THE END IS THE BEGINNING
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
(Contains Spoilers For “Bob Actually”)
As Louise received the hot tag from Ollie as the game of tag intensified, she knew that her role on the playground as of this moment was to be the personification of unparalleled terror.
The other kids knew just how devious she could be at administrating her own take on a tag. It wouldn’t just come up with a light prodding of her finger upon a part of the body. Oh no.
It would come with a tackle, a trust, a harsh cold slap across the cheek. It would be physical, it would be painful.
She was usually not in the business of dealing with the pleasantries of playtime. Louise Belcher was all about injecting a dose of chaos into the more tranquil activities during school hours.
After all, to her School was very trying. Why should anyone work off their stress when said stress would just start mounting up again as soon as they re-entered the classroom?
The kids scattered in all directions, except Andy and Ollie, who desired Louise to tag them so they could selfishly keep the game all to themselves, tagging one another until eternity caved in. Louise ignored them and pursued others on the playground.
Ultimately, though she stopped in her track.
Every world she paid attention to, the ones centred on the game, the playground, and the stress all caved in as she saw a solemn figure on one of the swings nearby, nimbly swaying back and forth and humming a faint little melody to himself.
Louise could faintly make it out. It was The Right Stuff from New Kids On The Block.
She only knew about that from the kind of music listened to by the father of her best friend.
She walked over to the boy on the swings, perched herself on the swing next to him and nudged him on the shoulder
“Hey buddy, what’s got you down?” she asked Rudy.
“Oh hey Louise, I was just thinking about life…and life, life again, ’till I’m kind of full of it”
“C’mon, life’s always kicking you in your perfect teeth, do me a favour and bite it right back” Louise replied.
“Oh I will…someone has to. I just wish it had been my third cousin”
“What happened with him?” Louise asked.
“He died this morning.”
Louise shuddered as a chill coursed through her veins.
“Major apologies man, death’s a kicker”
“Guess I’ll be using your poem for the funeral” Rudy replied, referring to the one she had written for their class project
“Hey, no, that’s morbid, you’re the guy that brings spoons to a gunfight, ready to make breakfast out of things that are hard to swallow, you can write something much better than that” Louise replied.
“Maybe I could talk a little about the disease he was fighting, how it made him a little desperate to die, but that he wanted everyone to go on living. He thought so selflessly…makes you wish we were all like that”
“Hey, living takes effort, especially with the low-lives you wind up having to put up with”
“Yeah, we’ve all had our fair share” Rudy spoke in agreement.
“Hey Belcher, get back in the game” snapped one obese kid on the playground as the two remained seated at the swings.
“Your tag is gonna come hard and heavy lardo” Louise retorted. Rudy laughed, then gasped for breath, Louise quickly rummaged through his pockets and gave him his inhaler.
“Thanks” he said, “You always bring me back from the brink of death”
“Hey, it’s me, the girl who breathed life into you on valentine’s day, you can always trust me to keep you going” Louise replied.
“I was thinking…if I ever got the same disease my cousin had, at any point, I’d like you to make the call on whether I should live or not.”
Louise tried to keep herself composed, she wasn’t the best at dealing with raw emotional dilemmas
“Are all your bat stir crazy breathing problems affecting your brain? Don’t ever ask me to do something like that Rudy ” she said
“You’re a cool cat Louise, there’d be no pressure with you” Rudy assured her.
“Yeah, but it’d mean letting you off life’s leash, I’d sooner reserve that for jerk offs like Logan”
“You said you’d end me, I’m holding you to that”
“That was only if you ever told anyone I kissed you” Louise whispered, not wanting anyone to hear her.
“Belcher, come on” cried out another kid as everyone scattered across the playground became restless with their impatience.
“Maybe it’s best you go play, don’t worry about me”
“I like worrying about you buddy…besides, you’re it”
Rudy suddenly remembered that when Louise had nudged him earlier, she was still playing the game, even though she had brought no terror to his doorstep.
He smiled, and nudged her back.
“You’ve still got it” he said, and darted off.
“Ah, so you DO want me to end you. Tell you what Rudy…in this situation, I can arrange all manner of methods I can satisfy your demand”
“Come and kill me” said Rudy.
Elated to be free of a moral dilemma that was best left to their adult days, Louise shot like a bullet towards Rudy as he darted around the other kids, who likewise took off, thinking Louise would eventually target them.
Louise had other plans, she knew Rudy would take her one step beyond her usual spots, he would let her pursue him across all other layers of the school he was accustomed to visiting, and she hoped that when he ran out of breath, they would be in a place so secure she would have the opportunity to once more breathe life into him as their lips came together once more.
For him, she was Alpha and Omega. The beginning, and the end.
And for her that end would only lead to the beginning.