Bruce regarded Liza out of the corner of his eye before returning his attention to the road. He closed his mouth and worked his tongue around the inside of his cheek. Liza knew this meant that he wasn’t going to answer. Whatever. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. The pain lessened. She was almost asleep by the time they pulled into the hospital’s parking garage and Bruce cut the ignition. He didn’t move. Bruce was hard to read, but Liza got the sense that he was debating something. She didn’t want to hear whatever he was thinking about saying. She didn’t want an explanation if she had to try to trick it out of him.
“Thanks for driving me. You don’t have to hang around, but if you need a ride somewhere, I can drop you off when I’m done.” Liza was pleased with the amount of I-don’t-give-a-shit that she managed to infuse into her words.
“I don’t think you’ll be able to drive. They may dilate your pupils, and they’ll probably put a covering over the left eye. I’ll wait and take you home. Do you want me to come in, or wait in the car?” Bruce asked. He was probably right. It wasn’t a good idea to drive home in the snow with one eye covered. She could take a bus, but then she would have to leave her car and go wandering around the city alone and half blind. But Liza didn’t want to accept help from him. She hated the feeling of indebtedness that came with accepting help from anyone. It wasn’t his job to look after her, and she had no way to repay him.
Liza sighed. She couldn’t leave Bruce stranded here. If she let him take her home, she could lend him her car after he dropped her off. It wasn’t like she had anywhere to go besides Jake’s house. “Ok, thank you. It’s up to you. Wherever you’ll be more comfortable.”
“I’ll stay here. I could use a nap.” He leaned the seat all the way back, pulled up his hood, and crossed his arms. “Come get me if you need anything.”
“Ok.” Liza stared at him for a minute, taking in the posture and the clothes. The pants were actual khakis, not tan cargo pants. The grey hoodie was from the University. He wore it turned inside out so that the little emblem on the breast was barely visible. His long fingers poked out of a pair of black fingerless gloves. Brown hiking shoes finished off the outfit. Liza couldn’t stop herself from smiling. “You look like a…”
Bruce opened one eye. “Like a what?” Liza’s smile faded as she continued to look him over. She’d suspected long before Jake said anything. But Bruce was a college Dean for Christ’s sake! How was it possible? She needed to think about this. Liza shrugged in response to Bruce’s question. She got out of the car. Before she shut the door, she leaned in and said, “Like a preppy homeless person.” Liza closed the door and headed for the stairs.