I open the bathroom and begin shuffling about the halls limply.
“Helloooooo!? Mouth breather? Allergy prone stranger? Whooping cough patient?!”
No response. The sleep I had barely managed between a throbbing leg and a stranger in the building could hardly be called rest. I’m ravenous and pissed. Either there is someone hiding from me, for absolutely no reason, or I imagined it. Either are bad, and the two sides wrestling in my mind are getting more and more frustrated about finding an answer. But I have scoured this building. Unless there are secret passageways, no one is here. To top it off, Cleaver has shown no particular interest in any room. I find some painkillers in another exam area.
“Hmm… Percocet. And codeine. We will save you for later. You’ve just been upgraded to OTC,” I smirk.
I wander into the hospital cafeteria, “I’m taking your recreational drugs!!!”
Still no response. I’m beginning to think that the combination of medication I gave myself with last night might have allowed me to imagine the presence of someone else. I had “heard” a cough, but how often have I turned around in the past, thinking I’d heard something or that someone next to me had said something? And what other explanation can there be? Unless someone wanted to be alone, but they would have to agree that it is safer to work together. Clearly.
Cleaver is rummaging through some trash near a commercial bin.
“Hospital food? I think we can do better than that.”
A sign above the counter reads:
Prevention is the key to good health! Make a healthy choice today!
I stare at it for a moment, wondering what’s keeping me there. It comes to me and I hobble back to the exam room, pulling bottles from the shelves and dumping them in my backpack.
We go outside, bat dangling at my knee, and the truck is still parked out front with the open door shuttering in the wind. Cleaver jumps in and I reach into the cabin, grabbing a can of yellow spray paint. I walk up to the immense glass window right out front and leave the familiar tag, with an addition:
If there’s someone in there
and you ignored me
watch your back.