Crash and Burn
Chloe was in the middle of enjoying her ‘me time’ on the couch.
It’s eleven o’clock in the night, and she was just lying there like a potato on her couch. It had been a long day for her, not that she’s complaining considering that she loved her job.
Chloe Sweets had been living her biggest dream at the moment.
She owned The Sweets Cakeshop on the corner of the peak road-Alvero City. It’s not a big fancy store, but it’s enough for a starter. The shop had been open for three months and based on all the previous income, and loyal customer, they could say that their store had quite done well in the city. Chloe, with help from her sister Melanie sweets, had been working their best to build their business from the ground.
But when her phone was ringing, she’d never thought that it would be the greatest challenge in her life to come.
Chloe furrowed her eyebrows when she didn’t recognize the number and the screen only shows some short random number.
“Miss Chloe Sweet?” said the voice on the other end.
“Yes, this is she..”
“I’m calling from The Stanton Hospital—”
The rest of the conversation became blurry in her ears, she just made it brief before changing her clothes and went to the hospital in hurry by the first cab she found on the road. Something happened to Melanie and they said she had to come right away.
Is Melanie okay? What is happening? – She suddenly became very anxious, not to mention the sound of sirens that she heard not far from her.
The moment she got to the hospital, she ran to the front desk and asked about Melanie.
“Yeah, I’m looking for my sister, Melanie Sweets? I’m her younger sister, Chloe Sweets.” She said between her panting.
“Room 520, I can take you there.” The nurse called her friend to cover up for her at the front desk.
“I-is she okay? I just got the call and rushed in here.” As they walked toward the room, Chloe noticed two officers were standing in the hallway.
“She’s okay, just a few scratches but she’s fine and resting now—”
“How did she—what happened?” Chloe and the nurse had reached where the officers are standing.
“Officers Tate and Brandon will explain more in detail, about the accident.” She said while she's introducing Chloe to the officers at the same time. Chloe briefly nodded and mentioned her name before listened carefully to officer Tate’s words.
“Miss Melanie and Mr. Scott were in a car accident a few hours ago... They both fine, and in my opinion, they're lucky enough to dodge the blast in time.“
Chloe listened with her mouth opened, not sure if she heard right and there were too many questions in her mind.
“I- I don’t understand— how did it happen? I m-mean, a blast?” Chloe stammered. Chloe’s thought slightly back to the moment when Melanie told her that she was going to go out with Scott.
The officers' paused for a while with that ‘look’, the look when someone about to tell you something worse but they feel sorry in advance.
“Ma’am, I think you should sit down.” Said officer Brandon, and Chloe slowly followed his suggestion. “They both drunk... Ms. Melanie drove the van and got it crashed inside your cakeshop—”
Chloe's jaw dropped open in disbelief.
“Their crash started a fire near the main gas pipe that quickly turned to a blast. They were lucky they got out before the van blows up too.” Officer Brandon slowly explained.
“When the medic and the firefighter got there, Mr. Scott’s blood alcohol content was at 0.10% and Ms. Melanie’s was at 0.08%. Maybe that’s the reason why Ms. Melanie was the one behind the steering wheel in the first place..” Officer Tate pursed his lips for a second. “They’d crashed straight into your shop.”
Feeling shocked, Chloe was speechless with tears that started to fill her eyes.
“We’re very sorry to tell you all of these, Ms. Chloe..” said officer Brandon.
Hearing her name mentioned, Chloe looked back at the officers. She slightly shook her head and wiped her tears before saying, “T-thank you, officers... What about the penalties—I mean, should I do something t-to—“
“No ma’am, I don’t think there’s something you should do related to their obligation. However, somebody will be in touch with them from the court, to deliver the penalties letter—of course after they get better.”
Chloe weakly nodded with her empty look before thanking the officers for the last time. She took a set of deep inhale-exhale breaths and turned her face to the nurse who’s still with her the whole time.
“S-so I can get inside right now..?” Chloe slowly stood up.
“Actually…” The nurse carefully said. “We had run some tests, and it turns out Ms. Melanie is pregnant..” the nurse pressed her lips before continuing. “After your sister gave the information about her period, we were obliged to run the test and the test showed that the baby is seven weeks old.”
Chloe’s lips parted in shock once again, she took a deep breath again, even though her head pounding with a huge rush in her head. How could she do this? So reckless like this?! Drinking while having a baby inside her belly—wait does she know? – She thought inside.
“Did she knew..?” Chloe asked the nurse.
“Not before the car accident, but she knew the test result..”
“Okay... Thank you..” Chloe gently said.
Chloe took a deep inhale and shook her head as if it helped to ease all the overwhelmed feelings inside her.
How could she mess up like this? I only got her in this world, my only family... Get it together, Chloe. What matters most is she safe... and you’re gonna be an aunt.—She’s encouraging herself.
Chloe was mad—very mad at the moment, but they’d got no parent ever since they were in high school and it had always been the two of them against the world.
So, let’s take one step at a time. She said to herself.
Chloe slowly opened the door, by the moment she came into the room Melanie burst out crying. Her face got a few scrapes from the accident but other than that Chloe felt relieved to see that her sister was okay.
“Chloe, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to—everything just out of hand!” She cried in Chloe’s arms.
Chloe took a moment before speaking, considering everything that has happened is very hard to digest. “Shh... What matters most is you’re okay now... I.. Let’s talk about it later..”
“B-but we’ve worked so hard for the shop. I-I’m sorry!” She’s sobbing hard.
“Melanie, just—” Chloe sighed to keep herself from crying. “I just don’t want to talk about the shop now.” She slightly looked down.
“They said you’re pregnant..” Chloe continued.
Melanie looked guilty all of a sudden. She weakly nodded. “I just knew about it here.. If I knew... I won’t even—” She took a deep sighed.
“Does he knows? Scott?”
“The nurse said he’s still unconscious, but they’ll let him know, I’m sure of it.”
Chloe nodded in silence. She knew deep down she’s very disappointed in her big sister but this was not the right time to blame her. Even though she couldn’t understand why, as the younger sister she often be the one who’s taking care of her more than the other way around, the way big sister was supposed to be the one that she could count on.
“Are you mad?” She was still sobbing.
Chloe shook her head in silence for a while, before saying, “I just wish you’d be more careful and making a less reckless choice..”
“I’m sorry, Chloe.. I’ll find a way, I promise!” She cried again.
“Let me worry about the shop... You need to handle a lot of things with Scott, especially with a baby on the way.” Chloe said. “Please, Melanie.. You can’t do whatever pleases you anymore—”
“I know,” Melanie said with her glassy eyes. “I promise, I’ll change..”
Chloe hugged her sister before telling her that she had to go home and check their shop to consider the next step. Or to save what’s left? Chloe sighed while wiping her tears that started to fall from the moment she’d left Melanie’s room.