James Moore saw Leksy being carted away from the scene and followed as she was brought to the hospital. He knew what room she was in, and he was sure that this time he would not fail. Plenty of highly flammable things there, he thought with a smile, all in due time. He went back to Oak Grove Park.
Leksy listened for a moment, her pale blue eyes wide and staring at nothingness. As Jake observed her, he noticed the streaks of red in her dark, brunette hair. She was eighteen, but her bewilderment made her look even younger.
For a moment, Jake thought that she knew he was there, but no. She couldn’t, could she? He had been absolutely silent; had even stopped typing back at home – not that it would have made a difference. Leksy relaxed a bit, and Jake caught himself before his sigh of relief could escape.
A nurse walked in at that moment. Leksy said nothing, just continued to stare. “Glad to see you’re awake,” the nurse remarked as she walked over to a machine near the bed. “Dr. Quinn should be here soon. She may want to check up on you.”
Leksy hardly acknowledged that someone had spoken to her. She stayed silent for a while as the nurse dealt with the machine and IV’s. “Where am I?” Leksy finally asked as the nurse was about to leave.
“You’re at Prairie Saint Johns Hospital,” she replied with a sympathetic smile, “Someone will be in here to check on you in a little while.” With that, she left.
Leksy could tell. She did not know how, but she could tell. It was that uncomfortable feeling you get when you know you are being stared but cannot figure out who it is that is watching you. She could hear nothing but the machines running and people walking by outside the room. “Who’s there?” She asked cautiously, straining to hear any faint reply that might come.
A sigh came from her left, and she quickly turned her head in that direction. “My name’s Jake,” a rather disappointed voice said. She could tell that he had not wanted to be found out.
“Have you been here the whole time?” Leksy asked. She was still just as cautious, but more confident now that her suspicions had been proven. She closed her eyes and waited when the response did not come immediately, but still heard nothing. “Hello?” she tested.
“Sorry,” came the reply, “yeah.”
“Why?” New suspicions had arisen, but Leksy tried to settle them. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, she thought, but where have I heard that name, Jake, before?
Jake sighed again. That one question, a simple word, why, is the hardest question for him to answer, yet still, they always ask. Even he sometimes struggled for an answer to it, reasoning that there must be something driving him into these situations other than a desire to help which he almost entirely lacked. He rarely enjoyed going through the motions of being there but could never find a valid reason not to.
He thought it over and knew he had to answer Leksy’s question. So he quoted his own book: “Long story short and simply defined, I’m here to help you.” Although his book was almost entirely true, he could not help but embellish in some areas – this one included.
Leksy closed her eyes at this as if remembering something. “Jake Ryvan?” she asked without opening her eyes.
This puzzled Jake, his book was not very known outside a small community of sci-fi readers, and even then, knowing the quote and who wrote the book it was from was not likely. “Um, yeah,” he finally replied, bewildered.
“You see, now I know you’re lying,” Leksy said with more confidence and annoyance. “Why would a sci-fi author be helping me?” She was clearly not one of those who took his book as non-fiction. She had the typical disbelief that always seemed to lead to requiring proof. The difference this time was that she had read his book.