Let Me Fall After Her

Chapter 9 "I'm to blame"

He looked down at the crawling city below him. The cars were so small, as were the people. It was times like these where he refused to believe anything bad could happen to anyone out there. But that wasn't true, was it? He saw it happen every day, it happened to him. It happened to those around him.

He bit his lower lip as he realized that another one close to him had died, and he couldn't do a damn thing about it. It was either people left him, or they died. Bobby lucked out early, then his parents. The list continued from there, filled with many people. Now he could add Anna to that list. Twice. First she left, then she came back. Now she was dead.

He finally admitted it to himself. She was really gone, forever. He had this similar realization back when he found out Lucy had died. People one by one were dropping out of his life. And he was the only one left standing. Was there something about him? He'd wondered that all his life. After each disappointing relationship he would ask that about himself. Why couldn't God just take him, and leave the others here?

He looked over once more. Far below people were walking by on the sidewalks. Cars made their way through the street, on their way somewhere important. People had their lives down there. They had no idea what horrible things went on just inside the building they walked by each day.

It figured. Every time he'd think that he was back on his feet again, that he could make it in life, something had to fly in and destroy his dream. What was the point anymore? He got knocked down, got back up only to get knocked down again. He might as well just stay there, so life could keep knocking him down into the ground. There was no reason to get back up again.

He heard footsteps behind him, but kept his back to the person who decided to intrude on his thoughts. Again he looked out, a thought lingering in his mind about how well he could fly.

Mark stopped a few feet away, not wanting to trespass Carter's personal space. On his way up, he'd tried to compile together a few sentences of sympathy, but when he got over to him, he forgot everything.

"You know, I thought before that maybe, just maybe, a day would come where absolutely nothing bad would happen." Carter decided to forget the city and turned his back to it, leaning against the railing. "Of course, that was when I was a kid. Before I knew of all this." He guestured around him. "When Bobby died, I prayed that that would have been the only tragedy in my life. I couldn't handle any more. Butů then my parents left. They stuck me and my sister in a boarding school, and in the summers we stayed with my grandparents. But I was always hopeful. I still thought that things would get better." He smiled at his own ignorance. "Med school was a new start for me. I felt like I could make a better life for myself if I just broke away from my family. It was good, but still bad things would happen. I'd see it every day. Some kid would get shot, or some old guy would have a heart attack. When I was young, I never thought of anything like that, of death. What's really strange is thatů I'd never seem to be able to keep anyone close to me. They'd either leave or they'd die!" He laughed awkwardly, thinking Mark was crazy to even be listening to him. But to his surprise, he said nothing, just stood there, looking interested in what he had to say. "Harper left, all my, all my girlfriends left me. My cousin Chase almost died, Gant succeeded in killing himself. The EMT guy got shot when they really wanted me. Lucy died," he added hastily, "because I was too fucking stupid. And now Anna? Can you see some sort of pattern here, Mark? Do you realize how all these people ended up getting fucked over just because they knew me?"

"You can't blame yourself for what happens to other people, Carter. And you're not some bad luck charm. What about me, huh? I've known you ever since you came here as a med student, and you haven't done anything to me." He knew it was a bad line, but it sounded as crazy as what Carter spoke about.

"You got a brain tumor," Carter retorted.

Mark's eyes lit up. "Oh, so now you're going to blame yourself because I had a genetic health problem?," he exclaimed.

"No, I'm not blaming myself for that. I'm just saying thatů I don't even know what I'm saying." He ran a hand through his hair. "I just think maybe I should be locked up or die or something. It would probably make life easier for a lot of people." He walked briskly passed Mark towards the door that led back downstairs. Mark immediately followed.

"You know, Carter, I thought you'd have a lot more sense than to be talking this bullshit."

Carter stopped, slowly looking back at him.

"Yes, bad things do happen, but you're not the only person who sees it. I see it, Kerry sees it, everyone does. Don't think that you're the odd one out. We all feel like there's things we want to change but can't. It's the way the world works and most of us just have to accept it! If you can't find some way of dealing with things that happen, then I suggest you seek some professional help. Because obviously you didn't get enough of it when you were in Atlanta!"

Carter regarded him harshly. Truth be told, he had no words to say back to that. He tried to hold back his emotions as he turned away towards the stairs, wanting just to get as far away from everyone as possible.

Mark cursed himself loudly when the door slammed shut, leaving him alone on the roof. Wrapping his arms firmly around himself, he walked over to the railing and hung his head low.

Part 10
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