Solace ~ h.s.

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

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8. ⪻ 08 ⪼

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H.

I loved medical school.

It was the best four years of my life. From the late night studying to the hands on interactions with patients; I found my love and passion in life. Call me a nerd, but I would much rather spend my days in a hospital with patients than having a relaxing night off. Which is perfectly fine with me, because when I start to relax, bad things happen.

Take That Night for an example.

I had just gotten off a twenty-four hour shift that had turned into a thirty hour shift. I really probably shouldn't have been driving to my mum's house, or at all, but she was desperate to see me after not having so for nearly two months. Things were calm, quiet, even with the rain pouring down around the vehicles.

I suppose the truck had slid on the collected water and collided with the Chambers' car, sending them down into the river. With the barrier of the bridge being of an older make, it didn't do much to hold the car on the road. My vehicle came right onto the overpass of the river as their car fell.

Chaos.

At the hospital, right when I had laid down in the doctor's' lounge to get some rest, Niall came charging in with the news of Edward's soon to be discharge.

He was frantic, pacing at the side of my bunk. He rambled on about orders, procedures, and protocol. I let him go off for a while, but after nearly ten minutes I had to step in.

Chaos.

So now, with me lying here in bed, finally ready to drift off into a much needed slumber, my relaxation is yet again disrupted.

Sleeping is the only real peace I get, unfortunately it always takes a while for me to get there. So I go through the tossing and turning just to get to a comfortable position. I try reading before bed, watching a bit of television, even counting sheep.

Tonight, rather this morning, I thought I'd finally be able to lay my head against the pillow and drift off. I thought, but my mind just kept wandering to a grey-eyed beauty lying all alone in the hospital.

In all my years as a doctor, never had I had a patient that I've connected with so easily. Most girls, that are lucky enough to have me as their doctor, are either incredibly unintelligent, snobbish, or just plain boring. And most of the time they're in and out like the snap of your fingers. And besides, I don't make it my duty to pick up women on the job, that's just unprofessional.

But Annabelle is a different case altogether.

I value her strength and bravery in such a time. If I ever lost my parents I don't think I'd be half as strong as she, and I don't even have a younger brother or sister I would need to be responsible for. I would crumble, yet has she? Not entirely.

I caught her crying early this morning, after returning from her brother's room, but didn't quite know what to say in that moment. I ended up keeping a watchful eye until she ultimately cried herself to sleep. I've found she likes to bottle things up, but with all the commotion, her bubbling point is all too low. And I understand, we all have our limits.

I enjoy the way she sees light at the end of this long and dark tunnel. There were times today that were spent joking about how overbearing she was about Edward, my teasing comments bringing light laughter to the room. All too quickly the smile on her face in the laughter in the air was gone, but at least there had been some.

The way she is with her family is truly incredible. For a twenty-two year old in this day in age it's quite fascinated to see her loyalty to her family. Many young adults distance themselves from their families, or don't make enough time for them, myself falling victim in this category. But Annabelle, she seems like a different person. The love she shares for her brother is beyond noble, especially in such a time.

And I can't be completely honest without saying that I've sat and admired her undoubtable beauty. Is it wrong of me to find a person in her position so beautiful?

I shouldn't be feeling such a way towards a patient, a vulnerable woman who has lost nearly everything. Annabelle isn't just some patient though. No, she's entirely unique.

I admire the way her perfectly plump, yet extremely chapped, lips kiss against her slightly crooked teeth in concentration.

I hate the tears that fall from her eyes, wishing to stop them altogether. I can't help but notice the tears that cloud her eyes only enhance the beauty of the grey irises.

She is, in fact, the epitome of beauty, pure. Face free of makeup, real beauty, not this synthetic beauty that women strive for in today's society. She has her imperfections, but we all have them, they make us unique in our own, even if we despise them.

The first time the nickname Belle escaped my lips it went completed unnoticed by myself. It just felt so familiar on my tongue; it felt so right in a time that was so wrong. When the thought of what I had uttered finally registered in my brain, I expected her to sternly tell me she wanted to be called Annabelle. Alas, she said nothing, and has since said nothing of my nickname towards her.

Perhaps she liked the name?

That's preposterous, Harry. She couldn't possibly relish in the fact of your nickname for her. She has other things on her mind.

My thoughts consumed me so much that I barely noticed the startled screams that appear within my flat. When the screaming rings out in the dead of the early morning, my brain thinks the worse upon the registration.

Someone's in the house.

Edward's hurt.

Something is seriously wrong.

My head and body react in a speed that I am all too familiar with. When there is screaming at a hospital, everyone is on red alert. When there is screaming within my home, I'm on a higher alert than red, if there is such a thing.

"Ed!" I call out, sprinting down the hall towards my guest bedroom, where the screams emit from. My arms push the door open completely, the wood smacking against the wall as I enter the room and look desperately around.

Edward lays in the center of the double bed, thrashing about and screaming at the top of his small lungs. He appears to be still asleep, but terrorized by the demons within his brain.

"Edward," I run to the bed, plopping down and beginning to shake the boy awake. "Come on, buddy." I say, a little more relaxed now that there isn't any immediate danger and he's not in any obvious physical pain. "Edward." I say loudly one last time.

The small boy darts up from his position, now awake and aware of his surroundings. His eyes dart around the dark room before settling on me. Immediately he's in my arms, wailing and clinging onto me as if I'm a life raft.

"Shhh, Ed, it's alright." I console, clutching him close to me. His tears roll from damp cheeks onto the shoulder of my grey tee, soaking the fabric at an alarming rate.

Minutes pass and still tears cascade. They seem everlasting; and I hope for Edward's sake and mine, they halt soon.

"What's the matter? Huh?" I ask, once his wails are reduced to sniffles and small hiccups. "Bad dream?" Edward nods his head against my shoulder.

With him calming down little by little, I scoot away from the boy a bit. He still sits half on my knee and half on the mattress. His cheeks are red with the force of his wiping fists and his hair disheveled with restless sleep.

"Want to tell me what happened?" Edward sends a minuscule nod in my direction before straightening up as if ready to go into battle.

"I saw the car drive into the water and everyone was screaming. My sister was crying and yelling for my mummy and daddy, but they looked like they were sleeping."

My heart clenches at the story, a recollection of what he surely went through that night. I can't imagine what is going on in his head, especially when the only people who know what he's going through are either dead or in the hospital.

"Where are my mummy and daddy, Harry?"

As a doctor, I want to tell him the truth, breaking awful news has always been my job.

I went through an entire workshop on breaking tough news to families and friends of deceased patients. But nothing can prepare you for the horrors in the real world.

No one tells you that a child's mother will scream in your face, tell you you're lying, even hit you. They don't mention the anger thrust in your direction after a brother finds out his sister is brain dead. There's only so much you can learn from a book or lecture.

But as Edward's current guardian and friend, I just can't do that to him or Annabelle. I can't tell him that his parents are in a better place and he won't get to see them again. I can't tell him that he can't hug or kiss his parents goodbye.

"They're safe." I settle on, taking the boy in my arms again.

Technically they are safe, in whatever higher power you believe in, if you believe in one. They're now safe from the dangers this world.

"I want Annie." He begins to cry again, wiping his snot and tears away with the back of his hand.

"She's still at the hospital, buddy. She's probably sleeping."

Edward pulls his eyes from my shoulder, bringing the orbs up to my face. His pouted lip brings the familiar ache to my heart, much like the ache I get when I look at Annabelle.

"Please."

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