Raymundo curled up in the bed, scratching both sides of his head, hair and dandruff flaking off. His eyes squeezed shut and he panted.
“Hey DJ.” Becky stood in the doorway of her bedroom. “You still have the stuff from when Bozo gave you guys fleas?” She pursed her lips. “Lice too?” Raymundo’s scratching increased in speed, and she could see red smears on his fingertips. “Bring both. I’m not sure what Raymundo got while he was running around as a squirrel.”
By leaning out the doorway and stretching, she flicked on the light to her bathroom. “Yes, a squirrel. And I don’t know how long. Long enough to be in the rain and caught a bad cold, maybe flu.” She ducked into the black tiled bathroom. “He won’t stop itching. And I’m pretty sure he’s bleeding.” Nail files, scissors, clippers, disposable razor heads, brushes, combs, and other odds and ends made a clatter as she pulled open a small drawer. She dug through it with one hand, glancing towards the bedroom when she wasn’t studying a comb. “No, we don’t have to use the comb Bozo used, I have one.”
She held the fine toothed tool up to the light, the plastic not quite clear. “There was a lice outbreak at the hospital a couple years ago, and I kept the comb they gave everyone.” She flicked on the faucet. “Me? I was lucky enough never to catch it, but people don’t tend to visit us in the room where we test feces.” She rolled her eyes. “Of course I’m washing it. Yes in hot water. And no, I’m not laughing on the inside, not even a little.”
She propped the phone between her ear and shoulder so she could grab the soap and start scrubbing. “Because this is serious DJ! He was gone for weeks and then shows up, knocking on the balcony door, as a sopping wet squirrel!” She frowned and scrubbed harder. “Well, those are questions you’ll have to ask him when he isn’t acting more like a creature than a human.” The whimpering got louder. “Just hurry up before he scratches his skin off.” Shaking the comb left water droplets on the mirror, but Becky turned away to dry the comb. “See you soon.”
Becky knelt down next to Raymundo placing a hand on his leg. “We’ll fix you up Ray.”
He blinked a few times, still except for the shivering and nodded.
“That’s it. Rest now.” She whispered.
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