Categories > Original > Drama6 Reviews
"But then there's Phil." PHAN. Angst-overload within.
Lists. I have hundreds of them; lists of things I’ve done, of shops I like, of places I want to go, of things I want to see. Sometimes I write them out, other times I lock them away in my head so that only people with the key can get to them.
I guess I just like order. That much is true, I like knowing where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. But it’s not like I’ve got some big plan for my life, actually I wish that were the case. These lists, they just, kind of, are. They don’t serve any sort of real purpose other than giving me piece of mind and something to think about when I’d rather not think at all. When I’m too scared to think because, as childish as this may sound, sometimes my own thoughts scare me.
Which is probably why I’m making a new list now.
It’s a written one, because my head’s too full at the moment for there to be room for any more pointless thoughts, and one that I’ll probably regret writing later for some reason or another.
This is what I’ve got so far:
- Overdose of Aspirin
- Bleed out
- Jump in front of a bus
It’s not the first time I’ve written a list like this, and I doubt it’ll be the last, but it is one of the few times when I’ve written it and actually wanted to work through it until one of the things on the list works.
I’m writing a list of ways I could kill myself.
A list of ways that Daniel Howell could take the emergency exit from Earth and never have to look back ever again. The list is kind of bittersweet for me, in the way that it’s my own odd little form of self-comfort yet at the same time it’s only making me feel worse. Largely because I know I’ll never actually do it, never actually pluck up the courage to end my life.
What kind of coward isn’t brave enough to end their own suffering?
Well, me, apparently.
Nobody would miss me, not really. The kids on YouTube would find someone new to subscribe to and all my friends would eventually forget about me, just a ghost of a memory. And up to that point, I’d happily take my life, but then there’s Phil.
Phil would miss me; I know he would, he never lets me forget that. And I could never do anything to upset Phil, not ever. He’s far too sweet for me to ever want to hurt him in any conceivable way.
Which is why I can never kill myself.
The closest I’ve ever coming to actually doing it is breaking a razor out of it’s plastic casing and pushing it into my wrist. That time it was indeed cowardice that prevented it; five cuts and a hell of a lot of blood made me panic more than I thought I would, meaning that I dropped the razor and slept it off for a few hours until Phil got home, at which point I curled up with him on the sofa as he told me about his adventure to ShakeAway. He never asked why I was so down, just accepted that I needed to be held and comforted without question. Phil just gets me like that.
That was the closest I’ve ever come to actually doing it. Also my first time cutting, certainly not my last.
I don’t know why I keep doing it; every time I do, I promise myself it’ll be the last time. Yet it never is. It just makes me feel real and, no matter how messed-up this may sound, I like the thought of someone finding out.
No; I like the thought of Phil finding out. Like it because then, once he knows, it’ll be easier to ask for help.
He can’t know, though. Not ever. Because then he’d ask why and I think the answer would hurt him.
Phil is the answer, Phil is the why.
Okay, so maybe that isn’t exactly fair. He’s the main reason why, the reason that tipped me over the edge and into self-oblivion. It’s not his fault though, far from it; without him I’d have nothing to live for and so without him I’d most likely be dead by now. It’s the thought of making him smile and laugh that makes waking up in the morning seem like less of a hardship, yet it’s thinking of him that always shoves me off the edge of reason and into darkness; pushes me back into the repetitive comfort of cutting.
It’s thinking of him in ways that I can’t, shouldn’t, think about him that kills me inside.
“Dan! I’m home!” That cheery voice buzzes into the room, clawing at my ears and reminding me that I’m sat here on my bed, writing out ways I could kill myself and willing my wrist to stop, just please stop, bleeding because I was too weak to resist doing it again. “I bought you some Malte-“
Normally, almost always even, he knocks before he comes into my room. Not now though. Now he’s just swanned into a scene that he of all people shouldn’t have to see; me crying like a baby, furiously scribbling out my list of suicides and desperately trying to hide my arm under the sleeve of my jumper. I know I must look like a wreck, like an idiot not worth anyone’s time let alone his, but instead of backing out of the room with a freaked-out expression on his face like I kind of expect him to, he does something far worse.
He loses his smile; face instead infested with a frown. Not just a mildly displeased frown but a proper, on-the-verge-of-tears frown. All because of me.
“D-dan?” He sounds small and broken, his usual joyfulness torn away from him in less than a second. “What’s… I? Dan.” His voice is full of something that I can only describe as broken hope, the agony in his eyes forcing me to look away through fear of just flat-out bursting into tears. “Dan, why’re you bleeding?”
Before I can even start to answer, maybe make up some lie about being ridiculously clumsy, I’m being pressed into a tight hug. A hug so comforting and warm and real that I never want to let go, never want Phil to let go of me. He starts rubbing a hand over my back, stroking me like I’m a kitten and he’s one of those little girls that goes crazy over baby animals.
This would be perfect, just like every other time he’s hugged me, if only it weren’t for but a handful of niggling factors. One of them being that I’m bleeding and he’s blatantly noticed it. Another being that the contact isn’t romantic, no matter how much my mind is willing it to be.
“It’s alright, Dan. I’m here.” It feels strange, hearing him sound so serious, but at the same time it feels reassuring, the way he sounds so certain of himself; so safe and so real. “Want to tell me why you’re bleeding?” I shake my head, the action restricted by the fact that I’m currently nestled into my best friend’s warm chest. “Yeah, well, you’re going to. I know something’s up, Dan. So you might as well tell me now rather than making me harass you about it all night until I drive you insane.”
I look up into his eyes, the blue of them reminding me of the sky on the first day we met all those years ago, and see nothing but understanding and a longing to understand more. It’s the least I owe him, the guy who’s put up with my never-ending misery for that past few months, to tell him the truth.
Besides, there’s a tiny little part of me that wants him to know; that wants him to help me like I know he will if I only I had the guts to ask.
“I-I… Please promise me you won’t get mad or freak or laugh or anything.” He nods once, without any sign of hesitation, and I completely believe him. “I did it. I cut myself.”
He nods again, this time it signalling the acceptance of something he’s been trying to deny since walking into my room. The tears finally flood out of his ocean-like eyes, making my weak crying increase into desperate sobbing. The kind of sobbing that you’d expect to hear from someone being told that the world is about to end and it’s all their fault; it’s all guilt and desperation and pure, unbridled misery.
“Can I, um. Can I see?” He moves to pull my sleeve up, but I dart out of the way and shake my head, panic pounding wildly in my head. “Okay, it’s okay. I won’t make you show me.” Phil coos, sounding very much like he’s talking to a scared infant rather than to a twenty-one –year-old man, and pulls me in close once more. “Why though, Dan? I mean, I know you haven’t been yourself recently; I’m not blind, but self-harm? Please, for the love of Totoro, tell me why.”
I can’t help but smile slightly at the mention of Totoro, at Phil’s attempt at making the situation feel at least a little bit less apocalyptic. That smile is soon wiped away at the realisation of what he’s asking me to do.
He wants me to explain something I don’t even understand myself, and the parts of it that I do understand, the parts where my attraction to Phil are key, I don’t want to explain to him. But maybe if I did, maybe if I told him how he makes me feel special and how I want to kiss him just because it’s the only thing that makes sense in my scattered head anymore, then perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. I mean, I was worried about him finding out about the cutting, yet here we are; him holding me and making me feel human, making me feel not so worthless as to be uncountable.
Maybe, just maybe, if I told him he would tell me that he feels the same way. Then again, though, it could be the straw that breaks the long-suffering camel’s back; the thing that makes him finally give up on me.
I just don’t know anymore.
But what I do know is that Phil deserves an explanation, so I’m going to do my absolute best to give him one.
“I just. I don’t understand. I.” I swallow, Phil patting my back lightly in encouragement. “I don’t feel like me anymore, I don’t feel like I matter.”
“And cutting yourself makes you feel like you do?” Phil cuts in, a slight hint of aggravation ringing in his voice, before his face fills with regret and he starts rocking us gently. “Sorry, Dan. It’s just, this is a lot, y’know? I don’t want you to hurt yourself, not when I know I can make it all better if you’d just let me.” He buries in so that we’re cheek-to-cheek, the close contact giving me chills despite the heat it’s sending to fuel my sudden blush, but the motion does something that I know will mess things up even more for me; my list falls out of my lap, instantly grabbing Phil’s attention. “What’s this?”
I can only watch helplessly as he reads, knowing that I won’t be able to deny what it’s a list of because Phil gets me; Phil will know. Just like Phil always does. After a few seconds of tense silence, he looks up from the pathetic little piece of paper and meets my eyes directly; he looks like someone’s just tore out his heart.
Which makes me want to tear out mine and offer it as a replacement.
“Fucking hell, Dan.”
Phil never swears, not words as strong as ‘fucking’ anyway. I always put it down to him being too innocent, too naïve, to use such language but now I’m not so sure. Now I’m thinking that it’s maybe because he’s never felt bad enough to swear, never had a real reason to.
He has a reason now, though; me. Daniel Howell, the man that broke Phillip Lester.
At the thought of a broken Phil I fasten my stinging arms around his waist, tightening until I know he won’t be able to fall apart because I’m holding him together. Who am I kidding? I can’t even hold myself together.
Phil can, though. Phil can hold me together and I can do the same for him. I know we can.
“It’s a list.” I mumble, just wanting to fill the painful silence between us. “Just a list.”
“Dan, it’s a list of ways to kill yourself. And looking at the state of you, I think I’m allowed to be worried about it.”
He throws the list to the floor, looking very much like he wants to be able to burn it using the power of his mind, and then presses a soft kiss to my forehead. It makes my head spin, even if it is only a friendly gesture, and I can’t help but think everything will be alright. Because Phil’s here, with me, and he’s not going to let me fall apart any time soon.
I can feel where my cuts are already starting to scab over, the skin feeling stretched and sore from it being done so many times. Yet the pain of that seems insignificant in comparison to the pain that my actions have clearly inflicted upon Phil, upon someone who’s only ever been kind to me and never anything less than caring.
I have to do something, say something, to make me seem okay; to stop him from worrying, from blaming himself like I know he is.
“I write good lists too.” I blurt out; just letting my mouth do what it wants considering that there’s not a lot I can do to make this any worse. “Lists about things that I like.”
“Yeah?” He offers me a small smile, letting me know that he can see I’m trying. Another soft peck on my forehead, this time accompanied by a gentle thumb wiping a stray strand of hair from my blotchy face. “Tell me about that, Dan. No matter how long the list, I’ll listen. I promise.”
“Pokémon, llamas, music. That feeling when you go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Reading through comments on my videos. Playing videogames until three in the morning because you won’t accept I’m better than you.” Phil laughs a little, reassuring me that I’m saying all the right things as I reel off my mental list. “Making Delia Smith pancakes even when it isn’t Pancake Day. Drawing cat whiskers on my face because it makes you giggle.” I blush at that, scared that Phil will think I’m weirder than he already does, but instead I’m met with a look of profound understanding; longing, almost. And a fond smile. “Going to a cinema where people aren’t ridiculously noisy. Listening to you tell me about your day because you make the world seem interesting and worthwhile.” This time when I look up he’s beaming, even if there is still a slight sad hue to his eyes. There’s one more important thing on the list, something that will either completely banish that sad hue or make him think I’m freak. If his reactions so far are anything to go by, I think it will do the former. Hopefully. “You. I like you.”
I was right.
“Then think of me whenever you want to hurt yourself. Think about how much I care, how much you mean to me.” He pauses, pressing a third kiss to my forehead; this time letting his lips linger, making the warmth of it spread throughout me like a mug of hot chocolate on a cold night. “Think about how much I love you.”
Without giving me a moment to even process it, his lips are on my mine; not forceful and hungry, but gentle and soothing. Making my heartbeat slow to a relaxing pace and making me feel like maybe, just maybe, everything will be alright.
Because Phil loves me, really loves me, and that’s more than enough to counter any list of things I have telling me reasons to hurt myself, to die.
“I love you too.”
He won’t let me fall apart; I know it.
A/N: Yes, I know the whole kinda ‘emo-Dan’ thing is hella clichéd, as is pretty much every part of this story, but I really wanted to write an angsty thing like this involving Phan, so here it is; sorry if it sucks. This is part twelve in my Alphabet Challenge; nearly halfway there!
Thanks for reading and please, please let me know what you think! :)