I tried to avoid the young men Gran wanted to set me up with
again. Where was she?
I opened the front door and looked right and left. Then I slammed it and ran to the back door. The sun was hot on the terrace as I went out and there was the fresh smell of cut grass. Gran often sat out there for lunch but there was no sign of her at the table.
I hurried down the steps, now quite frantic to find Gran, and that’s when it happened. My shoe caught on an uneven stone and I fell, banging my head on the dry lawn at the bottom.
Pain shot up my leg. “Chloe?” Gran came racing over to me.
I tried to raise my head, but it was so heavy. I winced.
“I was . . . looking for you . . .”
“I was putting some tins in the recycling bin. Never mind that – are you OK?”
“Yes. No.” My voice was little more than a flutter of the wind.
I opened my eyes and closed them again. It was too much effort. My heart was thumping in my chest.
“Chloe, can you move?” I felt Gran’s hand on my arm. “Chloe? I’m going to phone for an ambulance.”
I tried to lift my hand in a stopping motion.
“No,” I whispered. “No fuss.”
“But you’re hurt! I daren’t move you.”
I glanced at the house and saw Gran coming back on to the terrace. What a lot of trouble I was causing.
“Chloe? Oh, thank goodness you’re awake,” Gran said. “I’ve called the doctor but I think you’re going to need to go to hospital.”
I was protesting when we heard the front door. Gran left me to answer it.
“I’m the locum, Gary Lorimer.” I was vaguely aware of a youngish man with dark curly hair, wearing a suit. He put a bag down beside me.
He carefully checked me all over, and then phoned for an ambulance.
“I think that leg needs setting,” he said with a smile. “More than I can manage out here in the garden.”
“No. I don’t want to go.” “You don’t have a choice in the matter,” he said briskly.
The ambulance men strapped me on to a stretcher and carefully lifted me on to the trolley. It was hideous, not being in control.
Gran came with me in the ambulance.
She waited while I was taken for X-rays and checked all over. I was given numbing shots and then they straightened out my leg.
“They want to keep
you in overnight, Chloe, because you banged your head.”
“No, why?” I protested, but I was soon asleep.
Next morning I learned the extent of the damage I’d done to myself. My leg was in plaster up to the
“Do you live here all the time with your grandmother?” he asked as he checked my pulse and temperature.
“No, I was just visiting for the weekend. But I’ve had to tell work I’m not sure when I’ll be back. I