[ papering over the cracks ]God, she's tired today.
She pushes herself harder on her morning run, tacking on an extra half-mile, then another for good measure.
(The more she works out, the more energy she'll have, she reminds herself with every punishing stride.)
By the time she makes it back to the house, there's a stitch behind her ribs and her knees have turned to oatmeal.
Should've eaten something, she thinks as she fumbles with the back door.
The house is quiet when she leans against the kitchen counter, sheened with sweat and shivering. Nausea washes through her, and she closes her eyes and breathes deep.
Bill will be up soon; she needs to make coffee and jumpstart breakfast.
She grips the edge of the counter with one hand, flipping on the faucet with the other.
The sound of running water fills her ears, fading to mute as her vision tunnels and the sink yellows at its edges.