Jolly Holiday

Shelbie was a fashion designer. Very low key, living in upper Manhattan with her junkie brother. Then she got her big break. And that big break, went by One Direction.

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29. Fine

"Shelbs?" a tiny voice whispered from the corner of the waiting room, "Shelbs Porter?"

When I looked up, I saw someone that I hadn't seen since my early days of marching band, "Lydia Moses? Who are you here with?" I asked, moving to sit next to her. She had tear tracks running down her cheeks. Who didn't today, though?

"It's Tom." she whimpered, "He was hurt real bad, Shelbs."

My heart broke for her. Lydia and Tom were the closest brother sister duo I'd ever met in my life. They weren't just siblings. They were best friends.

"Oh my God. What happened?" To imagine Lydia without Tom was like imagining peanut butter without jelly. It just didn't happen.

"The house is gone. Tom was in the barn trying to get the horses in. It just collapsed in on him. They just brought him for some kind of surgery. And I can't get a hold of my parents to tell them to get down here. They're at the Community Center now. They have no clue how Tom is doing."

"Okay, give me your phone. Maybe I can get a text through to my friends. They're at the Community Center too. I'll tell them to get your parents and get down here."

She handed me her cellular and I shot a quick text to Jessica and Zayn, 'Ask around and find Lydia and Tom Moses' parents and bring them down to Clark Memorial with you.'

'there not lettin any1 n r out of town' Jessica responded after a few minutes wait.

'Find. A. Way.' I texted furiously. I finally turned to Lydia with a halfhearted smile, "They're on their way."

"I'm looking for the family of Louis Tomlinson!" a nurse called over the raucous in the jam-packed waiting room. I jumped to my feet quickly, "Only family." she said firmly.

"I am family!" I lied through my teeth, "I'm his...sister!"

"Name," she said doubtfully, staring down at her clipboard, "Shelbie Tomlinson."

"Where's your accent?" she asked doubtfully. Dang, these nurses were nosy.

"Okay, he's my stepbrother." I lied again.

She rolled her eyes, "Well, you're obviously bound to get in there one way or another, so you can go on back. Second door on the right."

I shoved past the nurse, taking off toward the patient rooms. They were letting me back! That meant he made it.

"Hey, Babe," he grumbled under his breath as soon as I made it through the door, "Where're the lads?" he seemed a bit woozy and out of it, but no worse for wear.

"They're fine. They're still in Henryville. The police aren't letting anyone in or out of town. How do you feel?" I asked, sitting on the corner of his bed and taking his hand.

"My chest is on fire. And I've got a blistering headache. But I can't feel my legs. They said my spine was compressed or something."

"So...you...can't walk?" I asked, the horror obvious in my voice.

"They said I'm paralyzed from the waist down. But it shouldn't be permanent. They said in a couple months I should be perfectly fine." He actually had a smile on his face. I suppose when a steal ceiling beam lands on you, you take what you can get, "I heard you sing." he murmured.

I couldn't help but smile, "You heard?"

"You sang Leona Lewis. A bit cliche, I must say, but the emotion was there." I broke out into hysterical laughter. He tried to laugh, but was reduced to a coughing fit.

Suddenly there we a buzzing from the corner table and I grabbed the sleek black iPhone that sat there, "I cannot believe that they actually salvaged your phone." I chuckled, checking to see what the text said.

From: Liam
just saw on news. u all ok?

"It's Liam." I said, "He wants to know if you're okay."

To: Liam
It's Shelbie. Everyone is fine. Louis is in the hospital, but he should be okay.

From: Liam
got plane tix to louisville tomorrow we need to see you all

To: Liam
The police won't let anyone in or out of town. Harry and Zayn are stuck in Henryville. And we can't get in. They've got it locked down like it Marshall law.

From: Liam
we need to see you all just to let there parents know that we know they r ok

To: Liam
Okay. We'll let know everything as soon as we do.

From: Liam
hang in there

"Sorry to interrupt," the nurse said, running in, clipboard in hand, "but we need to discharge you now."

"You're joking!" I scoffed, "He's paralyzed and higher than a kite on whatever pain meds you all gave him. You can't discharge him yet!" I argued, as she began pulling out the tubes and needles that he'd been connected to moments earlier.

"We need the space for incoming traumas. He's stable and we have his prescription written up. He has to be discharged."

"How the hell do you presume I get him home?" I barked, "I don't have a wheelchair!"

"You can take one of the chairs from the front," she said.

I sprinted to the front as Louis attempted to change into what he'd been wearing prior to the tornado and grabbed a wheelchair. I hauled it over to the side of the bed and helped him slide into it.

As we left the hospital, I was utterly shocked by what I saw. People were literally lining the floors, sitting in waiting chairs, laying on the ground, curled up in corners desperate for medical attention. It was obvious that a majority of them were Tornado victims.

I saw Lydia in her seat, with a look of utter relief on her face. Apparently Tom had made it through his surgery okay as well.

I fought through the crowd and onto the street. It was pouring down rain. It was then that I realized, we didn't even have a car to get us back to Henryville. Our only options were to either call a can and pray they'd let us back into Henryville or find a motel for the night. I settled for the latter, not wanting to risk it.

I wheeled into the lobby of a downtown hotel that I was familiar with and suddenly realized, "I don't have my purse." I'd left it in Budroe's. It was long gone by now.

"I've got my wallet." he said, fishing it out of his back pocket, "We just need one night." he said to the concierge, placing his debit card up on the counter.

"Are you all...tornado victims?" she asked.

"You could say that." I mumbled, raking my fingers through my hair for the umpteenth time.

"It's on the house." she replied, handing Louis his card back, along with a room key, "As long as you need."

"Thanks." I murmured, pushing Louis' chair all the way to our room.

Of course there was only one bed, so after I helped Louis into bed, I retired to an armchair in the corner of the room.

I quickly pulled out Louis' phone once again and sent a quick text.

To: Jessica
We're staying in a motel for the night. Hopefully we can get back into town in the morning. Tell the Moses' that both their kids are fine.

After a few minutes, I began to curl up and try to get some sleep, "You don't plan on sleeping like that, do you?" Louis asked from where he lay.

"Yes, I do, actually. Something wrong with that?"

"Why are you sleeping all the way over there when there's a perfectly good bed right here?" he asked, patting the empty space beside him, "I promise I don't bite."

"Lou, don't-"

"Come one, Love. What's the worst that could happen?"

Giving in, I finally walked across the small room, sliding into bed beside him, "You know I thought I was going to lose you."

"I did too." he chuckled.

"How could you be so flip about it?" I asked, finally questioning what I'd wanted to for hours,"You literally cheated death and somehow you're not getting all worked up. You can't even use your legs anymore and you're just as cool as a cucumber! What's the deal?"

"I'm as cool as a cucumber," he began, managing to wrap an arm around my waist, propping himself up on an elbow, "Because I know I cheated death. And I'm lucky. I feel like if I forget that I'm lucky - even for a second - I might just lose it. And I can't do that. I'm the positive, happy one. I have to be that. Always. It's what I'm good at. It's my coping mechanism."

"You know if you would've just stayed in Europe this would've never happened, right?" I asked.

"I know, but I wouldn't change it. Because I got to see you being you here. While we were touring you were always Shelbie, the stylist. But here you're just Shelbie, they good ole country girl. And I like it." I couldn't help but giggle as he leaned in and kissed the tip of my nose, "No regrets."

"Lou, you're getting sentimental!" I squealed in laughter. He was always the goof. I definitely was not used to this side of him. I did like it though.

"Hey, if you want this," he motioned to himself, causing me to giggle even louder, "You've gotta learn to deal with every side of it. Even the awkwardly sentimental one. Now, come here." he chuckled, pulling me closer.

We'd get back to reality in the morning. Right now I felt safe. Which is something I never thought I would feel in the presence of Louis Tomlinson. But I did. It was safe just like this.
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