Chapter Fifteen

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Leigh's stomach growled as she pushed herself up in the uncomfortable hospital bed so that she was in a sitting position. The sun that shined through the window warmed her arms and she couldn't wait to get out of the dreary hospital which she'd been stuck in for the past week and she hoped today would be that day. She was looking forward to having the sun beating down on her skin even though it would be cold outside there was nothing that she wanted more. She began to miss the little things. She began to miss the way the fluffy rug at the end of her bed felt between her toes in the morning and the way the pressure of her shower at home felt on her shoulders releasing all tension that she built throughout the day. It was those little things that she'd taken for granted before but now wanted to experience more than anything.

She began to find being confined to a single hospital room difficult as freedom was something she treasured and she didn't feel as though she had any when the doctors ordered her to stay put for a few more days. The kind of freedom she had in Oak View was one that she missed considerably while in hospital but she'd take that confined freedom over the one she had in Los Angles- back home she had no freedom at all. Being constantly told what to do by her Mom wore her down to the point where she couldn't take it anymore. The constant demands which weighed on her shoulders became too much to bare and eventually she just broke into a million pieces. The weight of being the perfect daughter, actress and singer became so overwhelming that she became unhappy and mental illness took over. But it wasn't just that, the kind of freedom she had back in LA was given to her by her mother and as a child she was too young to realise that the definition of freedom was the exact opposite of that. Freedom wasn't something that should have been given if and when by a certain person but Leigh wasn't to know that. It was only when she grew older and began to experience the normalcy of life through the character she played in 'At The Top' that she realised how little she had. It saddened her to think that for her entire life she thought the family life she had growing up was what every child had but upon realising that every child's mother doesn't expect them to be thankful for bringing them into the world it was then that she began to fight back. That's why her move to Oak View benefited her in more ways than one- the move saved her life.

The depression that surged throughout her couldn't be tamed during 'At The Top' and by the time the final season had concluded filming it was at it's peak and she saw no out. The work that she'd put in over the years seemed wasted, she didn't enjoy the acting towards the end so why did she stay? It was her mother's doing, and because of the contract she'd signed there wasn't an escape and no loophole to find. She had to stay put and continue in a job she hated putting her mental health on the line all because her Mom said so. Which was why when she came bursting through the hospital room door and rushed to her daughter's bedside Leigh couldn't believe the sight before her.

Standing before her was her parents and the tears threatening Leanne's eyes were difficult for Leigh to digest. The sheer sadness behind her Mom's eyes was too much to comprehend in her state but she had so many questions. Standing in the doorway was Toby, her little brother who she hadn't seen in a long time and he looked different. It was as if he was taller all of a sudden but that could have simply been from the fact that Leigh was laying down in the bed as her family stood around her wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

"We heard about what happened and got here as soon as we could," Leanne said as she took her daughter's hand and squeezed it reassuringly. Her mind couldn't seem to form a response to her mother's statement but it was her eyes that told a different story. The single tear that slid from her eye wetting her cheek was one of happiness. It was what she'd wanted all along, she wanted it for years. Her parents were there for her in a moment of need wanting only to protect their daughter and without a camera in sight she thought it to be too good to be true. Why did it take an accident to bring them together? Could it not have happened under any other circumstances? She wondered why it had to be a car accident that jolted Leanne into the mothering role that she should have taken on from the moment her first child was born?

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