It’s there again. I can hear it walking down the hall. It’s growing impatient, I think. Whatever it is. I’m lying in bed, the the door is open, and I can hear it lumbering through the darkness. Even though I haven’t seen it, I know it’s big. How do I know this? Because its footfalls sound like thunder against the hardwood floor. Because I feel the vibrations of its movements tremble up the bedposts and shake this fragile frame.
I want to get up and confront this stalker, this late night intruder, but the sickness has me in its claws. My fever is getting worse and tonight I can barely think straight. My forehead is thick with sweat and the sheets beneath my shivering body are soaked through. I’m freezing and yet my hair is damp against the pillow. I clutch my stomach, groaning, as the intruder storms down the hall and into the bathroom. I can hear it shuffling through the medical cabinet. I want to call out to it, to scream at it.
But my throat is tight with exhaustion and I can’t seem to find the strength to summon the words. I reach for my glass of water on the nightstand and my fingers find its cool edges. To my dismay, the glass is empty. My parched lips smash together, a filmy meeting that pulls at my flesh.
My hands go to my stomach. I clutch my ribs and moan once again. It feels like my insides have ruptured and fire is pouring into my guts. Why won’t this virus leave me? Or whatever it is.
As if on cue, the unseen visitor in my house begins to thump back down the hall toward my bedroom. I wonder if I’ll get it see it tonight.