“Riya, come here.”
The lady with golden glass frame called out looking at the young nurse.
The nurse had a tray in her hands that contained medicines and syringes. She was going to take a left turn toward a corridor. But hearing a call from the senior nurse lady, she changed her route and made her way to her.
“Yes, Ma’am.” The nurse asked reaching the golden frame.
“Go to Dr. Lima Ashton’s office and tell her to meet me urgently. I need to talk to her.”
“Sure, ma’am. I’ll inform Dr. Ashton right now.” The nurse said with a nod.
The golden frame nodded back and went to her front toward her office room. The nurse walked back to follow the corridor where Dr. Lima’s office room was.
When the nurse reached near Dr. Lima’s office, she knocked the door and heard a voice that told her to come in. The nurse entered the room and saw a lady with a glimpse of black, square-framed glass on her face, sitting on her white desk facing her back and was looking at a file very attentively. The nurse saw her look up at her and slightly moved her head to the left, giving the nurse a chance to see a little more of her side face.
“What’s it?” Dr. Lima asked, slightly disturbed by her sudden entry.
The nurse quickly replied,
“Mrs. Jahan has called you, Ma’am. She said it’s urgent.”
Dr. Lima looked away for a second in thinking of something and then slightly nodded returning her side face to the nurse.
“Okay, I’ll come.” She replied roughly.
The nurse nodded back and went away from the room by gently closing the door. Dr. Lima sighed and took out her black framed glass, leaving it on the table. She then stood up to walk toward the door to leave.
The nurse was walking, following the long, silent corridor which had ‘L’ shape. She left Dr. Lima’s office back behind the corridor. She heard a footstep coming from the other side of the hallway. Soon, a female figure appeared in front of her who was wearing a mask on her face. She was in a hurry and continuously watching her wristwatch with impatience plastered on her face. The nurse became suspicious about the lady. But she decided to keep quiet and silently observed that woman.
While the nurse was looking at her, that woman’s eyes met hers suddenly. The woman seemed smiled at the nurse because her eyes narrowed creating a happy expression on her face. When they were a few steps distance away, suddenly the mysterious woman took off her mask with one hand that left the nurse’s jaw dropped in an instance. The lady looked at the nurse with a confused glance.
“What happened, Ms. Riya?” The woman asked.
“Do...Doctor Lima!” The nurse stuttered.
“What? Have you seen a ghost? Seriously what happened to you, tell me?” The woman named Dr. Lima asked worriedly.
The nurse shook her head in disbelief.
“I can’t believe you are here, Dr. Lima.” The nurse replied, scared and confused.
“Really? But I think I should be here since I’ve just got out from the O.T and now heading toward another one.”
The doctor showed her other hand with which she was holding her green O.T gown, the thing Nurse Riya didn’t notice before. Dr. Lima continued,
“Seriously, Ms. Riya, tell me what’s wrong? You’re making me worry.”
“But I just saw you in your chamber.”
Dr. Lima looked at her for a second and then said with a slight chuckle,
“You must be stressed out too much, Ms. Riya. I think you should take some rest. I’ll tell Mrs. Mehnaj to give you some day off.” Dr. Lima grabbed her shoulder in support.
“But Mrs. Mehnaj told me that she wants to meet you, and that’s why I went to your chamber, and there I saw you. That was you! I saw a woman with the same white apron, the same side-look with the same square-framed glasses. Wait a minute! Where’s your glass, ma’am?” The nurse said, looking at Dr. Lima’s face.
Dr. Lima sighed in annoyance.
“Where else should it be except my room? Besides, you know I use contact lenses too, right? Come on, Ms. Riya. Please, stop acting like this. You sound weird.”
In reply, Ms. Riya grasped Dr. Lima’s hand and started to run backward dragging her. They reached Dr. Lima’s chamber to find it empty. Ms. Riya’s eyes wandered around the table to find the black framed glasses. Her eyes succeed in detecting the glasses beside a photo frame of Dr. Lima. Dr. Lima went to the table and picked up her glasses. Then, looking at the nurse, she said,
“See! Things are just there, where they should be. Nothing’s changed, Ms. Riya.”
Ms. Riya was speechless at the moment. So, it was up to the doctor to continue her speech,
“I think you seriously need a day off. So, now that I’m going to meet Mrs. Mehnaj I’d especially recommend a leave for you.”
“No, nothing more to say about it. I’ve made the decision.”
Dr. Lima watched her wristwatch again and with a breath exhaled she said, “Okay then, I’ll see you around. Good night, Ms. Riya.”
Ms. Riya opened her mouth to say something but seeing the doctor going out of the room without caring her gestures she closed the gap. When the doctor left the room, the nurse glanced over the whole room, and her eyes stopped at the open window. She went there and looked outside to see the dark scenery of midnight. She looked at the night for a while, feeling the emptiness of it. She had several questions that were lurking in her mind about the events happened just before. She closed the window with a mild noise.
Silent footsteps were crushing the night and echoed within the quiet corridor. No one was there except the person who was walking. A pair of sports shoe made the sound. The human figure was a female with white hospital apron covering her body. With a bounce of her hightailed hair, she turned to her right, near a metal door. Her soft hands touched the shiny, reflective doorknob and moved it to open the door. She pushed the door and swiftly entered the dark room. She closed the door mildly, as if cautious enough to not make a sound. Then her hand slid into the bag hanging from her left shoulder to bring out a small pen lighter. She brought the lighter to her face and turned it on it by pressing a tiny button on the top of the pen. A smirk appeared as the small amount of white light spread enlightening her face.
Sara’s eyes were glittering.
“Wow! Didn’t think It’d be that easy to do a role-play. Thanks to you Dr. Lima.” She whispered to herself with a smirk on her face.
Sara positioned her light to the front to see through the darkness. Total five long-length metal shelves were standing in that whole big room. Each shelf had six rows which contained gray and white files. These were the record-books of patients of this hospital throughout the years. On the steel body of each shelf, there written the names of years in the black metallic font, maintaining a wide gap.
Sara went to her right and stood in front of the first shelf. She took a walk to observe the first row. She noticed that the shelf contained files from the year 1992 to 1997. Gray ones kept organized according to the first three years, and black data kept organized according to the last three years.
According to the observation, it was apparent that the file Sara needed to find was on the second shelf, 4th row of the year 2001 since that was the year Suzan Roger died. Sara left the first shelf and walked behind it to reach the second one. When she saw the year 2001, she bent down and placed the light on the black files. Thankfully, names of the patients kept arranged in alphabetical order so finding the letter ‘S’ was easy for Sara.
Soon she found Suzan Rogers old, rusty, black file. She took it and wiped away the thin layer of dust from the patient’s name. Sara opened the file and words of the accident report, diagnosis, causes, and comments were thrown into her face. Medical reports with teeth-breaking scientific words caused much distress to Sara. Even though she knew the meanings of some of those words, all thanks to her high school Biology, practical experiences, and her doctor mother, it was also one of the main reasons for avoiding Sara’s medical studies that her mother wanted her to choose for the career.
However, when it comes to an essential report like this, she’d have to swallow and digest those medical words and meanings anyway for a good cause. She kept flipping pages after pages and studied the file till she reached the end of it. Finally, the information Sara got, could be summarized like this -
‘Suzan Roger died because of the lack of oxygen since she drowned into the lake accidentally. At least that’s the most logical reason according to the death process. However, according to the forensic report, her dead body had some strange scars and bruises near her neck and hand area, similar to the attack of something like a sharp nail or knife edge. Moreover, those marks on her body were made near the time of her death. Which means someone or something attacked when she was still breathing under water. But strangely, there was no sign of protest or struggle which made the whole case even more confusing.’
“Then why the doctors didn’t expose the reason to the police or public or... the money talked here? Ah, Mr. Roger, you sly fox!” Sara frowned her eyebrows.
Sara decided to keep the record-file to herself. When her hand was reaching toward her hanging bag, suddenly something unexpected happened. Before Sara even got a chance to startle, something came from nowhere and swiftly flew above her hand. Grabbing the black file with the help of its mouth, it landed on the left side of Sara. It was nothing but a little black cat. He ran away from the shelf area taking a left turn, stealing the file with him.
“A cat! Seriously!” Sara couldn’t help but express out loud her shocking disgust over the matter that just happened.
But she had no time to burn up her anger. Sara rushed the way that cat went taking her file. She went backward the room, scouring every shelf area, but that little thief fellow seemed just vanished in the air. Where could he hide in a windowless, locked room, except hiding in those the shelves?
“Wait a second. How did he even get here? I closed the door from the inside, then?” Sara gasped at the thought that came next to her mind.
“Or he was already here, and I didn’t even notice. Oh shit!” She whispered.
Sara rushed to the doorway and found it slightly open. She didn’t get the time to think how or who opened it, getting that cat and snatching the file was all she could think of at the moment. Sara went outside the room and stepped into the white corridor. She quickly looked her left and right.
On the right side, she got a quick glimpse of black tail running to the right of another corridor. Sara fastened her speed creating big foot-noise on the cream-colored tiles and moved toward the cat. Who would have thought that at the end of the day, after getting too close to an essential evidence, Sara would have to rush to a little thief cat who stole her file? There she was, annoyed and exhausted as hell at the silly sarcasm of fate.
Sara came to a long, narrow and open balcony area. It was the backside of the building. The night was quite silent here. Only the sound of midnight cricket and the mild breeze blowing to ease the environment. But for Sara, the situation was much hotter at the moment. The cat successfully avoided her grip through all the way, one kind of a smart cat. During the whole running and following session, Sara had to slow down sometimes to avoid eyes of hospital’s working public.
While trying avoiding the eyes, for once, she almost stepped into a corner where Dr. Lima and that old nurse were talking. It was the grace of luck that Sara was facing Lima’s back and the nurse was short enough to see her over the shoulders.
They were leaning on the side wall while the talk and cat surprisingly ran away in front of them, and they didn’t even care to notice.
“Lucky kitty!” Sara thought with a smirk.
Sara couldn’t walk that straight like the cat, so she had to take another way. From the map, Sara knew that the area she was standing and the way that the cat followed straight led to the backside balcony area. There was a two-way path for the entrance to the balcony one was this easy and direct route, and the other one needed one more corridor to pass, on Sara’s left. Then, taking the left side of the corridor end, she would enter the spacious hall, and beyond that, the balcony is right waiting there.
The whole trip to the balcony will end up smoothly only if the hall remains desolated and the cat doesn’t cross the balcony before her. The security camera wouldn’t be a problem since Sara disguised as a doctor, but being careful is always the best.
Sara walked to the left to pass the short, white corridor. She managed to avoid the doctor and the nurse who were too busy in their chatter. When Sara reached the edge of the corridor and looked behind to the hall, it seemed lonely. She gave her brain a green-light to proceed forward.
When she was halfway crossing the corridor, her eyes got stuck in a swinging black tail. The cat was sitting in the middle of the empty hallway, looking straight into her eyes. If Sara could understand animal’s mind voice, she’d be surprised to find out how much the cat was enjoying seeing his chaser. Sara, however, knew the half of his intention through his body language. He was playfully tilting his head side to side, showing off the file he was holding in his mouth. He was silently challenging her. Now that was hitting straight to Sara’s human ego.
“Okay, okay. I’ll play with ya buddy.” Sara thought while rolling her eyes at the cat.
Sara quickly moved her feet to him. The cat stood up gracefully, balancing on his four feet. Then turning backward he started to run in the next second. She was jogging instead of running since she didn’t want to catch some eyes in the open hallway. When they reached the balcony, and Sara found it was only her and that devilish little creature with no security system around, Sara increased her speed to the fullest. The cat was fast enough, but when he was competing with Sara’s sturdy feet, it was almost certain he was about to lose the game.
Sara almost reached that devil runner, and just the moment when she lowered her spine to grab the back of the cat, the cat looked back at her eyes. Their eyes met again and instantly something bright white flashed before Sara’s eyes. The effect lasted only for the blink of an eye. The moment that white flick vanished it took the cat with it too. Yes, the cat disappeared just at the time of getting busted. Sara lost her balance; her knees touched the white mosaic floor, but hands prevented her body from reaching the ground. She slowly took a sitting position pressuring on the knees. Sara was panting with heavy breath. Her face reddened with anger. After all the run and chase, the cat just gave her the eyes full of flicks and disappeared? Moreover, he escaped with the file, the significant evidence she struggled so hard to get. The whole thing was quite humiliating, also intolerable for her.
With the burning rage, Sara slowly stood up. Her eyes noticed a movement outside the balcony. It was a dark midnight, and the grasses were almost black in the green shade. But that black figure could certainly be seen. She saw it trailing on the lawn. The thing was moving slowly, possibly trying to save its skin from getting noticed. According to its movement direction, it was heading toward the morgue department.
Sara knew it was impossible for a cat to jump from one high balcony to the straight flat ground. And with that flick-magic, it was evident he wasn’t any ordinary animal. His actual intentions were vague, but the current motivation was clear. He wanted Sara, alone. That’s why he made her chase all the way. But he could’ve done that in the locker room. Then why he chose the other way? Quite questionable.
Sara breathed out the raging anger and filled the emptiness with the determination to find out the truth. She nodded slightly.
“Meet you there.” She whispered with strange calmness.
She took off her white apron and threw it away across the balcony. The wind was blowing in her running sweat, softly moving her each hair strand, slowly easing her toned, slightly muscled body. She grabbed the concrete railing of the balcony and mentally prepared herself for jumping down to the ground. Her expressionless gaze fixed to the one-story building of old, white morgue department.