Shyla was the first one up the stairs, and she entered the bathroom ahead of the two guys. Essie was dressed, but had collapsed in front of the bathroom mirror, a hairbrush in her hand. Shyla pressed her hands to Essie’s face, and checked her pulse. The beat was rapid, and Essie’s skin was ice-cold.
Shaun pushed in front of Henry and gently scooped Essie into his arms. He carried her through to the spare bedroom and placed her tenderly onto the bed. Henry appeared with the saline drip and inserted the needle into her arm. “Maria said this contains any nutrients she may need. Until we can feed her properly, this will keep her alive. She won’t be able to eat much, but we must give her small meals every few hours.”
Shaun nodded, and Shyla grabbed Henry’s hand. They both looked at each other, and quietly left the room.
Shaun at down on the edge of the bed and took Essie’s cold hand in his. He was glad his parents were out of town for the next two weeks, because his mother – Charlotte – would have been horrified at what her youngest son had experienced in the last week. But, she would have some advice for now, since she had raised three boys, and had experienced the various broken bones and other injuries involved in raising boys. Shaun suddenly missed Charlotte’s warm touch. He had never felt so lost before.
The girl in the bed didn’t move, and Shaun stayed with her until the rising sun appeared in the window behind him.