I was okay.
I opened my eyes. A headache quickly ensued, but nothing beyond that. I sighed in relief and slowly sat up, feeling and hearing my joints crack in protest. I wasn't complaining, though. I felt completely healed, like nothing had ever been wrong with me.
"Hi, Ray," said Alicia. She was sitting on the edge of Mikey's bed. He was sitting up as well, looking off into the distance, and leaning on her shoulder. My heart fell as I remembered what was wrong with him.
"Hey," I responded with a sad smile. "Any news?" Mikey let out a single sob, and I immediately knew I had made a mistake.
"They can't do anything," he choked out. "I'll never be able to see anything again." Tears came to his eyes as he spoke. I felt my own eyes tearing up as well.
"I'm sorry, Mikey," I said quietly. Surprisingly enough, he smiled.
"It's not your fault. I'm just glad you're doing better. I was really worried. Both of us were," he added, thinking of Alicia. I shook my head in response, but I forgot he couldn't see it.
"What about Gerard?" I asked tentatively. "And Bob and Frank."
"Gerard...can't speak," Alicia said hesitantly. "I haven't heard anything about the others." The look in her eyes told me she was lying about some of it, but I didn't ask. I had a feeling I wasn't the only one she was trying to keep a secret from. "They said they're going to try a new surgery on him that'll replace his vocal chords. They don't know if he's going to be able to sing again, but he should be able to talk."
"I hope so. I think he'll go crazy if he can't sing anymore. We all would," I said, shuddering at the mere thought of him being unable to sing. I couldn't even imagine what was going through his mind.
"He'll be fine," Mikey said with determination. "He has to be." But I could tell that none of us believed it. It was then that I began to realize this was something worse than food poisoning, something none of us had dealt with before. Something all of us might not recover from.