Emma spent the next few days in the hospital. Few people except Elora and Doctor Sullivan visited. She spent her long hours staring into space, dimly listening to bits of conversation.
One afternoon, Emma was drifting along the border of slumberland, when she overheard two voices in the hall. They had been talking for quite some time before the next phrase jerked her out of her doze.
"But she can't remember." It was Nurse Elora.
"It's not uncommon for a person to lose their memory after a tragedy, or something they want to forget." Dr. Sullivan's voice came. A pause followed.
"I can't even begin to imagine what happened to that poor girl." Said Elora.
"Or what she's going through now." Dr. Sullivan said.
"Do you think she'll be satisfied with her guardian?" Elora asked.
"She doesn't have a choice, it's either him or a foster home." The doctor responded.
"I heard that he abandoned all family ties when he was young. Also, did you know he barely leaves his house?" Elora said.
"I would barely call that a house, it's a castle! But where did you hear that?" Dr. Sullivan asked. Elora laughed quietly.
Their voices continued to fade as they went further down the hall.
They're talking about me, Emma realized as she closed her eyes and slipped back to sleep.
The next day, Elora woke Emma.
"Emma, wake up. You've got to go, today's the big day."
"What?" Emma said sleepily.
"You're leaving the hospital today, the social worker is meeting you in thirty minutes."
"Thirty minutes!" Emma bolted out of bed, oblivious of her wounds.
"Do you need any help getting ready?"
"No Elora, thank you." Elora left the room. Over the back of a chair hung a fitting pair of high-waisted jeans, a pastel pink tee-shirt, and a stylish jacket. Charity clothes, Emma assumed. She'd gotten plenty of those before. But they were of better quality than the others.
She flinched in pain as she raised her arms to slip into her shirt. Having gotten dressed, she focused on her hair. Emma brushed her sleek black hair till it shone. She reached for the jacket.
All of a sudden her injuries caught up to her and she felt dizzy and started to blackout. She tottered to the bed and sat down. After a minute or two, her vision cleared.
Close call, she thought. After taking several deep breaths, Emma again reached for her jacket. As she was putting it on, she felt a sharp poke.
"Ow!" Emma pulled out a sales tag.
"Oh. My. Gosh!" The price on the tag read one hundred fifty dollars.
Who buys jackets this expensive? She thought. Maybe it's not charity. She shrugged off the thought. Elora came in.
"Are you done?" She asked.
"Yes. How do I look?" Emma twirled.
"Perfect." Elora smiled. "But now we have to go. The social worker will meet you at the Central Police Station."
"The police station?" Emma stopped. She dropped onto the bed. "The police station."
"What's wrong, Emma?"
"I, I'm, I can't go to the station." She started quivering. "My, my f, father worked th, there."
"Oh, I'm sorry honey." Elora sat down next to Emma. "We could change the meeting place."
"N, no. I'll be fine." Emma sucked in a breath. "It's just, I used to visit him there every day after school." A nurse knocked on the door.
"Elora, taxi's here." He said.
"Ok," Elora said. "Come on Emma, let's go." Elora walked Emma through the hospital and out into the street.
"Thank you for everything, Elora. You've been so good to me." Emma said.
"You're welcome. The doctor would've been here to say goodbye, but he had to perform an emergency operation."
"Tell him thanks." Emma stepped into the taxi. "Bye." Elora nodded. The taxi pulled into the busy metropolis street.
"Where to, madam?" The cabby said. His voice was deep and rusty.
"Central Police Station." Emma rubbed her arms. The cabby nodded. After a few minutes, he swung a sharp left.
"This isn't the way to the station." Emma knew better than to address a cabby with 'Sir'.
"There was a detour, madam." He said gruffly.
"I didn't see one."
"I know, Captor street hasn't had roadwork in forever." He grinned
Maybe a little too friendly, Emma thought. Something's not right.
"That was Raptor street, not Captor street." She said aloud. The man shrugged. A few minutes passed.
"We're on the other side of town," Emma said. "Are you sure you know where we're going?"