Bruce’s shirt was soaked. This was ridiculous. He needed to break down and get a cell phone. The hospital was finally releasing him today. He thought about just leaving. Liza wanted an explanation for the other day. He didn’t blame her, but he still didn’t know what he was going to tell her. It occurred to him that if he left, she would worry when she came tonight and he was gone, and she would have no way to get in touch with him. He’d decided to leave a note for her in her niece’s room. That was turning out to be way more difficult than it had seemed. Apparently, you needed to be on a list to visit children. Bruce managed to sneak in, but he’d been roaming around the halls for almost twenty minutes and hadn’t been able to find eight-year-old Casey. He realized that didn’t know her last name or what she looked like. Bruce wondered if maybe Casey was a boy, but he was pretty sure that Liza had refereed to her as her niece.
His ribs were killing him and his head was spinning. This was nice. He was all sweaty. He’d snuck into a children’s’ ward, and now he was creeping around like an injured pedophile. Bruce doubled over, resting his hand against the wall for support. He leaned there like that with his eyes closed. After a few minutes, he felt better. He opened his eyes and looked around, trying to decide what to do. A blonde-haired boy was looking out at Bruce from a room across the hall. The toddler looked a little scared. Bruce smiled at him and straightened up. The boy smiled and laid his head back down. Bruce turned and his eyes fell on a medical chart that was hanging next to the door to his right. The last name jumped off the chart and punched him in the stomach. Kearn. He knew that he should walk away, but he couldn’t move. From inside the room came a tiny voice, “Hi. Who are you?”