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So Follows My Heart

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Everything is bleak. The picture on the wall, the bright box of tissues, the pale sheets with the flowers in all shades of pinks and purples: all artificial... I see that now. The TV is blank- a stark reminder of how the rest of my life looks without her: one giant, black void that is sucking me in faster and faster by the moment. My foot has already been plunged into the darkness, the shadows clawing their way around my ankle and up my leg, ravenous. It will not be too long before the hole swallows me completely. A couple hours at most, according to the doctors. Each second draws her closer to the light and me closer to the dark. We are being torn at the seams. Whatever happened to “a lifetime” and “forever and ever”? It is impossible that time has moved so fast! Just yesterday I had spotted her doing the Charleston in her red dress at the dance hall with Billy. I stepped up behind them and asked to cut in, ignoring the furious look on his face, focusing only on the surprised look upon hers. I still remember the way her eyes filled with wild light when I spun her. We haven’t been able to do that in years.

The metal framed hospital bed where she now lays looks so cold and unforgiving; completely unfitting for my ever-joyful wife. She deserves a palace, a seat on a high throne and a bed of the softest silk. Not this cheap stuff they have her cocooned in. I try to tell them, but all I get in response is, “Mr. Thurston, we’re doing all we can.” If they were doing all they could, my poor wife wouldn’t be dying right now!

I sink into the hard backed chair beside the bed and searched her beautiful face. Her eyes dart like moths around a flame beneath her eyelids. Her eyelashes flicker. I wonder what she is dreaming of.

I slouch. I sink. An invisible knife scratches an “x” over my chest before plunging itself deep within me at the thought of losing her: of not waking up beside her, of not sitting down to breakfast with her, of not cursing our old backs and stiff knees, of not wondering at how the years have flown.

My soul is being incinerated. I cannot stand it. How can any man possibly bear to continue when his very reason for existence is no longer alive?

This chair is my deathbed. For with the fleeing soul of my wife, so follows my heart.



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