I sat on the tub's edge behind her, lightly stroking her back. "You're not dying. You're just sick."
"Nuh-uh, this time it's for real," she said. "Ebola or something."
"No, honey. If it was ebola, you'd be bleeding from your eyes."
She leaned forward over the toilet bowl. "If I puke anymore, I will be."
"Don't move," I said, and gathered her hair up in my hands and tied it back. "Friends don't let friends barf in their hair."
"So sweet," she said, and then suddenly and without warning vomited into the toilet. Nothing much came up this time. It had been a long ten minutes before that, and there wasn't much left in her belly to rise up. Soon, the heaves stopped and she wiped her mouth with the wash cloth I had handed her earlier. "I'm going to be coughing up an unborn twin before too long."
"If anybody else's teeth or hair come out of your mouth, you're on your own."
She groaned. "God, stop. You're gonna kill me."
"Then I'll meet you again in the next life, and you can kill me in return."
"I'm going to puke on you in the next life. Drown you in a sea of vomit." She gagged. "God, I'm grossing myself out."
I knelt beside her and touched her hand. "Do I get any bonus points for keeping your hair out of it?"
"My undying love," she said. "Now get out of my way." She let go again, and retched long and hard. At the end, she coughed twice and looked into the bowl. "Hey, look at that: ambergris."
"Very funny," I said, and flushed the toilet for her. "Even for someone bleeding from the eyes."