Chris waited out in the dark for the longest time. Just listening to first the leaves in the trees, then the quiet voices of neighbors. He could smell the egg rolls sizzling from somewhere up the street. There was a Korean grill place he was meaning to try. Maybe he would. Maybe he wouldn't care anymore how Dayton couldn't stand Korean food. Besides he was leaving. Didn't want to see his face again.
He squinted tears then. His hand hurt like hell, but that wasn't what was making him cry. Just how did it come to this? Chris wanted to believe they'd always be friends. He supposed now that sex really could ruin a friendship. Yeah, that's what had happened. It shouldn't have, but it did and it wasn't something he could take back, afterwards.
A chill came over him as he heard Nancy drive up. He knew Dayton got in, and they drove away.
His nose watered then.
He knew Dayton was afraid, but he knew Dayton didn't really care about him, either. He just had to let it go. That was all there was too it. But his hand started to throb. And as he came into the light of the kitchen he saw it didn't look all that good. Maybe sucking on it wasn't the best thing to do.
He sniffed back tears. Chris didn't even want to stick his hand under the water. He wrapped it up in a towel. Maybe he needed to get to the hospital, after all. He started up his truck and held his left hand over his heart. He liked his left hand, but he was all right doing everything with both hands.
Chris gritted his teeth as he felt the pain throb through him. His vision blurred a bit through the tears, but it wasn't all that far to the hospital down the interstate. It was a straight shot there, and he did his best to make every stop light. Finally, he got to the emergency room parking lot and walked across it, thinking it wasn't a real emergency, now was it? But he worked with his hands, and he couldn't afford to put at least one of them out of commission. He knew they'd be mad at him at work if he didn't go.
Naturally, they gave him a form to fill out right away. Generally he used his left hand for writing.
He just plopped himself down in the lonely waiting room where a QVC knife show was going on on the TV. He just looked up and smiled at all those knives they were show casing. He sat there for the longest time, doing nothing. Staring at the TV. Maybe he'd just sit here and they'd finally decide to come over and say something to him. No one did.
Chris raked the sleeve of his jacket against his nose. He swallowed the snot in his mouth. He wondered how long he could survive on snot alone. That might be a little weekend project he'd consider since he'd be spending his weekends alone, most likely, even if he had told Dayton he'd just go to church if he felt like. Naturally, he didn't feel like it. He looked down at the towel then. His hand was bleeding again. What the fuck, he wondered. He looked over at the blank form about his address and his birth date. His insurance number. He didn't want to try to put down this stuff.
He heard footsteps then. Maybe it was the doctor on call. A nurse, perhaps, walking the halls. He looked up and saw that it was Max on his way out of the Emergency exit.
"Damn, you're just everywhere, aren't you?" Chris let a grin slip. For all he knew, maybe he wasn't even making sense. He was actually feeling a little faint.
"What happened?" Max rushed over to look to see what was exactly in the towel.
"Something stupid, cut myself in the kitchen." Chris nodded.
"Really?" He could tell by the face Max made he wasn't too happy to see the bloody mess. "Why hasn't anyone looked at it?"
"I hadn't filled out the form yet." Chris waved the clip board at Max then.
Max took it and sat down in the chair next to him.
"All right then," Max took the time to put in his name, last name first and then his address down. Chris sat there motionless for the longest time.
"Whens your birthday?" Max asked.
"October twentieth, nineteen-eighty-four." Chris looked straight ahead as if they'd be calling him anytime to remove every tooth. He had to be as closed mouth as much as possible.
"You got your insurance card on you?"
Chris nodded and reached for his old wallet bulging with a wad of school pictures of his siblings.
"That's a big family."
"Just my brother and sisters." Chris slightly sighed.
Max found the little blue card then and put all the information down on the form.
"I thought they'd have all this stuff in the computer on you by now," Max mentioned.
"I guess this is the first time I ever used my insurance." Chris just nodded.
"You're lucky night."
Chris just nodded.
"Well, come on, you need to get this taken care of." Max got him up then. Chris felt a bit groggy.
"Oh yeah, the furnace is just fine now." He remembered. "I was going to leave you a note, but I'm not real good with notes."
"I told you to call me about that."
"You have things to do," Chris just nodded again.
Finally the nurse came and lead Chris to a room, he looked back at Max.
"Is it all right if I come along?" Max asked the nurse.
"Are you family?" She asked.
"Well, of course he is," Chris found himself saying. "That's brother Max." And with that Max followed him into the room where she took Chris' temperature.
"I don't think I have a fever," he tried to tell her with the stick in his mouth.
She grabbed his arm then and strapped the blood pressure bracelet around his upper arm. Chris thought he might lose it then when the apparatus just about cut the circulation off his arm.
"Ever had your blood pressure taken before?" She asked smelling sweet of mint gum, and he didn't like her fingers touching him one bit.
Chris shook his head, no. Suddenly, he felt like the lost boy raised with the wolves. He wasn't ready for these questions. It had nothing to do with his hand. Questions about, did he feel depressed. Was he in a sexual relationship? Did he own a gun? No. No. No.
Chris licked at his dry lips.
"Don't worry, someone will be here soon to take care of that hand." Max told him taking a seat next to the bed where Chris set.
Chris just nodded.
"You probably ought go," Chris finally looked at the clock it had been twenty minutes. "I might be sitting here a long time."
"No, I'm staying. See this through. They might hook you up to an IV yet."
In came a doctor and a practioneer along with a medical student.