Flashcards in 008 Deck (21)
Langdon's eyes shot open, and he drew a startled breath. He was still seated at Sienna's desk, head in his hands, heart pounding wildly.
What the hell is happening to me?
The images of the silver-haired woman and the beaked mask lingered in his mind. I am life. I am death. He tried to shake the vision, but it felt seared permanently into his mind. On the desk before him, the playbill's two masks stared up at him.
Your memories will be muddled and uncataloged, Sienna had told him. Past, present, and imagination all mixed together.
Langdon felt dizzy.
Somewhere in the apartment, a phone was ringing. It was a piercing, old-fashioned ring, coming from the kitchen.
"Sienna?!" Langdon called out, standing up.
No response. She had not yet returned. After only two rings, an answering machine picked up.
「Ciao, sono io,（你好，是我，）」席耶娜的聲音愉快地念出她的招呼語。「Lasciatemi un messaggio e vi richiamero.（請留言，我會回電。）」
"Ciao, sono io," Sienna's voice happily declared on her outgoing message. "Lasciatemi un messaggio e vi richiamero."
There was a beep, and a panicked woman began leaving a message in a thick Eastern European accent. Her voice echoed down the hall.
"Sienna, eez Danikova! Where you?! Eez terrible! Your friend Dr. Marconi, he dead! Hospital going craaazy! Police come here! People telling them you running out trying to save patient?! Why!? You don't know him! Now police want to talk to you! They take employee file! I know information wrong—bad address, no numbers, fake working visa—so they no find you today, but soon they find! I try to warn you. So sorry, Sienna."
The call ended.
Langdon felt a fresh wave of remorse engulfing him. From the sounds of the message, Dr. Marconi had been permitting Sienna to work at the hospital. Now Langdon's presence had cost Marconi his life, and Sienna's instinct to save a stranger had dire implications for her future.
Just then a door closed loudly at the far end of the apartment.
A moment later, the answering machine blared. "Sienna, eez Danikova! Where you?!"
Langdon winced, knowing what Sienna was about to hear. As the message played, Langdon quickly put away the playbill, neatening the desk. Then he slipped back across the hall into the bathroom, feeling uncomfortable about his glimpse into Sienna's past.
Ten seconds later, there was a soft knock on the bathroom door.
"I'll leave your clothes on the doorknob," Sienna said, her voice ragged with emotion.
"Thank you so much," Langdon replied.
"When you're done, please come out to the kitchen," she added. "There's something important I need to show you before we call anyone."
Sienna walked tiredly down the hall to the apartment's modest bedroom. Retrieving a pair of blue jeans and a sweater from the dresser, she carried them into her bathroom.
Locking her eyes with her own reflection in the mirror, she reached up, grabbed a clutch of her thick blond ponytail, and pulled down hard, sliding the wig from her bald scalp.
A hairless thirty-two-year-old woman stared back at her from the mirror.
Sienna had endured no shortage of challenges in her life, and although she had trained herself to rely on intellect to overcome hardship, her current predicament had shaken her on a deeply emotional level.
She set the wig aside and washed her face and hands. After drying off, she changed her clothes and put the wig back on, straightening it carefully. Self-pity was an impulse Sienna seldom tolerated, but now, as the tears welled up from deep within, she knew she had no choice but to let them come.