I opened my eyes and saw my husband asleep in a chair next to my hospital bed.
"Paul," I said.
He startled awake, stared at me as if I were the love child of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, and nearly leapt on me.
"Oh, God, Suzy, oh, God, oh, God," he said. "We didn't know if you were coming back."
"I was in a coma?" I asked, feeling strangely lucid for someone with a major head injury.
"Yes. You died twice on the operating table."
"We were in a car wreck?"
"A week ago. I'm so sorry, Suzy, I never saw the other car."
A noxious odor wafted from my husband's mouth. It smelled like a dead rodent decomposing between the walls of a house. And that smell told me Paul was lying.
"You fell off the fucking wagon again, didn't you?" I asked. "Goddamn Valium, right?"
"No way," he said, but that smell gave him away again. I don't know how it happened, but I suddenly had a very minor superpower. And holy shit was I delighted.
"Paul," I said. "You've been fucking that bitch lawyer, haven't you?"
She was a partner in the firm where Paul had just started his legal career. I suspected my feminist husband had reversed gender roles and was trying to fuck his way up the ladder.
"Tell me the truth," I said, but Paul remained silent. And I thought, As long as you keep breathing, I will know if you're lying. My sweetheart, you can't escape me now.