I smile, setting his lunch tray at his knees with all his pills and medicines: digestion pills, heartburn pills, vitamins, a cough drop, nsaids, and anxiety+depression medication.
I don't say anything, but instead eagerly grin and hold my arms in a craddle position in front of me, and rock them side to side. He'll guess it.
Rory's sleepy face lightened excitedly, rising higher on the bed. "Baby? She's in labor, right now?!"
I nod frantically.
"Oh, I have to go see her!" He turns to leap out of bed, but his breath collapses and sweat gleams on his face. He's been sick like this his whole life, vomiting what he ate often. He's fourteen and the heaviest weight he's ever held was ninety pounds. Most of the kids at his school called him bulimic.
"No, no." I place a hand on his chest to keep him down. He had stronger days, where he got out of bed and went to school just fine and kept at least one meal down, but today wasn't one of those. "Monty and Sookie are with her right now helping her through it. She's doing wonderful, I just came back from checking on things. She's got a while to go, so you might as well sit tight."
Rory's face shadows, and he relaxes against the pillows stacked behind him.
I felt sorry for him. He always had things he wanted to do, he wanted to be the type of person that was always on his feet and be fun and interesting enough to keep a few friends hanging around. But he had a big hinder to that.
His eyes squint, and he draws his hand to his stomach.
"You going to be sick?" I ask, pulling the tray of food away from him and sitting down.
"No..." It's not nausea, it's just regular pain. "I'm just worried about Mama and the baby."
I soften, and scoot against the head board so I'm sitting next to him.
"Like, what if something bad happens... What if the baby ends up like me?" He looks at me, tiredness desolving into genuine worry.
"Oh, Rory..." I cuddle an arm around him. His skin is a mix of hot and cold.
"There's nothing wrong with you." I try to console him, but I wasn't very good with words back then.
"Yes, there is, Lil. And everyone can see it." He pauses abruptly, and I search his face for a reason why.
"Oh, Rory, oh God..." Bloody vomit slipping through his fingers as he had thrown up in his hand. "It's okay, it's all right. Let me find you a bag. It's nothing, you're all right."
I find an empty mop bucket we used for this reason and sat it in his lap. He clutched it as he emptied his stomach of everything he had eaten since last suppertime.
I frown and rub his back. He weighs barely sixty-three pounds, he can't lose anymore of himself.
Like he realizes it the same time I do, he lets out a rough cry into the bucket. I imagine his esophagus was rubbed raw on the inside.
"It's okay, it's nothing." I lie.
He's finally done, and lays back. I scrub his mouth with a wet rag.
"Lilith..." He hugs his arms to his abdomen.
"I'm tired." His eyes glaze shut, and I think about the lunch I made for him. Just another treat for his pup Puddles, I suppose.
"I know." I pull the covers to his elbows, knowing that now, he was too weak to.
"You can go to sleep. I'll be around."
His body relaxes the best it can. "All right... But can you promise me one thing?"
His eyes open, slightly. "Will you please wake me up when Mama's had the baby?"
I smile. "Of course I promise to."
Thank you for reading!
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