“No, you’re right, somebody would have needed to do that. I’m just glad that you care some much about other people that you even think about things like medicine.”
Sarita turned away while she said, “Clemens… I… I… I’m going to get a wet cloth for Suzuna. You stay here while I do that.” Then she stood and and ran toward the bathroom.
Clemens stayed by Suzuna who was tossing and turning while asleep. She was clearly feverish and Clemens wanted to wake her but knew that wouldn’t do anything to make her better.
Sarita soon came back with a web cloth that they could put over Suzuna’s forehead. That seemed to calm the sleeping woman down a little bit. Although now the room was filled full of silence and Clemens couldn’t find the right words to break that silence.
Finally Clemens couldn’t bear it any longer and said, “She hasn’t had a chance to eat I think. I’m going to go get her something like a porridge. Keeping your strength up is important when getting over a sickness. I’ll be back when I have something.”
Then he got up and left leaving Sarita alone with Suzuna. Once Clemens left Sarita took a deep breath and placed her hand against her chest. She was finally able to begin calming down.
There was a cough and Suzuna said, “You could have bid him goodbye when he left.”
Sarita nearly jumped up in surprise as she looked down at Suzuna. “How long have you been awake?”
“Not long, but I didn’t really want to interrupt.”
“No no no no. You weren’t interrupting anything.”
“Is that so? Here I was hoping you two would get in the mood to do something interesting.”
“What are you talking about?? We… we aren’t like that…”
“Why not? If you aren’t interested in him then I’m sure he will listen if you tell him off. But… from the way you are reacting to him I guess that isn’t really the case.”
“I…” Sarita looked up an away from Suzuna, “He can’t possibly be interested in me. After all I am…” She raised her hands and looked at them.
“Is it because of what you look like? Hmm… you think that somebody can’t like a fish monster? You aren’t taking Marius’ words to heart are you? Even Marius does not think you are like that, he just uses such rough words to hide his embarrassment that he thinks of you like a mentor.”
“Me… a mentor? I don’t think I did anything to him to make him feel like that to me.”
“Really? Then what have you been doing these last couple of days with him?”
“He was the one that wanted to challenge me. It would be better if he just lost and then things would be peaceful again.”
“Then why didn’t you just choose the hardest challenge that you could think of from the beginning? This time and last time you keep choosing tasks that he could do but where challenging. Your words might deny it but your actions are those of somebody who cares about other people. Even specially stocking the medicine at the resort in case people got sick.”
“How… were you ever really asleep or were you just faking it from the beginning?”
She smiled tiredly before saying, “I’m just having trouble staying sleep.”
There was a long silence before she spoke again, “Is it really just because of how you look? I’ve meet a bunch of people who looks very different. Sometimes there is a rare person who hates them for being different but usually they can live their life normally.”
Sarita stared at her hands some more trying to find the words, “I wasn’t yet fully an adult when my father died. For a couple of years my mother had to take care of me alone. Before my father died I was the spoiled young child but his death basically broke my mother. She would yell at me, telling me how ugly I was. I knew she really didn’t mean that… she meant that I reminded her of my father.”
She shook her head, “I know it is foolish to think that I am responsible for my father’s death. I had nothing to do with it but I do always wonder that if I had looked like my mother that she would have accepted me, maybe even returned to a normal loving mother.”
Suzuna reached out shakily with one hand and Sarita grabbed it. When Suzuna said, “You blame the bad parts of your life on your uniqueness.” She pulled the hand closer and looked at the silver scales, “But they are also responsible for all of what you have become.”
“I know my fears aren’t logical but still. I can’t help but think that I might ruin my relationship with other people for the same reasons. Say something really does happen between Clemens and me, what if he becomes disgusted by me, there are plenty of things about me that he hasn’t seen yet.”
“You think that is going to happen?”
“… … I just… don’t want to lose…”
“You don’t want to lose more things? Listen, let me tell you from experience, the only way you can have things is my attempting to gain them in the first place. Sure, you might lose some of them but if you never try then you will never have relationships in the first place. Right now what are you and Clemens? Are you even close enough to be called friends? If he were to leave the resort would you ever even see him again? Is that the future that you want.”
“Then what do you want your relationship to be.”
“I don’t know… I’m happy the way it is right now I think…”
“But if you leave things like they are then he will end up being just another guest who just happened to stay a bit longer. It will be impossible for things to remain like they are forever. At this point I feel like Marius has a stronger bond with you then Clemens does.”
Sarita groaned and sighed at the same time. She knew that her current position was impossible to retain forever. She knew that, it just hurt to have that pointed out to her. Change was frightening especially when you felt like you had something to lose. Nobody had stayed in the resort with Sarita this long before and now she was afraid of what might change.
There was a short knock on the door. Suzuna released Sarita’s hand and lay completely down and closed her eyes. It was like everything had just been an illusion. Clemens stepped into the room. He was holding a bowl which he set down on the nearby bedside table.
“Anything? Has she been asleep this whole time?” Asked Clemens.
Sarita took a few moments before saying, “Yes, yes she had been asleep this whole time, although she has still been tossing and turning.”
“I hope the doctor gets here soon, although it still hasn’t been long enough.”
“Why are you still here?”
“Huh? What do you mean, Suzuna is sick isn’t she and we are taking care of her. Is something wrong?”
“I don’t mean right now. Why have you been staying down here in Poseidon Resort for so long?”
Clemens gulped before saying, “At first I came here to get away, to find someplace quiet to think. But… now… I like living here. I still like the fact that it is mostly quiet but I also like the people that come through here. All kinds of different people stop by and I like meeting them.”
“And?” Said Sarita.
Clemens was about to speak when Suzuna broke out into an uncontrolled coughing fit. She began to curl up on the bed. Clemens and Sarita both jumped to her aid, although there wasn’t much that they could do except wait for her coughing fit to subside.
Once it was over she said softly, “Sorry about that.”
“No, It’s not your fault.” Said Clemens not realizing what she was actually talking about.
“Don’t worry about it.” Said Sarita who knew that she was apologizing for interrupting.
“How are you feeling now? Is it getting worse? Do you need more general medication?” Asked Clemens worried.
“I don’t think it is getting worse. But maybe a little bit more medication would help. It might lessen the symptoms at least.”
“And if you are feeling hungry, I brought some gruel which should also hopefully help you get better faster.” Said Clemens.
“Maybe a little bit.”
“Two new guests are arriving at Poseidon Resort. Please remember to treat other guests kindly and continue to enjoy your stay with us.” Said the voice over the speaker system.
Clemens stood up quickly, “That must be the doctor and Marius, I’ll go get them. Sarita you stay here with Suzuna.”
Sarita nodded and Clemens was out the door quickly. Normally he took his time going to the main lobby but he was moving faster this time. Over the last few hours Suzuna’s fever had gotten progressively worse. The medication she was one was not enough to hide the fever and the cough that she was experiencing.
She had been drifting in out and of consciousness and Clemens and Sarita had been getting more and more worried. If there had been anything they could have done other than wait for the doctor they would have done it long ago.
Clemens waited impatiently at the bottom of the lift waiting for it to arrive. When the doors finally slide open he called out. “We need to hurry, she has been getting worse.”
“What! No! Come on hurry!” Came the loud voice of Marius from inside the lift.
“No, if my tools are damaged then there will be nothing I can do to help your wife.” Came the sound of a grumpy old man. “No! Pick it up slowly and we must walk carefully.”
Marius stepped out of the lift carrying a large case. Beside him was an elderly man with a wispy beard. “Now, young man, lead me to the sick person who needs my attention.”
“Yes sir, please this way. She is in the hotel section of the resort.”
“Yes, I remember where that is. How many years has it been since I have last been here. It doesn’t look like anything has changed.”
“You have been here before?”
“Oh yes, many many years ago. Some other patient needed my attention so I came down here. There were times before that too. A doctor is always needed and we are called to the same places again and again.”
They passed through the hallways slowly toward the hotel. Marius was clearly impatient but he knew better than to risk his wife’s life by rushing everything. Eventually they arrived at the room. When the door slide open and the walked it Sarita was there.
She glanced up at the doctor and then took a few steps backward from Suzuna.
The doctor moved forward to Suzuna and sat down on the bed next to her. He placed his hand on her forehead for a moment before motioning to Marius. “Put my box on the floor next to the bed. And there is no need to worry. Your wife is going to be fine.”
The old man opened up the box and pulled out what looked like a thermometer. He then placed it into Suzuna’s mouth and watched the display. Then he said, “Like I thought, an off planet bacteria. Its not airbound which is why none of you have also caught it. Probably something in something she ate. She seems to be fighting it well. While I doubt she would die without me it was still probably a good idea.”
The old man pulled out a small bottle from one of the many sections of the box. He got a couple of pills out of the bottle and gently forced Suzuna to swallow them.