A gentle voice by my ear, asking for my return to consciousness. I oblige, raising my eyelids a fraction to see Seb looking back. He is already dressed for work, I must be running late. I start to get up, panicking, but a stabbing down my back stops me. Seb lies me back with care.
"Rest, you have a day off to recover, don't worry about anything." He says, standing from his kneeling position by the bed. I watch his hands as they straighten his shirt, but my complaining spine prevents me from looking up as he speaks.
"I have to go now, promise me you won't tire yourself out?"
I manage a slow nod of the head in reply.
"Good, I'll see you then." He leans over and kisses my cheek; I flash a smile as he lingers for a moment. As he stands up he hesitates, as if fighting some kind of internal battle, unsure whether I’ll be safe alone. He takes a couple of steps away.
“Will you be alright?” I notice his fists clenching slightly, as he shifts balance back and forth between his feet. I chuckle at his nervousness, but he still looks concerned despite my bright mood.
“I’ll be fine, I don’t want you being late, don’t worry.” I try to reassure him, he takes another step and looks back at me, I laugh again. “Go! There’s no point in you just standing there staring.” He sighs slightly.
“I love you.” He says softly, before walking out of the room. I hear the front door slam. Staring at the place he stood a moment ago, realising I could have made him stay, but what good would it do? He’s not a doctor, whatever’s wrong with me will either go away or it won’t and there’s nothing he can do about it. Still, I wish I could have talked faster, so my words would be heard by more than the walls and the window.
“I love you too.” I say, almost whispered, not that the volume matters, the curtains don’t have ears. I watch them swaying leisurely in the early spring breeze, catching their blue fabric as it rolls through the half-open door that leads to the balcony. A brush of fresh air on my cheek tempts me out of bed. The pain twinges in my back again, but I cope, putting weight on my left foot for the first time since the incident. One toe is a little sore, presumably from my kicking and flailing, but otherwise there is surprisingly little pain. I stand up fully, limping slightly across the room and stepping through the curtains and outside.
Everything goes white.