“Hello, my name is Jonathan.”
The man in the next bed looked around at him, slowly, disinterest painted across his rumpled, weather-beaten face.
“Jon, for short.”
The older man, ran a hand over his unshaven chin, wondering whether to call the nurse, or just leave the boy to talk himself out. He was young for the ward, and more upbeat than most. Though his bandaged wrists suggested another story.
“Yessir. My name is Jon. I bet you’ll never guess my last name.”
The old man rolled his watery blue eyes. This jumped up little jerk actually seemed to expect him to join in the conversation.
“Do you have a name, sir?”
The lad was polite, though. He’d give him that much. Aw, hell… why not play along.
“James,” he growled at the boy. “I’m James.”
“Pleased to meet you, James.”
“Jimmy. Folk call me Jimmy. ’Cept coppers.”
“OK. Jimmy it is.”
The doctor came by then, and their conversation faltered when it became clear he was there to see Jon.
“Mr. Dough,” said the nurse.
In the next bed, Mr. Cricket groaned.