“Stephanie! Please, Stephie wake up! Please, sweetheart!” I could faintly hear my mother call out.
What happened? My whole body hurt and I groaned, wincing as someone touched my ankle. I heard muffled voices until I recognized another, Fleur's. “Will she be okay? What happened?”
“She must have fallen on the ice and hit her head. Someone found her unconscious and she was freezing so it must have been at least an hour or two. Her fingers were nearly blue.” I heard someone say.
“But will she be alright?” Another voice asked quietly.
“I'm not sure. Keep her warm, covered in those blankets and in bed for a couple days. She's been unconscious and has suffered a concussion among frostbite.” A voice replied softly.
I coughed, feeling like my throat was blocked by something, blocking my air. I coughed harder, trying to get the air to come in and my fingers weakly curled. My joints hurt as I tried to move my hands.
A gentle hand touched my face, stroking my cheek. The fingers lingered and an angelic voice cracked, the person sounding near tears, “I'm so sorry. I'm sorry about everything. Please, wake up, Stephanie. Please.”
My eyes fought the battle and I finally opened them. I found myself gazing into tear-filled blue eyes. Louis. My face turned away from his fingers and I closed my eyes, wanting to go back into the darkness, away from him. He sighed and I heard my mother say, “I think it's best you leave, Louis.”
He paused, “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. Please, let me explain.”
I tried not to cry as I spoke harshly, “Just go.”
“Louis, she wants you to go, so please leave, and leave her alone for now.” My mother sternly said.
“I have to explain to her. You don't understand.” Louis pleaded.
Fleur spoke sharply, “She has no reason to forgive you at the moment or listen to you either. You should have told her long ago about Madeline.”
Louis was near tears, “I know, but I didn't know Madeline would show up at the hospital. It was unexpected. I haven't seen her in a year and a half, but she told me she met some other guy.”
I opened my eyes upon hearing the news and I froze, hearing Fleur say, “Tell that to Stephanie when she is ready to listen.”
My mother stated, “Just go, you've done enough.”
Louis walked to the door before quietly adding, “I'm sorry, I don't deserve you. You won't have to see me again.”
What? No. NO! I should have let him explain. I was wrong, Louis! I was so stupid and stubborn. My thoughts raced within me as I heard the door close. Instantly, I sat up in bed, on the verge of crying all over again. My mother sat on the edge of the bed, “Honey, how are you feeling?”
My voice croaked, “He left.”
“Sweetie, it'll be okay. We'll get through this, I promise.” My mother tried to console me.
I wouldn't hear any of it. I didn't want to get through this. I wanted Louis. Weakly, I sprang out of bed, using all my strength to run to the door before anyone could grab me. Now I knew how he'd felt when I'd tried to leave him. I stumbled down the hall, frantically searching for him. My voice weakly called out, “Louis!”
I fell at the top of the stairs and my body shook with sobs. My eyes looked down the stairs. I didn't see him. He was gone. My mother and Fleur rushed to me and tried to help me up. I pushed them away and continued to cry. “Leave me alone!”
My mother gently touched my shoulder but I harshly pushed her hand away, shouting angrily, “What part of 'leave me alone' don't you understand?”
“I am only trying to help, Stephanie.” My mother spoke quietly, hurt by my harsh tone.
I shook my head, crying into my hands. “You can't.”
No one could help me get through this heart ache. Louis was gone and I hadn't been able to stop him.
The next couple days, I was forced to stay in bed until my fever and my cough went away. Either my mother or Hannah would be watching me making sure I didn't run away. Fleur came by a few times but her visits were awkward as I was no longer dating Louis. I once asked her where he was but she told me she had not seen him since he left days ago. By the time I was well enough to at least walk around, I threw on some warm clothes and headed to the door outside. I didn't say anything to Hannah or my mother who were preoccupied in the kitchens thinking I was asleep. They would only stop me from going out. I knew I still was sick but I didn't care. I had to find him.
Walking outside, I looked around and I heard the click of a camera. Louis? I turned around, expecting to see him but I only saw some reporter for the Daily Prophet taking pictures of someone. I frowned and continued walking onward down the street.
I felt numb from the pain, I couldn't cry anymore. I had cried so much the past few days that I was out of tears. I halted once I reached Louis' apartment building. Would he be there? I only had to try. Making my way up the stairs, my heart raced inside me. If he was here, would he want to talk to me? I coughed, feeling something caught in my throat. I guess I wasn't completely over my cold yet.
Gripping the hand railing, I reached his floor and I found his apartment number. I bit my lip before I gently knocked on the wood, anxious thoughts racing inside me. After a couple minutes of waiting, no one came to open it. I tried turning the handle. Locked. Disappointment flooded me as I realized he either wasn't here or didn't want to see anyone.
I knocked again to make sure and this time, the doorknob turned, the door opened and I looked up to see him. Louis looked ragged, his hair askew, dark circles starting to form under his eyes from no sleep. He was lazily dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt. He stared at me as if he wasn't sure on what to say or if I was really here. I coughed for a moment, clearing my throat before saying, “I'm sorry.”
Louis bit his lip, saying nothing in return. I added, “I really am sorry. I was so stupid and stubborn for not listening. I can get really thick-headed sometimes.”
He cut me off with a quiet comment. “You don't need me, you'll be better off without me.”
My heart felt ready to explode at the words he had just spoken. Before he could close the door on me, my hands grabbed it, stopping him. “No.” My voice broke free somehow.
The look on his face was that of shock but he replaced it with one of no emotion. “Just go.”
Deep down, I knew he did not mean that. He couldn't. “No, I'm not going anywhere, not until you get it through your thick head that I need you and you need me.”
“Stephanie, you don't need me, you never did.” Louis stated coldly.
My face shot him a look of anger. “You're wrong, you're lying. I always needed you, I still do. You were the first person to make me truly happy. You were there for me when I thought no one else was and there were times I felt like giving up but you never gave up on me. Because of you, I didn't give up on myself.”
Louis argued, “I've hurt you enough as it is, Stephanie. I've kept secrets from you and I regret that but you need to move on. I'm not good enough for you.”
“You're so stubborn! Why can't you see it? Why? What did I do? I know I should have let you explain about Madeline but I was jealous and stupid, okay? I'm sorry! What more can I say?” I cried.
“But I shouldn't have had to explain about her now! I should have simply told you a long time ago!” Louis stated, arguing further, “I have nothing more to give you, Stephanie. I have nothing. You're better off without me.”
“Who put that ridiculous idea in your empty head? I'm not better off without you! If I was, would I still be here? I-” I started coughing and this time, I was unable to stop.
Leaning against the wall for support, I coughed again, trying to take a needed breath. Unable to stand on my weak legs, I collapsed to my knees in pain. My chest hurt from the coughing and finally, I was able to take a small breath before the coughing resumed. Slender fingers pressed against my forehead and I felt Louis pick me up in his arms, carrying me into his apartment.
He closed the door behind him and set me down on the couch. The coughing didn't stop and he left for a moment before returning with a potion in hand. He handed it to me and I drank it down, the liquid nearly choking me. I curled up on the cushions and taking a breath. My throat didn't feel nearly as clogged up as it had earlier. Louis was mumbling something in French as he grabbed a warm wool blanket, “Silly fille, vous ne devriez pas avoir outrepassé avec de la fièvre" (Silly girl, you should not have gone outside with a fever)
As a parent would a child, he placed the blanket over me and tucked it around me. His fingers brushed my forehead again and he softly said, “You shouldn't have come here.”
“Well you weren't about to go see me so I had to come. I don't care if I am sick because I had to see you.” I quietly replied.
Louis sighed, “Stephanie.”
“I don't care how long it takes for you to realize we need each other. I still love you.” I pointed out, my eyes starting to close as I was exhausted.
He was now knelt down on the floor, his arms resting on the edge of the couch. His fingers hesitantly touched mine and he whispered, “We'll discuss it when you're more coherent.”
My eyes fluttered open to gaze into his tired blue irises. “Don't leave.”
He placed a tender kiss to my forehead, “I wouldn't dream of it.”
Sleep overtook me and the last thing I recalled was him whispering in my ear, “Je t'aime.”
a/n: I AM SOOOO SORRY FOR NOT UPDATING!!!! I feel terrible. I really do. I just got sooo busy with college applications and scholarship stuff. Plus, I am in an advanced English class where I have to write 5 page papers every couple weeks so it's a little crazy busy for me. I am going to try to upload another chapter today... :)
my beta has not gotten back to me yet either on this chapter or the next... so i'll edit this for stuff when she replies back. i just didn't want to keep you all waiting. :)