The sun forcing its way in between the blinds feels like an assault to her. She has dry lips and it hurts when she tries to swallow. Her head aches. Her limbs are tired.
“Well that’s kinda gross.”
She opens her eyes again and looks around. He’s nowhere to be found. She rolls out of bed and stumbles, light-headedly, over the a pile of clothing, of varying degrees of cleanliness, piled on a chair. She finds a hooded sweatshirt, puts it on and zips it all the way up. She puts the hood on as well.
Out of the corner of her eye, she notices that the mound of blankets on the floor at the foot of the bed is moving slightly.
She pulls back the top blanket and he is there, curled up in the fetal position.
“I fear, good lady, that I may have the plaaague,” he says in a voice much hoarser than usual.
“Forsooth, could you pass me yon Vicks Vapo Rub?”
“We don’t have any.”
“I love you, but that is going to get old. I want popsicles.”
“I will mount my steed, make my way to the market and purchase your beloved pop-si-cles. And then we will marry on the morrow!”
“Are you proposing to me?”
“You don’t want to marry me?” she asks, trying to hide the chain-yankage.
“I do! *cough cough* But not… I want a proposal that goes viral because of its awesomeness! You know that!”
“I know, babe.”
“I’ll go to the store.”
He gets to his feet. And immediately must sit on the bed.
“In a minute,” he adds.
She is sitting on the couch, under a blanket, eyes shut, and her phone to her ear.
“Men are wussies when it comes to being sick,” she says.
“That is a sexist and unfair generalization. You should be ashamed. We handle being sick just as well as women.”
“My tummy hurts from coughing.”
He leans on his shopping cart as he wanders just shy of aimlessly around the story.
“These people at the store are looking at me like I’m patient zero,” he says, picking up popsicles.
“Well except for her. I think she’s checking out my sweet little booty.”
“You do have a sweet little booty.”
“Can we be done talking now?” she asks. “I need to be quiet.”
“Sure. See you when I get home.”
She is just slipping into a feverish sleep when her phone rings.
“Nothing looks familiar anymore. I’m lost. I’m alone. I fear even my GPS is playing tricks on me. Is that Cyrillic script on that sign? My word, I’m in a foreign land. Wait for me forever, my love. Oh… Nevermind. It says Main Street. Be right home.”
He hangs up. She drops her phone on the floor.
She wakes herself up with a loud and painful sneeze.
“I bought you the kleenex with lotion!” he exclaims proudly from the end of the couch, handing her a three or four.
“But they weren’t the ones on sale.”
“During an outbreak is no time for price taggery. Plus… your pretty little nose.”
“It’s gross and red.”
“Noooooooooooo. I’ll jump you right now.”
“Could you jump me right now?”
“I mean, it’d be more like a short hop.”
“You look lovely,” he says.
“I look like crap.”
“Nope. Hey, the fever is making your cheeks all rosy, little chickpea. You don’t have to wear blush!”
“Do you think I wear blush?”
“Yes…? No…? I don’t… I’m just trying to help. I’m siiiiiiick.”
“Awww. It’s okay.”
“I mean it though. You’ll never not be attractive to me.”
He kisses her. Then slowly pulls back.
“See?” he asks.
“Did I just get snot on your cheek?”
“I’m going back to bed.”
“Okay. I’ll check on you after the game.”
She slowly gets off the couch, and even more slowly walks down the hall towards their bedroom, dragging her blanket on the floor behind her. Linus style.
She sees something on the bedroom door. It is a yellow post-it, with pink writing.
“Sorry you’re sickies :( “
She smiles and keeps walking. She shivers.
The remote control is sitting on the bed with another post-it note on it.
“Turn me on. Mrrrowwrrr.”
She does. And presses play. The unmistakable opening to YOU’VE GOT MAIL begins playing on their TV.
The kleenex box has another post-it.
A glass of apple juice on the bedside table has a note too.
She pulls back the covers and sees three hot water bottles warming up her side of the bed. On each there is a post-it note.
She climbs in the warm bed and pulls the covers up to her chin. The movie is already starting to soothe her stormy soul.
He walks into the room and passes her a little bell with a post-it note.
“Ring me for popsicles!”
He kisses her on the forehead.
He turns to leave the room and there is a post-it note stuck to his backside.
“Sweet little booty!”