The CT scan confirmed Fellerton’s aneurysm diagnosis, and by six that evening, Billy was in a hospital bed, where he looked considerably diminished. Dan sat beside him.
“I’d kill for a cigarette,” Billy said wistfully.
“Can’t help you there.”
Billy sighed. “High time I quit, anyway. Won’t they be missin you at Rivington House?”
“And ain’t this one hell of a way to spend it. Tell you what, if they don’t murder me with their knives and forks tomorrow morning, I guess I’m going to owe you my life. I don’t know how you knew, but if there’s anything I can ever do for you—I mean anything at all—you just have to ask.”
Dan thought of how he’d descended the steps of an interstate bus ten years ago, stepping into a snow flurry as fine as wedding lace. He thought of his delight when he had spotted the bright red locomotive that pulled The Helen Rivington. Also of how this man had asked him if he liked the little train instead of telling him to get the fuck away from what he had no business touching. Just a small kindness, but it had opened the door to all he had now.
“Billy-boy, I’m the one who owes you, and more than I could ever repay.”
Stephen King - Doctor Sleep, Scribner, 2013