Gerard is in hospital suffering from cancer, when he is told that he might not make it through the night. Short story.
'Cause I'm awful just to see
'Cause all my hairs abandoned all my body,
Oh, my agony,
Know that I will never marry,
Baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo,
But counting down the days to go.
It just ain't living.
“You will be fine, I promise. Everything will be okay.” Said Frank, desperately trying to hold back mellow sobs as he tightened his grip on my hand.
I couldn’t even talk, my throat was on fire. So I just smiled weakly, trying to make in convincing. It didn’t work.
“I give you my word, Gee, I promise as long as I’m here that I will never let anything hurt you, I promise… And I know that I’ve broken so many promises since I’ve known you, but I will honestly try my very hardest not to let anything hurt you, I promise…“ He said, as his voice beginning to break. I could tell he couldn’t continue, or he would break.
There we were, sitting in this small hospital room, I in a narrow bed and Frank hunched over beside me. The constant beeping of the machines around me would have sent me insane by now if I wasn’t so used of them. It was getting kind of cold and I could feel the oversized red beanie I was wearing start to slip down my face and cover my eyes. Frank looked up after I had let out a little grunt and rolled up the bottom so he could see my face again. Frank had bought me the beanie after I started to lose my hair; he chose a red one because he thought it would make up for all of the colour that I had lost. Just then, the door opened and a nurse entered the room, clip board at hand.
“Your close friends and relatives are on their way, Gerard.” She said grimly.
“What do you mean? … What’s happening?” I whispered with what was left of my voice. Frank turned to me, puzzled.
“I’m sorry,” She continued, “But the results are back. By the way your body is responding to the medication we put you on, it hasn’t worked. If the heart rate monitors and machines are correct, we don’t expect you to last through the night. I’m so sorry, but if there’s anything we can do for you…” She trailed off. I just lay there, trying to make sense of what she just said. Beside me, I could hear Frank’s breathing getting louder and uneven. The nurse gave us an unconvincing smile and left the room quickly.
“Gerard…” Frank spat out. “Gerard, this can’t happen! No, I won’t let it happen!” he began to sob, tears rolling down his beautiful face. He leant over and kissed my cheek, then my dry and cracked lips.
“I love you...” I said. “I love you, Frank.”
“I love you too. I always will.” He replied.
We sat cuddled together for a few minutes before the door opened again and Ray and Mikey entered the now cramped room. Frank and I broke apart, now sporting matching tear stains on each other’s shoulders. Mikey walked over silently, his eyes all glossy and red. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it and collapsed into the chair sitting on my remaining side as he reached out to me, tears beginning to escape his eyes. Ray sat down hesitantly on the end of the bed, next to my feet.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t stay with you longer. I’m such a terrible brother, and now it’s too late. I should have stayed with you when you needed me, Gerard. I love you, man.” He sobbed.
“It’s okay, I forgive you. I didn’t expect anyone to spend any time at all couped up in this shitty little hospital with me anyways.” I replied.
He smiled, and pulled me in for a brotherly hug. After a long moment, Mikey let go of me, and shuffled into the corner of the room to let Ray say his goodbyes.
He merely stumbled for words, just as Mikey had.
“It’s going to be one hell of a ride without you, Gerard. I can’t even begin to imagine what we’re all going to do without you here.” He started. “You’ve taught me so much, and I could never thank you enough for everything you’ve done. So, thanks.” He smiled through his tears, and shook my hand.
Wow. The Torosaurus was crying. I don’t think I’d ever seen that before.
A few hours had passed, and for the final time, the nurse entered the room.
“I’m sorry guys, but only family are allowed in private rooms after 11pm.” She announced. I looked at Frank, then Mikey and Ray.
Before I could say anything Mikey had blurted out ‘I’ll go, if Frank can stay with Gerard instead. I mean, it’s cruel if they can’t spend- Mikey paused for a second- Gerard’s last night together.’ He looked at me, waiting for an approval. I didn’t know what to say, so I just looked from Frank, to Mikey and back again waiting for someone to talk.
“Whatever Gerard wants is fine with me.” Said Frank.
“Well it’s decided then, Frank can stay instead of me.” Mikey looked up at the nurse and continued, “Can he…?”
The nurse hesitated, looked at Frank and I sitting together, hand in hand for a few seconds before wiping a tear away from her eye and nodding.
“Of course, just don’t tell anyone else okay? Now, you guys need to be out here in two minutes, okay?” She left the room.
The guys, well except for Frank, got up and walked over towards me to say their final goodbyes. Ray gave me a warm hug. It was the first, and last, in a long time.
“Goodbye Gerard.” He said, and stood aside so Mikey could say his goodbye.
Mikey pulled me into another hug, it seemed like he was never going to let go of his big brother.
“Say hi to Gran for me.” He murmured, and stood back.
I could barely see the two of them, the tears in my eyes were blurring my vision. I wiped my eyes, so the last look I had of my brother and my best friend were at least clear. We all exchanged one last goodbye, and then they left the room. Frank held out his hand to mine, and I held it for a moment and just stared into his eyes. I was going to miss this. I was going to miss him. I was going to miss everything.
After a moment, the lights went out, and I moved over in the narrow single bed so Frank could squish in beside me. I felt his small body against mine, and where our skin touched, I could feel his warmth against my sickly cold skin.
“I’m scared,” I whispered. “Frank, I’m so fucking scared.” I could feel the tears spilling out of my eyelids again.
“Me too, baby. Me too.” Frank kissed my cheek and hugged me tighter. He put his head on my chest and sighed loudly.
I know I’ve tried to end my life a few times before this, but now that I have Frank, I have everything I could ever want or need. And despite the fact that I might not wake up in the morning; life was perfect. I’m glad Mikey convinced the nurse into letting me spent tonight with Frank. Mikey really was the best little brother in the world.
There are so many things that I know will never happen. I will never get married, never have kids. I’ll never be there ever again for my baby brother. I don’t even know what will happen to me, where I will end up, when I go. Hopefully it will be somewhere where I can watch over my precious little angels.
I started feeling sleepy, gently nuzzling closer into Frank’s black hair. Then I realised; if I fell asleep, even by accident, everything would be over. I jerked upright, making Frank jump a little.
“Sorry baby.” I muttered my eyes once again swollen and red at the thought of everything.
“It’s okay Gee, I was almost asleep, thank you for waking me,” He kissed my nose, and wiped away my tears.
“Hey, everything is going to be alright, okay?”
I sighed and hugged him tight.
“I love you, Frankie.”
“I love you too, Gerard.”
I smiled and kissed his cheek.
An hour or two later, and after long heart-filled discussions and tears, I had noticed that Frank had fallen asleep on my chest. I didn’t want to wake him, so I quietly took off my oversized red beanie, and cautiously slid it onto his head, his body now peacefully still and wrapped within sleep. I kissed his cheek and whispered a quick Stay safe, Frank. I love you, and gently put my head against his. I was ready for my next adventure, whatever it be. I closed my eyes, as the darkness swallowed me whole, but left my heart behind.