I shall never forget that night. It was raining heavily outside and the lights were off in my bedroom. I stood at my window through which a streetlight cast a gentle glow. My bedside digital clock read 11:30. On a normal night, I would already be asleep by this time. On this night however, for some reason, I was too wakeful to sleep. Perhaps it was because of how the wind beat so relentlessly at my window; I shall never know. But looking back, I’m glad I was unable to sleep. If it had not been so, I never would have met her.
I don’t recall how long I stood there before I heard a strange noise coming from the kitchen. I listened intently and heard what sounded like someone banging on the backdoor. I felt a wave of panic and the first thought that came to my mind was, burglars! But on second thought, I decided it might be someone needing shelter from the storm. Arming myself with a flashlight, I proceeded to the kitchen to investigate. As I opened the kitchen door, I was greeted by a strong wind blowing and rain pouring in through the wide open backdoor. I immediately ran and closed it, making a mental note to always check that it was locked in future. Nevertheless, there were already large pools of water on the kitchen floor; and drops of something dark too. Shining my flashlight on it, I recoiled at the sight of what it was. Blood! These drops formed a path from the backdoor to the kitchen tabletop. Following this with my flashlight, the beam of light fell on what looked like legs. I moved my flashlight sideways until the light shone on the face of a woman. I almost dropped the flashlight out of shock. Holding the flashlight with a firmer hand, I once more flashed the light on the face of the figure that lay propped up against the tabletop.
It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen; I could not help staring in wonder at it. Her eyes were shut and she was so still that I thought she might be dead. But then I noticed the slight rise and fall of her chest. I breathed a sigh of relief; it would have been sad to see such a striking face go to the grave. The glare of the flashlight must have disturbed her, for she screwed up her eyes. I promptly put off the flashlight and felt the wall for the light switch. Turning it on, I moved towards her and bent down to touch her. The next thing I knew, I felt a very strong grip on my left hand. I stared in surprise at the thin hand that held mine so tightly. My eyes moved from the hand to her face and I shifted back a little in shock. Her eyes were open and she looked at me as if she were a caged animal waiting to strike. I dared not move; if she was as strong as this in her present state, who knew what she could do to me. However, this act seemed too much for her, as she grimaced and her grip slackened. Looking closely at her now, I saw that her lips were very pale and I remembered with a snap all the drops of blood on the floor. I searched her body for the wound and noticed her left hand covered with blood held her left side. The wound must be there, I thought, and she must have lost a lot of blood.
I wasted no time and pulled her up to her feet. Placing her right hand over my shoulder, I half-supported, half-dragged her to the spare bedroom and laid her on the bed. I gingerly removed her left hand from her side and tore the cloth to get a better look at the wound. It was a large diagonal gash from which welled dark red blood. What could have made such a laceration, I could not comprehend. Suddenly she gave a groan. Immediately, I ran to my room and frantically searched for my first aid kit, all the while thanking God that I had for once listened to my mum and kept one in the house. I found it at the back of my wardrobe where it had gradually been covered with cobwebs and ran back to the room. Setting it down on the table by the bed, I began to treat the wound, using my little knowledge of first aid (courtesy of my mum). I collected an old clean shirt from the wardrobe and tore two long strips from it. Tying one above the wound, the flow of blood reduced and I used the remaining cloth to clean up the blood around it. Using cotton swabs and antiseptic spirit, I cleaned the wound. All the while, she made not a sound nor moved. Placing the other strip on the cut, I applied pressure over it and wound bandages round her waist to hold it in place and untied the strip above it.
Satisfied with my work, I peered at her and was surprised to find her asleep, breathing smoothly. I was about touching her again when I recalled what had happened previously in the kitchen. Not wanting to repeat the episode and disturb her sleep, I went to my room leaving both bedroom doors ajar. Climbing into bed, I tried to go to sleep, but it eluded me. Thoughts were running through my mind; who was she? Where was she from? What had she been doing outside on a night like this? Did she have a home? Was she a missing person? How had she gotten that injury? Was someone after her? Was she in any danger? Some many questions and only one person held all the answers: her.