“Okay, so if you could be in any movie, what would it be?” Jay asked.
“I think it would have to be Pirates Of The Caribbean.” Elizabeth answered. “How about you?”
“The Edge of Tomorrow. All day, without question.” Jay answered.
They were walking back to the car from the cinema. Elizabeth was fumbling for the keys.
“You know, if I had it my way, every day would be like today.” Elizabeth stated.
“Whys that?” Jay asked getting into the car.
“Well, it’s been fun. More than normal, we just seemed to have one of those days where nothing else matters.” Elizabeth pointed out.
“Maybe it’s because it’s been a while.” Jay hinted.
“Look, yeah, just because you’ve got your fancy new life playing music and I’m off with Dan if I’m not at work doesn’t mean you can make pops at me for not seeing you.” Elizabeth laughed.
“I know, but yeah, it’s been really nice.” Jay admitted.
“So what now?” Elizabeth asked as she started the car.
“Well, do you wanna get dinner?” Jay asked.
They began driving down to their favourite restaurant just outside of the city center. They were singing along to their favourite CD by The Wonder Years. They stopped at a red light. It seemed to take forever to change.
When it eventually turned green they began driving again. Suddenly there were headlights headed straight for them from the side, Elizabeth tried to speed up to get out of the way but the other car was going too fast. It collided with the side of Elizabeth’s car at high speed sending it across the road and into a sign post. As Elizabeth regained consciousness she began to crawl across the road towards Jay. There was glass everywhere. She was covered in cuts and her head was throbbing. She was weak. Jay laid still on the side of the road, covered in blood. He was barely breathing. She managed to make it to him, she took his hand and laid next to him in agony. She got as close to him as possible. It felt like it would be their last few moments.
The faint sound of sirens appeared from in the distance. The flashes of blue lights lit up the inside of their eye lids. The paramedics did everything they could on the scene, before putting them both in the ambulance and rushing into the hospital.
Dan waited by the side of Elizabeth’s bed. He had rushed to the hospital the moment he heard about the accident. Her eyelids began to flicker and she began to come around.
“Hey!” Dan was so relieved she was okay.
“Dan?” Elizabeth was dazed.
“I’m here baby.” Dan replied.
He hugged her on the hospital bed as she regained consciousness.
“Where’s Jay?” She asked.
Dan stayed silent.
“Dan.” Elizabeth bluntly spoke. “Where is Jay?!”
“He... He’s in the ICU.” Dan broke the news to her. “He is critical.”
A day passed before Elizabeth was discharged for her couple of broken ribs and fractured wrist.
“Can you tell me where my friend is that I came in with?” Elizabeth asked the doctor.
Elizabeth was lead to the ICU that Jay was in. The moment she saw the state he was in her heart began to break.
“Oh Jay...” She spoke softly to herself as she rushed to his side.
“He is in a coma, we don’t know when he will come back around, or if he will. He has some severe head injuries that may cause some permanent damage.” The doctor informed.
“Is it okay for me to stay with him?” Elizabeth asked.
“...sure, take as long as you need.” The doctor hesitantly answered.
Elizabeth took his hand and stayed by his side all night. She slept on a visitors chair right up against his bed, she never let go of his hand. The next morning the sun shone through the window. It woke her up nice and early, she stretched and tried to remove the kink in her neck she had created.
Her mother and father came by to visit, her mum brought an old scrap book with her.
“Hey pet, I brought this scrapbook for you. I thought you might want him to have it. Or at least for you to read and reminisce.” Her mother handed the book over.
“Thank you mum.” Elizabeth gave her a hug.
“Are his parents coming in?” She asked.
“...his sister is coming by later. His mother passed away a few years back.” Elizabeth informed.
“Oh, well if there’s anything we can do...” She hinted.
“Thanks mum.” Elizabeth smiled.
That afternoon Elizabeth sat in her chair beside Jays bed. She took his hand in hers and opened the scrapbook that she had spent the past few years making.
“I began making this when we first met.” Elizabeth began. “I knew from the starting line that you’d be my partner in crime for life. So I wanted to document everything, I have every cinema ticket, fair ground bracelet, photo strip, selfie, gig ticket and anything else you can name that we’ve done in here. I wanted to give it to you the day I get married, I wanted you to see that even when I get married you’d always be the most important man in my life.”
Elizabeth sat flicking through the pages, reading out diary entries she had made years ago, and reminiscing the old photographs. She told all the stories to Jay in hopes that he would wake up.
Elizabeth turned the page, she saw a photograph Brad had taken at Jay’s birthday party one year. She smiled to herself and a tear fell from her face and hit the photograph.
“This one is one of my favourites. It was you and me, stood on the balcony on your 23rd birthday.” She laughed lightly and wiped her eyes. “I remember the look on your face when you saw me. We pretty much ignored the rest of your party all night and stood on the balcony talking. I’d give anything to go back to that night right now.”
Elizabeth left Jays side for a moment to get something to eat from the canteen in the hospital. She didn’t know what to do with herself. She felt a heavy weight in her heart, one she knew she would have to live with for a long time. Time seemed to move slower than it used to.
When Elizabeth got back to where Jay was being looked after, she saw Clara stood by his bed looking over him.
“Clara?” Elizabeth asked out.
“Elizabeth!” Clara turned around and raced to her.
Clara threw her arms around Elizabeth and hugged her tightly. Her eyes streaming. Elizabeth felt weightless in her arms.
Clara and Elizabeth stood outside of his room in the ward.
“How are you? Honestly.” Clara asked.
“Terrified. I’m still in some pain, but I’m more concerned about him.” Elizabeth answered.
“What happened? Do you remember?” Clara enquired.
“I remember us being at the cinema, then we got in the car... Everything after is a little blurry. I remember waking up in the middle of the road and seeing him on the side of the road covered in blood. I crawled to him as fast as I could, the next thing I knew I was here.” Elizabeth explained.
Clara hugged Elizabeth once more.
“I’m just glad you’re okay. He’s a fighter, I’m sure he’ll come around.” She tried to reassure.
Clara stayed for a couple of hours to keep Elizabeth company.
“Are you staying again tonight? Or do you want me to take you home?” Clara asked.
“I think I’m going to stay.” Elizabeth looked at the broken man laying next to her.
Clara smiled and waved her goodbyes after kissing Jay on the forehead.
It was the middle of the night, suddenly Elizabeth was woken up by Jays monitors. A couple of doctors rushed in and Elizabeth quickly got escorted out of the room.
“Is everything okay?” Elizabeth asked the nurse that came out to see her.
“He’s okay. It wasn’t anything serious, we just needed to keep you out of the way while they did what they had to do, no distractions kind of thing.” She informed.
“I understand, it’s okay. I’m just glad he’s okay.” Elizabeth relaxed a little. “When can I go back in?”
“In a few moments.” The nurse smiled. “How long have you two been together?”
“We’re not. He’s just a close friend.” Elizabeth explained.
“Well, he’s lucky, you clearly have a lot of love for him.” The nurse smiled and walked away.
When she was allowed back into the room Elizabeth approached the bed slowly. She was nervous that something might happen again. She took his hand in hers and kissed it before resting her head on it. She exhaled slowly.
“Bonnie & Clyde...” She whispered as she closed her eyes cuddling his hand.
The sun soon began to shine through the window waking her up. She stretched once again, trying to get rid of the kink in her neck from laying on his hand all night.
At around midday a group of guys walked into the room.
“Hey, Elizabeth.” Brad greeted.
He walked over and gave her a comforting hug of relief. They hadn’t seen each other in a long time.
“Clara told us what happened. I can’t believe you’re okay. Have you been home?” Brad asked.
“Not yet, I don’t want to leave him alone.” Elizabeth replied.
“Go get some proper rest, come back tonight. We’ll spend the day with him.” Brad insisted.
“Are you sure?” Elizabeth asked.
“Of course!” Brad smiled.
Elizabeth finally left the hospital and returned to her parents house. She didn’t want to be alone. She felt so lost, she had no idea what to do. Dan kept trying to call her, but she wouldn’t answer. She just hung up the incoming calls and continued to lay on the sofa with her head in her father’s lap.
“Are you okay kitten?” He asked.
Elizabeth just laid there, she didn’t answer. She couldn’t bring herself to say no.
Brad, Jimmy, Harry and Gavin sat in the hospital room, they were all uncomfortable but it was Jay they were there for. All personal problems they had among themselves didn’t matter right now.
“It all seems kind of stupid now doesn’t it.” Jimmy stated.
“Yeah.” Brad said coldly. “If he comes out of this, the hiatus isn’t happening.”
“Remember the first tour we went on?” Harry asked.
“The one where we almost blew up the Van?” Brad laughed.
“That would be the one. Do you remember when Jay would do that stupid dance every time we did an encore?” Harry laughed.
Harry stood up and imitated the dance, he accidentally caught his foot on the bottom of the bed, jolting it. He grabbed it quickly to stable it.
“Yeah, I probably shouldn’t be doing that.” Harry shut up and sat down.
“It seems like an age since we first started out doesn’t it?” Gavin stated.
“About 7 years...” Elizabeth said in the doorway.
“You’re back?” Brad stood up.
“Yeah, I couldn’t deal with not being here. It didn’t feel right.” Elizabeth took a seat right next to Jay and took his hand again.
Brad and the rest of the band left not long after Elizabeth came back. She laid across two chairs once again, she had headphones in. She sung along quietly to herself, something Jay had always enjoyed witnessing her do.
It was getting to the late evening when Elizabeth saw her friend Abby turn up. She had short wavy dark ginger hair and had glasses on. Abby immediately hugged Elizabeth. She didn’t know Jay all too well, but her brother who had driven her did. Josh and Jay had been old school friends.
“How’s he doing?” Josh asked as he walked in.
“He’s stable. That’s the main thing.” Elizabeth stated.
“And you?” Abby asked.
“I’m okay.” She lied.
Elizabeth and Abby went for a walk, leaving Josh with Jay.
Josh sat down beside him. He rest his head in his hands.
“Trust you.” He began. “I was going to ask you tomorrow if you’d be my best man at my wedding. I proposed to Alex last night. She said yes. You better be my best man.”
Josh was weirded out by his friend laying almost lifeless next to him. Luckily for him, Abby and Elizabeth returned shortly after.
Elizabeth spent the night beside him once more. She laid there in the dark listening to the silence of the hospital. She breathed slowly. She held Jays hand on the bed. He still hadn’t shown any signs of improvement. She looked across at him, at the messy hair, the extreme bruising and the cuts on his face that had been stitched. She smiled a painful smile.
“You really are amazing Jay. You are the greatest person to have ever been in my life. I have been so lucky to know and love you.” Elizabeth gripped his hand and tried to get some sleep.
Her mind raced all night, she kept thinking about all the little things she loved about their friendship. She couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if she had never called off their relationship when they were younger.
Eventually morning came. Elizabeth was awoken by Richard and Patricia knocking on the door.
“You can’t be comfortable sleeping like that pet.” Patricia said.
“It’s not ideal, but I can’t leave him. If something...” She stopped as her eyes welled up.
“Hey, hey... Kitten. It’s gonna be alright. He’s a tough kid.” Richard cuddled her.
When Patricia went out to get Elizabeth breakfast, Richard took the time to sit down with Elizabeth.
“So, can I ask you something?” Richard asked.
“Well, you kind of just did, but yeah.” Elizabeth smiled at her father.
“Do you still love Jay?” He asked directly.
“...yes.” She said softly.
“Does he know?” Richard asked.
“No, how could he?” Elizabeth looked up.
“And what about Dan?” Richard wiped a tear from Elizabeth’s eye. “Do you love him?”
“Not like Jay.” Elizabeth sobbed.
Richard didn’t reply. He just took Elizabeth in his arms and comforted her. He stroked her hair as she cried on his shoulder.
Elizabeth had loved Jay all the years she had known him. It wasn’t ideal, it caused her a lot of pain, it caused Jay a lot of pain too. Their undying love for one another was almost toxic in ways, it was the reason many of their relationships hadn’t worked throughout their friendship. They would end up realising they could never love their partner like they loved each other. The pair had drifted apart once Elizabeth had started dating Dan, they didn’t see as much of each other as they would have liked, but it was for the best. Elizabeth had began to see in that moment that she loved Jay more than she realised, that the reason they had drifted apart wasn’t because she didn’t have the time to spend with him like before, it was because she knew deep down it would have ruined her relationship with Dan.
“Dan is worried about you, as we all are kitten.” Richard explained.
“I just can’t deal with him right now, I can’t be smothered by all his affection.” Elizabeth explained. “I need to be here, I need to wait for Jay to wake up.”
“So tell Dan that, he will understand.” Richard tried to reason.
Elizabeth’s phone rang, it was Clara. She stepped out of the room to answer it.
“Hey, is everything okay?” Elizabeth asked.
“Hey, yeah. It’s all good. I’m just calling to let you know, I’ve gotten hold of Marie, she and Aoife have flown out. We will all be heading down later on today. We can stay with him if you want to get some rest.” Clara explained on the phone.
“Thank you, I’ll see you when you get here. Drive safe.” Elizabeth hung up.
Elizabeth walked back in to see her father looking through the scrapbook. She smiled.
“You know there are some beautiful photos of you two in here.” Richard stated.
“I know, it’s a beautiful book. It holds so many stories.” Elizabeth smiled.
“What’s this one? Those jumpers are hideous.” Richard laughed.
“That was our Ugly Christmas Jumper Party in 2015.” She smiled to herself. “It was the first one I think. I remember he had this awful singing tie on under that jumper. He didn’t know how to turn it off, so eventually he posted it through one of his neighbours letter box.”
The hours passed after Elizabeth’s parents had left. Soon the sight of Clara made her feel comforted. She hugged her like there was no tomorrow.
“How’s he doing?” She asked.
“He’s stable, he’s not changed much since your last visit, there’s been a slight bit of movement. Other than that, nothing.” Elizabeth explained.
Aoife and Marie joined them shortly after.
“Hey, this is Marie, our big sister and Aoife, Jay’s twin cousin.” Clara introduced.
“Hey guys.” She waved.
Aoife was straight over to his side, she hadn’t seen him or spoken to him for 6 years. She never thought she’d be reunited with him like this.
Marie struggled to look at him.
“Are you okay?” Clara asked.
“Yeah, I just... I haven’t seen him since Mum and Ren... Ya know.” Marie began to choke up.
Clara hugged Marie. Elizabeth watched Aoife talking to him. She got up and walked over to Clara.
“Clara, I’m going to go home for a while. Let me know if you’re leaving or if anything changes please?” Elizabeth asked.
“Of course, go get some rest.” Clara replied.
Elizabeth spent the night at home. It was the first full night she spent away from the hospital, it was discomforting for her despite knowing he was with family. She watched the world go by from her windowsill, the whole world seemed to be moving, yet she was stood still.
Back in the hospital Clara, Aoife and Marie were sat around Jays bed.
“What do you think he’s dreaming about?” Aoife asked.
“What?” Clara was confused.
“They say when you’re in a coma your brain thinks that you’re awake inside of it, so you’re living in a reality your mind creates. And with Jay being Jay, you can almost guarantee that he’s dreaming about something.” Aoife clarified.
“I reckon he’s dreaming about home.” Marie stated.
“I think he’s created some awesome alter ego of some kind.” Clara joked.
They found themselves smiling about the situation, kind of like Jay would want them to be. It was getting late, so the three of them decided to get something to eat from the canteen.
A young nurse that had been monitoring Jay walked into his room, it was strange for her not to see anyone in there with him. She thought she would go and keep him company while doing her checks.
“Hey Jay, it’s me Anna. I’ve been looking out for you.” She spoke to him as if he was awake. “Everything is okay, but we want you to wake up... We need you to. Your family are all really missing you, and I’d quite like to meet you.”
Clara watched from the doorway.
“He would fall in love with you if he met you. Trust me.” She joked.
“Oh, I...” Anna tripped over her words.
“It’s okay, it’s nice to know that the staff are looking out for him.” She admitted. “I’m Clara. One of his big sisters.”
“I’m Anna. I’ve been doing his regular checks since he arrived.” Anna was embarrassed.
“It’s nice to meet you Anna.” Clara smiled.
Anna soon hurried out of the room. Clara awaited the others. They all sat back around Jays bed. Aoife took Jay’s hand. She looked over at him and watched his eyelids flicker a little. She looked back at Clara.
“Did you?” She started.
“Yeah. Apparently it’s his brain in overdrive. Almost dreamlike state.” Clara explained.
The sunshine peered through curtains to wake Elizabeth up. She had fallen asleep on top of her covers. When she woke up it was barely sunrise, the glare was rude but she had no hope in going back to sleep in her bed. She fumbled around her desk for the keys. She was still half asleep.
She threw on some clothes and headed outside. The sun lined the clouds orange and pink, the breeze was chilly but refreshing. Elizabeth took a slow walk to Jay’s apartment and let herself in, he had given her a spare key when he had first moved in. She closed the door and went straight for his room, she curled up in his unmade bed in the dark room and went back to sleep. The smell of him gave her comfort, she gently cried herself into a dream state.
Aoife was alone with Jay, she sat by his bed reading her book aloud to him. Clara and Marie had gone home to freshen up. Anna walked by the door and knocked. Aoife looked up and smiled.
“Hey, Anna right?” Aoife asked.
“Hi. Yeah, I’ve been his nurse since he got admitted.” Anna clarified. “I’m just checking to see how it all is?”
“Yeah come in.” Aoife said.
“I meant... On a personal level.” Anna quietly replied.
“...oh. Uhm, he’s okay. There’s been some slight movement but, other than that nothing’s changed.” Aoife explained.
“I don’t mean to intrude. It’s just... I think it’s so unfair.” Anna stated.
“It’s okay... I guess you can get quite attached to patients right?” Aoife asked.
“I do... Never really to ones that aren’t awake to get to know. I think it’s just seeing how loved he is, it kind of makes me wish I could help him wake up for everyone. And maybe then I could meet the guy people care so much about.” Anna rambled. “That perhaps didn’t come out right but...”
“Anna?” A doctor noticed her stood in the door. “Your shift finished didn’t it? Get some rest, you’ve been in for 36 hours straight.”
“Yeah, I’ll be right out.” Anna replied.
“You’re not on shift?” Aoife asked.
“...not strictly.” Anna answered.
Aoife smiled at her.
“If you... Well next time you’re working I’m sure we can tell you many embarrassing stories about him.” Aoife laughed.
Elizabeth met with Abby at a little coffee house not too far from the hospital. They sat at a table by the window, just for the two of them.
“How are you?” Abby asked.
“A mess. If I’m honest, it’s stressful.” Elizabeth held her cup in both hands.
“Are there any signs of improvement?” She looked at Elizabeth hopefully.
“Not really no, he’s shown a little bit of movement in his eyelids and I could almost swear he has slightly gripped my hand once or twice, but he’s still showing a very slim chance of survival.” Elizabeth let out a heavy sigh of grief.
Abby placed her hand on Elizabeth’s hands. She rubbed her thumb gently on her fingers.
“He’s a fighter though, he’s survived some crazy things.” Abby smiled. “I don’t think a little car crash is going to stop him in his tracks.”
“I really do hope not.” Elizabeth looked up. “I want the chance to tell him I love him.”
“You will.” Abby assured softly. “Have you spoken to Dan yet?”
“I explained everything to him this morning.” Elizabeth informed.
“How did he take it?” Abby questioned.
“He understood, or at least he said he did. I felt horrible ending things like that, but it’s just... It took something so tragic for me to realise that it wasn’t him that I loved.” Elizabeth explained.
The two friends took a slow walk down to the hospital. Abby didn’t come inside. Hospitals freaked her out a little, the one visit she had made already was more than enough.
“Go wake him up. I wanna be able to hang out with him properly. I kind of regret the fact we never really have before.” Abby admitted, hugging Elizabeth goodbye.
“I’m regretting the past year or so I drifted away from him in.” Elizabeth confessed.
Elizabeth joined Aoife in the hospital room. She smiled at her as she walked into the room.
“Hey...” Elizabeth said quietly.
“Hey, how you feeling?” Aoife asked.
“I’m sore but alive. How have things been here?” Elizabeth replied.
“He’s still just laying here.” Aoife smiled. “lazy bastard, ey?”
“It’s nice to see your entire family have the same sense of humour.” Elizabeth smiled as she sat down with Aoife.
“Well, if I didn’t make the jokes, he’d be disappointed, and we all know that he’d be making them if it was any of us. It’s just the way he was... is... sorry.” Aoife explained.
Elizabeth smiled, her eyes were drawn away from Aoife to see Jay’s body battered and bruised, exactly how he had been last time she laid her eyes upon him. She couldn’t get her head around the fact that his mind was probably going crazy inside that head of his, but his body stayed motionless.
Aoife and Elizabeth had only ever met once before, around Christmas time just after Jay and Elizabeth had met. They didn’t really know each other all that well, but they sat in the hospital room talking and sharing stories like they had known each other their entire lives.
“Can I ask you about the crash?” Aoife asked.
“I guess.” Elizabeth felt her heart begin to race.
“As it happened, what did you think about?” Aoife questioned.
Elizabeth fell silent for a moment, she looked over at Jay.
“Honestly?” She began quietly. “I just hoped he would be okay, I thought about the moment we met, and what our final moments were going to be.”
“You honestly thought you were about to die?” Aoife asked.
“I believed I was going to, and believed he had.” Elizabeth wiped her eyes.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t...” Aoife began.
“It’s okay. I... I guess I’ll have to learn to talk about it all.” Elizabeth cut in.
The hours passed. Elizabeth and Aoife stayed talking all day. They enjoyed each others stories they had to share about Jay. It was nice for them to see more than just one side of him.
Elizabeth let Aoife spend the night with him again, she resided back to Jay’s flat and found her place there. As Elizabeth laid down, she looked over at his wardrobe. She saw an old shoe box resting on the top of the wardrobe with “E + J” written on the side. She sat up, and walked over to the wardrobe and took it down. When she opened the box it was filled with loads of memorabilia, from old cinema tickets to photo strips from photo booths. She sat down on his floor, leaning against his bed and looked through everything he thought was worth keeping throughout their friendship. She smiled to herself while her eyes dampened. She stumbled across a neatly folded piece of paper with her name written on it.
I have known you for the better part of my life, I don’t remember a time without you in it. I don’t remember who I ran to before I met you, I don’t think I’ve ever loved someone so unconditionally in my life, and quite frankly I don’t think I ever will again. You are always going to be the Bonnie to my Clyde, it’s you and I until we die. That’s what we’ve always said to each other right? Well, what if it was you and I until we die? What if I told you that you were a dent in the moon, you’ve made so much of an impact in my life that its a permanent impact? I love you, Elizabeth. I don’t just mean that as in the way we’ve said it all these years, I mean I LOVE you. I know we tried to be together all those years ago, but we were young, we were naive. I would happily spend my life by your side. I know that you are with Dan, and I would never ask you to give that up for me. I just thought you would want to know that I have never loved anyone the way I have loved you since the day we met.
Writing this, I know that I may never send it and you may never read it, but if I do somehow find it in me to send this letter, just know that you will forever be my Bonnie.
Elizabeth sat in shock with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her heart pounded so hard she could feel her rib cage shaking. She had never believed he could feel that way about her. She spent so long denying her love for him in fear that she would lose him if she spoke out.
Anna walked into Jay’s hospital room, Aoife was reading to herself in the visitors chair. She was quietly greeted by Aoife with a wave. Anna checked the monitors and stood quietly by his bed.
“He’s not changed at all since my last shift.” Anna quietly spoke to herself.
“He showed a little bit of movement earlier in the day. If that counts for anything?” Aoife informed.
“Hmm, it could be one of two things. A sign of his sleep lightening so he is starting to try to act the dreams out, or a sign of his body shutting down...” She honestly informed Aoife.
“But, we’ll do everything in our power to keep him alive, right?” Aoife asked.
“Of course. I will do everything I personally can to keep him going.” Anna promised.
The next few days were difficult for Elizabeth. She had finally had to return to work, and Jay was now in hospital alone. No friends and no family by his side. She text Abby asking her and her brother to visit the hospital to check up on Jay; to see if there were any improvements. Elizabeth spent the day behind her cash register, her thumbs twitching like moth wings.
Abby and Josh arrived at the hospital, Josh sat back in the driver’s seat of his car and sighed.
“You okay?” Abby asked.
“Yeah... It’s just horrible to watch someone like Jay just laying there almost lifeless.” Josh looked at Abby. “He was always the life of the party, ya know?”
“He’s going to get better. You said so yourself that he always somehow makes it through.” Abby tried to reassure.
“I know... But I’m also willing to accept the fact that I was wrong.” Josh leant on the steering wheel.
“What do you mean?” Abby questioned.
“We both know that he’s not going to be okay. We’re only coming here with this much hope because of Elizabeth.” Josh guiltily admitted.
Abby didn’t respond, she just stared ahead for a moment. She slowly turned her head to look at her brother. She saw the pain that coursed through his veins.
Josh lead Abby into the hospital room. Anna was walking out as they walked in. Josh sat next to the bed while Abby sat by the window. She looked across at Josh sat by Jay and felt her heart break. She never even considered what it would feel like to lose a childhood friend, a life long friend. She walked over to Josh and hugged him over the shoulders. He could feel the sympathy. Abby left the room and headed to the retail court, there wasn’t much there other than a WHSmith and Marks & Spencer’s.
Josh sat by the bed, he was telling him his plans for his wedding. All of which included having Jay there by his side. Anna stopped by the door and listened in for a moment before knocking and entering. She had to perform her routine checks before she finished her shift. She smiled as she heard the way Josh spoke about the future, about a future involving his friend that laid nearly lifeless in front of him.
When Elizabeth finished work she headed straight to the hospital. It was the first time in a couple of days she had had the chance. She hurried up to the ward and immediately found Jays room. She felt her heart pounding against her chest as she saw him. Part of her had hoped she would arrive and he’d be sat up having a conversation with Josh and Abby, but she knew deep down it was almost impossible.
Josh and Abby spent about an hour with Elizabeth before heading home. Elizabeth stayed behind. She kept her grip on Jays hand.
“It’s crazy to think about everything we’ve done together throughout our entire lives, ya know?” Elizabeth began. “From the moment we met up until now, there have been some incredible stories written by us. We made the best memories, some incredible ones to tell the grandkids... If we aren’t old and senile by then anyway.”
Elizabeth kissed Jay’s hand. She then stood up and walked over to the mirror.
“See, I’ve dreamt the same dream every day since we arrived here Jay. I keep dreaming that I come over to this mirror and stood in my reflection is the devil, but I am the devil. I make a deal with the devil to give you his health in exchange for my career.” She exhaled as she looked down to the floor. “But in my dreams I actually have a career worth taking.”
Elizabeth walked back over to the bed and stood looking at her beloved friend. The shell of a man she had written the most part of the history of her life with. She smiled, leant over him and kissed his forehead. She sat back down and took his hand once more.
“Jay, I love you. I always will. You are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, but sometimes people have to move on. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. If you move on, I’m completely okay with that.” Elizabeth said almost to herself.
Jays heart monitors started to make more noise than normal, Elizabeth looked up and was stunned. She wasn’t sure what was happening. Suddenly a couple of nurses and doctors came hurrying into the room. Elizabeth was ushered out immediately.
“I’m sorry Ma’am but we need you to wait outside.” Explained the nurse as she quickly lead Elizabeth out.
While Elizabeth sat in the waiting room the minutes felt like decades. She had all kinds of thoughts running around her mind. She sat there with her head in her hands waiting for news. She had sent for Abby and Josh to return, just in case the worse had actually finally happened. She didn’t want to be alone.
Anna was resting in the staff rooms, she had finished her shift officially but was on call. She had just about drifted off to sleep when her colleague burst into the room.
“Anna!” She called out in urgency.
Immediately Anna knew what was happening. She jumped up and ran down the hallways to Jays room to assist her fellow nurses.
Anna walked out of the room. Her eyes raw. She leant back on the wall as she tried to compose herself.
“Hey, I know it’s hard the first time it happens. It sounds horrible, but you learn to get used to it.” Her colleague reassured. “Do you want me to tell the family?”
“...no. I’ll uhm.... I’ll let them know.” Anna replied.
Elizabeth saw Anna come into the waiting room. Immediately just from the look on her face she knew what had happened.
“Elizabeth,” Anna began, her voice choking up. “I’m... I’m so sorry...”
Elizabeth just approached Anna slowly and hugged her tightly. In that moment the entire world stood still. Everything fell away, all responsibility, all problems, every hope and every dream, it all just didn’t matter anymore. It’s like the earth began to mourn.
“Is there anyone that can come and be with you? It’s best you aren’t alone.” Anna asked.
Elizabeth stared straight ahead, her mind was like a hurricane. She managed to find the ability to nod to Anna’s question. She didn’t cry. She didn’t hurt. She couldn’t feel anything. It was like the world had caved in. Everything seemed to move so slowly around her as she sat back down in the waiting room.
Josh and Abby came hurrying in to the waiting room. Abby threw herself at Elizabeth immediately and held her tight.
“What’s happened?” Abby asked in panic.
“Josh...” Elizabeth stood up and walked over to him.
Elizabeth put her hand on Josh’s cheek and looked him in the eyes. Josh sighed, he felt a heavy lump in his chest. He dropped into Elizabeth’s arms and held her as tears fell from his eyes.
“They said there was nothing they could do to prevent it.” Elizabeth spoke quietly without emotion.
Josh and Abby drove Elizabeth back to Jays apartment where Aoife, Clara and Marie awaited their arrival. They all sat down together in his living room. Not a word was exchanged. They merely exchanged a few empathetic looks among themselves.
The next few days were difficult. Elizabeth helped Marie and Clara arrange the funeral. She would occasionally stop the busyness for a moment and step outside. It broke her heart knowing that the world would carry on without him, someone that had been so important to her. Any moment she ended up on her own with nothing to do she found herself breaking down. It was destroying her.
Josh found himself going back through his school yearbooks. He found all their old holiday photographs from their trips to Spain and China. He found himself looking up old friends again, it made him realise that just because they had grown up it didn’t mean they had to grow apart. He knew he had to break the news to their old school friends too.
Abby tried to be there for both her brother and her best friend in the time of grief. She was struggling too, despite not really knowing him properly, she knew how much he meant to those around her. It was hard for her, Elizabeth was pushing her away and Josh was keeping himself locked away.
Eventually the big day had come. It was the middle of June, the sun was blazing. It wasn’t a comfortable day to wear black. The heat was unfair on the black clothing everybody dreaded wearing, it was even more unfair that it was such a nice day, for such a bad occasion. Elizabeth prepared herself to stand up and give the eulogy.
“I could do with some courage right now.” She whispered.
Josh pulled out a hip flask and waved it suggestively.
“I meant the real kind, but this will do.” She took a quick swig and headed up to the podium.
Elizabeth stood in front of Jay’s entire family, all of his friends both old and new, many of which she knew herself. She had written an entire speech for him, but everyone had already said what she had written so she had to go straight from the heart. It was a long minute she stood composing herself before anything came from her voice box. She could feel herself breaking. As Elizabeth looked up she saw a little bit of Jay in everyone that sat before her.
“Jay... Jay was an extraordinary young man. He changed my life. Do you ever look at the moon and wonder what created all of those craters? What made such an impact it left a permanent mark? Well, if I was a moon, he was my crater.” Elizabeth began tearing up. “He was the Clyde to my Bonnie, ever since we met, we always swore it was Bonnie and Clyde together until we die. Now, I was in that very same car crash with him. In the moment that I went through the windscreen I didn’t care what happened to me, I just prayed to a God that I don’t believe in that Jay was okay. I didn’t care about my own life. That’s how you know someone is special. The moment you realise that you value their life more than you value your own, you know that they are special. He was a hard working person, he was always occupied with some kind of project, whether it was his music, or his art, or even his actual work, you would never know him not to be doing something. He was a great role model for people; yes he made a lot of stupid decisions, but then I know what he would be saying right now. It’s better to say why did I do that, instead of I wish I had done that. I believe that Jay had made an impact in the world, on everyone in this very room.”
She froze for a moment, she looked at the coffin behind her. She swallowed her pain and looked back at the family and friends.
“Everyone that has spoken has already said all of this though. It seems unfair to have lost someone so beautiful so soon. But I will live every day for two from now.” Elizabeth felt a tear fall as she stepped down from the podium.
It wasn’t easy for anyone stood around the grave. Elizabeth stood at the back, her black dress blew in the light breeze that drifted among the tremendous heat. She tried her hardest to hold it together, but her eyes kept welling up. It was the hardest moment of her life, watching as they lowered his body into his eternal resting place, her chest tightened. She felt her heart break once more.
After the ceremony Elizabeth waited back at the grave. She waited for everybody to head to the wake before she went and sat by his grave. She stroked the headstone. Her eyes watered but she wasn’t going to cry. She pulled out a piece of paper from her pocket.
“I found this song, it sums up everything I’ve felt recently... I thought you’d like it.” Elizabeth said to the grave.
She looked down at the paper. She cleared her throat and made sure nobody was left at the funeral.
”I woke up, and wished that I was dead.
With an aching in my head, I laid motionless in bed.
I thought of you, and where you’ve gone.
Let the world spin madly on.
Everything that I said I’d do,
Like make the world brand new,
And take the time for you;
I just got lost and slept right through the dawn,
As the world spins madly on.
I let the day go by.
I always say goodbye.
I watch the stars from my windowsill.
The whole world is moving,
And I’m standing still.
I woke up and wished that I was dead,
With an aching in my head,
I laid motionless in bed.
The night is here and day is gone,
And the world spins madly on.
I thought of you and where you’ve gone,
And the world spins madly on. ” Elizabeth sung.
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