Here it is! See my last post if some stuff is confusing.
Something smelled faintly of cigarettes, maybe some….grass? Strange.
Darkness. That was another thing, it was dark all around and Max couldn’t see anything. She tried looking at her hands but they weren’t there.
Obviously, confusion followed after and although she can’t really see anything, she just aimlessly walks around. At first, she wasn’t sure what to make of…..whatever place she was in but she wasn’t exactly scared either. Just wandering.
A few more minutes (she guesses it’s minutes because honestly, she can’t tell if it’s been hours or seconds) passed before she saw a blue glow in her peripheral. Just a few meters to her right was a blue butterfly.
For some reason, there was something awfully familiar about it but she can’t place her finger as to what. She didn’t give a second thought about it as the butterfly started flying away. Max, not wasting a moment, gave chase. Despite the fact that the butterfly seems to be flying at a slower rate than Max, it was getting further and further away. Her legs felt like jelly and for some reason, the air around her suddenly felt condensed.
“Oh god, Max…..I’m….I’m so sorry.”
She immediately stopped moving, startled by that voice. As in synch with Max, the butterfly also stopped. She knows that voice, but whom’s, she’s having a difficult time trying to recall.
“I know I’m a dumb fuck-up,” the voice sniffles, “I shouldn’t have raged on you like that.”
At this point, Max could definitely make out that it was female. Even though she can hear the girl, the voice sounded very distant.
“It’s just……goddammit, I’m not very good at this,” the girl huffed angrily, “You’re not even awake and I still can’t do this right. Oh and great Chloe, good job for making another lames shit excuse for yourself again”
Chloe, so that was her name. Max didn’t know why, but just hearing her name brought a smile to her face. She also wasn’t sure why Chloe was apologizing though. Or crying for that matter.
From what Max could hear, Chloe was trying to calm herself down before taking a deep breath to continue.
“Jesus, I was so mad at you when you left, Max. Mad, hurt, betrayed. It didn’t matter if it was your choice or not, the point is,” she stopped to correct herself, “WAS, that you left. At the time, my whole world just….fell apart. My fucking cat died earlier that year, then my dad, and then you just upped and left me. Everything was just shitty and there wasn’t a single thing I could do. I felt angry, you know, after crying and all that, and I thought ‘Well hey, those are pretty legit reasons to be’.”
She took another deep breath.
“When my mom married that tool bag, I thought that was the final straw. Man, how fucking wrong I was. It just escalated from there, it kept piling up and Rachel….she was there….just there. She kept me from going totally ape shit on people. For a time, I did forget about tragic crap that is my life, and I thought maybe, just MAYBE, things were going to be okay.”
Max could tell Chloe was trying to hold herself together as she choked up on the last few words.
“Then she fucking disappears and it’s like you and my dad left me all over again. But you know what made it worse?” Chloe’s voice got a little loud.
“The fact that I don’t know what happened to her or why she disappeared. Six months, Max, for six months, I did everything in my power, EVERYTHING that I could, to find her. Not knowing why or how or what happened to her. That….that just punched me in the guts. With my dad…..well, we know where he is. You, I knew you were just living it up in Seattle with all the other art holes.”
Max didn’t cry, she couldn’t, but her chest was getting heavier and heavier as Chloe kept talking. Max’s heart reached out to her but she wasn’t sure what to do.
“I thought of all the scenarios of what could’ve happened and get this,” Chloe laughed bitterly. “The worst case scenario for ME was that she just upped and left me too. Just like you did, the difference being that you actually said goodbye. How fucked up am I to actually prefer her dead than leaving me?”
Max wanted to say that, no, she didn’t actually want this Rachel girl dead.
“We made plans, we were going to conquer the world. I….I knew she didn’t really considered me the way I did her, but I was hopeful.”
Silence followed and for a moment, Max was afraid that Chloe left. Turning her attention back to the butterfly, she was surprised to find it still in the same spot, just fluttering there. Before she could walk towards it, Chloe started again.
“Everything was spiraling down, I was reliving the same nightmare until….you came back,” her voice got quiet. “Max, I wasn’t sure what to feel the moment I saw you. I mean, you were getting egged on by Prisscott and your friend took the beating for you, but that’s besides the point. It was just so sudden seeing you again and you can’t imagine how many times I’ve rehearsed the crap in my head for what I’d say to you if I ever saw you again.”
“For one, I will be honest, I was glad to see you. I still am. That was probably the highlight of my day. Irritation came up next because I wasn’t sure how you felt about seeing me again. I probably would’ve gave you a harder time earlier if I hadn’t seen that guilt face you made. I won’t lie, I felt satisfied you felt that way, but…..yeah.”
Max was dying to know what she had to say after that but it wasn’t like she could tell her to go on.
“Anyways, when I found out you saved my life, I started believing again that maybe….maybe it really will be okay. You think I would’ve learned by now that all the good things that happen to me, which isn’t very much, would just fall to shit eventually. It was hard to believe that after 5 years, you and me….it was like no time passed at all. We were practically like kids again, but in adult bodies.”
Chloe sighed tiredly, almost like she’s resigned herself to the universe’s constant bullying. Or some other bitch that Max had a hard time recalling.
“Everything was going so well. Why? Why do I have to have the shittiest luck in the world? My other best friend lied to me and then the one right in front of me is in a coma, but I had to open up my big mouth and shut her away.”
Max could tell Chloe was crying again and this time, she felt the tears stinging her eyes as well.
“Max……please, please don’t leave me. I know I’m being selfish by asking you to stay for me, but please…I don’t think I’d be able to take it if you left me again. And this time for good. Don’t you fucking dare join my Dad,” Chloe sniffled.
If she could, Max would’ve jumped back in surprise. Something warm and soft just touched her arm. She still couldn’t see anything but the butterfly.
“I know I’m a fucking brat, but please, just please….don’t leave me again. I take back every thing I said to you earlier, all of my crap. I’m sorry,” Chloe hiccups, “I am so sorry for the crappy way I treated you. I am so sorry for taking advantage of your powers. I am so sorry you have a pathetic loser for a best friend. David’s right, someone like me is only going to bring you down.”
Max’s arm was shaking and she could feel something wet dripping on it. Chloe was breaking down.
“Max please….I love you.”
It was at this moment that the butterfly flew towards Max and a bright light shone all around her. Everything came back. The memories hitting her like a storm.
The events of the past night and day from the other timeline running through her mind. Chloe in a wheelchair, William alive, and her being part of the Vortex Club. Seeing the consequences of keeping William alive….it was too much.
She couldn’t open her eyes just yet, but despite the heaviness and splitting pain in her head, she put all her efforts to moving her hand on top of Chloe’s before whispering.
“I’m never leaving you.”