Breathless || Marcel Styles

Marcel Styles had always been the outcast. He stuck to himself, hiding away in the library, his only safe haven. When a new student, Ariel Parker, having stood out for not only being fresh meat but also her cherry red hair, comes into Marcel's life, he's unsure what to do. Would he get to know her and make friends with her or pretend she had never existed just as everyone had done to him his whole life? Sooner or later the two would have to butt heads and after a while, Marcel finds himself stuck in Ariel's gravitational pull. He couldn't claw his way out even if he wanted to. He wanted to figure Ariel out; she was a complete mystery and he wanted to solve her puzzle.


8. Chapter 8

"H-Harry." I call, irritated. When he doesn't answer, I leave my room, going into his. "H-Harry w-where'd you p-put my O-Oxy?" I ask, finding him on his bed, nose tucked into his phone.


"I didn't take it," He shrugs.


"Y-Yes you d-did. I-It's not on my nightstand," I groan.


Harry looks up at me then, rolling his eyes. "Fine, maybe I did take it. What're you going to do?"


"H-Harry, give it back, p-please," I beg. The pill I had taken never ended up working and I was left to wonder why. Was I somehow becoming immune to them?


"I already told you, Marcel, I'm not going to let you do this to yourself,"


I roll my eyes with defeat and walk out and into the bathroom. I look around for some Tylenol in the bathroom mirror shelf and when I don't find my shaving razor inside, my eyebrows furrow. I stomp back into Harry's room, fuming and say, "Y-You took my r-razor, t-too? What else are y-you going to t-take from m-me?"


Harry sighs, sliding on his shoes and says, "You said it'd be better if you were dead, Marcel. I'm not going to take that lightly. You're lucky I'm not telling Mom," A sigh leaves my lips and Harry gets off his bed, grabbing his backpack. "C'mon we've got to get to school," I nod, following slowly after him yet my mind was racing. Harry really thought I was going to kill myself? Do I really want that?


I walk into school with my head down, not willing myself to look up at anyone. When I get to gym, I subconsciously scan the room for Ariel and when I find she's not there, I sigh with disappointment. School passes by slowly and I am surprised of how Zayn and his friends don't mess with me. Besides the fact that Ariel wasn't here and Harry thought I was suicidal, everything seemed alright.


The bell rings and I walk to my locker at a snail's pace. It seemed like years until I got there and when I do, I find Harry and Liam standing in front of it. "W-What do you guys w-want?" I ask uncertainly.


"We came as sort of an intervention, Marcel," Liam tells me and I let out an irritated sigh as I open my locker, throwing my books inside of it. "We care about you, you know that, right?" He asks me and I nod, hoping to somehow worm my way out of this. "Then you know that we'd never want to see you hurt yourself,"


"I-I'm not," I tell him, kicking at the floor.


"Then why'd Harry tell me you said you'd be better off dead?" Liam asks, running a hand through his cropped hair.


I slam my locker shut, irritated and shaky. "I-It doesn't m-matter," I tell them and when I start to talk away, Liam grabs ahold of my arm, pressing hard against the bruises, making me wince. "Y-You want to k-know the t-truth? Y-Yes I-I don't w-want to b-be here. I-I'd rather b-be dead," I watch both of their faces pale and I shake my head, cursing myself for saying such things in front of them. "I-I'm going d-down this spiral a-and the Oxy i-is the only t-thing keeping m-me afloat a-and I can't e-even have t-that," My voice comes out a whisper and tears are pricking in my eyes. I walk away from them then, not looking back and ignoring their worried whispers. I needed to get home and find where Harry hid my Oxycontin.


I walk home quickly, ignoring the pain in my muscles as they strain to hold my weight and when I get home, I desperately search for the white pill bottle. I turn the house upside down and as soon as the tears prick in my eyes again, my phone goes off. "H-Hello?" I whisper into the receiver.


"Hey, Marc. What're you up to?" Ariel asks. Do I lie to her? Do I not?


"I-I'm looking f-for m-my Oxy," I whimper.


"Marcel, why?" She asks, sound concerned.


"B-Because I can't d-do this anymore, A-Ariel. N-No one s-seems t-to understand t-that t-this stupid p-pill sweeps m-me away f-from e-everything," Ariel and I fight over the phone for a few minutes until the door swings open and I hear Harry's bag clunk on the hardwood floor. I sigh sadly into the mic and say, "I-I guess you g-got what you w-wanted. H-Harry's h-home," I tell her before hanging up the phone and heading to my room.


I hear Harry following after me, his footsteps calm and steady, mine erratic and irregular. I make it to my bedroom and collapse on my mattress, feeling dizzy and disoriented. "Marcel, are you alright?" Harry asks me uncertainly. I shrug my shoulders, ignoring the nausea that had settled in the pit of my stomach. "You look really pale. Are you sure you're feeling okay?"


"I-I'm fine, Harry," I lie and rest my head in my hands. They shook as I pull them away to look at my brother and at this, Harry turns even more worried.


"Marcel, have you been eating?" He asks. I shrug my shoulders again and Harry sighs, looking distressed as he sits down on the edge of my bed like he had been doing almost routinely. "I see you at lunch. You just pick at your food. Why aren't you eating?"


"I-I want to b-be the kid t-that Mom wants and I can't d-do that if I gain w-weight." I mumble, ashamed.


"Fuck what Mom wants, Marcel. Since when has her opinion mattered? She hits you. Someone who does that doesn't deserve to matter to you, okay? Please, just-just eat something. Something small like apples and peanut butter and a glass of water," He begs.


"I-I just want to sleep," I whimper, clenching my shaking hands into fists.


Harry nods sadly. "I'll wake you up in an hour and see if you're hungry then," He promises and I nod, flashing him a small smile so he wouldn't feel too badly about this. The hour passes by quickly and when Harry shakes my shoulder to wake me, it felt like mere minutes. "Are you ready to eat something now, mate?" He asks. I shrug my shoulders weakly and Harry helps me out of bed. "C'mon, I'll help you,"


We somehow make it to the kitchen and when I catch sight of Ariel's flaming red hair, my breath hitches in my throat. "A-Ariel, what're you doing here?" I ask with confusion.


The redhead sighs and I sit in the chair across from her. "I came to try and convince you to eat," She tells me and when I look down to see what's in her hands, I find apples and peanut butter, the food Harry had suggested. My stomach lurches uncomfortably at the sight of food and nausea settles in my throat. I was seconds away from being sick and it seemed Ariel and Harry knew that too. Ariel sets her free hand on top of mine and says, "It's okay to eat, Marcel. Your mom's opinion doesn't matter,"


I nod, trying my best to grab a slice of apple and a swipe of peanut butter without feeling too disgusted and as I put it up to my lips, the smell of the peanut butter makes me gag. I shake my head, throwing the food down and rest my head in my hands, taking deep breaths to keep from getting sick. Harry rubs my back and mumbles, "Sh, it's alright, Marcel. You're okay,"


I nod, picking up my head to meet their worried gazes. My head was pounding and my limbs felt limp and stiff as they shook more and more with each minute. "I-I d-don't feel g-good, y-you guys,"


"We know," Ariel mumbles. "It's because you haven't eaten in twenty four hours. Please, just eat this. For me and Harry. Just one slice," She hands me a slice of the apple and I take in the gold charm bracelet around her wrist which jingled as our hands met.


The room quiets as soon as I have the apple slice in my hand and my stomach churns as it touches my lips. I take a small bite out of it and the tart juices make me cringe. I shake my head again, forcing myself to swallow before I set the slice down. "I-I can't," I whisper.


Although she looks upset, Ariel nods and gets up from her chair, waiting for me to do the same. Once we are both standing, Ariel takes me to my room, hand pressed lightly on my back and I try to ignore the tingle that was left at her touch. She then watches me go under my blankets and before she leaves, she tells me, "I'm only a phone call away," I nod slowly and she shuts off my light before walking down the hallway.


I hear whispers down the hallway and they quickly turn to shouts within seconds. "It was one bite of an apple slice," Harry growls, sounding irritated.


"It's better than nothing, isn't it?" Ariel replies and I could almost picture her there with her hands on her hips, blazing blue eyes like lasers on yours.


"Barely," Harry replies.


After a couple minutes of their fighting, I come out into the hallway where they stood, tears in my eyes. "St-Stop it. P-Please," I beg, voice coming out a whisper.


When Harry looks over at me, I find his eyes angry. I take a step back, intimidated and he says, "Do you know what you don't understand, Marcel? What you don't get is that you're weak. You're pathetic. You're useless. That'll never change with people holding your hand and trying to get you to eat a goddamn apple slice! And let me tell you that--"


"Harry, stop it!" Ariel screams as she watches the tears glide down my cheeks. She starts walking my way and I only shake my head, turning on my heel and heading toward my room, careful to lock the door behind me. "Marcel, please, open up," Ariel begs and her tone sounded desperate.


"N-No," I whisper, sliding down the other side of the door, head in my hands. My palms are quickly moistened by salty tears and Harry's words echo in my head. Weak. Pathetic. Useless. A sob leaves my lips and that was when I realize that it was true. If my own brother thought I was pathetic, it meant everyone else did as well. I scan my room in desperation and when I find my bottle of Oxycontin on my nightstand, I let out a sigh of relief. I scurry over to it and pop open the cap.


"Shit. I put his Oxy on his nightstand while he was asleep. What if he..." My brother trails off then, both of them thinking of the worst and suddenly that thought races through my head. Would I commit suicide tonight? It sounded like a good plan since my own brother was ashamed of me. What else did I really have left?


"Marcel, I know what you're thinking. Please don't commit suicide. Please. I-I need you. I care about you. I-I don't know if that means much but I don't want to see you going anywhere. I need you here with me," Ariel's breathing is heavy as she says this and from how she was sniffling on the other side of the door, I could tell she was crying but would that stop me from swallowing this handful of pills? End it all now?


"Ariel, I-I--" My words come out a whisper and I'm not sure she heard me. My hands shook as I look down at the pills, thinking this over. Was I really ready to do this? I rest my head in my hands which were still trembling and my breathing comes out harsh and uneven. I could already feel an anxiety attack coming on but even through my mess of mind, I knew what was the right thing.


I stumble over to the door and unlock it, opening it slowly, red faced and sobbing. "Oh, Marcel, thank god," Ariel whispers and encases me in a hug. Her tears instantly soak my shirt yet she holds me closer nonetheless. "Thank you for not doing that to yourself. I don't know what I'd ever do without you," Her words make my heart flutter yet it kills me inside knowing they were only said as friendly.


"C-C'mon," I whisper, pulling apart. She follows me to her car and hands me the keys with confusion. I see Harry standing at the front door, guilt present on his face and I shake it off, starting the engine before driving off.


"So where are we going?" Ariel asks as she wipes the last of her tears away.


"Y-You'll see," I could see her staring at me from the corner of my eye and I keep mine locked on the road. I park just before the sand and I force a smile before I say, "Y-Your thinking place,"


Ariel sends me a smile and she takes my hand as we walk down the sand. We sit on dunes and after a moment, she says, "Were you really going to k-kill yourself, Marcel?"


"I-I dunno." I admit. "I don't think so," I say as I think deeper. "I-I just don't get why Harry w-would say those things t-to me. A-Actually I do," I say as the two of us listen to the lapping waves. "H-He is ashamed to call m-me his brother. I-I'm the awkward n-nerdy kid w-with a stutter a-and no self esteem. W-Who would want a brother like that?"


Ariel cups her cheek in her palm and with her free hand, grabs onto mine. "I like you, Marcel. Stutter or no stutter. Nerdy or not. Self esteem or no self esteem. It doesn't matter to me and it never will," She says and in that moment, everything seemed right.

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