“There were complications.” The doctor started out slowly and my heart began to race again.
“I’m sorry.” I said quietly.
Hart looked up. “What on earth do you have to be sorry for, Franklin?” She asked quietly, touching my hand.
“You told me not to tell Gerard about Mikey…” Mikey frowned. “because it would put both of them in danger. And I didn’t listen. I thought that it would be a good thing if we left – and that nothing bad would happen.” I started to cry. “I told him nothing bad would happen. I promised I wouldn’t let anybody hurt him.” I sobbed. God, what kind of awful person was I?
“Oh, Frank…” Then I didn’t notice that she hadn’t called me ‘Franklin’. I was too busy wallowing in my own sorrow. “None of this was your fault. We don’t have control on what’s going to happen. There are ways we can prevent it but… we can’t save everyone.” As true as I knew her words were, I hated how she made it sound as if Gerard was already dead.
“I’m sorry for what I said.” Mikey added in quickly. “To Gerard, I mean. I shouldn’t have blamed him for it. I shouldn’t have…” He seemed to be talking to himself more than me or Hart.
“It’s neither your fault, nor Frank’s.” Hart said – her firm tone of voice told us that she wanted this conversation to be over, so Mikey changed the subject to one that wasn’t really any better.
“Do you think he’s gonna make it?” He whispered. Out of instinct I grabbed his hand in mine.
“I know he’s gonna make it.” I said confidently.
Hart shot me a look as if to tell me not to get Mikey’s hopes up, just in case the worst occurred, but I didn’t care. The look on Mikey’s face was great – he looked so happy at those words; that his brother would make it out of this alive. I tried to match his joyful expression but I couldn’t bring myself to – because still, a part of me was telling me that this was all my fault. If it hadn’t been for Eric—
Shit. That was another thing. Eric didn’t exist, which meant that I had set fire to the church and the reason I was put in Mountain View was not just because my parents hated me – it was because I was actually crazy and I belonged there. I looked at Hart. She had known all along – I was just another patient who was in denial about their ‘problem’. What was it, Schizophrenia? It had to be. Great, I was schizophrenic – and because of that, Gerard was in a cold dark room, being cut open by doctors who were trying to save his life. Or take it.
“Excuse me?” The same doctor from the ICU opened the door and stood awkwardly in the doorway. Hart motioned for him to come in and he took a couple steps inside the room, closing the door quietly behind him. We all stared at him waiting for an answer, he looked down. “There are no words to express how sorry I am.” He started.
Mikey let out a strangled cry and his head fell into his hands. My head fell back on my pillow and I shut my eyes hoping to stop the tears from falling.
“He’s dead, then?” Hart said. Her voice cracked and I knew that she herself was crying as well as me and Mikey. How could she ask a question like that? The doctor said he was sorry, didn’t that mean that all hope was lost? Gerard was gone for good?
“Well…” Both Mikey’s head and mine snapped up to look at the doctor, surprised.
“Well? You mean he’s not dead?” Mikey asked, hope returning to his features. “He made it through the surgery?” He asked, a small smile playing at his lips.
I wanted to tell him not to get his hopes up – the doctor had said that he was sorry, which means that something went wrong. I was afraid to know what it was, but at least Gerard wasn’t dead, right?
“There were complications.” The doctor started out slowly and my heart began to race again, causing the monitor next to me to beep rapidly. He sighed as a nurse ran in, checking to see if I was having a heart attack or something.
“Sorry, just nerves.” I apologized – she looked at me for a moment then at the doctor, who nodded, and she left the room. “Sorry…” I said again, this time to everyone in the room. “Continue.” I mumbled.
“There were complications…” He started out slowly. Yeah, we got that. “Gerard flat-lined in the middle of the operation – one of the bullets had found it’s way into his upper abdomen, close to his heart; it took serious concentration and care to get it out without damaging the heart itself. Of course, when the heart detects a threat, the brain sends a signal to it; and it shuts down to protect itself.”
“So, his heart stopped?” Mikey asked quietly.
“Yes. But after a few minutes of Defibrillation, we were able to restart it again.” He took a deep breath. “Unfortunately…” He started, looking uncomfortable again. “Gerard never regained consciousness.”
What does that mean?
He looked right at me as if answering my silent question. “He’s in a coma.” He explained quietly. Mikey let out another sob and ran his hand through his already messy brown hair.
“And…” I started, knowing that he was going to say something more.
He stared at me for another moment.
“And we don’t think he’s going to wake up.”