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There were steps to the process.

Hand under body. Hand pushing body up. Turn. Other hand on the ground. Other hand pushing body up. Look behind as this is done because he didn’t know what was happening or where the other person was and it could happen at any time and he could be hit again and he couldn’t let that happen. Get up. Look behind again. Those were the steps. They weren’t fast. They weren’t fast but they had to be because no no no he needed to get up there was going to be a fight he knew it he had to stand up he had to get the gun up at them again he knew he couldn’t make it like Min-jae and Jonathan and Scout again and he just had to get up and stand and be who you’ve made yourself at this point and stop thinking fight and drive them away and just get up.

And he did. He stood up. Looked behind him.

The sound of the splashing waves was all that remained. The rippling of the water, the ringing of the halls in his ears.

The tinge of red, in the water below him.

He did that.

That was his fault.

He had fough- no, attacked them. There wasn’t any denying what he had just done to them, his friends, his teammates, his customers. He knew that. He wasn’t going to deny it. There was no point. He had attacked them. That was his fault. The blood tinged in the water - a part of a friend, however small - was his reminder.

But they weren’t dead. It wasn’t their body, in the water. There was relief there, and it came from many places. They were still alive. They weren’t dead. They were still somewhere out there and when the man on the speakers started talking again tomorrow they weren’t going to know that he had killed another one of his friends.

And they had ran away. They were scared. Injured.

They didn’t attack him.

The water was tinged. Bits of red, slowly fading out until no trace remained. The blood of a friend. Parts of a friend.

He had done that.

And a feeling - one he had never felt before; not here, not anywhere - came upon him, all at once. Feeding. Stealing. Robbing. His energy left him. He took a step. Stumbled, slightly. Got his balance back. Lost it. Took a step. Another. Another. Another.

And his body hit the wall. It span, his mind was spinning. The walls weren’t there, they were moving. Around him. Spinning. There was a feeling and-

It stopped. The walls stopped moving. The room stopped spinning. He had done that. There was a gun in his hands. He had pointed it up, at his friends, and he had pulled the trigger. He didn’t know what happened after that, but they were gone. The blood - the stick, in the water - was the only thing that told him they existed in the first place.

He had done that.

That was his fault.

He knew that.

He wasn’t going to deny it.

He had attacked them. He thought he had to. The kid to his right could kill him at any moment, so he just had to be the one sitting there. He had done it before. He could do it again. And he had to. They knew. They hated him. They weren’t going to forgive him for anything that he had done. For being who he was. For doing what he did. So he just had to act first. Fight. Win. Get off this island. Stop playing this game, he just had to get up. Stand. Be who he had made himself at this point. Stop thinking. Fight. Drive them away and just get up.

His hands were shaking. Did he want to do that?

No, he didn’t.

But he had to.

He knew that.

He knew that he just had to. He couldn’t stop it. There were people out there - Min-jae, Scout, Lily, Jonathan; the names had been on a record at this point - who would try. Who wouldn’t stop. Who wouldn’t fail, if he didn’t do anything. So he had to fight back. Do something. Get up.

And there was a gun, still in his hands after everything that had happened. He could do it. He could fight. He didn’t know what to do, but he knew that he had to.

He didn’t know.

He just

Shook his head. He couldn’t stay here. He knew that. He just had to- he didn’t know. Work himself off the wall. Keep holding the gun.

Walk forward.

Get up.

He took a step.


He took a step. Another. His body was normal again. The entrance - the one way outside of where he was - was standing in front of him. It was simple. One more step. That was all he needed.

Be who he had made himself, at this point.


One last step was taken before he disappeared from view.

((Alvaro Vacanti, continued elsewhere))
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Coming Out Of The Closet · Water Treatment