He paced. The floorboards under his feet creeking as he transfered weight from one side of his body to the other whenever he stopped and spun. It had been a few minutes since his mother had gone into the bathroom and he was starting to consider urinating outside when he heard a loud noise.
It sounded like it was upstairs, so he jokingly called up to where he thought his fellow flatmates were doing something stupid and waited for a response. Nothing. Pacing back again he looked up the stares and heard an odd noise. A sort of strained moan that he couldn't immediately place. Concern growing he followed the source of the sound and found himself listening to the hum of the fan and nothing else. He knocked:
"Mom, are you alright?"
A moments pause and then a dazed sounding "no" whispered from the white wooden boards seperating the parent and child.
"I'm going to come in, that ok?"
What could have been an affirmative mmmmhmmmm or a cry of pain pushed itself out of the other side of the door and the man began opening the door. It stopped.
Looking through the crack he saw a leg extending towards the toilet. She must be in front of the door he realized. Carefully, his foot extended and found a place to rest between her sprawled limbs, then the rest of his body squeezed through the doorway without moving the door any further so he wouldn't hit her as he took stock of the situation.
He didn't care.
His mother was laying on the ground and mumbling in pain. He called out: "Mom? Mom, what's the matter?" rousing to his voice, she moved a little and noted that she fell. Also, she needed to go to the bathroom. Grasping her by her shoulders and bracing himself he helped her to her feet and lifted her to the toilet.
"I thought I made it... I..."
He glanced down to where her pants were and saw the pool of waste.
"It's okay, you're okay. You fell, just go ahead you're okay now."
He began rubbing her back while he looked her over. Holding her shirt down to cover herself, she was still confused, and sweating. A lot. Her body swayed. He steadied her, kneeling down to look up into her eyes. She was confused, but she didn't seem to be in pain anymore. Still, his mother wasn't looking at him, perhaps out of shame. One of her hands came up to her head and rested there while her elbow found its place on her knee. She seemed somewhat stable.
"What do you need? What can I get you?"
Looking over her again, the man rubbed her back and made sure she wasn't about to fall over in the next 30 seconds before taking his hands away from her shoulders and backing out of the room. Once out, he hurried to his kitchen, pulled out two bottles of water, and rushed back. Unscrewing the lid of one he crouched down again.
"Here you go, mom, here you go"
Her hands shaking, she grasped the small bottle in both and lifted it towards her lips. Resting his hands underneath hers, he steadied her and took the bottle from her when she stopped gulping it down. He rubbed her back again, more noises in the toilet underneath her, but she didn't even seem to be trying.
"What's the matter?"
As she struggled for words and sputtered out a few words he tore his phone from his pocket and began trying to look up the symptons. Desperate for an answer, he asked her specific questions and put his hand to her forehead and watched her neck. The fluttering of the skin near her throat disturbed him. Too fast. It wasn't even matched with her breathing, was he seeing her pulse visibly in her neck?
"Did I... pass out? I... I fainted?"
He rubbed her back some more and handed her more water.
"it's okay, you did, but it's ok, drink this"
Possible causes of illness flashed under his thumb as he scrolled, trying to find something, anything that fit what he was seeing happen in front of him. Low Blood Sugar. He steadied her and went to get juice, bringing it back hoping some of the sugar would help. Dehydrated. He retrieved more water from the fridge again and kept at it, offering it to her until she took it. With every sip she seemed a little better. But maybe that was just hopeful thinking because it wasn't long before she was shaking. Her hands seesawing until she noticed the thin line of fesces on it. Wipes and toilet paper came quickly but when she started to scrub the brown away from her skin she shook even worse. As if any more movement or activity in her body was magnified twenty score from her usual habitual twitches. She pushed the small bottle of water back into his hands, then brought her own together into prayer.
"... Jesus ..."
her voice became inaudible as she prayed, a quiet hum mixing with the background noise of the bathroom fan. The concerned child kept rubbing his mothers back, adding his prayers to her own. As time passed, the shaking began to subside, and the glazed look from her eyes faded away. She thanked the man standing before her, and started asking him questions, trying to figure out exactly what had happened to her while she was sick. With a sigh of relief at his mother's lucidity, he began to recount the tale.