but i don't think it bothers me

He acts like a baby when he is sick. This is probably why it baffles me that his whiny voice actually triggers my heart to melt just a little.
"I do not know why I am still sick," he tells me. "I have been doing everything right." It takes several minutes before I am able to get him to confess to washing his cold medication down with beer.
"What did you expect?" I sigh. "You are supposed to be drinking lots of fluids."
"But beer is a fluid," he argues.
"Water. You are supposed to be drinking lots of water." His forehead is warm and, despite the sweat that is soaking his sheets, he is shivering.
"I think I am dying," He groans.
"You are not dying," I assure him, running my hand across his back in slow circles. "You are just an idiot. I am going to get you a glass of water."
I shake my head at the disarray of his apartment. It is clear that four other males cohabit the space. As I walk back into his room, I catch sight of the panicked face he is making. Oh, god. There is going to be vomit. He vaults out of the bed and pushes his way past me. The sounds of his retching lets me know that he has made it to the bathroom in time. I take a minute to mentally prepare myself before I join him in an attempt to offer up a little bit of comfort.
There is what appears to be a clean washcloth sitting next to the bathroom sink and I quickly grab it, running it under the cold water before I crouch down next to him and wipe it tenderly across his forehead. "I am going to run you a bath," I tell him. "It is going to feel cold, but that is only because you have a fever." His head is resting against the porcelain of toilet, a brave move in a dwelling where the inhabitants rarely look before they aim, but I think I see him nod.
The bathtub is surprisingly clean and barely requires a wipe down before I start to fill it. His head is now resting on his forearm, on the edge of the toilet, and his eyes are closed. If I didn't know better, I would say he looked peaceful. As the tub finishes filling, I rub his head and tell him that I need him to take off his pants.
"You have been waiting years to say that," he accuses, as he rises to his feet.
"You caught me. I have spent the last seven years just waiting to catch you feverish, wreaking of vomit and completely helpless. Do you need my help, or can you get into the tub on your own?"
He smiles down at me and, without warning, pulls his pajama bottoms down around his ankles. "I better not catch you looking," he warns, stepping into the tub. "My virtue is at stake."
As he lowers himself down, I toss the washcloth at his head. "Cover your virtue with that," I instruct him and I exit the bathroom, in search of a clean towel, before he can respond.
It is another hour before I leave. Rubbing his stomach and tucking him into bed, I lean over his head and reach for the extra pillow that is scrunched up in between his mattress and the wall. "I just saw all the way down your shirt," he giggles.
"Wonderful," I sigh, deciding that he no longer needs an extra pillow. "Call me tomorrow morning so that I know you have not perished during the night." And with that, I leave him.
Sometimes I feel like I've entered into a sexless marriage that I didn't entirely agree to.


Jenn said...

Maybe I missed somethng, but I still can't figure out why you aren't with this fellow. My heart breaks whenever you write about him.

I hope you both feel better. :) S

K. Restoule said...

Sometimes a cold beer bottle on the forehead feels nice when your feverish. Maybe that was the intention, but somehow I doubt it.

Jay said...

Men are really the biggest babies ever when they're sick.