The Blue Room

by an·gel·boy

Preface

He'd always say that his favourite colour was black. But when I last saw him, all I can see is powder blue.


'THE BLUE ROOM'

It didn't feel like anything at the moment, Charlie realised that there was the absence of the precipitous fall that was out of the ordinary, but there was no floating sensation either; it was just... normal. The fluorescent bathroom lights rebounding and bouncing playfully on the glossy tiles did act as a stimulus to move his attention to another element in this hazy ambience, but did the buoyant lights turned into some sort of reconciliation to heal this strange boredom that he felt?

Try as he might but the 18-year-old boy could not put his finger on it, he did this countless of times before and was always greeted with the faint pulsing pain in his head before the sensation of descent approached. But this calmness that he was feeling was new, and he was too scared to be curious for it. Charlie gingerly bit on his lips, chewing on the dry flesh and staring at the white, thin layers of light protruding from the dull ceiling lamps.

As the jagged electronic music and thumping bass behind the door suddenly faded out in an instant, the shaft of lights that Charlie was so focused on started to blind him. The milky beam reminded him of the daylight that would often illuminate his neighbourhood when he was still a child; it's always sunny there. The sky is always the perfect blue, putting the entire ocean to shame. It's always dotted with ribbons of perfect clouds. The sky was blue, a bit too vivid and unnatural, as if all the blueness of the world is all sucked and spewed and concentrated on a black canvas that is the sky... it's beautiful.

Charlie couldn't help but crack a vague smile at the sight before narrowing his eyes as an unfamiliar glow distracted his dark brown orbs for a while.

The sun was shining.

The boy looked back, seeing nothing but the boundless sky and strips of thin clouds gradually forming around his elated figure. The winds pushed the white masses closer towards Charlie to the point that he can feel dampness in his fingers and even tasting the hollow flavour of the droplets on his tongue, like drawing in the air of the thick 5 a.m. fog or breathing the scent of petrichor accompanied with the timid sun after a gloomy period of battering rain.

Charlie breathed in the gentle breeze through his bleeding nostrils and was quickly reminded of the scarlet liquid dripping out of it. Normally, at the sight of blood, Charlie would often feel his heart thumping and stomach churning in disgust; he disliked anything related to it, probably due to a traumatising experience in sixth grade where he saw the flesh of Hux's hand splitting, spilling streams of so much blood it almost looked like he was trying to finish a caveman art and print his palm with red paint. But in fact it wasn't a caveman painting and it wasn't red paint, it was pure, thick blood pouring from his hand after a delinquent-like game of tag you're it with the smart involvement of scissors. So when Charlie just wiped the red liquid nonchalantly with the back of his hand, he was surprised that his regular aversion was absent.

Charlie was proud of himself.

As he further concentrated on the sky, he had realised that the sun's white glimmer had turned the unnaturally coloured sky to a lighter shade. It was a slow progress, as if a grand painter had just mixed in too much of white paint to a canvas that has been coloured a sick, chemical blue. Charlie had always enjoyed the sight of nature and anything related, hell, he could watch juvenile beansprouts for days without bending to boredom; so as a slow as it was, seeing the sky change a different colour was exciting for the dark-haired male.

Soon, the vibrant blue dulled and although it didn't change to a more natural shade, the colour of the atmosphere calmed Charlie even more. The stress that he felt earlier, the sadness seeping through bathroom tiles, the blinding lights against the dark... It all faded away in unison to the changing ether. Charlie looked up to witness the sky stopping its alteration, as though he was the painter mixing in colours of the air to create a much more inspiring hue, satisfied and joyful of his own artistic creation.

The sky was powder blue.

And as the winds, clouds, and the shining sun had absorbed all the anxiety, a fragment of Charlie's vigour was sucked away from his body. The loss wasn't grief, he just needed a little rest and that will be all. Without fighting fatigue and letting the warm winds take his sprouting dreams of sheep, Charlie felt his eyes weighted by his summertime drowsiness and soon descended into sleep.

He fell, knowing that the grass and rolling hills underneath him will embrace his small body. It felt like a long way down to the emerald sheet, or maybe it was a long way down. Charlie wasn't sure, nor did he even care. After all, what sense of concern can bother the tranquility of a sleeping boy?

***

"You're not going home are you?" I leaned away from the couch while shouting through the overexposed bass of the music. He shook his head silently, eyes glassy and his face written with either pure uncertainty or concern. I knew him for too long; whatever he was going to do all cloudy-eyed and ambiguous, he's doing it with a plan. Charlie's been a strange kid since we first met, he isn't necessarily an introvert but he wasn't an extrovert as well, kinda in between the spectrum. I sighed; Charlie was still in front of me clutching something in his pocket. I couldn't care less what he was holding onto, I came here to this overhyped house party to have fun, and I brought him to have fun as well. But if Charlie can't do so, that doesn't mean I should stop being amused.

"Go meet this friend," I grunted almost commandingly, "But don't you dare go home, okay?" truthfully I'm a bit vexed (even though I don't have the valid reason to) at Charlie's behaviour, he said that he saw a friend in the party he's been dying to meet so I guess that's a reason enough for him to be in such a hurry. He nodded once and bid me a small goodbye before his black-clad figure disappeared in between the crowd. Charlie's been wearing all-black since he fell into depression, I mean he wears black a lot, but still. Though I can't really be too concerned about it; it is his most favourite colour after all. Since the day I first met him, he was dressed in a black sweater and refused to take them off because he was wearing a white t-shirt underneath, as if it's embarrassing for him to wear anything but black. Kinda expected to be honest, he once said that white was the ultimate colour he couldn't resonate with, which sounds weird but once you get to know Charlie, it's exactly something he'd say. He would always resonate to the colour black.

"I feel kind of bad for him, to be honest," Quinn suddenly said, putting down her phone after god knows how many hours she had glued her eyes on the glowing screen. I raised a single eyebrow at her in response, seems like she had more to say.

"Really what's the use of dragging him into nightclubs and parties?" Ah that same old question again. "It'll just corner him further, don't you think? I mean, can't you see what he was doing?"

I ignored her. But she took this as an answer.

"Nothing! He's literally sitting there, earphones plugged in his head, and staring into nothing!" Quinn continued, stressing on each syllable as if she was reciting a poem. At this point, I knew that she knew I hadn't been paying attention to her. "Hux, are you even listening to me?" I glanced at her uncaringly and she rolled her eyes.

"Okay never mind what I said, but at least listen to this one..."

I glanced at her again, this time curious. I'm actually listening to what she's gong to say. I bet it's just some sympathetic or empathetic crap, but I was concerned.

"Always keep an eye on him, okay? No matter if he's in the worst of times or if he's in the sunniest mood of his life." Quinn said, now in a much calmer and tolerable tone. I did a side smile at her as if I actually did give regard to what she had to say. I know that already, I don't need her to tell me, but I'm kind enough to give her the feeling of consideration, even if false. Thankfully, she accepted that vague smile of mine with her own.

"C'mon, I'm sure Charlie's fine," I sighed while both of my legs sprung back to life as I stood up, I grinned at Quinn knowingly "I'm sure he's going to have fun sooner or later. And if you're gonna miss out the fun then fine by me. Just know I'm not gonna join your pity party." I laughed, diving into the crowd as Quinn followed behind with a smile on her face. Seems like she had shook off the glumness earlier, and that's great.

I just hate seeing sad people all the time; I'm worried about Charlie that's for sure. But it's just so emotionally draining around him sometimes, especially when he's depressed and all. He won't tell me what's wrong, and frankly, I don't even care what's troubling him.

He's a weak boy like that, both physically and emotionally. In fact he would even get nauseous in the sight of blood or even alcoholic drinks.

Speaking of drinks.

I don't know what the hell was in that cup. It feels like it has been laced with something beforehand, I know for a fact that I've a pretty high tolerance to alcohol so I don't know why this felt so strange. I saw Quinn sucking on a cigarette as if her life depended on it; it was obvious she was tipsy, even through my drunken vision. As I slid the last bit of whatever it was in the cup, my entire body fell onto the ground in slow motion, my eyesight as shaky as always. But as soon as my head struck the marble floor, I saw someone running before my eyes, lengthily skipping a few distances as they jogged through the crowd.

If it weren't for the colour of their clothes, I wouldn't know that it was Charlie.

I felt a surge of pain and energy shooting through both of my legs, I felt the need to chase after him, and god knows what he was crying for. I felt a spur in me that pressed me to pursue after him. I don't know what, but I followed that instinct. As soon as the energy came into my legs, it disappeared in an instant as I tumbled down, failing to prevent Charlie from rushing into the vacant bathroom. I knew he saw me with his teary eyes, but all I got in response was a loud swing of the door closing and the familiar click of the bolt fastening into the wall.

"Open the door!" I yelled, punching on the wooden plank while planting a single knee on the floor, supporting my entire body weight. "Charlie! I'll break this door if I have to! Charlie! Open it n-"

I was prematurely answered with a shout of denial from behind the door; I've never heard Charlie shout in so much anger and despair. Even in my drunken state I was taken aback by his reply.

"Charlie! Open the door!"

***

The grass met with Charlie's cheek as his entire body descended on the meadow; while blood still leaked from his nostril he was content and as peaceful as the dreams of a baby. Not a single sound was there to bother the boy's slumber, not anymore.

***

I didn't care that a thousand tipsy eyes were staring me down as I pushed my fist to the door endlessly. I didn't care that Quinn was blacked out drunk lying on the kitchen floor. I didn't care that Charlie wouldn't answer.

***

Suddenly, in his unconscious state, Charlie heard that his surroundings had turn silent except for the peculiar buzz of electricity hanging low in the sky. He awoke from the brief nap and his fingertips grew cold, the entire atmosphere was cold and wet. The boy looked up to the sun, it shined tenfold as seconds passed, blinding him. Something's wrong.

***

I gritted my teeth as my raw fists slid down the smooth wooden door, Charlie was still mute, producing not even a whimper from behind the entrance. As I fell onto the marble floor, whatever it was I drank got to me as shadows crept into my vision, and soon the colour of the lights, the beige walls, all colours were sucked away as everything faded into black.

***

The blue sky had cleared away as the sun expanded. White. Charlie saw nothing but a blank shining canvas in front of him, glowing, beaming, and pulsing. Everything, the hills, the birds, the sky... Everything faded into white.

***

My eyes cracked open to the brief sense of warmth that struck my face, as soon as the vague orange light before my eyes knocked me back into full reality, Charlie's face was in my mind. His long lost smile, black hair, and glum look all piled up into my still-fazed brain. Ignoring my frazzled mind, I quickly dashed away from the couch that I was sleeping on, jumped over empty bottles and droplets of foods scattered about before diving onto the white bathroom door.

I know for a fact that Charlie's still there.

And I'm scared that he's still there.

"Charlie!" I shouted, my throat growling in pain as I pushed my shoulder onto the wood. I pulled back, seeing the door cracking from my impact. I can see the buzzing pearly glow of the bathroom light vaguely peeking through the crevice, and at that moment, rage, concern, confusion, and panic fueled me to the innermost corner in my body. The door flung open as I gave a final kick on the handle. As my heaves and anger subsided, fate gave me the worst scene that it had perfected.

On the bathroom floor was Charlie.

Nose bleeding, closed eyes stained with dry tears, and his lips curling into a saddened smile.

I shouted his name for a final time, running into the bathroom and kneeling on both of my legs, trying to shake the now-cold boy out from his consciousness. Then, something crinkled beside Charlie as I picked him up. I looked aside to what he was gently holding onto...

A transparent cylindrical bottle, pouring blue, oval-shaped pills onto the bathroom floor, lightly bouncing and scattering on the wet tiles.

Blue pills.

Tears dripped down from my eyes, blurring my vision to the face of Charlie as he lightly stared off into nothing. I held his body closer to mine as I buried my face on his shoulder, murmuring and begging for him to wake up. Soon, a shadow peeked and stretched from behind me before I heard a terrified gasp. I pulled my face away and looked back, seeing Quinn on the doorframe covering her mouth with her shaking hand as she fell to her knees, crying.

"Call the a-ambulance..." I said, quivering through the tears. I can feel Charlie's warmth escaping from his body as I caressed the back of his head with my trembling hand.

I never knew this would happen.

No.

I knew that this could happen.

I knew that Charlie is capable of doing so.

And I knew that this would happen.

But the worst part of it all; I didn't do anything to stop it.

Ambulance sirens blared in the distance as men in white uniform entered the house, passaging through the dim-lit halls with flashlights. I felt a tap on my back and glanced over my shoulder to be greeted by the circular glow. The large man holding it pulled me away from Charlie's body as another picked him up, carrying him outside as I followed them behind. Many of my drunken friends have been awoken; giving us concerned stares, gasping, and shock.

But I ignored them all until I saw Quinn running after me as well. I asked a million questions to the paramedics, not one of them replied my anxious words with answers I wanted to hear. Quinn was shouting at them, but before she could follow the uniformed men outside the house, someone held her back. It was for the better, she was traumatised, and I can see it in her darkened eyes.

One of the paramedics laid down Charlie on a hydraulic stretcher, donned him an oxygen mask, and inserted him with an IV needle as clear liquid jetted into his vein. Before I could comprehend, the uniformed workers started pushing the wheeled stretcher towards the open ambulance trunk, I haven't even said anything to Charlie. I didn't want this to be the last time I see him.

I didn't even look back at the crowd at the door.

I dashed at Charlie, pushing away the paramedics that tried to stop me from interfering. I halted the stretcher on its path and looked at Charlie in his closed eyes.

"Charlie... Please, I-I'm so-" I stammered, nudging his smaller body with my hands while my warm tears dripped down from my chin to his black sweater. "I-I'm sorry... Charlie, I'm so sorry..."

As I raised his body up and hugged him tighter for a final time, I sensed movement and a whimper escaping from his figure. I broke the hug apart and saw the bleeding boy fully opening his glossy eyes, he glanced at me for a while and I can see the slightest of smile curling on his lips. Charlie raised a gentle arm upwards.

Pointing at the dark clouds.

"The sky..."

My tear-choked mumblings begged Charlie to notice what I have done. I wanted Charlie to look at me, to see my regret, to see the hurt painted in my eyes. But he didn't... his fading vision was there for the sky to see. Charlie knew that I didn't care for his depression; he knew I was never there for him from the start. But I wish he could see that I have regretted everything I have done to him.

"It's blue..."

I was helpless. Charlie was a broken boy.

With no place to run, and no one to belong to.

"So... blue..."

And I did nothing to save him.

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