Did he put a stop to it all? Will he allow this to be the end to his plan? Castiel fights on, but only time will tell when his battle is over.
I believe that everybody’s lives are planned from their very first heartbeat. The things that we do, feel, see, experience…all of it was meant to happen. There are certain rules that we have to follow in order to live this plan how it should be: we listen to ourselves, not our hearts or other people. The only way to ensure the plan is fulfilled is to let fate and coincidence (even though the two are the complete opposite things) take control and order the world around us to fit the plan. That’s why you should never listen to your heart; your heart will change your mind into thinking about the best for other people.
I don’t think that’s what life’s really about. Life is about you. I am the only one experiencing my life, so why should I have to take into consideration feelings for other people? You get one life – so live it. That’s what everybody says right? That’s how the plan is truly fulfilled: by living according to you.
That’s it. That’s the only way, right?
* * *
“Mr Novak, this is the Chicago Police Department,” a police man calls from below with a speaker phone. The crowd below is so large and everybody has their eyes fixed on me as I stand on top of the tall building, looking down on them all. “We are ordering you to step away from the ledge.”
“I can’t.” I call. “You don’t understand…I’m scared. I can’t move.”
“Show’s over, kid. A police officer is on his way up to you. Stay where you are if you can’t get down.”
“Don’t you see? I’m not doing this so the city knows how much of a freak I am. I’m not doing this to make a point or gain sympathy or attention…I’m doing this because I want to die. I’m standing on top of this building because it’s the only way I can do this; I don’t own a gun, or any pills and I’m not old enough to buy a knife! Besides, I don’t want to be saved!” I shout. “I want to die, don’t you understand?” the tears, once again, pool within my eyes, burning hot streaks down my cheeks when they dare to escape.
“Think about what you are doing, Castiel. There are people waiting for you to come home. Don’t do this, buddy. Just…don’t.” the police officer sighs in nothing other than utter desperation.
“I can’t go home. Everybody hates me now. The voices in my head are telling me what’s best.”
“We have your medication, Castiel. If you come down we can make the voices stop right away.”
“THAT’S NOT THE POINT!” I scream, “I don’t want to live my life relying on chemicals and acids to bring me home to reality! You have no idea what it’s like when normalcy is unattainable like it is for me. It makes me want to disappear - and now I have the chance. I’m sorry everybody has to watch it end this way.”
“Think about what you’re doing.” The police officer says.
“I am, but it’s hard to think when you can’t tell which voice in your head is your own. Just…tell Dean that I love him, tell Doctor Hartman that I’m sorry and tell Sam and Meg to smile.” I cry, thinking about how much I am going to miss them when I’m gone, and how much they’re going to miss me.
“There are small children watching, Castiel. Don’t do this now.”
“You don’t care if I die or not! You just care about the greater good of the people in this city! If they don’t want to watch, tell them to look away. They don’t need to be here – they’re just obsessed with tragedy. Just like everybody else on this goddamned planet.” My toes hang over the edge of the ledge, daring the empty space in front of me to drag my body down.
“That’s not what I meant.” The police officer sighs hopelessly.
“That’s okay,” I swallow, looking up at the way the sun shone past the few clouds in the sky, making the blue look clearer than it ever had before. It’s funny how everything suddenly looks so much more beautiful when you’re faced with death. It’s like a sudden realisation that the world is going to miss you when you’re gone. “Nobody ever means what they say, right? The world is just full of bullshit liars and people who can never bear to hear the truth. It’s okay because it’s not a world I want to live in, and I’m not going to have to live in it any longer.”
* * *
I shrug my bag off of my back, grab my iPod from the front pocket and place my earphones into my ears. I dump the bag behind the wall and slowly turn back around. When I look back down below me, everything looks so much clearer than it did before.
This is how it’s always supposed to end: the hero kills the villain, and in this case I am both.
I play the first song on the ‘Songs for when Cas is sad’ playlist. The song that plays is ‘The Light Behind Your Eyes’ by My Chemical Romance. If I could say everything I need to say to Dean right now, I’d ask him to play this song and listen carefully to every word sung. I’d tell him to turn off the lights; lie in his bed with the covers pulled around him tight and let the song explain everything better than I ever could. That’s the best thing about music, you see. It explains things for you when you can no longer find the words.
“Dean,” I say quietly, shutting my eyes tight, “I love you. I love you more than I can bear to explain and I’m going to miss you more than the stars miss the night sky during the day. You and I are the stars, Dean. Sometimes some stars shine more profoundly than others. To me, you are the brightest star in every heaven. I love you.” I whisper to myself as I step off the ledge with one foot. My other foot is the only thing keeping me on this world; an anchor stopping me from the freedom which I deserve.
“I’m so sorry.” I cry, not to Dean, not to the people watching below, not to Doctor Harman, Sam, Meg or Gabriel…but to myself. I’m saying sorry to myself for not doing this sooner. This moment is three years overdue.
“It’s time.” I whisper into the air, swallowing hard as I let my body weight gently shift to the foot suspended into the nothingness before me.
My body feels free, fuelled by the screams of the people below and the voices in my head all at once. I close my eyes tight feel myself flying with my arms out and the wind rushing through my hair as I glide ever so slowly towards the ground.
I’m not going to lie when I say that this wasn’t how I always expected it all to end for me. Never did I hope that the end to my plan would be because I forced my demise upon myself. I never expected it, but I’m glad. There is nobody I’d rather end my life, than myself. Of course I feel guilt…a lot of guilt. I know that my way of living is selfish, but what else am I supposed to do when my life was completely invaded by notorious mental illness that dictates my every move? I may feel guilt…but I certainly am not ashamed. I’ve gone through so much, and everybody brakes sometimes. This is me breaking: stepping off the ledge (literally) after three years of internal torture that any normal person would struggle to comprehend unless they’d suffered it too.
This is it: freedom
But someone grabs my hand.
And I’m no longer flying.
And the ground is not getting closer.
And my heart is still beating.
“I’m sorry, kid.” A man mutters through gritted teeth when I look up from him as he holds my hand tight. I look up at him through tear filled eyes and silently plead for him to let me go. Why did people always have to get in the way of everything? Can’t I ever do anything without other people’s unforgiving intervention? This isn’t part of the plan!
“I can’t let you do this.” he says, shaking his head slowly, gripping my hand tighter in both of his. “Nobody should have to die this way.”
“But I need…I need…” I cough, looking down at the street below. I’m so high up and if he let’s go…I will die.
I will die an unbearably painful, premature death.
A sudden fear grips me and I find myself holding onto this man for dear life. Suddenly I don’t want to die. I think about all the things I’ll miss if I fall; I’ll never be able to kiss Dean again, I’ll never be able to grow up and get a home of my own, I’ll never get a car or go to a party or laugh again. What if Dean feels to blame for my death? What if Doctor Hartman quits her job? Meg will never be happy again if I let myself die. How could I’ve ever been so stupid? There are many people who need be alive in order to live, laugh, and breathe - almost as much as I need them. “Help me.” I cough, holding him tighter.
“That’s why we’re here, son.”
Two other men, police officers this time, appear by his side and help him pull me back up. They lift me over the ledge and sit me on the floor, wrapping a blanket tightly around my shoulders. The man that had stopped me from falling carries me slowly down the stairs as I hold onto him tightly. “Thank you.” is all I can choke out, and I mutter it over and over again as we near the bottom of the stairs. When we get outside, many people clap and cheer for my safety, but mostly I see them crying from the shock that someone could ever be driven to the extent of suicide in the first place. These people…these hundreds of people…they care about me, even when they don’t know me at all. I almost let them witness something truly horrific out of my own selfishness.
The voices may want me dead, but the people that really matter do not.
* * *
Laurence City Hospital
After long hospital checks and visits from police and doctors, I am put on a flight back to Kansas where I then get driven back to my home – the hospital.
I’m sat in Doctor Hartman’s office all alone awaiting her arrival with a supervisor standing on the other side of the door, ensuring I don’t leave again. This time it is a real supervisor – not one formulated in my imagination. I’ve only been waiting a minute or two when she bursts in through the doors. I stand up to look at her and, before I know it, she’s throw her arms around me. She holds me close like a mother would and doesn’t say a word. Although she isn’t speaking, I can feel her crying as her body convulses in tears.
She sits me down in the chair I usually sit in and wipes her running mascara from under her eyes.
“Castiel,” she breathes heavily, “talk to me, honey.”
“I…I’m sorry.” Is all I can think to say.
She shakes her head slowly and smiles weakly, letting more tears stain her cheeks. “What made you run?”
“I don’t know.”
“You said in your letter that you weren’t safe here.”
“I’m sorry, okay? I was stupid. I saw something in my head that made me leave, and I believed everything he told me. I don’t want to talk about it right now, okay? I just want Dean. Can I just see Dean?” I plead, beginning to cry myself.
Doctor Hartman nods with a small smile as a gesture for me to turn around. When I look back, Dean is stood in the door way with red, worn out eyes and wet cheeks.
“DEAN!” I stand up and run over to him, throwing my arms around him. He holds me back tightly and lifts me off my feet, wrapping my legs around his waist. He squeezes me and kisses me desperately. I hold onto him for my life, praying that I won’t awaken from a dream; hoping to stay alive to witness every intimate second that passes between us.
“Cas.” He breathes between kisses. “Fuck…I love you.”
“I’m so sorry.” I cry, “I’m so, so sorry.”
“Don’t…just don’t.” he sighs, holding my head to his shoulder all of a sudden. His thumb catches in the sleeve of my hoodie to reveal the fresh cuts and scars that litter my skin. “Cas?” he whispers, pulling my sleeve down but running a gentle finger over the slashes in my wrist.
“I…I’m sorry I let things get to this.” He sighs, carrying me out of Doctor Hartman’s office.
“No one could’ve done anything about it, except for me. I should’ve told someone that my head was starting to get bad again. It’s my fault and I’m never going to ask for your forgiveness, because I’ll never be able to forgive myself for doing this to you.”
“Cas…just be quiet, okay?” he laughs weakly, stroking my back gently as we walk down the empty corridors. I smile to myself and keep my head gently tucked against his neck, feeling his warmth radiating from his hands, through my jumper and shirt, onto my back. I feel safe right now.
We reach my room and he lays me gently on the bed. He sits over me and pulls my hoodie off, dumping it on the floor by the bed next to a pile of…next to a pile of his belongings and clothes. The pile makes me sigh, as I realise that he now has nowhere to go. I am literally all he has now, and I guess he’s all I have too.
He lies down beside me and kisses the cuts up my arms with gentle, smooth lips and begins to cry.
“I don’t know what I’d have done if you’d…you know…you’d killed yourself.”
“When the man caught me I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. It was weird. It’s strange how being so close to a death you’ve wanted for so long can suddenly change your whole perspective on life. Maybe living isn’t too bad.” I sigh, stroking his hair gently between my thumb and finger.
“The sad thing is that it takes a suicide attempt for people to realise that. Imagine if that man hadn’t got there in time, Cas. What would I’ve done? I would’ve died to. I wouldn’t have thought twice about it either. If you’re not breathing, well…what else do I have to live for?”
“Don’t talk like that.” I say quickly, cuddling closer to him. “Please don’t.”
“I’m sorry,” he says into my ear, breath making the hairs at the back of my neck stand on end. He reaches over and places a hand under my shirt on my bare skin, sending an odd tingling sensation to my toes. “I just can’t lose you. Not ever.”
“You don’t have to worry about that, Dean. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to leave you again.”
“Maybe one day we can get married and live in a cute apartment somewhere in LA…or New York! And we can get a cat and loads of books and CDs. We’ll go on road trips together and spend time in each other’s laps as we sit under a tree in central park in the sun. I’d sing your favourite songs to you every night, and write poems for you and everything. It will be perfect, Cas. Can’t you just imagine it?”
I kiss the tip of his nose and blush. “I’d love that more than anything.”
He looks into my eyes and I look back at his; so tired and so close to almost giving up. But there was something new in his eyes, something I’d never seen in his eyes before – strength, hope and honesty.
“But before all of that, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. And don’t say that you don’t know why you did it, Cas, because that isn’t good enough. Please…just tell me why you hurt yourself like this.” He says, taking my hand in his, looking down at my arms sadly. He links our fingers together and I watch as a tear flows effortlessly down his cheek, soaking into my pillow.
“The voices told me to. They scared me and I think I kind of deserved it. The pain kept me in touch with reality. I was confused between what was real and what was just a hallucination. It’s scary, you know, to have to rely on self-mutilation to keep you…sane? If that’s the word. I needed to keep in touch with reality and, besides, the voices said I deserved it after what I put you through.”
“Listen to me a second, Cas.” Dean says, sitting up and sitting me up in front of him. “I’m gonna get pissed at you sometimes, that’s just something that comes with every relationship – not just love. We’ll fight and argue and scream and shout; I’ll say things I don’t mean and it’ll seem like the end of the world. But, Castiel, listen: none of that is ever worth hurting yourself over, okay? Nothing. I love you more than I’ve ever loved a single human being before, and I’m sure as hell that nothing will ever be able to change that. You’re too precious to ruin. Self-destruction is something only you can save yourself from, and you’ve gotta promise to try.”
“I promise.” I whisper.
He smiles and pushes me down gently on the bed and shrugs out of his jacket, jumping it on top of mine. His hands make their way to my waist, and that’s where they stay while he kisses me. He kisses up my neck and finds his way to my lips for a few beautiful seconds. My breathing becomes faster as his kisses become more passionate and desperate, but the feeling of his body against mine is too perfect to ruin. Just as he slips a hand beyond the waist band of my jeans, Doctor Hartman walks in and stares at us blankly for a few seconds before Dean awkwardly sits up and climbs off of me.
“Uh…” he clears his throat.
“I…um…” Doctor Hartman frowns awkwardly, pointing at me then to her clipboard, and then placing a hand on her head in embarrassment.
“I was just…uh…welcoming him home.” Dean says shyly, looking down at his hands in his lap as if he was afraid of her reaction.
“That’s…fine.” She smiles. “I honestly had no idea that you two were…uh…you know…together.” She laughs weakly and blushes. I feel my face flushing red too, as if my mother had just caught me with a guy I’d sneaked through my bedroom window.
“Yeah…” Dean says, subtly covering my arms with the bedcovers before she notices. “It’s…a long story.”
“I’m sure Castiel will be keen to tell me all about it in the session he’s supposed to be having right now.” Doctor Hartman smiles, raising an eyebrow in mock-suspicion.
“I’m sorry, Doctor Hartman, but I’d rather just be with Dean for now.”
“That’s fine.” She smiles gratefully. “I’m just glad you’re back.”
“I’m glad too.”
Dean reaches over and rubs my knee. “Me too.” He smiles.
Four months later - Dean
I don’t know what happened. After all he went through last summer! He told me, many times in fact, that he was getting better and that distinguishing between reality and illusion was easier than it had ever been before.
His doctor had allowed him to stay with me every weekend. I’d pick him up on a Friday night and we’d lie in the bed of my new apartment listening to music - he’d be smiling so beautifully every time I glanced over at him when he thought I couldn’t see. He’d be okay. He’d tell me that he hadn’t seen anything that wasn’t really there in weeks, and I’d tell him how proud I was and I’d kiss his head. We used to cook dinner for each other every other week (sometimes we ordered pizza or Chinese) and I’d sit in the middle of the living room with him in my lap as we ate it in front of the television in our underwear. We’d laugh and cry at old movies as we lay in bed at 4am.Then I’d drive him back the hospital every Monday morning. And he’d sometimes cry and beg me not to leave; and I’d then promise that I’d come and visit him as soon as I was done with work that day.
He was happy. I could see it in his eyes. It was real, honest happiness – nothing formulated from artificial chemicals in his blood. I really loved him, and he really loved me.
I decided that I wanted him to be mine. He was going to be my husband, and we’d live together forever. That was what we both wanted so badly. I’d been planning it in my head for weeks; what we’d wear, who we’d invite, the flower arrangements…maybe we’d get married on a beach in Hawaii if he’d like that too. I just needed him with me forever because he was such a delicate, perfect little thing. He needed so much protection, and I felt I could only offer that if were married – together, properly together, you know?
So, on one Saturday morning when Cas was still asleep, I wrote him a note explaining that I’d just gone out to bed some groceries. I kissed his head gently and I swore I saw him smile, and then placed the note beside his head where I was certain he’d find it when he woke.
Instead, I drove to the hospital and picked Sammy up on my way. We headed into town and I got him a ring: it was silver and had the date we met engraved on the inside. Sam said he’d love it, and I knew he would. I dropped Sam back at the hospital on my way home and headed home at 12, after I’d gotten the real groceries.
When I pulled up outside my apartment block in my car, I put the ring in the inside pocket of my jacket and sat there for a few minutes, trying to calm my nerves. I knew that he’d say yes, but I was still nervous in case he wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment yet - and I’d totally understand if that was the case. The kid was only seventeen after all. After about twenty minutes of mental preparation, I grabbed the groceries and headed up to my apartment on the top floor.
When I opened the door, the apartment was awfully quiet. Usually Cas would be up by then (it was 12:20 after all) watching a shitty sit-com or listening to music in the kitchen with the radio turned up loud. I decided that he was probably still asleep as we’d had a late night the night before, and he’d looked very worn out before we finally went to sleep. So, I shrugged it off and dumped the groceries in the kitchen and decided that I’d just join him back in bed. So I walked into the bedroom, but he wasn’t in the bed.
I began to panic. I wondered if he’d gone out for a walk; but then I saw his shoes and clothes still on a messy pile on the floor. Plus, we always left each other a note if we were going out somewhere without the other.
That was when I noticed that he was on the floor, surrounded by empty bottles of pills with his iPod still playing in his ears.
He had one song on repeat: The Light Behind Your Eyes by My Chemical Romance.
Was it another attempt at ending his life? Or was he just desperately trying to rid his mind from voices or hallucination? We don’t know because he hasn’t woken up yet. There is so much evidence to back up both suggestions to what happened that day. I just can’t believe that I let this happen: suicide or not.
Here I am, sitting beside his bed once again; but this time with a ring gently pressed against my chest on the inside pocket of my jacket. It’s been three weeks, and he hasn’t woken up yet.
Come on, Cas, I need you to wake up. Please? For me?
"Be strong and hold my hand, time becomes for us, you’ll understand. We’ll say goodbye today and we’re sorry how it ends this way." - The Light Behind Your Eyes by My Chemical Romance