She flashed him a smile and left. He could hear the trolley clattering over the floor tiles, the wheels catching every uneven join between the sections of vinyl. When it had faded into the muted roar that was the noise of the hospital, he once again looked at his tea.
It definitely looked more like black coffee than black tea. Even Earl Grey didn't have that oily sheen on the surface and they deliberately added bergamot oil to that. He took an experimental sniff. It didn't smell like tea. On the other hand, it didn't smell like coffee, either. Nor, for want of a comparison, did it smell like hot chocolate. Not even the sort of chocolate preferred by Lucy's friend Lane, who always requested cocoa made with just hot water since she was lactose intolerant. An odd child. She'd break a few hearts when she grew up. Probably her mother's.
Stir it, the tea lady had said, but she hadn't left him a spoon. He glanced at the bedside table in case there was something he could use. A tongue depressor, perhaps, or a scalpel. There was nothing. Perhaps he had something in his drawer. A straw ot a lollipop stick. Lucy sometimes dropped her rubbish in his pocket. She'd been trained to never drop rubbish on the ground but sometimes Dad's pockets became a makeshift bin when she couldn't be bothered to find a council one, which was all very well until she decided she didn't like her tuna-mayo sandwich after all.
He pulled open the bedside drawer again. He'd already looked in his wallet and there was nothing in there unless he wanted to roll up a bank note. What else? Ah! He grinned happily. There was a screwdriver tucked between the wallet and the back of the drawer. That would do nicely.