"I imagine it is harder on a father at times like this. You've always got to be the strong one."
"And what would you know about that?"
The mildness with which the question was posed took nothing of the rebuke out of it -- Anderson had to look away. "I'm sorry." He got a shrug in reply.
Through the observation window, they watched the dark-haired child play, absolutely focused in getting the bricks stacked just right, though the blueprint of the design was clear to neither man.
"Even now, you don't have to go through with this."
"I know. Lillith would take him."
"With or without begging?"
He got a smile in reply. "Begging. Lots of it, but that has everything to do with me. Not him."
They watched the child try to balance a blue cube on a yellow cone. He tried holding it steady a few times, but when the cube persisted in toppling, he lost patience and started to bang the cube onto the point of the cone. One of the nurses came up and suggested another activity.
"I also know better. He's yours, Mr. Anderson. Keep him well my friend." He turned away from the window and started to walk for the elevator.
"Aren't you going to say goodbye to Mark?"
It'd always stay with Anderson that he never turned around. "What was that you said about being the strong one?"
And then he was gone.