Chapter Seven: Another Row

Elliot was the first person at his daughter's side, hurriedly fishing in his pocket for his mobile phone and dialling for an ambulance as he crouched beside her, scared to touch her for fear of hurting her further. The faint rise and fall of her chest had reassured him that she still lived, but whether she was badly hurt he didn't know, and inwardly he berated his own bluntness. Yes, he had been tired and unprepared for her attack, but he knew only too well how impulsive and emotional his eldest girl was.
"I should have handled her better." He muttered. "I should have known she'd run off...I should have stopped this!"
A horrified voice came from behind him and he turned, registering for the first time that he was not alone. "Oh God, is she okay?"
Jewel, he realised absently, though he found himself hardpressed at that moment to put names to faces.
"She's alive." he said quietly. "I've rung for help. I're her band?"
"Yeah." Topaz knelt down beside Elliot, her gaze never leaving Sylva for one moment. "What happened exactly? We heard a screech of brakes and the horn and..."
"She ran into the road without looking." Elliot replied.
"Why on earth did she do a dumb thing like that?" Nancy demanded.
"Perhaps she wasn't thinking. You know she's been upset lately." Copper murmured, her own expression troubled. "Someone should call her mother...and Jetta, too."
"If someone has a couple of quarters, I'll go call Mom." Nancy offered. "There's a payphone on the corner."
"Here." Topaz fished in her pocket, pulling out her mobile phone. "Use that, it's easier."
"All right." Nancy agreed soberly, taking it and dialing her mother's number. An uneasy silence fell, broken only by the sound of ambulance sirens, and it seemed no time at all before the scene was swarming with police and paramedics. The anxious driver, who had kept clear of his unfortunate victim, gave his story to the police officers, but none of this mattered to Elliot or the Jewel girls. All that mattered was Sylva, and Sylva's health.
Elliot chose to ride with her to the hospital, and the white vehicle soon wheeled away into the distance, sirens still screaming, leaving the three remaining bewildered and shocked Jewels to pick up the pieces. Nancy, who had been talking in animated tones to her mother clicked off the phone, handing it back to Topaz in grim silence.
"So what now?"
It was Copper who spoke first.
"I guess we ought to go and tell Mary." Topaz said slowly. "She can get in touch with Anna, and I doubt Syl's father will want to leave her bedside to make any calls...especially if things are as rocky at the Martescu house as Syl thinks they are. I vote we jump in the car and go there. Nance, what did Jetta say?"
"She...didn't say anything for a while." Nancy admitted. "It struck her kinda dumb. Then she just told us to meet her back at the hotel as soon as possible, and that she'd handle cancelling tonight's interview. rather a lot. I don't think she's pleased."
"It was an accident." Copper reasoned. "Probably Syl was careless, but it was an accident and they happen."
"Think she'll be okay?" Topaz sounded afraid. There was a moment of silence, then,
"We can only hope." Nancy said gravely. She led the way slowly to the waiting car, opening the door and clambering inside. After giving the address of Sylva's mother to the driver, the conversation lapsed, and all three were more than a little bit relieved to reach their destination. Mary was, as it happened, at home, and she greeted them at the door with a tired smile.
"I thought you might be my husband." She admitted. Then, she frowned. "Where's Sylvie?"
"Something...something's happened." Topaz began slowly. "Can we come in?"
"What kind of something?" Mary's blue eyes opened wide with fear, and she moved back, allowing the girls inside. "Where is she? Please, just tell me...I want to know."
"There's been an accident." Copper explained gently. "Syl...well, she ran out in front of a car without looking."
"She did what?" Mary's face drained of all colour and she gripped the doorhandle so tightly that her knuckles turned white. "Oh my God, is she all right? What happened? Where is she!"
"Her father was there...he called an ambulance and went with her to the hospital...I don;t know what the nearest one is, but I think one of the paramedics said Western Cross." Topaz replied.
"We don't know how badly hurt she is." Nancy admitted. "But she is alive."
"My God..." Mary trailed off, reaching for her car keys. "My poor little girl...Western Cross?"
"Mrs Martescu, we've a car outside, we'll take you to the hospital. It'll be quicker." Copper offered. Mary flashed her a quick, sad smile.
"Thank you, Copper. It's much appreciated." She said softly. "Oh, and Anna...I must get in touch with Anna."
"I'll call her, if you have her number." Topaz suggested.
"It's on here." Mary scooped up her mobile phone, handing it to the singer and heading to the door. "I must go..."
"Of course." Copper agreed, grabbing Nancy and Topaz by the arms and pulling them towards the door. "Then let's go. We're sorry to bring such bad news..."
"I had to know." Mary slipped into the back of the car, her face still white. "I have to see her." She clenched her fist. "Damn Elliot...what did he do to her? What did he say to make her run off? Wait till I get my hands on poor Sylvina!"
Copper and Nancy exchanged looks, and Nancy grimaced.
"Guess Syl wasn't wrong about things being rocky." She murmured. Her friend nodded.
"Guess not." She agreed. "Are you feeling surreal about all this, Nance? I know I am."
"Very. It doesn't seem real at all." Nancy agreed, getting into the back of the vehicle and waiting while Copper followed suit. Then she gave the instruction to the driver, and they were off. Topaz, mindful of the bond between the Martescu twins dialled Anna's number with a little trepidation, unsure how to handle breaking the news and half-hoping that Anna would not be around to answer the phone.
She wasn't in luck. On the fourth ring someone picked up, and it didn't take Topaz long to realise she had reached the younger twin.
"Hello? Mom, is that you?"
"Anna, it's Topaz, from Jewel." Topaz said quickly.
"Topaz? Oh! Hi...but this is Mom's number! What..."
"She asked me to call you." Topaz said quietly. "Listen, Anna. Your sister's been in an accident, and..."
"What? What kind of accident, is she okay?" All confusion and shyness in the younger girl's tone vanished as she grasped the meaning of Topaz's words.
"She was knocked down by a car." Topaz said slowly. "Your Dad was there and he called an ambulance right away - she was definitely alive and breathing strongly when the paramedics took her away, she's at Western Cross, we think. Your Dad went with her."
"Okay...okay. Thanks. I'll...I'll be right there." Anna said slowly. "Thanks for calling, Topaz...bye."
"Bye, Anna." Topaz responded softly. She terminated the call, turning to Mary and handing back the phone.
"She said she'd head straight to the hospital." She said quietly. Mary turned a pair of troubled blue eyes on her companion.
"Good. Thank you." She said, sliding the telephone absently into her pocket. "I'm glad of that anyhow...I'm not sure I want to be there alone."
Nancy opened her mouth to remind the songwriter that her husband would already be there, but then thought better of it.
As it happened, however, the car drew onto the forecourt of the hospital at that moment and the anxious group hurried inside, only pausing to ask a nurse where to find the injured girl. Before long they were entering ICU and Mary hurried to her daughter's bedside, ignoring her husband completely as she grasped the girl's pale hand. The other hand was heavily bound up, and Sylva's eyes were still closed.
"Sylvie." Mary murmured, tears pricking her eyes.
"You were quick." Elliot remarked quietly. Mary raised her gaze to his, her expression angry.
"I care what happens to my daughter." She said coldly.
"You think I don't?" Elliot exclaimed. "Mary, I've been sitting here since she came in going over and over in my head what happened! Don't you think I'd have prevented it if I could?"
"I don't know. Would you?" Mary retorted, oblivious to the discomfort she was causing the three Jewel girls in the doorway. With one accord the musicians retreated from the hospital sideward, closing the door and letting the couple get on with things.
After all, as Copper remarked, it was none of their business.
"Hell, Mary, I love my kids!"
"What did you say to her, Elliot?" Mary demanded, clutching the fragile hand as if afraid her daughter might leave her there and then. "Sylvie might be impulsive but she knows not to run into traffic! What did you say to her?"
"Mary, the kid jumped on me, asking me all kinds of awkward questions about you and me and the fight the other night." Elliot sounded tired. "I told her what she wanted to know, that's all. I had no idea she'd run off like that and get herself hurt!"
"You have no idea, period." Mary's tone was uncharacteristically cutting. "You never have had, have you?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Now Elliot was getting angry too.
"You don't understand Sylvina, and you've never bothered to try." Mary replied. "Where she does what you expect from her, you praise her, but you can't understand how she feels about things inside, can you? You've never tried!"
"Oh, this isn't the time or the place for this!" Elliot snapped. "Mary, get a grip. You're going overemotional and hysterical again, and it's not appropriate."
"You want me to tell you what is appropriate?" Mary's eyes were full of unshed tears as she faced her husband defiantly. "You leaving right now! The way I feel, I wouldn't care if I ever saw you again! If Sylvie dies...Oh god, if she dies..." At this the tears fell and Mary turned her attention back to the bed, helplessness taking over from her anger. "Oh God, Sylvie..."
"Fine. Then I'll go." Elliot frowned, standing. "I can tell when I'm not wanted. Never mind the fact I've had a long flight already today. I'll go home - change, get some rest." He paused at the door. "If you could find it inside you to bother to keep me up to date on her condition, I'd be most grateful."
Then he was gone and Mary buried her head in her hands, giving in to her tears. More than anything she wished she could take her angry words back, but, as she thought things over in her mind, she realised she'd meant them.
"Do I love Elliot any more?" She asked herself, squeezing Sylva's hand. "And Sylvie...what price am I going to have to pay before I know the answer to that?"
A hesitant voice from the doorway startled her, and she turned, offering Anna a sad smile.
"Annie...I'm glad to see you." She said softly.
"I saw Dad as I came in..." Anna's expression was troubled. "Mom, you both have to stop this! Sylvie and I don't need you fighting all the time! This is what happens...Copper and the others said she was upset about things and I know she cried when I told her you'd fought. You have to settle things...please! I love you both so much and...and I can't deal with this any more!"
"I don't know if I can either." Mary admitted hollowly, as Anna came to sit down beside her.
"How is she?" She asked softly.
"I don't know." Mary frowned. "As I came in the nurse told me that they'd done some tests and stuff, and that she's hurt her wrist, but she has no other breaks or damage they can see, apart from a blow to the head. Still, there's nothing majorly wrong...they said she...she should have woken up by now."
"Oh." Anna bit her lip. "She hasn't stirred?"
"No. They can't work out why."
"Perhaps there's something on her mind."
"Yes, probably." Mary sighed. "Annie, I wish I knew where things were going to end up. I know your father and I have never spoken to you about things like this, and to be honest if you hadn't turned up in the middle of our row the other night I'm not sure I'd be saying it now, but things haven't been so good for a while. Longer...than you know."
"How long?" Anna's tone was devoid of emotion. Mary looked pained.
"Since before you and Sylvie both went away." She admitted. "Only we kept it from you girls...we didn't want you to know anything was wrong. I hoped once both of you were settled in what you wanted to do then it would die down but it's gotten worse, to be honest. I'm not even sure why we began rowing...I know I never loved anyone like I did your father the day we got married. If I'd have known..." She trailed off, turning her eyes back to the bed. "You and Sylvie are all I have to cling to." She whispered. "I can't lose one of you!"
"Sylvie's too strong to give up." Anna murmured.
"Is she, though?" Mary asked sadly. "If there's something on her mind, Annie, it has to be your father and I and the mess we call our marriage at the moment. Maybe...maybe she doesn't want to wake up."
A startled look entered Anna's blue eyes, followed by one of horror.
"Oh no! Then this is my fault!" She exclaimed.
"Your fault? Annie, don't be daft!" Mary looked confused.
"But it is! Oh, Mom, I told her...I told her you'd fought about her." Anna was fast getting very upset.  "I didn't mean to, she forced it out of me!"
"Annie, it's not your fault." Mary's maternal instinct took over and she hugged her daughter. "It's mine, it's your father's...but it's not yours, okay? And it's made me realise that something does need to be resolved...a decision needs to be made, however painful it might be."
Anna looked at her mother anxiously.
"You mean...separation, don't you?"
"Yes." Mary admitted. "I'm rather afraid I do." She sighed. "Maybe I'll go to your Aunt in Philly for a while, get some space. I don't know...but I can't carry on like this, and I don't want you girls hurt."
Anna closed her eyes briefly.
"I was afraid you might split up." She admitted. "I don't want it, Mom. I love you and Dad both so much and I can't play can't ask me to choose a side. I...I can't do it."
"I know." Mary said gently. "And it's fine. I don't expect you to. I just don't think I can take the strain any longer." She glanced back at the silent Sylva. "If only she'd wake up! Anna, you try. You're twins...maybe it'll help."
"I'll try." Anna agreed. Gently she reached over, brushing Sylva's curly hair out of her face.
"Sylvie, it's Annie, can you hear me? It's time to wake up." She murmured.
There was no response.
"Keep going, Annie." Mary encouraged.
"Sylvie, please, if you can hear me, move your hand or something, I dunno. Can you hear me? It's okay. You're safe in hospital and Mom and I are here. Noone's angry with you, we just want you to wake up."
There was a moment of utter stillness, then Sylva's lashes fluttered slightly.
"Sylvie?" Mary was on her feet in an instant. "Sylvie, wake up!"
Sylva's eyelashes fluttered again, and then she opened her eyes. A slight moan of fear escaped her lips as the world blurred before her gaze, and she quickly shut them again. Mary squeezed her daughter's hand, almost giddy with relief.
"Don't be afraid, Sylvie. You're quite safe."
"I can't see you...Mom, where are you?" Sylva's voice was plaintive and faint, but reassuring all the same.
"Open your eyes again, sweetie." Mary said softly. "I'm right here."
Slowly Sylva did as she was bidden, blinking a couple of times and finally bringing the room into focus. Anna said a silent prayer of thanks.
"You're gonna be fine now." She murmured. "Do you remember what happened?"
"I remember...I remember a car." Sylva whispered. "And Dad...where is Dad?"
"He went home to change." Anna responded, seeing her mother was unable to answer. "But he loves you and he's just as worried, Syl. You're gonna be fine now though, I promise. Everything...everything is going to be fine."

Chapter One: The Martescu Home
Chapter Two: Anna's News
Chapter Three: Jetta Discovers
Chapter Four: Marianne
Chapter Five: Nancy Speaks Out
Chapter Six: Elliot
Chapter Seven: Another Row
Chapter Eight: Sylva's Solution
Chapter Nine: Decisions
Chapter Ten: The Show

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!