“How are you?”
“Do you want anything?”
“How about a drink?”
I look at him.
“I mean, ginger ale, water, juice?”
“I’m not sick,” I say.
“I know, I know.”
“I thought you might be thirsty,” he adds.
“No, I’m fine,” I say.
“How about a book?”
I shake my head.
“A magazine? The newspaper?”
“I don’t feel like reading.”
“That’s right. You should rest. Get some sleep. Here, do you want another pillow?”
“Let me fluff up this one.” He comes around to my side of the bed. I lean forward as he pounds the down feathers. I gasp as my abdomen cramps.
He hurriedly lays me down.
I nod, trying to bite down on the grunt escaping my lips.
“Do you need to go to the bathroom?”
I shake my head. I slowly roll on my side, away from him.
“The doctor said you should sleep,” he says.
“I’m not tired.”
“You seem tired.”
“I can’t sleep.”
I feel him behind me, waiting. His feet shift, creaking the floor. He’s going to leave.
“Is it clean?” I whisper.
“Is what clean?” he asks.
“Did you clean it up?”
There is a long pause. I close my eyes, but all I see is red: in my underwear, on the toilet seat, streaking the bathroom floor.
I feel the mattress springs compress as he sits down on the bed.
“Yes, yes, I cleaned it all.” He sounds tired.