Chapter Fifteen

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"She said she was fine at lunchtime, how does fine evolve into Rosie falling head-first down the stairs and being unconscious before she even hit the first step?"

James' voice echoed through my head and seemed to bounce around before falling silent. Below me, I could feel the softness of my mattress and the warmth of the blanket covering my body and I knew I was back in bed, but I didn't know how I came to be there. The last thing I remembered was this sensation of falling forwards, my body colliding with several stairs before someone grabbed me. After that, I knew nothing else.

"Head injuries are complicated, unfortunately. They can be a little more unpredictable then I would like, and this is one of those instances. It's entirely plausible she was fine earlier on, but things can change. We were just lucky Robert stepped in when he did or it could have been worse," Doctor Ealing's voice said. He sounded calmer than James, not that that was a surprise.

"Worse? How could this possibly be any worse than it already is?" James paused. "Need I remind you that it is your daughter's fault we are in this situation."

"I am well aware of that. I am merely saying that if Robert hadn't caught her before she fell down the stairs any further, we could be dealing with a cracked skull or worse. Instead, she has a cut on her forehead which was easily sutured and most likely several other bruises but those were unavoidable regardless of how fast Robert moved."

"And yet she is unconscious."

"As is the case with some head injuries. Rosie has dealt with far more than this in the past and I'm more than certain she'll wake up in due course. There is nothing else I can do from this point on, the next bit is up to her."

I didn't know what Doctor Ealing meant. I didn't even know what had happened let alone how it would be up to me to solve whatever problem had already taken place. James didn't say anything in reply, but I felt a movement beside me, and I knew it was him. He wanted to say something, even with my eyes closed I knew that much, but he didn't and instead just bit his lip and swallowed whatever comment lingered on his lips.

The room fell silent and I tried to move my fingers or neck, but nothing happened. It felt as though they were all made of metal and being weighed down by some invisible force that made it impossible to move any part of my body. I tried with all my might to move just one of my fingers but it was an impossible task and, eventually, I stopped trying. I could hear everything going around me, feel the movement of people beside me, but I couldn't move or speak or do anything other than lie on the bed.

Beside me, the bed shifted once again, and I knew James was struggling to contain whatever comment he wanted to make towards Doctor Ealing. Even if I couldn't see his face, I knew that not saying what was on his mind would be difficult. James had always had a habit of saying just what was on his mind and he'd never been very good at keeping his mouth shut for very long. He and Christopher had always been very good at expressing their opinions and only Matthew seemed to take a person's feelings into account before he spoke. Most of the time.

"So, you're just going to leave? What kind of Doctor are you?"

"There is nothing else I can do, and I have rounds to make this afternoon before I go home. If it will ease your mind, Robert may stay as he knows about the same amount as I do."

"Stay? For how long?"

"However long you deem necessary. If you wish him to stay overnight, I can explain the situation to Elizabeth and given how it is a medical need, but it will be up to him."

"I'm fine with staying," Robert said. I didn't even know he was in the room. Not being able to see who was around me felt marginally uncomfortable. Anyone could be in the room and I wouldn't know until they spoke.

The Apprentice Girl // Book 3 in the Rosie Grey seriesWhere stories live. Discover now