I have lost count of how many times it was light or dark. I think I wasn’t always conscious. I am cold and thirsty and hungry and scared. My head aches dreadfully. My foot is sore. I have cramps from lying down. I am really miserable.
I can hear Leo calling my name. We must be playing hide and seek. I’d better be quiet or he’ll find me first. He sounds worried, I should answer. Maybe he’s leaving to go home. I wish he would stay, I feel so safe when he is around.
It’s raining again, I’m wet. Maybe I must stop hiding and go inside. A warm bath and my mum will make me some warm milk. Then I can go to bed and feel better.
Leo’s voice again, he’s going to help me. I can’t call out; my voice seems to have disappeared. This thing next to me is wooden, maybe I should give our secret knock, only he and I know it.
More pressure on my foot. That is painful. Then the pressure is gone, some cold wet air comes and wets my foot and leg. Is Leo pouring water on me to wake me? Why does he need to wake me?
Why can’t things seem straight in my head?
Light, it hurts my eyes.
Leo again. He’s talking to me, holding me. Whatever he wants is fine, I nod. I’m safe, Leo has found me.
Leo is carrying me, what game is this one?
Now I’m out of the rain. Can I just sleep?
He’s moving me again, can’t we just stay still for a while?
More hands and voices. Someone fussing with my hand. That was sore. Lights in my eyes. Someone feeling that lump on my head. Cold equipment on me. Leave me alone, I want to get warm. Someone covered me with a blanket. That is better. Now can I sleep?
The bed is moving. They pick me up and put me on another bed. This one is cold again. Why can’t they leave me to get warm and sleep. People talking, holding and moving my leg and foot. Telling me to keep my head still.
Back on the moving bed. It got cold again. Why won’t they let me get warm?
Someone helping me out of my clothes? Must be my mother. It doesn’t sound like her. Warm wet soapy smell. Handling me. Dry. That feels a lot better. Sheets, soft pillow and warmth. Sleep.
There is a soft glow. I am finally warm. I’m not thirsty any more. I could do with something to eat. A snore? I look to the side, there is Leo, slumped in a chair. He SNORES! Why are his hands bandaged?
My head and foot are still sore. There is a drip in my hand. I must be in a hospital. I am not going to die.
I try to sit up a bit. Leo wakes. He looks at me. “Awake?” he smiles.
I realise he must have rescued me. Not Philip. I don’t have to keep my promise and marry Philip. I start to cry from relief.
Leo leaps up and comes to hold me. He is clumsy with his hands bandaged. He wipes my tears with his bandaged hand and strokes my hair. I hold on, sobbing with relief.
I feel so safe in his arms. He holds me slightly away, and asks “Are you OK?”. I smile and nod (that hurts my head a bit). His eyes, so warm and caring.
A nurse comes in. “Do you feel like some soup?” she asks. I nod, desperate for something. I could eat a cow, but I guess that would be rude. She pinches the back of my hand, nods and takes out the drip.
She comes back a few minutes later with two bowls of soup and some bread. She tells Leo he must also eat after his stitches and injections.
She leaves. I start to eat hungrily. Then I realise Leo is battling to hold the spoon, with both hands heavily bandaged he seems pretty handicapped. So I feed him and myself, each in turn. We giggle like children. Conspiring together.
My voice returns. I ask him “What happened to your hands?” He smiles shyly “I seem to have been a bit silly when moving the rubble to get to you.”