This is Phil, after Dan has, well you know.
I get a call at half nine, while I'm taking part in my daily routine of drinking away my guilt for leaving my Dan in there, I know he hates it- he told me. The call was from them.
"Hello? Philip Lester, closest friend of Daniel Howell?" The high-pitched nasal, girly voice on the other end of the phone is already irritating me, and I repress the urge to hang up. I don't, because she mentioned my Dan.
"Yes, that's me? What is it? Is Dan okay?" My annoyance is obvious, but the woman doesn't seem to notice.
"Well, we're going to need you to come in... there's been an accident concerning... Dan."
My heart stops. "A-accident?"
"Yes, sir. I'm afraid... well, come in. It's not something I can say over the phone."
I am already pulling my boots on. "Okay! I'm on my way!" And I hang up, and rush out the door.
I jump into my car, my dangling shoe laces getting trapped in the door. "Shit!" I finally get them unhooked, and speed off.
The usual twenty minute drive seems longer, and shorter at the same time. Shorter, because I'm driving at ninety. And longer, because my brain is shooting horrible scenarios at me, worrying me as I press down harder on the gas, making the world outside whir by- just flashes of light flying past me.
Soon - but not soon enough - I pull up to the building I've seen every week for the past two years. It's large, dark windows seem to look down on me, hiding a secret only I don't know- but soon will. I rush through the creaky doors, and sprint to the front desk.
"Dan H- Daniel Howell! Where is he?!" I say to the guy sat behind the desk. He gives me a pitiful glance and points to a door to the right of us. I flash through it in a second, then stop. I finally see Dan. But...
He's lying on a cold metal table. His hands are lying, limp, by his sides. His beautiful face is streaked with tears, twisted into a pain-filled grimace. On his neck, are thin purple ropes, contrasting with the once-brown, grey pallor of his skin. He doesn't even look asleep. He looks dead. Well and truly dead. And he won't come back alive like the stupid zombie movies we used to love watching. He will stay dead, forever.
Several people in white coats have turned to watch me, but I don't spare them a moment of my time. My Daniel's here, and he's dead. Dan's dead, gone, forever.
"Mr Lester?" There's an annoyingly nasal voice, talking at me. Shut up. "Mr Lester?"
"WHAT?!" I roar, and at the same time, lunge towards the body of my soulmate. I take his clammy hand between mine and hold it to my cheek. I'm not even crying.
Silence. Good, maybe they've gone. Now I can be alone with my baby.
"We're sorry, Mr Lester." A small voice says- no, whispers. I think I scared her. I just stay silent, spending my moment with Dan in pseudo-peace.
Finally, I hear a door shut and I sigh.
"They've gone now Danny. We're okay now." Then I think again. "Wait, you've gone too. You left me Danny, you've left me alone. I'll never feel the same again..." I stand, and climb up onto the table on which my baby lies on. I push him over a bit, and slide next to him. His arm is placed around my shoulders, an old familiar gesture- but not anymore. I wrap my arm around his waist, and press my face into his chest. His chest is silent, the once strong-beating heart now still. His dark brown locks are still as soft as ever, and longer. He still smells the same, sweet and warm.
"This is my fault." I whisper into his chest. It is. I put him in here. I'm the reason he's in here. And I'm the reason why he's now gone. I told him he's better off in here. I condemned him to this prison, I finalised his sentence. I murdered my Dan.
"Daaaaan..." There are no other words in my mental dictionary. My world has now disappeared. My reason for living has gone too. Now I know what he felt, but he felt it for longer, so much longer.
The door bangs open, and several figures rush in. My face is still pressed to his body, nothing should be able to move me. But I feel a sharp sting in my neck, and the world goes fuzzy.
"... I love you, Dan...ny..." And then I can't remember.
I wake up to see a plain white ceiling above me. A clock ticks, and light is filtering in from the left side of the room. My breathing is slow and calm. Then it grows into hiccoughing gasps as I recall last nights events. Dan.
"Phil?... Phil! Stop! Stop it! Look at me! It's me!" Who? I can't remember anyone but my Danny. I turn my head, uneagerly seeking the source of a voice I don't want. I am greeted by friendly face, brown fringe and hazel eyes. Chris Kendall, one of my best friends. Him, me, PJ, and... Dan were called the Fantastic Foursome by our subscribers on Youtube.
"Hey Phil, how are you?" I just stare at him. How does he think I am?
After Chris attempting to get me to talk, he just leaves me alone, with a warning of, "Don't do anything... dangerous." And a warning/sympathetic look.
I turn to Dan's usual side of the empty bed, and hope, once again, that he'll be there; either lying next to me, snoring quietly. Or watching me silently as he used to do, his chocolate eyes sparkling with happy joy when I'd look at him, the first thing I'd see in the mornings.
But he's not there, again. I should know by now, but I never learn. I now know he's not coming back, so I'll have to join him. But my Dan went through two years of torture: waiting on false pretenses, thinking I'd be coming to get him; I wish. So badly. To try and make up for what I put him through, I'll go through the same thing. I'll wait for two years of agony, for my Dan, then I can be with him again.
It's funny, I never really believed in God, and the afterlife and such. But if it's the only way I'll ever see Dan again, it's real to me now.
Deleted Youtube accounts, annoyingly inquiring family members and drunken stupors inhabit the next - almost - two years. I don't go out much, but when I do, I have to wear Dan's old Manchester University hoody. I've taken to wearing his clothes all the time now- it doesn't make me feel any closer to him, but it comforts me slightly. Dan's hoody also covers the many cuts all over my body, created by the agony of waiting to join my baby up there. Wherever that is, it doesn't matter, but it's got to be better than this, because Dan'll be there.
I still write lyrics sometimes, but listening to other peoples are better. Fall Out Boy even dedicated a song to me: 'I'm Like a Lawyer With the Way I'm Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)'. The first few lyrics are the most perfect:
'Last year's wishes are this year's apologies
Every last time I come home
I take my last chance to burn a bridge or two
I only keep myself this sick in the head
‘Cause I know how the words get you
We're the new face of failure
Prettier and younger but not any better off
Bulletproof loneliness at best, at best
Me and you, setting in a honeymoon
If I woke up next to you, if I woke up next to you.'
Then most of the time, I just spend reminiscing. About the good times I had with Dan, like the time we announced we were together to PJ and Chris, and then to the subscribers- everyone was so happy for us. Or our first date- we went in disguise so no one would recognise us. Or our first kiss- that's my favourite. It was when I was incredibly depressed and suicidal-. A lot like I am now actually, but now I don't have him to convince me otherwise. I was sat in my room, contemplating how painful it would be, when he walked in on me talking to myself. He talked me down from it, and just as I was about to pass out, you kissed me. He also kept me awake for a few more minutes. And I know he stayed with me the whole night, because every time I woke from a nightmare, you were there to comfort me.
Now he's keeping me alive for a few more minutes. It's five minutes to twelve, until I have spent my self-inflicted probation, and will be set free. I gather my special things, and climb slowly onto my bed. I lie on Dan's side, and watch the clock. I imagine his arms encircling me, telling me it's almost time, almost time. Then I'll be set free, free to find him. My soulmate, the one I'm meant for, and no one will ever replace.
The noisy clock hand finally ticks past the twelve, signalling my departure. I bring my knees to my chest, like Dan used to do, and draw my wrist into my line of sight. The razor in my hand is old, and worn after all the times I'd given in, been weak. Dan wasn't weak, he suffered through it, with no help. But I'm not brave, not like Dan.
All I feel is a severe feeling of release as the rusty blade is pressed into my skin, then it glides across the pale skin of my untouched wrist. I saved my most preciously delicate skin, just for this one-time-only purpose. The alabaster skin is then poisoned by the scarlet liquid that runs down my arm, flowing into the creases of the other, deeper cuts on its way down. I press down deeper, eager to get this life over with.
I suddenly want to be with Dan so much that I cry with happiness for the first time in years, because I'll get to join my baby again. I'll get to cuddle him, to draw him close and tuck my head under his chin. I'll get to wake up, and see his smiling face, glistening eyes and warm, happy smile welcoming me home. My baby, I miss him so much. This seemingly-permanent feeling in my chest will finally dissipate, and I will be free.
The blood pools on the sheets beneath me, and I rest the blade on them to pick up my favourite picture of us and lean it against the pillow for me to see. Then I grip the instrument and slice again. The photograph is from when we went to Florida, where we both hail from. We were on the coast, watching the sunset. An old couple offered to take a picture of us, 'to commemorate the moment', the little old lady said, smiling. Dan snuggled me under his gangley arm, and put his head on mine. I placed my cheek on his chest in that old familiar position and grinned like the smitten idiot I was. I remember thinking that we'll grow old together, like the couple. But we didn't. I was ignorant of the ugly world around us, too wrapped up in our bubble of love. And who could blame me? I loved him, love him. The sun was setting around us, and everything was perfect. That night was the night I decided, one day, I would have married him. But after that trip, PJ got sick. So I had to help him, spend a bit more time with him. And Dan didn't like that. That holiday was the best time of our lives, and the last time we were really together.
Now everything's going shadowy, and I feel my tears streaming more and more down my face. I'm going to be with Danny! I'll be with him again! My heart aches so badly now, as I know it will be soon, so soon...
My eyes feel heavy, like I haven't opened them for a long time. So as I twitch them, to get them to move, I take in my surroundings. I'm lying on my side. I hear the loud, obnoxious ticking of my bedside clock, I can faintly see a pale light through my stiff eyelids. But then. Then, I notice a weight in front of me. Then, my eyes don't seem heavy anymore. They flick open, and are greeted by the sweetest sight ever created. My Daniel.
His dark brown hair is a halo surrounding his angelic face. His mouth is turned up in a beautiful smile, sad but so, so happy. His amazingly deep, dark chocolate eyes are sparkling with tears, and they seem to be of joy. My Dan.
"My Phil." He leans forward, and captures my lips in the most innocent kiss. I am stunned for several moments, before my arms claim their right to wrap themselves around his slim waist. I cling to him, and I feel him smile. He pulls back, and brings his hand up to stroke my face. "I waited for you." His voice is a balm, soothing me from my nightmare and lifting my spirit.
"Danny... I love you. I love you! I love you so much, it hurt so much when you left me. Why did you go?" He stares into my eyes.
"Phil, you left me first."
Then I remember, I left him. I left him to look after PJ. I left him when he needed me the most. Then he turned the tables, and gave me a dose of my own medicine. My just desserts, what I deserved.
"But that doesn't matter now. Because we're together, now. Why did you wait so long?"
"I deserved to wait. You waited, so I had to too." I look down then. He rests his forehead on mine, and whispers, "You didn't have to. I just wanted you, as soon as possible."
Then we just hug, for an uncountable amount of time. Soon though, Dan - my Danny - says, "You do know we're dead, don't you?" And I nod, smiling. We get forever together.
"Okay, well that's good then." He says in a quiet voice.
We spend the whole day just spending time in each others company. We talk about our favourite moments together. We cuddle. We kiss. We proclaim our love for each other, numerous times. Then we make dinner together. Then, when the clock is nearing twelve again, we go to bed. We don't take our sides, it's just us together, in the middle. We hug each other so tightly, it should hurt, but it really doesn't. We mutter 'I love you's so many times, I can't count. It is the best day of my life. Then when we're both incredibly sleepy, everything goes fuzzy, like it did in my last moments alive.
"Dan? What's happening?" He looks down at me, with those dark, wide eyes. I know something's wrong.
In a quiet voice he says, "I don't know... Phil, I love you so much. Nothing compares to how I love you. Every day without you hurt like a fresh stab wound. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you again. Just, please, don't go. Don't leave me again."
Everything is fuzzy now, everything but Dan. I feel incredibly calm, and sure that we won't be separated.
"I won't leave you Danny. I'm moving somewhere new, but you're coming with me this time." Our grip on each other tightens, as everything around us fades to white. If I wasn't with Dan, I would be panicking. But he is here, in front of me, so everything is good. Wherever we go, we'll be okay. Because we'll be together, forever. And finally, after exactly four years, I wake up with my one true love next to me. My life is now perfect.
Then everything fades into a pearly white glow, and as Dan smiles, my heart gives a tug and we float away together. Wherever, whenever, whatever- nothing matters but me and Dan. My soulmate.