Brendon was breaking my hand, squeezing it so tightly. I was the one that was supposed to be nervous.
“Are you scared?” he asked. I nodded my head. We were in the waiting room, waiting to go in to see my doctor. My appointment was supposed to be at 1:00, but with the way doctor’s offices went, it was approaching 2:00.
“Alena Miller?” a nurse called my name, poking her head out behind a large wooden door.
I stood up and straightened my shirt. “Yes?”
“Would you come with me?” she asked. Brendon stood up too, took my hand and we followed the woman. It was the same doctor, but we were in his smaller clinic and not at the giant hospital where we had been before.
We got inside a small room with a scale for both height and weight along with other practical nursing instruments. She closed the door behind us and motioned for Brendon to sit down and for me to remain standing. She jotted some notes down onto her blue clipboard. “Okay, Miss Miller. Please remove your shoes and stand on the scale.”
I bent over and untied and removed each of my red and white Addidas then did as I was told. I waited for her to adjust some of the pieces. After a few more seconds, the scale beeped.
“157 pounds. You are a skinny young lady,” the nurse commented.
“Thanks,” I whispered, embarrassed for some reason. I felt fat, having Brendon hear my weight.
“And, we are 5’10” and ¼. That’s pretty good for your height and weight balance. Though I would recommend you put on some weight.”
I felt myself blush. I glanced over at Brendon and he only smiled at me.
She took my blood pressure, my heart rate, checked my eyes (they had gotten worse since my last visit), looked in my ears and took my temperature. Everything, aside from my eyes, checked out to be normal.
“Okay,” the nurse said, after she was finished with all of her measurements. “The Doctor will be in shortly to see you.” She gave Brendon and I a soft, kind smile before silently leaving and closing the door.
I sighed and sat down on the metal, half-cushioned seat that was intended for patients. I squirmed around on the uncomfortable over paper. I looked over at Brendon, who sat there with a sweet smile on his face.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he answered.
“What is it?”
“Whatever,” I said, crossing my arms. “Tell me.”
“You looked so cute when you were up there getting weighed.”
I shook my head. “No, I hate that you had to hear that.”
“Hear what?” he asked.
“Hear my weight,” I answered blatantly.
He laughed, but looked up at me with kind eyes. “Baby, you are gorgeous. No statistics or weight or anything else in the whole wide world is going to make me believe any different. I look at you, right now, as you are, and my heart begins to race. And do you want to know what, Alena? My heart is going to race just as fast for you forever, whether you’re 400 pounds or whether you’re still 150 something. Okay?”
I felt tears well in my eyes, and I nodded my head. “Thank you Brendon,” was all I could choke out.
He smiled at me, his large brown eyes kind and soft.
Suddenly, the door opened and the doctor entered. He was such a tall prestigious man, he reminded me of Abe Lincoln, minus the top hat and the odd beard.
“Good afternoon, Miss Miller and Mr. Urie. How are we doing today?” he asked, sitting down in his swivel stool.
“We’re great. We just got back from London, and we’re getting married,” Brendon answered for me. My heart sank at the word ‘married’. I loved him so very much, but my thoughts were back on London and that one night Ryan and I had spent together.
“Oh, wonderful.” He exclaimed. “It sounds like you guys had a wonderful time in the UK.”
I only nodded my head.
“But no matter,” the doctor said. “Well, Miss Miller, we are going to have a very busy afternoon. We have some blood work to do and a lot of tests to run.”
I nodded my head again. I was expecting that.
“First we are going to take a blood sample to have it sent in, then I’m going to do some scans on your eyes using ultraviolet light. It will hurt something awful, but it’s not damaging your eyes in any way. It allows me to see on the inside of your eye.” He reached over and turned off the lights. He clipped a picture to a board, causing a light to come on behind the picture. I gasped at the realization of what it was. It was picture of my left eye down to the very inside. It looked like something out of my freshman biology book, when we had to dissect the cow eyeballs. But this was my eye, and on the inside of it there were thin wire-like cord. I knew that was my optical nerve, the nerve that gave me vision. But, there, resting on the nerve, was a tumor the size the emerald on my new engagement ring.
“This,” the doctor continued, pointing at the tumor, “Is Amontillado; the only tumor of its sort. It rests right here, along the optical nerve. Even though it is in your left eye, this nerve specifically controls the picture your brain receives from both eyes. Your left eye will go first, followed shortly after by your right.”
I felt tears welling in my eyes, my evil, decaying eyes. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like the world was ending. I felt Brendon’s warm, strong hand in mine. He pushed my hair back and kissed my cheek. “I’m so sorry, baby,” he whispered. I couldn’t think of anything to say in that instant. I could hardly think of anything at all. How long?
And I guess I had actually asked the question out loud, because the doctor answered. “Maybe a month.”
“A month to live?” Brendon asked.
“A month of vision left.”
“How long does she have to live?” Brendon asked, his voice shaky and scared.
“That’s what the tests are for today, to see how long she has until the tumor spreads over into her brain. We are also thinking about doing surgery today.”
“Surgery?” I asked.
He nodded his head. “If you agree to it, and if it’s necessary. But the results may bare to be…”
“Be what?” Brendon asked.
I sobbed and fell against my fiancé. Tears were coming out now, falling faster, staining my face and Brendon’s lovely baby blue shirt. A month of vision. Was that really all? Is this seriously all I get? Would I die today? I took in a ragged breath. It scorched my lungs, and I felt dreadful. The air here was sour and poisoned, distasteful in the essence. I took in the scent of Brendon’s cologne. He smelt so wonderful and beautiful, while the world around us was horrid and disgusting. He was the only thing that was real at this point, this moment in time. I felt fragile, like a china doll that sat gracefully upon someone’s shelf, never to be touched, never to be played with, only to be seen.
“It’s okay, baby,” he cooed, running his fingers through my hair and holding me against him.
“Miss Miller, my team is going to do everything they can. But right now, you have to come with me so we can to the tests we need to perform. These tests just may save your life.”
I slowly pulled myself away from Brendon’s arms. I could feel myself trembling and scared. “Okay,” I whispered. I felt like a little kid again, like when you’re young and scared of the dark and you needed your daddy or mommy to check under the bed and in the closet for monsters. They would come in, with kind, sleepy eyes. They would lift up the blankets and push around stray toys and dust bunnies, “See,” they would say. “There is nothing there.” Then they would go to your closet, open up the door and say. “See, there are no such things as monsters.”
But I had no mommy or daddy and the monsters here were very, very real.
I followed the doctor down the hallway. Brendon had to go back to the waiting room. I looked back at him, as he was walking away, causing him to turn back and look at me.
“Alena Melody Lee Miller,” he called down the narrow hallway.
“Yes?” I asked, tears running down my face, trying to keep the fear out of my voice.
“I love you,” he answered. “I’ll love you forever and for always. I want to give you everything. I want to give you the world. I want you to be mine; no one else’s for the rest of our lives. When you die, I want to go too, because I can’t stand the thought of us not being together every single second. In fact, it tears me apart just to think that one-day, this may have to end and I’ll have to go to bed alone and dying each night. And I’ll wake up every morning and you won’t be there. I can’t stand it, baby. I can’t stand it! Dear God, I pray the He kills me and strikes me down with lightning before that day ever comes. Please, baby, be mine. I love you so God damned much!”
“Oh, Brendon!” I cried, running down the hallway toward him. He caught me in his arms; I threw my legs around his body, took his face in my hands and kissed him so passionately. “I love you too! I want to wake up with you every morning, in my arms, our faces so close together we have to kiss each other and may we never think of anyone else ever again!” I cried, placing kisses on his face.
“No matter what happens, baby, no matter what happens to us ever, I will always love you as much as I do right now.”
“I love you too, Brendon,” I said, holding him closer to me. “I’m so very sorry,” I whispered into his ear, stroking his face.
“Alena,” he whispered. “What have you done?”
I have betrayed you, I thought. I have cheated on you for the ugliest of reasons. I have taken your trust and threw it away, by lying in the arms of another man, the arms of your best friend. I am ugly and I don’t deserve you. God, I don’t deserve you!
“Miss Miller, please,” I heard the nurse say behind me.
I pulled away from Brendon, looking up into his large brown eyes, so soft and warm. But now they were darkened with concern and worry. He held my hand, even as I pulled away to walk with the nurse.
“I don’t want to let go,” he whispered, choking on his tears. “Baby, please, I don’t want to let go.”
“And I don’t want you to let go either,” I cried. “But we have to.”
“I know,” he said. He was crying now too. “I don’t know what will happen if I let go,” he whispered.
“I don’t know either,” I said softly, trembling. “I don’t know either.”
“I don’t want to let you go.”
“I’ll come back Brendon,” I whispered.
“I want you to come back, Alena,” he said, his voice soft and low. “But what if you don’t?”
“I’ll always come back,” I cried. “I’ll always come back.”
“I promise you with everything inside of me, Brendon.”
He then let his hand slip from around mine, and I felt my heart sink. Was I coming back? Did I just promise him something very, very wrong?
“I’m sorry Brendon,” I whispered, not taking my eyes off of him as I walked away.
“For what?” he asked. “Why are you sorry, baby?”
I didn’t answer, just followed the nurse. I didn’t stop looking at him until we turned the corner, cutting him off from my field of vision. I saw him say something before I turned the corner, but it was inaudible and distant.
Dear God! My heart cried. What had I done to him? What was I doing now?
I watched her walk away from me, the further she got, the more it hurt. I felt myself loosing touch, telling myself that this may be the last time we would ever see each other. “Why are you sorry?” I whispered to the stale hospital air, but she was already gone. I stared hard at the spot where she had just vanished, trying to picture her there again. I saw her long brown curls, bouncing around her shoulders, her large blue-green eyes and her sweet, delicate features.
“Mr. Urie?” A female voice said behind me.
“Yes?” I asked.
“You have to return to the waiting room now.”
“Please,” I begged, not taking my eyes away from the spot. “Please, just let me stay here for a moment longer.”
“Sure,” she answered. I saw her there, before me again. But she was only the act of my mind’s cruel sense of humor.
“Alena,” I whispered. “I love you.”
The house is empty, vacant without her laughter. The house has always been vacant. I wanted to go back to London, rewind back to that night. I would have stayed longer. I would have convinced her to stay with me, to stay mine. I would have never let her go. I would have even fought Brendon for her.
I am only sitting here, alone, on the couch, staring at her picture. It was of her in front of the Big Ben, smiling, and laughing. It was our first day in London, before we had committed our sin. Our love was the sweetest sin, the devil’s tricks never seemed more beautiful that night, but now, it was only bitter.
“Alena,” I whispered. “Why?”
But the picture remained frozen and silent, mocking me. I took it in my right hand and threw it against the wall as hard as I could, trying to rid her presence from my mind. But I didn’t need a photograph to see her. She was eternally in my mind, incased there, like a caged animal. The frame hit the wall and the glass broke, falling to the carpet like snow. The shards glistened in the late afternoon sunlight, casting rainbows onto her picture, now torn and ripped only feet from me.
“Why?” I asked the air again. Only the dead silence answered me, teasing me yet again.
‘Alone,’ it told me. ‘You are alone.’
“Are you ready?” he asked.
I shook my head no.
“Do you want to go through with the operation?”
“No,” I whispered.
“Alena, this could change your life.”
I couldn’t see with the bright light hanging over my eyes. I put my hand in front of my face. “This could also end my life, and I promised him I would come back.”
“You are going to die if we don’t remove this, you know that right?”
“What if you kill me today, right now on this table?”
“Do you want to lead a short life, always wondering what would have happened today?”
I sat up and pushed the light away. “I would rather live my short life than risk dying today. I promised him,” I whispered, imagining Brendon before me. “I promised him….”
Dr. White nodded his head. “I know.”
“I have to live this little life I have.”
He nodded his head. “I know that too.”
“How long will my life be?”
He sighed. “You have about a year.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. Of course, about a year, just as I had always thought.
“Do you want me to tell him?” he asked.
I only shook my head. “I will tell him.”
“What will you say?”
“I’m going to tell him I have another three or four years.”
“That would be lying. He will expect so much more time now, when ultimately your time is so far less.”
I nodded my head and sighed. “I can’t tell him I only have a year. He will stop playing music. He’ll give up on Panic at the Disco. He’ll want to take care of me instead of doing his job. He’ll stop dreaming and playing, and it will be all my fault. I don’t want him to ever stop playing. He told me he would give up making his music for me. Now, I’m afraid he will keep true to what he said.”
“You aren’t doing this for selfish reasons then?”
“No, I’m not. If I die, I have to die knowing that he never stopped playing, not once. Not even for me; especially not for me.”
“Is that why you tried to take your life?”
“Yes. I didn’t want to get involved. I knew this would happen. I’m in way too deep now. I can’t even begin to look back.”
“You could have prevented this.”
“How so?” I asked, looking up at him. Our eyes met.
“You could have used a noose.”
I laughed. I loved it when people had a warped sense of humor. And that was a good joke.
“Yeah, I probably could have, couldn’t I?” I shook my head. “Yeah, I’m a little too far in to consider the noose now.”
“But, surgery or not, I need you to come in a few weeks so we can give you the results of all of your tests.”
I nodded my head.
“No matter what I say, aesthetic never makes it better.”
I laughed. “If you were a dentist, I would ask for Novocain.”
“Dentists lie too,” he added.
“Everyone lies,” I told him.
He nodded his head. “Yes, everyone lies. You lie, or at least you plan to.”
“What are you, a physiatrist?” I smirked. I was being awful and I knew it. I wanted to be kind and caring, but I couldn’t help it.
“So, you’ll be back in two weeks then?” he asked me.
“Yeah,” I said, stepping off the metal table. “Two weeks.” I reached down to pick up my clothes, because I was in one of those awful hospital gowns.
“And Alena,” Dr. White said, standing up.
“That man out there loves you very much. I told him that you were dying, but I think he’s refusing to see it. Try to let him down easy. I think he’s the fragile sort.”
“Yeah, he is,” I agreed.
“Some of us aren’t as strong as you, Miss Miller,” was all he said before closing the door, leaving me alone in the soulless room, surrounded by the laminated posters and charts, the shiny metallic doors and the plastic chair.
“This is what you deserve,” I told myself aloud. My voice sounded vacant and hollow, full of fear and regret. But I couldn’t help to feel afraid, couldn’t help but to regret. I was going to hurt him so badly, everyone so badly. No matter what I did, no matter who I was with, I was killing them both.
“You should have used a noose,” I scolded myself, adding a grim laugh behind the words. “You should have just used a noose.”
[Author's Note: I wrote this after watching the Notebook. That movie makes me cry everytime and touches my heart. Thanks for still reading this. You guys are amazing. ((:]
Sign up to rate and review this story