Shark awoke to the smell of antibiotics, and the sound of machines beeping. His mind was too foggy to truly register the change in location.
He tried to turn over onto his left side, but a searing pain prevented him from doing so. Gasping in discomfort, he instead fell back into his bed.
Unlike last time he was in this place, Shark was completely alone in the room. He couldn’t remember how he ended up here. All he did recall was pain, and blood.
Taking a deep breath, Shark pulled himself to a sitting position, and looked around.
Dennis had nearly finished with his steak when his phone rang. His daughter was quietly sitting on the couch, reading a cheap tabloid. Lolly glanced over at her father, confused at the choice of ringtone.
“Who calls you, using Dragostea din Tei?” He didn’t answer her, merely picking up the phone and answered that instead.
“Hello, Miss Blaise! I apologize, I’m a little on edge because of something going on right now. Mister Rotter and the boy seem to be in a bit of a predicament.”
He paused for a few moments, wandering out to the front of the house. “That’s why you’re calling? Well, where are you?”
Lolly then heard what sounded like Dennis choking on his own saliva. After that followed receding footsteps, and then silence.
Sinbad was hoping there weren’t any cameras in the men’s room. Not only would it have been creepy, it would show where he was hiding.
A part of him was still trying to figure out just what exactly came over him. Another was terrified to death of the imminent confrontation. Yet another wanted to kick himself for hurting someone he loved that way.
“What the fuck was that?” Grabbing hold of his phone, he pressed for the number on speed dial. Disregarding the ‘no cell phones’ rule in the hospital, he waited as the phone rang.
No answer. He waited a few more times, then pressed End and shut his phone off.
Peeking out the bathroom door, Sinbad didn’t see anybody in the halls. Breathing a sigh of relief, he then burst out and ran outside for the next hiding spot.
By the time Dennis reached the lobby, Blaise was negotiating with the front desk about paying medical bills.
“I got a job! I can pay for it! Trust me! I think my roommate will understand the situation if I bring it up.” Blaise looked off to the side and muttered, “that’s why we got an emergency fund for anything we needed to use it on.”
He waited until she was done arguing, and she turned to face him. Shark’s teddy bear was in the crook of her arm.
“Oh! Oh, ya got here real fast. Doc said he’s stable, and all.”
Dennis looked relieved, but now confused. “Well, now what in the hell happened?”
“Beats me. I saw them in the grocery store. One was the biter, the other was the bitten. You’d have to ask your son about it.”
By the time Sinbad got halfway to his destination, he’d remembered his truck was still at home.
It was the downside of having someone else drive them to the hospital. Glancing at his keys, Sinbad stuffed them back into his pocket and kept walking.
Normally, Amy was quite punctual when it came to answering her phone. It wasn’t like her to leave it ringing. Sinbad tried to rationalize it, thinking she was napping or showering.
He strode over the familiar bridge, seeing the lights were off at his old house. He then noticed the windows of Amy’s house were covered.
“Funny. Didn’t think she had that many blankets.” Knowing he definitely wouldn’t be welcome at his old home, Sinbad made a beeline for her house.
The beat-up car Amy owned was in the driveway, next to a certain white truck that had been haphazardly parked on the lawn. He grimaced, hoping that Jenni was with them.
Stepping up to the doorway, Sinbad peeked through the limited vision he was given. The sight he was exposed to was a disgusting one.
“So that’s how you came to be in possession of the boy’s teddy bear.” Dennis and Blaise were making their way through the hallowed halls.
“Yup. Figured it was important, so I brought it along.” Then came silence, followed by a change in subject. “How shitty do you think the food they offer at the cafeteria is?”
Dennis shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. I usually go home to eat.”
Finally, they reached Shark’s room. To their horror, the bed was empty, save for a quickly scrawled note:
I’m on the rooftop.
Dennis felt his blood run cold, and he was certain Blaise’s would’ve been, as well. Turning heel, they practically bolted out of the room towards the hospital roof.
The sky was delightfully clear, especially at this time of day.
Shark knew there was chance he’d get in trouble for being out of bed, but he didn’t really mind it right now. He’d assumed he’d get to go home in a few hours, anyway.
He leaned over, watching the sunset. The pain in his shoulder now seemed to have subsided into a dull numbness. Taking a peek under his hospital outfit, he saw the bandage covering his shoulder had been stained through.
Watching a little longer, Shark heard the sound of panicked footsteps. Looking behind him, he saw his father and Blaise slam open the door leading to the stairs.
Upon seeing that Shark was in no mind to do anything drastic, the two older adults breathed a sigh of relief. They then approached him on the other side of the roof.
“Was it really that important that you put the both of us in a tizzy, boy?” Dennis grumbled as he joined Shark. Blaise took her own spot on the other side.
“You were worried about me? Why?” Shark watched Dennis raise his eyebrows in an expression meaning, ‘Are you serious?’ “Both of you thought I was going to jump, weren’t you?”
Blaise made a noise, then spoke up. “Ya did end up being a bit cryptic with yer note, big guy. Should’ve been a bit more specific.”
Now Shark looked upset, his face bright red as he scratched his arm in embarrassment. “Sorry.” He turned to look out over the town again. “I guess I’m just waiting for Sinbad to get back.”
“What for? You gonna confront him about what he did to him?”
“Uh-uh. I’m just worried about how he’s taking it. I mean, I wasn’t exactly being well-behaved myself when it happened.” His look of shame became even more prominent. “And it isn’t like he was intending to bite me like that.”
Warily, Dennis peeked at Shark’s covered wound. A slight amount of blood had begun to seep through. “How long do you estimate it will take before you…”
“Forgive him?” Shark finished his father’s question for him. He then smiled a little. “I already have. All I need right now is to get some time alone with him.”