Dreaming of fireflies

November 19, 2010
“Come on, love, it’ll be alright. I’m here for you. Just take my hand; relax and know that I love you.” He cast up a silent prayer to God, hoping she didn’t catch the small quaver in his voice.

“Stay with me, won’t you? I don’t know if I can do this alone…”

“I have nowhere else I would rather be, except right here beside you.” He paused, breathing deeply, slowly, trying to maintain composure. He had almost lost it, there for a moment. But she needed strength right now.

“Do you remember when we first met?”

He grinned, letting his mind fall back into his high school years, reveling in the memories. “I do. History class, you came in and all I could think about was how big a crush I knew I would have on you.”

“And here we are…”

He faltered for a moment, nearly dropping his calm. After a second’s pause, he continued slowly, reflectively, longingly, “And here we are…”

The room sat silently for a time as he listened to the noises around him. Air conditioner. TV was way too loud in the next room. Doctors busily at work…

He tried to fill the silence, “We’re not as young as we used to be.”

“My hair is grey and my face is a canyon of wrinkles…”

“But that’s what I’ve always loved about you. You had this aura about you, this energy. No matter how bad things got, you kept going with a smile on your face that made my heart race…” He looked at her peaceful face, trying to capture the image in his head, to immortalize the moment in his mind.

“You always had a way of keeping a smile on my face…”

He leaned forward, softly kissing her forehead. With a start, as if just remembering, he reached into his pocket, pulling out and unfolding a piece of paper. “Taylor drew this for you.” He turned the bright Crayola picture towards her, watching her face. “Your grandchildren are going to miss you.”

A silence, longer this time. He didn’t know how to say what he wanted to, so he summed it up, hoping she would read his tone and hear the unsaid. “I’m going to miss you, too. So very much.”

“I don’t know how to tell you; there are so many things I’ve left unsaid, so many undone actions haunting the corners of my mind…”


If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing, though.”

“But, still. I wish I could pause time, just for a little while, so I could tell you everything, describe every heart beat.”

The possibilities hung in the air, like fireflies, blazing a glowing path through the heavy darkness, leaving streaks of color in people’s vision so they could see what perfection might be…

But even if you could catch one—catch a dream that is—you couldn’t keep it in a jar, in your heart, in your life for long, or it would grow weak and die…

If you let it free, though—the firefly, that is—it’ll be able to light up the dark for you again. Give you another shadow of perfection…

“Maybe, if I start now, I can tell you the most important things…”

“You need to rest.”

“But this needs to be said,” She inhaled deeply, drawing in until her lungs were at capacity, and then slowly

ever so slowly

the air escaped. He began to speak, purposefully, pouring his entire heart out in a last breath’s time, saying all that needed to be said in that brief moment…

“I love you…”



“… always have, always will. So very much.”




And the heart monitor flat lined…

And he finally lost control, and began to cry. Tears ran down his aged cheeks, running through his laugh line wrinkles like well worn river beds. He leaned forward, pressing his forehead to hers, whispering through the pain.

“I love you, I love you, I love you…”

“I’ll miss you, I already do, I always will…”




“And, God, how I wish you could have heard my last goodbye… could have been able to say ‘I love you’ in return…”





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rainonroses said...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm
Awww! This was so touching! Your descriptions were amazing. Have you ever considered writing descriptive poetry? Some of the lines in this story seemed perfect for that. Loved the part about fireflies... and glimpsing perfection. GREAT job! Keep writing!
 
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