Someone is holding my hand.
My blind eyes cannot see whom.
I fell like I’m falling.
Two voices say my name.
A third voice joins the noise now.
I feel like skin slide over my eyeballs, but I do not see the action occur.
It’s like fire.
I feel the air enter my mouth, but I do not see my chest rise.
Only bitter anticipation and sheer agony fill my lungs.
There is no oxygen in the thick air.
“Ryan,” I say.
“Brendon,” I say.
Though it hurts to recall whom I asked for first.
They answer me, but I can’t find the strength to speak again.
“We’ll get that baby out soon, miss. And you’ll be A-okay,” the female nurse tells me.
I do not listen.
She is a liar.
I'm dying, I feel it.
I close my eyes, my ears and try not to breathe in the fire.
Death is close.
It tastes like sulfur, smells like sulfur and feels like getting cut without the anesthetic.
I deserve all this.
I can see it, this is what hell feels like.
I'm so close.
In my head, I try to picture Jesus's face.
But he isn't what he used to be, not the Sunday School figure I was preached.
He does not come off the cross for a sinner such as I.
I breathe the sulfur once more.
This isn't so bad.
The only part that I regret is that I can't say I'm sorry,
only because I don't want to take it back.
She looks like she’s dying. She is pale. Her eyes are dark and in pain. Her breathing is hard, and she lost her vision many months ago.
I try to talk to her. I hold her hand and whisper all the beautiful things I think of her, but she hurts. I fear she does not love me as she once did.
I don’t like to picture her as she is now; the blue-eyed ghost of her former self.
She looks sick all the time, and it breaks my heart.
Sometimes Ryan will come over to our new house, and spend time with her, and we’ll play a song for her. She will smile for a short while, with her hand on her large tummy, humming along with us.
“The baby loves the music,” she said once with a smile. “I can feel it moving all around in there.”
Ryan and I would both walk over to couch where she way laying and we would place our hands on her stomach and feel the baby kick.
“She’s excited to see the world,” Ryan commented, smiling.
“How do you know it’s a girl?” I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t. It’s just what I’m hoping for.”
“I want a boy,” I said.
“You’ll get what you get, baby,” my wife said, though some part of me pains to think she wasn’t speaking to me.
She began to hum to herself again, and rub her large stomach.
Ryan reached out and pats my hand. “You guys will make it through,” he whispered, then leaves, a guitar on his back.
“I hope so,” I say, though the room has been silent for hours. My wife sleeps, her normally troubled face now content.
I reach out and touch her cheek.
“I hope so.”
She stirs beneath the contact, and her skin is moist. Tears from some distant place have managed to make their way down her face, in quiet distain.
I press my lips against her neck, feverish and sweating. I leave them there for a moment, and pull away.
“Don’t go Ryan,” says her voice from her slumber.
Agony rips through me, my heart falling to my stomach.
“Don’t go,” she repeats, her eyelids fluttering open. She cannot see me, but in her eyes I can see myself, like two small, round mirrors.
“I won’t go, Alena,” I told her, though the words can hardly find their way out of my mouth.
Looking at her now… I just don’t understand.
I don’t know what I’m looking at anymore.
I don’t know who I’m staring at.
Wires weave from her body, doctors are yelling at each other.
Things have gone all wrong.
Brendon is falling apart at the seams, staring down at the room where his wife is pushing out my child.
Our lives are fucked up.
Sweat pours down Brendon face, sweat, tears, and if it were capable, blood. I want to reach out and hold him.
But to hold him now were to be evil. I had no right at all.
Had it not been for me, his wife wouldn’t be down there, clearly dying.
We all knew her body couldn’t take the stress of the pregnancy.
I tried to deny.
Brendon tried to deny it.
But she’s been dying for the last nine months.
“Why Ryan?” he asked, his voice sour and spiteful. “Why would God take her from me?”
I only stared at him, unblinking.
I watched him pull back his fist and punch the wall as hard as he could. The brick takes to his knuckles like a determined Nazi soldier. The flesh peels from the bone, and blood pours from his hand like the tears from his face.
But even I knew the pain wasn’t what hurt him.
“She’s not gone yet, Brendon,” I whispered, but the noise rang in my ears.
He only stared at his wounded hand, in awe of what he had done. It looked incredibly painful.
“She’s not gone,” I repeat.
Again, no sound came from the broken man before me.
“Brendon Urie,” a nurse said. He looks up quickly, like he had just been slapped.
“Yes?” he asked. The panic in his throat caused mine to ache. I swallowed, but it did not go away.
“Come see your wife and new baby girl. Come see.”