The nurse had actually taken us to see the doctor, but he hasn’t shown up yet. They just moved us to a smaller waiting room in the far wing of the hospital. It had far less people and far older magazines. I imagine the people who waited here prior to us didn’t have to wait very long. They found out rather quickly if their loved one was dead or was about to. The walls were an ugly, pale pink. It looked like it had once served as a nursery back when it saw its glory days.
Ryan sat motionless beside me. His eyes were dark and cast against the wall. With the way he stared it down, you would think he were trying to see through it, as if Alena were on the other side, waiting for him. I could make out the dark rings around his eyes. After all, it was approaching six a.m. and he hadn’t had any sleep since the night before. I reached over and gently laid my hand on his back. I felt the tension beneath his skin, fiery hot against mine. Or maybe it was from his perspiration. I’m not sure.
“She’ll be all right, Ryan,” I whispered, trying to bring him a little light.
“No,” he said back. “She won’t.”
“You heard the nur---“
“The nurse didn’t see her, lying on the floor, covered in blood. She didn’t see her wrists, cut vertical. She didn’t see the color drained from her beautiful face. She didn’t feel the coldness of her skin. It felt like ice, she was so cold. I wanted to give her my warmth. I though she was dead. I was so sure she was dead. I would have put money on it, I was so sure. She wanted to die, Brendon, and she didn’t care. She wanted to go. She didn’t want to be alive anymore. I don’t know why, though. I don’t know what would drive her to do that. I…” he began to cry, tears rolling down his tired face, dragging their way down to his chin, until they hung there then fell from the edge and onto his jeans. “You didn’t see her, Brendon, and I thank God for that. You wouldn’t want to see that. It was like a crime scene, Bren. And I was so sure she was dead… and there was nothing I could do to bring her back…”
“Ryan,” I whispered, taking his hand. We hadn’t held hands in a long time. It made me feel closer to him, just to touch him. Ryan was my best friend, the guy I could always go to if I ever needed anything. He was there through everything, all the hurt, all the drugs and alcohol. We had survived everything together, and we would stick to that bond now. “Ryan, she did something stupid. We were there for Pete when he tried to do this. Remember? C’mon, Ry. Where is that optimistic kid I know and love?”
“He’s dead,” he whispered.
“Ryan…” Is said, shaking my head, trying to prevent tears myself. “Don’t talk like that. Just stop! Please…” I whispered the last word. He just turned his head toward mine. His eyes were read and his face was tear stained.
“Brendon,” he whispered. “If she doesn’t make it, I won’t know what to do with myself.”
“Ryan--“ but I never got to finish my sentence. The nurse had reentered the room.
“The doctor is in his office. And he apologizes for the wait. He just needs to go over some of the medical stuff with you.”
Ryan released my hand and followed the nurse toward the door. I was quick behind.
The halls were dark and silent, only with the noise of respirators and heart machines to fill the air. That and the constant noise of the nurse’s heels. She led us down two hallways and turned to a door on her right. Above the door in a gold plate read ‘Dr. Phillip Gray, Ph.D.’ I had to say I was a little impressed. I could never be a doctor. But I bet this guy couldn’t play a bunch of musical instruments like I could. Nor I bet could he sing as well as Ryan I can.
“Ah, Miss Frees. Thank you for bringing them in,” he said to the nurse. She nodded her head and left.
The doctor was a large man, and by that I don’t mean fat. He was tall, like as in 6’3” and had dark black hair. He looked to be about 45 or older and he had soft blue eyes. “Mr. Urie, Mr. Ross,” he greeted us, extending his too-large hand toward me. “I’m Dr. Gray. I’m glad to meet you.”
“Are you a fan?” I asked.
“No,” he said with a laugh, shaking his head. “But my daughter is a big fan of yours. She has your CD and posters of you and this young man-“ he said, gesturing to Ryan- “all over her wall. She’s seventeen.”
“That’s what we like to hear about our fans,” I say with a soft smile. Ryan hasn’t said anything since we’ve entered and Dr. Gray notices.
“Anyways,” he said, clearing his throat. “Have a seat,” he gestured to the large chairs in front of his desk. We did. “Alena Melody Lee Miller,” he sighed. “Well, good sirs, I can tell you that she alive and doing well under the care of Nurse Habberman. He’s her around the clock nurse. He’s a good man. He has a sense of humor, I can tell you that much!” he chuckled again but neither I nor Ryan had much else to say.
“She’s doing well,” he repeated, as if he was nervous. I didn’t want to make him feel that way, but what could I do?
“When can we see her?” Ryan asked suddenly, pulling himself from this shell he had put himself in.
“Well, the visiting hours are open in just two hours. I know you boys don’t want to wait that long, but the both of you have had a rough night. I would say just go sleep in the lobby until 8. And I’ll go see personally myself if she is ready to take visitors. I want to make sure she is stable.”
I nodded my head. Ryan eventually did the same.
“Please understand,” the doctor continued. “I want you to see her, but I have precautions and rules I have to take and follow as well. But trust me when I tell you that I won’t let her go untreated. I believe that Alena did not want to kill herself. She had an insulin reaction or something in her mind drew a blank from the tumor. Her conditions leave her so open for so many possibilities. I personally think that if she had wanted to die, she would have succeeded. She’s a bright girl, don’t get me wrong. But she didn’t really want to end her life. So much could have happened that didn’t. Be grateful for that.” The doctor cleared his throat and continued. “I truly believe deep down in my heart the Alena didn’t really want to kill herself. She either suffered from an insulin reaction, causing her emotions to flip or something with her tumor happened.” He sighed and began to flip through a file on his desk. “Now I’m not sure how familiar you two are with her condition…” he paused.
“We aren’t,” Ryan answered. I nodded my head in agreement.
“Well,” he said, “It appears that Miss Miller has a tumor; that much I’m sure you’ve contracted from what I’ve said. But the location could not be anymore inconvenient. I lies right on the base of her central nervous system and is wrapped in muscular tissue right where her brain stem is. Now, we could go in and remove it but it would risk her life.
“Now, the upside to it, if you care to be optimistic for a moment, is that the tumor will take only one nerve; that of her optics. In other words she is going blind. I would have to do more research to see if there is anyway to prevent it, but I don’t want to get your hopes up. Her last doctor was from the KU Medical Center and is very good. He wrote in her diagnosis that to replace her optical nerve would not only be outrageously expensive but nearly impossible. I don’t believe in impossible, Mr. Ross and Mr. Urie. I will fight nails and teeth to stop this tumor from spreading or becoming cancerous. I will do whatever it takes to keep her vision as well. But again, I cannot guarantee anything. I hope you understand.”
“We do,” I said, rising from my chair. I extended my right hand. He shook it and turned to do the same for Ryan.
“Sir,” he whispered in a small voice. “Does Alena know all this?”
Dr. Gray nodded his head. “Yes, my boy. She does.”
Ryan nodded my head and walked out of the room. I followed quick beside him. We walked silently down the dark corridor, taking the way back to the waiting room from which we had come.
We sat there forever. Brendon had fallen asleep in the chair next to me. His long brown hair fell over his tired face, mingling with his eyebrows. I can imagine those kind, caring brown eyes beneath his closed lids. He was my best friend and I loved him so much.
The rising sun broke through the east window and cast a pale orange light into the waiting room. It was almost comforting. I brought my eyes to the clock on the wall across from where I sat. It was 7:15. I could see her soon, or at least that was what the doctor had said. I found him a very interesting person. He was kind and I could tell he really wanted to help Alena. I wanted to help her too. I wanted to love her. But I knew Brendon and her had had a connection that I couldn’t break. Or could I?
I gave another sideways glance to my best friend. No, he deserved to be happy. And he strived for happiness and I wanted him to have it. I reached over and swept the hair from his eyelashes. His forehead felt hot beneath my skin and he began to twitch uncomfortably, like he was having a bad dream.
I called her name into the dark, but she didn’t answer me. She wouldn’t. I looked down at my wrists, pouring blood onto the black background. I don’t know where I am. I don’t really want to know. The silence tears into my skin, cutting my flesh, ripping me apart. I want to hold her, take her hand, take her away. But her silence kills me. I can’t breathe. I can’t move.
“Alena,” I say her name. I say it over and over again, allowing each letter to fill me up, allowing her to take control of me. “Alena Melody.” I have faith that the more I say her name, she’ll make it. I almost can’t hear the words anymore as they escape my trembling lips. The silence is deafening, but I have to try. I begin to scream. I sit up and scream. I shake my head and scream more, hoping she will hear me; hoping falsely that she can hear me.
“I’ll give up the world,” I cry. “Alena! Please!”
But again, only the darkness beckons me. There it is, around me, suffocating me. It is always there. Never her. She’s never there. Was she ever here? I scream again, but my lungs feel scorched black from my effort; my useless, tireless effort.
But there it is, a light. A soft light coming from far down. Or was it? I squinted my eyes, trying to see. Yes, it was. And she was there, looming in front of the light. But the light kept moving around in a circle, like a lighthouse. “Alena?” I whispered. “Is that you?”
My eyes shot open to find that I was alone in the waiting room. Ryan was gone.
-Hey! It's Autumn again! I'm sad to say that this is my last update for a few days. I have my brithday and my brother's graduation Saturday so I'm making big plans for him. I'll be 15! Oh, and track ended today, so with summer coming I'll prolly have an update every other day. Thanks so much to all my readers and reveiwers again. Hope you like this!! =]
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