She awoke to one of his legs draped over her hip, softly snoring at her back. As soon as light hit her eyes, she remembered all over again.
She saw the abbreviated montage that had played in her mind dozens of times by now: Eddie unable to sleep. Eddie unable to eat. Eddie in the car. Eddie at the vet. Soothing Eddie. Holding Eddie's paw. Leaving without Eddie.
Eddie was gone. It had been several days already, but today was the day she'd decided to finally post. She'd surprised herself, really, with how well she was doing. 17 years was the longest she'd ever had one pet in her life. By all accounts, she should be faring far worse. Based on the way Sam and the kids had been walking on eggshells around her, they must have thought she'd fall apart. Rend her clothing. Wail like a banshee. Forget that children needed to be fed and dressed.
She had cried; how could she not? She knew Eddie longer than her three children, her husband, and the boyfriends that preceded all of them. Eddie had navigated this flat, the flat before, the tiny flat before that flat, and so on.
Yes, she had cried. The first morning she didn't have Eddie to feed or water or check on. Sam had put down his coffee and made his way to her with his arms open. She'd let him envelop her as her forehead landed against his sternum. Arms hanging limp at her sides, she had cried herself empty.
"Mummy's okay. She's feeling sad," he said above her when little feet stopped short of entering the kitchen. "Remember, we said it's okay to cry, didn't we? You can come in and give Mummy hugs to help her feel better if you'd like."
She had cried after Sam had taken the litter box out of the house for her. All that was left were her favorite blanket, still smelling of her, and the few toys that had still sparked her interest despite her advanced age. These she tucked into a box and set it high in their bedroom closet.
It was time to say... something... on Instagram and Twitter. She'd do it today.
He was awake now, and pulling her close. Kissed her cheek. "Are you alright?" Nuzzled her hair, breathed her in, let her know she was supported.
"I think so. I've been coming up with what to post."
Another kiss. "Would it be alright if I posted something, maybe later?"
"Heh." She patted the arm that held her. "Thank you darling, but you don't need the scrutiny. My God." She lightly shuddered. "Can you imagine?"
He exhaled against her, frustrated. "So what do I do, then? Nothing?"
She nodded. "Nothing. The last thing I want is to see them taking shots at you because your costar, friend, or tele-wife lost a pet and you made mention of it. It's just not worth it."
"Just post whatever you were planning to. You wanted to mention the double-gold award, right?"
"Yeah, the whisky award, but I'm going to look heartless. You do realize that?"
She rolled to her right side and faced him as his arms adjusted around her new position. "Heartless is the very last thing you could ever be." She brushed his nose lightly with hers. "You've had a rough few days too, you know. Don't let today be another one. Please?"
She kissed him softly and ran her fingers along the stubble at his jawline. "There is one thing you could do, though."
He raised his eyebrows at the prospect of being useful.
"You could go start the coffee."