Bathed under a white light, a slender figure could be seen reclining on the sofa. Her head arched on the backrest, leaving her black and lustrous hair cascading down the floor. In front of her were her long stretched out legs.
Irene just came back this morning after filming a movie in Country M. Minutes after her flight landed at the crack of dawn, her manager hurled her away to shoot another advertisement. It was no surprise that she slumped onto the sofa, dead tired. She missed her comfy mattress.
Though beat-up, her exquisite beauty wasn't concealed. Porcelain skin, pink and tantalizing lips, and that straight nose bridge—clearly God has a favorite.
While immersed in her own world, an unwanted interruption popped up.
*RING RING RING RING*
The shrill cry of a phone pierced the air. It was a stark contrast to the serenity in the room.
Her curled, dark eyelashes trembled.
A slight irritation emerged in her amber pupils.
"Hello." Pinching the bridge of her nose, a melodious voice resounded.
"Who's this?" exhaustion coated Irene's words.
"Hi, is this a relative of Elizabeth Blake?" a woman answered.
The background of the other end were scampering footfalls and cries of multiple people.
Irene's eyebrows scrunched up, wondering what could have happened to her sister. She looked down at her watch and noted that it was already 6 o'clock in the evening. Elizabeth should have headed home by now. But, the commotion on the caller's side made her think otherwise. She was starting to worry.
In the blink of an eye, gone was her fatigue as Irene straightened her back.
At present, Y City was already preparing for its nightlife. People from all walks of life were already in their cars or were hopping on buses and trains. They were eager to spend their Friday night on full blast.
Unfortunately, Irene couldn't share their enthusiasm.
Her eyes were hooded, and she felt her heart start to quicken.
With a solemn tone, she answered, "I'm her sister. Did anything happen to Liz?"
"Ma'am, your sister was involved in a car accident. The doctors are now trying their best to keep her alive." The calm tone of the nurse didn't help. The moment her words reached Irene's ear, dread surged in her heart.
Her head lowered, and her hands started to sweat.
A sudden and static beep penetrated her ears, dulling the clamor and words coming off of the phone.
Her mind was blanketed with a grayish haze, trying to isolate her. She was starting to lose herself.
But before it could fully enclose her, she managed to pull herself together.
Get a grip, she admonished.
She slightly shook her head while clenching the phone. She said with gritted teeth, "Which hospital is this?"
"S Hospital. Ma'am, plea—"
Irene anxiously cut the call and clutched her purse beside her.
She lost her parents when she was only 18 years old. Her sister was merely an 11 years old child at that time. As the older one, she had to find ways to generate income to raise her little sister. Luckily, she was scouted, and had managed to enter the lucrative entertainment industry. For six years, from being a rookie to gaining millions of fans, Elizabeth has always been by her side.
She dashed toward the door. All she could think of right now was her sister's pale and bloodstained body—it kept flashing in her head. It was torturous.
She strode out of the filming set, going straight to the hospital. She left the crew she met on the way perplexed and worried.
No matter her acting skills, in life and death situations, Irene wasn't able to mask her anxiety. Her face was stripped of the usual aloofness.
For the crew, this sight was also a first for them.
They have never seen the cold and calm Irene bore such a panic expression. The scene that unfolded right before their eyes shined a new light on their goddess. Still, they couldn't shake away the fear that imitated from her body.
They silently prayed in their heart for their goddess's safety.
Preoccupied, a deep and commanding voice traveled to everyone's ear.
"Where did Irene go?" A dashing man in a black suit emerged from the lounge. Seeing him, the crew went back to cleaning the set. They were eager to finally hit the hay once home.
"She just took off. It looked like something happened," a lady replied.
"Mmm." The man's brow furrowed. It was not Irene's character to leave without informing him. He didn't know what was happening, but he was certain it wasn't good. His heart felt distressed.
Picking up his phone, he familiarly dialed a number.
Irene arrived at the hospital and dashed straight to the nurse station.
"Where's Liz?" Her voice couldn't disguise the fear that was eating her.
Witnessing such a gorgeous woman appearing out of nowhere, the nurses paused for a second. Fortunately, they immediately came back to their senses, and one of them asked, "What's the name of the patient?"
"Elizabeth... Elizabeth Blake."
She was out of breath as she carefully enunciated her sister's name.
"I'm sorry, Ma'am, but the patient is still in the operating room."
Irene's heart constricted as she heard such words. She kneaded her temple, feeling lightheaded. "Is there a place to sit?"
Considering her distressed state, a nurse attended her to sit on one of the chairs lined in a row outside the operating room.
Meanwhile, the nurses left at the station looked at each other. They were filled with embarrassment. It was unprofessional of them to be wide-eyed like that in front of a visitor. They had to be alert in all cases.
That sloppiness earlier was worthy of a reprimand.
They were freshly out of college and had just passed the licensure exam; a record on those squeaky clean resumes would reduce them to tears.
They tacitly crossed their fingers—hard—hoping that no higher-up saw that.
Beside the huddled group, a colleague of theirs was racking her brain in frustration. "Doesn't she look familiar to you?"
Inside the same infrastructure, the white halls of the hospital witnessed as the nurse gently touched Irene's cold hands, offering comforting words. "She's gonna be fine."
During her time working in this profession, she had seen countless people encounter the same situation. She observed them as they cry and crumble, powerless to do anything.
You would think that she already got used to this.
Oh how wrong.
Vulnerability was never a pretty scene.
To stay indifferent when a human begged on their knees, scraping for the life of their loved ones to some entity... She didn't understand the word "accustomed" at all.
All she could do right now was console this suffering child in front of her.
She consoled her. She then patted Irene's shoulder as she left, leaving her a quiet space to sort her emotions.
Going back to the nurse station, the nurse was surprised to find the bright faces of her colleagues.
"What happened?" she said.
One of them replied. "That was Irene Blake!" A flame of excitement bloomed on her face just by saying her goddess's name.
Distracted by the reddened eyes that she previously saw, the nurse didn't realize that she was actually patting her idol!
Despite her mature age, she was still in with the times. And one particular actress that she was currently admiring (obsessing) was Irene Blake.
Still, she was aware that this wasn't the time to fangirl over her.
"Don't disturb her. Her sister got into an accident and is still inside the operating room."
What followed her words was silence.
The nurse sat in her chair. She looked at the backs of her co-workers and released a deep sigh.
I hope everything will go well for my goddess.
Alone under the shadows of the night, Irene finally let go of her made up stronghold. She was scared. Her body trembled.
A bubble began to surround her. This was the same feeling she experienced in the past when their parents left them.
But now, there was no Elizabeth that popped the bubble for her. Irene noticed the bubble under her feet starting to harden and was accompanied by the haze from earlier—caging, suffocating her.