Star-Crossed Lover

Mr. Danya
Mr. Danya
Joined: 7:39 PM - Aug 11, 2009

10:17 PM - Nov 17, 2010 #1

((The following post is permitted by Che Cluevara to fill the 24 hour space that occurs since the last appearance of Janet Claymont. It has no bearing on the thread limit of The Residential Area))

((Janet Claymont continued from Your Cross to Bear))

Chadd was dead.

It was a statement beyond comprehension. The thought that he had been killed? It wasn't even possible. People didn't die just like that, just gone forever in the blink of an eye, the moment your back was turned. It just didn't make sense, and it couldn't be true. Chadd especially didn't just die. He was everything she could want for in a person, and death just wasn't an option.

But it was. He was dead.

The empty building housed Janet as she reached her breaking point after hours of stumbling around the island, blinded by the impossible announcement; she was exhausted and delirious, thus she carelessly entered the first shelter she could find, throwing caution to the wind, and collapsed against the wall.

There was a brief lull of her thoughts, as she gasped for air. Then she remembered:

Chadd was dead.

Even panting heavily, lungs burning, it was impossible to block that out. Chadd was dead. Chadd was gone forever, and she would never see him again. She couldn't stop herself: tears ran down her face as she stared miserably at the ceiling of the tiny room, sobbing weakly. She had barely even thought about him since it had all started, but why? How could she not think about him every moment; not wonder whether he was alive or dead the whole time she hadn't seen him? It was obvious people were dying; if it hadn't been for the first announcement, she might not have thought of Chadd at all. So why didn't she stop to ask if he was still okay? Whether or not he could die, shouldn't it have been at the front of her thoughts constantly?

The guilt was the most horrible feeling in her entire life. Someone had grabbed onto her heart and was crushing it with an unimaginable force, yet there was nothing she could do about it. She hadn't thought about him enough. The time they had spent together had been the happiest days of her life, and now she'd never get to spend another one. Even if their last days had been troubling, all because of that party, she never wanted to leave him. She still wanted to make it up after she had confessed and apologised, but now she'd never get a chance. For all she knew, he'd died cursing her name.

She deserved that curse, now more than ever.

Her will faded as she stared emptily at the roof and wondered: what could she do now?

Her eyes fell down to her day pack, her head slumping forwards; she had barely touched it since arriving on the island, stopping only on the first day to take out the map, and opening it a second time to eat in the lull of the moment. It was practically the same as when it had been packed not long ago.

She recalled the words of the announcers, how they had each been issued a weapon. She hadn't even found out what she had been given, so many days in, but she didn't really care any more. What was the point of getting a weapon now, when nothing mattered any more?

She imagined an image: reaching inside, pulling out a chrome pistol, pressing the barrel up to her head, and pulling the trigger. Her brains were blown all across the walls. The image had sprung out of nowhere, and just like that it was gone, but she understood what her brain was telling her.

Was that what it had come to? Was the only thing she could do now, now that Chadd was dead? Kill herself?

She didn't know. It seemed so sudden: ending herself, just like that? It wasn't something she wanted to think about. But she didn't want to think about Chadd's death either. Really, what was so bad about it as a thought anyway? Chadd was dead, so what mattered any more? She didn't know anything that would stop the guilt, and an easy out could just finish the pain right there.

Surrendering, Janet reached over to her bag, unzipping it slowly. The food and water jumped straight out at her: she hadn't eaten since she'd helped build the SOS with the others the night before, her stomach's painful emptiness became apparent at last. She shook her head, however; what did eating or drinking matter any more? At that very moment, she was considering killing herself.

Sifting pass the rations, Janet failed to find any guns. No guns, no knives, nothing useful. All she had found was a bunch of rags and a bottle labelled 'chloroform'. She barely remembered what it did, and didn't care for what she recalled; she didn't need to knock herself out, she needed to die.

Holding it in her lap, she let out another weak sob as the evening gust blew outside. This was her punishment, obviously: she had to live with the guilt of ignoring the most wonderful guy in the world until she died a slow, painful death. All she could do was sit back, and weep.

Staring down at the brown bottle again, hating it for its uselessness, she finally spotted the bold skull and crossbones on the label; its meaning was clear. She couldn't blow her brains out with it, but she could poison herself. That would definitely end the pain.

Unscrewing the cap, she looked down at the mouth of the bottle as its sweet smell wafted out. Raising it to her lips, thoughts broke into her mind: would she writhe on the floor as she died? Would her throat melt from the inside out? Would she have any regrets as it all finished?

She couldn't do it, not just like that. Her will left her as she sealed the cap back on, dropping it into the pile of rags carelessly as her head spun. She resisted for a moment, but finally passed out from exhaustion, chemical fumes, and a terrible burden upon her heart.


Darkness was all around her, carrying her as she drifted through a sweet, thoughtless sleep. Her mind freed from all those pains, Janet would've gladly stayed that way forever. She was roused though by a hand upon her shoulder, shaking her back to reality. Her eyes flickered open, staring up at the figure in front of her, eyes focusing.

It was Chadd.

"Chadd..." she muttered, rubbing her eyes. "What're you doing here?"

He simply smiled back at her, waiting for her to realise. In the moment, she did.

"Chadd?" she asked, staring at his face. "You're alive?" she questioned, but she didn't need an answer. "You're alive! But how?!"

"I told you I'd always be here for you, and I meant it." he smiled, the warmth of his voice rushing over her. "Do you really think I'd roll over and die that easily? I just got my collar off! You know I know my way around any machine." His bare neck indeed stood out before her, ringing the truth of his words. "I'm surprised you didn't wake up... I got yours off too baby! We can go home. We can really go home!"

Pressing her fingers to her throat, Janet burst into joyful laughter at the touch of bare skin, the cold metallic noose long gone. He had done it! Her genius boyfriend had beaten these assholes at their own game!

"Well what are we waiting for? Let's get out of here" she grinned, jumping to her feet. They were free! They just had to get a boat off the island, and they'd be safe and free to go home! He had saved them both, and they could live together forever!

Grabbing his hand, she rushed past him towards the door. Overwhelmed by excitement, she pulled the door wide open and ran towards the endless darkness that waited beyond.

"Janet! Wait!" Chadd yelled, suddenly tightening his grip. Suddenly she couldn't move any more, and Chadd was no longer smiling. "You need to wake up." he said, holding her firmly. "Baby, you need to stop thinking it's real. You need to wake up, I don't want you to die! Please, wake up Janet. Please..."

"What?" she asked, panic growing amidst the confusion. "No, Chadd! You're real! You're alive, you just told me!" Her eyes darted around as if she expected the shack to fall apart around her, disappearing along with the happiness she had been blessed with for that moment. "I'm talking to you right now!"

"Janet... Please wake up... I don't want to see you die, please wake up!" he begged, refusing to let go of her hand. She shook her head, denying his words. Chadd wasn't making any sense; he had just said he was alive! But now she had to wake up? How could she wake up, she wasn't asleep! Chadd had woken her up! He had woken her up when he'd removed the collar! "Janet, please! Just touch your neck, it's still there!" he pleaded, knowing exactly what she was thinking; as he said the words so too did the strangling hold of the choker bomb return to her throat.

It couldn't be right though! Chadd was alive, he had just told her. She was happy now, she was happy that he was back. He insisted that it wasn't real, that she was asleep, but she was happy. What did it matter any more. she wanted this to be real! "I...I don't care!" she yelled. “I don't care if it's not real! Let's just get out of here together!” and she turned to run through the door, into the eternal black. Chadd threw his arms around her to stop her, holding her back with all his might. Desperately she writhed in his grasp, but he refused to let her budge even an inch.

"Janet, for the love of God, stop! Don't die, I love you! Don't do it!" He shouted, never faltering in his hold. "Don't run off, I'll never see you again!" Even with his pleas, Janet continued her futile struggling. She just wanted to enter that darkness, that freedom, that sat inches from her face, but Chadd just wouldn't let her.

She screamed wildly as she pleaded for release, pleaded to be left to leave the room with Chadd. She didn't care what was on the other side, she just knew she had to get there, but Chadd wouldn't let her go.

With one last scream, the door slammed shut before her. She turned to weep into his chest.

"I just want to leave Chadd, I don't want to wake up and see you gone again." she sobbed; she would never let this be the last time. "I don't want to wake up ever."

"If you do I'll always be here," he replied, hugging her softly. "I'll always watch over you. But... I can't watch over you if you leave it all behind. And I promise, you'll see me in your dreams again. But for now. Please just wake up."

"But, there's nothing left out there without you Chadd... Nothing..." she replied, clutching his shirt tightly. Chadd shook his head in disagreement.

"What about your family? You have people rooting for you to win. I want to see you make it home..."

Her family... He meant Joe. He wanted her to protect him still. He needed her.

He was right, but she shook her head. If she agreed to what he was saying, she'd be agreeing to leave. She still didn't want to leave, she didn't want to leave Chadd behind; she gripped him tightly, burying her head in his chest.

"I will always be here. As long as you love me, I will always be here."

It was inevitable: she had to go. She stared up at him one last time, etching every line of his face into her memory.

"I'm sorry, Chadd..." she whispered.

He leaned down and kissed her head gently.

"I love you."

And darkness surrounded her once again.


Slowly she awoke, the light of dawn pouring into the room. She had slept through the night; the bottle of chloroform that had almost been her death laid untouched nearby. She rubbed her head as she tried to focus her eyes, but she had never been a morning person.

The room seemed much cosier in the day, the warmth of the sun far more comfortable than the chill of the night. She rose from the ground, leaning her back against the wall. She thought of the dream she had just had.

Chadd was really gone, wasn't he? He said he'd always be with her, but that was only in her dreams; those dreams that came and went so quickly were the only place she'd ever see him again. Here right now, awake, she would have to struggle on her own.

Hanging her head, she breathed in deeply, no longer crying. Yes, he was gone, and she couldn't describe how it felt, but she had talked to him. He had said what he said, so now there was no longer an option: she wasn't getting the easy out: suicide wasn't happening.

The blare of the morning announcements across the island drew her attention. Again, many people had died. People Janet had known at Bayview, people she may have once called friends. They were dying, and she had avoided any harm since it had began. Was it luck? No, it wasn't. She had witnessed a boy being burnt to death, and another being shot to ribbons. Chadd was dead. It wasn't luck.

What it was she didn't know. She didn't want to know.

Her stomach growled loudly, having gone so long without food. She reached over to her day pack, finally eating for the first time in twenty four hours. Slowly, she ate what food and drink she had left, having nothing to distract her from her breakfast. The plastic bottle bounced as she threw it against the wall.

Pen in hand, she marked off the new danger zones on the map; she realised that the zones from two announcements ago were missing. It was worrying, but she couldn't do anything sat in that shack. Instead, Janet turned back to the bottle and rags on the floor; they weren't much use for killing herself, but she knew she'd have to make use of it sooner or later. Having packed up, she slung her bags over her shoulder and left her room for the night. Where she would go next, she didn't know. What she would do, she had no idea. All she could do for now was keep moving.

((Janet Claymont continued in Fabuleux))