CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Goodbye to You

(This chapter switches from Ryan's POV to Alex's POV simply because it seemed easier that way, haha. I am also sorry it took so long to get this chapter up. This is the final chapter in this book. There is still book three to come to finish off the trilogy!)

ALEX

To me, it felt like history was repeating itself. I found myself sitting at Ryan's side in the hospital room, trapped alone with my thoughts. Nothing had gone right in months, it seemed. First he'd gotten sent away by his crazy mother, then we'd had that time apart which I still couldn't quite define what it was that happened, and then when we finally got to be together because he was staying at my place, this had to happen. Why? Was there some law that said I had to feel this pain and see him like this all the time? I kept finding myself here, in this position, caught between worry and fear and something else which I thought was paranoia.

Why did this have to keep happening? Ryan didn't deserve this. Even though I had been angry with him for a little while, I never wanted this. How could anyone want this? It was like Ryan was a bad guy--he was great. And the more I sat here at his unresponsive side, the more I began to realize this. Memories kept shooting through my head and try as I might to quiet my mind, I simply couldn't. It refused to leave me alone and so I found myself near tears constantly, just because of it and the flashes it kept shooting before my eyes, like bitter-sweet home movies playing behind my eyelids.

It had been two weeks. Two weeks of living hell for me. Ryan hadn't woken once, not even briefly. Their reasoning for this? A coma. A bloody coma! From blood loss, they told me when I looked at them incredulously. Lack of blood to the brain and this was what happened as a result. He was stable, as they kept reassuring me. Stable and alive and breathing on his own, despite the tube shoved down his throat. As a precaution, they told me. Just in case he stopped breathing.

Yeah. Because that was so reassuring.

This couldn't be happening. I couldn't have just gotten him back only to lose him now. How cruel was that? How could God do this to me, to Ryan, to us? Why would someone have shot him, for crying out loud? It simply wasn't fair! I just got him back. I couldn't lose him now, not after everything that had happened between us, not after the rollercoaster feelings he made me experience.

But apparently, it could happen, because it was happening right now. I sat by his side every single day. I left only when I was forced to do so by my dad. Ryan's parents had no affect on me. His mom was behaving strangely and it was throwing me off guard. She seemed guilty. About what, I wasn't sure. Was it because she had sent her son away and treated him like some criminal? I wasn't sure. I didn't care. She wasn't important.

No, what was important was the person laying in the bed in front of me, pale and unresponsive. He wouldn't wake up. They weren't sure if he ever would. Two weeks, they told me, wasn't a good sign. But there was still reason to be hopeful. I prayed so because I couldn't let him die. I couldn't lose him. We'd been through so much together--how could this be happening? History was repeating itself and I didn't know what to do.

So I held Ryan's hand gently and traced a thumb over the ridges of his fingers. I liked to think that maybe, somewhere in his mind, he was there and he could feel it. I liked to think it would reassure him that I was still there, that I wasn't going anywhere and so he couldn't either. If he died, I wasn't sure what I would do. Probably lose my mind. He had become my everything, it seemed, and this just simply couldn't happen. That it was even possible was like a physical blow right to my gut. I felt like I was bleeding out from the inside and I could only writhe in pain and watch as everything slipped away.

"Ry," I whispered quietly, and then cleared my throat. It was rough from misuse. I hadn't spoken in forever, it seemed. What was the point unless it was to my unresponsive love? "I hope you can hear me. I need you to wake up, okay? Please? Just for a little bit, I just...please don't go. I love you."

Tears stung at my eyes. I tried to keep them in because I was sick and tired of crying. It did absolutely no good whatsoever. It didn't help Ryan and that was all I wanted, was for him to be helped so he could join me in the land of the living.

"I love you, Ry..." I murmured to him again, taking in a shaky breath and tightening my grip on his hand as though my grip alone could keep him here with me, grounded to the living so he couldn't possibly slip away. "Please..."


RYAN

I felt like I was floating. There was a white, comfortable mist around me and I just wanted to stay there, flying in that beautiful abyss, but something was drawing me away. A voice was nagging at my mind, toying with me and whispering to me. I couldn't quite place it, and at the moment, I didn't really care. I was tired. Couldn't I just sleep? Was that so much to ask? Really?

Sometimes I wanted to wake up. I wanted to get out of this mist. But I never could, and so I finally stopped trying. Each time I tried, I just felt weaker and it got harder to fight it, so I quit. I decided to save what little strength I had, at least for the time being. Besides, it was oddly comfortable here.

Except for the dreams. They were starting to freak me out. Probably because they weren't just simply dreams, but memories of times long past, or at least to me.

I'd often heard that sometimes people had their lives pass before their eyes. Was that what was happening? I could suddenly remember my tenth birthday with startling clarity. I remembered my first guitar, the first book I read on my own, the first time I met Alex and befriended him, the first Christmas I remembered...it was all there now. I had thought it had been lost in my mind for eternity, too hazed for me to see, but now I saw it. It was there.

And they just kept coming.

Alex... my mind would whisper occasionally. Alex...

I missed Alex.

But I wasn't sure if I'd ever see him again...outside my mind.

Goodbye, Alex...miss you....


ALEX

The police were still looking for Ryan's shooter. So far, there were no leads. No one had been on the streets with us so no one had seen anything. If Ryan had, he couldn't say anything. I just wished he'd wake up. Everything would seem so much better if I could just look into his wonderful eyes again. Why was I being denied the sight of them all over again? This wasn't right...it shouldn't have been this way.

I shouldn't have been here again, watching him die.

I felt tired. I just wanted to sleep, but sleep wouldn't come...not until I knew he would be all right and be with me again. Not until I could feel his lips press against mine in his kiss, the kind that felt like a drug. The intoxicating drug of heaven.

Or maybe that was just me.

Either way, that was what I wanted.

I wanted him.

It wasn't until the next day that it would happen.


RYAN

Something had changed. I wasn't sure what, but I felt alive in my mind. I liked it because I felt a little more free, less bound to myself. I could hear, just not move or speak or anything. I couldn't even control my breathing. A tube was down my throat and I desperately longed for it to be taken out.

I felt like a prisoner in my own body.


ALEX

I had fallen asleep next to Ryan's bed as I sat in the chair. It wasn't a very deep sleep, but I was out nevertheless. Mostly, I was surprised I woke when I did. My eyes snapped open when the chair on the other side of the bed scooted, and as my gaze shot up, I found myself suddenly smacked in the face and knocked to the ground, where I rolled and then found myself being kicked harshly in the side. Gasping in pain and unable to cry out because of the air that had been forced out of my lungs, I could only look up at the face of my attacker.

Ryan's mom.

What. the. Hell?

"W-What?" I whispered, coughing.

"I don't want to have to hurt you," she told me, still carrying that guilty, sad gleam in her eyes, "so just stay down, would you?" From her pocket, she pulled out a syringe and then she bent down next to me. I tried to roll away but the needle was already poking through the skin of my arm. Wincing, I shot her a look. "This won't kill you," she said, sensing my suddenly rising fear. "It will just knock you out for a while."

I was already feeling the effects. My eyes felt hot and I wasn't sure if it had anything to do with the fact I had been crying a lot lately or because of my lack of sleep, or maybe it was just from whatever it was she put into my bloodstream. She stood and I felt like I was paralyzed. Even so, I tried to sit up, and managed to use my chair as leverage to shift to my knees. She walked around the bed and moved toward the IV drip that was in Ryan's arm. She eyed her needle and then released a shaky sigh.

"W-What are you doing?" I asked, panicked. "Get away from him!" I wanted it to come out as a yell, but it sounded more like a hoarse whisper. My vision was already beginning to blur--this worked fast. "Stop!"

"I'm sorry," she said, and tears began to stream down her cheeks. "I have to do this."

"No, stop!" I didn't know what would happen if she were to shove that needle into his arm or into the IV drip. I knew it probably wouldn't be good. I couldn't let her hurt him. He was already so injured...

"I have to fix it..."

"Fix what?" I asked, the world spinning around me.

"I..."

"What?"

"Fix it...didn't mean to...no, not him...."

I frowned. Even through my hazed mind, it suddenly began to all click into place. Her guilty looks, what she was doing now... "Oh my God," I said as it slammed into me, my eyes shooting wide, "it was you, wasn't it? You shot your own son! You psychotic bitch!"

She flinched and looked at me with horrified eyes. I didn't care. All I knew was that she was the one that was responsible for my Ryan being like this. The reason I had to watch him die...

"I didn't!" she said. "I didn't mean to! I...it wasn't for him, okay? Not for my son!"

I growled and wished I had the strength to shout for a nurse, or even to reach over enough to press the Nurse Call button. As it was, I felt like I was about to fall over. I clung to the chair for balance but I figured, if I did start to fall, I would just take it down with me. I reached up with a hand and grabbed hold of Ryan's, giving it a tight squeeze.

Ry, please, I really need you to wake up right now... I thought pleadingly.

"I wouldn't shoot my kid," she said.

"You already did! He's dying because of you!"

It hurt to say those words. It felt like betrayal and I flinched even as I spoke them, even though I knew it was the truth. I was losing Ryan.

My hold on his hand tightened.

"I was aiming for you," she growled suddenly, glaring at me. "You moved. You should be blaming yourself! It was never meant for him, you bastard!"

I froze. "W-What?" She had been trying to shoot me?

"And I wasn't aiming to kill anyone! I never wanted this to happen, just hurt you, make you two split, that's it!" she cried. "I never wanted this!" Her hand with the syringe shook.

"Please put that down," I said, because she was making me unbelievably nervous.

"No, I have to make this right..."

"You...what?"

What was she talking about?

"I have to do this..."

"What?"

"I can't let him suffer," she told me. "I am so sorry, Ryan..." She closed her eyes.

Then she shoved the needle into his arm.

"NO!" I cried, struggling to move, but my body felt like it had been encased in cement. I tried to make my hand and Ryan's become one as I tightened my hold desperately. "Ryan! What the hell are you doing?!"

"Fixing it."

"WHAT!"

"He won't feel a thing," she assured me as she backed away, pocketing the needle. "His mind will just go dim. It's fine. He won't suffer anymore--"

"Are you killing him?!"

Oh God, Ry, no, my mind begged.

She shook her head. "I have to! I can't watch him suffer!" With that, she ran from the room and left me there alone. I felt so tired, my body seemingly filled with heavy lead as I struggled to move enough to get a good view of Ryan. In trying to do so, I just wound up collapsing back to the ground.

"Ry...no, no, no, you have to wake up now, okay? Ryan!" I said, trying to get through to him. My grip on his hand had been torn away when I'd fallen, and it was just too hard to lift my arm up enough to grab hold again. "Ryan!"

This couldn't happen.

But already, machines were beeping and going off.

Sobs caught in my throat. "RYAN!"


RYAN

I felt strange. Oddly numb, really, and everything seemed to be going dark. It was a welcome change from the whiteness. Except I felt...less connected with my body. After listening to what my mom had to say but being unable to do anything about it, I just felt exhausted. Somehow, I knew what was happening.

Death would be welcoming me.

And I couldn't even say goodbye to Alex. I couldn't look into his eyes or kiss him or tell him how much I loved him...ever again. No more. It was all leaving, taking pieces and fragments of my mind away from me, snatching it and throwing it into the growing dark pit surrounding me.

If I could have, I would have probably felt tears in my eyes. As it was, there was nothing.

Except the growing saddness and anger in my heart.

How dare my mother do this! She had been aiming for Alex...why? What if she'd gotten him instead of me?

Oh, God.

No.

Better me than him.

Always.

Goodbye, Ali. I love you so much...


ALEX

"Ry, please..." I cried as I stood over him. I could hear doctors and nurses screaming in the hall as he coded. All the heart monitor showed was stupid straight line, and it hurt me to see that it was all he was reduced to--a simple line that suddenly meant everything to me. "Please!"

I was shoved out of the way and forced aside. I fought against the three nurses that were holding me back, but in my already weakened state--it had taken everything I had to stand and it had drained me so much--I was no match against them. So I sank to my knees and watched as they tried to get my love breathing again.

But after shocking him three times, they went to mouth-to-mouth.

And I could only watch as my world slipped away.

No! NO! a part of me screamed.

Goodbye... another part of me whispered.

END OF BOOK 2

BOOK 3: MY AFTERSHOCK...........COMING SOON......

(title of book 3 changed from My Ending)


Um...don't kill me? hehe hopefully I will work more on book 3, but I make no promises! Thanks for reading! Sorry for the sad ending! Is he dead? Or is he not? Only I know! Bwahaha! ...and, you know, the few people who have read this already...like Cuppie...hehe but she won't tell! Nope! 'cause I will smite her. But anywho, thanks again!