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This Is My Deathbed

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Ryan lied in his bed, a bed he'd not slept in for nearly thirty years. He was seventy-four years old, and today was the last day of his life. He thought he'd go out in a blaze of glory at a young age, with Ray and the crew by his side, but in the end it was lung cancer that had slowly killed him. He'd smoked from a young age, just 14 years old, he'd tried to quit but never was able to manage it. He rolled over, grimacing at the pain of breathing and moving, facing the other side of the large bed. The pillow there had gathered dust, the blankets neatly made, a faded purple hoodie lied there, carelessly tossed down to the place were it'd stay for twenty-nine long years. It had gathered dust, much like the rest of the room. He reached out a wilted vainy hand and pulled the hoodie toward his chest, a tear slipping from his dulled blue eyes. He smiled slightly, as memories of his husband filled his mind. The hoodie still smelled like Ray, as most of the room did, after Ray died in a car accident Ryan had stopped sleeping in they're bedroom, not able to bare the thought of being with out him.


Photos lined the dusty walls of the room, the glass covering the photos covered in grime. But one photo stood out among the others, it was in a gold frame, lined with dried roses. The picture was of two men standing under a trellis covered in blood red roses, both smiling and looking deeply into each others eyes. One was tall, sandy blonde hair, tied into a ponytail, a scruffy beard covered his jaw and his blue eyes shone with a happiness no one could ever understand, he wore a tux, a single flower tucked into his jacket pocket, his hand on the other mans cheek. The other man was shorter, much younger, curly brown hair and eyes like melted chocolate, the smile on his face so vibrant it could blind you, he wore a white dress shirt and in his hands he held a bouquet of white roses. They're wedding had been a small thing, only they're closest friends and parents had come, they'd married in Georgia at Ryan’s request. Gavin had been the ring barrier, losing both the rings some how, while Geoff got shitfaced at the bar they'd had especially for him. Jack had cried his eyes out, taking a million photos and eating half the wedding cake.


The only other picture that wasn't to dusty sat on the bedside table. The photo was of Ryan and Ray, standing side by side, a young curly haired ginger boy sat on Rays hip smiling widely. The building behind them looked like a court house, with big white colloms and tall windows. That was the day that they'd finally been able to take Michael home for good. It'd taken five years to get the courts to let them adopt.


As the tear dried on his face, Ryan hugged the hoodie close, breathing in Ray's sent despite the scream of protest his lungs let out. He could smell the death on the sheets covering him, he knew this would be his death bed, and he lied there alone, those sad memories of the days before Ray had died haunted him. So many things he would've done differently.


“God Forgive me” he rasped, hoping some how someone could hear him. He didn't want to die with the blood on his hands and despite not being religious, Ryan didn't know who else could forgive him.


And with that, Ryan closed his eyes, for the last time


---

The next day, the door of Ryan's house opened and Michael stepped in.


“Dad?” He yelled into the house, when he didn't get a response he called for an ambulance, fearing the worst. He'd known his father hadn't had much time left, but still he feared it being the end.


Ryan and Ray had adopted Michael when he was only ten, raising him like they're own child until he was fifteen and Ray had died, leaving him to take care of Ryan who'd been to broken to take care of himself for years afterward.


Michael searched the house, checking the guest room his father usually slept in, than checking his old room, the garage, and the kitchen. Michael was about to give up when he saw something that made his heart skip. At the end of the hallway, the door of the master bedroom was slightly ajar. That door had been locked almost his entire life, and right away he knew what he'd find. The last time that door had been open, Michael had been fifteen, and after hearing his father scream he discovered that his dad had died in a car accident. The ambulance sirens grew close as he pushed open the door, tears burning in his eyes at the sight he'd knew he'd see.


Ryans brittle body was curled around a jacket, all color drained from his skin. His eyes were shut peacefully and a small smile turned up the corners of his now blue lips. Michael let out a loud broken cry and ran from the room, out the door of the house, flagging down the ambulance and screaming for them to hurry.


But Michael knew it was too late.


---

Two weeks later at the funeral, everyone had gathered. Michael had kept the event quiet, knowing Ryan would've hated anything big. Geoff was leaning heavily on a cane, tattoos faded, his free hand intertwined with his wife Griffons, his eyes watery and red. Jack in a wheel chair, his ginger hair now gray, and his nose and eyes running. Gavin with his wife, Meg, and their two children, Gavin was silent, his usual loudness subdued by the sadness. Ryans two biological children stood toward the back, not having known they're father vary well sense their mother had left him when they were vary young. People talked about how great of a man Ryan had been, as if he wasn't there, when in reality he was.


Ryan sat on his own headstone, watching as they lowered his body into the ground next to his husband. In the two weeks leading up to this he'd discovered that no one could see or hear him and he wondered if this was hell. He slowly stood, walking over to Rays grave and tracing the lamb and roses engraved on his headstone.


“This must be hell if I cant have you, I knew God wouldn't forgive a murderer like me!” he said, knowing he wouldn't be heard. Tears streamed from his eyes and he curled up on the grass in front of Rays headstone. He cried until sleep, or something close to that, took him.

---

Ryan awoke to brightness, everything around him had changed. He was no longer in the cemetery, the grass around him was a vibrant green and a cool breeze flowed through his hair. He slowly stood, his joints no longer aching with age like they still had when he'd lied down on the grave.


Looking around he realized he was in the place were he and Ray had gone for they're honeymoon. The cottage in the middle of the meadow was exactly as Ryan remembered. It was covered in climbing morning glories in full bloom, they're scarlet and baby blue petals moving slightly in the wind. Finally his gaze settled on a figure standing outside in the small garden of roses that stood to the left of the house.


The figure was short and thin, his curly brown hair blew slightly in the breeze. His blue jeans, pack-man shirt, and black & white checkered vans were exactly the same as they'd been on the day Ryan had lost him. His chocolate eyes met Ryans icey blue ones and suddenly Ryan was sprinting. He ran slamming into Ray, salty tears streaming down his cheeks as he sobbed into Rays shirt.


“Oh Rye, I'm here now shhh.” Rays voice was soft and sweet as he carded his hands through the other mans hair.


“It was s-so terrible with out y-y-ou.” Ryan managed between the sobs that racked his body, shaking him to his core. “I was so alone.” he held onto Ray as if he would disappear at any second.


“You'll never be lonely again”