Serena survives the first day by helping Rain take care of Robin’s body and arguing with Vivienne over suicide. Shanna angers Serena by implying that Cordelia deserved the crime done to her (because she’s homosexual), and by saying that she doesn't care how many people kill themselves. This sets the stage for Serena to kill her later. She is paranoid about being exposed as a murderer to the point of yelling ‘Shut up’ if someone says Robin’s name.
Sean decided that he would spread the word of Robin’s death to the school. It would be in the form of a short assembly, where he would also have the chance to plead with the students not to discuss what had happened between Robin and Cordelia.
Not that Serena would be returning to school anytime soon. After waking up from a dead sleep induced by pills, she was very unsteady on her feet and had no desire to eat even though she hadn’t in hours. A sick feeling was nestled in her stomach.
“Are you awake yet?” Rain’s voice broke Serena out of her shallow stupor into reality. “I want to let you have a little time before we have to leave.”
Serena rose from bed quickly, her head pounding in protest. Her hair was wildly splayed over the pillows, and the first thing she asked for was a comb. Rain handed her one, and brushing her hair out to neatness took several minutes of hard work.
“You look pretty tired.” Rain observed, kindly.
“I am, but there’s no point sleeping any later. We’ve got something to do.” Serena answered. Her body was still drowsy from her lengthy slumber, but she managed to stumble into a shirt and pants before throwing on a collared jacket. She was deliberately moving her thoughts away from Robin, trying to focus only on what she was already doing.
“When’ll Sean be back?” Serena asked once Rain re-entered the room, her hair combed out more neatly.
“He said he’ll be by the time school’s over. We’re going right now, as long as you’re not too tired?”
“I’ll be fine.”
Serena had visited the hospital several times before. Those visits had been for Vivienne’s suicide attempt, the accident that cost Norri her eyesight, and a few serious scrapes Serena had endured. Thanks to the hospital’s efficiency and reassuring atmosphere, none of these incidents were made too traumatizing. The walls were all a soft green or white, noise was rhythmic and soft, and the seriously ill or injured patients were kept safely out of range for the lesser- both to reduce anxiety and protect privacy, Rain had said.
Even the hospital’s morgue did not seem to be the eerie, forbidding place it was often portrayed as. The room was divided into several chambers for patients that had died of natural or unnatural causes, and tables containing bodies only showed ones that were ‘cleaned’.
Serena had seen one dead body before. It wasn’t that long ago, she thought. The person had been Kenneth, who died at her current age: seventeen. Like Robin’s demise (Serena winced at the thought) he had shot himself once, so she had braced herself for something bloody and awful when Rain led her into the quiet room. There he was, lying on a metal gurney, but the image was not a frightening or even unpleasant one. Kenneth’s single wound to the chest had been thoroughly cleaned and covered, and he was wearing a beautiful suit that had his favorite color- olive green- lining it. His dark hair was washed and combed, and he was lying serenely on his back with his arms folded on his chest to further hide the cause of his death. He looked peaceful rather than ravaged. Rain and the doctor had also reassured Serena that Kenneth’s death was instantaneous and caused no suffering. Even his sister, Cassandra, seemed to relax a little when she saw the body of her brother treated with such respect.
“Follow me.” Rain’s voice broke into Serena’s memory, and she followed slowly. Her drowsiness started to fade when she entered the hospital, and saw the familiar long hall lined with posters and graphs. The secretary, a middle-aged woman of about fifty, smiled kindly when she saw the two approaching.
“You two are here for Robin, I assume?” she asked, her voice melodious and calming.
“Yes, ma’am.” Rain answered promptly. “Has his family been notified?”
“They have been so, Miss Redfield. They will not be wanting to see him until the funeral, which they have scheduled for tomorrow morning. Do you know who plans to attend?”
“Most of my friends aren’t home at the moment, I’ll phone you later today as soon as I get a list. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”
“Oh, it’s no trouble.” the secretary assured her mildly. “You may go in, my dear.”
A shorter hall and a flight of stairs led to the hospitals morgue. Rain paused to ask Serena once more if she wanted to enter, because what was inside might be upsetting.
“I’ve been here before, I can handle it.”
The room would have been silent if fans weren’t whirring to keep the bodies cold inside their metal containers. A red tag attached to some of them indicated that a body was inside. It was an ethereal and complex sensation to be standing in a room filled with death, but Serena wasn’t frightened, she was saddened.
A table was set up in a corner of the room, covered in soft white linen. On top of it was what had to be Robin’s body, making Serena briefly regret her decision to come along.
“I’m not about to force you to stay here, you know.” Rain pointed out, looking with concern at Serena.
“Y-yeah, I get that…” Serena mumbled, trying to calm her racing heart. Lightly pushing past Rain, she strode unsteadily to Robin’s corpse and let her eyes focus on it.
Robin had already had the blood washed off his face and body by Rain. His slightly worn clothes were replaced with a soft, pale red jacket over a darker shirt and soft pants that matched the white fabric on which he lay. Serena choked back tears at the sight. She was the reason Robin’s life was over. Never again would he smile, speak, or take a single step, and his body would remain in the ground until the destruction of the Earth. And nothing could change that.
“I can’t believe he’s dead…” she almost whined, familiar wetness settling in her eyes. “…I know he hurt Corrie, but he… he didn’t deserve this…”
“We can’t change that now, Serena.” Rain intervened softly, but she was also rubbing her eyes on a sleeve. “It’s fine to cry, let it all out now… I know it’s emotional…”
Cry? Serena didn’t want to just cry. She wanted so badly to bring Robin back. It was unbearable to think that he would be simply sleeping if she hadn’t shot him, that she might be forgiving him if he apologized again, that he could even be laughing at a joke someone told. Reality was moving too quickly for her to bear, and she leaned against Rain, silent sobs racking her thin body. Sadness and regret like this were too intense to be bearable.
“I hope no one ever does this again.” Rain whispered. “Serena, please… R-remember… This is what suicide brings…”
“I can’t… take it!! I have to leave, now!!” Serena cried shrilly. “I just can’t bear it anymore…”
“N-no, please…” Rain’s voice had suddenly become pensive. “Serena… I don’t want to be alone in this. It’s Robin, you knew him. Come back here.”
Slowly, tearfully, Serena walked the few steps back to Rain and Robin’s lifeless body. She gripped one of his hands tightly, feeling the cold and stiffened fingers in her own living ones. “Can I… Can I brush his hair?”
Serena took the brush and combed Robin’s straight, neat hair, noticing it was starting to fade in color. Her fingers were steady rather than shaking.
“Robin… For what you’ve done to Cordelia, I forgive you. Your life was ended way too early. I… I hope you enjoyed… a-as much as you could… We won’t forget about you.”
Rain would not let Serena take any more sedatives. Naturally, this decision had been met with much protest, but Rain was firm in saying she couldn’t take any chances with letting Serena have an easy route to taking her own life. The desire to do so was powerful that day.
“I trust you enough not to do such a thing, in light of what’s happened.” Rain had said. “But you can’t keep taking these, I don’t want you depending on them.”
However, Serena was not thankful for Rain’s cautious gesture. She had wanted to sleep on the short drive home, but although she was distinctly tired, sleep would not take her. She migrated to her bedroom, turned the lights off and played quiet documentaries, lying still with her eyes firmly closed. Sometimes she would drift into a pre-sleeping phase, but never managed to fully transition into unconsciousness. The few hours before Sean and Vivienne finally came home were long and hard.
Underneath Serena’s fingers, when he was lying next to her, was Beast, snoring softly. He was all that she had left of Robin, save mental images and the faint sounds of his angry voice. Serena had planned to attend his funeral at first, but after seeing his body that day, she had come to the consensus that it wasn’t necessary. All she would do was weep incessantly, anyway. She stroked the rabbit’s fur lightly to help relax herself, vaguely remembering the few occasions where Robin had brought his beloved pet into the school.
A knock sounded on the wood of the door. Serena’s head jerked up, and she asked loudly who was knocking.
“It’s Vivienne, can we come in?”
“You can.” Serena shouted back dully. “Sean can’t. Sorry, but I’m not a hundred percent right now.”
The door was pushed open gently. Vivienne walked in, looking tired and unhappy, her red hair beginning to become tangled. Serena pushed aside her scratched laptop and sat up slowly, dangling her bare feet over the side of the bed. Beast shook himself and rose to his feet, jumping lightly off the bed as if he could sense Serena’s feelings.
“You’re just the girl I wanted to see.” Serena began. “I’ve not been having a good day today at all.”
“Neither have I, the speech didn’t go well.”
“What happened? Did the idiots not shut up?”
“Not really… Sean started to get really emotional when we were giving it. He ended up crying onstage before we got to the end. A couple people thought he was too sensitive or something, but I saw some of them getting upset, too.”
“Well… Vivienne… let me ask you something.” All of a sudden Serena’s voice was beginning to wane. “…If you can answer it.”
“I should be able to…?”
“Yeah. I’m having… I’m having a really hard time trying to control my feelings. All day I’ve been thinking…”
“Thinking about what…? Hurting yourself?”
“Not hurting myself. That won’t accomplish anything…” Serena hesitated, and looked at the floor sheepishly. “The thing is, I… I want to end things. Life is just getting too hard and I have no fucking clue how I can handle it.”
“You still do..?” Vivienne’s voice was quickly becoming alarmed. “All day, you mean? What were you thinking about doing?”
“I wanted to ask you how much it hurts to cut your wrists… That’s the honest truth.” Serena whimpered.
Vivienne stared at her friend, not certain if she was more offended or horrified. “…What? Serena, you can’t be serious…”
“I am… Wh-what’s the best way to-?”
“Don’t ask me this!”
“I have to know!”
“…Fine, I’ll tell you about it.” Vivienne relented, rubbing at her eyes pensively. “Only so you can know what I felt.”
“It can’t be as bad as going through all this shit.” Serena replied weakly. Her friend took a shaky breath, and holding the agitated Beast to steady herself, told the short story.
“I was extremely dizzy, and weak… I couldn’t even breathe properly. I was in a lot more danger of suffocation because the pain and shock were so bad…. Take the fear you had when you watching that, and transmit it onto fear that you’re about to die. Then… you can get a sense of how I felt.”
“But it doesn’t hurt?”
“Of course it hurts!” Vivienne’s soft, quivering voice was starting to rise. “It hurts terribly! You can’t be thinking about this…”
“What does it matter if I am?!” Serena shot back, standing up. “Vivienne, I don’t think you get it! Look around you! There’s nothing worth fighting for anymore… I’m not like you. I don’t have a partner. I don’t care about school. Some kid I knew just shot himself in the face. It’s not worth it anymore!”
“That was what I thought, too…” Vivienne put down the squirming rabbit tried to hug Serena, but the distraught girl squirmed out of her arms and lie back down on her bed, covering her face with both hands.
“Honestly, I just want to end it all now.” Serena whispered. “I don’t know how I can get through this without turning insane like Shanna.”
“Shanna’s not insane…she’s okay from time to time. And maybe she’ll get better.” reasoned the red-haired girl hesitantly. “But she’ll get no better if she dies, you know. Robin did the wrong thing.”
Serena was about to yell that Robin didn’t fucking do it when Vivienne continued. “You won’t go insane, I know you won’t.”
“This isn’t the first time I know someone who put a bullet in their skull, and he sure as fuck won’t be the last.”
“Sometimes life goes a different way…” Vivienne contended, putting a hand on Serena’s shoulder. “Sean and Morgan saved me from the morgue. I thought for sure that I would never see him again.”
“Damn it, Vivienne!!” Serena’s voice erupted like a volcano. “This is exactly what I’m saying! You’ve got Sean around, so you don’t have to deal with shit without him around!!”
“No, that’s not-“
“Then what is? What is?” Serena spat, furiously. “Sometimes life just isn’t worth it! What good can possibly come out of a sixteen-year-old shooting himself in the face?! I can’t see anything, can you?!”
“Why are you so angry…? Do you want to die?”
“I don’t want to die.” she whispered furiously. “I want to fucking sleep, that’s what I want to do right now. Been trying all day, and Rain won’t let me take meds. I’m out of ideas.”
“W-well… do you want to be alone…?”
“Not unless you do. I wouldn’t mind if you stayed in here.” muttered Serena, unclipping her hair and lying back down on her soft blanket.
Vivienne left, and Serena turned her face into the blanket and began to cry. How could she go on like this? All her life had been ground to a halt with the killing of Robin; would she live in this state forever? This helplessness was not something that Serena was used to and it frightened her. She may not be on her own with her troubles, but no one else in the Rainbow had ever taken a human life. Did that mean that she couldn’t be loved anymore?
Once she came back, Vivienne had Sean with her. Serena looked up tiredly, her eyes reddened and wet, her hair tangled. She really did look pitiful and tried to turn her face away, but Sean lightly took her chin and looked into her eyes. Serena sniffled a little, but looked at him, knowing that Sean did this when he wanted someone to feel respected.
“Have you gotten any sleep today?” Sean asked quietly, rubbing away Serena’s straying tears with his sleeve. She shook her head
“Well, if sleeping’s impossible at the moment, you should come with us.” Sean offered. “Mira suggested we watch every kid’s movie they’ve got here. I’m not too keen on that, but I’m out of options, pretty much.”
“No, I think I’ll be okay.” Serena answered. “But I’d like it if… if one of you could stay here, I’m just so lonely.”
“We’ll both be here, then.”
As soon as Vivienne was lying on the bed, Serena had curled up next to her and closed her eyes. She was strangely calmed by the feeling of Vivienne’s breathing against the back of her neck, and barely noticed that Sean was switching to another film on her computer. Though she seemed to remain awake for an endless amount of time, at some point, sleep overtook her.
The news of Robin’s death had spread to Shanna hours before. She was not altogether surprised. Robin had been troubled for most of his life; having only her as a friend, he was a lonely child and an angry teenager, receiving little attention and sympathy from his single father. But it was still quite a bit of a shock to hear that he had shot himself just after coming home, and Shanna did not know what to make of it. Unlike most her age, Shanna spent most of the night awake and could not sleep until long after the sun had fallen. She was sitting outside her home on the curb of a large planter, doing nothing in particular, a nearby streetlight illuminating her pale brown eyes. As she had been awake since the early morning, her face gave an aura of tiredness.
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Written by Grizzly Bear