''No, Lou. You are NOT allowed to take off your TOMs!'' I warned Louis, as he attempted to do so. He had this bad habit of not wearing socks which made his sweaty feet smell horrid.
''Don't be a sot,Liam,'' he teased, rolling his eyes, as he put his foot on his knee and started to pull his shoe off.
''No!'' Harry screamed, as he lunged to prevent Lou from releasing the awful stench.
As Harry jumped on Lou, they both ended up on the floor, groaning in pain, entangled in each other, making the three of us laugh. When the laughter eventually died down,Lou asked Harry a question that I wanted to know as well. It'd keep our minds off Jamie. She was probably fine. She might not have wanted to see or talk to any of us yet. Nonetheless, Niall was taking it pretty hard and he'd locked himself in the room. Zayn had gone in to talk to him but Niall still refused to come out. I contemplated going in as well after Zayn left but thought that Niall probably needed to be alone.
''So,Hazza...what happened to you and the Swift?'' Lou asked curiously, one eyebrow raised, similar to how Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson did on the movie 'Be Cool'. It was hilarious.
''Well, Taylor and I went on vacation,'' he said slowly, his voice rough and thick with sleep. ''And we went to Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside,England, which was fantastic. But then we went to the Carribean, on a boat, and...''
''Yeah?'' I asked eagerly, curious as to how someone would want to split up with Harold Edward Styles.
''She didn't want to...you know,'' Harry grinned cheekishly. I scoffed.
''Harold Edward Styles...you broke up with Taylor because she didn't want to sleep with you?'' I muttered incredulously. Louis burst out laughing.
''Shut up you two!'' he scolded. ''It wasn't just THAT,'' he murmured, moving his curls out of his eyes. ''When we fought, the things she said...it showed me she was an emotional wreck and that she's not as mature as I thought she'd be,'' he told us.
''What is it with you and older women anyway,'' Lou commented, stroking his beardless chin.
''Simple.They have more...experience,'' Harry replied, smiling boyishly, winking.
''You're revolting,'' I snorted. Just as Harry opened his mouth to reply to my remark, we heard Jamie's door being swung open roughly, revealing a miserable-looking, red-faced Niall, whose body was shaking and had his fists clenched by his sides.
''Is everything alright,Niallator?'' I asked him, concerned, trying to lighten the mood. We had all gotten to our feet.
''It's Jamie. She was a car accident,'' he told us curtly,his voice strained.
He already had a coat on and he snatched the set of keys off the counter, hurrying to the front door. We didn't need to be told where he was going. Neither did Niall need to be told that we were coming along. The ride to the hospital that was approximately half an hour away was a painstakingly silent one. The atmosphere was full of tension and Niall had already gotten his license-he had wanted it to be a surprise to Jamie so he told her he'd just finished his first attempt of the driving test but had failed when, in actual fact, he'd already gone through two and had passed the second time round. We were in his 115,000 pound Range Rover he'd been hiding in a parking space nearby. I knew Niall was worried. He was extremely tense, his eyes dead ahead, focused on the road, his hands gripped so tight on the steering wheel that you could see the bones of his knuckles. And he was accelerating dangerously fast.
''Take it easy,Niall,'' I consoled him, trying to be as calm and collected as possible.
''Don't tell me to 'take it easy','' he ordered, his voice shaky. ''This is Jamie,'' he stated, his word final.
''We all care about her,Niall. She's like family to us. She'll be alright,'' I reassured him using the most convincing tone I had, hoping the break in the end would go unnoticed. Harry and Lou were extremely quiet in the backseat. The whole journey there was a quiet one, no one willing to say a word. We all just wanted to know if Jamie was safe. We finally arrived at the hospital and we all rushed to the emergency room, looking frantically for any sign of Jamie. It was 4 in the morning now. I whipped out my phone to call Zayn and inform him about Jamie as Niall and the rest of the boys searched and asked around. As I spoke into the phone frantically, my words jumbled up and barely making any sense, I spotted James pacing in front or a room, his face full of distraught. I tapped Niall's shoulder and pointed in James' direction and the four of us bolted in his direction. As James recognised us, his face was a mixture of emotions - relief, fear, guilt, worry.
''Niall,'' he breathed, looking exhausted.
''Where is she?'' Niall demanded, his face full of determination.
'' The doctor's with her in the room. They've been there for two hours,'' James told us, gesturing to the room behind him.
''How is she?'' Lou asked in a concerned tone, all serious now. Even Harry seemed uncomfortable, his eyes darting everywhere.
''I don't know. They haven't let me in yet. But she was bleeding and moaning in pain when they brought her here,'' he told us, shoulders hunched.
Suddenly, Niall yanked his collar and pushed him against the wall, high enough that James' feet were unable to touch the floor. Niall's hand was pushing against his neck, and James was struggling to breathe. Lou and I rushed to stop him from doing any harm.
''Come on,Niall. We don't want to cause a scene here,'' I warned him, whispering in his ear.
Eventually, Niall let him go and James slid to the floor, gasping for breath.
''What happened?'' I asked James after he pulled himself to his feet. It was taking a lot out of me to control myself.
''Jamie came to my place and she was miserable. She asked me to go to the bar with her so I did. And then she drank some alcohol..''
''How much is...some?'' I asked hesitantly as Niall turned back around to glare at James.
''A few shots, that's all. It shouldn't have been enough to make her too drunk,'' he murmured, dazed.
''She hasn't drank any alcohol before, you fucking idiot!'' Niall barked. It didn't take much alcohol to make you drunk if it was your first time. I should know.
''Calm down,Niall,'' I advised, placing my hand on his chest and nodding at Louis to bring Niall somewhere else to collect himself.
''Then what happened?'' I asked, diverting my focus to James again.
''We were talking about something that set her off. She was talking about going back to Niall. I went back into the club to get her a glass of cold water but by the time I came back, she had already driven away. I shouldn't have left her alone,'' he mumbled, his face full of guilt.
''It's not your fault,mate,'' I comforted him. ''Now, what we all need to do is be patient and pray that everything will be fine,'' I told him. ''Jamie is going to be fine,'' I stated, full of confidence. "She's a strong girl."
. All of us took a seat and so did Niall and Lou, after they came back. We were all shaking our legs impatiently, anxious to see how Jamie was doing. As we waited, a small girl came up to me, her thumb in her mouth.
''Hello beautiful,'' I greeted warmly, waving at her. Hesitantly, she waved back at me,slowly. ''You know, it's not good to suck on your thumb. If you suck on your thumb too much, your thumb could disappear,'' I told her, kidding,of course. I've never been too good at being funny.
''See? I sucked on my thumb too much and now it's gone!'' I showed her my right hand. I had bent my thumb down and hid it in my palm. Horrified, she gasped and quickly took her thumb out of her mouth and looked at it. She looked about three to four years old, her cheeks a rosy red, soft curls of blonde hair framing her face.
''Well, aren't you adorable,'' Lou, who was sitting beside me, cooed, waving at her. I noticed that she was clutching a teddy bear close to her body. Harry was watching her too, smiling.
''Is that your friend?'' Harry asked softly. She nodded, holding it up for us to see.
''What's his name?'' I asked, smiling.
''Teddy,'' she whispered in a high-pitch voice.
''What a special name!'' Lou teased and I rolled my eyes at him. Luckily, the child couldn't comprehend the sarcasm.
''Can I be his friend too?'' Lou begged, pouting. The girl giggled, nodding quickly.
''What's your name, pretty lady?'' Harry asked, touching her curls.
''Emily,'' she answered, louder now.
''Well, hello Emily! What a lovely name!'' Harry complimented, making her smile widely, revealing her pearly white teeth.
''What's your name?'' she asked timidly, pointing to me.
''Well, I'm Liam,'' I told her cheerfully.
''And I'm Harry.'
' ''Hi Liam! Hi Louis! Hi Harry!'' she repeated, giggling.
''Who's that?'' she pointed at Niall.
''That's our friend, Niall,'' Lou whispered into her ear. ''But he's not feeling well. He's worried about our friend who got hurt.''
''My sister's not feeling well too!'' she informed us. ''My sister's in there,'' she said, pointing to the door beside the room Jamie was in. ''She fell down and hit her head.''
''Oh, well, she'll be fine. Don't you worry,'' I assured her, touching her nose lightly with my index finger. She scrunched up her nose, giggling and nodding vigorously. Then, she walked up to Niall, whose head was in his heads, and tapped on his shoulder. Niall looked up, his face red, a confused look on his face.
''Your friend will be okay,'' she piped. ''Don't worry. You can hold my Teddy if you want to,'' Emily offered cheerfully. Niall softened, smiling weakly at her.
''Thank you. But I think Teddy will miss you.''
She giggled, holding on to her Teddy.
''You talk funny,'' she said, giggling again.
''That's because I'm Irish,'' Niall told her, brightening up a little.
''What's an 'Irish'?'' she asked curiously, the word sounding foreign in her mouth.
''It means that I come from a country called Ireland,'' he told her as she nodded in understanding. She suddenly threw her arms around his neck and hugged him. Initially, Niall was shocked but then he returned the hug.
I heard a woman's voice call, and the inquisitive little girl looked away, in the direction of the voice. ''I have to go now,'' she told us, pouting.
''Well, it was very nice to meet you,'' Lou said.
She grinned at us. ''Don't worry, Niall. Your friend will be okay,'' she repeated again, smiling at him. She unwrapped her arms from around Niall's neck and kissed his cheek before walking away.
''Bye Liam! Bye Louis! Bye Harry! Bye Niall!'' she said happily, waving at us. It was surprising that she didn't recognise us. Or, for that matter, that no one here had run up to us and asked for an autograph. It was nice that we weren't being bothered. But it was disturbing that a hospital was one of the places where we could find peace.
''Where's Zayn?'' she asked, turning her head to look back at us just before she left.
''He's on the way here,'' I told her. Suddenly,she turned around and ran back to us, giving us all hugs before running off again.
''Hug Zayn too please! Goodbye One Direction!'' she yelled in a high-pitch voice as she ran off, her curls bouncing.
''What a charming little girl!'' I commented, laughing a little, amazed at how considerate she was for her age.
''Who?'' Zayn, who had just arrived, asked, confused and breathless, as he walked to us. We all stared at him, speechless. We were all exhausted but Zayn seemed distraught.
''Where's Jamie? How is she?'' he asked, dark circles under his eyes.
''We don't know. She's still in there with the doctor,'' Niall told him glumly, seeming better and less miserable. Zayn nodded, his mouth a grim line. Then, just as he was about to take a seat, the door swung open, revealing a very concerned looking middle-aged man in a white coat. He looked at his clipboard and pursed his lips.
''Anyone here for Jamie Sullivan?'' he asked, looking around the room. All six of us stood up, anxious. He looked a little taken aback as he saw us. He stared at us, pushing his glasses up his nose.
''Aren't you the lads from One Direction? My daughters love you,'' he told us. We mustered up a smile and mumbled our thanks. Grasping the urgency of the matter, he left it at that.''Well, I'm Dr.Craig. You can go visit Ms. Sullivan now but only three of you can go in at a time,'' he told us, after he shook all our hands and making a formal introduction.
''Can't you make an exception?''
''I'm sorry lads but it's hospital protocol,'' he declared. The lads all looked at me, signalling for me to be the first one to go in.
Liam patted Zayn's shoulder, encouraging Zayn to go in as well. Zayn and Jamie were close-he understands her in a way I don't. As for the third person, James took a small step forward.
''Very well then,'' he acknowledged, leading us into the room and closing the door behind us.
There she was. Jamie was on the bed, sitting on the edge, her right leg in a cast, a large gash in her forehead that had been stitched up and a cast around her neck as well as a bandaged left hand. She looked exhausted.Her face was pale, her lips didn't have that usual warm pink colour. In conclusion, she looked terrible.But she's more beautiful than I remembered. It was like a breath of fresh air when I saw her.
''Jamie,'' I breathed.
She looked up at me, confused.
''She's a tough one,'' the doctor told us, blocking our view of Jamie, who was trying to lie down on the hospital bed. My eyes were on her the whole time as the doctor spoke to us about her condition. ''She's suffered a dislocated shoulder, a broken neck, a broken tibia and a crushed hand'' he informed us, sighing at the end. ''She should be in a lot of pain but she seems to be dealing with it very well. It's astonishing that she didn't even scream when I reset her shoulder,'' he told us, incredulously. ''But don't worry.She'll be fine. She just needs lots of rest. She might have a concussion and she seemed to have no recollection whatsoever of how she ended up in the hospital. You might be able to help her with that.But right now, you just need to be patient. I'll leave you all alone now,'' he told us in a serious tone, walking past us. We all thanked him gratefully for taking such good care of her. ''Hold on,'' he said suddenly, right before he left the room, as if he'd forgotten something. He tapped the pen that he had been holding on his clipboard. '' I need to speak with whoever is responsible for her,'' the doctor told us, a concerned look on his face .
Instinctively, all the lads looked at me and nodded, beckoning for me to go ahead. And it was on a natural impulse that I had already walked towards the doctor, without waiting for the boys' encouragement. The doctor led me out of the room. I closed the door gently behind me.
''You must be the Irish one. Niall,is it?''
I nodded. He placed one hand in his coat pocket.
''Your friend, Jamie. Did she go out for a drink?''
I raised my eyebrows.
''Yes, that's what her friend who was with her told us. But I'm not exactly sure how much she drank.''
''Well, when we conducted a blood test to see if everything was alright, we found that her blood alcohol level was a tad high,'' he told me.
I felt my blood boil.
''Was this her first time?''
I nodded, biting hard down on my tongue. I wanted to spit out a slew of profanities but I had to control my anger.
''Since it's her first offence, she'll have to pay a fine,mate,'' the doctor told me, his hand on my shoulder. I nodded again.
''I'll take care of it.''
''Alright. I'll come back soon to check on her. I want her to stay overnight to see if she's alright. Will that be okay?''
''If I could ask, doesn't she have any parent the hospital could contact?'' I looked at my feet.
''Her father's in the US,'' I answered, not wanting to elaborate on her mother. It wasn't my place to tell. ''But she has an aunt nearby. I'll take care of it.''
''Alright,'' he said. ''Well, if you could excuse me...''
''Of course. Thank you again, Dr.Craig,'' I told him as he nodded in acknowledgement and walked away.
I walked back into the room, glaring at James. He seemed to sense the tension and immediately backed away and went to stand in the corner, his arms crossed, as the rest of us made our way to the bed, standing around it. I inhaled deeply, the smell of the sterile hospital environment invading my nostrils. I was standing on her right side. She cringed as she tried to sit up.
''Whoa whoa, take it easy. Let me help,'' I offered. But all of us ended up helping her.
''Thanks,'' she mumbled. She looked up at us.
"How are ya feeling?" Zayn asked hoarsely.
"I'm feeling a little tipsy, my mouth is a little dry and my head is throbbing but other than that, I'm feeling great," she replied cheerfully
. "I'll ask for some water," James offered, walking out of the room.
"That's all that hurts?" Zayn asked incredulously. She nodded slowly.
"You're amazing," I murmured, amazed. I couldn't take it any longer. I missed her so much. I bent down and crashed my lips to hers, trying my best not to hurt her, waiting for a response. But when there was none, I pulled away, confused.
''Um...thank you,'' she mumbled shyly, fidgeting with her fingers. The look on her face was as if she didn't recognise us.
''Jamie?'' I called.
''I'm sorry. You are?''
My heart stopped. And I could tell so did the hearts of the other lads. There were looks of horror on their faces. I held her good hand, stroking it.
''Don't you remember who we are? Who...I..am?'' I asked, desperately. I couldn't tell what was worse-that she had broken so many things in so many places and seemed fine instead of writhing in pain or that she could have possibly forgotten who we...who I...was. Perhaps it was worse than the doctor had predicted.
''Am I supposed to?'' she asked, guiltily. I quickly asked the lads to come in, ignoring the hospital rules. Rules are meant to be broken anyway.
''I'm Niall,'' I introduced myself, unable to force a smile.
''And I'm Louis.'' At least Lou was able to put on an encouraging smile. The others fretted their eyebrows, giving nervous glances at each other.
She didn't seem to recognize us.
''I'm sorry but...I don't know who you are.''