My entry for the competition! Enjoyy :) (Mainly Lisa's point of view but there are additional Hugh's somewhere. And new years is only included because it follows Christmas naturally and a small part takes place then.) And a fair warning, if there are any mistakes ignore, I'm a bad checker.
Lisa - Ten a.m.
It was the morning, particularly the morning before Christmas eve was to arrive and Hugh had spent shooting his last scenes for one of the episodes of House, showing the following year in January. I was along the sides watching him like the rest of the crew.
"It's over," Hugh spoke as House. He was fixed on a serious expression, despite his exhaustion, and finished the line with clarity as if tying up the entire episode. "and inevitably done with."
As soon as the director called cut, he let out a sigh of relief as the other cast members made their way off set. They all began to walk my way, including Hugh. I patted the rest on the back as I waited for him to approach me, but with a step forward and back he stopped dead due to a vibration from a distance. He had left his phone on a nearby table and he strode over to grab it, answering the call.
"Hello," he spoke in a low tone. He looked down at first...Then threw a glance my way before turning around, walking in the opposite direction. Heading for the exits, he pushed out the doors outside of the set. Naturally drawn by my concern, I followed him with coffee in hand. Striding towards the doors, I gradually began to hear his voice just outside the door. Then suddenly, a punch had been thrown into the door sending me backward. Merely startled, I came close to listen again.
"I can't--be there. Dammit, Jo. I'll try. She shouldn't have gone in the first place." He then slapped the phone shut and exhaled his stress.
It had been the first time Hugh had talked to Jo since the divorce six months prior, and almost five months since she and two of the kids moved back to England after taking custody. She retained Rebecca and Will, but the eldest, Charlie stayed with Hugh in California. After shooting the scenes, he was to head back for a quick visit to see Will and Rebecca for the holidays and come back to celebrate with me. His plans now however had changed a bit. Walking back through the doors he immediately ran into me.
"Oh, sorry--" I began. He stopped and just pulled me into an embrace. I hugged back but hesitated to ask. First pushing the anxiety down.
"I need to fly back to London," he began. "Rebecca's been in an accident. I need to fly out in an hour."
"Is she okay?"
"Jo didn't bother with the details. The concern in her voice worries me. She's only sixteen." he finally let go, but I held onto his hand. I looked deep into his eyes, trying to reach beneath him.
"She's going to be okay. Hey--" he began to walk away from me, but I grabbed his arm and pulled him around.
"I'll go with you. Come here." I grabbed his hand and intertwined our fingers as I pulled him around and off the set. The sun met our eyes when we pushed out the doors, then I turned to look at him. When he refused to look at me, I set my hands on his cheeks and then slid down to his neck.
"I don't know exactly what's going through your head right now. What I do know is that you're hurting. So were going to leave on private jet and go see Becky."
"We need clothes.." he spoke to me meekly.
"Screw the clothes. We'll borrow
some from the wardrobe." he gave a little laugh and I just smiled at him.
"I love you. And I'm going to pull you through whatever this is."
"That's the first time."
"It seemed like good timing."
"When tragedy strikes?"
"When your faith started to falter." he just looked to me and my eyes smiled when I tiptoed to kiss him. Still on my toes I rested my forehead on his and closed my eyes.
"You're gonna be okay. I promise." I could hear him exhaling. So I released, and I took him back inside to prepare our departure.
"A semi?" I asked with wide eyes. He had his arms on his thighs with his head bowed as I paced around inside the jet.
"A semi. Semi-truck. S-e-m-i vehicle. A semi smashed Becky's car on the free way. A SEM-I."
"Yes love, A semi."
"I'm sorry. What else did Jo say?"
"She's still in surgery."
"When did she find out about the accident?"
"Ambulance took her to the hospital. She's still a minor. She was already in surgery by the time they called."
"We left around twelve? We still have six hours on us," He sighed in frustration. I walked over and embraced him.
"you should sleep. No you need to sleep." I continued. "C'mon." I pulled back the chair, and sat beside him. I laid a hand on his chest while I ran my other through his hair. He set his hand on mind, and began to close his eyes. I joined him and we both fell asleep within minutes.
I woke up and I could feel us descending. I glanced out the window, but saw Lisa instead. Her hand gripped to mine and fast asleep. It was nearly two a.m.,. I carefully reached into my pocket for my phone and saw messages. I called voicemail and listened in. It was from Jo.
"Ten o'clock p.m. : She isn't going to make it. After four--long hou-r-s of surg-ery, they coul-dn't compensate---for the-uh--amount of blood she lost. The-re was to-o-o much damage to her organs that they-uh--they're just about give out. It's--they said all she can do now is to cry for you, Hugh. She's crying. For--her father. END OF MESSAGE--"
as soon as the message ended I chucked my phone repulsively at the wall. Lisa woke in alarm, as I let the tears drag down my face.
"They're losing her." I didn't dare look at her, but I knew the exact face that formed. She cupped her mouth before clinging to me tightly. I sniffed, and sniffed with only one thing to say.
"All she wants...she needs...her father...father.."
Lisa - Past Two
On arrival to his home, Hugh had been attacked by his second son, Will. As we got out of the cab, he had darted out--with no jacket on, only pj's--and clung dearly to him. He was sobbing over his father, which drove me to tears also.
"Hey, hey. Come on. It's cold out." he ordered to him. He urged Will inside as he pulled me to his side while carrying our small duffel.
Entering upon the house, you felt the warmth, however, the sadness too. Both were strong and prominent feels to the house at the very moment.
"Let's keep this civil, company?" He hinted to Jo.
"We have to go see her, dad." Will began. He suddenly realized my presents and darted forward to give me a hug. I sympathized with, "I know, I know," yet inside I was surprised he still remembered me. Let alone liked me.
Letting go, I touched his cheek and gave a curt nod. Jo then started to speak. I could tell her voice had been sore from her sobs...
"We were just waiting on you." I felt as though she denied my presence, but I couldn't blame her.
"I'll drive," Hugh began. I nudged him and began to whisper.
"--no. I'll drive," I responded. He stared at me in slight disbelief.
"None of you are in any condition to drive. You're hurting. Love--Please." He looked away and just grabbed his keys to their old car before busting the screen door open. I bowed my head slightly and Will came over and just patted my shoulder.
"It's his little girl. That's all." and the rest of us walked out to join him in the already started and revving car.
Regretfully sitting in the passengers seat, I just watched him drive. Now he appeared more angry than sad. The way his kept steady and still position, his grip on the wheel. A whole new side to him I wasn't even sure I was prepared to face. But I had to. I loved him.
At the hospital
She was almost lifeless in her bed. Both legs and arm, right, were banged up along with her beautiful face. Blood stained her body from head to toe, along with bruises and cuts. I stood respectfully in the background, and allowed the three of them to have their time.
He sat down closest to her. Stroked her hair and touched her wounds gingerly. Will was on his knees, arms folded on the bed as he cried. Jo held onto her hand as she herself trembled.
She was getting out barely any words. She just said their names, over and over. And when her eyes met mine, she called out mine also.
"L-isa?" she asked with a hoarse voice. How on earth could these kids stand me? Did I not break up their family? My God. Hugh urged me over.
"Hey," I struggled to say as I walked over. She didn't respond, only smiled, so I touched her hand.
"We love you," I spoke plainly. There was no other way to say it, because I did. For the time we spend together before the divorce, I treated her like my daughter, or a niece even. And she remembered that.
I only looked up at her as she gazed down at Becky. At the moment I was feeling extreme advances of emotions. A cocktail if you will. I was dying, because my girl was. I was in pain, hurting, angry and overwhelmed all the same. And then I felt in love again. Just this very moment, I felt as though I was reminded what love was like. And maybe that's why we've never said it. Because we've been utterly afraid that if we did, we'd be giving away that truth. That pure semblance of truth that disappears so easily. Maybe I'm wrong. But sometimes I feel that between us, "I love you," is better left unsaid. Because it's already seen.
The longer we remained in that room, the slower her heart rate would go. We knew it would come. Some of us were aware that we couldn't run away from it. And the one person being excluded from that "some of us" would be Hugh. She was sixteen. Her life wasn't even close to starting. And she was going to be taken away. And he couldn't live with that. The fact that in an instant, someone so innocent and so true and pure could lose their life. Without fault or mistake to enable that fate. Just at random. I think that's why he felt so angry, the anger not necessarily pointed at anyone, but it was just filling him. I was sure I could see it in his eyes. A gentle glare.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. The dangerous sound alarmed all of us. Her stats were dropping, plunging to what we knew was the most haunting sound to ever hear: The descend into flatline. I could see the horror in Jo's eyes. The pain in Will's. Then the anger in Hugh's.
No nurses or doctors rushed in. I think they all knew her fate by the time her gurney rolled through the ER doors. There would be no Christmas miracle here. No one would save her, because they couldn't. They wouldn't even dare to try.
And she was gone.
Back at the house
I sat in the guest room while Hugh and Jo got in a spat downstairs. I think he was trying to find blame in her, which actually made me feel sorry. I just sat on the bed and listened.
Then suddenly the door cracked open, and Will came in. He sat down with me on the bed as we bot listened to the yells of Hugh and Jo.
"And they promised they'd keep things civil." I started. He smiled, maybe even laughed a little. When I looked at him, I could see a little of Hugh.
"I'm sorry. About everything."
"If your everything, is referring to my parents, forget it."
"I don't blame you. None of us did. Especially Becky."
"So. Things are okay here?"
"We liked you before. And we still do now." I tapped his back with my hand and we both lapsed into silence as footsteps neared the door. Hugh stepped in with a frustrated face.
"We'll be back in a week. Jo's going to take care of the funeral, I'll pay." He didn't look at Will, or me, but the floor with hands in pocket.
"Oh. Okay." I replied awkwardly. "are we leaving now?" I continued.
"Yeah I called the cab. He'll be here in ten."
His face was strangled with anger and pain, which caused pain in me; in the end, all this was for our first Christmas together, was a making of a tragedy.
Back in L.A. - Hugh's Home
Six a.m. Christmas Day
"Come here." I beckoned him from the living room. The entire house was decorated but it all couldn't compensate for the sadness resting in the air.
He sat with me on the floor by the fireplace. I laid his head across my lap so I could stroke his hair. He just looked up at me, his eyes hollow--an empty blue sea.
"She's gone." he said softly. I couldn't help but cry above him, so I kissed him. I didn't let go, and neither did he. We just rested there by the fire, where the embers glowed everlasting, burning parallel to us... for hours.
New Years Day
I remained in Los Angeles when Hugh flew back to London for the burial. I purposely excluded myself to allow him to come closer to his family for this painful occasion. It's saddening that the first thing you do on the New Year, is to bury a loved one. Let alone your child at that.
Upon his return he didn't remain the same for weeks. Maybe it was months. But everything overturned when our anniversary approached that year.
"I'm due in December." She said to me. A smile splattered across her face, she jumped in my arms and all I could do was smile. It had been the first real since the funeral.
My God I thought. A fourth. Am I ready for this?
Months later, by December I had fully prepped myself for what was hopefully the last of my children. Another girl for me, the first in all for Lisa. This was going to be something. That truth--love--seemed to re-emerge. No. It never left, if anything...The truth blossomed, and bloomed, perfected.
Lisa - Christmas Eve
Nearly twelve o'clock on Christmas eve, I gave birth to our baby girl. With blue eyes and black strands of hair, she came into our world as fast as Becky had left it the previous Christmas. So in her memory we named her
Madeline Rebecca Laurie-Edlestein
As I held her in my arms, he couldn't resist to kiss our foreheads over and over. And when I told him the name I wanted, he almost broke down of joy. The hurt wasn't in his eyes anymore. Only her perfect memory.
Within the year--I learned to say "I love you," as much as I was able without overusing it. I guess I was afraid to admit the truth that keeps ourselves attached to one another, forever, emotionally. Physically, is irrelevant. I was afraid that if I spoke that truth, it would reveal more than needed. Or maybe I was afraid that if I said it, it would fade. As if I scared it away. No...Love is a perfected truth. A truth to never be kept secret. A truth to be revealed to the world even. It's a perfected truth--because it perfects us. It pays for our wrongs...Our mistakes...
Hugh perfects me. And I perfect him. We've found no other way to live.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR HULI'S!!