ONE DAY ON.
Looking around his surrounding, he couldn’t recognize where he was or what he was doing there. He saw a drip stand with drip which was attached to his body and he could feel pains all over with his arm and shoulder wrapped with bandage. Pulling the duvet which covered him to his chest, he had only a boxers on; it wasn’t his own. He looked around for his cloths and gun but it wasn’t within sight. Propping himself to sit up, he felt unbearable pains at his arm and shoulder and just then images started flashing through his memory.
He remembered sitting with Claire; the hooded guy (his impersonator) walking into the bar with gun pointing at Claire. Finally the look on Claire’s face settled on his mind. He could remember everything except how he got where he was at that moment. Could it be that she finally helped him? He remembered her asking to help him but that was all.
He moved his legs to know if he was cuffed but they felt free just like his hands apart from the one with drip attached to it.
“Hello?!” He raised his voice as loud as he could as a sharp pain seared through him.
“Hey!! Easy,” Nellisa walked in immediately cleaning her hands with a hand towel with an apron tied around her neck.
“Nelly?” he muttered surprised.
“That’s my name,” she said sitting beside her. “How are you, how do you feel?” she asked.
“I don’t know, like I was run over by a train.” He said feigning a smile.
“Yes, that’s because two bullets were removed from your body. One from your shoulder and another missing your heart just by few inches; thank goodness.” Sly said with an expressionless face.
“How did I get here?”
“You called me.” Nelly replied flatly.
Just then it came to his mind. He remembered walking through the back alley drenched in his own blood. How he’d managed to drag himself to his car remained the last memory he had of the incident.
“Who did this?” he asked looking at his bandaged section with a worried expression.
“A friend of mine.” She replied again with a flat tone staring into his eyes. Off all the questions he was asking, all she wanted was an explanation of how and why he nearly got himself killed. He’d lost so much blood when she got to him. She’d donated almost three pints of blood which was transfused into him since their blood matched.
“I need to go.” He said trying to sit up amidst the pains he felt.
“Sly calm down,” she started, holding him down gently. “I know what you are worried about; he is not going to the cops, he promised me that that.” she said with assurance.
With the look on her face, he knew there was no way she was going to let him take a step out.
“Get me my phone, I need to make a call.” he said defeated.
“No. I’m sorry but, no calls for now. He strictly ordered that you don’t stress yourself.” She protested.
“Nelly c’mon it’s important. I don’t care about what he said and moreover this is not the first time……” he stopped and looked over himself forcing a smile.
“Sly please, I know this is not the first time but just let the call go for now I beg you. The world will not end without the call.”
“Nelly please, this is important. Just this once I beg you.” He pleaded. He knew that he had no option in his present condition than to plead with her. Knowing also how stubborn she could be, he had no choice.
“Sly…….” She started looking at him while he made a pleading face. “Just this once.” She concluded sitting up from the bed. She went out from the room and later came back handing him his phone.
“Thank you.” He said smiling at the annoyed Nelly.
“Keep it to yourself.” She retorted and without sparing him a glance left the room.
“By the way, your place is lovely.” He said behind her with a small laugh.
“Shut up and make your call.” she cursed from outside the room.
Placing the phone by his side, he thought of Nelly. For all he knows, another girl would have barraged him with questions about what happened or even freaked out but not Nelly. Her courage and understanding had always marveled him. She never forced any question or asked for explanations. She had always waited for the little he has to say and if he said nothing which happens most of the time, she never puts up an attitude or a fight.
Back in school, he remembered when some operations had gone wrong and he had the authorities on his tail. She had always hidden him through those periods. He remembered on two occasions when he had caught bullets from rival groups back in school, she had always been her hiding place.
It was after the girlfriend of the ‘capon’ of a rival group was killed when his assailant couldn’t get to him that he’d decided to keep Nelly out of his affairs and that he’d done till that moment. That was the very first time he knew where she lived since after they left school as he never dropped her anywhere close to her house or paid her a visit.
Coming out from his reverie he picked the phone and scrolled through the call log. When he got to Claire’s number, he tapped the dial option waiting for the call to connect….. To Be Continued