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A Debt That Lasts Forever

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Kel can only watch as Aubrey smashes her shoulder into the door of Basil's bedroom. He can only watch as she stares at the scene in front of her, before letting out a scream that he can feel in his bones but doesn't let out, leaving it to sit with the rest of the things he hasn't let out.

This can't be happening again.

"W-what the fuck?! Polly!"

Basil's caretaker barrels through; Kel follows behind.

The floor is stained with blood. He looks to see Aubrey practically throwing Basil --- his face plastered with a look that Kel will definitely see in future nightmares --- off of the body of one of his best friends, laying in the middle of the mess. A pair of garden shears clatters to the floor. Polly is on him in an instant.

"Aubrey! Call 911!"

She stumbles out of the room. He can hear her yelling every swear --- and occasionally Sunny's name --- in the book, her voice fading further and she gets farther away.

Kel runs over and kneels next to Sunny. A long trail of blood seeps from his right eye, covered only by the thin wrist of his hand. He pulls him into a hug. Words rapid-fire out of his mouth, but he can't understand them.

It feels like hours when his big brother pulls him away.

"Here, keep this on you," Hero orders as he presses a towel to Sunny's injured eye.

". . . kel?" Sunny's voice is weak, but it still carries through. "where is kel?"

"I-I'm right here, man."

"i need to see him."

Hero looks at his younger brother, and Kel can see how pale his face is. Almost as pale as Sunny's.

"Make sure he doesn't let go of that towel," he says. Kel nods, and his big brother leaves for Basil.

Kel moves in front of Sunny, kneeling over his legs. Blood has already seeped through the towel. His other eye is glazed over.

"i . . . i'm going to die, kel."

"N-no you aren't!" Kel's grips his shoulders. Doing what he does best, he forces a smile. "You're gonna go to the hospital, and they're gonna fix your eye, and then you'll be back on your feet and we can all be friends again! Just like before! You can't die! You won't!"

Sunny closes his eye, as if falling asleep, and Kel barely fights off the sudden lightning bolt from his brain trying to command his arms to shake him until he wakes up.

"kel . . ." Sunny groans. "i have to tell you something."

"Y-yeah? What is it, Sunny?"

The boy takes a deep, shuddering breath. His hands grip Kel's shirt, pulling him close. The towel falls down, revealing a gaping hole where an eye should be. His other eye stares into Kel's soul.

"you still owe me twenty dollars."

Sunny's breathing cuts off. He falls back, dead.

Something in Kel's brain gets unplugged; he stares down at Sunny's body, and blinks once before falling onto his side like a tipped-over shelf.