I adjusted the ventilator so you could breathe easier. You’d been watching the news all day and were excited about the meteor shower.
‘A once in a lifetime event,’ the news reader called it. You looked at me and smiled, and I knew we’d be in for a long night.
While you ate cheese and lettuce sandwiches for lunch I dug through the old boxes in the spare room and found your university textbooks about astronomy and physics. When you set down your plate I brought them over.
‘Remember these?’ I said, laying the lunar map down across your lap.
‘Of course,’ you said.
And while I swept the crumbs into the sink, I thought about that night when we went up to the roof of the old apartment back in the city and you showed me how to navigate.
I could hear you breathing from the kitchen.
I wheeled you out to the back verandah and sat beside you with the blanket and the Thermos of milky tea.
‘Turn off all the lights,’ you told me.
The meteor shower was due to pass over our small town at one in the morning. I was tired, and I could tell you were too. You nudged my hand to ask the time. Our eyes grew accustomed to the darkness and I squeezed as close to the wheelchair as I could, putting my arm around you.
As the blazing rocks streamed over us I stopped to watch you; you, more luminous than anything.