The next day, the group gathers to find the results of the scans.
“The couch is a pull out bed. You can sleep in the same bed or one can sleep on the floor.” Lindsey left, not speaking another word. Frank stood in the living room, and looked at each other.
“You can take the bed, I’ll sleep on the floor. I can get a blanket from Lindsey,” Frank offered.
“Oh, no I’ve slept on the ground for half of my life. Do you’re back a favor, I’ll sleep on the floor,” Mikey countered.
“Y’know, I don’t mind sharing a bed. It’s fine really,” Frank said. Mikey shrugged. Whatever was okay with Frank.
Mikey and Frank lay in the pitch black darkness. Both were still awake.
“Frank?” Mikey whispered.
“Do you thing Gerard is going to… live?” Mikey waited for a response.
“Only time will tell, I think.”
“No, but really. I don’t think Lindsey can deal with it.”
“Mikey, I don’t know what to tell you. When you’re blood alcohol level is that high, there’s a very high chance of death.” Mikey did not answer. When he had been homeless, no one to care about or for him, though it was lonely, he did not have the weight of worry or love on his shoulders. Now that he had people that actually cared about him, he felt so much heavier. He couldn’t stand having anything happen to them, let alone die. He wasn’t sure how he would be able to go to sleep, but the worry and stress had gotten to him, and soon he was sleeping deeply next to Frank, who had eventually done the same.
Mikey sprung awake, his first thoughts being to go and visit Gerard right away. He look around for a clock. Not finding any in sight, he got up off the bad and went into the kitchen. It was 7. Mikey went back to the living room to wake Frank.
“Frank! Wake up! We have to get ready.” Groggily, Frank rolled around in the blanket. His hair was unkempt and his movements were slow and fatigued. “C’mon, Frank. Gerard could have woken up.” Frank lifted himself from the bed and mechanically started to put his jeans on. Mikey did the same and went to wake Lindsey up. He knocked on her door. No answer.
“Lindsey?” Still no answer. Mikey slowly opened the door. Lindsey was completely under the covers and unmoving. On the floor, Mikey saw little white pills scattered around the side of the bed where Lindsey slept. A little orange container sat among the pills. Mikey ran to her bedside and picked up the bottle. Reading her prescription, he started to panic.
“I didn’t take them…” Mikey heard. Lindsey looked up at her brother-in-law and repeated, “I didn’t do it,” and smiled.
“Lindsey…” She whispered,
“I was going to, but I decided I wanted to see Gerard awake one last time.”
“Lindsey, please don’t do this to yourself. I recognize this medication. I took it myself. If you can’t handle your anxiety yourself, these can help, but don’t abuse them. Please. Bandit can’t bear to lose another parent.”
“Gerard’s not dead yet, Mikey.”
“Lindsey I know that, but he-“
“He’s not dead yet,” she said fiercely. She was trying with all of her power to convince herself that the worst had not come, that Gerard would probably wake soon and everything would be normal. She lived in her own fantasy future she knew would never happen, but now was not the time she wanted to live in reality. Her face was serene and relaxed, but Mikey knew this was a mask to cover the real pain she was experiencing inside. Mikey held his hands out to Lindsey to assist her to her feet. Lindsey exposed her hands and grasped onto Mikey’s.
“I’m going to get changed. Can you feed Bandit?”
Mikey went back to meet Frank again. He had beat Mikey to making breakfast for Bandit. Apparently, she had woken before everyone else and was waiting in her room until everyone else woke up. She cared so much about her father; it broke Mikey’s heart. She shouldn’t have to experience this kind of pain at such a young age. While Bandit was eating a piece of toast, Frank offered a piece to Mikey. Gladly, Mikey took it and finished it before Lindsey came into the kitchen. It was about 7:30 now, and it would take about 10 minutes to get to the hospital. Hopefully, the hospital would allow them to visit a little earlier than they were allowed. This time, they took only Frank’s car. Some time later, they arrive at the parking area. In a group, they walked into the hospital. Luckily, they were allowed in. Walking into the room, Mikey was imagining seeing Gerard sitting up in bed, normal and awake. Upon entering the room, his hopes were in vain; Gerard was the same as before, if not worse. He could barely see Gerard’s chest rising with every shallow breath he took. It was almost 8 now, and they could not wait any longer for the CT scan. Fortunately, a nurse just arrived as they had and Lindsey asked for the doctor that had checked up on Gerard: Dr. Weis. Moments later, Dr. Weis came in and greeted everyone in the room.
“Lucky for you, we can move your husband’s scan so we can test him now. We’ll take him the to the room in a second,” he said. Bandit sat in the single chair next to Gerard’s bed. Everyone else was standing silently around the bed, just watching Gerard, hopeful for any sort of movement. Breaking the silence, Bandit started to hum, speaking some of the words, but mostly just humming a simple tune. All attention was focused on Bandit now. She continued singing the song, the words a little more clear now.
“Bandit, what song is that?” Mikey asked. Bandit stopped humming.
“Daddy taught me.”
“Can you tell me the words?” Instead of speaking the words, Bandit sang sweetly,
“The rivers flow through the canyons
Pebbles playing at the shore
Leaves are floating
I will be here evermore
I will wait here
Until you come floating
Down the river, through the waves
and into my arms.
I will hold you, softly, and whisper
No one spoke. Mikey walked over to Bandit and descended to his knees.
“Bandit, can you sing that again?” Nodding, she started to sing it again form the start. Halfway through the song, Mikey started to hum along. When the song ended, Bandit asked,
“Did Daddy teach you that song, too?” Mikey shook his head,
“No, my mother sang it to me when I was a baby.” Mikey heard a sharp gasp. Turning around, he saw Lindsey had her hand pressed against her mouth. Her eyes were full of tears and she was hiccupping with sobs. Getting up from the ground, Mikey walked over to Lindsey and held her shoulders.
“Gerard’s going to be okay, trust me.”
“But what if he doesn’t? I can’t do this. I don’t know- I’ll- I’m going to… I can’t, Mikey.”
“You can.” Lindsey sat on the foot of Gerard’s bed and gazed at her husband’s face longingly.
“He’ll wake up soon, Lindsey,” Frank whispered. The nurses came in with a stretcher.
Gerard could not move. He could not open his eyes. He could only hear, but he was barely conscious. He only felt himself wake for moments at a time. Sometimes he heard Lindsey. Sometimes he heard Frank, or even Mikey. Once or twice, he heard Bandit. But these moments only lasted for a couple seconds at a time and he was not able to physically function. He knew exactly what was going on, but he did not feel panic or apprehension. He felt pain in his stomach constantly, but was incapable of reacting to it at all. He hoped he would wake up soon. All he wanted to do at that moment was to apologize to everyone. Unfortunately, he felt himself waking up less and less for a shorter amount time. He felt weaker and his abdomen hurt more and more with every given second. At one point, he felt Bandit touching his hand. He tried to touch hers back, hold it, but he couldn’t. After they had left the first night, Gerard had never felt more alone. He hadn’t wanted to end up like this. He didn’t want to die, but he felt himself fading away.
Through the window, Lindsey, Frank, Mikey, and Bandit watched Gerard’s body move through a circular machine, being scanned for liver damage. Soon, Dr. Weis came through the door to talk with them.
“Mrs. Way, we’ve tested Gerard and scanned him as many times as we needed to tell that he is going into liver failure. Unfortunately, he is far past treatment with medication, and he needs a transplant. Unfortunately, you’re listed here with no insurance, and unless you have some sort of mean of paying without insurance, we won’t be able to get a liver for your husband. Even if he does get an organ transplant, I can’t guarantee that he’ll wake up. We’ve noticed that his vital signs are deteriorating and sometimes comas are too unpredictable to properly guess if the patient will wake, die, or even how long they have.” Dr. Weis stated all of this bluntly and without emotion and walked away. Lindsey started through the window watching the nurses transfer Gerard from the machine to a stretcher. Mikey put his hand on her shoulder,
“Lindsey…” Frank picked up Bandit, who was not aware of what was happening, and followed the nurses rolling Gerard back to his room. “Lindsey, I have your pills. I brought them just in case.”
“I don’t need them,” she said. She still stared through the window at the barren white room, the bleached monster of a machine standing in the middle.
“Do you want to-“
“I lost my job. I used to have insurance, but I lost my job,” she still stood rigidly at the window. “Gerard’s job had medical insurance, but we don’t have it any more. I need to call them.” Mikey understood that this call was the only thing she was holding onto. If she confirmed that they had no insurance, he knew she would be a wreck. She dialed Fleischman Accounting and waited for an answer from Fleischman himself. Five rings later,
“Yes, who is this?”
“This is Lindsey Way, Gerard Way’s wife.”
“Hello, Mrs. Way. What can I do for you?”
“Well, I was confirming my insurance in the hospital the other day, and I was told that we were removed. Can you verify this?” A sigh was heard on the opposite line.
“Mrs. Way, I apologize. I was sure your husband would have told by now, he was fired.” Lindsey could not speak. She choked one her words.
“He couldn’t have told me he was fired because I haven’t seen him in weeks and now he’s in the hospital in a coma going into liver failure! He’s going to die, Mr. Fleischman. He needs a liver transplant or he’s going to die! Help me, Fleischman. Please, please, he’s going to die. He’s not going to wake up. Our daughter will never see him again. Please. Please! He’s going to die. I love him, and he’s going to die.” Fleischman could not interrupt her, but he felt unquestionably guilty, but he could not offer them insurance. Then, abruptly, the line was cut off. Mikey had taken Lindsey’s phone and shut it. She had fallen to her knees now and was screaming sobs. The rawness and pure pain in her sobs echoed through the hallway catching the attention of passing nurses and bystanders. Her hands her gripping the sides of her neck, her nails digging into her skin. She called Gerard’s name over and over and was shaking violently.
“Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey, look at me!” Mikey had his hand on her back and the other on her shoulder. He had put her phone in his pocket. Lindsey was in hysterics and was hyperventilating intensely. Over and over she called for Gerard. “Look at me, Lindsey!” Mikey said, louder this time. People stared at the two of them as they walked past. A few offered to help. Mikey waved them off. Tears were landing on the floor. Mikey lifted her chin with his right hand to made her face him. He pried her hands off of her neck and held her both of her balled up fists. He covered hers with open hands.
“Lindsey. It’s going to be okay. I’m going to be here, Frank’s going to be here, and we’ll all figure it out together.”
“But he’s going to die Mikey.”
“Lindsey, you said it yourself before. He’s not dead yet. For now, we have to hope that he’ll wake. It’s not impossible. He can still wake up, Lindsey.” Her tears stopped.
“You’re right, Mikey,” she sniffed. Once again, Mikey offered his hands to help her up. She took them and shakily stood up. Mikey put his arm around her and helped her walk back to Gerard’s room.
Lindsey and Mikey returned to the room to find Frank sitting in the chair and Bandit sitting on the side of Gerard’s bed. She was holding his hand singing again. Frank stood up and offered his seat to Lindsey. Mikey took Frank outside.
“Is she all right?”
“I don’t know. She just found out that Gerard got fired from his job and they don’t have insurance. They can’t pay for the transplant.”
“Yes, they can.” Mikey looked at him questioningly. Frank repeated, “They can.”
“But neither of them have jobs and soon they’ll barely have rent to pay as it is.”
“I can pay for it.”
“Frank, no you can’t. It can cost up to $500,000 in the end.”
“Then I can get people to help.”
“I’m going to tell Lindsey what I’m going to do. I’m not afraid to spend money that I didn’t need to spend in the first place.” Frank walked away from Mikey and approached Lindsey. Mikey stood in the hallway and watched, amazed at Frank’s generosity. He saw Lindsey jump up from her chair and embraced Frank, crying. Mikey walked in and said, impulsively,
“If Frank doesn’t mind housing me for a little more, I’ll donate all of the money I’ve saved over the past two months.” Lindsey was too grateful for words. She hugged both Mikey and Frank started to thank them over and over. Bandit still sat on the bed, watching them, still unsure of what was happening.
“Gerard. We’re going to save you. You’re going to wake up and everything is going to be okay. I promise.” Lindsey had let go of Mikey and Frank and was by Gerard’s bedside. She held his hand and brushed the hair from his face. Putting her hand on his chest, she felt his chest rise and fall softly. He was still alive, and that’s all that mattered. She would do anything to keep it that way.