“Down the Lane”
a Daria fanfic by the Nightgoblyn
Daria lay on her side, staring at the padding on the wall in the corner of her room. The heavy shades on the window caused the room to seem small and gloomy, but that pretty much fit the mood of the occupant perfectly. She had sat in her room for days, maybe a week, stepping out only for quick kitchen raids or using the bathroom. After a while she’d stopped doing the first, and consequently the second. She’d split the time inside between her bed and her computer chair.
I don’t remember what I wrote, but it must have been good. She sighed and started rubbing at the dull ache in her wrists and forearms. I haven’t had cramps like this since I sat up all night writing and re-writing that little poem for the poster contest I was in with . . .
Daria rolled over and sat on the edge of the bed. She hunched over and buried her face in her hands.
Why did I kiss him? Why did I tell her?
She knew the answer to both questions, and the relentless scourge of her own self honesty wouldn’t let her hide from her self for long.
The first kiss wasn’t my fault. Not really. He surprised me. The second kiss . . .
She looked across her room, but she wasn’t seeing the blurry image in front of her. She was remembering the interior of a rusted out car, a warm masculine embrace, and the thrilling shock of lips on hers. With a guilty start she realized she was kissing her own fingertips, trying to relive the moment.
I kissed him because I wanted him. I thought I was above that teen girl hormone thing. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. She sighed again and walked over to her computer desk and sat.
That’s not the only reason, Morgendorffer.
I kissed him because I was jealous of Jane. She abandoned our friendship to be with him and I discovered that I could take him away from her, the same way he took her away from me.
“I’m as petty as Quinn.” she muttered. Absent mindedly, she rubbed at her aching arms again. She looked at the computer as if she were considering booting it up to do more writing, and then turned her chair away from the desk.
I had to tell her, right?
Sure you did, she thought back at herself. You had to tell her at school, in the hallway, in front of everybody.
I was too guilty to not say something.
You could have called her. You could have gone back over to her place that night, you could have even drug Tom over there with you. He’d have gone if you insisted.
But . . .
But then it would have been kept private. Everybody knew Jane had thrown you over for a guy. Why shouldn’t everybody know you took him away from her?
I didn’t do it like that on purpose!
Sure you didn’t, Cleopatra.
“I’m talking to myself again. And answering. This is great.” Daria stood and walked back over to her bed, falling across it face down. After she lay there an indeterminate amount of time her bedroom door opened.
“What the hell do you want?” she snapped.
“Daria.” her sister stepped into the room and pushed the door closed behind her.
“Could you leave me to mope in peace, please?” Daria asked acidly.
“Mom told me not to come in here.” Quinn said quietly. “But I really wanted to talk to you. I hope it’s ok.”
Daria rolled over on her back and looked at her sister with annoyance. “Fine, talk.”
“I know . . . I know that some bad stuff happened to you. Stuff with you and Jane and that guy.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t give you better advice when you tried to talk to me in the kitchen the other day. I’m sorry I didn’t help more. I’m sorry I’ve always been a lousy sister.” Quinn turned and left the room.
“Quinn?” Daria asked, grabbing her glasses off the nightstand. She was sure she’d heard her sister crying as she walked away down the hall.
Great. Not only does my best friend hate me, I can’t even hermit in my own room without my sister feeling guilty and responsible for it. Mom and Dad are probably going to be in here next.
She grabbed her boots from the floor next to the bed and pulled them on, then walked to the closet and pulled out her green jacket.
I’m going to go over and talk to Jane. I’ll grovel as much as necessary, but life isn’t going to be worth living without her.
A few minutes later, she stuck her head through Jane’s open bedroom door. Jane was hard at work on a canvas as usual.
“Jane?” Daria asked timidly. Jane didn’t answer, but the scowl she was directing towards the canvas deepened.
“Jane, I’m sorry about Tom.”
Jane picked up her pallet and continued working, obviously pretending Daria wasn’t there.
“I’ve been thinking about it. I was jealous of you. I’ve always looked up to you, and I felt like you abandoned me when you got serious with Tom. I didn’t go after him, I swear . . . but when he made a move on me it was a way to get back at you for how hurt I was. And it made me feel like I was better than you at something. It’s horrible, I know.”
Jane tossed her pallet back on the bed and walked across the room to open her curtains. She stood with her back to Daria and looked out the window. Daria stepped further into the room with the idea of confronting Jane and making her respond when she saw what Jane had been painting.
It was a portrait of a funeral, a dark wood casket surrounded by flowers and faceless human shapes that were probably meant to be mourners. The shape standing next to the casket was wearing Jane’s trademark red over-shirt. With a stab of horror, Daria realized that she was the occupant of the coffin. The Jane-shape was holding one of dead Daria’s hands, and was brandishing a big knife in her free hand. Daria stepped closer to the canvas and saw the ragged, bloody hole in the Jane-shape’s shirt. The hilt of a second knife stuck out from her back next to the hole.
Daria turned towards her best friend. Before she could say anything, Jane turned and walked back towards her. Daria stepped out of her way, her half formed plan of grabbing Jane and forcing her to acknowledge her presence forgotten.
“Daria,” Jane said, studying her new painting. “The last thing I said to you was that we’re the kind of friends who can’t stand the sight of each other.”
“I know.” Daria said, sighing with relief. “You were hurt, I understand. I deserve anything you want to say to me.”
“I hope you’ll forgive me.” Jane whispered.
Daria blinked in confusion, wondering why Jane felt she needed forgiving. While she was pondering this, Jane reached into her pocket and pulled out a folding knife. With a smooth motion, she flipped the knife open and drew it sharply across her left wrist.
“Jane!” Daria screamed, and tried to tackle her friend. She somehow missed her and ended up knocking the canvas and easel to the floor. “Jane! Don’t do this! Don’t make . . .”
She looked up, her eyes swimming with tears. Jane was staring down at her, down at the toppled painting, her jaw slack and her eyes huge with amazement. The thick smell of copper rode the air as blood dripped off Jane’s hand and spattered the sketch books littering the floor.
“Don’t make my mistake.” Daria finished, and slowly looked down at her own sore arms. Pulling back the sleeves of her jacket she saw the long, bloodless cuts opening her up from wrist to elbow.
“Janey! What the hell are you doing?” Trent yelled, running into the room.
“She was here, Trent.” Jane said weakly and started sobbing. Trent grabbed a t-shirt off the floor and tightly wrapped Jane’s wrist with it.
“She tell you to cut your wrist?” Trent asked angrily.
“No.” Jane turned and hugged her brother, burying her face in his chest. “She told me not to make her mistake. I heard her, Trent.”
“Come on, Janey.” Trent half carried his little sister out of the room.
After they left, the room was empty.
Disclaimers: This story based on characters and situations created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis. The Daria TV show is a trademark of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. and is referenced here without permission, and without profit. Original situations created by the author are under (K) – all rights reversed. Hail Eris.
Author’s Note: I bet a million million people already wrote a story about Daria committing suicide. I bet there are even stories about her as a ghost after. But this one is mine and I like it.