As I shuffle back down the corridor, already feeling sluggish and ready for bed, I see that ahead, my bedroom door is open. I peer inside, and like a reward for my good behaviour during check-up, there's something waiting for me. Not a new shooter game or something from Tiffany's (the last time that happened was for a client's gala); it's Lisa. It's as if I light up just seeing her spread out on one of the bean bags in front of the television, wearing a pink winter jumper and skinny jeans tucked into her knee-high Converses. There's a controller in her lap, another positioned on the adjacent bean bag, and the game menu on standby.
"I'm ready to pound you into the ground this time," she says, not turning to face me. It's easy to hear me coming in such an empty, echoing hallway.
"I'm surprised they let you in so quickly after Extraction," I say as I sink down into the bean bag beside her.
"Well, as Alex likes to say, I'm a persistent little biatch," she grins. Lisa is a little older than me, her birthday in February, mine in June, and without forgetting Sophie, she's been the closest to a sister to me at White Lily. I try not to think about how she's one of my patients, and how, put simply, she'll die without my blood. She has something that no doctor can figure out, they call it ABC because they can't think of another acronym, and from what I know of it, it shuts down her organs one at a time until she can barely function. Whatever caused it, leftover radiation from the 2017 bombing, or just another mutation, it's too risky not to quarantine her.
Lisa doesn't talk about her family and I don't ask, just like she knows if she asks about mine, I'll rant all night about how selfish my mother is. Most days, when she's allowed, she's in my room playing with everything that I got bored of over time, so I don't throw anything out. This month, her obsession is replaying vintage Call of Duty one through seventeen. I always indulge her, of course, and even though - with the number of times I've played pretending the enemy are hundreds of Alison Vanbrughn's and Danish scientists - I could beat her easily, I let the sound of animated bullets and death surround us and distance us from reality for just a little while.