"Cold White"

Rating: PG-13 (language, adult themes, depressing story) For Patti - Tissue box total - 1 of 5. This is an overall happy chapter. Don't get used to it, peeps. Disclaimer: I have no association with the WWF as a whole, and I certainly have no claim to Matthew Moore Hardy or Jeffrey Nero Hardy. love it? hate it? want to obliterate me from the face of the earth? email at lmdaddio@cc.owu.edu or IM stardazey9.

Chapter 4

I wake up as uncomfortable as all hell. Hospital cots are worse than hospital beds. I have a such a stiff neck. "Morning, Jeff." Matt's up ahead of me as usual. He's sitting up in bed and eating toast. He looks much better today than he has in a while. He's gotten some color back in his face. Looks like he's shaken off the flu. Too bad he can't shake off the leukemia. "Why didn't you wake me?" Matt's a big fan of that up-and-at'em, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning person shit. "Dr. Jenkins told me to stay in bed. I contemplated hurling a pillow at you, but I'm too comfy to give it up." Typical Mattish philosophy. "Is there any food for me?" I'm hungry. I didn't get my Cracker Barrel dinner last night. "Nope." He finishes off the toast, wipes the crumbs from his mouth, and licks his fingers. He's such a jerk sometimes, but, god, I love him. Two blonde heads peek in around the doorway. "Is this a private pow-wow, or are crashers welcome?" Matt grins, "Only if their names are Adam and Willie." "Do not call me Willie." Jay's face turns an aggravated shade of red. "Yes, William." Jay begins advancing on Matt, who promptly forsakes comfort to toss a pillow at him. What the fuck? "You'll throw a pillow at him, but not at your own brother? I am insulted, Matthew." I was only half joking. Everyone laughs though. Adam and Jay just start talking to Matt and me. I don't know how they're doing it. Are they oblivious or something? We're sitting in a fucking hospital room, visiting a patient. It's not some publicity stunt with a little kid. It's Matt. I don't remember any of the conversation, but Matt's lunch had came and went. Then, Dr. Jenkins came in to see Matt and kicked us all out, closing the door behind us. Adam drops the smile on his face once he's out of sight of Matt. He scrutinizes me thoughtfully. "When's the last time you've eaten, Jeff?" Ummm. Yesterday morning? That's not going to be the right answer. I have to lie again. "I had breakfast." Jay shakes his head, "You twitch your nose when you lie. C'mon." He starts leading me down the hall before I realize what's going on. "Uh-uh. I don't want to leave Matt." What if Dr. Jenkins has more bad news? I dig my heels into the carpet, effectively stopping both myself and Jay. Adam, too, consequentially. He walked right into me. An odd sympathetic look sweeps over Reso's face. "Kid, you don't know what you're doing. You're upset, and the only person you seem to give a damn about it Matt. Well, how do you think he'll feel when you end up unconscious and on an I.V. for malnutrition and dehydration?" Short one potential donor? "Don't be a canucklehead, I'm not going to pass out." Adam puts both of his hands firmly on my shoulders and starts gently pushing me to the elevator. "We aren't going to leave the building. There's a cafeteria on the first floor. I'm sure whatever they've got won't kill us, per say. If it does, what a better place to be than at a hospital?" Ladies and gentleman, I give you Adam Copeland, the world's king of bad jokes.

The food didn't kill us. It didn't even poison us. The consensus was that it was really cardboard and gym socks, but we all lived through the experience. We walked up the stairs to the oncology floor, hoping to rid ourselves of some of it. I don't even want to know how many calories there were in my burger. I wonder if Dad's back. He went to the hotel at about 4 in the morning, right before I went to sleep. Dr. Jenkins is lying in wait outside Matt's door. More wonderful news, I'm sure. "We want to get Matt on the waiting list for bone marrow as quickly as possible. We're releasing him tomorrow, with the instructions to go to University Hospital in Raleigh, but it's for the best if his blood, bone marrow, and urine tests are done now." He looks at me specifically, "It may not hurt for you to get the tests now, too. Matt told me you wanted to donate." I nod, and, out of the corner of my eye, I see Adam and Jay share a look. "Count us in, too." Jenkins breaks into a grim smile. "I have to warn you, gentlemen. The procedure is relatively painful."

Relatively painful, he says. That's relatively painful?? My hip is throbbing. It hurts like a mother fucking bitch. The longest needle I've ever seen went into my hip bone for a sample. Then there was the little pee-in-the-cup test. No trip to a hospital is complete without an embarrassing walk from the bathroom holding a paper cup full of urine. Finally, they drew about a pint of blood. It doesn't matter though. They could have asked me to strip naked in a school yard while they threw poison darts at me. If it helps Matt, I'll do anything. Anything. I head back to the room as soon as I can convince the doctor that I'm not dizzy anymore. Adam and Jay are finishing up their tests, but they've got to leave after this to catch a plane so that they won't miss Saturday's house show. Matt and me were supposed to be their opponents, I think it's Kaientai now. Now there's an angle for you. The blonde Canadians versus the little Japanese dudes. That's going to go over well. Yeah, right. I stop at the door. Dad's in the room with Matt. Maybe I'll just go and wait with canuckleheads downstairs. "It's ok, Jeff. Come in. Matt's sleeping, that's all. They had to take another pint of blood for more tests." I'm always misunderstood.

To Be Continued...

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