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  • Home > Samantha Young > Into the Deep Series > Out of the Shallows (Page 45)     
  • Out of the Shallows(Into the Deep #2)(45) by Samantha Young
  • My parents and Rick greeted me, hugged me. I remembered it because their expressions were the first thing since hearing the news that brought me into the real world, into the reality of what we were dealing with. The bleakness in my parents’ eyes, the desperation in Rick’s… it had me pushing past them into the hospital room.

    I’d stumbled, disbelieving the sight before me.

    Andie lay there. She seemed frozen beneath the tubes and the ventilator. It was almost like it wasn’t her. It was just her body.

    “What happened?” Claudia said.

    Sick with fear, I stepped tentatively toward my sister.

    “A taxi driver,” Rick said grimly. “Downtown. He had a heart attack at the wheel and crashed into the sidewalk. When he hit An—”

    I grabbed for my sister’s hand. It was cool, limp.

    “The impact threw her against a building,” Dad finished hoarsely when Rick couldn’t continue.

    I could hear Claudia’s gasp and the choked sounds of crying.

    The tears welled in my eyes as I stroked my sister’s hand and leaned over to whisper, “I’m sorry.”

    “The doctors said we can only wait for her to come out of the coma but there’s a chance…” My mom’s tear-soaked words trailed off.

    “There’s a chance she won’t wake up,” Dad bit out.

    The pain and guilt poured out of me and I pressed my forehead against Andie’s. “I should have been there,” I whispered. I should have saved you. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I haven’t been here.”

    A buzzing sound infiltrated the darkness and I jerked awake. I blinked a few times against the harsh lighting, the blur across my vision fading to reveal my unconscious sister in her hospital bed and Rick on the other side of it, opposite me.

    “Your phone,” he said quietly.

    I yawned and followed the buzzing sound—my phone vibrating on the bedside table. I tried to focus on the screen. “It’s Jake,” I whispered.

    “Yeah, he’s called a few times. You should call him back.”

    I frowned at Rick. “How long have I been out?”

    He shrugged. “You were out when I got here. That was a few hours ago.” His brows drew together in concern. “Charley, you should go back to our place with your parents. Get some sleep.”

    I was never going to get any real sleep until Andie woke up.

    Seven days.

    Seven long days she’s laid in that bed, breathing through a ventilator.

    “Charley.”

    I looked up from my sister’s face to Rick’s haggard one.

    “Go get some sleep.”

    “I just slept.” I shook my head.

    “Then call Jake back.”

    Wondering if perhaps Rick really just wanted some time alone with my sister, I nodded and grabbed my phone. “Do you want a Starbucks?” I noted his cheekbones looked a little sharper. I wasn’t the only one losing weight. “Something to eat?”

    “A coffee and a sandwich would be great.” He eyed me. “Get yourself something to eat too, before you fade away to nothing.”

    I reluctantly agreed and strode out of my sister’s hospital room. For a little while, I found myself wandering aimlessly as I clutched my phone. After the first long few days following Andie’s accident, when she showed no signs of waking up, somehow I managed to convince Claudia and Jake to return to Edinburgh to finish up their exams. It was difficult to bring them around, but since Jake didn’t want to cause trouble by appearing at the hospital, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot he could do. And Claudia… well, I just… my focus was on Andie and I wasn’t able to give any other part of myself to anyone, which included reassurances to Claud that I was okay.

    I was far from okay, and I needed to be that way. I didn’t want to spend half my time lying to people about how I was coping when in all honesty, I was barely hanging on, but barely coping on my own was easier because I could do that without the pressure from other people to do better than barely hang on.

    Once a day Claudia would FaceTime to check in. That was beyond harrowing—to have to keep using the phrase, “There’s no change.”

    With Jake, though, it was even harder.

    My insides churned with guilt that Andie was lying in a hospital bed and I hadn’t spoken to her in months. The thought… the thought that she might die, that I might never have a chance to say another word to her after having spent the last few months choosing Jake over her and avoiding her…

    I leaned against the nearest wall to catch my breath.

    This was my fault. Andie’s accident. I knew that deep in my bones. Although there was some part of me that knew it wasn’t rational, I worried that somehow I’d interrupted fate all those years ago when I’d knocked Andie out of the way of Mr. Finnegan’s SUV. Was this fate’s way of punishing me?

    I didn’t know if that was true or not.

    What I did know was that I was definitely being punished for treating her so badly.

    And the reason for my falling-out with her… well, it was Jake. I couldn’t get that out of my head.

    Looking down at my phone, I fought the urge to smash it underfoot. I had to call Jake back or he would only keep trying.

    After making my way outside, I found a quiet spot.

    His face appeared on my phone screen and I felt a painful grip in my chest. Just looking at him made me feel a horrible mix of relief and shame.

    “Baby,” he said in greeting, his dark eyes filled with concern and love. “How’s it going?”

    I shook my head, looking away from the screen for a moment. “Same.”

    “She’ll come out of this, Charley. Andie’s strong. She’s a Redford.”

    Biting my lip to stem the tears, I shrugged loosely. “We’ll see.”

    “You’ve got to stay positive.”

    “I know.”

    “Charley? Charley, look at me.”

    I did as he asked, turning my head back to the screen.

    His expression was tender. “I can come back. If you need me, I can come home.”

    “No,” I said adamantly, my pulse racing just at the thought. “You have to finish up there. I… I’m better on my own,” I said honestly. “I feel like I don’t have to worry so much about worrying everyone else when I’m on my own.”

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