When I asked her she suddenly sat upright and got alert. I was surprised with her sudden action.
“What happen?” I asked but she didn’t answered instead began to weep silently. This made me realize that so many things are there to understand about her and I was rushing over it.
She had just started to talk but here I was asking so many questions without caring of her emotional spot. How could I forget that though I had no reason taking drug but she might have big reason behind it?
“I… I am sorry. I shouldn’t be asking you that right? I am really sorry you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want its totally okay” I said trying to persuade her.
Only then she wiped her tears away and my heart was in ease. The bell for breakfast rang and I got up.
“Let’s go inside you must be starving.”
“No, I don’t want to eat” she replied looking sideways.
“But I want to. See yesterday I feed you now it’s your turn. Come on don’t you want to pay back the favor?”
“Was it just your favor?” her question hit my heart.
I wanted to tell her “no, it wasn’t. It was my love for you which I have since so long.”
But before saying anything I had to be very careful that now there was a line between us. She is wife of someone else and a patient of my center. So no emotional attachment was possible.
“Um… I have nothing to say just the rules are strict here. If you won’t eat now then you will not be getting any meal for today be it lunch, snacks or dinner” I tried to persuade her though there was no any rules like that.
“Do you think I can’t survive? I am used to it” she said folding her arms.
“What? What do you mean by that?” I got alert and asked with curiosity.
“Nothing… just nothing I said nothing” she said getting up and added “let’s go.”
She rushed inside and I followed her in dilemma “What was she supposed to mean by that?”
I sat with her in large dining hall which had numerous numbers of chairs and tables. Most of the chairs were filled and they all were having their breakfast. I placed the plate in front of Lisa.
“Where is your plate?” she asked.
“No, I am good. You have it” I said looking at my cell phone.
“Here… take it” she patted on my shoulder.
I glanced at her then at the plate. I saw that she had divided the sandwich into two equal.
“No, no you don’t have to this I am alright. You can have it. I am not starving” I refused.
“If you will not have it then I too don’t want this” she said pushing the plate away.
“Okay, fine” I took one half of the sandwich and took a bite. She took the other half and ate it smiling at me. I found a paradise seeing her smiling. Her smiling was soothing me.
“Sir…” I heard Arvin calling out for me.
I lifted my head and looked at him before he said “I need to talk with you.”
“Have your breakfast and go to block B. I will see you in a minute” I said and got up.
She suddenly held my wrist and said “I will be waiting.”
I glanced at her and nodded my head. Only then she left my wrist and began to have her breakfast. I followed Arvin and went out of the hall.
I was surprised seeing receptionist desk empty so I asked immediately “where is Rose?”
Hearing me Arvin immediately turned towards me and said “she is the reason I wanted to talk about. She quit her job.”
“What? When? Why?” I was shocked.
“I don’t know. When I called her she just said she is quitting and before I asked for anything she disconnected. I called her again but she didn’t answer.”
Listening Arvin I fetched my phone from my pocket and dialed Rose’s number. The ring went but she didn’t pick up. Probably she was showing her attitude because I yelled at her last night. She always did that. Be it to increase her salary or get scolded because of her mistake she does the same stay at home and not show up until I convince her. Never in my life I had convinced Rose more than anyone else.
Keeping my phone back on my pocket I said “we need to get new receptionist prepare for it.”
“Are you sure?” asked Arvin.
“Yeah, I am totally faded up with her dramas. Enough is enough. I am her boss not her boyfriend. I pay her to work not to show her attitude and stay home for every small issue. And make sure you provide her this month’s salary to new receptionist as welcome bonus…”
Arvin smiled at me like he was just waiting for a day to kick Rose out of the center “I will make all the arrangements as soon as possible.”
I went to block B looking for Lisa. I was not able to find her anywhere. I panicked and checked each and every hall until I saw her in the corner of hall number five painting something in a canvas. My heart eased seeing her.
While I was watching her my cell phone rang. I absently picked up the call tucked it on my ear without checking the caller id and said “Yes, Steven speaking.”
“I know very well who is speaking you don’t have to remind me my own son’s name” mom’s voice startled me.
I smiled and walking out of the building talking to her “hey, mom. How are you?”
“I am good. But it seems like my son is not good” she replied.
“It’s nothing like that. I was just busy with something and didn’t check the number before answering it” I said.
“Really, was busy with something or someone?”
Mom’s question made me stand still with big curved formed on my face “How did she know that?”
“Bit of silence means definitely someone. Who is she?” she asked in excited tone.
“You are thinking too much mom. It is nothing like that. Anyway where is dad? How is he?” I changed the topic deliberately.
“Well he is fine as well. He has gone out for groceries shopping” she replied.
“Glad you both are fine. Okay I need to go mom. I will call you some other time when I will be free” I said tucking my hand on the pocket.
“Okay, Stev… take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and sleep well. Don’t take too much of work burdens. Love you…” she said and disconnected the call.
For a while I glanced at the screen absently. I regretted how I afflicted my parents in past. They are so loving that now they have completely forgotten all those things and taking care of me. I am really damn lucky to have them as my parents.
Leaving Arvin to handle other matters I left for my company. Before leaving I made sure to Arvin that he needed to get new receptionist as soon as possible and also told him to take care of Lisa.
Back in the company I felt my energy back. I was feeling bliss inside and I was longing to work hard like always. I attended all my meetings and went through the files which needed to be checked. I got so lost in my work that I took no notice when it got dark.
When I got out of the company I called Arvin but he didn’t answer my call. I sat on my car and was about to call him back but before I could dial his number my phone rang flashing out his caller id.
“Yeah, I just called you to ask about Lisa. Did she have her dinner?” I asked as soon as I tucked the phone on my ear.
“Sir we are not able to find her. We checked the building but she is nowhere to be found.”
Arvin’s words skipped my heart “What do you meant nowhere to be found?”
“She didn’t come for dinner. So I checked her room and other room in block A but she is not here.”
I hung up the call and drove my car in full speed towards the center. As soon as I reached I got out the car and rushed inside.
“How can you be this careless? Can’t you take care of one single patient?” I exploded on Arvin.
He stood with his head down apologizing “I am sorry sir. I was just busy preparing advertisement for the vacancy.”
“Whatever… did you checked block B?” I asked.
“Yeah, I send Janitor there to check but he said he didn’t find her there” replied Arvin.
I wanted reassurance so I myself walked towards the block B. I went straight towards the hall number five where I had last seen Lisa. I opened the door and lit up the light. The hall was empty. I sadly turned to leave but I noticed someone on the corner of room behind the canvas easel.
When I walked towards it I saw Lisa was lying on the floor. So many bad thoughts crossed my mind. I slowly patted her cheeks and called her out “Lisa… Lisa.”
I felt her cheeks were so hot. I kept my palm on her forehead which too was hot. She was suffering from high fever. I took her on my arms and walked out of the room.
I gently placed her on the bed and called for doctor. When doctor came and checked her he suggested me to try other remedies rather than giving her a medicine as she was addicted to medicine and it was good for not to take any medicine further.
Whole night I took care of her by putting wet towel on her forehead and changing it time and again. It was around four in the morning her fever decreased and I was able to fall asleep on the lounge feeling exhausted.