I planned to have a very long shower, spend ages on my hair, put on my best summer dress, put on my favourite make-up and then drive over to Frank's. I was going to ask him out on a date. I wanted to be in a proper relationship with him. It may not work and it may last until we're 30. But I wasn't worried about that now. He just needed to know how much I care for him.
"You're so cute and grumpy when you sleep." A familiar voice said in my ear.
"Hm? Really?" I replied.
"Yeah." And then I was being kissed. First my forehead, then my cheeks and my neck. I moaned and opened my eyes. Frank's beautiful hazel eyes were staring down into mine. He was laying soft kisses on my neck and jawline.
"Frank, we need to talk." I said with a slight moan.
"I know," Kissing. "Its just that now you're back..." More kissing. "I don't want to ever let you again."
"Technically it was me who let you go." I said. He stopped kissing.
"Ok then, I'm never going to let you let me go again." He smiled and kissed my lips. I kissed him back and it just felt right. This is what I wanted. There was no other way to describe it.
TWO YEARS LATER
It had been exactly two years since me and Frank got together. Since then, I had moved out of New Jersey and relocated to New York city. I was one of two assistants for magazine editor and I lived across the hall from Gerard and Mikey with my best girlfriend Alyssa. Living across the hall from Gerard and Mikey kind of reminded me of 'Friends'. Frank lived a little bit further away. Originally, he was going to wait until he could afford a place in my building but I think he gave up. I kept thinking he should come live with us but I didn't want it to get too crowded and I didn't want to ask Alyssa to move out just so my boyfriend could move in.
"Bob Michael's office, Nancy speaking, how can I help?" I said into my office phone.
"Hey Nancy, its Frank." I smiled when I heard his voice. "You sound more and more robotic everyday."
"Glad you think so." I said sarcastically. "You're not really supposed to be calling this line."
"I know, but I've barely seen you at all this week and I knew this would be the only way I could talk to you." Frank said.
"I've been working Frank. Its the thing adults do to make rent."
"Happy anniversary to you too." Frank said in a grumpy tone.
"I was getting to that, Frank. I love you, happy anniversary."
"I love you too."
"I hope thats downstairs on the phone, Miss Carter." My boss said as my work collegue, Summer walked in. She hated me and I hated her. She gave me a smug look.
"Got to go Frank, I'll see you at dinner." and I hanged up. "Sorry sir."
"Ach, don't worry about it. I make personal phone calls the whole time." Bob said with a smile. "Anniversary today?" I nodded. "How many years you been married?"
"Oh, Frank and I aren't married, we've just been going out for two years. Since high school actually." Summer made some faces. I shrugged her off as my boss walked on and I started doing some paper work.
I hung up the phone trying so hard not to be angry. Ok, I guess I'm not angry but I feel like I can't call my girlfriend anymore.
"You're allowed to call her Frank, just not when she's at work." Ray said, not looking up from MY newspaper.
"I know that Ray. I just..." I stopped. "I love her, Ray. I just want to talk to her all the time."
"Ah, young love." Gerard came out of his room. "You know, you wouldn't have this problem if you would just get a job."
"I have a job." I retorted.
"Playing a few nights a week in a club, isn't a job." Gerard replied. I muttered darkly and stood up. I snatched my paper from Ray and left the apartment.
I knew I didn't have a job. I was unemployed, borrowing money from my parents to pay for rent. My Grandma even chipped in. And I hated that. Maybe I should just move back home. I only moved here to be closer to Nancy. If I moved back, I could get a proper job, and visit her every weekened.
Or I could propose to Nancy. No. Way too soon. Or is it? Its been two years since we started going out. Maybe marriage will make things even better.
Lunch time rolled around and I was sat in a café having lunch with Mikey. My cell phone rang and I thought it was going to be Frank. But it was unfamiliar number.
"Do you recognise this number?" I showed it to Mikey as I bit into a carrot stick.
"Yeah, thats my mom's cell." Mikey said. He answered it for me. "Hey mom!" He exclaimed. "Nancy's right here." Then his face fell. Something had happened. "We'll be on the next train."
"What is it?" I asked as he closed my phone.
"Its Aunt Jess. She was found unconscious in her kitchen." Mikey said. He stood, up grabbed his coat and dug around for some money. He left a twenty on the table and started to leave. I just stared into the space where Mikey had been sitting. "Nancy! We gotta go!"
"Ok." I squeaked. He grabbed my hand and pulled me along. Next thing I knew, we were on a train with Gerard, standing up because there was no where to sit down.
"Where's Frank?" I asked Gerard as he held me. I had been crying but silently. I was soaking his shirt.
"I tried calling him but he's not home and I guess he let his cell die." Gerard whispered.
"He doesn't have cell phone anymore. He had to sell it to buy food." Mikey said. I made a fist and hit Gerard softly.
"The one time I need him." I hit Gerard again and started crying.
"Ow..." Gerard said. "Nancy, its going to be alright. I'll call him again when we get to the hospital. Everything is going to be fine." And I hoped to God it would be ok.
When we got to the hospital we found Gerard and Mikey's parents in a waiting room. Running in heels isn't great. Its even worse when you're in a little skirt.
"Does anyone know what happened?" Was the first thing I asked.
"I went in give her a casserole and I found her on the floor. She was really cold." Mrs Way told me, she was in shock. I patted her arm to tell her it was ok and then I went to find a doctor. The doctor led me to Aunt Jess. I made Mikey come with me while Gerard phoned Frank again.
"We think your Aunt had some kind of a seizure was knocked unconscious by hitting something, like a table, or a work surface." The doctor told me. "She's had some serious injuries to her head."
"Is she going to wake up?" Mikey asked him.
"We don't know right now. We just have to wait. That machine is keeping her alive for now" The doctor said. "We're going to run more tests." He left the room and I went to sit by Aunt Jess' bed. Tubes and all sorts of rubbish were connected to her body. Mikey put his hand on my shoulder and someone else came in the room.
"Frank still isn't picking up." I heard Gerard say. "I called Ray but he's been having issues with his phone and he doesn't own a cell. Ray managed to understand some of what's happened and he says he'll look for Frank."
"Thank you." I whispered. I took Aunt Jess's cold hand and prayed that she would wake up.
Two hours later and nothing had changed, she just felt colder. And Frank still hadn't come. Ray had searched everywhere he could think of and so had Frank's band mates. No one knew where he was.
My Uncle Chris has arrived. He and my Aunt Jess had divorced years and years ago but he was still down as her next of kin. They still cared for each other deeply and it meant a lot to be that he was there. I hadn't seen him since my parent's funeral. Which was unusual cause we both lived in New York.
"What are we gonna do if we have to...make that decision..." I asked him. The Ways decided to go home and rest up for a few hours before coming back.
"What decision?" His voice was gruff from years of smoking and more so now because of crying.
"That machine will have to switched off." I said. "One of us has to make that decision."
"She'll pull through Nancy." He said. I stared into his old eyes. He was much older than Aunt Jess but he had the stresses of being a New York cab driver.
"You don't know that." I muttered. This was one the reason why he wasn't married to her anymore. He was always determined that everything was going to be alright even thought it was clear as day that everything was falling apart in front of him. He was a bit like Frank.
I sighed and the doctor came in. He cleared his throat to make his presence known.
"What's happening?" I asked. Uncle Chris came around the side of the bed and took my hand. It was warm and sweaty but I didn't care. My hands were cold.
"I'm afraid that your Aunt is dying." He said. I burst into tears and Uncle Chris hugged me.
"How is she dying?" He asked.
"Well, we think that, when she was found she was in the process of shutting down and we interrupted that by putting her on a life support machine." The doctor said the word "interrupted" as if it was a bad thing that she had been found.
"You have to make the decision to take her off the machine." I told Uncle Chris. "You're the next of kin. Its out of my hands."
"You say there's nothing more you can do?" Uncle Chris asked.
"We've already done everything we can." The doctor replied. "I'm so very sorry."
"Ok," Uncle Christ said. "Take her off the machine." It killed him to say that. His eyes were empty and filled with tears.
Oh God. What have I done? Where was Nancy? Where was Gerard and Mikey? What. Have. I. Done.
All I remember was being mad at Nancy for not showing up to dinner. I called her work, I called her house, I even called Alyssa but she didn't know anything. I called Gerard and Mikey but there cell phones were turned off and I called Ray but he wasn't picking up. And then I went to a bar to drown in my sorrows. My girlfriend didn't turn up to our anniversary dinner that I scraped and saved to pay for so I assumed she wasn't coming. And I was gonna propose. I got drunk. So very very drunk.
I woke up naked in a strange bed, in a strange room, in a strange apartment with a stranger lying next to me. She was as equally naked.
I just got the hell out of there. And now I'm home. I showered to get rid of any smell, threw my clothes in the wash immediatly and I crawled into my own bed with a t-shirt of Nancy's so I could have her smell near me.