The files went round the table the last time. Signatures were appended making distinct noises in the quiet room.
“Great. Take the files, please.” McLean’s secretary took the files. He stood.
“It was nice doing business with you both. I hope I can say the same thing 6 months from now,” McLean said as he shook hands with Mr. Baker and Ted. Ted then shook hands with Lucia. For a second, he startled. His brain was trying to sort something out…if only he could hold on for another second.
“Um…excuse me?” Lucia said. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Ted said, letting go of her hand. Lucia and Anita shook hands.
“May I have a quick word with you?” Mr. Baker asked Mr. McLean.
“Sure, Fitz. This way,” he said and the two businessmen stepped out.
“So we’ll be working together,” Ted said to Lucia.
“Yeah, I look forward to it. I hope we can become friends.”
“Well, business rivals are not really destined to be friends,” Anita said slyly. Ted shot her a warning glare.
“Oh, I see; excuse me, I’m quite new to this whole corporate world.”
“Don’t listen to her. Maybe we could have dinner or something so we could talk?”
“Um…” Lucia glanced at Anita. “Let’s see where our work relationship takes us. Excuse me,” she said and walked out. Ted turned to face Anita.
“What? I did nothing!” “Uh huh, you behaved like a complete brat.”
“Ted, language!” “Oh, this is the mildest version of what I really wanted to say.” Ted took his briefcase and walked out. Anita followed.
As they walked towards Ted’s car, Mr. Baker called out, “Wait a minute, Lucia!”
Ted turned sharply at the sound of the only name that brought everything else to a halt. He saw McLean’s secretary approaching Mr. Baker.
“Yes sir,” she said to him and turned back into the building. “Excuse me for a minute, Anita. I’ll be right back,” he said, giving the car key to Anita.
“Did you forget something?” “Yeah, I think so. I won’t be long.” He walked back into the building. Anita unlocked the car door and sat inside.
“What is it, daddy?” Lucia asked her father.
“I didn’t even ask you if you were all right with the decision reached.”
“About me having to work with the Bourbon guy and his sidekick lady? Yeah, I think I can handle that.” He smiled proudly.
“Good; let’s go.” They sat in the car and the driver took off.
“Lucia?” Ted called out cautiously. The secretary kept walking.
“Excuse me, lady.” She stopped and turned.
“Are you talking to me?”
“Yes please; I’m sorry to delay you. I wanted to ask, are you called Lucia…Lucia Baker?” “No…I’m Angela.”
“But I thought I heard Mr. Baker call you…”
“Well, that wasn’t me. Is that all?” “Yes thanks.” She walked away. Ted sighed and walked out of the premises.
“Are you okay? You’re awfully quiet,” Anita commented.
“Are you that discontented with the final decision?”
“Oh no, I’m good. I’m just thinking,” Ted replied.
“Anything I can help you with?” “No…thanks.”
“Okay.” She keeps slipping through my very fingers….appearing and disappearing right under my very nose. Is she really around or is am I slowly losing my mind? Ted scolded himself in his thoughts. His phone beeped. He took it. It was a message from Dr. Grant. He opened it. It was a residence address. He closed the message and put the phone down.
“Should I take you home or you’re headed somewhere?” Ted asked Anita.
“Not really; I thought we could grab some dinner.”
“I’m sorry; there’s somewhere I need to be.”
“It is okay; I can come with you.” “Oh no, I rather go alone.”
“What is going on with you, Ted? You’ve been acting weird ever since you got out of that hospital. What happened over there?” “Well, I got betrayed and ended up there with my sight gone. Of course I’ll come back jittery now that I’ve to work with you every single day,” Ted snapped.
“Don’t get snappy with me, Ted. This is about a woman, isn’t it? You met someone there, right? ‘The one who might be lost to you forever?’ Why, has she gone missing?”
“I’m not in the mood, Anita. I need some quiet so please leave me be.”
“Just know I’m here for you.” “And for Jake, I’m sure.”
“Oh come on, Ted…”
“Shut up already!” Anita startled.
Ted killed the engine and got out of the car. He locked the doors and entered an apartment block. He stopped before Room B46 and knocked. He heard no answer and just when he was about to knock again, the door opened.
“Yes, can I help you?”
“Yes please. Does anyone by the name Lucia happen to live here? She’s…oh no, she used to be a nurse at the Peace General Hospital,” Ted inquired.
“Why, are you a doctor?”
“No, I was her patient; her last patient as a matter of fact. You’re Allen, right?”
“Yes I am. I’m sorry man, but she doesn’t live here anymore.” “Okay, she was really helpful when I was admitted and I find it really necessary to see her and thank her so if I may have her current address?”
“Um…I would have to ask her permission first.”
“Just tell her it is Ted; I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”
“I’d still have to ask her first. She’s living a new life now so she’s quite cautious about who comes up from her past,” Allen said.
“I see. Then I’ll give you my card. You could call or text me her address and phone number when you’ve cleared it up with her,” Ted said, giving Allen his card. “Sure.”
“Thanks again.” Ted turned to go and a thought struck him. He turned back.
“Did she move out because of you?” Ted asked.
“I know you used to hit her when she lived with you.”
“Excuse me?” Allen asked, stunned by the hard truth slapped in his face.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that were to be the case. Anyway, I’ll be expecting your call or text message,” Ted said with a smile and walked away. Allen slammed the door shut in anger.
“Oh no, this is not good. I thought all that was buried when Lucia lost her memories. If they meet and he tells her about me, I’ll lose any chance of being with her. That can’t happen.” He looked at the complementary card and tore it apart.
“I won’t let that happen,” Allen swore to himself.
“You seem unusually quiet today. Is anything wrong?” Lucia asked Allen as they ate lunch.
“Yeah I’m good. I just have a couple of things on my mind.” “Okay.”
“So I was thinking, have you by any chance started to regain your memories?” Allen asked cautiously.
“Well, I’ve started to have some flashes in my dreams but nothing concrete. Why?”
“Nothing; just asking.” Allen kept playing with his food.
“Is there something I need to know?”
“So, has anyone from my past come looking for me?” The shock made Allen choke on his food. He started to cough.
“Hey, are you all right?” Lucia asked as she gave him water to drink.
“Yes I am; sorry about that. No, no one has. Why, are you expecting someone?”
“Not really; it’s just that by now, a friend should have realized that I’m missing and should have come looking for me.”
“Well, none so far,” Allen said with a shrug.
“What about the hospital? Do you remember any event there? Any patient that was…exceptional?” Allen asked curiously.
“No, no one comes to mind. I’ve had a couple of dreams about a patient, though. He was an accident casualty and he was really hurt. I don’t know why I keep dreaming about that.” “Perhaps you two grew close.” “Maybe; but a patient is a patient. Once he goes back to his old life, it would be like he was never at the hospital. All that might have happened would be behind him,” Lucia said.
“True; with a caring person like you for a nurse, I’m sure some would come back to say thank you for your services.”
“That would be sweet. Can we go?”
“Sure.” Allen signaled the waiter.