Liza again found herself trotting along behind Bruce. They were in the basement walking through a labyrinth of file boxes. Chain-link fences sectioned off various areas. Random items lay scattered around: wood pallets, a janitor’s cart, a hanger, a white bag. Bruce stopped at a metal door. Light shone from underneath and footsteps echoed from the other side. Bruce turned and looked her over in the dim light. Some of the stairwell filth had found its way onto her clothes, she was still panting from her escape, and blood was seeping through the bandage on her hand. Awesome. Bruce was shaking his head as he took this all in, but then a smile crept across his face. He kissed her on the forehead before turning back to the door. When no footsteps could be heard, he stepped through the door and motioned for her to follow. The hall was stark white, lit by rows of fluorescent lights. Liza’s eyes were watering and she bumped into Bruce once or twice before they adjusted to the ungodly brightness. They made a few turns and ended up in one of those little office kitchenettes. Bruce started opening cabinets. Liza sat at a table, but bounced back up a second later. She was feeling restless and agitated. She really needed a cigarette.
Bruce pulled a first aid box from one of the cabinets and brought it over to the table. The old bandage was loaded with dirt and dried blood. He eased it off and examined her hand. The wounds weren’t bleeding at the moment, but the whole palm was red. He led her over to the sink where he rinsed the hand with soap and water. After patting it dry, he applied a thin layer of some sort of cream. Liza zoned out watching his long fingers re-dress the wound. She was silently praying that he didn’t ask how she had gotten the cuts. She didn’t want to lie to him, but she definitely didn’t want to tell him about the beer bottle incident either. Apparently, even after rampaging through his building, she was still hoping that he didn’t think she was a complete nut job. She reminded herself that Bruce had helped her and he didn’t seem angry. Liza’s couldn’t think. She didn’t want to think. She wanted to smoke until she couldn’t breathe and drink until she was sick. She wanted to rewind or fast forward so that she could live at some point in her life when things weren’t such a mess.
Liza realized that Bruce had gotten still. He was standing in front of her holding her freshly bandaged hand. Liza tried to paste a calm expression on her face. It didn’t matter. Before she could bring her head all the way up, his arm was around her waist and he was kissing her.