Thursday, April 19, 2012

"My Name is Kenny" Chapter 16: Friends Forever

South Park fanfiction. 
Rated T for swearing, violence, and some sexual themes.

And so that brings us to now. How long has it been? A day? A year? All I really know is that since Lizzy committed suicide, I haven't left my room, except eating occasionally. Well, that's not quite true. The first thing I had done after finding Lizzy was to go over to Henrietta's house and get some of her razors.

I sit on my bed, my parka lying on the floor so that my arms are exposed. The razor sinks into my forearm, and the pain comes. When I saw people like Henrietta do this, I had thought at first that they were just masochistic enough to enjoy it. But now I understand; the pain is a distraction. It helps me to not think about Lizzy or Kyle. Every time remembering them becomes too hard, I cut myself again, and focus on the pain until it eventually fades. Then the cycle repeats.

By now, my arms are weak, and covered with more wounds than I can count. I make sure my parka was clean, so I can hide the scratches from my parents; no sense in making them worry. However, the blood from my cuts has dripped down onto the floor; since they weren't part of one of my deaths, they wouldn't disappear.

The door open, and Stan and Cartman walk in. The two of them look at me, and then at the razors, and then at each other, all with a sudden look of understanding on their faces. I decide there's no point in trying to hide it from them.

"So…what do you want?" I ask casually.

Stan bites his lip, like he isn't sure what to say. "Dude…we're worried about you. We haven't seen you in like, four days."

So that's how long it's been. "It took you four days to care enough to look? You guys are such great friends," I spit.

Stan looks down at his shoes. "We were busy."

"Busy with what?"

"Kyle's funeral," says Cartman. Even he looks somber.

Stan explains how Kyle and Lizzy had both been buried yesterday afternoon. Just hearing their names again brings the blade down, a little bit deeper than I had intended. Stan and Cartman are both hit by the blood splatter.

"Kenny," Stan says, "You've got to stop doing this to yourself."


"Because…" Stan finally loses it. "Because you're destroying yourself! You can't keep going on like this! You didn't even come to attend Kyle's funeral because you were…wallowing in your own self-pity!"

I look Stan straight in the eye. "You don't know anything…"

"Then tell us!" Cartman bursts out. "We're your friends!"

"Stan, could you please take that…thing…away?" I ask, pointing at Cartman.

"Ok, Kenny!" Cartman explodes. "I'm sorry I never told you I knew! What do you want me to do about it? Huh? Just because I rip on you guys all the time doesn't mean I don't care about you guys! I even cared about Kyle, for Christ's sake!"

"Really?" Even Stan looks skeptical about that last claim.

"Really! I mean, he was a dirty sneaking no-good ginger Jew-rat, but we've still been through a lot together. We may not have been friends, but…we were something, right?" He looks at Stan and me. "Weren't we?"

"Bitter enemies, maybe?" I offer. "Well, that may be the closest thing you can have to a friend."

Cartman scowls.

"Anyway, you want to know what's wrong?" I ask. "I couldn't face you guys or his parents because I know the truth; Kyle's dead because of me. Because I was supposed to be under that chandelier, and I wasn't."

Stan and Cartman look puzzled. "Kenny, just because you always die doesn't mean it's your fault when someone else does," Stan says.

I wasn't listening to him. "You see, South Park is one fucked up town. All kinds of crazy and dangerous shit happens here. But that's why I've been put here; I'm just a shield to protect other people. I'm the reason all of you are still alive; if it weren't for me, you all would have been killed by Barbra Streisand, or by Cthulhu, or by Trapper Keeper. I'm here to take the fall for you guys, only this time I was too late. And then Lizzy's dead because she thought she was immortal, and that's also my fault."

My two friends look at me, trying to process what I had said. They want so hard to tell me that I was wrong, that I'm not just a shield, but they can obviously see the truth in what I said. Finally Stan spoke again. "well, even if that is true, Kenny, you're more than that. You may have this curse, but that doesn't make you who you are. You're still a person."

I laugh bitterly. That's the worst part of all. "Am I? The more I think about it, the surer I am that everything that makes me me is because of this curse.

"I'm poor, right? My family can't make any money because they're always drunk. Well, they know about my curse, and they drink to take their minds off of the fact that I always die. So I'm poor because of my curse.

"You might say that I'm heroic, and I risk my life to keep you guys safe. Well, that's also because of the curse; I can't die, so it's easy for me to put myself in dangerous situations to help you guys out.

"My way with girls? I try to live all aspects of life to the fullest, and that too comes from the curse. I could die horribly any day, so I try to have as much fun as possible the rest of the time. That's also why I take drugs and get high.

"I think the curse is even the reason I always wear that," I say, pointing at my parka. "When I was little, back when I learned about it, I always hid myself inside there, like I was hoping Death wouldn't be able to find me. Afterwards, it just became force of habit, but the curse is what started it." I can see the words sinking in. "EVERYTHING I AM IS BECAUSE OF THAT CURSE! IF I WASN'T CURSED, I WOULDN'T BE ME! KENNY McCORMICK WOULD BE JUST LIKE YOU GUYS! BUT NO, I'M A FREAK! I'M JUST A FUCKING FREAK WHO CAN'T DIE!"

Stan and Cartman are dumbfounded. Obviously, they've never thought about it that way before.

"Dude, that sucks," Cartman manages to get out. Trust him to come out with the obvious.

"What do you want us to do, Kenny?" Stan asks. "I'm sorry about how you feel, but there's not really much that we can do."

Of course there isn't anything they could do. "I'm sorry, guys. It's not really your fault. It's just that I'm so tired of all this bullshit. It just feels like the universe is playing this big joke on me, like it's trying to see how bad it can make my life."

"And…you're tired of dancing around?" Cartman prompts.


"And you're sitting here at your house, cutting yourself like one of those pussy Goths?"

I hesitate, wary. "Yeah…"

Cartman chuckles. "That's pretty lame, Ken."

"Pretty lame?" After I had literally poured my heart out, that's all he has to say?

"I mean," he goes on, "are you just gonna let the universe beat you? What happened to the Kenny who fought to make this town a better place? What happened to the Kenny who stood up to me and Cthulhu without batting an eye? You told me last week that you would bring me back from the dead, just so you could kill me again! You're just gonna let yourself be beaten by this?"

My eyes narrow. "I just don't care anymore, Cartman."

"Why not keep fighting? You've never given up in five years; you kept trying and trying to find the truth. What have you got to lose?"

I sigh. "I thought that last week; that I would keep fighting the universe no matter what. What have I lost? One of my best friends, and the only girl I've ever really loved. I don't want to think about what I have left to lose."

Stan looks at me. "You know, as much as I hate to admit it, Cartman's right; you've really changed, and not in a good way. Only a few days ago, you were ready to face Cthulhu himself to help get Kyle back."

"A lot can happen in four days," I tell him.

"Enough to make you turn your back on your friends?" Stan asks. That's rich, considering how they themselves had always acted towards me.

"That's what we like about you, Kenny," Cartman continues. "Even if you felt like you were underappreciated, you were still always there for us."

"Yeah, and we just wanted to tell you that we plan to be there for you…" Stan pauses and sighs. "…no matter what you decide to do." Cartman glares at him, like Stan just gave away a bargaining chip. Good thing he did, because otherwise I would think he was trying to manipulate me. But Stan wouldn't do that.

"But, Kenny, we don't want to see you in pain like this. How can we help you bring out of it?"

I sigh. "Maybe if Kyle and Lizzy were alive, if my sloppiness could be undone, I could be happy again."

"Ok, then that's what we'll do," Stan says. "We'll bring them back, no matter what it takes."

I look at him, and I know that neither of us will be satisfied unless we try again. So, I reluctantly agree. Both of us look at Cartman.

Finally, he says, "Ah, what the hell. I don't have anything better to do. And it's boring to rip on just you guys."

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