“What? Has the doctor said anything? Did they run some tests on her?” Phoenix inquired.
“But you called just five
hours ago to tell Joe. They couldn’t have done things THAT efficiently
in hospitals,” he said sarcastically, looking down at Joy accusingly.
Joy looked up at him and the
rest of the band and her lower lip began to tremble. She swallowed, her
brows furrowing as she tried to find the right words to place what
“Well, go on... what happened
to Kiki?” Chester butted in, eager to find out.
“Shut up Ches. Let her
speak,” Mike looked intently at her. He didn’t want his worst
thoughts to come true. Not now. How will Joe take this if he finds out?
“Kiki... Kiki... she’s been
in a coma for four days,” Joy blurted out, and let out a sob.
“WHAT?!” Chester exclaimed a
little too loudly. Brad slapped him on the arm. “Sorry,” he mumbled
sheepishly rubbing his arm.
“What do you mean she’s been
in a coma for four days?” Mike’s brow furrowed as he looked into her
“She went into seizure five
days ago and her condition has been getting worse ever since. She
slipped into a coma the next day.”
“Shit! And you called Joe only
this morning?! What the fuck was that all about?” Mike could feel
anger growing inside him as he interrogated the nurse.
“Mike...” Brad rested his
hand on Mike’s arm to cool him off.
“What the hell was all that
for? Why didn’t you call him five days ago?” Mike ignored Brad’s
“I didn’t want Joe to
worry...” she answered miserably, knowing that whatever answer she
gave them wouldn’t make any difference to how horrible she felt now.
“And you didn’t even tell
him when he called you all those days?” Chester asked.
She shook her head slightly.
“He would have done something stupid, besides, you guys had things to
“That’s bullshit! Like he
didn’t do something stupid and insist on coming all the way here to
see her at two in the morning..?!” Mike’s voice was raised as he
glared at her.
“Mike! Don’t.” Brad pulled
him away before he could do anything else to her.
“Look, Joe can’t know about
this, alright. Look at him. if he finds out the truth now, he’d flip
out,” Joy mumbled.
Mike looked at her, trying to understand what she was saying without lashing out at her. He knew she was right. That Joe would have flipped out if he found out.
we can’t keep the truth from Joe. That wouldn’t be fair to him, he
pondered. He didn’t know what to believe at that moment. He didn’t
know what to do. Being stuck in a situation like this, he’d let his
emotions get the better of him. He instantly felt sorry that he had
lashed out at Joy like that.
“I’m sorry,” he said
apologetically to Joy after a moment’s of silence. “I didn’t mean
to say all that. Sorry.”
“You’re right, I suppose. He
WOULD flip if you told him that she’s getting worse,” he looked at
her, but she had her back turned to him, frozen. He looked up to the
direction she was staring at and cursed under his breath. Joe stood by
the door staring back at them, a look of bewilderment on his face.
“Is that true?” Joe’s
voice trembled as he looked at Mike and then at Joy. They stared at him
“IS IT TRUE?” He asked in a
louder voice, his fists clenched by his sides when no one answered him.
“Joe...” Joy looked sadly at
“How long were you going to
hide it from me? Until she dies?!” He shot out at her.
“Joe, I didn’t mean..”
“Forget it.” he threw his
hand to his side in anger and stormed down the hallway.
“SHIT!” Chester muttered as
he watched Joe leave angrily.
“JOE!” Mike called out,
running after him, shoving Brad and Rob out of his way.
“Joe?!” He turned the
corner, ignoring the nurses giving them glares. He knew he shouldn’t
be shouting in a hospital at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m., but he
couldn’t care less at the moment. Finding Joe and making sure he was
alright was more important.
He stopped in his tracks
abruptly when he caught Joe slumped on the floor against the wall,
staring stupidly at the opposite wall.
“DAMN YOU!” Joe shouted when
he saw Mike in front of him. “Damn Joy! Why did she have to hide it
“It’s for the best, dude,”
Mike told him.
“What?! For the best for
who?” Joe wasn’t about to let this issue go.
“You, I guess,” Mike
“How so?” he challenged.
“Joe, I’m sure she meant
well.” Mike tried to defend him, not understanding why Joy didn’t
tell him either.
“She’s jealous.” He
finally said. “The bitch is jealous of Kiki and me,” he mumbled,
chuckling in disbelief to himself.
“Joe, don’t say that. She
didn’t want you to worry, okay? She thought that Kiki would get better
and so you didn’t have to know about this and worry yourself sick over
“That’s fucking bullshit,
Mike.” Joe seethed.
“THAT’S FUCKING BULLSHIT!”
Mike tried to slip his arm
around Joe’s shoulders, but he pushed Mike’s arm away angrily.
Joe stood up and headed back to where Kiki was. He couldn’t believe what he’d heard at first. As he stood at the door listening to their conversation, unaware of his presence. Kiki, dying. The monster had finally reared it’s head and won the battle with his mind.
was going to be alright. She was perfectly fine! he
cried to himself inside. But the fact of her sickness egged on him,
causing a turmoil in his mind and heart. He’d stubbornly pushed the
truth away until he couldn’t anymore and it had hit him back hard with
twice the impact.
As his mind churned with Joy’s
words, Mike’s and the thought of Kiki, he walked slowly and dejectedly
back to Kiki’s bedside.
As he sat beside her, watching
her, he clenched his teeth, trying to control his anger. He didn’t
know what or who he was angry at anymore, but he couldn’t drop the
feeling. It was the only thing that was holding back the fear in his
systems and he couldn’t let that take over.
“Joe?” he heard Joy’s
voice and ignored it. “Joe, please... I’m so sorry. I didn’t want
you to worry. She seemed like she would get better. Even the doctors
said that. I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you earlier,” her voice
pleaded with him to forgive her.
“Is she really going to
die?” he finally asked in a small voice. Joy just burst into tears as
she looked at Joe’s face. He turned back to Kiki’s deathly pale face
and shut his eyes tight.
Joy shook her head at that
question, "I don't know...."
He squeezed his eyes shut in
“I’ll stay here with him,”
Mike finally spoke up as they sat around the cafeteria table for coffee.
“You can’t cancel another night’s concert. The organisers would be
pissed mad. You guys go back. Tell them what ever. Tell the fans the
whole story. Just get back there for the show.”
Brad nodded solemnly, “You
sure you can handle everything here?”
Mike nodded, taking a gulp of his coffee. It had been a couple of hours since the rest got there. They sat in the busy cafeteria guzzling coffee, maxing their caffeine level since they had stayed up all night. Chester looked like he was on the brink of getting hyper.
would have been by now, he thought and sulked, returning to his
coffee. Joe.... Joe... Joe... and
where is he when we most need him to cheer us up? Sitting up with Kiki
staring at her all morning. Chester turned his attention to the rest
who were talking before his thoughts went any further. He didn’t want
to be guilty of having mean thoughts about Joe.
They were in no hurry to get
back to the pediatrics ward. Kiki’s
condition has been the same ever since they arrived and if something did
happen Joe would have made it known by now.
“What are you trying to
say?” Joe asked the doctor, not comprehending any of the medical terms
thrown at him. He hated doctors. They never did tell you what’s really
going on. They twist and turn the words so that you wouldn’t have the
vaguest idea what’s wrong with you.
“If Kiki doesn’t get better,
if her blood level doesn't go up in the next 24 hours, the chances of
her living is slim.”
“So do something about it,”
Joe said a matter of factly. “Isn’t that what doctors are supposed
to do?” he chided.
“Mr. Hahn, it’s not that
simple. The world of medicine can only do so much. The rest is up to the
person whether or not he or she gets better.”
“Whaddayamean...? So you
don’t think that Kiki will get better?” he prodded on, not letting
the doctor get away with it.
“If she’s strong enough, she
will get better.” the doctor said with a blank expression on his face.
“Kiki has been holding up every seizure she’s gone through. I
don’t see why she wouldn’t pull through this one.”
Joe eyed him skeptically. A few
moments ago, the doctor had sounded a tad bit discouraged and now it
seemed like he’s being all positive and nonchalant about the whole
thing. Which was he to believe. He turned to Kiki
and back at the doctor who was busy filling up a clipboard. Mike
slipped into the room, smiling at Joe.
“What’s going on?” He
asked in general, looking at both Joe and the doctor.
“I have no idea. Why don’t
you ask Dr. Frankenstein here. Maybe you can understand the shit he’s
trying to say,” Joe spat back leaving Mike alone with the doctor who
didn’t look at all pleased.
“Yeah? So what’s up?” Mike
asked him, sizing the middle aged man up and down with his dark eyes.
“I was trying to tell your
friend there that we have done all we can for Kiki. It all depends on
her now to survive this 24 hours. Unfortunately he didn’t seem to
understand even the simplest English I was using,” the doctor added
haughtily, wiping his glasses with his handkerchief.
“HEY! Don’t you dare insult
me when you’re the one who can’t do anything for her!” Joe rushed
towards the doctor and shoved him on the chest. Taken aback by Joe’s
reaction the doctor looked flustered, but composed himself before
“Look, I told you what there
is to know. What else do you want from me?”
“Don’t give me that bullshit
about doing all you can!” Joe continued assulting the doctor. Mike
groaned inwardly and reached out to hold Joe back.
“Joe, stopit!” Mike held on
as Joe struggle to break free from his strong grip. “JOE snap the fuck
out!” Mike held Joe by his windbreaker and shook him. Joe stopped and
stared at him abruptly. “Calm down, dude. You can’t go around
picking fights with every single person you see.” He straightened
Joe’s windbreaker, smoothing it back to it’s original position and
led him away from the doctor before he could do anymore harm. “I’m
so sorry,” Mike turned to apologize to the frowning, agitated old man.
“Yeah. It’s good to know
that there’s at least one civilized person among all the punks and
hooligans around here,” the doctor said in a crisp clear voice.
“You better shut the fuck up. Make another politically incorrect statement like that again and I’ll show you how uncivilized we can get.” Mike seethed through his teeth, moving in close to the doctor, his face inches away from his. He’s had enough of shit happening around him and he didn’t need a fat old quack to make a bigger mess out of it. He bit down his anger as he led Joe down the hallway towards the cafeteria.
Joe leaned his head against the
cool hospital wall, torn between sobbing his eyes out and beating his
fist against the wall until it bled. He did neither. He was too
exhausted, physically and emotionally to move. Joy had practically
thrown them out of Kiki’s room when Joe lashed out at one of the
“Get out and don’t get back
inside here until you’ve calmed your ass down,” she said sternly as
she shoved Joe out of Kiki’s room. “Kiki doesn’t need you being
the childish ass you are now. So don’t you DARE come back in here
until you grow up!” she shut the door in his face as he stood there
He knew that she was right.
Dejectedly, he had made his way to the opposite wall and sat down. Mike
sat huddled beside his friend in silence. Once, his cell phone rang and
he’d almost cried into it when he heard Anna’s voice on the other
side. He felt much better after ending the call and he slipped his arm
around Joe as he pocketed his cell phone.
They’d lost track of time as
they sat in the hallway outside Kiki’s room, waiting. Joe contemplated
on going back inside, but knew that Joy would only slam the door in his
face again. He didn’t want to disturb Kiki, anyway. As long as she’s
fine the way she is now, he’ll stay out for her sake. His thoughts
focused on the crayon pictures she had presented him. Her little
artwork, her attempts to be like Joe. He had them pinned by his bunk in
the bus. He scrunched up his eyebrows as he felt tears coming again. He
didn’t want to cry now.
“Joe!” He had dozed off into
one of his dreamless sleep when he heard his name. He sat up abruptly
and focused on the direction of the voice. Joy was kneeling in front of
him, a flicker of excitement in her saddened eyes. “Joe, Kiki made
it!” her voice was still shaky, but she was smiling at him. He stared
back at her blankly as her words slowly settled in. He was immediately
awake when they did. “What?”
“Kiki made it through last
night. It was as if she knew you were here to see her. She’s just
waking up from her coma,” Joy’s voice great excited as her smile
“Holy shit, you’re
serious?” Mike asked, laughing in excitement as he stood up.
“I think she wants to see her Joey,” Joy held out her hand and pulled Joe up.
She was as frail as tissue paper
against the wind, but her smile was glorious. He instantly felt better
as he held her hand. Mike said a silent thank you as he closed his eyes
and turned his head heavenward. Joy stood by the other side of the bed,
“Joey loves you,” he
whispered in her ears and watched her smile. Mike slipped out the room
quietly and waited for his friend outside.
Kiki had made it through the
past 24 hours and that was all that mattered to Joe. She would recover
and he would read her her favourite fairytale until he loses his voice
and his fingers are sore with papercuts. He wouldn’t even mind
adopting her. I’ll do just that. he thought.
“Joey’s so glad you’re
okay now angel,” he told her in a soft voice. “Kiki’s going to get
better and then Joey will take her to Disneyland to see the real
He looked into her eyes and
smiled. He knew exactly what she’d wanted him to do right now. He ran
his finger gently down her thin arm and launched into the fairytale he
had well memorised. She would want
to hear it after missing it for that long, was one of the thoughts
that were on his mind as he rambled on to her.
“And the prince fitted the
shoe on Cinderella’s dainty feet. ‘You are my fair princess,’ said
the prince as he lifted her off into his castle above the clouds where
they lived happily ever after... The end...” his voice trailed off as
the story ended. She smiled at him and looked deep into his eyes before
closing her own.
“Kiki?” Joe called out in a
whisper when she didn’t open her eyes. He looked at her frail form and
he felt his heart landing in his shoe. “No.... NO.... KIKI! Kiki?”
he gently shook her. “Wake up, angel. Wake up.”
“Shit no... not now Kiki. You
can’t die on me like that angel,” Joe was near hysterics. Joy,
hearing his voice had rushed from the other bed to get the doctor before
running up to Kiki’s. She dreaded to see what was happening. She
didn’t want it to be true, Joe shaking Kiki’s frail body gently but
urgently, urging her to wake up.
The old doctor pushed Joe
roughly aside as he took a look at Kiki, checking for her heartbeat and
pulse. Mike had rushed in when he saw the doctor and nurses enter the
room. As he entered the door, he heard the beep of the machine turn to a
low buzz as the green line on the screen stopped pulsing. He stood
gripping the handle as he watched the entire scene. Joe stood a little
in front of him, stupefied as the doctor solemnly checked his watch and
uttered the time to the nurse standing beside him.
“6:01 a.m.” his voice echoed
in Joe’s head as the medical staff slowly retreated from Kiki’s bed,
leaving Joy by her side. He’d loathed the doctor even more at that
He stood beside the bed, looking down at his angel. “No... Kiki...” His voice trailed into silence as tears stung his eyes. He couldn’t believe it had happened. That quick. She had gotten out of her coma. She should have recovered. He held his head in his hands, NO..... he shook his head in disbelief.
It was all too surreal, like a
bad B grade drama on cable. The very ones he had scoffed more often than
not. His little angel was gone and he felt an emptiness in him that had
threatened to devour him a long time ago. Now it had completely taken
over him as he looked at her body. She still looked like the little
cherub he’d saw the first time he met her. A vision of her in a white
dress with a halo over her dark tresses flashed in his mind as his body
bent down mechanically to kiss her on the forehead. She will forever
remain his angel.
Mike stood watching in disbelief. His heart pounding, he walked over to Joe and put his hand on Joe’s shoulder. Joe turned to look at Mike and cried as he hugged him. Mike felt tears rolling down his own cheeks as he embraced his friend in silence.
Joe looked up at the little picture he placed on his turntables. He planted a kiss on it and placed a record on the turntable.
As time passed, Joe eventually
came to terms with Kiki’s death. The rest of the guys each planted a
kiss on the picture as they took their own places. Chester’s voice
rang through the full arena as they started their show.
“Okay y’all! This one is
specially for Joe’s little angel, who’s up in heaven watching over
us,” Mike said through the mic, smiling at Joe. “Go for it, Mr.
Joe spun his turntables and played a mix that expressed his feelings. As the haunting music escaped the speakers, speaking Joe’s silent mind, the crowd stood listening in silence. Those who knew about Kiki had tears in their eyes as the music enveloped them. The others were equally mesmerised and touched by the sounds.
The rest of the band stood aside
as the lights fell on Joe, glasses on and a serious look on his face.
Mike and Chester sat at the edge of the stage. The deep purple sky hung
over the audience and Mike and Chester turned to look at each other, a
smile spreading across their lips. They had saw the same thing and
wondered the same thought: whether Joe saw what they saw. They turned
back towards the sky and watched the first star sparkling amidst the
vast purple blanket.
The guys stood beside the arena,
signing autographs and talking to their fans. Signing a CD cover, Joe
felt someone tapping him gently on the arm. Turning to look, his eyes
fell upon one of his fans. He recognised the blonde immediately and gave
her a warm smile. “Hey Gem!” he signed the next poster hurriedly and
turned his attention to her when he was done.
“Hey Joe,” Gem greeted
animatedly. She grinned mischievously, handing him a little paper bag.
“Lookie what I got...” His eyes lit up when he saw it and took it
from her, grinning when he opened the bag full of jelly beans. “Oooh!
Thanks gurl!” he popped a handful into his mouth.
“So, how’s it going?” she
great,” his black eyes flashed as they spoke of the same topic. “I
really miss her though,” he said in a low voice, head bent slightly so
Gem couldn’t catch the look of sadness that passed his face.
“Oh, Joe. We’ll all miss
her. You know you’ve got us all around here for you, right?” she
comforted him, rubbing his arm gently.
“Yeah,” he mocked a sniffle
and pretended to wipe away a tear as he smiled down at the girl.
“Hug?” he asked, giving her an adorable puppydog look, with his arms
Gem laughed and hugged Joe
tightly. He hugged back, glad to have someone to hold on to at the
moment. He wondered if she’d bought the fake crying thing he just
pulled off, hoping that she didn’t catch the stray tear he’d wiped
of during that little stint.
“Thanks a bunch gurl.” He
grinned as they pulled away from the hug. “Come hang with me and the
guys later, ‘kay? For now, we’ve gotta make the world a better place
and sign all the autographs we can.”
Gem moved out of the crowd and headed towards her friends who were standing by the wall. As they waited for the guys, Gem smiled. She knew Joe still hurt deep down inside, but he’ll carry on, with his little angel in his heart forever.
THE END | Fiction
|TOP | Last updated 15 February 2002 19:42 (AUS EST / +1000 GMT).|