purple drank

“What’s wrong?” I asked Clary, putting the back of my hand to his forehead. “Don’t you feel well?” He shook his head, lower lip trembling. He was a little too warm to the touch – but just a little. “Are you sad or do you think you’re sick?” He feels roughly the same way about Christmas that an elf does. He shouldn’t start looking vaguely tearful midway through painting reindeer. But he shook his head again. “Alright, what do you think is wrong?” He sighed deeply. “I don’t think what is wrong, I know what is wrong, but the purple drink made it better for a little bit.” Oh no. Not purple drink. “So your mommy already knows you’re sick?” He sighed again. “She said it was a very big secret and not to tell anyone at all especially not teachers! but even my friends that I have nununyah.”

“You have what?” And even as I was asking him to repeat it I already had the word. “Pneumonia. You have pneumonia, Clary.”

I jumped back. I needed to wash my hands, find the director, and – my head reeled a little. Maybe it’ll be fine, I lied to myself. Maybe no one will get it.