-"She's the only reality I want to face." Brendon responded, looking away from his friends and down the hallway with an empty stare.-
Three weeks had passed and Brendon still hadn't left the hospital. He refused to. He had even hung a calendar in Kacy's hospital room. Her birthday was in 12 days. He had it circled. He had set up a few other items Kacy's mother had brought to personalize her room but they couldn't bring much because of hospital policy.
Today Brendon was sitting in the chair next to Kacy, smiling as he read her a letter he had written. He had been writing her a lot of letters lately. Instead of just talking to her it seemed to be easier for him to write down his thoughts and then read them to her plus he kept them in a box he had made for her so that she could have them when she woke up.
The doctors were a little more hopeful seeing as how her brain had been showing more activity with each passing day. A nurse had even taken the time to explain to Brendon that these things didn't happen overnight. She wouldn't just wake up and be perfectly fine. It happened in increments so each positive sign was building up to her hopefully waking up.
Brendon continued reading, "And they tell me that you when you wake up it'll be a cold hard road and you might not even be the same person anymore..." His voice broke as he thought that over as he had been doing for the last few days since it was said to him, "But I don't think that I have the strength to let you go."
Brendon reached out and gently took Kacy's hand in his. That was a step he hadn't been able to take before now and her soft warm hand felt so good in his. She felt so alive to him. Her bruises were starting to heal and the bandages were now off, now it was just up to her. She was the final piece to putting herself back together; she just had to wake up for it all to happen.
Kacy's fingers twitched against his but he did not move. It had already happened multiple times and the nurse had assured him that tiny movements were normal at this point. It didn't necessarily mean that she was waking up though.
"This isn't fair." Brendon went on, still holding Kacy's hand. The letter had been placed in it's box but he didn't need to see the words to speak them; he had already memorized everything he had written to her. "I never got the time to really show you just how much you meant to this world. Don't give up on the world Kacy. I promise if you wake up I won't let you give up on us." He stated, tears in his eyes as he fought against them. Crying wasn't getting him anywhere.
Kacy's eyes fluttered and Brendon's attention snapped to her face as he watched, gripping her hand tightly against his. "Kacy?" He asked, staring at her eyes. They had stopped moving for a moment but then they started fluttering open again. This time she stared up at the ceiling, blinking multiple times, producing wetness that flickered lightly down her cheek. Brendon stared in to her beautiful eyes but paused at how dimmed they looked. She wasn't looking around; she wasn't speaking. She was simply looking up at the ceiling.
Brendon tore his gaze from her and ran out of the room to get assistance; this had never happened before.
Lisa, Brendon, and Kacy's mother were all standing in the hallway talking to each other quietly as Ryan, Jon, and Spencer approached them. "There was change?" Spencer asked, referencing the text Brendon had sent to him.
Brendon slumped against the wall and Lisa answered for him, "They say it's normal for this to happen... I guess someone's eyes can open and they can still be unresponsive." She said, softly. Kacy's mother started crying once again as Lisa spoke.
"Oh." Spencer said softly, sitting next to Brendon as Ryan and Jon watched awkwardly, unsure of what to do.
They were all whispering as if they couldn't be loud but in reality they didn't really want their words to be heard because according to the doctors even though this was a good sign it didn't necessarily mean Kacy was going to be okay. They all just wanted her to be okay. "Why is this taking so long?" Kacy's mother asked, sobbing. "All these tiny changes in her are driving me crazy. I just want my daughter back!" She said, being the one to break the quiet whispering.
Brendon nodded, "I wish this was a movie because then she would've woken up already."
"The reality of waiting can be harsh." Ryan said, quietly. "But it doesn't mean we should give up hope."
"You already gave up hope." Brendon said, coldly as he looked up at his friend thinking of the phone call he had with him not long after Kacy had been admitted. "You were the first one to give up hope on her." He accused.
Ryan shrunk back as Lisa glared at him. "I don't want Kacy to be gone but I think that all of this waiting is just hurting everyone. We are going to need to choose a reality and face it." he argued, trying to be kind.
"She's the only reality I want to face." Brendon responded, looking away from his friends and down the hallway with an empty stare.
Three more days passed by slowly and Kacy's birthday was now in nine days. Brendon was losing hope that she would be awake by then and as it came closer for him to leave with his band he wasn't sure he would be able to so Jon and Ryan hadn't been talking to him much as they realized this. It had turned in to a huge argument and Spencer was the only one who had stuck by Brendon's side.
Hurtful words were exchanged and Jon didn't get how Brendon could throw something away so meaningful for a girl that he 'barely' knew but Brendon felt like he knew Kacy. He felt like he knew everything he would ever need to know in order to love her and he couldn't just let go. His inability to explain it to his friends had left a cold distance between them as they waited to see how things would turn out.
Brendon was holding Kacy's warm hand in his own hand as he watched her beautiful face, wondering what he would do. He really didn't know. He felt peace with her and he was afraid that if he left this building that it would disappear. That she would disappear...
"Uhh." Kacy let out a low moan and Brendon watched in wonder. He wasn't sure if he should ask someone to come. He didn't know if this meant anything. She let out another moan and tried to move not just her fingers but her entire arm but it wasn't cooperating with her so she ended up simply causing it to jerk and then lay still.
Brendon once again got up and went to get someone but this time his hopes were dimmed since he didn't want to feel hopeful if it turned out to be another 'normal' but slow change she was going through. As Brendon walked back in with a nurse they both saw that Kacy had moved her head and was looking around the room, seeming terrified. "My... My head." She mumbled, words seeming to not come easily to her. "It's loud." She finished and stared at them as if pleading for them to make it stop.
The nurse pressed a button and urged Brendon out of the room quickly as a few other people moved in to the room, leaving him out in the hallway unsure of what to think. My head is loud? It sounded as if she were insane. Oh god. What if they had been wrong. What if there was brain damage? He sat and held his head in his hands as he thought this over in his head. He came to the conclusion that it didn't matter. He just wanted her to be okay. Even if that meant she wouldn't be the same person. Even if she... was damaged beyond what the doctors could fix.
Brendon pulled out his cell phone and shakily sent out the update as he waited. It had been decided that he would update everyone on any change since he was the one that was around the most and so he had taken Kacy's mothers number to keep her updated even though she stopped by the hospital daily. She had already been at the hospital earlier but Brendon figured everyone deserved to know that Kacy had spoken. He didn't say what she had said though. They didn't need to panic until it was a for sure thing.
"She spoke?" Spencer texted back immediately. "What did she say?" Brendon didn't text back.
His phone started ringing and he picked up to hear Kacy's mother frantically asking him questions. "I don't know yet. They are in the hospital room with her. I haven't heard anything since they shooed me out." Brendon admitted.
She hung up telling him she would be there asap and then Lisa texted that she would be at the hospital soon too. Brendon figured Spencer was on his way too but he was surprised when he saw Ryan and Jon coming down the hallway with him about twenty minutes later.
"You guys came..." Brendon said in wonder as he stared at his friends. It made him feel better to know that they would still come after being so angry with him. He needed them.
"Of course we did." Jon said as Ryan and Jon wrapped Brendon in a hug. It only took Spencer a few seconds before he joined and then they stood in the hallway, hugging as Brendon cried hard. It had finally struck him through everything that happened that he could lose Kacy and he wasn't ready. He wasn't ready but he knew that with his friends he would make it through anything and they held on to him as he cried, shielding him from any shame he might feel.
Brendon finally pulled away and saw that Lisa was crying next to them as well. She was wrapped in Kacy's mothers arms and they were both crying. He felt his shame lift as he realized how good it felt to let go of being so calm. He didn't even wipe the tears off of his face as he felt them slowly dry. He didn't want to wipe his feelings away anymore.
"Ms. Benton can I please speak with you for a moment?" A doctor poked his head out of Kacy's room before walking out in to the hallway.
"Can I see my daughter?" Kacy's mother asked, looking towards the door where people were still inside.
"I'd like to speak with you first." He said, then he softened his tone. "But then yes you can."
"How is she?" Kacy's mother asked, staring at the doctor.
The doctor motioned towards another room, "Perhaps we could talk in private first?" He asked.
She shook her head. "I'd rather you tell us all." She said, determined.
The doctor nodded. "Well the damage from her head trauma was worse than we thought but she is now fully awake. It took her awhile to start speaking to us in a way that made sense but that's simply because she's confused." The doctor said, watching each person.
"Confused?" Brendon asked.
The doctor nodded and spoke again. "We've asked her a series of questions and put her through a few tests and it seems she has retrograde amnesia." the doctor stated.
"What does that mean?" Spencer asked for the rest of them as they confusedly watched the doctor for an explanation.
"It means she has no recollection of past events that have occurred. It's very rare for that to occur but it does still happen. We are still watching and have to keep her for at least a few days to run a few more tests. As she progresses we will see when it will be possible to release her but we are worried she may also have anterograde amnesia, which would mean that she won't be able to remember things that happen from now on. It may not be that way... But it's a possibility so we will have to see with time." The doctor stated.
"How do we start making her better?" Kacy's mother asked, tears dripping down both cheeks as she listened to the doctor.
"Well there are a few techniques for rehabilitation but nothing that's known to completely cure the amnesia. Sometimes memories come back... But you have to be prepared that they won't because the majority of people don't get their memories back." The doctor responded.
"She may never remember?" Lisa whispered, horrified.
The doctor nodded. "Some people come out of this with no noticeable problems past the memory loss though so right now we are hoping that she can retain memories."
"What about... What..." Kacy's mother whispered, sounding hopeful, "But in the movies... Sometimes the memories come back... We just have to remind her of things!"
The doctor shook his head, "It's not like the movies unfortunately. Even if she were to remember... It won't all happen at once. It would happen slowly so if she remembers one thing it doesn't necessarily mean she's completely cured." He said, keeping his tone neutral so that Kacy's mother would know that this condition was serious. "It's a miracle she even woke up so soon. These things can take years."
Brendon had been leaning against the wall listening until now as he spoke up, "Can we go see her now?" He asked, before anyone else questioned the doctor further.
The doctor nodded. "Yes. I think she'd like that. Remember, everything you can give her helps. Every piece of the puzzle brings her back together. It might not fit perfectly again but people learn how to make it work everyday." And with that he left them to think on what he had said.
Kacy's mother shook her head and sobbed, "I can't go in there right now. I just... I need a minute." She said, looking at the wall in despair.
Lisa nodded as well. "I'm not ready yet either."
Spencer looked at Brendon. "It sounds like it's your turn buddy." He said softly, looking at the ground.
Brendon nodded and stared towards the door. For all the time they had waited for her to wake up it seemed like such a big scary step to take to go in and talk to her. What if he said something wrong and made her condition worse? Was that possible?
As Brendon opened the door and stepped in he saw that Kacy was now sitting up in bed. Even though most of her bruises were now gone she still looked broken, the confusion on her face tore at him as he took a seat in the chair next to her.
"How are you feeling?" Brendon asked, at a loss as to what he should be saying to her.
Kacy's bottom lip trembled as she looked at him and tears fell from her eyes, "Am I alive?" She asked, whispering the words.
Brendon's eyes widened in horror as he nodded. "Of course you are." he said, standing and approaching her but she shrunk back as he did so he stopped and stared down at her fragile form.
Kacy began to shake as she sobbed a little. "You were there." She muttered to Brendon, confusing him.
"I was where?" Brendon asked, thinking maybe she remembered something after all.
"You were there in that cold dark place and I didn't remember anything. I still don't remember anything." Kacy said, sobbing harder. It tore at Brendon as Kacy stared at him, both lips now trembling as she fought to expel the words she was searching for. "It was so dark and so confusing and you were there. I heard you asking me to wake up. You were there." Kacy said, shaking back and forth for comfort as Brendon stared at her in surprise.
"I won't let you go back to that place." Brendon whispered, trying to find the right words to comfort her.
Kacy shook her head and kept her eyes on the wall in front of her. "Every time I close my eyes I go back."
(What do you guys think? I'd love to hear feedback!)