“Brendon,” I whispered. But he did not respond. “Brendon?” I asked again, opening my eyes, I found that he was gone. The bed sheets and bedspread we had messed up with passion only several hours before were made up on his side, the blue blanket tucked and folded over the pillow, as if done by a hotel maid. A white envelope with my name written across it in cursive rested gently against the pillow.
I reached over and took it into my hand, careful as to not undo his lovely job. Upon opening the envelope, I noticed it smelled like Brendon. It was such wonderful cologne, not too sweet, but perfect. I took out a piece of white stationary and began to read the letter he had written.
Good morning beautiful! I woke up around sunrise and I saw your beautiful face and I couldn’t help but to cry. I would have told you that I was leaving, but I couldn’t dare think of waking you up. You looked so peaceful and angelic sleeping. It would have been sinful just to wake you.
But I forgot to tell you last night that I had to go to my sister’s today and help her with her deck. She’s really no good at building things... or putting things together. I’m going to be over there all day but I should be home around dinnertime. Don’t worry about cooking, I’ll pick us something good, or I’m sure Katrina will make us something and send it with me. I will call around noon to see how you’re doing and let you know if I will be sooner or later than expected.
I love you baby. I can’t wait to wake up to your face next to mine for as long a time will allow. I can't wait to share a last name.
-Your future husband,
Brendon Boyd Urie
P.S. Good luck at the doctor’s today. If I haven’t called around noon, call me please and let me know how it went.”
I held the letter to my bare chest and let out a large sigh. He loved me so very much. He couldn’t wait to share a last name? Really? I pulled out a notepad and pen from my nightstand and began to write ‘Alena Melody Lee Urie’ as many times as the paper would allow.
Alena Melody Lee Urie.
Alena Melody Lee Urie.
Alena Melody Lee Urie.
Alena Melody Lee…. But the last name formed an ‘R’ an ‘O’ and two ‘S’s.
Alena Melody Lee Ross.
They had the same amount of letters, but two very, very different meanings. I swallowed the lump in my throat and reread Brendon’s letter. My heart felt heavy in my chest and I could hardly breathe. “Oh Brendon,” I whispered. “I love you too.”
But I stared at the ‘Ross’, written by my hand. I felt like I had been stabbed right into my chest plate.
But I was the one who played with the sharp blade, the end of the knife covered with my own blood, brought out by my own hand. I was awful and I knew it. I ripped the page out the notebook, squished it into a ball and threw it across the room with as much ferocity as I could manage. I watched the paper soar, but land only with a soft ‘thud’ onto the gray carpet.
“Fuck,” I whispered.
It has been two weeks since my last appointment with my doctor, and the wedding plans are going smoothly. We are to be married a week from today in a church here in Las Vegas, but not one of those cheap ones. It is the beautiful traditional church, angelic white and with single steeple that stretched toward the never-ending Nevada skyway. Brendon said it was going to be a small wedding, and he was going to be sure that the press stayed away from us. The only celebrities he had invited were of course, Pete, Patrick, Andy and Joe. But he also invited The Academy Is… and Cobra Starship. The only other people attending were his parents and siblings then Ryan, Jon and Spencer. The colors were to be lavender, white and sky blue.
Brendon said that the sky blue would be almost cliché, because that’s the color my eyes were slowly turning. They were no longer the deep jade that they had once been. I woke up and looked in the mirror, and I found no matter what, I was shocked to find my eye color drained more and more each day, the clouds building around my pupil like the clouds right before a giant storm on the Kansas frontier. The end of my vision grew near, and I could smell the rain.
I do have to admit I am rather nervous for my appointment. I am sitting here in the lobby, waiting as always. I feel like I’m always waiting, waiting to for appointments, waiting on test results, waiting for my vision to go, waiting to die. Death is one thing I am unafraid of, one thing I do not fear anymore. Death has haunted me for a very long time, and now, Death seems just like an old friend.
The only thing that Death brought was the End, the infinite passing, leaving behind everything you know and love. Death was the absence of life. As of current, my life consisted of Brendon.
And I was absolutely terrified to leave Brendon behind.
“Alena Miller?” A nurse called from the door. This was becoming a perpetually bad habit. I rose from my chair and followed her through the large wooden door and into the hallway. She measured and weighed me again, nothing much had changed. I had only gained a few pounds, and that seemed to make her happy. She dropped me off in the same room as she always did, telling me that the doctor would be in soon. Wow, shocker. I thanked her and she left quietly.
I laid back on the rough paper just to stare at the blank starch white ceiling above me. It was nothing special, white and empty, made of that weird foamy stuff that felt weird to touch. I let out a sigh.
“Why hello Miss Miller,” Dr. Gray said as he entered the room, his head almost touching the odd foamy stuff on the ceiling with his height.
I didn’t bother to sit up. “Hello Dr. Gray.”
“You look tired,” he stated simply.
I didn’t seem him smile, but I was pretty sure he did. I slowly sat up and looked at him with tired eyes.
“How are your wedding plans going?” he asked, looking down to his clipboard. He seemed interested.
“They’re going good. We’ll be getting married in exactly a week from today.”
He smiled warmly. “That’s good to hear.” He paused a moment. “So tell me, how are feeling lately? Do you find yourself having any morning sickness often?”
I scrunched my head in confusion. “No, why? Is that part of my… disorder?” I asked. I cringed at the word ‘disorder’ knowing that it was by far the most inaccurate thing to ever come out of my mouth. Cancer was the word I was refusing to speak aloud.
“No,” the doctor said, shaking his head and laughing. “Tell me, can you smell any better? Do your breasts hurt?”
I shook my head, skeptical. Did I smell better? I didn’t know. “Yeah, kinda.”
He paused a moment, jotting stuff down on his clipboard. “Are you and Brendon having sex?”
I sat there a moment, frozen. More than just with Brendon. I thought bitterly to myself. I adverted my eyes from Dr. Gray. “Yes, why?” I asked.
He put a bemused expression on his face. “How long has it been since you’ve had your period?”
“Almost 6 weeks.”
“So,” he said, trying to keep the humor from his voice. “You’re having sex with Brendon, you haven’t had your period in six weeks and you have some of the symptoms.”
“Some of the symptoms of what?” I asked.
“Well, from your urine samples that you gave us during your last visit, we have found that you are… Well, Alena, you’re pregnant. You’re going to have a baby.”
It was almost 9 pm and Alena hadn’t returned yet. Brendon had called the house phone several times now, worried because she hadn’t answered her cell phone all day. We both called the hospital, but the nurse said she was there for her appointment and had left around 11 am; only 10 minutes the doctor had called her back.
Something was terribly wrong.
Brendon couldn’t leave his sister, very pregnant and with an unfinished deck. James was over in Iraq, leaving Katrina alone. Brendon hated being away from his sister. He couldn’t leave now, not even to find Alena.
“I’m sure she’ll be home soon, Brendon,” I assured him, trying to keep the nervousness out of my voice.
“Okay,” he said, letting out a very deep sigh. “I will call soon, Ryan. Please have her call me the moment she shows up.” His voice was sad and pleading.
“Don’t worry, Brendon, I will.”
“Ryan,” he whispered into the receiver, as if he were trying to keep his voice down. I’m sure Katrina was close to him, listening. I imagined to worry and the darkness written on her weary yet beautiful face. “Ryan,” he repeated. “I can’t help but to worry.”
“I know,” I answered. “Neither can I.”
The other end of line went silent and I knew he had returned to his sister. I cradled the phone in the receiver, holding it there, waiting.
Waiting for her headlights in the window, waiting for her to call, waiting for anything.
Suddenly, a pair of headlights grazed the window, sending yellow unnatural light into the kitchen.
I knew it was her. I hurried and sat at the table, trying to look conspicuous. She stumbled in, letting the cold autumn breeze in behind her.
She walked into the kitchen, slammed down her purse and walked over to the refrigerator, tore it open, looked inside, then quickly shut it.
“Why does everything suck?!” she asked, her voice bitter and full of reproach.
“Alena, where have you been?” I asked, trying to keep my voice level.
“Why does it matter?” she asked violently, throwing her fist down heavy on the counter. I could smell the liquor wafting off of her, just like George. I hated his name, my name, our name.
“Brendon has been calling. Damn it, Alena, he’s worried about you.”
“If he cared, he would be here,” she retorted, but I could see it in her eyes that she instantly regretted saying such a thing.
“He’s with Katrina, Alena.”
She turned away from me. “I know.”
“Alena, where have you been?”
“Out,” she answered; her voice wavered. I stood up and placed her hand on her shoulder, her whole body quivering and tense.
“Out where?” I pushed.
She slapped my hand off of her shoulder. “It doesn’t matter, Ryan. I fucking told you that.”
“It matters to me, Alena. It matters to Brendon too. He’s been calling all damn day, just trying to get a hold of you.”
“I know,” she answered blankly.
“Don’t you care?” I asked. I grabbed her face and turned it toward mine. Her beauty was striking and fierce, causing my heart to sink.
You were mine.
“I care,” she whispered, placing her hands over mine, but I wouldn’t remove them from her face. Not now that she was so close. “Of course I care.”
“Then what in the hell possessed you to just fucking leave like that Alena? You didn’t call, you didn’t do anything.”
“I drove a lot,” she replied, keeping a sarcastic tone.
“You drank a lot too, I can tell.”
“So what, Ryan? What does it even matter to you?”
I let go of her face and threw my hands in the, exasperated. “Alena, I will always care about you.”
“Will you care if…” but she let her words trail off.
“Alena,” I said, keeping my eyes fixed on hers. “I pulled you from your own blood in the middle of a bathroom floor. I cared then, didn’t I? I watched you hold the blade in your hand, nearly dead, lying the before me. I cared so much right then, and I haven’t cared any less since. So what in the fuck would make you think that I don’t care now?”
She only looked at me, our faces even because she was so tall. I thought maybe she was taller. Her blue eyes only took in mine. So many emotions were hidden, clouded by her inability see very much. It must be easy to hid emotion like that.
“Ryan, I’m pregnant.”
My mouth fell open and I took a step back, to keep myself from falling over. “What?” I could hardly choke out.
“So you see why I’ve been gone now, don’t you?” she asked, keeping her voice icy and with much resentment.
“I know Ryan. I know! Okay, that’s what I’ve been telling you! That’s why I’ve been gone, thinking, drinking,” she added. “Uncharacteristically drinking; but drinking, non-the less. I know everything, Ryan. I’ve considered everything. I’ve taken into consideration the fact that this could be your child. I understand what that would mean, how it would change everything. I mean, trust me, there is much I haven’t figured out yet. Like, the last name it will have…. I can’t even think of that right now.”
“He’s about to be your husband, but could possibly not be the father of your child…” He paused a moment. “Possibly… our child.”
“Don’t say that, Ryan.”
“What? Is it so wrong to say that?”
She closed her eyes and turned, as if she were in a lot of pain. “Yes, yes it is.”
“Why?” I asked. I was getting angry. Everything we did was so wrong, I knew it was, but couldn’t dare stand to think of it that way.
“Because our love was wrong!” she yelled, her face ignited with fury.
“Was…?” That seemed next to impossible. I still loved her as much as the day I first felt it. But here she was saying… was. We were. We had been. All past tenses. Something I had always known but would never lightly accept.
“Yes, Ryan. It was. Get over it, please! I am sick of running around here, thinking about you. I hate having you so God damned close to me. It’s like, there’s so much temptation there. I can’t stand that, just knowing that Brendon, the man I love more than you, is always with me, oblivious to everything. I mean, honestly, Ryan. I can’t keep up this charade forever.” She took a step forward and kissed my lips. I could taste the sickly sweet liquor on her warm breath. “I loved you once, George Ryan Ross.” Her eyes were cold and flat as she said her last words. “But not even love can fix the world.”