MIDNIGHT PRINCE Empire of Sin
CH 6: K-TOWN
The atmosphere was tense and Cecilia seemed to desperately beg him to make this promise to her. The desperation in her voice was the real deal. He couldn help but become surprised by her tone. But he still remained hesitant.
”Please, Adam, my dear son… I have never asked anything of you, not even once. But just this time…just this once. Please listen to me and do as I say. ”
Adam sighed out loud. It was the first time he had seen her beg him so. Cecilia was a proud woman who seemed to be able to move mountains with her sheer unyielding will alone. A strength of nature he had always respected about her.
Seeing her look so vulnerable was almost heart-wrenching. He didn want to see her like this anymore. Still, he could not accept this. Even though it would undeniably be painful for him to not adhere to this request of hers, his hands were tied.
He had just started his new part-time job and he couldn just skip without any forewarning. The pay was too good to pass. This was even more so in his current situation.
He was about to argue his point but the resounding clicks of high heels echoed outside the room, interrupting him before he could continue. Then the door gently opened as though the previous commotion and urgency he felt had been a mere illusion.
A mature woman slowly walked into the hospital room. Sweat made her brown hair cling to her face, and her labored breaths were obvious for one to witness. It was clear that she has made her way here with great haste.
”Cecilia! How are you doing!? ”
Who else could it be but Shuri? His strict professor who also turned out to be her aunt. Not blood related of course, but an acquaintance of his mother.
Aren you the one who told me to stay calm and collected?
Adam could only form a dumbfounded laugh in his face but his heart had also warmed up from the concern projected through her actions. In life there was no need to have hundreds of fake friends.
Only a small circle of friends that would undeniably always have your back no matter what was what all needed.
After Shuri came, Cecilia could only let him go, not bringing up the topic anymore. The two friends swiftly began their conversation, words of concern went back and forth and it slowly drifted to lighthearted chatter between girls.
With their discussion done, and seeing that it was past the time for visiting hours, they could only reluctantly leave the place and let her rest.
Walking out, he slowly closed the door while waving for one last time at his mother. His mother waved back and soon he closed the door, letting out a sigh as soon as he knew that his mother won be able to see him anymore.
”Hello, could you please bring us to the doctor? ”
Adam stopped a nurse and politely asked before promptly following her as she motioned him to do so.
Behind him, Shuri still had a worried expression as she followed him to the doctor too. She too would like to know the condition of her dear friend.
She has been friends with Cecilia for nearly twenty years already and she knew very well that despite her generally healthy body, Cecilia would always fall sick during this period.
Until now, while it was a recurring disease, it had become so common that she had stopped paying attention to it already.
Even more so since it would only last a few days before she was back to being a muscle-brained strong-willed woman.
But this time…
I hope it won be too much of a problem.
A moment later, Adam and Shuri both walked out of the hospital with somber expressions etched on their faces. Adams was still more or less expressionless, but Shuri wielded a ghastly expression that almost made one wonder if the world would come to an end any minute now.
Clearly, the news delivered by the doctor was horrifying enough for them to lose all sense and let emotions drift to their faces.
”Will you go back with me, Adam? ”
”Do not worry, I can take care of myself, aunt. I just need to think alone for a short time. So, please give me some time. ”
Shuri grimaced at the polite way Adam rejected her. She could feel that he was absolutely dejected and indeed needed some time to think for himself. She had never seen him like this which made her worry even more.
She was hesitant, filled with agony, about what she should do now. But at least she knew she needed to go to work fast. Her husband was traveling. Not that she cared for him. She knew what all his ”Work travel ” was all about.
She would take care of this later and thankfully she didn have any big case on her hand currently.
I guess I will give some chances to the interns.
The faster she freed herself from all her paperwork, the faster she could come and take care of Cecilia. There was no way she was going to let her friend be alone there.
They also needed to break the news to her. No matter how bleak it was. She knew her friend didn need anyone to babysit her by going around and hiding the truth.
”Will you come back with me to the campus? ”
Adam shook his head before giving a simple smile to her. It was distant and overly polite, making her wonder if Adam had really lost it already. ”Go on. I need to go home. ”
Before walking away he stopped, ”Thanks aunt Shuri. Thanks for everything you are doing for us. I promise I will repay you. ”
Shuri sighed painfully. She just nodded and went on her way, cursing herself for not being able to do anything for the lovely boy. She prayed so that God could give him the power to get through this tough period.
A few minutes later, after walking aimlessly, Adam reached a bench. Even though it was the middle of the week, he could see some people, clearly family, walking around, laughing and having fun.
He blankly looked at all this while remembering the talk with the doctor.
It seemed that his mother was in urgent need of a transplanting operation. Her heart was suffering from a deficiency.
The exact cause of such deficiency in his mothers heart was still unknown. They summarized that they needed more tests to be sure. But knowing why wouldn change the problem at hand.
What mattered was how to save her.
I need money… A great deal of money.
With how developed technology was nowadays, heart transplant surgery wasn particularly complicated or dangerous. Though the after-effects could be quite dangerous, it was something that could also be worked on quite easily.
As such, the main problem was nothing more than money. Not only was the cost of the operation insane, but the most important thing…the aftercare to avoid rejection was no joke.
One million dollars, just for the first year.
Adam could only chuckle helplessly.
The pre-transplant, procurement, hospital admission, physicians fees, post-transplant fees, and immuno-suppressants.
When all of these fees are factored in, a heart transplant would cost around $997,700 at minimum after the insurance did the work. Generally one should expect an average cost of 1.6 million dollars at the very least.
All of this for just the first year alone and if there were no complications throughout. After that, in order to survive, one would still need to buy and use immuno-suppressants for all their life, which would be around a hundred thousand every month.
Cecilia was a courageous mother who did very well for herself despite the situation. But they were barely middle class. More like lower class.
The very fact that they had a house for themselves in LA was thanks to Shuri, as they were tenants in one of her houses. Shuri wanted to give one for free but Cecilia would have never accepted and this was the result.
The worst part of the current situation was that those millions weren even the biggest problem.
Hearts didn grow on trees.
Not only was a compatible heart wasn something easy to get in a short time, on any given day, there are more than 3,100 people in the United States who were on the waitlist and 49% of the people who are on the heart transplantation waitlist have been waiting for over a year for a suitable organ.
Time during which they would have to spend even more money.
Even if they eventually choose to go to another country to get a heart, he doubted they would let them skip the line.
To get a heart transplant, one needed money and influence. Of which they had none.
Adam cursed out loud, startling the few people walking near him and causing some parents to hold the hand of their children tightly and accelerate to leave the zone.
Adam didn care that he was being looked at like a raving lunatic. He closed his eyes in order to calm his frustrations before finally letting out a sigh.
Cursing and complaining were just a waste of time. Such time would be better used for something more productive.
Calming down, he took out his phone and switched the screen on, and entered his contact list before stopping at a particular name.
Dialing the number, it didn take long for him to be answered.
[Hello, my favorite worker. I thought you would never contact me again.]
The gentle voice of a woman sounded in his ear. Filled with a teasing undertone. Still, he knew that one should never get fooled by her.
”Hello boss, I just wanted to ask if the proposal about the new job you made a few days ago was still valid. ”
[Hum… Indeed, I am starting a new business and you have the right profile. But why? I thought your mom didn want you to work with me?]
”That doesn really matter, does it? ”
[Hmmm. You are right. So, ready to take the job?]
”Yes. As long as we follow the old rules then I will take any job. ”
He could hear her laugh lightly from the speaker.
[Happy to have you back, boy. Working with you is always such a pleasure. Come to my new bar tonight at seven. I will send you the address. Bye-bye!]
Once the call ended, Adam massaged his forehead.
His mother didn like him walking around these kinds of people. But he knew very well that getting money the normal way was impossible.
Thankfully, even though the new job she wanted him to take was sketchy, it was still better than working as a fighter in the cage and much less dangerous.
He remembered his mother asking him to be home by midnight to honor this day. But he had no other choice.
He didn want to lose his second mother. He had lost one already and he didn believe he could live with the pain of losing the other.
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