"That’s the difference between you and me. When I hurt you, I felt bad."
“Who’s that?” asked the male sitting next to Ryan, his arm intimately wrapped around him with his cheek pressed against my love’s shoulder. That fucker had better get off my Ryan before I started throwing punches. Because I could now.
However, what hurt me more than anything was Ryan’s answer. He looked nervous, but he smiled a little and said, “A friend of mine from the military,” which made me want to slap him with all my strength. So that’s what I was to him? After all we’d been through, I was just a friend? Well fuck you too, Ross.
Well you may be wondering how I managed to survive after the ass left me a while ago. And if you’re not… I’m going to tell you anyway, so you have to deal with it.
After Ryan walked out, my mind began to race. I was going to die without him and it was all because I was too scared to get physical therapy. I was too scared to get better. So I yelled into my phone “Call Greta!” and I heard it ringing and ringing. When she finally answered, I yelled “Speaker phone!” and I heard her voice.
“Brendon? Is that you?”
“It is. Ryan left for good and I can’t move or do anything. I need help. You know where the spare key is and you can help take care of me. It shouldn’t be for too long. I want to get into physical therapy and I want to get better. I want Ryan to want me.”
I heard a long sigh on the other end, “I saw this coming… Alright, I’m on my way,” and she hung up.
I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. Everything would be fine. I’d get back to Ryan somehow, even if he hated me. He couldn’t actually hate me, right? I mean, he’d fallen in love with me and no one falls out of love that easily.
Greta came in and she walked over to me, “You know, Brendon… I’m glad you decided to do the physical therapy. But just letting you know… I don’t think it’ll get you Ryan back. You wore him out and he wants to be with someone who can be with him 100%, not 50.”
“I want to try. He is the love of my life and I don’t just want to let him go. Now are you going to help me or let me die?”
“I’ll help you.”
After that, Greta helped me through everything. Physical therapy wasn’t easy, but it did a lot for me. By the time I had full working ability of the upper half of my body, Ryan didn’t mean as much to me. I still wanted him back, but I felt like it made my life a lot easier to pretend I didn’t care.
Once I could function pretty well on my own, Greta started taking me to her band practice and she let me watch. Watching the bands and their sets at shows when I went, I began to fall in love with music. It was something I’d never looked at before, or even slightly considered to be a part of my life. So I talked to Greta about it.
”I really love music, but I mean… No one wants to be in a band with a paraplegic…” I muttered, playing with the strings on Greta’s guitar as it sat in my lap. I looked up at her, “I don’t know what to do.”
“There’s more to music than creation, Brendon. You realize that, right? You could manage a band, you could produce their music, you could be behind the scenes of their twitters, even. There’s a lot of levels to music. It’s not just creation.”
I stared at her for a long time before I got more excited than I had ever been in my entire life. I’d apply to a record label as an intern! That would be perfect! I’d be around music and I’d probably get to meet bands and stuff. It would be amazing! It would be a great opportunity. So I rolled over to the computer and I applied.
Weeks later, I got a phone call.
“Hello, is this Brendon Urie?”
“Yes. May I ask who is calling?”
“This is Jonathan from Hologram Records. You applied as an intern, correct?”
I was in shock. How would I answer that? Of course I applied! I stuttered a bit before I finally got the answer out, “Yeah!”
“Okay, good. We’d like to have you in for an interview.”
“But… It’s in New York City. I can’t get there.”
“That’s alright. We’ll come to you. If you do get the internship, we’ll pay for room and board, as well as a flight here and back. How does that sound?”
“That sounds great!”
“Good. Then we’ll see you bright and early Wednesday the 17th. Have a good day,” and he hung up. I didn’t even know what to say. I immediately called Greta to tell her the news.
And that brings us to now, where I’m staring at the love of my life being intimate with some other guy I’ve never seen before. It was killing me. What are the odds both of us would find a love for music? I didn’t see it coming. And I sure as hell was not going to work somewhere that he would be my boss.
It took everything not to start yelling at him that he was selfish, an asshole, and that he shouldn’t have left me for some clingy bitch that probably wasn’t worth his time. He should be with me not him. Not some stupid guy who thought Ryan was the shit. Well he was the shit… but he was my shit.
I took a deep breath. I tried to keep what was in my mind there and not come out. But I kind of vomited, “A friend, Ryan? Really? All those times you kissed me, all those times I had my dick in your ass, you never once considered me your friend. I bet three years ago, you never would have told some stupid punk that I was your friend. But if that’s all I am to you now, then maybe all that physical therapy was for nothing. You’re an asshole. I can’t believe you. I demand a different interviewer. I want to be chosen for this position not because you want to play some sick game with my head, but because I deserve it. So you go run off and tell your little boss that I don’t want you to interview me.”
It was harsh, but he deserved it. And the look on his face was priceless. I didn’t feel bad for a single word I said. He was completely silent for a good few minutes before he turned to the guy next to him and gave him a half-hearted smile, “Can you give us a few minutes?” and he pouted, but left. Ryan looked at me for a while, his smile gone, “I left because you didn’t care about me anymore. I still loved you, but you were wearing me thin. There’s only so much a person can handle.”
“I still cared about you, Ryan. I never stopped. And when you left, I thought maybe you’d wait for me, but apparently that’s too much to ask for. How long did you wait after you left me? A day? Is that how long it took to get over me?”
I watched as he winced and I didn’t feel bad. At all. He looked down as he spoke, “You know, Brendon. I still love you. I didn’t get over you. I tried, but it failed. I didn’t think you’d ever go through physical therapy…” he looked back up at me, “Obviously I was wrong. But I’m with Ryan now. I can’t just…” he sighed and put his face in his hands, “What do you want me to do?”
What did I want him to do? I wanted him to backtrack to when he still fucking cared about me and not leave. That’s what I wanted. But I couldn’t have that, now could I? I didn’t say anything as I put my hands on the wheels of my chair and turned myself around to leave. But something was stopping me when I did reach the door. I looked down to see if anything was blocking the wheels. That’s when I realized there was something else that could be blocking it. I turned my head and saw Ryan holding the handles. I clenched my jaw, “Let go of my chair.”
“No,” was all he said. Seriously? No? Was that all he had? I was so tempted to just back up into him, causing him to fall and hit his head so hard that he’d be asleep for a week, at the most. I didn’t actually want to hurt him. When the silence persisted, he continued, “I still love you. And I wish things were different. But you made it clear all that time ago that you weren’t going to get physical therapy, that you didn’t care about me. There was only so much I could take. I couldn’t take care of both of us. I kept begging you to go to physical therapy. Your lack of movement was taking a toll on our relationship. My hand could only do so much. I will never stop loving you. Even if you hurt me physically way more than I ever wanted to be hurt in my life while we were in the military, I will still always love you. And I don’t want to lose you again.”
I turned my face away from him before using all my force to ram back into him. I heard him fall back against his desk and I turned to make sure he didn’t get hurt. He didn’t. His face looked hurt, but I didn’t care. I wheeled out the door before I turned my head toward him, “That’s the difference between you and me. When I hurt you, I felt bad,” and I left. The other potential interns kept asking me how the interview went. I just ignored each and every one of them. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to think about Ryan, about how much he hurt me. I wanted to go home and just cry to Greta. I wanted to tell her that I hated Ryan, even though I didn’t actually. I couldn’t hate him.
Just as I got down to the car that Greta was waiting for me in, reading a magazine of some sort, my phone began to ring. I stared at my pocket before I looked at it, thinking it was Greta. But it wasn’t. It was a number I didn’t recognize. Hesitantly, I answered.
“Don’t hang up on me. Just listen to me. I do feel bad for hurting you. But I don’t think you understand how hard it was for me. I don’t think you get that I couldn’t stand much more. I was about to snap right before I left. I was about ready to kill you. I still loved you at the time, but I couldn’t do it anymore. I was thinking of ways to kill myself more than ways to kill you. And I knew I had to get out. So I’m sorry that you were hurt, I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay there for you. But it became unbearable. I begged you countless times to get physical therapy, or get some kind of a job that would help lighten the payload on my part. I rarely got sleep because I was always so worried that you’d fall out of bed and hit your head. And if you hit your head, you could die if I wasn’t there to help you. You had no functioning limbs. You wouldn’t have been able to get up on your own. I’m not an insomniac. Not anymore. I can’t do that shit anymore,” I was almost out of breath, tears now falling down my face. I was talking so fast, I could barely understand the words coming out of my mouth, “Brendon, I don’t expect you to forgive me, but please… Please understand how much you mean to me. I’ll leave Ryan for you. I’ll come back home to you. I’ll quit my job for you. I—”
“I’ve heard enough,” he cut me off, “You have no right to call me and tell me how hard it was for you. Are you forgetting that I had no movement in my arms and legs? There wasn’t much I could do. I wanted to pleasure you, I wanted to do everything I could for you, but I couldn’t. It was hard for me too. So don’t give me a sob story about how hard it was for you. I barely got sleep either because of the nights you came home and you couldn’t even look at me. The nights you couldn’t put me to sleep because you were too tired. Don’t act like you never did that because, toward the end of our relationship, there were more of those nights than not. I never wanted physical therapy because you never told me that it was unbearable. I thought it would be easier on you if I didn’t push myself on you. That’s why I never asked you if I could go to therapy. I was trying to make your life easier. Sure, I was scared of the pain therapy would cause, but I was trying to help you. I didn’t know that you were having a hard time. Maybe if you opened up a little more, I would have known. I’m hanging up now. I’m sorry that you’re now realizing that you were an asshole, but I don’t need you,” and he hung up the phone.
That hurt. That hurt so fucking much. I literally felt like my heart had been torn out of my chest and ripped to shreds. I didn’t know what to do. I had to win him back somehow. I had to show him that I cared, that I loved him. How though? For one, I couldn’t go back to New York. I had to stay in Vegas. I had to show him just how much he meant to me. As it was though, I didn’t think he’d ever accept me back. If I showed up with a suitcase one day, he might slam the door in my face. Then again, I’d do the same to him.
That’s the thing, though, I didn’t. He almost died and, instead of hating him, I came to his rescue. I saved his stupid ass when I could have easily just watched him die. I could have easily turned my back and pretended that I didn’t know. But I didn’t. I didn’t do that because I loved him. Why couldn’t he return the favor? How was this that much different? True, I wasn’t dying, but still. Did I have to be dying for him to care?
Taking in a deep breath, I texted Greta ‘Let me help him. I need to show him that I love him. Slowly faze out and I’ll faze in. I swear I’ll be a better boyfriend this time.’ I got a quick response of ‘Brendon’s not going to accept your help, Ryan. And you know that. I’m not saying don’t try, but I’m just warning you. I’ve put him to sleep enough to know that he cries in his sleep, saying your name. He may miss you, but he doesn’t want you.’
I tossed my phone across the room and leaned back on my haunches, staring at the wall across from me. Greta was right, wasn’t she? She had to be. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I never should have left. Life was never this hard while I was with him.
As I packed up to leave, I told my boss and fellow coworkers that I chose my favorite before I left the building. I headed toward my old home. I parked in front and stared up at the familiar building that now had ivy growing all over it. I took a deep breath and watched as Greta and Brendon parked behind me. I cowered in my seat, but watched in the rearview. She helped him out of the car. I saw him crying. He was saying something to her and she kept smiling sadly.
They went into the building and I sat up straight. I rested my head against the steering wheel and I just wanted to die. I’d really messed up big time… and there was nothing I could do about it. Next thing I knew, there was a knock on the window. My head snapped up.
A/N: Sorry it took so long! I got so distracted by... well, writers block on everything. And then it hit me. The way that I get back into the swing of writing is by READING other fanfics. Lo and behold, it worked. I started reading again and finished this chapter today. (I had very little of it written.) So I'm sorry. I'll keep everything updated as best I can.
THREE REVIEWS EQUALS AN UPDATE! PROMISE, THIS TIME!