She was then driven away from the scene; the sirens were loud, making her head throb as she laid back. She closed her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.
The ambulance arrived at the hospital; Jessica was soon sat in a bed, stitched up, and told to rest, her arm now in a sling. It was not broken, but it hurt to move it.
Alone for what seemed like a long time, she was alone with her thoughts. She closed her eyes again, only to be woken by a doctor tapping her on the shoulder. He informed her that they were keeping her in, and that the police needed to talk to her, if she was up to it. Jessica nodded.
The officers arrived and stood at the foot of the bed. The taller one, stared at her, and walked around to the side of the bed, before he spoke to her.
“Miss, are you okay to talk to us?”
Jessica nodded, again.
“Can you tell us about the man that was in the car with you today?”
“No, I don’t know him; I need to talk to Curtis.”
“Who is Curtis? Was he the man in the car?”
“No, I just said I don’t know who he was.”
“Okay, so let me get this straight. You don’t know the man in the car?”
“That is correct.”
“Can I ask why you were in a car with a man you did not know?”
“He forced me, and tied my hands tied.”
They asked her a few more questions, before they left her alone, she was not sure if they would contact Curtis, or knew who he was. She insisted they contact him, they scribbled on a pad, but said nothing about whether they would contact him or not.
The next morning, the Doctor discharged Jessica from the hospital.
She did not get much sleep, the nurses were in and out, the lights were kept on, lights and buzzes kept going off. Nurses checked on her throughout the night, and prodding her. She was fine, she told them over and over. She just wanted to go home. Other than the pain in her arm, she was fine. She just wanted to sleep, and in her own bed. The nurse that came on early morning nodded and offered to bring her a hot drink, which she brought to her twenty minutes later. She did not see her again.
After drinking the tea, she finally fell asleep, but was woken an hour later, when the doctor informed her that she could go home. Jessica was more than ready to go home.
Ready to leave, Jessica was helped into her shoes. She had contacted one of her brothers to collect her. When she saw him enter, her mouth fell open, was she dreaming?
He entered the ward, his eyes were on her, she could not move. He was soon at her side, and then pulled her to him, where she nestled into his chest and inhaled, doing her best to hold back the tears that threatened to fall, now that she was in his arms where she felt safe in his arms.
“Jessica, I am so sorry, I had no idea they had let him out, had I known I would have warned you, I would have…”
“You are here now, that is all that matters, take me home. Please.”
“I am, but I am not taking you to your home.”
“Where are you taking me?”
“To my home, I am not letting you out of my sight until the hearing and he is behind bars, if he makes it that is.”
“Yes, he’s in a coma,” he said, releasing her.
“Get me out of here, please. I need to sleep.”
“And sleep you will, I will take care of you.”
“Yes, I will.”
He did as she asked, led her to his car, opened the door, and assisted her as she attempted to climb in the car. Curtis then strapped her in and closed the door. He then started the engine and drove her to his home.
Curtis then parked the car, and led her into the house, and suggested she got comfortable on the sofa, he said he would take care of her, but first they should eat, he placed a blanket on her as she shivered.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Chinese, Thai or something greasy.”
“I could just eat a portion of fish and chips with mushy peas.”
“I can have that arranged; I don’t want to leave you alone,” he said, standing and disappearing. He was gone less than two minutes. “They will be here in twenty minutes.”
“You know a chippy that delivers?”
“No, my Mum is going to get them for us, she wants to apologise to you.”
“For what she said the other day.”
Jessica frowned, and shook her head. “There is no need.” She paused. “I just don’t understand why this happened, why he is out.”
“I heard he was bailed out. He should never have been. I wish I had known.”
“If you had…”
“I would have been there, watching you; I had to stop myself watching you once I knew you were safe.”
“I don’t understand any of this or what this all means.”
“It means I love you and that I should never have let you go.”
She was taken aback; she wanted to hear those words. She wanted to say them back. She was in shock, why had it taken this to make him say those words to her.
“I know what you are thinking.”
“Yes,” he said, sitting down beside her.
“What am I thinking?”
“Why now, why not admit it earlier, why allow this to happen to you. If I had never let you out of my sight this would never have happened. Don’t you think I know that?”
“I told my mother you were the one for me, she had no idea of course at the time of meeting you, that you were her. I told her one day I would tell you I loved you and I would ask you to marry me.” He paused. “I never wanted to let you go, but I made a mess of it all, the lies I told. How could we get passed that?”
“I don’t care, I told you I never cared about that, those lies were what brought us together. Don’t you see that?”
“I do now. I am sorry.”
He leaned in, close enough to lay his lips on hers, a gentle kiss, which would have turned to more, had his mother not arrive. The scent of fish and chips wafted through to the living room.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt,” his mother said, walking in and placing the food on the table.
“It’s okay, Mum, thank you.”
“So, she is really the one?” she asked.
“I told you didn’t I? That you needed to tell her the truth, tell her how you felt.”
“Mum, yes you were right.”
Jessica remained quiet.
“Welcome to the family, Jessica, you guys need to set a date.”
“I haven’t asked her to marry me,” he said, as he turned to face her. “I plan to, just not like this. Can we pretend this did not happen, and when I do, it will be done properly?”
Jessica nodded. “I can do that.”
“Good, well now that is sorted; I will leave you two to it, sorry Jessica, Curtis.” His mother hugged them both, before leaving and closing the door behind her.
Curtis placed the fish and chips on plates, and then placed one of the plates before her. They ate, the whole time her thoughts on him, them.
“Curtis,” Jessica began.
“I don’t need you to ask me in any fancy down on one knee way, you know that don’t you?”
“No, my answer would be the same.”
“Yes, Curtis it would be, no matter when or how you asked, my answer would be the same.”
“Even now, this minute if I asked you to marry me, you would say yes?”
“Ask me, see what I say.”
“I don’t have a ring.”
“We could shop for one tomorrow.”
“You really are one of a kind aren’t you?”
He placed the finished plates on the table and took her hand.
“You may not mind, but I still think I should do this on one knee, Jessica.”
She nodded and could not wipe the smile of her face.
“Jessica, will you marry me?”
“No,” she said, smirking, as she saw his face fall. “I’m kidding, of course it’s a yes, yes Curtis.”
“That was an awful thing to do; I may take it back now and find another true love out there.”
“Curtis, sorry, I just…”
“I was kidding, come here,” he said, placing his lips once again on hers, kissing her until they were both breathless.
The next day, Curtis and Jessica arrived in town; they walked a short distance, until they arrived at one of the local jewellery shops. The windows displayed a variety of rings. Jessica had never needed to look at rings, any type of rings. And now here she was, searching for an engagement ring.
Her eyes were wide; there were far too many choices. She did not like the look of the large stones set in the rings and the prices that accompanied them. She could never expect him to pay that amount on a ring. Not that she had any idea what he would be willing to pay. He had never said. She just stared at them all, he remained silent.
As the rings moved closer to the shop, the prices lowered, one caught her eye. She pointed to it. It was perfect.
“Are you sure?”
“I should try it on.”
“If you like it, I like it.”
“I do,” she said.
The ring was now on her finger, it fitted perfectly, and now it was on her finger, she did not want to take it off, which was good, because he paid for it and that was it, they were leaving.
“You could have had any ring you wanted.”
“I know, but this is me, I like it.”
“And I love it.”
They ate lunch in a small café, a good home cooked meal to celebrate their engagement. It was not what he had wanted he told her, but she could not have been happier. Telling her parents was next on her agenda.
“I should have asked your dads permission,” he suddenly said.
“No, this is not the dark ages, no, you don’t need to. I know they will be happy. As long as we are, isn’t that all that matters.”
“You are right.”