Lisa opened her eyes and for a while, she was confused. Her red dress had been replaced with a light blue gown that had buttons at the back and was ugly, despite the beautiful colour. Her head felt as if a dozen people were pounding it with large mortars. She tried to stand up but she could not. A hand steadied her; the hand was very gentle and very soft, almost feminine. She looked up and the eyes that stared back at her was just as gentle as his touch. She had never seen him before but she felt as if she had known him all life. Lisa made to talk but her throat was too dry to bring out anything audible. The guy left her side and went to take water from a dispenser outside the room. He gave the plastic cup filled with water to her. Lisa drank it hungrily and asked for more. When she was sated, she cleared her throat.
“Thank you for the water”, she mumbled shyly.
“Oh, it’s nothing. How are you feeling?”
“I dont know. I feel achy all over”
“Sorry dear. It was a rough night and you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time”
“Oh. I am confused really. How did I get here and who are you?”
“You dont remember what happened to you last night?”
“Nope, not at all. I only remember dancing and partying. Look, I dont mean to be rude but I need to know who you are”
“Errm, that’s not being rude. It’s cool being that we’ve never met before. My name is Michael and Peter said I should come and stay with you”
“I dont understand why Peter will send you to come and stay with me”
“To play babysitter”, he started to laugh but stopped when he saw that Lisa was not smiling.
“Look, this is not a joke. I’m serious here.”
“I know, right. Dont mind me, I’m just trying to make light of the issue. Your brother has been detained by some policemen and he told me to come and stay by your side as a favour”.
“I dont understand, why did they arrest my brother?”
“I think you should relax and get better first. Your getting better is very important to Peter”
“Are you kidding me? My brother is in prison and you are saying I should relax? Now, that’s funny”, Lisa laughed dryly and rolled her eyes almost simultaneously.
“Sweetheart, please you need to get better. If not for anybody, for Peter’s sake. He wants you well.”
“Please, dont sweetheart me. Is my phone here in the hospital or did i misplace that too?”
“Sure, it is here. Your phone was in your purse so and still there. Should i fetch it for you?”
Lisa watched Michael move to a cupboard. He rummaged through the clothes he had brought from Peter’s place for her and finally picked the purse. He opened it and removed her phone from it.
“This is it, your highness”
Lisa rolled her eyes and asked him to excuse her. He was annoyingly gentle and that was getting on Lisa’s nerves. If anyone would stay by her hospital bed, it should be Olaore and not some stranger called Michael.
Olaore was on his way back to the hospital when Lisa called. He knew he should be by her side at the time she was awake but he had to go to the station to question Lisa’s brother. A good samaritan had called him about a serious fight at The Syrup Night Club. The samaritan had told him of a young man boasting and screaming on top of his lungs about the dead women who are in hell and how others like them would soon be in hell because God was out to kill every terrible women on earth. Olaore would have waved the call to one side but the need to get the shadow made him pursue any lead and Syrup had been one of the targeted clubs of the shadow. When he got there, he was shocked to meet Lisa in a pool of her own blood and a young man crying over her. People had pointed to the man has the person who had injured the young lady and was screaming about God killing bad women. Out of rage, Olaore had called his men to put the man in jail. It was just that morning Ore had found out he was Lisa’s blood brother. What if he had intentionally injured Lisa? What if he was the one killing all those women? He claimed to be a religious man but nothing propells a man to kill more than when he believes he is doing God’s work or doing the world a great favour. What if Lisa’s brother was the shadow? Olaore shook his head. He suddenly felt as if the world had dumped its burden on his shoulder.
Michael tried his best not to show that he was angry. First, for all the time he had been kind to Lisa in the past, she had never remembered him. She had been rude him after he had introuduced himself hoping to spark up a flame of “I know you”. He had always loved Lisa and had done everything to be noticed around her and now, there was a man in her room, kissing her forehead and holding her tightly in his arms. He was livid with anger and desperately felt the need to break something, especially the man that Lisa clung to as if her life depended on it.
“Breathe, Michael, breathe. Soon she will know how much you love her and she will have no choice but to love you. Just breathe”, he told himself and he felt the anger begin to dissipate gradually.