I brushed my hair while keep glancing at Naomi. She had been pretending to sleep for more than an hour now. Last night incident was appalling. Whatever that occurred and we heard was deplorable.
We’re still in a state of shock to accept the verity of Naomi’s mentor. Though I had never had any conversation with Mr. Hugh Henry, I have seen him in many circumstances and each time he would simply amaze me even despite the tainted story about his past of his life where he had lost a sister and teammate during a mission. He’s basically the agent that every tyro wants to be like, that is to be respected and regarded highly by others.
Even I myself had regarded him in such a high position that now I, along with the other members of Angels do feel very much betrayed and hoodwinked.
Reading about how fragile trust is in our world and witnessing before our eyes is two different things. We were always reminded to be careful of what we talk about and to whom no matter where we are and now instead of ridicule it I would totally agree and obey the rule just like the other tyros. Of course we always learn to listen only after we realize how wrong we were before by being ignorant.
I had spoken a few thoughtful words to Naomi since she seems to look like her whole world had been rocked. Of course little effect it did, Anna had been called to the office an hour ago to communicate with the now locked up criminal’s son, Zacharia again. The truth of Mr. Hugh Henry had thrown the whole administration to the edge where now they are trying to find out every possible thing in every possible means asap. Ray had been our only informer since the last few hours and from what we heard, no one is allowed in but the one authorized.
Ivy had headed out to meet up with Daniel, her curious boyfriend who had called her early in the morning just to know what’s going on in Angels. I don’t blame him, our handphones had been going off every once in a while. Many that called were tyros that we barely know. The only call I answered was Stephanie. Steph was genuinely concern about Naomi but didn’t press on for more info. I tied my hair up and walked to Naomi’s bed. Her eyes were open but blank.
“Hey, I’m going to the cafeteria. Its lunch hour. Want me to get something for ya?” I asked, as I eased myself at the bedside. “No, I have some cookie in my bag. That’s enough. If I want more I will go down myself.” She told me with a small smile appearing on her face, a forced one I would say.
I walked out of the room with a sigh. Never ending drama lately and it’s not the normal drama we watch in tv but the types that put your life at risk. The thought of Naomi practicing with the traitor all by herself is not something I’m happy about now. I could only be grateful that she is not harmed in any way for the last six months.
I bought a good six inches of sandwich that resemble Subway’s and a cup of coffee. It’s more like a breakfast than lunch to me. I didn’t care anyway. I didn’t return to the room but stay at the cafeteria. I sat at our usual spot. The cafeteria seemed abandoned since most of the tyros are not around and those are around obviously not having any appetite to eat.
I took a bite of my sandwich and stared at the corridor of the cafeteria. A memory that is a few days old came to mind. And a long with the memory, my chest felt a pang. Justin.
There is no news about him from the Angels and with what’s going on I don’t think I will hear any in the near future. The thought of me going home for semester break without any knowledge of him stung. I’m willing to stay longer days at Angels just so I might able to hear something about him. How easy it would be if I could simply call the Ghost and interrogate about him? But too bad it’s not that easy.
I imagined him standing at the corridor and talking to me or I rather say, annoying me with his lame words just like the other day.
Something in me assured me that somehow he should have survived the bullet. The time I was taken away by the gang at the warehouse, he was barely breathing. I thought I lost him. But later on, the girls had stated that people were coming for him so I hoped he must have been treated and saved. I hope I’m right. I don’t think I could live with the fact that Justin had died trying to save me. Nope, don’t even think about it that way, Jane. Don’t. Just don’t. My mind voice warned me.
I took a deep breath and willed myself to divert my thoughts. Not much success. I took another bite and the bread tasted like a sand paper. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with food. It’s me.
I know I can never force myself to eat. There it goes the little appetite I had. I looked at the coffee thinking whether I should leave it behind, a few seconds later I decided against it. I need it even if it might taste like copper.
I didn’t go back to the room. The stressful vibe in there was too much for me to handle right now. I want air, fresh air to revive my mind. I gulped in the coffee as I walked mindless on the ground of the Angels. The white building and glassed door bored me. There is none around here that could attract my attention or distract my thought from that particular guy. His neatly combed hair, that snobbish smile and the warm brown eyes kept flashing in my mind. His image was too vivid, causing my eyes to tear and my throat to get dry. I gulped down more coffee, hoping to make the dryness to go away. It only made me cough and eventually caused my tears to fall.
I had held it in for too long. The sobs that I trapped in me ever since my kidnap to Russell Chant came out in rush causing me to choke. “He could be long gone.” I heard myself saying. I didn’t know when I started to care for this stranger. Was it when I first laid my eye on him at Tyra’s pool side or was it when I met him again here at the Angels where he offered me chocolate or when he defended me in the warehouse without leaving me selfishly?
If only I could get tiny teeny information that he actually made it out alive.
I held out my palm on the wall beside me to steady myself as the vision blurred. I vaguely heard voices behind me. I willed myself to stand up straight and look ahead as if nothing is wrong. I quickly brushed the tears away and focused on my now cold coffee. A few staffs walked past me, engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t even notice a red head standing still like statue on their way. I couldn’t be more grateful. As expected, their topic was about last night.
I almost dismissed their loud talk and walk away but for the girl in white coat mentioned about a badly wounded patient at the Angels’ medic centre that caught my attention. As her word drifted away, I also caught a few more words that concluded that that person is not a member of the Angels. Well, well what do you know.
A surged of hope fill my aching chest. If only it’s what I am thinking it is I would be the happiest human on the face of the earth. No kidding. I turned to the opposite direction and headed to the medic centre. The last time I have been there was when we had our combat test and got our asses kicked pretty badly.
The medic is located at Bloc C at the ground floor which was not too far from the administration bloc. I walked past the green garden with the Angel statue while keeping an eye on my surroundings. The last thing I want now is to someone to stop me from crossing this path. I quickened my steps to the other bloc.
I almost turn around when I saw a man standing at the entrance of the medic. A guard, who is armed.
I tried to walk past him but of course I was stopped. I cleared my throat and said, “I’m here to visit the patient.” The guard eyes regarded me clinically.
“Which patient?” He asked me. I tried my luck, “Justin.” His expression turned alarmed. Bingo.
“Do you have the visiting letter?”
“No.” I answered honestly.
“Then you’re not allowed in.” He said and there’s finality in his voice.
I know it’s pointless to stay there but I can’t bring myself to turn around now that I know Justin is here, for real. I need to see him with my own eyes to know he’s okay.
An elderly aged woman with a few files in her hand came by the corridor. She was wearing a white coat and a stethoscope around her neck. I have never seen her before. She stopped when she saw me standing at the entrance. “Hello, miss.” I greeted her. “What are you doing here?” She asked me. “I wanted to visit someone in there but I’m not allowed.” I informed her. “So are you planning to wait here until there’s an opportunity to sneak in?” She questioned with a small smile. That didn’t occur in my head but of course if there’s such a chance I would totally sneak in.
“No, miss. I know it’s impossible to sneak in here.” I answered the opposite. “May I know the reason you want to visit?” Something in the way she regard me and her tone tells me that she knew the ‘someone’ I wanted to visit is Justin. “Just wants to see that he’s still alive.” My voice sounded hoarse. “Your name tyro?”
“You want to help me to carry these files, Jane?” She asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
That was unexpected, “Of course, miss!” I almost shout out the words.
I avoided the guard’s eyes while walking into the centre with the doctor. “She’s with me.” She stated. The guard simply nodded.
There was a huge waiting area after the entrance with a nurse at the corner. We walked past her to the right where it revealed a few beds in green sheets. A young boy was in one of the bed sleeping soundly. There were rooms at the right. The doctor walked straight to the end of the hall and reached a room with label ‘Dr. Melanie’.
“Put it on the desk.” She instructed. I put the files on the table in the middle of the room. I stood awkwardly while she searched for some papers on the rack. She sat behind the table after grabbing some papers. She looked at me with a frown, “I thought you wanted visit the young man.” She said pointedly.
“Yeah.” I said and turned around to walk out. Where could he be?
“If the guards stop you, mention my name.” She said out. “Thank you.” I told her grateful before closing the door. I walked back to the waiting area and went to the other pathway where there were more rooms and one of it had two guards standing outside.
That should be it. I walked to them before they could question me I mentioned Dr. Melanie. Both of them hesitated before letting me through.
I came to a halt when I saw him.
The glass door shut behind me silently but I knew the guards will be watching me through the clear round frame of the door.
The first thing I noticed was his chest rising up and down slowly, the indication of him still breathing. Alive. I smiled in relief. I walked slowly to the bedside. He was unconscious so it was easier for me to stand closer. A huge bandage covered over his chest, where the bullet hit. A long tube attached to his wrist. The rest of his upper body uncovered. His face was pale and grim. His hair looked scraggly. This is the first time I have ever seen him untidy. His brown shaggy hair made him look so much younger.
I lifted my numb fingers to his hair. I touched a few strands admirably. The rich brown colour reminded me of his eyes. I wish I could see his eyes. Gently I brushed his hair of his forehead and to the side. At least he won’t wake up hating his hair.
My eyes slowly travelled from his face to his pale strong body, half covered by bandage. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I have never felt this relief in my entire life. He’s not gone. He’s with me right now. I smiled at that thought.
I stood there and stared at the unconscious boy for a long moment. Maybe I shouldn’t be taking advantage of him by drinking his almost perfect feature, strong arms and chest.
A knock on the door made me look away from Justin. It was one of the guards, gesturing me out. I reluctantly left Justin in the room and walked out.
My time was up. I wanted to stay much longer but I’m not going to push my luck today.
I will be coming back tomorrow. Strangely I have this urge in me to be there when he gain his conscious. Maybe I should visit often so that I will get that chance. After he opens his eyes and there’s no any sign of illness then I will leave and not bother him again.
Are you sure you will not bother him? My mind voice questioned me. I ignored it. Right now nothing is important but his recovery.
The rest of the day went by slow, simply because none of us had the spirit to actually do something other than lazing in our room and stare at each other’s faces saying comforting words.
The disappearance of one of our great agent, Hugh Henry had shook the Angels like no other could. The impact is too great for us to not acknowledge it. The next morning, I woke up earlier than my girls and went to the cafeteria to grab breakfast for two.
The only person roaming around at the cafeteria was Milo. He waved at me as I walked past the food counter.
“Morning.” I greeted him. He smiled brightly at me. “Good morning, Jane.” He adjusted his tee as he walked to me. “I thought you were not around anymore.” He stated. “I will be going back home when they allow us to.”
“Oh wait a minute, are you guys been detained here?” Milo’s expression turned serious and anxious. “No, it’s not like that, Milo. It’s just they have been busy with the incident that they forgotten to inform us exactly when our semester ends.”
“I’m going home today.” He told me. “I thought you’re volunteering to work at the office?” I asked him.
“I was but now that the situation got serious. Not everyone allowed in.” He said in frustration.
“Well it’s probably for the best.” I muttered. “I know you’re involved.” He said cautiously. I stopped walking and looked at him skeptically. “What you mean?”
“The recent case, the mission was done by your group right? When I was working last night, I heard a couple of staffs claiming that there’s connection with the mission and the disappearance of Hugh Henry.”
Of course there is, it’s all go back to Drago eventually.
“Oh.” Was all I could say to him. “Don’t worry, I’m not saying this to get information out from you and I won’t spread it around though I doubt if the others will keep their mouth shut.” His expression was apologetic to me.
“I’m used to rumours going around lately. But I’m not sure what you heard is the truth. There could be many speculations being made to make sense the whole scenario.” If only our connection to Drago gets out, I have no idea how the others would react.
“And I saw him.” Milo started. “Who?” We were now walking out of the cafeteria to the next building. Milo eyes were careful on me while he continued talking, “That guy you were talking to the other day. That guy that gave you chocolate.” Justin.
“You saw him? Where and when?” I enquired him quickly. “I was at the compound when they rushed him to the medic. He was badly wounded and unconscious. He was escorted by some guys. They looked different from our agents. He should be someone important to be guarded that way even in the Angels compound.”
“Yeah, he is someone important.” I mumbled.
“You know he’s here?” he asked me.
I didn’t deny him. “You seem to care about him. Who is he to you, Jane?” Milo asked me curiously.
Someone that saved my life.
Instead of answering his question, I simply tousled his hair and said, “Milo, you seem to be very curious today. I suggest you forget about all these distressing things and have some fun. It’s not something you should cramp into your little head. Have a safe journey back home, now I got to be somewhere else. See you soon, Milo.”
“I’m not a kid.” He yelled after I took a few steps away. “What?” I turned to face him.
“Treat me as your equal, Jane.” He said in a loud voice.
“I am treating you that way, you don’t have to ask. You know, actually you’re my senior here, at the Angels.” I smiled at him before walking away. Well, that was strange. I headed to medic to visit Justin. And these went on for the next three days. With nothing much to do now, I mostly spent my days at the medic and nights at the library reading about the Ghost, my new found fascination.
The fourth day, as planned I walked to the medic way too fast. There’s a little excitement in me that I couldn’t understand well. Dr. Melanie had told me that Justin is recovering quite fast and that he would most probably gain conscious today. A small smile plastered on my face and a little butterfly is fluttering in my stomach.
Oddly, the armed guard was not there, in front of the medic. I walked through with no one to stop me. I turned right, straight to Justin’s ward and again found no guards in front of his room. Did they finally agree that this place is not a danger zone? I peered through the clear frame on the door and found the room empty. The bed was cleaned and neatly tucked in. Empty.
I pushed fast the door to get a good view of the ward. My eyes didn’t trick me. The room is empty. Justin is nowhere to be seen. Did they change his bed to the front? I dashed to the waiting area and found Dr. Melanie with a patient. She was writing a report on her file. I waited impatiently. After a full minute she noticed me. “Jane.” She smiled at me. “Doctor, Justin is not in his bed.” I told her like a kindergardener. “I’m aware of that. He gained his conscious early this morning.” She informed me with a bright smile. “That’s incredible. Thank god.” I said in sheer delight and bliss. “Where is he?” I asked as I looked around the centre. “He left with his men as soon as they made sure he’s fit to travel.” She stated casually. I stared at her while her words sink in.
“He left?” I felt dejected as I processed the news. But I couldn’t even say a word to him like, ‘thank you for sticking by my side and saving my life and thank you for staying alive.’
“I told him, you visited him ever since he got admitted.” Dr. Melanie added on.
“Did he say anything?” I asked her in a small voice, slightly afraid of her reply.
“Yes. He said he’s highly hoping that you would visit him again, today.”
I waited for more but she didn’t add anything else.
I wanted to yell, how could he hope for me to visit when he planned to disappear on me?
“Good day, Jane.” Dr Melanie took her leave while I walked away in anger. Why did he say that? Highly hoping that I will visit him again, today? Why to see him gone? As I stomped my way out, something hit me.
I stopped my steps. There’s something in his words, like a hint.
I sprinted to his ward. I was out of breath when I dashed into the room. I stopped in front of the bed and found nothing.
Of course what was I thinking? I turned around to leave in frustration but something shiny caught my attention. I returned my gaze back to the white bed and something very thin and long in the centre of the bed catches the ray of sunlight from the window. I stepped closer and reached it. It’s a finest piece of platinum necklace. A very thin chain and a pendant shaped alphabet ‘J’ with tiny stones on the surface of it.