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The Revenge of Devil

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"The life of each of us is accompanied by a great deal of loss."

The simple sentence had so many burning truths in it that Peter's chest ached. He stood in the second row of mourning guests, who came to say goodbye to the girl who had died completely unnecessarily, and because of him. Upon arrival, he saw several of his classmates, and especially her friends. But he paid no attention to any of them. Only Ned and Michelle were important to him, both standing by his side and supporting him. Peter never talked to them about the loss, but they could sense how much it affected him. Michelle slid her fingers into his hand, and he gripped them tightly, still bravely staring at the white casket, which seemed to be a sure and apt symbol of innocence and purity.

"During one's life, one loses many objects and illusions, and in the same way, one's existence in this world is accompanied by more severe losses, such as the loss of loved ones and friends. And we are united here today by the sadness of losing one person close to us who left us suddenly and without warning. Loss of Elizabeth Toomes is difficult not only for her beloved family but also for her friends, acquaintances, and classmates."

Peter let the speaker's words, although he had to admit that he was really great, one ear in and the other out. No one but him and her killer knew how Liz actually died. Yes, everyone who met here knew she had been murdered, the innocent, good girl who wouldn't hurt anyone, and sure, it was a huge shock to everyone and filled them with fear, but Peter knew that if they ever found out the truth, it would be even worse for them. He didn't lie, not quite, he didn't want to tarnish Liz's memory, no, but he was sure everyone could handle it better to know that Liz had died still, without much pain, even though it was a possible laboratory experiment than they imagined, how the pretty girl's face changes in the agony of fear, how crimson blood splatters from her undercut throat, and how she falls to the icy floor, into a pool of her own blood, and in the last moments of her life she feels only pain, shock, and fear, and no there was no peace.

So that was his version he'd told Mrs. Toomes, and she'd spread it: Liz died in her sleep, brave but calm. And lies were slowly becoming true. White lies, that was it. How he would like to believe it himself. But he knew he would never get rid of what he witnessed. After all, how many times had he woken up in the middle of the night, all sweaty, and a steel-cold laugh echoed in his ears, and the last flashes of the horrible scene disappeared in front of his eyes? He will never escape, never.

An icy wind whipped him in the face and ruffled his hair. As if from a great distance, snippets of words like "... kind" or "... wonderful friend" and "... a smiling girl with a heart in the right place" came to him. All of this was true, and Peter couldn't help but think that Liz could still live for many long years if she hadn't befriended him. And if there weren't people like Quentin Beck and the woman who killed her. Vengeful, cruel people who stop at nothing just to hurt others for their own pleasure. Because there was nothing else in it. What was Liz to them? She was innocent, she did nothing to them. They only used it as bait, as if she were some stupid earthworm for fish.

Peter noticed that Michelle, standing next to him, jerked slightly, and he realized that he was gripping her fingers too tightly. He gave her an apologetic look, but she smiled only slightly. She stroked the back of his hand with her thumb and rested her head on his shoulder. She, too, cried silently. Peter felt something wet on his face and realized that he was crying. No tears of sadness. These were tears of helplessness. He couldn't help Liz. And he couldn't help her mother either. He glanced briefly at Mrs. Toomes, who was crying loudly nearby and blowing her nose into her handkerchief. He looked at the woman he had taken from his daughter, her whole world.

You're not to blame, it's not your fault, you didn't kill her , Dad's voice came to him in his head. He repeated these words to him constantly as Peter's loops tightened his own destructive thoughts. They killed her.

He realized that he was close to being at his mother's funeral instead of his friend's funeral. He felt such torment when he had to live so long knowing that Pepper was dead, and he felt so much relief and indescribable gratitude when he recovered and found his mother sitting by his bed holding his hand, alive and real.

He still couldn't believe it sometimes. So much has happened in the time he has been gone, and even in the days, he has been back. And he was still a little confused. As if the remnants of drugs were still circulating in his body, dulling his senses. He was still weak. But he was gathering strength. He had to.

He began to realize that the line between dreams and reality was as thin as the line between love and hate. He didn't talk to anyone about it, but often, in his spare time, he remembered one of his last moments in the lab, when an unknown woman came to him and told him words that kept him awake. But he had no idea if it was a dream, just a figment of his exhausted mind, or was it real? Or another of Beck's illusions to destroy him? Peter had no idea.

But he was determined to find out.

"Her sudden death has dealt a severe blow to our lives and we have to recover from it together. We must not mourn, Elizabeth would certainly not want that, she would not want to see the sadness on the face of any of us, because even during her life she tried to elicit at least a small smile on our faces during difficult times. Because even a small smile is the gateway to the path of joy."

The smile is the gateway to the path of joy. Indeed. Peter realized that there was indeed some truth to what everyone was saying; funerals are not for the dead. They are definitely for the who remained.