She giggled as she felt the weight of his body fall full on her. She took three fast short breaths, still smiling, before noticing he was not panting with her.

He was not getting off. He was not moving.

He was not breathing.

She hugged him with her legs. Touched the back of his head. Called his name. Pat his butt twice, pat-pat.


She felt something cold between her heart and her stomach. Fear was not it. Fear has something of a possibility to it. You fear when you don’t know if something’s going to be okay. What she felt was true terror, of the kind you feel when you know it will not be okay.

Her first thought was wanting to trade places with him, like with almost everything since they first met. She felt fat tears instantly flowing from her eyes to her ears as she thought of him in her place, having to lift her naked, sweaty, breathless body, then call everyone, then deal with it all. She thought of how efficiently he, unlike herself, would do all of those things. She thought of his reserved suffering, in contrast with her visible desperation. She wanted to die. She envied him one last time.