Types of Fracture – Chapter One (Charlotte POV)

Open Fracture: Bone is exposed at the surface where it breaks the skin. The casualty may suffer bleeding and shock. Infection is a risk. Aim to prevent blood loss, movement and infection at the site of the injury.

Looking back, I guess I could say that the lawsuit was the beginning of a particularly gruesome open fracture. It was a heavy blow to all of our lives, one that smashed our secrets and relationships until they burst through our protective skins for the world to see. It allowed unwelcome infections to course into our very beings, and also for the things we needed to survive to seep out until they could not be replaced.

Various illnesses of differing severity entered the wound: the feeling of being shunned by those who would support us any other time; a looming threat of a divorce that would open the terrible wound further; new enemies, words of hatred, a fear that you no longer felt loved when that was all we wanted from the suit, all of these penetrated our formerly safe and secure lives. And while this happened, the things we loved and needed flowed out of the gaping, ragged hole: the love between Sean and I; my friendship with Piper, and Amelia's with Emma; reputations, money, security, belonging… you.

Like your breaks, this almighty fracture could have been healed, if we were quick enough. We could have bandaged ourselves up again, placed ourselves into a cast that, while uncomfortable to start with, would eventually help everything to go back to normal. But we instead chose to bleed, to limp away pretending everything was okay, to clutch our bloodstained hands to the wound as if that could really make things better. This instead let the blood flow and the infection set in, through gaps and cracks in our lives that we had never even noticed before. If you don't treat a break, it can only ever get worse.

Perhaps, if we had made an attempt to heal the fracture, you wouldn't have bled out of our lives.

A/N: Well, there you go. The start of my first Handle With Care fic. There will be four chapters/drabbles to this, probably in a different point of view each time. The text in the beginning is taken (but slightly edited) from the Dorling Kindersley First Aid Manual, 9th Edition.