When I returned, I found Paul sitting in our bed by the lamplight, reading the newspapers. "You're home late," he said.

    "I had an appointment."

    I disappeared into the washroom, unable to look at his fair solemn features. I knew I would instantly compare them to Marc's darker sensual features.

    "My godfather's about to die," Paul said from the bed.

    I hesitated at the bathroom sink.

    "What happened?" I shouted. I started to wash my face.

    "He had a heart attack. Might have been a heat stroke that caused it in the first place."

    I came out of the bathroom after my shower and I climbed into bed. Paul folded his paper and inched closer to me. I was silent and immobile. Like a toy, he touched me but I remained expressionless. After a while, he retreated to his slumber.