Chapter 1: FIELD OF DREAMS
A midsummer night's dream is supposed to be joyous and light-hearted. This is anything but.
This is my nightmare.
As I slipped into the abyss, all I remember was you falling away from me.
I reached my hand out to you. I stretched, and struggled, and clawed forward, yet I knew I'd lost you.
As I fell through the night, I was hysterical. I scratched at the air and screamed your name repeatedly. I had to get back to you.
You see, I had made a terrible mistake.
The stars turned into a glistening shimmer, and I realized I was gliding through millions of open safety pins. Like glitter all around me, they guided me gently, always farther from you. I closed my eyes and let the tears fall. Oh, how I miss you already.
The sharp silver pins settled onto the ground, and when I reached it also, I slipped into a dreamless sleep. It was my fault after all, and now I was doomed to suffer the consequences.
When I awoke, it was no longer the darkest of night. I sat up and looked around and was surprised to find you there beside me.
Your golden dreadlocks sprawled haphazardly, framing your face. You looked peaceful, eyes closed and deep in slumber.
We were lying in a widest field I'd ever been in. As far as I could see, there was a carpet of plush green grass, covered in the blinding sparkle of millions of settled safety pins. They seemed to be the source of all the light. As they had once lit up the sky, they now lit the ground which I had fallen on.
For a moment, everything seemed right. For a moment, and then I knew it was not.
I took your hand in mine and felt it cold as ice. Fear ran through me anew.
I squeezed your hand to try and gain your consciousness but nothing happened. I shook your shoulder lightly, and still nothing.
Tom! Wake up! Please.
I crashed my upper body onto yours and hugged you to me. I started crying because I knew you couldn't wake up. I hugged and held you and just cried. My tears soaked your large t-shirt, where I lay my head on your chest. You weren't breathing. There was no pulse.
My heart beat for you, and yet that still wasn't enough. It never was. Never had been.
I lost you for sure.
What was happening though? Did you dive off the rooftop after me?
Why did you die and I didn't?
Even after holding your body for what seemed like hours, you were still as cold, as beautiful. Unchanged; like holding a delicate statue, a frozen angel, to me. Your skin rosy and bright, eyes closed, and the most serene expression on your face. If it wasn't for your icy temperature, you could have been a dream.
I set my head upon you once more and stroked your arm as my tears died down.
When I regained my composure, I rose to my feet to look around. A light night with no stars hung over the same expanse of green and silver. The safety pins were still the only source of light. It was a light radiating so abundantly, it was almost day when I looked at my feet.
That's when I realized that I was barefoot and ill-clad, and yet none of the sharp open pins had marked me. I decided to explore this land we had fallen into and so I began walking towards the horizon. Perhaps there was some town nearby where I could find help. So I walked and walked, and when I could not recognize anything changing in my surroundings, I stopped. When I turned around, there you were; still lying on the ground beside me, dreads scattered, still angelic, still cold, and still in an eternal sleep. It was as if I hadn't taken even a step away from you.
There was no escape. I had chosen this, I knew it. I did it myself.
No matter how far I traveled, I could not escape you. You were the constant, my love never faltered.
Now, I could not escape this place either. Now, I wasn't only trapped in an unrequited love, I was trapped in a silvery cell where the north, south, east, and west all led to you.
What an eternity I chose. How could I have been so stupid? I should have known that even in this place I could not be with you. In one place I was dead, and here, you were.
I lay next to your icy body once more and held your hand. I entwined your fingers with mine, and examined our hands together. And I played with the hem of your shirt, or with a dread, wrapping it around my finger. Or I would make a small braid of your dreads, then take it apart and touch some other part of you. Sometimes I would tell you stories from our childhood, or of things I would have liked to accomplish. Sometimes I even talked about that night I fell off the rooftop. When I had enough of story-telling, I'd wrap my arms around you again, hug you to me; then stroke your arms, and face, and hair. Then lay next to you again, and in time, sleep would come to me.
That's how I spent all my hours, days, months, years, I wasn't sure. Time was not something that could be measured it seemed.
But each time I woke up, it was always the same thing. I was still holding on to my dead brother, we were still in that silver field, and I was still alone.
I held my warm body to your cold one, and stroked your cheek. There was nothing I could do. I nuzzled my face into your dreads and breathed in your scent. Nothing ever changed here.
I put my lips to your cheek and you felt as cold as ever. I kissed up your jaw, and slid my hand underneath your shirt to feel your skin more. I kissed up to your temple and then down again towards your neck. When I kissed your lips, there was no response. This was not Snow White. Even though I knew you would not wake up, I kissed you again, just to feel you near to me.
I ground my hips into yours, and pressed my lips to yours, and all there was was ice --the frigid temperature which never lifted.
I sighed, and resolved to lay my head next to yours again, as I held my arms around you.
I love you, Billa. I repeated your last words.
I love you too, Tomi.
Chapter 2: WAKE UP
It was a pleasant night tonight. I leaned on the balcony rail and put the cigarette to my lips, took a drag, then exhaled swirls of gray smoke into the air. There was a warm breeze that carried the smoke away from me, and I watched as the ribbons unfurled and faded. From this high floor of the hotel, I was able to see much of the city below --a place where the traffic never stopped, and the buildings rose only higher and higher so that I could not see the horizon. There may have been stars tonight, but the smog that hung over the industrious city obscured my view of them.
My thoughts drifted to you, just like they always drifted to you. I thought you may be asleep at this hour, and it reminded me that I should perhaps also be asleep. Touring never waited for anyone, even Tom Kaulitz, and there was another packed day waiting for us tomorrow.
I flicked the end of my lit cigarette into the night and followed the small orange glow until I could no longer see it. Then I pushed my body off the railing, and stepped back into my hotel room.
An odd chill came over me, and it was not from the air conditioning. As if it was my sixth sense to know what my brother was doing, I knew I should go to you now.
I walked through the adjoining door of our rooms and found your bedroom covered in darkness. The only light was coming from behind the window curtains, and that dull moonlight was enough for me to see that you were not in your bed. I took further steps into your room, and suddenly I felt a sharp pain stub my pinky toe. I bent down and found the culprit quickly: an open safety pin. I closed it and put it on the dresser beside me. I made another step forward and felt the same pain again, this time on the side of my left heel.
Fuck. I should have worn socks.
I picked up the second pin and disposed of it also.
However, I wasn't much farther into the room when I was stubbed by a third open pin.
That's when I heard movement in your bathroom, and saw the sliver of light coming from under the door.
Normally I wouldn't disturb anyone when they were in the bathroom, but this time, my heart began racing and I knew I should hurry up and get to you as fast as I could.
I stepped carefully and quickly through your room, in order to avoid any more of the scattered safety pins, and was lucky to only encounter one other.
I pushed through the bathroom door and there you were. Somehow I was not surprised to find you in that position. Had it not been for the red in the water and the bright red streak running from your wrist and down the white bathtub, you could have been having a most relaxing bathe.
I knelt before the tub and put my hands to your face, and pulled you near. You opened your eyes and I couldn't have been more relieved.
I could tell you were drifting in and out of consciousness, because as I held you to me and stroked your hair, your eyes would sometimes flutter open, then they would fall shut again.
"Bill! Wake up! Please."
You didn't say anything. I don't think you could anymore. But when you opened your eyes, I could see everything in them. There was sadness and despair, and I wanted to save you so badly. This wasn't how it was supposed to happen.
I crashed my upper body onto yours and hugged you to me. I started crying because I knew I was losing you. I hugged and held you and just cried. My tears went unnoticed where they fell on you, nearly naked and wet. I realized my t-shirt was soaked from holding you up, and so I just got into the water with you. I lay my head to your chest. You weren't breathing. There was no pulse.
My heart beat for you, and yet that still wasn't enough. It never was. Never had been. Now it was too late to be with you.
"I love you, Billa," I sobbed as I looked into your eyes. I saw another world in them. I saw you drifting away from me and I held you tighter. It didn't matter that we were wet and covered in your blood. All I saw was you and the battle you had just began. I could see it in your eyes that instant when they got larger, that you wanted to come back. I saw you falling into darkness, farther away from me, struggling, but only drifting farther, until you could no longer reach me, and I could no longer see you falling.
"Oh Bill, I'm so sorry," I breathed.
You were gone. The eyes which I will always remember to be full of cheer and happiness were now empty and lifeless; your limbs a dead weight which pulled me deeper into the rosy waters, and your graceful neck hung limp over my arm which held you up.
I closed your eyes and cried and held you for what seemed like hours. I positioned myself beside you, one arm under you to keep your head above the water, and the other over you to keep you close to me.
I nuzzled my face into your neck and waited with you. I don't know what I was waiting for, and I don't know how long I waited, but eventually my tears stopped.
I touched you and caressed your skin, and kissed your face. I felt up your arms and examined the lacerations to your wrists. My kisses traveled from your wrist, up your arm, up your neck, across your jaw, and into your hairline. I kissed your lips softly and stroked your cheek with all the love I wish I could have shown you. I wound my fingers through your black hair, and pulled you closer to me.
I covered your body with mine, and pressed my lips to yours, like I had always wanted. Yet, this is not what I wanted. I wanted to love you, and hold you, and kiss you, yes. But I wanted you to be happy, and to return the affection, and needless to say, I wanted you to be alive!
I sighed, and resolved to lay my head in the crook of your neck again, as I held my arms around you.
The water had turned from lukewarm to cold and I still held on. It must have been morning when I heard the knocks on your door.
"Bill!" Someone yelled.
"Aren't you up yet?" The person yelled again, and I recognized it as Georg.
"Dave's gonna kill you, man. We need to be in the car in ten minutes!" Said a second voice belonging to Gustav.
More pounding on the door.
"Dude, do you know where Tom is?"
I submerged myself in the water to make reality go away. But there was no avoiding it. I was in a bathtub full of bloody water, holding on to my dead brother. I held you tighter, and when I came up for air, I was crying again. Large salty tears fell from my eyes and back into the water.
What am I going to do?
There was more knocking on the door. Harder than before.
"Bill? Are you in there? Where's Tom?" I heard, as well as more talking which I zoned out.
I was desperate. Right now, I could do two things: I could follow you, or I could get out of the water and answer the door.
You looked so beautiful. If there was anything in the world that could tempt me into death, it was you, right then. The black silky strands of your hair were wet and slick, and when they reached the water, they fanned out into delicate swirls. The blood around us no longer made wisps of red in the clear water, as it had when I found you. Now, it had stopped flowing, your body was as white as the bathtub, and the water was a dull pink. You still looked beautiful to me. You always had.
"I love you. I love you so much," I told you. "I always have, and I always will. Just wait for me, Billa."
I bit my lip and made the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I decided to face the day and the rest of my life without you.
I kissed your lips for the last time, and untangled my fingers from your hair. I laid your limp body back into the water and gently got out. I was dripping wet and now leaving a large puddle on the bathroom floor. Whether all the water came from my tears or from the water in the bathtub, I couldn't tell. I felt like I had cried that much. My white t-shirt had been stained pink and deeper red in some areas, and my shorts were hanging heavily on me, threatening to fall off my slender hips.
None of it mattered, all I felt and saw was you.
I will always see you. Each night, in my dreams, we are lying in a brilliant field of safety pins, and I'm kissing your white rosy skin. You are my fallen angel, still as a statue, waiting for me to come wake you up.
I lifted your forearm from the ledge of the tub, kissed your fingers and set it down next to your body. That was my goodbye, I had to leave.
Letting you go was beyond difficult. I wanted so much to crawl back into the water and stay with you for the rest of my life, until I was an old man, and could die beside you, and then I could finally join you.
I left the bathroom, and walked into the bedroom which was now bright with sunlight. The annoying light radiating through the curtains indicated daytime. It made my head and my eyes hurt and I turned away from it. I made a beeline through the bedroom towards the door that was making so much noise. I know I stepped on more of your scattered pins, but I did not feel them. I was frozen right now.
I reached the door, took a deep breath and opened it.
"Finally!" Dave said, among the small crowd of people standing outside your door; and although everyone had sentences on the tip of their tongue, none could say a word.
I guess it was my appearance, dripping wet and all.
"Tom... what on Earth happened to you?"
"Is that blood? Where's Bill?"
The questions started pouring out suddenly.
I didn't know what to say or how to explain, so I just hung my head and stepped aside. Our bandmates, our manager, and two of our security team walked past me and followed the water and pins towards the bathroom.
As the group sat around your hotel bedroom crying, hugging each other, or on their cellphones, I picked up a letter from your pillow.
It was addressed to me, and somehow this did not seem strange to me.
Tomi, it said.
Know that I loved you more than anything in this world,
and certainly more than a brother should.
Had I told you the truth,
the beautiful image may have been shattered.
Now I get to love you forever,
in a world where my love cannot be criticized or torn apart.
That is my eternity.
I chose this because I love you.
Those were your last words, written in the neatest hand you could muster. I held them to my breast, soaking the paper.
I love you too, Billa.