A dryness woke Grace in her throat. Without opening her eyes, she reached over for the glass of water.
A few sips to lubricate things were all she took for fear of needing to pee.
With her head back on the pillow, she felt the water hydrating parts of her body. She imagined the individual cells screaming out as if they were refugees desperate for water.
Just as she was falling back into sleep, she heard a curt scream. It was a sharp sound and came from inside the house.
She carefully opened her bedroom door enough to place her ear to the gap. Amongst the silence was the sound of Rory tossing in his bed. He was tender and always susceptible to breaking and it calmed her that his bedroom was next to hers.
She gently opened his bedroom door. The first thing she noticed was the smell. She didn’t realise she missed this smell until entering her son’s bedroom. It was the smell of male farts.
When she shared a bed with Peter, it lingered beneath the doona. Often his nocturnal trombone would play a short missive and she’d rolled over. She’d keep the sheets tucked beneath her arms so that she could breathe fresh(ish) air.
The key was to ensure a window was open. A few millimetres in winter were enough to ensure she didn’t suffocate.
Rory’s terror seemed to be over. She pulled the doona up over her son and then opened the window to allow fresh air in.
She inhaled the room and realised that she missed Peter.