June 25, 2007 was the last time I updated

It is now May 28, 2008.

Ahhh, I'm sorry for the really really late update. Senior year was just really hectic. I suffered from major stress overload this year. So glad it's over. Ok, it's bittersweet, but hey, I'm on summer break now so I can write now.

Since it's been so long, here's a quick summary as to what happened in the last few chapters: Ed meets Jonathon, who is Winry's son. Winry's husband is dead (he killed himself, remember?), so she's a widow. The two of them invited Edo for dinner. Jonathon gets mad at Ed for an unclear reason. Winry tells Ed how she met her husband. Back home, Ed gets a phone call that Al is in the hospital, stuck in a coma.

This chapter's really short. I should've combined it, but I felt that it would be better if it stood alone.

And so the (very) delayed chapter!

Chapter 7

Karma

The phone call felt like a dream, like I'd wake up and everything would be all right. I desperately wanted it to be a dream, and I kept telling myself to wake up. But when nothing happened; when I saw the tubes and machines keeping Al alive; when I heard the slow beeping from the heart monitor, I knew that this was all very real.

"Al…" I could barely keep the tears from falling. I was trying to face it like a man, but I couldn't fit that stereotype. Whoever said that boys don't cry seriously needs to have a reality check.

I turned to Dr. Marco who had been quietly standing next to me.

"How…?" I couldn't finish my question, but he seemed to know what I wanted to ask.

"Your brother was involved in a car crash with a drunk driver. Witnesses say that your brother tried to swerve out of the way, but he wasn't quick enough and ended up colliding into the other driver."

"And how long will Al…?" I felt helpless. Like a child without a parent.

Dr. Marco's face grew grave. "There's no telling. He could be like this for days, months, years. He may never…"

Wake up at all.

It was strange to think that just hours ago, Al was yelling at me for being stupid, giving me a ride to Winry's house, reminding me in that very Al way of his, 'Hey, what are brothers for?'

What were the last words I told him? Oh, now I remember. 'Thanks for the ride, Al.' Thanks for the ride, Al? That's it? Why didn't I say anything more meaningful? Why didn't I just invite him to dinner, I'm sure that Winry wouldn't have minded.

Just… why?

An image of Winry and Jonathon saying grace comes to mind, the two of them folding their hands in prayer and gratitude for the meal. What happens during times like these, what would they do?

I don't understand. If God really did exist then why would he let something like this happen to my brother? The innocent are sacrificed, the guilty spared.

"…What happened to the other driver?" The bastard, the goddamn idiot at fault for my brother's condition.

"Fortunately for him, he was lucky. He only came out with a few bruises and a couple of broken bones," Dr. Marco gestured towards the other side of the room. There was a white curtain that I failed to notice when I first walked in, hiding the bed's occupant.

"Lucky guy," he mused. "Stupid, but lucky… Wait, Edward- don't disturb him-!"

But I wasn't listening as I walked over to the bed, throwing the curtains aside, curious and angry to see who the other driver was.

I froze.

Dark green hair.

Pale skin.

Dry blood around the bridge of his nose.

This was the man I had gotten into a fight with at the bar.

I couldn't believe it. Staring into the face of this stranger, watching the tranquility on his face that he didn't deserve; this is the person who changed my life in a matter of seconds, the one who came out of the wreckage alive and well.

I wanted to kill him.

"You fucking bastard!" I shouted, grabbing a handful of his hospital gown. I couldn't stop. I was pissed. I was angry. Murder was in mind. I knew it was stupid to pick a fight with an injured person, but I didn't care.

The bastard opened his eyes, blinking several times before grasping the whole situation.

"… the hell…?"

He was weak. Vulnerable. An easy target.

"Edward! Stop it!"

Rose's voice. I froze. She was standing in the doorway, slowly walking towards me in a way a person cautiously approaches a wild animal. She put a hand on my shoulder and gave it an uncertain squeeze.

"Edward, i-it's all right…"

I let go of him as Rose wrapped her arms around me. I could feel the hesitation in her embrace but I needed the comfort. I cried into her arms, my concrete fury crumbling into pieces.

"Everything's going to be all right…" she cooed.

'Will it?' I wondered, but said nothing.

--

And so that's that for now. Hope everyone's having a good day.

And to all the readers who have stuck with me… thanks so much. Your words are greatly appreciated.

Ciao!