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Author Topic: The Will  (Read 426 times)

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Offline EffulgentFirefly

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The Will
« on: May 21, 2018, 07:06:00 PM »
Maybe one of these days I'll become a regular and do what I came here to do - give and get criticism - but today is not that day. Instead, here's something I'll update sporadically. Here's something I started a long time ago and maybe I'll start back up if I can get around to it. Maybe it'll convince me to get back to writing actual stuff.


The Will

Spoiler
Dear everyone,

I suppose if you’ve finally opened this, things have taken an unfortunate turn. Nevertheless, please read this. Don’t skim; I won’t be happy if you do, dead or not.

So I’m… Gone, at this point, for a lack of better words. I know all of you wanted me to stay… Maybe I should have. Maybe things would have gotten better somehow, but I just couldn’t. I’m sorry, not for me, but for you guys. I’m sorry you befriended someone as destructive as myself, and that you had to go through this. No one should have to deal with the death of someone they know well… But no one should have to endure the pain I had to either. I’m sorry, though. Please don’t hate me for it. Things weren’t getting better for me. There was nothing for me to look forward to, and though I love you guys, I hate the idea I might be hurting you through my own failure. There was nothing for me. Everything I looked at was poisoned by my awful anxiety, my relationships with you guys included. Maybe you didn’t deserve to deal with my death… But you also didn’t deserve to deal with me. And I couldn’t deal with the world.

I guess… This isn’t your typical suicide note. I don’t know what you were expecting, really, though - I wasn’t ever one to do the typical thing, was I? I just felt like you guys needed more than a few lines scribbled on a scrap piece of paper. You deserve more than that, honestly. So here you are. My ‘will’, I guess. Me making sure all of my books and games and music aren’t locked in a basement for all eternity. Me trying to help you from beyond the grave, because we all know that none of you are near perfect.

My death doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This entire package is about that. We go to funerals to celebrate the lives of people we care about not mourn and fall into depression, so take my life and do something with it. Something I couldn’t do. Don’t let this permanently slow you down. I’ll come back and haunt you ‘till the day you die if you do.

I really want all of you to be happy, even if it isn’t immediate, and you have to understand that can happen without me. I promise it can. So smile. Force it. Respect my wishes as a dead person. And take every one of your letters to heart. I meant every one of my last words to you.


Cody


Letters to the friends:
To:Haven
Dear Ven,

I didn’t get to see a lot of you before I did what I did, which was probably for the best. You smiled so much, especially with Arie. I didn’t want to make you unhappy with how unhappy I was. I hope you were okay, though. You certainly looked happy, with that scholarship and with your thing with Arie. Hopefully this doesn’t change that too much.

So I guess if you’re reading this I’m probably gone, considering where I put this and all. It’d be a little awkward if I wasn’t, huh? I don’t even want to think about it while writing this, haha. You’d be so pissed. You probably are right now anyway… But hear me out, alright? Try and understand where I’m coming from, even if you don’t want to.

I wasn’t happy, Ven, and you knew it. I was just never a happy kid, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault. I was always sad, and nothing was working. Maybe it would have gotten better, maybe the thing with Alisa was just what sent me over. I wasn’t happy, or pleasant to be around. I don’t know what else I can say except for you to try and accept that what’s done is done, and I’m sorry I hurt you like this.

I said that that this wasn’t your typical suicide note, and, well, I meant it. There’s a difference between grieving and depression, Ven, and I’m not letting you fall into the same hole I was stuck in for so long, and I don’t care how much you have to force it, but you’ve gotta try and put some effort into being okay. Even if it’s just smiling, or letting Arie take care of you. You’ve got a great life ahead of you, a great girlfriend, a great family… You can come back from something like this. You’ve got to come back from this. For me. For Dad, if nothing else.

I said I was going to give some of my honest-to-goodness advice to you and the rest of my friends, but I don’t have much to say to you, Ven. You were always my role model, yanno, whether I said it or not. You’re so goddamn perfect. It’s super *censored*ing irritating, actually, you know, with your perfect grades and your perfect girlfriend and your perfect job… I mean, can you blame me for being so unhappy trying to live up to that? Haha… I’m joking about that, though. You were a the best brother I ever had, and I guess the only advice I can give to you is to keep being that person I looked up to up till the day I died, because even if I wanted to rip your perfect eyeballs out of your perfect head, that person is the best person I knew.

I suppose I also said I’d be leaving my ‘will’ to you all. I don’t have a lot to give you, Ven, you weren’t as invested in my personal life as my friends were, but I hope you can make do with what I decided on. With that, I leave to you:
-My journal. Diary, whatever you want to call it. The only thing I ask of you is that you let Penn have his time with it too. I could tell you where it is, but I’m 99.9% sure that you know where it is anyway.
-My money. I guess you already figured out that my cash is in this envelope. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so use it wisely. I dunno. Take Arie out somewhere nice. Save for uni or something.
-The stuffed seal, Snowflake. I can already hear you laughing at me, but I know you wanted Dad to give her to you instead of me that day when we visited the amusement park. So now you get it. Ten years later, but still.
-My photo album. I don’t know what you’d do with it… But it seems right, and I don’t want it to just sit in the basement and gather dust. I’m sure there’s something in there Dad would like too.
-Mom’s stuff, in that little wooden box on my desk. Try and see if she’ll take it back when she comes back, but I thought you’d like to have stuff from her.
-My phone. I reset it so there isn’t a password. I don’t think there’s anything too bad on there. Hopefully there isn’t, but there’s a reason I left it to you and not Dad.
-My pin collection. I dunno, but I like them, you like them, and maybe they’ll be a reminder of how annoying I was. I also really do like a lot of them, and I don’t really trust anyone else to make sure they don’t get lost.

So there we go, Ven. I really don’t know what to say except I’m sorry, I really am, but I know that you can get through this. You’ve got a lot going for you, and this can’t be what ruins that. I’ll haunt you until you get back on track. You really were a good brother, and you made moments of my life good. And none of this is your fault, so don’t go blaming this on yourself either. I love you.

Cody

To:Penn
Dear Penn,

I don’t really know where to start with this, so I guess I’ll just say the obvious. I love you. I didn’t really say it a lot. Maybe I was scared one day it would come out of my mouth and I’d realize it wasn’t true, that what we claimed to be a star-crossed romance was just a high school crush, or that I’d moved on from something great, but I can safely say that I love you and mean it. I guess I didn’t say it a lot, but I guess it felt like I didn’t I needed to. We didn’t need to say it over and over, did we? I don’t think we did.

Hopefully… Hopefully you aren’t too mad at me. And hopefully you don’t take this the wrong way. I guess there isn’t really a good way to take a suicide, though, huh… Regardless, what I’m getting at is that I didn’t want to die, but I… I also didn’t want to live. Not how things were going, I didn’t. It wasn’t your fault, because I know you’re going to try and blame yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong, Penn. It was probably my fault you had to go through this anyway. I shouldn’t have messed up your life with my problems. I’m so, so sorry that I did. You’re such an amazing person. I meant it when I said you can’t let this ruin you. You have to move forward. I guess that’s the point of this letter to you. I’m not going to let you curl up and throw away your life.

There are a few things I want to say before I get ot the rest of the letter, though. I know I already said it like a paragraph ago, but I love you. You know, when you explained that soulmates thing you believe in to me, I thought you were crazy. I still think it’s kind of insane, but I guess at the time of me writing this, I can believe that just maybe, we were soulmates, even if it’s awfully absurd sounding. I really did fall in love with you, and maybe… Maybe if I knew I was going to live longer I would have seen some great future with marriage and kids and… And a life with you. I never thought I’d feel these things before I met you, and god, everyone called us crazy, but I loved you to death and back, and I didn’t want anything else. You made me happy. You extended my life, and I love you even more for that. Alongside me gushing like the teenage girl I am, you can’t let me saying this tie you down. I’m not saying you should go out there and date the first girl you see, but you’re such an amazing person, and you deserve an amazing life with an amazing love. You said yourself, while you were explaining your soulmate theory that people can have more than one soulmate. So remember that. I want you to fall in love again one day. You were the love of my life, and it’s okay that I wasn’t the love of yours.

Well… I guess this is the part where I make sure I give you all the advice I can. I was serious about that, yanno. You probably thought I was joking, but I’m not gonna let you stumble through life without a guardian angel. So here we go, just a few things I want you to keep in mind.

First off. You’re shy as hell, Penn, which is very cute, but not good for making friends. I’m not saying you should go out there and advertise yourself, but even just starting small is something. You don’t really know a lot of my friends well, right? Well, they’re all fantastic people, and I think you should really try and get to know them, Penn, even if it’s just you and Elliot sitting down for lunch. I always wanted you to get yourself out there, you knew that. So do it. Try your best to… Because between you and me, they’re probably going to need you too. And if it comes out we were dating… Well, I’m sure Adelia and Sabian will have more than a few questions.

Cut yourself some slack. You’re too hard on yourself and you know it. Not everything is your fault, this included.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 08:39:27 PM by EffulgentFirefly »
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Offline MahluaandEggnog

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Re: The Will
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 07:26:52 PM »
Interesting premise, but the execution being in present tense is a bit of a confusing choice to me. Clearly her suicide is a past event that sets up the story. Perhaps it's the reliance on the word "when" that makes it awkward for me. It kind of confuses the chronology of events.

In any case, this looks like a story that could lead to some interesting places. I feel like a very similar premise has been worked with before, but I can't call to my mind just what.

Hmm...I suppose there is one thing that can help flesh this out a little more. If the readers are more familiar with the friends who find the notes in her locker, then it's possible that the increased sympathy will help push the story along. As of right now we don't even know their names. They carry no weight. It will be difficult to establish that momentum after the first chapter if left like this.

Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: The Will
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 07:45:32 PM »
Yeah, I'm not sure what the tense it's going to be in, especially in the letters. It makes a little more sense in the context of the actual story, considering it's read out (or I think it'll be). My timeline is pretty wonky right now, haha. Whatever middle school me was thinking while trying to plot this was incorrect, to say the least.

I totally agree with the character thing, though. It's probably one of my pet peeves when we're supposed to care about characters that we know nothing about. Everything makes a little more sense in the actual story, I think. I really want to flesh out the friends, because they're great characters on their own. Hopefully I can get around to posting a decent first chapter before summer hits, or even a second or third letter.

That was longer than it needed to be. Uh, thanks, is what I wanted to say  ;D
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Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: The Will
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 07:49:13 PM »
The brief description of the friends, plus a slightly updated version of the letter to all of them in the first post. Most of them aren't all that great because of how long ago I wrote them, but I can't be bothered to write much with the nasty virus going around and exams coming up.

Spoiler
Ven (Haven): Cody’s elder brother by a couple years, and a senior in her high school. Though they argue like any other siblings, they’re closer than most due to their mother serving as a military doctor and Cody’s constant issues with her mental health. They don’t speak much unless an issue has occurred, and he isn’t particularly friendly with any of her friends outside of Elliot and Penn.

Elliot: Cody’s childhood friend and somewhat of an older brother to her. They’ve known each other since 3rd grade, and though have their spats, have been friends since. He deals with her death with dark humour, and prefers to laugh through the tears. He’s probably the last of her geeky kind of friends, and they complimented each other well.

Lock (Lachlan): What people have teased is a male version of Cody. They are very much alike, other than the fact Lock swings to the more popular side and Cody the opposite. They would spend much time together in their free moments, and he taught her how to dance, despite the fact she resented it. They’ve known each other since sixth and seventh grade, when his middle school came to do a presentation at her elementary school. He’s slightly broken after her death, though becomes unexpectedly close with Micah as a result. He’s Sabian’s younger twin brother by sixteen days.

Sabian: Lachlan’s elder brother by about two weeks, though is much shyer and bookish. He’s been friends with Cody for years, about since they were in sixth and seventh grade, and has had a massive crush on her since high school. He’s quiet and shy, and often hides in the shadow of his brother. He becomes incredibly apathetic after her death, and it takes lots of time for him to recover, which he does through rekindling his friendship with his brother, and leaning on Maggie.

Maggie (Magnolia): A friend from middle school. Maggie’s quiet and sheltered from a lot of the world from her parents, and Cody would more often than not pull her out of her comfort zone. She’s never had to deal with death before, and is at a bit of a total loss. She and Sabian are good friends through Cody, and lean heavily on each other after her death.

Penn (Penrose): Cody’s boyfriend and presumed ‘soulmate’. Penn confessed his love to her on her second day of seventh grade, claiming that he’d fallen in love at first sight, and though it took awhile, they have been together since the middle of his last year of middle school. Penn deals with her death about just as badly as Micah and Riley, feeling as if he could have saved her from herself. Most of her music is given to him.

Micah: A boy Cody befriended in the second month of ninth grade, after he practically collapsed photographing her. He’s seriously narcoleptic, and although his cataplexy is not as severe (he tends to just drift off, and his cataplectic episodes only result in his voluntary movements stunted), it does tend to get worse with Cody’s death, especially since he’s been off his meds after the death of his sister (which was caused by overdose of the same meds) it has gotten worse. Though he reacts very poorly to her death, it eventually forces him to face his fears and his grief.

Adelia: A girl Cody met in ninth grade, who she has a bit of a love-hate relationship with. They act more like sisters than anything else, and though her hard, confident exterior doesn’t show it, she’s broken my Cody’s death, considering she was in denial about how sick she was, or how sick she had the potential to become. She typically distanced herself from people, but lets herself lean on Penn a little and him lean on her. She was briefly nicknamed Cody’s saving grace for ensuring her wellbeing after a harsh backstabbing.

I'd really love to write this story eventually D:
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 08:08:12 PM by EffulgentFirefly »
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Offline yulemaestro

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Re: The Will
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 08:23:57 PM »
How far are you on this story at the moment?

 I feel like Elliot is the most interesting character, but it'd be more interesting if there was a legit villain within the group of characters (Ven is interesting for sure though). Super weird thing to say for me especially since I suck at making bad guys, but they all seem like characters who in one way or another are friends or at least sympathetic of Codys' suicide. Also I feel like a setting would be helpful in framing the story. You don't need to be specific as in mention a city, but the reader should know what universe he is in.

Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: The Will
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 11:32:37 PM »
OP is updated with a very rough draft of what Cody's letter to Haven would look like. Definitely not great, but at least there's a jumping off point now.

How far are you on this story at the moment?

 I feel like Elliot is the most interesting character, but it'd be more interesting if there was a legit villain within the group of characters (Ven is interesting for sure though). Super weird thing to say for me especially since I suck at making bad guys, but they all seem like characters who in one way or another are friends or at least sympathetic of Codys' suicide. Also I feel like a setting would be helpful in framing the story. You don't need to be specific as in mention a city, but the reader should know what universe he is in.

Not far at all. This story has been sitting in my google drive for years, and I just dug out the scraps of it, so I'm basically starting from scratch. Probably not going to be moving along quickly anytime soon, especially not until I get some base things like the letters done.

I'm pretty sh*t at writing villains myself, actually, but that'd probably be a good idea. I remember thinking about having a villain outside the main group of friends, or for Ven to throw a lot of blame on Penn or Elliot or something, but I'm not sure if I'd want a true 'villain' within that main group of kids who got the letters, mostly because I originally wanted this to be some sort of 'coming-of-age' thing where a group of young people has to deal with that first big death. As of right now, though, that could definitely change. And setting-wise, it'll probably be some town in the Americas. I just gotta remember to mention stuff like this when I'm actually writing chapters and all.

It's a little irrelevant, but it's kind of funny that you mentioned Elliot because he and Magnolia are the only characters in this story directly based on people I know, so I guess writing them comes a bit more naturally, and I already know a lot about their characters, and how they would react in such a situation.
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Offline Weak

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Re: The Will
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 01:24:02 AM »
Man this story is really a dark thing, when i first read it, i had the sensation it was some kind of suicide letter in this forum (i hope such a thing never happen), so the feeling was real and i liked it. I became curious about what could come next, what could you bring to us.

One interesting thing i always thought, is that the saddest deaths of the stories, do not happen at the end of them, but at the beginning, because you will miss that character for a long trip...

Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: The Will
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 09:49:55 AM »
OP is edited for a little bit of grammar. I'll get back to you when I have the time, @Weak
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Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: The Will
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 05:43:10 PM »
Man this story is really a dark thing, when i first read it, i had the sensation it was some kind of suicide letter in this forum (i hope such a thing never happen), so the feeling was real and i liked it. I became curious about what could come next, what could you bring to us.

One interesting thing i always thought, is that the saddest deaths of the stories, do not happen at the end of them, but at the beginning, because you will miss that character for a long trip...

It's definitely kind of dark, but I'm glad it felt realistic! That's probably my biggest concern as I write the rest of the letters and all.

That's true, but you've gotta make the death meaningful. A character dying can be a great plot tool, though, done right.
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Re: The Will
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 08:39:40 PM »
An unfinished version of Penn's letter is in the OP. Unfortunately, I've misplaced the notebook with all the things Cody was going to say in everyone's letter, so unless I go through my dozens of papers and notebooks to find it, this probably won't be finished for awhile. Too bad.
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Re: The Will
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2018, 10:36:36 PM »
Really, really old versions of Micah and Sabian. Micah's POV and his character development with Cody's letter was originally going to kick off the story after some sort of prologue about Cody the night of her suicide, but I only got to typing out about a page of said first chapter before I abandoned the story. Some odd years later, I dug it out of my google drive, as well as an old scene that was just supposed to remind me Micah's narcolepsy essentially makes him see the 'ghosts' of Cody and his sister, Lisia, in his hallucinations.

I should probably just man up and find the notebook I lost instead of looking over old things like this, but we'll ignore that for now.  :sure:

Spoiler
“Hey, Micah, have you seen Cody today?”

Micah shook his head with a yawn as he grabbed his science and geography textbooks. “No. She gets here with Penn or Elliot sometimes though, and Penn gets here really early and Elliot gets here late. Why?”

“I, um…” He watched in amusement as Sabian’s cheeks flushed and his odd, mismatched eyes landed anywhere other than Micah’s face. The photographer laughed a little. “Right. I forgot you’re kind of obsessed with her.”

“I’m not obsessed with her,” Sabian argued, closing his own locker. “But she’s my friend. Sue me for worrying about her.”

“She’s my friend too,” Micah replied with a smile and another yawn. “And I’m not concerned about her every move.”

Sabian’s face seemed to turn even redder, and he opened his mouth to reply when the overhead loudspeaker interrupted him-

All students please go to their homeroom classes first period. All students must report to their homeroom for first period. Those with a free period homeroom or lack of a homeroom, please go to the library at this time.

“Homeroom…?” Micah yawned again-his sleep was incredibly off, and it was messing with him more than usual. “We don’t have homeroom until third period…”

“Well, I guess we’ll find out.” The small brunette boy nodded as they both made their way down the hallway. “I guess we will, huh?”

“Yeah…” He replied, but he couldn’t quite share Sabian’s innocent curiosity. It wasn’t often they were all called to homeroom, and when it was, it was either very good news… Or the opposite.

Micah had an itching feeling it was going to be the latter.


It seemed like they weren’t the only ones interested in what as going on, because the homeroom was nearly full as they both sat down. The girl on his left, a brunette named Rose, elbowed him. “You know what’s going on?”

“No idea. You?”

Rose shook her head and went silent as their teacher walked in. Ms. Spizirri smoothed down her dress before taking a stack of papers from her desk and clearing her throat. She seemed… Out of sorts for someone who was usually so bubbly, and it didn’t help the uneasy feeling in Micah’s gut.

It’s probably just some dumb renovation or strike being announced, honestly…


The class went silent, finally, and the young teacher spoke. “Good morning, all of you. I’m…” She hesitated, and stifling a yawn, Micah leaned forward on the edge of his seat, glancing over at Sabian, who was practically doing the same. He licked his lips to try and ease his anticipation a little.

“I’m sure many of you knew. Cody Azer.”

Micah felt a chill go up his spine, and his stomach flip. He knew Cody. He more than knew her, she’d been one of his best friends since their first month of high school. Forcefully, he swallowed. There was no need to jump to conclusions. For all he knew, she could be receiving some grand award for her music, or transferring while her mother was stationed elsewhere.

Of… Of course that’s what it is. I’m being ridiculous.

“I am… incredibly sorry to say,” Ms. Spizirri continued, her voice becoming small - much smaller than ever before - but continuing all the same. “She took her own life on Tuesday evening.”

What?

Micah could feel his knees go weak, his fingers go limp, his breathing stop as the world around him turned to white noise and pointless, incomprehensible fuzz. His jaw went slack, and he was fairly sure his heart had stopped with how much of his body had suddenly succumbed to the will of his cataplexy - but if it had, he didn’t have time to think about it as he slumped over his desk and was snatched away from the harsh reality.
In this one, Micah doesn't lose consciousness due to his cataplexy, considering cataplexy doesn't typically do that, or due to a sleep attack, but because of the stress and the sleep deprivation. Not all that convincing, sure, but good for the plot.

Spoiler
Her pulse is strong and comforting in his against his skin.

Her left fingertips are pressed to his cheek, firmly, but softly, and he’s involuntarily leaning into her comforting, familiar touch in his sleepy daze. He can’t see her, she’s placed behind him, and he wants to grab her hand and pull in front of him so desperately, but he also knows, somewhere in the back of his mind, she isn’t real. Even so, he drowsily reaches up to his cheek, a ghost of a smile drifting over his lips as he touches, warm, soft fingers. Cody… Lisia…

“Micah!”

Micah jumped as a strong grip shook him firmly, his eyes opening completely and the hand pressed to his face slipping away. His breathing skipped as he looked over wide-eyed to someone he couldn’t name right off the bat in his confusion. Quietly, he stumbled over his words as the boy across from him muttered under his breath, “Micah…”

“I-I…” The blue-eyed boy blinked as he realized what was happening-he was in history, working on his project with Sabian.

And Cody and Lisia are…

“S-sorry,” Micah cleared sleep and tears from his throat, quickly bringing himself back to his usually composed state. “I’m awake. You should’ve woken me sooner, Sabian.”

“Well, I know you haven’t been sleeping well.” Sabian gave him a little, tight-lipped smile that wasn’t really there. None of their smiles had been since Cody had died. Clearing his throat once again, Micah did his best to get the feeling back into his legs and shake the sleepy hallucinations away. He was already tired enough. He didn’t need to start worrying about the ghosts of his friend and sister, no matter how real they felt in his sleepy dazes.

Narcolepsy is a bitch.

I'm not all that familiar with narcolepsy compared to other neurological disorders, but I do want to emphasize the stress and the lack of him getting treatment or taking medicine is really impacting him. This wasn't the best written, but at least it reminded me what I wanted to do sometime later.
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