Category Linkin Park

Poignant by duckyy



It's been five days and seventeen hours since you left. Dave still won't tell me why, even after he cleaned me up and brought me to his house. I still can't believe what you did to our place, Mike. I still don't understand.

It's been five days and seventeen hours since you left, and I'm lying here wondering where you are. I can still feel your sweaty palms on my bare arms and your damp lips on my forehead; I can still sense your woeful gaze upon my half-sleeping form. Why were you crying, Mike? Why did your lips taste of nothing but tears? Your tired voice whispering, "I'm sorry," keeps haunting my dreams, accompanied by the painful shiver than ran through my body when you got out of the bed and walked away without looking behind. The last thing I remember about that night is watching your familiar form vanish as a lonesome echo of the door clicking shut tentatively broke my heart.

Dave's been good to me for the past few days, but every time he walks in the room I feel like the air suddenly tenses so much that my insides want to squeeze in on themselves. He treats me with caution, I think, and I don't know why. It's almost as if he's thankful that I'm still here. I asked him once, "Dave, why are you doing this?" And he was quick to put on a blank face. "I don't deserve this, you know. I'm still willing to pay you for this room and," I chuckled, "you for acting like my maid."

As he stared at me with a sorry smile, I thought I spotted wetness in the corner of his eyes. "You're right," he cleared his throat and stood up from my bed. "you don't deserve any of this." His voice cracked and he quickly rushed out of my room. I remember sitting there for an hour, staring at the food he'd brought in on a tray and watching it get cold as I fell asleep wondering, what does that mean? Dave must've come in the room to take the food away while I was unconscious, because when I woke up, the tray was gone and the sheets on my bed seemed to have been changed.

To tell you the truth, it's been getting quite boring just sleeping all day and staring blankly at the wall. Dave still won't let me out of the house for some reason, though he promised that he'd bring me out sometime soon.

"For what?" I had asked him, feeling the hope glimmering in my eyes.

"For... uhm..." He looked down to his calloused fingers. "To visit my friend." He smiled. "She's a doctor."

It struck me as strange for a while, but I pushed the thought away because it didn't matter, anyways. Not a lot seems to matter now that you're gone.

Today I tried to write some lyrics in a notebook I found in the closet. I'm most sure it was your notebook, Mike, because the first few pages were covered with sketches of people singing and you told me once how beautiful it was to watch me sing. I don't know what your notebook was doing in the closet of a room in Dave's house, but I'm caught between being grateful or mad that it was there. You know how much I love your art, Mike, but you also know how hard it is to write without you. I kept trying and trying to write something down, but every time I penned down a line or completed a verse, I kept wondering what you would say about it. Would you like it? Would you hate it? Was it any good at all?

I can't do this without you, Mike. Every time I put my pen to the paper, your face floats before my closed eyes and I feel like a broken doll. I feel incapable of everything. I still don't understand any of this. I still don't understand.


Saturday morning, eight days and two hours after you left, Dave and I went to visit his doctor friend. I remember how excited I was to finally go out and get some fresh air, but the worried frown settled upon Dave's face as he came to get me made my stomach twist into knots that I never knew were possible. We were going to the hospital, Dave had told me, to pick up his friend. Then we'd go to my favorite restaurants in the LA. Do you still remember which one it was? It was the Malaysian place with name I could never pronounce. Remember the view, Mike? How it looked over the city at night, and how peaceful it was? It was where we had our first kiss, I recall. Ten years ago, when I'd first come here to join your silly band. That all seems so far away now.

I fell asleep on the car ride to the hospital. I'm not sure why; the place isn't very far from Dave's house, after all. But when I woke up, white lights shocked my eyes and I thought for a moment that I must be in heaven. When my vision began to adjust to the brightness, however, I came to realize that I was sitting in a room of the hospital in front of a rather large, L shaped desk. The wall beyond the desk was made of windows which looked out upon a sunny golf course. A dog ran loose around a small pond, barking madly at the birds which flew away from the water and landed daringly behind the canine. Beside the pond, an old man with grey hair and a very obvious bald spot walked around in golf shoes and work clothes. He was smiling at the dog in a genuine sort of way, and for a while I wished that we could trade places.

"Mr. Bennington?" I turned from the windows to the voice behind me, seeing a woman with a kind face and a white hospital coat walk into the room with Dave following behind. As he walked over to the seat beside me, I noticed his hands shaking but couldn't read the impervious expression on his face. The lady doctor sat behind the desk, studied me, then glanced at Dave. He looked down at his fingers.

"My name is Dr. Hall," The woman extended her hand and I reached forward to shake it. I thought that her smile reminded me of yours.

"Pleased to meet you, Dr. Hall." I smiled, then slouched back into my seat. "Am I going to have to call you that for the rest of the day, or do you have a real name to go by?"

She glanced at Dave for a second again, then looked back to me.

"Phoebe," She smiled. "You may call me Phoebe."

"You're awfully young to be a doctor, Phoebe."

"Well I've had some very influential people in my life who've helped me get where I am today." She smiled again, and the way her brown eyes seemed to form half-crescents made reminded me again of yours.

"My ex-boyfriend had a niece named Phoebe," I said, then scratched my head. "You remind me a lot of him, actually."

Her mouth opened to say something, but then faltered halfway. A sort of grimace made its way onto her pretty face. A bitter, regretful luster gleamed in her eyes. The air changed. I could feel it.

"So, is there a reason why we're just sitting here?" I asked, raising an eyebrow at Dave and Phoebe.

"Well--" She started.

"Uhm--" He ran a hand through his hair.

I stared at them and had no idea what was going on.

"What?" My eyebrows furrowed, and I sat up straighter. "You lot sound like I'm about to die or something." I chuckled.

"Chester." Dave's voice was serious and he placed a hand on my arm.

I looked from his fingers to his face, and suddenly I didn't feel so well.


He sighed.

"Chester, do you remember anything about today besides getting on the car and waking up here?" He asked, his eyes hollow with a guilty sort of truth.

"...No," I bit my lip and wondered what he was getting at.

"Do you remember doing anything besides sleeping at my house for the past week?"

I thought of telling him about the notebook I found in the closet, but decided against it.


He closed his eyes and exhaled. I wanted to disappear.

"Do you... remember anything about why Mike left?"

I flinched. My insides felt like they might implode. Something was wrong. He would never volunteer to talk about that. Not after avoiding the subject for a week.

"He trashed the house, but besides that ...no."

"Chester, we're at an institute that specializes in detecting brain malfunctions." He opened his eyes and I saw he was crying.


"We've--you've... Uhm...--" He wiped his eyes and rubbed his wet hands on his jeans.

I turned to glance at the doctor, then back at Dave.

"There's something wrong with me, isn't there?" I asked, well aware of how odd my monotone voice sounded.

"Ches..." He began, and then reached a hand out to brush my cheek. Not in the way that you would've, Mike, but in a pitying, goodbye sort of fashion. "Ches, the doctor here... I don't really know her..." I nodded. "But... But I know she's not lying to me when she--" He stopped, wiped his eyes again, then looked out the window. "Uhm..." He sniffed.

"I'm dying." I mused, looking from the silent doctor to my puffy-eyed friend. And I shivered, wishing you could've been there to tell me that this was all a dream. That you were still laying next to me in our bed, that the past nine days had never happened and that I wasn't nearing six feet under.

But the muteness that hung in the air like the uneasy humidity before a rainstorm told me that all of this was as real as it gets. That you were gone and I was here and there was nothing I could do to change it. And it felt like I'd flown out of my body and out of the room through the wall of windows. I could look in from the outside and see a broken, red-haired man with his hand on his dying friend's shoulder, and a young doctor staring down at her hands who looked tired beyond her years. I could see the red-haired man nodding slowly, and the dying friend beginning to understand.

"Mr. Bennington, you've got a brain tumor that's been causing you to black out for long periods of time. Recently, you've been having hallucinations." She said, wishing every word that flew out of her mouth a lie. "We don't know how much longer you have."

The dying friend looked blankly at the doctor and wondered how long she knew. How long had she and everyone else who'd known kept it a secret?

"Chester," The red-haired man spoke to the floor. "I'm sorry."

And suddenly, I rushed back into my body, back into my thoughts, back into reality. Those words...

"That's the last thing he said to me," I whispered, grabbing Dave's arm tightly and forcing him to look at me. "Does that mean," I swallowed, "Does that mean he knows too?"

His pink eyes spoke for him, and my brain screamed, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

"It's because of your hallucinations," Dr. Hall said quietly, "that I advised him to leave."

"What?" I hissed, spinning around and narrowing my eyes at the doctor. "Why--"

"You're sick, Mr. Bennington." She stated calmly. "You do things that you have no control over. We don't know why. When you have these hallucinations, you grow violent. You've seen what you've done to your apartment--"

"--I did that?"



I slouched into my seat and pulled my knees to my forehead, wrapping my arms around my legs.


And suddenly, pieces of the puzzle began to fit together.

"I'm sorry, Chester. I kept you in that room for so long because we didn't know when you would act up." Dave put his hand back on my arm. "I'm sorry. Anything could've triggered another outbreak. ...Even Mike."

Mike. You. Oh.

I closed my eyes and effortlessly thought of your smile. I thought of your eyes. I thought of everything about you; of your flawless skin and your soothing voice and your calming aura. I remember that with every morning I woke up with you by my side, I wondered what I'd ever done to deserve such an angel. I used to lay there and watch you breathe; watch your long, dark eyelashes as they lazily fluttered open and looked upon me like I was the most interesting thing in the world. Maybe you knew then, and maybe that's why I'd always see flashes of sadness embedded in those coffee brown orbs. Maybe I didn't deserve you after all, because you're gone now and you were taken away because I was hurting you. I would never, ever, ever dream of hurting you, Mike. But I did, and maybe that's why I'm dying. Because I miffed the feathers of the only angel I'd ever met.

"Is he okay?" Images of tears sliding out your eyes flashed before me and I instantly opened my eyelids. Dave stared into his lap and the doctor sighed.

"Mr. Bennington, the problem as of now is YOUR well-being, not your boyfriend's. Perhaps we should focus for a second on--"

"Tell me he's okay." I demanded, well aware that my words had grown desperate because I WAS desperate. Desperate to know that I hadn't hurt you too badly, desperately to have you hold me again. Desperate to save you from me.

"Mr. Bennington," She began again, gathering some papers from her desk and rearranging them as she spoke. Her eyebrows creased as she spoke, and I suspected she was beginning to grow annoyed. "We really must discuss your condition, it's no good sitting around here and--"

"Dr. Hall. Phoebe." My hand landed softly on her arm, freezing her movements. "Please."

Suddenly, an outburst occurred as she looked up.

"Look, Mr. Bennington. I am trying with every once of my being to be as professional as possible." Her voice was fierce, controlled, threatening. "The fact is that you are ill, and you are my patient. As I am concerned with your well being, I am also very much worried about the whereabouts of my Uncle Mike." She stared at me, almost defiantly. "Yes, Mr. Bennington. Mike Shinoda. Do not for a second mistaken my care for you as a patient for a lack of understanding on your situation."

"I--don't get it."

"He is my uncle, Mr. Bennington. As much as I'm worried about him, the matter at hand is YOUR health! You're dying, Chester. DYING." Phoebe stopped to take a deep breath, then looked away weakly. "I wish you'd understand that."

I stared at her, and sat in my chair for a very long time. Stunned. Scared. Dave was next to me, breathing, and I could hear the slow intakes of air followed by exhaling of carbon dioxide. And I thought, Soon I won't be able to do that. I wished you could be there to tell me everything was going to be alright.

"Chester." I heard you voice, and for a second laughed at myself for thinking that it could sound so real. So close, yet so far away. I’d probably never get to feel you again.

"Chester." And yet, it came again. This time stronger, bolder, more sure. I looked up. Phoebe was looking towards the door with a sort of sad smile on her face. Dave was softly grinning at me. And for a long time, I was afraid to turn around.

But there you were--black hair hidden under a grey beanie, dark clothes covered with wrinkles, eyes glowing with unsure warmth. Smiling. Beautiful.

I stood up too quickly and you walked over to me before the stars that danced around my vision cleared. You were but two feet away, standing too still. I stopped breathing. You might have too.

“Hi,” I whispered.

“Hey.” Your voice was barely audible, but still tainted with hurt.

“Why’d you leave?”

“Because I love you.”

My heart wrenched and the tips of my fingers tingled with the same sensation that I felt the first time your lips touched mine.

“Don’t leave me again.” A tear slipped past my eyes. You reached a warm, soothing hand up to my cheek to brush it away.

“I never left you to begin with.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was in the room next to yours for the whole nine days.” Your eyes fluttered close. “I could never leave, Chester.”

“Oh,” I breathed. “Thank you.”

And when I suddenly felt your arms wrap around me, your prickly goatee buried in my neck, I cried like I'd never cried before. Because I was dying and you were beautiful. Because my brain was being invaded by a tumor and you were standing there, kissing me like it didn't matter. Because the world was one big puzzle and I'd never be able to figure it out.

Because I wasn't ready to die, but I'd die for you any day.

And not-so-suddenly, I realized that this was not the end, but the beginning. The beginning to the end.


A/N: Review or I'll eat you. Besides, it can't be THAT hard, right? You click the blue button and give me some constructive criticism. I spent a month writing and rewriting this (over and over again), you give me a minute of your time to review. Easy, right?

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