A Dream Becomes Realiy

*Hey guys! Arilioness here! This is the only part in the story. Sorry if it's really long. But this is kinda short. Again this is based off of a dream, and please do not judge to harshly. This story is grim, and dark, and I cannot help that I decided to have that dream. Also please listen to this while this is playing. A couple times, you'll know when. I almost cried writing this many times. Thanks for reading guys!*


 Chloe thought she knew John, her best friend, but she'd never been more wrong and further from the truth than she was that day. A week prior to that horrific day, something changed, almost snapped inside of John. He seemed to change on a dime, one day he seemed fine, the next, not so.

His voice became quieter, with a hint of misery. His shoulders, once pulled back in confidence, became slumped over, as though he was weighed down by something so great it was crushing him. He rarely smiled anymore, not even when she said something amusing. If anything, she noticed out of her peripheral vision that his shoulders seemed to dip in a little more.

During the week, he didn't hug her before he went to class. When he did, it was very quick, and he retracted his hand as though she was a hot coal. It made her brows crease in worry and wonder, almost so much they were considered permanent. Even her friends noticed her fretting and more frequent muttering under her breath, and pencil twirling, her earbuds in as she stared into nowhere, a look of serious pensiveness possessing her features.

He'd drop by for a few moments at lunch, muttering a quick hello before slinking off, a withdrawn look on his face. She'd watch him go, a confused and contemplated on her face.

A few days before, Chloe decided to ask. "John, you seem off today, and these last couple days. Is there something wrong?" She approached the topic cautiously, not knowing what would happen and what reaction she would get. He paused, gathering his own thoughts.

"Not really. I've just felt off." He murmured. Chloe knew he wasn't being entirely truthful.

"John. You know you can tell me." She said, her posture falling, her voice letting in slight worry. She took a step closer, and looked directly into his grey-green eyes. "I'm worried about you. You've been acting very... unlike yourself. If there's anything wrong I want to know. I want to know if there's anything, I mean anything I can do, I'll do it." She promised.

He shook his head in denial. "It's alright. Really. I'm alright. You don't need to worry about someone like me." He hummed, a sad look upon his face.

"Someone like you? My best friend?" She said. Again his head swung slowly.

"No. I mean, you are my best friend. But I didn't mean that." He answered slowly.

"Well, if I am your best friend, then you can tell me why you're feeling off." She kept prodding, hoping he would tell her something, anything.

"That's the thing. I don't know." She heard the slight change in tone. He was lying.

"Alright. Well if you ever figure it out, tell me, okay? I don't like seeing you this way." She said, placing her hand on his shoulder. She didn't want to press it much more than that.

"I will. You are my best friend after all." He said, faking a smile. She saw it in the way his eyes didn't crinkle at the corners, the way his eyes still held a melancholy sadness, as though reminiscing about something.

"Good. Because as I said, I do care." She leaned up slightly and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, and walked away. "See you later." She smiled softly.

"Bye." He breathed in a soft voice.

Her smile dropped the moment she was out of sight. Something was wrong, very wrong. She felt uneasy about it. She knew, she knew something was going to happen very soon, something awful, and she wouldn't be able to prevent it.

During swim practice, he was extremely quiet. Normally he was a vocal and social person, but today, much like every other day this week, he'd been reclusive, doing dryland by himself, not really talking to anyone. Chloe tried to catch his attention, or work out next to him, but he'd not look at her and walk away as though she'd never been there. Her face fell, and then she looked at Michaela, and saw a small glint of satisfaction, a vindictive smirk upon her face. She shook her head, surely they did not relate.

While swimming, she tried to talk to him, but his goggles were mirrored, making it impossible to tell if he was looking at her or not. So she gave up, muttering a small, "I just want to know what's wrong" under her breath, before swimming once again.

While sitting waiting for her ride, John walked past her, despite the fact she called after him. Chloe thought he saw his eyes glistening as he passed. She shook it off, blaming the light. A couple boys from the team, Joel, Carter, and Bobby, came up to her, the same look in their eyes.

"Hey, Chloe." Joel said cautiously.

"What's going on, Joel?" She said, meeting his eyes, unsure of what they were trying to say. She couldn't pinpoint it.

"We were wondering if you knew what was going on with John." Carter said next, looking at her the same way Joel and Bobby did. It was concern. She matched their gaze.

"I wish I knew. I was hoping maybe you did."

"Nah. There's no way. You're the closest to him out of anyone." Bobby gestured to the messy haired girl. Her head swayed back and forth, her damp hair following slightly.

"No. I don't. He tells me it's nothing, and yet I can't believe that because I can see his eyes. They're lying. I know that he's lying. Something is really wrong and I can't place it. I'm sorry guys." She said, her eyes turning sad. "I just want to help." She whispered, more to herself, but she knew the guys heard her.

Joel placed his hand upon her shoulder. "Chloe. I'm sure he'll be alright." He reassured.

"I hope you're right. For all of us." She looked away, her eyes on the verge of crying. She took a shuddering breath, to attempt to calm herself down. The three just watched, seeing how much it was affecting her. She wasn't as snarky, instead keeping a melancholy face of deep concentration, a frown forming, her brows constantly furrowed. It wasn't like her, and they all knew it was from John.

                                                                                                ******

Friday. The day before the day her life changed. John was practically avoiding her. She finally saw him, and walked up, trying to confront him, and all he did was walk past her, lightly pushing her out of his path. She saw his eyes glistening, and this time she knew she couldn't blame it on the lights.

He was trying not to cry.

She gasped slightly, tears pricking her own eyes. She walked to her class, taking deep breaths, trying to calm herself down. This was extremely unlike him, and it panicked her. She didn't know what was wrong, and she longed for him to tell her. She didn't know what was going to happen. The foreboding feeling in her stomach tightened, and she knew the bad thing she sensed would happen very soon, way too soon.

She trailed him after his Pottery class, and she tapped him on the shoulder. "Don't avoid me. I know you have time before your bus after school. Talk to me then. No questions, no excuses." She said, and receded into her class, swallowing the lump in her throat. Once she sat down, she buried her head into her arms, letting a few tears streak down her cheeks.

Suddenly, her mind whirled thinking of anything and everything that might have made him act this way toward him. Maybe he didn't like the sarcasm as much as he said he did. She didn't know what she did wrong. She always asked if anything bothered him and not to spare her feelings. He always said there was nothing. That she was just fine. So was he lying? Or is there something else?

What about that sinister smile Michaela gave? Could that have something to do with it? Possibly. Ever since they kind of had a falling out, they stopped talking, Michaela being almost vindictive and mean to him. She couldn't ask, that's way to conspicuous. But it left her mind churning and whirling and whirring. She dried her tears, and put her head up, bearing the rest of the period.

Once lunch rolled around, she saw another good friend of John's, Alex. She called his name and walked to him. "What's going on?"

"Do you know what's going on with John?" His head shook sadly.

"No. I was hoping you would have known."

"I don't. But there's a feeling in the pit of my stomach, that something bad is going to happen, and happen soon. And it worries me that it'll have something to do with John." She answered honestly, not having really talked about it.

"It'll be alright. It's probably just a spell. He'll snap out of it." He said, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. She nodded, and slunk off, her earbuds already back in her ears, her pencil twirling, her muttering, and her constantly debating mannerism.

She walked into French, and sat down, her music blaring, despite the fact Mr. Henry hated that. She didn't care. The sinking feeling moved and spread up to her chest, feeling like something was sitting on her, constricting her breathing. She had a feeling like that. She had it once before. Someone called her name. She glanced up, finally taking her earphones out, but the constant rotating pencil in her hands never ceased its hypnotic, addictive, and comforting movement.

"What's going on?" Jared queried, Brandon looking alongside him. "You've been acting very off this entire week."

"Just worried for a friend." She answered dismally. They left it at that, seeing the fact she had no desire to talk about it. Throughout the rest of the class, the feeling spread throughout her entire being.

After classes ended, she saw John where she said. She looked up at him and demanded. "What the hell is going on? You've been off and don't tell me it's nothing." Her tone was dangerously low, frustrated, sad, worried, a plethora of other emotions jumbled together.

"I don't know what's going on anymore. I just... I don't know. I can't keep going on this way. I- I have to go." He said. He pulled her a little closer, gently grabbing her wrist, placing a tender kiss on her cheek. "Thanks for being such a great friend. I hope I was the same. Goodbye, Chloe." The way he said it sent a shiver down her spine. It was so final, like how they say it in movies. When they're about to die. I hope I was the same. What did that mean?

She started to let tears run down her cheeks. And stopped, realizing there were people around. She walked home, and paced her room for a while, trying to decipher the meaning of her friend's words. It drove her insane and threw off her swimming. John was not there at practice. Her heart sunk, her stomach rising into her throat.

Saturday; the dreaded day. She called John, to make sure he really was alright. He picked up. "What's going on?" She said, all uneasiness she felt pouring out.

"As I said. I can't do this anymore. I can't keep living." Realization hit her like a freight train, strangling her breath in her throat. Her breathing became shallow, and she struggled to speak for a moment.

"Don't go. I need you. You're my best friend." She panicked, her grey orbs widening. What was he saying?

"I know, and I thank you for being there. But I can't do this anymore."

"I can help you! Just don't go! John! Please! Don't leave me! Please!" She was almost screaming into the phone, her tears postponed because of shock.

"I hope I was as good a friend as you were to me." He said solemnly, a sense of finality, not listening to anything she said. There was a faint sliding and clicking noise in the back. She couldn't place where she knew it. But it was foreboding and ominous, causing more fear to spill into her head.

"John! Please! You can't leave me! John!" Chloe's voice rose in pitch in a fervent dismay.

"Goodbye, Chloe. I love you." He said.

BANG!

That was all she heard as the line went dead. She paused, a stunned silence filling the air in the empty household. It was deafening. It sounded like a roar, and every now and then, a bang would interrupt the silence that filled her mind. Her mind was empty for once, nothing filled her head, except the slide click, and the bang. That was it. She felt nothing in shock. She couldn't feel anything for a moment.

She never got to tell him how she felt.

Once she regained her feeling, she screamed his name into the speaker that no longer heard. She called his name, hoping it would do something. It wouldn't. 

And it never would again. 

Tears poured out her face, a river of salt paths. They fell down. Down her cheeks, down to her chin, down onto the floor. She screamed, a blood-curdling shriek of sorrow, and agony. No one was home but her, so she sobbed, wept, wailed, lamented, grieved. Her phone rang in the distance. It was John's mother that she noticed upon looking at the caller ID through blurred eyes. She calmed her breathing, and picked up the phone with a shaky hand

"Hey. Um... I don't know how to tell you this, but John is dead. He... shot himself." Her voice was monotonous. She was in shock was well. "And... there's a note. A long one. For you. I'll get it to you. I'll be over soon." She said. Chloe nodded, even though she knew she didn't see.

"Okay." Was choked out of her throat. She dropped her phone, sinking to her knees. Her tears continued cascading down. She brought her hands to her face, folding into herself, tears seeping through her hands, onto the floor, drop, drop drop. It was more like a torrent coming from her eyes. She was a class ten hurricane in her mind, her eyes portraying the pelting rain. Her mind was the dark storm cloud, her thoughts the breath snatching wind that ripped around, taking things down and destroying them with the sheer power. Her limbs were the shaking plants, desperately trying to hold on in this storm. She didn't know if she could.

Somewhere through the haze, a doorbell rang. She stumbled to her feet, a drunken sailor filled with sorrow and nothing to drink the pain away with.

She unlocked the door with some difficulty, and saw his mother standing there. In her hand was a note, her name scrawled on it. She took it and placed it into her back pocket, and embraced the woman. They cried for a moment. "I'm sorry. I just want to let you know I spent his last week trying to help him." His mother nodded in appreciation.

"Would you mind speaking at his funeral?"

"Of course. Anything." Then John's mother left, her shoulders slumped. Chloe shut the door, locked it, and leaned against the door, sliding down it. She opened the note, and read the note in her hands.

Chloe,

I'm sorry for how I've been this entire week. It's just... I wasn't sure what to say to you. Because Michaela said that you hated me, and that you never loved me, and that I was some personal toy to you. I just felt like you hated me, and yet when I saw you, it never lessened how I felt. I still felt like you were my friend. You smiled, and wanted to talk to me. Michaela attacked me basically, verbally. There was nothing I could do. I felt so worthless I wanted it to end. And now... I will. And I hope you don't hate me for the fact I did. I didn't want to leave you, and I will always remember you. Goodbye. I've always loved you.

John

She reread the note again and again. More water sprung to her eyes, and ran down the already made tear stains. It was to much, her best friend, gone in a moment. She sat there, lamenting until her parents came home and she had to croak out the story she never wanted to say again. They held her, and promised it would be okay. She knew it wouldn't. Nothing would ever be the same.

That Monday, she stayed home school. In fact, she stayed two weeks at home, working on her schoolwork and homework, not wanting to be around people, or in the school her friend used to go to with her. Chloe hardly ate, hardly slept, her grey orbs rarely seen without tears in her eyes, her blonde hair becoming greasy from lack of care. She finally sucked it up, and went to school, but she didn't care to go to swimming. She wasn't going back for a long time. That was where she first met him. The memory, now tainted with death, made tears spring to her eyes.

What seemed like millions of questions were bombarded at her, and she monotonously and emptily answered, looking down, small rivulets of salt water running down every time it was told. Sometimes it was too painful to talk about, she just walked away, the torrent in her mind starting once again. Several times a day, she would break down silently, and her teachers would simply glance at her sympathetically, before going back to teaching. Once she got home, she'd lay in her bed, reflecting, crying, and thinking.

Then an idea sparked into her head, and she opened her computer, and began to type. She worked with John's mother upon making funeral arrangements. They agreed he'd want an open casket, with a simple interior, cherry wood, in nice clothes, looking as though he was asleep. She'd speak last.

Once at school, she saw Michaela, and she steeled her determination, a lump forming in her throat, and walked over. "Michaela." Chloe said. The other girl turned around, her look almost snide.

"Well well... look. You speak." Chloe looked at her, meeting her eyes in fury. Without warning, the blonde struck Michaela across the face, the slap resounding in the hall.

"How dare you. How dare you say that I never liked John, that he was nothing to me. He was my best friend. I cared. He was everything. Why would you do such a thing? How dare you hurt him so badly and verbally abuse him until he realized that was the only option. You took him from his family, his friends. From me."

"It's not my fault. He wasn't strong enough to get over it." Something snapped in Chloe, and she screamed at Michaela, anguish and angry tears in her eyes.

"His fault?! I'm sorry, I don't see how it's his fault! How the hell would it be his fault?! The most despicable thing about it all is that you think it's his fault when it's yours! No one should have to be so hurt that they think suicide is the only option! And you're a bitch for pushing him to that point by using me! Because you killed someone with your words, and never gave me a chance to explain anything! You're despicable. You can never take back your words, and nothing you say or do will bring back John." She struck the girl again, and shoved her down.

"I don't give a damn if I get expelled for that. You deserved that." With that, Chloe walked away, tears rushing down her face again.

For a month, Chloe avoided swimming. She didn't even want to be there, because there'd be a twisted circle of her waiting for John to show up, his red hair the first thing she'd noticed, followed by his smile and little wave. Her dreams would be smashed, knowing that he was gone, no longer swimming on the same team as her anymore. Her eyes would tear up, and she'd begin grieving again, wondering why she couldn't save him.

Her seven stages of grief passed fairly quickly, well the first few. The shock only lasted a couple days, and denial a little. Anger passed fairly quickly, and when she took it out on Michaela, and yet she was still angry that John left her, and didn't let her help. She kind of skipped over bargaining and instead avoided everywhere they both went. Though she occasionally wished that it was her and not him. Or neither of them altogether. Depression was where she was stuck.

All Chloe seemed to do was float endlessly, always in the blue, and sometimes in the grey, hardly feeling anything. Other times, mostly at two in the morning, it was a drowning wave. A freight train slamming into her at top speed. She never smiled, rarely looked anyone the eye, and mumbled when she spoke. She sunk deeper and deeper the more days she went without John. No one, not even her friends Mo and Rae could bring her from her state. She needed John, but he'd never be there. 

After another month or so of being stuck in a stupor, she finally realized something. No matter how long she moped and stayed depressed, it wasn't going to change anything. It wasn't going to bring John back, as much as it pained her to admit it. He was not coming back, and there was nothing she cold do. She wished she could bring him back, and she would grieve over him for the rest of her life, but that shouldn't stop her from moving on in her life.

She needed to get back in the pool. She needed to rehearse her speech for the funeral. She couldn't let him down, or his mother. She spoke the same words over and over, the same amount of feeling in each phrase no matter how many times she did it.

The funeral was full. There were many people from their school, Sabercat High, family members, and there was Chloe, there in a black dress. It went just above her knees, in a flowing skirt and a bodice that outlined her figure well, a pair of heeled boots. Her hair was straightened to perfection, her makeup done flawlessly, her nails in immaculate style. She sat through the procession, trying not to cry because of her makeup.

When it was her turn to speak, she took a deep breath, steeling her nerves. Her hands shook, the paper fluttering in her hands. She straightened her shoulders, and walked up slowly, yet quickly; confidently, yet insecurely. She faced the sea of faces, some familiar, most unknown. Another breath shuddered through her. She glanced at her paper, and spoke.

"John was an extremely good friend of mine. In fact, he was my best friend. I could tell him everything. And I had a belief that he could tell me everything. Apparently that was not the case, since he couldn't tell me the fact that someone was verbally abusing him and feeding him lies that I never cared. That all he was was a toy to me. Well, anyone who's spent two moments with us could see that was not the case. He's helped me through some hard times, and I'm sorry I could not help him through his.

"I cared for John, a lot. I still do. I wanted him to tell me what was going on, and he couldn't. Because someone else ruined his trust for me. And I will never forgive them, because that cost us his life. I was on the phone with him that day, a month ago. I was there. He was telling me he couldn't do it. And the last thing he said to me, was 'Goodbye, I love you.' And a bang. That was it. The worst part, I never got to tell him how I felt. I hope he can hear this now." Her voice cracked, her eyes sparking in tears.

"John. I never got to tell you that I love you too. I do care. You were never a toy to me. I cared, and I always will. I will never forget you. I will always remember. You were my everything, you are my everything. I needed you, and you were and always will be my best friend. That spot is reserved for you forevermore. I love you John." Tears ran freely down her face, and everyone clapped at what she said. She took the paper in her shaking hand and sat back down. She dabbed her eyes with a tissue, and then she left as soon as the procession was over.

Monday was her first day back at swimming. She steeled herself and walked in, taking in the overpowering odor of chlorine. Once her favorite smell, filling her of satisfaction, was now tainted with sadness and she swallowed her tears. She placed her things down and made it to the deck. Memories flashed behind her eyes, and she gasped, tears falling slowly.

She sat down, put her head into her hands, and took deep breaths. Once she thought she was alright, and looked up. Everyone was glancing at her, looks of pity in their eyes, and some sympathetic. She stood and walked over to them, and nodded. "Hey guys."

"Can't believe you're here. We thought we'd never see you again." Joel joked. The others nodded.

"I figured I should get back in the water. I can't mope around. He wouldn't have wanted that. He would've wanted me to keep swimming as much as possible. To get good. And so I will. For both of us." Chloe said, smiling slightly through watery eyes.

"Alright guys! Head outside!" The coach called out to the guys. He glanced upon the blonde girl standing there.  He placed a hand upon her shoulder. "Good to see you again. Ready to work?" She nodded enthusiastically, and walked outside.

*******

Four months later; nationals finals. The final heat of the girls one hundred meter butterfly was finishing. Two hands slammed into the wall simultaneously, meters faster than anyone. The girl gasped, and looked at her time. She had dropped three seconds, now at a 52.00. Next to her name was the number one. The same girl had gotten the same results in the 50, 100, and 500 freestyle as well. Chloe smiled.

She looked up at the skylight that was above her lucky lane, five. "We did it." She whispered, tears streaming down her face. In happiness, and remembrance. A breeze passed by and touched her cheek. He was there.

He always would be.