A Slow Descent

By, hionlife

Let's face the truth here. We'd all been on a slow decline since that morning on the lakefront. Some more than others. Christopher had his alcohol, Jalil his obsessions, and David had his pain and secrets. Unstable people in rocky situations in the real world, thrown into the chaos that is Everworld. Not good. Although, I think we've done really well, all things considered. We survived the best we could. But we kept sliding. Down and down, grasping at anything and nothing, sometimes each other if it would slow us down. But I was the one that finally broke us.

You can argue the blame anyway you like, really. David would accept it gladly. Christopher would put it on anyone but himself. Jalil knows, but he would never say. I guess that it really belongs to Senna, for bringing us here. Senna's fault. Fault, like a misstep in a tennis game. She'd put that man on Jalil's front lawn, screaming until Jalil started to twitch. Then at Daggermouth, she'd exposed him, humiliated him. She'd beaten David, broken him in ways that he still won't talk about. Christopher had been a man on the edge anyway. All she had to do was hand him the guilt of being a temporary turncoat, the one that had let the enemy in, and shove him off the side. Senna did all of that, but she's dead now. I killed her. And you can't blame a dead woman.

We were still here. We were still there. And Senna was dead. How can you go on living knowing that you will never be a complete person? Always split, always just two halves, your one way home gone forever. We no longer had a mission, no reason for anything. We wandered around Everworld, barely surviving. Jalil couldn't think anymore, Senna had brought the compulsions over from the real world and they hadn't left. David couldn't fight, his arm had been broken that day and our crude bandaging didn't help much. I'm not sure he would have fought even if he could have. So, Christopher carried the sword and it just completed the fact that he wasn't himself anymore either. He was serious and tired and drunk if there was alcohol available. We'd lost too much now. Unstable people in a rocky situation in Everworld, still trapped in the chaos that is the real world.

Surprisingly, David was the first to go. There was a fight, with his mother's boyfriend, in their kitchen. I'm not sure what it was about, or who swung first. But David was the one that grabbed a knife off the counter. Waved it around and mentioned killing himself. Apparently, that's all it takes. His mother called the police, called a doctor. And they called him dangerous and self-destructive. He was sent here the next day.

Then, it was Jalil, after he locked himself in his bedroom. He told me later that it wasn't intentional. He'd gone in, closed the door, did some homework, changed his clothes, whatever, that part isn't important. Because then he went to leave, reached for the doorknob, and hesitated. Hesitated just long enough for the fear to creep up his arms and into his chest. Growing until it paralyzed him on the floor, terrified to leave. Three days. Three days until his parents, fed up, broke down the door and carried him out. They brought him here the next day.

Christopher didn't go quite as easily. Alcohol is slow in its methods. It was months before anything happened. Then, one day he showed up to school, late and drunk. He stumbled around the halls, yelling and cursing, with everyone else in class. When the principle finally got a hold of him he was suspended for a week, effective immediately. So Christopher left, strolled out to the parking lot. He got in his car, put it in gear, and drove it right back into the school. I guess that's cause for expulsion now. Anyway, his parents sent him here for detox and therapy.

So you're probably wondering how I ended up here. How did April, pretty girl, drama kid, friend collector and people magnet, in on the joke, let's you down easy because I'm just that nice, April end up in a mental hospital? Well, I think it started with me telling my parents that I'd killed Senna. It was a quiet night, a few days after Christopher had been hospitalized. We were sitting at the dinner table, when I just blurted it out. I don't know why. I can't explain it anymore than David can explain why he picked up that knife. I felt like Christopher as they stared at me, having lost the filter between my brain and my mouth. Their eventual response was this: "April, go to your room." So I did. The next day, and for several weeks after, I saw doctors, psychologists, grief therapists. My mother, God bless her, held out forever. Eventually though, I ended up here just the same.

We see each other through out the days. There's Christopher, drunk off his sobriety. David, drugged out of his destructiveness. Jalil, twitching with his compulsions. And me. We are all here. We are all there. Lost in both worlds.

A/N: Any response is appreciated! Had some trouble coming up with a title for this one, which is odd, that's usually the best part. I originally thought up the idea for this as being darkly comedic, but it basically turned out just plain dark. Oh well. April's description of herself is supposed to be a little sarcastic. It seems like she is described the same way in every book, which drives me nuts! "go for it, cuz she looks like she'll let you down easy," what does that even mean! I don't care. Anyway, review if you had the time to read please.