angel, pt.2

Continued from yesterday...

After her bath, she slept. When she awoke, Maria was there again. This time the older woman spoke of herself and her daughter. They were leaving soon, moving far away to live near Maria's relatives, where they would be safe. Maria was sure that the fire had been set by her ex-husband, and she wasn't going to give him another chance. They had nothing left here anyway.

"Where do you live, dear?" She couldn't answer. She didn't know where she lived, or even if she had a family looking for her. It was a horrible feeling, as if she had been thrust into a place where she didn't belong... yet in some unknown way, she did. She needed a connection badly, a connection to her lost life. Something Maria couldn't give. Something the hospital couldn't give, either. The orderly had told her they had no identification for her, assuring her, though, that the memory almost always came back in time. "I don't know." It was all she could say to Maria, her voice trembling. "Oh honey, I'm sorry. Don't worry about that. I'm sure that will be taken care of. Someone's looking for you right now, you can be sure of that." Maria took her hand. "And you're always welcome with us, any time, for as long as you need. It's just me and my girl now. And we owe our lives to you." The older woman's eyes were wet. She began to look through her purse. "We're not leaving for a week, if I'm not here call me, for anything... you could even go with us. You're family now." Maria gave her a slip of paper with a phone number on it. "But I'm sure someone will come for you soon."

The days that followed were a blur of nurses and tests and no new information. She felt stronger and grew impatient with nothing to do but sleep and watch television. Her muscles itched to be used. And the hospital had no answers for her—no one had come for her. Maria was faithful, even bringing her daughter a few times, and she liked them both. Missed them when they weren't there. But she felt an increasingly urgent need to know more, to find her connection, her real life.

Then, the day after Maria brought her some clothes, she just got up and walked out of the hospital.

Continued tomorrow...