Last Thing She Saw Last Night

This was written for a contest when I still posted on Quizilla, and I got 3rd place for it. It's pretty over dramatic, but I like it. It's John O'Callaghan, lead singer for The Maine.


1. Last Thing She Saw Last Night


The blink of an eye. The snap of your fingers. Actions that take under a second to complete. That's how quickly John O'Callaghan's life came crashing down around him. Just that second before, they'd been together, walking the Tempe streets in the humid, August night. Hand in hand, laughing. Carefree. Every second, John could feel himself falling more in love with her.

But in that split second, everything was gone. more specifically, she was gone. He could feel that with every fiber of his being, body and soul.

His voice cried out, but he heard no sound. He was frantic; a mess. Tears flooded his eyes and drained his face of color. He couldn't feel the time passing, like he was stuck in the moment as it happened.

The only thing he could think was how? On his knees, he watched a scene play out before him as the body of a girl was taken into an ambulance. He watched, feeling detached from the world, as if it were only a terrible nightmare. Only, this nightmare was reality, and that girl was everything to him.

"Kid," boomed an older, beer-bellied policeman.

John looked up. The policeman held a Styrofoam cup of coffee in one hand and a chocolate glazed doughnut in the other. His upper lip was hidden far behind a bushy, graying moustache. Stereotypical to the point of being nearly irrational.

"You know the girl?" he assumed. John just nodded. "Then you oughta get in the ambulance with girly. She's pretty bad." His voice gave the impression of sympathy, but by the look on his face, this didn't faze him.

John climbed to his feet, stumbling thought the mass of people milling around the scene of the accident and blindly joined Rysa in the back of the ambulance. He was too consumed in the pale, deathly look on Rysa's face to comprehend what the medics were saying or doing. Even as one of the men began dabbing furiously at a spot on John's jawline, he did nothing but stare at the shell of the woman he loved.

The vehicle stopped and they immediately rushed Rysa away from him and to an emergency room. He dashed through the doors before they had the chance to close completely, then down the hall, trying to get to Rysa.

He saw the medics as they pushed the gurney through another set of double doors that swung shut behind them. He just saw Rysa's toes, her shoe torn from her foot and her clothes long cut away from her body.

John slammed his fists into the doors, peering desperately into the small, square windows, his heart yearning for Rysa to be in his arms. A nurse with an imperfectly placed grimace on her lips tugged on John's arm, stuttering something about leaving or security. Handcuffs weren't what he needed, so he reluctantly let her drag him to the waiting room.

Somehow, that goddamned car crash had given him nothing but a cut on the cheek, but nearly took Rysa away from him for good. John sat impatiently in the uncomfortable wooden chair, fidgeting and wiping his face angrily, trying to punish his tears for what was happening to Rysa. How could the world be so fucking unfair? He got everything in the world but the one thing he wanted the most. It felt selfish -especially with Rysa in an ER- that he should be thinking that, but she was too important to him.

He sat in that damned chair for hours, his leg restlessly bouncing up and down, his feet tapping incessantly on the cold tile floor. Eventually, without realizing it, the minor fidgeting became stressful pacing. Hands running through his hair, becoming somewhat of a routine that took place every other minute or so.

The tears had long since stopped, his eyes' way of telling him that his tear ducts were on strike and he had no tears left to shed. They were replaced, instead, with shaky hands and a trembling body. His body starting shaking so hard that the nurse at the front desk forced him to sit once again, reducing the near convulsions to mere quivering.

He'd tried deep breaths and damn near hyperventilated. Sleeping and eating were lost on him and the thought of going home was nothing but bothersome. Trying to stay calm, he'd found, was useless and impossible when he didn't know how Rysa was.

It was some time in the early morning before John found his voice again, followed by the courage to call their friends and let them know what was going on.

Kennedy answered the phone with a lethargic, "Hullo?" Yet he still sounded as if he had more energy than John felt he had.

"Hospital," John croaked.

"What do you mean?" Kennedy asked, suddenly sounding alert and more awake.

"Just..." John paused abruptly, wondering if he could manage the words. "Come to the hospital. Rysa is in critical condition and for some motherfucking reason," he punched the wall as he spoke, "they still haven't said anything to me."

It took Kennedy less than twenty minutes to get the other guys down to the hospital with him. John was still rubbing his bruised knuckles gingerly as they bombarded him with questioned. John shut his eyes tight, wanting to shut the world, and all its many voices, out of his mind.

His voice had a more than slight tremor as he delivered the full story to Kennedy, Garrett, Jared and Pat. This time the sympathetic voices had faces to match. Not one of the four had ever witnessed John O'Callaghan himself truly breaking down, and none were quite sure what to say.

"Is there anyone here for a...Trysten Mitchell?" a female doctor holding a clipboard asked. John was in front of her instantaneously, the rest of the guys crowding slowly around him.

"Are you a family member?" she asked John.

"I'm her fiancé," he told her, holding up his left ring finger for evidence. The ring he wore confirmed his claim.

The woman looked skeptical. "Well, I'm not supposed to say anything since you aren't yet her spouse, but since there doesn't appear to be anyone else here related, and I think you should be the first to know, the baby -miraculously- is fine."

John stood there, stunned. He was going to be a father? Rysa had never told him she was pregnant. He didn't know what to think, or how to feel.

"Unfortunately, she suffered massive head trauma, multiple internal injuries, and a dangerous amount of blood loss. The damage is irreversible, but the doctors have managed to stabilize her body, in the event that you or her family should want to keep her on life support for the sake of the unborn child she's carrying."

John's heart didn't break, or shatter, or even get torn apart. It wasn't shredded up and it wasn't stomped on. For all intent and purposes, it had...died. Taken place of by nothing but an empty void in his chest. He'd known she was gone. He'd felt the lack of her energetic presence even back in the ambulance, innumerable hours before.

Garrett's hand clamped down on John's shoulder, but he jerked away, flinging Garrett's hand off of him. "Don't touch me," he said distantly.

"Do you want me to take you to her?" the doctor asked. John nodded his head, the ability to use his voice lost again.

She led him through halls and around spiraling staircases until he was standing above Rysa's lifeless corpse. He sat down, his face blank, and took her hand.

He cocked his head to the side, his eyes drifting between her stomach and her face. He was silent until he was left alone in the room.

"That dumbass mowed you down for no reason," he told no one in particular, because Rysa could no longer hear him. Not truly. Maybe he was talking to his newly discovered child; he didn't know.

"Out of nowhere. He took you from me. My fiancé, my wife. I would've given my life for you if I'd known. Dropped to my knees and begged fate itself to let you live. I love you more than humanly possible, but now you're gone forever. I hope you're happy, where ever you are." His voice gradually descended into a whisper. He kissed her clammy forehead.

The vibrant blue of her eyes would never be shown to the world again and the jet black, midnight color of her hair had dulled. An intense pain coursed through his chest and he doubled over in the pain of heartbreak. He felt how huge this loss was now and it physically disabled him. Mentally, he couldn't bring himself to repose. He could've been poster child for tragic, or anything synonymous to it.

It was a long time before he caught his breath well enough to make the call to her parents. Her mother transformed into a broken record on repeat and her father was no less devastated.

As he hung up, he noticed how the fear he'd been engulfed in for the last twelve hours had come full circle, into what he'd dreaded the most. He felt small and scared, like a lost little boy. He felt isolated by loneliness.

Rysa's parents were there as quickly as John's band mates had been. Mrs. Mitchell was unable to speak, but made in abundantly clear that she was glad that John was there. He could also tell that her father felt the need to blame him for what had happened. John had thought the same thing countless times in the previous hours, prior to his calling them.

Why hadn't it been him? How could they have been holding hands, but he'd barely been hurt at all, whereas Rysa was verging on -and soon would be- dead?

The three of them decided to keep the baby alive, as a testimony to how much Rysa had meant to them all. It was an easy decision to make, as soon as Mrs. Mitchell was able to speak in decipherable sentences again.

So John spent the next seven months in a quiet, lonely hospital room, grieving over his loss, and refusing to let himself get over her. That was something that would take him years, at best, and the pain was just too fresh to pretend that he was okay again.

But a day did come, seven months later, when Rysa's body went into labor. He didn't realize it at that second, but his life was starting a new chapter that wouldn't be quite as hard as this last one had been.

Nurses and doctors strolled into the room, wheeling Rysa to the room where they'd be preforming her C-section. This time, no one fought John when he followed.

And not half an hour later, he was holding a little baby girl in his arms. A little baby girl that stared up at him with the same vibrant blue eyes her mama always had. She had a head fully of the same straight black hair as her mama, too. Even with her little baby features, his daughter looked so much like Rysa that it brought John to tears.

He held her close, bawling like a baby, himself. Even now, he could see her mother in every small movement that she made, and he knew things would start to get easier now. He'd never be fully okay, but with his little girl, John could learn to move on, without forgetting about the girl he'd loved with everything he was.

John looked down at the baby in his arms with teary, bloodshot eyes and tear-stained cheeks. "Hi there, Trysten. I'm your daddy."

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