Fiction: The Art of Mutual Destruction Chapter Fifty Seven

Chapter Fifty Seven

Enough!” Iman shouted, thoroughly at the end of her rope. Why wouldn’t he just listen?

Adam recoiled and she spared a moment’s thought to feel guilty for scaring him. “Enough,” she repeated. “No more of this nonsense.”

This nonsense is my job,” he countered, beginning to look annoyed himself.

You almost died. I thought you were dead. If Waseem hadn’t found you when he did…” Adam would have been gone. Nothing anyone could have done at that point would have kept him in the world.

But he did find me. And I’m not done yet.”

Done with what?” Iman’s voice began to rise again. He’d been saying this constantly as he tried to argue with his doctors that he needed to be released – barely two weeks after being admitted into the hospital and nowhere near healed.

There’s still one other person I need to go after. I have to get that done.”

Why?” Iman sat beside him, careful of his many injuries, and put her hands on his cheeks. “What’s the rush? You’re still so badly hurt.”

Adam shook her off. “No broken bones,” he argued stubbornly. “I can still walk.”

Barely, Adam!” Iman got to her feet again.

It’s better than nothing,” he insisted.

It’s not good enough.”

What’s the rush, Adam?” He looked away and didn’t answer.

Why can’t you just wait until you’re healed?”

I’m fine. I can keep going.”

But you don’t have to!” Iman cried. “Why are you forcing yourself like this?”

Because,” Adam began hotly, before abruptly falling silent when the door was opened.

Everything alright in here?” one of Adam’s nurses asked, glancing between them.

Iman looked back at Adam. Now, with her anger derailed, she once again saw the unhealthy tinge to his skin that had triggered her anger in the first place.

I need some air,” she announced abruptly.

The nurse shot her an understanding look and nodded. “It’s a bit stuffy in here, isn’t it?” As Iman left, she heard the curtains being opened.

Maybe the light would help Adam’s mood.

Walking down the corridor to the closest waiting room, her eyes landed on a sight that immediately helped hers.

Waseem rose to hug her. “Having a debate in there?” he asked, tilting his head in the direction of Adam’s room.

Iman’s shoulders slumped. “You heard us?”

I think the whole floor heard you.”

I just don’t understand why he’s in such a rush,” Iman complained. “And he won’t tell me. He just insists that he wants to get out and go… y’know.” She hinted, leery of mentioning the word kill where they could be overheard.

Ah,” Waseem leaned back in his chair. “This again.”

Again?” Iman repeated.

Waseem looked puzzled. “Oh, you wouldn’t have known. Yes, the last time he came back he was in quite terrible shape. I did tell him that your grandfather wasn’t the type to insist he keep going if he was injured but that doesn’t seem to have sunk in.”

What does my grandfather have to do with it?”

Iman listened quietly as Waseem filled her in on the deal Adam had made with Ibrahim. She said nothing as her legs carried her towards Adam’s room or as she flung open his door. Only once she’d made sure that they were alone did she speak.

You are not going to try to kill yourself – again – over nothing.”

Adam was bone-weary. All he wanted to do was sleep but even that seemed impossible in this sterile room, filled with beeping machines and the brightest lights he’d ever seen.

He looked around resentfully. Hospitals. He despised hospitals.

And if Iman had her way, he’d be here for another fortnight.

Adam scrubbed a hand over his face. He felt bad for continuing to upset her but this fight was one he wasn’t willing to lose.

The sooner he got out of this place the better.

She didn’t understand. But then, how could she? She’d never been trained to keep going the way he had.

Yes, it hurt. And yes, he was probably doing some damage to himself by not laying quietly in the bed like she wanted him to.

But he was losing his mind in here.

And that last name was nagging at him like a constant itch that he couldn’t scratch.

He’d been taught to finish a job by any means necessary. And this one – the most important one – wasn’t finished yet.

Adam groaned. How was he supposed to explain that to Iman?

She’d think he was insane – and obsessed.

The door was shoved open and he stared at her, unable to hide his surprise. How had she gotten even angrier?

You are not going to try to kill yourself – again – over nothing.”

Adam’s own temper – worsened by pain, inactivity, and medical personnel who refused to listen to him – snapped. He was yelling before he knew it. “It is not nothing!” he hissed.

You don’t have to do this for me!”

She was right. “No, I have to do it for me.

He’d confused her. “But why?” she asked, not for the first time. “Why?” she whispered. “I don’t understand why this is so important. You could die!

Adam had no way to answer her. He didn’t fully understand it himself. But the thought of not finishing what he’d started made him feel ill.

The door opened and Adam experienced a brief moment of irritation. “You have terrible timing,” he told Waseem.

The portly man looked offended. “I have excellent timing. I waited for a nice lull in the conversation, didn’t I?”

You were listening to us?”

You are very loud,” Adam was informed. “It would have been harder to not listen.”

Adam rolled his eyes.

This problem you’ve been arguing about,” Waseem added. “It has been solved.”

What? How?”

We have other employees. And you were clearly in no shape to finish things. I had one of them go off and take care of things.”

Adam felt his mouth drop open. He shut it and scrambled for something to say. Iman beat him to it. “Why didn’t you say something earlier?” she scolded.

Then she turned to Adam. “Now will you stop trying to leave?”

No,” Adam admitted. His skin still crawled at the thought of being in this room much longer.

Iman’s cheeks began to redden and he prepared to defend himself. Again.

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