The drapes pulled shut, the lights out, he’s wheeling her out of the bedroom. The right hand darts behind her chair of its own accord. Her right leg starts to shake; her left foot jerks sideways. She’s strapped into the wheelchair so that her spastic movements don’t plummet her to the floor. She purses her lips, looks at her surroundings and mutters.
“You want something to drink?” he asks her. “Need a pain pill?”
“Uh,” she manages to say.
He brings her ice water and a pill. Her sister jumps up from the sofa with napkin in hand to catch the drips that fall from her mouth.
“Do you want something to eat?”
“Uh,” she answers.
“Popsicle?” he says.
“Pink or purple?”
“Pink or purple,” she repeats.
He brings her a purple ice on a stick and puts it in her left hand–her left arm is the only limb still functioning.
She sucks half the ice, shows signs of anxiety–he hovers around to catch her every need.
“You ready to go back to bed?”
“Uh,” she answers and he wheels her back to the bedroom. Sister jumps up again to assist with stiff legs in maneuvering her int0 bed.
Once settled he walks to the front porch to smoke.