Gale's cry woke me up the next morning. His face was a light shade of red and it was covered in tears.
I crawled out of bed and picked Gale out of his crib. He buried his face in my shoulder, still crying.
"Gale, baby, what's wrong?" I asked, stroking the only part of his cheek I could see.
He sniffed. "My head... hurt."
I pried him off my shoulder and pressed my hand to his forehead. It was burning hot. "Let's go take your medicine and you'll feel better."
I carried him down to the kitchen and sat him on the counter. I grabbed the bottle of medicine from the cabinet and gave some to Gale.
Gale sniffed again and reached out for me.
I took him in my arms but sat him down at the table. "You have to eat something."
He whined. "I'm not hungry."
"Please, Gale. For me?"
He shook his head back and forth.
I finally got some food into him five minutes later. But when I took him upstairs, he had puked it back up. Apparently he couldn't eat anything with his medicine.
I laid him down on my bed and pulled the covers over his small body. He slowly fell asleep, his face hidden in the pillow.
I sighed and changed into a pair of shorts and a simple t-shirt. I'd be taking care of Gale all day. Why bother looking nice? I pulled my hair into a ponytail and shut the door to my bedroom.
Gale needed his sleep. He would only get worst if he couldn't sleep.
"I can stay in there with him if you want." Daniel offered, coming out of his room.
I shook my head. "He's sleeping. When he wakes up, he'll cry for me."
"Maybe you should get some sleep, Steph." He said, leaning against the wall beside me.
"I just woke up."
"Yeah, because Gale woke you up." He pointed out, nodding his head back towards my room.
"I'll be fine." I said sighing.
"No, maybe you should get some sleep. You look like you need it."
"What I need is food." I mumbled, heading downstairs. I fixed myself a bowl of cereal and sat down at the table.
Daniel sat down on one of the chairs beside me and leaned back in it. "Look, this isn't easy, I know that. Just let me help you."
"I have to take care of him myself." I said, looking up from the bowl. "He needs his mother with him."
Daniel nodded. "I know that, Stephanie. But sometimes you need a break."
"I don't have time for a break." I pointed out. Being a mother was a 24/7 thing. I couldn't avoid it. I was just trying to do things right.
"Gale's sleeping. I don't think he'll wake up for a few more hours. He doesn't need you right now. Go and do something for you. Relax. Okay? I'll handle things. And if he wakes up, I'll call you."
I bit my lip. He really wanted to help Gale. Help me. But why? I always wanted to do things for Gale on my own, since I'd been on my own from the start. I wanted to be the best mother I could be even with the lack of ability I had.
"I don't-thank you." I whispered. This was too much. I didn't deserve for everyone to be helping me out.
"Is Blake supposed to come over?"
"I-yeah. I'll call him and meet him."
Daniel smiled. "You are just too easy."
"That's not funny. Nowhere near it." I said dryly. I couldn't help what happened to me. And Daniel knew it all. So why did he think it was ever okay to talk about it?
"Yeah, okay, sorry."