Lily was tired, though, and compounded with frustration and the desperation to get done all that was needed, frankly, it was a little amazing that she hadn’t broken down into tears much earlier. No one would really have been able to fault her for it.
But she held it together, remained quiet and calm and mostly in charge until she was in the relative solitude of her own bedroom. As she burrowed in under her covers, the first sob escaped her lips, and she buried her face into her pillow to muffle the following sobs.
Even still, she felt the weight of the bed shift as someone sat down on the edge of the bed. She felt a hand press gently between her shoulder blades. “You okay?” Benedick asked.
“Not particularly,” she said more to the pillow than to him. Nothing else was said. Lily just laid there and cried quietly into her pillow and Benedick sat there with his hand steady on her back. They stayed like that until she was cried out, then she rolled over to look at him.
“I don’t know if I can do all this, Benedick,” Lily said softly, her voice level.
“Just get some sleep, we’ll talk in the morning,” Benedick insisted gently.
“I’m so scared. What if can’t do it?” Lily replied.
“Please, Lily, Sleep. Sleep.” Benedick encouraged again, the edge of panic creeping into his voice.
“Don’t leave me,” Lily pleaded.
“I’m staying right here,” he reassured her, the panic gone, “I’ll be here when you wake up.”
Lily nodded, and shut her eyes, fading quickly into sleep.