Lewis was nearly insane when he reached the hospital. At first the attendants thought he may be suffering from an overdose or a stroke, because his speech was so garbled. He began waving his arms, and they saw the bite mark on the inside of his left forearm. By this time his arm was red and so swollen it looked like it might really burst. Blue-black veins ran out in a cracked spiderweb pattern, and had reached his shoulder. He was burning up, but would not remain still long enough for them to take his temperature. He was unable to provide any details of how he got there or what happened. The shift nurse shook her head and let others take care of him. She had more critical cases to work on.
After a couple of hours, he was still talking to a doctor when his body heaved, and he went into a seizure. His eyes rolled back in his head, and deep gutteral sounds replaced his attempts at speaking. Helpless, his bladder emptied and a dark stain spread across his jeans. Four minutes later, his heart stopped and they began CPR to no avail. Several minutes later they noted his time of death and began the transport to the morgue. There was nothing else they could do for him.
While Lewis was busy dying, Mary was two floors above him, feeling much better about the world in general. Her eye had been cleaned and the doctor had told her there would be no vision loss. There was a risk of infection from the open wounds and the exposure to dirt, chemicals and food debris, but he reassured her that they could take care of anything that came up. He had some pointed questions about how she got the injuries, and she answered them without a trace of shame or guilt. She had stood up for herself and she was done with the bastard, and she had told enough lies on his behalf. The doctor helped her set privacy so nobody could call and know she was there, and explained there were "programs that could help" if she wanted the help. A mild man in his 40s, he peered at her over his glasses to emphasize the point that help was available. For the thousandth time that day, she felt tears well up. She was in a hospital gown but they had allowed her to shower and clean up after her roll in the dirt, and the crisp cotton was comforting. Everything was comforting. Mary started to finally believe that her nightmare was coming to an end.
The doctor left, and the occasional nurse came in to check on her and offer a snack. She ate some graham crackers and milk, and dozed off while waiting for her next pain shot. The scratches and bruises nagged at the edges of her sleep, but she had long since grown accustomed to pain and how to turn it off in her mind. She played the tricks that were so familiar, and pushed the pain aside.
She was sleeping just fine, right up until the screaming reached her ears.