I had grabbed my shit and I left with Nate. My mother didn’t put up a fight. She had heard what had happened to one of my best friends so I went to stay with Nate and Callie at Nate’s place.
I couldn’t wrap my mind about it. I refused to believe Nate was speaking the truth.
When we entered his bedroom, Callie was asleep on the bed, her face red and cheeks stained from tears.
I put my trunk on the floor, making my way into the room. Nate closed the door and while he sat down on the edge of the bed to check on Callie, I went to the window.
I had no idea of what to do with myself. I had no idea how to react or how to think. It was just that the last thing I ever wanted to believe, was that he truly was gone.
“Is it okay if I leave?” Nate asked, causing me to turn around and look at him. “I mean, Callie’s here. You’ll have each other when she wakes up. I just— I need to go and I need to tell Seth and Melba.”
They don’t know yet?
I nodded, but I didn’t say anything. I wrapped my arms around myself and Nate stood up with a heavy sigh.
“I’ll be back soon, yeah?” He nodded. “Promise.”
He walked over and pulled me in for a hug before he disapparated from my arms. I looked around, then I made my way over to the bed to sit against the headboard. Just to be close to Callie.
I wasn’t feeling anything anymore. I felt numb. It was like the news couldn’t process properly. I was glad that I was numb. I knew that if I could feel anything, it would hurt too much and I wouldn’t be able to handle it.
I closed my eyes, throwing my head back against the headboard as I let out a deep breath.
"Hey sweetie.” I smiled softly when I entered the Hufflepuff basement where Nick sat on one of the sofas, staring into the fire. “What’re you doing?”
I walked over to the back of the sofa and leaned on it. I ran my hand through Nick’s hair, messing it up and in annoyance, he groaned and moved away from me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, walking around the sofa to sit next to him. “Talk to me.”
He looked at me and frowned when he saw my face. “Why’ve you been crying?”
“Don’t worry about that.” I said. “You’re upset about something and I don’t want you to walk around with it on your own. I know how that feels and it’s not healthy.”
He sighed and leaned back against the sofa with a slight pout on his face.
“Alright—” he breathed. “Well, Julie. I think— I’m— I like—”
“Boys?” I asked, causing his head to snap in my direction. “Yeah, I know.”
I flicked my eyes open at the memory that flooded through my mind. His voice was so clear and so was his face.
He’s not gone.
Any minute, Nate will be back with Seth, Melba... and Nick. He’ll be there and he’ll hug me, because Nick is my best friend and he’s my brother — not biologically but you choose your family and he’s like a younger brother to me.
I pulled my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them.
There was no way.
How could Nick possibly be gone? It was the same guy who saw the bright side in everything and then because some fucking psychopaths decided to rape him, he took his own life’s
He left us.
He wasn’t Nick to the end. Nick would never have left us. He was broken by what happened to him, and we didn’t help him. We should’ve done more. I should’ve done more.
“Hi! I’m Nick. My real name is Jesus but my middle name is Nick and— oh... I promised myself I wouldn’t introduce myself as Jesus. I really hate that name. Please don’t call me Jesus. Just call me Nick. Wait— let me start over. Hi! I’m Nick.”
I ran my hands into my hair, the voice of eleven-year-old Nick Crane filling my head. I closed my fists around my hair, pulling at it.
Callie was moving in her sleep, causing me to look at her. She moved closer to me, turning her head to face me and she mumbled something but it was inaudible.
Her blonde curls were a mess around her hair and she had dried mascara on her cheeks, mixed with the dry tears.
I moved some of her hair out of her face, sighing. Why was this happening? Why had this happened?
Why couldn’t I do anything? I wish I could have done anything.
I ended up falling asleep next to Callie, and when I woke up again, Melba was sleeping on my other side. Callie was still asleep. Nate was sitting in his chair in the corner while Seth was leaning against the windows, staring into the room. Nate had been watching the three of us who were sleeping, almost in a protective way.
“Nick’s parents are gonna uh— they’re gonna update us on everything.” Nate told me when he saw I was awake. “... about the funeral and stuff.”
It was real. This was actually happening. Heel was actually gone.
Nick was dead.
Nick had killed himself.
Nick was never gonna see the light of day again. We had lost him for good and we were never seeing him again.
Our ball of sunshine was never gonna show his bright and happy face again. We were never gonna hear his laugh or hear him obsess over pizza again.
We were going to bury our Nick. We were going to be burying our brother.
“Fuck.” I cursed, sitting up. I ran a hand through my hair, closing my eyes while I took one deep breath. “Where is... where is he?”
I looked at Nate, then at Seth who hadn’t moved one bit since I woke up. He was still staring at the same spot on the opposite wall.
“The ministry came to get him.” Nate explained, scratching his arm. “They’re gonna get him ready for the— f-funeral.”
He closed his eyes, trying to stop himself from crying. At the same time, I scooted to the end of the bed, placing my feet on the ground.
“I need—” I breathed, though I didn’t say it. I didn’t tell them what I needed. I stayed quiet, closing my eyes as well.
I need Fred.