It was 1:34am when Micah finally brought himself to look at the website. He was still in his scummy hotel room in Boston, his laptop open and three empty beer bottles to his right. Slowly typing in "People of Boston" into the search bar, the website popped up. Pictures of unfamiliar people plastered the screen, but Micah's eyes were immediately drawn to the one familiar face.
"I think it's fair to say that I screwed up a little bit on the way- okay, I swear I didn't mean to make that rhyme. But yeah, I made a few mistakes. But you know, who hasn't? Everyone screws up at some point in their life, just some mistakes just turn out to be a little more catastrophic. It was by sheer dumb luck that this was the card I was dealt. Now, Micah might try and tell you that this was all his fault, but don't listen to him. He's doing everything he can. God, I missed him so much. But he's here now… He's here, and I couldn't be happier."
Micah didn't even realize he was angry until one of those empty beer bottles ended up smashed across the wall. His eyes were buried in his hands as he tried to stop the tears from coming out…
"Stop crying.," Micah muttered beneath his breath. "Stop crying, God dammit, stop crying."
"No, Micah don't cry. I'm so, so happy right now. Please don't cry."
He couldn't stop. His body was shaking, and he just couldn't calm himself down. His breath became harsh and he couldn't seem to fill his lungs with air no matter how hard he tried. He just couldn't do it… He just couldn't…
"I'm sorry I wasn't enough for you."
"No," Micah breathed out, his words getting caught in his throat. "You were everything to me."
Micah didn't have anyone to calm him down this time, so he knew that he had to do it himself. Somehow, he managed to pull his hands away from his eyes, and glanced back at the computer screen. Scrolling down, he saw a few of the comments that strangers had made on the picture of Maison.
Beautiful girl, beautiful heart. I wish her the best in life.
Absolutely tragic what is happening. It's a good thing she has that boy to keep her together.
Ugh, my heart hurts after reading this.
Even sick, that young lady has the most beautiful green eyes.
I know she's dying and all, but damn those eyes.
I want more of these two! They're so cute together!
Reading some of the comments made Micah smile; it was nice to see that he wasn't the only one in awe of her eyes anymore. He was just about to read a few more, when there was a ping on the screen. It read: One new post from Eli Barnes.
Somewhat intrigued, Micah clicked on the link, and almost had to look again when he realized that this time, it was a picture of him and Maison together. They were both smiling in the hospital room, the record player clearly on and playing.
"Back when we were in high school he made me listen to his album literally all the time."
"Hey, that's not fair; you drove around for an extra hour to get me to listen to Next to Normal."
"Totally guilty of that. My favorite song on here is Don't Do Sadness. When he's in a good mood, I can get Micah to sing it with me. We sang it countless times when we road tripped to New York"
"Ah yes, yet another time Maison made me get in that little bug of hers and forced me to go on impromptu adventures."
"Oh, shut up. You loved every second of it."
"Okay, maybe I did."
Maison Bailey passed away on May 5th around 3:00 in the afternoon. Due to financial difficulties, she was unable to pay the hospital for her care. I don't usually ask this of you, but I urge you to help Micah with this task, and please make a donation. Every penny counts. I know Micah would appreciate all the help he can get.
The note at the bottom threw Micah for a loop. While he appreciated Eli's efforts, he knew that there was no way a bunch of strangers were going to donate money to help someone they didn't even know.
But for what felt like the millionth time in his life, Micah was proved wrong the next morning.
His computer was still open from the previous night, so the first thing he saw was the millions of comments beneath that little picture of them.
Devastating to hear about. I'll gladly donate.
Maison is now in a better place. Sending my condolences to Micah and the family.
This is the problem with America today. This girl is dying, and they won't even pay her bill.
Donating without question.
My heart goes out to Micah; this is a horrible tragedy.
So sorry for your loss.
Out of pure curiosity sake, Micah clicked on the donation link. His eyes nearly bulged out of his head when he saw what was on the screen: GOAL MET; FEEL FREE TO DONATE MORE IF YOU WISH.
Had… Had Eli just found a way to pay for the hospital bill? Unsure if he believed it, Micah dialed the number of Boston General.
"Boston General Hospital, how may I help you?"
"Um yeah, I'm calling to pay a bill."
"May I ask the name of the patient?"
"Yeah, uh… Maison Bailey."
Micah faintly heard the sound of keys clattering in the background, and then the receptionist finally responded.
"Sir, that bill has already been taken care of."
"So… So that's it?"
"Yes, sir. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"No… No, I think I'm good. Thank you."
"Have a good day."
"Yeah, you too."
Micah couldn't believe it. Strangers… Strangers who had never even heard of him had just helped him in more ways that he could possibly imagine.
His first instinct was to tell Maison; she was the person he always went to when he had big news like this. But he couldn't tell Maison, so he did the next best thing.
Grabbing his phone, he opened his messaging app. Scrolling all the way to the bottom of his messages, he clicked on the box that he hadn't typed to in years. It all felt so familiar, seeing that name at the top of the screen. Without much thought, Micah typed:
Hey Mace, you'll never believe what happened today...