These are a pair of stories I wrote, inspired by I’m not sure what! One thing is for sure, they both came out of nowhere in one single take…
“What will it feel like?” he asks. “Will I… know?”
“I’m not sure, my darling” I say, carefully truthful, “but I’ll be here. I’ll always be here”
He nods; the movement so slight I can barely see it. Holding his hand, I lie down beside him; close my eyes. In time, he says, so quietly I can hardly hear, “I’m ready now.”
He needs my help this last time but I swear its killing me. I reach over and pick up a small glass vial. Then, supporting his head so that he might raise it a little, I hold the vial to his lips. His eyes are the deepest pools.
“Thank you” he says. “I love you.”
He relaxes, closes his eyes. Then, he is gone.
When we flew, we were two.
Now he’s gone, I am one.
The words had come to mind, fully formed, when I’d booked our tickets – his a single, mine a return – online, of course, to avoid the ‘looks’.
He hadn’t even wanted to be brought back home in his compact, condensed, altered state. “Impractical” he’d said. “Besides, I’ll always be with you – just you wait and see.” He paused. “Plus, the weather’s better here”
His wry, dry humour was the last thing to go – his very own Cheshire Cat smile. I didn’t argue.
When the plane touched down at Heathrow in the gloom of a wet, grey, London day (he was quite right about the weather) I’d never loved him so much.
c. hatty richmond 2011