He had fallen asleep, when Cody was brought down back from theatre. He woke with a start, his mouth tasting like the bottom of a parrot’s cage, and his head aching. He waited until they had settled Cody and connected him up to a whole panoply of monitoring devices and then shifted his chair next to the bed. He began his vigil again.
Perhaps half an hour later, Cody stirred. Luigi had put the chair parallel to the cot. Now he rearranged it so that it was at an angle so he could easily see Cody’s face. Cody’s eyes were still closed but they were moving, under the lids. Luigi waited. God knew what nightmares were coursing through Cody’s brain right then.
Cody’s eyes opened.
“Hello, love,” said Luigi.
Cody gave him a weak smile.
“I thought I’d lost you,” Luigi said.
He waited for Cody to speak, but all he said was “Water.”
Luigi got up and put an inch of water in the mug on the basin. He didn’t know how much you were allowed after an operation. Just as he was about to give the water to Cody, an ICU nurse opened the door and came in. “Is it OK?” asked Luigi, pointing with one hand to the glass of water held in the other.
“Yes. He can have a bit more than that if he needs it.” The woman turned to Cody, and asked, “How do you feel?”
“OK,” mumbled Cody.
“Do you need anything?”
“Water. A bit hungry.”
“I’ll bring you some sandwiches. Eat them slowly.”
Luigi gave the water to Cody and held his head up so he could drink it. He waited until the nurse had closed the door behind her. Then he said, “I have something I need to tell you, Coads.”