He thinks she’s a fever dream, at first.
His vision has gone blurry, and all he sees is shifting whites, pinks, yellows—he realizes that he’s ill, realizes that he’s not thinking clearly, but when it occurs to him that she’s here to spirit him off to heaven, he accepts this logic as irrefutable and so tries to push her away. He’s already dead, he thinks - what good is heaven going to do?
He tells her this and her hands leave him. He hears her sigh, and there’s nothing for a minute, and then he feels her place a cool, tender kiss on his forehead.
You’re coming out of this in one piece, she tells him, whether you like it or not. You thinkin’ you’re dead isn’t going to get you out of your bandage change. Now hold still. Blimey, you’d think a “doctor” would know better. Doctor of what, anyway? Cheesemakin’?
He laughs, and it hurts—really hurts. No such thing, he says, and he hears her snort.
No such thing in heaven, neither, so you might’s’well stay here.
He discovers that he can’t argue with that logic, either.