The Conceiting Portrait (Part 8)
The Conceiting Portrait (Part 8)4 mins 96 4 mins 96
Blake and Max stood in Joan’s room as their blood boiled. Jo was really in trouble this time. She had been going through all sorts of impossible adventures and had been keeping it to herself. She hadn’t even thought about contacting anyone about it. “So, what now?” Jo asked hoping she would be able to lighten the mood. But no, she failed miserably. Blake and Max averted their eyes from their deep thoughts and gave her a frightening glare. They inhaled in and out sharply in anger that signaled Jo that she was in for a conversation; a long and hard conversation. “I’m just gonna go get some breakfast.” She attempted to avoid the pressure she was under but Max grabbed her hand and forced her to sit back down on the bed. “You’re not going anywhere.” “Where’s the ruby?” Blake asked. “Here” Jo picked the ruby from the bed and displayed it in her palms. Blake and Max raised a brow. “Jo, there’s nothing in your hand.” Max remarked. “What?! Can’t you see it? It is in my hand.” Jo exclaimed with fear. “We see nothing Jo. We don’t.” Max said, arms folded. Jo was in deep thought. She could see and feel the ruby but Max and Blake couldn’t. She shivered with fear. Max and Blake could see the sudden change in her behavior.
They knew that she held something in her hands that only she could see. It was probably the ruby. Blake changed the topic, “You said that you heard a whisper. Any idea whose it was?” Jo shook her head in denial. Blake sighed. “Let’s go get some breakfast before we move into details.” The trio made their way to Selliti’s which as a small cafe across the street. “Three coffees, one cheese macaroni and two grilled sandwiches, please!” Max placed the order on the counter. “Did you see the text I sent you last night?” Blake inquired. “No, I haven’t. All that has happened has kept me so engaged that I didn’t feel like.” Jo explained as she tried to stay awake. Blake nodded. Max came with three coffees in hand. “So? You got something helpful Blake?” Blake hummed “It’s no use putting pressure on her shoulders now. She isn’t able to say anything. It’s all blank.” The waiter brought the sandwiches and the cheese macaroni. “This ought to help you.” Max said pushing the cheese macaroni towards Joan. She gave a feeble smile and picked up her fork to eat. Max gave her a worried look. He turned towards Blake and gestured that she wasn’t well. Something was bothering her that she hadn’t told them. Blake agreed with Max.
Jo was silently eating as her thoughts pondered back to what Clara’s soul had said. You let me down Jo. You let me down. Jo shut her eyes tightly as she fought her own thoughts. Where were you when I needed you? You had your eyes shut. She opened her eyes to look around. She found herself standing in front of Clara. You knew I would die if I opened my eyes, but you stood there and did nothing. She pointed at Jo with raging anger in her eyes. You are nothing to me anymore. You killed me. Jo lost all her senses. She was numb. Paralyzed. She fell hard on her head. Now, her head ached too. Which was more, her heart or head? She couldn’t figure out. But she wanted to rest. Rest and sleep for a long, long time.
It was cold and no doubt, she was shivering. Her fingertips were still numb and cold. She slowly lifted her eyelids. Her nose was pink and her skin was pale. She clutched her arms around her as she stood up. The floor was covered with white fog. It was an eerie atmosphere with a funny smell. As she began to walk, she collided with someone. “Watch your step dear.” The voice said. She had heard the same voice somewhere before. There was a cluttering sound of metal instruments falling. She bent down to help the person to pick it up. Medical Instruments? She thought. As she looked up, she recognized the woman standing before her. It was the nurse from the museum encounter. “I'm sorry. Can you please tell me where can I find the man who fell down today and got a glass piece pierced in the leg?” Jo looked behind her to find another self of hers standing right in front of her. She tried to touch her other self but her hand just passed through her. Just like a hologram. She recalled the incident that was being replayed. She stepped back to watch it. “Your substantial support and considerable assistance is deeply apprehended by my heart's essence. I shall always be indebted to your congenial demeanor and shall explicitly commemorate and disseminate the morals manifested by thee.” She heard. She remembered those words and quickly turned around to see Max and the staff talking to one another. She noticed her hologram-self watching the conversation from the far end just like she did in real life. She realized that she was watching her memories again. This time, with much more clarity. Jo was in her own head recollecting the memories of her recent life.