Mikey and Frank head for the hospital
“I’m just tired,” Ray reassured him.
Bob nodded and smiled again as he poured Ray a glass of water, handing it to him as he settled himself back in the bed. “You and Gee need to get some rest. Accept your limitations.”
“What about you?” asked Ray tiredly.
“I have no limitations,” Bob grinned broadly. “I’m perfect.”
“And you’re modest with it, too!”
“I actually am,” Bob agreed with a smile. “Now, I think you should get some sleep.”
“Okay,” Ray agreed, placing the empty glass back on the cabinet. “On one condition.”
“Are you kidding, Toro?” Bob shrugged.
“What?” Ray replied, puzzled by the strange reply.
“You want me to wake you if we hear anything, yes?”
“Did you really think you needed to ask?” Bob clarified.
Ray shook his head and smiled.
“Let me close the blinds,” Bob nodded as the room darkened. “Now get some sleep, we’ll hear something soon, I’m sure.”
Finally free of the confines of the cellar, Mikey followed his still distraught friend outside, resuming the reassuring hug as they waited for Silburn. But only moments later, Mikey grimaced and stooped slightly forcing him to let go of Frank.
“Mikey?” Frank turned to him. “Is it your side?”
The young man nodded as he lowered himself onto one knee to lessen the pain of supporting himself.
“What’s wrong?” Silburn asked concerned as all the colour drained from Mikey’s face.
“He kept kicking him,” Frank explained quickly as he dropped to his friend’s side. “But this is the first time he’s got up since. It was hours before he could even untie his ankles.”
Mikey leaned forward, resting on his hands as Silburn radioed for an ambulance.
“Get him a chair or something!” Silburn shouted to one of the accompanying officers.
Mikey closed his eyes tightly as another wave of pain washed over him, threatening to engulf him utterly. His stomach tightened and convulsed driving him into an uncontrollable coughing fit. Dark blood forced its way into his mouth, choking him. Spitting and retching, tears welled in his eyes as the pain increased weakening him with each second. Wiping the thick, almost black blood from his mouth, Mikey, now unable to hold himself, fell to the side into Frank’s arms as he kneeled at his side trying to comfort him.
“Help him!” Frank yelled, trembling with shock and fear as he held the barely conscious bassist.
Small, barely audible sounds of fear and pain emanated from Mikey, as he lay slumped in Frank’s arms. Unaware of the activity around him, he was only vaguely aware of Frank’s voice pleading with him to hold on.
“Where’s the ambulance?” Frank stared up at Silburn, his eyes filled with a mixture of apprehension and blame.
Having asked for an estimated time of arrival, Silburn waited for a reply as he stared down at Mikey’s partially closed eyes, pale complexion and the thick blood oozing over his lips once more.
“Where?” Frank repeated helplessly almost in tears as he felt Mikey go limp.
“Two minutes,” he replied immediately on receiving the news. “I have some first aid,” he said dropping to his knee in front of the two musicians. “Let me see him.”
Frank held him tighter as Silburn tried to examine Mikey.
“Get off him!” Frank shouted angrily. “Since when did you get into helping? If you’d have fucking believed me when I first came to you, he’d be okay now!”
Having dismissed the guitarist’s claims of receiving death threats as a sick joke on him and of no real concern, Silburn deserved the berating. But the man was potentially dying and there was no time to argue with his overprotective friend. Signalling to the two officers, Silburn gently cradled Mikey and laid him on his back with his rolled up jacket under his head as the two police officers pulled Frank away.
“No! Let go of me!” Frank shouted, struggling in their grip as they dragged him to the chair brought out originally for Mikey. Forced to sit, Frank’s wide, unblinking eyes never moved from his now unconscious friend as Silburn examined him.
Lifting his shirt, Silburn’s eyes displayed his surprise as he saw the massive bruising down Mikey’s left side and, although he couldn’t see the extent of it, he knew it extended to his back. Rolling him into the recovery position, Silburn looked up in relief as the ambulance rounded the corner and pulled up sharply in the driveway. Quickly briefing the paramedics on Mikey’s condition and his suspicions of internal damage, Silburn approached Frank who was now standing, torn by conflicting emotions and on the verge of breaking down.
“Are you okay?” Silburn asked. “I mean physically.”
Frank merely stared in reply. Overwhelmed by uncertainty and worry, he seemed unable to answer.”
“Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital,” the detective continued.
“I want to go with Mikey,” he insisted.
Turning, Silburn nodded to the paramedics; they were ready to leave.
“Okay,” he turned back to Frank. “I’ll meet you there. And… I’m sorry this happened.”
Frank closed his eyes briefly, too angry to reply. He could only shake his head in disgust before heading to the ambulance, arriving just as the gurney was being secured inside.
“Can I go with him?” He asked, shocked as he glanced at the apparatus attached to his friend.
“Sure,” one of the paramedics called, helping him inside before closing the door.
“Will he be okay?” Frank asked as the vehicle headed out into the road, sirens blaring.
The paramedic smiled sympathetically.
“Let’s get him to a doctor.”
Frank sat in silence; terrified by the statement that he knew meant ‘I don’t know’.