Fate (Chapter 4, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 4

That night Amy's troubled sleep was plagued by nightmares and restlessness. Several times early on she awoke with a start from a nightmare. Though no clear images remained, she felt a sense of fear and foreboding, of trying the get away but getting nowhere. Putting it down to trepidation at what the morning would bring, she eventually gave in and accepted the nurse's offer of a sleeping tablet, wondering if she might regret it in the morning but unwilling to spend most of the long night ahead awake and anxious.

Morning came though soon enough.

The clatter of the tea trolley and the cheerful chatter of the morning staff pulled Belinda out of a deep sleep feeling like something the cat had dragged in. Heavy was the only word to describe her general state.

Damn those tablets, she cursed. Subconsciously she must have known the effect they would have on her. Her mouth was dry and her eyes refused to cooperate first fighting the command to open and then to focus. As for moving, Ethan's crane might be of use. It was only the knowledge that its owner was due this morning that goaded her into action. Her rapidly accelerating heart rate in response to a mental image of herself in Ethan's care or was that arms helped. Clambering out of bed and into the ensuite Belinda stood under its steaming jets for longer than was necessary for hygiene but not long enough for a truly therapeutic effect. Conceding that a long shower and leisurely breakfast would not delay the inevitable Belinda reluctantly turned off the taps and dried herself, valiantly trying to be vigorous.

Breakfast followed by a visit giving the all clear by Dr McNamara saw the inevitable draw even closer.

Later standing at the window Belinda peered at the passing parade of workers scurrying late for work. Maybe one of those people was her brother or sister, her mother, her lover? It was this last thought that posed the greatest challenge in her brave new world. Would she feel such a strong instantaneous attraction to Ethan if she was already in a permanent relationship? She was still pondering the imponderable when the day nurse came in to say farewell and help Belinda pack.

'I'm sure you're going to be fine, my dear. Mr. Holt seems to be a real gentleman and truly concerned about you. He'll look after you just right. Now what do you want me to pack for you?'

There wasn't anything to pack. She didn't own anything. She had been wearing hospital gowns and was dressed in her own clothes that she had on that fateful day now clean and pressed. In her arms she already held the flowers and the teddy bear that Ethan had delivered to her room while she was still unconscious. Belinda and the nurse looked around the room and catching each others eye began to laugh. Better to laugh than cry Belinda thought.

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