Anna continued to scream as she saw Kevin lying completely still. She’d yet to see the rest of his body, but didn’t know if she wanted to. After she could no longer get any sound out, Anna quickly flipped on the light to the closet and flung the door open, scurrying inside. She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths, preparing herself for what she might see when she looked down. Opening her eyes, she lowered her head and gasped, clamping her hands over her mouth again. Kevin was laying part way on his stomach, partly on his side. It was almost as if he were in a sleeping position, except for one thing. There was red blood everywhere. All over his clothes, the carpet, his skin. Anna fell to the ground in a kneeling position, taking his hand in hers.
“Kevin,” she cried out, “Can you hear me baby?”
Anna’s sobs grew louder when he didn’t respond. His form was stiff, lifeless, not moving a bit. His body was sprawled out. Anna searched the closet for what he could have used to harm himself with that would cause him to bleed so much. She looked all around, on Kevin’s other side, by his head. She found nothing. Anna rolled him over gently and gasped. Lying under him was a silver pistol. With wracking sobs of panic, Anna stood up quickly and ran out of the closet to retrieve the phone. With shaking hands, she quickly dialed 9-1-1. The phone hadn’t even run one full time before her call was answered.
“9-1-1. What’s your emergency?” a woman asked in a professional tone.
“My boyfriend,” Anna managed to get out, “Blood. Please help.”
“Mam, please calm down,” the woman said, “What happened.”
Anna didn’t know how she was supposed to calm down. Her boyfriend was bleeding and she was panicking. What did the lady expect? She knew she had to try to give more detail though if she expected help.
“My boyfriend. He…he shot himself.” Anna choked, “Please help him. Please.”
“We’ll send somebody right out,” the woman said.
She asked Anna for directions to their house and she explained as best she could under the circumstances. Her mind was a jumble and she couldn’t think clearly at all. Minutes later, Anna was off of the phone. She ran back to Kevin to check on him. She hadn’t noticed before, but he was a pasty white. Not knowing weather to stay with Kevin or to go downstairs and wait for the ambulance. Anna decided to wait on the ambulance. She couldn’t help Kevin and there really wasn’t anything that could be done. She ran down the steps and outside to wait on the front porch.
What seemed like hours later, Anna heard sirens. She quickly stood up and watched as an ambulance sped into the driveway. Two paramedics hopped out, grabbing supplies and rushing to the door. Anna opened it for them and followed them in, running up the stairs after them. She needed to be there to see what was happening to her boyfriend. She didn’t know what to think. She hadn’t seen this coming at all and wondered if it meant that she was a bad girlfriend.
“Where is he?” one of the men asked.
Anna pushed past them and they followed her into the bedroom, through the bathroom and across to the closet. The men hurridly went around Anna when they saw Kevin lying down. They knelt down, checking his vitals and saying things that Anna didn’t understand. It was all medical talk. She didn’t know what any of it meant and it scared her.
“Is…is he alive?” Anna asked quietly.
Getting no answer, Anna started to sob, standing back. She knew if she got any closer that she’d just be in the way of things. The other man suddenly stood up and ran out of the room. Anna wondered where he was going. Taking a few small steps forward, Anna looked inside to see Kevin. He had an oxygen mask on his face and I’V’s already attached to his body. There were gauze pads on his chest where the bullet was to stop the bleeding. His clothes had been torn to give the paramedics easier access to him.
“What happened?” the paramedic, who was still in the closet with Kevin, asked sternly. He looked up at Anna and she didn’t know if his eyes were accusing her of shooting him herself or not. She decided that it was all in her head.
“I went to the store,” Anna said quietly, “Everything was fine. When I got home, he was…he wouldn’t answer. I was looking for him and…he was…he…” she couldn’t get the rest out.
“Has he been suffering from depression?” the man asked.
“Yes, he was in deep depression for about seven months or so. That was after a car accident that landed him paralyzed. He was okay though for the past couple of weeks.” Anna explained, tears streaming her face.
The paramedic nodded, knowing that the girl was going into a minor shock. He’d seen this before. The person who’d found their loved one became calm instead of the freaking out state when they first arrived.
“It’s very common for people who are suicidal to go from depressed to fine right before the plan on ending their lives.” The paramedic explained, “Not many people know that though. They think that the person just isn’t depressed any longer.”
Anna looked down in shame. She felt responsible for not noticing the signs that were leading up to this event. She wished that she’d paid better attention. She honestly thought though that Kevin was finally beginning to deal with his limited abilities. Suddenly, the paramedic who’d disappeared ran back in with a stretcher under his arms. He laid it out on the ground beside Kevin and Anna was thankful for their bedroom-sized walk in closet. The two men gently but quickly and efficiently lifted Kevin up onto the stretcher, rolling it across the room.
“Would it be easier to use the elevator?” Anna asked, worried that if they tried to roll Kevin down the winding flight of stairs that it would just hurt him worse.
“Lead us there,” the one man said. Anna got a glimpse of his nametag. It read Joshua.
Anna led them there and they rode down on it. The doors opened and they men were off out the front door loading Kevin up inside of the ambulance. Before Anna ran out after then, she picked up the note off of the ground, and fled out the door after then. Joshua started the ambulance while the other ran back inside to gather up their equipment. Anna stood helplessly wanting to know what was going on with Kevin. The other man flew out of the house, slamming the door shut behind him.
“Would you like a ride to the hospital?” he asked Anna as he hopped into the back of the vehical.
Anna nodded and he held out his hand, pulling her up inside. He pulled the door shut behind him as Anna sat on a bench along the side watching. The ambulance turned is lights and sirens on and sped out of the driveway.
“Is he going to live?” Anna asked. “He’s alive right now,” the paramedic answered, “But it doesn’t look good. The bullet barely missed his heart. He’s critical.”
Anna gulped, tears forming in her eyes. She knew that she had to stay composed in order to stay in the ambulance with Kevin. But the paramedic’s words lingered in the air. It didn’t sound like they had much hope for him. His words, she knew, would haunt her until she knew anything more.
Anna sat in the waiting room. She was alone. Wrapping her arms around herself, she rubbed her own arms to keep warm. She wasn’t sure if the room really was cold of if it was the fear of wondering how Kevin was that was making her feel that way. Suddenly, six people bounded into the room. Anna looked up and saw the other four Boys and her friends.
“We were called by the doctor,” Brian explained, “He wouldn’t tell us anything though. What the hell happened?”
“Kevin,” she replied somberly, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to get anything else out.
The large group all sat down in the surrounding seats. They looked scared, and Anna knew that once they found out what had happened, why Kevin was back in the hospital, that it would make things even worse.
“What about Kevin?” Brian prodded, wanting to get to the bottom of why they had been called upon so urgently.
“He…he tried to kill himself,” Anna choked out. Saying it aloud made the situation all the more real to her. She looked up and saw the eyes of each individual person around her widen with shock. They looked startled and in disbelief. The air was full of a sense of shock as nobody spoke, as they all tried to take in what they were hearing. But when the silence was broken, more than one of the Boys started speaking at once.
“No,” Howie stated roughly, as if he was accusing her of lying, his eyes full of fear and filling with tears, “No he didn’t
“Kevin wouldn’t do that,” Brian said, shaking his head, refusing to believe it, “He would never sink that low. He’d never do anything like that. I know him.”
Stephanie and Jaime’s hands clasped their mouths as they begun to cry. The other men had tears of disbelief forming in their eyes. They were speechless, none knowing what to say, how to act, what to do.
“He did,” she insisted in monotone, pulling the note of her pocket and handing it over to Brian. He unfolded it and everybody gathered around him to read it. Jaime started to cry as she backed away and sat down. Stephanie turned an unusual shade of white and she could see that she was struggling not to break down. Tears started to fall down each of the Boys faces as they each finished up the letter. Brian folded it, looking ahead blankly as he handed it back to Anna. He couldn’t believe that Kevin had actually gone through with trying to kill himself.
“Oh god,” Nick choked out in panic, “Fuck no. No, no, no.” he repeated over and over again, shaking his head roughly from side to side, tears streaming down his face. He refused to believe that the letter was real.
“He was fine earlier today,” Brian commented, going into a slight state of shock, swallowing the large lump that had formed in his throat, “We finished recording and he gave each one of us a hug and said that…” Brian trailed off as his head whipped up, “Oh god, how could we not have seen it?” “Seen what?” Nick asked, his voice shaking slightly, the tears still falling, “Kev was fine today. He has been for weeks now.”
Brian shook his head roughly. One of the last comments that he’d said to them stuck out in his mind. He had looked right past it though because at the time, he’d seen nothing wrong with it at all.
“Guys, remember what Kevin said to us? That it had been great recording with us and that the album would be the best yet.”
The guys all thought for a moment, and then each one remembered. The comment had struck Howie to be a bit odd, but he hadn’t read into it. He figured that it’d just been a figure of speech.
“Oh my god,” Anna cried, “He said something
weird to me too. I didn’t think anything of it. I should have though.”
“What was it?” A.J. asked her.
“He said, ‘I love you so much. Never forget how much you mean to me,’ I should have known that something was wrong. I mean, I was just going to the grocery store. And when I asked him what he wanted me to get, he said he didn’t want anything special.” Anna sped talked.
Everything was making sense now. His happy mood. His weird comments. He’d been planning this for a while now. Anna put her face in her hands. She hoped that nobody blamed her for missing the signs.
“It looks like none of us saw it coming,” Howie stated somberly, “If we had, lord knows that we would have stopped it.”
Everybody nodded in agreement. Anna was relieved that they weren’t singling her out just because she lived with him. They all equally blamed themselves as well. She still didn’t know anything new on him, but wished that she did.
“What’s his condition?” Stephanie asked, reading her friends thought
“Stable but critical,” Anna told them in monotone.
The group sighed. A.J. closed his eyes to try and stop the fresh batch of tears that he knew was coming. He knew that part of the reason Kevin had done this was because he felt like he hated him. A.J didn’t hate him at all. Sure, he was upset with him, but now he just felt bad. Maybe if he’d spoken to the man, and acted like a decent human being towards his band mate in the past months, then he wouldn’t have tried to attempt such an unthinkable thing. A.J. looked over to Jaime. He hadn’t been treating her fairly either. He’d left her alone for the past three and a half months of her pregnancy. He’d treated her like a leper. It wasn’t because he didn’t care, because he love her more than anything and he couldn’t wait to have their child. He had just started thinking about how drastically his life would be changed and it had scared him. He knew how that he had been very foolish. He smiled at the sight of his girlfriend. She was so pretty even when she was upset. He knew that he had a challenge though in getting her to forgive him. He hoped she did, but knew that he wouldn’t deserve it.
Anna looked up started as a man in a white lab coat walked into the room. She looked around and saw that everybody else but Brian had fallen asleep. She’d predicted that it would be that way.
“Are you the friends and family of Mr. Richardson?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, we are,” Brian piped up, “How is he?”
“Kevin just got out of surgery to stop the internal bleeding which he was suffering. There is quite a bit of damage.”
The doctor paused to let the two people comprehend everything he’d said so far. Nick was coming out of his sleep and caught the last half of what the doctor had to say. What he heard, he didn’t like one bit.
“What’s his condition now?” Anna asked, “Has it changed any?”
The doctor shook his head sadly, “He’s still critical and is in a coma. Beings that he is paralyzed, it will make his recovery all the more difficult, if he recovers. The paralysis has weakened him.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Brian said, holding up his hand to stop the man from speaking, “What do you mean by IF he recovers?”
“To be bluntly honest, his condition doesn’t look good. I’d be very surprised if he lived past tomorrow.”
Anna gasped. She’d heard it from the paramedics already, but for some reason, hearing it from the doctor made her believe it. She could see Brian gripping the sides of his chair to the point where his knuckles were turning white. He started gulping in the air, trying to prevent hyperventalation. Nick sat up in a daze, not catching much of what the doctor had said.
“Kev died?” he asked in alarm, his voice filled with sleep.
“No,” The doctor replied, “He’s alive, for now.”
Brian gave his best friend a murderous look. He wished that the boy wouldn’t speak without thinking first. Kevin’s prognosis was hard as it was. Nobody needed Nick speaking what he thought he’d heard to make thinks worse.
“Nick,” Brian stated, “For Kevin, just shut the fuck up.”
Nick looked wounded as he cowered back in his seat. Anna could tell that he was pouting. It was hard to believe that this was the same guy who’d saved her life. He was back to his blonde side.
“When can I see him?” Anna asked the doctor before he decided to leave. She knew how doctors worked. It could be days before she saw him again.
“At least not for a couple of days,” The doctor replied, “He wouldn’t be able to handle visitors at the risk of infection.”
“But what if he doesn’t make it?” Brian asked, his voice full of fury, “What if Kevin doesn’t wake up? What if he dies overnight?”
The doctor shrugged, “It doesn’t change anything. What if by some miracle he recovers. What if he does a turn around? You wouldn’t want to set him back, would you?” he challenged them.
Brian and Anna both sighed at the same time. He could see that he was right. Anna just wanted to see her boyfriend. The last sight she’d had of him, he’d been pale, all color drained from his complexion. His eyes were rolled into the back of his head and his body had been coated with his own blood. She wondered how he hadn’t died instantly, but liked to hope that there was a reason why he was still alive.
After a couple of minutes of nobody saying a thing, the doctor walked out of the waiting room. The door closed behind him. After Brian was sure that the man was out of hearing range, he spoke.
“I don’t like him,” he drawled in his southern accent, “There is something about him that doesn’t seem right and his attitude bites.”
Anna couldn’t agree any more. The man did have a sense about him that told her that Kevin would be better off in another’s hands. She knew that there was absolutely nothing that they could do about it though.
“I hope Kevin is okay,” Nick weakly called out. Anna looked over and his arms were wrapped around himself. He was rocking himself back and forth.
“Me to,” Brian replied and it surprised Anna when he didn’t say, “He will be” Brian was normally a confident person. She supposed that this would be one time when he wasn’t, “Those lyrics that he wrote…” Brian’s voice trailed off, “I had no idea he felt that way. It was overpowering. It’s no wonder he wanted to record that song alone. But jeez, I really had no clue he was in such pain.”
“Me neither,” Anna said softly, “I knew he was, but not to that extent. And our blindness to it all could have possibly cost him his life.”
A.J. woke up with a violent jolt. He’d just had a nightmare about Kevin. He’d seen the whole thing happen. He’d tried to stop him from pulling the trigger, but he had been frozen in one place. Kevin couldn’t hear him or see him. He was just there to witness Kevin’s execution of himself.
Wiping the sweat off of his forehead, he looked around and could tell that it was the middle of the night. Everybody was fast asleep. He looked over to Jaime. She looked peaceful when she was asleep. He couldn’t even see the pain etched on her face that he’d caused. Getting up, A.J. walked over to her, picking her up and sitting down, cradling her in his arms. Jaime’s eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him, jumping a little, then struggling out of his grasp.
“What do you want?” she whispered, but he could catch the coldness that was in her voice. He winced before replying.
“I just wanted to hold you,” he answered truthfully.
Jaime snorted, backing away from him as much as she found possible. A.J. tried to take her hand, but she pulled away.
“Please, come with me,” he quietly said, “Let’s talk.”
A,.J. stood up waiting for Jaime to join him. She rolled her eyes, but she stood up and followed him out of the waiting room and into the empty hallway.
“So?” she asked impatiently.
“I don’t know how to say this,” A.J. started, “I’m really sorry for how I treated you. I know that it was wrong of me. You didn’t deserve it. I just got scared. What I didn’t think about was how scared you must be feeling too. I know I’ve left you alone for a good portion of your pregnancy, but, I’d like to go through the rest of it with you, like it should be.”
Jaime looked skeptical. A.J reached out to touch her stomach and she drew back. When she saw the tenderness in his eyes though, something inside of her melted and she let him. It was, after all, his child too.
“What made you change your mind?” Jaime asked.
“Honestly, this whole thing with Kevin. It made me realize that anything could happen at any time. It got my head screwed on straight. It made me realize again the things that were important and realize that I’d been treating the most important thing unfairly. It made me think of a lot of things. How I would feel if I lost you. And it wasn’t my mind that needed to be changed. I wanted to be a part of this all along. I just needed to have a boost to get myself back in the right mental mind setting.”
“It took Kevin attempting, well, you know, for you to realize this?” Jaime asked, her anger growing again.
“Yes,” A.J. admitted, “I am sorry that it took this, but I want to be there for you again, and our baby.”
Jaime didn’t know what to tell him. She wanted him in her life more than anything, but she was afraid that he would leave her again after a few weeks. After things were better, or possibly worse than ever.
“I wont leave you again,” he told her, taking her arms and pulling her into him to embrace her, “Please, believe me. Please forgive me and lets give it another chance. Please.”
Jaime sighed. She looked up into his eyes and saw sincerity in them. She knew that they would need each other through this ordeal, and she wanted to be a part of his life forever.
“Okay,” she replied, “I’ll give it another shot. But if you mess up again, it’s over for good.”
A.J. smiled a quick smile despite the reason they were in the hospital. She’d just made a small part of him happier. Jaime offered a sad smile back. She hoped that she was making the right choice. She figured that he did deserve a second chance though. What could it hurt?