Chapter 16
It seemed to take an eternity for Matt to find his feet when in reality it was less than a minute.
People were already huddled around Claire, blocking his view. Zack was somewhere among them. He
could hear his panic stricken voice screaming for someone to call 911. Matt stood from his chair and
walked calmly towards the group of people. His heart was beating so fast he could hear it thumping
in his ears but somehow he stayed calm. He started to move people aside as he reached the ever
growing crowd. Some even turned and gave him a dirty look as though he was spoiling the fun.
Something crunched under his feet and he looked down to see shards of glass, probably from the
windshield. He carried on pushing people out of the way until he saw Zack knelt on the floor. "She
conscious?" Matt asked calmly. Zack shook his head. "No. She isn't moving Matt. She isn't fucking
moving." he yelped. Matt nodded and knelt down on her other side. She was sort of hunched over on
her side. Her hair was strewn over her face, one arm twisted underneath her. "You should put her in
the recovery position" someone said from above them. "And support her head" "And cover her up so she
doesn't get cold" a flurry of suggestions started coming. "You need to move her" Someone said in an
angry tone. Matt's eyes locked on the source of the voice. A tall man, properly in his 30s, cell
phone in one hand, briefcase in the other. "If I move her I could kill her. She could have a spine
injury and the first fucking rule of any accident is DON'T MOVE THEM" Matt growled. The guy looked
slightly shocked and held his hands up. "Sorry man. Just thought it might be best to lay her flat"
he choked. "Well it isn't" Matt replied, turning his attention back to Claire. "Sweetie, can you
hear me?" Matt said softly. She was frighteningly still. Even when she slept she wasn't this still.
She'd twitch occasionally or roll over or murmer or something. Now she was just motionless. And
silent. Completely silent. He carefully brushed her hair away from her face, feeling something slick
under his fingers as he tucked it behind her ear. He pulled his hand back and stared at it like it
was a foreign object. His fingertips coated in blood. Her blood. "Oh god" he muttered. He looked up
at Zack who looked frozen to the spot. He'd never seen him look more terrified. "WHAT DO WE DO?" he
yelled. Matt took a deep breath. He didn't know. He had no fucking idea what to do. But he knew that
freaking out wasn't going to help right now, that could wait until later. "We stay calm" he said.
"We need to get her to the hospital NOW. Has anyone called an ambulance?" he asked. Zack nodded.
"About 5 people did. They should be here by now" he groaned. The crowd around them was still growing
and people at the back were trying to push their way forward to see what was happening, all the
time, closing the little circle of space she had. Matt turned and stood up. "Back off" he grumbled,
eyeing one person, then the next. They sort of collectively took a baby step back before edging
forward again. "BACK OFF" he roared. They quickly all shuffled back. "WHAT? You think this is
entertainment? You wanna see how fucked up she is? That car ploughed her down good huh? Shame there
isn't more blood, more bones sticking out of her skin. THIS ISN'T A FUCKING DRAMA SHOW. SHE'S NOT
started murmuring apologises as they stepped back. He turned back to Claire and studied her. She
still wasn't moving and now there was a pool of blood beginning to spread under her head. He caught
sight of it and closed his eyes tight, taking a deep breath. He wanted to hold her hand but he was
too scared that touching her would just hurt her worse so he settled for gently stroking her cheek
with the backs of his fingers. "I'm here sweetie" he whispered. "You're gunna be fine alright. I'm
not going anywhere."
The ambulance arrived soon after and Matt watched helplessly as they strapped her to a spinal
board, checked she was breathing then bundled her into the back of the ambulance. A paramedic came
over to him, noticing the blood on his hands. "Are you hurt?" he asked. Matt shook his head. "It's
not my blood. It's hers" he muttered. The paramedic nodded. "Do you know her?" he asked. Matt
laughed slightly. "She's my best friend. My Girlfriend. Umm...Yeah...I know her" he nodded. The
paramedic smiled sympathetically as he noticed Zack hovering at Matt's side. "Well there's only room
for one in the ambulance but...would you like to come with her?" he asked. Matt glanced at Zack.
"Go. I'll let the guys know what happened and follow you down. You need anything?" Zack asked. Matt
shook his head. "Thanks bro" he sighed. Zack nodded and clapped him on the back. "She'll be fine
Matt" he whispered. Matt nodded. "Yeah..." he said quietly. "We need to go now" the paramedic
interrupted. Matt nodded and climbed into the ambulance. Claire was now flat on a spinal board, her
hair tangled and sticky with blood was away from her face. Matt stared at her. Just her face. She
looked like she did when she slept apart from a slight graze down her left cheek. "Can I....hold her
hand?" he asked. The paramedic nodded as he checked her drips and other bags of funny coloured
fluids all running into her arm. Matt took her hand gently, curling his fingers round it and holding
tight. "I'm still here" he whispered. "I swear I won't leave you. Not for a second" She didn't
respond but he didn't expect her to. He wondered if she could hear him. If she was scared and in
pain. He knew she probably wasn't but he felt he had to let her know he was there, just on the off
chance that she could hear him or feel him holding her hand. He wanted her to know she wasn't alone.

When they arrived at the hospital she was whisked away into a huddle of waiting doctors as the
paramedics barked out what had happened, what they'd given her and what they suspected was wrong
without moving her too much. He heard Doctors shouting orders, x-rays, scans to see if she was
bleeding internally and to get her prepped for theatre as soon as possible. Matt just stood there
bewildered. He knew it wasn't particularly good but they made it sound way worse. He tried following
as the took her away but a nurse stopped him at a set of double doors. "I'm sorry you can't go in
there." she said kindly. He frowned and shook his head. "No, I promised I'd stay with her. I told
her I wouldn't leave her alone. I have to go with her" he babbled. The nurse smiled and nodded. "Yes
but she's in the best possible hands now and you have to stay out here so they can work on her. I
promise as soon as there is any news we'll let you know but for have to stay out here.
Maybe you should go book her in. It will be a lot better for her if we can get her notes so the
doctors know her medical background. Come on, I'll take you to reception" she smiled, pushing
against his broad chest even though it didn't move him even slightly. He nodded looking totally lost
and followed the nurse to a desk where another woman asked him a billion questions about Claire. He
answered monotonously. He just wanted to be with her. He felt sure that she'd be alright as long as
he was with her but now, standing in the reception, not knowing what they were doing, he was
terrified that after wasting so much time, he wasn't going to have a chance to put it right. To
prove to her that he'd loved her all along. That the 5 days in Big Bear was all he'd have.