It all happened so fast. She dropped me off, kissed my forehead goodnight then backed out of the drive way. One minute she was waving and screaming how much she loves me and the next minute another car collided with hers. I was stiff with shock, I couldn’t move or think or act. I just watched everything happen. My heart stopped, I literally felt it painfully slow to a stop. So, this is how true fear felt like? It felt like death. That was the first time I felt something as despicable as this. It felt like I stood there for years, it wasn’t until I felt my mom throw her hands around me did reality hit me hard.
I could see the paramedics rush to her side and pull her out. There was blood everywhere. I couldn’t even recognise her. I couldn’t help it anymore, I just wailed and dropped. Mom still held on to me securely and made sure I didn’t hurt myself. Little did she know that physical pain couldn’t compare. It hurt! It hurt so bad! Ronnie didn’t deserve this. No one deserves to feel like this. I tugged at my shirt placing my hand right above my heart, there was the source of the worst pain.
"She's going to be alright. There is no need to worry. You brought her here in time". The doctor said trying to calm me down. It was not working. It had been three hours since they took her away and that’s all he could say? My Ronnie was probably still fighting for her life and that’s all he came to me with? Was this a joke to him? Was I a joke to him? Coming here was hard enough and now this? Why did mom leave me all alone? I wish she was still here. She would have dealt with is better than I am.
"Where's my daughter?!" Mr. Miller stormed into the hallway. "I need to see her. How is she? Where is she? What happened?" He was still in his work clothes which meant he came directly. He was till trying to catch his breath as the somewhat terrified doctor tried to steady him.
"Calm down sir. Your daughter is out of danger but is still critical." The doctor spoke not daring to look at the seven and Something foot giant towering over him. Mr Miller discarded what the doctor said and demanded for answers.
"What happened?" I could hear the pain in his voice. I watched as tears stained his eyes. He clenched his fists and shook his head in anger. He felt it too, the heart wrenching pain coming from the left side of his chest. He looked so indifferent as he got lost in thought. He was grinding his teeth and clenching and unclenching his fists as if at any moment he would explode. He broke away from his thoughts and looked right at me. That was the first time he noticed me standing there. I wanted the ground to swallow me there and then. As though he noticed my fear, Mr Miller’s gaze softened and he started to look helpless and defeated.
"Andy what-what happened to her?" He asked me as a tear slid down his cheek. I was taken back as that was the first time I saw him cry. The jolly man I considered my father was crying right in front of me. My heart dropped. I felt like running over to him and giving him a much-needed hug. He didn’t deserve this kind of pain for a second time round.
Barely opening my mouth, I said "There was an accident. I don't know what exactly happened. We were driving back from a farewell party at Katlego’s. She dropped me off and a car from nowhere a-a-and crash." I was crying buckets by now. I was such a wimp. I recalled her screaming ‘I love you’ as she left the drive way. Excitement was all I could see in her eyes and a huge smile plastered on her face. She was happy, really happy.
My thoughts were disrupted as I saw Mr. Miller turn back to the doctor who I didn't realize was still standing there. "Can I see her?" he desperately begged.
With a sigh the doctor said “I’m sorry sir but you won't be able to see her for the next few days. Not until her vitals are stable. Don't worry she is in safe hands". The doctor looked at me in a reassuring way and walked away.
I suddenly woke up. Another nightmare decided to ruin my night. It has been a week since the accident and Ronnie still shows no signs of waking up. The doctor keeps saying she’s okay and that we just need to give her some time but it is so hard. Why isn’t she waking up? Maybe they forgot to check something and that’s why she’s still sleeping. What am I saying? These guys are professionals and I know nothing about their work. So, I have no say in whatever procedures they do or do not do. I looked at my alarm and it was only two in the morning. Urgh! I stared at the ceiling for a while. I missed her so much it hurt. I blame myself. Why didn’t I stop her from leaving? I shouldn't have let her drive. I should have invited her for a sleep over or something. I am such a fool.
Just then my door swayed open revealing my little Flamingo dressed up in her usual pink pyjamas. Flamingo, also known as Hazel was my little bundle of joy. She was my reason to live and the light of my life. Just at five years old she was already a strong, sensitive and affectionate girl. I loved and treasured her so much that it broke my heart to see her look as distressed as she was at the moment. She was the reason and distraction that had reduced my anxiety and worry for Ronnie. I had to be strong in front of Hazel so she wouldn’t worry her little innocent mind about her beloved sister.
"Can't sleep too?" I whispered loud enough for her to hear. She nodded and I got off my bed and knelt in front of her. Her eyes were puffy and her rosy cheeks had been soaked by the tears pouring out of her eyes. I enveloped her in a warm hug and caressed her head so as to comfort her. She cried a little more before she spoke.
"I had a, a nightmare" she confirmed as she began to cry even more. I held her even more tightly as I lifted her off the ground and carried her in my arms. I was rocking her to sooth her like I normally did. I hated it when she cried, it broke my heart. She was such a sweet little angel and tears of sadness and grief did not suit her one bit. She deserved only happiness and everything nice.
"Wanna sleep in my bed tonight?" I suggested knowing it was an offer she could not refuse. She slowly nodded her head and I carried her to my bed. I placed her on the bed and covered her. She then lifted the bed covers so I could scoot in. Then I heard a small gasp. I turned to her a shocked little face. She made the cutest expression as she widened her eyes in realisation.
"What's wrong?" I asked a little concerned.
"I left Mr. Pickles all alone" she said with a lot of concern and worry. Mr. Pickles is her favourite toy. She carried him everywhere and held him tight during the night. He was a gift from my aunt Danny who she loved very much. Mr Pickles was a soft green plushie that resembled a pickle, hence the name. Flamingo received Mr Pickles a little over three years ago and has loved him ever since.
"Should I go and get him?" I asked hoping she would decline my offer. The bed was so warm and walking seemed like too much work. Despite my not wanting to step out of this warmth and walk to my pink little Flamingo’s room, I would still go if she asked me to.
"No, it’s okay. You're my Mr. pickles for the night." she said with a smile that revealed her missing front tooth. She is so adorable and I couldn't help but smile when she tried to put her hands around me. I put my hand around her and we both fell into deep sleep.
I was awoken by the sound of camera flashes and my mom’s giggling. I groaned lowly as I sat up making sure not to wake my Flamingo. "Mom what are you doing?" I yawned and stretched as I got accustomed to the brightness that filled the room. I could still hear the snapshots. I turned to my mom and gave her a questioning gaze. This is not how I wished to be woken up on a Saturday. Its Saturday for crying out loud. The name of this day is reason enough to let me sleep in.
"You both look so cute." She beamed with a huge grin. “Plus, I need as many pictures of you. After all, my big boy's completing local college and is going to a university so far from home." Ah, this again. What’s with mothers and keeping their children really close to them. Mom and I had this talk several times. She wanted me to attend a local university just like she persuaded me to attend a local college. I looked at her ready to contradict her when I saw the sadness she was trying to mask. She still held a smile but her eyes gave her away. She really didn’t want me to go, huh?
I got up and opened my hands wide. She let out a small chuckle and ran into my arms. It was a technique I learnt from her years ago. She told me that hugs that involve someone running to the other are always the warmest. She claims that that is why they did that in movies almost all the time. Indeed, it was a warm embrace. One of mutual understanding. "I love you mom. University won't stop me from seeing you. I'll always be here for you. You are my number one girl. Never forget that, okay?"
Mom looked up at me and smiled, "what did I do to deserve you? I love you, my big boy. You have grown into someone respectable and wise. You are too good even for me and I love you so much." She pinched my nose and laughed as I made faces at her.
"What about me?" I heard a little voice say. We turned to see a glare being sent our way. My cute Flamingo was pouting with her hands folded.
"I love you dear" my mom said with a smile that wasn’t as effective as I thought it would be. Flamingo still looked unimpressed as she looked at the both of us.
"Do you love me Panny?" she asked, her eyes filled with emotions I didn't know but she still looked cute. Panny was the name Hazel used to call me when she was very little. Now knowing how to correctly pronounce my name she decided to make it my nickname.
"I love you Flamingo. Come here". I lifted her but she still looked sad. "what's wrong?"
"I want to be your number one girl" she said with a slight blush. This made us all laugh.
I grabbed my mom's hand and held flamingo tightly. "You're both my number one girls. Now let's go eat I'm hungry."
As we ate breakfast my phone rung. Mr. Miller's name lit up the scream. Why is he calling? Did something happen to Ronnie? I hope nothing happened. I picked up and I could already feel his excitement through the phone.
“Come to the hospital right now! Ronnie is awake.” That was all he said before he hung up.
I was too shocked to respond. I felt a load lifted off my shoulders. She was fine. Right on cue my mom held me in her warm embrace. I looked at my mom and asked her if I could go and she agreed with a nod. I wasted no time grabbing her car keys and rushing to the hospital. Once I reached the hospital I ran straight to her room. I found Mr. Miller standing outside with a wide grin on his face. I just wanted to go inside and see her. I couldn't wait. We literally ran to the room but when I got to the door I froze. I don't know why but I just did. Mr Miller was taken back.
"What are you waiting for Andy. She has been waiting for you for a while now." Mr. Miller encouraged. “Go in and see her.”
With that I took a second step and opened the door.