"Am I going to die?"
It was like slow motion. Everything happened so slowly, and yet I couldn't stop thinking. This was all my fault.
I managed to get both myself and Ryan's unconscious body dressed before paramedics burst into the room. Without realizing exactly how I got there, I was on the floor next to his bed, watching as they loaded him onto a stretcher. They were yelling, asking me questions, but I couldn't distinguish them from my own thoughts. After what seemed like hours, but realistically was probably just a few minutes, the paramedics left the room, taking Ryan with them. I stood up on shaky legs, and followed them from the room, picking up Ryan's keys and locking up on the way out.
I followed the ambulance to the hospital. As I parked in the Emergency Room parking lot, I broke down. Sound resumed, everything seemed to happen at a normal pace again as I slumped into the steering wheel, sobbing harder than I ever had before. My arms curled around myself as I cried, wishing I could go back in time and fix my mistakes.
I finally pulled myself together enough to pull out my phone and text Spencer. I wanted nothing more than to tell him everything that had happened, but my hands were shaking too bad to get more than 'Ry is in the hospital' typed out.
I dropped my phone into my lap and kept sobbing. After what seemed like only a few minutes, there was a tap on my window, and I looked up into Jon's worried face. I opened the door to the car, and he knelt next to me, taking one of my hands.
"What happened?" He asked softly.
"He tried to kill himself." I whispered. "I should've taken him to the hospital, but he said he was fine, and now..." I broke off into sobs again, and Jon hugged me, rocking me back and forth gently.
"It's okay, Bren," He whispered. "He's gonna be okay."
"What if he's not?" I asked, looking up into Jon's eyes.
"He'll be fine." Jon repeated, no hint of doubt in his light brown eyes. "Come inside," he said, tugging my hand gently. "Everyone's waiting for us."
I followed Jon into the building, and he led me over to where Spencer, Ian, and Dallon were sitting in three adjacent seats. Spencer stood up when we walked in, and hugged me and Jon.
"Have you heard anything?" I asked Spencer, who shook his head.
"Not yet." He whispered, tears in his eyes. The three of us walked back to Ian and Dallon, sitting the the chairs across from them. Jon sat between us, one arm around Spencer. I had my head on Jon's thigh, curled in on myself. Jon's hand gently stroked my hair away from my face. My eyes wandered to Ian and Dallon. Dallon's eyes were fixed firmly on the wall above Spencer's head. Ian's eyes trailed between Spencer and Jon. I looked up at Jon, and found comfort in his calm gaze, looking around at the television and the people in the room. Nothing could touch Jon. Jon was immune to things like tension and worry in those around him.
Time seemed to slow down again, and when a doctor finally emerged to give us an update on Ryan, I only caught a few words. "Blood loss... irreparable damage... blood transfusion..."
My head started to spin, and I clutched Jon's shoulder as a swayed on the spot.
"Brendon, are you-"
I felt myself slip from Jon's and Dallon's hands as I fell to the ground and everything went black.
All that I was aware of was the slow, steady beeping in my right ear. My eyes were shut, and I couldn't get them opened. I heard a soft rustling somewhere in the room, and tried to turn my head towards the noise, but I couldn't do that either.
"Ryan." A soft voice spoke, but I didn't recognize it. "Ryan, open your eyes."
I managed to force my eyes open, and look blearily around the room. A hospital. I sighed, and let me head fall back against the pillows, then turned my head to see a man that I didn't recognize standing next to me.
"Who are you?" I asked, looking at his worn jeans and Avenged Sevenfold tee shirt. No way he was doctor if he was dressed so casually.
"My name is Aaron." He said, stepping closer to the bed. "Do you know what's happened to you?"
"I'm in the hospital." I said, looking around again.
"Do you remember why?" Aaron asked. I shook my head, and Aaron held out his hand. "Let me show you."
I placed my hand in his, and suddenly, we were back in my living room. I was standing on a chair, a rope around my neck. I watched as Brendon burst through my front door, as I slipped off the chair, as Brendon ran to me, saving my life. Aaron and I followed myself and Brendon down the hall, watching Brendon wrap my bloody arms, watching me deny the need for a hospital, watching Brendon take me back into my bedroom, watching us fall asleep.
"I should've let him take me to the hospital." I stated watching as blood started to seep through the bandages on my arm.
"Yes." Aaron agreed. "Possibly a deadly mistake."
"Am I going to die?" I asked, not taking my eyes from Brendon's sleeping form.
"You might." Aaron said. "The amount of blood loss caused some organ damage. You're in a coma."
"If I'm in a coma," I turned to look at Aaron, "How am I here?"
"It's complicated." Aaron smiled. "I'm the Ghost of Panic's Past. It's my job to show you your mistakes, so you don't make the same one's again."
"My mistake was falling for Brendon." I said, looking back at the sleeping figures. "I never should've let myself love him."
"But you did fall for him. And that wasn't a conscious choice that you made, it just happened." Aaron said.
"I should've walked away the first time he asked me to." I said bitterly. "I kept chasing him, though. Now look where I am."
"Never regret love." Aaron said.
"My mistakes are obvious!" I cried, throwing my arms up. "I shouldn't have gotten involved with Brendon! I shouldn't have let that stupid asshole take me back to his apartment! I shouldn't have gone to Jon before I went to Brendon! I never should've been with Pete! I should've just fucking called Brendon instead of trying to kill myself! I know what I did, so why are you here?"
"That's a damn good question." Aaron said. "What do you think, Rue?" Aaron asked, looking into the empty space next to him. I scoffed and rolled my eyes, but when I looked back, a girl was leaning against the wall next to him.
"I think he's not as ready as he thinks he is." The girl, presumably Rue, said, crossing her arms. "Let's see."
Rue set her hand on my shoulder, and the three of us were back in a hospital room, but not the one we'd been in before. This time, Brendon was lying in the bed.
"What happened to him?" I asked.
"He passed out in the waiting room when your doctor told him that blood loss had caused organ damage and that you're in a coma." Rue said. "He hit his head."
"Is he okay?" I asked, taking a step towards him.
"I don't know." Rue said. "It all depends."
A/N: Sorry it's so short. After not updating for a year, you'd think I'd have the decency to write a long chapter. I'm such a bastard. But I plan on updating again pretty soon, so there's that. I think I'm going to leave it in Ryan's POV for a few chapters. This way, you get a little 'Ghost of Ryan's Past' without me writing a whole other story. So, let me know what you think! Chapter title is from 'Dead' by My Chemical Romance.