Mason came back for awhile and I harped on him continually to rest. I knew I was getting on his nerves but finally he caved and spent two days in bed where I waited on him.
“Mason how are you?” I asked as I brought his lunch to him on the second day.
He smiled, “I feel pretty good and I am insanely bored,”
“Good, that’s the way most kids our age usually feel,” I shot back.
He got out of bed and showered. When he got out he was wearing khaki shorts and a black tee shirt. His dark hair was curly and wet and I hugged him.
“Mason, I am so glad you are doing better,” I said to him.
He smiled at me.
But as I soon found out, he wasn’t doing better.
The day after he left his mom called me, “Bella? I hate telling you this but they called and…”
I stopped her, “Who called?”
“Oh, yes of course,” she said, dazed, “Mason’s manager. Apparently he had a breakdown, due to stress. He’s doing awfully and has cancelled all tours from May to August. Actually, he didn’t, his manager did. Mason will be angry about that. But I am calling because I am already here at the hospital but I thought you might want to come, it’s only a couple hours away…he’s really sick,” her voice broke at the end and I realized her nervous chatter was wearing thin and tears threatened her voice.
“I’m on my way,” I said, hanging up.
The hospital was nothing special. Everything was sterile white and it smelt like disinfectants. Mason’s room was on the fourth floor, the second door to the right.
I tapped my foot impatiently as the elevator moved slowly up. My face was blotchy red and I kept thinking Mason’s condition was my fault. If anyone could have prevented it, it would have been me. Still, I composed myself and prepared to get off the elevator.
My plan was to stay collected, for everyone’s sake.
My plan disappeared the minute I saw Lauren.
“Bella,” she whispered, running down the hallway.
I ran to meet her and hugged her close, “Oh Lauren, how is he?”
“He’s…he’s bad. I don’t know, no one will tell me anything,” she sobbed.
I let go of her and promised to find out more information. I walked into his room where his mother sat in a chair.
“Where’s Joe?” I asked, looking around the room I didn’t see Mason’s father.
She looked up and sighed, “He took Emi home, she fainted when they put the IV in Mason,”
I nodded and stared at him.
He was pale and thin. His hair was matted with dry sweat and machines were hooked up to him. His mom quietly left the room.
“Mason?” I said hesitantly.
I saw his eyes flutter, “Bella, you came,” he smiled slightly.
“I did, but what the hell did you do?” I asked. My voice was mixed with worry, anger, and hurt.
“I… ruined everything. I couldn’t handle, I had a heart attack from the sounds of it. I always knew our family had bad heart history but I didn’t realize I was at such a risk. They cancelled my summer,” he sighed.
“Mason, you will be fine,” I assured, though for him or myself I wasn’t sure.
He nodded weakly, “But, my music, it’s over.”
I stared at him, I couldn’t deny this. I knew it too, had known if from when he went downhill months ago, it wouldn’t last.
I kissed his forehead but when I looked into his eyes something had changed. His face had gotten stern, his eyes glazed over with anger. I was scared for him, he had failed himself.
“I love you Mason,” I said and I left because I was afraid if I stayed I wouldn’t get an answer.