An awful stench consumed my senses, the effect of Ashton’s blood gushing out of his wound from his injured arm. As the effect of the poison kicked in, I slowly ran out of strength. He held me in his arms and tried to swim us back to the shore.
Unfortunately, a strong shock wave stopped us from approaching the shore. I could feel Ashton’s convulsing arm and knew that he was almost running out of strength. He held me firmly in between his arms again, yet we were nowhere close to the shore.
After I pulled myself together, I mustered all my strength and pushed him away from me.
A few seconds later, I was washed away by a powerful wave. That was the last time I ever saw Ashton.
“The chairperson of Fuller Corporation, Mr. Fuller, has shown up for the opening ceremony of Eastsummer International School. The six-year-old little boy who delivered the speech on behalf of the students resembled Mr. Fuller. The onlookers speculated he was Gregory.”
When I was about to regain consciousness, I could vividly recall hearing the voice of a mysterious woman. It seemed to be a news anchor’s voice.
I tried to open my eyes, but I had a hard time getting used to the shaft of strong light. Hence, I kept my eyes closed until I was ready to survey the surroundings.
The spacious ward was illuminated by sunlight. I caught a whiff of the lingering scent of the disinfectant used by the hospital.
A few nurses were huddled at the table next to the ground-to-ceiling window, discussing the content of the news they had just heard.
“Don’t you think his son is going to be as handsome as him?”
“I heard his ex-spouse was the little boy’s mother! Since the little boy is already six-year-old, don’t you think they have reconciled?”
“Is that even possible? He has a fiancée, doesn’t he? Why are you bringing the past up again? A man should learn to move on.”
“That’s enough for today. Stop gossiping when it’s time to work! Hurry up and return to your respective positions! It’s time to change the solution for the drip. You better not repeat the same silly mistake you did last time.”
“Why are you so nervous? It’s not like she’s conscious!”
“Shut up! Are you supposed to say something like this as someone in the line of medicine? Stay out of this! I’ll get it changed today!”
After the group stopped bickering, the older nurse returned to the side of the bed. I couldn’t see her clearly because of my relatively blurred vision. Thus, I could only look in the direction of the nurses.
“Oh, God! Hurry up and check this out!”
“What? Did a miracle happen?”
Soon, a few nurses got in my way, blocking the single source of illumination.
“She’s regained consciousness! It’s a miracle!”
“Hurry! Get the doctor!”
I couldn’t figure out the meaning behind their conversation, too overwhelmed by fatigue. After a few seconds, I fell into a deep slumber once more.
By the time I woke up, I heard a man greeting me in a hushed voice, “Letty, you’re awake!”
I tried to form a complete sentence, yet I could merely ask in a barely audible voice, “Are you talking to me?”
The man who spoke narrowed his eyes and stated with a smile, “Yes! You’re Scarlett! Do you remember me?”
I shook my head; I couldn’t recall the man in front of me at all.
He reached over and caressed my head lightly. “If that’s the case, allow me to introduce myself again. I’m your fiancé, Marcus.”
“Marcus?” I repeated his name over and over again. It seemed to be a name I was familiar with.
When he approached me, I deemed it something natural; his tone and the way he carried himself gave me a sense of security. I felt at ease with the sprightly man around me.
Out of the blue, another image flashed in my mind. The man I thought of seemed to be different than the man before me; he had an intimidating presence.
I figured I must be hallucinating because it seemed impossible for the sprightly man to be such an intimidating figure.
I replied with a smile, “Hello, my beloved fiancé.”
Marcus’ eyes widened in disbelief when he heard my reply.
After a few seconds, his eyes started brimming with tears, behaving as though he had been longing for the title of my fiancé.
To be precise, it felt as though calling him that was a trial imposed on me.