He ducks in and out of the small brick sandwich shops and coffee bars, passing the hair salon and the little metal statue of two geese.Everything is as it was that June day when Mark carried the six-inch knife they had bought together.
In Wythenshawe Hospital, where he spent more than a week, John asked to see a psychiatrist, but this was Britain, home of the dilatory National Health Service.It was from this injury that the teenager almost died on the operating table—twice, police tell me.Blood pooled inside the boy's body cavity, and this restricted the movement of his diaphragm, which stopped the functioning of his lungs."He was kneeling on me saying, ' Trust me,' holding the knife to my stomach…. " screamed John."Don't say that," begged Mark.There was blood coming out." Somehow or other, the boy added, he found himself dragged once again to his feet, then the knife plunged back in. "Don't let that be the last thing you are saying."And so John crumpled, a drained, pallid figure muted forever, he thought, by the tall, light-haired boy he considered "perfect" and "out of my league."Minutes passed, perhaps as many as 20.