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The Hospital

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He stood looking down at the wasted, white-haired man in the hospital bed, fluid being fed into his arm, oxygen tube askew under his nose. Suddenly his eyes fluttered open and he focused.

“Billy?”

“Yes.”

“It’s been,” he coughed repeatedly and tried to catch his breath, “twenty years, right?”

“Thirty-four.”

“But you came back,” he croaked. “Figured you would want me to forgive you some day.”

“Forgive me? Right. Everything was always my fault. Sorry to disappoint you again, Dad, but I only came to make sure you were really dying.”

He turned on his heel and strode out of the room, down to the parking lot where Steve was waiting. He climbed in beside him.

“You OK, babe?” Steve asked, forehead creased in worry.

“Couldn’t be better. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”