No Tomorrow (Page 83)
Ditra’s got my phone and she’s nodding and writing on an envelope she pulled off my counter. I want to rip the pen and paper out of her hands.
No. Don’t write things down. Don’t make any of this real. I just want to go back to the table and eat danish and talk about the cat. Please…
Ditra kneels in front of me and forces me to look at her. “I know you’re freaking out and you’re scared, but you have to pull yourself together.” I shudder and try to focus on her face. Tears are in her brown eyes, ruining her perfect eyeliner. “We need to get you on a plane, Piper.”
“He has to be okay. I can’t lose him, Dee. I can’t… I love him so much.”
She pulls me up, helping me stand. “I know you do; and he knows that, too. You have to be strong. I want you to go pack and I’m going to call your mom and Josh. We’ll take care of Lyric and the pets. After I call them I’m going to get you a plane ticket and I’m taking you to the airport.”
Everything becomes a whirlwind. I’m on autopilot, going through the motions that Ditra has set in place. Within hours I’m sitting on an airplane on my way to California and I can’t even remember saying goodbye to Lyric. The only things I can are the awful things Reece said.
Fell off a roof.
It’s really bad.
You should be here.
I’m suffocating in this plane with no way to escape the agony in my heart. I want to climb out the window, fall through the clouds, and find a hole in time so I can go back and undo this nightmare.
The confusion and uncertainty has every nerve in my body strung out. I can’t sit still or relax my mind even for a moment. I fight the urge to get up and pace the aisle of the plane like a ranting lunatic.
Why didn’t I call him last night when I didn’t hear from him? Why did I go to bed assuming he was tired and had just gone to sleep? What if something was wrong and he needed me and I just went to bed—abandoning him?
What could he possibly have been doing on a roof? And what roof? Koler’s house? Someplace else? And when—in the middle of the night? No matter how many times I turn it over and over in my head it makes no sense to me. Was my sweet Blue stargazing? Listening to the rain? Praying for our lost baby?
I need to see him. I need to hear his voice. I need to see his beautiful smile. I need to see him alive and breathing. I need someone to tell me he’s going to be okay so this heavy weight in my chest will let me breathe and think. No matter what’s wrong—no matter what’s happened—I’ll be there for him in every way. Without any doubt. I’ll take care of him forever if that’s what he needs. I can be nurse, wife, best friend, and lover. I can be everything he needs.
Anything. Anywhere. Anytime.
That’s what love is.
I lift my hand and press my lips to my engagement ring, just like he does. I can see his intense blue eyes and hear his gravelly voice.
Love you, Ladybug.
I love you, Blue. Please hold on.
I park my rental car practically sideways in visitor parking at the hospital but I don’t care. All I care about is getting to Blue as fast as I can. I run inside, spin myself dizzy in the revolving doors, and stand breathlessly in the lobby, scanning the myriad of signs.
Reece comes toward me from a hallway to the right and I run to him.
“Where is he? Is he okay?”
Reece puts his arms around me and hugs me in that scary, desperate, apologetic way that screams all things awful. I’m already sobbing as I cling to his wide shoulders.
Closing my eyes, I take deep breaths against his chest, accepting the small comfort his embrace offers.
When I pull away I’m shocked at how terrible he looks. I’ve never seen Reece look even remotely tired but today he’s got angry dark circles under his eyes, his dark skin is ghostly pale, and his black hair is a tangled mess.
“Can I see him?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “Not now. He’s in surgery and—”
My heart lurches. “Is he going to be all right? What the hell happened, Reece? Please tell me something!” Anxiety and desperation are swirling like a cyclone inside me and I’m afraid I’m going to lose control and start screaming for answers.
“Piper, I know you’re upset and this is f*****g crazy scary for you and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it myself. I promised Blue a long time ago I’d always be here for you if something happened….”
I wrench my arms from his grip. I don’t want him here for me. I only want Blue.
“Just tell me what’s going on,” I sob. “Before I lose my mind. How bad is it? How did he fall off a roof? Was he drunk? Just tell me. I won’t even be mad. We’ll help him…”
He grabs my arm again and pulls me to the side of the hallway. His dark eyes are pitch black and somber. The deep rise and fall of his chest hypnotizes me.
“He didn’t fall, Piper. He jumped.”
Reece’s face blurs in front of my eyes. The corridor tilts and closes in, the walls crushing me with their whiteness. The floor rises up. I can’t tell up or down. I can’t breathe.
No. No. No. No….
“Piper, look at me.”
I’m shaken like a doll. Rattled back to reality then held up by his big guitar-playing hands.
Hands just like Blue’s.
“Look at me, Piper. Breathe.” The puzzle of his face slowly pieces back together. I’m aware of people walking by us, eyeing me with concern as I sob in the arms of this bear of a man. They’re taking all my air. I need to get out of here. I need to get to Blue. We just need to hug and listen to the rain and it will all be okay.
“Take some deep breaths. Don’t pass out on me, kiddo.”
“He didn’t,” I whisper. “He didn’t do that.”
I shake my head. My bottom lip trembles and tears run down my cheeks as I stare up into his face, searching for truth amongst these lies.
“No…he wouldn’t…” I can’t even let the words come out of my mouth. It’s too horrible; too unbelievable. Blue would never, ever try to take his own life.
We just bought wedding bands and he was happier than I’ve ever seen him. He was so excited about the wedding plans, and about finally living together permanently. Why… why would he want to end his own life?
It makes no sense.
Did he change his mind about getting married and didn’t know how to tell me? Did I just not love him enough? Did he still feel alone, even with me and Lyric in his life? Did I want too much from him? Were his headaches getting worse and he couldn’t deal with the pain? Oh my God… does he have a brain tumor? Was he afraid of dying a slow, painful death and just wanted to put his fate in his own hands? Was it all of it? What was going on that he wanted to die?
“I know it’s hard, Piper. But you gotta believe me because this is going to get a whole lot harder before it gets any easier. He jumped off a three-story roof. Thank God for Koler’s f****d-up huge bushes and trees, they kinda knocked him around and slowed him down, and the motion triggered the house alarm.”
I shake my head violently, trying to thrash that image out of my head. “No…” I cry. “This is a mistake. It had to be an accident… he fell.”
Reece’s jawline clenches. “There was a note. And pills. It wasn’t an accident.”
My head reels and I cover my mouth with my hand so I don’t scream my head off in the middle of this hospital hallway. Reece kneels down and puts his arms around me again, holding me like I’m a small child. I feel like a child. A little lost child that just found out everything they ever loved and believed in had vanished into thin air.
“Is he alive?” I force out.
“He was when they took him into surgery…but that’s all I know.”
I gasp and almost collapse into him. He’s alive. He’s still here. That’s all that matters.
I’m completely numb and wobbly as Reece leads me to a small waiting room that has a PRIVATE sign on the door. He sits me in a chair and retrieves a paper cup of water from a bubbler in the corner. My hands are shaking so badly he has to hold it for me as I sip from it.
“Just sit and rest for a few minutes,” Reece says softly from the chair next to me. “You’re white as a ghost.”
“How’s she doing?” Koler’s voice comes from across the room and I lift my gaze from the floor to stare at him, as if maybe some answers are going to be visible on him. Alex, the drummer, is sitting next to him and I realize the hospital must be keeping the band in this private waiting room to keep people away from them.
“I think she’s kinda in shock like the rest of us,” Reece answers.
“How’d he get on the roof?” I blurt out with my eyes still glued on Koler.
He shrugs and puts his hands up. “I don’t know. I thought he was asleep. He told us he felt tired and he went to his room.”
“Was he acting weird? Was he partying? Did he say anything to you?”
“No,” Alex answers. “He was a little quiet but he wasn’t doing anything.”
“Do you think something else was going on in his life? Something none of us know about?”