Oh Courtney! I had a feeling you were going to end it with something like this, the way Tori has been spiraling out of control. For a while, when the story first started and we all realized either we'd learn Tori was gone for good or would come back, I tried to think what could have happened to her. Something like this crossed my mind, but I thought she loved herself too much to do it.
But then with the last handful of her chapters, when we just watch her break more and more, it became clear that it's not she loves her self too much, it's that she doesn't love herself at all. She struggles to get people to love *her* because she can't do it, so I started thinking this might be a very real possibility but actually reading it was so much different than what I thought.
The memory of the fire, of her being the cause of it, was a really powerful way to lead Tori into the kind of desperation she's feeling. And it's obvious to see why Rebecca is so intent on finding her. She realizes what may have happened, and is probably blaming herself, thinking that if only she'd been a friend to Tori when she needed it the most maybe it wouldn't have happened. But someone like Tori wouldn't ever have been okay, and ugh now I just feel so sad for her and wish she'd have held on a little longer.
I loved the way you wrote it, by the way. Obviously you have to stay on the right side of a very thin line for ToS, but even if you wouldn't have had to I still like this way better. Not descriptive, not graphics, just the line 'and then, very suddenly, there was no now.' was an amazing way to make it clear what happened but keep it almost poetic.
Awesome, awesome chapter Courtney!
Author's Response: Jami!
First of all, sorry about how long it has taken me to reply! I'm useless, I know. And as much as I hate to admit it, I really don't like replying to reviews! I love reading them, and I love learning how to improve my writing (and being given positive feedback is always nice, too) but I'm absolutely rubbish when it comes to replying to them. But I'll do my best! In my short, lazy format.
I really enjoyed writing this chapter, so I'm glad you enjoyed it, too! (See how cheesy that sounded! I cannot write a review response to save my life!) Anyway, it was a lot of fun to watch/write as Tori slowly fell to pieces and lost control over her life.
The flashbacks were fun to add in there, too, especially since i'd been hinting about an 'accident' a little throughout the course of the story.
Ahh, and the ending! You have no idea how many times I rewrote it! When I started writing this story I actually hadn't read the ToS (whoops) and when I found out there was quite a strong non-suicide rule, I was really worried this wouldn't make the cut! But it did, luckily.
Thank you for the review! (Again? I can't remember whether I've already said that. Ah, well.)