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Until The End


The floodlights were suddenly set upon him. He made that smile full of self-confidence, by looking through the all crowd. All eyes were on him, and expected one only thing. Deciding not to make them wait longer, he grabbed his guitar and started to play with the strings. Projectors illuminated his tanned skin, and made his eyes shining. He was frowning with concentration, and sweat began to bead on his forehead.

The crowd was silent, stunned by the perfection of the solo. No failure, no false notes, just a clear and controlled sound. The melody echoed throughout the stadium, accompanied by the rhythmic drums. The two musicians played in total harmony.

Brian finished his solo, raising his eyes to a mass of now hysterical people, screaming his name, photographing him, or just looking at him with eyes full of admiration. Then he turned his head toward Jimmy, who, behind the drums was smiling almost inanely. The two men exchanged glances, then the rest of the band joined them on stage.

Brian's face radiated happiness, pride, and self-confidence. He seemed sure of himself, as if nothing and no one could reach him, at this time. He was just playing his character, and the public wasn't complaining about that. After all, what would be Synyster Gates without this almost arrogant rockstar attitude ?

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

The five musicians made their last farewell to fans with whom they had talked after the show.

While the four others began to show obvious signs of tiredness , Brian forced himself to keep that smile. Once alone, Brian's expression changed dramatically, as if the guitarist was finally taking off a mask he had been forced to wear. Those eyes that reflected the pride a few moments earlier, were now filled with an unmistakable concern. His smile faded and he looked nervously for his cell phone into his purse. He frowned, before the fear settled on his face. He slowly raised his eyes to Matt, asking him an implicit acknowledgment.

The singer simply nodded.

The guitarist lost no time and grabbed his jacket and his keys, before climbing precipitously in his Mercedes. It was about an hour drive, but it was worth it. He could not stand being away from her anymore. He drove too fast, nervously, and with clenched teeth

He had only one desire: arriving home as soon as possible.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

The screeching noises from the tires were heard in the courtyard of the villa. Brian went out of his car and ran to the door.

Melinda was already waiting at the entrance.

"She is in her room, sir." she simply said.

"Allright Melinda ... What has happened tonight? "He asked, worried.

"Nothing unusual, sir, if I may say. Blood, more blood, and her headaches never end! "

"Thank you Melinda, you can go home. ", he responded.

"See you tomorrow, sir. "

Brian walked up the stairs in record time and headed straight for his room. He took a deep breath before opening slowly the door.

She was sat on the bed, a wet towel on her forehead, and a big plastic bowl on her lap. She was pale and the pain was apparent on her face.

"Hey ...," Brian said weakly.

The woman simply looked into his eyes, but still tried to smile.

"... I ... I'm here, now, everything will be okay..." the guitarist continued, approaching the bed.

He sat down beside her and put his arm around her shoulders.She slowly let her head fall on his shoulder and closed her eyes.

"That's right, calm down. , "He said, kissing her forehead.

Her breathing became calmer, and she opened new eyes.

Brian put the bowl on the floor, and gently lifted Elise, his hand rested under her knees, and holding her against him. She stroked his hair, the tears rising to her eyes.

"Don't cry, Eli, it will be okay, we'll be okay ...", he said, squeezing her shoulder.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

Elise was Brian's wife. They got married a year ago, here in Los Angeles. Brian and her had bought the villa, in the heart of this dynamic city, and settled there shortly before their marriage. Their life was perfect. They had never had an argument, and the daily watchword was "happiness". Crude and pure happiness that nothing could alter.

Nothing, except the unexpected.

One night, Elise started coughing hugely. She could no longer catch her breath, then Brian took her to the hospital. After several tests, the doctor asked, looking serious, Brian to follow him in his office. Elise was already there.

"Mr. and Mrs. Haner, I have very sad news for you. ", the doctor started.

Brian grabbed his wife's hand, squeezing it gently.

"Madam, your exams ... showed that ... you have a rare disease. This is not tuberculosis, but the symptoms are similar. You suffer from a lungs degeneration. That explains your cough ... In fact, you will certainly have more and more of this kind of crises, and you will certainly spit blood every time ... "

Brian and Elise's eyes were filled with terror, and that's with a barely audible voice that Elise asked a question:

"Is ... Is it very serious? "

The doctor took off his glasses and put his hand on his forehead. He closed his eyes for a moment, then looked alternately at the two people sitting across from him.

"We ... we haven't .. Actually ... any way to stop this degeneration ..."

"I'm going to die? ", she asked sobbing hardly.

Brian shook hard, almost too, the hand of his wife.

"We cannot affirm," the doctor finally said, "... but your chances of survival are low ..."

The two lovers had their eyes filled with tears, and Brian was biting his lip not to scream.

"How long? "Elise asked, still sobbing.

"It depends on the evolution of the disease. No more than one year it is ..... sure. " The doctor hesitated on the last word. He didn't want to seemindifferent, harsh or even cruel. But how to tell this kind of stuff to someone you meet for the first time?

The couple was now crying bitterly, and the doctor himself had some difficulties to contain his emotions at this sad spectacle.

Brian and Elise returned home, quiet and thoughtful.

Elise had been afraid that Brian would leave her another girl. A girl who was not sick. A girl who would not be a burden. A girl who would not die in one year. But Brian swore he will be there all the way with it, that he'll never let her, until the end. Even if this was a heartbreaking thought . Infact, he was terrified of being alone one day, without Elise by his side. But he had no right to be afraid. He had to be strong for her. He had to be protective and reassuring, for her.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

Elise was calm now. She had fallen asleep on Brian's shoulder. The guitarist was tirelessly passing his hand through her hair dark. It was in these moments, where Elise was sleeping, where the guitarist was thinking about his own vision, his own future.

What would he do without her? She was his world, the person who made him smile, the one for which he got up in the morning and with whom he fell asleep at night. She held her heart in the palm of her hand, he belonged to her. How could he let her go? Where would he find the strength to continue to live without her?

Elise coughed, which tore the guitarist out of his thoughts.

The woman frowned and coughed, this time more openly. She sat up and put her hands over her mouth, no longer able to contain her cough. Both knew what would follow.

The crisis began. The young woman was crying in pain and her lips were covered with blood. Brian whispered reassuring words, moving a hand behind her back and rubbing, not roughly.

Elise was now having trouble breathing, and tried to stand straight. But the pain in his abdomen prevented this. There was nothing to do. Brian grabbed the water bottle on the small table at the side of the bed, and handed it to his wife. She accepted thankfully, letting the cool liquid soothe slightly her pain.

Exhausted and sweaty, she returned to her place on Brian's shoulder, letting her tears soak the T-Shirt of her lover. Brian had a hand behind her neck, while his other arm was under her knees. Now that the crisis had passed, he could tighten his embrace.

"I guess…"

Brian almost jumped to these barely audible words.

"I guess I look like shit.", she said.

Brian smiled. This woman has been through a hell few minutes earlier and she still found a way to think about how she looked.

"Look, you smile. It means that's true.", she said, smiling weakly.

Brian kissed Elise's forehead.

"You are beautiful", he said, planting his gaze in the eyes of the young woman.

He was not lying. Despite her pale face and her eyes red with tears, Elise was a beautiful woman. Her long dark brown hair, her hazel blue eyes, her high and naturally rosy cheekbones, her thin and graceful mouth,…

And it was not a fucking disease that would make Brian change his mind. Instead, he kept asking himself how someone could be so sick yet so beautiful.

"You're not bad yourself, you know."

She ran her hands around the neck of her lover and kissed his cheek lightly.

"I'm sorry," she said, looking guilty.

Brian looked confused.

"Sorry? "

"For all I impose you. You know, attacks, blood, everything like that ... "

Brian rolled his eyes.

"Elise, I've already said it. You can't help it, nobody can do anything. And tell me, do I have something better to do than stay with you, support you in this fight? "

"Yes, you could spend your evenings with the group .... Or find a new girlfriend. One who doesn't spit blood when she wants to say hello. One that doesn't wake you up at night because she can no longer breathe. One who ... "

"Stop! We already talked about it, babe. I do not want another girl as you. I want you, only you. I want to spend the rest of the time ... that we have together ... to show you that you are not alone and that I love you. No matter what. "

Tears came rolling back on Elise's cheeks. Not in pain or trouble this time. She was simply moved by the words of her husband, and wondered how she would have fight without him, during those eight months of illness. He had always been there, he had enough hope for both of them, and was strong enough to persuade her, during a few moments, that everything would be okay.

"You should sleep now.", Brian suggested, as he got up.

He was still holding Elise in his arms, but finally laid her gently on the bed, having previously removed the sheets. Once the sleeping woman was in a good position, he replaced the sheets, and walked around the bed to settle on the other side. He slipped under the sheets, and put an arm around Elise's waist. The young woman took is hand in hers and pressed it hard against her.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

It has been pretty much the same story every night, for eight months. The disease had not progressed, but things were not better though.

Brian, however, still managed to leave nothing to show through, to keep this self-confidence mask, during the concerts. In short, in those moments, he wasn't Brian anymore. He was Synyster Gates. He managed to forget the worries he had to stick to his character.

The only ones not to be fooled so were the other group members. They knew the story of their friend, because Brian could not help but tell them about Elise's disease. They globally knew what it was, and understood that Brian wanted to spend as much time as possible with his wife. They also supported him in his moments of weakness, in his moments of doubt where he lost hope. He preferred to show weakness in front of them rather than in front of Elise. They were not the ones to judge. But Elise, she mustn't see that he slowly lost the hope that the disease, the crises,..everything will end one day, and they could go back with their pleasant life. She couldn't know that the one who had sworn to be strong for her, sometimes gave way to his grief.

The four musicians admired the courage of his friend, and his professionalism. He would not let his personal troubles affect his career, or the work of the group. In fact, music was his only escape from his dark thoughts. He put in his work all the passion he had in him. All the frustrations that life had overwhelmed him, he took his revenge by being a famous, admired, envied guitarist ... It was a way for him to prove himself that he could be stronger than fate, that he was not forced into this miserable existence, that he had something else to which cling.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

The band had finished the tour, and would enjoy a month of well-deserved vacation.

Brian looked forward to spend this "free days" with his ladylove. He hated the idea of abandoning her behind him when he went on tour. Of course, there was Melinda, but the young nurse was nothing but a nice girl who did his job. She was paid to be nice and caring. Her attitude was devoid of emotion. Not that anyone would blame her, but Brian just doesn't like the idea that Elise was left without someone honestly caring about her, and who was genuinely interested in her "welfare", etc...

Thus, these four weeks of rest would allow Brian to personally take care of Elise. The young woman was delighted too, to have her husband at her side for four weeks.

The guitarist took advantage of this free time to allow Elise to do what she couldn't usually do. He took her to Long Beach, a full day, and they had picnic on the sand, before making a big boat ride. He gave her the possibility to visit her parents, she had not seen in a while.

He took her shopping, movies, or dinner at a fancy restaurant, and even a concert by a small local band. He played songs on his guitar, for her to fell asleep faster. He organized a day for her and her two best friends.

The young woman was more than happy. She felt bad that Brian wanted to do all those things for her, because she had nothing to offer in return. She was so weak that she sometimes had trouble walking. Her crises were so unpredictable that they could spoil any moment of happiness that they could share. She felt like she was making his life a Hell, that she was a heavy weight for him, and it made her mad at herself.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

The fourth day of the third week, Elise awoke to the smell of pancakes, which spread throughout the house. She rubbed her eyes, to get completely out of her sleep. The first thing she saw was her pillow again stained with blood. She sighed, but did not have time to complain more longer because Brian suddenly appeared.

"Hello beautiful," he said, bending down to kiss her.

"Is it me or ... you're making pancakes? "Elise asked, surprised.

Brian pretended to be surprised, then sniffed in an exaggerated manner and added :

"No! No ... I really do not see what makes you say that ...! "

The young woman giggled slightly, and gently patted the arm of her husband.

"Well, then you come to taste my super, yet burned pancakes? "

"I'm sure they are delicious. " she reassured him, rising from the bed.

They went to the kitchen and Elise started to eat her breakfast. This man did so much for her ... She must find a way to reciprocate.

"Bri? "She asked timidly

"Yes, sweetie? ?

"Since how long Matt, Johnny, Zack and Arin and you have spent a day together? I mean ... other than something for the job? "

"Wow ... it's been a while! I'm not sure... Why? ", he asked back.

"Because I thought it would please you to spend at least a day with your friends, just for you ... to relax a little ... from all of this ...?

"Elise ..."

"Look Brian, you've done so many adorable things for me these days I'm almost embarrassed. It makes me happy, of course, but everything you do... it's kinda frustrating to know that I have no idea of what I could do for you. So, because I know you and the band have not had a real relaxing time together since a long time, I thought that maybe it would make you happy. You would not have to look after me, having to control everything,etc. ...?

Brian didn't really know what to say. Of course, it is true that he missed these moments with his friends. But there was no way he would abandon Elise, even for a day. Moreover, Melinda had not been warned and was probably not available today. There was no question that his wife spends one day alone.

"Okay, I will propose it to the others. But you come with me. "

"What? ", she asked confused.

"I don't want to spend a day away from you. And the guys will understand that. I want you to spend the day with them and me. "

Brian had said that with such a tone, Elise knew she couldn't argue with that.

"Whatever. ", she finally said.

And so the day was scheduled. The five musicians came to an agreement of having a barbecue at Zacky's place, and then spend the afternoon at one of the five's place.

At half past eleven, Brian's car parked in front of Zacky's gate. The green-eyed man came to greet the young couple.

"Hi dude!", he said in a man hug.

He then turned to Elise.

"Hey, Princess! ", he greeted her, clasping her in his arms.

"Hi, Zack," she answered smiling.

Then they heard footsteps coming nearer and faster, and she cannot understand what was happening, but she was taken in a tight embrace, making her difficultly catch her breathing.

"Matt, ... I ... cannot breathe ..."

The singer released her, suddenly worried.

"Sorry, beautiful .... I have not thought about it, I'm sorry ", he said.

"It's okay Matt ", she assured.

One by one the others musicians came to greet Brian and Elise, and they finally began the barbecue.

Finally, Elise was enjoying this day with the guys. They came almost to make her forget her troubles. Especially since she haven't had any crisis for the morning, something relatively unusual. However, she did not complain.

The end of the afternoon came quickly, and everyone went home with the feeling of having had a good day.

On the way back, Brian cut the radio for a moment.

"Thank you.", he simply said.

"Thanks for what, Bri? ", she asked almost shocked.

"For your suggestion of having a day with the guys today. It was fun.", he responded, smiling.

"After all you did for me, I think I can honestly say it is nothing."

"It's not nothing, Eli, and you know it very well. And then there is another thing that what makes me happy : the fact that you go ... pretty good today, you know, no crisis... "

The young woman smiled.

"I noticed."

Shortly later, they arrived at the villa. They decided to have dinner and then watch a movie.

Once the film finished, they went upstairs.

Elise barely had time to sit on her bed that she was taken with a violent cough. She should not have to rejoice too quickly about her seizures. Brian came running to her side. And like almost every night, he pressed her against him, while she spat again and again of tiny portions of her defaulting lungs.

The violence of this crisis was unusual. Any of her crises had lasted so long, before. And it worried the both of them. Elise was constantly screaming in pain, while Brian was feeling increasingly powerless. He was there, but couldn't do anything. He was willing to help, from the depths of his soul, but was blocked by the fact that there was nothing he can do.

However, the cough stopped at one point. But Elise still couldn't regain her breath. Blood still flowed from her mouth, but she stopped coughing, if it is only because her throat was gradually filled with the hot liquid. It was not a good sign. She pressed herself harder against Brian.

"I wanted you to know that if I managed to fight all these months, it is only thanks to you, Bri. If you had not been there, I do not know what would have happened. I should be dead. "

"The Hell you would be dead! You're a fighter, you're strong-minded. "

"No, Bri. You're the only reason I continued to fight every day. All I wanted was a chance to spend another day with you. Nothing else. You are the best thing that happened in my life. "

"And what about you, then? Eli, you are perfect in my eyes. You are an amazing and awesome woman, and you changed my life. I did not even think to get married before I met you. I love you so much. "

"I love you too. "

The breathing of the young woman became very critical. She kept spitting blood.

Actually she was drowning slowly in her own blood, and both of Brian and her were perfectly aware of it. Then they stood there, braced against each other, Brian trying his best to be the protective and reassuring one. Elise clung tightly to his shoulder, until her arms no longer have the strength to hold anything. Brian put his arm behind her back to support her.

Her Breathing was becoming slower and weaker. The guitarist continued to whisper tender words, and some whispers full of affection, love and support.

Then nothing.

Elise's eyelids fell on her reddened eyes.

Her chest heaved no more, and Brian could not feel her pulse anymore.

It was over.

Brian yelled, letting the tears he had learned to hold during all these months, mercilessly flooding on his cheeks. He stroked the face of Elise shouting that this was not true, that it was a nightmare and that he would wake up. He planted a kiss on the lips of his wife, perhaps hoping to bring her back to life. But he soon had to face the fact that the fight was over.

He should not see this as a defeat but as a liberation. Elise never would have to endure these filthy and inhumane crises again. Plus she would never have to cry in pain. She would never suffer again.

Brian called the hospital because he did not know who else to call. An ambulance arrived at his place a few minutes later, and carried Elise' s dead body.

Brian was now alone, and the dark thoughts that he tried to forget during all this time, took advantage of his misfortune to suddenly perfect their assault.

Exhausted to have screamed and cried for hours, Brian fell asleep on the carpet of his room.

He awoke the next day and the first thing he thought was the events of the day before. He needed to talk. He called one by one the four musicians, who nevertheless did not know what to say but repeated their condolences and offered to come see him.

Brian wouldn't see anyone. He wanted to be alone.

He grabbed his guitar, and the first notes that came to his mind were those from the song he had written two years earlier, for Jimmy, the former drummer of the band. So Far Away.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

The funeral took place three days later.

Unfortunately, it is this precise day that Matt was instructed to announce to the band that the producer proposed a series of five concerts across the United States.

Johnny, Matt, Zack and Arin were obviously supportive of this idea, but hesitated to submit it to Brian. Matt finally plucked up his courage, and held his breath waiting for the response of the guitar. Brian remained silent a moment before raising his head slowly and plant his gaze in the singer's eyes.

"What do you think? "He asked, an indecipherable expression on his face.

"Dude, sorry, it's just a proposal. I wish I could have tell you about this another day, but Larry wanted ... Anyway, if you're not okay for it, well no worries, Bri .. "

"Matt, shut up and let me speak. We're going to do those five shows for Larry, for us, for her. I must continue to live, Matt. For her. I have no right to let me down, I promised. "

The four musicians shook their heads in sign of acquiescence, before saying in unison:

"For her. "


It's the sweetest story I've ever read. Brian was so supportive and loving. And I'm really happy that he continued playing for his love, Elise:)

DaphneG DaphneG
T•T Im crying!