David avoided eye contact with the nurse as he sidled across the lobby to the door. He didn't want to say a word to anyone. He just needed to get out of there, to go home, to get away.
He just needed to escape.
But a voice calling him stopped him in his tracks:
"Mr. Sorkin, sir?"
David scowled. He didn't need to talk to anyone right now. Especially now. Why was this person talking to him, anyhow? He turned to see the nurse, still sitting behind the desk. She was looking at him with a hesitant look on her face.
"Yes?" he snapped, forcing every ounce of impatience into the word.
She didn't say anything. She just stared at him.
David's frown creased. "What?" he snapped again. He started walking towards the desk.
"Nevermind," she muttered, looking at her computer.
Irritated, David clenched his fist. "Nevermind? Why were you calling me?"
She said nothing.
David grunted. He turned and started for the door once more.
David wasn't sure why that woman had called him, but he didn't like it. It left him suspicious. Paranoid, as usual. He decided that he wasn't going to let it bug him.
He pushed open the door and walked outside into the parking lot.
Why had that woman talked to him?
He couldn't let the question go. It bugged him. Maybe that's why she had called him. Just to irritate him and make him wonder. Well, he wasn't going to give her the satisfaction. He wouldn't think about it. He wouldn't let himself ponder and wonder.
Then again, he was already thinking about it, and he had already let it bug him. Maybe he had already given her the satisfaction. So maybe he had already lost.
David hated losing.
He stopped walking and looked behind him at the door.
His curiosity was growing.
Curiosity killed the cat.
If that was true, then David was going to share the same fate. Curiosity may have been his greatest weakness. And David had many weaknesses.
David looked back and forth between his car and the hospital.
On the one hand, she might have been calling him to tell him something very trivial and he would only look like a fool marching in there and demanding to know what she was to say. On the other hand, she may have been calling him to say something that would interest him. Maybe she knew something he didn't. Or maybe she was just going to say something stupid or insulting.
He stared at the hospital doors.
It was inevitable. He was going to force himself to walk back in there someday.
And there's no better time than the present.
He walked back into the hospital. The second he entered the room he felt a tinge of discomfort. Was he falling straight into her little trap? Was this a trap?
There was only one way to find out.
He strode straight over to the desk.
The nurse looked at him. "Yes, Mr. Sorkin?"
"Why did you call me?" he asked bluntly, leaning forward.
She swallowed. Then she sighed. "Look, Mr. Sorkin, I don't want to pry into your personal life."
"Of course you do," David said, frowning. "Everyone likes to pry into people's person lives. You're just worried that you might offend me."
She shrugged. "True. Will I offend you?"
She smiled sweetly. That same smile she had given him before. He didn't like it. It reminded him of her. The way she used to smile at him.
The nurse said, "Your mother is very sick."
"I'm aware of that," David said. His face and his tone showed no emotion. He almost wished that he had attempted to sound slightly sad, so that this woman wouldn't think he was heartless. Then again, maybe he was.
"Well," she said quietly. "I think that you should try to spend as much time with her as you can. Because, you may not have that time later."
"Thanks for the advice," David said, sarcasm sitting plainly on his tongue.
She said nothing.
Guilt shivered up David's spine. "I'm sorry," he murmured. It was the first apology he had made in months.
"It's okay. You're probably under a lot of stress."
David nodded, but said nothing.
David shifted his gaze away, not in any particular direction.
"You probably don't want to talk about it," she said, half-asking, half-telling.
David gulped. Talking. He hated talking. Especially with women.
"You have to talk to somebody."
Jesse's words echoed in David's mind for what seemed like hours. He came out of his day-dream to see that the nurse was still staring at him.
David swallowed. Then the words slipped out: "I have to talk to somebody."
David almost threw his hands over his mouth. But he restrained himself and instead stood completely still, hoping that she hadn't heard him.
She half-smiled. "Well, I'm on my lunch break in a few minutes."
David involuntarily glanced at his watch.
"Late lunch," David said plainly.
Her half-smile became whole. "Well, when did you eat today?"
David said nothing. He then remembered that he hadn't eaten at all today. Not breakfast, not lunch, nothing.
She nodded slowly. "I'm going to go eat at a Mexican restaurant a little ways from here. You should come."
David took a deep breath. "Alright."
David felt very uncomfortable, but at the same time, slightly intrigued. This woman was actually taking an interest in him. She wanted to know more about him. But why?
That was the question that David was still pondering over. For some reason, though, his paranoia hadn't kicked in yet. Why was that?
David looked at her. He wasn't sure why, but for whatever reason, he trusted her. He felt safe. Kind of how he had felt around her.
All David knew for sure was that he was putting his guard down.
And the fear of the past repeating itself ran up his spine as he followed the nurse out of the hospital.