What Is A Life Worth?

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Francis stared at Arthur, who stared back at him, with tears in his eyes. How did it come to this? How did he end up in a hosptial bed, stiches and bandages covering his arms, while an IV dripped blood into his body?

"Francis…why did you do this? Why didn’t you say anything to me, or anyone?" Arthur finally asked, running his hand down his face and closing his eyes. Francis could see how much this tore at Arthur. The british man, and himself were normally always fighting, but they cared for each other.

"I’m sorry…" Francis bit his lip to keep himself from bursting into tears, and stared down at his arms. When did it all start, anyways? 

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When Francis started 11th grade, he thought the year would be perfect. He’d spent the last few years making as many friends as he could, and he enjoyed the variety they brought into his life. He felt safe, and assumed that at least most of his friends cared about him. So after the first month of school, Francis decieded he would ‘come out of the closet’. And he’d never wished so desperatly before for a redo. Many of the people in his school freaked out. And while he did end up losing a lot of his friends, a few of them stuck by his side.

While it had hurt him a lot, Francis tried to ignore it. What he couldn’t ignore though, were the whispers he heard when he was walking down a hallway alone. More then a few times, a friend found him in the bathroom crying because of it. And it only got worse from there. Students became more bold, and began to speak louder and louder, until they were nearly yelling at him. And it didn’t stop there. No, they began to push him, and as time went on, they began to beat him, harder and harder each time they did it. 

Francis knew at that point that he couldn’t keep bothering his friends, so he didn’t say anything, and hid it as best as he could. But of course, the world wasn’t done tormenting him yet. Right before school ended for summer break, his mother was in a car accident. She was in a coma for over a month before his father couldn’t stand to see her looking so broken anymore. The doctors had already told them it would be a miracle if she woke up again. And his father couldn’t take the stress. So, he had them take her off life support. 

The blonde felt his world closing in on him. His mother had always been there for him when he came home from school, crying. She would wipe away his tears, and tell him things would get better. That it would just take a while, but his life would be amazing one day, and she couldn’t wait to see what he made of himself. And now she never would. 

Francis thought that life was over for him. He never thought he’d smile again. But over the summer, he’d met a boy, a tall red-head who smiled kindly at him everytime they saw each other. He found out the boy was one of his friends older brother, James. He ended up getting very close to the boy, and soon they began to date. Francis thought that life was getting at least a little bit better. But then he found out James was cheating on him with some girl he’d met in college. 

He couldn’t believe it. The boy he’d fallen in love with…the boy he’d given his virginity to, was basically just using him until school started again, and he found someone there. James had just smirked, while Francis had cried his eyes red. Not long after that, he began to wonder what the point was. Why was he still here, when nothing seemed to want him around?

His father had been taking more and more business trips, sometimes being gone for a month. And when he was home, he barely spoke to his only son. As the year wore on, Francis began to notice his friends had less and less time for him. It was that, or they were just sick of him. And he couldn’t blame them. Francis didn’t even want to be around himself. 

Soon, he grew to the point where he was so tired all of the time, but couldn’t sleep at all, and he wasn’t eating well. He just, didn’t feel hunger. His friends had noticed that he was spending more time by himself, and was less likely to join them in activities he used to enjoy, but just wrote if off as stress. When spring evetually rolled around, the blond felt like the world was collapsing in on him, and he couldn’t fight it off anymore. Thoughts of just, ending it kept coming to his mind, and he couldn’t just brush them off. 

He felt worthless, and could hardly remember a time when he was happy. He tried so hard to hide it from his friends, and it shook him to his core when he realized no one noticed anyways. He found himself wondering if maybe he wasn’t as close to his friends as he thought. His thoughts were dark, and scared him.

When one day, he suffered a beating halfway through school, and didn’t have the energy to cover up the marks left by the bully, and no one said anything, he knew. He knew he wasn’t worth anything, to anyone. He had figured it all out. No one needed him. No one would miss him. He wasn’t worth the air he was forced to breath. 

He couldn’t wait to get home. He had to do it now. Walking into the one of the schools rarely used bathrooms, Francis pulled out the razor someone had once thrown at him, when they’d told him to kill himself. Well, wouldn’t that person be happy? He was finally taking their advice.

Looking at himself one last time, all he could see was a broken soul. And soon, he’d have a body to match it. Pressing the razor into his wrist, he dragged it up to his elbow, gasping at the pain. Before he could talk himself out of it, he did the same to the other arm. Carefully sitting on the floor, he let his head gently smack the wall. It was finally ending. 

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"You could have talked to one of us, you know?" Arthur said after an hour of silence had passed. Francis looked up at the other blond, surprised to see him crying. He had thought no one had cared about him. "Do you know how much it killed me when I saw your body being taken out of the school, on a strecher? Do you know how much it hurt all of us? We thought you wouldn’t make it. We thought you were already dead." He continued, nearly sobbing. Francis couldn’t help but cry as well, wondering how he’d missed seeing that his friends did care for him. 

Another moment of silence passed before a nurse came clattering into the room with a tray. She gave Francis a soft smile, and the frenchman surprised himself by remembering her from when his mother had been in the hospital. 

"Hello deary. Lunch time~" She sang softly, setting the tray down carefully on the little table next to his bed. "I’m glad you’re awake hun. I’ve got some bad news for you though. When the doctors feel you’re well enough, you’re going to be transfored to the psychartic ward. In a little bit someone will come in to check on your vitals, and if you’ll probably be taken there after that." She told him, patting his hand carefully. She gave him one last smile before leaving the room. 

Francis stared at the door she’d gone out of, being crying again. This is not what he’d wanted, not at all. Setting his head in his hands, he didn’t see Arthur move. But he felt him when the brit hugged him tightly. Curling up into the warmth the other had to offer, Francis finally let out the tears of hurt, of all the pain. After a few minutes, he pulled back a little, and carefully wiped at his eyes while sniffling.

"Arthur…why are you here? Shouldn’t you be in school?" He finally asked, leaning against his friend once again. 

"Well, it was decided that you shouldn’t be alone, at all. So we thought that it would be okay if one of us missed a day once in a while to stay the day with you. Yesterday, Alfred stayed here, and tomorrow it’ll probably be Gilbert. At least one of us will see you everyday though." Arthur told him, stroking the blond hair underneath his head. Francis felt like crying again, because he couldn’t believe how kind, and sweet his friends were. 

"Thank you. Thank you so much" He sniffled into his friends neck, trying to keep the tears at bay. A gentle squeeze was his reply.

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The nurse had been right. After two hours, a doctor came in and check Francis over before having him sent to the other part of the hospital. Francis was lucky enough to get his own room, so Arthur was allowed to stay with him as he adjusted. They sat in silence for most of the day, until a bunch of his friends showed up, each carrying either a bag, or flowers. Again, Francis felt like crying.

In the bags were clothes, and personal items, along with some photos of his friends. He was given hugs by his friends, and then they all just sat around in the small room, just talking. Visiting hours came to an end soon though, and Francis was left alone again, but with promises of friends returning. He let a small smile drift over his face before he fell into sleep.

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As days turned into weeks, Francis had to talk to a doctor, who was trying to help him. He felt amazing, being able to just let it all out. As he and the doctor delved into his life, Francis began to learn skills that would help him deal with what he learned was depression. He learned that it wasn’t really all the uncommon of a thing, and he was lucky enough to be able to recieve treatment. 

The doctor was hesitant to put him on medication, due to his age, so they began to practice ways that Francis could overcome the problems he was experiancing. After two months, his doctor felt that Francis was no longer a danger to himself or others, and he was discharged, with an appointment already set up with a therapist he would have to visit twice a week. Luckily, he’d been able to catch up on his school work at the hospital, so he would graduate in a few weeks. 

When he finally returned home, he saw his fathers car in the driveway. Walking inside, he was met with the site of his father crying into his hands. When the man heard the door shut, his head snapped up, and he looked at his son for the first time in months. Walking over to the teen, he hugged him tightly and began to whisper that he was sorry. Francis hugged him back, and his smile was so large, his face began to hurt.

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It took Francis years to finally be able to enjoy life to it’s fullest again. The therapist he’d been seeing for years waved him off with a smile, a reminder that in a year, they’d have another meeting. It was time for him to live his life to the fullest. As he walked out of the building, he had to blink back tears at the sight that met him. All of his friends were in the parking lot, and they were holding up a sign that said “Congradualtions Francis! We knew you could do it!”

They all cheered when he threw his arms up in the air and laughed in joy. Running towards them, he was caught up in a large group hug. When he pulled back, he noticed Arthur standing off to the side, with a slight blush on his face. Ever since that first day when he’d woken up in the hospital, he’d grown extremely close to the brit with bushy eyebrows. 

In fact, they’d grown so close, they’d almost begun dating. But Arthur had held off, saying he didn’t want to damage any of the work Francis had done. He’d promised that if Francis felt the same after he was discharged from therapy, that they’d try a relationship. And today was finally that day. Walking slowly towards Arthur, the lighter blond had to hold back a squeal when he was grabbed around the waist and brought into a loving kiss. Their friends all laughed in the background, but all of them secretly thought it was cute. In fact, many of them discreetly took photo’s of the couple. 

"I’m so proud of you Francis. You made it so far… You’re an amazing person. You survived hell, and came back." Arthur whispered, gazing into blue eyes. Francis gave him a wide smile and hugged Arthur tightly. Turning his head slightly to look at all of the people around him, Francis couldn’t help but think that he couldn’t have done it without the support of such amazing people. Life finally seemed worth it again, like it had all those years ago. 

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For my project