||[May. 3rd, 2006|09:29 pm]
Title: All Right, Just Fine |
Feedback: is the best part of every day!
Pairing: Mark/Collins friendship
Word Count: 1216
Summary: Mark gets a reminder from Collins that he is all right and will never be alone.
Spoilers: Any and all apply
Warnings: Character deaths
Disclaimer: Jonathan Larson created the brilliance we worship as 'Rent.' I am just a simple fan.
Note: Written for speed_rent challenge #109. It just came out a minute ago, but I actually like this one so I'm posting.
A few weeks before he got sick, Collins quit his job at NYU. Mark at the time had been unsure of that strange decision, but Collins acted as though it was perfectly normal. Those three weeks had yielded some strange but wonderful days. Everyone else was gone, they were all one another had left.
It was as if Collins knew he was going to get sick, and he did. It hit him hard, in an instant.
Mark had been terrified, but Collins had remained perfectly calm. Mark could not help himself as day in and day out he reminded Collins that it was likely to be just a temporary illness. Collins would only laugh and say that he didn’t think so.
He had died only a few weeks after falling ill.
It had been painful, but it was not the wrenching pain of losing Angel a whole four years before. It was nowhere near the avoidance of pain Mimi’s death had been, when he had consoled Roger, who was already slowly dying. It was not the helpless grief of losing Roger.
It was...lonely. He was painfully lonely when he realized that he was living his worst fears. He was alone. It was over.
Then he had found the letter, in an tightly sealed envelope next to every material possession that meant something to his friend.
He had found it when the courage came to go through Collins’ things. He had found himself in awe, touching several things in the box that he knew well. Angel’s drumsticks...his books....and a small envelope, with Mark’s name written across it in large scrawling letters.
He had been unable to believe it, that Collins wrote something for him. That something was left behind of the friend who had been everything to him for years. It was unbelievable.
At first, he could not open it, out of fear. It was too hard, too unthinkable.
Two days passed where he just kept the letter with him, unsure of how to open it. He was afraid, hurt. Collins had only been gone for a week when he came upon the letter. The pain was too fresh. Still, sitting in the loft, the letter in hand, the impulse got strong. He had to.
He did. Gently opening the envelope, he pulled out several folded sheets of paper. He tried to read, but the date caught him. It was dated April third, only a few days before Collins had collapsed in front of him, suddenly ill. Perhaps not as suddenly as Mark had believed.
I am going to be honest with you right now. Of all the things I have written, this is the hardest, because I have no idea what to say to you. This is the fifth time I’ve written this down, and its getting no better each time.
I have written hundreds of pages of philosophy, and you were the only one outside of my schools who read them. Only you Mark. Even people who cared about me wouldn’t. So you know how much I can write. I’ll save you and get straight to the point. You are a great person, and my best friend. You keep talking about how we are all going to leave you alone, but you’re not alone Mark.
I am just predicting this, but I bet you’re reading this at a time that feels too early. Knowing you, you got all introspective and went through my stuff the minute I left you. Just calm down Mark and breathe, because there are a few things I have to say.
First of all, Mark, four years ago I lost the love of my life. I thought I was going to go under. I couldn’t watch us fall apart, but there was you, trying your best to keep things together. I don’t care what anyone else said, you pulled it together Mark. At least you kept me from ending it then and there, so I could find Angel. I never truly thanked you for that. Angel would have hated me for destroying myself, and you kept me from it.
We spent a lot of time together, and it was good, because I always regretted leaving you alone to deal with Roger. At first I just wanted to make it up to you, but then I realized it was just because not being around you got me. You’ve been my best friend forever Mark.
When we lost Roger and Mimi, it was horrible Mark, but I knew we’d be okay. I had you, and I hope you knew you had me. Those kids were happy, and I couldn’t let you be too upset for too long. They found happiness with each other.
I don’t really know why I’m writing this. Logically, I tell myself I worry about you, but I know I shouldn’t be worrying. You are going to be just fine, and there’s nothing about you that tells me different. You were always the strongest one Mark, whether you knew it or not. Just make sure you know that. Please, for my sake Mark, stop thinking that everyone has abandoned you. We’ve always believed in living life to the fullest, and you better not stop it, ever. Seriously, you will pay if I find out you’ve been moping around.
Speaking of moping around, I need to apologize for being dishonest. I told you I was the most honest person you’d meet, so this is kind of hard to say. I know I haven’t as of this day been letting onto you that I’m not well. I am sorry Mark. I still feel all right, but...I just know that I don’t have a long time. It’s been too long.
You’ll never really be alone. The only thing you need is to be able to adjust to your life, and then, live it. While you’re living it, you know you’ve got a bunch of us keeping an eye out for you. Especially me. I’m not about to let you get yourself into any trouble.
You are an amazing person. Thank you for everything you’ve done. I am going to stop writing before this becomes a novel. You’re going to be just fine.
Mark could not believe it. He could not believe Collins, he could not believe the paper in his trembling hands, and he could not believe the sense of peace that was washing over him in waves.
He could not believe it, that sitting here with reminders of the past all around, a letter from a dead friend in his hands, and an incredible feeling of security inside of him. Collins was right. Despite it all, despite every fear he had ever known suddenly becoming a reality, he was going to be fine.
The things that had once signaled happiness and security was gone. He had to accept the finality of it, but he had to live as well. He had to live for himself, and for everything his friends had helped him learn to believe in.
"You’re right Collins," Mark murmured aloud, holding Collins’ letter close to his chest. "I am going to be just fine. I’ll be all right."