Chilled, stiff and much too uncomfortable to be worth all the bother.
The view could be better and regardless of what films would have you believe, I do *not* smell baked bread. The scent is far more bitter and dry, like irony… or perhaps bad camembert.
It’s the loneliness that pains me more than the bleeding gash on my brow or the fractured ribs threatening to puncture my lung or the concussion luring me toward darkness. It’s the loneliness that cuts.
I wonder if she’s won the day.
Could I tell if she’d fallen, without the benefit of seeing her die with my own eyes? Would I sense her departure, slighted the nightmare of paying witness to it?
Would she know mine or need to suffer the punishment of having to identify my twisted remains from the rubble of yet another failure?
The pain grows faint as my mind does, begging sleep with every labored breath.
I will not consent, not yet… waiting still for something to tell me it’s alright to surrender.
Death is a reward for a life well played and I can’t help but feel I’m a few moves shy of victory. Unfinished business and broken promises keep me from that final rest. It’s not my place to say when I may leave this world… it’s hers.
And as if my thoughts were heard, they are answered. A hand gently cups my head and the pain is all but a memory. Her face forms from vapor, an apparition of beauty sorrowfully smiling in acceptance of my coming fate.
Numb and contented, I sigh, resigned to die under the grace of her welcoming eyes.
Not so alone…