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The Aftermath

Guest Jackieleanne

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Title: The Aftermath


Category: Long Fiction

Genre: Romance/Angst

Main Characters: Matilda and Lucas

Rating: T

Summary: After the explosion Matilda struggles to cope with her burns and the nightmare can Lucas help her through it.

This fic is taken from the current series of events leading from the explosion at Jack and Martha's wedding, it is a story written in Matildas point of view about how she is feeling following the accident. The first chapter includes the conversation between Matilda and Lucas at the end of episode 4214 as I wanted to use it in my fic as it was a very emotional scene so I wanted my fic to start from that point. Hope you enjoy.

The Aftermath

Chapter 1

I really don’t know how I am going to get through this, I can’t sleep the nightmares of Saturday night keep playing in my mind, I can hardly talk and I don’t want to be reminded of the explosion that destroyed me and of how brave a person I am, I’m not brave I’m terrified I’m scarred for the rest of my life. Lucas face when my bandages were removed said it all, he will never want to be with me again, he will never be my boyfriend again not after this, Saturday had been going perfectly it looked like we would end up back together but now he won’t want to be with me, I’m scarred for life.

I hear the creak of the door and I look up to see Lucas walking in to my room,

“Please just go away” I whisper quietly to him as he shuts the door behind him,

“No I wanted to apologise” he says as he stands by the side of my bed leaning against the table that lies across it,

“what for?” I ask him,

“For being such an idiot when the bandages came off” he tells me,

“You were the only one being honest and I was just” I start before he interrupts me,

“No No you don’t understand” he tries to explain,

“So don’t start lying to me now to try and make me feel better” I cut him off my voice rising “I look awful” I whisper bowing my head in shame of how I look, how I feel,

“No you don’t look awful, you are gorgeous with or without those burns” he tells me I try not to face him not wanting to see the care he holds for me in his eyes,

“Lucas I’m going to be scarred for the rest of my life, how do you think that makes me feel?” I ask him finally looking up to face him again,

“well it might not be that bad, even if you are scarred what does it matter, look Mattie my reaction before was stupid but what’s happened doesn’t change the person that you are” he tells me, god why does he have to be so caring and loving, I best just go along with what he says because I really don’t want him to see me breakdown.

“Your right I’m being ridiculous its about what’s on the inside to” I tell him after a moment,

“Yea that’s exactly why” he says smiling for the first time since he had come into the room,

“sorry I’ve been carrying on” I tell him hoping that he is believing my act and will leave me alone because I don’t think I can hold my tears in any longer,

“No, no its totally understandable” he stutters but doesn’t move, I smile at him hoping to convince him that I’m fine,

“I’m a bit tired” I say looking down as I feel my eyes start to well with tears,

“Ok I’ll got tell the others your having a rest then” he says looking at me before leaning in closer to me and looking in my eyes “You are amazing you know that” he tells me before walking out of the room. As soon as he leaves I take my hand to my face as I break down in tears, what have I done to deserve someone so loving, how can he still think those things about me when I look like this, does he really mean it or is he just trying to make me feel better I don’t know what to do.

“Mattie wake up, Kits just arrived do you want to go and see her” I hear Lucas say softly stroking my hair, my eyes flutter open not wanting to speak I nod my head and let him take my hand helping me down from the bed and into the wheelchair so that we can go and see my sister.

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Chapter two

“Hey how are you feeling sis” Robbie says as Lucas pushes me into Kit’s room,

“Ok I guess” I mumble softly as my brother comes to me and kisses me softly on the forehead, its pretty obvious he wanted to hug me but was to fearful to in fear of hurting me,

“It will be ok Tilly you’ll get better” Kit says from where she sat next to mum on the bed as the doctor removed her bandages, hers weren’t half as bad as mine why did I have to get so badly burned it wasn’t fair because of that crazy Zoey, Peter and Rachel’s mum ended up dead while I ended up severely burned and Jack severely injured it wasn’t fair.

“Right the burns appear to be healing well, you can be discharged” The doctor tells my sister, I wish I was in her position but I knew I would be in here for a while yet,

“What about Matilda?” mum asks her,

“Matilda will have to remain in here for a few more days yet, because her burns are full thickness we will need to keep her in as she is at higher risk of infection and we need to keep a close high on her” the doctor explained I hated being stuck in here I just wanted to get home I wanted everything to return to the way it was but things would never be the sane again now.

“Hey Mattie I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you” Martha says as Lucas wheeled me into his brothers room, Tony and mum behind us, everyone was stood around Jack’s bed, I looked down not wanting to be reminded of my condition anymore I just wish everyone would stop talking about it,

“Bet it feels good though being pushed around everywhere by my brother huh” Jack says obviously noticing how Martha’s words effected me and trying to lighten the mood,

“Yea it does” I say cracking a smile for the first time since the accident.

“I can’t believe you guys are getting to go in a helicopter” Lucas says looking over at Belle, Kim, Kit, Robbie and Martha,

“I know I can’t believe this is actually happening its amazing” Kit says smiling.

“Get better sis we will be back in no time you’ll see, you’ll probably be better by then as well” Robbie tells me as he prepares to leave, he kisses me on the forehead again before he moves to say goodbye to mum and Tasha,

“You’ll get better Tilly trust me, ill see you when we get home ok” Kit tells me taking my hand in her own and squeezing it softly before kissing me gently on the cheek,

“Bye sis have a good trip” I say as I watch her move to say goodbye to mum.

A few hours later I stood by the window looking outside at the hospital grounds while mum Lucas and Tony sat in chairs talking amongst themselves,

“Beth I need to speak to you” I hear Rachel say as she opens the door to my room, something is wrong she sounds like she’s crying, has something happened is everyone ok, am I going to be ok. I turn around to face her and see her tears stained eyes,

“What’s going on” mum asks as stands up from her chair.

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Thanks you three heres the next chapter.

Chapter 3

“The helicopter that they where on it went down” Rachel says breaking down into sobs, oh my god did she really just say that, my brother and sister and one of my best friend’s could all be dead,

“What no it can’t have there has got to be some mistake” I cry breaking down in sobs as I watch my mum fall to her knees as she cries her eyes out Tony rushing to her side to comfort her, “Oh my god no please” I cry I feel Lucas arms wrap around my waist as he pulls me into his arms slowly I bury my face in his chest as I cry against him, I can feel him rub my back comfortingly. I wish we had never broken up because after all that’s gone on I need him now more than ever before and I realise how much he truly means to me.

“Are you sure your going to be ok if I go and join the rescue effort” Tony says softly to mum as she sits by my bed holding onto my hand tightly,

“Yea you go they need you more there please find them Tony I don’t know what I will do if you don’t bring them back to me” mum says crying softly,

“I know love, ill do my best I promise” Tony whispers he kisses her softly then moves towards my door “Lucas stay with Beth ok” Tony tells him before he leaves my room I watch him leave and can only hope the next time I see him he will have my brother and sister and friends with him but even if that’s the case they could be seriously hurt. I feel so selfish I’ve been worrying about how I look while my brother and sister could be out there dead.

“Hey” I hear the soft voice from the door when I look up I see Tasha walking over, her eyes red from crying,

“Oh my god Tasha” I say as I start to cry again, she’s pregnant and her husband, my brother is out there he could be dead how is she going to go on without him, I can only hope he’s survived he could be a father in three months time he can’t be dead.

“Here sit down Tash” Lucas says standing up from the seat by my bed to let Tasha sit down he always has been a gentleman.

“I’ll see you later guys I’m going to go and get some rest” Tasha says softly an hour later, tears continuing to fall down her face,

“ok look after yourself” Mum says,

“I will and you two look after each other as well” she says softly looking from me to mum as she leaves the room bumping into Lucas on her way out.

“How’s Jack?” I ask him as he sits down,

“Awful, he doesn’t know what to do he’s heartbroken” he replies softly.

“I’m just going to check with the doctor if I can stay here tonight I don’t want to have to leave you in here on your own” mum says standing up from her chair “Lucas stay with her please” she adds as she heads out the door,

“Lucas I’m so worried, mum is going crazy, my brother, sister and friends could be dead and I could be scarred for life I don’t know what to do anymore Lucas” I cry breaking down into tears,

“It’ll be ok Mattie, they’ll find them, I promise you and your mum she’s just worried about you, Robbie and Kit ok she will be fine I’ll look after you I promise I will never let anything happen to you again” Lucas says standing up from his chair he wraps his arms around me but pulls back a little, “doe’s it hurt” he whispers,

“A little but just hold me please” I cry.

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Chapter 4

I had been in this hospital bed for what seemed like forever, I wanted to go home to my own room my own bed to be able to hang around with Cassie, Lucas and Ric again like old times, now I was stuck here mum never left my side, and well Lucas if it wasn’t for Lucas I don’t know how I would have survived the last couple of days without his support. Tony was still out with the search team it had been days since the crash now, and not one of them had been found I was beginning to lose hope fast that my brother and sister are dead mum though she refuses to give up she wont accept the fact that they could be dead and she wont leave my side now and when she does she makes sure that Lucas, Ric or Cassie are by my side. I just wish that my brother would come back he’s a dad now Tasha had a girl two days ago she went into labour early because of the stress of Robbie being missing she hadn’t named him yet she refused to until Robbie was back home.

“Tony what are you doing back here” My mum says interrupting my thoughts as Tony walks in the room, he walks around to mum and takes her in his arms, this can’t be good news what’s going on,

“What’s wrong, something is wrong” I cry, Lucas comes to the side of the bed taking my hand in his own,

“The search has been called off” he tells us,

“Oh my god no it can’t be, my children are still alive” mum cries standing up angrily,

“They’re dead aren’t they, if they can’t find them they have got to be dead” I cried Lucas wraps his arms around me and I cry uncontrollably into his chest,

“They aren’t dead Matilda don’t say that, they have to continue looking for them” Mum yells walking out the door and slamming it shut, Tony runs out after her,

“It will be ok Mattie I swear ill be here for you through this I promise” Lucas whispers holding me closer to him, but I can tell he is crying as well despite his efforts to stay strong for me.

“Right Matilda we are going to have to have a look at the burns again ok so we can see if you are able to go home” Dr Smith tells me as she walks in, Mum moves closer to me taking a seat by the side of my bed and taking hold of my hand as Lucas and Tony move back standing in the corner of the room so that they weren’t in the way as she examined me. With every bandage she removed the pain worsened and I squeezed mum’s hand I knew that my burns wouldn’t recover on their own, I knew that if I wanted to return to looking the same way I had before I would have to go through plastic surgery and we didn’t know how long it would take until they would be able to fit me in for that and how much it would cost my mum in medical bills would she be able to afford it.

“Right Matilda, like we pointed out last week the superficial burns are starting to heal themselves but unfortunately like I mentioned last time the white burns are full thickness and have not started to heal themselves at all the only option we have is skin grafting and plastic surgery” she explains to us, its not going to get better and I have to have surgery to have any chance of my skin around my shoulders and neck returning to normal I can’t possibly describe how I am feeling right now it’s the worse feeling in the world, I’ve lost my brother and sister in a day and now I am scarred how am I ever going to get through this.

“When can she come home?” My mum asks as she continues to rub my hand softly as tears run down my face,

“She can come home today Mrs Hunter we will redress her burns now and prescribe some painkillers, we can also organise for some counselling sessions to start next week” she replies.

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Chapter 5

“Surprise, stay where you are” Zoe yells I stop dead in my tracks as Lucas pulls me closer to him, “Thought you’d seen the last of me” I shiver as I feel Lucas keep tight hold of my hand.

“No” I scream sitting up in bed dripping in sweat, tears rolling down my face after another nightmare, ever since the night that changed my life it had been a recurring thing I don’t think I’ll ever get a good nights sleep, and right now alone in my room for the first time since before the accident I find myself more terrified than ever. I climb out of bed and reach for my dressing gown wrapping it around me as I make my way down the hallway.

“Lucas” I whisper softly opening his door, I quietly make my way over to his bed and sit down beside him “Lucas” I say again softly his eyes flutter open,

“Mattie what’s wrong” he asks his voice full of concern,

“I’m scared Lucas I had another nightmare they won’t stop and I hate being alone I’m so frightened Lucas and I didn’t know who else to turn to” I cry breaking down on his bed,

“Shhh Mattie its ok I’m here with you now and I promise ill never let anything happen to you, come on we will go downstairs we don’t want to get in trouble for being in the same bed together do we” he says trying to lighten the mood as he takes my hand pulling me up off the bed before taking his quilt in his free hand.

“Thanks Lucas for being here for me I don’t know what I’d do without you” I whisper softly stifling a yawn,

“Don’t worry about it, I was so scared Mattie it was awful seeing you in so much pain” he replies wrapping his arm around my stomach “Now get some sleep you need some rest ok” he whispers softly kissing my forehead, I really don’t know what’s happening between us all I know is that I love him still and I want to be with him, I am hoping he feels the same way I know it was that way before the accident but I don’t know if he would still feel the same way now, he might say I’m beautiful but does he really mean it or is he just trying to make me feel better, all I know is that lying here in his arms feels so right I feel loved and protected I want to feel like this forever.

“I’m going to go for a walk, I need to be alone for a bit” I tell Tony the next morning,

“Ok sweetie you sure you’ll be ok?” he asks me the concern is evident in his voice, Lucas is so much like his father it is hard to believe at times,

“Yea ill be fine I just really need to think about things, I mean I’ve lost my brother and sister I just need time to think about things” I sigh,

“I know love, ring me if you need me ok” he tells me I nod my head and walk quietly past Lucas who was still sleeping.

“Oh hi Matilda, ewww look at those burns girls” I hear the voice from behind me say, I turn around and recognise the voice as Lee’s the girl who Lucas had kissed when we broke up,

“What do you want Lee just leave me alone please” I say trying to stay strong not wanting to let her comments affect me,

“Those burns are nasty you know I doubt Lucas will ever want you back when you look like that” Lee remarks, as her friends look on laughing,

“Just leave me alone Lee please” I say my voice starting to quiver as the tears threaten to fall, I start to run just wanting to make it home and away from her,

“Get off me” I scream in pain as she touches my shoulder, I wish I’d never left the house on my own,

“Hey leave her alone” I hear Ric’s voice yell, I look up to see him running along the beach towards me, I find my feet again and run to reach him falling into his arms sobbing once I reach him “Shhh Mattie ignore them she’s just trying to get to you, come on lets get you home” he whispers to me soothingly as he strokes my hair softly.

“I can’t believe they did that to you, are you sure your ok” Lucas asks me sitting down next to me once Ric had left,

“It was awful Lucas she was telling me how awful my burns are and that you could never love me when I looked like this” I cried softly, I looked into his gorgeous blue eyes and the urge I had to kiss him was so strong that I felt myself leaning closer to him, within seconds I found myself kissing him.

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Thanks for the feedback, warning this chapter contains sensitive issues.

Chapter 6

Lucas P.O.V

It feels so good to feel her lips on mine, you don’t know how much I want this to continue but I can’t Lee is hurting her because of me, if I start to go our with Matilda again she is just going to try and hurt Matilda even more and no matter how much I want to be with her I don’t want to see her go through so much pain and hurt because of me.

“Mattie stop, I can’t do this” I say breaking the kiss, and pulling away from her looking at her now I can see the tears already starting to fall,

“How can you do this to me Lucas, you keep telling me how you think I’m beautiful no matter what, and how amazing you think I am but now you are telling me you don’t want to be with me, its because of the burns isn’t it you are to ashamed to be seen with me anymore at school” She cries I watch her stand up and run upstairs moments later listening to the sound of her door slamming shut, what have I done. I’m just glad no one else was home to witness what just happened between us. I needed to clear my head to get outside and think about what just happened have I just made one of the biggest mistakes of my life letting her go again she is the love of my life I’ve never cared so much about someone in my life.

Matildas P.O.V

I can’t believe I just made a fool out of myself like that, how can I be so stupid to believe that he would love me again the way he used to when we was together when I looked like this, everything Lee said was true he will never want to be with me again, look at me I’m a mess scarred for life both physically and mentally who would want to be with someone like me. I guess I thought Lucas was different after all he’s spent the whole time since the accident looking after me, reassuring me telling me all these wonderful things about me only to push me away when I am at breaking point, I was giving myself to him again, wanting him to kiss me back wanting him to be with me again as more than just a friend but that is never going to happen.

I sit up from my lying position on the bed and look around the room, I look over to my dressing table studying the photographs that stand there, one of them is an old family photo taken before Scott and Henry left me, mum and Kit sat on the sofa while Scott, Robbie, Henry and granddad stood behind us, we all looked so happy now that family is completely destroyed granddad, Robbie and Kit all dead, while Henry is away at boarding school and Scott on the other side of the world It’s only me and mum now and what kind of person am I, I am not the same Matilda I was then I am broken. I stand up and walk over to the picture, tears rolling down my face as I trace my finger over it before moving over to the next one, a picture of me and Lucas with Cassie and Ric when we were all still together taken by Sally while we was at the beach one day how I wish I could be as happy as that again but I never will be.

Looking up I stare into my mirror looking back at the broken girl in front of me, how was I supposed to live like this look at me I’m not the same girl in the photos my right shoulder and neck is completely covered by my burns, my face is streaked in mascara that has run down from my tear stained eyes. I can’t look like this anymore, not knowing what to do anymore I find myself punching the mirror in frustration watching the glass as it shatters around me,

“Matilda!” I hear the cries but I don’t listen its to late, I take a pick up a piece of the broken glass and take it to my wrist.

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Chapter 7

Lucas P.O.V

“Is Matilda still home dad” I ask as I walk through the door and see him sat watching tv,

“Yea she’s upstairs” he tells me before we hear the sound of shattering glass,

“Matilda!” me and dad both scream I find myself running up the stairs dad straight on my tail,

“Mattie” I cry again as I get to her room and push the door open, I see her broken figure slouched on the floor crying her eyes out oh my god what have I done to her, “Mattie I’m sorry” I cry moving closer to her it is then that I see the blood gashing from her wrist “Oh Mattie what have you done” I cry tears falling from my eyes as I kneel next to her on the floor and pull her closer to me as she breaks down.

“I’ll go phone Beth then we can go to the hospital make sure everything’s ok and get your hand bandaged Matilda” Dad says as he walks out of the room,

“I love you Matilda I’m so sorry for making you do this to yourself I didn’t want you to get hurt again I’m sorry” I tell her holding her close to me as I rock her back and forth in my arms. After a moment I stand up taking her hand in my own I lead her downstairs and take the cloth from dad handing it to her as we follow dad to the car, she still hasn’t spoken yet, I am really worried about her please let her be ok ill never forgive myself if she isn’t.

Matilda’s P.O.V

“Oh Mattie sweetheart what have you done to yourself, I can’t lose you as well I love you so much sweets” Mum says running in the room and rushing over to my side,

“I know mum I’m so sorry it’s just so hard to take it all in mum, I can’t believe that they are gone mum its not fair why does everything always have to happen to our family, I’ve lost my brother and sister and look at me I’m an emotional wreck that’s going to be scarred for life with these awful burns all because of some psycho why does it have to happen to us mum” I cry breaking down in my mothers arms, I needed her so much right now I just wanted to hold her I don’t know what I would do if I were to lose her as well we needed to stay together right now to help each other through this.

“Matilda can I come in” I hear Lucas say knocking on my bedroom door softly half an hour after we had gotten home that evening,

“Yea” I say sighing softly, he walks into my room and comes over to my bed taking a seat next to me,

“Mattie I meant what I said before I love you and I’m so sorry, I didn’t want to pull away from you when you kissed me I wanted that kiss just as much as you did Mattie I just thought that if we got together then Lee would hurt you even more and I didn’t want that” he tells me taking my hand,

“You mean it all” I whisper looking into his eyes,

“I mean every word Matilda I love you and I would love for you to be my girlfriend again” he tells me the look in his eyes is enough to tell me he means every word he says,

“I love you too Lucas and I’d love to be your girlfriend again” I say smiling for the first time in what seemed like forever, with Lucas help I knew that I would be able to get through this. The next thing I know I feel his soft lips on my own as he kisses me softly, I open my mouth letting him inside I had been longing for this for so long.

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Chapter 8

“I couldn’t go without finishing what I’d started I always said Summer Bay would pay” I watch Zoe hiss spitefully at Peter,

“Peter is that gas?” I hear Sally’s frightened voice ask and watch as the cake is brought in covered in sparklers I feel Lucas squeeze my hand softly as I shiver,

“Everyone get down!” Peter screams

“Mattie baby shh its ok I’m here” mum says comfortingly sitting up beside me in bed putting her arm around me as I start to cry, when would the nightmares stop I would never be able to get a proper nights sleep again, mum held me tight I’m glad that she had stayed in my room with me I was frightened to think what I might have done if she hadn’t stayed with me, she refused to leave my side in case I tried to hurt myself again,

“oh mum when is it all going to end, why can’t Robbie and Kit be back with us again why can’t everything just get back to how it was” I cry softly in her arms,

“I know sweetie I’m here though and Lucas and Tony we will get through this together I promise you, we can’t give up hope yet sweetheart I know your brother and sister are out there somewhere” she says softly rocking me back and forth,

“but mum” I start I was worried how she was refusing to accept that it was unlikely that we would see them together if they hadn’t found them yet after all it had been a week since the accident, I decide not to say anything more knowing that she will probably only get upset with me and I didn’t want that.

“Counselling starts today sweets, It will be ok I’ll be with you they will help you Mattie then who knows you might be able to go back to school in a week or two if you want, we don’t want you missing to much time and you can be back with Lucas and all your friends then can’t you” she tells me rubbing my back soothingly,

“Mum what about the skin grafting and plastic surgery for my burns?” I asked her,

“We can ask the doctor about that today if you want sweets” mum says pulling away from me, I nod my head and lye back down again, drifting back to sleep as mum strokes my hair softly just like she did when I was a little girl.

“Good luck with everything today babe, txt me if you need me ill keep my phone on silent” Lucas says he kisses me softly before picking his bag up from the floor and heading out the door “bye” he yells as he shuts the door and follows Tony out of the house as the head off for school.

“I’m glad that you managed to work things out with each other sweets, I know how much you need him right now” mum says softly walking over to me,

“I know mum I’m glad I have him around to support me, what time do we have to be at the hospital?” I ask her,

“We have another hour left yet” she tells me “now how about something to eat you have to keep your strength up” she says as she turns back towards the kitchen to make me something to eat.

“Miss Hunter if you’d like to come this way, I am Dr Lloyd due to Miss Armstrong’s current leave ill be your counsellor until she returns to work if you would like to come this way” the Dr tells me and mum and we sat outside in the waiting room, we stand up and follow her to her room. “Now Matilda in order for everything to work, I will need to know everything that you are feeling about what’s happened recently and why you are in so much pain, you will need to tell me everything so that we can get to the bottom of what’s going on inside your head and so that we can sort everything out” she tells me as she takes out her notebook,

“Can my mum stay with me” I ask her timidly not wanting to have to go through this alone,

“Yea sure she can sweetheart whatever makes you feel more comfortable” she tells me softly.

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Chapter 9

“Well done Matilda you have done really well, from what you have described I would recommend that we continue the counselling sessions every other day for the next few months I would also recommend that we get you in to see our resident hypnosis it will really help with your insomnia and anxiety from what you described Matilda in your dreams you are reliving the night over and over in your mind and you are scared of being alone in your room scared of it all happening again, hypnosis can really help you with everything if we use it along with your counselling sessions until you start to recover from what has happened to you. I would also recommend taking warm baths before bed and keeping lavender in your room to help you sleep better.” Dr Lloyd says,

“Ok so what about the surgery and skin grafts when we will be able to put Matilda forward for those?” mum asks as she takes my hand,

“Well I would presume we could get you in for around two weeks time for the initial procedure I wouldn’t like to put you in before then as I want you to be in a better frame of mind first before the surgery. I will see if Dr Smith is free so she can speak to you about the procedure and what will happen if Matilda decides to go ahead with it” Dr Lloyd tells mum,

“Ok thank you Dr” mum says as Dr Lloyd leaves the room. “You did really well sweets I was so proud of you, don’t worry we are going to make sure you get better” mum says pulling me into her arms.

“Hi Matilda its good to see you again, how are you feeling at the moment” Dr Smith says as she comes in the room,

“I’m getting there my counselling session really helped” I said softly,

“Well that’s good just try and keep your chin up Matilda you are a brave girl and it’s a wonder what medical science can do these days” Dr Smith says warmly, “So Dr Lloyd says you want to put Matilda in for the plastic surgery and skin grafts is that correct?” she asks mum,

“Yes” mum says simply.

“Ok great what will happen is that in two weeks time after your superficial burns are fully healed we will take you in for surgery where they will remove the damaged skin from your shoulder then what we will take what we call an auto-grafts from either your inner thigh or buttocks as from here we can get what we call a split thickness skin graft because only the top layer of skin is taken from the donor area therefore it will re-grow itself over time. The graft that we have taken from your skin is then placed on the bare area around your shoulder and neck where your burns had been, and will be held in place by stitches. The skin starts to become nourished in a process called Plasmatic Imbibitions within 36hours a process called Capillary Inosculation in which the blood vessels begin growing from the recipient area into the transplanted skin. After surgery you will remain in hospital for a week and you will be required to have your graft dressed for two weeks you must also make sure that you refrain from exercise and take it easy for a month after your graft, so I would leave it until after you have recovered before you attend school again, in about 90% of cases skin grafts are successful and I’m happy to say Matilda you should be looking yourself in no time” she informs us,

“Thank you Dr” Mum says “I would like to put her in for the procedure as soon as it is available for her to be fitted in” Mum tells Dr Smith,

“That’s no problem I will book you in for two weeks time, until then if you keep coming in to have your dressings changed, and for your counselling and hypnosis sessions” she tells us as she looks over her notes a final time.

As soon as I sat down In the car with mum I switched on my phone to txt Lucas and let him know how it went, just as I was about to type my message I received one from him, I opened it and read it carefully,

“Hey babe hope everything went ok, let me know how it went. Anyway I want to know if you want to meet up with me, Cassie and Ric for Lunch at the Dinner. Love you xxx”

“Mum will you take me to the Dinner to have lunch with Lucas, Cassie and Ric” I say smiling

“Yes sure sweets it’s good to see you smile again” mum says as she heads out of the hospital car park.

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Chapter 10

“Hey” I say walking in the Dinner and over to where I see Lucas sat in the booth waiting for me with Cassie and Ric, I notice everyone staring at me but I decide not to let that bother me, they can stare all they want all that matters is that I’m alive and I can get better, I can survive I just wish Kit and Robbie where here with me as well,

“Hey babe how did it go?” Lucas asks kissing me softly as I hop into the booth next to him “You seem a lot happier anyway” he says smiling,

“It really helped she said I did really well I have to stay off school for a month and a half at least though” I tell them

“Why so long?” Cassie asks me,

“Because I need to go to counselling and hypnotherapy for the next few weeks so that I’m in a fit enough state for surgery” I inform them,

“Surgery?” Ric asks me,

“So you are going ahead with the skin grafting then?” Lucas asks,

“Yea I’m having it done in two weeks time and then it will take about a month for me to recover properly that’s why I won’t be able to go to school” I say.

“So what happens in the surgery?” Cassie asks me

“Well basically they will take excess skin from my body and they place it where they have removed my burn then stitch it up and eventually it heals so that it should be back to normal and I should only have one or two scars on show if it all goes well” I said smiling,

“It’s good to see you happy again babe I love you” Lucas says kissing me softly,

“Give it a rest you two!” Ric laughs.

“So did you let mum and dad know what time we would be home” I ask Lucas smiling as we walk hand in hand along the beach over to the wharf,

“Yea babe I did, it’s good to spend some time just us two you know, I am really glad we got back together. I love you Matilda” Lucas said turning to face me as he comes to a stop,

“I love you too Lucas I don’t know what I would do without you, I know if I didn’t have you I wouldn’t be able to get through all this” I said looking into his eyes,

“I’m here for you always baby whenever you are upset and you need someone to talk to or you have had a nightmare and need someone to hold you ill be their” he says kissing me softly on the tip of my nose.

“Thanks and I will come to you, I promise I wont do anything stupid again, I have you back now its going to be hard but I’ve got you now I can get through this all” I say as his mobile starts to ring.

“Hello” he says answering it, “Whoa dad slow down” he adds I could hear rambling from the other end what’s going on what’s happened, “we will be right back” he adds hanging up before looking back at me,

“babe what’s going on is everything ok?” I ask getting myself in a panick about what the phone call had been about,

“Martha and Belle are alive they have been found they are being brought back to Summer Bay as we speak, dad wants us home now” he says oh my god if Martha and Belle are alive so can my brother and sister, I can’t give up hope yet we have to find them.

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