‘Would you like me to read for you tonight?’ he asked, sitting carefully on the edge of my bed. He had a copy of Wuthering Heights in his hand, we were halfway through.
‘Not tonight,’ I told him. ‘Let’s do something different. Tell me a story, one that you’ve made up. Like you used to do when we first started going out together.’
I was overcoming by a coughing fit then. He rubbed my back patiently until it passed, handed me a napkin, a glass of water. My cough is getting worse by the day.
‘I thought you had forgotten about those silly stories,’ he said with a sad smile. ‘It was a very long time ago.’
‘No, never. I often think of them. Especially now…’ My voice trailed off. He looked upset. I should never have brought the subject up. He excused himself for a moment, I think he went off to cry.
I will ask him to go on with the novel when he comes back. I won’t say another word about his tales, how he would hold me close and whisper them to me in the cold dark night, when we had finished making love.