Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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1. ⪻ 01 ⪼

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I remember the sound the truck made when it collided with our vehicle. It was a crunching sound of metal and glass that mixed with the screams from my family's fear-filled lungs.

I remember the motion our car made upon impact; it was like falling head over heels for a psychopath; sky, ground, sky, ground.

I remember the cooling sensation of water meeting my sneaker clad feet. I had always loved the water, but when the blue droplets began to grow higher and higher, I found myself hating it's eerie existence.

I remember a man, calling and splashing out above the sounds of my small brother's frantic cries. His voice somehow calming in a moment of utter chaos.

But I do not remember how I got to this nearly silent hospital room.

The moment my eyes open a surge of anxious feelings is felt deep in the pit of my stomach, among other aches and pains my body is feeling. My vision starts to go in and out and I find myself moaning in slight pain. The sensation lasts no longer than a few seconds before I can comfortably gaze around the room.

The first thing I notice is the repetitive sound of the heart rate monitor to my left, annoyingly ringing a bit quicker at the discovery of the wires and tubes running from me. The next is that I'm completely alone in this room.

Where am I?

Where are my parents?

Oh my God, where is Edward?

Frantically, my fingers fumble around until they're pressing the call button at a mile a minute. I hear light shouting from outside the room before an out of breath nurse with greying hair stumbles into the confines of the plain room.

"Sweetheart, enough of that." She chuckles lightly, rushing to my side to remove my hand from the button and shut the alarm off. "You're alright." She assures me, taking a look to make sure everything that should be attached to my body remains intact.

"Where is my brother? He must be so scared. His name is Edward Chambers. He's five years old and he has brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a blue and white stripped shirt and dark wash jeans and -"

"Shhh dear, take a deep breath. Your brother is okay." Her statement does little to calm my anxiety as I shake my head.

"No, listen, we were in a car accident and he was crying and there was blood and-"

"And he is doing just fine now. In fact, he's right down the hall."

At her confession, I find myself throwing the blankets off my bare legs and going to swing them to run to my brother's side.

"I need to see him."

"Miss, you need to remain in bed. I cannot permit you to leave. You have a serious concussion, bruised ribs, and many lacerations. Please, lie back."

"No, I can't! You don't understand!"

"Miss, please!"

Why doesn't she understand? It's my kid brother. He's probably scared to death.

"Mary, is everything alright?"

A familiar voice rings out from behind the nurse holding me hostage. It's smooth like honey, but with a hint of a rasp. The depth of it stirs me from my panic in, who I can only assume to be Mary's, grasp.

"Annabelle." The voice isn't from Mary, as her lips have yet to move; I can only assume it's come from the calm man that's just entered the depths of the room.

I find myself gulping as I watch the toes of the man's shoes grow in closer proximity to my bedside. My eyes slowly lift from the worn brown boots to the extremely tight skinny jeans and then on to the patterned shirt with a white lab coat paired atop.

The outfit of choice is the farthest from what I believed to be a professional doctor's attire, but I'm not here to knock his outfit.

When my eyes finally scan up to his face the anxious thoughts rushing through my head cease at once. The heart shaped lips are parted slightly as his green eyes scan over my now still body. If I weren't in such a panic I'd think this was my lucky day, to be in the presence of a God.

"Who are you?" I nearly growl out. The force of my voice was not intentional, but it seemed in the moment my vocal chords hadn't given me another choice.

The man doesn't seem phased by my harsh tone, slowly nodding his head and looking to the nurse at my side before looking back to me.

"I'm Doctor Styles, can you tell me your name?" I pucker my lips against my teeth before exhaling loudly.

"Annabelle Chambers. And I'm twenty-two years old, I can only assume that was going to be your next question." I say with as much attitude as my body will allow.

Usually I'm not this on edge and moody, but just knowing my little brother is somewhere in this hospital, possibly in a lot of pain, is putting me off greatly.

Again, Dr. Styles doesn't seem offended or even surprised with my outburst. He simply nods his head and releases a minuscule, closed smile.

"Do you know how you got here?"

Upon his question, our meeting comes back to us and I bite my lip at the rush of memories.

"I was in a car accident and you were the one to pull my family out." I mutter, partly for myself to come to terms of what had happened.

That wasn't some hardcore, hospital medicine induced nightmare. The events of earlier tonight, or whenever, had really occurred.

"That's right. Annabelle, I just have a couple questions for you and then I'll take you to see your brother myself. How does that sound?" I frantically nod my head. I would do anything to see my family.

I need to be with my brother; perhaps my parents are with him as well. He needs them more than I, he's younger and probably doesn't understand at all what had happened.

"Alright." Dr. Styles rounds the bed, flipping open my chart that was being clutched tightly in his hands. "How are you feeling? Any dizziness, loss of vision, or even black dots appearing in your vision?"

"When I first opened my eyes there were the dots, but not any more. I have a bit of a headache, but I get migraines frequently so this is nothing really. And now that you bring it up, my side really hurts, like hurts to breathe."

"That's all to be expected. You knocked your head pretty hard during the crash, as for the pain you're feeling around here," he motions to his side where my complaints were coming from on my own body, "you bruised a couple ribs. With plenty of rest they'll heal up just fine. Do you mind if I take a look at your stitches?"

Stitches?

"We had to stitch up your shoulder. A piece of glass was embedded into the skin and required a few stitches after the glass was removed. Nothing too serious, I assure you."

Taking a look to my right shoulder, hidden under the hospital gown, I send Dr. Styles a slight head nod. He wastes no time, crossing the foot of the bed and manoeuvring around the nurse who stands silently by.

"You got my brother out before me, correct? How is he? And my parents? I don't remember you getting them out of the car, I barely even remember you getting Edward out."

If there is ever a time for me to be able to feel selfish it would probably be now, but I simply can't. Knowing my family is here in this hospital makes everything about them and not about me.

"I got your brother out before you, yes." He says, untying the strings of my hospital gown at my neck and pulling the gown down just far enough to uncover the bandaged shoulder. "He's down the hall, my colleague Dr. Horan is looking after him. He's an excellent pediatrician, one of our best, and is taking good care of your brother. Other than a couple bumps and bruises he is completely unharmed. The both of you are incredibly lucky."

A breath that I hadn't realised I was holding, escapes my lips at his confession. Knowing that little Edward is basically unharmed whilst I lie here in incredible pain is a good feeling. The relief that takes over my emotions is almost too much to handle and I find myself wanting to cry a bit.

"Really?" Dr. Styles glances from his careful eye where the bandage once stuck and gives me a nod. I lick my dry lips and bite the delicate skin.

"And my parents? Where are they? Are they with Edward?" Dr. Styles' eyes flash to mine before he returns to working with my shoulder. I lose what little smile I had and shake my head at him.

He's hiding something.

"What aren't you telling me?" Dr. Styles clears his throat as he steps from my shoulder.

"Mary, can you redress Miss Chambers' shoulder?" The woman replies quietly, her eyes never meeting mine as Dr. Styles tosses his blue gloves into the bin.

Deep down the avoidance of the question alerts me of a nagging suspicion I had. They had to be in bad shape, awful shape if he were avoiding such an easy question. And the sadness his eyes hold as he takes his post at the foot of my bed does nothing to comfort the worries.

"Dr. Styles." I plead, tears already welling in my eyes and I haven't even heard him say a thing. He clears his throat again, before glancing to the ceiling and then returning his emerald eyes to me.

"After I got you and your brother out of the car and was certain that you both were okay, I went back for your mother with some other motorists that had stopped. The car had become fully submerged whilst I was rescuing you, but we were able to free your mother from the restraints." I release a deep breath as a small smile comes to my lips.

Thank God.

"But her injuries that were sustained during the roll over were far too severe." The smile on my lips was slowly taken over by a deep frown. "And by the time another passerby got to your father, it was too late."

"No." I simply state. "That can't be true. You said you got my mother out, so she's out. She's fine, in surgery then?" Dr. Styles looks over to Mary, who had finished dressing my wound and is standing idly by in case someone needs her assistance.

"I am very sorry Miss Chambers -"

"Annabelle." I interrupt. "It's Annabelle."

"I am very sorry Annabelle," Dr. Styles corrects himself and takes a deep breath before continuing, "but your parents did not survive the crash."

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