They hadn't been able to diagnose my problem yet. I was the complete opposite of Frank. I felt cold all the time, and I wanted to see if I could get a blanket or something, but I was afraid it was all in my mind. I hadn't tried to talk to anyone; most of the time my teeth chattered violently, and whatever I tried to say became distorted and lost.
I silently began to sob, brushing away the tears roughly. I couldn't feel sorry for myself. Frank was so much worse off than me. I did pity myself a little, though, for I hadn't seen my brother for two days. I wondered if he was alright.
I turned over and glanced toward the quavering voice of Frank's mother, who slowly approached me. "Gerard, honey, your parents will be here soon. They couldn't get a flight right away." I gave a single silent nod and looked away from her. Even though I knew she was trying to help, the last thing I needed was another reminder of Frank and his misery.
I wanted to ask her to go check on Mikey and see how he was doing, but as I opened my mouth to speak, a dusted, empty sigh of air passed between my dry lips. I cleared my throat with a light cough. I hadn't spoken for some time, something uncharacteristic of me. I felt a slight tingling sensation in the back of my throat. I tried again.
I immediately knew what was wrong, though that did not help ease the pain. The strange disease that had suddenly overtaken me had robbed me of my precious voice. 'It's only temporary,' I told myself, feeling like part of my heart had been ripped out. 'It'll all be over in a few days, and then we can get back to our tour. We can't let our fans down.' But a thought began to grow in my mind. The sensible part of my brain told me to expect the worst. Frank couldn't even /hear/. How could I expect to get my voice back?
I knew I would never sing again, despite what the doctors thought they could do for me. I knew I would never again stand on the stage I loved so much and give our fans the music that helped them live through every day. The tears came more steadily as I realized I would never get to tell my family and friends how much I loved them and how much they had helped me during my troubled past. As the tears ran over my dry lips, collecting in the small basin they created when pressed together, I realized I could only feel and taste the salt-flavored drops. No sound attempted to escape my lips, despite the strength of the sobs racking my body.
I had one comfort. One person could sympathize with me.
I looked over in Frank's direction. His screams had finally fallen silent. An almost sadistic smirk cracked my mouth into a slight arc. We were similar that way. Both unable to hear our own voices. Both living in a world of silence.