“Good morning!” I chirped, because I always chirp – more so when I’m tired or unhappy or terribly ill again, defying all logic. Shane made his usual mad rush for the door and I let my head roll back on my shoulders. I was tired. I’d had fifteen minutes of sleep.

I heard the door open, but suddenly I realized I hadn’t heard it close. I tilted my head to see him squeezing the door handle, looking at me. “Are you waiting for me to tease you?” He coloured deeply, said nothing, looked down. “I’m too tired to tease you. Have a good day at work and see you later.” He smiled with unexpected cheer and nodded enthusiastically.

He must think I’m some rare sort of crazy, I thought. Were he not so lonely, so obviously lonely, he’d object, or indulge the secret desire of his heart to pepper spray me.