We are who we are because of who we were
The Blackberrry phone on the side stool very close to the 12inches Vita foam started to ring again and Frank lazily stretched his left hand to pick it up. He was facing the opposite direction as he lay on the bed so his hand had to do a little search before it could reach the phone. He had ignored the phone the first time it rang hoping that it wouldn’t ring again. His mind, soul and body didn’t want to wake up this morning.
He picked the call and placed it on his right ear.
Apart from the fact that he was too lazy to wake up, there was also an extra weight of probably another human on his body. A quick search with his almost incapacitated right hand revealed that the weight on him was that of a naked female form. The feel of her smooth butt sent instant messages to his mind and he recalled that last night was so much fun. He couldn’t remember much, but the little he did made him smile.
“Hello.” He managed to muffle into the phone. His head was thumping and his mouth tasted sour. His facial muscle seemed shrunken and he quickly rubbed it all over with his left hand in the bid to relax the skin therein.
“Don’t tell me that you are still sleeping on this Monday morning,” said a sharp and smooth female voice on the other end. “Are you not at work?”
The two words ‘Monday’ and ‘work’ were enough to send signals to his brain and alert his drowsy system. “Damn!” he whispered loudly both to himself and into the phone. He raised his head to look around his room. His flesh was not willing to stand up but his spirit was.
Frank managed to focus his eyes on the wall clock and soon, after much effort, he was able to see that the time was 20minutes past eight! He was supposed to be at work by 7.30am.
“Do you know what the time is?” the female voice at the other end continued.
“Mnnn,” Frank muffled again as he made to stand up. “When did you come back Linda?” he called her name like he was just realizing it was her. He stood up from the bed and looked at the sleeping naked girl once again and wished he could remember how it all went last night. Despite that, he was still very sure that he enjoyed every bit of moment with her.
She was still sleeping like a log of wood and the beautiful nakedness made him stop to stare, internalizing the image.
“I came in last night and tried calling you but you weren’t picking your calls. Wait; are you there with a girl?” Linda asked.
Frank almost smiled. Linda was the only female friend he had ever had. He never knew it was possible for someone like him to be in such a platonic relationship with a girl as beautiful as Linda without trying to take the relationship to the next level. Now she knew him better than he knew himself. It was all his fault. He had delayed the move and this had resulted in him eventually seeing her like a sister, not even the slightest feeling of lust whenever he beheld the exceptional beauty.
“Yes, but that is not important now. I am late for work and will be in serious trouble this New Year. Linda, can we talk later? I have to hurry and get ready for work.”
“Alright, just call me later in the day so that we can hook up… is Dozie there with you?” She asked after a second thought.
“Since when did you start caring about Dozie?”
“And who told you that I care about that womanizing low life friend of yours? I just want to be sure he is not there to make you do bad things.”
Frank smiled again despite the confusion and worry he felt. “I am a bad boy and don’t need Dozie to be bad. Well, he is not here and… just take care, we will talk later.” He cut the call and walked straight to the bathroom.
If he had slept naked all through the night with the lady on his bed, then it must have been a wonderful night, he thought. The only problem now was that he wouldn’t be able to relieve the moment because of the alcohol that was in his system.
What was he going to tell his boss? Dr. Emeka would be boiling in rage by now. The fact that he hadn’t been called by anyone in the hospital only meant that his sack letter might be waiting for him. Sack letter? Why was he wishing himself such a bad luck at this time of the year? Oh! Those nurses will be very glad if such a bad thing happened to him. He already knew that his presence in the hospital was a thorn in their flesh. Frank almost laughed at the thought of this. He had slept with 7 out of the 11 young nurses who worked with him in the hospital, but now they were all angry with him. His presence reeked of nothing but scandal.
He was always getting into trouble but always had a way of getting out of it. It wasn’t easy being the only male nurse at the hospital; male nurses with so much swag like him were not easy to find these days.
He quickly shook off the feeling of fear that seemed to run all over his body along with the cold water. Dr. Emeka, who liked him, would surely forgive him. All that was left for him was to think of a good lie that might help cushion that good doctor’s anger.
As he hurriedly dressed up for work, the slim model shaped girl stirred and backed him on the bed. He felt like joining her on the bed at that moment. What a sight! He thought.
He recalled she had come with Dozie’s new catch. Dozie had met Agnes on a social network, Badoo or something, and yesterday had been their first meeting.
Contrary to Linda’s insinuations, Frank was Dozie’s mentor when it came to womanizing. And by following his instructions, Dozie had made the girl had cyber sex with him, send him her naked pictures and finally desired nothing but to have physical sex with him.
Luckily she had come with a friend and Frank got himself a new year present. He just hoped it wouldn’t turn to New Year sad news by the time he got to his workplace.
He couldn’t wait to see his friend and hear his own side of the story.
Soon he was ready for work and not wanting to wake the girl up, he just left a note for her on the side stool and slipped out of his one room apartment. He would continue from where they stopped last night before he blacked out when he comes back.
Nurse Bisi was outside when the commercial bike that Frank boarded to work halted in front of THE SAINT’S SPECIALIST HOSPITAL. She hastened her step away from him and walked into the hospital like she had seen the devil. Bisi was his second catch amongst the nurses he had slept with. Like all of them, she had professed so much love for him but today she even hated his shadow. Right now, he was sure that she was going to announce to her colleagues that the womanizing devil was around.
As he paid off the bike man, he hoped Dr, Emeka wouldn’t notice he was having hangover when he confronts him.
Frank was all about his personality and not his looks. Sometimes he wished he was half as good looking as his friend Dozie, even though most of his girls thought he was good looking. He was the type that you would either love or hate, but hating him was no fun and so most times people just have to love him. He was 29yrs, average in height, slim, broad shoulders, and smooth face with two very mischievous admirable eyes. His eyes have a way of responding to the movement of his lips whenever he talked, always leaving observers wondering if both organs where directly connected. His face was usually a sight to behold whenever he smiled, because his eyes respond perfect to this.
Frank was a happy jovial fellow, always in a lively mood and never angry. He was also naughty and loved mischievous adventures just as long as no one would get hurt. He was a problem maker and a problem solver with an insatiable desire for women and sex. Yet he believed he was capable of loving one girl. That girl had not yet come his way but until then, he wouldn’t relent in having as much fun as possible.
Since the younger female nurses had declared war on him, he decided to get friendly with the older and married nurses in the hospital. With that, he still had enough loving colleagues to work with.
“Naughty nurse,” one of the older nurses called him his usual nick name around the hospital premises. She liked him because he was a witty guy who always seemed to have answers to the most difficult problems about life. Frank had once helped her resolve a family issue she was having with her husband. She had heeded to his advice and today her family was very peaceful. “Doctor is not happy with you.”
“Good morning nurse Mandey, police arrested everyone in my compound…”
“Not me… keep your explanations for doctor; that is if he does not kill you before you start talking.” She said and began to walk away.
The hospital was rowdy and Frank couldn’t help but wonder what was happening,
Surprisingly and out of nowhere, Dr. Emeka appeared in front of him. Was he waiting to pounce on him? Frank thought. This time around, the doctor looked more serious than Frank had ever seen him.
Their eyes met and locked together for some seonds causing the mischievous nurse to wish the ground would just open and swallow him up. There were three nurses behind him. Frank had slept with two of them. None where courageous to look at him, but he was sure they all wished the doctor would just sack him and get it over with. Did they really want him gone? Or was he just feeling guilty?
Frank was not sure he was capable of feeling guilty.
“Good morning sir, I am very sorry for coming late, honestly, the situation was beyond my control. I even tried calling the…”
“Oh just shut up and come with me.” Emeka barked and passed him by. “Do I look I have the time to listen to your flimsy excuses?”
Frank stopped talking and followed him, wondering what was really happening in his work place.
The good doctor stopped in front of the theater and turned around to face Frank. “It is high time for you to decide if you really want to continue working here or not and we will talk about that later. Meanwhile, I want you to go to Nurse Mandey and get from her the file containing all the information on the patient in room nine. You are going to be responsible for his well being for the whole week. Ensure you bath him and clean up all his mess. Now hurry up and get out of my face.”
“Yes sir.” Frank replied and winked at the third nurse whom he was yet to sleep with. She was looking at him with a smile which Frank couldn’t decide was wicked or friendly.
She responded with a scowl and he backed off and went searching for Nurse Mandey.
Who was the patient in room nine? He found himself asking as he walked away.
“Are you still working with us?” Nurse Mandey asked as he approached her.
Frank gave her a knowing smile, “Off course I am. But the doctor assigned me to take care of the patient in ward nine and I was asked to meet you for his file.”
“Room nine?” there was a frown on her face, “he was brought in this morning and his case is the cause of the commotion you probably have noticed around here,”
“What happened to him and what is so special about him that I was assigned to take care of him?”
“Probably Dr. Emeka wants this task to be your punishment. Well, Mr. Elisha is a 35 years old man whose family was massacred early this morning. Right now he is in comma but his wife is in a critical condition and had been taken into the theater for surgery. So far, their four kids, house help and gateman are dead.”
Frank couldn’t believe his ears. “Any idea who might have committed such atrocity?”
“Direct your question to the police head quarters. Meanwhile, here is his file. He is now your responsibility.” She said as she handed him the file.
Frank really hated sad news. What kind of robbers would do such thing? He entered into the room and stared at the motionless figure whose life was being supported by a machine. He felt so much pity for the man. How long would he be here before the doctors decide to pull the plug on him? Does he really need to wake up only to be confronted with the horror that had happened to his family? Where are his extended family members?
Frank felt his knees go weak as he knelt down beside the half dead man’s bed. Then he looked up like he was searching for something. Where the hell was God in times like this? He found himself asking the silliest question anyone could ask, one of the many questions in life without an answer.
** ** **
Inspector Ahmed couldn’t wait to finish up with the press conference so that he could go to the hospital. To him every minute counted and the more time he spent answering these journalists’ silly questions, the further away whoever massacred that family got from him.
He had taken out a few seconds within him to pray to Allah that either Mr. Elisha or his wife wakes up. At least they could get information from them about who they had hurt that had decided to kill their whole family. Right now it just seemed like the random work of a group of psychos, but he was sure that either Elisha or his wife must know something. This was more than just random killing.
Dr. Emeka had informed him that the badly injured wife who had lost lots of blood needed immediate surgery and that her life was in serious danger.
Inspector Ahmed couldn’t help but wonder what had led Mr. Elisha into coma because it appeared that he had sustained no injury. The doctor had thoroughly examined him and confirmed that not even his hair was touched. How was that possible and why? Perhaps the shock of what he saw being done to his family was too much for him to bear. Could it be that this man was watching while his family was being slaughtered?
All these thoughts got him carried away almost all through the press conference.
Inspector Ahmed was a goal-getter. He hated leaving any task unfinished and he always got most of his jobs done.
At 36 he was still single and was not looking forward to getting married anytime soon. To him, women were nothing but distraction, and the only satisfaction one should get in life should be solving difficult tasks, seeking answers to life confusing phenomena and making the world a better place. He believed in life after death and so to him every fun or enjoyment one got in this present life would hinder him from having a good after life, but every man must be rewarded in the afterlife according to his works in this present life.
He was a healthy looking slim and moderately tall man with so much agility that leaves people wondering if he ever got tired.
As soon as he was through with the conference, he decided to head straight to The Saint’s Specialist Hospital. He got into the police saloon vehicle with Officer Dan and pulled out his Nokia phone from his breast pocket. The doctor’s number was switched off when he dialed it and so the inspector guessed he was still in the theater.
While the junior officer drove the car silently, Ahmed took his time to recall the gruesome sight he had seen this morning after the police had responded to a desperate call.
Right there in the ordinary poorly furnished sitting room, the seven bodies were lying in a pool of blood. The bloody foot prints indicated that the perpetrators were more than two. There was also a female footprint among them. His head almost exploded as the memory of the severely sliced body of even the kids came flooding in. He almost threw up.
They were all below the age of eleven for God’s sake! Why would even an insane person hurt and kill kids? What did the family do to incur these psychos’ anger?
He had learnt that Mr. Elisha was just a taxi driver and had no record of violence. They were just a quiet family who minded their own business. People even confessed that they were very nice to the house girl and gateman who were also victims. Nothing suggested that he had ever hurt anyone in the last ten years.
Was this a random killing? Well, only survivors would tell.
He got to the hospital and walked straight to the doctor’s office, Officer Dan followed behind. He was surprised to be ushered in by the doctor himself.
“Doctor, I didn’t expect to see you here.” Ahmed said in a gentleman’s voice.
Emeka had just entered his office and was yet to sit down. He looked gloomy and the presence of the cop was even more depressing. He was much shorter than the inspector and so had to look up to establish an eye contact.
“I am sorry Inspector, we lost her.” He sat down, “We tried the best we could but unfortunately she had lost so much blood and the little remaining in her couldn’t carry her through the surgery. She died before we even commenced the surgery.”
“Oh my God… what about the husband? Any improvement?” Ahmed asked.
“I am afraid he is still in coma and we cannot even tell when he will wake up. Let’s hope he wakes up soonest. You know the police can’t afford to pay for the machine for long. Soon there will be pressure on us to pull the plug, especially if he continues to show no signs of improvement.” The doctor complained.
The cop remained silent for a moment, “Can I have one more look at him?”
“Sure,” Dr. Emeka stood up and led the way.
Frank was in the patient’s room when they got there. He was just through with cleaning him up and was now taking records of vital signs. He looked up when the doctor and inspector came in and continued his observation and recordings.
Inspector Ahmed stared at the patient for some times and said, “Let’s just keep him here for this week at least, I will talk to my boss to continue to fund the bills for the sake of this investigation.” Then wonderingly, “the monsters that did this are out there and this man could be the only key to finding them. There must definitely be something he knows that could help us.”
Doctor Emeka just nodded his head in agreement and looked at Frank, “let me have his form.”
Frank handed him the form while he tried so hard to avoid the doctor’s eyes knowing that his boss was not happy with him.
Frank got to Dozie’s home looking dejected. For some reasons he couldn’t understand, Mr. Elisha’s case had gotten at him despite not knowing the man. Dozie and the two lady friends with him were quick to notice that the normally hyperactive Frank was looking troubled.
Frank had called up his friend earlier in the evening when he got home and found out that the girl he had left in his home this morning was no more there. Dozie had intimated him that she was with him and had thought his friend had gotten into serious trouble at work when he noticed that Frank’s voice sounded unexcited.
Dozie allowed him to sit down before speaking up, “What is bothering you my friend?” he was a thickset handsome man with a face that would definitely be idolized if seen constantly on the television screen. Frank often wondered why such a good looking young man was shy and dodgy when trying to dealing with the opposite sex. For instance, Frank was sure that Dozie had a strong crush on Linda but had given up trying to woo her after she had rudely told him off. Yes Linda could be difficult sometimes but Dozie wasn’t like that with just her, he was also that way with almost every girl; shying away at the slightest turn down.
They were both the same height but Dozie was much lighter in complexion and was also much hairier.
Frank was not sure, but he already suspected that Linda could be wooed by Dozie if he could add more swag to his personality.
Instead of replying to his friend’s question, Frank drank from the cup of half filled Saint Remy wine on the table.
They were all staring at him and waiting to hear the bad news. The three were sure that Frank must have been sacked.
He told them about Mr. Elisha and his massacred family.
“I saw something like that on the news,” Dozie said. He obviously didn’t think this was worth getting his friend worked up.
The girls were touched. “Why would any reasonable person kill innocent children?” Agnes asked. Frank was not sure if she was really Dozie’s type.
“What made you think the people who did this were reasonable?” Frank asked. He was staring at his friend. Despite having always observed that Dozie was a little bit withdrawn, he had also noticed that the handsome dude was also cold and unemotional. He could also be confrontational at times.
There was so much about Dozie he didn’t know because his friend hardly talked about himself.
Looking at him, it would not be difficult for an observer to conclude that there were secrets, deep secrets about him that he wasn’t willing to let anyone know.
Something was troubling him, Frank had always believed, it was a mixture of both pain and fear.
Dozie had parked into his neighborhood 6months ago. And the two had taken a liking on each other when they had coincidentally shared a table of drink in Classidy Wine Bar somewhere around the neighborhood. Frank liked him because of his gentle nature and he looked like a very calculative person; a personality Frank always looked out for when choosing his friends.
Then, Dozie obviously had enough money to spend, but where or how he got them continued to remain a secret.
Frank didn’t think that his new friend was a criminal. Nothing about Dozie suggested that and Frank always trusted his judgments. Thanks to his special interest in psychology during his training as a nurse. With various psychological tools at his disposal, he was able to carefully observe and make reasonable conclusions about people. And Dozie definitely didn’t sound like a criminal, yet the nurse felt there was so much about his friend that was yet to be known.
Recently, Dozie was beginning to grow a lean purse. Who wouldn’t, after spending without earning for six months?
Yes, Dozie was a graduate, but Frank was sure he was lying about the institution he graduated from and he was also lying that he was on job hunt.
Yet Frank liked him. He was nice, gentle, observant and a good company. Whatever brought him to Umuagu city could remain covert until he was ready to let it known just as long as Frank was sure he wasn’t in any sort of danger around.
“It’s just the thought of those innocent kids being slaughtered for something they probably know nothing about.” Frank sadly said and took another gulp of drink.
“That is a sad one, but life goes on. Why are you sounding like you know the family? Dozie said, “Why not just pray the police find the perpetrators and punish them rightly?”
“It’s just… seeing the man lying helplessly, knowing that his family was all gone and… thinking of those children, it’s just so depressing. I don’t know if I prefer that the man should die or not.”
“Ha,” Dozie exclaimed, “that is not for you to decide. So are we to suggest that your job is secured?” he quickly changed the topic.
Frank looked up at him and told him what happened.
Soon the girls were about to go home and Frank also decided to take his leave, “Linda has been calling me all day, let me go and see her.”
“It’s high time she got herself a boyfriend instead of clinging unto you like you are her lover.” Dozie said. He obviously wished that she had been calling on him instead.
“Hey, she is my friend. It is not my fault that you can’t get along with her.” Frank bantered and made to leave. There was a slight smile on his face and Dozie was glad his friend had finally smiled.
He watched him walk away and thought to himself, ‘my good friend Frank… life is not always a bed of roses. The world is a cruel place, and we have no choice but to live through these cruelties when they come our way.’ Then he shook his head and gladly walked back into his room.
It was a good day.
“At least we should be grateful to God that you didn’t lose your job. I think you should be more careful Frank, your boss might take more drastic measure next time.” Linda cautioned. She didn’t think Frank had enough reasons to be bothered about the stranger in coma.
“What drastic measure can he take again? He assigned me to take care of that man in coma and not only that, I will be working double shifts for two weeks in which I will be in charge of that man. I feel his pain by just beholding him. His room reeks of nothing but sadness and pain. I… I… just don’t think I can handle it. It is pure torture.” Frank complained.
Linda was really surprised at this reaction. “Why are you like this all of a sudden? You are just acting like you are new in the job. Nurses are known to have hearts of stone because severe cases of human sicknesses and injuries they have to face on daily basis.”
“Yes, but I really can’t understand why I feel this way. The tragedy is just contagious. I can’t help but think about those helpless kids. The whole family of that man met their early death just like that. That is too much for my soft heart to bear.”
Both remained silent for a moment after Frank stopped talking.
Linda distracted herself by looking around. She didn’t really want to internalize whatever it was Frank’s patient had gone through before he fell into coma.
They were in Pleasure Bites, one of the numerous fast food restaurants in Umuagu. Linda had asked him to meet her up there.
Linda liked Frank. She had been impressed by the way he had taken care of her once when she was admitted in The Saint’s Specialist Hospital. And he had made her come to the conclusion that, just like male hairstylists, male nurses also paid more attentions to details compared to their female counterparts. She was sure that the way he treated her in the hospital had been the reason she had recovered quickly. Frank had explained to her that her positive reaction to the way he handled her had aided in her speedy recovery.
By the time she was discharged, she was sure she wanted to have him as a friend. And somehow she was able to deduce that he would be a better friend than a lover until he decides to really settle down. Looking at him, she was sure he wasn’t ready to settle down and that was why any girl who loved him would definitely get hurt.
She really liked him; he was so much fun to have around. He was so fun filled that he could make even animals get excited. He wasn’t just fun to have around, he was also sharp witted and perceptive.
He was a Sigmund Freud wanna be.
Right now their relationship was in friendship zone and at this stage they were more like siblings than friends.
Frank could be a fun loving guy but he sure didn’t know how to handle sad situations like the taxi-driver’s case.
Right now he wasn’t even eating or drinking anything.
“You are beginning to sound like Dozie, how can you not show sympathy or empathy to these people?” he asked her.
“Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for them, but there nothing I can do for them either. However I feel will not help their situation at the moment. By the way, why are you comparing me to that low life friend of yours?” she returned.
“You know I hate it when you use such rude word on my friend. Dozie is no low life and he likes you. The best thing you can do for him is to be polite. Both of you are my best friends.
“Oh please tell him to shove his likeness into his pocket and go get a life.” Linda was always like this at the mention of the name ‘Dozie’.
“How was your trip,” Frank quickly changed the topic. He just wished Linda could stop being rude sometimes.
She had just graduated From Umuagu University and was on job hunt but made manageable cash by buying and selling wears and jewelries. She buys from the countries state capital and sells to bankers and workers who were so busy and didn’t have time to go shopping. Sadly she feels everyone must be business minded like her instead of being idle. To her, Dozie was lazy and was waiting for money to land from God knows where. She was also suspicious of the fact that he spends money on daily basis without working for it. She suspected he was a dubious fellow.
But why so much antipathy towards him? He was cute, she couldn’t deny that but she didn’t think he was man enough to take care of her. Linda liked hard working men and didn’t think Dozie was hard working.
Linda was drop dead gorgeous and Frank was proud of her. Every man would love to have such a beautiful girl around him. She was chubby with perfect curves in the right places with full bosom and straight full legs. He often called her ‘ebony’ because of her dark skin and her eyes were large, taking a large chunk of her eye lid. Frank often wondered how she manages to close them when sleeping, but they were beautiful and they also complimented he smooth face, pointed nose and thick lips that had the ability to warm every heart when she smiles. She was just an inch shorter than him.
Yet he was sure she was not in a relationship. Frank and Dozie had come to a conclusion that her beauty was scaring men away. Damn! Her beauty gave Dozie sleepless nights; in fact he believed she was something from a fairy tale. People also think Frank was her lover and this got him always asking himself why they really weren’t lovers. Surprisingly, the thought of having affair with her was sickening; he was more comfortable seeing her as a sister.
Frank believed that Linda and Dozie would make a good couple but unfortunately Linda believed otherwise.
Why did she dislike him so much? He could understand her reasons for turning other men down but why hate on Dozie? Not even a room for friendship with the handsome dude.
Frank had met Linda before Dozie and since Dozie came into their lives, Linda had gotten a good reason to complain and find fault.
To her, Dozie was lazy, but was that enough reason to hate him?
Linda was rude and arrogant to strangers but had chosen to remain like that with Dozie. Only Frank knew her better and whenever she was around him, she was a friendly and nice girl. That was Frank for you, always bringing out the best in people.
For now, Frank was tired of matchmaking his two friends. The more he tried the worst it got for Linda and the more hopeless Dozie got.
“My trip was fine.” She replied. “I bought some nice stuff; I have some shirts that I think will fit you.” She regretted upsetting him. Her love life was empty and the sight of Dozie always unconsciously reminded her of what she was missing. Why does it always seem like it was all his fault? Why was she taking it all out on the poor cute dude?
Frank shook his head in rejection, “You can keep the fine cloths for now. I am still thinking of how to pay for the stuffs I took from you on credit.”
Linda laughed and Frank thought a special light just brightened the eatery. “You are the one bothering yourself with that. I am sure you will eventually pay me but till then, my duty is to ensure you look good for all your girls. Speaking of girl, who was this new catch that made you almost lost your job?” Linda was more cheerful.
“I didn’t almost lose my job because of any girl. I went to bed late last night after taking so much alcohol… I just woke up late.” He replied defensively.
“I know your colleagues must be disappointed that you got away once again.” It was a statement rather than a question from the pretty girl.
Frank’s face suddenly brightened up, it was obvious he was having much fun working at the hospital, “ha! If just wicked stare could kill I would have been dead by now.”
Linda was glad he was lively again, “Mnn, you are really enjoying your life, all these girls flocking around you, that is what every man likes right?”
Was that what every man wanted? Frank wasn’t really sure.
Like so many single males and females in general, both Linda and Frank were in that stage of their life in which they were faced with fear of certain outcomes of their relationship life. Frank was afraid he might not find the right woman that would really satisfy his physical and psychological needs and fill in that emptiness inside him. While Linda, like most females, was afraid she might eventually fall for the wrong guy.
Both were facing the same dilemma but coming from different directions.
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