"Sam, you need to keep chewing, okay?"
Kelsey sighs as the man in front of her stares at her blankly, blinking slowly. Several long moments later, his jaw moves up and down, and he swallows.
Kelsey smiles encouragingly. “You’re doing great. How about some more?”
It takes another long moment, but Sam shakes his head. “I’m… I’m not hungry. Sorry.”
She hadn’t expected any different. “That’s fine, Sam. We’ll try again at dinner.”
Sam nods slowly and resumes staring out the window.
Kelsey bites down on a sigh and takes the tray back to the kitchen.
"Sam Winchester?" Matthew asks, coming up beside her.
"Sam Winchester," Kelsey agrees.
"The fact that he got out of bed on his own is a significant victory."
Matthew winces. “Very bad day, then.”
Kelsey sighs, her mouth curving down sadly. “Yeah. On the whole, he’s getting better, but it just breaks my heart, you know?”
Matthew looks over at the tall, thin man who sits limply on a couch in the rec area, staring out of the window with a blank expression. On a good day, he smiles softly, makes brief conversation, and even helps other patients. On a bad day, moving itself is a chore, let alone eating.
"So what’s his story?"
"Crashed his car after his brother died, doctors at Met Gen set him up with an MRI and found lesions, eventually got diagnosed with aboulia and depression and got sent over here. Dr. Fraiser thinks he may have been admitted in a mental hospital before since he picked up the routine here pretty quickly, but he hasn’t brought it up."
"Rough hand all around, hunh?"
Kelsey nods. “It’s just… I saw him finish a New York Times crossword in the time it took me to make coffee and bring it out to him once. And when he feels up to it, he kicks ass at Scrabble. But most days…”
Matthew looks back at Sam, with his flat, empty eyes and no sign of the keen intelligence within. He wonders who Sam is, what he must be like in full health, instead of the lifeless man barely able to move without someone telling him to sit down and stand up and walk.
Sam just blinks and stares out the window.