"Why is it always him?" Read, review, rate and feel my love. :P
“Mikey, bro, please be okay. I know that you can do it, I know that you can pull through.”
I sigh and squeeze his hand like I have been every other second, tears fighting to march down my face like soldiers capturing a town.
“I don’t know what I’ll do if you don’t.”
I’m only met with the antiseptic silence of the hospital room, the sort of silence that isn’t really silence at all; it’s blaringly loud and if it wasn’t for the fact that my baby brother is connected to that not-silence I would be as far away from it as humanly possible. This not-silence couldn’t be less silent if I were stood in a nightclub; it’s full of the ticking of the cheap, white clock hung up on the pale blue wall of my brother’s room, a ticking that reminds me of how many agonizing hours have passed without Mikey waking up; it’s dusted with the sounds of doctors rushing around outside, trying to save the life of some other kid when they should be doing more to help my baby brother; it’s ousted with the cries of injured children, cries that rattle me because I wish it were Mikey’s cries infiltrating my ears because then at least he wouldn’t be in this dangerous sleep-state; but the sound that dominates all, that makes me both hopeless and hopeful, is the steady pants of the life support machine. The machine that won’t let him down like I have, the machine that’s keeping him alive; the machine that no kid should have to be hooked up to.
Why is it always him?
We used to joke about his bad luck, back when it extended to nothing more than always losing card games and always forgetting his umbrella on rainy days, but now I think I’d sooner cry than laugh at the idea of luck.
I am crying about it now, my eyes trained on my little brother’s barely recognisable, yet still childishly adorable and innocent, face. A face that is so torn up that it’s covered in bandages, wrapping around his face and the back of his head, bandages that are already stained with appalling blotches of dark red. The doctor said that Mikes was lucky not to lose his eyes.
This isn’t fucking lucky; it’s unfair and wrong and terrible and I wish that it was me, not him, lying in a barely functioning state.
I wish it was me that got hit by the number three-zero-one bus to Belleville Library from Belleville Town Centre; that got smashed along the road like a lion-led gazelle corpse; that got rushed off by a speeding ambulance to the place that he fears the most. That got scraped off of the tarmac by strangers, without a familiar friendly face in sight. He must have been so frightened, so petrified; they told me that he was just about awake when they got to him. Awake, but completely unable to respond to anyone.
And that’s how I know that he was scared; he wouldn’t talk.
By the looks of him I doubt that he’d have been able to even if he had desired to speak, to ask for stronger painkillers or for a reassuring hand to hold. And that really bites at me with the relentlessness of a rabid dog tearing into an enemy; he was completely alone.
Alone and without anyone to hold him; without anyone to make him feel safe and calm. I wonder if anyone did try to make him feel safe whilst the ambulance came, if there were any Frank Ieros in the crowd willing to hold him until the paramedics whisked him off. Whisked him off to a place that he still has nightmares about because of past memories it encases like a coffin encases the corpses of the causes of those memories. He’s going to freak out when he wakes up here.
If he wakes up.
Of course he’ll wake up! I know that he will; he’s a strong kid with a strong will deep down, and I know that there’s no way he’ll let this beat him. That he’ll pull through because he’s just found things to live for; found an amazing friend in my beautiful Frankie; found that I still can be the big brother that he’s been missing; found hope. It might take some time, the doctor said anywhere between hours and months, but he will wake up. Wake up to me holding his hand and smiling at him.
What if he has brain damage?
The doctor said that it was entirely possible; that the force his preciously fragile head collided against the road makes permanent brain damage very possible.
No matter how he comes out of this, if it’s in a wheel chair or with an absent mind or just as he was when he came in, I’ll always be here to look after him. I’ll never stop loving my baby brother, no matter what happens or how this changes him; my love for him is completely unconditional which means that it’ll never stop.
Which means seeing him like this, laid out in a way that makes it impossible for him to move his obliterated body around and covered in both bandages (around his ribs) and casts (both arms and his left leg), makes me feel like shit, for lack of a truer word. Makes me just want to curl up and scream and cry and die and never have to see something so horrible again. It’s like seeing a royally majestic lion pacing the iron fence of a too small cage slowly going insane through it’s aching need to be free again; it’s heart-breaking and malevolent enough to make me question everything that I thought was good with the world.
Why wasn’t he at school?
Maybe he was bunking off; trying to avoid the pain that has been inflicted upon him a thousand-fold. Apart from I know that he would never do something so rebellious even if his reasons were perfectly justifiable, he would just be too scared of the consequences. But that’s the only explanation that my frantic mind can conjure as to why he was out on the streets in the first place. Perhaps those bastards hurt him and he was trying to escape, was running away from the lifestyle that Fate has forced upon his undeserving, defenceless soul.
He really doesn’t deserve this, or anything else that he gets either. The teasing, the beating, the cruel laughter, the hate, the pain; everything that should be alien to him but is something that he knows better than I know Frank’s mouth. He should know that he doesn’t deserve any of this but, largely because of my carelessly stupid neglect, he thinks that he does; that nobody cares about him.
Which is why he has to wake up, has to wake up to me clutching his hand like it’s the Holy Grail and smiling softly at him like the opening of his eyes is the greatest gift ever given. Which it will be.
He just has to wake up first.
I look up at the clock to see that I’ve been sat here for hours, just staring at my world coming tumbling down. It’s seven in the evening and I can see the moonlight fighting with the glaring shine of the hospital room’s light for dominance of the room; the result of which is a strangely beautiful, mournful yet brightly painful atmosphere in the box room. I shiver a little, the bitterness of the cool air striking into my heart with the same accurate aim as Fate’s spears of spite fly frequently into my soul, and I pull Mikey’s blanket tighter around his tiny form. He really does look tiny, like a little kid in need of a good home.
A home that I need to and will provide him with.
When he wakes up.
I rub at my eyes, trying to dislodge both exhaustion and sorrow from them, and look over him once more; my eyes like rain water trailing down the delicate stalk of a drooping flower. The doctor said that he’ll be in those casts for at least six months, the bones are pretty much shattered, shattered like he is inside. It’s like Fate decided that messing him up on the inside wasn’t fun enough anymore, that his outside needed to match the inside in it’s brokenness and agony. I’m sure that if he were awake right now he’d be screaming out in agony or at least at seeing his own body looking so mutilated and torn up; maybe it’s for the best that he isn’t awake right now, that he’s unaware of all that has happened to his traumatised bones.
No. I would rather he was safe and awake and able to squeeze my hand back than in his comatose state, even if it does mean that he’d be screaming. I know that it’s selfish, but I just can’t take not being able to see his eyes scanning everything in the curious uncertainty that he is famous for; can’t take not seeing his eyelashes meeting each other in the slow blinks that occur every day at this time of night because he’ll already be feeling sleepy; can’t take that he’s lying half dead in a hospital bed rather than on the couch with me, watching the movie I’d rented and nibbling on the pizza that I was going to order.
Why did it have to happen now, just as I was realising what I have to do to help him? Oh well, the timing isn’t important; I’m not about to give up on being his big brother again, I can’t. When he wakes up he’s going to need his big brother and, no matter what happens, I’ll be here. I’m not going to go to work, go to sleep, leave this room or close my eyes at all until I know that he’s going to be alright.
Because I know that he will be. He has to be. He’s still only a baby. My baby brother that I have to protect from Fate and it’s twisted, sick plans.
“I don’t know if you can hear me, Mikes, but the doctor said you might be able to so I, I just want you to know that I love you, okay? I love you more than anything and you’re the best little brother I could ever wish for, even though I’ve been a prize prick to you some of the- No. A lot of the time. And I’m sorry, really I am. Just, please, please wake up, bro. You’re my baby brother; I can’t lose you.” Before I can even register it, I’m leant right over his limp hand, pressing my lips to it amongst the barrage of tears that are splattering onto his pale digits; two of which are broken and bound together. “I’ll prove it to you, I’ll be right here when you wake up and I’m not gonna leave until you’re able to tell me to.”
I can’t do this on my own; it hurts too much and I can’t afford to mess any of this up. I need help and I know now to admit it. I need someone to be here with me to tell me that it’ll be alright; someone that Mikes will want to see when he wakes up; someone that knows how to make both of us feel better.
We need Frank.
Before I can even finish that thought I’m searching through my contacts to find his number, encrypted like a holy gospel into the memory of my phone, and frantically press the call button with the urgency of a fire-fighter running into a burning building to save a trapped child.
“Hello?” He groans exasperatedly down the phone, sounding a little like I feel.
I hope he’s alright.
“Frankie, it’s Gerard. There’s been an accident and-“
“Shit! It’s Mikes isn’t it?” He sounds… guilty. Pained and guilty; just like I felt when I got the call.
What does he have to be guilty about?
“I don’t know what to do, Frankie.” I sob down the phone, no longer afraid to not act like the strong one that I thought everyone both expected and needed me to be.
Because I trust Frank; I love him.
“Is he alright?” He sounds as panicked as I was when I got the call and that only goes to reinforce my love for him; anyone who cares this much about my baby brother is an absolute angel in my eyes. Not that he wasn’t already. “What happened? Where are you?”
“There was a bus and, and it just didn’t stop quick enough. He’s in a coma and, and… fuck! Frankie, he’s all broken and his face is all…”
“Gee, Honey, calm down. I’m coming, okay?” His voice pours into me like ice onto a burn and I let myself exhale heavily, way heavier than when I’ve ever gotten frustrated with Mikes because this is so much more than frustration; it’s desolate desperation. “Where are you?”
“Room twelve, ward G-four.” I can hear him wince down the phone; the fact that Mikey’s bad enough to have his own room clearly rattling him as much as it rattled me when I found out. “Please be quick, I need you.”
“Gee, everything will be fine, I promise.” He sounds so certain that I can’t help but doubt him; no one can be certain about this, not even the doctors, and the fact that he’s trying so hard to convince me otherwise makes me think that he knows that everything won’t be fine.
But he’s trying to help me. And I love him for it.
“I’ll be there in ten. Be strong, Honey.”
With that he hangs up, leaving me clinging to his words the same way that Mikes is clinging onto life.
Because I need Frank’s encouragement and comfort almost as much as I need my baby brother; it’s like Mikey is my oxygen and Frank is my water. I need Frank to be able to function through this, but without Mikey my existence is an impossibility.
I stroke my thumb silkily over his split knuckles.
“Wake up Mikes and I can promise you this; I will never let you down again, I will always be your big brother and, no matter what, I’ll always be here for you. Because you’re my baby brother and I love you more than anything; even more than my comic collection.”
I squeeze his hand, being extremely careful not to damage it further, and sigh when I get no response.
“I love you, Mikey. I just wish that you knew that, bro.”
A/N: Again, sorry that it’s kinda short, I’m sort of struggling with this at the moment so I hope that it was alright! Thank you very much for reading and please review! :)