Having helped her to sit up on the edge of the bed, he says while kneeling in front of her and putting on her slippers:
- You look like I was again causing you nightmares.
No response. No smile. No eye sparkling.
- Did I again offer you tea all night until you were fed up with me?
- Hm, do you think you are ready to fly into my arms?
- Alright then. ... Ready?
- You know that you will never ever fall when the strongest of all sons-in-law's with you?
- Good. So let's do it, Mylady. One ... two ... three! Done.
A little scream. Her head leaning against his left shoulder; he feels her shivering.
- Did it hurt?
- You say when you are ready for the marathon?
- I am ready.
- Good. So give me your hands, Mylady.
Slowly, step by step, they cover the three metres to the bedroom door, its threshold.
- And now we are climbing Mt. Everest. ... Good.
Minutes later. The old woman sitting on the toilet, he sitting on the rim of the bath tub.
- Don't you feel well?
- Any pain?
- So, w...
- I'll tell you when I've the teeth in my mouth.
- So be it.
He smiles. Their eyes meet. She does not smile.
Half an hour later, having another marathon behind her, with climbing Nanga Parbat and Popocatepetl, surviving a breakfast containing of three tiny bits of bread - one with egg and fleurs de sel, one with walnut cheese, one with chaumes -, a cup of tea and three pills, she says:
- It was so horrible! Wearing white runners, on arriving with my bicycle at the grocer's suddenly there was a sandheap. I fell. While getting up, fortunately Mickey appeared. Mickey, I said, could you please pick up my bike? He did, and I asked him: Mickey, would you now, please, be so kind and slap me? - But, why should I slap you, Eireen? he asked. Oh Mickey, I said, Diarmuid's told me by no means to get up without him. I could call him at any time of the day and the night, and now I am here. He will ... In the next moment I awoke ... ah ... and so relieved I felt to be in my bed. Still, I was shivering with horror.
- White runners? Did you ever wear white runners?
- Did you really ask Mickey to slap you?
And he laughed and laughed and ... both they laughed.