I think of Olly, decontamination-cold and waiting for me. He's the opposite of everything I'm used to. He's not safe. He's not familiar. He's in constant motion. He's the biggest risk I've ever taken.
The sun room is my favorite room in the house. By the time I get there, Olly has managed to climb halfway up the wall. He's pinching one of the large banana leaves when I walk in.
"It's not real."
He lets go of the branch but remains where he is on the wall. Climbing for him is like walking for the rest of us.
"Are you going to stay up there?"
"I'm thinking about it, Maddy. Your nurse, Carla, said I had to stay as far away from you as possible and she doesn't seem like the kind of lady that you make angry."
My disease is as rare as it is famous. SCID, a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. It makes me basically allergic to the whole world. Anything can trigger a bout of sickness. I don't leave my house, and I haven't in 17 years. I haven't had many visitors either, Olly is one of the few.
"You can come down. Carla's not as scary as she seems."
"Maybe you should come in."
I then realize that I'm still in the doorway holding on to the knob. I let go but don't take my eyes off him. His eyes track my movements as well.