped her heart out of her chest and left her there to bleed out. She wished she was dead, because at the moment, she felt so fucking alive that the pain would overrun her, shatter her, destroy her in every way possible. She was done suffering.
“Don’t” Thought Chloe, her knuckles white as she closed her fists with all her strength. “I won’t go back there. I won’t jump. I’m better than this. I won’t take the easy way out like that. If dad could fight that awful reality Max saw, so can I. Whats another fucking heart break ? Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just… the same hella sad story. Everybody lies, no exceptions. I should have learnt that by now.”
She looked at the sky again, like she was trying to see through it, find an answer, a little hope to keep pushing against her fatidic luck. But she only received rain instead.
The phone rang again and she took it out, frowning at the portrait of happiness that never was.
[Max: 16:59] – We need to talk, seriously. Where are you? Say something, I’m dead worried.
In an outburst, Chloe threw the phone to the ground with all her strength. It rebound over the grass and broke into pieces at her feet, smashed and shattered, as Chloe got up from the bench and walked away downhill. She couldn’t care less that the rain was soaking her from head to toe.
“I’ve had enough of this bullshit”
“Chloe, it’s getting late! Are you up already?”
Chloe snapped her puffy and dry eyes open and emitted a single growl. She couldn’t sleep all night. She just stared at the ceiling, thinking, remembering. Sometimes, she just curled in a ball and cried her eyes out. Sometimes, she was full of an unbearable rage and broke things, shouting until her throat hurt, and kicked the furniture.
The glass remnants of a snow globe with a little doe, glowed with the light of the only lamp in the room.
Outside, the weather seemed to reflect exactly how Chloe felt. The rain was falling copiously, little drops smashing the window over her desk and the wind making the house crack around her.
“I’m not feeling well.” Chloe forced herself to answer her mother. Her throaty voice was more than convincing she thought.
“What is it, sweetheart?” Asked Joyce, concerned. “Can I come in? Please, you don’t sound good at all…”
“Please, mom… go away.” Chloe said, covering her head with a pillow, fighting the urge to start crying again, even if she knew there were no tears left. She was dry like an autumn leaf.
“Chlo… You got so much better these past weeks… What’s going on, darling? Please, don’t aloof yourself again…”
Rage. Burning through her veins like fire, an angry shout strangled in her throat.
She wanted to get up, open the door and tell her it was all Max’s fault. That she wished she never came back, that she never saved her. She wanted to tell her she loved Max but she was going to leave, again. She was going to leave Arcadia Bay without her, leaving her all alone again.
“She doesn’t deserve your mistreatment, idiot. It’s not her fault. It’s… it’s my fault. I’m the one who didn’t learn the lesson all these years.”
“Mom, please.” It was almost a beg. “I don’t feel like talking right now. Leave me alone. Please.”
“I have to get going… I’ll cover for you today, but you and I have to talk when I’m back.”
She wasn’t angry, or at least didn’t sound like it. She sounded worried and concerned for her behaviour.
The change hadn’t been subtle. She was all smiles and grins yesterday, hopeful and bright… now she was only a husk, a shadow of what she was the past few days.
Chloe covered herself with the sheets and just stared at the wall, kicking herself for being so weak.
“What am I going to do now?” She thought, as her mind drifted away finally, and the sleep came to her aid.
First chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-1/
Next Chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-9/
Previous Chapter: https://lifeisstrangefans.com/give-it-another-shot-chapter-7/
Here? I’m the punk queen of Arcadia Bay, of course.
In real life, I’m an artist, gamer, crappy musician, game dev and a wannabe writer. Oh, and I’m always running late. MaiQueti in a nutshell.