Shadow Hanging Over Me (standalone)Author: rhymeswithwayRating:
I was the first one to notice that something was wrong with Brendon.Disclaimer:
Don't own. Title is from Yesterday by The Beatles.Beta: etchedechoAuthor Notes:
Comments are love :) This is cross-posted.
I was the first one to notice that something was wrong with Brendon. It was a normal Friday afternoon when he left to go to an L.A. walk-in clinic. We were staying at a hotel for several days with one show on our tour schedule. Jon, Spencer, and I had thought it odd that he chose now to see a doctor, but he assured us it was just a checkup.
Three hours passed before he came back into the suite that the four of us band boys shared. We all greeted him as he walked through the door, but he didn’t even give us a glance. Jon and Spencer’s attention stayed focused on the Rock Band game we were playing, but my eyes followed Brendon. He was now reaching into the fridge in the kitchenette. When he turned around, a bottle of water clasped in his hand, his eyes were unfocused like he was off somewhere else. Whether it was better or worse than here, I did not know.
I decided to try for his attention again. “Brendon.”
His whole body jumped at the sound of my voice, the water bottle slipping from his fingers. He tried to catch it, but his normally quick reflexes were too slow. Instead of picking it up, he just stared at the fallen bottle with that same distant look.
I nudged Spencer and the faux drumsticks he was holding stopped moving. I gestured for him to look at Brendon. When he saw him, his forehead scrunched up in thought.
What’s up? He mouthed to me.
I shook my head in response. There was something very wrong, but I had no idea what.
Spencer threw down the drumsticks and stood up. I followed suit with my plastic guitar, and we walked over to Brendon, leaving Spencer and his bass to win the game. Even when we were standing in front of him, he did not look up from the bottle.
Spencer reached out and touched his arm. “How’d your appointment go, Brendon?” Worry was very apparent in his voice.
Still no response from our usually very vocal lead singer.
“Bren, baby, what’s wrong?” I asked concernedly. Brendon finally looked up at us. His expression seemed to be desperately pleading for something, and it killed me that I did not know what it was that he needed.
By now Jon had caught on that something was going on over here and was leaning against the counter, watching us attempt to instigate a conversation. At the rate that it was going right now, it was probably like watching eunuchs mate.
“Maybe you guys should finish your game first,” Brendon said quietly.
“We’re not leaving until you tell us why you look like someone just killed your puppy,” Spencer replied.
Reaching into his back pocket, Brendon pulled out a folded piece of paper that I only just now realized was there. He took about thirty seconds just unfolding it and smoothing out the two creases. Then he held it out somewhere between Spencer and me, letting us decide who would look at it first. Spencer began to reach for it, but I snatched it out of my boyfriend’s hand before Spencer had a chance. Before I could even read the first word though, the paper was stolen away from me. I glanced at Brendon in confusion, who had it in his hands again. He was really starting to make me feel weird.
“Guys…I am, I mean I have,” He started, stopped, and stammered. Clearing his throat, he settled with, “This isn’t good news.”
The smallness of his voice scared me. What kind of bad news was he talking about? Jon and Spencer exchanged glances with me, their looks a mix of nervousness and confusion. This time Brendon gave the paper directly to me. My eyes traveled over the words. It was some kind of medical document. The scientific writing confused me, and I was starting to get pissed off. What the hell was this? Then my eyes stopped on the one part that was written in plain English: Test results for leukemia: positive.
I think I almost blacked out. My entire world just got turned upside down and thrown off an eighty-story building.
The paper was taken away from me, and I heard Spencer say something like, “Dude, are you ok? You’re really pale.”
Then he read it too, and so did Jon. A sickening silence fell over the room. And when I say sickening, I mean it. I was seriously considering throwing up all over the $800 a night hotel’s carpet. Leukemia? As in, cancer? As in, my Brendon is going to die? That was unacceptable.
“How much?” I blurted out, my eyes meeting Brendon’s. “How much does it cost? The cure. How much do we have to pay to fix it?”
“Ryan,” Jon said. “You can’t just pay to get this fixed.”
“Yes we can. We have money. Tons of it.” It was true; we did have an obscene amount of money sitting in the bank. “If we pay enough, they’ll fix it.” I probably wasn’t making any sense right now, maybe I was in shock.
“They don’t have an immediate cure for this, Ry.” It was Spencer that time.
Tears sprang to my eyes. “We need to find one.”
It was all starting to come together and make sense now. This hadn’t really come out of nowhere. There was a reason why Brendon had been giving less and less at each performance, why he was always sleeping lately, why bruises showed up on his arms after we had a pillow fight, why he would wake up at night covered in sweat. Now there were reasons for all of these things, and I hated it.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Brendon wrap his arms around himself. Oh God. What was I doing? Brendon was the one who was sick, and here I was putting on a show of having a breakdown. What kind of selfish prat was I? I moved over to him, wrapping him in my arms. He was shaking. I led him over the couch and pulled him down onto my lap, watching as the first tears began to roll down his face. I let him break down on me right there, my heart breaking along with his and my tears falling into his hair.
It just wasn’t fair. Bren was the sweetest, most amazing person I’d ever met. He was supposed to be kicking Jon’s ass at Guitar Hero and stealing Spencer’s M&Ms and dragging me through every store in L.A. just so I could buy him the perfect pair of shoes for tomorrow’s show, not fighting for his life. This was just not fair.
At one point, Spencer and Jon had seated themselves next to us, and the four of us were crying with Brendon, for Brendon. We cried for the family that we had formed together. We cried for the hours of sitting in hospitals that were destined to take over our future. We cried for all the shows that would never be performed. We cried for all the albums that would never be written. We cried for all these things and more, but mostly, we cried for Brendon.