If Tomorrow Never Arrives

How do you limit the vast sea of emotions that follow death? He could name them all right on the spot without saying a single word. He was wrapped from head to toe in her shirts. They surrounded him like a security blanket, yet he was freezing. His body shook as the silence screamed, causing the ringing in his ears to become unbearable. He had to watch in horror as her hello echoed in his chest.
How do you explain to someone that you can not get out of bed? He knew that she was gone, but as soon as he dared to step out of the door, she wouldn’t greet him by the stairs. No more flushed cheeks and tiny pale hands intertwined in his. He clenched his fists harder the more he thought about her baby blue eyes. The less feeling he had in his palms, the more he could imagine the pressure was her fingers.
How do you speak when you know there will be no reply?

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1. Sing Me To Sleep

No matter how many people tried to convince him that he needed to get out of the house, the memories would just remind him to stay inside. He remembered it all so vividly, and it played on repeat in his mind. The car screeched, the smell of burnt rubber, the scream that had left her lips. The very thought made his skin crawl. The car rolled, caught flame, and engulfed them. Her sobs were the worst of all. If he could ever erase one memory, it would be her sobs. He had never been the cause of her pain, and  never had the chance to fix her. The scar on his cheek reminded him of his mistake, and he hated looking into the mirror. He hit the brakes too hard, swerved too much, and messed up too soon. The other car was crushed just like his left arm. His leg ached, in fact, and he could still feel it sometimes. He walks with a limp, but she was the one who experienced agony. She did not make it out with broken limbs, and bruises. He could see her body as he turned, she was so scared. She was crying loudly about the pain, her forehead bleeding. Her tiny feet were bent like an old tree, and she was screaming.

As she had lain in that white room with that little white bed, that was it. He knew that as soon as she passed out in the car, she had passed out more than a few hours. She was so delicate, yet her tiny body curled in on itself hours before. Her pale skin decorated in black and blue. Her chest barely rose at all, and it did when forced by a machine. That was not his woman lain silent, it was a big blue and white machine.

This continued for eight months. Eight months to think about it all. Eight months of crying. Eight months of people telling him they were sorry. Eight months of silence. The house was so quiet. He remembered the day he came home after weeks of being in the hospital.

He walked through the door, expecting for her to be waiting on the steps. She wasn’t. He expected to see her

in the kitchen making coffee, like she always did on Sunday mornings. She wasn’t. He expected to see her in the living room watching another reality show in his flannel. She wasn’t. He expected to see her in the bedroom, taking a nap like she always did at about 6. She wasn’t.

He waited a few hours in the silence of their home. The hours ticked by, and the day reached its end. She didn’t come home that night or the nights that followed. The second day, he waited, since he hadn't slept for more than a few hours. His deep brown eyes closed multiple times. He sat on the porch from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon. He sat in his studio for an additional three hours, trying to find a way to speak to his fans about his absence. His hands cramped from how tightly he had been clutching his cell phone, waiting for any sign that she was okay.

His thumbs went numb from typing in her number, and each time he would call there was no answer. His chest started to ache by six o’clock when he went to the kitchen to make coffee, and made two cups instead. He returned to his old chair, and glanced towards the stairs expecting to see her descending. She always woke up from her nap when she smelled coffee. The third day, he seemed to float around the house like a ghost. The TV and computer were off, the radio produced no noise, and his heart started to crack. He remembered the feeling, he remembered the silence, and he remembered the noise that fell from his lips.

 The fourth day, he called her phone so many times, that as soon as it stopped ringing, he called again seconds after. The fifth day, he went to the bedroom to get a couple hours of sleep, and reality crept upon him as he noticed the little things he didn’t before. Her pillow was untouched. He lain there, on his back, staring at the ceiling, His eyes began to burn, his chest started to scream, and he picked up the phone again just to hear her voicemail.

The sixth day, he threw the phone, shattering it into a million pieces. He ripped himself out from under the covers, grabbed the lamp and smashed it too. The only sounds erupting from the home were glass. Although the only noise he heard was his own pain.

He let out a roar of anger, and the tears finally flew down his face, blurring his vision. He stomped to the bathroom, kicking open the door. He ripped open the drug cabinet, tearing out everything. His fist connected with the glass of the mirror. A red river poured down his bruised hand, and he couldn’t feel the pain. He froze quicker than water under -32 degrees, and stared at the man in the shattered pieces. He didn’t recognize himself, brown eyes dark with fury. His face was flushed, making his cheeks a deep scarlet. He glanced down at the mixture of blood, glass, and health supplies.

That was all just within the first week. Whenever he wasn't at home, he was with her at the hospital. But this day would be special, because her doctor had said that her brain was showing the most activity it had since she arrived. They anticipated her waking, and Mark was ecstatic. Tyler drove him to the hospital, staying silent for most of the ride.

 

"What is something goes wrong, Mark? Are you sure you are stable enough to see what happens?" Tyler asked, nothing but worry laced in his words.

"Let's just focus on the good," Mark mumbled.

"What if there is no good, Mark? I'm not trying to upset you, but there is always that chance. I'm worried about what you'll do," Tyler almost whispered out.

 

They pulled up to the hospital and Mark flew out of the car before Tyler could even park. Tyler sighed and chased after Mark. Tyler caught up as he saw Mark talking to Dr. Strahter.

 

"Now, Mr. Fischbach, we don't know what state she will come out in. Do not crowd her. Give her time to breathe. Keep your voice down," Dr. Strahter explained, but Mark's eyes were focused on the woman in the bed.

 

"SHE TWITCHED!" Mark screamed, causing Dr. Strahter and Tyler to both flinch.

 

Mark rushed into the room, biting his nails in anticipation. She stirred and Mark felt his eyes swell up. Her eyes fluttered and soon met his. He could have puked. He could have screamed. He could have--

 

"What happened?" She whispered.

 

"You were in a bad car accident, but this man here has never left your side. How are you feeling?" Dr. Strahter smiled.

 

"My head..." she groaned out.

 

"Can she have something for that?" Mark immediately followed.

 

Dr. Strahter smiled and walked out of the room, Tyler behind him. Mark walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. He studied her as she did the same. He craved the thought of holding her again. He wanted to reach out but waited for her to say something. Anything.

 

"The doctor told me not to overwhelm you, which is really hard to try not to do. I've just missed you so much and I can;t believe that I get to hear your voice again. God, I thought I lost you," He started to tear up.

 

Concern washed over her features. "You seem to really love me," She replied as her eyebrows knitted together. 

 

"Of course I do. These past eight months without you have been hell. Jesus, I'm sorry that I had been working so much. I wish that I...can I hug you? Would that hurt?" He felt himself break.

 

She seemed slightly afraid but his brain didn't register that. He took it as she was just confused about the eight months thing. 

 

"Come here," She whispered as she held out her arms. 

 

That was when he really began to sob. He gently wrapped his arms around her and she let him cry. She ran her fingers through his bright red hair. After a few minutes, he was fully laying on her chest as she caressed him. She was trying her best to calm him. Once he was done crying she decided it was time.

 

"Who are you?" She whispered. 

 

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