Passion Fruit - By Imari Jade

Chapter One
Shaundra Yoshida's opened her eyes wide, and she sat up in the bed. A pain grabbed in her arm. She looked down to find an IV attached to some long tubing running to a monitor. I'm in a hospital. Why? The last thing she remembered was... She drew a blank. Why couldn't she remember?

The door to the room opened, and a Japanese nurse stepped inside. "Oh! You're awake."

"Where am I?" Shaundra asked trying to get her bearings.

"In a hospital in Tokyo."

Tokyo. Why am I in Tokyo? "What am I doing here?"

The nurse walked over to her and began taking her vitals.

"Don't you remember?"

Shaundra shook her head. "No, not really. I seem to remember being in another hospital room a long time ago and then there was this loud noise and lots of water."

"The earthquake," the nurse said loosening the blood pressure cuff on her arm.

"Earthquake? What earthquake?"

"There was an earthquake in the Miyagi Prefecture about four months ago. It happened while you were in another hospital there having a procedure done. There was also a tsunami, and thousands of people died."

Shaundra looked at the nurse. "Did that hospital get destroyed?"

The nurse nodded. "Yes. An anesthesiologist saved your life. He got you out of the hospital and carried you to safety."

Some of it came back to her...the rising water, the panic in the hospital and in the streets. Shaundra shuddered remembering a man talking calmly to her as he carried her.

"Did he survive?"

"Yes, thankfully. He's now stationed at a hospital in Osaka."

"So how did I get here?" She knew she must have sounded like quite an idiot asking so many questions.

"The two of you were rescued and flown here to Tokyo. He was released, and you've been here every since. "

Damn, this is going to be one hell of a hospital bill. "What's today's date?"

"June twenty-ninth," the nurse answered. "Your vitals are fine and the doctor should be in any minute to talk to you."

"Thank you," Shaundra said.

The nurse left, and Shaundra continued to look around, noting the changes in her body. She was far from emaciated, which meant they had been feeding her intravenously from one of the many tubes attached to her.

The door opened again and a Japanese doctor entered.

Hope he speaks English because I won't understand a word he says.

"I'm so glad that you have finally awakened. My name is Doctor Obayashi."

Shaundra nodded politely. "Nice to meet you."

"I can't believe it. You look so healthy. I can't believe you've been in a coma for months." He examined her thoroughly, and then he sat down in a chair across from her bed and began thumbing through her file. "Your procedure went through smoothly. We were able to complete it once you were brought here. You are in excellent shape and can be released in a couple of days if you don't run a fever during the night."

"Is it safe to say that there won't be any other problems?"

Some things had come back to her now including the reason for the procedure.

"Yes, you're past the danger point but you're going to need a lot of rest and relaxation for a couple of months. You've been through a very traumatic time." He chuckled. "The male doctors and orderlies around here are going to very disappointed that you are leaving."

Shaundra looked at him oddly. "Why?"

"You have become quite a celebrity around here. Most of them were on call when you were brought it. They have dubbed you their sleeping princess. They've taken turns staying with you and making sure you were undisturbed in slumber. They think it is a miracle that you have survived the earthquake."

"So, there are no complications?"

"None as far as I can see. You'll need to stay off our feet as much as possible and follow a no-salt diet."

"I understand, and I can go home tomorrow?"

"Yes, I don't see any reason why we should keep you. Do you need me to notify someone to come for you?" he asked.

"Funny, we couldn't find anything on you except your name when you were brought in. We've put ads in the newspaper and searched every data bank but nothing came up on an African American female by the name of Shaundra Yoshida."

Shaundra shrugged. It surprised her too since she was registered as being married to a Japanese citizen.

"Do you need me to notify someone to come for you?"

It was June, which meant Aomori's China tour was over. "I don't really know anyone in Tokyo." She wondered if