When the verdict came from the specialist oncologist through the
general practitioner who was of their generation and in their
group of friends, Fiona was the one who answered the
early morning call. Every day Ben left their bed first,
accustomed to early rising. He came from the bathroom and
found her pressed back against the pillows with tears leaking
down her cheeks as if something inside her had suddenly
given way. He stopped at the open door. Before he
could speak she told him. There is no looking for
the delay of an appropriate time for such . . . what? News.
Paraphrases from the novel Get a Life by Nadine Gordimer.