It wasn't something I could blame on the paparazzi no matter how much I wished I could. I knew that crashing was my fault, because I had been speeding. The pain in my burning left hand was all because I had been reckless, and the numbness that was taking over my right hand and arm was all on me too. The same could have been said for the ringing in my ears and the disconcerting feeling of something oozing out of me, my blood I guessed. Searing hot pain over took most of my body as if consumed by flames, because I had sped up in that death trap sports car while it was snowing. It was with some pride that I watched the black cat runaway as I realized the fact it was still alive was also because of me, I had swerved away from it. It was gone but still I reached for it and that pride vanished when I saw that the hands I needed were now deformed, one of which was a melted mess with an R branded into its palm the other broken in various places thanks to punching and kicking my way out of the car in a panic. I stared at them in horror, the last moment of clarity I had before everything went black.
Peaceful and warm, dying is like resting in her arms. I could almost feel her hands petting my head, hear her voice singing a lullaby, but that couldn't have been her. Nana refused to sing for just me. Jolted from my death as if some one hand gripped my soul and forced it back down my throat I gasped for air as rough hands dragged me further away from the burning car I had barely managed to break my way out of. Two sets of unloving hands rescued me before depositing me on the cold ground. Dropping back into the snow I wheezed on smoke then looked up mentally cursing to see mosquitoes buzzing around above me. It was like they couldn't tell that all I wanted to do was sleep.
"No, no, no, Ren, stay with me. Ren." Damn mosquitoes couldn't even let me die in peace. If they hadn't chased me down I'd be home by now. Warm and safe with my pretty Nana. "Ren, come on the ambulance is coming. Should I call some one else? Your agency? Takumi? Reira's closest." He reached into my scorched jacket to pull out a broken melted mess that must have been my cell phone.
My vision went black again for a second and I thought of the cat running out in front of my car and confusing me. Stupid thing had nearly killed me and then it simply ran away showing no concern for my well-being. I had the urge to wring its neck, its smooth slender neck, woozy I closed my eyes and my left hand searched for something in the snow. The usually cold metal had burned me, but I didn't care I needed it.
"Nana," my smoke clogged throat croaked out as I looked up at the man whose partner had disappeared.
The reporter looked down with sad eyes. "Of course you would want your wife. At a time like this." Tentatively he picked up the chain which must have cooled in the snow. Kindly almost as if he had a heart he set the chain in my hand and I could hear his partner whimper as she reappeared. Moments later or maybe it had been hours another sound interrupted my death. Loud blaring alarms designed to keep me from falling into a deep sleep.
"Do you hear that Ren? The sirens are getting close. If you don't hang in there, they will be unable to save you, and Nana will be upset. She's that type, the kind who gets angry and spiteful when you hurt her. Don't make her mad, not on her birthday." I wasn't sure anymore if I was mumbling to myself or if the reporter was speaking. All I could think of was that brokenhearted look on her face as I left her for Tokyo. Would she die when she heard the news or would learning that I had been on my way to get Reira make her hate me too much to join me? I didn't want to die alone. I didn't want to leave Nana behind.
Suddenly the sirens stopped. Everything stopped and I grew very cold. I was floating somewhere and everything I knew was fading away from me. My thoughts ran all over the place, bouncing from memory to memory, from one random thought to another never landing on one long enough for me to fully comprehend anything in my head. It was driving me crazy but what could I do when I couldn't even find my body.
Ren Honjo wasn't even my real name, it was just given to me, not by my parents but by a stranger. My whole life things had been given to me and I had to show gratitude, even when I hadn't wanted it. I didn't want the orphanage, I didn't want their crappy clothes or bland food, and I never cared for their pointless rules. I wanted a family of my own, not Yasu's, they had chosen him not me. No one ever truly wanted me, they wanted my music or my body, often they wanted both. Not me, whoever I really was outside of playing guitar. Who was that? A drug addicted liar, who would want some one like that? In the end everyone chose Yasu, even her. He'd have her eventually now that I was gone. Then what would be left for me? A false image of a punk who didn't care what anyone thought of him? A guitar? A gift that had grown more and more into a curse.
'Ren,' after what felt like an eternity trapped in a cold white light, something warm brushed through my hair. Fingers I noted feeling the soft stroke of long nails on my scalp. They slipped through the short strands and down the side of my face leaving a pleasant trail of warmth. 'Ren?'
Confused by the tiny drops of rain falling against my face I wondered if we were still outside? But it was so warm they had to have brought me inside somewhere, and I was sure I was lying down on something soft. Was she crying? That silly girl was always so dramatic, crying over a little accident.
'Please don't leave me. I'll do anything, I promise. Kids, a nice little house by the ocean, and a fancy wedding, we can do all of that. I'll be a good wife and mother. I will. I swear I'll quit singing and just be with you, just please don't leave me.'
What was she going on about? I wasn't going anywhere. If I did though, wouldn't that solve everything for her? I would be gone and unable to object to her moving on with Yasu. She could mourn for a while then be with him guilt free. She could be free.
'Please,' her nose pressed into my hair and she breathed her pleas for me to wake up over and over in my ear.
My left hand itched to lift to her face and wipe away the tears streaming down her cheeks. I could see her, at least I thought I could see her but she showed no reaction. I was sure that if my eyes had suddenly opened she would notice and react in some way.
'Ren, please...' I didn't understand why I could see her sore red eyes but she couldn't see that I was awake.
'Still asleep.' An unknown man in a white coat entered the room with a grim expression. 'And you are still awake. Didn't I warn you that we'd be forced to room you like your friend who stopped eating?'
'She isn't my friend.' Hoarse yet strong she declared herself an enemy of 'that selfish woman,' and went on to curse her very existence. I only caught fractions of what they had said, as everything was beginning to fade again. The harder I struggled to wake up the deeper asleep I fell until it all went back to blankness. Pure white and cold without my pretty girl to keep me company.
My body slipped out of my grasp for another stretch of eternity before her voice jolted me back to my body.
'Damn it Yasu, I'm his wife! This is for me to decide not you.'
'It's been two months, Nana, Ren wouldn't want to waste away in a hospital bed. He'd want you to move on. He'd want all of us to move on and be happy. If you keep him like this we'll all be stuck in time with him.'
'I'm his family not you. I'm his wife and I want him alive.' Her head rests on my chest and her hand gingerly takes mine.
'He's already gone. You're holding a corpse.' Takumi stated bluntly before leaving the room angry.
'What do you know?' She grumbled kissing the scarred flesh of my chest. 'He can feel me, I know he can.'
Tears slipping from beneath his glasses Yasu scolds her for not listening to the doctor. 'Involuntary spasms, that's all they are. His hand moves on its own not because he's squeezing your hand back. His eyes open and his lips move because he has no control over them. Ren, is gone.'
Nobu came over to stand behind her as if he could shield her from Yasu's words. The bald man sighed before making his exit.
'You know I'm right.' The door shut behind him leaving the three of us in our silence. If I could have I would have said something about him being dead wrong. But then I fell back into oblivion my thoughts solely focused on waking up to her.