Annie had tears in her eyes. Tom lay in a hospital bed. She could hear a nurse tinkering about behind the screen next to the other patient. The hospital had said he was badly concussed. What had he been doing all this time? She hadn't seen him since Saturday night, since he went off bowling with Jack and the rest of the gang. She had been worried sick. She gathered from the police that he had spent the night in the cell but they had refused to tell her what he had done wrong.
Tom was heavily sedated, he had minor burns on his back and some of his teeth had been broken. In fact the false teeth on his lower jaw, so at least they weren't his real ones. He had a bad gash on his head; even though it had been stitched up she could see blood seeping through the bandage. The hospital were keeping him overnight to see if there was no internal bleeding. He had been severely beaten in the abdomen. The doctor had said it was very unlikely he had internal bleeding but they would just like to keep him in the hospital for observation and also check there was nothing too serious with his head other than concussion.
The police had said that they had found him in this state and that he would be needed to help them with their enquiries. Enquiries about what? Had he done something wrong? Of all the people in the world to do something wrong she felt that Tom was the least likely, he was, a gentle man.
She wanted desperately to talk to her Mum but she couldn't. Her parents had never really liked Tom, or rather they had never really felt Tom was suitable, 'not a good provider'. Her father really was very old fashioned. Most women, nearly all women worked these days and yet she had never let her mother work.
She was worried sick. What would they do if he was ill for a long time?
No more children for ages.
She felt a huge pang of self-pity and then resentment towards Tom. ' No be strong,' she said to herself,' your husband’s not well, don't think of other things.'
It was Sunday night, 10pm, shift change. There were the scufflings and mutterings as one lot of folks switched over to another, discussions about patients, and discussions about Tom, which were just about inaudible.
She desperately wanted to speak to Tom. They had told her he would be confused when he came around.
The rain was pattering against the window. A huge storm had come up from nowhere and it had been raining ever since.
Annie stood up and went over to the window. Being on the tenth floor she had a good view over the town. The hospital was at its Eastern edge. Lazy Jack's neon pulsated in the distance. Sheets rustled.
Tom murmured. His bruised lower lip started to quiver from the effort of movement. His eyes opened and then shut repeatedly.
“Where am I?" Tom croaked.
“In hospital, Tom" said Annie, gently stroking the patch on his head that wasn't wounded, "It's alright, it's all going to be alright."
“Law..." muttered Tom.
Annie felt a twang. Was Tom delirious? "Nurse," she called.
A middle aged, overweight smiley face appeared from between the screens. The nurse came to by his bedside.
“How do you feel Mr. Busey?"
“Hurts, " muttered Tom drowsily.
“Where?" asked the nurse softly.
"Head," said Tom desultorily.
“You just rest up. I'm just going to take your pulse and temperature." The nurse arched over and whispered in Annie's ear.
“He'll be alright, he's just feeling drowsy from the sedatives. We were worried about his insides, but if he says it’s only his head that's hurting. That’s real good news. He maybe alright in a day or two, or it may take a bit longer but he'll be OK," she said reassuringly.
“Lawyer " said Tom.
“Now, Tom you just rest up, don't worry about anything else now." Annie was worried. Why did he want a lawyer?
“I've remembered something now," said Tom, "need a law', poli', pain Jeez, RalMcManan, saw him after bowling, got, aaaahhhhhhhh," Tom winced with pain and water started to collect in his eyes.
You just rest up now, "said the nurse as she pressed a button releasing pain killers into Tom's system. “You can do that when you are feeling a bit better."