Chapter 31: Awakening
Owen opened his eyes.
It was dark. Was he dead? He had to be. Daveigh must not have made it. He couldn’t really move. But he knew he was lying down. He reasoned that if he was lying down, he had to be lying down on something. His eyes started adjusting. He wasn’t dead. Death shouldn’t feel like lying down. That was for sure. If he was lying down on something he had to be lying down on something somewhere. Now he just had to figure out where that somewhere was… Shapes were now coherent. His eyes were reasonably adjusted.
He looked around. It was a bedroom. Not his own, but it did in fact look familiar. Owen’s head started throbbing. All of his muscles started aching. Feeling came back to his limbs. He was on a bed. There were posters on the wall of 80s cult classic films and there was a desk lined with CDs. He couldn’t place it, his head was just too blurry. He was kind of hungry and thirsty at the same time. Like there was something he was craving, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was.
Owen stood up. He gingerly touched his tummy. There was no sign of any injury. He opened the curtains.
The sun was bright and it hurt his eyes.
It was like the worst hangover he could even imagine, all at once his head was pounding and he let out an unflattering grunt and ripped the curtains closed. Then he realised where he was. This was Daveigh’s room. He heard someone running up stairs. Daveigh burst through the door and it looked like she had been crying. Owen sighed heavily. He managed a half smile, but he knew it was false. He didn’t know who he was actually trying to fool. Daveigh was trembling, and he cupped her cheek. She gently laced her fingers between his. It seemed to give her some sense of relief, but that faded as she quickly gritted her teeth.
“I’m so sorry.” Owen feebly said.
“I can’t believe you were so stupid.” She said.
“It was stupid. Really stupid.”
“You could have waited. You should have waited.”
“Is this what you wanted? Because now you’re stuck like this. Forever. There’s no ordinary life for you anymore. You’ll never have kids, probably never get married. You’re going to outlive everyone you’ve ever known. You’re going to have to leave every few years before people start noticing you don’t age. You’re always going to have to come up with false identities. And the worst part is that you’re going to have to hurt innocent people just to survive.”
“I’ve only seen you do it once.”
“I don’t need to feed.”
“Like you’re a vegetarian vampire or you don’t drink blood?”
“That’s so stupid. No.”
“I have a contact at a local hospital and another at a slaughterhouse. I keep sated between the two of them”
“I’m going to have to teach you and take care of you and… Fuck. I cannot believe you actually tried that. Have you always been like this?”
“No, not really.”
“Owen, I don’t think you really grasp the severity of what you’ve done. We could break up, I could die… If I leave you, your friends will most likely age and live normal lives, and you’ll watch them grow old and die. Owen… You don’t understand the burden of immortality. And there is no guarantee we’re going to be together forever. Tell me you didn’t do this on purpose. Tell me you didn’t want me to change you.”
“Look, I swear that I didn’t do this so I could become like you. I just thought I could save her. I thought I could do it without involving you two.”
“You could have died. You could have fucking died and I can’t believe that you did what you did and this isn’t something you can just oath yourself out of. Owen, you don’t understand. You don’t even understand how fucked up this is. You basically forced me to do this. And I can’t. I don’t know how to teach you, or what to teach you… You’ve forced me to be responsible for you forever and I can’t even be responsible for me.”
“I didn’t exactly die on purpose.” Owen said quietly. Daveigh paused. She looked like she was going to cry.
“I’m sorry. I should have been more supportive. I didn’t know Alyssa meant so much to you. I’m sorry you couldn’t save her.”
“I’m still going to save her.”
“I’m not giving up on her.”
“Yes you are.”
“What? No. I am going to save her. I’m not going to let her die for me.”
“Well you already died for her sake. You died. Owen, you died. I was crying over a corpse for half an hour nearly praying to a fucking imaginary bearded asshole because you fucking died. I won’t let you die again.”
“It’s my life, Daves. I have to try.”
“I am actually going to hit you.”
“You don’t have to come with.”
Daveigh punched him square on the nose.
“Listen here. You listen right fucking here. First of all, you are not dying again. Second of all, don’t you ever, ever think that I am going to leave you alone again. If you die one more time, I will hate you. Forever. And thirdly, you are such a fucking suicidal nutcase that I have to come with. Because I can’t lose any more people that I love.”
“Did you just admit to loving me?”
“Did you just say you love me?”
“No. I punched you in the face.”
“I love you too.”
“No. No. I punched you. I’m mad at you. Stop that.”
“But you did say it.”
“I think I actually hate you.”
“You said if I died one more time you’d hate me.”
“You died once already. I can settle.”
“But you still love me.”
“Stop. I’m angry. I am angry. I am fuming.”
“I love you, Daveigh.”
Daveigh stood speechless for a while. She looked at Owen and was angry but at the same time he just said he loved her and she didn’t know that she wanted him to say it and he stood smiling. She wanted to hit him again. She thought. Or maybe not.
Daveigh put her arms around his waist.
“I love you, Owen. Don’t ever die again.” Owen wrapped his arms around her shoulders and kissed the top of her head.
“I am really sorry. She called me, and I got worked up. That’s why I rushed off. It could have been anyone else. Or maybe it couldn’t have been. Wouldn’t it have been funny if I was the only person she had? Lisa told me that once. That I was all she had.”
“Alyssa told me she was in love with me.”
“Are you mad?”
“Yes. No. I’m mad at you, that’s for damned sure. But I’m also sorry because you nearly died for good and I’m being insensitive and I punched you. And I think I’m jealous, but I feel bad feeling jealous.” Owen laughed a little.
“It doesn’t matter what Alyssa said. But she said it like she knew she was going to die. Daveigh… I couldn’t. It was like standing on the pavement and watching Lisa getting run down all over again. I just had to do something. I am so sorry.”
“I understand. You don’t have to apologise anymore..”
“I do. I put you through so much because I’m so messed up.”
“And I’m going to take it all out on Drake.” Her eyes hardened and Owen could see the actual hatred. “He meant to kill you Owen. Like, he meant for you to die.”
“I know. But he’s trying to punish Alyssa for something.”
“So? That doesn’t excuse him or anything. Are you actually trying to understand his motives? Because you should be hating him right now.”
“I think there’s a part of the story I need to hear.”
“So what then, we’re going to go into Limbo and ask him nicely?”
“I am going into Limbo to beat the snot out of Drake and then make him explain himself.”
“You are suicidal. Why am I dating you? I literally cannot even justify my feelings for you.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot.”
“I love you.”
“I hope your plan is as solid as your romanticism, because you being cute is also the only thing stopping me from hitting you again.”