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| dedication: shanteena - for that sensual cover |

- 3 weeks later -

I pushed myself off the bed far too quick causing a shot of dizziness to raid over me. I held the bedpost, trying quickly to regain some momentum before I could let go and start the day.

My eyes scanned around the room I was slowly getting accustomed to. There was a four-poster bed pushed again the wall that was covered in black and white wallpaper. The floor, a dark auburn red wood floor covered the whole house, reflecting light from each chandelier that hung from each room. There were elements of antiqueness roaming around the whole house, with odd, singular pieces placed delicately around each space.

Placing my hand on my head, I slowly let go of the bedpost and walked to the bathroom down the hall. I started humming on my way down, regardless of the faint buzz in my head.

It was three weeks after Palmer got released from the hospital and it was two weeks and four days after I non-officially moved out my home and was staying with Palmer.

I kept telling myself repeatedly that I was here for Palmer's sake but as the days went by and my head was slowly replacing my old life with this new start I wondered if I was here hiding. I was hiding from responsibilities and feelings that came along with my old life. With Palmer, it was continual love and support coming from both ways and I never craved such safety and tranquility before in my life.

I slipped inside the bathroom and quickly did my usual routine, whilst hoping Palmer was still fast asleep. I usually woke up before her and I always went in her room to help her but these past couple of days, I had walked in on her trying to do her own things. Which she failed at doing as predicted.

The constant reminders to Palmer about her Doctor's strict orders flew over her head with no regard whatsoever. The level of stubbornness was unreal with Palmer, to a point where I had to actually sit back and contemplate whether the woman was serious.

I hurried out the bathroom and skipped down the hall to Palmer's room. The lean hallway was covered in pictures, both old and new, both memorial and meaningless. She told me she loved to contrast the two principles together as without one, the other wouldn't be cherished.

I was not going to lie and say it made sense but I was assured that one day, I would understand.

I opened the door to her bedroom, not forgetting to knock incase she wasn't ready for me. When I didn't hear her usual grunt or her soft voice, my eyebrows furrowed and I scanned the room quickly.

The curtains were drawn shut, clouding over the whole room and masking it in darkness. But my eyes could make out Palmer's body laying in bed, her chest heaving up and down at a steady pace with her own eyes shut tightly.

I walked inside quietly, hoping to not disturb her. Standing besides her, I notice her hair wasn't in a hair tie and it lay delicately around her head, a handful of silver linings coating every other strand. She made it look beautiful, envious even to other people who had the misfortunate to lose hair at an old age or face other outcomes.

She was in deep sleep, her breathing slow but steady. Enough to convince me she was okay and just needed a couple of hours of more sleep.

I left her room to get ready for the day, knowing that I had more time than usual. I had been staying with Palmer for nearly two weeks now. It started after she got let out of the hospital and I assigned myself as her twenty-four hour nurse on hand. There were plenty of visitors to come see Palmer and I helped her welcome them. But during the evening, the hours were simply filled with sitting by her fireplace, sipping on any beverage and talking for hours. I spilled out every bean I could possibly have - expect with one major bean that included her niece. Palmer, who was tired but fully awake regardless had listened to every word of mine with no judgement in her eyes.

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