The first thing Tsu noticed was hunger. She hadn't left her bed yet, and her stomach was aching with emptiness, but she couldn't bring herself to move. Even the tiniest movement felt like torment. She was helplessly pinned in place, her body screaming for her to get up and move, but she couldn't make her limbs obey. She was just as helpless to make her brain stop thinking about how useless she felt, or to stop her heart from racing when her husband finally came to check on her. He didn't say anything at first, just came in and sat on the edge of the bed, close but not touching. After a few moments of silence, he finally spoke.
"Hey, are you feeling ok?" Khan asked, his voice soft with concern. He brushed little strands of hair from her face, tucking them behind her ear. "I can go get you something if you want."
She didn't respond, just stared at the wall across from her. Her eyebrows furrowed with guilt at making him go out of his way to check on her. Tsu usually slept in and Khan would wait for her to come out so that he could make breakfast fresh for them to enjoy together. If only she could tell him how much she appreciated him, but she couldn't seem to find the words. All she could do was offer him a weak, barely perceptible nod and watch as he left the room again. She felt like such a burden.
At first, Tsu was embarrassed to admit that she suffered from depression. She wanted to hide it. But Khan encouraged her to open up. She began to confide in him. He listened, he understood, and he was determined to help her deal with her downswings. The first few months of living together were rough, but Khan was her rock. He did his best to help her get out of bed, he held her when she cried, and he tried his best to make her laugh. Sometimes, they would take long drives. Sometimes, they would browse the aisles of the mall. He went above and beyond for her.
Khan returned to her side with a glass of water, a slice of bread, and a couple of pain meds. He didn't say anything, just helped her get into a sitting position. He sat next to her, rubbing her back as she nibbled at the bread.
"I'm sorry I've been so useless lately," Tsu said, finally able to string together a few words. "I didn't mean to make you bring me all of this. I should've been able to get up and get them myself." She paused, then finished with a whisper, "I'm sorry I was such a bother." When she looked at him she could tell he was surprised, but he tried not to show it.
"It's never a bother," he said, handing her the glass of water. "I just want to make sure you're okay."
Tsu smiled weakly at him. His unconditional love and patience were such a gift. She took a sip of the water, the medication following. "Thank you."
Khan smiled. "You're welcome." He crawled into the bed next to her and pulled her into his arms. He kissed the top of her head. "When you feel the meds working, we'll go get breakfast together."
Her heart fluttered as she buried her face into his chest.