Diane’s hand crashed hard into the porcelain as her knees hit the ground in front of her perfectly white toilet. She had over done it, she realised. She retched again and vomited into the bowl trying not to let the acrid smell fill her lungs because that smell often made her vomit again. She had been feeling rough for a couple of days but had decided to distract herself by cleaning, the kitchen was done but when it came to bleaching the bathroom the enclosed space made the cloying scent had seemed magnified somehow and it had stuck to the back of her throat until she had coughed it out. She was sick.
She was sick and she hated to be sick. She pulled the plastic toilet seat down and rested her arm on it so she could lay her cheek against her wrist. She felt the tears streaking over her hand and it tickled unpleasantly, but she was exhausted from the exertion of being so drastically unwell, so she did not move.
Eventually she knew she would have to get up. Warren would be home soon and she hadn’t started dinner and it was her turn. It was beyond her turn actually, he had been cooking dinner after his long days at work every night this week when she told him she wasn’t feeling up to it. He was such a good man.
Even the thought of her fiance couldn’t raise a smile but she managed to shakily get to her feet. She stood for a moment, wavering uncertainly before deciding she was indeed safe to leave the bathroom. She took deep breaths through her nose as she walked down the stairs, gripping the banister tight, fighting the invading nausea.
“Deedee, I’m home!” Warren called from the kitchen as he came through the side door. She smiled and turned on the stairs to run back up to brush her teeth quickly, she must have lost track of time. “Honey?” he shouted as he came into the hall and spotted her “hey, I’m home, how are you?” he continued, softer. She hesitated on the stairs, torn between wanting to assure him that she was okay and not wanting him to kiss her until she had brushed her teeth.
“I’m alright” she said, surprising herself at the quietness of her voice. She laughed and tried again “just fine”. He looked unconvinced and stepped towards her instinctively and she stepped backwards in alarm. “Just a sec” she spluttered, turning and running up the stairs. It only took a couple of steps to realise her mistake and as the bathroom door hit the frame behind her she fell to her knees once more and was violently sick once more.
He made dinner again that night and by the time she had smelled it cooking for half an hour she was hungry for it and surprised them both by eating it all. “Delicious” she declared before apologising again for worrying him. He stroked the back of her hand with the amused smile that had made her fall in love with him. “It’s okay honey, but make an appointment with the doctor would you?” – before she could interrupt he countered her with “and don’t say you can’t get time off work because if you see the doctor you’ll get better quicker and won’t have to take days off to be ill”.
She acquiesced. It made sense. “Okay, I will. You know I hate doctors though. What if it's something terrible?” she grumbled, he laughed lightly “it won’t be, you’re just nauseous, it’s not going to be life or death”. She trailed her fork around the plate distractedly and then, with a struggle, managed – “would you go with me?”.
There was a short silence. Diane never asked for help. Warren smiled, unable to help himself, sure that they had reached a new level of their relationship. He was delighted, after all he adored Diane. “Of course” he said reassuringly “but it’ll be nothing. It’s not like you’re pregnant.”
The next day they both agreed, for the next nine months – Warren would cook.