The groaning from the bed grew louder as Cassidy stared into the bathroom mirror. She rolled her eyes as she applied foundation.
“Cassidy, I’m sick,” Fletcher moaned.
“I know. Why don’t you rest.”
“I can’t. My throat is scratchy and it keeps me awake.”
“I gave you medicine a couple of minutes ago. It takes time to start working,” said Cassidy. She turned on the water to brush her teeth. Even though she knew it was a waste of water, she kept the faucet running to cover the sound of Fletcher’s whining.
“… I took care of you when you were sick,” she heard Fletcher say when she finished brushing.
“Sweetheart, I had my gall bladder removed,” said Cassidy.
“It’s the thought that counts,” said Fletcher. He coughed twice.
You don’t want to know what I’m thinking right now, thought Cassidy. “I’d love to stay with you, but I can’t today. My first meeting’s at 8:30 and my schedule’s packed ‘til 4:30. I’ll call you around lunch. I should have a couple of minutes then. Is that okay?”
“Can’t you change your meetings? Work from home,” He coughed again.
The question cut across her last nerve.
“Would you like me to call your mother?” Cassidy asked as sweetly as she could.
“That’s why I married you, sweetie. To take care of me,” said Fletcher.
“If myopia was a country, you’d be it’s king,” Cassidy whispered to herself in the mirror.
“What’d you say?”
“I was wondering when someone said ‘it’s better to give than receive’, if they were including headaches,” said Cassidy. She put on her business jacket and turned out the bathroom light.
“Are you getting a headache? Maybe you’re getting sick. You should stay home,” said Fletcher. He propped himself up in bed.
“I’m fine. You just rest. I’ve got to go.”
Fletcher plopped his head back on his pillow. “I hate to be a bother.”
“You’re not a bother dear,” said Cassidy. As she closed the door to the apartment she whispered, “If you were, I’d reconsider my stance on euthanasia.”