Two months. Two months since everything happened. Two months ago Hedward had stepped out of line and destroyed his friendship with the best friend he had had since childhood. Two months ago he had to stomp on the heart of one of his other good friends only to prevent hurting her with his own questionable feelings. For two months he had to pass both of those ghouls by in the hallways of Monster High. For two months he felt the sharp pain in his heart whenever he took in Bo's glare or Madison's mask of a smile. For two months he had to hide from Nubis' wrath and face the judgmental stares of his peers. It was cowardly and he was ashamed of himself.
Two months was too much. He couldn't do it anymore. He couldn't take the stares, the glares, the fake smiles. He couldn't take the feelings that were underneath them anymore. He was too much of a coward.
Finally the school day had ended and he was set free, at least until the sun rose the next morning. But Hedward wasn't planning on going back, he didn't want to. He couldn't keep pretending like everything was okay. He really messed up and he didn't know how to fix it. So instead he ran, like the coward he was. He ran to his home, the place he could surely be alone to clear his head.
He jumped off his horse, Crane, once they had arrived in his yard. Hedward didn't pay any mind to his horse. He knew he wouldn't run off, and even if he did he would come back. He always came back. That was the only thing he knew for certain anymore.
Hedward bolted into the cottage, past the small living room and into the kitchen. He came to a halt when he caught himself on the side of the kitchen sink. He slowly looked up to see his reflection in the kitchen window. He stared at it when a few seconds until his mouth had successfully formed into a frown.
Look at you, he thought, you hurt everything. Why can't you just stay silent? Why do you have to jump into things? Why can't you accept things as they are? It only hurts people, and it hurts you. That's not what a gentlemonster does. That's not what you are. That's not you. You never were a gentlemonster. You're just a monster; a monster in fancy clothes.
He clutched the side of the sink tightly in his hands as he stared into those pitiful blue eyes. His mind traveled back to the beginning of those two long months, to when, in an instant, Bo shunned him from her life. After that was when Madison Skellington had taken him away to her home in Halloween Town in an effort to cheer him up. It had worked up until one moment in particular. Everything was fine, they were talking, he had given her a compliment as he always told beautiful ghouls who deserved it, such as herself, and then, out of nowhere, she had kissed him. He hadn't realized that she had strong feelings for him, though afterward he felt as if he should've known.
Madison was an amazing ghoul. She was smart, fun, oh so kind; an all around wonderful person. As he thought about the sudden kiss, he realized that he wouldn't mind being with someone like her, but…
Hedward sighed. He knew he couldn't be with her, not after what happened with Bo. He was still broken and he didn't want that to bring Madison down. He wouldn't allow himself to stoop to such a level as to hurt his good friend because he was too stupid to figure out his own feelings. He told her this, and she said that she understood, but he could sense the sadness and regret in her voice, and in her eyes. But what else should he have said? He wouldn't make her the rebound just to have her get hurt in the end. What was he trying to do, spite Bo? No, he wouldn't. He had caused enough trouble for her already. He had caused enough trouble for a lot of people.
He looked down into the sink, wanting to release frustrated tears. The image of Madison's face kept appearing in his mind. She showed that wonderful smile that was surely hiding the pain of a broken heart; the pain he caused. He couldn't take it anymore. He had hurt two of his good friends and it was all because of his selfishness. They didn't deserve to feel the pain he had brought upon them; only he did. Only he should feel it.
Hedward turned his head and caught sight of the cooking knives sitting in their wooden holder. He instinctively reached for one and pulled it out. The metal glistened when it touched the light. Beautiful, Hedward thought. This would do the trick.
He brought the blade to eyelevel and stared at it, watching it gleam with each subtle shiver of his hand. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with it, but he wanted to do something. It's not like he would kill himself with it, he just wanted something; a little pain. He needed a little pain to forget about the pain that he had caused his dear friends.
Hedward held the knife up, not sure what to do with it. A little knick somewhere? A big gash? But where? On his neck probably wouldn't do anything, except maybe causing his head to fall off. His arm? It was right there, that could work. Right in the middle. A quick slash.
He held the knife up above his head, deciding what to do. After a few moments he told his arm to make the mark. His hand trembled but didn't want to come down. As much as he wanted the knife to make the cut, his arm wouldn't listen. His hand finally let go and the knife dropped into the sink. Hedward hunched over and let a few tears fall from his eyes. He was too much of a coward to even give his own body direction.
He stood there and cried. What did it matter if it wasn't a manly thing to do? He was all alone, who could hear him?
"Starting dinner, boy?"
Hedward turned around, startled. What was his father doing home? He was never home this early. Of course, the one day he had time to spare for his son had to be today. Hedward didn't turn around. He didn't want his father to see his face.
"It's a bit early for dinner." The Headless Horseman spoke in his eerie German accent.
"It's a bit early for you to be home." Hedward answered in a whisper.
If the Horseman had a face it would roll its eyes.
"I figured you needed some company considering recent events."
Hedward turned his head to stare at his father.
"How do you-?"
Hedward's father chuckled as he walked closer to him.
"Have you forgotten that I'm very good friends with Miss Geyman's father?"
Of course. Now it all made sense. Hedward hid his face in his hands, embarrassed.
"I suppose now you're going to tell me to suck it up and be a man that doesn't let women walk all over him?"
"Normally, yes," The Horseman said. "But I was recently informed that that isn't the most efficient way."
"You just figured that out?" Hedward asked, growing more agitated with every word his father spoke.
"Yes. I've been told to change a few things as well."
"To spend time with you."
Hedward turned around and glared at the Horseman.
"You really didn't know to do that till just now?" He asked bitterly. "It took you all of my childhood to figure out that what a son needs is quality time with his father??"
"I'm not perfect, boy! And neither are you."
"Thank you! That's exactly what I wanted to hear!" Hedward yelled sarcastically. He turned around, trying to diminish his anger.
The Horseman took a moment to soften as well.
"It's true, Hedward. You aren't perfect."
"Yeah, I've known that for a while now."
"I would think you don't. You act as if you're supposed to be perfect, that you're not supposed to make mistakes. You're always watching yourself so you don't make silly mistakes, but when you do make mistakes you make them seem like the end of the world."
Hedward took in his father's words as he spoke them calmly. He realized that his father was right. But how was he supposed to gain his father's affection if all he did was screw up? It had been that way his whole life. Every slip up he made ended with his father looking down on him. What else could he be but perfect? But he knew that this wasn't about his father.
"So what are you saying? It's okay to make mistakes even if it screws up the friendship you've had ever since you could remember?" Hedward asked.
"No," the Horseman put a hand on his son's shoulder. "I'm saying that it's okay to make mistakes because you learn from them. You make mistakes, learn, and move on. Letting your mistakes keep you in one place won't let you move on with the rest of your unlife."
Hedward was silent for a moment so the Horseman continued.
"I'm not saying you ignore them, you learn from them so you don't make them again."
Hedward slowly nodded.
"But how does this fix my problems with Bo?" Hedward asked.
"It doesn't. You have to do some work yourself."
"But what am I supposed to do?"
"You let go of the guilt that keeps you attached to her, and don't let that guilt stop you from living your unlife."
"But Bo still hates me," Hedward said. "She'll never forgive me."
"Perhaps. Though whether she forgives you or not is not up to you, is it? You must let her decide." He saw that Hedward was going to say something in protest but continued speaking. "I know you still want to be friends with her, and if she still wants to be friends with you as well then she will forgive you, in time. You must wait until she is ready. But until then, you must live."
Hedward smiled and nodded.
The Horseman squeezed his son's shoulder. He didn't have a head to bare a smile but Hedward felt in his heart that it would be there if he did.
Hedward's father reached down in the sink and picked up the knife.
"As for this, it is only good for cook."
Hedward nodded as he watched his father place the knife on the counter. He gave his son's shoulder a pat before walking out of the kitchen.
The young horseman smiled as he watched his father leave the room. Perhaps his father wasn't as cold as he had always led on to be. Hedward didn't really realize how wise his father was and would take the advice he had received.
Hedward looked over at the kitchen knife on the counter. He picked it up so he could put it back with the rest of the knives, but stared at. As he looked at his reflection in the metal blade, he thought about the words his father had said and the events the past two months had brought him. His father was right, and Hedward wouldn't allow the guilt and shame he had permitted to build up inside him to torture him any longer. He had to move on. He couldn't let Bo's rejection hold him back from living his life and, perhaps, finding someone else.
He could hear Madison's laugh, he could see her smile. It made him happy inside. The feeling made him think back on the days of his childhood, back to when he would play with Bo, when he felt so much joy simply being with her. But this feeling wasn't quite the same as what he had felt with Bo. It felt lighter, it felt…free. He liked the feeling of being free. That's what he wanted now. He wanted to be free; free to be himself and not worry about impressing anyone. He didn't want to deal with the judgments of others, and he wouldn't.
Hedward gripped the knife tighter and raised it to his head. He slowly positioned the blade behind his neck. He took a deep breath, steadying himself. Yes, this was what he should do, no doubt in his mind. It would help him.
He grabbed his raven ponytail and the blue ribbon that it was tied with in his other hand and raised it out of the way of his neck. He placed the blade just so, and flicked his wrist.
Hedward opened his recently shut tight eyes and looked down at the kitchen floor. Strands of black hair littered the kitchen tiles and his blue hair ribbon lay peacefully on top. He hesitated before turning his head towards the sink. His eyes were still looking down and peered into the drain. What was done has been done; it was time to see the results. He carefully put the knife back on the counter and slowly turned his eyes upward. He looked straight ahead to face the window and smiled at the unfamiliar boy that grinned back. The hair on the back of his head was cut short but his long curly bangs still remained. It looked uneven but he'd fix it up later, this time with hair scissors.
He felt relieved; a heavy load had suddenly disappeared from his shoulders. He felt new, and he felt free. This was going to be the new Hedward, one who wouldn't let guilt from his own mistakes keep him from learning from them and living on. He wouldn't live with the fear of rejection any longer, and he wouldn't beat himself up over it either. This was his new start, and he was excited to set it in motion.
For once in a long time Hedward was excited to step through the doors of Monster High. He received stares from everyone he passed, but this time he didn't mind them. In fact, he wanted them. He wanted them to see his new look.
Hedward had managed to cut and style his hair into a fabulous new do. He would miss the long locks that he had worn for so many years but he was sure that he'd get used to his new hairstyle and learn to love it. Along with his new hair, he was displaying new threads. He had dug through his closet and found a fashionable outfit that Centura had picked out for him a few months ago; a blue sweater over a collared shirt and tie with dark jeans and hightop shoes. He had never worn it and decided that now was the perfect time to take it for a test run.
With his new look and new confidence he felt better than ever, but there was still something he still had to do before first period. He combed through the hallways, determined to complete his mission. He kept walking until…yes. There she was, getting books out of her locker.
The skeletal ragdoll turned around, surprised to hear Hedward's voice.
"Good morning, Hedw-"
Madison stared in awe at the horseman boy. She stood there in silence for a moment, taking him in.
"H-hedward! Your hair! And your clothes!"
Hedward simply smiled at her.
"Yeah. I needed a change."
"Well, I like it! You look great!" Madison said with a grin.
Hedward smiled back.
"You seem to be in a good mood today. Are you feeling better?" Madison was overjoyed to see Hedward out of his recent slump. She thought that she would never see him this happy again.
"Yes, much better. You could say that I've healed up nicely," Hedward said with a chuckle. "But there was something that I needed to ask you."
"Oh?" Madison asked, genuinely curious. "What is it?"
"I was wondering if you wanted to get a pizza with me after school today." Hedward said sweetly.
Madison almost didn't believe this was true. Was her crush actually asking her out on a date?
"S-sure, Hedward! I'd love to!" She answered, ecstatic.
"Wonderful!" Hedward said.
Hedward moved closer to Madison and kneeled down until they were face to face. He closed his eyes and gave her a soft peek on the cheek. He then opened them and smiled at her blushing face.
"I'll stop by your locker after the bell and pick you up, okay?"
Madison couldn't speak; she was lost in a daze. She only nodded.
"Great! I'll see you!"
Hedward gave a smile and a wave before he walked off. He chuckled to himself as he heard Madison squeal with happiness behind him.
His good mood was suddenly put to a halt when he noticed someone walking towards him.
"Hi, Hed." Bo said.
"Hello, Bo. How are you this morning?" Hedward asked wearily.
"I'm fine. It looks like Madison is too."
"What's what supposed to mean?"
"I saw everything, Hed," Bo answered. "What are you trying to prove to me?"
"It's not always about you, Bo." Hedward said with a glare.
Bo raised an eyebrow suspiciously.
"If you must know," Hedward continued. "I decided to move on with my life."
"If you say so, Hedward," Bo said, sounding a bit skeptical. "But Madison's a sweet ghoul. I don't want her getting hurt."
"As do I. I have no intentions of hurting her, I assure you. She has feelings for me and I have feelings for her. I figured we should hang out together and see where it leads us."
Bo nodded, still keeping an unsure look on her face.
"Alright. I trust you know what you're doing."
The boogiegirl gave another nod and started walking past him down the hallway. She stopped and turned around before Hedward could leave.
Hedward looked behind him.
"Nice hair. It's a good look for you."
Hedward gave her a smile.
Bo smiled back and continued down the hall. Hedward watched her run to Nubis and give him a hug. Nubis pulled her in for a quick kiss before walking away with her. Hedward swore that Nubis glanced his way but he didn't see him glare like he had before. He didn't seem to pay him any mind at all.
Hedward walked in the opposite direction, heading toward his first class. He made a small content sigh. It seemed that Bo was coming along to forgiveness, but even so, he would let her take her sweet time. He wouldn't rush something as valuable as her friendship. And in the meantime he would spend some time with Madison, hopefully growing closer to her. He was very excited for their pizza date and couldn't wait for the school day to be over. This was going to be the start of something great, he was sure of it.