The sobbing was happening somewhere in the opposite direction of the nurse. Aloysius glanced left and right and started down the hallway, gulping the beer from the can as quietly as possible.
At the end of the passage he found the room where the crying was coming from. He stopped short of entering the room, fighting the urge to cross the threshold to find out if the woman sobbing -- whether in grief or pain -- was the same that had dopplered by his room earlier.
“Sir,” a low voice said behind him, “Mr. Vitus, what are you doing wandering around this time of night?”
Aloysius did his best to hide the beer behind his back as he turned around.
“Couldn’t sleep, I was uncomfortable, wound’s itchy, thought I heard a noise, had a nightmare, looking for a glass of water,” Aloysius babbled. He could feel his face going red.
“If you need a little walk to calm yourself or,” the nurse was a dozen paces away, “Whatever it is you’re doing, don’t bother the other patients. They need their peace.”
“Oh yeah, I know it. All too well.” Aloysius turned, spinning the can to his front, took three paces and turned at the corner. His right foot coldly slapped against the polished granite. He gulped the rest of the beer and ditched the can in a bin marked for biohazards.
He leaned toward the corner to listen for the nurse. The hospital swallowed sound at this hour so he barely heard a cupboard door close and footsteps headed away from him.
The wracked sobbing, as quiet as it was, still leaked out from the roof at the end of the hall.
Fortified as he was, Aloysius took four or five confident, if somewhat lopsided, steps to the room and boldly entered.
A small light was on next to the bed of a black-haired woman in her mid-30s. Her hair was parted by large gauze bandage, that was becoming sodden with fresh blood. Aloysius couldn’t see them but there were many stiches holding her scalp together.