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Belle’s heart constricted painfully in her chest as suffocating fear wrapped its cold claws around it. The words kept repeating in her mind like a sickening mantra.
Brain tumour … brain tumour … brain tumour
She gently ran a finger across her father’s face. She had never seen him this pale before in her life and it scared her. He lay so very still and his features were slack with no sign of the pain that has marred it for the past few months. He was in an induced coma to help with the swelling on his brain.
The prognosis was dire. “The only solution is to surgically remove the tumour as soon as possible in order to give your father any hope of survival,” she could hear the doctor’s words in her mind once more. Never in her wildest dreams, did Belle think it was this serious. She simply thought her father had a really bad migraine and that the doctor would prescribe medicine that would cure it … never this.
Belle’s azure blue eyes were overly bright as fear flickered in their depths. She dumped her head in her hands and raven hair swirled around her shoulders, shrouding her from the world, as she succumbed to the tears that had been threatening since she first heard the news. Her father made a modest living as an inventor. He was never very good at it, but it was his life’s passion and he had taught Belle how to believe in the impossible. But this, this was far beyond impossible.
They did not have the money to pay for the operation and without it, her father will die. Life is cruel. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. An anguished sob escaped her lips. For the first time in her life, Belle understood what it felt like to be truly desperate. She could sympathise with the man who robbed a bank for his dying child, she understood why a person would steal medication off a shelf for a sick friend.
She could not ‘steal’ a surgeon nor could she buy her father any more time. There was nothing she could do. There was no miracle cure on the horizon. Belle felt absolutely helpless as she vehemently wished she could gently place her lips to her father’s temples and kiss it all better as he had done countless times for her.
Belle wasn’t even aware of the hand that was gently resting on her shoulder, until a soft voice intruded in her mind. “Miss…” the voice said softly.