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Fantasticoe 2001 -  10th Anniversary Issue

'I would kill myself for you'…
…'I would kill you for myself'

Nashra Sakhawat

Eddy lay on the floor mattress, under his warm blanket, lost to the world, in the deepest sleep. Rays of light peered in, between the curtains of the little window on the wall above his mattress, but Eddy slept undisturbed, in the tranquility of his room. It was a small room, with scarcely any furniture. The walls were peeling, and the desk which held two photo frames of his family and a few tattered books, should have been replaced a long time ago. But he didn't complain…he was just glad to have a roof over his head. In his sleep he thought he heard bells, in total discord…what an annoying sound!

He thought he was dreaming but they kept getting louder and in a daze he opened his puffy, bloodshot eyes to realize that it was the phone. Who would call him this early? and why? It kept ringing and the sound was piercing through his brain. He flung his arm on the receiver and managed a groggy 'hello?'

'Hey Eddy…Charles here; about tonight…I don't really have a place to go and it would suck to spend new year's eve alone-do you think I could come with you guys?'

It was Charles-his tone sounded desperately pathetic. Ed could not believe this was happening to him. What a way to start the day!

Although they went back a long way, Ed never took Charles as a friend. They had gone to school together, but he was like one of those persistent little terriers which keep gnawing at one's heels until they're either petted, or kicked away real hard. Ed couldn't do either , which was probably what encouraged Charles to keep trying. Charles was your typical 'nerd'…always at a front row seat, always handing in assignments before they were due, always frantically waving his hand in the air before the professor would even complete his question, acing his way to senior year at high school.

Although Ed had a problem hanging out with him, he often felt sympathetic for the guy, friendless as he was, and even for this, he was taunted by his friends, who were all for making Charles' life miserable for the simple fact that he was a geek, who actually thought that he could one day be able to eat lunch at the same table as them.

Ed and his buddies were the coolest kids around…they didn't care about education, they did drugs, they could hold their alcohol unbelievably well and they knew how to party. You could just tell by their appearances…

Lin had bright green hair, spiked up, and hardened. He wore layers of metal beads around his neck and had both his eyebrows pierced, and his nose and chin too. He had rings on every finger and wore the baggiest jeans that dropped way below his waste…

Blaze looked more like a zombie-his eyes were almost always bloodshot, and the redness contrasted the gloom of the deep pits that they were set in. He only wore shades of black, and had a permanent 'pissed' expression on his face. He loved his drugs but was especially choosy about the people with whom he did them. If they stopped doing them, he would stop seeing them. Those were ground rules of being his friend…but otherwise he was very cool.

There was nothing dramatic about Ed's appearance. Although he fit in well with the group, he liked to be himself in his usual khakis and checked shirts.

And there was Sparkz- he almost radiated energy. Unlike Blaze, he was always hyper…he just never tired out. And he had almost godly strength, skinny as he was, and this impressed everyone who knew him. You could see him coming from miles away- brightly clad as he always was, in his tie dyed, or psychedelic t-shirts. He had long black hair that starkly contrasted his clothes, and he never kept still. He was always very fidgety and impatient and excited for some reason…but tonight, they all knew what the reason was.

It was the 31st of December and they had big plans. All four of them had been saving up, and they all chipped in to buy absolute top quality stuff…to make the night, a night to remember. They had bought tickets to Twilo- or in other words, they had gained access to their stairway to heaven, and in just a few hours they would ascend…just the four of them-what a trip it would be, and in their trips they'd connect and unite. The bonding was always amazing…but there was no doubt whatsoever that Charles would never be able to gain their wavelength. Charles could not even BE there in the first place-that would just spoil everything.

And the kid was just so desperate too-he just so wanted to be 'cool' but he probably just didn't realize that some people don't have it in them.

But there was something about his tone of voice that morning-something about it that kept Ed from totally hanging up on his face…there was something so desperate in his voice that Ed actually found himself stuttering at first and then a confused little 'sure' escaped from his mouth. And it was at Charles' sudden burst of ecstatic gratitude that Ed had realized what he had done…he had just agreed to have someone like Charles hang out with them. HOW was he ever going to tell the group? He was sure they would never let him hear the end of it, and as it was, he'd been getting a lot of crap from them for being what they considered 'too nice' to the dork.

'WHAT!? You did what??? you're kidding us right? We will not have Charles even within twenty feet of us-its just this vibe these nerds give out-bad trips man, bad trips!!! Tell me you didn't-you could not have!!!' Lin bellowed.

and Blaze and Sparkz just stared at Ed with their jaws dropped a good ten inches.

'o my god-you're the biggest idiot I could ever choose to be friends with'-Blaze then declared.

Ed decided it was about time he said something. 'Come on guys; it won't be that bad', was all he managed, in a tone he himself wouldn't fall for.

Lin just cracked up-'can you even hear yourself talking man? did you not wake up right today? If we let that stupid kid come with us, every other little wannabe will start crowding our joint!!! Think of what it'll do to our reputation!!! We're the party animals others only dream to be man-we can't associate with nerds-simple.'

Sparkz didn't pass a single comment-he wanted to escape from the situation as fast as possible, so he quickly rolled a joint.

Frustration and anger were building in Ed.What on earth had possessed him to say yes to that little pest and now that he had done it, why couldn't his friends be just a little more understanding than that?

There he was, clueless of how he had created such a situation and through the incessant swearing and hollering of his friends he tried to think.

Evening was closing in and they all became increasingly desperate. They tried in vain to think up plans that would save them from seeing nerdface-atleast for that night. They were all sitting circled around the coffee table at Lin's place dreading the moment when the bell would ring and they would have to let the lump of crap in. The plan was to meet up at Lin's, get enough chemicals in the system and then head for Twilo for the countdown to the new year, with the electric gurus who were going to spin at the club that night. They were so excited at the amazing fact that they had actually been able to get tickets, and in a few hours they would be lost in a world suspended in between total ecstasy and crazy reality and they could almost feel the bass pumping hard in their veins and see the music and hear the colors and taste the state of absolute euphoric content. But subconsciously they felt the presence of Charles…the very thought of him created an image of a three eyed gooey green monster with the thickest round spectacles around his eyes and the largest red pimples that could even stop traffic. And they weren't even tripping yet-imagine what would happen in about two hours when the chemicals reach their peak and Charles is actually around them….they could not risk having such a bad trip-it could have permanent debilitating effects on them.

It was then that Ed came up with the most brilliant plan. It made him so excited -he could hardly contain himself and he thanked the lord for blessing him with these occasional sudden sparks of unprecedented intelligence.

'We'll get him trashed enough to pass out right here-and he won't go with us to Twilo-he'll be so wasted he won't even know what hit him and we can just leave him here and go-and it would be totally justified-I mean all we'll have to do tomorrow is tell him that we let you rest because you were passed put and I'm telling yall-he'll be eternally grateful!!!'

'Hmm…that sounds pretty good really!' Lin and the others agreed. 'actually, it sounds perfect-Let's do it!'

'Awright you guys make the lines already -we'll make him sniff at least four as soon as he gets his ass in…' Lin ordered.

'FOUR!!!??you're joking-he'll die on the spot!!' Ed tried to argue.

'Right now-that sounds like a blessing in disguise' Lin retorted.

So they waited. The four of them, in Lin's apartment-which had been their hang out since the beginning of the year, when Lin turned eighteen and decided to move out of his father's house. He had saved enough money from odd jobs and his dad had given him some as well, since he thought it would be better for his relationship with Lin, because under the same roof, every interaction they had, was always volatile.

It was a cozy little place with huge psychedelic three-dimensional posters covering every inch of one of the walls, while abstract paintings they had done together adorned the others.

Very often they'd just lay there, staring at the images and traveling into them for hours on end. What Ed liked most about the room was that there were no bright lights. Spot lights hanging from the ceiling pointed at the walls, giving the paintings and the posters a mysterious life in them, and the rest of the room a warm and peaceful glow. The furniture, or the coffee table and the soft three seater on one side of it and two singles on the other two sides, were fairly low, just a few inches from the wooden floor, and there were a lot of floor cushions on one side of the room, beside Lin's amazing collection of candles. He had candles of all shapes and colors and sizes and smells and they'd always create the most beautiful, tranquil atmosphere when lit. He had a small, round dinner table on one side of the room which was now dark, and from the two chairs hung dirty shirts and trousers which Lin had carelessly flung over them. There was just one square window, under which his single bed was placed, that too, very low to the floor. From any corner of the room, one could see the whole apartment because there was no leveling-it was actually one big square room, a typical studio apartment in New York.

There was always music. As long as there were people, there would be music. Never was there total silence at Lin's place. While they waited, Ed made one last attempt to persuade Lin and Blaze not to give Charles so much of it, because already he was having a terrible feeling about this and the guilt was just freaking him out, and he didn't want it to develop into regret. But Lin had grown harder than he was before, after detaching himself from his family, and he was not about to feel sympathetic for someone who made no difference whatsoever in his life. So Ed made like Sparkz and Blaze and lay back to enjoy the music and Sparkz passed him the joint. He almost choked on the lungful of smoke when the doorbell shrieked in the most evil way, to announce the arrival of the most repelling human being that they could ever have the misfortune of being acquainted with…or so they believed.

And it shrieked again and Ed leaped at the door, because he would not tolerate that sound one more time. Lin, Sparkz and Blaze groaned in union.

But it was all good now-they had a plan. Casting a glance back at them as his hand stopped on the doorknob for a second, Ed said 'Chill!-we have a plan remember…this'll only be bad for a little while and then the leach is off our skin'

Ed opened the door and there he stood, and Ed thought to himself ' EUGH-what was he thinking-aw gosh I sure hope that's gel and nothing else on his head…funny the bugger would have access to gel…would his books actually leave space for something as fashionable as that?! And o my god-is that cologne or did a skunk just cross his path?jezuz lord he's wearing a suit!!!don't crack up Ed-don't crack up on his face-just let him come in and make him pass the hell out right now.' he commanded himself silently.

'Hi guys!' the little geek managed with a dumb smile plastered across his face...but he looked so goddamn happy though…man what a loser!

'Hi Charles!' Ed offered quickly, to cover up for the obvious look of disgust that all his friends shared at the tragic fact that Charles now stood under the very same roof as them.

'Lin' he said and shot him a glance that said ' do something you fool! don't just sit there like a moron and stare right through the poor guy!'

Lin stood up-'Hey Charles-so happy you could join us-umm but partying with us means partying our way!' Lin wasted no time.

'Oh oh yeah-that's cool'

'umm did he just say "cool"??' Sparkz asked himself in amusing disbelief before he took another long, hard drag. Blaze focused all his attention on ignoring the unnecessary addition to their party as he watched the wax melt and start to drip from one of the candles.

'Awright-enough of this shit-there's the table-those are the lines-do it.' Sparkz blurted out, as impatient as ever.

Ed shot him an angry glance. There was no need of pushing around here, and as it was, he was feeling very guilty about brewing up such an evil plan to save their own synthetic fun, subjecting this poor boy to an experience they weren't even sure he was going to survive.

But he couldn't really blame anyone else-after all, he wanted what they all wanted just as well: to get rid of the little creep and head towards… Twilo.

Ed suppressed his increasingly annoying state of mental turmoil. It was too late now anyway-the coke was calling. and Charles, just wasn't smart enough to turn back and walk out. It was self inflicted peer pressure; he so wanted to be IN. Truth is, even Ed and his gang wouldn't do four lines, but Ed consoled himself by thinking that they always had other intoxicants in their system and a bad combination might be very dangerous but Charles there had nothing else in him so he might just pass out for the night and be okay.

So they all circled around the coffee table, like they had done so many times in the past. The atmosphere was perfect, like it always was, in Lin's little studio. The music was getting more intense, almost like it was competing against their accelerating excitement.

Ed sat right opposite to Charles.

'Awright people-lets hit it'-Sparkz roared and Charles quickly shot a nervous, fearful glance at Ed. And Ed's lying eyes told him that it was okay to go ahead.

Ed watched as Charles stooped his head until his nose almost touched the table and blocked one nostril with his index finger and took about half a line in. And then he paused, and looked up at the others and they were good, but they chanted-

'Go on Charlie-what're you stopping at…Go on do the rest of 'em'

And Ed watched as Charles almost finished the third line when he broke into a violent fit of seizures .Within a split second, he went totally out of control, and crashed through the glass on the coffee table and hit the floor now carpeted by the shattered glass. Blood oozed down his nose and his eyes shut and he had hit his head really hard. The sound of the shattering glass still echoed in the air.

Ed shot a confused, desperate glance at Lin and Lin's eyes almost popped out of his head as he jumped up with his hands on his head to keep it from exploding.

Charles lay on the floor, with his face all bloody and his body quivering like that of a freshly beheaded hen.

'He od-ed!!!he od-ed!!!' was all that came out of Sparkz as he jumped up and tried going three different directions at once.

'NO SHIT' Ed yelled. 'what else would you expect…we can't just let him die-quick Lin-get the syringe out…we need to give him a shot immediately…'

'We're out' Lin replied in total panic.

'He's gonna die-we killed him-call an ambulance -we're screwed!!!…' Ed didn't even know what he was talking about.

And Blaze just bit his nails and was the only one still sitting where he was, as he stared out the window as blankly as ever.

The ambulance came fifteen minutes too late. There was no pulse and no signs of life in the body that lay on the stretcher.

Ed and his gang were sitting in the waiting room of the hospital, speechless. They heard frantic cries in the distance and the voice of a lady that kept repeating 'That's my son-he can't be dead! wake him up-wake him up!i'll take him home'

Ed got out of the waiting room and leaned his head against the wall and looked at Charles' mother…her husband tried pulling her away but she insisted that Charles would wake up if she went near him. Charles had two little brothers too. and they stood in shock and confusion at what was happening.

Here was the distressed family of a boy who had only shown all his schoolmates just one aspect of his personality. The aspect they were only too eager to see -nobody bothered to look beyond…they assumed there was no beyond.

Lin thought that he had just been thrown into a parallel world. A world where realization dawned upon him, that Charles too had a family. He had two little brothers. Would they too grow up only to be wasted like his brother because of people like himself? Charles was loved…and he was lost. It could not be his world, where Charles had existed so far as a lifeless little parasite whom he was so anxious to lose. He was lost now-but this was not what they had wanted.

Sparkz suddenly covered his mouth with his palm and got up and ran to the toilet.

Blaze stood up. 'I gotta go-see you guys later' was all he mumbled.

'There won't be a later' Lin promised himself.

'Who did this to my son! Which bastard is responsible for all this' roared Charles' father as loudly as his lungs would permit.

'It would be safer for you guys to leave' a nurse came up to them and announced. 'The father is getting hysterical, and I don't blame him. You guys should go now and there will be officers calling you up for questioning soon.'

No one said anything to each other as Ed and Lin walked out of the building.Sparkz followed them with confused, unsure footsteps. Without a word, Ed parted from the two. He needed to be alone. And he needed to be home.

Ed could barely breathe, he was so guilty -he put all the blame on himself. He felt that his should've been the corpse that now lay to be buried. Charles had not deserved any of this. What a price he was made to pay just to feel accepted-even for that short while. He sacrificed his life because he was too much of a man to chicken out.

As the sun was about to rise, heralding the first of January 2000, Ed lay on his bed, staring up at the damp ceiling, thinking about their first day at high school .There was one empty seat left in the class as Ed ran in two minutes after the bell had gone. He settled himself in that seat and looked to his left. A boy looked straight into his eyes from behind the thick lenses of his round spectacles and eagerly grinned at him , as if to thank him for filling the empty space next to him. Little did Ed know then that that was the boy who's fate would one day be in his very hands.

A tornado had just passed over his mind, leaving emotions all scattered and thoughts misplaced. He was a mess. He knew life was not going to be the same anymore. Tears trickled down his cheeks as he thought of Charles …he tried to find at least one thing wrong with the boy, and right then nothing came to mind. It was by his death that he could get people to acknowledge his life…his very existence amidst the thousands of people who knew not of it, until his untimely departure would be announced the next day at school. And it was all Ed's fault. He felt sick to the stomach and embittered by hate and disgust at himself, and at the life that he had so far lead. What a waste. So many thoughts and images crossed his mind that he thought he'd explode and just then the phone rang…He let it ring unsure of whether he was in a state to even answer it…and it kept ringing and each ring sounded louder than the last and he threw his hand on the receiver and managed a weak 'hellow'

'Hey Eddy…Charles here-about tonight-I don't really have a place to go and it would suck to spend new years' eve alone-do you think I could come with you guys?'


I would like to thank my classmates, especially Cody and Sarah for helping me edit my story. I would also like to thank my sister for being so encouraging and supportive of the idea for the story , and last but not least I'd like to thank Terry for being so tolerant of me every time I walked in late, etc. etc. etc

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