Dying folks understand time. That's why so many of them are wide awake during their last nights. Jamire explains this to Lizzy. She could stop there. Should stop there. But she likes Bob. He's got a dry wit and tells a good story. Jamire hopes Lizzy will stay.
"In all my years at this, I've never seen a thirst as bad as the thirst people with end stage esophageal cancer have. They can't swallow, of course, and if they do, it comes right back up and the thirst only gets worse. And the thirst gets worse anyway," Jamire says.
"What about my thirst? All my life he," Lizzy says. The rest floats in the hallway where it belongs. Her face is pale again now that she's given up the effort of not crying.
"What about it?" Jamire says, but really gently. Her hand circles Lizzy's wrist just like the hug she'll give her later that night, if not tomorrow night, or the next at the very latest.