Holly makes a shocking discovery.
“Gee.” She instinctively placed her arm around Molly’s shoulder. “Did you just get up?”
Gerard leaned heavily on the door. “Sorry I must have slept through my alarm.” He muttered trying to focus.
Holly looked at him closely then smiled down at Molly. “Honey, could you grab my purse? I left it in the car.”
“Sure mommy.” She skipped back out towards the car.
Holly stated at Gerard. “What’s going on?”
It broke his heart that the first thought in her head was he’d been drinking. “I don’t feel good.” He whispered. “I’m sorry I would have called and told you not to come.”
“Guess you’ve got the flu.” Holly sighed. “I talked to Alicia this morning and your brother is sick. And from what she said sounds like she’s coming down with it too.”
Gerard was having trouble just standing. His body ached and his head was pounding. “You better go. I don’t want you and Molly to get this.” As the words left his mouth his stomach flipped. “Oh shit.” As quickly as possible he turned to sprint towards the bathroom hoping to make it in time.
“Where’s daddy?” Molly asked returning to the door clutching Holly’s purse and a bag of grapes they’d brought with them.
Holly sighed, “He’s sick.”
“Like Uncle Mikey?”
“Guess so.” Holly said as she walked further inside. “Put those in the fridge and I’m gonna check on him.” She closed the door then made her way towards the bathroom. She found Gerard on the floor his head hung over the stool.
“Shit Holly you need to leave.” He said sensing her presence. “I don’t want you and Molly to get this.”
Holly sighed, “Gee you had Molly with you all day yesterday. Pretty sure you’ve already infected her.”
“I feel horrible.” He muttered. He suddenly felt Holly’s cool hand on his forehead.
“Wow you’re burning up.” She said removing her hand. “Come on, back to bed.”
“Can’t.” He said clutching the sides of the stool. “Gonna puke.”
“Well you need to take a fever reducer and you can’t stay on the floor.” She gently reached down to grab his arm. “Come on. I’ll line a trash can and you can keep it by the bed.”
“Holly just go.” He said resisting her efforts to help him. “I’ll be okay.”
“Gee this flu is wicked. Alicia told me her friend has had it for three days and it really makes you sick. You’re gonna feel a lot worse before you get better.”
“Shit.” He muttered.
Holly glanced over and saw that the small trashcan by his side was already lined. She picked it up planning on taking it in by his bed when Molly appeared in the doorway.
“Is daddy okay?” When she saw him on the floor her bottom lip began to tremble.
“He’s just got the flu.” Holly said soothingly. “We’ll take care of him.”
Gerard raised his head to look over at his daughter. “I’m okay, Squirt.”
Holly knew she needed to get him into bed. “Honey, why don’t you go turn on the TV. I’m gonna help him get into bed, okay?”
As soon as Molly left the doorway Holly reached for Gerard’s arm again. “Come on.”
This time he let her help him to his feet.
“Shit Holly, I’m so sorry.” He said softly as she led him towards his bed.
Holly rushed forward to straighten his covers. “Nothing to be sorry for. You’re sick that’s not your fault.”
He all but collapsed on the bed. Once Holly pulled the covers over him he spoke. “Really I’m okay. You and Molly should go.”
Holly ignored him. “Okay the trash can is right by the side of the bed if you need it. You have some sort of fever reducer?”
“Bathroom.” He croaked.
Holly found it quickly and was soon back by the bed with the pills and a glass of water. “Okay now try to keep these down.” She said.
He struggled to sit up. “My whole body hurts.” He said after swallowing the pills then falling back on the pillow.
“It will really hurt if you get the chills.” Holly sighed.
Gerard stared at her. “You must get tired of taking care of me.” He whispered. “I’m sorry.”
Holly understood the comment. “Taking care of you because you’re sick is a hell of a lot better than taking care of a drunk.”
His mind was slightly delirious. “I’m so sorry about that.”
“Enough.” Holly said forcefully. “Now try to get some sleep.”
The sound of the doorbell started her.
“Oh shit.” Gerard’s fuzzy mind did realize who was at the door.
“Mommy.” Molly called down the hallway. “Lindsey and B are here.”
“Oh shit.” Gerard muttered again.
“Did you know they were coming?” Holly asked in confusion.
Gerard closed his eyes.
Holly stared at him a moment then quickly left the room. Lindsey and Bandit were just walking through the door.
“Where’s Gee?" Lindsey asked looking frantic.
Holly was immediately concerned. “He’s sick. What’s wrong?”
Lindsey rubbed her forehead trying to think. “Oh shit.” She muttered. “Like real sick?”
“Yeah, very sick.” Holly said. “He’s got the flu.”
Gently Lindsey pushed Bandit towards the sofa. “Hey you girls watch TV, okay.” As soon as both little girls were happily watching Dora she turned to Holly. “I don’t know what to do.”
Holly was still confused. “What’s going on? I thought Bandit had a birthday party to go to today.”
Lindsey sighed, “Crap not really. We just made up that story.”
Holly could see Lindsey was getting more nervous and upset by the minute. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“Look.” Lindsey said lowering her voice. “The plan was I was going to show up and say the party had been canceled and that B was so upset the only thing I could think of to cheer her up was to pick up Molly and take them to PlayWorld.”
“What?” Holly was really confused. “You knew Molly would be here?”
“Well Gee was supposed to call me last night to let me know if you’d agreed to come but since he didn’t I just guessed you had.”
Slowly Holly was beginning to understand. “Wait, so you knew Gee was going to ask us to come but you were going to come get Molly?”
Lindsey nodded. “Holly he just wanted to spend some time alone with you. I’m sorry if you’re mad but I thought it was a good idea too.”
Holly crossed her arms to hug her body. “Well he’s sick so that plan didn’t exactly pan out.”
“I know.” Lindsey said miserably. “And now I don’t know what to do. We were on our way up here when my mom called. My grandpa fell down a flight of steps last night and it’s pretty serious. I wanted to leave Bandit with Gee. I guess I’ll just have to take her with me but I’ve got to call Jake. He’s making the flight arrangements.” She pulled out her phone.
“Hold up.” Holly said suddenly. “You can leave Bandit here. It’s not like she’s not already been infected, she spent all day yesterday with Gee. And the last thing you need right now would be to fly with a sick child if she gets this.”
“Oh Holly I can’t ask you to take care of her.” Lindsey said shaking her head.
Holly reached out to gently touch her arm. “It’s okay. Gee’s awful sick and I wouldn’t feel right leaving him alone so we’ll stay here. At least until he’s well enough to take care of himself.”
“But what if you get sick or the girls get sick?”
“I can handle it if the girls get sick but hopefully that won’t happen. It’s weird but I really don’t catch things very often, neither does Molly. Now stop worrying about that. I’ve got things covered here.”
“Are you sure?”
Holly hugged her. “I’m sure. Bandit will be fine here.”
“Thanks.” Lindsey hugged her tightly.
“Mommy, daddy is puking.” Molly called out.
Neither woman had noticed the girls had slipped off the sofa and gone down the hallway.
Holly rolled her eyes the yelled. “Girls, come back in here.”
As soon as Bandit came back into sight Lindsey called her over and explained that she would be staying with Holly. Bandit nodded happy to stay with Molly. Lindsey gave her a kiss goodbye then both girls once again climbed up on the sofa to give their attention to Dora.
“Give me a call when you can and tell me how your grandpa is, okay?” Holly said at the door.
“Thanks so much for this.” Lindsey said again. “I’ll give you a call later tonight.”
Gee was still clutching the wastebasket when Holly walked into the bedroom. He looked up. “Linds is here?”
“She just left.” Holly quickly explained about the situation with Lindsey’s grandfather and how she’d be watching Bandit.
“Oh shit, Holly.” Gerard said softly. “I’m sorry. This isn’t how today was supposed to turn out.”
“I know.” Holly said as she reached to take the wastebasket from his hands. It was relatively clean as he was suffering from dry heaves. She sat it back down on the floor by the bed. “You know you’re gonna have to try later on to get some food into your body.”
Gerard was trying to concentrate. “You know?”
Holly folded her arms and shook her head. “Yeah, I know Lindsey told me about the plan you two cooked up.”
He fell back against the pillows. “Oh shit. Now you’re mad at me again.”
Holly sighed, “I’m not mad.”
“I just wanted us to spend some time together.” He muttered.
“Well we’re spending time together.” Holly couldn’t help but smile. “Not exactly quality time but time.”
“You should take the girls and go to your loft.” He said softly.
“You’re too sick to take care of yourself.” Holly said as she pulled the covers up a bit high on his body. “Now try to get some sleep. Hopefully that fever reducer will take effect soon.” She turned and started for the door.
She turned around. “Yeah?”
“If you were sick I’d take care of you if you’d let me.” Gerard said softly, his eyes still closed.
“I know that, Gee.” Holly answered before leaving the room.
An hour later the girls were still watching TV and Holly had just finished using the chicken Gerard had planned on grilling to make chicken soup instead.
“Mommy can me and Bandit go outside?”
Holly turned to look at the little girls now standing in the doorway. “Not right now.” She needed to keep an eye on the soup and Gerard so watching the girls outside would be too difficult. She thought a minute. “I know. How about you guys making some Christmas decorations?”
Both girls immediately liked that idea.
“We can make them to cheer up daddy.” Molly said turning to her half sister.
Bandit nodded. “Yeah.”
Holly smiled at the girls. “Okay, grab all the crayons and paper you can find.” She knew Gerard kept art supplies for Bandit to play with in her room. When they returned with paper, crayons and glitter she got them settled at the table.
“Okay.” Holly smiled. “Let’s start out with the crayons.” She glanced at the glitter not wanting to clean up that mess right now.
“I’m gonna draw daddy a get well picture first.” Molly said as she selected a piece of white paper.
“Yeah.” Bandit nodded. “Dood idea.”
Holly nodded. “Okay you guys draw get well pictures first and later I’ll cut out shapes for you to color.”
“Mommy we need music.”
Holly understood. “Christmas music?”
“Yeah.” Bandit grinned.
Holly walked over to Gerard’s stereo and a few moments later the sounds of Christmas music filled the house. “How’s that?”
Both girls gave their approval. Holly went back into the kitchen to check on the soup. Then she walked down the hallway to check on Gerard. She was pleased to see he was sleeping. Careful not to wake him she tip-toed from the room. She was almost to the table when she heard Molly’s voice.
“Lookie.” She held up her arm so that her bracelet was easy for Bandit to see.
Holly took a seat at the table. “What are you showing her?”
“The Twinkie trailer charm.” Molly explained while carefully choosing another crayon from the box.
“Why?” Holly asked.
“Cause she drew one.” Molly answered.
Holly looked over at Bandit’s drawing. Sure enough the little girl had drawn something that did resemble an Airstream trailer. “That’s nice, B.” She said slowly. “Uh, why did you draw that?”
“Cause it makes daddy smile.” Bandit answered as he drew a big sun at the top of the paper.
Suddenly Holly got a strange feeling. “Uh, a trailer like that?”
Bandit nodded. “Yep out there.” She pointed out the window towards the large garage.
Both girls continued drawing but Holly’s mind was in turmoil. Something wasn’t right. “I’m gonna go check to see how cold it is outside.” She said softly. “Both of you stay here and keep drawing, okay?” When they nodded she got up from the table and headed for the door.
Stepping outside she was shocked at how cold the weather had suddenly turned. Wishing she’d grabbed a coat she quickly made her way across the yard to the garage. Instead of trying to open the large doors she made her way around to the side door. It was locked but there was a window. And what she saw through that window made her suck in her breath. “Damn.”
When Holly returned to the house both girls were still drawing. Molly looked up.
“What’s wrong, mommy?”
“Oh nothing.” Holly lied. “But it’s gotten very cold outside.” She moved to the sofa where Molly had placed her purse earlier. Grabbing her cell phone she spoke. “Keep working on those pictures.” She said as she made her way down the hallway to Gerard’s study. Closing the door she quickly made her call.
“Hey Holly.” Bob finally answered just as Holly had almost given up. “How are you?”
Holly got right to the point. “I’m fine but tell me, why does Gerard have my trailer?”
Bob’s eyes grew wide. “Uh, what?” He hedged.
Holly sighed. “Bob, I just saw it out in his garage. I know it’s my old trailer, has the dent by the door.”
“So you’re at Gee’s?” He was trying to figure out what was going on.
Holly was growing impatient. “Yes, I’m here with Molly and Bandit taking care of them because he has the flu. Now tell me why he has my old trailer. You told me you sold it.”
“Gee’s sick?” He was still trying to buy himself some time in order to decide what to tell her.
“Bob.” Holly’s voice was sharp. “Why is my trailer here?”
“Was the money you gave me from him?” Holly asked.
Bob sighed, “Holly don’t be mad. Gee knew that you loved the trailer and you were only selling it because you needed the money.”
“So it was from him? He bought my trailer?”
“Not for himself but for you. He wanted you to have it so he came up the idea of storing it at his place.”
“Hey don’t be too hard on the guy Holly. He did it for you.” Bob said softly.
“I really thought you’d sold it.” Holly said trying to decide how she felt about this turn of events.
“That’s what we wanted you to think.” Bob admitted.
“Well I guess he owns a trailer.”
“Holly it’s your trailer.” Bob knew she was angry but hoped she’d understand. “Gee did it for you.”
Holly leaned against the deck but remained silent.
“So you mad about it?” Bob asked.
“I don’t honestly know.” She heard a female voice in the background giggling. “Angie’s there?”
“Uh yeah.” He answered as Angie snuggled closer to him.
“Hi Holly.” Angie called out.
“Uh, Angie says hi.” Bob said not sure Holly had heard.
Holly heard Angie say something but Bob tried to hush her. Feeling bad she’d obviously interrupted something Holly said, “Hey, you should have told me you were busy.”
Bob laughed, “Well you didn’t really give me a chance. But it’s okay, Holly. You know I’m always here for you.”
Holly heard Angie’s voice again but couldn’t make out what she was saying. Hating that her call might cause trouble between them she told Bob she wanted to speak to Angie.
“Hey.” Angie said as Bob reluctantly handed her the phone.
“Hi Angie.” Holly responded. “I’m sorry I bothered you guys.”
“Oh it’s okay.” Angie said quickly. She understood how much Bob cared for Holly. “We’re just having a lazy day hanging out in bed.”
Holly could hear Bob trying to take the phone back.
“Oh crap. Sorry.” Holly said quickly now sure she’d interrupted them.
“It’s okay.” Angie answered. “Bob’s been worried about you so I’m glad you called.” She paused trying to ignore the frown on Bob’s face. “Uh, can I say something?”
“Of course.” Holly answered.
Angie continued to ignore Bob. “I’ll be honest I don’t know a lot of what’s going on with you but I did know about this trailer thing. I get that you’re sorta mad but if you think about it…well it was kinda sweet of Gerard really. He and Bob we’re just trying to do what they thought was best for you.” When Holly remained silent Angie was afraid she’d overstepped her bounds. “Sorry, but it just seems that way to me but I get it’s none of my business.”
Holly could hear the hurt in her voice. “Angie thanks for giving me your opinion. And for the record since I know you are a very important part of Bob’s life then this really is sort of your business too.”
Holly could hear that Angie had covered the phone so she couldn’t make out what was being said. Finally Angie’s voice was clear. “Uh, we kinda want to share some news with you.”
Holly had the feeling it was Angie who wanted to share the news. “Sure, what?”
“Bob asked me to move in with him and I said yes.” Angie told her sounding very happy.
“Hey, that’s great.” Holly answered honestly. “I’m very happy for you guys.”
“Thanks.” Angie smiled. “I thought you would be.”
“Sure am.” Holly truly liked Angie. “You two make a great couple.”
“Yep, we do.” Angie laughed, “Uh, he wants to talk to you again.” She handed the phone back to Bob.
“Glad you asked her to move in.” Holly told him. “Got a feeling she’s the one.”
“Me too.” He said smiling down at the woman cuddled next to him.
“So.” Holly heard the girls calling for her. “I’ve got to go tend to children and a sick man.”
“You gonna tell him you know about the trailer?” Bob asked.
“Not right now.” Holly sighed. “But eventually we’ll have to discuss it. Anyway, you and Angie have a good day and I’ll talk to you later.” She paused, “And thank you.”
“What are you thanking me for?”
“For your part in the trailer incident. To be honest I’m glad it’s still around. Maybe eventually I’ll find a nice place for it and Molly and I can make it home again. But…” She stressed. “I’m gonna pay Gerard back.”
Bob knew that was something that was between her and Gerard. “No problem. Take care, okay?”
“You too.” She said goodbye then disconnected.
When Holly reached the table the girls showed her their artwork. After making appropriate comments praising their drawings she told them she was going to check on Gerard. This time when she entered his room his eyes were open.
“Hey.” He croaked out.
Holly crossed the room and laid her had on his forehead to check if his fever had broken.
“Shit your hands are cold.” He shivered at her touch.
“I’ve been outside.” Holly answered her eyes narrowing.
Gerard was confused. “How come?”
He looked so sick it was easy to stick to her decision not to discuss the trailer right now. “Just checking the weather. It’s really getting cold.”
“Oh” He closed his eyes. “So what’s everyone doing?”
Holly smiled, “Well your daughters are drawing pictures for you. And I’ve made some chicken soup.”
“I was supposed to grill that for us.” He muttered miserably. “Not supposed to be sick.”
“Well you are.” Holly said softly, “And your fever hasn’t broken.”
“I’m kinda cold.” He said trying to burrow further down in the blankets.
“I could take your temp but I’m guessing it’s about 102.”
He grinned. “You can’t know for sure unless you kiss my forehead.”
Holly gave him a shocked look.
“Hey, you told me once that’s how you can tell if Molly has a fever.”
“Well I’m not kissing your forehead.” Holly said straightening his blankets.
“That’s good.” He sighed. “Cause I really don’t want you to get this shit. I’m so sorry Holly.”
“Stop saying that.”
His eyes locked with hers. “But I am. I had today all planned out. It was gonna be perfect. You and me…”
“Gerard.” Holly cut him off. “Quiet down.”
“But Holly.” He whined.
Holly looked more closely at his eyes. They were glazed. “Crap, you’re delirious.”
“Am not.” He frowned.
She took a deep breath then leaned down, brushed the hair from his forehead then placed her lips against this skin.
"Nice.” He muttered.
“Shit.” Holly stood back up. “Your fever is worse. You’re burning up.”
“Nope, I’m cold.” He said as his teeth began to chatter.
“I’m gonna call Alicia and see how Mikey is doing.” Holly said moving away from the bed.
“Don’t leave.” Gerard pleaded.
“I’ll be back.” Holly said gently. “Try to sleep.”
“Oh shit Holly this crap is wicked.” Alicia moaned.
Holly sighed, “So you’re sick too?”
“Fuck I can’t remember being this sick for a long time.” Alicia answered. “Mikey is in the bathroom puking and I can’t help him. Think I’m gonna puke too.”
“How bad is your fever?”
“Bad.” Alicia answered.
Now Holly was concerned about them. “I’m sorry I can’t come over but I’m watching Bandit and Molly here. Gerard is sick too.”
“How come you have Bandit?” Alicia asked.
“Long story.” Holly sighed. “Just keep trying to drink a lot of fluids, okay?”
“Yes, mom.” Alicia tried to laugh but it was hollow. “So you’re taking care of Gee?”
“Someone has to.” Holly answered. “Call me later if you feel up to it, okay?”
“Okay.” Alicia responded feeling her stomach start to flip.
“Can we see daddy?” Molly asked as Holly set her phone down on the table.
“Not now. He’s pretty sick and needs to try to sleep.” Holly said forcing herself to smile.
“But we want to give him our pictures.” Molly frowned.
“Tell you what.” Holly said gathering up their artwork. “I’ll take these in and put them where he can see them. Then I’ll come back and we’ll start on the Christmas decorations, okay?”
“Cool.” Bandit giggled eyeing the glitter bottles.
Holly groaned inwardly. She knew this art project was going to get messy.
“Mommy can we make paper chains?” Molly asked picking up sheets of red and green paper.
“Look I can cut them.” Molly said holding up a pair of blunt end scissors.
Holly realized Gerard must have bought some after Molly cut her finger. “Okay you guys start and I’ll be back in a minute.”
When Holly walked back into the room she placed the pictures the girls had drawn across from the bed on the dresser. Right now she really didn’t want Gerard looking too closely at Bandit’s picture of the trailer because of the questions it would arouse.
She then walked over to the bed. Gerard was smiling even those his body was chilling. Holly gave him a surprised look.
“I like the sound of your voices.” He tried to explain. “It’s sorta soothing knowing my family is here.”
“Yes your girls are here and now they are gonna make Christmas decorations for your house.” Holly answered.
“Our home.” Gerard closed his eyes. “”It is home.”
Holly knew he was delirious so she remained silent. “Try to sleep, Gee.” She said soothingly. “In a few hours you’re gonna try to eat some soup, okay?”
“Okay, Holly.” His voice was weak.
She was almost to the door when he spoke again. “Holly?”
“I’m glad you’re here but I really did have a nice day planned for us. We were gonna talk like we used to. Cause you always did understand me.”
Holly sighed, “Get some sleep, Gerard.”
“I just didn’t understand you.” His voice trailed off, “And for that I’m sorry.”
“Sleep.” Holly repeated.
“You’re mad at me?” His voice was whiny.
It was hard for her not to laugh. “Gee you’re delirious. I’m just trying to keep you from saying things you shouldn’t right now.”
“But I want to say them. I wrote them all down and everything once.”
Holly realized he must be talking about the letter he wrote her. She crossed over to the bed. Before she could stop herself she leaned down to place a gentle kiss on his forehead. “We’ll talk when you feel better.” She whispered.
His eyes fluttered open slowly. “Promise?”
“Go to sleep Gerard.” She smiled then turned to leave the room.
Several hours and ten paper chains later Holly told the girls she was going to take some soup to Gerard. She’s just returned from checking on him and he’d agree to try to eat. The girls had already eaten so they decided to watch TV.
Carefully balancing the tray with soup and crackers she was relieved to see Gerard had pulled himself up and was leaning against the headboard.
“Okay.” She smiled as she placed the tray on a pillow he’d placed on his lap. “Homemade chicken soup. Guaranteed to cure what ails you.”
It was hard for him not to grimace. “I know it should but it don’t even smell good.”
Holly nodded, “I know but you have to eat just a little.”
“I’ll try.” He lifted the spoon and dipped it into the broth.
Holly sat down on the opposite side of the bed. “I talked to Alicia earlier and she and Mikey are both sick with the same flu.”
“Hear from Lindsey?” He asked after taking a small amount of soup and forcing himself to swallow.
“Not yet but Christa called and guess what? Ray’s sick too.”
“Crap this shit is gonna wipe out the whole band.” Gerard sighed, “Wonder if poor Frank’s got it?”
“Christa said she talked to Jamia and so far he’s not come down with it. But she said it sounded like he’s happy to have a few more days off from the studio.”
“Great we’re all sick and he’s happy.” Gerard grumbled.
“Eat.” Holly said watching him closely.
“I am.” He grouched. “But at least I’m not chilling now.”
“Cause your temp is down a bit.’ Holly nodded. “That’s good. But we need to make sure it stays down tonight.”
“You’re gonna stay here?” He asked looking into her eyes hopefully.
As happy as that made him he still felt a little guilty. “But you have work to do.”
“Maybe tomorrow.” She answered though she doubted it. This flu seemed to be lasting about three days and she didn’t feel right leaving him alone.
He took another spoonful of soup. Then said, “I don’t think there is one spot on my body that don’t fuckin’ ache.”
Holly nodded. “Ray told Christa the same thing.” She smiled, “Now eat a few more bites, okay?”
“I’m afraid if I do it will just come back up.” He admitted looking down into the bowl. “I don’t want you cleaning up after me.”
“Not like I haven’t done it before.” Holly answered but as the words left her mouth she saw the hurt look in his eyes. “Gee, I told you, it’s okay. Cleaning up after you because you’re sick with the flu don’t bother me at all.”
She cut him off. “Let’s not go there again. That was the old Gerard.”
“It really was, Holly.” He said softly. “I want you to know that. I want you to believe that.”
She glanced away. Wanting to change the subject she smiled and said, “Just wait until you see the living room. The girls have it all decorated.”
“They both feel okay?” He asked.
“Yep, both are fine.” She smiled, “Now how about one more bite?”
He lifted the spoon but suddenly his stomach flipped. “Oh shit.”
Before he knew what was happening Holly jumped to her feet and grabbed the tray off his lap. He tried to get out of bed but there wasn’t time. Luckily he lifted the trashcan just in time. Holly quickly took the tray to the kitchen. When she returned he was still throwing up. Unable to stop herself she rubbed his back comfortingly until he finally stopped.
“Oh shit.” He fell back against the pillows once she took the trashcan from his hands.
His eyes were closed but he heard her in the bathroom emptying the remains of the soup. When she returned a few minutes later the trashcan had a new liner. “Okay, well guess we’ll try eating again later.” She said as she placed it by the side of the bed. Again she left but this time when she returned she had a wet washcloth and a glass of water. “Here.” She helped him sit up slightly to take a sip.
Again he fell back against the pillows with his eyes closed.
Gently Holly wiped his face with the cloth. “Try to sleep it’s the best thing for you right now.”
He nodded slightly then fell into an uneasy, fever induced sleep.
When his eyes finally opened the room was dark. Needing to use the bathroom he threw back the covers. He was shocked when the small bedroom lamp switched on. “You okay?” Holly asked.
He realized she’d been sitting in the dark across the room. “Gotta use the bathroom.” His voice sounded rough.
Immediately she was on her feet. He was about to say he could make it when he took a few steps and was shocked at how weak he felt. He couldn’t help but lean on her as they slowly made their way to the bathroom door.
“Uh I got it from here.” He tried to laugh but the pain in his body made it hard.
She nodded then waited just outside the door.
When he came back out his whole body was shaking again.
“Back to bed.” Holly said taking his arm.
“Fuck I think I’m dying.” He said as his teeth started to chatter.
“Oh I’m sure you’ll pull through.” She grinned. “But you do smell a little like death.” She kidded.
He moaned. “Yeah, sure I do.”
Once he was lying down again Holly handed him two more fever reducers. “Take these.” She used her other hand to help steady his head that he could barely lift. “The will lower your fever.”
“Don’t think so.” He moaned again. “Pretty sure I’m gonna die.”
Holly knew he was delirious again. “Nope not on my watch you won’t.”
“Fuck I’m so cold.” He ground out.
Holly went to the closet then returned with a quilt she’d found on a top shelf. She placed it over his other blankets. “As soon as the meds kick in you’ll stop chilling.”
He felt comforted by her presence. “Holly talk to me.”
She gave him a confused look, “What?”
“Just wanna hear your voice.” He tried to explain. “Makes me feel better.”
Deciding it wouldn’t take long for him to fall back asleep she sat down on the edge of the bed. “Okay what should I talk about?”
“Tell me a memory from when you were little.” He whispered.
Holly searched her brain. “Okay once when I was about six my dad took me to the zoo. How about that?”
“A good memory?” He asked not opening his eyes. If he had he would have seen she was smiling.
“Yeah, it’s a good memory. I got to ride a camel.”
As cold as he was he sneaked his hand out from under the covers to grab hers. “Tell me.”
So she did. She told him about the trip to the zoo until his even breathing let her know he’d fallen asleep. Gently she pulled her hand from his then padded across the soft carpet to take her place again in the chair. Soon she’d fallen asleep too.