Updated: May 8, 2022
Becky tossed yet another used tissue into the trash can next to her bed. The mucus filled crumpled garbage bounced atop the teetering pile before tumbling out with several others.
She took a deep breath through her nose, the oxygen having a clear path now. “It feels so good to breathe again.” She reached over and pat Raymundo’s arm. He was shivering under the covers.
“Good for you.” He sneezed.
“Bless you.” She passed over the tissue box. “How long were you running around as a squirrel in a rainstorm again?”
“Hours.” He coughed.
“Well,” she ran her fingers through his sweaty hair, “That explains the fever.”
“Are you sure I should stay-” Becky gave a light tug to his ear. “Ow.”
“Yes.” She got up, stretching. “I want you to stay.”
“Aren’t you just,” he coughed a little and pulled the blanket a little tighter around himself. “Getting over pneumonia?”
“And?” She tugged the blanket off him, getting a whimper in response. “You know it’s best to fight a fever without bundling up.”
“I’m miserable though.” Reaching for the blanket just earned him a small giggle from Becky as she tossed the blanket on top of the dresser.
“Being miserable is a requirement of being sick. Now, what do you want for lunch?”
“The blanket back.” He was wrapped in the top sheet, spots of the lilac darker from his sweat. He grinned at Becky as she rolled her eyes. “Soup. But I’m not a big fan of-”
“Chicken noodle.” Becky leaned back over him, resting her hand on his forehead, frowning slightly. “I know.”
“How about French onion?” Raymundo’s eyes fluttered closed.
“I’ll check.” She stood up and left the room. Her baggy pajamas swished with every step.
The kitchen tiles were cool on her feet. The cabinet where she kept soup, was nearly empty. She shifted the few cans to the side, finding Ray’s favorite hiding in the shadows.
“French onion coming up!” She called. The pots banged together as she got one out. The stove clicked as she turned the knob and the flames burst to light. She hummed while she waited for the pot to heat up.
Footsteps padded into the room. “You should be resting.” She didn’t bother turning around until the bar stool scraped. “Really?”
“I’m not eating soup on your bed.” He slumped forward. Resting his elbows on the counter he looked back at Becky. “Cos I’ll probably spill.” She sighed and added the soup to the pot, the liquid steaming and hissing. “That already smells good.”
“It’s a good sign it makes you hungry.” She started stirring the soup. “So… are you going to tell me why you were out of town?”
“Uh.” Raymundo gulped. “It’s probably best if you don’t know.”
“Like… for a while?” Becky placed a hand on her hip. “Or forever?”
“To be determined.”
“Alien stuff?” Raymundo nodded. “Well, then I guess all you left to do today is eat up and rest.”
Word count: 496