Liza sat on the edge of the marble bench outside of Norton Hall. Saint Francis Hospital discharged Bruce yesterday afternoon, but he was still a mess. Besides a bunch of cuts and bruises, he ended up with a severe concussion, a broken nose, three missing teeth, and two cracked ribs. Liza visited him every night for the six days he was hospitalized. Casey was in Saint Francis’ pediatric oncology division, so Liza would sit with her until she fell asleep, then go up to Bruce’s room and sit with him until he fell asleep. Bruce had been quiet all week. He wouldn’t talk about what had happened that day or much else. Liza didn’t press him, but she was frustrated and hurt that she apparently didn’t rate any kind of explanation. What was he hiding? It had to be something significant. Maybe he thought that she wouldn’t see him anymore if she knew. Liza couldn’t see that happening. The secretiveness made her consider not visiting, but then she found herself drawn to his room every night. She told herself that she was going because Nurse Bill told her that Bruce had no other visitors. Really, she just missed him. He always seemed glad to see her when she showed up. Even though it pained him to move, he would slide over and pat the bed. He would wrap his arm around her and they would watch TV until he dozed off.
Liza would ease herself out of the bed, pull the covers up over his chest, find an uninjured spot on his cheek, and kiss him goodnight. Usually, she would end up standing there watching him sleep, thinking. Was he a drug dealer? An alcoholic? A serial killer? A serial rapist? Maybe he was as crazy as Scary Witch Hat Guy, only he hid it better. Her cynical nature had her convinced that he was bad news. Then, what happened yesterday confused her all over again.