Starting over from the Beginning

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A New Chance Part 1

The boisterous thunder roared in the air as its lighting crinkled through the darkened clouds, illuminating them briefly while they released the torrent of rain down the earth. The drizzle entered the jagged hole formed in the windshield of the wrecked car. Shards of the broken window scattered around on the ground. Part of it also found inside the car, where an unconscious Cherry sat with her head lulled to the side.

The gasoline filled smoke that billowed from the dented trunk permeated the inside of the car. The pungent smell of it infiltrating Cherry’s nostrils, almost frying the small hairs in it and bringing Cherry slowly back to awareness.

Cherry groaned, her hand instantly going for her head as a sharp pain struck it, causing her eyes to squint even more as the brows framed around it frowned displeased.

What’s with this pain? She thought, rubbing the crown of her head. The folded skin between her brows only creased further at the feeling of something wet on her head. Bringing her hand to her face, she carefully opened her eyes, inspecting it through her shaky and blurry sight. Watching how the hand in her vision became clear while the surrounding stayed blur, her face contoured in confusion, seeing her hand smudged with blood.

“Why am I…?” Her hoarse voice trailed off in to silence when the events of today flooded her mind. Fearfulness mixed with worry took over her mind as her eyes broadened. She tried looking around her surroundings, but that almost made her want to vomit as dizziness warred her mind and moving her body only unleashed the pain that she couldn’t register before waking up, inducing an agonizing yelp.

Screwing her eyes shut, she threw back her head as tears escaped the corner of her eyes helplessly, not because of the ache reigning her body but because of the wet sensation between her thighs. And before closing her eyes, she could have sworn catching the glimpse of red dripping from her seat. The unborn child in her stomach who wasn’t shy in letting her know of its presence by kicking and stretching in her stomach was now still and that send a cold chill down her spine and made her heart thrum raucously against her ribcage. It felt like it was about to get pulverized.

She pleaded continuously in her mind that whatever dark thoughts roamed in her mind that it wasn’t true- that she was just being paranoid. But her trembling bottom lip and her sobs that kept escaping from her mouth as if she was choking said whatever she thought was high likely true, causing the tears in her eyes to spill down her face faster.

“Please...no...” she cried. The sloshing sounds of feet burrowing themselves in the ground that got loosened by the rain put her cries to a stop as she snapped her eyes to the side to see the figure that she didn’t want to see ever again approaching her at a quick speed.

Ever since witnessing his love driving over a cliff, Brandon’s mind has been going on a rampage. All common sense went out the window as he jumped out of his car and skid down the cliff to follow the car that was tumbling down along with his heart. Each dent that formed in the car created a scar in his heart. Each tire that flew off tore a part of his heart and when the car finally landed on the ground, the small organ in his chest paused and so did his breathing.

His eyes glazed with unshed tears as he gazed at the car that was wrecked beyond repair. He had to take in a deep, shuddering breath before he could make long strides to the vehicle, putting haste behind each step. His eyes fixated on one goal, ignoring how his feet felt heavy from being sucked in by the pouches of the drowned earth.

Hope lit Brandon’s eyes when Cherry’s gaze met his, ignoring how her eyes sprung up with fear at seeing him approach. He reached for the door on the driver’s seat that was already loose from the damage that it had taken from the fall, hanging on the remaining bolts and ripped it off the car. Casting it away to the side like some ragged doll, earning a startled yelp from Cherry.

His eyes instantly searched her body for any signs of injuries. He noticed the blood oozing from Cherry’s head before shifting his attention down to her trousers, the inner thighs blotched in red and it kept spreading by the second. His heart lurched in his throat and he was quick to reach for his wife, but Cherry recoiled away from the hand that had reaped many people of their lives, wanting to avoid becoming the fresh addition of the graveyard.

Hurt flashed by Brandon’s expression before schooling it into a composed one as he retracted the hand that was hanging awkwardly in the air filled with smoke. The stench of it making his nose scrunch and his brows furrow, urging him to get Cherry to safety before something irreversible happens.

“Baby,” He called out to her endearingly in a mellow low voice. “I know I can’t talk my way out of this mess, but I promise you that I won’t ever hurt you. Please... let me help you.” He begged his wife, biting back a whimper at seeing how her body was spasming every time he spoke. The face that would normally brighten up at his presence was now pale and the eyes that would sparkle with adoration now looked at him as if he was a monster.

He won’t hurt her? Cherry questioned inwardly while her cautious looking eyes refused to leave the man that had worry marring his forehead. How could she believe his words after witnessing something so gruesome? The cold indifference that he displayed towards the dead body would forever be embedded in Cherry’s retina. She couldn’t help but wonder if that was the real Brandon- if perhaps he was only with her just for an alibi. Such thoughts just worsened her nauseousness or perhaps it was from the concussion on her head that made everything in her vision pivot, causing her eyes to narrow from the pain blended with dizziness.

She also has been freezing- especially her fingertips felt numb. Brandon noticed how Cherry’s eyes were getting unfocused and how her skin was turning paper sheet white from the blood loss while her head kept lulling sideways as if to fend off the sleep that was gaining on her.

This won’t do. He thought and pulled out his phone, dialing 911. His eyes strained on cherry’s exhausted body whilst gritting his teeth in aggravation as he watched how Cherry’s breathing became more elaborated at each passing second he was on the phone. After explaining the state that Cherry was in, the lady on the other line told him that the ambulance was on its way and that he should carefully get Cherry out of the car and move her further away from it.

By the time Brandon was done with the phone call, Cherry was already half unconscious. Brandon’s erratically beating heart tensed his muscles, cold sweat mapping down his body as he tried his hardest to calm the tremor in his body.

“Hey,” He called out in a whisper, not able to hide the tremble of nervousness that laced his anguished voice. “Baby, you can’t fall asleep.”

“I’m cold.” She muttered under her breath with half-hooded eyes. Her teeth chattering as the icy rain continued to bead down her skin through the broken windshield window.

Brandon instantly shrugged off the coat he was wearing before draping it gently over Cherry’s wounded body. Unfastening her seat belt, he looped his arms under her leg and back before cradling her against his chest. The blood that Cherry needed to live kept streaming out from between her thighs, propelling her closer to the other side- a side where his touches won’t ever reach her again.

The blood coated his arms, but he paid no heed to it as it only will have his mind turn into a muddle of grief and keeping her awake was his main priority. He tried to put on his best smile, but it only came out wobbly. “P-Please stay awake, baby. Don’t do this to me. You, you can’t leave me.” A traitorous tear trickled out of the corner of his eyes as he implored his wife, whose eyes shut, to not give in to the slumber.

He snapped his head up at the flickering lights of red and blue coming from above the cliff along with the sirens of the ambulance, flushing his body with hope. He shifted his gaze back down at Cherry, rocking her body slightly to grab her attention.

“Help is here, baby.”

“I want to... sleep.” Cherry mumbled, her weakened voice freighted with drowsiness.

“I know, I know, but not now. You can sleep as much as you want later, so hold on a little longer for me, okay? I’ll do anything you want if you stay awake, I promise. I won’t hide anything from you anymore, please Cher...”

Brandon is not normally much of a talker, but he talked incessantly, shooting out some words that would hopefully peak Cherry’s interest and keep her awake. When her delicate fingers curled as tight as they could in the thin fabric of Brandon’s shirt against his chest, the words that he was going to say next stilled in his mouth. Seeing the moist cinnamon pair of globes open made the corners of his eyes crinkle from happiness.

“You promise?” She asked softly, as she didn’t make any movement to look at him.

Brandon nodded his head vigorously and reiterated, “I promise.”

Cherry tilted her head up and finally looked at him. Her gaze still looked misty, but he noted the seriousness in them. “Then promise me that no matter what will happen to me, you’ll keep our child safe.”

At the words spilled from her mouth, she could feel how beneath her fingertips Brandon’s body froze. The smile on his face faltered as he had difficulty processing the words spoken by the woman who held his heart- the fifth of his soul.

She expects him to choose the child in her belly over her? To give up his sunlight, the only thing that he looked forward to in this mundane life? His eyes darted to Cherry’s belly. No matter how much he thought about it, there’s no way that he would lose the love of his life over an unborn child.

Cherry noticed the conflict swirling in Brandon’s eyes at her request and when he shifted his attention to her bump, she saw how the look in his eyes turned void and she felt anxiety swelling up in her chest as she knew...

He wasn’t going to save her child, their child.

She bit back the string of curses that she wanted to throw at him for being so heartless as she needed to somehow change his mind.

She carefully called out to him, “Baby,” using the same loving tone that she normally used for him before discovering who he truly was, edged with desperation. Brandon’s eyes snapped back to her face, emotions returning in those deep brown eyes. “Please don’t let this child die. We, we made this child together. It’s our child.”

Brandon furrowed his brows together, pondering about something and as if he knew that what he was going to say was going to harm his wife, he opened his mouth, haltingly, “I-”

But before he could usher out his words, Cherry interjected, feeling Brandon’s reluctance. “This child will look like us. They will look like me, Brandon.” She offered Brandon a tear coated smile, her downwards arched brows framing the beseeching eyes.

“But this child won’t be you...” His words trailed off in a hoarse whisper as a lone tear trickled down his cheek, dripping off his chin to lend on Cherry’s cheek, forming together with her tears a mindless stream; the conclusion was inescapable.

During their conversation, the paramedics had made their way down to the couple, running while dragging the stretcher along. When they finally arrived at the scene of the accident, one paramedic said,

“We are here to take the miss, sir.” The couple was totally drenched from the unforgiving torrent. With hair sticking to his forehead, Brandon stood there motionless, holding Cherry in his arms.

The paramedics rose their eyebrows at the silence that reigned the couple before moving closer so that they could take Cherry from Brandon, trying to ignore the eerie hollow look in Brandon’s eyes as they have a life to safe.

“No...” Cherry muttered, shaking her head deliberately. Her wide eyes quivered, refusing to leave her husband’s eyes as the paramedics took her away. “Babe...” again her voice came out incoherent for the surrounding people. The distance between her and Brandon kept increasing at an alarming rate as the faster she would get to the hospital, the higher the chance that she would lose the blessing in her belly. She didn’t even notice how her body began to convulse from blood loss and shock.

The paramedics tried to hold her down, but she refused- no, she couldn’t go unconscious with that monster still standing there. “Brandon!” Her scream was like the one of a banshee, shrill with the power to erupt everyone’s eardrums. It’s tone carrying the mixture of an ominous impending doom and a warning towards the man who she was supposed to love forever.

She glared at Brandon through her blearily gaze. The man returned her stare with a vacant one, unfazed by his wife’s hostile look. He doesn’t care if she will come to hate him. That’s a small price to pay, as long as he can keep her alive. Moving his feet, he waltzed to the ambulance, watching how the people carried in a trashing Cherry while one of them brought out something to inject her with and the next moment the brows that were crashing against each other loosened and her eyes slowly closed as she slurred out,

“Don’t... let, let him come near... my... baby.” Gone she was. Her last words reached the paramedics’ ears, causing them to screw their face in confusion as they turned their attention to Brandon who was standing at the rear opening of the ambulance. The man was quiet shaken up from his wife’s condition. His clothes blotched with the blood of his wife as he had held her in his arms before the arrival of the paramedics, not caring about the glacial hail pelleting against his skin while cladding his wife with his coat. The paramedics couldn’t understand why the wife told them to keep her husband away from the baby. They brushed off Cherry’s words, thinking that the woman spilled out words she didn’t mean due to excessive blood loss together with a concussion.

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