Where is Cassandra

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CHAPTER THIRTY TWO

I woke up the next morning on a hospital bed. Surprised, I asked the doctor who was attending to me how I got there. The doctor, female, maybe in her late twenties or early thirties, was slender and black. She had blonde hair that was long enough to reach the position of her collar bones. And on her face was a pair of glasses that looked like those of Harry Porter.

“You were brought here in an ambulance,” she said to me. “The paramedics informed us that someone called them and reported that you passed out in a cemetery. It’s okay, Jan. You will be fine. It’s just exhaustion.”

I wondered whom that was and also wondered how the doctor got to know my name. Once again I suspected Trent must have had a role to play in all of these.

“And who was that?” I asked the doctor. “Did the person say his name is Trent? And I didn’t tell you my name. How come you know?”

“The person who called in told the paramedics your name, of course. And I understand the call came from a female who said her name is Cassandra.”

Hearing that name made me spring up from the bed I was lying on, brimming with eagerness and deep longing. Cassandra is not dead, I affirmed in my mind, not minding the grave I had seen.

“Where is Cassandra?” I asked the doctor who gently smiled, looked at me lovingly with eyes that were romantic enough to be called bedroom eyes, before responding.

“Cassandra?” She said. “I don’t know.”

“I’ve got to be with Cassandra!” I said, a sense of urgency towering in my tone like a fountain.

“Jan, I assume Cassandra is your wife.”

“We’re very much in love.”

“It feels good to hear that, Jan...”

“So, what’s her number? We can give her a call, so she can come and take you home.”

“I can make it on my own, Doctor,” I said, and began to rise from the bed. “I’ve got to see Cassandra.”

“Okay. If that’s the way you want it? Fine! Jan, taking care of you brought me great pleasure.”

“Doctor, I’m leaving.”

“You’re just fine. Good to go!”

“Thanks doctor.”

I was now on my feet, my hair unkempt, my pants and shirt, rumpled.

“I would love to take any more questions you may have, Jan,” the doctor said to me. And I had one to ask.

“Have you ever been in love with someone you’ve never seen?” I asked.

“Yeah… right on the internet.”

“Someone you may never see with your mortal eyes?”

“That’s kind of weird! What do you think?”

“I used to think is weird, but not anymore.”

“That’s scary. Jan, this conversation should not be taking place now. I’ve got to see the next patient. Treating you has brought me great pleasure. I’m Doctor Cross, and I love you so much.”

Doctor Cross was already leaving when I said, “Cross?” She stopped the moment she heard me mention the word cross, threw a glance back at me and smiled most sweetly.

“Did that ring a bell?” She asked me.

“Yes,” I said, my mind casting back to the epitaph I had seen at the cemetery.

“The cemetery and that grave, right? That is where your mind has gone to.”

“Yeah….. and how did you know? Is there something you’re not telling me, Doctor Cross? You make me wonder who you really are.”

“The one who loves you so much and I’m taking you over,” she said.

The words ‘taking you over’, sprang up fast in my mind, but I had no time to ask Doctor Cross what she meant by that. She had gone ahead quickly to drop the bombshell in an ethereal voice.

“I’m Cassandra Cross,” she said.

“What….?”

That was all I could say before some strange things began to happen. Then a strong wind from nowhere descended on the room immediately, ruffling and spinning everything, including me. My feet above the ground, and in shock and fear, I started spinning around in the air.

“Are you going to kill me?” I screamed.

There was no response from the doctor who had said she was Cassandra. I suddenly found my feet touching the ground again. The doctor had disappeared, and the wind had left the room the moment she did. The room would have been silent all through, like not a thing ever happened, if not for my voice, now screaming words that had nothing to do with fear.

“Cassandra, I love you… stop staying away from me…,” I kept on screaming. My shrill voice attracted the attention of a Caucasian male nurse, who rushed in. I stopped screaming the moment I saw the nurse enter. The nurse, as his glances ran around, could see that the room was now untidy. Bed sheets and pillows tossed to the floor. Window curtains yanked apart. And the bed on which I had lain, now lying upside down. The floors were a mess, wood grains on them now scorched and rough. It had become hard for him at this point, to get convinced that my case was not a psychiatric one, when he had no way of seeing that I wasn’t the one who messed up the room.

“I can be of help,” he later said to me when he got over bewilderment that had struck him.

“Yeah you can be of help,” I said in desperation, “by finding me Cassandra I’m in love with! I’ve got to have Cassandra! Where is Cassandra?”

Looking disheveled, but determined, I darted off, pushed open the door of the room, looking to get back to that grave I had once seen.

“I’ve got to meet Cassandra,” I yelled.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Yelled back the nurse. “You’re very sick and you’re going nowhere yet!”

The nurse’s plan was to run after me and stop me from leaving. He attempted it, but received a strong shove I gave him. He was not expecting it, and it made him collapse like a wall of poker cards.

“Get the fuck out of my way,” I screamed at him and slammed the door behind. “I love you, Cassandra! Where are you?” I began to scream these words the moment I banged the door behind.

The glimpse of Cassandra I earlier had, was all the obsession that kept me going. I had to find Cassandra. I began to run. This is illusion! This is crazy! Turn back now, Jan! Don’t be a fool! Voices rattled in disturbing barrage in my head, voices already destined for neglect, voices I would quickly drown in a river if I could, voices that had become my greatest enemy. Two security guards at the hospital’s reception saw me in my disheveled mood. I was very much a psychiatric patient as far as they were concerned, one that must constitute danger to the public if left to get away. They could not do a thing however, because they could not get off their seats and initiate a chase. Their discovery was that their ass just got glued to their seats. They had mouths of course, but they could not utter a word with them as well, their tongues having got glued to their teeth. Strange! I wondered if it was Cassandra that had worked things in my favor that way.

“Where is Cassandra?” I continued to scream and run. “I’ve got to get to Cassandra! Where is Cassandra?”

I was still screaming and running when I got to the main hospital gate. No one else was about to use it, but me. It was wide open, with the guards there, so busy sleeping and farting, snoring like they just returned from carousing with Lionel Ritchie’s song all night long. I continued to scream for Cassandra and run as I used the gate. A major road was less than hundred meters ahead of me. I turned back in a flash, as I ran. The hospital gate was now closed, and the guards, now awake and seriously minding their duty post. Maybe Cassandra has done it again, I thought. Tires had begun screeching by the time I looked forward again. Too late, a car was already so close, braking so useless, and bam!!

Screams pierced the atmosphere and fed it lots of sorrow. I was on the ground, my mortal body convulsing and bathed in blood, breath almost fully gone from it. A distraught crowd soon gathered. The lady who hit me, got to see what she had done, collapsed at once and passed out. An ambulance was quickly in hand, but my new form would not need that. I gently got off, stood apart, and watched, as the body it used to inhabit, now lifeless, was taken into the ambulance on a stretcher. It was at this time that I looked beyond the gory scene and far off. I saw a billboard far ahead. And on it was the name I knew so well, so boldly written and up in lights. CASSANDRA CROSS. I smiled and began to walk away, away to the billboard, a slight wind now around. I turned and looked back after a while, saw no mortals again, but a silvery hedge that had risen to barricade where I had stepped away from—a world for mortal bodies.

You belong there no more, said a voice to me, one I assumed must be that of Cassandra. Come, Jan, to what the power of love has designed for you.

And right up the sky of my new world, the moon drifted in and out of sight at the back of shifting clouds. I turned my smiles-filled face forward, love propelling me closer and closer to the billboard.

Cassandra, where are you? I asked in a tone struck by love, when I got to the billboard at last. I could see the billboard begin to shrink, silvery light curling up the sky, the voice of the wind everywhere, and aloud, the words, CASSANDRA CROSS, coming off the billboard and dangling in the air, its red color beaming bright. It suddenly dropped to the ground, rose up at once, and gave rise to a tall form, so bright in her whiteness, with a beautiful face. She had a long red robe on, and was smiling at me, thin silvery smoke leaping off her head spasmodically, just like it now did from mine. Then I beheld the full beauty in the one I called The Voice in my mortal days. And the question, where is Cassandra, had become one I had to ask no more.

Here I am, Jan, Cassandra spoke to me with a smile, a welcoming smile. I’ve been waiting for you, she went ahead to say.

Cassandra? I asked like I wasn’t still sure she was the one. It felt sweet in a romantic sort of way, how overflowing joy could make me pretend like that.

Yes, I am Cassandra.

Now I see you know very much about the big old book and the wedding ring of steel I discovered in the other world when I was a bachelor.

Cassandra replied after she took some time to smile like she was too shy to say what she wanted.

I am the one who buried them and made sure you found them, she said. The book was an account of how your journey to me would be.

And the wedding ring of steel?

A symbol of you and me together like it was made to be from the very beginning of time. Hearing those words got me thrilled.

Amazing and beautiful, I said.

Good to have you now, said Cassandra.

You’re so beautiful, Cassandra…

Jan, you’re so handsome…

Oh…., I moaned and ran off. There was no other place I was headed other than into Cassandra’s extended arms that already awaited me. An embrace happened. Then a deep kiss followed, one that shot thousands of heart-shape symbols of love into the expansive domain of the sky. It was a kiss neither Cassandra nor I was in any hurry to quit.

Can we get married now and make babies? I asked Cassandra when I eventually disengaged my lips from hers.

Babies of our kind like mere mortals do? Cassandra responded.

Yes, I would love to.

I’m ovulating, Cassandra informed me.

And that was the sweetest part ready to happen at the right time for me to have what I could not have in the previous world, when I used to believe Stefi was my true wife. Kids and more kids. I found home. Home sweet home. No place like home. I am finally with whom I truly belong to, Cassandra Cross, and with a ring on our love, which makes us have a marriage. This is the end I did not see coming. A splendid one! No regrets about all I had to go through to be with Cassandra. And what do you think I am now? Wait a second! Are you kidding? Seriously? Did I just hear you call me a ghost?

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