Disclaimer: I don't own anything you'd recognize. Lyrics from Only Hope by Mandy Moore.

Short recap: So, Evelyn has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been going to therapy every so often to help her. The last chapter, Rocky Road, actually ended on a positive note, with a re-connection (of sorts) with her father. However, she and her two friends, Katrina and Vincent, have started drifting away, because their overprotectiveness and desire to help her only clashes with her fiercely independent nature. Meanwhile, she finds herself letting her emotions out to Dan, and while it may not be visible... something has changed...

Chapter 5: Falling

There's a song that's inside of my soul

It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again

I'm awake in the infinite cold

But you sing to me over and over and over again. . .

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Oh my God, I need to get that shirt Talia showed me last weekend!"

Evelyn spotted the dark brown hair of the sluttiest and most popular girl in the school leaning on a metallic blue Lexus. Her high pitched, permanently flirtatious voice grated on her nerves. She used her feminine wiles on everybody, even her 72 year old Geometry teacher. Sometimes she imagined Quynh as a senior in a wheelchair, wiggling her chest in some nurse's face.

"Fancy a drink at the mall later today?"

"Um. . ."

The image just made her crack up.

Evelyn turned to her again, suddenly wondering what Quynh was planning. Her gaggle of similarly minded friends were giggling behind their hands, whispering to one another as the couple in front of them thoroughly examined each other's mouths. She concentrated on the light glinting off the silver on her watch, moving it back and forth and waiting for the laughter to stop.

"Ew, Quynh, PDA much?" Silently she agreed, slowing her pace past the parking lot to hear her reply. She wasn't sure why she felt such a strong urge to, but she shrugged and listened for Quynh's nasally voice.

"Shut up, Lynn. You wish you were me." A chorus of ohhh's followed her statement, and the platinum blonde girl blushed and muttered an apology. The girls surrounding her laughed and patted her on the back, good naturedly agreeing with Quynh.

"'Kay, girls, what do you say we meet at the mall in an hour? I need to drop my stuff back at my house and then we'll make a night of it." She smiled brightly, although Evelyn noticed the subtle way in which she avoided Lynn's gaze.

There was a flurry of nods and Quynh clapped her hands enthusiastically. "'Kay then, that's settled!" Quynh opened the door to her car and climbed in. "Take me to the mall, please?" she asked her boyfriend, who was stepping over himself in his haste to comply with her wishes. Before he could drive off, Evelyn rushed up to them, ignoring the snickers and penetrating glares she got.

"Could I come with you?"

The bubbly disposition of the teenage clerk and the exuberance Quynh was exuding over what she was currently wearing were doing a number on Evelyn's head. She couldn't recall the last time she had let herself go so much, but she was having so much fun she ignored the dull pang of worry in her side. She flitted through the racks in front of the fitting room, letting a little exclamation of excitement escape her every once in a while as she saw something she particularly liked.

"Do you think this shirt looks good on me, Evie?"

Evelyn giggled, flicking a few strands of hair behind her. So what she used her father's nickname for her? She was past caring. "Fuck yeah, Quynh. It looks hot on you." The top in question was a pale pink, with a plunging neckline that provided a clear view of Quynh's chest.

Quynh tugged at the hem a little, causing many of the eyes in the immediate vicinity to goggle. The sales clerk let out a little sigh. "I'm totally getting it. What do you think? How does it look?" she asked, directing the question at Adam, her boyfriend of three months.

He shook his head at her voice, closing his jaw and forcing his eyes to meet her face. "It's nice. . . very nice," he breathed, lowering his gaze again. "It's damn perfect."

She let out a tinkling laugh and kissed him on the lips, rewarding his for his compliment. "It's settled, then! Anything you want to get, Evie?"

Qunyh's sugary sweet smile would normally have turned Evelyn away, but she returned a smile to rival her companion's. She shifted a handful of hangers to her right hand. "What else is my dad's credit card for?"

"Of course," Stephanie replied, already turning to the front to ring up her clothes. "Hurry up, we need to get to the rest of the mall today!"

Had it been any other day, Evelyn would never have been at Abercrombie and Fitch in the first place, let alone with Quynh Pham and her wide eyed boyfriend. Hell, she wouldn't even be at the mall on a regular day. That day, however, she found herself strutting to the next register and fluttering her eyes at the cute boy behind the desk.

"Hello, how may I help you?"

Evelyn smiled, aiming for a seductive grin. "You can start with these," she said, dumping her pile of clothes in front of him and flashing a gold credit card impressively, leaning against the counter. A shiver of exhilaration went down her spine. "When are you off?"

Seven minutes later, Evelyn and Quynh, left the store, finally finished harassing the poor high school seniors. "Wow, Evie, I've never seen so many guys stare before!" she exclaimed, shoving all her bags into Adam's arms. "Here, take these. And take Evelyn's too; she won't want these weighing her down."

"Don't you feel uncomfortable, having everyone look at you?" Evelyn asked, handing her clothes to Quynh's boyfriend and putting her credit card back in her purse. Finally, something dear old step-dad is good for, she thought rather viciously, imagining the bill she'd rack up today. The more digits the better.

Quynh slapped her shoulder, grinning. "Not me, dumbass. You. You were great in there. I could practically see the guy near the door drooling after you. That shirt was pure genius!"

Evelyn glanced back, already wary of attention, before she pushed her doubts away and flipped her hair over her shoulder. "It was just there." She smiled, the half grin tugging at her lips, eager to get back the thoughtless mindset of a few minutes ago. "Hey, I thought we had to get to the rest of the mall?"

"Evelyn!" A shout from behind her caused her to spin around, and her eyes widened at the sight of Katrina and Vincent, looking oddly comfortable as they walked towards her, hand in hand. When had that happened?

Suddenly self-conscious of the compromised state she was in, she tugged her jacket more tightly around her shoulders, blocking her new shirt from their view. "What are you guys doing here?" She didn't mean it to be harsh, but inexplicably it came out that way - cold and biting. It was a two-edged sword, stabbing her friends in the heart but also nicking her conscience.

"We're trying to help you."

The words sent a sharp pang of pain in her side, leaving her defenses up but more vulnerable to the attack of emotions she was soon to experience. She hadn't prepared for this. Up, up, she whispered, frantically building up her framework of barriers, roughly jerking away a tear.

"What do you want?"

The open look on Katrina's face disappeared as her poker face slid down, covering all but the glimpse of hurt Evelyn caught. "Oh, just at the mall. You know, since we don't have too much to do tonight." She glanced at Quynh and Adam, sniffing and looking quickly away. "I guess we'll leave you guys to your shopping trip," she said, clasping Vincent's hand more tightly as she maneuvered her way around the three.

What do you want?... what do you want whatdoyouwant. . .

"So soon? Won't you stay and talk a while?" Quynh trilled in her ridiculous voice. "In fact, why don't you come with us?" Her pose and the way she angled herself in the opposite direction screamed You guys should leave. Kaythnxbye!

- what do you want?

Katrina turned around again, giving Evelyn an unreadable look. "I wouldn't want to ruin your fun," she replied, letting her gaze linger on Evelyn's face before hurrying off with Vincent.

You know what I want -

- what do you want?

"That's just too bad, but each to her own! So, Evie, I think we should catch up with the rest of the girls before going off again. . ."

"Would you prefer no one cared?"

Quynh had taken the statement literally, but for some reason it was reverberating in Evelyn's head, like the sound of a bell tolling. Ring. . . ring. . . For her, it signalled both the need to vomit and the end of something she felt she'd probably regret later on.

"Well, guess what, darling - you got your wish. Au revoir!"

Au revoir, indeed. Evelyn burped goofily and tipped the bottle back again, not caring about the dribbles of liquid sliding down her chin and staining the now off white top she was wearing. "O revwaaa," she sang, clapping her hands clumsily. Next to her sat Quynh, Adam, and her clique of airhead wannabees, in similar or worse conditions.

The room was dim, with only a few candles lit and scattered haphazardly on windowsills and tables. ("It's so romantic," Lyssa had insisted, slightly tipsy.) Quynh's parents weren't supposed to be home until the following day, which resulted in no effort on her part to make herself or the house presentable until a few minutes before they arrived.

"Anyone want this?" she asked, holding the bottle out. It tilted over and made a stain on the plush carpet, but no one cared. "Quynh? You want this? It's fantastic." Her speech was slurred, and the still functioning portion of her brain scolded her for letting herself go this much.

The other, more dominant, part clapped and persuaded her to try another shot of alcohol. Shrugging, she reached over for a new bottle, her hands brushing over the pile of broken glass next to the wall. (An ornate hand mirror had fallen and shattered in their early partying.) The sudden twinge of pain she felt sparked a brief feeling of nostalgia in her, and she paused.


That hurt more than she expected it to. A thin stream of blood trickled out, staining her skin a dark red.

For a second, while her mind was still clear, her eyes widened in horror at what she was doing. The next second, she slumped over again and grinned at no one in particular, muttering under her breath.

"Dark red." Burp. ". . .Like an apple." Drink. "Apples and bananasssss! Although I prefer canta - cantaloupe. "

Quynh shot her a dirty look, peering around her boyfriend's head. "Shut the fuck up, Evie, no one cares." At the moment she was occupied with Adam, who was... doing unmentionable things in the corner they slumped in. Evelyn glanced at them and shook her head in an attempt to seem disapproving.

She ended up coming off as uncoordinated, as she immediately fell down into a pile of food.

She's quite disagreeable when she's drunk, the sensible part of her brain commented, before the rather messed up side of her crushed her sensibility into nothingness and screamed Hey! Another bottle this way, will ya? And what the hell is this soggy stuff...

"So, my room is open," Quynh whispered, her voice still carrying over the rhythm of the music and the loud chatter of the other girls. She nudged Adam and winked, standing up and dragging her with him. Her hands never left him, roaming all over his body and kissing his skin. It was PDA to an almost scarring extent, and Evelyn unsteadily wrinkled her nose at them and sat herself up again. She winced at a mess of some questionable muck to her left.

"It's mine," a voice whispered in her ear. She jumped in surprise and found herself staring into Dan's dark green eyes - that is his name, right... - and tilted her head questioningly.

"Who are you?" she asked, poking him. "Oh wait, I know who you are, I just don't know your name." Evelyn giggled, covering her burp with the bottle she was holding. So intelligent, Evie.

Shut the hell up, you. I'm busy being stupid.

Meanwhile Dan's eyes widened, taking in Evelyn's wasted state. Her hair was tangled and looked as if a bird had decided to make its nest on her head. Her eyes were glazed over and unfocused, and the shirt she was wearing was... rather revealing, to say the least. Rather uncharacteristic of her, really...

"I didn't take you to be the partying type," Dan said lightly, pulling out his cell phone.

She shoved him, although she ended up falling back herself. Accepting Dan's proffered hand, Evelyn shrugged. "Things change," she replied, sounding for a split second like herself - too wise and far too depressed for her years. That intelligent light came back to her eyes, and Dan thought that she might be okay.

"You know, you look like Harry Potter. Somewhat. Green eyes, you know. Although green can be a bit of a sickly color, you know? I don't know what Stephanie Meyer was thinking when she made Harry's eyes green. Emerald green is quite nice though."

Never mind that, Dan though, scrolling through his phonebook. Jasmine, Jorge, Katherine... Katrina. Looking back at Evelyn's swaying figure he grinned at her, steadying her and gently pulling the bottle from her hand.

"That was JK Rowling, Evie. Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight." He almost groaned as he took in her blank expression. "You know, Vampires? Sparkly shit? Werewolves?"

Scratching her head thoughtfully, Evelyn considered his statement. "But you have it all wrong. Stephanie Meyer had to have written Twilight, not JK Rowling. What kind of idiot would have thought that she wrote Harry Potter?" The way she slurred Potter almost made it sound like potty.

Dan suddenly had the inappropriate urge to laugh. Swallowing, he steadied her head again and nodded. "Yeah, what kind of idiot am I? Stephanie Meyer could never have created Ron and Harry."

Her eyes lit up. "And Hermione! Yeah, I remember! She was amazing in the movies. So glad she ended up with Draco. He's so hot." Evelyn leaned against the wall, imagining the blonde haired wizard and the bushy haired witch walking through the halls of Hogwarts together. "Ohmygod, I wonder if they had kids! That would be so awesome!"

Dan looked at her incredulously for a second longer and pressed the talk button on the screen of his phone, no longer indecisive about calling her. Leaving her to ramble about blonde haired bookworms and brown haired wizards, he held the phone to his ear. Ring, ring.

A few feet away, Evelyn sat up at the sound of the phone. The ringing pierced through the mind numbing haze engulfing her brain and slowing down her cognitive functions. Ring, ring.

Ring, ring...

For her, it signalled both the need to vomit and the end of something she felt she'd probably regret later on.

Ring, ring...

Suddenly a feeling of extreme nausea washed over her, and Evelyn bent over, holding her stomach. "Huh, I feel really bad suddenly..."

Dan jerked his head towards her just as she slumped over, muttering quickly into the cell phone and picking her gently up.

"It'll have to be your house; I can't bring a drunk girl into my house and expect to live to see the next day." He paused, grabbing Evelyn's purse. "Yeah, I'll be there in five minutes. You sure no one's home?" Another pause, and then he nodded briskly.

"Okay. Third house on the right. And um . . .thanks, Katrina."

Dan walked out of the room, wrinkling his nose, and looked at the sleeping girl in his arms.

"Damnit, you, why are you so weird?"

He shook his head and continued out the door.

Katrina stood in the hallway, peering out of the glass portion of her door. Her phone was in her hand, and she glanced down at it every few minutes to check for any messages.

You have one new text message from Dan.

Quickly, she pulled her other hand out of her pocket and read the short text. You may want to have water and a bed for her ready. Nodding to herself, she grabbed a bottle of water and left it by the sofa, which already had a soft blanket draped over it. She stood nervously by the door again, checking for cars, specifically the metallic blue Corolla Dan had told her to expect.

"You can drive?" Katrina asked, surprised in spite of the situation. She heard a soft sigh of impatience, emphasized by a stamp of his feet. She could imagine Dan frowning into the phone, but she really did want to know.

"Yes, damnit, I can drive. I'm fifteen, I have a permit."

She considered that. "But I don't think you can drive alone, can you?"

Another pout, and a hiss of irritation. "No one cares, okay? I need to get Evelyn to your house very soon. This isn't good for her."

"Out of curiosity, why do you care?"

There was a long silence, and she could hear muffled speaking and music in the background. The sound of shattering glass sounded in the background, and she pictured the scene: chaotic, loud, and probably dirty - she could imagine the things Quynh and her friends were doing. But Evelyn... Evelyn would never do anything like that.

The thought that she had somehow crossed the boundaries she herself had set scared Katrina.

A full minute passed before he replied again, with a rather sharp "Why would you care, as long as her precious self is out of danger?"

Katrina stiffened and nodded before realizing he couldn't see. "Fine, just get her here quickly. I don't have all night, you know."

"With pleasure. Expect a metallic blue Corolla," he replied with a hint of ice, before cutting the connection.

A soft ring pulled her out of her thoughts, and she looked up to see a wary Dan and a passed out Evelyn at her front door. Hastily she opened the door, helping Evelyn onto the sofa and pulling the blanket over her. She stirred and turned over, burying her face into the side of the sofa. When Katrina was satisfied that she was comfortable, she turned to look at Dan, who was sitting on the stool next to the welcome mat.

"So, you never told me why you were at Quynh's house in the first place, or why you decided to bring Evelyn to my house, despite all the other girls there in worse conditions." Her eyes glinted at him, not with malice but with knowing. The look unnerved Dan, although he did his best to look bored.

"I'm a good person. And Evelyn clearly wasn't cut out for the die-hard partying that would have started as soon as nighttime fell. She definitely can't hold her alcohol," he replied, smirking.

Katrina eyed him for a while longer but decided she didn't care and broke eye contact, instead focusing on Evelyn's sleeping figure. "You can leave if you want to," she said, pulling out her phone and quickly texting Vincent. Come if you want; Evie's asleep.

Dan shrugged. He felt like leaving, but something compelled him to stay. "And go back to the party? I never liked Quynh much anyway, she's always trying to get into some guy's pants."

"And you're not always trying to get into some girl's pants?"

He met her reply with a stony silence.

The door bell rang for the second time that day, signalling the arrival of the third witness to Evelyn's latest lapse in judgement.

"Why are you guys so serious? It's not like anyone died..." Vincent walked in the door and draped his jacket over the arm of the sofa, sitting down on the floor. He grinned in an attempt to seem nonchalant, but the smile slipped off his face, only to be replaced by a frown. "So she went and got herself drunk. All we can do is be there for her."

Katrina rubbed her hands together, needing to keep herself occupied. "That's way too hard. You know her, Miss I-don't-need-your-help-bitch and her silent treatment." The bitterness in her voice didn't escape Dan's notice, and he sat back to listen. I had no idea things between them weren't all butterflies and rainbows... although looking back he should have guessed.

"We're her friends; we always have been. She's lost and wandering. It's not every day a sophomore in high school gets diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It's not her fault." Vincent glared back at Katrina, daring her to argue.

She simply looked at him for a long while, holding his gaze in a tension filled moment. "It's her fault if she doesn't ask for help when she needs it."

"She doesn't need -"

All three sets of eyes turned to her still figure on the couch, sleeping off the alcohol.

"I thought so," Katrina said, as she stood up and left the room.

A/N: So, I've finally gotten back to FP. :) Here's chapter 5 of Endings; I hope you guys will welcome this story back with a little review! ;) How did you guys like the manic side of her bipolar disorder? Someone tell me if I wrote it well, I wasn't sure about going to this extreme but I figured it had to affect her pretty adversely considering her age and susceptibility to emotions. Didn't mean to bash Harry Potter OR Twilight, by the way, although in my opinion Harry Potter is a hundred times anything Twilight could ever be. :P

Thanks to anyone who reviewed chapters 1 through 4 and the prologue; you guys are awesome. :D

More reviews = faster updates, so please tell me your thoughts! I will try to return all reviews in a timely manner, besides those through the Review Game. I want to get 50 reviews before I update next - I know I've never had a review quota, but if no one reads I'm not wasting my time writing. -.- Besides that, I'm not updating every week or anything anymore so I should have quite a bit of feedback by then.

Also, many, many, MANY thanks to Silver Sparke. She emailed me a couple of days ago telling me that my updating was unacceptable.

Shout out to her: I'm getting there, I promise! :P