Someone had to tell Willow, Leo thought. Not him. Not this time. He couldn't do it. He picked up the radio and dialed in to the station.
"Hey Eddie, it's Leo. Someone needs to tell Willow. I just IDed her mom and she... she's gone."
Stop it. Stop thinking this way, he mentally chided himself.
"God, Leo please get a grip. You don't know yet," Leo repeated to himself as he continued on his way to the scene. He shook the scenario out of his head and tried to think positively. "I don't know yet," he repeated.
He pulled up and exited his squad car and began a slow jog toward the vehicle where he saw the paramedics lifting Sheila from the ground and loading her onto the stretcher.
"Oh thank God," he said to himself. "How is she?" he asked Lance as he saw them load Sheila into the ambulance.
"I don't get it Leo, it's the weirdest damn thing I've ever seen. To look at that car you would have though she never stood a chance. Remarkably thanks to the airbag and quick thinking she was still coherent enough to open the door and and let herself fall out before the fire reached the front of the car. She rolled down about ten yards into the brush and that must have been when she lost consiousness. The fire crew never even saw her 'til they had the fire out and realized no-one was in the car." He then gave a relived chuckle. "She's pretty banged up but hell, compared to what could have happened it's a skinned knee."
"Yeah. It is for sure. I am thrilled I can tell you. I sure didn't want to tell Willow this," Leo said.
"Well she's is in bad shape. It will be a while before she will be up and about I can tell you."
"Do we know what happened here? What caused the accident?"
"No, the truck driver said he just didn't have time to stop. She just spun right out in front of him. It is a little strange for sure. We are towing the car down to the State forensic center to let them have a look. I really hope that Mrs. Rosenberg can tell us. As soon as she gets set up at the hospital and they can see whatever they are going to need to do for her I'll go on down and talk to her. In the meantime I think I'll just work the scene here a little bit more see if I can't get something here," Lance answered.
"Well alright then Lance. I'm gonna head down and tell Willow this myself. Give me a shout if ya need anything from me."
"Alright Leo. Will do."
Tara had no idea how long she had been lying there in her bed. She reached over and picked up the telephone. She took a deep breath and dialled the number that she had memorize in the last two days.
"County General. How may I direct your call?'
"Willow Rosenberg please," Tara said.
"Just a moment please."
Tara was panicking now. She was starting to think this was a bad idea. She should just hang up. Leave it alone. Leave Willow alone. Willow would be angry with her now she knew. This with her mom was her fault. She had been coming to see her.
She had made up her mind. She would hang up the phone. She didn't want to hurt Willow any more now. Almost as though it were some kind of a sign she heard a beeping sound that indicated to her that there was another call coming in. The caller ID indicated that the call was from Leo.
She pushed the button and switched to the other line .
"Hey Tara. It's Leo. Listen, I just wanted to let you know that Sheila is alive. She's a bit beat up and her injuries are pretty serious but she survived it and it's only by some kind of miracle that she did. I just thought you would like to know."
Tara closed her eyes and offered up a silent 'thank you' to anyone that might be listening..
"Thank you Leo. That's wonderful news. I'm so glad you let me know."
"No problem Tara. I'm just going to go and see Willow for a minute and then I'll be back to pick up Willow's stuff."
"Okay Leo. That's, that's just fine. And thanks again."
She hung up the phone and a smile crossed her lips. She collected herself and made another call.
"Hey Daddy. It's Tara."
"Hey there baby girl. How is Willow doing? I was just about to call you with my flight information," he said.
"Well daddy, I um, I don't think you need to come down here now. Something's... something's happened and I think what needs to happen now is that I come to see you."
"I want to see Willow. I want to see her right now. Let me up please. I'm fine."
"You are not fine Mrs.Rosenberg. You are far from fine and if you don't relax you're going to make it worse. Now please. Let us finish the exam and get you stabilized and we will take you to her okay?" the paramedic said to Sheila as they rolled her into the hospital.
"Shelia, hey Shelia. It's me Leo."
"I know it's you Leo. I can see and hear just fine," she chuckled at him.
"I... I know, sorry. It's just that... Man I don't even want to tell you what I thought..."
"I can imagine it was hard. You are a great friend to Willow. I appreciate that. I really do."
"She's a great person. She's a wonderful officer. I know she will be again too," he smiled at Sheila. "Hey, how did this happen? Why did you lose control of the vehicle?"
"Leo, to be honest with you, I have any idea. None at all. I don't even remember what happened. I remember the collision but everything before that, I don't know," Shelia said.
"I wouldn't worry about that though. It happens a lot in severe car acidents. You'll probably remember in a few days," the paramedic said.
Sheila laughed a little. "I guess you don't know what I do for a living. I'm a pshcologist. My specialty is post traumatic stress syndrome. So yes I'm aware of this fact."
"I'm sorry, I didn't know," he answered.
"No need for sorry. I was just telling you is all. You have no way of knowing."
They wheeled Sheila in and when she looked to her right she saw Susan standing in the hall on her cell phone. She cringed and turned to Leo and said: "Is there anything at all that you can think of to have that woman arrested?"
Leo just laughed, turned around, and walked toward Willow's room.
She had packed enough things to last at least a week. If she needed anything else she would buy it in Kentucky 'til she felt she was ready to come back to her home and get everything else. She had called Roger and asked that he take care of her horses for her. She would be having them picked up and delivered to her father's house by the end of the week for sure. She had also asked that Roger not tell anyone her whereabouts for a while because she just didn't want to have to listen to that woman Susan at all ever again. She had called her house four times in two hours today and she knew she was just trying to get her upset. She was trying to drive Tara away and well, frankly, she had won. Tara was going away.
She took a quick look around and walked out the door car keys in hand. Once inside the car, she let out a long breath and leaned back.
"I can't believe I'm doing this." She felt the tears spring from her eyes once more. She lifted an arm and wiped them away with her sleeve. She put the key in the ignition and pulled out of her driveway and down the road to the airport.
Willow had been sitting in her room staring at the locket in her hands. She still hadn't heard from her mother and she was now sure that she was probably at Tara's. She reached over and tried to grab the phone but couldn't reach. God, she thought, this just sucks. She was frustrated because she had the strangest sensations when she felt she was moving her legs. Almost like she was. She knew it was in her mind because if it was actually happening she would be closer to the phone and could try her mom again.
Leo walked in and spoke up. "Hey Willow, how ya doing boss?" he said cheerfully.
"Aaarrrgg. Not too good. Can you hand me that phone real fast there? I'm trying to find my mom and I think she may have gone to Tara's and I just want her to leave it alone. I asked her to but she insisted on going anyway," she said with a touch of anger.
"Well actually Willow, no. Your mom is not with Tara right now. She is down the hall. She had an accident on her way to see Tara. A bad one. She is injured pretty bad but nothing like it could have been," Leo said quietly as he looked at Willow's expression.
"What? Where, where is she? Is... how? Where?"
"She's getting evaluated right now. It looks like she has a few broken bones and some cuts but other then that she good. I mean, wow, you have no idea how very lucky she was."
"God. I don't believe this"
They let a silent minute pass and Leo then spoke up.
"Hey listen Willow. I think that you should maybe try and call Tara. I don't know, there's just something about all of this that I just don't get at all. I was over there earlier and man, she looks like hell. There's something else too. I can't quite put my finger on it yet but, that woman, Susan. I don't trust her. It seemed to me that she is just I don't know, sort of in the right place at the right time a hell of a lot."
"Yeah. I know. I don't much trust her either but, I needed her help. Not only that, it's kind of like she is trying to make up for some of things she did when I first knew her. I don't ever, ever, want to get back with her but she is just trying to be a friend and she is just trying to help. I just don't want to fight with her anymore. Besides, I don't like making her feel so bad. I don't want her to think that her trying to make amends is something wrong. I think it's a good thing. Do you understand that at all?"
"Yeah. I guess. Still, why is your mom so suspicious of her? She wanted me to find some way to arrest her a minute ago," he said laughing.
"I know. My mom is still pretty pissed at her for what happened with us. She did some pretty awful things to me and I guess that being my mom, not just my mom, but the doting mother of all mothers she is not willing to let it go. I am though. I think I have to. Otherwise I don't think I can ever put it all behind me and that's what I want. I just don't ever want to have to deal with it anymore"
"I guess I understand. Really though, I think you should call Tara. At least think about it."
He then put his cell phone on the bed next to Willow and went to get a report on Sheila for her.
Roger got to Tara's house at about four thirty and went to the barn to get the horses' feed. He looked around for a bit but couldn't find the bottle of liquid vitamins that Tara had asked him to add to their water after he had them feed. He left the barn and made his way to the house and into the kitchen. He picked up the phone and dialed Tara's cell. He didn't get an aswer so he typed in Tara's number to make sure that she would know it was him and not Susan. He figured that was why she probably had not answered .
He hung up the phone and took a step toward the sink cupboard thinking that the vitamins maybe were in there. He didn't get more then a step when he heard the phone ring. "That was fast," he said to himself, as he turned around to pick up the phone.
"Hey Sweetie, that was quick," he said.
Willow heard the voice on the other end of the line and her heart dropped.
"Hi. Is Tara home?" she asked.
"No. She's not here at the moment can I take a message?"
"Um, no. That's okay. Do you know where she is or when she'll be home?"
"No. No I don't. Who is this and I will get a message to her if you like?"
"No. Never mind. I'll call her later. Thanks."
Willow hung up the phone and after a minute she threw it across the room and once again she began to feel something welling up in her. She knew what it was. She recognized its beginning.
They were starting to rise up again. The walls that Tara had managed to bring down in Willow were slowly beginning to bring themselves back up.