For a moment when I woke up, I didn’t know where I was, or what time it was. I gritted my teeth against the pain and straightened up, blanching. I realized I was in my own room.
“Sam, are you, alright?” Chloe asked. Seeing her stunned me. She looked worried and said. “You know, you’re brother is soooo cute--- I mean, really! When he was asking me what happened to you, I almost fainted! Not because I didn’t know what to say, but I was so nervous that he was looking at me with those lovely eyes!” She shrieked and giggled. “Oh my God, Sammy! I should always come visit you here!” She said. “By the way, how are you feelin’?”
“My body’s aching. My back… my upper body actually.”
She looked really troubled now. “Tasuki was high… He was drunk too.”
“So that’s him?” I gave her a quizzical look. “Way too friendly, I guess. There goes my first hang out.”
Chloe sighed and then chuckled softly. “When we saw you two, you were unconscious and I was like ‘what the hell, Tasuki?!’ He said he thought you were a guy... Must be because it was dark and you had your short hair ponytailed. He was on drugs, so he must be hallucinating… or I don’t know. I’m not into that kind of stuff, so I don’t know. That guy really sucks. He was smoking and drinking… It was like a suicide. I can’t imagine how potent that is.” Her face was suddenly serious. “I’m sorry about this… we can’t find your glasses too.”
“I’m good… but who do you mean by ‘we’?”
“Charles and me. And a maid.”
“What?! Oh no! He saw me… Charles saw me in that condition…”
“He was really worried; he even pulled Tasuki away from you and gave him a good punch. Well, your mouth was bleeding… and the room was a mess so… yeah.”
“What?! He did that?! I don’t know how to face him now… and that Tasuki… I’m so embarrassed… What will I do Chloe?! No…” I stammered.
“Why are you embarrassed? Tasuki should be the one. But I doubt that… he is not that kind of guy anyway…”
Chloe went home pretty late. She was really worried. I could feel and see that. It really felt great when someone’s feeling that way for you when they knew you were not okay. She told me she preferred being called Ichigo, since calling her Chloe was too formal for someone she treated a close friend. Friend. I finally had someone I could call a friend. She was like a big sister.
And Charles… he punched his best friend for me. My heart could not stop from fluttering.
I was happy that I forgot the pain I was feeling physically. I had no bruises too. When I asked Ichigo how come she knew where I live she just said she learned it from Chelsea. Again. She said they looked it up on my contact information. Of course they could that, why did I forget about it?
I turned to the other side of the bed and trailed the smoke of Tasuki’s cigarette from my jacket. I didn’t bother remove it, instead I had left it put me to sleep.
The Sunday morning was burning up. I thought it would rain today like yesterday. My upper body was still aching. I slept on my side with both my arms down like a log.
“Who’s the guy you were with last night?” Akira asked. He was sitting on dining table, reading a newspaper.
“Huh?” I warbled while smothering myself with crumpets, egg and bacon he made me.
“You were unconscious last night.” Sipping on his coffee, he glared at me. “A man on suit and sunglasses carried you. Just what the heck were you doing? You shouldn’t let another man touch and carry you like that, you idiot.”
“Oh really? I had no idea I was actually carried.” I said perplexed. “I felt dizzy and fainted yesterday. Maybe because of the weather?” I said, clearing my throat.
“You dufus, who would believe that?” He rolled his eyes. “It’s not like your first time in such weather. Your friend said you lost your glasses too. How clumsy.”
“Yeah, now that I think about it… I can see you clearly now.” I leaned closer to his face, grew my eyes and made a funny face. He pushed my face down and hissed. He opened the newspaper wide, and made it like a barrier. I couldn’t see his face. “Maybe it’s finally corrected?”
“But you didn’t answer my question. Hmm?”
“What is—you mean the guy? The guy must be Tasuki’s driver… I don’t know him but he is a friend of Ichigo.”
“Tasuki? A friend of Ichigo—good I thought he is your boyfriend, or something.”
“Why, if he is… would you beat him?”
“Of course. I mean--” He cleared his throat. “You are my sister. And you’re still young—
“You had a girlfriend when you were sixteen. You had a lot--”
He slid down the paper and sighed. “That’s because--” A fleeting pause. “I’m a guy.”
“What’s with the meaningful pause there?” I smirked.
“Just eat, you pesky dimwit.” Then he stood up. “I’ll stay at the office tonight.”
“What?! No! It’s Sunday!” I said, grabbing a part of his shirt.
“So?” he asked, giving me a puzzled look. “It’s not like my work stops every Sunday. I’m not a student.”
“But, you can’t leave me here.” I plead curving my mouth downward. I started raising my voice, “I mean, how about dinner? Is dad coming home? Where is he anyway?”
“Dad’s busy with a case. Just order anything you want.” He brushed off my hand.
I stared at him, mouth still cambered, as he walked towards the stairs. He glanced at me for a moment and caught me still gawking at him. He chuckled and turned closer to me.
“Are you still sick?” he asked, putting the back of his palm to my forehead. “Are you in pain or something? How are you feeling?” When I looked at him and met his eyes, he instantly removed his hand and flicked a finger to my head. I automatically touched that part in pain. “Just keep resting. You’re not taking care of yourself. You’re always making me worried…” Then he went upstairs.
Akira’s clairvoyance always amazed me. It seemed that he knew everything I had been going through. It might just be hunches but, it was always a home run. It was like we were talking through gestures and simple glances. He knew me really well.
It was almost six in the afternoon when the phone ringed jolting me from my slumber. It was Akito. He sound delighted when I asked him when he will be back. Akira’s gone and I was alone in the house.
“Maybe next week, sweety.” I rubbed my eyes, blinking myself awake. “Sammy, what about Dr. Khali?”
“What about her?” I stretched my legs.
“Don’t you wanna see her?” The other line choppied.
“Why are we suddenly talking about this?” I chuckled, shifting the phone to my right hand.
“It’s been two years, I’m just saying.” He grumbled.
“I came by her office before my entrance ceremony—
“Yeah, but she was not there. Where are you by the way?”
“Just somewhere. I’ll call Akira.”
“Bye dad.” We both chortled. Then the other line was disconnected.
I sat back in the sofa, dazed. Breathed loudly and exhaled slowly. Turned the television on, volume up. Why is this happening now? I was panicking, that every sound I hear awakened my imaginations. I could feel my head thumping; I could hear my heart banging even with the television so loud.
“Dammit!” My body was still aching in pain that I could feel the weight of my body. I felt tired. I turned off the TV, checked the door and windows tightly closed. I went upstairs and fell into another sleep.
I could guess it was still evening, or two, three, four in the morning when I gained consciousness. It was still dark. I was half-awake. A little light permeated from the street light. I could feel the wind; I usually forgot to close the glass door on my room’s patio. Both Akira and Akito would be mad if they find out.
When I finally opened my eyes, my eyes broadened when I saw a girl standing near the patio door. Long black hair covering her face, white dress. I gasped in shock and slid myself in horror and fell on the other side of the bed. “Shit!” I cursed and it was the first time. It was gone before I knew it. I was hyperventilating, blinking myself to reality. I was not dreaming. I was sweating, jaw still dropped. My chest was running wild. My head was throbbing like crazy. I gulped, thinking what just happened.
Hairs at the back of my neck rose suddenly, and this time I could feel a presence behind my back. I screamed, ran and tripped. I thought of running downstairs, but I couldn’t—she was standing near the door. Face on the floor, I heard her whimper.
“Stop this!” I shrieked. My head started hurting; I could feel the nagging of my body. I sat, leaned my back on the wall behind me near the bathroom door. The sobbing started to get louder, like it was getting nearer. I capped my ears and shut my eyes, “Stop it!” I started crying. And then it was gone.
I opened my eyes, and saw a silhouette of a man through the curtain. He was standing on the terrace. He pulled away the curtain and finally let himself in. Before I realized, I ran to him. Embracing him tightly, I cried onto his arms. Relieved yet scared, but I didn’t care. Whoever he was, whatever he was. Good or bad.
He saved me.