What is this?
Who is calling my name?
Even though I could hear it, I still couldn’t pinpoint what was happening to me. I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear someone calling me. I wanted to open my eyes and see it for myself but couldn’t. I heard something. Like some kind of sense of the limited sensory input like the sounds of something which felt like machines, the sensations on my body, the voices that I heard.
I could hear voices and was trying to make sense of what they were saying. Their words often entered my dreams. Someone kept telling me “Come back, you’re fine now. I got you!”
I had terrifying repetitive dreams from which I couldn’t escape, couldn’t wake up from, couldn’t make sense of. And eventually, those things were starting to annoy me now. Finally, as I felt lightweight and my eyes fluttered open, I saw something. Curious stares of people hovering me. I would have freaked out but if it wasn't for my throat all dried up, I chose to stay quiet.
Their voices reached my ears and one of them put a light straight into my eyes causing me to jerk voluntarily. Then I knew it. I was in hospital. Everything started to make sense. And it was when my eyes fell on a man standing near the door. He had wide eyes and he looked miserable.
I recognized the person instantly. How could I not?
He looked different. He had stubble on his face, his hair was a mess and he looked out of place with the clothes he was wearing. It was as if he had not eaten for ages. It was not how I had wanted to see him, ever. My hand reached out towards him, wanting to touch him and then I saw him falling on his knees and he started sobbing.
Just what have you been through?
Why are you crying?
I couldn't understand what was happening and why he was crying. Is it again one of my dreams? Am I really dead?
It can't be.
I saw the man crying continuously and the next moment he stood up and ran to me, holding my hand and putting his head on the bed. I could feel his warm hands to mine cold ones. They were trembling.
"Don't you ever do this to me ever again!" he sobbed and a smile formed on my face as I clutched his hand tightly, assuring him that I was alright.
"Ms. Carter can you explain what really happened with you in detail?" the officer asked me as one of his officer stood next to him with a recorder in his hand. I nodded as I took in a deep breath and looked back at Caleb who looked tense on my side as he clutched my hand and nodded at me.
I told the whole story from the beginning when they shoot at us back in the mall and how they kidnapped me to where I saw a woman on the laptop demanding them to kill me.
The officer took note of it as he handed me a sketch. "We had this drawn over ideas of the hitmen we caught. Is this the right image?" he asked as I took a look of the sketch and immediately a small gasp escaped my mouth. It was the right sketch. I remembered the woman's face perfectly. And I nodded desperately making sure that my feelings etched on my face.
"Yes, she is the one," I told him and he nodded taking the sketch back as he looked back at me.
"We have already started the investigation and we will soon find this woman as soon as possible," he said and looked back at Caleb who nodded at him and after that he was gone.
I exhaled out-breath, that I didn't know I was holding. I clearly remembered the woman's face. She was clearly not a person from my group. I have never met her, never seen her around, what enmity does she hold with me? What grudge does she hold against me to go such extent wanting me dead?
Did I really harm someone in the past?
But I was never close to anyone.
"Are you alright?" Caleb whispered softly and I stared at him to find him looking doleful.
"Yes, don't worry," I told him as I smiled at him and he gave me a small smile as he put his head down on my hand.
"I thought I lost you," he whispered and shifted on his position, putting his head on the side as I saw his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. An expression of bliss playing on his face as I leaned down and put my head on his head, affectionately.
"But you didn't. I'm here."
My body was coping up with the surgeries I had and I was still not able to believe that I survived three bullets straight into my body. Two of the bullets were on my right leg. One, on my thigh and other on my ankle, because while they shot me, I had pulled my legs up shielding my chest. But one was in the middle of my chest, few inches away from my heart.
It was a miracle that I got saved.
And to top of that, I managed to trouble Caleb again. This was my third time being admitted to a hospital and each time I got admitted, my serious got even worse.
Why does this happen to me?
And why do I always drag Caleb with me?"
He has been nothing but so considerate and loving. I don't think I'm even angry at him anymore. But now, whenever I see him bringing me food and taking care of me, I feel worse. It is just because of me that he is in such a condition. He got himself dragged to my stuff only because he loves me. The only problem was am I still the worth for his love?
What would happen if something happens to him because of me?
I mean look what happened to Jenny and Nile.
They got discharged but were badly hurt, all because of me and my foolishness. If only I had listened to Caleb and be at home then this wouldn't have happened.
"What are you thinking?" I heard his voice and saw to my right to find him setting food from the lunch box on the table, for himself.
But why can't I think of leaving him even after all this?
My heart refuses to think of the idea of leaving him.
I think I should stop myself from trying too hard from getting away from my feelings. Anyone can do a mistake. I did it too...
Caleb was right. He deserves a second chance.
My hand clutched the sheets tightly when all of a sudden, I remembered about my diploma. I had already paid the fees and my flight tickets are already booked. Even though I was out of the intensive care unit, still it would be hard for me to travel such a long distance. And to top of that, the investigation.
What do I do?
I can't leave Caleb.
No! I am in debt to him. He had done so much for me, went through so much for me, did so many things for me, saved my life. I can't leave him.
I owe him my life.
But my dreams.
I just can't leave everything because someone wants to kill me.
What do I do?
I need to tell Caleb about it.
"Caleb," I began but stopped when the door of my room opened and I looked back to find the security guard alloted before my room present with a woman whom I recognized immediately as Mrs. Lewis.
"Mrs. Lewis," I said as she smiled and used her support stick to guide the way towards me. Caleb stood up and helped her get to me and have a seat.
"Thank you, young man," she patted Caleb's cheek as he smiled and raised an eyebrow at me wanting to know who she is.
"She is Mrs. Lewis. She knew my parents and me in my childhood as she was our neighbor," I told him and he nodded understanding.
"And Mrs. Lewis, he is Caleb, my former boss, and friend," I told her and immediately Caleb's head whipped to my direction as he tilted his head knowingly, teasing me with that sinister look of his. I warned him with my eyes not to behave stupid and he gave me a smirk as he got back a little.
"Hello Caleb," Mrs. Lewis threw a smile at Caleb who took her hand and gave it a kiss. "Nice to meet you," he whispered and looked back at me and Mrs. Lewis.
"I hope I am not disturbing you," she said and I shook my head.
"As soon as I heard the news from Eden, I came here," she told me and I smiled understanding. I did meet Eden and told him that he shouldn't worry anymore about me. But still, he insisted to keep visiting me much to Caleb's annoyance but thankfully and miraculously Caleb didn't utter a word to him or to me. He focussed all his attention on me whenever Eden was around. Although he didn't leave the room but stood quietly in the corner listening to our conversation.
It was alright for me as long as they didn't fight and it worked out.
"I am really glad to see you, Mrs. Lewis," I told her and she smiled picking up my hand in her cold ones giving it a pat.
"Y-You have grown up to be a fine woman, Sang. You look so much like your mother," she said and that immediately got my attention.
"Yes. Oh yes,"
"I still remember her face. She was a really beautiful and intelligent and a hard-working woman. She loved your father and loved you the most. Do you know, one day you got so ill as a baby and instantly she took this decision to leave her to job to look after you,"
I grew even more curious to know about it as I waited for her to finish.
"You know she always used to tell me that she buried her dreams but she was alright with it. She wanted you to take her dreams and pursue it for her sake,"
"Her dreams?" I asked and she nodded.
"Wait. You know I was dusting my house and got this. Wait! I will show you," she told me and pulled her purse out as she brought out some paper and a little box and handed them to me.
It was an old sketch of some jewelry. The sketches were hand-drawn and had minute work on it.
"Wow," I managed to say as I saw the designs.
"Do you know your mother was a professional jwellery designer? She had designed for celebrities as well,"
As soon as she said that, my head whipped towards her direction and I was shocked. Shocked to learn about my mother's profession. And she left it all for me? For our family?
I didn't even have a single idea about her profession or dreams but it was from my childhood back in the orphanage, I liked designing and eventually wanted to become a jewelry designer. Is it why I have always dreamt of to become one because it was my mother's dream?
Did she pass her dreams to me?
All of a sudden I remembered something. It was faint and blurry but in the memory, a kid sat on a table next to a woman who was sketching something on a paper. The room was a mess with papers all over and the kid swung her legs humming a song, while the woman with glasses looked up at her and smiled.
What are you drawing?
Do you like to draw?
Can I draw for you?
Do you want to?
Sorry, darling, you have to be a designer if you want to touch my work.
How to be a designer?
You have to study and learn a lot.
Then teach me.
"Sang? Sang? What happened?"
"Sang!" I was snapped out of my moment as I looked back to find Caleb staring down at me with wide frantic worried eyes.
"Are you alright? Should I call the doctor?" he asked and I shook my head.
"No, it's okay. I'm alright. I just remembered something," I told him as I removed his hand from my shoulder and he looked between me and Mrs. Lewis.
"This was the last piece she was working on before she died. It was for you. It is unfinished," the woman said as she handed me a box and as soon as I opened it, tears streamed down my face as I saw an unfinished hairpin. A comb style u-shaped hairpin studded with stones and leaf-like projections.
"I had already forgotten that I still have these. I should have given you when we met the last time, but I totally forgot about it. Forgive me," I heard her speak but my attention was on the hairpin as I sobbed because I was able to hold something for the first-ever time which was a gift from my mother.
Even though she was not here to hand me the finished one, still I loved the one I held with my dear life as I hugged it and closed my eyes when I felt someone caressing my head.
"Do you like it? She wanted to gift it to but she co-"
"I love it. I really love it. Thank you, Mrs. Lewis. Thank you so much. This is the best gift I have ever received. I am grateful," I sobbed and the woman smiled sympathetically as she stayed quiet while I sobbed for the next few minutes holding the most precious thing I ever received.
My eyes fell on the sketches and I inhaled loudly as I picked it up.
She was truly a designer.
I do understand now, why I liked this so much and dreamt of becoming one.
Mom, if you have really passed on your dreams to me then I promise you. I won't fail you.
I will become one of the greatest designers, even better than you were.
Thank you so much for putting your trust on me and thank you for this hairpin.