I'm home because everyone knows I'm finished anyway. I have a mother, and it's not fair on her for this to happen. I shouldn't have cracked that joke about incest at Aunt Laura's funeral. I try to cough it out of my clogged lungs, but the inhalation that comes after each hack only draws it deeper into me. It's gentle, I'm exhausted. Surrounded by everyone. I seem to be bleeding from everywhere I'm open. This bed is my battlefield. I'm glad there was some pleasure, before the pain. Because the pain lasts longer. Michael raises his finger to his lips.