Every waiting room in the world has the same coffee – burnt from sitting on the burner too long, stale from an institutional-sized can of grounds that seldom gets resealed properly.

Emergency Room coffee is even worse. On top of the stale and the burnt, it’s seasoned with the lingering taste of dread in the back of your throat and the pit of your stomach, the tail end of an adrenaline buzz that you hope the caffeine will help you come down from gently.

There’s no help for it, though. The cafeteria won’t be open for another half-hour. I’d go someplace else to get food, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’ll come out the minute I leave. If it were a little later in the day, I would leave. It’d serve him right to figure out how to get home on his own. If it were a little later in the day, I’d have believed him when he said it was an accident.

But nobody ‘accidentally’ falls off of the roof at this hour of the morning.

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