“This is the day, Ted,” Dr. Grant said excitedly as he started to remove the bandage. Ted held his hand, stopping him.
“What is it?”
“Are we alone?” Dr. Grant hesitated.
“Yes, Ted; we are, why?”
“I can feel someone looking at me.”
“Relax; this will be over soon.” Ted slowly let go of his hand.
Soon, the bandage came off.
“Try opening your eyes, Ted.” He did and blinked.
“What do you see?”
“Everything is in a blur right now…” He blinked again and he could make out the form of some people in front of him. He rubbed his eyes and tried again. His eyesight was back but the people he saw were the last ones he wanted to meet on a day like that.
“Mum, dad?!” Mrs. Bourbon gave her son a tight smile. Ted’s eyes fell on the third person and his heart began to pound in his chest.
“Welcome back, Ted,” Anita said sweetly with a smile.
Ted glanced at the doctor.
“They told me not to tell you or else you’d drive them away.”
“With good reason.”
“I can’t believe you’ve been in here for weeks and you didn’t even bother to call home,” Ted’s mother said.
“Why, didn’t she tell you?” Ted asked, referring to Anita.
“I did and that’s why we’re here. We wanted to be the first people to welcome you back,” Anita said.
“I’m glad you’re well, son. Please discharge my son so I can take him home,” Mr. Bourbon said.
“Yes sir,” Dr. Grant said and walked out.
“Thank you for informing us, Anita. You’re indeed the best woman for our son,” Mrs. Bourbon said. Ted gave Anita a hard stare whiles she gave him a coy smile.
The room was silent as Ted scribbled his signature on the discharge forms. He handed it over to Dr. Grant.
“Don’t forget to come for a check-up next week so we can be sure everything is all right,” he reminded him.
“Yeah, I’d have willingly stayed if she was here,” Ted muttered.
“If who was here?” Ted’s mother asked.
“No one important,” Dr. Grant replied after he received a stern look from Ted.
Ted changed into the clothes and he walked with his family out. As they neared the entrance, he asked them to take the lead. Ted turned to the doctor.
“How’s she doing?”
“I haven’t heard anything else since that phone call, Ted.”
“So you don’t even know where she’s being admitted?”
“No, he wouldn’t tell me.”
“He, who’s he?”
“The guy who called; I believe he’s her boyfriend.”
“Uh huh, her abusive boyfriend. I won’t be surprised if he’s the reason why she’s in that condition right now.”
“Cindy seems to think likewise.”
“Please promise you’ll contact me immediately you hear any news about her. I honestly don’t feel comfortable leaving like this…it feels like I’m leaving her behind,” Ted pleaded.
“Sure I will; you really do like Lucia, huh?”
“I really want to see her before I leave this place. Don’t you happen to have a photo of her around?”
“No…it would be in her file and I’m not liberty to show it to you; it’s confidential.”
“I understand. It is just that I don’t know how she looks like and I wouldn’t know if she’s the one I’m going to meet tomorrow and I want to be ready when I meet her.”
“Ready for what?”
“I’ll know when I get there.”
“Who’s that lady with your parents, your girlfriend?”
“Ex. She’s the reason I ended up here. I can’t believe she got the guts to show up here again. Talk to you soon, doc,” Ted said as he offered his hand. Dr. Grant took it and shook it firmly,
“Take care, Ted Bourbon and enjoy your life.”
“Yeah, I intend to as soon as I find Lucia Baker.”
“It is not necessary to move back here, mum; I’m fine,” Ted said for the fourth time as they arrived at his parents’ house.
“And I’m not saying you should; I’m just imploring you to stay here till you’re fully recovered.”
“And I am,” Ted insisted.
“You just came out of a major surgery, Ted. It is a big deal. You’ll stay here so I look after you even if it is for a few weeks…”
“Besides I miss looking after you, son. Don’t you miss my company?”
“You know I do but I’m a busy…”
“I know and that is why I have to cater for you so you don’t go into a relapse.”
“Of course; as long as you stay here with your father and me,” Mrs. Bourbon concluded with a tight smile. Ted sighed in resignation. They got out of the car and entered the house. Ted threw himself on the couch and covered his face with his palms.
“You must be exhausted,” Anita remarked. Ted looked at her.
“And what are you doing here?”
“I was thinking maybe we’d have a talk?” Ted chuckled.
“What could we possibly talk about?”
“I think we should give you two some privacy…we’ll be in our room, son,” his dad said.
“Yes dad.” They excused themselves.
“I realize what I did was stupid and hurtful and I’m sorry. But I still love you, Ted and if you would find it in your heart to give me another chance, I promise…”
“I’m not interested, Anita.”
“Teddy please…we’re perfect together. Our families love each other and we complement each other really well.”
“And you forgot to add the fact that you love to screw jerks like Jake too.”
“That was a mistake, Ted.”
“A mistake, you call it? Dating you was my mistake and I don’t intend to repeat it.”
“Come on Ted, your parents wouldn’t…”
“This has nothing to do with my parents, Anita! This is my life and I don’t need you in it anymore. To think I almost proposed to you sickens me to the stomach. Leave before things turn ugly.”
“Won’t you at least let me bid your parents…?”
“I’ll tell them; get out.” Anita walked out.
Ted entered his room and took the tiny box out of his pocket. He opened it and the jewel glittered in the sunlight.
“I think I found you a new owner…But I must find her first.”
Allen sat at the waiting area very anxious. Lucia had undergone some emergency surgery and she was still unconscious. Part of him wished that she came around quickly so he could apologize to her for what he did. She would be very angry, he thought. She could hand him over to the cops which would be very deserving considering what he did. But another part of him wished she never woke up or at least not now.
“Mr. Simmons, Ms. Baker is awake now,” A nurse informed him breaking him out of his thoughts.
“What, okay? May…May I see her?”
“Sure…follow me.” He sighed deeply as he got up and followed the nurse.
“Please don’t engage her in much talk. She needs to rest.”
“Of course; thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” She excused herself. Allen walked cautiously towards her. Lucia turned to look at him. He swallowed hard.
“Hi Lucia…how are you feeling?” Lucia looked at him blankly.
“Lucia…can you hear me?”
“Who are you?” she asked. Allen was taken aback.
“What, don’t you recognize me?” She shook her head, tears forming in her eyes.
Allen sighed and rejoiced inwardly. At least, she would never know what he did.