The next morning, Kevin couldn’t find it in himself to crawl out of bed for so much as a glass of water. His temples pounded mercilessly in what he might have called an ‘uber-headache’ had he been able to so organize his thoughts. Half-hangover, half-migrane, it made the soft lights and sounds of the waking world outside the bedroom all but unbearable. Despite a parched throat and chapped lips, Kevin was too weak to get the bottle of water at his bedside, much less sip from it. And even then the sunshine streaming through the closed blinds and the rustling of the blankets would have been more unbearable than thirst.

People came and went downstairs all day–it was impossible to miss the nuclear detonations that accompanied each footfall, door slam, and idling motor in the driveway. No one could be bothered to check in on poor old Kevin, but in many ways that was a blessing in disguise. A conversation–or, heaven forbid, a hospital visit–would have reaped more in agony than it sowed in goodwill.

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