Crash and Burn
Chloe’s Crib, Alvero City.
Chloe Sweets lightly shook her bowl of popcorn. She was sitting on the couch, watching TV. After a long day at work a.k.a her shop, she thought she earned it.
Not that she complained about her job, she would never. She was living her biggest dream every day, running the Sweets Cakeshop, she would never ask for more. She owned the Sweets Cake Shop on the corner of the peak road at Alvero City.
It’s not a big fancy store, but it’s enough for a start. The shop had been open for three months and based on all the previous income, and loyal customers, they could say that their store had done quite well in the city. Chloe, with help from her sister Melanie sweets, worked their best to build their business from the ground.
Ah… there’s nothing like a sweet comfy me-time.
She was just saying those words inside when her phone suddenly rang. She looked at the clock, it was 11 pm.
Maybe it was Melanie who called, or her best friend, Amy, she slightly thought. She grabbed her phone and furrowed her eyebrows since she didn’t recognize the number. Little that she knew, it would be the greatest challenge in her life.
“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, especially when the nurse had told her that Melanie was there because she had an accident. Chloe just made it brief before changing her clothes and left for the hospital.
Clearly, the accident was pretty bad and she had to come right away. She quickly stopped a cab she first found and hopped inside. There were so many bad thoughts running through her head.
Is Melanie okay? What is going on? Please, God, don’t let me lose my sister too…
She suddenly became very anxious, not to mention the sound of sirens that she heard not far from there just made her feel worse.
The moment she arrived at 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.
As they walked toward the room, Chloe noticed two officers were standing in the hallway.
“I-is she okay? I just got the call and rushed in here.”
“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 were standing.
“Officers Tate and Brandon will explain more in detail about the accident.” She said while introducing Chloe to the officers at the same time. Chloe briefly nodded and mentioned her name before listening carefully to officer Tate’s words.
“Miss Melanie and Mr. Scott was in a car accident a few hours ago.. They’re both fine, and in my opinion were lucky enough to dodge the blast in time.“
Chloe listened with her mouth open, not sure if she heard right and there’s too many questions in her mind.
“I- I don’t understand— how did it happen? I m-mean, a blast?” Chloe stammered. Her mind was 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 the ‘look’. The look when someone was about to tell you something worse but they didn’t have the heart to tell it to you.
“Ma’am, I think you should sit down.”
Chloe slowly followed the officer’s suggestion.
“They were both drunk.. Melanie drove the van and 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 very lucky they’d got out before the van blew up too.” Officer Brandon slowly explained.
“When the medic and the firefighter got there, they found Scott’s blood alcohol content was at 0.10% and Melanie’s was at 0.08%. Maybe that’s the reason why 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 lifted her head and looked at the officers. She slightly shook her head and wiped her tears before speaking.
“T-thank you officers… I, um, what about the charges? —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 soon,—of course after they get better.”
Chloe weakly nodded with her empty look. She thanked the officers for the last time before taking her seat again. 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...ran some tests, and it turned out that Ms. Melanie is pregnant..” the nurse pressing her lips before continuing. “After your sister gave the information about her period, we were obliged to run the test and the test shows that the baby is seven weeks old...”
Chloe’s lips parted in shock once again, she took a deep breath even though her head was pounding a huge rush in her head.
How could she do this? Reckless and ignorant like this?!
Drunk while having a baby inside her belly! Driving while drunk and pregnant?! —Wait, does she know? – She thought inside.
“Does she know..?” Chloe asked the nurse.
“Not before the car accident, but she knows the test result..”
“Okay.. Thank you..” Chloe gently said.
Chloe took a deep inhale and shook her head as if it helps to ease all the overwhelmed feelings inside her.
How could she mess up like this? I only got her in this world, she’s the only family!
Get it together, Chloe. What matters most is that she is safe…! And...you’re gonna be an aunt.—She’s encouraging herself.
Chloe was actually mad, very mad at the moment, but they had no parents 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 in cries. 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 got out of hand!” She cried in Chloe’s arms.
Chloe took a moment before speaking, considering everything that had happened was very hard to digest.
“It-it’s… Let’s just not talk about it...now… What matters most is that you’re okay now...”
“B-but we’ve worked so hard for the shop!! And-and now I’m ruining it… I’m very sorry!” She’s sobbing hard.
“Mel..., just—” Chloe stopped and took a deep breath 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 found out about it here.. If I knew.. I won’t even—” She said while taking a deep sighed.
“Does he know? Scott?”
“...The nurse said he’s still unconscious, but they’ll let him know soon, I’m sure of it.”
Chloe looked down again and nodded in silence. She knew deep down, she was very disappointed in her, but Chloe realized it was not the right time to put the blame on her.
Even though she couldn’t understand why and as the younger sister, she was always 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?” Melanie was still sobbing.
Chloe shook her head in silence for a while.
“I just wished you’d be more careful and make less reckless choices..”
“I’m sorry, Chloe.. I’ll find a way, I promise!” She cried again.
Chloe sighed. “... 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..”
After staying there for another few minutes, Chloe gave her sister a hug before telling her that she had to go home, and check their shop to consider the next step.
Or maybe to save what’s left. She wished inside.
Chloe walked through the hall, sighing and wiping her tears that started to fall from the moment she’d left Melanie’s room.
Funny, how one moment you got all your dreams in your hands, and a moment later it was all shattered in one blink.