He shook his head and moved away from me. I could see hurt in his eyes suddenly, loneliness almost. “Is this where I tell you how sick I really am and you call me later and it's just not going to work?” He seemed annoyed at my suggestion. He walked back to his bed and sat waiting for my answer. He took a defensive pose, crossing his arms and watching me, almost daring me in away.
I walked over and sat next to him. Turning, I took his hand, holding it in both of mine. Since I had known him, I had never thought of touching his arm, even when Jim had made the joke about it and when he himself teased me about it. Slowly I moved my hand to touch the lump that rested on the inside of his forearm, almost afraid of how it would feel. I placed my hand on top of it and could feel his blood rushing through it, almost pulsating beneath my fingers. I could feel him watching me intently. I looked up at him, my hand still feeling his life vibrating against it, “I just wanted you to tell me what I need to know if you are in trouble. What to expect when you are sick, so that I can help you if I can. That’s what a girlfriend is supposed to do.”
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