She was on alert, her already cat-like reflexes heightened to an unnatural degree. While washing dishes, she watched him, stopping only briefly enough to refill a cereal bowl. Every 10 seconds she checked him while the sick little cub sat motionless on the couch. The others in the pride were restless. They were running, shrieking, playing, fighting. They asked her a question about the alphabet, and she answered. Maybe it was the confusing complexity of the unanswerable question, or maybe it was the effort she used to appear genuinely interested in her own response, but she was distracted. 30 entire seconds had passed before she checked again. And in that precious eternity, something was different. She detected movement—ever so subtle movement. “Do you have to throw up again?” she asked, frantically trying to appear calm, leaving the running water at the sink and the alphabet cubs in her wake. He was too weak to answer, but she didn’t need a response. She already knew. He didn’t need to throw up, because he already had.
She changed and comforted him, and put him back down to sleep. She then began to clean the mess. Because he had not thrown up on the towel she had spread beneath him, nor the blanket she had wrapped him in so tightly — so lovingly. He had not thrown up in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trash can in his arms, or on his shirt, or even on the hardwood floor under their feet. No, he threw up all over the upholstered couch. As she scrubbed, her husband looked up at her, he eyes filled with fear and worry
“What do we do now?” he asked, lips trembling. She kept scrubbing, but looked up at him and smiled with all of the confidence in the world and replied,
“We paid through Priceline so it’s non-refundable. We are going. Put the kids in the car.”
Happy Spring Break everyone!