Followers

-continued-

But then,on the eighth day,Anne misjudged this half-conscious man,thinking that he was fast asleep. He wasn't and,

"Make sure you don't miss the schedule Anne,we won't want to miss this chance. His condition is rare...you understand?"

"Yes I understand doctor,but for how long?"

"Nobody came so far,he'll stay here as long as nobody's taking him back."

"But who'll pay for his cost sir?"

"He will."

"What do you mean? I don't expect him to be able to do so,it seems that he has no relatives,"

"He will. Once I've finished studying his case,he sure will pay me back. I'll patent my discovery,Anne,and don't you worry,your name will be in my thesis." He said,a supercilious tone red and alive.

"Doctor,"

"Do your work,no more."

He heard the sound of foot stamps fading away. But he was awake,eyelids glued. The doctor's leaving.

Then some annoying sound of scribbles on a paper.

"Sir...it's time for your medication,"

The man refused to open his eyes at once. This camouflage must go on for another couple of seconds,he thought.

"Sir..?"

Then slowly,he woke up. Anne's smile greeted him. He didn't smile back,but gave a lost,hollow gaze.

"Take your pills sir,"

He thought again. It's been almost a week,or more than a week,he wasn't sure. But he believed it has gone over a week by then. It must be.

"Here," Anne repeated.

He could see two white pills on her palm,each looking massively frightening to be swallowed. And he didn't feel like swallowing it.

"Um..later. I'll take it later.."

"No sir,you must take it now or you'll miss the hour," Anne persuaded.

He realized that Anne was insisting. And he couldn't keep on resisting. Then a light from above lighted up his mind.

"Okay,"

He stuffed in the pills,carefully placing it beneath his tongue and pretended to swallow it with a gulp of plain water which Anne had brought in a glass.

"Good,that's it. Now rest,sir."

"Nurse,why am I here?"

"Why,you're still recovering,that's why you're here sir,"

"Please,I need to go home."

"I can't let you sir,you haven't recovered your memory. Until you've got it back,you'll stay under supervision. I told you not to worry."

Frustration. Again,why again,and it's everyday. He closed his eyes,and Anne left.

"I must find a way out here," He said to himself. No one should hear him,he's alone in there. It felt more worse everyday. The first day it felt like hospital,the next day a pure boredom,then it felt like prison,next as if he's in a zoo cage. Today it felt like being in a Soviet Union research lab. He fantasized what if they're going to cut open his chest and study him?

Nonsense,nonsense. But it really did look like a lab. The glass walls,and him being alone in it. Why is he alone,and why aren't them letting him go? He didn't manage to remember much,really. And what's this thesis,that the doctor was talking about? He couldn't help thinking. He felt desperate to. He was suffocating for answers.

-to be continued-

A week passed as the man, still very much amnesic, struggled with his memory. He didn't get much, except for the boy.

While sitting in a bed all day long might seem enthralling to some, he found himself bored a good 90% of the time. He spent the remaining percentage passing the time by by observing the sad white-yellow ceiling, the ever-present dripper, the "beeping thing" as he now calls the pulse monitor, and also the people on the other side of the four glass walls of his room. You don't call a place where only one patient stays a "ward", right?

People in white robes going back and forth, scrutinizing him with their eyes and more often than not, scribbling something on their clip-boards. The room was illuminated by four mild spotlights, but he can't make out anything that was within 5 feet of the glass cage that he was in.

He felt like zoo attraction more than a medical patient. He asks Anne where he was, but Anne had a template answer ready each and every time: "Sir, you need your rest.."

But then, on the eighth day, Anne

~to be continued~

Puzzled, the nurse's face made some fine lines visible on the edges of her forehead,which looked like that of a painting on a mildly peach coloured canvas. Having well reminded that a patient posses a high tendency of imitating them nurses' reactions,she hid her worries,and at once remembered one of the principles she had learned when she was a young trainee. That was during her first months of wearing the firm starched white uniform.

"Don't you worry sir,we'll take a good care of you here. You just lay down and stop moving your arms that vigorously-"

The man didn't stop,he might have not noticed,or he had lost his sense of pain,or he just didn't care. To remember what happened and why he was lying helplessly then and there was more important than anything else on the world.

"Help me,"

He uttered,which sounded more like an order than a request.

"You're making your hands bleed,Sir,"

'Anne',spelled the bold white letters on her nametag, as the man studied.

He started to reach up to his forehead,and his rough fingers touched the texture of gauze cloth. It hurt,very much. Anne eased a pillow behind him,and he sat-half comfortably,much disturbed.

"The police sent you yesterday evening,do you remember?"

"Not a single thing." He answered unsteadily.

"Try slowly,Sir. Don't force yourself. You can take a rest if you want to,don't worry."

"No,wait-"

"What's the matter?"

"There was a boy,there was a boy with me. Where is he?"

"I'm afraid you were alone when they sent you Sir. I'm sorry but there wasn't any boy,"

Anne made up her mind that this man needed a rest. He seemed to be giving her this new idea of a boy-but there was none,he was sent in an ambulance alone. The descriptions provided by the officer was not helpful indeed. And now he mentioned about a boy,which really gave her a mild anxiety. He was found in a car by the roadside,head bashed to the steering,glass shattered all over his shoulder. But there was no boy,she was sure. Hemorrhage could do a patient brain damage,and she was afraid that this man was experiencing it that he went delusional.

The man however,was crestfallen for his failure to remember any occurrence,let alone to relate one event to another,to finally answer the questions which had deluged his mind. Despite Anne's doubtful expressions,he was sure that he remembered perfectly. There was a boy indeed.

He mused over time,trying his best to recall additional details. He must know where the boy is,but not many options were laid before his eyes. He had to make Anne believe him first.

Maybe it was the Formeldahyde fumes and painkillers that were playing tricks on him, but the man seriously pondered how he got there on the bed of a cheap general hospital in the first place.

When he opened his eyes for what seemed like the first time, no doctors were by his side to tend to him, no nurses by his side to check how he was doing. Everyone seemed pretty happy running around doing other things than to notice him, but then again, who was he to be noticed by anyone?

Yes, who was he?

He was completely baffled, dumbstruck, but at the same time, not too bothered to go into a panic driven rage either. He lied there on the bed with stained sheets that he found himself upon and tried to remember.

"Sir, are you up?"

A voice broke his now 10-minute long meditation. Startled, he stared at his enquirer.

A nurse. Fully dressed in the scrubs that you have come to expect nurses to wear, she was most probably in her mid-30s. From the look on her face, she has had a long-day, but is very well motivated for the job. Judging by the way she stood so comfortably, she must have been working in the hospital for more than 8 years now.

"Sir? Can you hear me?" the nurse asked again in a mildly more urgent tone. He nodded, mouth slightly ajar.

"May I know your name Sir?"

He hesitated, but just for a moment as he only had one answer to that one.

"I don't know my name."