26 - leap in time (II)

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Beep.

Empty darkness surrounded Rose as a deep breath finally filled her lungs.

Beep.

Her chest rose up and down, her head feeling heavy as she laid on her back. Her eyes struggled to flutter open, as if someone held her lids glued together forcefully.

Blonde hair was sprawled next to her. She narrowed her eyes, trying to register what or who that was. But her mind was clouded, unable to distinguish anything.

A groan passed Rose's lips, wanting to adjust her position. It was then the blonde ball of wool moved, jumping up.

Rose had opened her eyes fully by now, studying her surroundings, trying to understand why she was in a hospital room. The smell of antiseptic engulfed her, numbing her senses. Her mind was chaotic. She had dreamed the weirdest-

No, that hadn't been a dream. Her heartbeat increased, her breathing turning frantic, remembering what had happened, what she had been through.

Everything she had witnessed played in her vision as a flashbulb memory: vivid in the moment yet a shattering reminiscence.

Wyatt Benson's gleeful voice rang in her ears. Leslie Kent's touch was in her hair. Charlotte Norton's laughter, Ellis Walker's annoyed expression and -

Everett Walker's arms around her frame, his scent clouding her head, his lips in for a kiss.

Rose's eyes fluttered shut. The memory was lively yet so far away. For a moment, she laid still, fighting the urge to break into pieces. The sorrow and pain she felt crashed her.

The sound of the monitor screen next to her slowly pulled her back into where she was now. Rose slightly tilted her head, analysing, seeing the colours, the modern technology items.

She was back.

Where she belonged.

The device beeped loudly, as if sending out an alarm. It was in that second, she realised how loud it actually was. When Rose gasped a sharp breath with her eyes widening in panic and her heart frantically beating, her gaze came to a halt on-

Emma!

"Oh my god," Her friend murmured, tears forming at the corners of her eyes abruptly as she pulled Rose into a hug. Warmth engulfed her, the hands of her friend whom she had missed so dearly caressed her back.

"Oh my god," Emma repeated, tightening her hold, pressing Rose against herself, fearing that she'd disappear if she loosened her grip.

"How do you feel?" She asked, pulling back to search Rose's eyes. Her fingers wrapped around her friend's hands. "Are you ok?"

What happened, Rose wanted to ask, but her throat felt sore and her tongue seemed numb. Although numerous words hovered in her mind, she wasn't able to form anything coherent, let alone make any sound.

"Emma," Rose muttered with a raspy voice, and hearing her name out of her mouth, Emma began shedding tears again.

"Oh my god, Rose," She cried out, "I was so scared. I thought- Wait let me call your mum." She jumped up from her chair, quickly dialling a number, hastily talking and explaining that Rose had woken up.

"Yes, Karen," Emma covered her mouth with her palm, trying not to sob as she faced her friend with her back.

Rose watched her flummoxed, her gaze wandering further onto the screen next to her. Her pulse seemed to be fine. She wasn't sick. She didn't get intoxicated. I'm ok.

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