“For good luck! Cheers!”
Martha’s face got even more red. Like a rose, ready to bloom. She also raised her glass.
Downing the glass to the last drop and throwing a piece of chocolate in his mouth, Robert began to speak about tolerance, the immune system, and genetic cell mutations. The more muddled his words were, the more freely they flowed in this huge high-ceilinged room, the heavier Martha’s soul felt. She underwent a reverse transformation from a ready-to-bloom rose, through a shy young woman with blushing cheeks, to a pale snow maiden. Two melted snowflakes rolled down her cheeks.
One day Martha stated bluntly that she can wait no more, that James had suddenly begun to noticeably improve, even surprising his own doctor.
“We cannot stall anymore. I need to pay off my debts, including for this hotel room, where you spend so much care-free time with me. Anyway, either you provide me with the recipe, or I go back to James. For your information, James even started being sexually active, which had not happened since two-thousand … I don’t remember which year. Moreover, be aware that I won’t include your name as a co-owner in any documents!”
Robert realized that everything had not gone according to his plan. Clinging to the herbs and roots for dear life, James seemed to be climbing out, and—God forbid!—it will be him going with Martha on a cruise, and Robert will wave to them from the dock.
“You’re accusing me in vain,” he said harshly. “How long did you work on the recipe? And what have you achieved? Only that your husband has developed immunity to any poison. But I…” then Robert made a weighty pause, “found it.”