I walked up to Orami Hospital. I clutched the white irises in my hand. In truth, I’m on a mission. A numbered one is in this hospital here. Phoenix sent me on this mission.
“Someone sent me saying a college student is in Orami Hospital,” she told me this morning. “We have to find her.”
“Why?” I asked.
“We have to find everyone to connect with them. I don’t know why, but we must,” she told me.
“Alright,” I said. “Tell me what I need to do.” Phoenix gave me the instructions over the phone and here I am.
I made it to room 118 and peeked inside.
“Hello?” I whispered. “Anyone here?”
“Yes,” a small voice said.
“I have a delivery for a Liberty Wess,” I lied. “May I come in?”
“Sure,” the voice said. I quietly walked into the room. A young woman sat up in bed. Her long black hair swept around her shoulders. Her pale hands trembled against the white, cotton sheets. Her faded green eyes stayed on me.
“Can I help you?” she asked. I stood up straight.
“I am here to make a delivery of white irises to Liberty Wess,” I lied. “Are you she?”
“Yes,” the girl replied. “Who sent the flowers?”
“Your boyfriend, Dan,” I said.
“Really?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied. I handed her the white irises.
“Thank you,” Liberty said. She took a deep breath into the flowers. I watched her for a moment. Okay, part one down. Now to engage her.
“What are you in here for, you don’t mind me asking,” he said. Liberty shook her head.
“I don’t mind,” she said. “I’ve been sick since I was a little girl. My boyfriend and I came to Japan for a cure.”
“I see,” I said as I took a seat by her bed.
“But, the paperwork for health insurance hasn’t come in yet,” she said.
“You’re transfer students?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said. “We came here last month.”
“Ah,” I said. We didn’t speak for a moment. Liberty looked at the irises.
“You didn’t come here just to deliver these flowers, did you?” she asked. I jerked my head upwards.
“Hm?” I asked. She smiled at me.
“Dan didn’t send me theses flowers, did he?” she said. “Who are you?” I froze in place. Oh shit! She caught me!, I thought. What do I do? I breathed out slowly. Might as well say it. I looked at her.
“What number do you have?” I asked. Liberty blinked at me.
“What?” she asked. I took a moment and turned my back to her. I lowered my shirt and showed her my number twenty-one.
“Now, what number do you have?” I asked. She went quiet for the longest time. Uh-oh, I may have scared her too much. What do I do?
“Eighteen,” she mumbled. I paused and looked at her.
“Hm?” I asked.
“Eighteen,” Liberty repeated. “My number is eighteen.”
“And Dan?” I asked.
“Fifteen,” she said. I turned back to her.
“I see,” I said.
I now know four curse ones.