By Jaime Lyn
It was dark. It was dark and heavy and silent. There was nothing.
Scully's voice floated up as if it were being carried on a breeze, echoed, and the tone of it was whisked away just as quickly. Everything sounded strange and faraway. The sound of wind, the sound of silence, the sound of her own voice breaking the terrible quiet.
She knew it was futile but she had to ask. She had to find out. Was there anyone else there? Was there anyone else in this terrible void? Was it her void? Had she created it? She felt so alone, so terribly alone. Mom? Mommy, please, come help me... Ahab, I need you.... Oh God Mulder, help me. You're the only one... I need to get out of here. Please get me out of here. Where am I?
"Someone.. someone please..."
And then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, there was light.
"You finish the math review sheet?"
Dana's friend Sylvia leaned up against the locker and played with the corner of her calculus book. She pushed her ponytail up off her shoulder and smiled. "Not that you aren't always done early," she said, and sighed. "God, it must be so nice to have everything come so easy."
Dana shoved a history book back into her locker's dark, metal recesses. It dropped and hit another book with a loud, echoing thud. Today was the last day of classes before finals and for the first time in a long time, Dana was relieved to be done with homework. Today was the day she would send in all her replies to all those colleges... Harvard, Oxford, Georgetown... Today was one day closer to leaving this life and this hell behind forever.
Dana sighed and turned to face the ground. Her blue eyes downcast, she stared at her shoes as she spoke. "Yeah, wonderful," she said. But there was no enthusiasm in her voice. "But at least if I get into Georgetown, I stand a chance of getting away from here. " Her curly red hair dripped off her shoulders and spilled down her back. With her right hand, she adjusted the black headband that held it all off her face.
"Right," Sylvia said, an element of discomfort filling her voice. She cleared her throat. "But um, on the upside, I didn't hear anything about you know--- the thing..."
Dana shook her head and began to walk towards the main exit. I don't need this right now, she thought dejectedly. Not now, not after Marcus has been ignoring me for days after... after the superlatives were announced and I... Dana shoved tears down her throat at her own stupidity. She remembered the superlatives announcement ceremony. She remembered the hissing and laughter of the girls behind her when they called her name, "Dana Scully...." Then the water poured down her back, the laughter in the auditorium... She remembered running out and crying. After I made an idiot out of myself, Dana thought. How can I even walk these halls without...God, I am so stupid!
Sylvia pushed away from the lockers and brought up the pace beside Dana. "You know," Syl said, shrugging her shoulders as she walked, "I think it's blowing over... Amanda wanting to kick your ass today, that is, you know since prom and..." Dana shot Sylvia a menacing look and Sylvia's voice trailed off.
"Sorry," Sylvia said. "Didn't mean to---"
"That's ok." Dana turned to her with a forced smile. "I'm fine." Her blue eyes watered over with held back tears but she kept on smiling. "Really, I'm fine. Besides, it's not your fault."
Sylvia shrugged and shifted her books to her left hand, her big feet dragging as they walked. Dana shrugged halfheartedly and with her right hand, she wiped the wetness away from her eyes with the back of her palm. Her knuckles glistened with tears. Why am I so weak? she wondered. I can't be this weak. I'm better than this. I am. I have to be... I am fine. I am, damn it!
"Ok," Sylvia pursed her lips and waved her free hand. "so maybe it's not my fault--what happened, Dana, but you were---"
"I'm fine, Syl. Drop it."
Ever since the prom, since the superlatives, Dana had begun answering everything that way. Everything was, "I'm fine." Everything anyone wanted to know about her, how she was doing, if she was upset, what was bothering her, everything was "Fine. I'm fine thank you." She was sick, so sick of being the weak one. The one who cried when people made fun of her, the smart one who stayed home saturday nights and wished for parties and invitations and men like Marcus to sweep her off her feet... No, she thought. No more. I'm done with all that foolishness.
"Yeah, I know Dana but---"
Then Sylvia's comforting jabber suddenly and unexpectedly stopped.
"Syl?" Dana's brow furrowed and she looked at her friend. Both of them stopped walking. "Syl, what is it?"
Sylvia looked alarmed, very alarmed, as if the world had stopped. And she was staring off towards the doorway. Her eyes had widened at something that was frightening her, something that frightened her enough to shut her up and make her halt her forward movement. So Dana looked up.
"Well, look who it is..."
Dana swallowed nervously. Oh Shit, she thought, shit. "A....a...amanda," she said out loud, apprehensive sputters falling off her tongue.
Amanda grinned coldly. Her blonde hair a silky mane down her back, her blue eyes fire and brimstone, she stood in the doorway like a large obstruction. "No Date Dana Scully," she said, folding her arms across her chest. Her eyes sparkled with anger.
And then from behind Amanda walked someone else---A guy, a handsome guy Dana ultimately recognized because she had, since the beginning of the year, memorized his every feature and ingrained it on her brain. Oh Marcus, she thought miserably, watching him hang back next to Amanda. Dana's heart sank into the pit of her chest at the sight of the two of them, together again, and she ached and ached. Oh God, she thought. Great. How stupid can I be?
"Um, Marcus," Dana said, ignoring Amanda for the moment. "I..." She shifted her feet shyly and stared at him. "I was wondering where you were. When you didn't show up for study group the other day, I thought---"
"Leave him alone," Amanda hissed, walking forward. Marcus continued to hang back, staring at his feet. He looked defeated and pathetic, as if something had happened to make him lose all his nerve. He looked alone.
He looks as alone as I feel, Dana thought. Oh he looks just like me.
"What do you want from us?" Sylvia suddenly asked, her legs stiff and locked at the knees. She was frightened as all hell, but it was the last day of school before finals and she was determined to help her best friend... even if it meant Amanda would... well, she didn't want to even think about that. She just wanted to help Dana. Her hands shook beneath her books.
"I said, what do you want---" But Amanda ignored Sylvia's question and strode forward on sure and swift legs. Her eyes narrowed and her path was clear.
"I'll give you something to study!" Amanda bellowed, and she grabbed Dana's books from her.
There was a mad flurry of arms and books. Dana gasped and swatted at Amanda, her red copper curls flying behind her. But Amanda, nearly 5"6 in height, was too quick and Dana was too small, and Amanda's hands were held high above her head.
"Give them back!" Dana demanded, her voice quavering slightly. "Give them!"
Amanda grinned and tossed Dana's books down the main stairway, watching with rapt delight as papers flew and fluttered down the steps, out the open doorway, over the grass and into the gutter. Then she turned and faced Dana Scully, the girl who had disgusted her all year, and grabbed her by the crisp white collar of her delicate blouse. Sylvia cried out in alarm and ran into a nearby classroom, yelling to the teacher for help.
"Someone! Mr. Callicah, Mr. Callicah---" Her voice faded away behind the classroom door. Marcus just stood, rooted to the floor, staring in horror at the scene unfolding before him. He didn't know what to do or where to go and he was afraid to even move. Was Amanda really that crazy?
"Go ahead!" Amanda yelled, shoving Dana up against a wall. The back of Dana's head cracked upon impact with the stucco and her eyes welled up with tears of hurt and shock. Her irises swam and searched for something to focus on.
"Come on! Fight back you--you fucking loser!" Amanda slapped her so hard that her head snapped backwards and hit the wall again. Dana's teeth rattled in her jaw. "Fight back!" Amanda demanded, releasing Dana with a disgusted thrust to the floor. "Jesus Christ, you are nothing but a coward!"
Dana swallowed in pain and shock, grasping the back of her soft red hair with shaking hands. Everything was swimming and painful... oh so painful.... everything was getting dark. Why?
Oh God, she thought. Oh God it hurts so bad, make it stop... Need to get away... She brought her palms to her face and examined them nervously. There was blood. Blood on her hands, her blood on her hands, so much blood. Her ears began to pound and throb. In the distance, she could hear the echoing of fast feet on tile, the gasps of what must have been teachers, other students, somebody Dana didn't know.
"You watch your back, Dana!" Amanda spat, as she backed away. "Because I will bring you down a peg. I will always remind you what the truth is. And the truth is that you will never be anything more than this. Fat, pathetic, alone. You are alone and you always will be! So stay away from me, stay away from Marcus. This is the last fucking warning!"
Then Amanda was gone. Her voice, her face, her horrible insults... she was gone. And with her went Marcus, the only guy Dana had ever really liked, the only guy that had ever kissed her and looked at her as if she were pretty and desirable and everything a girl should be... Oh god, Dana thought. How could I have been such an idiot? How could I have imagined that he liked me?
From her crumpled position on the floor, Dana's eyes squeezed shut against the miserable pain coursing through her head and heart. Hiccups escaped from her soft mouth in large, fat, pathetic sobs, and she folded herself into a ball on the floor, her fingers coming to rest beneath her chin, her legs pulled up to her chest. The tile around her was spotted with bright, bold, scarlett blood from the back of head. I am alone, she thought. I will always be alone. Like this, alone. Alone, alone...
"Dana!" Sylvia called, rushing to her side. She dropped to her knees beside her fallen friend. "Help is on the way, I swear, Dana---"
But all the voices seemed to blend together. They meshed and swam through Dana's skull.
"Someone call an ambulance--"
"Her mother, someone get her mother---"
"No, the police have to be called---"
"Dana, can you speak sweetheart, talk---"
"Dana, Dana, Dana---"
Suddenly, Dana Scully opened her eyes and found herself staring down at her partner. Her hair was still long and girlish and flowing down her back in curls. Her fingers were bloody. Bloody fingers. She was floating above him. There was blackness everywhere and swirling wind and pouring rain, lightning... But there was also Mulder, Mulder was there and she was safe. She was safe with him, safe in his arms, safe...
"Mulder, I'm here---"
"Scully?" He called it again, his eyes frantic, his head snapping back and forth, right, left, right, left.
He's looking for me, Scully realized. He can't see me. Why can't he see me?
"Mulder, up here!" she yelled. "Up here!"
"Scully, damn it!" Mulder called. He stared around and around and around. "I can't wait forever! I'm going to leave you here if you don't answer me!"
No! Her brain screamed and her heart lurched at the thought: Mulder leaving me behind. No, it couldn't be. He wouldn't leave her, wouldn't go away, wouldn't leave her all alone. No, she thought desperately. That's not Mulder. This is just a dream. Yes, a dream. Mulder loves me, I know he does. I've just been so stubborn and stupid these past few days. But no, it's alright. That doesn't matter now. Nothing matters now. Nothing except that I love him. I love him so much that I....
"Mulder!" she called again, her teeth chattering, the cold blackness penetrating all over. "Mulder, no! You were right! Mulder I'm not fine! Help me, please!" Her voice dropped to a whisper and tears flowed freely down her cheeks. Her pulse thudded in her ears. It seemed as if it had been forever since she had cried. "I'm not fine," she managed. "Mulder, I need you...I--" She squeezed her eyes shut and saw blood behind her lids. There was blood everywhere. She was dying. Why was she dying? Oh Someone, she thought. Help me please!
"Don't go... Please don't go...I'm not fine... not fine..."
I won't be left alone, Scully thought. Please Mulder, I can't be alone! I don't want to be alone. She's wrong. Amanda's wrong, they're all wrong. Her body shook and everything was black and red and white... so white... everything was blinding.
And then everything was gone.