It's bitter it his mouth. Something that he wants, but can't express. It tastes bitter when he holds it in. When he holds his tongue. When he refuses to answer. When he doesn't look. When he doesn't ask. When he doesn't think. Except the last one is a lie. He'll always think about John Cooper. How could you not think about the man that had such a pivotal, earth blowing impact on your life?
He tried to save John Cooper.
He doesn't care to save anyone now. When he yells at the idiot suspect for hitting him with a bat he doesn't feel sorry. He doesn't feel any remorse when he yells at the women who tried to hide the criminal she didn't even know. He definitely doesn't feel bad for punching the girl who attacks him. All of this tastes bitter as well.
He tried to save John Cooper. John Cooper saved himself.
When he called him, 'boot', it was a bitter ring in his ears. It felt like a heated arrow to his heart telling him Cooper never need Sherman. He didn't need a snobby, rich kid to help him with his problems. He didn't need Ben. It makes him bitter.
Eight months. Eight months of torture. Eight months of avoiding. Eight months of being avoided.
As Cooper walks away towards his new partner - his new life without pain, without drugs - he walks away from Ben. Ben feels just as bitter as he did all those times he tried to talk to Cooper, all those times he was rejected.
The bitterness doesn't stop there. It doesn't stop when he puts crime scene tape around it and cautions off that area of his heart. It's like the trickling of blood down the pavement. No matter how much tape he puts up it won't hold back the slimy liquid. It leaks into his job. When he is sitting in his squad car with his partner and the two other cops he knows his bitterness is leaking into his words. He doesn't know what's the point.
What's the point in saving anyone when you can't even save the one who means so much?