I woke from a rest to see him sitting patiently in the chair next to my bed. He let me wake up, pulling myself up in the pajamas and tangle of sheets. He reached out and took my hand, gently tracing the IV taped to the top of my hand.
They'd found me passed out in the shower. The doctor told me I was lucky I hadn't drowned. I had a nasty dark bruise on my face from the fall. The next door neighbor called 911, and I'd ended up here on the 7th floor. The fucking 7th floor.
I’d caused an ugly scene. Anywhere but here. These. These are the rooms where others had come and never escaped.
"Don’t put me in a room to die! Please!," I'd screamed.
Two doors down was the piano player from the sweater bar. Next door, the kind man who loved wearing Liberace-style fur coats and loved sunflowers. Wasn’t there room somewhere else in the hospital, goddammit? I was sure I wasn’t the first angry, scared person to occupy room #703.
He'd heard from Marcia that I'd only taken one bite of birthday cake the night before. If I wasn't eating cake, the situation obviously required further intervention.
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm still here, Morticia.", I said with a raspy dry voice.
"There he is," he began, his face exploding into a warm smile.