There was no reason not to visit the next day. Like before, we agreed on a rendez-vous time, and like before, a cab pulled up in front of my high-rise at the appointed time. Less ebullient than the day before, I got in. We kissed hello, then Tanya fell silent and looked
out the window at the passing shops. She had evidently been doing some thinking. At the hospital I gave the door a sound slam, for the sake of form.Once past the guard station, we entered the elevator purposefully and pushed the 'three' button. The doors opened on the nursing station. We knew the way to 314 by heart. The nurse barely looked at us as we walked by.
Jack had just finished dinner. Only the fruit cocktail was uneaten, and the green beans. The micro-wave friendly courac dish that once held roast beef was spotlessly empty, as though it'd been licked clean. Only some puddles of skimmed milk remained in the bowl where it'd been poured. The straw was still in its slip, alongside.
'Hi, Jack, how's it going, ' I said, cheerily.
'Hi, honey, ' said Tanya. This time she did not kiss him, evidently wanting to know which character Jack might be today before she got too chummy.
Jack said nothing but scanned at us eagerly
'So are you ready to go home, tomorrow? ' I asked.
Jack sneezed and breathed quickly through his mouth. His whole body seemed to shake.
'Ten o'clock, ' sang Tanya, brightly.
'Woof', said Jack, regarding her brightly.
'Oh, no', groaned Tanya, who by that time had read the entire story.
'Jack, say it isn't so'.
Turning to me, she said 'He's the lap dog, now...'