I remember vividly how Psi had come to get me. What I didn’t understand, was how he had gotten to know where they kept me.
It was early, the same time I had found myself back in the mansion. I wasn’t understanding this. Was Psi also an accomplice? “No, it can’t be,” I thought aloud, forgetting I wasn’t alone.
“What can’t be?” Mom arched her brows.
“You just said something,” she and Lucille stared suspiciously at me. “Oh, nothing.” I thought of an alternative to not make them think Psi was an accomplice.
“This Psi,” Mom began.
“Just forget about him, Mom,” I gave a nervous smile. “I must have been seeing things,” I said, turning over. I thought about those eyes that stared at me in the ward.
“Do you think I should pester her further?” I asked Lucille, who answered with shoulders shrugged.
“I advise you let her rest,” she said.
“I swear, I’ll make those men pay…”
“I hope they rot in jail,”
I clenched my teeth and tightened my fists.
* * *
Emily bathed Penny and helped her wear an outfit Jong had bought for her. The little girl was anxious to see her friend, and couldn’t wait to show her the little gift she made for her. “Do you think aunt would love the gift,” she asked innocently, showing her the paintings. She had made them with poster colours, making sure they were beautiful. It was a picture of her and Kendra, the day the latter had stepped in when her Mom had left her.
“I bet she’d love them,” Emily said. The kind, young woman rubbed her face, moving to get the powder. Her husband watched from the door, seeing how she took care of the child. He couldn’t help but smile. He wished at that instant, the child was theirs.
“Aren’t you cute?” He called to their attention.
“Honey!” Emily called. “You startled me,” she said, placing her hand on her chest.
“I love what you’ve done with our little girl,” he personalized.
Penelope looked at the man, shy, swiftly covering her face.
The doorbell interrupted Emily, as she swallowed her thought. “We should get going,” she said to Sean. She took Penelope with her and walked out with her husband.
Jong was waiting outside, getting up from the pavement as the door opened. “Well, it’s about time,” he said to Emily and looked at Sean.
“Is your husband coming?” He gave her a surly look.
“You don’t have to be that way, Jong,”
“Yes, I’m coming,” Sean gave Jong an uneven smile.
Emily shook her head and pulled Penelope with her.
“I’ll be in the car,”
The two men followed behind.
“I’ll drive,” Sean said before Jong could make any move.
Emily and Sean walked in like a normal couple, holding Penelope. They acted accordingly to the plan, taking their seats in the reception until they had sighted Jong.
Jong emerged in a janitorial uniform, clasping a mop. He made eye contact with them, signaling them to move.
“Well, that was fast,” Emily whispered to her husband.
“Oh, he is good,” Sean admitted.
“Let’s go,” Emily tapped him.
Sean and Emily wasted no time leaving the reception ground. Jong followed close behind, pretending to go about the custodian work.
Each time he cleaned, he waved at the nurses. “Hello,” he acted as though he was serious, cleaning until he got to Emily…
“A man is guarding the door,” the latter whispered.
“Where is the other man?” Jong asked.
“How are we supposed to know?” Sean looked at him.
“I wasn’t asking you, Miller,”
“Oh, no you don’t…!”
“Little girl, where are your parents?”
The three adults stopped to see Penelope walking to the bodyguard.
“I want to see Kendra.” Penelope started. “I have a present for her and I want to show it to her,”
The door of the ward pulled open, as the Vice President came out.
Penelope looked shyly.
“Oh, my God, what are you doing? I mean, how did you…?”
“I want to see Kendra,” she made to come in. The Vice President granted her access, as she clung her paintings with her. Kendra was shocked to see her. She couldn’t believe it was the little girl standing right there. “Penelope?” She called, surprised. She had her mouth wide open, watching the little girl come to her. She was happy to see she was in good health. But how did she make it out of Huang’s walls without being seen? She wondered.
The little girl showed Kendra her paintings, going on to whisper in her ear.
Penelope nodded, pulling away from her. Lucille rolled her eyes at her, wondering what she had told Kendra.
“Well, what did she say?”
“That she misses me,” Kendra lied.
She carried Penny onto the bed and held her dearly. “Oh, how I’ve missed you,”
“I missed you too, Kendra,” she giggled with all her baby teeth out, and snuggled up in Kendra’s arms.
The Vice President wondered where Penelope had come from, staying a bit outside. She asked Brook if he had seen anyone with her, but he gave a negative answer.
Kamila wasn’t still at ease, observing the hall. She paced halfway before she gave up and went inside. Something wasn’t right, she was sure. It was only a matter of time before she was going to figure it out.
“I told the commissioner about the men that kidnapped you,”
“You mean Huang…?”
“Oh, so that’s his name?” Kamila pretended not to know. She faked a smile. She moved closer to the bed. “Well, no matter. I’ve made sure he and his men have been put behind bars. They won’t be getting out soon,” she assured. “They’ll be charged with kidnapping and murder!”
“Yes!” Kamila dreaded telling her daughter that Huang was a man from her past. She found the details irrelevant. “Now, rest. We have a long day ahead.” She said to her.
Kendra nodded her head and bit one side of her lips. Mom sure looks angry, she thought, of course. The men made a grave mistake ever kidnapping me.
Kendra got discharged and took Penelope with her. The duo were happy to be reunited but grew sad when they had to part ways again.
The Vice President had opined for the child to be given to a child agency. At least, until someone came claiming her, or her mother was found.
“Mom, do you have to do this? I can take care of the child,” Kendra wasn’t pleased when she learnt about her mother’s plan. She still wanted to keep Penelope with her, having been separated from her for a month. She had grown fond of the child, and couldn’t risk losing her.
“Kendra, this is the best, I assure,”
“I won’t hear any of it,” Kamila waved off her words.
“Well, can I at least spend more time with her? She can still stay here.”
Kamila sighed. “Fine.”
Kendra hurrahed, facing Penelope. “Now, why don’t you tell me about—“She stopped. She turned again to see her Mom going upstairs.
“That man,” she brought down her voice.
“Uncle Jong was the one who saved me,”
“Uncle Jong?” Could it be Psi? Kendra thought, the same man from Chang? She shook her head. No, it can’t be, she tried to shrug the thoughts off. “Tell me more about this Jong,” she said to the little girl.
“He asked me to pass a message to you,”
“He said it’s important,”