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Hello. This is Ronica. As you may know I am Johnny Panic's lady for years now and have never been able to tell one of his tales from my point of view. Currently I am because Johnny is unconscious. It has been years since Johnny was knocked out and that was by his brother who I'll get to later. I should go back a little bit to explain how we got to him laying half naked in an Arizona desert with one shoe on.
Last time we all saw Johnny awake was as he took off to confront these spaceships that were hovering above the planet. We aren't talking to the president, little p, so Johnny got some orders and headed to space. A few minutes later the planet felt a tremble, then heard an explosion, and then an hour or so later he was found with one shoe on. Zazz, Milly, Aimee, and I all hopped on a jet and flew to L.A where he was transported to see what was happening.
I wasn't super worried. I mean, I was worried but not as worried as I should have been considering who Johnny is and what he can do. It wasn't until we all saw him in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask on that the severity of the situation hit. Yeah, the world saw him KO'd but he recovered just like anyone would from one. But with this he was having trouble breathing on his own, his hair was a mess, and he had burns. Johnny had never been burned before. As far as anyone knew he didn't have the ability to burn.
“Mrs. Panic...” one of the doctors began to say.
“They aren't married yet” Zazz said which caused Aimee to nudge him in the ribs harder than intended. He made a sound that was a cross between a dogs chew toy and a whoopie cushion.
“We do not have the ability to...” she continued.
“I know” I said. They couldn't get needles into his skin. They'd just break off which meant they couldn't get any fluids into him. I handed Milly to Aimee and they all left the room. Two nurses stayed behind until I death-stared them into going as well. I reached into my bag and pulled out Milly's brush and begin to brush Johnny's hair back. A small portion of his face was burned.
“If you could see you now you'd be mega pissed” I tell him. “What happened up there? I am guessing you won because we're all still here. But what did they do to you?” I kiss his forehead. “Walter, if you can hear me and are just pretending I swear I'm gonna never cook Steak-Um's for you ever again. I know how much you love them so don't play with me. They make the house smell, Walter. And I don't like cooking them. But you smile whenever I do so I make them. Zazz won't even eat them so you know how gross they must be. Laugh. Walter, this is the part where you smile, open your eyes, apologize, and kiss me.”
He just lays there not smiling. Not opening his eyes. Not apologizing. Not kissing me.
I don't even remember the last thing I said to him and it wasn't even hours ago. Zazz comes back into the room and sits down. He reaches under the bed and pulls out Johnny's personal belongings. A clear bag with his torn black pants, hints of a gray shirt, and one turquoise Converse. I open the bag and in the back pocket is his phone. I place it into my bag and hand the hospital bag back to Zazz.
“I made fun of his clothes before he left” I say.
“He made fun of the way I talked” Zazz says. “Then he said he loved us all and would see us soon.” Zazz sighs and grabs Johnny's ankle and squeezes. “Nothing.”
“What do you mean?”
“His ankles” Zazz says. “He likes tightness around his ankles.”
“Yeah” Zazz replies. “Since we were kids. It's why he wear high tops and loves that skinny jeans are a thing now. Says it makes him feel like he isn't dreaming. Something about support.”
“I didn't know that” I say. “How can I have a child with someone and not know that they like their ankles squeezed?” I say. I start crying.
“People don't...people don't know everything about each other” he says. “I learn something new about Johnny all the time and I've known him for as long as I remember. He isn't dead. Whatever happened hurt him but he'll be back to giving me hell. And you shouldn't be crying. He'd make fun of you.” I laugh.
“He would say I'm an ugly crier...”
“He would” Zazz says and gives me a hug. “You want me to bring Milly in here?” Just as he asks the door slowly opens with Aimee holding onto Milly's tether and being pulled into the room.
“She's too strong” Aimee says while struggling to hold Milly back.
Milly floats over to me with her arms spread. She sees the tears on my cheek and her bottom lip starts to quiver and it is the cutest thing ever. I know she is about to start crying and that is not good. This hospital can not handle a baby with a sonic scream when the only person that could quickly get her outside is currently unconscious.
“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya...” Zazz says and Milly looks at him. “Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama...” Aimee stares at Zazz just as confused as I am. “Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't we go...”
“Juhmaycuh...” Milly mumbles and then buries her head into my shirt. She peeps at me with one eye and then buries her face again.
“What was that?” I ask.
“Kokomo” Zazz says. “I heard Johnny sing it to Milly once when she cried because he wouldn't let her take a penguin home.
“Coke-mo...” Milly says. She looks over at Johnny in bed and then back at me. “Picnic.” Johnny lays still. “Knee Picnic. Up. Up to time.” The entire room goes silent. My baby is trying to wake her father up. She starts to sing. She is trying to sing the song I sing to her when she would rather stay in bed with her father. I say “Wake up time, you Panic babies. Time to save the world no time to be lazy. If you stay asleep the bad guys win. And you won't be allowed to stay up past ten.” But when she tries it sounds like “Up to time...Picnic, babies. Save the whirl, no lazy time. You sleep bad guys. You not sleep past tens...”
Johnny doesn't wake.