Understandable? The first rule of dealing with any kind of infected menace, especially if you didn't know you were immune and were someone like David—someone not entirely as apt as others in self-defense—was to turn tail and run when things got hairy. Call him crazy, but being face to face with a swimmer when you didn't expect to see one was hairier than Cousin It. He didn't respond, though, didn't speak up because he really didn't feel like fighting with Patterson that day. Or any day, really, but that day especially.
Patterson continued to explain, and David's decision to run away made double the sense now. "Yeah, I'd rather not be pulled in. I'm glad I ran," he muttered, figuring it went without saying, but he couldn't help himself, speaking up. His nervous habit of talking too much sometimes reared its head at the worst of times.
David hated that sanctimonious, preachy tone that Patterson took on when he talked to him. His eyes narrowed and his mouth turned down into a frown. He considered telling him that he wasn't a child, but he truly didn't feel like fighting that day, so he just sighed silently and nodded his head once in acquiescence to the request. "I know," he mumbled. "It's usually relatively safe here… it just surprised me."
Why was it that every time he conversed with Patterson, he always came out of the conversation feeling like some kind of being a lower life form. He shook it off and looked at Patterson when he finished speaking, chewing on his lip. "Do you know how long they survive on land?" his voice was soft, and dripped with a bit more fear than he ever wanted to show Patterson. It was hard enough dealing with what he already dealt with from the man… flat-out giving him something to work with was not high on his list.