I call Niles when I have a good amount of energy and feel sorry for myself. But he isn’t even fun enough to be distracting. When he comes on my stomach, he curses apologies and dabs at the pink scars, as if his little puddle hurts the spot where the tumor used to be. Who knows why he bothers pulling out, like it’s even possible for my body to support another person. At least for that one second he believes I’m a normal girl—one you can count on to be alive nine months later.