The waiting room. A window looked over the parking lot, toward the dawn. Perfunctory furnishings did little to warm its medical architecture, a shelf with a single empty vase and a single childrens' book and a stack of religious magazines. They don't want you to get too comfortable. The boy stopped wandering off to get a cup of tea or go to the toilet. He knew it was nearly time.
"He's conscious now," the nurse said at the door, then led them inside. Harry's heartbeat on a monitor. Harry.
His blue eyes were open. He looked up and saw something in her.
"I forgive you," she said again and again. He lay pale as a cracked egg, lashed down with tubes and her sudden awareness of loss. Instants of pain came and went. He closed his eyes.
The boy shouted into the lowering fog, settling upon his father. "Don't die, Dad, don't!" he cried, his dark wet eyes shining.
"Well, son," Harry said. "All I can tell you is ..."
His voice trailed off. But only for a moment.
"Actually, could you pop to McDonald's? This baked tater's gonna kill me."
The boy knew that he could have said more. Too much. Maybe. Too much.