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Sick Day

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“Go to bed, Miss (Y/L/N).”

You’d arrived in Florida two nights before, just as the Portmans were pulling out of the garage, and you’d been wheezing ever since.

“I’m okay,” you insisted, pulling yourself out of your armchair.

The headmistress put her hands on either shoulder and pushed you back into a sitting position.

“Of course,” she said caustically. As she spoke, she grabbed a thick blanket from the guest bed and tucked it around your legs and hips. “No one need breathe; there’s no point to it after all.

“Or eat, apparently,” she quipped, gesturing to the full bowl of soup still sitting on the tray table she’d set for you an hour earlier. “You’ll finish that tomorrow, then?”

“Alma,” you whined. “Please don’t use sarcasm with me today. It’s all going over my head.”

She sighed, letting the air out slowly—and loudly—from her nose.

“And no snark.”

She narrowed her eyes—you knew you’d just taken away what she was going to say. Then she did something you never thought you’d witness the headmistress do: Alma Peregrine, 1940’s prissy, traditional ymbryne archetype put an R-rated comedy into the DVD player.

“I’m putting the children to bed,” she explained, “and when I come back, you’d better be in that chair eating, or in that bed asleep. Understood?”

“Yes, Alma,” you sighed, defeated, resting your head heavily against the chair’s arm.

She made you move your head to place a pillow beneath it, then kissed you on the cheek.

“If you’re awake, I’d love to watch it with you,” she whispered, then, with another kiss to your forehead, she turned to leave.

You were exhausted, that was for certain. But, as your eyes started to close and you drifted closer and closer to sleep, you forced yourself to focus on the movie. It was the first time in the three years you’d known her that you two were going to be alone: no children, no duties, just being together…even if you were sick. Alma would be back in a few minutes. She was going to be back, and you would watch it together. You just had to keep your eyes open long enough.