The Reflection Of Love

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8

***

I breathed out as I awoke by Oliver moving and a hand on my head.

“Morning, sweetheart,” I heard as my eyes opened and I frowned at my mother as she sat down beside me. My look turned to a glare and I looked away and to Oliver as he got up, rubbing his eyes and Dad giving him a look up and down.

“You’re sleeping with each other now?” He questioned, his tone nasty but I didn’t expect any less of him. He hated Oliver, more than I did.

“Fuck off, Steven. At least I was here for her,” Oliver growled back, the room heating up quickly as Dad shoved him back but he continued out and through the curtains, disappearing.

“I’m glad you’re okay, Sweetheart,” Mum smiled at me softly, ignoring what had just happened behind her.

“What the hell happened, Sarah? I thought Liam was more than capable to drive you to and from?” Dad butted in, coming to my other side as I tried pushing myself to wake up more but I was still so exhausted and I just wanted to go back to sleep.

“It doesn’t matter now-.”

“It sure as hell does-.”

“Steven,” Mum cut in smoothly, touching my chin to turn my head so I’d look at her. “How are you feeling?”

“Why would you care?” I whispered back, watched her curl her lips before she let go of my cheek and sat up. She was tall and beautiful which fooled people of her age. She looked ten years younger than what she was, which Dad was proud of but even he was being fooled. Neither of them cared for anyone but themselves. She only pretended she loved him to have a roof over her head every night, money for the things she wanted and someone for company.

Of course, they weren’t always liked that. Before my older brother died, they gave us time, they loved us and I loved them. But then he died and everything turned upside down.

They forgot what love was and just did things for themselves.

Now it’s all about them and their work. I’m just a thing they have to feed, other than that I’m nothing else to them apart from a beautiful specimen they can show off to their friends and work colleagues.

“If you’re going to act like that then we’ll just go.”

“Never needed you anyway-.”

“Shut up,” she snapped, clicking her fingers in front of my face. “Stop being so ungrateful. We’re here for you, Sarah and we love you.”

“Then why didn’t you come yesterday? Why weren’t you here when I woke up?” I asked, my eyes watering as I looked from her to my father. He was a tall man, broad shoulders and blonde hair turning grey.

“We’re here now are we not?” Mum replied, taking my good hand into hers.

“What were you doing? Answer me honestly,” I said and she looked up to Dad for a while but didn’t say anything.

“I talked to your nurse. Nice young lady,” Dad started, changing the topic to save Mum’s skinny ass. I looked away from them both.

“Can you just go? You’re doing nothing but upsetting me so please, leave me alone,” I said, looking to Dad but he just ignored me.

“Got a few good ones, don’t you?” He said, looking down at me before his eyes stayed on my legs and he stepped to the side to get the covers and put them on me.

“No. I’m really hot, Dad,” I said but I didn’t even know why I bothered because he just ignored me again. “Dad,” I tried and then looked away from him when he looked back blankly.

“There’s no need to cry, Sarah,” he said while tears fell from my eyes.

“I just want to be alone. Can you please go away?” I asked them, looked to Mum but she was looking down at her phone as she went through it.

“We brought you a bag of clothes and things and we’ll talk more later. I’m going to go discuss things with Danielle and Mike. Honey?” He asked Mum and she nodded but didn’t move until he was out of the room. She looked up at me as she put her phone away and she looked sad but then she managed to mask it up.

When I thought she was going to say something to me, she didn’t. She just got up and walked away without another word or look.

How was I supposed to be grateful for that?

“Visitors bright and early I see,” Nia smiled, appearing from around the curtain. “You still look pretty tired though.”

“You’ve got no clue,” I sighed, pushing myself to sit up more as she got the remote for my bed to sit it up for me. “They’re my parents. They took their time, didn’t they?”

“I’m sorry. You have me though,” she smiled slightly, managing to make a crack of my lips.

“True,” I smirked, looking down as she pulled back the covers again for me, telling me she’d probably heard a lot of what was going on with my parents.

“Your bruises look worse today but I promise tomorrow, they’ll start lighting up again. Soon enough, they’ll be all gone. Today, you can have the boot off if you wish. Your ankle might still be sore because of the swelling but it’ll be bearable.”

“Thank goodness. I’m ready when you are,” I said and smiled as she laughed softly.

I still needed to see Liam. I never yesterday because I couldn’t get into the wheelchair but Nia assured me I could today and I will be.

I’ll be seeing him soon.

I watched her as she unstrapped it and gently lifted my leg out of the boot to slip it out from under me. She put it to the side and put my foot back on the bed.

“Move it around for me, Sarah,” she said softly and I smiled gently as her cool fingers tickled me slightly while I moved my foot back and forth, side to side. “The muscle’s still tense and there’s still some bruising but it’ll be okay to walk on. If it’s not and it hurts too much to, we’ll wait it out another day. Everyone’s body’s different, we all take our own time to heal,” she looked up at me as I nodded but it felt fine as I moved it around now.

“It doesn’t hurt at all.”

“There’s no weight on it,” she put in, coming around and taking my good hand softly as I turned and let my feet hang off.

I looked down as I put my bare feet to the cold ground. I let Nia help me up and that’s when I started to feel the pressure in my ankle.

Not too bad but it was there.

“It’s alright,” I breathed as Nia let go of me and I took a step. I felt it more but it was bearable.

“Just a few rules for you, missy. No running, no jumping and definitely no cartwheels,” she said, making me laugh and take a few more steps. “Before we go anywhere, what do you want for breakfast?”

“What are the options?” I replied, turning back to her as she roughly made my bed again.

“Porridge. Yoghurt and berries or toast.”

“Yoghurt with berries please,” I answered and she nodded, noted it down on her clipboard while I smirked a little and backed away. “Now, can I go see Liam?”

“Yes, yes. I’m getting there,” she waved a hand at me but followed me out as I chuckled and walked off. “Just up here,” she pointed off slightly as we started down the corridor but slowly. I had a limp and my ankle did hurt but that wasn’t going to stop me from seeing him.

I touched my hand to the sling strap at my neck and moved it where it pressed in. When I was happy with it, I dropped my arm and followed Nia into the room after she knocked on the door.

I saw Oliver sitting at the side of the room, watching Liam as he laid still and quiet on the bed. Tears came to my eyes almost immediately as I looked over him. I hadn’t seen my reflection or how my face looked yet but he didn’t look too good. Bruises and cuts, bandages over his body and his leg in plaster, up in a sling.

I looked at Oliver again as he watched me blankly. I looked away and ignored him, walked to Liam’s side as Nia made her way out again.

“I swear you had a boot.”

“Maybe you’re just seeing things,” I muttered back, stopping and looking over Liam sadly. “You said he didn’t look bad.”

“I said he wasn’t any worse than he was,” he replied, getting up and coming over to stand on his other side as I sat down on the chair just there.

His hand was laid out by his side, facing up and shaped to tell me someone had been holding it. Probably Danielle, I figured.

“Your dad’s a dick,” he said and I looked up at him hard before I felt my eyes tear up again. I leaned forward and put my head to the bed as I took Liam’s hand. I closed my eyes, took deep breaths to keep calm.

“He’s always been but he seems more of one now,” Oliver continued and I sniffed quietly when my nose got suddenly runny.

“I’m tired, Oliver. Please be quiet,” I told him, sighing softly as my voice croaked a little.

“Fine. I’ll zip it,” he replied and I paused before I looked up at it, knowing he’d see my fresh tears and puffy eyes. He pierced his lips together, shifted on his feet. “For now at least anyway.”

“Thank you,” I said and looked to Liam and all the machines here showing different things. “This your fault you know."

“How is this my fault?” He scoffed, looking at me wildly but angrily.

“You showed up at the beach! You didn’t have to come, Oliver. You didn’t have to ruin our day and make us leave early.”

“I didn’t make you do jack shit,” he snapped and I shook my head angrily and looked back to Liam. “You got pissed. You walked away. You got all sad and so he had to chase after you and then you wanted to go home so he took you home.”

“But it was your fault that all happened. It was your fault that we fought and you made him upset. He wasn’t focused at all, Oliver! He was staring out at the world, not thinking properly because of you. Next thing we know, we’re going through a red light and it’s over,” I argued and touched my hand over my eyes as he held up his hand.

“Can you not make a scene over our sleeping friend?”

“You didn’t have to come to the beach and ruin everything, Oliver,” I told him, crying silently before I covered my mouth with my hand, looking at Liam while I cried and tried not to at the same time.

“How was I supposed know?” He whispered, dropping his arms. “Sarah, tell me how I was supposed to know.”

“I don’t know,” I whispered, looking down but then at him as he took a breath and came around. “Don’t you dare,” I snapped, getting up quickly to back away only to wince from my ankle when I moved a bit too fast and hard.

“Stop hurting yourself for one,” he said, touching his hands to my sides to bring me in. “And stop crying. Are you a lady or what?”

“A lady has too many responsibilities,” I sniffed, closing my eyes as he pulled me into his chest. “I’m just a girl.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll call you babygirl from now on,” he said and I groaned, looked up at him as he looked down at me. I went to tell him off but then reality flashed and we were here together. His arms were around me and I had my chin on his chest, our eyes meeting in a friendly way.

Why are you letting him hug you? I thought as I stepped away and turned back to Liam in the one moment, feeling as Oliver took his arms back.

“I’m not a baby.”

“You sure cry like one,” he replied, taking my seat behind me just as I looked over my shoulder when Liam’s parents and my own came in. My stomach built up in a knot as I noticed how Danielle had been crying.

What did they do? I wondered, looking away again, taking Liam’s hand.

“You’re out of your room, Sarah,” Dad pointed out.

“I’m aware,” I replied blankly, looked to Danielle as she came to me.

“How are you going?” She asked, hugging me lightly as I returned it.

“I’m okay. Could be better of course but it is what it is,” I breathed, looking back to Liam sadly before I heard a knock sound through the room.

“Time’s up for now, I’m afraid,” I heard Nia say as she came in. I looked towards her and she gave me a soft look but reached out her hand, which I moved to take.

“Where are you taking her?” Oliver asked, getting to his feet awfully fast as I watched.

“Chill out, Frost,” I replied coolly, frowning at the fact he was getting to his feet for me. And also that he even asked. It wasn’t his business what I was going to do. He didn’t need to know about me. He just had to be here for Liam because that’s all he’s good for, watching over the person he put in that bed.

“Unless the yoghurt’s a little old, no harm will come to her,” Nia put in, making me snort a little. As if he cared for me. He was just asking because he was a nosey prick.

“Then I hope it’s blue.”

“Delicious,” I raised a brow and turned my back to him, glanced to my parents as Dad watched from him to me and Mum was making her own way out before us.

“I sense not the greatest friendship between you two,” Nia murmured.

“And I’m sure my daughter’s social life and drama is none of your business,” Mum turned to give her a hard look, to which Nia gave a nod to.

“My apologies-.”

“Oliver and I have been enemies for so long,” I butted in, caught my mother’s look before she rolled her eyes and continued to walk in front of us. Nia looked to me in confusion almost before she gave a small nod, indicating that she was listening. “He asked me out a while back but I rejected. To make matters worse, I laughed and teased him about it for a while until he pushed back and then suddenly I’m living a hell every time he walks into the same room or yard as me.”

“I feel you, girl,” she clicked her tongue to her mouth. “I had a girl I hated big time when I was in high school. We were at each other’s throats all day long, every day, every year,” she laughed softly as I smiled a little at that because even though we’d just met, it felt like we already had a lot in common.

“He just goes all the right ways to piss me off. It’s basically his fault Liam and I got into the crash,” I said bitterly as we walked through the doors of my unit and pass my curtains to where I found my bed neatly made and my breakfast on a tray on the table beside it.

“Things happen for a reason sometimes. Maybe this was God’s plan for you.”

“We don’t believe in any God and I don’t think this conversation is appropriate for the work at hand,” Mum put in, taking a seat at the side where I noticed a backpack of mine packed and sitting by the seat.

“It’s okay, Nia. I know what you meant,” I replied, sitting down on the bed slowly and glancing down as the relief pulsed through my foot when my weight left it.

“You’re walking well,” Dad murmured, his arms crossed over but a hand up with his fingers lightly tapping his chin. “I thought your foot was sprained?”

“Just slight swelling,” I shook my head lightly and he nodded softly, glanced towards Mum but she was looking down at her phone once again. “Are you two staying?”

“No. I have to be back at work by eleven,” Mum answered without looking up as I took the bowl of yoghurt and berries, watched as Nia got me the plastic spoon from the slip.

“Thanks,” I smiled softly when she passed it to me.

“I have to go attend to a few others but I’ll be back soon just for a casual check up again,” she said, stepping back with her clipboard, pen behind her ear. I nodded and watched her walk across to the little boy opposite me.

“Why are you situated with others while Liam’s doing nothing but sleeping, yet he’s got a room all to himself?” Mum muttered, glancing around with distaste. I rolled my eyes at her and pulled my legs up.

“He’s got more visitors,” I grumbled and looked up when Dad pointed at me weakly.

“Exactly. Because he has friends who have respect for him. Where are you friends? Have they come at all?”

“Dad, my friends are amazing. I know a lot of them went out partying last night so I’m sure they’re not feeling the best-.”

“Better than you though,” he protested, shrugging his shoulders and slipping his hand into his front pocket while I bit my tongue softly. “I thought you said you finally had good friends who were always there for you?”

“Yes I do. It’s the least I can say for you. You are my parents. My flesh and blood, yet you took your damn time to show up, didn’t you?” I bit back, ignored Mum as she snapped her fingers.

“Don’t use that tone on us,” she barked.

I didn’t reply. I looked down at my breakfast and felt sick. It wasn’t blue, thank goodness but I was left alone here with these two… where were my friends?

I knew they went into town last night and maybe no one told them but rumours go around like wildfire.

Maybe they’ve just isolated themselves from everyone else?

“Did you ever get my things from the crash? My phone and bags, all that?”

“Of course we did, Sweetheart,” Mum said, suddenly standing and walking over to where her handbag was on another chair. “I brought your phone in, it’s a little broken but I’ve ordered a new one for you. Any problems, you call me okay?”

“Or me,” Dad put in blankly, giving her a wild look as if to tell her, ‘I’m right here, I’m in this too.’

“Thanks,” I whispered, taking it from her as she leaned in and kissed my head softly.

“Good girl. If that black nurse ever-.”

“Mum,” I growled and she gave me a stern look.

“She looks at you the wrong way, you call me and I’ll get you someone better.”

“I really like her actually and I’m glad I have her.”

“Okay,” she smiled wonkily and brushed down my hair softly. “Don’t eat too much of the yoghurt. Too much sugar and it’s not good for you. I have to go but I love you and I’ll be back soon.”

“I’ll be here,” I sighed, glancing to Dad as he tapped my head softly and then made his way out with her.

She doesn’t love me. Neither of them love me and ‘I’ll be back soon’? Soon as in next week I bet.

I love yoghurt, I thought, looking down at my breakfast. I sighed again and put it down on the bed, looking from it to my phone.

The screen was badly cracked but it still worked, thankfully. I turned it on, reading through the few miscalls and texts from Emma, Khloe and most of the other girls and guys in our group. A lot of them asking if I was okay, others telling me they were coming in as soon as possible and the few to hope I get better soon.

A smile cracked at that. They knew. They didn’t forget about you. They’re coming.

Good thing I’m patient… apart from when it comes to a certain frustrating jerk.

***

“Oh my god, she’s so fucking cute when she sleeps.”

“Would you shut up, she’s sleeping.”

“Be quiet then.”

“You be quiet first,” Emma snapped back and I groaned at the bicker, my head suddenly aching as I frowned sleepily at my two best friends on either side of me.

“Look what you’ve done,” Khloe muttered to Emma but smiled widely at me.

“Me?” Emma scoffed as Khloe squealed softly and came down to hug me as I slightly shifted to wake up a bit more.

“Took you both long enough,” I mumbled, turning to hug Emma as she came down next.

“Sorry. We slept in and I forgot my charger. Only if she had an Apple, am I right?”

“Samsung does the job, thanks,” Khloe smiled smugly as I frowned, figuring out that Emma stayed with her last night.

“What did you guys get up to?”

“Nothing as interesting as you. Being raced through emergency? Girl, top ten nights I bet.”

“Not,” I replied, giving Khloe a short look before I winced, shifted to sit myself up more. “You don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?” Emma looked from me to Khloe as they exchanged looks.

“Liam’s in a coma,” I whispered, wincing slightly as I touched my hand to my sore shoulder. “They think he’ll come out of it soon but no one knows for sure.”

“I’m so sorry, Sare. We didn’t know that,” she touched my shoulder but then pulled back when it was my bad one. “Shit, sorry.”

“Always putting a pain on our shoulders you are,” Khloe rolled her eyes but then smirked, showing us she was just joking around while Emma took it to the heart, huffed and took a seat down on one of the chairs.

“Emma, I love you,” I said, closing my eyes as exhaustion waved over me.

“I love you more,” she replied and Khloe scowled.

“And I love you both to the end of the earth.”

“And until we find the end of the earth,” I smirked, laying down again but holding up my pinkie finger to Khloe.

“Best friends forever,” she took it with her pinkie before Emma was up and hooking hers to ours.

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