Byron sat cross legged on the couch with a blanket around his shoulders and a cup of coffee turning cold in his hand, staring straight ahead and seeing nothing but the pool of blood he couldn’t wipe from his mind’s eye. Wilson was cooking, but turned around from the stove occasionally to look through the kitchen window and see if Byron had moved or stirred or showed any other sign of life. He was disappointed the whole evening. Finally, he heard Byron croak something and bustled out to sit next to him.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.” Wilson cooed, placing his hand on Byron’s on his knee. Byron was silent for a moment and Wilson was about to give up entirely on him talking for the day, then he cleared his throat and spoke quietly:
“Who’s Jackson?” He turned his head to look at Wilson and his eyes were wide and pleading.
“I… don’t know. Why?”
“It was written in the” he stopped and swallowed hard, “blood.”
“What do you mean?”
“Right after I stopped CPR. Because she was dead,” his voice was flat and toneless, “it… was writing in the blood.” Wilson’s brows drew together,
“She wrote it in her blood?” Byron returned to his thousand yard, straight-ahead stair and shook his head slowly.
“No. I saw it being written while I was—“ slow streams of tears started down his face, followed by currents, and then the sobs started. First, it was just a gentle rumbling, a vibration in his chest, but gradually it became harder and harder for Byron to take a breath until his whole body was shaking and a slow moan started to come out of him, interrupted only when his lungs forced him to suck in a chest full of air. Wilson wrapped his arms around Byron and pulled him in until he was leaning sideways against his chest, holding him as the sobs ebbed and ebbed and finally stopped altogether.