Actions

Work Header

let go of the things that torture me inside

Chapter Text

All it took was one question and a painkiller-induced answer for Evan to end up in the position he was in now.

He silently cursed himself for being so careless, especially when his cover-up story was impeccable. He was certain that he'd be able to keep up the "falling out of a tree" facade until this stint had been long forgotten. Of course, the administration of oxycodone combined with an anxiety attack and a skeptical nurse led to Evan being questioned as to whether he'd truly fallen or if he'd simply let go. Through his sobs and hazed mind, he'd managed to recount the entire story of his suicide attempt in graphic detail.

The newly acquired information qualified Evan for a psychiatric consult.

Evan tried desperately to lie through the grit of his teeth but soon realized the difficulty of making it out of the hospital without admittance to its psychiatric wing was only amplified by a quick call to his therapist and the red, pink, and white scars littering his thighs and unbroken arm.

He quickly learned that his attempt at painting himself as mentally stable was futile and that he'd be moved to the psychiatric ward the second his doctor cleared his psychical state as stable.

The last thing he saw was his mother falling to her knees and sobbing whilst a nurse wheeled the young boy away from the orthopedics unit and towards the elevator that would take him down to his new temporary home.

In reality, the elevator ride was almost silent, the only sounds being his labored breathing and quiet sobs. To Evan, it couldn't have been louder.

He was greeted by an overly happy mental health nurse and a sinking feeling of regret settling in his stomach.

This situation was so preventable and yet he was still in it, talk about being a failure. A failed suicide attempt and a failed cover-up story, Evan really couldn't do anything right.

Similar self-deprecating thoughts flooded Evan's anxious mind as he sat on the floor and removed the laces from his shoes, his watch, and handed over all other excess objects with the reassurance that his mother would bring him clothes and necessities that would be checked for anything that posed as potentially harmful and then delivered to him within the next three days.

The same personable nurse from before gave him a hand up off the floor and they embarked on a tour of the ward.

Evan attempted to drown out the sound of his nurse's high pitched voice and the concerning number of crying patients and instead focus on the scraping sound of his laceless shoes on the hard vinyl floors.

He felt the most intense fear that he had felt in his entire life as he unwillingly trudged along before remembering the look on his broken mother's face when she learned what he'd done.

He quickly stiffened. He wanted to be here, he wanted to get better.

The nurse led him down another corridor.

"This is your room, your roommate should be in there." She explained with a smile as she motioned towards an open white door.

Evan walked in and locked eyes with the figure perched on the edge of the bed.

The tall boy was dressed in a black hoodie and black jeans that hung off his loose frame. His long dark hair hung in his pain filled eyes as he drew furiously in a sketchbook. The boy had obviously been through a lot and Evan's heart ached for him.

"Connor." The boy stated with a nod towards Evan, pausing to look up at the boy.

Evan's stomach did flips.

"E-Evan."

The taller boy gave another nod and proceed to go back to his artwork.

Well, at least there was one outcome of today's events that Evan definitely did not regret.

Chapter Text

Evan lay on his uncomfortable bed, wishing for something to do as he willed the time before evening vitals and bed to magically quicken. Connor sat on his respective bed and picked at his black nail polish.

The two had been sitting in awkward silence since dinner all while Evan’s mind relayed an abundance of icebreakers he could use to initiate conversation before he eventually gave up and attempt to embrace the quiet.

“No one’s signed your cast.” Connor finally stated, breaking the silence while pointing at Evan’s blank cast.

“No, I know.” Evan replied back looking to the floor.

“Well I guess getting somebody to sign it would be hard when you’re away from all your friends.” Connor stated, bluntly.

Evan squeezed his eyes shut “well, it’d be h-hard anyway because I do-don’t have any friends, ev-even out of here.”

His sentence was quick and fast and he regretted every word of it from the second it came out of his mouth. He tried to look away but the room was too small and too bright and despite his eyes darting in every possible direction, all he could see was Connor looking at him with concentration, seeming as if he was trying to make a tough decision.

“Well I’ll sign it.” Connor said as he turned to his bedside table and produced a sharpie

 “Oh-oh you don’t have to.” Evan offered.

Before Evan could process what was happening, Connor had stood up and walked over to Evan’s bed.

The taller boy harshly grabbed Evan’s arm and began to scrawl his name in enormous letters across the white cast, leaving Evan swallowing as he tried to ignore the pain that his roommate had inflicted on him. Eventually, Connor stepped back, seemingly satisfied with his work.

“Oh great! Thanks!” Evan stated through clenched teeth, still attempting to keep the subsiding pain at bay.

The ghost of a smile played at Connor’s lips. “Yeah, well now we can both pretend that we have friends.”

Despite the size of writing on his cast and the pulsating ache in his arm, Evan watched as Connor returned to his bed and wished that they didn’t have to merely pretend.

 

A nurse soon appeared at the door of their room and instructed them that it was time for vitals.

Evan and Connor walked side by side to the room where the quick tests were conducted. Connor walked into the room to have his taken while the smaller boy sat down in an extremely uncomfortable chair that resided in the waiting room. Evan’s breathing quickened now that he was alone and as he began realizing exactly what he’d gotten himself into, he squeezed his eyes shut and desperately attempting to force his body back to normal.

After several minutes, Connor stormed out of the room and rushed past the blonde boy as he presumably headed back to their shared room.

The nurse watched with concern before offering Evan a smile and leading him into the room.

Evan plopped down into the chair and subconsciously ignored the nurse as she explained the process that would soon become routine for the teen.

His blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse, and temperature were taken and the nurse stood still unsure whether she should worry about his elevated rates. She eventually came to the conclusion that the boy was still an anxious mess and there was no doubt that the slight abnormalities were just a result of panic.

“The first night is always the hardest.” She uttered with a sad shrug and sent Evan to bed.

 

The blonde teenager picked up his pace and hurried back to his bedroom. He had partaken in his average nighttime routine before vitals and didn’t need to worry about changing clothes as the scrubs he was wearing served as both pajamas and clothes until his Mother delivered his own belongings. He soon reached his room.

Then he broke.

Evan practically collapsed into his bed the second he reached it. He was thankful for the dark, thankful Connor couldn’t see him, thankful Connor couldn’t see how much of a mess he was.

Then it started to get loud. Evan couldn’t hear the volume of his sobs over the sound of his thoughts. They were heavy and fast and they wouldn’t stop and oh God, they wouldn’t stop and Evan felt like he was drowning; he was submerged under water and there was nobody their to resue him. His mind was slipping away. It was too much and it was happening too quickly. He couldn’t breathe, it was as if someone’s hand had a strong grasp around his tiny throat and he was just becoming smaller and smaller by the second. He was certain that he was dying, no, scratch that, dying was preferable to this.

“Can I touch you?” a voice asked.

The voice was louder than his thoughts and louder than his own hyperventilating.

Evan found himself nodding profusely and immediately felt strong arms envelope him.

The other body pushed himself close to Evan as he hugged the boy with a hesitant tightness. Connor cautiously ran his fingers through Evan’s short blond locks and gently swayed the two of them back and forth. He moved his hand down to his back, rubbing it as he comforted the anxiety-consumed boy.

“It’s okay, I’ve got you, you’re okay” Connor continuously whispered to his roommate.

Evan’s breathing slowly began to calm down but the taller boy didn’t dare let go until he could say with the utmost certainty that the other boy was completely fine, the myriad of scars between them was illuminated by the distant lights and Connor was sure that they looked like the two most broken people in the world.

After twenty or so minutes of Connor holding Evan and whispering reassurances into his ear, Evan’s breathing returned to normal and his sobs subsided. Evan went to extended his thanks towards Connor but the boy had already turned away and resumed being his cold and distant self.

Connor crawled back into his bed and turned to the face Evan.

"Just so you know," Connor started "I only did that because I wouldn't be able to sleep over all your crying."

Despite the previous comment, Evan felt well and truly safe for the first time in a long time. He felt calm but exhausted, with the last few thoughts on his mind being how thankful he was for one Connor Murphy. As long as the other boy was around, Evan was sure that he could get better, he was sure that all the things that hurt him would be kept at bay around the handsome long-haired boy.

He looked into Connor’s eyes. He also looked tired. Tired of fighting, tired of trying to get better, tired of being alive.

Evan wished he could make Connor feel as safe as he did, but he couldn't even hold a conversation with him.

Then Evan stopped fighting sleep and let eyes close, leaving Connor to be the one who broke.

Only this time there was nobody to comfort him.

Chapter Text

Evan shot a quick glance at his sleeping roommate before looking directly up and trying desperately to get his mind off of the boy who seemingly occupied every one of his thoughts.

The worst part about his overwhelming attraction to the boy was that Evan knew practically nothing about him.

It had been two complete days since Connor had eased Evan down from his regretful panic attack and the only words Connor had muttered to him in that time had been a request that Evan stop pulling out his hair because his soft grunts of pain annoyed Connor.

While Connor being distant certainly was not a surprise to Evan, he expected to have certainly exchanged more conversation due to the overwhelming amount of time they spent together.

The shorter boy was still clueless as to why Connor was even in the psychiatric ward in the first place.

Thoughts of Connor and all his possible pain flooded Evan’s mind before he eventually drifted off to a dreamless sleep.

 

Evan awoke the next morning, finally familiar to the routine of the institution.

He tiredly followed Connor to the exam room for morning vitals and sat as he waited for the brunette to finish his workup.

As usual, Connor hurried out of the room and Evan once again noticed the expected look of sheer concern on the nurse’s face that came before the plastered smile she always offered Evan.

 

He shook off the chills that the nurse’s expression sent down his spine and immediately headed down to the cafeteria for breakfast.

He scarfed his medication down and made his way over to the food line.

While piling the mandated piece of toast, cereal, and a cup of juice onto his tray, Evan searched the room for Connor before laying eyes on him and hurrying over.

Connor looked down at his food with sheer disgust, snarling at the bread as if it was coated in mold and Evan pushed aside the fact that Connor’s required meal was twice the size of his own and also the fact that it was accompanied by an ensure shake.

Fighting the urge to make conversation with his roommate, Evan looked down at his food and slowly ate.

He tried his best to ignore the vast number of nurses and volunteers who looked directly at Connor for the duration of the meal and said nothing when Connor quickly shoveled the majority of his food onto Evan’s tray the second he caught a break from their lurking stares. 

Evan tried to pretend none of it happened, but he failed to stop thinking about it.

 

They sat alongside each other during outdoor recreation time in silence.

Connor spent his time sketching furiously while Evan attempted to finish the assigned work from their study sessions, although he became constantly terrified that he’d catch a glance of his Mother from the windows of the upper floors of the hospital.

He was shaking before he knew it and Connor shot him a look that was somewhere between annoyance and concern before going back to drawing.

Evan once again pretended he couldn’t see the portrait that Connor did of a bloody and bruised version himself.

 

The rest of the day proceeded in a similar fashion.

Connor being caught trying to smuggle a plastic knife after lunch and a nurse forcing it out of his hands, the administration of methadone during his medication regiment, the way he bit his fingernails after coming back from his daily phone call.

Evan was feeling beyond trapped, he didn’t know what he was supposed to do. Ignoring all of the unhealthy behavior exhibited by Connor was driving him absolutely insane but the thought of possibly upsetting the boy he unexplainably cared so deeply for caused him to feel stress beyond description.

He knew he needed to do something.

Evening group therapy rolled around and Evan half listened as the seven or so teenagers in the adolescent ward complained about anything and everything that had even slightly affected their moods.

As always, Connor rolled his eyes and waved his hand away upon his turn to talk.

The psychiatrist conducting the group nodded, obviously disappointed but not surprised and unwillingly to press the matter any further.

She turned to Evan with a bright smile.

“How have you been settling in? Is there anything you’d like to talk about?” She questioned with encouraging eyes.

Evan froze up, he had struggled to participate in group due to the large amounts of talking required but knew that this was an opportunity he should take.

He ignored his heart pounding against his ribcage and forced his mouth open.

“Um well there’s th-this one p-person in here and I-I’m worried about them.” Evan was beginning to regret talking but willed himself to continue. “I don’t kn-know how to help them. I just want th-them to get better and be happy bu-but I don’t want to sc-scare them away and I just d-don’t know what to do.”

Evan’s eyes welled with tears but he pushed them aside and continued.

“I wa-want to know them, but I don’t e-even know what they’re in here f-for. I care so much m-more than I thought I even could and I j-just want to help, even if it’s n-not my place.” Evan finished with a shudder.

He ignored all the talk and discussion that surrounded his statement and instead looked at Connor.

The dark-haired boy just stared back with an expression that was simply impossible to read.

 

Upon the conclusion of group, Evan headed to the visiting room to see if his Mother had been come to visit.

One of the nurse’s looked up at the boy sadly.

“Heidi’s working the NICU today, it’s just been code after code after code. She said to tell you that she loves you and that she’ll visit as soon as she possibly can.” The nurse told Evan thoughtfully.

Evan just nodded and ran back to his room, plagued by feelings of guilt when the realization that his Mom would have to work a ridiculous amount just to pay off the boy’s overwhelming hospital bills hit.

He flopped down on his bed and looked up at Connor, who was once again drawing in his beloved sketchbook.

Wordlessly, Connor gathered his pajamas and toiletries and left the room.

Evan noticed that he’d left the book open on his bed.

He didn’t want to invade the brunette’s privacy but the open book seemed so welcoming. He made his way over to Connor’s bed and looked down at the piece of art.

It was yet another drawing, only this one was in black and white and the background contained an assortment of tall trees and streetlights. On the ground was a boy, who Evan assumed was Connor due to the long messy hair and build. The boy’s eyes were closed and he seemed at peace. The only things that were in color in the picture were the boy’s bloodied arms and the orange bottle of pills that lay by his side.

Evan glanced at the top righthand corner of the image to see the words “the missing pills from the medicine cabinet, the missing kid found passed out in the park,” scrawled in Connor’s big and messy handwriting.

Evan thought he was going to be sick.

Chapter Text

Evan was beyond ashamed to reveal that he truly was not making even the slightest of progress.

That statement could be applied to his feelings towards Connor, as the boys had begun talking more but were still practically strangers and Evan hadn’t even come close to expressing the reality of their situation yet.

It could also be used to express Evan’s mental health.

Despite the forms of counseling, the medication, and the environment that Evan was in, he was yet to actually experience an improvement in his mental health and stability.

His anxiety and depression were as prevalent now as they were when he allowed himself to drop from the tree, only now self-harm wasn’t an option when it came to coping.

He now had to take everything as it came with only talking and medication to serve as an aid. Only the talking made things drastically worse and the abundance of medication made his emotions feel fuzzy, like he was watching them from a TV screen but still taking all impact.

He was tired of it.

Coming to a place like this was difficult enough on its own and there was no purpose if he wasn’t making an improvement.

 

The sound of a pen clicking brought him back to reality.

He looked up in order to lock eyes with his attending psychiatrist, Dr. Shaw. She was a serious looking woman with long dark hair, a skinny frame, and thick-rimmed glasses. Her lab coat sat comfortably over her dark green sweater and cream blouse.

Evan had an overwhelming fear of her at first but quickly warmed up to her.

“Where did you go just then?” She questioned.

Evan took a deep breath in and launched into an explanation of his feelings, telling her every one of his concerns aside from those surrounding Connor in great detail.

She looked at him with concern and raised her eyebrows as her lips curled into a reassuring smile

“Then we’ll work on adjusting your medication and finding the exact course of treatment that works for you. These things take time, Evan. Don’t give up yet, we’re going to work together and figure this out.” She offered.

Evan felt himself nod while he gave a fake smile and pushed himself out of the large cushioned chair on which he previously sat.

“Goodbye, Evan. Enjoy your dinner!” She exclaimed with a wave.

The boy just offered a small wave back and stumbled out of the room.

 

He walked with his head down until he finally arrived at the dining hall. He quickly piled the surprisingly good food onto his plate and made his way over to his usual table, which Connor was already sat and playing with his meal of pasta and salad.

There was a considerably smaller number of nurses and volunteers on call at the ward and Evan was glad for it, he felt much more comfortable when the workers were scarce as it provided him with a sense of normality.  

He dumped his tray onto the heavy table and offered Connor a genuine smile which was predictably not returned.

The routine of it all was welcoming and Evan embraced it.

Although he noted that Connor was actually eating for once.

For the sake of Connor’s comfort, Evan tried to avert his eyes from the boy as he hungrily shoveled the large serving of pasta into his mouth and chased it quickly with salad.

He tried to disguise it but Evan radiated with pride at the motion.

Eating was very obviously something Connor struggled with severely and seeing him eat so quickly and well made Evan feel odd amounts of happiness.

The sound of screaming and grunting pulled Evan out of his thoughts.

Somebody at a table towards the front of the cafeteria had attempted to attack somebody with the plastic cutlery that was provided at mealtimes and every nurse, psychiatrist, and volunteer present rushed to prevent the attack from progressing.

Evan turned back around and noticed Connor stand up and speed walk out the door just as somebody yelled for the administration of a sedative.

Chills were sent down the boy’s spine and his stomach sunk.

What was he doing? Evan pondered.

Evan quickly stood up and slid out the huge and heavy doors of the cafeteria undetected.

He picked up his pace and glanced around the white hallways for any signs of the boy as he racked his brain for some clue as to where he could have possibly disappeared to.

Realization hit and Evan quickly shook off the panic that was beginning to take over.

He quickly turned to the bathroom and pushed the door open, ignoring his shaking hands.

Sure enough, he heard gagging and the distant stench of vomit.

Black combat boots peeked out from under the only occupied stall as the continued sound of gagging and vomit meeting the toilet flooded Evan’s ears.

Evan felt paralyzed, he had no clue what to do. His roommate, his secret love, was hurting himself and he hadn’t an idea of how to aid him or even if he should step in at all.

The sound eventually halted after what felt like hours and was instead replaced by the sound of heavy breathing and racking sobs.

Evan decided he had enough, he stepped forward and pulled open the lockless toilet door.

It reeked of puke that Evan decided to avoid flushing for purposes of medical examination.

Surely enough, Connor was sat hunched on the floor.

There was only one way to describe his appearance, dead. Connor literally looked like a corpse and if it wasn’t for the loud sounds he was exhibiting and the shaking of his bony frame then Evan might’ve assumed that he was.

The boy was leaning against the wall for support, eyes half closed as he struggled to say awake. Chunks of vomit and sweat drenched his shirt and caused his hair to stick to his face. A sizeable amount of saliva lingered on his middle and index finger, glimmering against his pale blue fingernails which complemented his equally blue lips. His calloused knuckles also stood out against his lanugo hair coated hands. Although, the most horrifying thing was definitely the paleness of his skin. While Connor was always pale, the color of his skin right now strongly resembled a sheet of paper.

Evan took a step towards him and reached out to found his pulse, ignoring worry and instead focusing on using his first aid training to assess Connor’s condition.

He widened his eyes when something deathly cold reached out and weakly grabbed his hand.

“Tell anybody about this and you’re dead, Hansen. Don’t you fucking think about it.” Connor obviously tried to keep up his cold front as he threatened his roommate but came out sounding small and weak due to the boy’s state.

He let go for a mere second before trying desperately to grab on once more.

“Seriously, please. You can’t. Don’t, Evan. Please.” His delusive threats turned to pleads drastically fast.

Evan hesitated for several seconds, if he told then Connor would hate him and their friendship would come to a sharp halt before it even truly begun.

His internal debate was settled the second that the taller boy’s eyes rolled back into his head and his shakes and ragged breathing intensified.

Evan quickly scrambled into the hallway, nearly tripping in his urgent rush.

“NURSE! DOCTOR! ANYONE! WE NEED HELP!” He screamed desperately into the open space, his voice dripping with confidence despite the fact that he had never been so terrified.

He immediately caught the attention of a young nurse in pink scrubs who came running towards the bathroom.

The nurse opened his mouth to ask exactly what Evan needed but pushed the boy out of the way the second he caught a glimpse of Connor’s figure on the floor.  

He immediately rushed to the unhealthy boy and began rapidly screaming into his pager.

Within seconds, a flurry of medical professionals flooded into the bathroom to provide direly needed care to Connor.

Evan sunk to his knees and attempted to watch the crowd of people work intensely to help the boy that Evan had fallen for. His efforts at watching and ensuring that Connor was okay were pointless as he could see nothing through the thick layer of tears in his eyes.

A gurney was wheeled into the room and Connor was quickly strapped in and moved.

Evan didn’t even know if he was alive.


Soon after he had been taken, Dr. Shaw walked into the room. She quickly stopped once she noticed Evan.

He looked up at his psychiatrist.

“Where are they taking him?” He choked out.

Dr. Shaw walked up to Evan and crouched down before him.

“Well, first they’ll stabilize him in the Emergency Room. Then, he’s going to the High Dependency Unit. He’ll be closely monitored and kept completely safe. Once we’re satisfied with his recovery, he’ll come back.” She said in a soft voice.

Evan just nodded and let out a strangled sob.

“It’s all my fault. He’s going to hate m-me.” The boy said as his tears picked up pace.

Dr. Shaw furrowed her eyebrows. “None of this is your fault, Evan. Connor’s very damaged and he has been for a very long time. This isn’t his first stay at the hospital and it isn’t going to be his first time in the High Dependency Unit. If anything, we’d noticed slight improvements in him after your admittance. Not to mention that if you hadn’t been there during that incident, the results may have been fatal.”

She stood up and offered Evan a hand.

“It’s time for you go to bed.”


He followed her to his room but all he could stare at was Connor’s empty bed.

He never ended up getting to sleep.

Chapter Text

Two nurses stood in front of Connor, one holding a nasogastric tube and the other clutching a bottle of Xylocaine jelly and Connor’s chart.

“I’m assuming you know how this goes?” Asked the one handling the tube.

Connor hesitated.

The prospect of having yet another NG tube terrified him. He had no control over what went into his body and the thought of having thousands of calories being liquidized and forced into him was enough to drive the boy mad.

He eventually gave in, knowing that if he resisted then his stay in the High Dependency Unit would increase and would also result in a prolonged amount of time spent in the general ward.

He simply nodded in response to the nurses and let them begin measuring.

Dreams of getting out and going back to the real world consumed him before the feeling of a cold, lubricated tube going up his nose pulled him out of his thoughts.

“Swallow.” The same nurse instructed.

Connor unwillingly began to swallow, forcing the tube down as he gagged and choked on it.

Once the placement seemed to be ideal, the nurses stepped back and ensured that the tube had been inserted correctly.

One of them quickly ripped off a piece of tape to secure the tube.

“All done!” They said proudly, thankful for Connor’s cooperation.

He just shrugged and watched them leave, feeling nauseous due to the unwanted anxiety-inducing tube but thankful as he knew they’d put in a good word for Connor and encourage his release.

None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Evan Hansen, Connor thought to himself as his anger levels began to rise.

He was the whole reason that Connor was in the High Dependency Unit, and the reason Connor’s release date was going to be pushed back so far that it wasn’t even in the talks.

Connor clenched his fist and faced the wall, with boiling blood and a red face.

A quick glance out the window of his room allowed Connor to realize that he was face to face with a worker so he simply threw his hands up in defeat and threw himself onto his uncomfortable bed with all the strength he could muster.

The HDU routine involved a considerable less amount of recreation than what he was used to so Connor closed his eyes and lay flat on his face until sleep consumed him.

 

He awoke to an orderly shaking him and informing him that it was time for his private psychiatric consoling.

He groaned loudly, usually, he’d just sit through his appointments and not say much at all. Dr. Shaw had been assigned to Connor’s case four times before his current admission and knew that talking was neither beneficial nor indicative of the boy’s progress. She’d developed other ways in which to assess the boy’s stability and while it was less than ideal, it worked for them both.

Unfortunately, admittance to the HDU required a different system and Connor knew there was no escaping it if he planned on being released.

He’d have to talk.

So he settled down in the chair that resided in Dr. Shaw’s office and picked at his nails, earning a disapproving look from the psychiatrist who was asking about how he was handling the tube.

Connor replied with brief answers, hoping that they’d be enough to satisfy the woman.

Talking about feelings had to be his least favorite thing but when Dr. Shaw leaned over with curious eyes and asked him to discuss the events of the night that landed him in the High Dependency Unit to begin with, Connor snapped.

“It’s Evan’s fault, he did this to me.” Connor began, feeling his vexation bubble up.

He continued to talk about how fucking furious he was, how Evan had betrayed him, how he wouldn’t be able to face the boy without beating the shit out of him, how he didn’t even know the boy and yet he hated him with every fiber of his being.

Dr. Shaw’s expression changed from one of curiosity to anger drastically fast.

“Connor none of this is Evan’s fault. You’ve seen the boy, he’s constantly anxious and everything sets him off. He saw his roommate in a terrifying position and all he wanted to do was help. There was absolutely no malice in his intent. His response was very human and you know that you shouldn’t have been in that position to begin with. All that boy wants is to get close to you and you don’t even give him the time of day, at least forgive him for trying to do the right thing.” She exclaimed with a quickly rising voice.

He wouldn’t admit it but that struck a chord with Connor.

 

The words occupied his brain all throughout the rest of that day and the next, they distracted him and due to them and the medication he’d been required to stop cheeking, he felt himself slipping away.

He ate his mandated oral food with compliance and managed to ignore the cold liquid of his feeding tube when it dripped down his throat.

He knew that time was passing but he had no idea how quickly.

He’d talk and immediately forget the words he’d uttered, convinced that he never said anything at all.

The thing about Connor was that he’d always thought he was a ghost, that he’d died when he first tried to kill himself three years ago and he was now just stuck on earth.

It made sense to him, so he always considered it.

Now he was certain of it, there was no way he could be alive and be this disassociated. It wasn’t possible.

He floated along calmly, nothing could touch him.

Connor couldn’t even tell how he felt.

 

Of course, his body got used to the pills.

He was soon back to feeling so much and feeling it much more than possible.

After consulting a nearby nurse, Connor learned that he’d been in the High Dependency Unit for eight days. He was confused as to why it took his body so long to become accustomed but was soon required to take his medication which resulted in him realizing just how many pills he was on.  

He trudged his way back to bed.

While the dissociation was gone, the thoughts of Dr. Shaw’s words about Evan remained.

Connor wanted nothing more than to blame Evan but deep down he knew it was nobody’s fault but his own, that he wouldn’t even need to be in the HDU if he had just stuck to his plan and actually made an effort. If he did that then Evan wouldn’t even have found him in the first place, because neither of them would’ve been there.

The anger returned.

It was considerably stronger than the anger he’d felt in the previous days.

Only this time, it wasn’t directed at Evan. It was directed at himself.

He began to feel guilty for blaming him in the first place, which resulted in Connor’s madness being majorly amplified.

His wrists began to itch, begging to be cut open. His thoughts began to race, replaying Dr. Shaw’s words over and over like a broken record. The walls seemed welcoming, asking to be punched.

He wanted to scratch, hit, pull. He wanted to do anything.

Pain grounded him and he desperately needed it, like a junkie twitching for a hit.

He considered screaming at the top of his lungs, knowing that the yelling would make a good outlet and maybe cause his throat to become raw.

Connor ended up doing nothing, knowing that it’d hinder his recovery and his exit from this godforsaken place.

He just shut his eyes and imagined a world where he didn’t exist.

 

Much to his surprise, Dr. Shaw came in a few hours later.

She was accompanied by a nurse and group of fourth-year medical students who were on their psychiatric rounds.

“We are satisfied with your progress, and you can expect release into general population by tomorrow evening.” She said with a smile.

Connor just nodded slowly as the nurse stepped forward and began to remove his feeding tube while the rest of the group scribbled notes and watched with intent.

“Keep up your eating habits or this goes back in, understood?” The nurse asked, dangling the disgusting tube in Connor’s face.

He gave a meek thumb up and the nurse exited.

The students congratulated him and moved to continue.

Connor shifted uncomfortably on his bed as he watched them, eventually deciding to speak up.

“Dr. Shaw?” He asked, trying to get the psychiatrist’s attention.

She turned around with a raised eyebrow, beckoning him to continue.

“When I get back will Evan still be my roommate?” He asked with a voice lacking emotion.

The woman opened her mouth before closing it, as if considering her response.

“I’d like him to be” Connor added.

She smiled brightly.

“Then I’m sure it can be arranged.” She replied before waving at the boy and turning on her heel.

Connor fell backward, contemplating what he’d done and wondering if he’d regret it.

He let out a loud sigh and realized that it didn’t matter. Whether he had Evan or not, the self-deprecation would consume him and with none of his usual outlets, he knew he wouldn’t be able to cope.

He wasn’t sure he ever would.