35 Terminal illness?

Even after Chloe and Mira left for the other two to discuss things between themselves, Leo still remained sitted on his seat with a can of beer in hand.

Mira had sent him a pleading look before she left with Chloe. She could only hope and pray for Leo to handle things smoothly and allowed her friend stay. 

"Why aren't you saying anything?" Leo asked with his arms now crossed in front of his chest.

"I— don't have anything to say" She said in a low voice with her head down. 

Leo raised a brow at her before asking,

"Can I ask you a question?" 

"What is it?" She lifted her head to look at him curiously. 

He noticed she had pretty eyes. He wondered how they would look like when she smiled beautifully.

"How old are you?" He suddenly asked. 

"Twenty-three." She answered truthfully. She had never seen it as a big deal to reveal her age. 

Leo nodded. She was just as young as he thought.

"You should know how to address your elders right? You can see I have a younger sister who is just the same age as you. You can't just talk to me so casually especially since you are living here illegally" He said quietly, feeling smug that he was older than her with four good years!

"I know." She managed to say without any form of protest. She felt tired and drained. Really tired!

Her mother had not even called her to know how she was doing. Even when she called, her call was not returned.

"I seriously cannot believe I am doing this right now" He said in a resigned tone. "Come with me." He ordered as he stood up.

"Where?" She shot him a curious look.

"To the hospital. I can see you are still sick. If you want to be living here, you have to at least do one thing for me— do not die in my house!" He said with a glare. 

"I am fine. I really am." She tried to convince him.

"Get up. I dont have all day." He said impatiently as he waited for her by the door.

Mia stood up reluctantly. But she didn't follow. She just stood there and watched him.

"Why aren't you following?" He asked with a frown.

"I already have drugs inside my room. I cannot afford to spend more than I already have." She explained bitterly. Angry at herself for exposing her vulnerable situation to a stranger. 

Leo folded his hand and looked at her again. He could not count the number of times he had studied her just today. 

Did she have some kind of multiple personality disorder? One time she was shouting about, next, she looked like a hurt kitten. Or was she only pretending so he wouldn't send her away? These thoughts ran through his head as he looked at her.

"Did you go to a hospital?" He asked.

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"A pharmacy" She answered curtly. 

"Well, you have to get a proper check up. I need to be sure you're okay before I can allow you stay here. And remember, I am doing this for your friend." 

If Mira hadn't pleaded with him to allow her, he probably would have marched to her parents' apartment to settle this once and for all. 

"I don't like people doing me favours." She said with a frown. She didn't like feeling indebted.

"You'll pay me back." He answered immediately before adding, "Now come with me. But first, get dressed."

As he left the kitchen, Mia looked down to see she was still in a big black polo and tiny shorts. She wasn't really the one to care much about how she dressed indoors. But was it proper to dress like this inside a house with a stranger man? 

************

Leo drove quietly to the hospital with Mia sitting beside him on the passenger seat. They were both quiet. 

There were times when Mia didn't just like to talk, there were other times when she got easily angry and irritated— just like the past few days. She hated those mood swings. She had prayed for it to go away but it always came back at least every month to haunt her. 

Her phone began to ring, breaking the silence. She saw it was a call from Jerry, the guy who usually linked her up with odd jobs. She had wanted to end the call but decided against it and took it instead.

"Mia?" Jerry called in a tensed voice.

"I'm here" She said in a low voice while brushing her hair away from her face. 

"I am so sorry about the other day. I really couldn't do anything." He was referring to the incident at the park where her pay was cut.

"It's fine. I probably also went overboard. Sorry for putting you through all of that." She apologized, totally startling Jerry.

"Oh wow!" He heaved a huge sigh of relief. "If I knew it was going to be this simple, I would have called earlier." He said in a relaxed tone but paused to ask,

"Are you okay?" He asked with worry in his voice. 

"I am.... well, I guess. But I'll be good." She said in a sad tone that caught Leo's attention.

Leo hadn't heard Jerry's part, but he quietly listened to Mia's soft voice as she spoke. Her voice now was quite different from what he was used to listening to.

What was really wrong with her? He suddenly remembered what Mira had said about her being depressed.

"I notice you haven't been looking well lately. You are not sick right... like.... have a terminal disease do you?" Jerry asked with a gasp, causing Mia to laugh dryly.

"It would be better if I had a terminal illness, at least I'll know my time on this shitty world is almost over" She said with a short, dry laugh.

"Be good. I have to go now." She added when she noticed Leo was pulling over, and dropped the call.

Terminal illness? What were they talking about? Leo wondered again but quickly brushed it aside.

Whatever it was, he didn't care much so far she didn't die in his house. That was all that mattered most to him. 

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