Crying for nothing, crying for no one. No one but you. [Oneshot, very sad]
Jamia's coming to visit me today.
I haven't seen her in a while. Four, five weeks maybe. I lost track. I haven't been able to keep track of anything lately. I'll ask her how long it's been when she comes.
I continue to stare into the tiny flame of the candle before me, dancing and flickering as the air floating in from the window passes over it. I should replace it soon. I should have replaced it a long time ago. But it's not like I use it all the time. In fact, I only light it five days a year, five specific days. It's a little unusual because it's black, but it makes perfect sense to me.
You see, it's the only way I can remember them.
I've stopped crying by now. Of course it still hurts me; I'll never recover completely. But I have accepted that there's nothing I can do about it. That makes it a little easier. A little.
It affected so many people that sometimes it's overwhelming to think about. I couldn't tell you how many sorrowful letters and emails I received. I lost track of that, too. I do know that I took the time to read each and every one, and replied to as many as possible, thanking them all. I still read some of the letters sometimes. I know none of it will bring them back, but sometimes it's nice to imagine what it would be like if they were still here.
They did a lot of good in the world, however disputed their words and lyrics were. They just ignored the insults, the threats, and the harsh words. It wasn't something they were willing to deal with, and I can't say I blame them. But now that I think about it, maybe they should have treated that one differently.
It's starting to rain outside. A few cold drops are blowing in and hitting my face, but I don't care. I like the feeling. It hasn't rained in a long time.
Bob went first. Shot through the head with a single bullet. When they found him holding the gun, they thought it was suicide. There didn't seem to be a reason for it, but the circumstances didn't matter to the fans. All they cared about was that one of their heroes was gone. At first it seemed like the band might recover..."carry on," as they always said. But nothing could have prepared them for what happened next.
They found Frank's lifeless body a week later, swinging from the highest beams of an arena in Newark, dangling from a thick rope clenched around his neck. Once again, they thought it was suicide, probably over what had happened to their drummer. It would take a toll on anyone, they reasoned. It made enough sense. And it was even more heartbreaking because they had known him for so long.
I reach out and swiftly swirl one finger through the candle's flame, enjoying the heat against my cold skin. The rain begins to fall more steadily, seeping into my hair and making the charcoal strands stick to each other. As the raindrops start to slide down my face, I can't help but think they feel like tears. But they're not my tears; I've long given up on crying. Only the sky cries now.
Two weeks later Ray was picked up off the cement at the foot of a 23-story building, ironically only a week after saying he wouldn't commit suicide because he was afraid of what would happen to the fans. More of them began to kill themselves after that. The songs were banned in an effort to save the lives of teenagers everywhere. But as so many predicted, it only ended up cutting them deeper and killing them more.
I could have told them that. It seemed obvious to me, and Jamia, too. I don't know how many times we just sat there and talked about it all, watching as the candles burned low and darkness took over the world. First it looked like hundreds of fireflies dotting the room, but gradually the flames disappeared and flickered away. If only the memories would do the same. Then maybe this wouldn't hurt so much.
Gerard and Mikey were questioned countless times. Everyone wanted to know if they knew the cause of it all, whether their band mates had been acting suicidal in the previous months, but there was nothing. They found nothing. The police were lost, and for the first time since it all began they suspected murder.
Three weeks passed without incident, with the two brothers clinging to each other for life. The last night of those three weeks, just as the clock hit twelve, Mikey called me from the hospital in tears, saying his brother had been electrocuted. Again it looked like suicide. And again we all thought murder.
Looking out the gray window, I can see a car driving up. It's Jamia, and from what I can tell, she's been crying. A raindrop hits me right below the eye, following the path of so many tears shed long before. I brush it away, nearly smirking. Now the sky is trying to cry for me.
Four weeks later I got a call from his phone. I answered it, expecting to hear his voice, with a sick feeling in my heart. But it wasn't him; it was a police officer asking me if I knew him. I said yes, immediately falling to my knees. They asked if I would come to his house - I was with Jamia at the time, helping her sort through some old photos as we lit candles once again.
I hear the front door opening now. There is the sound of footsteps squeaking lightly on the faded wooden floor, water coating the slats with much-needed moisture. There is a faint knock on my door, and even though I don't respond, she opens it.
"Alicia? You in here?" she calls softly. I nod once, never moving my gaze from the flickering flame. It's starting to bend against the force of the ice-laden winds, but it will survive. It always has before.
"You'll get sick if you get too cold," she says worriedly, rushing over to close the window. I give her a look, silently telling her she's acting like an overprotective mother. She does nothing to the window and sits next to me, folding her arms on the wide windowsill and resting her head on them like a pillow. She stares at the flame as well, unblinking. It turns her eyes a golden amber color.
There was one thing about Mikey's death that confused those trying to decide whether the rest had been suicide or murder. There was nothing showing that a crime had been committed. There was, however, a short note in Mikey's handwriting.
Tell Alicia I love her.
His death was the only one caused by the victim's own depression. He killed himself in the worst way possible, by dragging a blade through the pale blue veins snaking down his forearms. I knew he didn't want to use pills of any kind; he could survive, and if that happened he could be addicted, addicted to drugs. He told me to kill him myself if that ever happened. And each time he told me that, I just smiled and told him we would die together, of old age. If only.
"What are you thinking about?" Jamia asks me, piercing through my silent thoughts.
"How long has it been?" I ask her. "I've lost track." She immediately knows what I mean.
"Five years and five weeks," she tells me with exact certainty. Of course she would know. The numbers startle me. Five weeks and five years. Five years and five weeks. At any rate, it's been five weeks since the month and day that my husband slit his own wrists. As far as I'm concerned, the five years have vanished in a heartbeat.
That was probably what hurt the most. Not only because it was Mikey, the person I loved more than anything else in the world. Not because later they were certain the rest had all been murdered and he was the only one to commit suicide. It was also because he did what the five of them told so many people not to do: he killed himself. I couldn't help but feel he had betrayed them somehow.
I can feel warm tears sliding down my face now, freely escaping my eyes as if a floodgate has been opened. Jamia wraps an arm around my shoulders, attempting to console me. But nothing will help now, because I'm crying. I'm only crying for one thing, and all my attention is focused on it; all my tears are dedicated to it. I'm crying for only one person, the only one that brought me both true joy and true sorrow. I'm crying for you.
The candle's weakened flame finally dies out in a puff of gray smoke, and I smile. It's a certain someone's way of telling me to move on and stop crying. Even if I can't, he still wants me to.
I love you, Mikey. I hope to see you soon.