A GLIMPSE OF REALITY.

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         RAIZO COULD HEAR THE CONSISTENT SLOW BEEPING OF A MACHINE WHEN HE AWOKE.HE PROPPED HIMSELF UP ON HIS PILLOW AND FELT HIS HEAD.IT WAS BANDAGED,BUT WAS HURTING AGAIN.WAIT A SECOND...AGAIN??.THE SUPER VIVID DREAM CAME BACK TO HIM AND HE REALIZED THAT SWEET SMELL STILL LINGERED IN HIS NOSTRILS.ALARMED,HE PUNCHED THE EMERGENCY BUTTON NEXT TO THE BED.AS IF JUST WAITING FOR HIS CUE, A DOCTOR WALKED IN “RAIZO!YOU’RE AWAKE I SEE.HOW’RE YOU FEELING BUDDY?”, THE DOC SAID WITH A LIGHT HEARTED TONE.

         RAIZO WAS DUMBSTRUCK, NOT BECAUSE DESPITE THE PAINFUL BLOW ON HIS HEAD HE SEEMED TO LOOK FINE, BUT BECAUSE THE DOCTOR LOOKED JUST LIKE LEO, EVEN HIS HAIRDO WAS KINDA THE SAME.HIS NAMETAG SAID DR.EDUARDO COLT. “BY ANY CHANCE DOCTOR COLT, HAVE WE MET BEFORE?”RAIZO ASKED WHILE DR.COLT CHECKED HIM WITH A STETHO. COLT LOOKED AT HIM INQUISITIVELY, “UMM, NO BUDDY, I DON’T THINK WE’VE MET BEFORE NOW, THOUGH I HAVE SEEN A COUPLE OF YOUR MATCHES.I MUST SAY, YOU’RE PRETTY GOOD UP IN THE RING.”HE SAID SMILING.

            “ANYWAYS, DO YOU FEEL ANY PAIN ANYWHERE ELSE OTHER THAN YOUR HEAD?” RAIZO COULD FEEL THE LEFT SIDE OF HIS HIP BURN AND HE INFORMED THE DOCTOR ABOUT IT.WHEN COLT CHECKED THE AREA WHERE RAIZO COMPLAINED OF HAVING PAIN, HE SAID THERE WAS A TINY MARK. “WELL, IT LOOKS LIKE A PRICK.IT WASNT THERE WHEN THEY BROUGHT YOU IN THOUGH.WE’LL LOOK INTO IT LATER, I DONT THINK IT IS MUCH OF A CONCERN RIGHT NOW.BUT, SEEING THE EXTENT OF YOUR HEAD INJURY, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO KEEP YOU UNDER OBSERVATION FOR A FEW MORE DAYS AND THEN YOU’LL BE FREE TO LEAVE.” RAIZO HATED HOSPITALS.THE FACT THAT HE COULD LEAVE THAT PLACE SHOULD HAVE LIGHTENED UP HIS MOOD BUT THERE WERE TOO MANY THINGS ON HIS MIND.AND LOTS OF QUESTIONS THAT NEEDED ANSWERS.

        “DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIT ME DOC? LAST I REMEMBER I HEARD A GUNSHOT. DID SOMEONE ELSE GET HURT?” RAIZO ASKED AS COLT WROTE DOWN SOMETHING ON HIS PAD. HE LOOKED UP AND SAID, “IT WAS AN OVERHEAD LIGHT RAIZO.YES, THERE WAS A GUNSHOT BUT THE BULLET HIT THE LIGHT RIGHT ABOVE YOUR HEAD.EVERYBODY WAS LOOKING FOR THE SHOOTER SO BY THE TIME ANYBODY REALIZED THE LIGHT WAS ABOUT TO FALL ON YOU, IT WAS LATE.HIT YOU PRETTY HARD THAT LIGHT. EVEN CONNOR WAS UP HELPING TO GET YOU ON THE GURNEY.”

             “NOW,LET’S NOT WORRY MUCH ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.THE IMPORTANT STUFF IS RIGHT HERE, THAT YOU’RE ALIVE AND KICKING.WE CAN TAKE CARE OF OTHER THINGS LATER.BUT THERE IS ONE THING THAT I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO RIGHT AWAY.THERE’S A GIRL WAITING OUTSIDE, SAYS HER NAME IS EVANGELINE THOMAS.SHE’S WORRIED OUT OF HER MIND YOU KNOW.”

      RAIZO THOUGHT HE’D BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL FOR JUST AN HOUR OR SO.BECAUSE HIS DREAM ITSELF HADNT LASTED MORE THAN 20 OR 30 MINUTES.HE HAD CALLED UP EVANGELINE JUST BEFORE THE MATCH AND SHE SAID IT WOULD TAKE ATLEAST 4 OR 5 HOURS FOR HER TO GET TO VEGAS.SHE WAS HERE WHICH MEANT....HE ASKED THE DOC, “HOW LONG HAVE I BEEN HERE?”COLT SAID IT HAD BEEN ALMOST 12 HOURS SINCE HE WAS BROUGHT IN. EVA HADN’T BEEN THERE FOR THE MATCH SO RAIZO THOUGHT SHE MIGHT NOT COME TO KNOW, BUT, NEWS TRAVELS FAST, AND NEWS ABOUT AN APPARENT ‘ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT’ DURING A FINALE MATCH TRAVELS FASTER.SHE WAS DEFINITELY MORE WORRIED THAN SHE SHOULD BE AFTER SEEING THE NEWS.RAIZO WANTED TO SEE HER AS SOON AS HE COULD, HE HADN’T MET HER SINCE A MONTH BACK WHEN SHE HAD LEFT FOR ROME. “I WOULD LIKE TO MEET HER RIGHT AWAY IF THAT WOULD’NT BE A PROBLEM”, RAIZO SAID. “YEAH, I’LL SEND HER IN RIGHT AWAY.I’LL COME IN EVERY TWO OR THREE HOURS TO CHECK ON YOU.IF YOU FEEL ANYTHING OUT OF THE PLACE YOU CAN ALWAYS BUZZ THE BUTTON.OKAY?”,SAYING THAT, COLT LEFT THE ROOM.THE CONSISTENT BEEPING OF THE MACHINE WIRED TO HIM CONTINUED.

      WHEN THE DOCTOR LEFT RAIZO SAW A SMALL TELEVISION SET AT THE END OF THE ROOM, THE REMOTE WAS KEPT JUST BESIDE HIM SO HE SWITCHED IT ON AND ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THE NEWS CHANNEL FLASHED IN.THE NEWS WAS ABOUT A SERIES OF MURDERS IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD.PICTURES WERE BEING SHOWED OF THE HOUSE AND THE LATEST CONDITION AT AND AROUND THE AREA.SOME ALSO INCLUDED THE GRUESOME AND MANGLED CONDITIONS OF THE BODIES BEING CARRIED OUT OF THE HOUSE.THE NEWS READER INFORMED THAT THE INTERIORS WEREN’T SHOWN ON TELEVISION AS THEY WERE NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN AND CVILIZED PUBLIC DUE TO THE GORY AND EXTREMELY CRUEL MANNER OF THE MURDERS.IT WAS INFORMED THAT THERE WAS AN ENTIRE FAMILY OF 4 THAT HAD BEEN BUTCHERED TO DEATH AND ALSO 2 OTHER STRANGERS THAT HAD NOT YET BEEN IDENTIFIED,THOUGH THE OFFICERS INCHARGE WERE CONFIDENT THAT THEY DIDN’T BELONG TO THE SAME FAMILY.

      THE GORINESS OF THE BODIES ALONE MADE RAIZO CURSE THE MURDERER AND SWITCH OFF THE TV.HE HEARD A KNOCK ON THE DOOR OF HIS WARD AND EVANGELINE STEPPED IN.SHE LOOKED TIRED FROM THE TRAVEL AND WAITING, AND SHE ALSO PROBABLY HADN’T SLEPT SINCE HOURS JUDGING BY THE CONDITION OF HER EYES.

      SHE SAT ON RAIZO’S BED AND PECKED HIM ON HIS LIPS ONCE.HE KNEW SHE MUST'VE BEEN WORRIED OUTTA HER MIND WHEN SHE HEARD THE NEWS AND HELL BENT ON REACHING HERE AS SOON AS SHE COULD.SHE ASKED, ‘HOW DO YOU FEEL CHAMP? I WAS SCARED SHIT AFTER I HEARD ABOUT YOU, I SAW THE FEED TOO YOU KNOW, THAT LIGHT HIT YOU DAMN HARD AND I DIDNT EXPECT YOU TO RECOVER SO EARLY EVEN THOUGH I WISHED IT IN MY HEART.’ ‘YEAH, I KNOW LOVE’, RAIZO SAID. ‘YOU SHOULDVE GONE HOME YOU KNOW, MAYBE CHANGE AND FRESHEN UP A LITTLE.WAITING 7 HOURS STRAIGHT WASNT SUCH A GOOD IDEA.’ ‘I COULDNT LEAVE YOU HERE RAIZO.....AND AFTER I HEARD WHAT HAPPENED, I COULDNT EVEN SLEEP.I EVEN CALLED UP THE LOCAL OFFICERS, THEY DONT SEEM TO HAVE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE ASSASSIN, NOR ABOUT THE BULLET THAT HIT THE LAMP ABOVE YOU,IT JUST SEEMS TO HAVE VANISHED!’.EVANGELINE SAID.

         "THE EVIDENCE MUST HAVE BEEN CLEARED UP BY WHOEVER FIRED THE SHOT DURING THE COMMOTION,ITS OBVIOUS THEY WONT FIND IT.AND I DONT THINK THEYLL FIND HIM HERE IN VEGAS."RAIZO STATED.

 “HMM, MAYBE......ANYWAYS RAIZO, LETS NOT TALK ABOUT IT ANYMORE.THE FBI WILL BE LOOKING INTO IT TOMORROW.LET’S JUST LEAVE IT TO THEM.YOU GET SOME SHUT EYE YES? I’LL BE WAITING WHEN THEY’RE READY TO DISCHARGE YOU.”

THEY TALKED ABOUT OTHER THINGS FOR A BIT LONGER.AND THEN RAIZO GOT THE REST HE MUCH NEEDED.

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       RAIZO WAS DISCHARGED TWO DAYS LATER.DR.COLT MADE THE PROCESS EASIER FOR HIM AND SOON HE WAS OUT OF THE HOSPITAL.EVANGELINE WAS WAITING FOR HIM OUTSIDE, AND RAIZO NOTICED THAT SHE HAD BEEN TO HIS SUITE AT CAESAR’S PALACE, COZ SHE HAD GOT FRESH CLOTHES FOR HIM AND HIS CAR TOO.WHEN HE WAS DONE CHANGING IN THE STAFF RESTROOM THEY WENT TOGETHER TO THE PARKING LOT WHERE SHE HAD PARKED HIS CAR.HE WENT FOR THE DRIVER’S SEAT BUT EVANGELINE BEAT HIM TO IT. “NOT SO FAST CHAMP, YOU JUST HIT YOUR HEAD, WE DON’T WANNA GO DRIVIN OVER THE SIDEWALK DO WE?”SHE JOKED, RAIZO SMILED AND GOT IN NEXT TO HER FROM THE OTHER SIDE.

      WHEN HE SAT, EVA OPENED THE GLOVE BOX AND TOOK OUT TWO PLANE TICKETS WAVING THEM IN FRONT OF HIS NOSE. “WHAT’S THIS?” RAIZO SAID SNATCHING THEM FROM HER HANDS, HE SAW THAT THEY WERE FOR THE PLANE LEAVING TO MANHATTAN THAT NIGHT. “WE’RE GOING HOME RAIZO, AS IT IS YOU WON’T BE FIGHTING FOR ANOTHER TWO WEEKS OR SO, BESIDES, I THINK YOU NEED A BREAK FROM ALL THIS.” SHE SAID. “EVA, HOW DO YOU THINK M GONNA PACK MY STUFF SO FAST? THE PLANE LEAVES AT 8:00 PM AND IT’S ALREADY 6:30.IT’LL ATLEAST TAKE US AN HOUR TO GET THERE.” RAIZO SAID RATHER ANGRILY. “I’VE GOT ALL YOUR STUFF RIGHT HERE SWEETIE”, EVA WINKED AT HIM AND POINTED TO THE BACKSEAT.RAIZO LOOKED BACK AND SAW THE 3 BAGS THAT HE HAD GOT ALONG WHEN HE CAME TO VEGAS, THE GAL SURELY KNEW HOW TO MAKE HIM SAY YES.HE WONDERED WHAT ELSE SHE MUST’VE PLANNED WHILE HE WAS WIRED UP IN THE HOSPITAL, AND SAT BACK AND SIGHED.

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