Damien opened his eyes to find himself in a somewhat strange environment. He was laying on a flat surface which was supposed to be a bed but he wasn’t sure as it seemed as hard as wood and creaked with every slight movement he made.
The only source of light in the room was a faint lamp which was hung just at the other side of the door. The door was open and he could see what look like an ancient living room outside. There was a brighter source of light in the living room and that helped him see the arrangement of the place. But there was no one in sight
He was yet to sit up when he saw the image of an hourglass figure coming towards his room from the living room. She was holding a lamp in front and that made it possible for him to see her face slightly. There was something else in her hand, a cup.
“You’re awake,” her tiny voice rang in a happy tone as she walked in.
Whoever this lady was, she walked gracefully with confidence in every step she took, Damien thought.
“Where’s this place and what the heck am I doing here?” Damien mumbled as he managed to sit up.
He let out a shriek as pain surged through his shoulders. That moment was when he remembered what happened to him the previous day.
He had visited a site rural community with a team of three other men from the Lucel Group of Companies. They had come to check out the site where they planned to build a new refinery for the company. During the inspection of the place, some unknown gunmen had suddenly attacked them. Damien and his team were outnumbered, so they had to run for their lives.
He got shot in the shoulder while running but still tried to escape. However, his strength could not carry him far enough. He fainted in an unknown location after running for ten minutes after being shot.
“You’ve been here since yesterday,” the little lady answered him in a sweet voice, handing him the cup of water in her hand.
He collected the cup from her without saying a word. He couldn’t tell whether this lady was his saviour or if he had been eventually kidnapped by the gunmen.
“Come on, drink,” she urged.
He winced in pain as he tried to lift the cup to his mouth.
“Oh, sorry! I’ll help you,” she quickly took the cup from him and helped take it to his lips.
He sipped a little from the water before he signalled that he was okay. His belly groaned in response to the water. He was feeling hungry.
“You must be very hungry now, I’ll go get your dinner right now,” she dropped the cup on a footstool. She seemed to have heard the sound made in his belly.
He sized her up with his eyes for a moment. He noticed she was putting on underwear with tiny straps to cover her bosoms and tight shorts.
She hurried out of the place, leaving him speechless as he watched her go. He took in a deep breath and took another look around, trying to figure out if he was really safe or not
A sound emanated from his belly again and he could feel his organs tearing up themselves inside him. She had mentioned he was with them since the day before. Since he was unconscious all through, it could only mean that the last time he had a meal was twenty-four hours ago.
He looked at his bare chest and noticed the piece of clothing used to bandage the gunshot wound on his shoulder. He wondered what happened to the bullet that went into his body. Had it been removed or was the place just covered up? And if it was removed, how could they have done so without taking him to a hospital? He thought.
A few seconds later, he began to hear footsteps from the living room and he could tell that it was more than just one person this time. Soon enough, he could see them through the door.
The little lady was in front, carrying a tray of food and another woman was behind her with the lamp. From the way the second woman walked, Damien could tell she was older.
The aroma of the meal got to him before they walked in, making his stomach rumble more. The young woman placed a tray in front of the footstool and moved it to his front.
“I’m glad to see that you’re finally awake,” the older woman remarked.
Damien could only spare her a glance as his focus was now on the food. He couldn’t wait to devour it. But there was one problem. He still felt a lot of pain as the gunshot wound was close to his right hand.
“I could help you,” the younger lady offered.
“No, thanks. I’ll just use my left hand,” he refused politely, not because he didn’t need help, but he didn’t want to feel like a weakling that needed to be fed.
“Those men might still be out there looking for you,” the older woman muttered as Damien began to eat. Damien glanced at her again. “What did you do to them and why did they want you dead?”
Damien didn’t have an answer to her question and he wasn’t willing to talk about it at that moment. He just wanted to fill his belly. The meal tasted so nice that his hunger for more increased with every bite he took.
“You should let him rest first before the questions, Mum,” the younger lady said.
“You’re right, Jane,” the woman sighed, realizing her mistake. “I should let him eat and rest. He must be so tired now.”
Damien still said nothing in response. He only glanced at the ladies’ faces. Even in the darkness, he could see the resemblance on their faces and wouldn’t have needed anyone to tell him the older woman was Jane’s mother. However, he noticed that the mother was younger than he thought when he saw her walking into the room. He silently wondered why she was walking like an older woman.
Jane sat on the floor while the mother, Emily sat on the wooden chair not too far away from Damien. They watched silently as this stranger whose life they’d saved ate slowly.