Solace ~ h.s.

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


6. ⪻ 06 ⪼


I've never been a really trusting person. Of course I trusted my parents and the things they did for me or told me. But when it comes to trusting someone outside the family, I start to lose hope.

There was this one time in primary school where I trusted my "friend" Layla with my brand new set of colouring pencils. They were a gift from my mother and father for my sixth birthday. I absolutely adored them and after days of begging, my parents finally allowed me to take them to school. Unfortunately, Layla had found me talking to her "boyfriend" and sabotaged the colouring pencils after asking to borrow them.

Then there was this other time in sixth form where I asked a classmate to watch my homemade truffle cake whilst I got called out to speak with another instructor. The culinary class was a part of an after school enrichment course I was taking on top of my A-levels in French, Travel and Tourism, and Photography.Her instructions were quite simple, just take out the cake once the timer went off. Unfortunately for me, when I returned to the class I found my classmate flirting with the girl she liked across the room whilst my cake burned charcoal black and filled the room with smoke.

And of course, there is the story of the lying, cheating, arsehole that broke my heart. But that's another story for another day.

To simply put it, I've always had a few trust issues. So why I agreed to this was beyond me.

"And he likes to drink a cup of warm milk and be read a story before bed. Oh, he's never really been good away from home before either; can't even attend a sleepover without returning home in the early hours of the morning. He's not really allergic to anything, but he doesn't like strawberries and he may convince you he's allergic to them. You're stopping by the house in Northwich, correct? I know it's a long drive, but Edward having clothes and stuffed animals of his own may help him out. Or feel free to crash at the house if you'd like -"

"Annabelle, I think I've got it. I have taken care of a child before, and she was only two and a half." I nod my head, but continue to jot notes down on the pad Harry had brought me.

I'm a chronic worrier, sue me.

"I know and I trust you, it's just Edward can be a bit particular when it comes to some things. And I don't want you to be alarmed if he does or asks for something and you don't know how to handle it. You've got my number, right? That was the first thing I gave to you?"

"Phone number, home address, and house key, the first things you threw at me as I walked into the door." I nod my head, glancing down at my various keys that dangle from his hand. "I've also got the contact information to Edward's pediatrician, as well as the key to his flat so if anything goes wrong we can pay him a visit." He jokes, causing me to calm a bit and flash him a tiny grin.

"I'm sorry, I've just never done this before. He's only ever stayed with our parents or with me and my ex. He's taken quite a liking to you, so I really hope you won't have any issues."

"Great." Harry smiles largely and stands from the end of my bed where he had perched himself around ten minutes ago. "Now is he a bigger fan of a sky diving outing or a nice night at the pub?" My eyes widen at his question and I make a move to get out of bed and run to find my brother. "I'm joking, Belle."

I heave a sigh and relax back into my bed, shaking my head at the doctor. Over the last twenty-four hours he's really lightened up quite a bit, no more harsh orders or uptight attitudes.

"Why do you call me that?"

"What? Belle?" I nod my head. Harry shrugs and leans up against the wall near the foot of my bed. "Don't know, just rolls off the tongue. And besides Annabelle is just too long."

"I'll just make a quick trip and change my name as soon as I'm released then."

Before Harry can make some snide remark, Niall and Edward come rushing into the room. Niall looks absolutely exhausted, but still keeps a larger than life smile on his lips. Edward, on the other hand, looks all wound up on what I can only presume is sugar.

After Harry and I sorted out that Edward was going to stay with him until I'm released, I called my parents' lawyer's office and arranged a meeting with the lawyer. Thankfully, she dropped everything because she's like that, apparently. We sat down with a copy of my parents' will, only to find out what I already knew.

If in the case of death to both, Jacqueline Rose Chambers and Philip Michael Chambers, Edward Philip Chambers would go into the custody of his only living relative, Annabelle Reid Chambers.

"How are you feeling, Annie?" Edward asks once he's standing to the side of my hospital bed. He reaches up and places both hands on my thigh that's hidden under the scratchy hospital blanket.

"I'm feeling just fine, my love."

"Then why can't I go home with you, or mummy and daddy?" I bite my lip and sigh at the question.

He's starting to get more curious as to what happened to our parents and why they aren't here. Apparently he's been asking a lot to Niall, wondering where they are. I just haven't figured out the right time or way to tell him.

"Because you're going to have a sleepover with Harry." I answer with a forced happy look on my face. "I mean I wish I could have a sleepover with him, he's so fun! And he's got a cat, you love cats Edward." Eddie perks up at the mention of a cat.

For years he's been begging my parents for a pet, but they didn't think he was quite old enough for the responsibilities of one. Plus, a cat or a dog is a lot of work.

"I'm sure if you ask Harry he'll let you stay up and watch a film tonight as well." Edward turns on the heels of his sneakers and looks over at Harry, who hasn't moved from his post at the end of my bed.

"Can we? Can we watch a film?" Harry pushes his body from the wall and walks over to Edward, kneeling to be eye level with the child.

"Of course we can. We're going to run to your house and grab some clothes and whatever you want. We can grab all the films you want!" Edward lets out a cheer which brings a smile to my lips, my person not feeling very guilty for having him sent away. "We can get pizza for dinner tonight as well."

"But you can only get pizza if you promise to give me a call before bed." The boy doesn't even think it over for a millisecond before he's agreeing to the term I've laid out. But let's face it, he's five years old and in love with pizza.

Niall walks around the boy, who is back to speaking with Harry about their plans for the night. Niall's got a clipboard in hand and pulls a pen out of his lab coat pocket.

"These are his discharge papers and all I need is a couple signatures from you." He says, handing the items over to me.

I take the two things in hand and begin to look over the papers in hand. Occasionally I find myself darting my eyes towards the chatting boys on the floor, laughing about something Harry had said. Tears begin to brim in my eyes, myself beginning to feel incredibly overwhelmed with everything.

I'm sending Edward away with practically a stranger, a very kind at that. I haven't told my five year old brother that our beloved parents were killed in a car accident and that I am now going to be his legal guardian. I'm hospitalized and constantly worrying about the future for us.

"Annabelle, are you okay?" Niall whispers from his post at my bedside, ensuring not to draw the attention of either Harry or Edward. With lips sucked into my mouth and a single tear dripping down my cheek, I shake my head a bit. "What's wrong?"

"Everything." I simply answer, peering around Niall to see the plain-clothed doctor giving Edward a high-five.

"Okay." He shushes me lightly as I let a little cry escape my lips. Niall leans across me and presses the call button. "I'll have one of our nurses take Edward downstairs to get him a snack and then the three of us will have a chat. Alright?" I barely get out a nod before a nurse is waltzing into the room with a happy smile on her lips.

"Ah, Chloe, would you be so kind as to take little Edward here down to the canteen to get a snack?" Both Harry and Edward look up at the woman, shocked at her presence. Harry stands from the ground and clears his throat, creating a manly stance in front of the woman.

"Come along Edward," She says, extending her hand, "do you like custard?"

That boy is going to be a chunky little one after this stay.

Edward doesn't even look back to ask for permission, just takes the woman's hand after a glance to Niall and the two leave the room. As soon as he's gone a let an audible cry leave my lips, my hand immediately coming up to shield from anymore sounds.

"I'm a horrible person." I cry out into my hand, glancing to the two men in the room. Normally, I hate crying in front of other people, but lately I just haven't been able to help it.

"What makes you think that?" Harry ponders, slowly taking a seat at the end of my bed.

"I haven't told him about mum and dad, and I just have no idea how to. Even after that stupid appointment with the psychiatrist. If I wait until I'm released, then he'll resent me when he's older because I didn't tell him for days. But I fear if I tell him now then neither of us will be able to function properly. I don't know how to help him understand when I can't even understand it myself."

My hands keep clenching around the pen and clipboard, over and over, not having a comfortable place to rest. It's a nervous tick I picked up somewhere in the past. Whenever I was sad, scared, or anxious I'd clench my hands tight and then release them or I'd bite the insides of my cheeks until they are raw and bleeding.

"You're going to take him back to the house and I already know the first thing he's going to do is call out to our parents like he does everyday after school. He's not going to get a reply and then he'll ask where they are and you can't lie to a child like that. You can't say, they're just out at the shoppes, or they're on vacation. No, they're dead and they're not coming back. And I'm just here, helpless and confused and overwhelmed about everything.

"I don't have a job because who is going to hire a girl with a degree in culinary arts? A girl that wasn't even top of her class, just an averagely good cook and baker. I'm a failure of a person. I live at home in my childhood bedroom with Spice Girls posters still up on the wall. And that house, my parents could barely afford the payments, so that means that we'll have to move. I'll have to move Edward from the only home he's ever known."

My bloodshot eyes meet with the green irises from the man sitting near my feet, then shift to the icy blues at my side. They're both quiet, with solemn and pitiful looks on their faces. I can't tell you what they're thinking, but I know they can't be happy thoughts.

"Worst of all, I'm sending a five year old away with a stranger. I do have full trust in you, Harry, but what kind of a person does that make me? Am I negligent for allowing this? And I thought that once I don't have to worry about Edward for a bit that I'd get to relax before being thrust into a world of insanity. But no, because once he leaves I've got to meet with the lawyer again, start job and flat searching, and worst of all plan my parents funeral, which I can't even start to do until I've told Edward the truth."

Full circle, everything always comes full circle.

"Listen to me, Belle."

Harry speaks up, silencing me from my anxious-filled rambling that I've done this far.

"I can't tell you that everything is going to be alright, because neither of us know what happens in the future. I can't tell you what to do, or what decisions to make, I can only extend a helping hand.

"Maybe you tell Edward now or maybe you wait until you're released, but I don't think he would ever resent you. He loves you much too much to ever do that to you. There will be days where you'll do something to piss him off, but he'll get over it, because he loves you."

Though he's trying to make me feel better, the tears started to pick up the moment he opened his heart shaped lips to speak.

"You have time. It may seem as though everything needs to be accomplished right away, but you do have some time to sit back and take a deep breath. You have time to mourn your parents death, you have time to heal, and you have time to make these big decisions.

"The world still turns, never slowing down, even when it feels as if minutes are hours and hours are days." 


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