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Drama Crime Mystery

White sound filled the living room as Jane struggle to find her TV remote. Soft pillows scattered all over the carpet, leaving a minimal space for Jane to stomp around angrily. She never liked the white sound. Haunting as it is, Jane tried to calm herself and collect memories of where she placed her TV remote. Her hand slips into the crease and the fold of her sofa, grasping at the empty space in between. Jane moved her hand slowly to the corner of her sofa and her hand finally hit something. She grabbed the object and surprised when she saw it was her remote, aging with the dust that have reside inside her sofa.

Relieve welcome her as she turned the TV off. Something heavy still tugging at her mind, if she hadn’t been working so late, she might not miss her favorite show again this week. A soft tune started to pulled her way from her tired mind. Jane rise to find her phone.

“Ugh! Again? Why do I keep forgetting my things?”

Her lovely mother would be laughing at her for such silly behavior a doctor can have. Jane suddenly misses her, it’s been five year since her mother passed away. Yet her laughter and smile still here with Jane. She hopes it will never fade away.

Jane lift her foot carefully to walk between the messy pillows. Focusing herself on the tunes from her phone. One missed call had waited for her before another call struck. Jane was shocked that her cousin was the caller, for it was highly unusual of Charles to call late at night. Wave of panic came knocking before Jane braced herself to pick up the call.

“Hello, Jane?” Charles’ voice was shaky. Panic surge through Jane completely.

“Charles? Are you okay?” Jane started to walk away from her living room.

“Um... I need help, Jane. Can you come to my house right now? And bring your medical bag? Please Jane...” A lightning strike her heart and Jane ran to her room upstairs.

“I’ll be there. Don’t worry Charles. You’re going to be okay,”

She hated to ask questions. Especially the ones she knew she won’t like the answer. Charles have a dire reason why to call Jane that night. They were close when they were kids, their memories of childhood are blended together. Not a single memory without each other. Jane was driving at a high speed because the stream in her head won’t stop worrying about Charles. She had tried to blur it out, just like every bloody wound she had to stitch and every smile she had to put at the end of it all. She won’t be okay at the end of the road for this but being a doctor and a friend for Jane means more than her mental state. What become of it is that Jane can only feel the cold wind of the night, no more warmth. Every time she looked at the mirror, all she can think about is how dark her eyes are and what people might think happened to her when they saw it.

Jane slowed down her car as she drives towards the house gate. For a businessman, Charles was very successful. Family and friends never knew what he was selling or buying to be this rich. Almost drowning in his own gold, really. The gate automatically moved to open up a path for guests. Optical sensors and cameras cover every inch of the house entry. Watching its newcomer every day. Authentic English patterns made the dark metals of the gate seem stronger, unbreakable. Solid walls keeping the vulnerable secrets safe within.

Smoke diffused and expanded from his cigarette as Jane watched an old man waiting for her at the lobby. A familiar face running close behind him. Charles.

“Quick!”

Chandelier lights glimmer above, its reflection made Jane’s dark red hair burns with shades of amber. Jane rushed inside the grand house, certain of her steps. Diving into the role of Dr. Jane again.

Blood trails all over the white marble of the house. Charles lead the way into a dark hall then down the stairs. The room was more like a morgue than a basement or maybe a combination of both. Jane can’t tell why Charles has this odd room. She was expecting a knife cut or maybe a sprained ankle rather than a grim room that smell of blood and alcohol. Charles seemed fine and had no difficulties in movement when Jane saw him. Another man had been waiting instead of those images of Charles hurting. His skin was pale despite having a bronze tone. Bluish shade of his lips and under eyes removed the warmth of a living man. He had lost a lot of blood. Jane began to worry that he might not survive.

Charles held the man’s hand as he waited for Jane to prepare her kit. The mysterious man was bare chested, someone tore his shirt to press it on his wounds.

“No! I forgot my suture! I can’t patch him up!”

“I got it. Anything that you need. Here.”

Charles pointed at a small white cupboard not far from him. Through the glass, Jane saw a complete collection of basic surgical equipment. She stopped for a moment. Wondering how come a normal businessman own a complete surgical equipment, maybe countless times he had been in this situation.

“Jane! Hurry, please!”

The word struck like a punch in the face. Jane does not want to let her suspicion rise and get the best of her. The mysterious man needed dr. Jane and that is what he will get.

Jane laid all the medical equipment on the table next to the surgical bed. One thing was missing from Charles’ collection. The anesthetic.

“You don’t happen to have any anesthetic, do you?” Jane fear the answer to her own question.

His ocean eyes moved from left to right in distress. Trying to figure something out. Debating a will within himself. A simple head shake is what he gave in the end. Jane try to collect herself and keep a steady state, both for herself and Charles. She hates to see someone hurt and she hates to be the one doing the hurting. There’s no one in the room but the three of them, that gave Jane an unexpected relief.

Slowly and one by one she overcome the surgery. Aseptic conditions before reaching for the gloves and mask. Deep breaths before examining the wound. A small pause before sanitizing it with iodine. The brown liquid trickle down from each sides of the wound. His right shoulder was the first one she cleaned, then the one above the abdomen. A little to the left, almost to the heart. Whoever struck this man have planned the attack, explicitly to weakened this man before struck his heart. Jane examine the red line on his shoulder, it was clean. Very sharp object, not too wide, not too deep. The angle of it look like there was a struggle before the object wounded his skin. A gash under his eyes said the same thing but the object seems to be blunt. Bruises accompanied his jaw and cheekbones. As the time passed by, Jane worried that his features will match his bruises. If she can be fast enough, maybe this man will live.

Jane started to understand the rhythm of Charles’ breathing. He was so still when Jane puncture the first needle to stitch the man’s right shoulder, then Charles started to ease up when she moved to the next wound. Closing each bloody gap, step by step. All the hours spent at the hospital always meant something to her. It is not only to fix physically but also mentally. People got attached to so many things in their life, countless things. They can’t properly heal until there is nothing left but the old traces of scar. As a surgeon, Jane always felt she fixed people, gave them a help to heal. Fixing and giving, that is all there ever was. Helping people to find their strength again. Grow from their experience. She was there when a mother cried for her dead son. Taken too soon after five years of battling leukemia. She was there when a single father decided to permit donation of his son’s organs. The son died of car crash. She had failed to save their child but she was there to help them heal too. She told them of how their child fight for them, thinking of their family at their last moments. There are times when Jane gave a mother her newborn conjoined twins, separated by surgery but all well and healthy. They will have a scar forever but that scar will be a reminder of their fight. Even before they can remember. Jane had been a part of that. She was more than glad to be a part of that. Mother always told her to help people. Do everything from the bottom of her heart. Genuine and certain. Believe that there will be a relieve for every difficulty.

As the last stitch sealed, Jane release a slow breath. She placed clean pieces of bandage over the man’s wound. Though not as pale as he once was, the man was laying still and unconscious on the table.

“He might wake soon after this, make sure he’s hydrated. No alcohol.”

Charles nodded. His eyes distant. He’s holding his breath. Waiting for the moment when the mysterious man finally opened his eyes. Charles looks almost drowning in fear. Something glinted in his eyes, something Jane never seen before.

“One question. What happened?” Jane hated the question, it would be easier for her if Charles just spill everything. They both know it won’t happen. Jane took her gloves and mask off. Avoiding Charles’ eyes. Still, she wanted to hear everything in its full truth.

“You know I can’t. You don’t want to get involved more than you already are.” His eyebrows creased. Anger and regret rise up in him at the same time. Waiting for Charles to open the door and release them. For so many reasons he deserves to feel that way tonight.

“Okay. It’s obvious Charles.” Her eyes darted to him. Jane realized tears had gathered in his eyes and slowly spilling out.

“What do you mean?” Charles run a hand through his hair. Memories, uninvited, flashing in his brain.

“If you’re going to play game of secrets, so be it,” There is a long and dangerous story behind this, Jane sure of it. It is not her place to push Charles. A shallow understanding came for her like leaches. Heavy for now but light for later, she thought. “He got some deep wounds. He barely makes it. At least if you care about him, you’ll need me again.”

What had the help meant? What was the urging reason for a woman to save a mysterious half-dead man in the middle of the night? Something in her awaken. A warrior ready to take everything by the tip of her spear. Jane saved a man, she will give him medications. Help him gain his health again. A chance to build again. Jane fear the chance will take chances. Can it be real? Had she just saved a criminal’s life? What does the fixing and giving means now? Stream of thoughts had proceeded her kind intensions.

Leaving the cold and soundless room behind her, Jane walked away.

July 08, 2021 17:07

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4 comments

Kathleen `Woods
07:01 Sep 19, 2021

I know it's a bit late, but I gotta screech, "same prompt!" or else you might not know. You did well narrowing down on the your subject and her memories, Charles seems to be in some pretty deep trouble. You did well with your chosen sequence of events, which gave it a nice snapshot effect. There were some missed words, but that didn't stop the actual story from being clear. Thanks for Writing!

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Alysha Atah
03:22 Sep 20, 2021

Thanks for the comment, I really appreciate it. Glad to know that you can understand the story, I was worried that I gave the story too little detail. I hope the story still give that mysterious effect ;)

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Kathleen `Woods
03:43 Sep 20, 2021

I've read medical horror before, so the millisecond blur of Jane's thoughts worked really nicely with whatever mystery Charles is in the middle of. It was good to leave that gap, in my experience reading this kinda stuff from the doctor's perspective is that the patient can be a mystery but the doctor should be competent to spite their patient's nonsense.

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Alysha Atah
04:38 Sep 20, 2021

Yes! I agree! And despite the family relation between jane and charles, she tried to not push it in hope that charles will want to tell the truth to her by himself. I feel like jane wanted to be included to in charles's story because after a long time of not seeing him, she was intrigued in what way she can reconnect again. Thanks for your respond!!

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