The Reflection Of Love

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11

***

I gasped as I stared up at the ceiling, felt my eyes take a few moments until they came right again. I blinked and then I blinked again, touched my hand up and to my head almost immediately as it ached lightly.

“Morning.”

“Morning?” I repeated, whispered as I took in another breath, looked to Oliver’s mum as she got up from her seat next to where Oliver was asleep.

Why was he always sleeping here?

“Guess who was Sleeping Beauty for a bit,” Helen smiled softly, moving to take my hand with hers. “How do you feel?” She asked and I went to answer but stopped myself because I didn’t really know. I felt fine but why did I feel fine?

The pain was gone but now there was new pain. A stinging at my tummy, tense muscles at my shoulders and fragile nerves in my hand.

“What happened?” I whispered, remembering it was about my appendix. The pain happened because of that and Dr Spart had me taken into surgery immediately. “The surgery.”

“Your appendix was about to burst,” she whispered and I looked at her in shock. “And not because of the accident. They said the crash saved your life, if they hadn’t have been able to get you in as fast as they did, it would have done worse for you,” she sat down on the side of the bed as I swallowed hard, trying to let it come to my head slowly. “They fixed it all, patched you up. Now it’s all about healing,” she smiled softly, raising her hand to brush back my hair.

“It was all about healing before too,” I whispered, glancing down at myself as I lowered my hand and felt how there was a bandage wrapped around me tightly.

“Missy,” Nia greeted with a big smile as she suddenly appeared. “Good to see you awake, young lady. How’s everything?”

“Um,” I frowned but then glanced to Oliver. He looked so funny when he was asleep. Funny but a little cute I guess. “Why’s he always sleeping in my room?” I whined a little, managing to get them both to laugh lightly. “Helen, he can’t leave me alone.”

“He’s a boy,” Nia shrugged, moving to my side to take my hand softly and start my morning exercises. “Confusing.”

“Agreed,” Helen smirked, getting up. “I think since he knows there’s nothing he can do to help Liam, he wants to be here where he can help you. He might not show it, Sare but he cares for you. You mean something to me and to Liam and that’s enough to mean something to him,” she looked from me to her son, shook her head lightly as I rethought about that. I believed her. How couldn’t I? She was his mother, she knew him the best and she knew things about him he didn’t even know about himself. She knew the truth and just maybe, that’s the truth.

“Big softy,” I murmured and she chuckled lowly, walking to him as I looked down while Nia pressed the pen lid to each of my fingertips. “Hey, I’m feeling it a bit more.”

“Awesome,” she smiled and took my other hand. I felt it all as she ran the pen over my hand and pressed it into my finger nerves. She then moved to my elbows and then helped me stretch my arms out to help my shoulder. Next were my toes, feet and legs.

When she checked over the pain and my muscles and nerves in my stomach, Oliver suddenly woke up jumping.

“Hey,” Helen said softly, touching his arm as I looked to him, sitting up with my feet to the cold ground. He took a moment to glance around before he got up and walked out in a rush. “Oliver,” she called, getting up to follow him out.

“What do you think he was dreaming about?” I whispered and bit my tongue softly as a small ache pinched where the stitches were when she ran her hand over them, her other pressing to my back.

“I wouldn’t have a clue,” she answered. “Deep breath please,” she said and I nodded, took in a deep breath and let it back out. “Any pain other than the ordinary?”

“Just the breaks, bruises, cuts and stitches.”

“Perfect,” she smiled, taking her hands back. “Lay down for me and tell me what’s for breakfast today.”

“Everything. I’m so hungry,” I answered, moving with her as she gently lowered me down onto my back. She smiled at that just as I looked passed her when my parents came in, my smile and happiness dying down. “Um, just the usual thanks.”

“Of course,” she replied, giving them a polite smile as she took her clipboard and made her way out again.

“You weren’t here when I woke up,” I whispered, closing my eyes when Mum leaned down and hugged me lightly.

“I’m here now. I waited all night and went home to sleep. They didn’t call when you woke up.”

“It’s fine,” I shook my head lightly, touched Dad’s hand as he gently rubbed my cheek. “Did they tell you?”

“Yeah, honey,” he answered, sitting next to me on the bed.

“It was close,” I whispered, closing my eyes again as I felt tears cloud my eyes. “And if it wasn’t because of the crash then we wouldn’t have known until it was too late. But I feel so bad because it’s done me benefits but it’s done Liam bad and he’s stuck in that coma and I’m sad, Mum. I’m sad and I’m scared because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” I cried silently, looked to her as she leaned into me, her arms coming around my neck. “I miss you guys so much and right now I just want my parents. I need you to love me, to be here for me.”

“Of course we’re here for you,” Dad put in and I shook my head.

“You’re only here because you have time and you think it’s what I want. I want you to be here because it’s what you want. Because you want to see me and you want to know how I am,” I sniffed my tears, glanced to Mum as she caressed my cheeks softly. “Don’t be here for anyone else but us. Be here for me and for yourself. Because I’m your daughter, because you love me and you want to be here for me.”

“Shh,” Mum whispered, wiping away my tears as I leaned my head back and swallowed hard. “We are who we are, Sarah. I can’t change and I won’t but I do love you and I never want you to forget it-.”

“Mum.”

“Sarah,” she cut me off sternly as my tears came back. “You’re okay. You’re coming home in a week’s time and you’re going to be okay,” she said, standing up and looking to the golden watch on her thin wrist. “I have to go but I’ll be back soon, promise,” she blew a kiss to me, turned and made her way out as I felt my throat clog in tears.

“It might seem harsh but you’ll understand when you’re older,” Dad said, taking steps back. I went to stop him but when my mouth opened, I cried out because I couldn’t believe they were walking away from me right now. I covered my mouth with my hand in the sheets, felt as tears poured out of my eyes as I closed them tightly.

How could they?

I just needed my parents. I needed my mum most and she couldn’t even consider staying for me.

“Did I just pass your-Oh, Sarah,” Helen dropped her hands and came over to me, moving next to me close and wrapping her arms around me as I shifted to lean into her chest.

“They don’t love me and they don’t care. I-I asked them to stay,” I sniffed, shook my head slightly. “I told them to be here because they wanted to, not because they have to and they both left. They don’t want me.”

“Shh, it’s okay,” she touched her hand to my head as I cried, felt my stomach ache from the position I was sitting in and the fact that I was crying, causing some muscles in my stomach to hurt. “Sarah, you have me and you have Danielle and Mike. What about Liam and Oliver? And your other friends?”

“It’s different. These are my parents, Helen. I’m a disappointment to them and I’m not worth them saving or caring about. It hurts knowing that.”

“I know it does,” she whispered, starting to rock me gently. “But you’re strong, Sarah and you have so many people who love you too. I love you like my own daughter, I know that’s the same for Danielle-.”

“What’s wrong now?” I heard Oliver ask as he came in. I closed my eyes tight, moving my hand up to cover my face.

“Oliver, please leave,” Helen said demandingly yet softly.

“No. Tell me what’s wrong. Are you still hurting?”

“No goddamn it,” I snapped, shifting to push him away. “Go away, Oliver. I don’t want you in here right now.”

“What did I do? Why do you need to push me away?” He growled back as Helen clicked her fingers in a snappy kind of way.

“I won’t tell you again. Leave us alone for a bit.”

“Mum-.”

“Oliver, do as you’re told,” she ordered and he grumbled something and stormed back out as I leaned back into her, my tears now no more.

“Was he okay before?”

“He’s fine. Just a little nightmare that scared him. He gets them when he’s stressed and worried and he’s been a lot of both these past few days,” she whispered back, turning more to me and hugging me better. “It’s draining him out. He’s exhausted and I don’t know how long he’ll be able to go on like this. He’s not eating, he’s sleeping only a few hours a night. I don’t like it.”

“Neither,” I murmured, touching my fingers to my lips. “It’s not good for him.”

“This isn’t good for anyone, honey,” she breathed and I looked down as the curtains opened again. Nia walked in with a tray of my breakfast but after her followed Danielle.

“I’ll put this all here for you. When you’re ready, I’m sure you’re more than capable at sorting yourself out for that,” Nia smiled, putting the tray down on the table.

“Thank you,” Danielle smiled as she passed and made her way out.

“Oli’s sent you as his spy, hasn’t he?” Helen questioned and Danielle chuckled lowly.

“Won’t let me back into Liam’s room until I find out what’s going on in here. It’s fine, you don’t have to tell me. I know Liam’s not going to get up and wander off anytime soon,” she smiled softly at me, managing to quirk my lips slightly. “But is everything alright?”

“Yeah. I’m just being a baby,” I sighed, wiping my eyes.

“We’ll allow it,” Helen put in, smiling a little as she leaned in and kissed my forehead softly. “Let me go deal with my little twit, he can’t keep you out of your son’s room,” she said to Danielle as she got up and made her way out as I laughed a little at the nickname.

“Hungry?” Danielle asked, gesturing to the food.

“Starving,” I replied, nodding but wincing as I pushed myself up. She pressed the button for my bed to sit up so I could lean back against it before she dragged the table across and set it down to the right height.

“How’s Liam?” I asked, watching as she shook up my orange juice.

“The same, I guess. Maybe even doing better than yesterday,” she shrugged softly, smiling lightly. “He’ll be fine though. I have hope and I have faith. He’s a fighter and I know he’ll wake up. Maybe soon, some time. As long as it’s one day.”

“They said in a few weeks didn’t they?” I asked next and she nodded but I saw the tears start in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m sure it’s not your favourite topic.”

“It is what it is, my dear,” she shrugged lightly, taking a sip from my juice suddenly.

“Hey,” I frowned but smiled a little, watched her finish up and hold the rest to me. “Orange is my favourite.”

“Oh me too.”

“I hate it,” a deeper, masculine voice put in. I looked up to Oliver as he came to my side, quick to snatch a strawberry. “Too sour.”

“Like some strawberries,” I laughed when his face scrunched up and he put his tongue out for a moment.

“Am I allowed to see Liam now, mister?” Danielle asked and he paused and nodded but then waved up a hand.

“Did you find out what I wanted to know?”

“Yes. She was just being a baby.”

“Right. Only you, babygirl,” Oliver looked to me and I scowled at the name as Danielle gave him a weird look but just shook her head and made her way out without another word.

“This isn’t safe.”

“I agree. Strawberries can blow people up sometimes,” he answered, getting onto the bed next to me, making me wince slightly as he pushed me over with the side of his body.

“Why do you have to sit right there?” I asked, watching him kick his legs under the blankets, his feet tapping to mine lightly as I stared down. “Why are you so close?” I whispered, pausing before I turned my head and gave him a look. He shrugged, looked back at me in return. I took a small breath, trying to forget how close we were because I didn’t want to ruin the peace and rage up another war.

“I’m bored. I’m tired. I’m hungry. I come here and those boxes are ticked,” he pulled a face to say he was right while I frowned because I was stuck.

“I’m entertainment, sleep and food to you?”

“I’m never bored when I’m with you. You have a bed you can share and you have food,” he corrected, taking my spoon out of my hand to get some of my yoghurt.

“No! Oliver,” I shrieked, taking it back instantly before he drooled all over everything. “This is my breakfast. If you want food, go get your own.”

“Fine, I’ll starve,” he grumbled, leaning back as I suddenly remembered how he wasn’t eating because of Liam and the one time he was about to, I stopped him.

Idiot. I thought, mentally cursing but then taking a breath, a sigh.

“Fine,” I said, scooping some up and then holding it to him as he peeked an eye open and at me.

“For me? Really?”

“Take it before I change my mind,” I replied and he raised a brow before he closed his eyes again.

“I was just kidding. I don’t like yoghurt.”

“You don’t like anything, do you?” I put the spoon back into the bowl and leaned back, looking at him as he leaned up on an elbow, facing me.

“I like a lot of things actually.”

“Excluding your abs and hair?” I scoffed, leaning closer to challenge him while he clenched his jaw.

“I like your abs and hair,” his eyes looked up at my hair, which was oily because I hadn’t been able to shower for days. It was also curly and knotty because I hadn’t brushed it since the night before my appendix decided to give me hell.

“My abs are probably gone and my hair is a birds’ nest.”

“Tweet, tweet,” he whistled softly after, making me smirk a little at how smoothly he put that into the conversation.

“You’re so weird,” I shook my head softly, getting a spoonful of my breakfast and stuffing it into my mouth. I got two mouthfuls down and on my third, it missed my mouth when Oliver pushed it into my nose.

“Oliver,” I whined, getting the napkin as I looked at the yoghurt on my hospital gown too.

“You’ve got other clothes,” he shrugged.

“Does that make you lucky?” I questioned, looking back at him as he smirked, probably liking the sound of that.

“Sounds like me.”

“What? You being lucky?” I scoffed, rolling my eyes because that was insane and I didn’t even know why I was asking it. “The only lucky thing you have is a great mum.”

“Jealous are we?” He raised a brow but I shook my head.

“I don’t get jealous,” I shrugged, wiping my nose clean one more time to make sure I got it. “It is what it is. I’m grateful for her and Danielle,” I said, leaning back again when my tummy started tightening and knotting up painfully. “How long ago did you have your appendix removed?”

“Ah,” he frowned in though, making me stare at how suddenly attractive he got for a slit second. I blinked, shook the bad thoughts away and shifted slightly as he moved his arm up and along the bedframe.

“A while I guess?”

“Three years maybe,” he shrugged and I nodded gently, turning as I got my juice. I winced though when my stomach strung suddenly, making me place a hand down to it and move back in where I was comfortable. “Sarah, stop moving around. You’re just making things worse for yourself.”

“I was fine before though.”

“Only because of the medication. Now it’s wearing off and it’s going to feel shit for a while,” his arm dropped around my shoulders as I dipped my head against his chest, my eyes closed while I waited out the aches.

“Oliver, I really think you’re the sick one now,” I mumbled, frowning because now I was just confused. “What’s wrong with you?” I whispered, lifting my eyes to look at him and searched them. There was no anger like usual. There was hardly anything that told me he hated me.

This was wrong.

Oliver Frost didn’t hug me. He didn’t look after me. He didn’t care for me.

“What’s wrong with you?

“A few things,” I murmured and he chuckled lowly, looking down as he brushed his fingers to mine, the ones in the plaster. “Why are you being so nice to me? Tell me the real reason. Don’t blame it on Liam,” I said and his lips widened to a small smile, something good lighting up his eyes.

“I-.”

“Whoa!”

I turned my head, my eyes wide in shock and fright as Emma and Khloe came in, their eyes wide and their mouths open.

“Same bed? Same room? Same breakfast?!” Khloe exclaimed, pointing to my breakfast.

“I don’t see you two staying around to comfort her,” Oliver said blankly, his tone and expressions gone hard again. I sighed at that, shifting while he took his arm back and got out from next to me. “What?” He growled when they both gave him certain looks I missed. “It’s better than watching my best friend do nothing all day.”

“What? Trying to get into her pants?!” Emma snapped. “Fuck her up even more because you’re bored?”

“Shh,” I laid down, my head hurting now.

“No, Sarah,” Emma clapped her hands angrily. “He’s only here because your vulnerable. Because he has a chance to hurt you and be a bigger bully. Am I right?” She asked him but he just looked to the ground as he chuckled lowly. He muttered something I didn’t catch but Emma sure did as she gasped, curled her fists up as we watched him walk out, shaking his head.

“We’re not stupid!”

“Shh,” Khloe snapped, hitting her shoulder as I groaned from all the noise.

“Ladies,” Nia poked her head in. “Inside voices please.”

“Sorry,” Emma grumbled, coming over and sitting by me as I looked at her softly.

“You okay?”

“Are you?” Khloe questioned as Emma shrugged slightly. “Danielle called and said you had surgery. We were in school so we had to wait until recess. Sorry,” she murmured, scrunching her nose up lightly as I shrugged.

“It’s okay.”

“She’s had Oliver to look after her,” Emma muttered and I groaned a little. “I thought you hated him? Hated him to a point you couldn’t look at him-.”

“And then I was in a crash with his best friend, Emma. He’s been around and he’s hurting. We both are and he’s been here for me, okay? I think he’s actually trying to be better-.”

“Give me one reason why he would do that,” she cut me off, her tone sharp and deadly like her eyes. I looked over her softly and took a breath as I remembered Liam’s arms around me at the beach. We were so close, everything was so close to being perfect and full.

“Because Liam loves me and Oliver knows there’s no chance that he can break us apart-.”

“Wait,” Khloe blinked and raised a brow, moving her arms across her stomach. “So, he’s trying to be nice and make things better for Liam or for you?”

“Liam. And me. I don’t know really,” I shook my head gently and Emma rolled her eyes.

“Or he’s just trying to get onto your good side to break you for good. So much so, you can’t even love his best friend.”

“That’s stupid,” Khloe laughed a little, moving into Oliver’s spot next to me. I winced as her shoulder came over my hard, her movement moving me wince a lot.

“Khloe. Be gentle,” Emma said, taking her arm to pull her back and off me.

“Sorry,” she gave me an apologetic look and I returned a reassuring smile. “What have you and Oli been up to?”

“Fighting mostly. Then I had my surgery and he’s being kind to me. It’s weird,” I frowned a little but shrugged it off. “How are you two?”

“Good.”

“Meh,” Emma answered and I mentally rolled my eyes at that. Now she was in a mood, grumpy all because Oliver was here caring for me when no one else was.

“School?”

“Mayhem,” Khloe sighed, touching her hand up and through my hair softly. “Everyone’s heard about you and Liam now. Even the schoolboard but I guess they have to, right?”

“I don’t know,” I answered.

“They’re raising funds for you both to help with the medical bills. We all know those can get ridiculous,” Emma said and I nodded a little, half expecting that from the school because it always raised funds for students who needed it. “I went into your work too, explained it all and your boss wishes you all the best until you can get back there and kick it off.”

“Won’t be for a while I reckon,” I held up my hand. “Kind of need my hand to serve out plates. Thanks for that though, I totally forgot to call her.”

“All good,” she smiled, leaning her arms on Khloe’s legs before we got into different conversations and I was grateful that they came in and stayed with me for most of the day until their parents were calling and asking where they were if not school.

***

“I know, I know,” Nia said as she bent down to put the brakes on the wheelchair as I just stared at it. “But you need fresh air and the hospital has a wonderful garden. The wheelchair will become your next best friend if you allow it.”

“I don’t know,” I whispered, shaking my head softly.

I was lying in bed. I’d just finished my lunch and I’d been alone all morning so I would love to get out and about but the wheelchair… that was asking for too much.

It’d been two days since I woke up after my surgery and I was definitely feeling better with all the medications I was on but some of the time they’d wear off and I’d be in pain again. Not serious pain, just shots in the nerves every time I moved a certain way.

“I can walk.”

“Better be safe than sorry,” she replied, tapping the wheelchair softly. “This is the only way for now. Or you can just stay in bed all day like every day.”

“Fine,” I grunted. “I’ll go but the garden better be worth it.”

“A garden’s a garden,” she shrugged, smiling lightly as she helped me sit up. “After, we’re going to try for a shower okay because you need one.”

“Yeah, I know,” I breathed, laughing a little at the face she pulled. She smiled, moving her around me as I touched my feet to the cold ground and stood up. I made a noise as my feet, legs and tummy ached. My weight something compared to nothing. I’d been in bed for days. I hadn’t stood or walked for so long so it was all a bit weird.

“Whoa,” I murmured, taking a breath as I stepped slowly to the chair, closing my eyes as I turned and Nia helped me sit down in it. I can’t believe I’m in one.

Just like my brother. From someone who would hike mountains, surf and run marathons, I was in a wheelchair.

It’s okay. I told myself, watching as Nia put my feet on the pads below before she took the brakes off and I was rolling forward.

“It’s a beautiful day today. Not too hot but the suns out and the breeze is nice and cool,” Nia said, pushing me out of the unit and into the corridor which was busier than usual. I knew it was a Saturday though so of course more people were visiting today.

“Has Dr Spart said when I’ll be able to go home?” I asked, hoping it wasn’t too soon because I didn’t want to go home but I’d still like to know how long I had here.

“Yes, in fact he made it official this morning,” she answered, pushing me around a corner and then suddenly into an elevator as it opened up right on time with an elderly couple. “Good afternoon,” she greeted as I smiled politely.

“Not tomorrow, right?”

“Monday still,” she answered and I dropped my eyes for a moment, felt my chest pull in tightly. “You’ll continue to take your medication and rest at home. Come back for a check-up in a month’s time and we’ll go from there.”

“What about Liam?” I asked as the doors opened again and Nia pushed me out. I blinked a few times at all the sunshine shining in through the glass.

“We can never know exactly I’m afraid,” she said and I looked out at all the green grass, the tall trees and bright orchids in the garden beds.

“I won’t be able to see him,” I said, feeling my eyes suddenly water up. I wouldn’t be here when he woke up. I wouldn’t be able to get here when he did because my parents wouldn’t be around.

“You can see him after your shower. Cleaned up and pretty. He’ll like that, I’m sure,” she said and I smiled softly as I felt a few drops fall from my eyes. I sniffed, raised my hand to wipe them away.

“Cunningham,” I heard and looked back when Oliver passed me to shoo off Nia politely, saying, “I got her.”

“Yes sir,” she held her hands up. “When you come back inside, tell me because she needs a shower, okay?”

“Of course,” he called, pushing me away while I asked myself where the hell he came from.

“What are you doing?” I asked him, looking over the flowers as we passed through the garden beds, the trees tall and shading us from the hot sun.

“You were crying and she wasn’t doing anything about it.”

“I cry a lot, she’s used to it now,” I sighed, wiping my eyes again as I took a big breath to help myself calm down. He kept quiet and so did I until we passed through another set of doors. “Oliver.”

“Sarah,” he answered and I looked at the different people around as we passed through reception.

“Oliver. I’m not allowed out.”

“And they own you?” He questioned, scoffing and I went to protest but maybe this was okay. Maybe he could take me out for a bit, let me have some freedom.

I kept my mouth shut and head down, expecting someone to say something but we passed through the front doors without a hassle.

I guess there’s too many people and not everyone can know everyone. Plus, I was in my own clothes, not the gown so that made this a whole lot easier.

I looked at the street as cars passed to join the cue at the traffic lights before I looked to all the people walking by with dogs, children, shopping bags or partners.

“Oliver, I’m a big fat mess right now. I can’t be seen like this,” I told him, whining a little before I frowned at the black Suzuki that flashed it’s light and he stopped me at. “Can you even drive?”

“Yes. Manual, auto. Motorbike or car,” he answered, smirking a little as I scowled.

“A simple yes would have done the job.”

“Why are you grumpy?”

“Because I’m a mess and you stole me from the hospital,” I snapped, folding my arms over my chest because now this was just a stupid idea. I’m going to get into trouble, I know it and it’s going to be all his fault.

“I signed you out already. Don’t worry about it, alright?” He said, opening the passenger side door first before he came back.

“You’re going to be in big trouble.”

“I can handle any trouble, thank you,” he replied smugly, moving his arms around me to pick me up. I hissed lowly as my stomach hurt but it was bearable as he took me around the car and gently sat me in the car.

“It’s all on you if we get sent to jail.”

“For what?” He laughed, standing up. “They can’t send us to jail for being teenagers.”

“You were eighteen last time I checked.”

“I’m still allowed to be stupid and irresponsible,” he smirked and moved back to close the door. I scowled, shifting slowly to put my belt on as he put the wheelchair into the boot.

***

Long update to make up for the past few days xxo


Hope you liked it, comment your thoughts and next update will be up soon ❤❤

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