...if you say goodbye today, I'd ask you to be true, 'cuz the hardest part of this is leaving you...
Kate drove the four of us to the hospital as fast as the little Toyota could take us. We chased after the ambulance as it weaved in and out of lanes, urging everyone to get out of the way with the loud siren.
I sat in the back seat with Ray and Bob, thinking worriedly about Frank. It should be me in that ambulance... I was the target! Frank saved my life by risking his own... if he dies because of that, Iwouldn't be able to live with myself...
Arriving at the hospital, the ambulance swung around a corner towards the emergency entrance. Kate turned towards the front of the building, where she stopped, letting us hop off while she looked for a parking spot.
We all ran in, looking for the front desk just as we saw Frank being rolled in on the ambulance bed at the end of ahallway, and being instantly surrounded by doctors. They all began yelling orders to one another, deciding where to take him and receiving information about what had happened from one of the paramedics. "We've got a gunshot wound in the abdomen...major bleeding... we don't know if any organs have been damaged... he needs blood now..."
I ran over to him, followed by the boys. Imade my way through the crowd of people and grabbed Frankie's hand, making sure he saw I was there with him. "It's okay, Frank, I'm still here with you."
He looked even paler than before and it took him a while to realize who I was, but when he finally did, he looked relieved. Most of his face was covered with an oxygen mask.
One of the doctors told us that we had to go, that Frank needed to be taken to the emergency room immediately.
Letting go of his hand was one of the hardest things I had ever done in my life.
Frank looked at me, silently pleading, and I told him, "Its okay, babe, we'll be here waiting for you!" as they rolled him away.
The doctor from before stayed a minute longer to ask us a few questions. "I'm Doctor Drake. Are any of you his family?"
"Yes, we all are," I answered, but as the doctor raised an eyebrow, I explained, "We're the only family he has. We're all best friends... we're in a band, and we were having a concert..."
"Okay, what happened?" he interrupted. Time was gold.
"A girl... from the crowd..." I ran a hand helplessly through my hair, not wanting to relive the experience.
"A girl in the crowd shot him in the stomach during the concert," Mikey stepped in. "He lost a lot of blood. The only wound he should have is one gunshot wound in the stomach, since he didn't fall to the ground or anything. Will he be alright?"
The doctor decided that Mikey was the most mentally-fit person of the group right then, so he told him in a low voice, even though the rest of us still heard it, "He's lost a lot of blood, like you said, but the flow seems to have slowed down. Right now we have to take him to surgery to see the extent of interior damage and give him a blood transfusion. We'll keep you all informed."
Mikey nodded as the doctor squeezed his shoulder in encouragement.
He told us all to sit in the waiting room. What an awful thing to tell people to do. Wait to find out if a loved-one has died or not.
I wanted to argue with the guy, insist on that I had to be there with Frank; I promised him I would be, but I had no strength to argue. So we all sat in the wooden chairs with green cushions and waited. Not long after, a few fans recognized us and some had followed from the concert. We were moved to a private room in front of the room they'd put Frank in after the operation.
If everything went well.
We sat around, waiting. Sometimes we changed positions, sometimes Ray would stand up and start pacing, Bob would attack the vending machine or Mikey would go and look down the hallway to see if anyone was coming.
I just sat in the same chair, in the same position, the whole time, with a blank look. Just waiting for the minutes and seconds to tick by. I felt like I was in a bubble, and the world around me had slowed down to a snails pace. It was enough to drive anyone crazy. You would think that in a time of extreme stress as that one, I would have smoked about four packs of cigarettes; but I didn't. Not one cigarette. I was in too much shock to be even able to do the simple task of raising a cig to my mouth and taking a drag. So I just sat.
Mikey came and sat next to me after I'm not sure how long... I had lost track of time. He put his hand on my back, rubbing it and whispering, "Everything will turn out okay... he'll be alright, you'll see..."
"How can you be so sure?" My mouth was dry and my lips were stuck together from not saying anything in so long. "He was shot in the stomach, Mikey, anything could go wrong."
"Don't think like that, Gee. The doctors here are the best, he'll be fine."
"I should be there," I muttered under my breath.
"In Franks place," I explained, suddenly angry. "I should be the one about to die in a cold hospital bed. Me. The one that forced Frank to give me a kiss in the middle of the street and the one that got us spied on by a maniac girl suffering from homophobia. The one that the same girl called a fag and aimed a gun at. And yet, Frank is the one lying on the fucking hospital bed and covered in blood! How did it end this way?How!" I yelled, saying out loud what I had been thinking the whole time, letting it all burst out of me like a tidal wave. "My hands are covered in blood that's not mine..." I looked at my hands and my clothes through tears. "I have blood all over me and I'm fine! Not a goddamn scratch on me! Imagine all the blood Frank has all over him... oh my god... if he doesn't make it... if he doesn't make it, neither will I..." I covered my face with my hands as Mikey tried to sooth me by continuing to rub my back. I jerked my hands away from my face as I realized they were still covered in Frank's blood. I didn't know what to do with them, I couldn't think clearly.
Mikey led me to a bathroom around the corner to wash my hands and face. He turned the faucet on and put my hands under the cold water, rubbing them gently with soap to get the blood off. Ilooked at myself pathetically in the mirror and saw I had blood on my face, too. It hypnotized me and I pictured Franks face full of blood. Mikey realized what I was doing and quickly cleaned the blood off with a wet paper towel. He told me to wash me face, which I did, still in no state to argue or do much of anything.
After the clean-up, Mikey turned me towards him, holding me by the shoulders. "Frank will be alright. You have to know that. Any minute now, he'll come rolling down the hallway and they'll put him in his room where he'll heal and get better. You need to be strong because he's going to be connected to a lot of machines and probably bags of blood and everything. Don't freak out when you see it, okay? I know that when it comes to him you're not as strong as you usually are, but you have to be, for Frank's sake. He needs to see us all there for him, by his side. He needs to know everything will be okay. Can you do that?" He shook me slightly every once in awhile to make sure he had my full attention.
He was right, of course. I couldn't have apanic attack when I saw him attached to a bunch a big machines, it would scare him. I nodded after a few seconds of assimilation.
"And another thing," he continued, still holding my shoulders and looking me straight in the eye, "what happened is /not/your fault. There is no way you could have known that some crazy fan that thinks she's in love with Frank would shoot you for simply kissing him. You said she had been spying on you guys? Well, you should have told someone about it, but that still wouldn't have stopped her from doing what she did. Who could have known? Nobody. So do not blame yourself again. Hell, if anything you should be thankful that Frankie saved your life. She shot Frank in the stomach by accident, but she could have shot you somewhere worse and killed you instantly. Maybe it was his destiny; to save your life just like you saved him from his past," he finished, shrugging.
Giving me a final pat on the back, he left and went back to the private waiting room. I stood there a few minutes longer thinking about what he had said. If there was anything Mikey was great at, it was making people think and realize what you are too blind to see or choose to ignore.
Mikey's words were wise, but I still felt like I should have been the one in the bed. I decided it would be best to hide this thought, so I walked back to the waiting room, acting like everything was back under control. I offered Mikey a tentative smile as I passed him, which he returned.
I sat in a chair next to one of the big windows, needing fresh air.
Time continued to slowly crawl by. After Idon't know how long, I heard a bed being rolled down the hallway.
I quickly glanced over to the other guys to see if they had heard it too. We all looked at each other, straining to hear.
We heard the steady squeak of wheels.
My heart did a flip inside my ribcage, and we all jumped up from our chairs to be able to see who was coming down the long hallway.
We saw a nurse rolling a white hospital bed, with someone in it.
The brown hair and bangs covering his face partially were unmistakable. "Frank..." I whispered without realizing it.
The young nurse brought a single finger to her lips, making the motion of ordering silence. When she was close enough to us to be able to talk without yelling, she told us that Frank was sleeping and that he needed to rest.
She rolled Frank into his private room and I followed without thinking.
"I'm sorry, sir, but you can't go in here right now. It's very important for him to rest, he's just gotten out of an operation," she told me, gently putting a hand on my chest and pushing me out, closing the door behind her.
I looked at her helplessly. "Will he be alright? Did everything go okay? Did the bullet damage anything major?"
She smiled at my deep concern. "He'll be fine. The doctor will be along very soon to give you all the details and answer any questions you may have. Just sit and wait for him to come."
We all let out huge breaths of relief. Bob had his hands on his head and shared a smile with Ray and Mikey.
As the nurse turned to leave, I called after her, "But, can't we go in and wait there? We won't talk or anything, we'll let him rest, really..."
The nurse turned back to me, her smile widening. "I'm sorry, but you have to wait out here. The doctor will tell you when you can go in," and seeing the sadness in my eyes, added, "He'll be /fine/. Really. Don't you worry about it," and poked me on the nose, grinning. She turned to leave, after giving me a wink.
I stood staring at her as she left, alittle confused. Bob appeared right next to me, looking at the departing nurse too, and saying, "Damn. Girls think you're hot even when you're covered in blood and look like you just woke up from the dead."
I turned to him to give him a sarcastic remark, just as he continued, "Yeah, the whole cry-baby thing really turns them on."
Bob and Ray cracked up, while Mikey looked down, trying to stifle a laugh of his own.
I opened my mouth to fake shock, and said,"Bob, if you think it really does work, I'll steal your stuffed bear from you; that would get you bawling like a baby, and then you'd be surrounded by girls!"
Ray was crying from laughter while Bob turned red in embarrassment, saying, "Oh, no you wouldn't!"
"What was his name? Oh yeah, Mr. Cuddles!I'll steal Mr. Cuddles, Bob. It's for your own good, that way you'll get tons of dates, and you can tell all the girls about the good times you shared with him before he was cruelly taken away from the only life he had known, leaving you alone and helpless," I said dramatically, with a hand on my chest.
Mikey was openly laughing now, and Ray was sprawled on a chair, laughing so hard it was hard for him to breathe.
Bob tried to punch my shoulder but I jumped out of the way and ran around the room, trying to get away from him.
It was strange how everything had changed again. Awhile ago I had been crying and wanting the world to end, and now we were all running around and goofing off.
It was obvious that my state of mind depended on Frank's and the rest of the guy's wellbeing almost entirely.
Bob could've been right about the nurse; Iwasn't sure, but I didn't care about it either. I was just thrilled that Frank would be okay.
I looked at the door to his room, smiling, knowing who was on the other side.
Everything would work out, after all. Frank would get better and everything would be great.
I looked around me as I realized how silent and in place everything seemed; the world had stopped crashing around me.
...give me a shot to remember, and you can take all the pain away from me. A kiss and Iwill surrender; the sharpest lives are the deadliest to lead...
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