He is getting ready for bed when he prepares the hot water bottle and tucks it in with him, between his freezing sheet and icy quilt. Maybe tonight, the hot water bottle thinks, he will love me. And though he embraces it and thanks it for defrosting his bedding, it is on the floor by morning, excommunicated, banished, forgotten. Why doesn’t he love me, it cries, what did I do wrong? It grows warm again the following evening, only to be cast out by sunrise once more, lost in the cold, its hot affection valuable only in the dark.

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