I am walking up the stairs, trying to send a text message and not fall down at the same time. I was going to have her hide in the bathroom while I grabbed my clothes and ran over to Spencer’s room to change.
Headed up. I sent.
Kay! She replied.
Why didn’t I think to go up the elevator? Maybe Brendon Urie the genius didn’t really think of everything.
I stopped outside our room, then knocked on the door.
“Okay!” she called through the inside. “You can come in now.”
I swiftly put the passkey through the metal slot and walked through the door. The bathroom light was on but the room was completely silent. Only a newscaster on TV talked almost silently, because she had the volume turned all the way down. He was speaking about some death that had occurred in a resident swimming pool. Two teenagers had dared each other to see how long the other could hold their breaths underwater. Only one fourteen-year-old boy survived.
The world is so full of tragedy. Death comes so easily, strikes anywhere and anyplace. Death is there, lurking like a hulking shadow over our lives, waiting for the right moment to strip you of your life, of your love. How cruel the world could be. So dark the con of man.
“Honey, you better hurry!” Alena teased through the bathroom door.
I peeled my eyes from the TV screen. “Okay, honey. I’m leaving now.”
I took one last look at the picture of the deceased boy they had displayed on the screen. So young, so young.
Tell him? Do I not tell him? What good would rise from either option? Nothing. Either way, it would eventually cause mass chaos. Chaos caused by me. Chaos caused by Ryan. And chaos caused by Alena.
She, no matter how beautiful and wonderful she was, caused all these complications, all this turmoil. Yet, she brought both Brendon and Ryan something they had always been waiting for, willing to die for: Love.
“Yo, Spencer! Hey buddy, let me in. I need to take a shower!”
I ran over to answer the door. Brendon was standing there with a pile of his clothes in his arms.
“Ummm…?” I started to ask him.
“Alena is getting ready for us to go dinner and I need to get ready. And I’m all ready late! So if you don’t mind me using your shower….”
I moved out of the way and let him in. He started to rip off his shirt, tossed it blindly into the room, landing on the TV, and he ran in to start the shower.
“Did you hear?” He asked me, undoing his belt.
“Yeah,” he took the ring from his pocket and handed it to me. “And I have the box in my dinner jacket pocket. But I’m asking her tonight.”
He stepped into the shower, fully running, shut the curtain and tossed his boxers of the top.
“How are you doing it?” I asked.
“If I tell you, I’d have to kill you.”
“No really, Bren. Tell me.”
“I’m just going to ask her, about mid-way through the meal. I am going to get down on one knee, open up the box, tell her how much I truly do need and love her. I’m going to tell her that I love her no matter what ever happens to us. I’m going to tell her everything I’ve ever felt about her, and I will ever feel about her. I’ll take in the green in her eyes, and when she says yes, I’ll thank God for her, and pick her up and spin her around… I don’t know, I’ll do so much more than that…. I don’t even know.”
Could he love her even if he knew what she did? Would he truly love her no matter what? Would he pick her up and spin her around and rejoice if he ever knew? A sick feeling came to my stomach, filling me with a dark sensation I had never known before. Brendon was far too in love to even notice anyone or anything… too far in love to see that he was blinded. That something evil and unholy was taking place right beneath his nose… or at least, something had taken place. Ryan swore to me it would never happen again… but would it ever be enough?
“Hey, moron. Hand me that towel and scat. I need to get dressed and prettied up before I go.”
“Okay, if you need me call.”
“Why would I need you?” he asked.
“I mean at the date, retard,” I said before leaving the bathroom and slamming the door behind me.
Dear Lord, please let him make the right decision.
I checked myself once more in the mirror. I thought I looked sharp. I had on a really nice pair of black dress slacks, a black button up shirt and my black dinner jacket. I felt the ring in my right jacket pocket.
Would she say yes?
I sighed, ran the comb through my hair again and emerged from Spencer’s bathroom. He and Jon were sitting there, staring at me.
“So this is it, huh?” Jon asked.
I nodded my head and smiled. “This is so it.”
Spencer looked grave, but his eyes softened when he look up at me. “Good luck, Brendon.”
“Thanks guys, but I’ve gotta go…”
“Here, give her these,” Spencer said, handing me a bouquet of yellow roses. “I found out today that they are her favorite, so I ran down to the lobby and got her some while you were getting ready.”
“Thanks Spence,” I said, taking the flowers. “And thanks Jon. You guys are the best friends ever. I just wish Ryan would have come out to see this. I miss him. Seriously, has either of you two talked to him much the last few days?”
They both shook their heads. “I was in there earlier,” Spencer said. “But he didn’t look much better.”
“I’ll visit him tomorrow.”
“But go, now, before she thinks you’re too girly and she won’t want to marry you!” Jon yelled, giving me a playful push.
“Okay, thanks guys.”
I left his room, which was three down from mine, and began to walk toward it. She was the only thing that went through my mind. I couldn’t wait to see her. I got to our door and knocked softly. “Alena, it’s me, Brendon.”
She opened the door, and I saw her.
She was wearing that dress, the dress we had picked out together. Her long hair was down, left to curl around her shoulders, all the way down to her mid-back. She wore little makeup, a little eye shadow and eyeliner, but aside from that, it was just her. It was just her standing before me, with her large green eyes and her soft lips, barely with any lip gloss on them. The very sight of her made me weak in the knees, caused my heart to flutter and my hands to shake. I forgot everything I was going to say, everything totally. I could only stare at her with my mouth open.
“Brendon?” she asked, batting her long eyelashes. “Bren, are you ready to go?”
“Here,” I said, handing her the flowers. “A birdie told me that yellow roses were your favorite.”
She laughed and smiled at me. “A little birdie is a good birdie. Let me go set these down, and then we’ll go.”
I watched her walk over to the table and lay them down. “I’ll put them in water when we get back,” she called over her shoulder. She took my breath away again when she turned back. I’d be dead by lack of oxygen by the time the night was over.
She walked over and took my hand. “Will you lead me to the taxi, good sir?”
“Ah, yes fair maid,” I said, leading her down the hall. “Our chariot awaits to take us. And may I ask what lucky gentleman is accompanying you tonight?”
“Well,” she said, blushing. “I am afraid I am alone.”
“Well, miss, could I perhaps escort you if just for one night?”
“Oh yes, young sir. Yes you may.”
I looked down at her, almost weeping with sheer joy. She look so beautiful, so beautiful beyond imagine. I could never ever put into words what she looked like.
Thankfully, I had picked a restaurant only about fifteen minutes from the hotel. Traffic was light, the night was only a tad chilly and she was perfect. I held her right hand in my left and with my right hand I fiddled nervously with the box containing the ring in my pocket.
Things were looking up.
“Sir, you need a reservation,” the host said with a stern voice.
“Sir, do you know who I am?” I asked, keeping my voice low, so Alena, who was chatting with someone a few feet away, wouldn’t know that I didn’t make a reservation.
“Are you the singer in that washed up emo band that the little twelve years olds run around screaming about?”
My jaw dropped. Okay, so he knew who I was. Not really who I was, but he had the version he knew.
“Okay, so you think you know who I am. But what if I tell you that that girl back there in the girl dress is my girlfriend,” I dropped my voice really low and leaned in to talk to him. “And I’m going to ask her to marry me.”
“Well then sir, come here and I will tell you what you need to do.”
I leaned in to listen. “I want you sir, and your lady friend, to leave my restaurant and for you to get rejected elsewhere.”
I leaned back. Okay, so I wasn’t expecting that. “Bren, are we going in or what?” she called, walking toward me.
“Hun, there’s been a problem. The reservation got bumped for a bigger name. I’m so sorry sweetie.”
She smiled at me. It was her warm, heartfelt smile that let me know that she really wasn’t angry. “That’ all right. There are about a million other things we could do.” She put her hand in mind, lacing our fingers.
We walked out of the restaurant. “Let’s go somewhere else,” I said. “How about the Big Ben?”
“That would be lovely,” she said, brining her eyes to the giant clock tower only several blocks away.
“Madame, could I ask for this night to walk you to the Big Ben?”
“I would care for nothing more,” she said softly, batting her eyelashes at me. I squeezed her hand tightly. Her hand was soft and warm and delicate compared to mine. Mine were callused from my guitar, be she looked up at me as if I were worth a million dollars. She didn’t care about the calluses.
“It’s such a beautiful night Brendon,” she said with a soft sigh. “Isn’t it?”
“The night is absolutely perfect, like you,” I told her, causing her to giggle. “I’m serious, Alena. Those stars way up there, they shine for you. All and only for you. Had you never been born, those stars would have burned out.”
“That’s non-sense Bren! The stars are suns, way off away. Had I never been born, they would still be burning. They have been for millions of years. Those stars have seen far more beautiful women than me.”
I shook my head. “Doubtful, because I never have. You are the only woman for me.”
She held her gaze on me, her green eyes turning blue, like the midnight sky above us. We had walked almost two blocks, the park and Big Ben not too far away. The air was still and there were almost no traffic, only a few stray cars. The London nightlife was dead, at least for this evening.
“Brendon, what if we had never met?” she asked, her voice gentle.
“I don’t know. I suppose life would be much different. I would have just gone on, making music, always in search for someone real.”
“Do you think you would have ever found her?”
“I suppose maybe I would have found someone, but not someone like you. You are one of a kind. I have never met anyone with the same amount of charm and wit that you have. Nor would I ever have met someone like you in all my life.”
“I have never met someone like you either. You are so talented and you are so joyous. You have so much fun and love for everything you do. It’s like magic.”
We were just entering the park now. It was beautiful and tinted with an array of Autumn colors that was brilliant even through the dark. We followed a lit path that wound around the park, taking smooth curves that twisted. I knew the path went by a small lake, where the moonlight shone brightly on the water.
I felt her shiver as we approached the lake; the cool air was wafting of the water, making the breeze seem colder. “Hold on,” I told her as I removed my jacket. I placed in around her shoulders, and she pulled it snugly against her.
“Thank you, Brendon,” she said. Her voice was sweet and delicate.
“You’re welcome,” I answered. We remained holding hands as the lake fell in view.
“Oh, wow!” Alena exclaimed. “Brendon, this park is gorgeous!”
“Would you like to sit down?” I offered her, gesturing to the bench.
“Yes, I would love to.” We sat down next to each other. The moon was just in the right place and it was at full size. The light fell down on her auburn hair and illuminated her whole face. Her beauty was perplexing to me.
“It is such a nice night. I feel like I’m in a fairy tale. I have this fear that something is going to come and rip this away from us, to ruin it.”
I put my arm around her and held her closer. “Never would such a thing ever happen to us. I would never let it happen. I promise to hold you this close forever and to never let you go.” I waited for her to say more, but when she did not, I spoke.
“Look in the right pocket of my jacket.”
She wore a confused look on her face. “Just do it, please.”
She stuck her hand in the pocket and I saw her face light up.
“Brendon…” she gasped, removing the ring box from it’s hiding place. I got off the bench, and onto one knee right in front of her. She held on the box, shaking in her hand. I opened it and removed the ring. It was my turn to shake.
“Alena Melody Lee Miller, I can’t imagine my life without you. I want to be the rock you stand on, the air you breathe and the fire in your heart. I want every part of you for always and forever. I want you to be my stars, my light, my life. I want to be you’re everything. I promise you right now that I will never let you down because I’m carrying you. I won’t get weary or weak.” Tears were coming down both of our faces now. “I want you to take this ring and say that’ll you’ll marry me. Please, Alena Miller, will you marry me?”
She covered her face, trying to hide her tears. “Brendon,” she cried, her hands trembling. “I’m sick. I’m going to die… I want to say yes, but if I do, you have to know what’s ahead of you…” she was choking as she was speaking.
“No, baby. I don’t care about any of that,” I told her, placing my hand over hers. “I don’t care one single bit. I just know that I love you and want you forever.”
“There won’t be a forever, Brendon. I can’t help to think that I’m going to die soon, that this will all be over and you will be alone.”
“No, Alena. That’s not going to happen and I know it. Just say yes, please just say yes.” I looked up at her, my heart racing. I could feel myself shaking, my whole body waiting for her answer. She moved her hands down from her face.
“Yes Brendon. Yes, I want to marry you!” She cried. “Yes, of course I will!”
I stood up and placed the ring on her left hand. She was officially mine.
“Oh Brendon!” she cried, throwing her arms around me. I picked her up and spun her around. I knew I was crying, but I didn’t care. I wanted to cry, run, leap, jump around! I just wanted to celebrate! I wanted to call her name from the rooftops, sing her name from the mountains! I wanted nothing more but for her to be mine, and now she was.
“Thank you,” I whispered, holding her close. She never answered me, but her presence was enough. Here, under the stars, the stars that burned only for her, we were happy. I had found love. She had said yes.
I felt her tremble and I knew she was scared. “Don’t be afraid,” I whispered.
“I can’t help it,” she cried. “I can’t help but to be afraid for us. What if I’m not everything you want and everything you need? What if…”
“No,” I told her. I grabbed her shoulders and pulled away, looking over her softly. “I know that you are all those things.” I brought my hand back and stroked her hair.
“Thank you Brendon,” she said, placing a kiss on my lips. It felt warm and soft, like she really cared.
“Look what it says in the ring,” I told her, suddenly remembering.
“Look on the inside of the ring,” I repeated.
Alena gingerly removed it from her finger and peered at the inner band. I could tell she was having trouble seeing it.
“What does it say?” she asked.
“My anchor, my sword, my shield, my all.”
“You are the anchor that keeps me here on earth. You are the sword that keeps me fighting. You are my shield that protects me. You are my everything.”
She wrapped her arms around me and kissed my neck. “Thank you. Brendon.”
“You are welcome, Alena,” I told her. I took her hand in mine. “Let’s go back.”
She smiled. “Okay,” she agreed.
Heat lightning struck high off in the horizon, causing orange light to flash, illuminating the sky. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. Rain was off in the distance and approaching fast. I could smell it in the air.
“Looks like rain,” she said from her spot next me.
“Sure does,” I agreed. “It sure does.”
I couldn’t help but to wonder if I had said the wrong thing. But I love Ryan so dearly, yet as I laid there in my new fiancés arms, I loved Brendon too. What was so wrong with me? I wondered.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked. It was after midnight and our flight was about at 7 am.
“I don’t know,” I answered. It was semi-true. I wasn’t aware of half the things that went through my mind. “I just can’t sleep.”
I rolled over so we were facing each other. He brought he his hand and brushed the hair from my face. “Things will look up in the morning,” he told me. “But for now, we have to sleep.”
I nodded my head. “I know Bren. I’m trying.”
He closed his eyes and sighed softly. “I love you, Alena,” he whispered.
“I love you too,” I told him. But my heart lurched at the word. I loved Ryan too. I was dying on the inside. I was being torn apart by this love. What if he ever knew? I wanted to cry out. But even I knew that I had put myself into this mess. I always do awful things like this.
“Go to sleep,” he cooed, petting my shoulder. “Go away with me.”
I closed my eyes. Brendon had asked me to go away with him, but in my dreams, Ryan and I were together.
The sunrise was beautiful. The orange horizon had lit up the breaking rain clouds, casting an eerie pale orange glow over everything it touched. The dark clouds huddled anxiously around the rising sun, as if they were waiting to pounce on the valiant force.
“Are you ready to go?” Brendon asked, walking up from behind me and wrapping his arms around my waist. I was looking out our giant window one last time, taking in London one last time. So many memories had been made here the last few days. Ones that I love, one that I hate, but all I would never forget.
“Yes,” I answered. “I think so.”
He brought his lips against my cheek. “I have never been happier in my life.”
“I have an appointment when I get back.”
I felt him draw back, as if he were surprised. “Yes, you do. You have one tomorrow at 1 o’clock.”
“I’m scared,” I told him.
“I know you are, but you will be all right,” he said.
“You don’t know that, Brendon,” I said, pulling myself out of his embrace. “You don’t even know that, so quit saying it.” I walked over and began to collect my bags.
“Alena, please stop this. I am just trying to help you,” he said, following me.
I stood up and looked him in the face. “If you really wanted to help me, you would tell me the truth.”
“Baby, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Okay! I am pretty much just convincing myself. Because I am scared to death for you. You make me worried sick.”
I pushed him away. “I told you that you needed to know what was coming. I told you that I am fragile and I could go soon, but you refuse to listen to me and I don’t know why!”
“Alena, it’s not like that at all. I don’t care about what happens!”
“So you don’t care about what happens to me then?”
“No, Alena, please listen,” he said, placing his hand on my shoulder.
I brushed him away and began toward the bathroom to grab the remainder of my items. “Alena,” he said, following me. “Please, baby. You know it’s not like that. I mean that I do care! I want you to be better and to not be sick. But even if you are sick, it’s okay with me. I won’t love you any less by any means!”
I turned to face him, and I could tell I looked really pathetic by the way his eyes soften. His brown eyes made me melt like ice cubes in a tanning booth. “I know… I’m so sorry.”
He took me in arms. “Alena, I meant what I told you last night. That’s why I asked you to marry me. Because I am serious. I want you to be mine for as long as physically possible. Even if it’s not forever, I understand that. It breaks my heart when you’re not with me. It tears me apart just knowing you’re sad or sick or tired. I feel everything you feel. It’s my choice. I don’t want it any other way.”
I can feel him staring at me. I know he is. I can feel his eyes penetrating the back of my skull. I wanted to tell him to stop, but Brendon was sitting next me. And I didn’t know what I would do if I happened to turn around and see Ryan’s lovely face and his sad, mournful eyes.
So I continued to face the front, where it was safe. We were almost back to Las Vegas.
“Are you all right baby?” Brendon asked. I looked over at him, his eyes concerned. I actually felt really sick all of a sudden, a wave crashing over me. Was it from the flight?
“Baby?” he repeated.
I swallowed the regurgitated content. “Yeah… I think so.”
“Are you sure?” he asked, reaching over and pushing a couple of brown curls from my face.
I only held my stomach and nodded. He pulled me toward him, so my head rested on his shoulder. He placed a kiss on the top of my hair and let me drift to sleep.
“Why does there have to be about 10,000 reporters everywhere?” Alena asked me as we were walking toward the terminal.
“Because we’re famous,” I replied, holding her hand.
“No, Brendon,” Jon said. “You two are the famous ones. You and Ryan are the ones all the girls want.”
“No way!” Spencer said. “I’m totally hot. You are the only non-ladies man.”
Jon rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I’m a stud.”
Spencer shook his head. “You’re a moron.”
Ryan just kept his hands in his pockets, his eyes hidden by his large sunglasses. You never really knew what was going through that kid’s head. I’m not sure if he even knew what was going through his head.
“Home!” I yelled, running into my condo. I ran down the hall and jumped and landed on the couch.
I heard Alena laugh behind me. “We’re going to have to buy new furniture if you keep this up!”
“No way!” I said. “I love this couch.”
“It’s a miracle the couch is still intact.”
“It’s a good couch,” I said.
“That couch is like three million years old,” Ryan said, walking past me and into the kitchen.
“So, what are you saying?”
“You need a new one. Listen to the wifey,” he hollered from inside the kitchen.
“She’s not my wife, at least, not yet!” I teased, throwing a wink in Alena’s direction.
She only rolled her eyes and collapsed with me on the couch. “So, when are we going to start the wedding plans?”
“Right now!” I yelled, in a chipper mood.
“Now?” she asked.
“Yeah, let’s start right now.”
“Don’t we need a wedding planner?” she asked.
“Not yet, we can do whatever we want for now. Let’s get some ideas together before we go see a wedding planner.”
“Okay,” she agreed. “So when do you want the wedding to be?”
“We need to get married before the Honda Civic Tour, which is in the spring…”
“So… like this winter?” she asked.
“Do you really want a winter wedding?” I asked. A winter wedding might be beautiful, but it didn’t sound fun. Or warm.
“No, not really. But the tour leaves us no choice, does it?” she asked.
“It leaves us the fall,” I answered.
Ryan poked his head into the living room.
“What are you talking about?” she asked, a quizzical expression on her face.
“Let’s get married this fall. Let’s do it in October or November.”
-Thanks so much for all of your wonderful reviews!! =]