I first noticed it around midnight. The faintest sound of fingernails scratching against skin broke through the silence. I rolled over to the other side and watched in horror as Frank clawed away at his ears, causing crimson sparks to fly everywhere and small rivers of blood to run down the sides of his face. He whimpered from the pain, still asleep. Eventually he calmed down and returned to an uneasy sleep; it was probably from the blood loss.
I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't understand why this was happening to us. I felt so weak all the time; even though I slept through most of the day, my energy never seemed to be replenished. I hadn't felt so overwhelmed since our days at the Paramour. At least then only my mind had been in jeopardy...now it was my life. For the first time in what seemed like years, I felt like I was going to die.
So much time had passed since the last words I had spoken. Telling Frank to go see a doctor because he had a fever. I only wished I could have told him, all of them, how much they mean to me. Our fans, too. I didn't know how they would take it. As far as they knew we only had mild cases of food poisoning. How wrong they were.
I lost it. I heard him scream once, after he discovered the blood, before I fell to the floor and pounded my fists into it. It wasn't fair. We didn't deserve this. I had a feeling someone had done this to us on purpose, but I didn't even want to think about the possibility. It was too horrifying.
Frank suddenly embraced me. All I could do was cry. My hands were throbbing in pain, but it was nothing compared to how much my heart hurt. I felt like it had been pulled apart and ripped to shreds. Eaten alive by whatever was poisoning me and destroying my voice. My voice was all some people had to live for, clichÃ© as it sounds. I read the letters and emails. I met some of them personally and heard their stories. It just wasn't fair!
Eventually I crawled back into bed, feeling completely worn out from lack of sleep...and the fact that I had just cried my eyes out. I watched Frank as he fell asleep once again, his breathing shuddering and uneven. I wanted to sing so desperately, but I knew I couldn't. I did remember a few lines, though. I couldn't remember the song or the artist, but the words appeared in my mind and leapt out at me.
Won't hear a sound
From my mouth.
I've spent too long
On the inside out.
My skin is cold
To the human touch.
This bleeding heart's
Not beating much.
I began to remember a few bits of the melody as more words came to me, but the rest of the song was still a mystery. That one verse played in my mind again and again. I continued watching Frank, noting how pale he was. He coughed a little in his sleep, wheezing slightly, but nothing too worrisome. It had been a long time since either of us had spoken, but if I could only say one word, I would let him say it. He needed to hear his own words again before anything bad happened.
I suddenly see the image of a clear blue sky that takes up every inch of my vision. There is nothing else except the dizzying, brilliant blue field, stretching out in every direction. It suddenly occurs to me that I am floating in midair, and my heart leaps into my throat. The possibility of falling terrifies me, but everything is so beautiful that I quickly forget about it. A blurred, dark form appears before me. Its features sharpen and become more detailed. My eyes widen when I realized who it is.
"Gerard?" he asks me. I nod numbly. He smiles. "I can hear again. Can you speak?"
"...Frank..." I say softly. My voice is whispery and weak, but I don't care. It's back. I can speak again. He laughs. It's the same lighthearted, bubbly laughter I've become so used to hearing.
"I'm glad you're okay," he says happily. I manage a smile before everything goes black.
I opened my eyes. I stared at the blank ceiling for a few moments before managing a silent sigh. As the air rushed past my cold lips, I realized it was only a dream. An all too real dream that raised my hopes for a fleeting second. I remembered another few lines of lyrics from that same song, ones that bring a sickening feeling to me.
And with these words I can see
Clear through the clouds that covered me.
Just give it time then speak my name.
Now we can hear ourselves again.