Jay walked through the hospital’s automatic glass doors and glanced around. the spacious front lobby.
Artwork donated by the local high school students decorated the brick walls. Highly polished black and white tiles covered the floor. It looked slippery.
Jay took a deep breath and exhaled. He straightened his shoulders and walked carefully to the registration desk all the way on the other side of the room.
He did slip a couple of times, but managed to catch himself before he could make a full falling spectacle of himself.
He stopped at the desk and smiled at the registration clerk – a plain, middle-aged woman with a frazzled hairstyle. “Hi.”
She looked up at him. “How can I help you?”
“I’m uhhh…” He cleared his throat. “I’m trying to find someone.”
“Is this someone a patient?”
“Uhhh. No. He uhh…” Jay’s mind raced.
What should I say? What should I say?
He cleared his throat again. “I agreed to meet him here, but I don’t see him. I was wondering if you remember seeing him come in.”
Her phone rang. She gave him the universal “One minute” signal as she answered it.
He glanced around the lobby again, just in case, before sitting in the chair next to him.
She typed something in the computer and talked a mile at the person on the phone, but Jay didn’t pay attention to her words.
He thought about Isellta.
I hate this.
I hate being away from him. I wish I could just lump this whole search on someone else’s back. Maybe Dave’s or Hank’s.
I wish I could stay by the kid’s side and be there for him. I can’t do anything to pull him out of that other dimension. But if I could just spend all of my time with him. Talking to him. Touching him. Reassuring him that I’m still there.
Maybe it would help him.
It would help me.
But I would feel restless. I know I would. I have to do something.
And I am.
“Okay! Have a great day!” She hung up the phone. “Sorry. So, you’re looking for someone who is not a patient.”
“Yeah. He’s about twenty-five years old, messy brown hair, has a long facial scar through his eye.”
Happens to be a vampire.
She doesn’t need to know that detail.
“I don’t recall seeing anyone like that, but I’ve been here for only thirty minutes. When was he supposed to meet you?”
“Uhh, we didn’t set an exact time. We just agreed to meet here after he grabbed something to eat. So, I don’t know. Maybe within the last couple hours?”
She frowned. “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why here? It’s kind of a weird place to meet someone.”
And I’m digging myself into a deeper hole.
He shrugged. “It was his idea. I don’t really know what he was thinking. Is there anyone here who might have seen him? Someone who was working around that time?”
“Hmm.” She sat back in her chair and thought about it.
She’s probably trying to decide if she should call Security or not. I wouldn’t be surprised if she does. I sound so fishy.
“I guess your best bet would be Kalyla. He’s our patient sitter. He goes all over the hospital. I’m sure he must have seen your friend, if your friend actually showed up.”
Jay felt the warm flutter of hope. “Can you call him?”
“No, but I can page him.”
“Please do that.”
She smiled and typed something in the computer.
Jay looked over his shoulder.
There was no one out in the lobby.
Not even one person.
Where are you, Robin?
“There! He should be here shortly.”