“Aren’t I in the city?” I asked.
“Kind of- you’re just on the border,” he said, pointing out to the distance, where the leaves of an emerald oak tree rustled, “You don’t find things as beautiful and rare as that in the centre.”
I didn’t reply. I decided he had a point. I hadn’t ever been to this hospital before, or any hospitals for that matter. I vaguely remembered being in a place like this when my grandmother died, but I was only six years old at the time.
“So,” the old man continued, “obviously, you didn’t drive here of your own will. What brings you?”
I sighed. Having conversations with lonely old people was one of my pet peeves.
“I was mugged,” I explained. “I wish I could get up to talk, but I really can’t move much at the moment.”
“Oh,” said the old man, “sorry to hear that… but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. He must have had his reasons.”
The old man hummed a tune, turning back to stare at the trees.
“I guess he did,” I huffed, “but what reason could you possibly have for trying to kill someone?”
My words strangely burnt the end of my tongue as they escaped. The man smiled peacefully, nodding his head. An uncomfortable silence followed.
“Okay,” he said. “Everything happens for a reason. What would you have done?”
“I wouldn’t have tried to kill someone,” I replied. “If I had his problems, I would have dealt with them. I’d work my fingers to the bone to get out of it.”
“Is that so?” the man blurted. “How do you get a good education without a penny? How could you feed your family while living off just a few dollars every week?”
I stuttered, “Too many questions, old man. Slow down.”
The man took a slow breath and then breathed out.
“Sorry,” he smiled, embarrassedly. “I get a bit passionate sometimes.”