Lying with her cheek flat on the gray sheet and her body curled into itself, the weight of multiple blankets did very little to ease the biting cold coursing through her veins. She could feel the coolness of the air as it entered through her nostrils, exhaling like a wave of summer heat, and she knew her skin was on fire. She wasn’t even sure if her eyes were open or closed or how much time had passed and she didn’t care. She only wanted him.
She knew there wasn’t anything he could do to make it all go away, but that didn’t matter. What she needed was his penetrating warmth, the feeling of his arms around her, assuring her it was all going to be okay. She needed his strong hands lifting her head to drink the water, and his guidance in helping to remember when to take the medicine. But, most of all, she desperately needed his presence. Him, in the room, with her. Only then could she let it all go, only then could she let herself be small and sick and so very vulnerable. Only then could she rest.